Thursday, August 11, 2011
Now we know that Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Tex) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash) will be the co-chairmen and leaders of the Select Deficit Committee.
Are these really the best that Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev) could produce?
Were Laurel and Hardy busy? How about the Captain and Tenille, Crosby and Stills, Crosby and Ovechkin, Chubby Checker and Fats Domino, Siegfried and Roy, or Chas and Cher Bono. Too smart, too colorful, too capable?
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Cal.) hasn’t named her three candidates yet, but will it matter?
Albert Einstein, Winston Churchill, and Mahatma Gandhi could help Pelosi balance some of the early personalities, but--from many reliable reports--those guys still are dead and are not coming to the Capitol.
It’s not that the chamber leaders didn’t name those whom I suggested (“The Gang of Six,” plus the House Budget Committee leaders), it’s that they named enough has beens, never was-es, and never will be’s to screw the pooch.
Maybe I’ll be shocked and pleasantly surprised, but there are no thoughtful personalities or profiles in courage among the nine. The numbers to give me any hope that $4 Trillion in federal spending cuts and tax changes could be produced in their machinations just don’t seem to be there.
Look at Reid’s appointees.
Max Baucus (D-Colo.) supported the Bush tax cuts and fought for big agriculture subsidies. John Kerry (D-Mass) speaks extemporaneously every time the light goes on in his kitchen refrigerator (Theresa: “C’mon John close the damn refrigerator.”) Patty Murray (D-Wash) is the official money raiser for Senate D’s and it’s debatable—on policy matters--whether she or Kerry would leave the shallowest tracks in wet mud.
Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) only did a little better. At least Rob Portman (R-Ohio) has brains and some budget experience.
Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) is not smart and--to be kind--is backward looking. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), is a freshman Tea Party acolyte, who opposes daylight, oxygen, and electricity.
Speaker John Boehner named the ultra conservative Jeb Hensarling (R-Tex) as his top guy. Hensarling specializes in blaming Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for all domestic problems, primarily the 2008 financial meltdown. Boehner did balance good old Jeb with Dave Camp (R-Mich.) and Fred Upton (R-Mich), two Michiganders who seem to have some grit and gray matter between them.
There are plenty of votes among these nine to cut federal spending but it doesn’t look to me like there are enough to generate tax savings, especially since all six Republicans oppose tax savings or new taxes.
It looks like leaders in both houses just want the process to go forward and then fail (“But, we tried!”), because that then triggers an automatic across the board federal spending cut (half domestic and half military) which will have nobody’s political DNA on it.
That means nobody has to do any real heavy lifting, be creative or radical. They just can sit back blame the other side for intransigence then lament, but accept, the buzz saw results. “We tried.” (That’s assuming that the House Republicans don’t try and refute their debt limit budget deal and blackmail the nation with some other Tea Party creation.)
Again, the American public gets screwed by the political mini-minds, who masquerade as House and Senate party leaders.
What the hell were they thinking with this turkey smorgasbord?