The Democrats have advanced their first three picks for the deficit-busting Super Committee, the last hope for America to salvage its credit rating by making tough decisions to slash the government’s gigantic budget deficits. Keep in mind that Moody’s and Fitch Ratings have essentially threatened to knock down our credit standing if the Super Committee doesn’t make serious progress toward fiscal sanity, while Standard & Poor’s is getting ready to downgrade us again.
Incidentally, some legislators are getting a bit testy over everyone calling this the “Super Committee,” as its formal title is the “United States Congress Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction.” Sorry, congresspeople, but that title just isn’t going to catch on. Calling it the “Joint Select Committee” makes it sound like the kind of organization that would take out a full-page ad in High Times. If you want to make it sound more appealing to the public, I suggest getting in touch with Marvel and working up some marketing synergy by naming it “The Deficit Avengers.”
At any rate, three of the six Democrat seats will go to Senators Max Baucus of Montana, John Kerry of Massachusetts, and Patty Murray of Washington State.
Baucus is the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, and also chairs the Joint Committee on Taxation. He’s got a reputation for bipartisanship and moderation, which can be most accurately judged by measuring the intensity of the sneers directed at him from the far Left fever swamps. He’s a sensible choice for the Deficit Avengers. I mean the Super Committee. Wow, that caught on fast!
But John Kerry? The vapid point man for the viciously partisan, and utterly imbecilic, “Tea Party Downgrade” narrative? This lamest of partisan spin attempts relies upon completely ignoring everything the credit analysts have actually said, and constructing a dream world in which the citizens most dedicated to fiscal restraint frightened S&P into downgrading America, by slowing down the process of accumulating more national debt. There should be no place for someone who sincerely believes that, or is cynical enough to push it without believing it, on this important panel.
Kerry is one of the robot mouse mannequins in the Chuck E. Cheese of irresponsible Big Government. He’s been in the Senate since the beginning of Ronald Reagan’s second term. Shouldn’t this Super Committee be composed of young, outside-the-box thinkers, rather than seating the Jurassic big spenders that nailed the box together in the first place?
And Patty Murray? The woman who said, in public, that Osama bin Laden built up his reputation by spending decades “building schools, building roads, building infrastructure, building day-care facilities, building health-care facilities,” and otherwise making the people “extremely grateful?”
Selecting Kerry and Murray sends a clear signal that Democrats are not serious about fiscal responsibility. They’re more interested in using the Super Committee as a partisan bludgeon to extract tax increases from Republicans. They’re also captive to the mindset that every nook and cranny of Congress should be run by the same old fossils who built up $15 trillion in debt.
This is not a surprising development. The Super Committee was always going to be a reflection of the Congress that produced it. It’s a gimmick designed to shift responsibility for controlling the deficit to a little band of all-stars that will work behind closed doors, and emerge to demand submission to their awesome prestige. Why should we need an emergency panel to make Congress inch a little closer to fulfilling the most basic of its duties: spending only what the American people give it?
If that’s how the game is going to be played, the Republican team should be composed entirely of the people voters sent to Congress in the historic 2010 elections, supported by the toughest fiscal conservatives among the elder statesmen. You don’t need to seat anyone comfortable with hollow partisanship or business as usual, guys. The Democrats will take care of that. The Beltway will be amply represented on the Super Committee. The flyover-country citizens chained to this dying system need some representation at the table.