Perplexing questions keep scrolling across the back of my eyelids when I’m dozing off.
Like why do we park on driveways but drive on parkways?
Did Andy Reid pick the Chiefs because he thought it was KFC, not KC?
Will Republicans and Democrats ever have a Saul moment on the way to Damascus and realize that we have to tax a little more and spend way, way less?
Mitch McConnell and Nancy Pelosi were drawing lines in the sand on network television today. Pretty nifty from a technical standpoint. You try drawing in the sand on your television.
“The tax issue is finished, over, completed,” said McConnell on ABC’s “This Week.” “That’s behind us. Now the question is, what are we going to do about the biggest problem confronting our country and our future? And that’s our spending addiction. It’s time to confront it. The president surely knows that. I mean, he has mentioned it both publicly and privately. The time to confront it is now.”
I have a feeling that the upcoming heavyweight bouts between congressional Repubicans and the administration over replacing the $1 trillion in sequester-related cuts, the raising of the debt ceiling, and the passage of a continuing resolution to fund the government are, like a bout with pneumonia, going to take our breath away.
President Obama has said that he will not make major entitlement reforms or spending cuts during those negotiations unless it is part of a balanced approach. Nancy Pelosi echoed that view. “No, no, it is not,” she said, when asked by CBS’ Bob Schieffer if the revenue side was now taken care of. “I mean, the president had said originally he wanted $1.6 trillion in revenue; he took it down to 1.2 as a compromise in this legislation. We get $620 billion dollars, very significant, high-end tax, changing the high-end tax rate to 39.6 percent, but that is not enough on the revenue side.”
The hope, among Democrats, is that another $600 billion in revenue may be raised through comprehensive tax reform. The stage for that was set when lawmakers extended tax breaks for several wealth industries during the just-completed fiscal cliff deal. Eliminating those breaks in two months’ time could be another revenue booster.
But in a separate appearance on NBC’s “Meet The Press,” McConnell (who, like oxygen, was everywhere Sunday) ruled that out.
“I’m in favor of doing tax reform,” he said, “but I think tax reform ought to be revenue-neutral as it was back during the Reagan years.”
Yep, more taxes are about as popular as gout with Republicans. For Democrats, spending is like sin. It’s too popular to be abolished.
With a great divide such as that, little wonder we have a failure to communicate.