Paul Ryan: Look, we’re going to have to suck it up and pass this tax cuts deal

posted at 10:14 pm on December 14, 2010 by Allahpundit

Pure and simple: If you call Obama’s and Reid’s bluff by voting no, there’s no guarantee that you’ll get a better deal with a Republican House in January. After all of the theatrical leftist agony over the compromise during the past two weeks, there’s only so much the Democratic leadership can concede. They won’t make the Bush tax cuts permanent and they won’t waive the estate tax for another year; the best you could do by holding out, I suspect, is to force Democrats to pay for the new unemployment extension by cutting elsewhere, but the GOP can spearhead all sorts of spending cuts to compensate for that next year. Just get the tax cuts locked in now. Especially since it sounds like enough House Democrats are ready to sign on:

House GOP leaders expect only 15 to 20 conservatives to vote against President Barack Obama’s tax-cut compromise, which would mean that only 60 out of 255 Democrats would have to vote for the legislation to secure passage — not a heavy lift, the majority says. The White House Tuesday said Obama and his economic team was making calls to House lawmakers to line up support for the plan.

Democrats Tuesday night seemed leaning toward structuring debate to allow a vote on changing the estate tax provision – a measure that would likely render the compromise dead if passed. But even staunch supporters of that change insist it has little chance in the House.

“The likelihood of it passing is not good,” said Ways and Means Democratic Rep. Bill Pascrell (N.J.).

Separately, 31 Blue Dog Democrats gave the current deal a boost, sending House Speaker Nancy Pelosi a letter indicating their support for the bill.

If Obama can’t get 30 liberals in the House to help him out by voting yes, especially when virtually the entire caucus now holds safe seats, he really is finished.

Watch the clip in full, as Ryan comes out hard against this afternoon’s leviathan omnibus spending bill. As expected, GOP supporters of the tax cuts deal are going to use their opposition to that as cover with the base for voting for this. Exit question: Ryan voted for TARP, for the tax on the AIG bonuses, and now he’s voting for this. Are you guys sure you want him as Palin’s running mate in 2012? ‘Cause I’m thinking we might be able to land him as a speaker for RINOcon. Click the image to watch.


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Now that we are no longer reliant on horse travel are lame duck congresses even necessary anymore?

On a side note, I think chicken little has finally been eaten by the boy who cried wolf.

FloatingRock on December 15, 2010 at 2:34 PM

I take issue with the purists who say that any concession is too much.

MJBrutus on December 15, 2010 at 2:01 PM

We have conceded and conceded and conceded. And yet there are some who think we must concede still more.

I say to HELL with the Dems. The House Repubs should negotiate exclusively on tax cuts… nothing added. Stall or kill them completely.

Worse case… the tax cuts don’t pass, unemployment ramps up, people scream at Dems to reduce taxes (after they see the hit in their paychecks). Wait… did I say this was the worse case?

I know the Dems act like spoiled children. So tell me, why should Repubs protect them from their own bad decisions? I say let them feel even more fury in 2012!

dominigan on December 15, 2010 at 2:35 PM

MJ, I can’t speak for everyone, including all the straw men (armies of them) out there who oppose “any” concession – but again, your tactical take IMHO is unsound.

If you don’t think a better deal – or, at the WORST, essentially the same deal – would be doable in the new Congress, you simply aren’t looking at the odds and the practicalities. Twenty-three Senate Dems up for re-election, a GOP-run House with still a few scalded-cat “blue dogs” surviving (and trembling), and a WH that has CLEARLY shown they know they can’t sustain their long-held position – THIS is not an evnironment in which a better deal is likely?

And there will be no “massive price” – more pertinently, no long-term price – to pay if the tax rates temporarily lapse and are retroactively re-installed. On the contrary – the “price” to economic development and recovery of NOT removing the current temporary nature of the tax rates (that is, temporary until 2012, under the “deal”) dwarf any conceivable “price” from very very short-term events in the winter of 2011.

In a related matter that makes the same point, the long- (and short-) term price of tax policy is matched or exceeded (in terms of the business impact you refer to) by the uncertainties of the health insurance situation. The point here? It will take dramatic action, some slight political risk-taking, some aggressive non-”bipartisan” confrontation and tenacity, to prevent/undo this area of damage to the economy.

