Remember Simpson-Bowles? It's long name was the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. This was a bi-partisan group set up by President Obama whose mission was;
to bring the budget into primary balance (balance excluding interest costs) in 2015, and to meaningfully improve the long-run fiscal outlook.
The commission failed to get the required number of votes to bring its proposals before Congress so they could be reviewed and acted upon. I am sorry to say Rep. Jan Schakowsky, my Representative, lacked the spine to step up and support the Commission's report. Senator Dick Durbin, on the other hand, proved to be of sterner stuff and did support it.
I bring this up because Mr. Boehner is apparently suffering from serious memory loss and is also missing his spine. His proposal to raise the debt ceiling includes;
a Joint Committee of Congress that will be required to produce legislation ensuring that the deficit shrinks by at least $1.8 trillion over the next ten years.
Enactment of the legislation would allow the President to further raise the debt ceiling.
Am I the only person feeling a sense of deja vu here? The Simpson-Bowles commission plowed the ground very thoroughly yet the bipartisan membership was unable to find the spine to push the report forward and start working the details. The bipartisan Gang of Six produced options, which were junked by their peers. We are seeing similar spinelessness throughout the debt ceiling negotiations because the players refuse to come to terms with the realities underlying the debt ceiling and the budget. Why does Mr. Boehner think that somehow it will be different this time? This is beyond ridiculous.
I never thought I'd be saying this, but someone needs to start channeling LBJ, or his ghost needs to just show up and haunt these people into getting something done.