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For GOP, Losing Might Be the Only Way To Win
Townhall.com ^ | November 29, 2012 | David Harsanyi

Posted on 11/29/2012 6:50:05 AM PST by Kaslin

According to a new ABC News/Washington Post poll, 73 percent of Democrats and 63 percent of independents -- and even 39 percent of Republicans -- now favor raising taxes on those making $250,000 or more a year. So give the people want they want.

As it is, the GOP is engaged in an unwinnable scrum with Barack Obama, a man chasing the gold-plated Holy Grail of hiking top marginal tax rates on the rich and small businesses -- bringing in, according to the Congressional Budget Office, a few days' worth of revenue. Concede the Bush-era tax rate (though you wonder what the president is going to talk about for the next four years) and move past the cliff.

So says Tom Cole, Republican congressman from Oklahoma. "Some people think that's our leverage in the debate," he told fellow members. "It's the Democrats' leverage in the debate." House Speaker John Boehner quickly shut down this scandalous talk, but really, other options are even more distasteful.

There is no chance of a "balanced approach" on debt when you have no leverage. If these Republicans, unprepared for political warfare at this level, lose a game of fiscal cliff chicken, they will take the blame for across-the-board tax hikes. Obama won't be held culpable for holding the economy hostage over some piddling revenue from the rich. He won't be blamed for the ensuing recession. The media will be too busy investigating obstructionism and applauding the president's gleaming new tax plan.

Having already largely conceded that taxes will be raised, a wide-ranging bipartisan deal on debt made under duress has no upside for Republicans -- either as policy or politics. It would entail surrendering genuine reform on entitlements, which is worse than a tax increase. Obama, Harry Reid and Dick Durbin have already indicated that Social Security reform should not be part of any fiscal cliff deal. Durbin even falsely claimed that Social Security does "not add one penny to the debt." And any Medicare reform is treated as if the GOP were proposing geriatricide.

Moreover, even if a watered-down bipartisan "solution" was struck, Democrats would then be able to use Republicans as human shields against any blowback, while, simultaneously, the president would be taking full credit for enacting a middle-class tax cut he had nothing to do with.

The American people? They'll still be staring at a dangerous debt crisis.

So even though raising taxes is a terrible idea, clearing the deck of one of the most effective political distractions ever concocted, the Bush-era tax rate, allows the GOP to recalibrate a debate they've been losing for four years.

This week the president said, "Our ultimate goal is an agreement that gets our long-term deficit under control in a way that is fair and balanced." A few years before, when he promised to cut the deficit in half, Obama claimed that "this will not be easy. It will require us to make difficult decisions and face challenges we've long neglected."

So what are these hard decisions?

Republicans have already offered at least two detailed plans. One from Sen. Pat Toomey and another one more recently from Sen. Bob Corker -- which offers some reforms on Social Security, new revenue and a cap on itemized deductions after $50,000. Democrats? They've balked on spending cuts. Balked on entitlement reform. What's left? A value added tax? A carbon tax? What's left after the rich pay their "fair share"?

What's left for Republicans is a fight over tax and entitlement reform that could make Obama's victory today mean far less tomorrow.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Editorial; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: jobsandeconomy; millionairestax; republicans; taxes

1 posted on 11/29/2012 6:50:13 AM PST by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

No, it’s a trap. Republicans caving will enrage their base, so less R’s are reelected. D’s will blame R’s for our problems NO MATTER WHAT THEY DO. Dem voters memories are short so anything that is done now will not help us in the future. This whole tax increase is nothing but a way for liberals to win elections.


2 posted on 11/29/2012 6:54:07 AM PST by jdsteel (Give me freedom, not more government.)
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To: Kaslin
favor raising taxes on those making $250,000 or more a year. So give the people want they want.

Why the hell would anyone give more money to someone with who is a spending addict?

You wouldn't.

You'd take away their credit card, their access to bank accounts, and their access to any kind of equity. You'd dig up the gold in the back yard and hide it in a new location.

You would NOT give them extra cash on top of the cash they already have!

Paraphrasing Carville,

It's the spending, stupid!

