The recent actions of Georgia's two U.S. Senators suggest to me there's little appetite for real fiscal reform in Washington DC.
Last weekend, the New York Times quoted Sen. Saxby Chambliss as favoring new tax revenues as key to combating the U.S. deficit:
“I’m taking arrows from some on the far right,” he told the Rotary Club of Atlanta... “Are some people going to pay more in taxes? You bet.”
What Mr. Chambliss fails to account for is Americans are tired of the way the federal government squanders much of what it already gets. Until real spending reforms are made, and deficits cut, adding new revenue would only serve as an excuse to keep status quo spending.
If you want to look at the kind of excess that might be cut, look no further than the activities of Georgia's other senator this week.
Johnny Isakson, a Republican like Chambliss, is off to China with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and eight other senators.
Washington Post columnist Al Kamen mockingly writes the China trip is "shrouded in secrecy":
Ten senators, coming off a tough legislative session, plus spouses, staffers and military escorts, landed in the Middle Kingdom on Monday to begin a fine tour to Hong Kong, Chengdu, Xian and Beijing. The Senate news release calls it an “informational trip throughout China,” which Loop Fans know is a tip-off that this is going to be an excellent time.
The trip as been billed as one visiting U.S. investments and clean energy projects. But when led by Harry Reid, who deems "cowboy poetry" an economic engine for his own state, exactly what are the expectations here?
Seriously Mr. Chambliss, if you want to sell us on more taxes, tell your colleagues to cut the junkets and other congressional perks first. Mr Isakson's week in China does much to undo the credibility of your pitch.