But with this daunting political hill to climb in the year before us, we start by folding in 1 or 2 days to a lame tax deal, while the echoes of the mid-term car bomb are still reverberating down the Mall and K Street? THIS is a large part of my distress over the situation – not just the particulars of the current “deal” – but what it says about how little impact the mid-terms seem to have had.

My scenario for the lame-duck outlined above, or something like it, was the only sensible path for the GOP after the mid-terms. Not rocket science. The GOP had every relevant card, every relevant procedural angle in their favor (those who mindlessly chant “we don’t run anything yet” literally don’t understand how the Senate works). The House GOP was handed an effective veto card and scheduling whip by the Senate GOP, and decided to toss them away. I have been involved in lame-duck CR and budget battles on the Senate staff side in the past, and this was a no-brainer. In fact those here who lament the current lack of leadership or tactical seriousness in the GOP have no idea how far things have fallen.

IceCold on December 15, 2010 at 2:44 PM

Watch the clip in full, as Ryan comes out hard against this afternoon’s leviathan omnibus spending bill.

Is there any change of the omnibus spending bill being defeated?

pseudonominus on December 15, 2010 at 3:35 PM

In fact those here who lament the current lack of leadership or tactical seriousness in the GOP have no idea how far things have fallen

IceCold on December 15, 2010 at 2:44 PM

Perhaps I (and others) don’t know how far things have fallen wrt GOP leadership, but I do have a very good idea that McConnell and Boehner are an integral part of the problem. That’s one reason I won’t come down too hard on Ryan: He’s trying to juggle the crap that’s being handed down to him from his leadership with his knowledge of what a conservative should be doing. Perhaps Ryan’s correct: Right now (with the current leadership), this is the best we can do.

JSGreg3 on December 15, 2010 at 4:57 PM

JSGreg3 on December 15, 2010 at 4:57 PM

Very well said! The Gallup poll has Congressional approval at 13 percent. That’s right one-three percent! Their approval is now a point below Osama Ben Laden. And what is their response? To continue the same old sh-t that they’ve been doing for the last decade to drive that approval number down near single digits. I wonder who the 13 percenters are. They couldn’t possibly have enough close relatives to make up that high a number, but I digress.

The R’s have been only slightly less irresponsible than the D’s (Remember Hastert and Frist? Is JB any better?). So just what makes these people so confident that they’ll suddenly wake up in January and decide that it’s really time this time to start acting like grown ups?

MJBrutus on December 15, 2010 at 5:33 PM

Pure and simple: If you call Obama’s and Reid’s bluff by voting no, there’s no guarantee that you’ll get a better deal with a Republican House in January. After all of the theatrical leftist agony over the compromise during the past two weeks, there’s only so much the Democratic leadership can concede.

Bull! The weak-kneed GOP didn’t even try!

SilentWatcher on December 15, 2010 at 7:43 PM

It seems to me there is no way that even if the tax plan – “keep the rates the same” bill passes it is too late to not affect paychecks for a month or more. Rate schedules are already programmed in computers using current law. Current law says the rates expire.

That being the case, why won’t the GOP do there best to defeat it now, and then vote in what they want in the new session in 2011. The withholding rates are already going to be screwed up for some time.

Dasher on December 15, 2010 at 8:41 PM

The GOP is already toast. Their measure has been taken and they are shown wanting. The keys to their future success were not this deal here, that leverage there, this trade-off here, that concession there! The only hope for this f*cking country was for them to throw down on ANY raise in spending and ANY raise in taxes. NONE. NADA. ZIP. ZILCH!

This ain’t no foolin’ around. Any time they get the idea to, the bond vigilantes can completely destroy our government’s ability to manage its own destiny…and these motherf*ckers just don’t get it…on either side of the aisle.

What we are doing is NOT burdening our children and grandchildren: we are screwing ourselves because THIS UNREALITY SHOW SIMPLY CANNOT LAST LONG ENOUGH FOR THE BURDEN TO FALL ON THEIR GENERATION. We are toast withing 1-5 years depending upon how gutless Congress is in cutting spending.

My guess is that they will be completely gutless and that the bond market will decide that we are over within two years. We will not make it to 2012. All these cute little political games of two-year tax rate extensions to force the Dems to vote on raising taxes again in front of the next election are idiocy. Political gamesmanship. Picking up pennies in front of a steamroller.

Morons on our team. Morons on the other team.

PD Quig on December 16, 2010 at 10:21 AM

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