Hey, No Fair! Governing is Hard!

Jared Bernstein

Jared Bernstein Senior Fellow, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

First, over at WaPo, check out my latest summary of the CBO score of the Republican’s just downright nasty, greedy “health care plan.”

Next, I agreed with David Leonhardt’s useful bit of history here, wherein he deconstructs the corner into which Republicans have painted themselves:

How did the party’s leaders put themselves in this position? The short answer is that they began believing their own hype and set out to solve a problem that doesn’t exist.

I agree, but I also think there’s something more prosaic going on here, and that is that it’s just way easier not to govern. That’s especially the case with health care, of which the politics are just wholly unforgiving.

Given today’s political dynamics, it is so much easier to be in permanent campaign mode, stoking your base, throwing endless spitballs at the folks trying to legislate. Moreover, these are precisely the things contemporary Republicans are good at: endless spin, endless shade throwing, fact-free opposition research, and very effectively–much more so than Democrats–applying those tools to getting elected.

You see the problem, however. Once you get so good at these techniques that the voters you’ve hoodwinked put you in power, you have to govern. That requires policy chops, real facts, and political compromise, all of which go in exactly the opposite direction of what got you into power in the first place.

I’m not sure where this ends, but my hope is that enough people in the electorate eventually decide they’ve had enough of the blatant contradictions to which they’re being subjected, e.g., “we’re going to give you an awesome health care plan that provides everyone with better, cheaper coverage” or for that matter, pretty much any other campaign pledge other than cutting taxes for the wealthy.

But until then, we will continue to be subjected to governance by those who are masters of the campaign but have no idea what to do when they win.

***

This was reposted from On the Economy.

Jared Bernstein joined the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities in May 2011 as a Senior Fellow.  From 2009 to 2011, Bernstein was the Chief Economist and Economic Adviser to Vice President Joe Biden, executive director of the White House Task Force on the Middle Class, and a member of President Obama’s economic team. Prior to joining the Obama administration, Bernstein was a senior economist and the director of the Living Standards Program at the Economic Policy Institute in Washington, D.C. Between 1995 and 1996, he held the post of deputy chief economist at the U.S. Department of Labor. He is the author and co-author of numerous books, including “Crunch: Why Do I Feel So Squeezed?” and nine editions of “The State of Working America.”

Posted In: Allied Approaches

Union Matters

Neil Gorsuch Unacceptable for Supreme Court

Hugh J. Campbell

Hugh J. Campbell Son of a steelworker, Philadelphia, Pa.

Bill Haschke’s Neil Gorsuch is the wrong choice for U.S. Supreme Court provides an historical framework for the U.S. Senate to reject confirm Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court

Our founding fathers knew that only government could protect the rights of all citizens, because it would be large enough to challenge all other economic powers who wanted to exploit peoples’ rights for their own greedy pursuit of wealth and power. The declaration states “…that to protect these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”

The Declaration of Independence informs us of exactly what governments should be, whom they serve and the values that should be applied to form valid governments; it codified the natural rights of man. After our “slavery issue” was resolved, the court began interpreting the constitution more in the light of the Declaration of Independence, in keeping with the exceptional ideals put forth in our founding document.

However, since January 7, 1972 when Justices Powell and Rehnquist were sworn-in, the SCOTUS began ignoring the Declaration of Independence with more and more power over our elections, and therefore our government, being granted to powerful economic interest, including corporations, culminating with the Citizens United case.

More ...

Out of Pocket and Out of Reach

Out of Pocket and Out of Reach