Friday, July 15, 2011
Budget Battle: 'A War Between Species'
That applies, as well, to our national government where there no longer exists the central ground where compromise has been the essential ingredient in making this Republic run--never smoothly--since the late 18th Century. The New York Times today has a story stating the obvious, as big newspapers are wont to do.
The story says, in effect, that the Republican goals are low--very low--taxes and less--much less--government. The Democrats want government that is functional, affordable and effective and have offered up some sacred cows to help achieve that.
Demcorats want to increase revenue at this point by increasing taxes on those who can most afford them: the wealthy individuals and corporations who are much more likely to get the only kind of welfare payments Republicans favor than to be taxed additionally. Republicans want to decrease or eliminate those taxes and maintain or increase the subsidies (like those for oil, big agriculture and the like).
Republicans want to eliminate social programs like Social Security and Medicare, while many Democrats have agreed to manage them better by increasing the age of eligibility, increasing or eliminating the income levels taxed by Social Security and allowing the president's health care legislation work long enough to decrease medical costs.
We can see that there's not much room for maneuvering here. It is a case of absolutism on the R side vs. nowhere else to go on the D side. My guess is that the space will be created--dramatically--when the first Social Security check doesn't show up and millions of Americans see just where this is all headed in a more personal and less theoretical sense. That will be the very definition of a wake-up call.