In my latest column in the Christian Science Monitor, I complain about how our politicians often take extreme positions and claim they’re just representing the best interests of their constituents. Like when Republicans (egged on by anti-tax lobbyists) claim that tax increases on the rich will kill the economy, or when Democrats (threatened by organizations like AARP) claim that Social Security recipients oppose Social Security reform. I end with a favorite quote from Concord Coalition co-founder Paul Tsongas:
[T]he budget battles in Washington seem more to do with the fictional scripts inside politicians’ minds than the actual opinions of the voters. When the late Sen. Paul Tsongas helped start The Concord Coalition in 1992, he explained its grass-roots mission this way: “We are better than what we are being asked to be by our leaders.” It’s clear we still need to keep telling our leaders to live up to their duties – and our ideals.