Skip to comments.An Establishment in Panic
Posted on 07/08/2011 5:38:53 AM PDT by Kaslin
By refusing to accept tax increases in a deal to raise the debt ceiling, Republicans are behaving like "fanatics," writes David Brooks of The New York Times.
Anti-tax Republicans "have no sense of moral decency," he adds.
They are "willing to stain their nation's honor" to "worship their idol." If this "deal of the century" goes down, as he calls the Barack Obama offer, "Republican fanaticism" will be the cause.
"The GOP has become a cult" that has replaced reason with "feverish" and "cockamamie beliefs," writes Richard Cohen of The Washington Post. The Republican "presidential field (is) a virtual political Jonestown," the Guyana site where more than 900 followers of the Peoples Temple drank the Kool-Aid that Rev. Jim Jones mixed for them.
Does anyone think this an appropriate description of such mild-mannered men as Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty and Jon Huntsman?
"The GOP's Hezbollah Wing Is Now Fully in Control," screams The New Republic over a recent lead editorial.
Other columnists charge the GOP with holding America "hostage" by refusing to accept tax hikes to avert a default on the debt.
What to make of this hysteria?
The Establishment is in a panic. It has been jolted awake to the realization that the GOP House, if it can summon the courage to use it, is holding a weapon that could enable it to bridle forever the federal monster that consumes 25 percent of gross domestic product.
To bully and blackmail the GOP into surrendering the weapon and betraying its principles and signing on to new taxes, that establishment has unleashed rhetoric more befitting a war on terror than a political dispute.
For how, exactly, are Republicans threatening the republic?
The House has not said it will not raise the debt ceiling. It must and will. It has not said it will not accept budget cuts. It has indicated a willingness to accept the budget cuts agreed to in the Biden negotiations.
Where the GOP has stood its ground is on tax increases.
Is fanaticism behind this stance? Does this manifest insanity? How does this imperil the nation's honor and future?
Behind the GOP opposition to tax hikes is the party's word given to the country that elected it in 2010, its political principles, its traditional view of what not to do when the nation is in a slump, and party history.
Fully 235 Republican House members signed a 2010 pledge not to raise taxes. And by giving their word they were rewarded with victory.
Should they now dishonor that pledge, what would differentiate them from George H.W. Bush, who famously promised in 1988: "Read my lips! No new taxes!" then went back on his word and took the party down to defeat with him?
Second, the GOP is the party of small government and low taxes.
Why would it agree to raise taxes on the private productive sector when federal spending, now at a peacetime record of 25 percent of GDP, is the problem?
Third, America is in a slump, with 9 percent of the workforce unemployed, another 7 percent underemployed and the economy growing at a tepid 1.8 percent.
What school of economic thought -- Keynesian, supply-side or monetarist -- says raising taxes in a slumping economy is the recipe for a return to prosperity? There is no such school.
Why, when the whole country is talking about the need to create jobs, would Congress raise taxes on a private productive sector that employs six in seven Americans and is the creator of real jobs?
In 1982, President Reagan agreed to the same deal being offered the party today: three dollars in spending cuts for every dollar in tax increases to which he assented. As he ruefully told this writer more than once, he was lied to. He got one dollar in spending cuts for every three in tax increases.
What of the charge that the Republican House is holding America hostage, blackmailing the nation with a suicidal threat to throw us all into national default if it does not get its way?
This smear is the precise opposite of the truth.
The Republican Party has not said it will refuse to raise the debt ceiling. It has an obligation to do so, and will.
The House has simply said it will not accept new taxes on a nation whose fiscal crisis comes from overspending.
If the GOP keeps its word, raises the debt ceiling and accepts budget cuts agreed to in the Biden negotiations, the only people who can prevent the debt ceiling's being raised are Senate Democrats or Obama, in which case, they, not the GOP, will have thrown the nation into default.
It is the establishment that is resorting to extortion, saying, in effect, to the House GOP: Give us the new taxes we demand, or Obama will veto the debt ceiling and we will all blame you for the default.
The GOP should stand its ground -- and fix bayonets.
Uh oh. David Brooks is gonna go apesh*t now.
My wife and I discussed that idea yesterday...it will work! And everyone will have “skin in the game!” Watch the hog-sloppers in DC go ape over that...
No, he's not that either. He's an advocate for the Dems, using whatever argument he thinks might seem plausible to the public, like a defense attorney's remarks to the jury for a client he knows is guilty.
Now, why in the world would you doubt the spine of the Republican leadership? Look at their past performance.../s
Sorry. The fanaticism lay in the motives of those who elevated Federal spending levels to obscene and unsustainable levels.
Historically, I have not been a Pat Buchannan supporter or fan. But this article is pure gold.
If Buchannan were to throw his hat in the ring, this article would almost be enough to get my vote.
I should have said: Apply the 5% taxation to all levels of income as a base minimum including the value of welfare payments and then reduce the salaries of all non-military federal employees by 5%. Now, this would be a little painful, but not excruciating and would allow movement out of this abyss that we currently find ourselves.
WWCHD? (What Would CLark Howard Do)?
What you found are contemporary, modern meanings of the word. The word in its Greek root (taken over into Latin), idiota, simply means someone uninformed, uneducated. It did not in itself mean stupid or mentally deformed etc.For Brooks, I would add "asinine" from the latin asinus for "ass" or "donkey" -- a fitting word for a RINO who is more like a Democrat -- the donkey party...
Brooks is not stupid or retarded. Hes just sadly uninformed, naive. Idiot. Poster-boy for idiots around the world.
TEA: TAXED ENOUGH ALREADY Remember it!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Hillary will just give more to the Muslim outreach programs and cook stoves for Africans, or maybe more fancy new limos for the state department.
I love that line!
I see Mr (Ms?) Brooks has finally managed to chew through the remaining restraints on hiR expression and behavior.
Neither is he merely uniformed or naïve.
He's just plain nuts.
What school of economic thought — Keynesian, supply-side or monetarist — says raising taxes in a slumping economy is the recipe for a return to prosperity? There is no such school.
There is such a school in the wacky world of Krugman.
No, they are not.
Other than bureaucrats, whose life would be changed if tomorrow the Departments of Energy, Education and Commerce were dissolved? How much tax money would be saved?
The DC establishment needs the government open to keep their fat posteriors fed.
The fed should start planning which departments will be closed.
Start with education and work from there.