Sep 21 2013 - Sep 22 2013
The Internet headlines called it a “rant,” but Sen. Mark Warner’s Wednesday remarks to a joint economic committee were really rare calm sanity on Capitol Hill.
How often does an honest-to-God successful businessperson express reasoned concern about the country’s economic direction in front of a camera without name-calling? Did Warner, D-Va., cast blame? Yes, on Congress as a whole. Without ever saying “Democrat” or “Republican” or even Obamacare,” he simply laid out what he sees as common sense:
Yes, we absolutely must control and cut spending.
Yes, we need to raise revenues — meaning taxes — back to Clinton-era levels.
No, defaulting is not responsible.
Television newscasts give us breathless play-by-plays of who’s mad at whom. Finger pointing gets more airtime than problem solving.
And Americans can be forgiven for not taking sequesters or fiscal cliffs seriously.
Meanwhile, Warner believes default would be disastrous.
He may or may not be right about that, but there is no doubt that debt-ceiling brinkmanship and refusal to compromise holds this country back.
We cannot recover without working together. That we are not thriving is no surprise, given that so many of us consider politics sport and governing a game.
A congress full of Mark Warners – be they conservative, liberal or moderate – could make governing productive again.
The tea party wants respect. Its members loathe being called “nuts.” The first step away from that perception would be one toward reason.
One that didn’t insist on shutting down the government. One that understood we all created these problems. Now we all need to solve them. Together.
Our View represents the majority opinion of the newspaper's editorial board, Roger Watson, president and publisher; David Fritz, executive editor; and Deona Landes Houff, community conversations editor.