Thursday, April 19, 2012

Did Bowles-Simpson Ever Have a Chance?

I was very surprised to hear Erskine Bowles and Sen. Simpson’s views on what the President should have done differently with regards to their commission’s proposals on the debt. I believe they were speaking about President Clinton and said that he would have “wrapped his arms around it and taken credit,” as if Obama could have willed the legislation through Congress himself.

Given the attitude of Republicans lately on any increase in government revenue, it seems highly unlikely has any chances while Republicans control the House and can filibuster in the Senate. The committee’s proposal includes $2 trillion in revenue over 10 years, and the vast majority of Republicans in Congress have pledged to never increase revenue for any reason as long as they serve.

Furthermore, if the plan has any chance I feel like support has to grow more organically through members of Congress getting their peers on board through a spirit of putting partisanship aside and taking care of a lot of problems in one fell swoop for the good of the nation.

The idea that if President Obama, shortly before the 2010 elections or as Republican primaries were starting to develop in 2011, had made this plan his own, it would have been successful seems completely at odds with the attitude of Republicans regarding his policy proposals over the past 3 years. They have repeatedly rejected formerly Republican/conservative ideas once the President has embraced them, never mind proposals including massive new revenue.

1 comment:

  1. I completely agree with this sentiment. I strongly believe that if Obama had chosen to "wrap his hands around" the Simpson and Bowles Plan he would have been playing directly into the hands of the Republicans in Congress. Just like the health care...Obamacare bill, conservatives would have loved to see another large initiative attached to the president that they could obstruct and then label as a new failure. Obama was rightfully cautious in keeping his name off of this one.
    -Roberto Rivera