Brendan Doherty wrote a somewhat thoughtful, albeit in the end partisan, op-end piece that ran in this morning’s ProJo. Doherty, Republican candidate for 1st District U.S. House against incumbent Democrat David Cicilline, outlined the fiscal cliff the nation faces as a result of the partisan gridlock on financial and budget matters in Washington, D.C.
Doherty also traces the history of the Simpson-Bowles Commission plan, a bi-partisan group chosen by President Obama to figure out a plan to deal with federal deficits and entitlement programs, including Medicare and Social Security.
The co-chairs of the commission, former Republican Sen. Alan Simpson,and Erskine Bowles, a Democrat and chief of staff to Bill Clinton, wanted a program that reduced the deficit by cutting entitlements and making changes to the tax code to increase revenue. Cutting entitlements was not supported by Democrats and any tax increases are off the table for Republicans.
Doherty’s op-ed is instructive until he veers into partisan territory. Then he gets way off the reservation and massages the facts. Doherty states: “Unfortunately, while Congress voted on partisan proposals with no realistic chance for enactment, the Simpson-Bowles plan was not addressed by Congress or the president, despite support from Republicans and Democrats.’’
Well, actually, a plan based on Simpson-Bowles that was advanced by Republican Rep. Steven LaTourette of Ohio and Democrat Jim Cooper of Tennessee got a House vote on March 12, 2012. It was crushed on a 382 to 32 vote. A majority of both Democrats and Republicans voted against it, including Cicilline.