Opinion This is what happens when the party in charge cares about governing

cigaretteman

HR King
May 29, 2001
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By Paul Waldman
Columnist
August 8, 2022 at 11:29 a.m. EDT
There have been pieces of legislation that were more difficult to birth than the Inflation Reduction Act the Senate passed Sunday — but not many.
This legislation went through so many deaths and reincarnations that it’s hard to keep them all straight — from an initial $3.5 trillion reconciliation plan to a scaled-back $1.75 trillion plan introduced in October to one proposal after another teased and then withdrawn, usually when the mercurial Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.) decided he didn’t like whatever was on offer.
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But now that it’s done — pending a vote in the House that Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) will no doubt deliver — it caps a remarkable burst of legislative achievements, including a gun safety measure, an industrial policy bill to accelerate production of semiconductors and a veterans health bill.
This is what it means to have a party in Washington that cares about governing. Even if the passage of a big, complicated bill doesn’t inspire you to burst into song, and even if the deep structural problems of our system remain, it shows that at the right moment, with the right people in charge, the country can still make progress.
Politics changes all the time, but over the past few decades, a particular cycle has repeated itself. A Democrat gets elected president. Their party labors mightily to pass consequential bills. Not all of them succeed, but many do. Eventually, a Republican wins the White House, and their party cuts taxes for the wealthy and corporations, then does little else with its control of Congress.
You can’t say elected Democrats didn’t work their hearts out on these bills, especially the Inflation Reduction Act, even if the result is (as always) imperfect. But try to imagine the Republican Party as it’s currently constituted doing what Democrats just did.
Picture Republicans spending a year or so negotiating with one another, producing version after version of a complicated bill, trying to balance competing interests within their party, persisting through repeated setbacks and ultimately producing a victory everyone in their party can live with.
You can’t, because Republicans just don’t have it in them. The only subject they care enough about to craft a complicated bill on is taxes, which is relatively easy because they all agree they should be lower, at least for corporations and the wealthy.
But give Republicans a difficult legislative task — such as following through on their oft-made pledge to repeal the Affordable Care Act and replace it with what Donald Trump memorably called “something terrific” — and they flounder and flail.
There was once a time when Republicans were capable of crafting legislation that could even garner some Democratic support. But that’s a fading memory. After the tea party and the triumph of Trumpism, the number of Republicans interested in using the legislative process to solve complicated problems keeps dwindling.
Say what you will about the superannuated Democratic leaders: At least they know how to pass a bill. Yet the Democratic base is often less satisfied with the quality of its party’s performance than the Republican base is when its party controls Washington. That’s part of the cycle, too. When a Democratic president is elected, expectations run high for a wave of transformative new laws — and the long and painful legislative process inevitably makes people feel at least some measure of disappointment even when a good deal is accomplished.
It’s tempting to tell anyone feeling disillusioned to grow up, that governing is hard and nobody gets everything they want. But I would argue against tempering our hopes for this presidency and those to come.
Taking the governing process seriously means acknowledging the importance of the division of labor, with different people playing different roles. It’s the job of activists to think creatively and press relentlessly for change, which often means saying that legislation like the Inflation Reduction Act doesn’t go far enough. It’s the job of progressive members, such as Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), to criticize the bill — but give it their votes so it can succeed.
It’s the job of other members to advance the parochial interests of their constituents — and negotiate and compromise. It’s the job of the White House to tell everyone it’s a spectacular accomplishment that should make us all rapturous with joy.
The rest of us should be able to say that this bill is a great achievement for what it does on climate and prescription drug prices and a good deal more, precisely because we know how hard governing is. Mature citizens want to be stirred by grand visions of the future while knowing that the reality will be difficult and involve trade-offs and letdowns.
That’s an inevitable part of the cycle of politics, too: dreaming, then working, then accepting something less than the dream, then deciding to keep working and dream again. So let’s give President Biden and Democrats in Congress the credit they deserve even as we demand they go further and do more. It’s the only way to get anywhere.

 
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abby97

HR All-American
Sep 16, 2010
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Which liberal pols campaigned on hiring an additional 85,000 IRS agents to harass the American people on their taxes? This is what us on the right hate about the left. They are more concerned with soaking middle class and low income tax payers than they are about securing the border or preventing crime, this is despicable........
 
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BioHawk

HR Legend
Sep 21, 2005
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Which liberal pols campaigned on hiring an additional 85,000 IRS agents to harass the American people on their taxes? This is what us on the right hate about the left. They are more concerned with soaking middle class and low income tax payers than they are about securing the border or preventing crime, this is despicable........
LOL. First, you forgot about the part where those IRS agents are going to focus on the wealthiest Americans. Second, stop cheating on your taxes. If you don't cheat on your taxes then you have nothing to worry about.
 

