Rivlin to Press: ‘Lay Off’

by Andrew Stiles

Former OMB director and fiscal commission member Alice Rivlin (and co-author of a separate fiscal plan) made a direct appeal to members of the press during the commission’s final meeting this morning. “While there have been some excellent articles about this process — the general tone…is ‘this can’t work can it?’” Rivlin said, noting that she had been subject to numerous interviews of late, during which she spent 20 percent of her time answering questions about the content of either plan, and 80 percent being asked “why this wasn’t going to happen.”

“Give democracy a chance,” Rivlin said. “It’s just possible that this process that we are sending our bravest boys and little girls around the world to defend might work, and it might actually work here on Capitol Hill, so lay off and give it a chance.” She drew a fair amount of applause with that line.

Commission co-chair and former GOP Senator Alan Simpson (Wyo.) chimed in with his signature eloquence: “Democracy is in deep trouble when the two most disgusting bodies in America are politicians and journalists…we both have to do a better job, that’s for dang sure.”

The 79-year-old Simpson concluded with a bit of gallows humor and a message to over-eager young journalists and critics of the commission: “Tap on my box…you’re the one who’s going to get clobbered, not me.”

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