Patty Murray is replacing hardliner Kent Conrad as chair of the Senate Budget Committee. Good. As Jonathan Bernstein writes at PlumLine, she's much more realistic.
She’ll be replacing the retiring deficit hawk Kent Conrad. Murray’s priorities? She told Politico’s Scott Wong:
“I think what’s been lacking from our discussion for a long time is really that other part of what a Budget chair does, which is set the priorities for this country in terms of making sure we invest in the right places, in education, in job training, and to make sure we do a balanced approach moving forward,” Murray said in an interview just outside the Senate chamber....
It’s not so much that Conrad was all that conservative; it’s that all of his passion went into reducing budget deficits. Even if Conrad and Murray would vote the same way on many things, her priorities are going to be very different.
The demonization of budget deficits is -- how shall I put it? -- so old, so underinformed, so redflag. Think I'm kidding? Of course, using the budget deficit scare to enrich ones friends and let the 90% pay the freight is more serious.
The Republicans have been aggressive with their fantasies. By now, however, the country has gotten better at separating fantasy from fact. Romney's debacle put a seal on chicken-little economics. Patty Murray's priority-setting is a welcome change from political panic and partisan shrieking.