In November, by a 51%-47% margin, Americans expressed their will that President Obama’s plan to slowly reduce defense spending, raise marginal tax rates on upper income levels, and enact reforms in government health care spending that don’t involve access-limitation, is the plan we should move forward with. In the same election, Americans increased the influence of Democrats in the Senate, and voted as a majority for Democrats running for the House.
The proposal by the White House, including the stimulus it contains, would trim $4.5 trillion from the deficit over 10 years without touching Social Security or taking benefits from Medicare enrollees. That total would roll back all of the debt accumulated by our nation since the end of the Bush presidency. But it is not, in the minds of conservative movers and shakers, a serious proposal and is “dead on arrival”. Why?
Remember, money invested on Wall Street is not guaranteed, but (as evidenced by the 2008 crash and the bailouts that followed) the commissions of Wall Street traders are. Blankfein and others are attacking Social Security to create future earning opportunities for themselves, and they are attacking middle income tax rates to preserve their own low tax liabilities.
President Obama spent his entire first term in search of bipartisanship, the liberal blogosphere spent his entire first term criticizing his search for bipartisanship, and conservatives spent his entire first term accusing the President of walking away from bipartisanship. There are some who say there is a fundamental disagreement on what bipartisanship is, and the disagreement isn’t ending soon. If it is fundamental, it is a one-sided disagreement. With one exception, every piece of legislation passed in the last 20 years that featured any partisan conflict has been resolved and passed with Democrats making all of the concessions.