The growing GOP tax-cave chorus?

posted at 9:31 am on December 10, 2012 by Erika Johnsen

Last week, Sen. Rand Paul elucidated a possible fiscal-cliff route to which an increasing number of Republicans seem to be edging: Obama based much of his campaign on hiking taxes on families making more than 250k/year, and America went ahead and reelected him. So, go ahead and let the Democrats raise taxes, and then it will be clear which party will be to blame for whatever economic backlash comes afterward.

Over the weekend, a couple more GOPers endorsed a form of that potential scenario, admitting that Republicans have a pretty weak hand right now and that letting taxes increase would force Democrats to take full ownership of their policies. Sen. Tom Coburn said he would agree to capitulate on raising taxes if significant spending cuts were a part of the deal, and Sen. Bob Corker proffered that letting taxes go up would then bring the major focus back to entitlement reform, via the WFB:

A lot of people are putting forth a theory and I actually think it has merit where you go ahead and give the president the two percent increase, that he is talking about, the rate increase on the top two percent and all of a sudden the shift goes back to entitlements, and all of a sudden once you give him the rate on the top two percent, it is actually much lesser tax increase than what he has been talking about. The focus then shifts to entitlements and maybe that puts us in a place where we actually can do something that really saves this nation, so, there is a growing body, I actually am beginning to believe that is the best route for us to take, to, again, shift the focus where it needs to be which is on entitlements…

The obvious questions still being, will low-information voters necessarily blame Democrats for the negative economic effects of tax increases? With the president’s rather amazing capacity for spinning/campaigning, it looks like Republicans may be damned-if-they-do, damned-if-they-don’t unless they seriously step it up on their hitherto lackluster PR-game. And another: Once taxes go up to “Clinton-era levels” (although, combined with the new taxes from ObamaCare, effective taxes will actually be higher), where’s the assurance that the Democrats will then honest-to-goodness, cross-my-heart-and-hope-to-die be on board for mega-entitlement reform? The WSJ posits that there doesn’t seem to be any, and the GOP has more leverage right now than they think they do:

But what is the evidence in the last four years, or even since the election, that Mr. Obama won’t pocket that victory and then refuse to offer any but token changes on entitlements? Mr. Corker has proposed several specific and laudable entitlement changes, but note how Mr. Obama has declined to support a single one of them in public. After he has GOP fingerprints on tax rate increases, Mr. Obama is more likely to make Republicans trade onerous defense cuts for entitlement changes that are far less consequential than Mr. Corker has proposed. …

For all of his bluster about blaming Republicans, Mr. Obama also knows a budget failure would do enormous harm to his chances of second-term success. It would guarantee at least two more years of trench budget warfare and poison the chances of immigration or other reform. Another recession would be on his watch, not on George W. Bush’s.

The point is that Republicans have more leverage than they imagine, and they ought to act like it. A good start would be for the House to pass a bill this week extending all the tax rates for six months and fixing the defense spending cuts coming in January. Then ask Senate Democrats to pass their own bill, and they can negotiate with the President under regular Congressional order.


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There is no more futile resistance than a populace that spends half of its time in a drug haze and the other squandering their welfare money on booze and lottery tickets.

MelonCollie on December 10, 2012 at 11:31 AM

Funny thing about serious big time lottery players. #1. They really, really, really want to be “rich”. #2. Usually, they are the people who hate the rich the most.

Alabama Infidel on December 10, 2012 at 11:41 AM

I wish them all well with their party.

Mr. Arrogant on December 10, 2012 at 11:41 AM

If Democrats are so confident that taxes don’t impact investment and consumer behavior, then they should pass an excise tax on green energy and carbon credits.

blammm on December 10, 2012 at 11:46 AM

With the president’s rather amazing capacity for spinning/campaigning,

Sorry, but I had to laugh at that. Obama’s not that great at spin. He’s just getting help with the spin from every media organization and network in existence.

