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October 25, 2013


Both Parties Ignore What Their Voters Want

Ron Brownstein: "One reason a serious budget negotiation seems unlikely this fall is that any meaningful assault on the federal deficit would require each party to confront the contradictions between its fiscal agenda and its electoral coalition."

"Two long-term trends are creating this tension. One is an electoral reshuffling: Republicans increasingly depend on support from older whites, even as Democrats rely more on the youthful-tilting minority population. The second is the federal budget's shift in focus from children (almost half of whom are now nonwhite) to seniors (about four-fifths of whom remain white). The intersection of these dynamics has left each party advancing budget blueprints that collide with the self-interest of their core supporters."

"Heading into budget negotiations, the top priority for many Republicans remains limiting Medicare, Medicaid, and maybe Social Security, the Big Three senior entitlements. The contradiction they face is that the people benefiting from those programs now comprise the core of their electoral coalition... That leaves Democrats confronting their own contradiction: They are now favoring programs that benefit predominantly white seniors who lopsidedly vote against them over policies that benefit the heavily diverse young people who strongly support them."












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