Sunday, November 27, 2011

Norquist’s Nay-Sayers Put Nation at Risk

If there was ever any question about why Congress has such a low approval rating, consider the following statement:

“Despite our inability to bridge the committee’s significant differences, we end this process united in our belief that the nation’s fiscal crisis must be addressed and that we cannot leave it for the next generation to solve.”

It was made jointly by Sen. Patty Murray (D., Wash.) and Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R., Texas), the co-chairs of the the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction – known paradoxically as the “super committee” – seconds after announcing they had failed to come up with a bipartisan plan for reducing the federal deficit by $1.2 trillion over the next ten years. As a result, instead of a nice piecemeal approach of mutual sacrifice – one that would comprise both necessary cuts to domestic programs and an expiration of tax breaks for the richest Americans – discretionary spending will get slashed in 2013 (without any attendant increase in revenue), putting the country on what National Journal economics correspondent Jim Tankersley has called “autopilot towards austerity.”

Not for nothing, but boasting of unity and a shared commitment to the next generation under circumstances like that is the kind of patronizing hubris that only a politician would have the nerve to mount. Read on at the Philly Post...