The fact that something like this won't soon be proposed -- let alone passed -- speaks volumes about our politics... There is little sense of common interests and shared obligations. Politicians resort to symbolic acts that seem more meaningful than they actually are: the minimum wage, for instance.
What results is a politically expedient world of make-believe that takes many sensible compromises off the table. Drilling in ANWR, for example, wouldn't ravage the environment. But for many Democrats, it's a cause celebre. Voting to open ANWR would be politically unpardonable. Similarly, some tax increases wouldn't destroy the economy; it has operated satisfactorily at higher levels of taxation. But for many Republicans, voting for any tax increase would also be a political death sentence. We are condemned to rituals that usually get us nowhere.