Thursday, December 6, 2012

Is Rep. Mike Coffman a Serious Deficit Hawk?

Commenter narciso, commenting in my madien post below, thinks I may have bashed Rep. Mike Coffman's thinking unfairly, since I did no research into his voting record, or other history. He has a point. But when is a blogger fair? (And how much time do I have to spend writing and researching my great thoughts anyway.)

In my own defense, I will say that I am not a great fan of trying to figure a congressman out from his votes. Mr. Coffman represents a very conservative Colorado district, and it is fair to assume his votes will reflect his district. As they should.

I think a better approach to judging a Congressman is to see what he is putting out in terms of speeches, press conferences, and articles. Usually, the congressman's website is a good source for this. And in this case, I would conclude that Mr. Coffman is sometimes a serious deficit hawk. From the minute you hit his homepage, you are treated to a rotating deficit clock. Scroll to his news articles, and you find that he thinks congressional pensions should be abolished. He thinks defense sequestration is dumb, but that there is room for defense cuts.  (For the record, his suggestions in defense look perfectly reasonable -- perhaps unsurprising, since he is ex-military.)

But the problem is that he also believes this:

  To return our nation to prosperity and to make our economy globally competitive we must stop out of control deficit spending, cut taxes, end unnecessary regulatory burdens on business, provide access to credit for small business, and focus our education resources on math, science, engineering and technology.
 And he figures that the solution to the spending issue isn't really Medicare:

Health care reform is essential for containing cost and expanding access. This can be accomplished without raising taxes or stripping $100's of billions out of the Medicare system in order to start a new entitlement program.
 Which leads us to his big pet issue, the Balanced Budget Amendment. The BBA, frankly, is a fraud. It's an easy thing to support, because it will never pass. Even if it passes Congress, it will not receive the support of all the state legislatures required to pass a constitutional amendment.  Nonetheless, subtract defense, congressional pay and benefits from Mr. Coffman's portfolio, and you get pablum like this:

Washington’s spending is out of control. Our country’s debt is crippling our economy, hurting small businesses and families, and putting our nation’s security at risk.

America doesn’t need more spending, or higher taxes on working families, senior citizens and job creators. Instead, we need to rein in Washington’s out of control spending.

Join Congressman Coffman, chairman of the Congressional Balanced Budget Amendment Caucus, and tell Washington that we need a Constitutional Balanced Budget Amendment.
 Which leads me back to my initial post, where I sarcastically indicated that it must be tough to be Rep. Coffman, and believe that advocacy of the Balanced Budget Amendment actually does anything about the national debt. I'll stick by that. His biography, and his good sense of defense budgeting, suggests that the Congressman knows better, and still wastes his leadership on a phantom issue.

1 comment:

  1. You're missing the forest for the trees, Alonzo, honestly, you ignore his vote on the Ryan plan,
    in favor of other statements,