The depth and strength of the public challenge to the political realm remains questionable due to so much opinion polling and the liklihood that polling is skewed for political reasons. Some polls show the majority of eligible voters do not want to increase the debt limit, yet a recent poll of "adults" shows independents are clamoring for compromise which means an increase in the debt limit. On Morning Joe today, Joe Scarborough referred to the recent poll as if it's a given the public is fine with tax increases.
It's fairly clear that interest groups still rely heavily on political power, but do interest groups really represent a large number of eligible voters? The size of political rallies on the Left doesn't justify the coverage they receive, but one would think that huge throngs of voters are protesting -- video coverage of the events reveal small crowds. Joe Scarborough went on this morning to admit that media is quick to excoriate any plan to cut or reform government programs and even quicker to support tax hikes. However, Scarborough is okay with a compromise that includes tax hikes, even if he thinks conservatives are being set up. It seems like Scarborough would show more courage and make a stand for Cut, Cap and Balance. Scarborough believes, I suppose, that a political solution is better than fighting a losing battle on principles, even if in the end spending cuts are an illusion and tax hikes a reality.
Mika and Mike Barnicle like to make the point that eliminating the Bush tax cuts is a not a tax hike but rather going back to the "normal" rate. I can't explain how ridiculous this is, but it would be as if Clinton had raised taxes to 90% because it was the normal rate a decade or so before he took office. The rates after Bush tax cuts have been the rates for a decade -- it's not like it's only been a few months. Make no mistake -- if government finds a way to extract more money from the private sector, it's a tax, and the problem is not the method by which government extracts money from the private sector, it's the fact that money needs to stay in the private sector, not in the hands of politicians who will misdirect capital into schemes and crony-deals.
Mike Barnicle said that the taypayer has no lobbyist in DC, but we do have power to stop the spending and reform the structure of the statist system so that profligate spending is impossible without breaking the law. Ironically, Scarborough's compromise is the same as the media he criticizes -- both help prevent spending cuts and ultimately support higher taxes.