The Challenge for DemocratsDemocrats will be challenged in the next two years by tugs in different directions. They will want to do a good job for the American people so that they are re-elected in 2008 and gain the presidency. One group of pragmatists, represented by Tim Walz, Minnesota Representative-elect, believe that the American public voted for “healing.” Americans want, according to Walz, a time to recover from a broken government riddled with bad policies and corruption. On the other hand, several other new Democrats are ideologues, similar to their Republican counterparts that took office in 1994, who led the Republican Revolution and produced the Contract with America. That era ushered in a more conservative America in many ways, leading to such things as tax cuts and a more hawkish attitude towards defense.
The goals of the present Democrats already contain contradictions. The next Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, for example, wants fiscal responsibility. She would like to balance the budget and reduce the national debt, using a “pay as you go” system of funding. Yet, already, she and several Democrats will be pushing for things like making college tuition tax deductible, cutting student loan interest rates, increased health care coverage, funding embryonic stem cell research, and a national cap on industrial carbon dioxide emissions. All these worthy programs cost a lot of money.
The Democratic theory is that they will pay for all this, and more, by getting rid of “tax cuts for the rich.” They also want to make life more fair by raising the minimum wage.
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