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Opinion | It May Not Feel Like It Right Now, but There Is a World of Good We Can Do

Gail: Sounds wonderful, and in the spirit of the season I’ll refrain from a mention of government funding.

Opinion Debate
Will the Democrats face a midterm wipeout?

Bret: A similar program is Minds Matter, to which I started donating after my wife, Corinna, volunteered for it as a tutor. It’s an extraordinary mentoring organization, with chapters across the country, which prepares bright kids from low-income families for college and even takes on the cost of college tours. The dedication of the students is humbling: They give up nearly every Saturday during the school year for three years to get through the program, and their success rate is commensurately high.

Gail: Great when you can recommend groups from such close personal experience.

Bret: Another charity that matters, Gail, is Compass to Care, which I discovered through a friend, the legendary auto industry journalist Paul Ingrassia, who passed away in 2019. The charity helps families of children sick with cancer cover the transportation costs of getting to treatment centers. It was a favorite of Paul’s remarkable son, Charlie, who also died far too young of cancer, at 39. It’s also a good reminder that some of our greatest needs lie in the seemingly small things that can make all the difference.

Gail: So agree with you.

Now, I hate to be a downer, but while people are working so hard to bring joy to the season, Congress is busy … not achieving.

Bret: You despair. I cheer.

Gail: I’m still rooting for Joe Biden’s plan to bring more relief to poor families, reducing the cost of child care and medical care, plus fighting climate change.

I take it you’re still in Grinch mode?

Bret: The Grinch who doesn’t grow a heart in the end. For Democrats, it would be much smarter to break up the Build Back Better bill into separate legislative items and then move each one separately through Congress. That strategy has the advantage of reducing the headline cost of the legislation. It gives Joe Manchin a lot more flexibility to vote for some of it while still remaining a Democrat. And it could allow Democrats to highlight their victories without putting all of their proverbial eggs in one yellow-dog basket.

Gail: I like all those eggs. Sure, if Biden had to sacrifice one thing to win, I’d still celebrate with an eggnog toast. Alas, I have a feeling there’ll be a lot of shredding if he has to go chunk by chunk.

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