In his Nov. 25 column, “Republican dogma sinks debt panel,” Eugene Robinson writes, apropos the failure of the supercommittee to reach agreement, “both sides are not equally responsible for the failure to compromise.” He is correct. Unfortunately, that’s all he gets right.
The root of his error lies in one little word: rates. Like all liberals, Robinson believes that in pursuit of fairness, it is necessary that the rich pay not just more in taxes, but higher marginal tax rates. This is the politics of envy, and envy, aside from being the ugliest of the seven deadly sins, is a poor basis for public policy. In fact, Republicans on the supercommittee offered to increase revenues substantially via tax reform measures that would have primarily affected higher-income individuals without raising tax rates. The Democrats said no, while refusing to address urgently needed entitlement reform, essential if we are to avoid succumbing to the European disease.
The failure to reach agreement lies entirely with the Democrats, and not just those in Congress.