Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has named his picks to the "super committee" charged with making deficit reduction recommendations.
Reid named Washington Sen. Patty Murray and center-right Max Baucus, who the Post's Rosalind Helderman today (8/10/11) calls a "natural choice," given that he chairs the Finance Committee. The New York Times is a little more helpful, pointing out that Baucus
broke with other Democrats and supported tax cuts enacted in 2001 under President George W. Bush. He also worked with Republicans in 2003 to pass legislation that added a prescription drug benefit to Medicare.
This is important for anyone who thinks that the tax cuts and drug benefit contributed greatly to the deficit problem.
Reid also picked Massachusetts' John Kerry, about whom the Post writes:
Kerry comes as something of a surprise, since he has focused more closely on foreign relations. However, as a respected former presidential candidate, his selection could help appease liberals.
I'm not sure how Kerry would "appease liberals." In this particular case, the main issues are protecting Social Security and Medicare. And as of Sunday on Meet the Press, Kerry's view on that was that
the real problem for our country is not the short-term debt. We can deal with that. It's the long-term debt. It's the structural debt of Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid measured against the demographics of our nation.
It's not clear how picking someone with that misleading perspective is supposed to "appease liberals."