The Meta-Commission Will Save Us

by Jonathan Chait | August 19, 2011

Okay, so the bipartisan commission led by Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson failed to come up with a mutually acceptable deficit reduction plan. This lead to the creation of the Gang of Six to give it another try, which also failed, because House Republicans won't accept any increase in revenue. This led to a deal to create yet another bipartisan commission -- the supercommission! -- which must cut the deficit or else trigger automatic cuts. But the supercommission is expected to deadlock as well for the same reason.

It's pretty obvious what the situation calls for, isn't it? Right: another bipartisan deficit commission:

Sen. Mark Warner is hoping to form a bipartisan, bicameral post-Gang of Six group to pressure the already bipartisan, bicameral supercommittee to “go big or go home,” his spokesman told POLITICO Thursday.
The Virginia Democrat, who first spoke of his vague plan during a Virginia Beach meeting Wednesday of the local Filipino American Community Action Group, said his new group would build on the efforts of the Gang of Six, a group of which he was a member.
“I’m not going to give up the fight. This problem is not going to go away,” Warner said, the Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk reported.
Warner spokesman Kevin Hall said Thursday the idea is for the nascent group to serve as a cheerleadering corps for the 12-member supercommittee “to speak out to encourage the new supercommittee to ‘go big, or go home.’” Hall said Warner has not developed details of the new group, which he called a “very preliminary concept.”

A bipartisan deficit commission commission! I don't see how this could fail.

Well, I do see one possible problem, come to think of it. How do we decide who gets to be on the meta-commission? It could easily get political. What if we determined the membership of the meta-committee via some non-political selection method -- perhaps through the creation of a new group containing, Republicans and Democrats, dedicated to finding the right mix of politicians of both parties, who would be tasked with coming up with a bipartisan plan to lobby the bipartisan supercommission to come up with a bipartisan plan to reduce the deficit?

Source URL: http://www.newrepublic.com//blog/jonathan-chait/93924/the-meta-commission-will-save-us