Saturday, December 1, 2012
If someone asks, "Who comes to mind when you hear the word 'capitalist?'" it's a good bet that Wall Street's Lloyd Blankfein, CEO of Goldman Sachs, would spring to mind for many.
Scott Pelley of CBS News recently interviewed Mr. Blankfein. According to CBS, Blankfein's central message to Congress was "Make a deal." It quotes him as saying, "Their job is to make the country function, not to -- it's not a winning game, it's a get-along game."
Blankfein predictably notes in the first part of the interview that Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid "entitlements" must be curbed. However, the next part of the interview is the game changer.
When asked about revenue, Mr. Blankfein said, "In the long run, there has to be more revenue. And, of course, the burden of that revenue will be disproportionately taken up by wealthier people. That's just logical."
Pelley: "So higher taxes on wealthier people?"
Blankfein: "More taxes on wealthier people, to the extent that we need to raise more revenue, and we do need to raise some more revenue." There it is! Listen to Lloyd.
Saxby Chambliss, Republican senator from Georgia, signed the Grover Norquist "never-raise-the-marginal-tax-rate-ever-ever" pledge years ago, but was recently quoted as saying, "I care more about my country than I do about a 20-year-old pledge ..."
The tea party and Grover Norquist reacted just as you would imagine. Some progressives are suspicious of the senator's motives, but the acts of repudiating the Norquist pledge along with Blankfein's raising taxes on the wealthy might lead to a softening of the House Republicans' position and, who knows, to meaningful compromise. Other congressional Republicans have since said they would also consider "unpledging."
If you are a Republican (because she doesn't listen to progressive Democrats), please email or call Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers and ask her to use her new position as House Republican Conference chairwoman to help break the present state of gridlock, and ask her to keep Lloyd and Saxby in mind.