3 posted on 11/29/2012 6:57:32 AM PST by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It! True supporters of our troops pray for their victory!)
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To: Kaslin
Just let the Bush Tax Cuts expire for everyone and then the GOP can take the blame, as they already would, but Obama will have broken his promise not to allow those making under $250k pay more taxes.

The GOP can always campaign on Obama allowed taxes to go up on everyone for a measly $80 billion a year and no deficit reductions because we know there won't be any, even with the higher taxes.

4 posted on 11/29/2012 7:01:29 AM PST by tobyhill
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To: jdsteel

Change the subject:

Bring back American jobs, then and only then we will discuss raising taxes.

Right now we are proposing raising taxes, while our economy is shrinking.


5 posted on 11/29/2012 7:02:12 AM PST by Cringing Negativism Network
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To: Kaslin

Idiotic. The GOP’s position on taxes should be simple and crystal clear: no tax increases on anyone ever. If that ultimately proves unpopular, and they get outvoted, then at least everyone should know that the GOP had nothing to do with it. But as long as they have enough votes to stop a tax increase, they should do it.

“Trading” a tax increase for entitlement reform is even more idiot than the tax increase by itself. The entitlement programs are Democratic creatures — let them worry about how to keep them solvent . . . without any new “revenue”.


6 posted on 11/29/2012 7:04:30 AM PST by Behind the Blue Wall
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To: Kaslin
The GOP court eunuchs will cave in to Obama's tax increases in exchange for vague spending cuts that will never happen. The US debt will be further down graded while Obama borrows a few trillion more from China. The tax hikes will hit nearly a million small businesses that file their business taxes on personal returns and add to job losses and further stagnation of the US economy. The middle class will get clobbered by new taxes such as increased federal gasoline taxes, Obmacare taxes and a VAT or carbon tax. Welcome to Obama's tax hell.

I do not expect to see the US return to its former prosperity in my lifetime if ever. I'm beginning to think it would be better off to just join the takers and stand in line for my free Obama phone and other government handouts than to work hard or run a business just to pay more taxes.

7 posted on 11/29/2012 7:04:56 AM PST by The Great RJ
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To: Kaslin

Is there any way to get these “people” to do a lemming march into the shark-filled sea?


8 posted on 11/29/2012 7:05:17 AM PST by Hardraade (http://junipersec.wordpress.com (Vendetta))
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To: Kaslin
here's a better story ~ according to a poll conducted by Muawiyah and associates just 505 people shy of 100% agree to a totally ruinous tax on the Washington Post sufficient to strip them to their skivies (but no more).

Anything that says WarshPost and ABC probably ought to be ignored ~ it's all propaganda.

9 posted on 11/29/2012 7:18:16 AM PST by muawiyah
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To: Kaslin
now favor raising taxes on those making $250,000 or more a year.

Fine. Start with entertainers, first.

10 posted on 11/29/2012 7:20:50 AM PST by dfwgator
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To: Kaslin

Let the dems own it - the republicans ought to vote present and let the dems own it. This should be our only strategy right now - when the “chickens come home to roost” the republicans can say - you own it - it’s yours. (whatever!)

It’s time to hit bottom and then rise from the ashes later. Republicans - detach and let the dems go to it. Later when they are forced to raise taxes on the “middle class” to pay for their endless entitlements, maybe some people will wake up.


11 posted on 11/29/2012 7:36:01 AM PST by stonehouse01 (Equal rights for unborn women)
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To: stonehouse01

egg-zackly.

when it all falls apart, republicans will be blamed.
So why not do the right thing?

yodeling over the fiscal cliff...let’s go!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QqMVjsaGEZo


12 posted on 11/29/2012 7:37:29 AM PST by TurboZamboni (Looting the future to bribe the present)
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To: stonehouse01

I disagree.

I say advocate strongly for America.

Build her stronger, and take her side every day.


13 posted on 11/29/2012 7:38:36 AM PST by Cringing Negativism Network
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To: Kaslin

Analyze the options open to the Republicans:
A - Do nothing.
B - Go along with the Democrats.
C - Oppose the Democrats.
D - Vote “Present”.
E - Attack the Democrats.

