The real question is whether this issue is symbolic of a deeper policy divide between the political parties. At least previously gridlock was fostered by a public that seemed equally split (or at least equally apathetic) about competing policy positions. Now it seems that one side has to respond with whatever arguments it can to stop the other side from gaining any political points. I just can't see how this is effective representation or any form of good policy-making. Can't we agree that if 60% of Americans are in favor of something it has some merit? If this many Americans support it, don't we get to a point where we can't just dismiss it is a tempting distraction anymore? Or maybe this is what we want: politicians standing on principle even when it is wildly unpopular.
Sunday, April 15, 2012
The Buffet Rule
President Obama's new project--passing the Buffet Rule--doesn't have much hope of getting through Congress anytime soon. And maybe this was part of the appeal: it sets each party out on clearly conflicting sides of a contentious political issue to give voters a clear choice in November. The Rule, which would create a minimum tax of 30% on individuals earning at least one million dollars a year, has strong popular support. A recent Gallup poll shows that 60% of Americans agree with the proposal. This kind of popular support for such a contentious issue is amazing. How are the Republicans going to keep from coming out on the wrong side of this? Well, they have to characterize it as a "distraction" from more compelling issues that will actually make the economy grow again.