Friday, November 30, 2012

Rethinking Simpson Bowles, or ... What?

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
-vs- Tyranny

As we approach "the cliff" as in fiscal, the nation's Representatives and President remain more concerned about their political viability/legacy than about the interests of thew American people.

I don't know about anyone else, but I find myself wondering just what the Founders of this Great Nation might think about our current situation. As the Children in Congress and the President are playing mind games with the American people the following is as close to a common sense analysis as I have heard of late.

TownHall - ... Simpson-Bowles, for all its faults, was conducted in an open and transparent manner and brought disparate political players into a room to forge a serious compromise. It overhauls and streamlines our byzantine tax code, takes some important first steps on entitlements, and reduces and caps federal spending. On substance, I'd wager that it would be considerably better than anything Obama and Boehner might produce after weeks of behind-closed-doors acrimony with the proverbial gun to their heads. Politically, it paints Democrats into a tough corner. Republicans could make a grand show of reluctantly supporting Simpson-Bowles for the betterment of the country. Ideally, the press conference would be led by Paul Ryan, who might explain why he voted against the plan as a commissioner, but is now willing to set aside some of his strong ideological preferences to move the nation forward. They would remind viewers that the proposal they're now backing only exists because President Obama specifically and publicly asked for it. Plus, more Democrats than Republicans voted for it, including Harry Reid's top lieutenant in the Senate. Put simply, Simpson-Bowles represents the very embodiment of bipartisan collaboration and problem solving -- precisely the sort of thing "moderates," the media, and the public are always demanding. It would be exceedingly difficult for Democrats to paint the plan as radical or draconian in light of the commission's origins and participants. The GOP's "party of no" problem would also be hugely diminished; after all, they would have just signed on to the president's commission, with the previously recalcitrant Paul Ryan magnanimously leading the way. It would be fascinating to watch the president and his allies try to denounce and reject the very proposal he called for.

Of course, all of this would require significant coordination and buy-in from Congressional Republicans -- no small thing, to be sure. Many House members in particular find major swaths of the plan rather unpalatable. They would need to be convinced that this idea would still be the best chess move for conservatism, both strategically and tactically. Paul Ryan's agreement and cooperation would also be essential. Furthermore, Republicans would have to be willing to stomach quite a bit of political stagecraft in unveiling their announcement. The reveal would be big, hyped, and dramatic -- out of necessity. Why? To capture the media's attention and earn heavy coverage. Basically, the public would need to know that it happened. They wouldn't need to internalize all the specifics, but they'd have to hear that Republicans offered a "historic" compromise by agreeing to the controversial plan authored by Obama's bipartisan fiscal commission.

Best case scenario: Republicans catch Democrats off-guard, and (much or most of) the plan is adopted. At the very least, GOP negotiators would gain major leverage in fashioning a less horrific final compromise. Worst case scenario: Democrats firmly reject the plan, further talks stall, and the we go over the cliff... {Read More}

My bet, we go off the cliff. Why, because either the dEmocrats or the rEpublicans will once again prove their inability to think beyond their own...(fill in the blank).

Via: Memeorandum


  1. The beauty of Simpson-Bowles (along with Rivlin-Domenici and the Gang of Six) is that it basically ticked off everybody....And, no, I'm not simply saying that because I'm a cynic, either.

    1. It is a beautiful construct indeed Will. And yes, I am a cynic and damn proud that I am.

      I credit the rEpublican and dEmocrat brain dead power brokers for my conversion.

    2. Will, Do you wonder sometimes IF people in general are really all that concerned about fixing the problem.


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