The Maine Idea: Jared Golden occupies an imaginary happy medium


Jared Golden of Maine is one of the reasons Congressional Democrats continue to struggle to unite around a budget bill to boost families and finally start fighting global warming. He’s playing a dangerous game.

The massive bill has already been reduced by $ 3.5 trillion – a large but justifiable increase in spending, as it is fully funded by the massive wealth tax increase – to around $ 2 trillion. Yet Golden still plays Hamlet.

In a recent editorial, the 2nd district congressman’s second term expressed concern about the bill. They don’t focus on the major spending and tax increases contained in President Biden’s signing statement on what he wants his administration to be.

Instead, Golden accuses House and Senate leaders of going “the path of least resistance” and suggests that his words “artificially reduce the overall cost of the bill.”

The right thing to do, he says, would be to cost it all over 10 years and do it all at the same time, but he never says how that would be paid for. In a follow-up letter to the Presidents of the House, he criticizes delaying new dental benefits under Medicare.

Finding a few nits to choose from in a huge 2,000-page bill with hundreds of individual features might seem smart to Golden, but it doesn’t answer any of the questions about where his loyalty lies and what will be the fate of. this democratic administration.

He is hiding behind his support for a previous bipartisan infrastructure bill that, at $ 1.2 trillion, doubles current spending but provides exactly no new income – why it has gained some Republican support, as well as that of all Democrats.

In fact, he looks a lot like the Republicans who stymied the passage of the Affordable Care Act in the Obama administration by insisting that with a few more changes they could come on board – but never did.

What Golden is doing is worse than what Senator Joe Manchin is doing, even though the West Virginia Democrat is driving progressives crazy.

At least Manchin has his cards on the table. He set a low result – $ 1.5 trillion and prescribed limits on tax increases that echo some of the huge cuts for businesses and high net worth individuals enacted under the Trump administration.

Golden is more like Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, the other Senate Democrat reluctance, who says she won’t vote for the current bill, but gives no intelligible reason. Neither has a say in taxes.

Golden is one of a group of nine moderate House Democrats, while there are 94 members of the Progressive Caucus. It’s hard to understand why he thinks his point of view should prevail.

The obvious answer to Golden’s gambling spirit is that he thinks he needs to keep his distance from Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, whose election he has twice opposed, in a district worn by Trump.

But his bickering makes no sense. He dismays those who voted for him, without winning over those who did not.

The programs and taxes for both bills are extremely popular. Republican voters love them, even if their GOP congressmen don’t.

Investments to stem global warming have been overdue for years. The broad support for families that kept millions afloat during the pandemic will disappear without a new bill – considerations far more important than the timing of dental benefits.

Does Golden Really Want Another Democratic President To Fail? Bill Clinton and Barack Obama were both crippled by huge losses in their first congressional elections.

He may think he can protect his own seat through “triangulation”, but he is also wrong here. If Democrats don’t pass a robust budget bill soon, they will be ridiculed as failures, questioned only on the size of the Republican majorities after 2022.

Congress is often described as dysfunctional, with no idea where the dysfunction lies. That’s it: it’s all supposed to be about the next election only, with much of the media obsessed with the daily news cycle increasing or decreasing ratings.

It doesn’t have to be that way; over time, a good policy is a good policy. When voters like what they get from a political party, they reward it.

When a party cannot keep its promises, it fails at the polls. It has happened too often over the past few decades.

Call it incompetence, or obstruction on the other side, it has had a terrible impact on Americans’ belief in the ability of government to support the common good.

Since Democrats believe public programs are a primary response to the evils exposed by the pandemic – the unequal burdens facing so many millions of Americans – they must lead the way.

If the Golden representative cannot figure this out, he may be looking for another job soon.

Douglas Rooks, editor, commentator and journalist from Maine since 1984, is the author of three books. His first, “Statesman: George Mitchell and the Art of the Possible”, is now available in paperback. He welcomes comments to[email protected]

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