The latest polling from ABC/Washington Post shows that a substantial majority of the public favor restoring 1990's tax rates on the top 2% of earners, and that an even larger majority (two-thirds!) strongly opposes raising the eligibility age for Medicare to 67.
Republican counter-proposals for avoiding the so-called "fiscal cliff" still refusing to agree to the Democratic position, the position that President Obama practically staked his re-election campaign on, that the Bush tax cuts must end for those making over $250,000 per year? And why the Republican focus on cutting benefits to Medicare benefits for seniors, from Republicans who practically staked their election campaign on an attack on the administration for cutting Medicare benefits? (Remember all the talk about the $700 billion supposedly taken from Medicare to fund Obamacare?)
What gives? The House of Representatives is supposed to be the body of government most responsive to the people's will. If would be one thing if the Republican House leadership could make the argument that despite the people's will, their representatives need to be the grown-ups and make the tough decisions necessary to balance the budget. But the Republican proposals don't do a better job of balancing the budget than the Democratic proposals. They do a worse job, in fact. The savings from increasing the age of Medicare eligibility are paltry compared to the revenue gains from raising the top marginal income tax rate from 35% to 39%.
It's time for Republicans in Congress to pay heed to the idea that we live in some semblance of a democracy. If for no other reason than that polls also show that the public knows exactly which side they will blame more if the parties fail to make a deal before the end of the year.