On Weekend Edition Sunday I was listening to Liane Hansen discuss what she called "twin burdens of the federal deficit and debt" with Ron Elving when I heard him make a remarkable statement. Hansen has just asked him, "And what about the other group, the senators who had a bipartisan group looking into what, a long term global deal on the deficit...?" To which Elving replied:
"Yes and a lot of us were holding out a good deal of hope and faith in that group, but this week the so-called "Gang of Six"...suffered a major blow, a perhaps crippling blow. They lost one of their members, Tom Coburn of Oklahoma."
It is truly a remarkable statement. Notice that Elving didn't say "a lot of people" or "many politicians" etc., but included himself in the congregation of those who held out "hope and faith" in this senatorial "Gang of Six."
Well, that got me wondering just what is the take on "this small group of senators [that] has spent four months in dozens of secretive meetings" on budget issues. No surprise: the group is not progressive and not interested in representing the poor or lower middle classes; its range of "acceptable" options for the budget lies somewhere between Paul Ryan's extreme-right gutting entitlements and Obama's center-right hopey-changey death by a thousand cuts for entitlements.
Amazingly, Reverend Hope and Faith Elving isn't done preaching his articles of faith. Speaking of Paul Ryan's intellectually vacuous rip-off-for-the-rich budget plan (which NPR blessed as inspired long before it landed fresh and steaming on the House floor), Ron Elving says "what Paul Ryan has done,...come forward with something tough-minded, something politically unpopular..."
Lastly, when Liane Hansen asks Elving if he sees any hope on the horizon for the budget, he shows where his treasure lies:
"This week on Wednesday, there is a public event in town sponsored by the Peter Peterson Foundation - this is an anti-deficit outfit, private informal group. And it is billed as the Fiscal Summit 2011. It will bring together the remaining Gang of Five from the Senate, and also Paul Ryan - the man from the House - and also former President, Bill Clinton..."
There you have NPR's senior editor giving his endorsement to a conference organized by the Slash-Entitlements-for-the-Benefit-of-Billionaires Institute (aka Peter Peterson Institute - whose success shaping NPR (and mainstream media) coverage of the deficit "crisis" I've posted on before.
Of course listening to NPR, you would NEVER know about the People's Budget from the Congressional Progressive Caucus. Something that actually represents the polled opinions of the people Congress is supposed to represent, is workable, and threatens the the most wealthy and privileged in Rev. Elving's congregation is simply heresy for NPR. Don't believe it? Check out NPR for the proof. Search NPR's on-air content for the following and see what you get:
Amen! Church dismissed...