I guess Alan Simpson and his recurring set of bad manners has become too much of a liability to those intrepid grand bargaineers. So he’s been pulled for a reliever. Enter Judd Gregg, himself just out of the Senate.
Former Sen. Judd Gregg (N.H.) is stepping up his role in building Republican support for a broad deficit-reduction plan.
Some lawmakers who want to pass a comprehensive deficit-reduction package at the end of this year or in early 2013 say Gregg has more influence within the Senate GOP conference than does former Sen. Alan Simpson (R-Wyo.), the co-chairman of the Simpson-Bowles commission.
Gregg and former White House chief of staff Erskine Bowles, the Democratic co-chairman of the commission created in 2010 by President Obama, met with a bipartisan group of about three dozen senators Tuesday afternoon to discuss deficit cutting.
Must be sad for Simpson, taken over by a younger, taller, more vivacious model.
Here’s the thing on Judd Gregg, who pushed for the original catfood commission as the ranking member on the Senate Budget Committee, when it was Conrad-Gregg (that was the panel that President Obama endorsed, prompting a bunch of Republicans to immediately vote against it, leading to the establishment of Bowles-Simpson): his first job out of the Senate, as a young senior looking to make it on his own, was with Goldman Sachs, as a “strategic advisor.”
So now, the two men working to influence a deficit reduction plan in Washington work for Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley. Surely those two will create a set of policies that take into account the struggles of the working man and the hardships of retirement. Most Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley executives recognize the critical nature of Social Security and Medicare, and the need to expand the social safety net, if anything, to ensure basic dignity for the poorest of Americans in one of the world’s richest countries.
And hey, you know Gregg has juice all over Washington. He was President Obama’s initial choice for Commerce Secretary, before withdrawing.
If you want a bunch of quotes from deficit scolds about the need to bravely, boldly cut benefits for poor people, you can read the rest of that article.