In a Monday editorial, The Wall Street Journal slammed the lip service the Senate is giving to fiscal responsibility. The mess of politically misaligned interests certainly is headache inducing:
the Senate defeated North Dakota Democrat Kent Conrad’s bipartisan deficit commission. This idea is being sold as a way to force Congress to reduce federal borrowing, but its real purpose is to provide Democrats with political cover to raise taxes. Fifty-three Senators voted for the Conrad Cover, including 16 Republicans, but taxpayers were spared by the 60-vote rule.
Of the 37 Democrats who endorsed the deficit commission, 33 turned around to vote down Mr. Coburn’s modest proposal to consolidate programs, and 33 to take back unspent funds. Mr. Conrad thundered that Congress must send “a message to the American people and the markets all across the world that the United States is prepared to stand up and deal with this debt threat.” He then voted against all three Coburn spending amendments.
Then there was Montana Democrat Max Baucus, who rightly slammed the commission for relieving Congress of its “responsibility” to cut spending. Mr. Baucus then also voted against spending cuts.
Not sure why we’d expect more from this group of Senators. Read the whole WSJ piece here.