What Voters Want
There is a common refrain in today’s political climate in the US surrounding whether or not the new wave of elected GOP officials were elected with a mandate from voters that includes not raising taxes and not seeking any new revenues for government to handle budget deficits and debts. The GOP officials, according to this narrative, see the voters that elected them as only willing to approve of spending cuts. Did this directive come from the voters at large? I don’t think so. Why not? Because voters actually want to see taxes raised on the wealthiest Americans.
A poll in today’s Minneapolis Star Tribune bears this out in our state. “When asked to choose between a tax increase on the top 2 percent of Minnesotans or a state budget “balanced through cuts only,” 63 percent chose the tax increase and 32 percent chose the cuts.”
These are pretty similar to national numbers about the preference for tax increases to be a part of deficit reduction. This is not to say that taxes should be increased or not, but to say that it is disingenuous to pretend that there is no desire for raising taxes. Don’t misunderstand, its not difficult to understand why the GOP are beholden to this narrative: if they bend from the provided narrative, the caustic and destructive part of the Republican party will see to that individual’s demise.
But it gets tiresome to hear the same lines over and over, as a government shutdown looms in Minnesota and national political world is calling names, that the GOP cannot raise any revenues, the voters sent them to cut government spending and not to raise taxes. Unfortunately for the Republican folks, it’s not true and it makes any attempt to come to the middle-ground and compromise absolutely impossible. And the hard-line marriage to this argument is going to cost you. At least in Minnesota.
(And for those who say that President Obama or the Dems won’t compromise, you are wrong. They have compromised a great deal to the GOP, nothing more so than the extension of the Bush Tax Cuts)