Friday, August 19, 2011

On the Deficit, Democratic Senators Murray, Baucus and Kerry Match Republicans

In Platitudes, Which is a Major Accomplishment

The Dismal Political Economist does not think well of most Democrats, but as bad as they are he has always believed that they are not as bad as many Republicans.  This presumption is challenged every day by Democrats, and today’s challenge to it comes from three senior Senators who will represent the Democrats on the Deficit Reduction Committee.

John Kerry, Max Baucus and Patty Murray write in the Wall Street Journal

The Deficit Reduction Committee going "rah, rah"

and The Dismal Political Economist is already wary.  This sounds too much like rah, rah, and has the tone of “beating cancer” or “beating heart disease” or beating some other malady.

And the whole tenor is wrong.  No, we are not facing this problem together Senators.  We private citizens have done our part, we put you in office to fix things.  So no, you beat the deficit, that’s what we elected you to do.

And by the way, the deficit is not a disease, it is a man made condition of government where politicians, in order to get votes have promised more governmental benefits than taxpayers are willing to pay for.  Really, it’s that simple.

Still, The Dismal Political Economist is nothing if not optimistic,

[Editor’s note:  That one got past us, sorry, it will not happen again]

and this optimism drove him to read the entire piece.  It was not a pleasant experience.  Instead of specifics on reducing the deficit or detailed policy recommendation or acute analysis we have this

How Kerry, Baucus and Murray Think the World Sees Us
It Doesn't!

Our country has long been a beacon of light in the world because the American people always come together when times are tough

Do you people really think the American people are united at this time?  Do you not see that Americans are as divided as they have ever been since the Civil War because of your inability to govern.

And there is this

we are going to need to meet eye-to-eye as people despite outside efforts to divide us as partisans

No, the it is not outside efforts that divide you, it is efforts inside the Senate.

And there is this

families and businesses are demanding that this new committee work together to overcome the partisanship and brinksmanship of recent months and put our fiscal house in order.

Are you kidding, if you took a poll you would find that about 75% of families and businesses have never heard of you or your Committee.

And there is this

This moment demands leadership.

Unlike every other moment since the Great Recession started?

And thankfully, at the end this (because if it wasn’t the end of the article any more treacle prose would surely have sent the readers of the Journal over the edge of the nearest cliff.)

So we are ready to get to work with our colleagues on both sides of the aisle to report out a balanced plan, with the shared sacrifices this moment requires. One that moves past the partisan rancor, puts our nation back on strong fiscal footing, and allows us to continue shining bright in the world in this generation and for generations to come.

Senators Baucus, Murray and Kerry

Yes, that is it, the sum total of knowledge by three members of the Senate who will try to make decisions affecting every American.  [And there’s that light thinge again?].  No ideas, no specifics, no policy changes.  No way to beat the deficit (Note to Sens:  You made to go two out of three with the deficit, its a pretty good opponent.)

Now some will say that this piece must have been ghosted by the staff of these fine members of the Senate.  No way, it takes an experienced elected official to produce dribble like this, no young staffers could even come close.

So, the above is what passes for wisdom in the halls of Congress.  And if this is the Democratic side, please Wall Street Journal, please, spare us the response from the Republicans.  If you do, The Dismal Political Economist will refrain from his sarcastic criticism of you for at least one day, regardless of how great the provocation.  Isn’t that worth something?

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