A hopeful thought about Garbage Pail politics

It’s unpopular. It serves a core Republican constituency. They have to take the hit.

A reader writes:

This has to be bipartisan. Democrats should use the fact that they are in the majority to get the bill that they want, but if there is going to be a bailout, then the Republicans have to come on board. This is going to be a disaster, whatever bill gets passed. It may be the best disaster still available to us, but it’s still a disaster. What I would not countenance, if I were a Democrat in Congress, is taking responsibility for the crisis by passing a bill, while letting the Republicans sit on the sideline. Do that, and I absolutely guarantee you that, when the pain hits, the Republicans will pass the blame onto the people who were willing to be adults and deal with it. They’ve done it before, but not this time.

We are bailing out one of the Republicans’ core constituencies. As badly as we need this, they need it more. They’ll blink.

So far, the polling suggests that a bailout is hugely unpopular. That gives Pelosi and Reid bargaining power.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com