Monday, January 21, 2013

What's the Big Deal?

("The Big Deal")

Even Mr. Krugman ultimately admits that his title is, at best, misleading. Yes, health care reform, even this watered down version that still leaves so many millions unattended, is a major milestone. But his assertion that inequality has somehow been even marginally addressed by the recent changes in taxes to be paid by the most wealthy is wholly inconsistent with the economic disparity that still threatens to wipe out much of the middle class and leaves the poor with precious little for which to be thankful. And if the standard by which we measure the success of financial reform is merely that Wall Street is angry with the President and has abandoned him, then we have sunk to a new low in determining what constitutes a "big deal".

The political landscape is littered with terms like "gerrymandering", "filibuster",  "Citizen's United" and "tea party". Maneuvering around these obstacles means that big ideas, and big deals, have little chance. Even Mr. Krugman concludes by suggesting that there were "limited" victories in the first term of the Obama presidency. Yes, it is nice to have a pep talk of what has been accomplished before we race head long to more fiscal cliffs, debt ceilings and threats of government shutdowns. But in the final analysis, what is truly a big deal is that there is so much more than we can do and so little hope that our dysfunctional system will permit us to reach any of these goals.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

One cause of the dysfunctionality is the bundling of so many expenditures into one "Bill". This leaves the door open to intentional political ambiguity and the special interests, ie "unnoticed items" that appear in the bill. However unrealistic, I wish they could vote on each expenditure separately.--