Skip to comments.A Dime's Worth Of Difference? (Liberal Republicans Say "NON!" To Tax Cuts)
Posted on 07/11/2004 9:26:00 PM PDT by goldstategop
An important and serious argument is going on in Washington about whether taxes on Americans' incomes should stay where they are or dramatically rise, and whether government spending should continue its accelerating growth. We know what Democrats think. They despise tax cuts and believe government spending should be higher. Washington Republicans, on the other hand, are unsure of themselves. They used to be for lower taxes and smaller government; now they seem to want bigger spending even if it means higher taxes, abandoning Reagan conservatism for '60s liberalism. In other words, this is a battle for the heart of the Republican Party; the outcome matters, and it seems to be in doubt. With the help of three liberal Republicans (Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins of Maine and Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island), and one who should know better (John McCain of Arizona), the Senate, with 51 votes, adopted a rule that if passed in the House will end all the Bush tax cuts and ensure that no new ones are enacted.
(Excerpt) Read more at opinionjournal.com ...
One thing is for sure: today's Republican Party isn't Ronald Reagan's Party. They worship the Gipper by being for everything he was against.
Those who wish to raise taxes are not republicans, but then again, what about those who won't cut spending, or at least freeze it?
Wait, I was confusing republicans and conservatives, sorry.
I just can't figure people like Chaffee. They're not socially conservative, and they sure as heck aren't fiscally conservative, so what makes them want to be in the GOP?
And he's currently our party's leader.
This, along with Bush's assault on the First Amendment, are among the many reasons I don't support him. I don't support Big Stupid Government politicians, period.
Once they used to mean the same thing. The GOP today seems content to breed more Democrats with government handouts so it can quickly get back into the minority again. Its not too much of a stretch to say they liked it better when they asked Democrats for crumbs from the table. <sarcasm
Class envy. Liberal Pubbies look down on the great unwashed in the Democratic Party with horror. They like liberalism with champagne & brie.
Then you'll love John F*ckin.' He'll take Big Government where it hasn't gone before.
This bunch just wants to raise taxes; the "balanced budget" thing is just a sham argument to achieve that goal.
The GOP is no longer the party of limited government.
That legacy seems to have died with Reagan.
How many times have GOP leaders proposed real spending reductions and elimination of unneeded government programs??
When you consider past government "projections" on spending underestimate the actual cost by 300 or 400%, I wouldn't be surprised to see this 550 billion dollar medicare bill end up costing $2 trillion this decade.
Biggest budget EVER, and new entitlements piling on every day...
Yep. The interest of Democrats in cutting the deficit is to leave more money available for social spending programs to dear to their hearts. It has nothing to do with shrinking the size of government or giving people greater choices. Too bad the RINOs don't seem to grasp that cutting the deficit on the Democrats' terms will NOT lead to smaller government.
How about http://www.constitutionparty.com?
They tried in the early days before Clinton killed them by demagoging them to death over the government shutdown. The GOP learned voters love small government rhetoric but want their handouts left well enough alone. So it has backed off from its once grand aim of putting the welfare state out of business.
The talk like Reagan and govern like under LBJ. Odd but true.
both parties need to be put out of business then
Congressional gridlock is far preferable to "limited government" Republicans.
Here's the full article:
A Dime's Worth of Difference?
Four Republican senators are determined to raise your taxes.
BY PETE DU PONT
Monday, July 12, 2004 12:01 a.m. EDT
An important and serious argument is going on in Washington about whether taxes on Americans' incomes should stay where they are or dramatically rise, and whether government spending should continue its accelerating growth. We know what Democrats think. They despise tax cuts and believe government spending should be higher. Washington Republicans, on the other hand, are unsure of themselves. They used to be for lower taxes and smaller government; now they seem to want bigger spending even if it means higher taxes, abandoning Reagan conservatism for '60s liberalism. In other words, this is a battle for the heart of the Republican Party; the outcome matters, and it seems to be in doubt.
With the help of three liberal Republicans (Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins of Maine and Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island), and one who should know better (John McCain of Arizona), the Senate, with 51 votes, adopted a rule that if passed in the House will end all the Bush tax cuts and ensure that no new ones are enacted.
Pay as you go, or "Paygo," is a budgeting rule requiring any revenue lost as the result of a tax cut, or spent through the enactment of new entitlement programs, to be paid for either by raising other federal taxes or reducing other federal entitlement spending. Paygo rules don't apply to the growth of existing entitlement programs; they increase automatically every year. Social Security grows about 5% annually, and it is exempt. Medicare grows about 9%, Medicaid about 7%; they and President Bush's new drug benefit can all continue to grow without limitation. Existing entitlement programs total about $1.3 trillion in annual spending, and are expected to double in the next 10 years. They are all unaffected by Paygo, on autopilot.
But tax cuts aren't exempt. Under the Senate's Paygo the existing Bush tax cuts would one by one expire over the next few years unless they get 60 votes in the Senate. New tax cuts would require 60 votes to pass unless accompanied by equivalent spending reductions. So entitlements like Social Security or Medicare would have to absorb very large reductions to pay for tax cuts. Obviously that would cause political pain and suffering, helping Senate Democrats reach their goal of making sure that tax cuts never happen and higher government spending always happens.
In March Paygo came before the House. It fell just one vote short of passage, in part because members couldn't agree on including or excluding tax cuts. Then last month came an effort to put in place some other spending controls. Appropriations subcommittee chairmen threatened to remove pork-barrel projects from the district of any congressman who voted yes. Considering that the 2004 highway bill contained 3,000 hometown projects costing $10 billion--bridges, horse trails, museums, garages--in hundreds of congressional districts, that's a real threat. One might conclude that House Republicans are moving towards FDR's Harry Hopkins view that "we shall tax and tax, spend and spend, and elect and elect."
At the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue there is White House opposition to the tax-cut portion of Paygo, for the president's men understand that would be the end of economy-expanding tax cuts. There is lip service to applying it to spending, and no wonder. The Bush administration has been the biggest-spending presidency in 40 years--since Lyndon Johnson. Overall spending has grown from 18.4% to 20.2% of gross domestic product. Some of that is post-9/11 defense spending, but nondefense discretionary spending has grown 43% since President Clinton left office. The administration championed an $86 billion farm subsidy bill, a huge education expenditure increase for the No Child Left Behind program, and the $534 billion health care and prescription drug bill signed into law last December.
Make no mistake about how Paygo would be applied in the future: a 60-vote majority, very difficult to muster, would be needed to continue the Bush tax cuts when they begin to expire in 2005 and 2006. But on the spending side we have already seen that Paygo would regularly be waived. Three times since the four liberal Republicans ensured its adoption, each has voted to waive another 60-vote requirement for new spending programs, including a $35 billion entitlement expansion for disabilities education. How do you suppose they will vote if John Kerry is elected and pushes his $653 billion catastrophic care insurance plan?
Paygo is simply a plan to raise taxes back to the pre-Bush level (or higher) and make sure they are not reduced in the future. That enough Republicans would vote for Paygo to ensure Senate passage recalls third-party 1968 presidential candidate George Wallace's suspicion that when it comes to money, "there's not a dime's worth of difference" between Democrats and Republicans.
If the Paygo battle allows that to become a truth, the Republican Party won't matter much any more.
Mr. du Pont, a former governor of Delaware, is policy chairman of the Dallas-based National Center for Policy Analysis. His column appears once a month.