But anybody who thinks the Democrats will ever get seious about entitlements is not paying attention. The very best you’ll get out of the Democrats is to cut non-entitlement spending, and they’ll fight that every inch of the way.

Unless you want to cut Defense, that is. They’re always cool with cutting Defense. After all, they figure every other nation on the face of the earth is better than we are, anyway.

tom on December 10, 2012 at 11:50 AM

Funny thing about serious big time lottery players. #1. They really, really, really want to be “rich”. #2. Usually, they are the people who hate the rich the most.

Alabama Infidel on December 10, 2012 at 11:41 AM

Don’t forget #3: the vast majority are hoping for a lottery win to bail them out of their money troubles because they have no more sense on finances than the Democrats they vote for. It is no coincidence.

MelonCollie on December 10, 2012 at 11:52 AM

Are the Republicans unable or unwilling to use the services of a PR-marketing strategist able to convincingly employ linguistic “tricks” to counter-attack the Dems’ ploys?

Notice how smug Schumer is in that video clip when Wallace credits him with being right.

onlineanalyst on December 10, 2012 at 10:18 AM

We don’t even need a clever phrase. Every Republican just needs to start saying, when asked, that the president is clearly not serious about fixing anything in the economy. Then ask if he doesn’t know how to fix it, or just doesn’t care.

Then, every time he offers a new gimmick, call it a gimmick and ask when the president will be serious.

The truth CAN work, but you have to keep reminding people that it’s the truth. If you just surrender, it will never work.

tom on December 10, 2012 at 11:57 AM

Surrender Monkeys do not make good leaders.

Find leaders who have a record of fighting ability and vote them into office nation wide.

Then fight to win.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on December 10, 2012 at 12:03 PM

unny thing about serious big time lottery players. #1. They really, really, really want to be “rich”. #2. Usually, they are the people who hate the rich the most.

Alabama Infidel on December 10, 2012 at 11:41 AM

Don’t forget #3: the vast majority are hoping for a lottery win to bail them out of their money troubles because they have no more sense on finances than the Democrats they vote for. It is no coincidence.

And #4 many lottery winners go through their winnings like water goes through a sieve and end up back in money troubles again.

hawkeye54 on December 10, 2012 at 12:04 PM

Republicans can get away with tax hikes as long as they hold the democratics to a decent ratio of REAL spending cuts that start immediately. If they agree to smoking-mirrors spending cuts, it will be the end of the Republican Party as we know it.

slickwillie2001 on December 10, 2012 at 12:09 PM

Why does everyone hypnotically think the Obamunist is serious about fiscal responsibility, and has a problem running TRILLION dollar deficits NOW, when he embraced them as stimulus in the past?

Eat the Rich Kabuki.

FlaMurph on December 10, 2012 at 12:10 PM

Obama loves and enables this, fools.

Instead, the National Intelligence Council paints the picture of a world in which the U.S. is no longer the unquestionably dominant global player; individuals and small groups may carry out devastating cyber or bio-terror attacks; oh, and food and water may be running short in some places.

God damn the stupid Rs.

Schadenfreude on December 10, 2012 at 12:17 PM

Republicans can get away with tax hikes as long as they hold the democratics to a decent ratio of REAL spending cuts that start immediately.

It’ll never happen. The dems will only go for REAL military spending cuts, but nothing else.

The REAL spending cuts would have to be in place and verified before ANY tax hike goes into effect. And that is something that will be fought tooth and nail by dems.

hawkeye54 on December 10, 2012 at 12:17 PM

God damn the stupid Rs.

Wel, they are either stupid or co-conspirators. Either way, the GOP is deserving of political extinction.

hawkeye54 on December 10, 2012 at 12:19 PM

oh, and food and water may be running short in some places.

Pfffft. Food and water has been running short somewhere for the last 5000 years, and will run short in a lot more places once we can no longer send them by the shipload to the Starvin Marvins.

