Democratic Party ‘Mainstream’ Prefers ‘Balance’, As Only Max Baucus Can Deliver
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid took little time in announcing he would be naming Senator Max Baucus as one of three Democrats (including Sen. Patty Murray and Sen. John Kerry) to serve on the “Debt Super Committee”.
Matthew Yglesias assures Liberals there’s little to worry about with regards to Baucus. His rationale is that there’s little disagreement between moderate and liberal Democrats on the “core issue” facing the super committees:
In general, people should remember that while an important cleavage exists between moderate and liberal Democrats about the desirability of cutting Social Security spending, there’s really very little disagreement about the core issue facing the super committee, which is whether Democrats should agree to far-reaching domestic cuts without any offsetting tax hikes. Baucus is firmly within the party mainstream in demanding balance.
In other words, both moderate and liberal Democrats alike agree that far-reaching domestic cuts are okay AS LONG AS Republicans agree to impose tax hikes on the wealthiest Americans. I.e. it appears (according to Yglesias) we’ve all bought into Obama’s “shared sacrifice” spiel: that it’s okay to impose austerity measures on average Americans or even the most vulnerable Americans during a severe recession, as long as the wealthy throw some “tip money into the jar”. And we can be assured that Max Baucus will not bend on this ‘mainstream’ Democratic Party ‘balance’-principle.
Meanwhile, CNN just released a new poll today that reveals the complete opposite about the ‘mainstream’ Democratic Party:
Breaking the CNN Poll results down:
Should increases in taxes on businesses and higher-income Americans be included in the Super Committee’s deficit reduction proposal?
Democrats: 80% Yes, 19% No
Liberals: 82% Yes, 17% No
Moderates: 74% Yes, 25% No
Should major cuts in spending on domestic government programs be included in the Super Committee’s deficit reduction proposal?
Democrats: 39% Yes, 58% No
Liberals: 40% Yes, 58% No
Moderates: 52% Yes, 44% No
Should major changes to the Social Security and Medicare systems be included in the Super Committee’s deficit reduction proposal?
Democrats: 28% Yes, 71% No
Liberals: 30% Yes, 70% No
Moderates: 30% Yes, 69% No
It would appear from the numbers above that Democrats (as an ENTIRE group) don’t buy into Obama’s concept of ‘shared sacrifice’ or ‘balance’. A clear majority DON’T EVEN WANT major spending cuts in domestic government programs TO BE ON THE TABLE. They want the Super Committee to focus entirely on revenues, and they want those revenues to come from corporations and the wealthy.
And let us not forget Sen. Baucus’s track record. Here is a Senator who was instrumental in overriding the will of the American people on healthcare reform (and was rewarded handsomely by the health insurance industry & BigPharma for his efforts).
Now, it’s true that the Senator has made a few surprisingly encouraging statements in defense of Medicare and Social Security recently. But after the healthcare reform debacle, we all know a thing or two about Baucus’s integrity.