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Late Senator Warren Rudman: “Frankly, I blame the American people as much as I blame the Congress.”

Boston Globe: WASHINGTON — Warren B. Rudman, the famously cantankerous Republican senator from New Hampshire, sat down two years ago for one of those oral history interviews that are supposed to set the record straight, blunt talk for the ages.

As it turns out, Rudman — who died last week and will be given a Capitol Hill tribute Thursday — provided not only an epilogue to his life, but also insights for solving today’s fiscal crisis.

“Frankly, I blame the American people as much as I blame the Congress,” Rudman said of the deficit. “They talk a great game, the American people do . . . [they] are against deficit spending, as long as it didn’t affect anything that they benefit from.”

Few politicians still in office would dare utter such thoughts. The public overwhelmingly gives low ratings to Congress, and now, with tax increases and mandated spending cuts set for year’s end, legislators are struggling to solve the crisis without further angering voters.

Any solution is likely to rely on selling the public on massive cuts down the road, which will put Rudman’s words to the test.

Continue reading at The Boston Globe



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