"Historic" doesn't necessarily mean "good"

"Historic" doesn't necessarily mean "good"

by digby

Dick Durbin and the Shock Doctrinaires want to make some history:

Members of what has been dubbed the “go-big coalition” said about 150 lawmakers in both houses support a compromise deficit-reduction plan that would include increases in revenue and cuts to entitlement programs. About 40 members of the group attended the news conference.

“We want [the supercommittee] to know that there is a large and significant number of us in both chambers who want such a deal and are ready to give it a fair shot,” said Rep. Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.), the House minority whip. “None of us wants to risk the immediate and long-term effects of sequestration . . . if the committee fails.” He referred to the procedure, codified in this summer’s deal to raise the debt ceiling, that would trigger automatic across-the-board cuts of $1.2 trillion over 10 years. Under the sequestration requirement, annual cuts of $109.3 billion would start in fiscal 2013, with half the amount to come from the Defense Department — reductions that the Pentagon has warned could affect national security.

“We say to the supercommittee, the right thing to do is to go big,” said Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), a member of the bipartisan coalition. He said that could mean deficit reduction of $3 trillion to $6 trillion, instead of the minimum requirement of $1.2 trillion that the panel must agree on by a Nov. 23 deadline.

“We say to the supercommittee, we’ve got your back,” Chambliss said.

Although several members of the coalition repeated that expression of support, they offered no specifics on how to reach a deficit-reduction deal in the range of $4 trillion, providing little more than encouragement from the sidelines as the supercommittee struggles to agree on how to achieve even the $1.2 trillion minimum.

Sen. Richard J. Durbin (Ill.), the second-ranking Democrat in the Senate, argued nevertheless that “going bigger is easier politically,” reasoning that reluctant members of Congress would find it more acceptable to support a truly “historic” package.

He urged Democrats and Republicans to view massive debt reduction as “the challenge of our generation,” exhorting them: “This is our moment. Let’s seize that moment.”

So according to one of the Senate's leading liberals "the challenge of our generation" is massive debt reduction? Wow. Talk about fiddling while Rome burns ...

I suppose it's a good thing nobody's paying any attention to this. It's the holiday season after all.