RNHawk

HR Legend
Gold Member
Dec 5, 2001
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LOL. First, you forgot about the part where those IRS agents are going to focus on the wealthiest Americans. Second, stop cheating on your taxes. If you don't cheat on your taxes then you have nothing to worry about.
Where does it say they are going to focus on the wealthiest Americans?
 
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abby97

HR All-American
Sep 16, 2010
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LOL. First, you forgot about the part where those IRS agents are going to focus on the wealthiest Americans. Second, stop cheating on your taxes. If you don't cheat on your taxes then you have nothing to worry about.
You might try thinking for yourself rather than simply accepting what the left pols tell you to believe. Wealthiest taxpayers will be audited I'm sure, but if you believe they needed to increase the size of the IRS by 6X just to review the wealthiest taxpayers, you my friend are an idiot.

The new IRS will be bigger than the Pentagon, State Department, FBI and Border Patrol combined!!!!!
 

BioHawk

HR Legend
Sep 21, 2005
39,358
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You might try thinking for yourself rather than simply accepting what the left pols tell you to believe. Wealthiest taxpayers will be audited I'm sure, but if you believe they needed to increase the size of the IRS by 6X just to review the wealthiest taxpayers, you my friend are an idiot.

The new IRS will be bigger than the Pentagon, State Department, FBI and Border Patrol combined!!!!!
It is always hilarious when you accuse others of being told what to believe. Zero self awareness.

The Republicans spend every chance they get making cuts to the IRS. This is just putting back a lot of what was taken away. The fact that you are amazed at what the Democrats are doing just shows how badly Republicans kneecapped them.

Not that you will read it, but:
 

RNHawk

HR Legend
Gold Member
Dec 5, 2001
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It is always hilarious when you accuse others of being told what to believe. Zero self awareness.

The Republicans spend every chance they get making cuts to the IRS. This is just putting back a lot of what was taken away. The fact that you are amazed at what the Democrats are doing just shows how badly Republicans kneecapped them.

Not that you will read it, but:
so your statement about the wealthiest Americans was false?
 
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Tom Paris

HR Legend
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Oct 1, 2001
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Which liberal pols campaigned on hiring an additional 85,000 IRS agents to harass the American people on their taxes? This is what us on the right hate about the left. They are more concerned with soaking middle class and low income tax payers than they are about securing the border or preventing crime, this is despicable........
Ted Cruz LOVES you. He really does. You believe everything he says.
 
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BioHawk

HR Legend
Sep 21, 2005
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Where does it say they are going to focus on the wealthiest Americans?
Well, I will give it to you that I might be wrong. Maybe all the poor people are the ones cheating on their taxes and all the rich people are the ones that are above board. I'm just going out on a limb and guessing that it will be the richest people who are caught cheating more than anyone else. But even if I am wrong, catching tax cheats is a good thing, right?
 
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tarheelbybirth

HR King
Apr 17, 2003
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Well, I will give it to you that I might be wrong. Maybe all the poor people are the ones cheating on their taxes and all the rich people are the ones that are above board. I'm just going out on a limb and guessing that it will be the richest people who are caught cheating more than anyone else. But even if I am wrong, catching tax cheats is a good thing, right?
They'll go after the wealthy because - as Willie Sutton apocryphally stated - that's where the money is.
 
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globalhawk

HR Heisman
Dec 16, 2003
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You might try thinking for yourself rather than simply accepting what the left pols tell you to believe. Wealthiest taxpayers will be audited I'm sure, but if you believe they needed to increase the size of the IRS by 6X just to review the wealthiest taxpayers, you my friend are an idiot.
Where do you get your news?
 

mauricehawki

HR MVP
Feb 15, 2006
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Your always going have poor and wealthy people no matter how the Democrats structure taxes. The wealthy are wealthy because the are smart and work hard to be wealthy. The poor well they are poor.
 

RNHawk

HR Legend
Gold Member
Dec 5, 2001
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Well, I will give it to you that I might be wrong. Maybe all the poor people are the ones cheating on their taxes and all the rich people are the ones that are above board. I'm just going out on a limb and guessing that it will be the richest people who are caught cheating more than anyone else. But even if I am wrong, catching tax cheats is a good thing, right?
I do think it is a good thing, but last year the IRS targeted at least half of those who make less than 75000 and 4 in 10 of the earned income credit.


"More than half of the agency’s audits in 2021 were directed at taxpayers with incomes less than $75,000, according to IRS data. More than 4 in 10 of its audits targeted recipients of the earned income tax credit, one of the country’s main anti-poverty measures."
 

RNHawk

HR Legend
Gold Member
Dec 5, 2001
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Well, I will give it to you that I might be wrong. Maybe all the poor people are the ones cheating on their taxes and all the rich people are the ones that are above board. I'm just going out on a limb and guessing that it will be the richest people who are caught cheating more than anyone else. But even if I am wrong, catching tax cheats is a good thing, right?
lets not forget the democrats voted no on an amendment that would have required those new IRS agents to only go after those making 400000 or more