Speaker Boehner is getting brickbats from liberals for not being able to get a vote on Plan B. Did it matter to them? There wasn’t one plan the House would have passed that the Democrats would have approved of. Not one, unless it was more spending and higher taxes.
However, this whole negotiation leads to a broader point. The Democrats don’t understand how Boehner couldn’t get things through his caucus because Democrats operate differently. They are a centrally planned bureaucracy. It’s top down, monolithic decision making. The head speaks and the party machine enforces discipline so everyone follows the same line.
That works great for winning elections, winning policy debates in the liberal press, but it’s not very good for coming up with imaginative public policy for constituents.
On the other hand, the Republicans currently look like they are in disarray. They are. That’s good. The don’t have a centrally planned caucus. It’s more like herding cats. Different groups form to come up with different ideas. There are some core principles that Republicans flock to, like low taxes and a strong defense. But when it comes to small, limited government and other ideas there is no monolithic force of nature.
21 Republicans didn’t vote for the plan that was passed. Why? Because it didn’t go far enough. They wanted even more budget cutting. You might call them fringe, or whatever-but I think they are starting to gain strength in the electorate-and why they are being demonized in the press.
The medial and liberals love Republicans when they are Bob Michael Republicans. Fight a little, compromise on spending, keep a few goodies for their home states and just smile and get a long. They hate Republicans when they are like Reagan or Gingrich, or Speaker Boehner today.
Senator Rand Paul may have had the best idea. Pass a plan. It should include massive cuts in spending across the board, along with cutting deductions and keeping marginal rates the same-or lower than they currently are. Pass it knowing it won’t get anywhere. Then, let the Democrats offer up their package of higher total spending and significantly higher taxes. Vote present, just like our President did when he was in the Illinois legislature.
Higher spending and higher taxes won’t do anything to correct or change the path we are on. Neither will continuing current Fed policy of monetizing the debt. We will go over the cliff, and won’t be able to climb back up it. I hope they don’t pass a fix for AMT. The Democrats will own it and maybe, just maybe Americans will realize through their collectively poor experiences with big government that in order to change, we really need to change our course drastically.
While a monolithic centrally planned bureaucracy seems like a convenient way to make decisions, I prefer one that replicates a fragmented market. Fragmented markets work better in the long run.