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Andy Stern Says Fiscal Commission Shouldn't Be Dominated By GOP Ideas


Most progressives go farther, demanding that Social Security be off limits to the commission, and that the commission should focus on defense and other spending cuts.

Last night Stern was in Wisconsin attending a forum with one of the Republicans on the commission, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) -- who, as the House Republicans' top budget guy, has earned a great deal of notoriety for authoring a fiscal plan that would partially privatize Social Security, and turn Medicare into a voucher program.

Not all Democratic activists were pleased by Stern's participation, which came three weeks before the midterm election while Wisconsin's progressive darling Russ Feingold is struggling in his race to win re-election to the Senate. Stern says he'll be pitching in for Feingold, whose campaign, he said, should be one of progressives' top priorities.

"I'm going to see what else I can do, draw attention of find some money, see what I can do," Stern said.

"Russ Feingold is kind of a hero to our members," Stern added. "We still consider him a maverick, even though [his opponent Ron] Johnson doesn't."

About The Author


Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at