Democratic Cave on Stimulus Package: The Glories Of “Bipartisanship”
|Individual Tax Proposals|
|Temporary Tax Reductions|
|Withholding Holiday for the Employee Payroll Tax||Large||Medium||Large|
|Across-the-Board Tax Rate Cut||Small||Short||Small|
|Deferring or Eliminating Scheduled Tax Increases|
|Extending the AMT Patch||Medium||Long||Medium|
|Deferring or Eliminating Tax Rate Increases Under EGTRRA or JGTRRA||Small||Long||Small|
|Business Tax Proposals|
|Cut in Corporate Tax Rates||Small||Long||Small|
|Incentives for New Investment||Medium||Medium||Large|
|Extending Operating Loss and Carryback Provisions||Small||Medium||Large|
|Direct Transfer Payments to Households|
|Extending or Expanding Unemployment Benefits||Large||Short||Small|
|Temporarily Increasing Food Stamp Benefits||Large||Short||Small|
|Providing General Aid to State and Local Governments||Medium||Medium||Large|
|Investing in Public Works Projects||Small||Long||Small|
Please take a moment to look over this chart, produced by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, and tell me which two spending proposals would be the most efficient. Which two proposals did the Democrats, in the spirit of reaching across the aisle to their Republican bretheren, give up? (Heralded in WaPo as "Deal Spotlights Rarity of Bipartisan Action.")
It was yet another case in which Democrats, gave away the store. It was a classic triumph of "bipartisanship" over reality-as Paul Krugman and others have pointed out.
The two most significant items that the Democrats caved on (food stamps and unemployment insurance) were the only items that non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) found that would be cost-effective, fast-acting, and certain to produce the intended result…
The objective evidence is has become overwhelming. Bushism is no longer the enemy. Republicanism is no longer the enemy. Both of them are history-or would be, at any rate, if it were not for the real enemy, and the real enemy is bipartisanism.
"Bipartisanism" is the ideology of bipartisanship as a good unto itself, not in service to any other purpose, except, of course, "getting things done." The question of whether they are good things or bad things, wise things or foolish things, sane things or crazy things, life-sustaining things or life-destroying things-all such questions are not simply irrelevant, they are forms of blasphemy against the one true faith.
All bow down, and surrender your reason.
I sometimes feel like we say this stuff just for the sake of being on record so when this New Era O’Change that all the candidates tell me is going to seduce all the Republicans out from behind their barricades doesn’t actually happen we can point to it. But by that time, much like with the war, everybody will have developed false memories of a skepticism they never had so it’s kind of moot. Krugman was one of the lone voices speaking out against the war at the time too, and he gets little credit for it from the "we were right to be wrong" crowd.
In the mean time, if anyone can tell me exactly how all this "changiness" is going to take place, I’m all ears. Because as a fairlyclose observer of the unrelenting Republican obstructionism and the abject Democratic capitulation of the last week, I have to say, I’m not seeing it in the cards.
(h/t Eli for "changiness")