Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Small Politics/Big Ideas

To say that the national debates taking place in the Capitol are petty and besides the point is a gross understatement. The moment for bigness was upon us this spring with the Obama-Boehner talks on entitlement and tax reform. But this was passed up due to a Tea Party fantasy that total policy victory could be imposed by the minority party. So today the Senate minority was busy blocking debate on the President's modest infrastructure building and teacher hiring proposals paid for with a tax on millionaires.

At some point, we will need to return to the big ideas. Why? Because our future depends on it. We are spending too much on health care. We are not educating our children well. We do not build things that others want to buy. We are falling behind in science, technology, and research. Oh, and by the way, we have forgotten how to govern ourselves effectively.

The big ideas of how to get out of the mess we are in are now accumulating. Here is a sampling: Matt Miller's proposed third party stump speech on tax reform, energy & education, the New America Foundation's paper on how to get out of our economic ditch, and Tom Friedman and Michael Mandelbaum's plea for free trade, open immigration, balanced budgets, green energy, consumption taxes, health care reform, investments in education and infrastructure.

Rumblings for a third party are about all I have heard about ways to address political reform. we need to do better than that.

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