Bloggers agree: Jobs would be best politically. So would House passing Senate health bill

This week’s National Journal poll of political bloggers asked “Which of these pieces of legislation, if enacted, would help the Democrats’ political prospects in the midterm elections?” Bloggers could choose more than one. The leading choice for both Left and Right bloggers was “job creation.” The only other items which got more than 50% from either group of voters was deficit reduction (from the Right), and health care and financial industry reform (from the Left). I thought that most of the available choices would be helpful for the Democrats, if done properly: “”Cap-and-trade would be a political disaster. Taxing banks in general (rather than dealing with the subset that helped cause the meltdown) would be of little benefit. Greatly reducing the deficit now (as opposed to promising to reduce it later) would be enormously helpful. The financial/health/immigration/job items could all be helpful, but only if they are done in a fiscally responsible way, do not reward illegal aliens, and are moderate enough to pick up some significant GOP support.”

The second question was “Given the outcome of the Massachusetts Senate race, what would be best politically for [Democrats/Republicans] on health care reform?” Pluralities on the Left (for Democrats) and the Right (for Republicans) thought that House passage of the Senate bill would be the best political outcome. My view: “Politically speaking, the worse the better — passage of the Senate bill would be great, and passage of the House bill even better. For the good of the nation, however, it’s better to start over — and for the starting points to be allowing the purchase of insurance across state lines, ending the tax code’s bias for employer-provided insurance, and moving to a true insurance system, in which customers pay up front for routine costs, with insurance in reserve for extraordinary costs.”