We report all this because it’s news and because it illustrates the real political obstacles to more sensible economic policy in Washington. In media mythology, the only barrier to a budget deal is conservative opposition to raising taxes. But even when Republicans put $500 billion in statically scored new revenues on the table, at the risk of upsetting their political base, Democrats declare that tax reform without higher tax rates is impossible. So who are the real “ideologues” here?
Democrats must believe they can blame Republicans if the super committee fails, riding their campaign against “millionaires and billionaires” back to complete power in Washington. It’s a reckless bet, but the American public may have to call it.