The first mistake we make is believing that the Democrats see the world as we do. They don’t. Do you think Harry Reid hasn’t passed a budget in three years because he’s lazy? No! He hasn’t passed a budget because then people could point to it and show how the Democrats are violating the budget. The Democrats don’t care at all about the budget or the country. Some will think that’s just political talk. It’s not. I used to be a Democrat. What the Democrat LEADERSHIP cares about is themselves and the Democrat party. Quit trying to attack the Democrat voters. It’s the leaders we need to beat. How can we hazard THE DEMOCRAT PARTY on this issue?


14 posted on 11/29/2012 8:05:46 AM PST by blueunicorn6 ("A crack shot and a good dancer")
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To: Cringing Negativism Network

“I say advocate strongly for America..”

So do I - at this point the only strategy left to advocate strongly for America is to let the dems own it - Once they destroy the economy we can build her strongly. This is taking her side - it is a stealth battle plan.

Like addicts in denial, the entitlement people will never understand reasonable logic (with the enabling help of the MSM) until they experience actual consequences. Explanations do not work anymore - Maybe they will understand that they killed the proverbial golden goose when the EBT cards come up declined ...


15 posted on 11/29/2012 8:06:25 AM PST by stonehouse01 (Equal rights for unborn women)
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To: xzins

Someone in my paper said that 90% of small businesses earn less than $250,000 a year. Ignoring that 10% DO! My guess is that that ten percent employee a heck of a lot of people, perhaps more than the 90%? The Buffets are out to suppress the up and coming companies.


16 posted on 11/29/2012 8:29:58 AM PST by RobbyS (Christus rex.)
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To: xzins

The US has smoked Osama’s hopiem and with a compliant media no way the repubs can sober them up. Any addict needs to hot bottem and face reality. The only force able to rub reality into the publics face is the markets. They are immune to hopium. Give Obama what he wants. Settle for $500 grand a year and up. Hell their mostly coastal and voted for Obama anyway let him take their money. The last thing traders want to see is some half assed tax increase with no progress on entitlements or restraint on Obamacare. Interest rates on our paper will rise. Equities will get hit. GDP and hiring will go south. Let the dims own this. If your opponent is lighting himself on fire stand back.


17 posted on 11/29/2012 8:53:06 AM PST by Blackirish
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To: stonehouse01

Hey that’s my post..Ha


18 posted on 11/29/2012 8:55:02 AM PST by Blackirish
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To: Blackirish

“Hey that’s my post”

Great minds think alike!

Also - I just listened to Rush’s first segment and he is apparently thinking this way too - he said let the dems drive the car over the cliff and let’s not be in the car - or have any republican fingerprints on the whole deal for later in. Right now we have to think long (er) term - the election has forced this position - it is the reality now. The time to try to stop it is over (for now).


19 posted on 11/29/2012 9:48:35 AM PST by stonehouse01 (Equal rights for unborn women)
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To: All

We all know what will happen, don’t we.


20 posted on 11/29/2012 2:08:25 PM PST by Terry Mross (I haven't watched the news since the election. Someone ping me if anything big happens.)
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To: dfwgator
Start with entertainers, first.

This is precisely why the GOP should cave on the tax rate increases.

As part of the bill, you set the S Corps and family farms free of peoples' personal tax forms and give them a flat tax rate of 15% on net profits.

Small business and family farms would then be completely unaffected. The fact they are tied to personal income tax rates presently is WHY the GOP is standing tall in this saddle. A crafty entrepreneur is still going to plow money back into the business and can easily duck any tax increase.

Actors and Entertainers, on the other hand ... get fully soaked.

Where is the loss here to anyone once you set the small businesses free? Its not like middle class Republicans give a crap about people making $40M per movie. Tax the crap out of them. Make them put their money where their mouths are.

Show me where this loses or is a bad idea, people.

21 posted on 11/29/2012 3:11:41 PM PST by superloser
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To: Blackirish
If your opponent is lighting himself on fire stand back.

I do not disagree with you. My concern is that it will trigger a depression. In a depression, FDR was able to use extraordinary powers, and especially when war came to pass.

Internment camps were without due process for Japanese Americans in WWII, and they'll be wrong for WWIII, too, but the question is, "Who will be the inmates?"

22 posted on 11/29/2012 4:45:38 PM PST by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It! True supporters of our troops pray for their victory!)
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