Monday, November 27, 2006

Barone: Where Do Democrats Go From Here?

Michael Barone wonders in which direction the Democrats will go.

I figure a lurch to the far left, since they can't contain themselves. Either way, watch you wallet.

What will the Democrats do with their majorities in Congress? The 2006 campaign was pretty much an idea-free zone and provides only a few clues. In their hearts, most elected Democrats would like to move us some distance closer to a European-style welfare state -- slouching toward Scandinavia, some conservatives might call it. But they are likely to find it difficult to do so, and not just because of George W. Bush's hitherto almost unused veto power.

Take the proposal they usually put first on the list: raising the minimum wage. Only about 2 percent of earners now make the minimum, and some jobs will disappear when it's raised. Moreover, most minimum-wage earners are not heads of households. Any progressive economic redistribution will be minimal.

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