Did Michael Bennet Pull a Douglas Bruce?

August 2009
bruce-dougWhen U.S. Senator Michael Bennet wasn't voting yesterday to confirm Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court, the Democrat was acting sorta like former Colorado legislator and fiscal conservative Douglas Bruce. No, Bennet wasn't (allegedly) kicking a news photographer, nor was he barging around Colorado Springs calling clerks "utterly incompetent" (via the Gazette). Instead, he was busy introducing legislation to put a statutory cap on the deficit by 2012, a measure that, if approved, would force Congress to limit spending or trigger automatic cuts, according to The Denver Post. The legislation arguably has some similarities in purpose to Colorado's Taxpayer's Bill of Rights (aka TABOR), authored by Bruce (pictured). As the Post explains, "Bennet's bill would require the deficit to be capped at 4 percent of GDP in 2012, then drop to 3 percent every year thereafter. If that goal isn't met, automatic spending cuts would kick in to bring it to that level." Between 1950 and 1980, the deficit crossed the 3 percent level just twice, Bennet's chief of staff explains. But since 1980, it has crossed the 3 percent line 16 times. Bennet hasn't received any applause from Republicans. "Unfortunately, this is too little too late from Senator Bennet after his vote in favor of the failed stimulus bill, the pork-laden omnibus, and the president's massive budget in just seven months since his appointment by Governor Ritter," Amber Wilkersen, a spokeswoman for the Republican National Senatorial Committee, tells the Post.