I usually agree with Robert McKnight and respect his work a lot, but I can’t disagree with this post any more:
If today’s low on the Dow Jones of over 600 points lost is any indication, the economy is on the brink of collapse. The way out of this crisis will be on the backs of the “Super Committee.” That being the case, the leaders of the two parties better make sure the “Gang of Six” is included in the big committee:
Sen. Mark Warner (D., Va.)
Sen. Dick Durbin (D., Ill.)
Sen. Kent Conrad (D., ND.)
Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R., Ga.)
Sen. Tom Coburn (R., Okla.)
Sen. Mike Crapo (R., Idaho)
Our hope is for civility and consensus building, led by these Senators.
Most of these I don’t care about (or don’t know enough about Conrad), but I think Mark Warner is a terrible choice. If Warner gets on the committee it guarantees that there will be cuts to Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare. As I’ve chronicled before, Social Security absolutely does not add to the deficit or the debt, and Medicaid and Medicare only add to the deficit because there are no limitations on rising health care costs. Cuts to these programs will further hurt the economy, increase suffering and make it likely that job growth will remain anemic or decline again. Warner has made it pretty clear that he will favor such cuts. And considering all six Republicans are almost certain to irresponsibly oppose any revenue increases, putting Warner on the committee almost certainly guarantees cuts and a worsening of the situation in Florida and in the U.S.
Much better options would be people like Bernie Sanders, Sheldon Whitehouse and Al Franken. Senators who will look at the facts, interpret them correctly and propose real solutions to the deficit problem, like eliminating the George W. Bush tax cuts, ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and raising revenue by making sure that all Americans and corporations pay their fair share, something they don’t currently do.