Political immaturity

The result of the presidential election will decide. That was the catchphrase used over and over during budget negotiations between the White House and the House of Representatives two years ago.

Back then, President Obama wanted to raise the tax rate on the wealthiest in order to increase federal revenues, while Republican lawmakers asked for huge cuts to Medicare and Medicaid. If there was talk of taxes, it was about tax reform that lowered rates and increased revenues by eliminating deductions.

There was no agreement. A legislative supercommittee was established but was also unsuccessful, leading to an unwanted result: automatic tax increases and budget cuts. Everyone knew the deep impact of this action—a tough 10-year blow to an economy that is now slowly recovering.

That is where “the election will decide” came from, since the parties were inflexible about the most contentious parts of the negotiation.

The election came and went. The president was re-elected after a campaign that discussed the two points of view on how to tackle the deficit. The Democrats won the White House and added seats in both the Senate and the House.

But the status quo remains. The inflexibility and demands have not changed, as if nothing happened.

The inflexible attitude that Republican legislators showed after recovering control of the lower chamber is the same as today. Even House Speaker John Boehner continues to say that his party’s position represents the feeling of Americans, despite the defeat of more than a month ago.

The difference is that they lost the popular vote, the majority of the opinion polls approve Obama’s focus and inside the Republican Party itself, there are those who publicly recognize that the president must prevail, given the election results.

Apparently, a sector of the Republican group that is close to the Tea Party feels like they are fighting for a fair cause. There is nothing heroic about stubborn individuals who want to impose their vision on those who refuse it. On the contrary, when an ideological whim puts into question the economic future of the U.S., it shows political immaturity.