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Thread: The Road Not Taken

  1. #1
    Havakasha is offline

    The Road Not Taken

    One Conservative Republicans's opinion.

    Over the past months, Republicans enjoyed enormous advantages. Opinion polls showed that voters are eager to reduce the federal debt, and they want to do it mostly but not entirely through spending cuts.

    What Will the Debt Debate Mean for 2012?
    For voters, this political standoff is a frustrating sideshow for what they really care about: jobs.
    There was a Democratic president eager to move to the center. He floated certain ideas that would be normally unheard of from a Democrat. According to widespread reports, White House officials talked about raising the Medicare eligibility age, cutting Social Security by changing the inflation index, freezing domestic discretionary spending and offering to pre-empt the end of the Bush tax cuts in exchange for a broad tax-reform process.

    The Democratic offers were slippery, and President Obama didnít put them in writing. But John Boehner, the House speaker, thought they were serious. The liberal activists thought they were alarmingly serious. I can tell you from my reporting that White House officials took them seriously.

    The combined effect would have been to reduce the size of government by $3 trillion over a decade. Thatís a number roughly three times larger than the cost of the Obama health care law. It also would have brutally fractured the Democratic Party.

    But the Republican Party decided not to pursue this deal, or even seriously consider it. Instead what happened was this: Conservatives told themselves how steadfast they were being for a few weeks. Then morale crumbled.

    This week, Republicans will probably pass a balanced budget Constitutional amendment that has zero chance of becoming law. Then they may end up clinging to a no mŠs Senate compromise. This proposal would pocket cuts that have already been agreed on, and it would eliminate leverage for future cuts and make them less likely.

    It could be that this has been a glorious moment in Republican history. It could be that having persuaded independents that they are a prudent party, Republicans will sweep the next election. Controlling the White House and Congress, perhaps they will have the guts to cut Medicare unilaterally, reform the welfare state and herald in an era of conservative greatness.

    But itís much more likely that Republicans will come to regret this missed opportunity. So let us pause to identify the people who decided not to seize the chance to usher in the largest cut in the size of government in American history. They fall into a few categories:

  2. #2
    Havakasha is offline
    Way more interesting than most of the stuff you post S&L.

  3. #3
    Havakasha is offline
    Way, way, more interesting. LOL.

  4. #4
    Havakasha is offline
    Way, way, way, more interesting. Read it and learn something.

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