Joe Scarborough must use the power of civility to save the debt panel report

The deficit commission's recommendations will most likely fail in Congress, unless serious centrists save the day

Topics: Federal Deficit, War Room, Joe Scarborough, Taxes,

Joe Scarborough must use the power of civility to save the debt panel reportErskine Bowles, Sen. Alan Simpson and Joe Scarborough

The release of the president’s fiscal commission report on how to fix the debt is like triple-Christmas for your serious moderate Beltway types, because now is the time for empty rhetoric about “political courage” and the urgent need to do something dreadfully unpopular. It is time for America to shut up and take its medicine! You can download the report — it is literally subtitled “The Moment of Truth,” because “Report of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform: 2 Responsible 2 Austere” was taken — right here. And I hope you enjoy it, because even if they can convince enough elected Republicans to accept measures to increase government revenue to get this plan out of their little commission (convincing Democrats to accept the gradual gutting of the social safety net is the easy part!), I have a hard time imagining something sensible like the elimination of the mortgage-interest deduction making it through Congress without suddenly becoming the expansion of the mortgage-interest deduction.

So this entire process has been an exercise in the expression of Seriousness, which is the only thing retired Washington graybeards are truly good at.



This is why I’m calling on Joe Scarborough and Michael Bloomberg to join forces to use the power of civility to enact the recommendations of the deficit commission. As those two know, the fundamental problem with American politics today is that people are rude to each other, and hyper-partisans refuse to respectfully come up with pragmatic centrist responses to the pressing issues of the day.

So if Scarborough and Bloomberg are correct about this “civility” thing, all we need to do to get House Republicans to abandon their fanatical opposition to any measure that raises revenue for the government is ask them very, very nicely. And all we need to do to convince the American people that we should both cut corporate taxes and raise the Social Security retirement age is, I guess, explain it in a calm, soothing way. And then they will understand.

Alex Pareene

Alex Pareene writes about politics for Salon and is the author of "The Rude Guide to Mitt." Email him at apareene@salon.com and follow him on Twitter @pareene

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 11
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails
    Rose Jay via Shutterstock

    Most popular dog breeds in America

    Labrador Retriever

    These guys are happy because their little brains literally can't grasp the concept of global warming.

    Hysteria via Shutterstock

    Most popular dog breeds in America

    German Shepherd

    This momma is happy to bring her little guy into the world, because she doesn't know that one day they'll both be dead.

    Christian Mueller via Shutterstock

    Most popular dog breeds in America

    Golden Retriever

    I bet these guys wouldn't be having so much fun if they knew the sun was going to explode one day.

    WilleeCole Photography via Shutterstock

    Most popular dog breeds in America

    Bulldog

    This dude thinks he's tough, but only because nobody ever told him about ISIS.

    Soloviova Liudmyla via Shutterstock

    Most popular dog breeds in America

    Beagle

    This little lady is dreaming about her next meal-- not Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

    Labrador Photo Video via Shutterstock

    Most popular dog breeds in America

    Yorkshire Terrier

    This trusting yorkie has never even heard the name "Bernie Madoff."

    Pavla via Shutterstock

    Most popular dog breeds in America

    Poodle

    She is smiling so widely because she is too stupid to understand what the Holocaust was.

    Aneta Pics via Shutterstock

    Most popular dog breeds in America

    Boxer

    Sure, frolic now, man. One day you're going to be euthanized and so is everyone you love.

    Dezi via Shutterstock

    Most popular dog breeds in America

    French Bulldog

    He's on a casual afternoon stroll because he is unfamiliar with the concept of eternity.

    Jagodka via Shutterstock

    Most popular dog breeds in America

    Rottweiler

    Wouldn't it be nice if we could all be this care-free? But we can't because we are basically all indirectly responsible for slavery.

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments

0 Comments

Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>