February 11, 2004

Can We Pass It All?

Andrew Sullivan opines>:

My agenda: means-test social security, scale back Medicare, abolish agricultural subsidies and corporate welfare and move toward a flat tax that the super-rich cannot evade. That's one good answer to the Dems' itching to raise taxes again. We can do it all - if only we stop wasting so much on people and special interests (of left and right) who do not need the help.

In a theoretical world, AS is right. Where he goes off the rails is that he is completely ignoring the problem of the current makeup of the Senate and House of Representatives. With such narrow margins, every vote can be held hostage by a very small number of legislators who must be paid off in pork to gain their vote. I do not see any way around that fact. A closely divided Congress will have this dynamic no matter who will be in the White House and no matter what their agenda is. The only cure is to either change the partisan makeup of the members of Congress so that party discipline can push through more votes without promising pork or change the voting rules so the current balance is not so closely divided. The former is much easier than the latter and the people will have an opportunity to solve the problem in November.

Posted by TMLutas at February 11, 2004 12:40 PM