Issuing any presidential commission report while the president himself is out of the country is bad form. The failed chairmen of the Catfood Commission, Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, both avowed enemies of Social Security and Medicare, are holding a press conference on Capitol Hill today to issue their flawed ‘report,’ endorsed by no other members of the commission, while President Obama continues his Asia trip.
Utterly defeated in their attempt to build consensus among commission membership stacked with faux deficit hawks, Simpson and Erskine appear to be folding their tent as quietly as they can, while their presidential sponsor wrestles with the G-20 halfway around the world.
Bloomberg reports that Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky of Illinois has dismissed the chairmen’s mark:
Schakowsky said no one outside of panel co-chairmen Erskine Bowles, former President Bill Clinton’s chief of staff, and Alan Simpson, a Republican former Wyoming senator, has endorsed today’s proposal.
Senator Dick Durbin, also from the President’s home state, made clear there isn’t really a way forward for the commission to approve this report:
“We’re not going to have an up-or-down vote on this,” said Durbin. “There are proposals in there that are painful. I told them I said there are things in here which inspire me and other things which I hate like the devil hates holy water. I’m not going to vote for those things.”
Let’s hope this is the last we hear from these doltish failures, who, after chairing a stacked commission rejected by Congress and appointed by a president with a mandate to avoid electoral consequences, may now slink off into the sunset never to be heard from again. This blot on both their copybooks will forever stain their public record.
Let’s hope this ends the Catfood Commission era in America.