Skip to comments.Who's Afraid of the Fiscal Cliff?
Posted on 11/27/2012 6:09:47 AM PST by Kaslin
Were the average Republican asked for a succinct statement of his views on taxation, he or she might respond thus:
"U.S. tax rates are too high for the world we must compete in. The tax burden -- federal, state, local, together -- is too heavy. We need to cut tax rates to free up our private and productive sector and pull this economy out of the ditch."
This core conviction holds the party together.
Yet today the leadership is about to abandon this conviction to sign on to higher tax rates or revenues, while the economy is nearing stall speed. Yet, two years ago, President Obama himself extended the Bush tax cuts because, he said, you do not raise taxes in a recovering economy.
Why are Republicans negotiating this capitulation?
Because they have been warned that if they do not sign on to a tax hike, they will take us all over a fiscal cliff.
If we go over, Republicans are being told, you will be responsible for tax hikes on all Americans as the Bush tax cuts expire on Jan. 1.
You will be responsible for a surge in tax rates on dividends, interest, capital gains, estates.
You will be responsible for an automatic sequester catastrophic to the national defense.
This is the pistol Obama is pointing at the GOP. This is extortion.
Republicans are being told that they either vote for something they believe to be wrong and ruinous -- or get something worse. Pay the ransom, fellas, Obama is demanding, or take the blame for a second recession.
Like the Panama Canal debate that made Ronald Reagan a hero, this is a defining moment. No GOP senator who agreed to the Carter-Torrijos treaty ever made it onto a national ticket.
What are the perils for Republicans who sign on to an Obama deal?
They will sever themselves permanently from much of the base of the party. While their votes may ensure that tax rates or revenues rise, they will have no assurance that the promised spending cuts will ever be made. Even Reagan fell victim to this bait-and-switch.
Then, if the tax hikes slow the economy, Republican collaborators will share the blame. Not only will they have gone back on their word, they will have damaged the recovery. What would be their argument for re-election?
If you believe higher tax rates or tax revenues would be like poisoning an already weak economy, why would you collaborate in administering that poison? Why not just say no?
Having lost the presidency and seats in both houses, Republicans should not partner with a president with whom they disagree on principle.
They should act as the loyal opposition in a parliamentary system whose duty it is to oppose, to offer an alternative agenda and to wait upon the success or failure of the government, as Labor is doing in Britain and the conservatives are doing in France.
What should Speaker John Boehner do?
Tell the president politely that America's problem is not that we are taxed too little but that we spend too much -- and the GOP will not sign on either to tax rate or tax revenue increases. For Republicans believe that would further injure the economy -- especially an economy limping along at between 1 and 2 percent growth.
Then Boehner should depart the White House, go back up to the Hill and urge his Republican caucus to do two things.
Pass an extension of the Social Security payroll tax cut and block its automatic rise from 4.2 percent of wages to 6.2 percent. To raise that tax now and scoop off the discretionary income of most of America's families in this anemic economy makes no sense economically or politically.
The House should then vote to extend the Bush tax cuts for another year, with a pledge to do tax reform -- lowering tax rates in return for culling, cutting or capping deductions for the well-to-do in the new year.
Then let Harry Reid work his will. If the Senate votes to let Social Security taxes rise, let Harry and his party explain this to the middle class that gets hammered in January. If the Senate votes to let the Bush tax cuts lapse for those over $200,000, decide in the caucus whether to negotiate -- or to go home for Christmas and New Year's.
As for the automatic sequester that would impose $100 billion in cuts next year, half in defense, do nothing. Let it take effect. The budget has to be cut, and while these cuts are heavy on defense, the depth and mixture can be adjusted in the new year.
If Republicans walk away from tax negotiations with the White House, market investors, anticipating a sharp rise in tax rates on dividends, interest and capital gains next year, will start dumping stocks, bonds and investments to take advantage of the last year of lower taxes.
The market may tank. Let the party of high taxes explain it.
The demo rats are in charge, this cliff is their problem. Let the nation and the whole world see what the democrat paradise looks like. Let the whole damned thing collapse around the collective shoulders of democrats and RINOs. Itstimw the young, the black, the elites finally get what they’ve been cosmogony for. To hell with all of them.
Sometimes Pat Buchanan still makes sense.
I was alive, I think, and I don't remember much change.
...LETS TAKE THE DIVE AND SEE WHAT HAPPENS...
AT this rate the GOP will not see a bump in 2014
Let me rewrite that last sentence with auto correct turned off
It’s time the young, the black and the elite get what they’ve been clamoring for
Import control. Either other countries buy from America, or we stop buying their stuff.
It’s a simple choice, which needs to be made.
