Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) an unabashed liberal, came out yesterday in favor of spending cuts in the federal budget, specifically entitlement programs, the sacred cow of liberals. Blumenauer is the kind of West Coast guy (he represents Portland) who takes a bike to work. In fact, he founded the Bicycle Caucus in the House. His arguments concerning the budget basically follows this: if we don’t make cuts now, we’re going to have to make deeper, more painful cuts in the future, that jeopardize the very existence of the social programs that liberals profess to hold dear.
And he’s right. He’s right about this, and he’s a rare voice of bi-partisan sanity in Congress these days who’s willing to buck his party and stand for the right policy, even though it’s not going to be popular. And, as a side note, Blumenauer has a history of being right on policy questions, well before his time. In 2004 and 2005 he predicted, correctly, that the Gulf Coast of the US was in dire danger from an above average strength hurricane. Specifically he said:
‘Mr. Speaker, I recently had the opportunity to view the devastation in Southeast Asia as a result of the tsunami. As appalled as I was by what I saw, I must confess that occasionally my thoughts drifted back to the United States. What would have happened if last September, Hurricane Ivan had veered 40 miles to the west, devastating the city of New Orleans? One likely scenario would have had a tsunami-like 30-foot wall of water hitting the city, causing thousands of deaths and $100 billion in damage….The experience of Southeast Asia should convince us all of the urgent need for congressional action to prevent wide-scale loss of life and economic destruction at home and abroad. Prevention and planning will pay off. Maybe the devastation will encourage us to act before disaster strikes.’
And that was exactly what happened. Members of Congress: take heed. This guy knows what he’s talking about.