There is, actually, some political compromises that are worth pursuing
But corporate tax reform -- dramatically lowering the rate while closing loopholes -- would require a holy alliance of courageous party leaders willing to buck K Street's lobbyist juggernaut, and strategic business leaders willing to buck short-term corporate interests. (For more on tax reform see our election package.) Both are in short supply, but far from absent. In fact, the ground for post-election reform is already being laid.
So why not try both—continue to improve traditional Medicare, but allow private health plans to compete with it on a well regulated exchange? This compromise was endorsed by the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Debt Reduction Task Force that I co-chaired with former Sen. Pete Domenici (R-N.M.). The dual approach is also roughly similar to the proposal that Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) worked out with Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.). Ryan-Wyden should be much more acceptable to Democrats than the far more stringent earlier Ryan proposal that gradually phased out fee-for-service Medicare—the basis for the Democrats’ claim that Republicans want to “end Medicare as we know it” and throw Granny off the cliff.