It is becoming more apparent by the day, that the leader of the Republican Party, Speaker of the House John Boehner, plans to cut a deal with President Obama to raise taxes on top wage earners on the backs of Democrats in the House, with most Republicans voting against such a measure.
This is not only a mistake of principal, but should be viewed as political malpractice. Malpractice that requires that we let Mr. Boehner go. When you have to vote against the majority of your own party and join the other side, something might be wrong. That is not to say, something is automatically wrong, but you have to wonder whether you are getting what you pay for. House Republicans are not. Here are five reasons why.
5.) DC politics, especially in 2012, is a winner-take-all blood sport. Handing Obama a victory on raising taxes not only gives Obama a badly-needed political victory now, but also gives D’s cover in the 2014 midterms when they defend tax raises that actually decrease federal tax dollars. This hurts the Republican brand. We are suppossed to be the stop gap against the Democrat crusade to raise your taxes. If we can't even stop tax increases, what is are party for? Is it simply an extension of the beliefs of its leaders? Or do we represent something more, something timeless -- that Republicans won't raise your taxes.
4.) Boehner is failing to get the tax reform that republicans need to feel right about raising rates or cutting off deductions. Republicans don’t owe Obama anything following his 2012 election. Republicans held onto the House and can therefore write their own fate. If a deal is to be made, it can’t be because John Boehner believes there is a mandate. This is a waste of time. The House needs to be about the people's business, not Obama's. To waste the nation’s time on raising taxes for Obama is an embarrasing exercise. A deal, if one is to be made, should only be the result of a greater good. So far, I’ve seen little to suggest a greater good here. What we should be looking for is tax or entitlement reform. Only a fool gives away something for nothing. Obama is salivating at the thought of raising taxes, if R's are going to go along, at least they could make it worth while.
3.) A politico story from yesterday sums it up:
“The lines are clear: Obama says a deal will not get done unless tax rates increase on top earners. Boehner says he’s opposed to tax rate increases on anyone. But in recent days, the options seem to have narrowed for republicans. Democrats have held firm on rate increases, while a few Republicans have slowly peeled away.”
The only reason Republicans are losing is because Obama has shown himself to be a man of conviction and principal on raising taxes while John Boehner has wavered in the wind. If you act like a loser, the American people will view you as a loser. D's smell blood in the water due to our weak leadership. This has to change.
2.) Losers don’t get leverage. Bob Corker is out there assuring Republicans that caving on this issue will win us political capital for the Debt Ceiling fight next year. Obama knows that victory breeds victory. Anyone who believe that the American people reward losers with support doesn’t understand the current electorate. Voters admire guts and they don’t reward squishy leaders. There is no leverage to be gained here by caving. The only thing Obama has ever respected is strength. And strength, is the only way to get leverage.
1.) Aside from the politics of this fight, raising taxes on the wealthy is bad for a recovery. While economists on the left have correctly pointed out that austerity measures are not the way to bounce back from a recession, it should also be pointed out that raising taxes on businesses and business owners is likewise a terrible penalty to put on recovering businesses. There may be many Americans who resent top wage earners, but there are a few things to remember about them. Top wage earners have more disposable income than any other tax bracket. When you take away their income, you restrict their ability to take risks, invest and spend. Rich people spend money. Whether they are taking vacations, buying lavish products or paying for services, this money trickles down to lower wage earners that need money to work. There is a method to the madness and penalizing successful people is not what it takes to pull us from recession.
Republicans have every reasons to go off the cliff right now -- it's good for Republicans, its good for unemployed Americans and it is good for the country. A deal right now, makes absolutely no sense.