More Support for the Gang of Six
As the debt-ceiling proposals from Rep. Boehner and Sen. Reid continue to be debated, support for the comprehensive, balanced proposal offered by the Senate's Gang of Six early last week continues to build.
In a letter to the editor of Illinois' State-Journal Register, fiscal commission co-chair Erskine Bowles praised Gang of Six member Dick Durbin (D-IL) for his willingness to compromise for the good of the country while at the same time sticking to his principles of protecting the truly disadvantaged. He writes:
I, for one, am encouraged that instead of playing politics with our economy, Durbin has been working hard with the Gang of Six and in meetings at the White House to come up with a serious, bipartisan deficit reduction proposal that reflects the principles of fairness and balance that were in the Fiscal Commission. He understands that in order to move our country forward, both political parties have to be willing to find a middle ground. It takes a lot of guts to put your name on a compromise proposal that your traditional supporters may not love. But that’s what principled compromise is, and that’s what America needs right now.
Another piece, an op-ed in the Idaho Statesman written by former Rep. Walt Minnick (D-ID), urges lawmakers not to further delay needed comprehensive fiscal reforms by enacting "a weak smoke-and-mirrors solution to the debt ceiling impasse, like those fallback plans now being discussed, which kowtow to the extremes but once again fail to solve the growing deficit problem." He continues:
Instead, let’s use the crisis to adopt a tough-minded debt control compromise like that hammered out by “The Gang of Six,” a group of three Republican and three Democratic senators led by our own Mike Crapo, after nearly a year of difficult give-and-take negotiation between senators representing every part of the political spectrum.
...Yes, we must raise the debt ceiling so we can pay our existing bills, but let’s do so by enacting fundamental reform like that advocated by the Gang of Six, which sets the nation on a fiscally responsible course for less federal government debt and renewed private sector growth. Demand all of our members in Congress agree to compromise their differences, work with the president and stop acting like children.