So, the political chattering class is aghast that Eric Cantor and Jon Kyl have walked out of the Biden negotiations on the debt ceiling. Unless this is posturing to us the conservative “wingnuts” they have done the right thing. It is at this time I want to remind everyone of a little history.
We all remember George H.W. Bush’s “no new tax” pledge. We all remember him breaking the promise. Most objective observers on all sides concede his re election had he not broken that pledge. Why did he break it? Because of our debt and annual deficits. He was conned by the Democrats into believing they would cut spending if he agreed to the tax increases. He agreed and broke his pledge. The tax increases were on the front end of the five year budget he signed off on and the bulk of the proposed spending cuts were on the back end of the five year budget outlay.
The Democrats subsequent to this agreement used Bush’s broken pledge to defeat him and elect Bill Clinton. They succeeded and then promptly reneged on the spending cuts. Game.Set.Match.SUCKER!!!!!!!!
The prospect of some kind of tax increase in any agreement has been looming for a while. Personally, I’m of the belief that every budget approved is littered however marginally with tax increases or fees so in the end most members have voted for increases even if nominal in size. The statement today by Max Baucus that there must be a one to one ratio on cuts and tax increases is blatantly political at the expense of potential fiscal insolvency. It’s dramatically less than the unappealing “Deficit Commission” that proposed a 3-1 cut to increase ratio.
I am absolutely confident that Congressional Republicans will not vote for this absurd proposition. Boehner is correct that they don’t have the votes. Even if I thought Boehner was sympathetic to the proposal it would be his end politically. Moreover, Democrats would do to any tax increasing Republicans what they did to Bush 41 and use it to defeat them in 2012 as a wedge to get back the majority. Does anyone think they would follow through on the promised spending cuts if they reemerged in the majority after running against pledge breaking Republicans? No cuts and more spending. One more giant step into oblivion.
The stakes are too high to get weak kneed in the wake of partisan Presidential politics. Obama is betting he get enough squishy Repubs who don’t want to be blamed for a “default” will cave as the pressure mounts. Wait and see, but I’ve got a feeling they all know they’re being played for sucker. Obama is playing with fire and we must keep our guys’ feet to the fire. We can win this on the merits and achieve a public relations victory if we have the courage now as George Bush did not over twenty years ago. No new taxes.Not now.Not in a recession.Not when investors are afraid to invest.Not when the American people are willing to scale back Big Brother. To Congressional Republicans: Read our Lips, No New Taxes.