MelonCollie on December 10, 2012 at 12:20 PM

In the Russian Empire of the 1930’s tons of wheat rotted in the fields while people starved for lack of bread. That is a quote from numerous sources, not my opinion.

I put the following together without my economist.

Two Strata of Taxes as Percent of GDP:

Qatar, U. A. E., Saudi Arabia, Oman, Kuwait,
2.2%, 1.4%, 5.3%, 2.0%, 1.5%,

United States, Tonga, Switzerland, Mexico, Greece
26.9%, 27%, 29.4%, 29.7%, 30.0%

Don’t strain yourself but which strata export energy?

We are about to wreck our economy over a stupid fight about taxes. We become poorer while wealth lays in the ground or is burned off since we will lack storage.

A New York Times reporter won a Pulitzer whitewashing reportage about the Soviet Union for Stalin. Things don’t change much, do they?

The month of May this coming year marks the 70th anniversary of the height of a devastating famine deliberately engineered by Soviet leader Josef Stalin that claimed at least five million lives in Ukraine and around two million in the North Caucasus and elsewhere.

IlikedAUH2O on December 10, 2012 at 12:25 PM

Sen. Bob Corker proffered that letting taxes go up would then bring the major focus back to entitlement reform, via the WFB:

I know WFB is a valid acronym for the Washington Free Beacon, but every time I see it I think William F. Buckley, and I get wistfully nostalgic…

Marcola on December 10, 2012 at 1:11 PM

Unless some amazingly articulate Republican with charisma and super social network emerges pretty fast, the Republicans will get the blame.

Mostly all we got are the low information who elected Obama.

The Republicans are gonna get the blame.

Sherman1864 on December 10, 2012 at 1:45 PM

Bring every bill he proposes up for a vote, vote “present,” and stand back.

THEN you can say “we gave the Democrats what they wanted and it failed,” and have some glimmer of hope of being listened to. But as long as you negotiate and try to “compromise,” the blame will always fall on Republicans.

Shump on December 10, 2012 at 9:37 AM

Been saying that for a while now. Why is it that we “little people” can see this but no one else can?

totherightofthem on December 10, 2012 at 1:47 PM

It isn’t so much “caving” as it is allowing them to see the folly of what they think they want.

Parents have probably seen examples of this in raising children or teachers or anyone in any leadership position. It goes something like this:

The kids or the troops or whatever think they want to do A. You tell them them that A is a bad idea. You tell them that B is a better approach and in the current circumstances neither option is going to turn out well but option B provides overall a better outcome in the long run. But they are adamant that A is the option they want and you try to educate, cajole, inform, whatever. At this point you have two options. You can absolutely put your foot down and refuse A as an option. You force them to choose option B. Things, as expected, don’t go very well but they blame you for that. Had you only chosen option B things would have been better. They lobby your higher ups and have you removed and promptly move to option A which makes things even worse but it is too late and you are no longer there to help them after option A even makes things worse.

Or, you allow them to try option A but with a few tweaks to make things not quite so bad. Give them their tax increases on “the rich” but with some spending cuts or entitlement reforms. Now in two years, revenue declines, unemployment goes up, and you take those who were arguing most forcefully for option A and rub their noses in it. This strengthens your long term credibility and allows you to consolidate your leadership authority by real example.

50+ percent of the people voted for tax hikes on the rich. Give it to them. But when those chickens come home to roost, point out that what happened is exactly what they were told would happen. Rub the Democrats’ noses in it and take the Senate in 2014.

If we DON’T do that, they are STILL going to want the tax hikes on the rich in 2014, they will have “evidence” that the Republicans are simply “out for the rich people”, and will throw the House out of office and likely increase their Senate majority in 2014.

