Reid comments on the bipartisan debt commission’s draft proposal
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has issued a statement regarding the chairman’s mark released by the bipartisan deficit reduction commission yesterday, and — at least in relation to the reactions of the majority of his Democratic colleagues — his take seems decidedly positive.
“I thank the leaders of the bipartisan debt commission for their work,” reads the majority leader’s statement. “While I don’t agree with every one of their recommendations, what they have provided is a starting point for this important discussion. I look forward to the full commission’s recommendations and to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to address this important issue.”
Compared to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (“simply unacceptable”), AFSCME President Gerald W. McEnee (“unnecessary and dangerous”) and MoveOn.org (“horrible”), that’s pretty glowing praise. The mark, which is not necessarily the same thing at the recommendations that the commission will deliver in December but is essentially being treated as such, has plenty in it to upset liberals — proposed cuts to federal spending, including big overhauls of Social Security and Medicare, that outweigh proposed new mechanisms for raising revenue by a ratio of about 3 to 1 — so it makes sense that many liberals are incensed. But, then again, a lot of conservatives, who don’t want to increase taxes by a dime, aren’t happy with the idea at all either.
The question then becomes whether any politicians might be willing to get behind a proposal to reduce the deficit that’s being pilloried by both sides, and, for all the current popular agitation about deficits, whether any voters would actually reward politicians who step forward to raise their taxes and slash their benefits. Recent political history doesn’t indicate there’s anything to be gained politically by saying good things about the current proposal, but there’s always a chance, I suppose, of that history being proven wrong.