Finding GOP Grown-Ups

25 October 2013 |permalink | email article

Leaders of the Republican Party are said to be restocking their ranks, Sen.Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) told The New York Times, to restore the public’s trust. “You’ve got to have adults running the thing.” Hatch and other establishment senators believe that grown-ups would not threaten the country’s full faith and credit, or keep the government closed, in order to get their way. The Times’ editorial suggests that Republicans—whether adults or Tea Party members—continue to let the public down.

At a time when the economy is desperate for federal help and 11.3 million people are still unemployed, the party—and not just it’s far-right wing—is still pretending that cutting spending and lowering the deficit remain the country’s most urgent priorities. Democrats understand that finally setting aside the sequester cuts that have hobbled the economy creates an opportunity to begin needed investments in education and infrastructure, rebuilding cities and the lives of people left behind.

But Republicans won’t hear of it. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama), the ranking member of the budget panel, says that keeping the current spending caps, is a bedrock principle. Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), wants to use the conference to cut social-welfare entitlements and relieve the tax burden on corporations. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tennessee), a grown-up, says his party needs to persuade the public that it can be trusted with government.
Not ending the scheduled cut for all food stamp recipients which begins next Friday could be a start.



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