Senator Patty Murray of Washington, the soccer Mom in tennis shoes, entered the US Senate in 1992, "The Year of the Woman ",which also witnessed the rise of California Senator Barbara Boxer and Congressman Jane Harman, among others.
For nearly twenty years, Senator Murray was not a featured member, overshadowed by the bold leadership of legislators who represented constituencies with broader media markets. Despite her low standing in the upper chamber for the past decade, Senator Murray has traded votes to sponsored significatn earmarks for her state. Washington state has also gained house seats in the past two decades, most likely due to the growing trade of the Pacific Rim as well as the rising immigrant population looking for work along the West Coast, thus attracting more federal spending. Murray has been listed as a prominent "porker barrel " spender for her state. In 1996, despite her plea for civil rights for gay couples , she voted for the "Defense of Marriage Act." More likely she voted for DOMA so that she could keep the pork coming while Republicans ran Washington D.C. If anything, Patty is open about her love of federal earmarks .
Besides her prominent stance on taking federal dollars for parks and gardens in her state, Senator Murray advanced in the Senate Democratic caucus. Recently, she has joined the Senate Democratic leadership, along with Chuck Schumer of New York, to promote Democratic candidates. She has received considerable media attention, as well. On Veterans Day 2012 on "This Week with George Stephanopoulos ". Interviewing with Republican Senator Saxby Chambliss of Georgia, the two senators discussed the fiscal cliff and the need for entitlement reform and revenue increases.
The Senator demonstrated remarkable respect and rapport for her Republican colleague, acknowledging that the two sides must agree to a sound resolution to the fiscal cliff, which if unaverted will enact long-term sequestration cuts to the military and domestic spending and expire the Bush tax cuts of 2001 and 2003. She also admirably recognized the service of our armed forces.
However, Murray' response about revenue as a required part of fiscal compromise or "we’ll go over the cliff” was disturbing. She has been in favor of this outcome
as early as July of this year . During her interview with George Stephanopoulos,
she candidly declared :
"We have to make sure that the wealthiest Americans pay their fair share."
"[T]he wealthiest Americans have to pay their fair share, too."
"So if the Republicans will not agree with that, we will reach a point at the end
of this year where all the tax cuts expire and we'll start over next year."
The frequent notion among liberals, "fairness", remains one of the most
overused yet misunderstood concepts in their lexicon. Confronting any politician to explain "fair", or in Murray's case "fair share", one will receive as many diverse answers as there are legislators in Washington and voters in this country. This argument for "fair share" fails its own test, much of the time, as the concept remains elusive.
Washington voters already killed a "soak the rich" initiative. Murray's assumption that taxing "the rich" further while extending the tax cuts for everyone else will produce at best elusive results . The interest payments on the national debt, along with an unrestrained lawsuit culture and uncapped disbursements on government subsidies, are driving up the debt and putting the country toward a great fiscal cliff: the debt crisis which will frighten bond-holders and nation-creditors.
With the ongoing discussions about the repercussions of the fiscal cliff on the middle class and businesses, Senator Murray then raised concern about the poor in this country, including the unprecedented 40 million Americans receiving food stamps. Ms. Murray's concern seems feigned, if not fraudulent. More like Marie Antoinette, who apocryphally claimed to the Parisian poor "Let them Eat Cake", Murray seems grossly unaware that her ruinous policies of spending have helped contribute to the growing poverty crisis in this country.
From her glib assumption favoring a national fall from the fiscal cliff, to her
rapacious interest in pork-barrel spending, Murray has promoted policies which have expanded the national debt without helping the urban and rural poor in a comprehensive manner: reduce the federal tax and regulatory burden, followed by a comprehensive cut to the Washington's prominence in state affairs. More investment, more businesses, more jobs, create more wealth and fewer poor.
If the Washington Senator prizes the efficacy of government subsidies, including welfare payments, food stamps, or health insurance, Murray should adopt the Cato Institute's plan for allocating these diminished funds to the states as block grants, which will cut down on the bureaucracy, the waste, and the corruption which cost this country billions every year.
Instead of "Let them eat pork", Senator Murray must take the long-term consequences of a falling fiscal cliff seriously, accede to closing loopholes, extend the Bush tax cuts for all Americans, and allow the military sequestration advance. Her stance on cutting spending will ensure that Washington spends less, let private firms do more, and ensure that there will be fewer poor people in Washington state and throughout the country.