I had to laugh when I read this from Senator Kent Conrad carping about Rep. Paul Ryan’s supposedly “radical” policy proposals.
Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) likes his House counterpart, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) — just not his policies.
Conrad told CNBC on Monday that he personally likes Mitt Romney’s vice presidential pick and that he is a “serious person,” before describing his fiscal preferences as “pretty radical.”
“The policies that he would put in place, I think, would be a very serious problem for this country,” he said. “He supported all the policies that brought us to the brink of economic collapse.”.
That from the Senate Budget Committee Chairman who hasn’t passed a budget out of committee since 2009 because his party’s spending agenda is too dare I say radical to be politically convenient.
Conrad’s comments do illustrate where we’re at in terms of the national debate right now. Does the public have an appetite yet for real entitlement and spending reforms? Are we ready to admit that we, as a nation, have a problem with spending? Or are we going to let the tired old “deficit hawks” like Kent Conrad, who have been in office for decades talking about the same problem and doing nothing, scare us away from solutions?
In 1986, when Senator Kent Conrad was serving his first term in the Senate, the national debt was $3.052 trillion in today’s dollars and represented about 46% of the nation’s gross domestic product. As of the writing of this post the national debt is at $15.96 trillion, representing more than 104% of the nation’s GDP.
That’s a roughly 423% increase in the national debt during Kent Conrad’s Senate career.
Now that’s radical, though obviously Senator Conrad didn’t do it by himself.