LOS ANGELES, November 26, 2012 ― Politics is high stakes poker and Kenny Rogers reminded us all decades ago to “know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em.”
Republicans may be on the verge of folding for the next generation.
The debt ceiling standoff is again centered around whether the George W. Bush tax cuts should be extended or allowed to expire on January 3, 2013. President Obama wants to extend the tax cuts for Americans making less than $250,00 per year, while Congressional Republicans want to extend them across the board. Despite railing against the upper income tax cuts in 2010, President Obama extended them anyway. In the name of “compromise,” Republicans are being told to “work with” the president and let the tax cuts expire.
The only rational response for Republicans on this is to fight the Democrats to the death.
The first aspect of this conflict is one of political equivalency. President Obama won the election. So did congressional Republicans. He deeply believes in higher taxes on the “rich.” Republicans are against raising taxes on anyone in a fragile economy.
The next layer to this deadlock is political. In 1990, it was a Democratic Congress led by Tom Foley that pressured President George Herbert Walker Bush to undermine Reaganomics and raise taxes. Two years after saying “Read my lips. No new taxes,” President Bush broke his word. He was praised by Walter Mondale and the New York Times as a model of compromise. What was his reward? When he ran for reelection, Democrats properly called him a liar. Democrats pushed for the tax hikes. Republicans were like Charlie Brown trying to kick the football. The Democrats acting like Lucy, snatched the ball away, and won as the best party on taxes and trust.
A third element of this situation has to do with who has compromised and who is holding up a deal.
According to veteran reporter Bob Woodward, a prior budget deal was blown up at the last minute when Obama reneged and demanded more. He broke his word. Additionally, he has resorted to very uncivil language, referring to Republicans as “hostage” takers. Republicans have already compromised, while Obama has refused to bend.
In 2001, Republicans won the general argument. President Bush wanted to cut taxes, while Democrats were trying to limit the size and scope of the cuts. In exchange for the tax cuts, a sunset provision was agreed upon. That is compromise.
In 2012, the argument is already left of center. Republicans are not trying to cut taxes. They are simply trying to prevent Democrats from raising them. Conservatives have already drifted from conservative dogma.
Obama has not moved an inch. Emboldened by his reelection, he has claimed that if Republicans do not allow taxes to rise on the “wealthy,” then it will be their fault if everyone faces higher taxes in 2013.
This is false. Obama could extend all of the Bush tax cuts, but he adamantly refuses to do so. He is the inflexible ideologue posing as the reasonable statesman. He speaks about spending cuts, but has never offered a single cut in any domestic, discretionary, or entitlement program. President Obama has never cut anything non-military. He wants higher taxes and spending which must be stopped.
Republicans have compromised. They have offered to close loopholes, which would cause many Americans, especially the affluent, to pay more taxes without marginal rate increases. Loopholes should not exist anyway. Loopholes by definition alone are ways of legally gaming the system. Yet closing loopholes is not good enough for Obama. He is simply hell-bent on higher tax rates based on his leftist ideological beliefs.
Obama claims that Republicans are “hostages” (he loves that word) to Grover Norquist, but it is Obama who is hostage to himself.
So why should Republicans fight to the death? Why not just let the Bush tax cuts expire? The answer is simple: Supply-siders like Grover Norquist and Steve Moore of the Wall Street Journal are right. President Obama is wrong. Those who wish to call this argument subjective face one major weakness.
President Obama has claimed that raising taxes on the rich is an issue of “fairness.” He claims it is “the right thing to do.” What he has never done, not one time, is utter the phrase that he knows to be false. He will not say that raising taxes is good policy.
Supply-siders do not support tax cuts because of zealotry, racism, or any other leftist-inspired canards of manufactured intolerance. Cutting taxes in a weak economy is good policy. Raising them is bad policy.
Either the Republican Party stands for something, or it deserves to go the way of the Whigs. Many Republicans are divided over social issues. Ron Paul and Gary Johnson Libertarians disagree with the Neocons on foreign policy. Yet the one issue that unites virtually all Republicans is economics. Raising taxes is terrible policy.
President Obama and his supporters will speak of “coming together” with one side of their mouths and calling Republicans racist, sexist, bigoted, homophobic Tea Party evildoers with the other side. What all Tea Partiers, Libertarians, Constitutionalists, mainstream conservatives, and moderate Republicans agree on is wanting a stronger economy.
They all know raising taxes is economic suicide in this climate.
Republicans should work with Obama and reach agreements where areas of agreement exist. Compromise when merited should happen. Yet compromise is not always good. If everybody favors destructive policies, then harmony should take a back seat to destruction.
President Obama will try to make this personal, but this is the heart of policy. Congressional Republicans must fight to the death to extend the Bush tax cuts. Failure to do so will destroy the party of Abraham Lincoln and wreak havoc on an economy already under siege from increased regulations, more spending, and higher taxes, known collectively as Obamanomics.
Brooklyn born, Long Island raised, and now living in Los Angeles, Eric Golub is a politically conservative columnist, blogger, author, public speaker, satirist and comedian. Eric is the author of the book trilogy “Ideological Bigotry, “Ideological Violence,” and “Ideological Idiocy.”
Eric is 100% alcohol, tobacco, drug, and liberalism free. Follow Eric on Twitter @TYGRRRREXPRESS
Eric Golub is an independent writer for the Communities. Read more from Eric at TYGRRRR EXPRESS
Read more: Israel, Palestinians, and a Hostess Twinkie Gaza solution | Washington Times Communities
Follow us: @wtcommunities on Twitter
This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ WashingtonTimes.com. Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.