The DNC Continues On
Not to be outdone by the first day, day 2 of the Democratic National Convention once again featured a full lineup of speakers, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD), House Budget Committee ranking member Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren, and former President Bill Clinton.
Rep. Van Hollen and President Clinton touched on fiscal policy the most of any of the speakers, both criticizing House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan's (R-WI) budget and Governor Romney's plan, while defending President Obama's budget. At the same time, President Clinton made a brief but compelling case for deficit reduction more broadly:
Now let’s talk about the debt. Today, interest rates are low, lower than the rate of inflation. People are practically paying us to borrow money, to hold their money for them. But it will become a big problem when the economy grows and interest rates start to rise. We’ve got to deal with this big long-term debt problem or it will deal with us. It’ll gobble up a bigger and bigger percentage of the federal budget we’d rather spend on education and health care and science and technology. It -- we’ve got to deal with it.
Well said, Mr. President.
In a less formal setting, Gang of Six member Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) took part in POLITICO's "Afternoon Snack," an interview with Mike Allen. Naturally, the discussion focused on fiscal issues. Warner touched on his work with the Gang, saying that its framework--and the Simpson-Bowles and Domenici-Rivlin plans--represent the likely path forward for a fiscal plan that can pass Congress. He also said that a plan that averts the fiscal cliff may come in the form of a two-step process where a framework is laid out and some of the details are hammered out later (see our description of how an ideal process could work). The full chat is very interesting and well worth the watch.
As with the previous day at the DNC and the three days last week at the Republican convention, our Fix the Debt team was on the ground talking to convention goers, asking them why they thought lawmakers should come together and enact a comprehensive fiscal plan. Here is a video compilation of some of the responses from Day 2.
The Democratic National Convention will wrap up tonight with Senator John Kerry (D-MA) and the nomination acceptance speeches from Vice President Joe Biden and President Barack Obama.
Photo from Johnathan Newton/The Washington Post.