S ix out of 10 Americans favor the Buffett rule, which would increase federal income taxes for the most wealthy in this country.
As these things go, that's pretty significant.
Yet Congress can't get enough people to vote in favor of it -- especially in the U.S. Senate, apparently -- to get this country headed in the right direction again.
And why not? Well, because Republicans seem to think -- there was a time I would have agreed, in fact -- it's a bad idea to make the wealthy pay a higher percentage of income taxes because they're the only ones with enough wealth to create new jobs by their investment power.
In theory, it makes sense.
In practice, however, too many wealthy people are not investing their money to create jobs for Americans who need them. They're investing the money to inflate their own net worth or maximize their own material holdings.
That being the case, I say tax them so their percentage of income tax is at least as high as that paid by most middle-income Americans. And if they send their money outside this country, I say tax them even more.
Most Americans, by a significant margin, agree with that position.
Yet we can't get it through Congress.
Why is that? I wonder. Well, it's fairly obvious Congress is broken. It's been broken for a very long time. Partisan politics has a chokehold on this country, and the work of the people isn't getting done. And one of the two major parties is as bad as the other.
I say that, by the way, as a registered Republican who will be hard-pressed to vote for a single Republican in this year's elections.
For more years than I can recall, people have been talking nationwide about the importance of cleaning house in the U.S. Congress. The only way to clean up the mess was to elect citizen representatives who would look out for our best interests, not re-elect career politicians who seem to serve themselves better than the citizens they were elected to represent.
But it was always advice best served on everyone else. Sort of NIMBY -- not in my back yard -- extended. We were all interested in voting out everyone else's incumbents, but we didn't like the idea of voting out of office our own incumbent.
So it was the rare incumbent/career politician who ever was given the boot.
And bad government went about its business, as usual.
It's exactly why we're in the mess we're in. It explains why we can't get a bill passed in this country when more than 60 percent of the citizenry is in favor of it.
If ever there was an election screaming for change, this is it.
And since Todd Platts decided he's not running for re-election in the 19th (now 4th) Congressional District, that especially applies to voters right here in York County.
Because now we can do the right thing for our country without feeling guilty about doing it.
I intend to do exactly that.
I'm not going to try to convince anyone they should vote for a certain congressional candidate -- seven Republicans or two Democrats in the primary election. I say you should think for yourselves, not be guided by party politics or be affected by the self-serving political propaganda being mailed to your house.
In fact, I'm not even going to tell you which Republican I'll be voting for in the primary on Tuesday.
But I'll tell you this: I'm not voting for any career politicians in this election.
That means Chris Reilly and Scott Perry are not getting my vote. No matter what. They are political ladder climbers, and this country has enough of them already.
And if you don't believe that, just consider the "big name" politicians -- Gov. Tom Corbett and 13 state lawmakers in Perry's case, and U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey in Reilly's case -- who have endorsed them.
Career politicians endorsing wannabe career politicians. It's not in the best interest of this country to perpetuate that kind of activity.
I'll say it again: Voters need to clean house in Washington, D.C. Harrisburg, too.
And there's no better time than the present to do it.
It's America's best chance -- maybe its only chance -- to get this mess straightened out.
Columns by Larry A. Hicks, Dispatch columnist, run Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. E-mail: email@example.com.