GOP: Between A Tea Party And A Hard Place

Posted by | January 29, 2011 12:20 | Filed under: Top Stories

by Stuart Shapiro

Who could have seen this coming?  The last few days have witnessed the emergence of traditional Republican supporters speaking out against Tea Party initiatives.  As Alan noted yesterday, the VFW slammed Michele Bachmann for her proposal to cut veterans’ benefits.  This comes after the Chamber of Commerce held a joint news conference with the AFL-CIO supporting President Obama’s plan to increase investment in infrastructure.

Whether it is building roads, bridges, high-speed broadband, energy systems and schools, these projects not only create jobs and demand for businesses, they are an investment in building the modern infrastructure our country needs to compete in a global economy.

“With the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the AFL-CIO standing together to support job creation, we hope that Democrats and Republicans in Congress will also join together to build America’s infrastructure.”

Bachmann and the Tea Party Caucus can afford to ignore these traditional groups but Speaker Boehner cannot if he hopes to spend more than two years as speaker.  Tricks like a fruitless attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act can only keep the charade up for so long.  Eventually a budget needs to be passed, and then Boehner and McConnell will compromise with Democrats and spend some money on infrasturcture and veterans and other things that the president prioritizes (but not all of course).  And then the Tea Party will challenge more incumbents like Orrin Hatch.

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Copyright 2011 Liberaland
By: Stuart Shapiro

Stuart is a professor and the Director of the Public Policy
program at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers
University. He teaches economics and cost-benefit analysis and studies
regulation in the United States at both the federal and state levels.
Prior to coming to Rutgers, Stuart worked for five years at the Office
of Management and Budget in Washington under Presidents Clinton and
George W. Bush.

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