I say we should go for it. Floor it and let’s see who blinks first.
Fission nuclear reactors, the kind most commonly used to generate electric power throughout the world, have a control mechanism, when the reaction mass gets too energized, and it looks like a runaway nuclear event is about to take place, in which graphite rods, poised above the reaction chamber, are rammed into the middle of that fissile core, absorbing the rapid accumulation of neutrons, and slowing down the process of nuclear decay to manageable levels, then the cooling flood of ordinary water may be used to stop the operation altogether. There is a red button in the middle of the control panel, commonly called the “scram” button.
Getting close to time to hit the “scram” button, wouldn’t you say?
Or, analyze until you paralyze, then apologize.
If there is anybody left to accept the apology.
We’ve already hit the cliff.
We’re living month to month, borrowing each month to pay the bills. Its the equivalent of living in a trailer park, with a brand new corvette in driveway, and going to the payday loan store to keep the cable tv on.
At best, the democrats are ‘offering’ $1 trillion in cuts...over 10 years! Drop in the bucket stuff.
The political class will work out a ‘deal’ that puts us further in debt each month, while simultaneously slowing down the economy through higher taxes. There will be lots of drama, etc....but we already know the end result.
We’re already falling off the cliff...its just that none of the ‘really smart’ people know it yet.
Yep. Pat Buchanan makes sense about 90+% of the time. Including this time.
Exactly correct Pat!
“They will sever themselves permanently from much of the base of the party.”
Bzzzt, wrong. How many blind, party-line, return to the trough voters are there for both sides of the aisle? Plenty.
The problem isn’t anything being touted by anyone out there. The problem is the idiocy of the electorate in this country.
Furthermore, the talk of secession has nothing to do with who won and who lost. We want to secede from stupid.
Can’t swim? Are you kidding me? The fall will probably kill ya!
OK, let’s go!
11/13/2012 9:13:00 AM
What now, conservatives? Relax, we’re winning the war
Not too long ago I wrote a column about how dynamic and vigorous the conservative movement in this country was and how quickly it was morphing into the most potent American political force of the young century.
The conservative wave of the future, I called it.
At first blush, looking at last Tuesdays election results, it looks as if my prognosis was just a hair off, having missed the mark by about a century. On Wednesday, the conservative movement lay seemingly battered on the shore, looking less like a tidal wave than a wrecked ship run aground by a tsunami.
Thats exactly what the mainstream media called it in the wake of President Obamas re-election. The presidents expansive electoral army of 2008, they intoned, was not a one-time deal after all but a durable coalition capable of dominating American politics for a generation or more.
To hear the tale, the Republican Party has lost everyone in the country except old, white men. Minorities, women, the young, environmentalists, urban liberals this is the alliance of victory and of the future.
I beg to differ. The election results notwithstanding, this analysis is deeply blinkered. Indeed, a close look at the returns indicates big trouble looming for the Democratic Party, not for the GOP.
No, I am not out in Colorado smoking newly legal weed. Consider this: Mr. Obamas durable coalition was considerably weaker this time around. As of Nov. 8, for example, the president had received about nine-million fewer votes than he did in 2008. Not all the ballots had been counted, and that number will shrink, but he clearly will receive substantially fewer votes than his remarkable 2008 total.
On the other side of the coin, the Democrats have their own growing racial problem their inability to attract white voters. Winning only 39 percent of 72 percent of the electorate gives the opposition 42 percent of the total vote from the get-go. That should give Democratic Party leaders pause because, given population trend lines, the proportion of white voters is likely to remain above 60 percent for at least the next 20 years.
None of this is to say the GOP doesnt have a minority conundrum. Any time you get less than 25 percent of the nonwhite vote, its a problem, and a growing one if the GOP cant make inroads into those constituencies.
So both parties have voting-bloc impediments beyond their respective foundations, but this begs the question, which is more likely to hold and enlarge its base?
That quite clearly would be the Republican Party. Lets take a look at why the mainstream media consensus is biased.
First, the voting blocs are mischaracterized. The Republican base is defined as a mass of old, white voters, while the Democratic Party is depicted as a broad and sweeping coalition. On Election night, for example, after exit polls were reviewed, ABC News blared out: Obamas winning coalition of women and nonwhites.
Look again, though, and there is no and in the mix. Mr. Obamas base is nonwhite voters and, as a practical matter, nonwhite voters only. Sure, radical white feminists, white urban liberals, young white college students and white environmentalists are there, but those activist pods represent a miniscule share of the voting population.
Yes, he does.
They need to ask Bill Clinton what to do about the economy. He said he spends two hours everyday thinking about it. Since he made that statement he’s spent around 1300 hours thinking. Surely he’s come up with a solution by now.
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