Friday, December 21, 2012

What Is Wrong With Republicans???

Who didn't watch with amusement yesterday as Republicans refused to vote for Boehner's bill to make permanent the Bush era tax cuts for all Americans earning less than $1 million per year. It would seem that the Keystone Cops are alive and well in the Republican wing of Congress. As Gerard van der Luen of American Digest is wont to say, "Republicans, they thirst for death."

Republicans have precisely zero leverage on tax rates. Come January 1, all of the Bush era tax cuts expire and all the tax rates will go up automatically - and quite unfairly, Republicans will get the blame. Moreover, the centerpiece of Obama's tax plan was to raise tax rates on "the rich." It is time to give the people what they voted for. If four years of gross economic incompetency wasn't enough to convince the electorate, well, let's let them have the next four years good and hard indeed. Obviously, more lessons are needed.

In this instance, Republicans prepared to die on the hill of stopping higher taxes is much like Picket's charge - a suicidal act that did nothing beyond sealing the doom of Lee's Army of the Potomac. One of the first rules of warfare - don't reinforce failure, reinforce success - or at least where you have the greatest likelihood of success.

Where House Republicans hold absolute power is on spending. Give Obama whatever tax increase he wants, but then shut down the government over the budget ceiling. Moreover, refuse to pass anything but a life support budget until all sides agree on - and pass into law - a grand bargain that in real terms, sans the usual accounting gimmicks, will decrease the debt by 25% over the next four years.

Debt is where the real issue lies. Sure, Obama's tax increases will hurt the economy - but they won't kill it. Our continued accumulation of debt will. Between Obama's world record profligate spending and Fed Chairmen Ben Bernanke, who is keeping our printing presses spinning at a record pace, they are placing our nation in mortal peril. Obama and Bernanke are setting the stage for runaway inflation and the devaluation of the dollar. That is where Republicans need to draw the line in the sand - this far, and no further.

No comments: