Republicans continue with their attitude of partisan bickering and refusal to cooperate. In Wisconsin, Democratic legislators proposed to compromise with Republican Governor Scott Walker to have public employees pay more for health care and pensions in return for the preservation of unions and collective bargaining. However, instead of agreeing to end the protests and legislative stalemate, Walker has declared that he will not compromise with the Democrats, and remains determined to destroy unions in Wisconsin. The right to unionize and collectively bargain is a constitutionally protected human right that Walker has no right no attack. Hopefully the workers of Wisconsin will see this attack on their rights and remember it when they go to vote in 2012.
Meanwhile, Republicans are following the same childish tactics in Congress, refusing to listen to Democratic calls for bipartisan cooperation on the budget. Clearly there need to be compromises on both sides to fix a budget, and there needs to be a combination of tax increases and spending cuts. Overall, taxes are part of what made Clinton’s budget balanced, although taxing the poor and middle class during these tough economic times would harm recovery. Meanwhile, we should raise taxes on the very wealthy, the top 1% of the country, which will not hurt our economy’s recovery. This is also a good time for some entitlement program, as well as some cuts to all sorts of other budgetary parts, including defense and discretionary programs. Finally, we also need federal investment to be in this budget. College aid, research funding, infrastructure investment and other allocations are necessary to get our country’s economy moving, and will pay off in the long run. The path to a balanced budget is both tax increases and spending cuts, both of which will involve compromises between both parties, and it will also involve investment. What we need now is Republicans who are willing to get off of their pedestals and come down to Earth to make progress with the country.