To hear political expert Steve Schmidt tell it, America’s political system is more broken than ever.
Schmidt told a packed room at the REALTORS® Conference & Expo in Chicago that “our political system today precludes the ability to get to common-sensible solutions.”
That dysfunction, according to Schmidt, comes from divisions left in the country by the Great Recession. Schmidt noted that while much of the country has recovered, many people still have not.
As evidence for this rift, Schmidt singled out the ongoing opioid crisis in America. He said a leading indicator for counties that switched from Democratic presidential support in 2012 to Republican presidential support in 2016 is the degree to which those countries have been hit by the opioid crisis.
Schmidt’s expertise on the subject comes from his work as a political analysist for MSNBC, along with years of work in politics. Schmidt served as a political strategist to presidential candidates, in senior staff positions at the White House and as a consultant for U.S. Senator John McCain.
Turning to Capitol Hill, Schmidt also decried the ongoing work related to tax reform. He called the reform bill recently released in the House of Representatives disappointing, describing it as a missed opportunity to reform the tax code from scratch.
Instead, Schmidt pointed to the $1.5 trillion addition to the federal deficit that the tax bill represents, while adding that Republicans in high-cost states have a lot to think about.
“At the end of the day this is a massive corporate tax cut for the largest companies,” Schmidt said, while noting that it’s a massive tax increase in high cost states.
“I don’t understand how a Republican congressperson from Illinois or New Jersey…votes for legislation that amounts to a tax increase for their constituents,” Schmidt said.
But in his larger message, Schmidt also sounded a note of optimism about American toughness and resiliency, praising members of the military and America’s diversity as part of a history of the toughness and sacrifice that make up the fabric of America.
“Our country is the only one in the world made up of all the people in the world, where every language is spoken every day,” Schmidt said, adding that America was “founded not on ethnicity but on the power of an idea… that all men are created equal.”