Alice Rivlin, senior fellow in Economic Studies and the Center for Health Policy, and William Galston, senior fellow in Governance Studies, discuss the importance of bipartisanship in the United States and how current party divisions are detrimental to the economy.
“The reason we’re not making progress on making policy decisions is that the two sides, the Republicans and the Democrats, the conservatives and the liberals, however you want to divide us, are not even working on the problems together. They aren’t talking to each other and our system of government, for better or worse, requires compromise; it was set up that way,” Rivlin says. “It doesn’t work unless people are willing to talk across party and ideological lines, see where they can find common ground, see where they differ, and forge ahead with some kind of policy. And right now it’s come to a screeching halt.”
“The two alternatives facing the next president of the United States are compromise and gridlock. The next president will not have the luxury that Barack Obama had during the first eighteen months of his presidency of acting…, on a single party basis, with a party that had the power to get things done,” Galston argues.
With thanks to audio producer Gaston Reboredo, Vanessa Sauter, Basseem Maleki, Fred Dews, and Richard Fawal.
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Sentiment inside the Beltway has turned sharply against China. There are many issues where the two parties sound more or less the same. Trump and others in the administration seem heavily invested in a ‘get very tough with China’ stance. It’s possible that some Democrats might argue that a decoupling strategy borders on lunacy. But if Trump believes this will play well with his core constituencies as his reelection campaign moves into high gear, he will probably decide to stick with it, if the costs and the collateral damage seem manageable. But that’s a very big if, especially if the downsides of a protracted trade war for both American consumers and for American firms become increasingly apparent.