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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Demonizing Opponents

I agree with Mr Jacoby that the demonizing of opponents has contributed to the gridlock in Congress. Unfortunately from day one, Republicans have worked relentlessly to make President Obama either a one term President or to overturn every legislative program he proposes.
There has been no hint of accommodation on the Republican side and, in the first term, the President was attacked by liberals for compromising too much (e.g., no single payer option in Obamacare).
I do take exception to Mr. Jacoby's context free comment about then-Senator Obama's vote against raising the debt limit in 2006.
At that time, the US was in the wake of President Bush's tax cuts. GDP was then at an all time high of about $12 trillion and was rising at an annual rate of 6%.  Now 7 years later GDP, after declining during the financial crisis, has risen to $16 trillion; but the rate of increase has been a sluggish 3%.
In 2006, the good times, it was a good idea to close the gap by increasing revenue rather than raising the debt limit. Today, either increasing revenue or cutting expenditures would be a very bad idea indeed.

Sent to Boston Globe

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