Congressional Republicans should let Dems own the spending cliff and re-learn the English language
Before outlining what would be optimum tea partier conservative action by the House in response to the Obama/Reid-approved, "American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012", Senate fiscal cliff bill, passed less than three hours into A.D. 2013; let us get our New Year's bearings straight.
We now live at the bottom of the ravine, below the Fiscal Cliff, where the Clinton Era tax rates obtain. Even before 11:59pm December 31, 2012 turned into Midnight, the reality that the then-current law (passed in 2011) would revert 2013 income tax rates to those now in effect (and last in effect before the 2001 Bush tax cuts) meant that votes before or after the singing of Auld Lang Syne for bills maintaining the lower Bush Era-passed rates, even for less than all taxpayers, would in no way be a violation of any pledge not to raise taxes. That is, unless conservatives have chucked Merriam and Webster, in addition to government shutdown courage.
So can we stop the badgering of Republicans with claims any have or would vote for "tax increases", unless they support a bill that actually increases tax rates above those under current law? Please. The fiscal cliff ball is now back in Republicans' court, where a smart GOP leadership could easily craft a Plan FI(C)A that would make nervous conservative nellies forget the "horrors" of Plan B.
Let Obama and Democrats own the Spending Cliff
Firstly, forget about trying to impose spending cuts, just now, when we don't even have debt ceiling expiration- or other pending government shutdown-leverage. Not that these Republicans would have the courage to play chicken with any Democrat President, much less one like Barack Obama that welcomes such crises as opportunities for executive rule by fiat and/or political advantage and the country be damned.
Let the Democrats own the spending cliff which can't be prevented, in any event, given the selfish senior and near senior Baby Boomer electorate, even if Republicans had the courage to propose the benefit cuts and reforms required to prevent going over it. Even the weak Paul-tax collector for the bloated entitlement state-Ryan bill brought guffaws of horror from Florida during the 2012 election campaign. Yes, the sequestration cuts from defense are draconian, but this Commander-in-Chief won't use the military to save American lives anyway and we can always rebuild after the Muslim Brotherhood-lover serves out his constitutionally last term. Ok, so the Democrats own spending.
Secondly, must we now let them steal the tax issue and continue to defraud the poor and middle class as their purported champions? We don't have to.
This conservative's rule has always been to accept any and all tax cuts whenever the Democrats cave. The Senate Bill is a Democratic Party cave in to conservative Republican tea partier orthodoxy. Republicans need to learn how to accept victory, explain it to the jury and leave the courtroom.
Since the assassination of JFK, Democrats have opposed tax cuts en mass. Since 2001 they have opposed the Bush tax cuts and prevented them from ever being made permanent, which circumstance has always weakened the investment incentive of the rate cuts, given the sunset provisions and average length of time to realize profits on investments.
Now, just as the Senate Democrats and Obama have caved on the issue of permanence (which would require on-the-record- roll call votes to ever raise taxes in the future) in an attempt to re-cast the Bush tax rates as Obama tax cuts; some conservative voices would have Republicans be held responsible for smaller paychecks soon to be received by lower and middle-income workers for various and sundry reasons bearing no relation to the likelihood of bargaining for spending cuts, bottom-of-the-fiscal-cliff, or even English language realities.
Up the FICA tax ante and own the poor and middle class vote in 2014 and beyond
The better course for the House of Representatives would be to accept all of the Senate bill and up the ante by revealing how it conspicuously excludes maintaining 2012 payroll tax rate of 4.2%, knowing that current law reinstates the 6.2% Clinton rate on all lower and middle-income taxpayers, which increase will hurt the very taxpayers Democrats purport to "care" about. Two percent of a $50,000 salary is $1000/year.
Given a "trust fund" full of IOUs, the absence of any individual Social Security "lock box", and that federal income taxes and federal income-based FICA withholdings are commingled to pay current federal expenditures off all kinds; I have long argued for ending the "pension/insurance program" fraud, and FICA with it. I don't expect our timid GOP establishment to muster the courage for that argument just now; but surely they could, for once since the 2010 tea partier landslide, swing at one slow-pitched softball and beat the Democrats at their own class-envy game.
It's not a crime to champion the poor, the young and the middle class. So let's do it.
“One man with courage makes a majority.” – Andrew Jackson
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