Skip to comments.GOP Bullied into a Tax Hike by President Obama and Senator Reid?
Posted on 05/13/2012 7:50:27 AM PDT by Kaslin
Last year, as part of the fight over the debt limit, Congress created a super-committee that was designed to produce at least $1.2 trillion of deficit reduction.
The statists saw this super-committee as a vehicle to seduce Republicans into a tax hike. They knew that some GOPers are perpetually gullible and would be susceptible to the siren song of a balanced approach even though that inevitably means higher taxes and never-fulfilled promises of future spending restraint.
But they also had a back-up plan. They got Republicans to agree that there would be automatic spending cuts known as sequestration if the super-committee failed to produce an agreement. And they convinced GOPers that half of these automatic cuts would come from the defense budget, even though military spending is only about one-fourth of total federal spending.
The left figured that the threat of a military sequester would scare some pro-defense GOPers into supporting a tax hike. Maybe not as part of the super-committee deliberations, but perhaps as we got closer to January 1, 2013, which is when the sequester was scheduled to take effect.
Well, the super-committee thankfully didnt reach an agreement because not enough Republicans were foolish enough to support a tax hike. But now the lefts back-up plan is being implemented. Senator Harry Reid, supported by the White House, is saying that the sequester will go into effect unless GOPers surrender to a tax hike. Heres some of what the Associated Press reported.
President Barack Obamas top Democratic ally in the Senate said Wednesday that he wont block much-feared automatic spending cuts to the Pentagon and Medicare providers from taking effect unless Republicans show more flexibility on cutting the budget deficit. Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said that $110 billion in automatic cuts coming due in January were designed to force both Republicans and Democrats to bargain over a balanced approach including tax increases The automatic cuts, known as a sequester, are the result of the failure of a deficit supercommittee to reach agreement last year. Republicans refused to be reasonable. They refused to raise even a penny of new revenue, or ask millionaires to contribute their fair share to help reduce our deficit and our debt, Reid said. It is their intransigence their refusal to compromise that leaves us facing the threat of the sequester, and its difficult but balanced cuts. Republicans controlling the House are seeking to undo the automatic cuts by substituting cuts to domestic programs like food aid, Obamas health care law and social services like Meals on Wheels. The White House proposed lifting the automatic cuts in its February budget, which called for tax increases on wealthier people and closing numerous tax breaks enjoyed by corporations. Even as Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has warned the sequester would lead to a hollowed out military, White House officials have taken a hard line against incremental efforts to switch off the cuts.
So we are facing a big game of chicken. Democrats are holding the defense budget hostage and telling Republicans they have to raise taxes.
GOPers should tell them to go jump in a lake. A defense sequester would not be the end of the world. Far from it.
All that being said, Im very sympathetic to Republicans who are seeking to replace some of the defense savings by trimming the growth of domestic programs.
After all, national defense is one of the few legitimate functions of the federal government. So even if the defense budget is bloated and the U.S. is wasting money on nation building, why not focus first on reducing and eliminating domestic programs that shouldnt exist?
But even if you dont care about the Constitution and enumerated powers, it certainly doesnt seem right to make one-fourth of the budget swallow one-half of the savings. Why not make the sequester apply equally to all parts of the budget?
Those are good questions, but theyre not relevant in the hard-ball world of Washington politics. The real issue is what Republicans will do if (and when) Democrats dont go along with the GOP plan. Will they then surrender to a tax hike?
That would be an unmitigated disaster. If the left knows that Republicans can be bullied into tax hikes by holding the defense budget hostage, then a tax hike today would simply be a down payment. Every time the statists want more money to feed a bloated welfare state, theyll simply tell GOPers that the only alternative is deep defense cuts.
Republicans have a reputation for being the stupid party. I guess well find out for sure if they allow themselves to get maneuvered into a tax hike. The first of many, by the way.
You noticed that during the so called ‘debates’ no one asked Romney or the others to explain exactly what they would do with the automatic cuts and taxes in January?
They all got away with claiming they would just cut taxes, raise military spending and cut the deficit using magic. You know what that means.....
“They all got away with claiming they would just cut taxes, raise military spending and cut the deficit using magic. You know what that means.....”
Yes....more lies. America needs a divorce from these clowns..
In a way, it gets both parties through the 2012 election. The GOP was terrified that Obama would veto until the govt. shut down and the GOP would get the blame.... again. Do you think voters are more responsible now than they were in 1996?
It's possible that the markets are factoring in tax hikes. If it closes below 13700 today, that will be the first time it has gone down there in a while.
Typo, should be 12700. The averages went up some since I posted the first time.