Friday, December 21, 2012

Half A Loaf


There's an interesting parallel between the Republicans recalcitrance over  accepting a deal with the President, and the Democrats 1969 refusal to negotiate with Nixon over his proposed health care plan. The plan, as the story goes, was torpedoed by Ted Kennedy because he favored a Canadian style single payer model and was sure that a Democratic President would bring that idea to fruition. We all know how that worked out. For the rest of his life Kennedy regretted his decision, as in the end, we got something pretty similar to what Nixon originally proposed. In the meantime healthcare spending as a fraction of GDP doubled.

In the months and years to come we'll hear the same kind of regret from Republicans, who could have had Simpson Bowles, Gang of Six, or Grand Bargain in a variety of forms, and now will get much less. In the meantime the prospects for that robust growth you long for will be further damaged.


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