David Brooks: “(Paul) Ryan’s sharply polarized vision…. makes compromise and politics impossible. If every concession is regarded as an unprincipled surrender…. nothing will get done and the nation will go bankrupt”…..

David Brooks sees the train-wreck coming and is doing a good job of calling it out.  My colleague Debilyn has blogged on this David Brooks NYT Op Ed piece pointing out that he will be presenting to the No Labels conference coming up on 12/13.  No Labels  http://nolabels.org/  could be a possible third party platform and a strong inside the beltway statement/vehicle for empowering the moderate middle (what is left of it).  It will be interesting to see how much traction and media coverage  No Labels will get in the next few months and then again when the 2012 election season takes over the airwaves.  The No Labels tag line reads:



Put the Labels Aside. Do What’s Best for America.  We are Democrats, Republicans, and Independents who are united in the belief that we do not have to give up our labels, merely put them aside to do what’s best for America.   http://nolabels.org/

That re-said,  I wanted to give David the nod for doing a good job of communicating the obviously unworkable and bankrupt nature of the sharply polarized vision of Paul Ryan and other Republican leaders.  Changing the Game of Power Politics and Participation will have taken a huge step forward when Paul Ryan starts to talk and lead along the lines that David Brooks articulates below.  Excerpt and link follow.  Walt 



A Tax Reform Vision



Excerpt follows.  Click here to go to the full Op Ed.

………The Wyden-Gregg plan simplifies the tax code and reduces the number of rates from six to three. Most taxpayers would be able to use a one-page 1040 I.R.S. form. It preserves some deductions, like the mortgage interest deduction and the child tax credit, but eliminates many others. The Heritage Foundation calculated that the measure would reduce the federal deficit by $61 billion a year and create 2.3 million jobs. The Tax Policy Center found it would make the tax code more progressive and reduce the tax bill for most families making less than $200,000.

In my vision, the president would lay something like this at the feet of the Republicans and ask: Are you ready to have a conversation, or are you the party that can’t say yes?

This would put the Republicans in an interesting position. On Thursday, I debated Paul Ryan at the American Enterprise Institute on the proper role of government. Ryan is the incoming House Budget Committee chairman and one of the most intellectually formidable members of Congress. I really admire many of the plans he has put forward to bring down debt and reduce health care costs.

But Ryan and I differed over President Obama and the prospects for compromise in the near term. Ryan believes that the country faces a clearly demarcated choice. The Democratic Party, he argues, believes in creating a European-style cradle-to-grave social welfare state, while the Republicans believe in a free-market opportunity society. There is no overlap between the two visions and very little reason to think they can be reconciled.

I argued that Obama and his aides are liberal or center-left pragmatists and that nothing they have said or written suggests they want to turn the U.S. into Sweden. I continued that Ryan’s sharply polarized vision is not only journalistically inaccurate, it makes compromise and politics impossible. If every concession is regarded as an unprincipled surrender that takes us inexorably farther down the road to serfdom, then nothing will get done and the nation will go bankrupt……..

Click here to go to the full Op Ed.



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