The Republican Party is in danger of another big loss. This time, they could lose the House of Representatives, giving the Democrats control of both chambers as well as the White House.
The Democratic Party cannot possibly achieve this victory on its own. We are experiencing the slowest recovery in our nation’s history. Economic growth is tepid. The job numbers are awful. Millions of people are out of work precisely because of the policies of the Obama administration.
Ask any employer, any banker, any investor — regardless of party affiliation — and you are likely to hear the same stories. ObamaCare is making companies reluctant to hire. Dodd/Frank financial reform is making banks reluctant to lend. President Obama’s continuing threat to raise taxes is making investors reluctant to invest. Labor policy and environmental regulations are compounding these negative factors.
Plus, Democrats have another big problem: ObamaCare will take $716 billion out of Medicare over the next 10 years and spend it on health insurance for the non-elderly. As senior citizens have increasing difficulty finding doctors who will accept them and as they face increasingly lengthy waits for their care, everyone in Congress will feel their wrath.
The next election, therefore, should be an easy win for the GOP. But so should have the last one. Democrats can only win if the Republicans cooperate in allowing them to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.
How might Republicans cooperate in their own demise? By engaging in no-win battles over the budget and allowing Democrats to seize a public relations victory in the process.
At the end of this month, the automatic spending cuts (budget sequester) kicks in. At the end of next month there will be a close-down-the-government (continuing resolution) moment. Then there will be a debt ceiling standoff — probably in May. Each of these episodes is fraught with danger for the GOP. To make matters worse, House Republicans seem to have a suicidal desire to keep passing budgets that have no chance of passage, but can be easily demagogued by the other side.
Let’s get three basic truths out on the table: (1) We have a long-term entitlement spending crisis, under which promises we have made far outstretch any foreseeable revenues; however, (2) reform is virtually impossible unless both parties cooperate; and (3) if one party tries to push through a reform on a totally partisan basis that party is likely to lose the next time voters get to vote.
John C. Goodman is President and CEO of the National Center for Policy Analysis, Senior Fellow at The Independent Institute, and author of the acclaimed book, Priceless: Curing the Healthcare Crisis. The Wall Street Journal and National Journal, among other media, have called him the "Father of Health Savings Accounts." He is also the Kellye Wright Fellow in health care. The mission of the Wright Fellowship is to promote a more patient-centered, consumer-driven health care system.
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