Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Tradeoffs in Government

I was thinking today about the compromises that are made in government. In a representative democracy often you have to give something of value up in order to get the other side to do the same. Republicans over the past 30 years have given up on budget cuts in order to acquire cuts in taxes. Democrats have given up on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in order to get funding for entitlement programs.
My question today is “Is there something that Republicans could give up in order to acquire the end of legal abortions?” What if Republicans agreed to grant full marital status to homosexual couples? Or what if Republicans agreed to “the right to Universal Health Care”? Would either of these issues be enough to sway Democrats? Also, would the rank and file Republican support such an idea? A trade of this type would probably have to be done in the form of a Constitutional Amendment because otherwise one side of the compromise may be found unconstitutional while the other side remains law.
What item of value might you be willing to give up in order to accomplish something of greater value to you in government?


Nomad said...

I've actually thought about this a lot, and while I think it is purely theoretical because the Democratic Party as it currently exists CAN NOT openly consider such a compromise, I think we could get there. For example, I'd be willing to trade single-payer universal health care for a return to pre-Roe-v-Wade abortion policy (i.e. permitted for rape, incest, life of mother, but not for contraception). And I think most Pro-Lifers would, too, even if they hate the idea of Obamacare.

quizwedge said...

I agree that at this point in time the Democratic Party can not consider a compromise on abortion. As for trading single-payer universal health care, I'm torn. On the one hand, our country is on the verge of bankrupting itself. We simply can't afford to add an entitlement as big as universal healthcare without cutting some other spending. On the other hand, saying no for that reason makes me feel uncomfortably close to putting a price on the life of aborted babies.

For practical reasons, I think the trade would have to be a social issue for abortion.