In his victory speech, President(-elect) Barack Obama expressed his belief that our nation can unite despite its apparent divisions:
I believe we can seize this future together because we are not as divided as our politics suggests. We're not as cynical as the pundits believe. We are greater than the sum of our individual ambitions, and we remain more than a collection of red states and blue states. We are and forever will be the United States of America.
In his concession speech, Mitt Romney expressed the same sentiment:
The nation, as you know, is at a critical point. At a time like this we can't risk partisan bickering and political posturing. Our leaders have to reach across the aisle to do the people's work, and we citizens also have to rise to occasion. ...and we look to Democrats and Republicans in government at all levels to put the people before the politics.
And before the confetti had a chance to settle, House Speaker John Boehner decided to dash their hopes and declare his support for another four years of obstructionism. In a statement to the press about balancing the budget, Boehner stated "We’re willing to accept new revenue under the right conditions."
For those of you who've been asleep for the past four years, the budget crisis has two sides, we spend too much and we don't bring in enough money. Republicans have been firm in their stance against increasing taxes to get the government for revenue. So, when Boehner says he's willing to accept new revenue, it looks at first like that position is becoming more flexible. Except for those "right conditions." What are they?
Boehner specifically stated that he would not support raising taxes on the top 2% of income earners. The "new revenue" he's willing to accept is an increase that comes purely from growth. And that growth, he believes, will come from simplifying the tax code. If only the tax code were easier to navigate, he believes, our economy would be booming. Because we all know what stops small businesses from hiring and making capital investments: all that money they throw away at H&R Block.
He talked some good game about how we need to work together and not drive off the financial cliff, but his idea of working together is Democrats reaching across the aisle to implement Mitt Romney's economic policies. Not only is that the exact opposite of working together, but Mitt Romney's plan to balance the budget can be summed up as just "Hey, what if the economy was better? That'd be good."
Four more years!