Jeff G @ Protein Wisdom:
It’s an existential truism. And I have a feeling the GOP is preparing to do just that on tax hikes, else why play along with the hysterics of the “fiscal cliff” sham — even to the point of declaring that those of us who are against raising taxes on “the rich” are somehow less patriotic than those who, with the stroke of a pen, can simply pilfer what they want from whomever they want, with such theft having nothing to do with paying down debt (the $90 billion a year such a tax will take from the private sector is a fraction of the $1.3 trillion in deficit spending already built into the baseline budget) and everything to do with breaking down the middle class by killing the private sector economy. The net result being, of course, ever more people dependent on government because it means ever more people will fall into what the government calls “poverty” — which in turn means more people eligible for government entitlements, and thus more Democrat voters, who essentially will have been pushed into crashing their own society.
But better that then have the press call you obstructionists or try to pin the “new” recession that will follow on your pressed lapel, right Boehner and McCain and Graham and Corker, et al?
Still, I have to continue to make the point, if only so I can live with myself, knowing I did whatever I could to prevent the future my children will face. NetRightDaily, “Stepping over the tax cliff”:
Democrat Senators and President Obama have been spending a lot of time worrying about the so-called fiscal cliff, and you would think that they would be gushing with new ideas or even identified budget areas that could be cut.
But no, with the exception of Sen. Dick Durbin’s meek, entitlement discussion where he urged saving money but not changing anything about the program, little has been heard from Democrats beyond the standard demand that taxes be increased.
Into the breach, Republican Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Bob Corker (R-TN) broke ranks with other Republicans by announcing their support for plans to limit the total amount of tax deductions one can claim; effectively raising the amount of money some people would pay. In Corker’s case, he has even gone so far as to introduce legislation that would raise taxes by more than a trillion dollars over the next 10 years using a combination of a deduction cap and other manipulations that would throw more people into higher tax brackets.
To put the fiscal cliff into perspective, since 2007, federal government spending has increased by more than $800 billion to a total of $3.54 trillion. In that same year, the federal government received more than $2.5 trillion in revenues compared to just over $2.4 trillion in this past fiscal year 2012.
While revenues are down by about $113 billion since 2007, this is due almost entirely to the state of the economy, and not changes in the tax laws as the marginal tax rates paid by individuals have not changed since 2003.
However, federal government spending has changed since 2007. Between stimulus, bailouts, dramatically broadened eligibility requirements for SCHIP and other social safety net programs as well as the massive expansion of unemployment benefit eligibility, federal government spending is up by almost 30 percent since 2007.
The trillion-dollar budget deficit is almost entirely due to this spending splurge, and yet while Obama and the Democrats remain silent, Sen. Corker manages to put a massive tax increase on the table as the starting point for discussion without any agreed upon offsetting budget cuts.
This is not only bad negotiating strategy, it is terrible politics.
Add on to that equation, Sen. Graham’s demand that entitlements be included in order to get his vote for tax increases, Republicans now effectively own both the tax increase and any changes to Medicare that result from the negotiations.
It almost appears that if Obama and Harry Reid just remain silent for a few more days, Congressional Republicans in their zeal to negotiate against themselves in the media might give them the election victory that was denied when Republicans retained control of the House of Representatives.
Indeed. In fact, it’s almost as if the GOP establishment elects its leadership using the same criteria it does for promoting its presidential or congressional candidates: find the most feckless deal maker unburdened by principle and install him or her into power. That way, they can retain the votes of small government conservatives while enjoying the rewards of big government leftism that constantly defeats them. The lose in order to win — and we get played for suckers, and pay for the privilege.