Democratic Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia called on an audience of business and political elites to respond to public discontent by lobbying harder for the reduction of corporate taxes and the cutting of public programs like Social Security.

Warner spoke Monday at the Milken Institute’s 2016 Global Conference. The economic policy think tank gathers politicians, corporate executives and others annually.

Zaid Jilani writes at The Intercept:

Although a dominant populist sentiment is that the system is already rigged in favor of the rich, Warner suggested that the “business community” needs to get more involved in politics or face unpleasant repercussions.

“If you don’t think the frustration of Americans with our overall system — not just our political system, but our business system, our tax code — is at the boiling point, then Katy bar the door!,” he said. “The walls that are gonna have to be built, may not be at borders, they may be around neighborhoods the way they are in many Third World countries around the world,” Warner warned. …

Warner’s panel on tax reform and the federal debt also includes Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., Ernst & Young CEO Mark Weinberger, and Maya MacGuineas, who chairs the corporate-backed lobbying group Fix The Debt.

Warner bemoaned that his years of efforts to strike a congressional “Grand Bargain” based on the Bowles-Simpson deficit reduction plan had resulted in failure. …

Weinberger, for his part, complained that Congress is too responsive to the public. “In fact when I worked for [former Missouri Republican Senator] Jack Danforth many years ago, he had a great line. People think in Washington we’re so [disassociated], we’re so aloof, we’re so unconnected to the general public. Nothing could be further from the truth, quite frankly. And we want to do what they want us to do to get elected, in many cases.”

He continued: “The problem is when you have candidates on both sides of the aisle attacking the corporate institution as all greedy and rich … And all not paying their fair share … all the institutions lose trust.”

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—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

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