Sometimes the best thing you can do in order to teach them the folly of what they think they want is to give it to them while you are still in a position to clean up the mess that will result from it. Doing the opposite will likely mean you will be replaced, they will do it anyway, and the result will be much worse.

crosspatch on December 10, 2012 at 2:03 PM

“Had you only chosen option B things would have been better.”

Meant “Had you only chosen option A things would have been better.”

crosspatch on December 10, 2012 at 2:04 PM

The Boehner/rino Surrender is in full swing! Whatever. Lost interest in the daily happenings of the Traitors/Back Stabbers! Whatever happens, Vote Out rinos! eSTABrepubs have out lived their usefulness. From hear on out they only serve to damage the country further & make recovering, more difficult.
Oh, BTW, what did they do with Benghazi?
They’re helping the Traitor-in-chief cover it up, just like they did with Fast & Furious! Like I said they would! If you are stupid enough to trust these Back Stabbing Clowns, then you deserve the knife in your back!

http://www.paratisiusa.blogspot.com

God Bless America!

paratisi on December 10, 2012 at 2:15 PM

Folks, we are in a war for this country and taxes are just a battle. The tax rate issue will take care of itself when the rate of growth slows down and liberals will start to question how to improve the economy.

The real fight needs to be about spending and entitlements.

Tater Salad on December 10, 2012 at 2:35 PM

paratisi on December 10, 2012 at 2:15 PM

I wouldn’t call it a “surrender”, I would call it a strategic withdraw. I fear doing it your way will get the Republicans thrown out of the House in 2014. A case where we win a battle but lose the war.

My guess is that if it gets done your way, we won’t have to worry about Boehner in 2014 anyway because Pelosi will be the speaker.

If we don’t allow the Democrats to fail NOW, then they will throw us out of the House and fail even worse in 2014-2016.

crosspatch on December 10, 2012 at 2:39 PM

In other words, many of these “true conservatives” remind me of failed generals in the past who demanded no withdraw and fighting to the last man and ridiculous attacks against superior forces only to end up with nothing in the end. Doing a headlong “Banzai” charge into the Democrats right now when in a position of weakness in a political capital sense seems stupid. Back off, let them try their option, let them burn up their political advantage now and when they have worn themselves out, THEN attack them in 2014.

crosspatch on December 10, 2012 at 2:43 PM

My guess is that if it gets done your way, we won’t have to worry about Boehner in 2014 anyway because Pelosi will be the speaker.
If we don’t allow the Democrats to fail NOW, then they will throw us out of the House and fail even worse in 2014-2016.

crosspatch on December 10, 2012 at 2:39 PM

Right now, I’m not seeing a lot of difference between the two. Either way, Bronco Bama gets what he wants.

Alabama Infidel on December 10, 2012 at 2:50 PM

On How To Win.

Not that the Republican Party would learn from this, but we others know how to get things done.

The Commie Democrats World Wide CO2 Con Comes Undone.

Seek facts, use the facts, do not stop, and be on watch forever.

http://www.wattsupwiththat.com

“CO2 Fraud Leaders in Dispair”

It is a win.

It is a pattern, use it.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on December 10, 2012 at 2:56 PM

I don’t understand. Why is the Republican leadership caving? I follow this stuff. But admit I tuned out a few days after the election. And that’s when I must have missed it. So can someone tell me now why the Republicans are agreeing with the Democrats? Sorry for not paying attention. I live in Connecticut.

steveracer on December 10, 2012 at 2:57 PM

Steveracer: I’ve been tuning out as well. What really set me off was Megan Kelly’s hysteria covering the election. Her liberalism was out of the closet. That did it for me.
Hey, we know Dear Leader is going to stick it to middle classers, both overtly & through hidden taxes (eg carbon)
What I want to know is how many government workers will lose their jobs with this fiscal cliff? That alone may make it worth it.
Best thing Obama can do for America is go on vacation & play golf. In fact, why don’t they send the entire Congress & the Supreme court on an eternal vacation? In January the King & his entourage are going on a 20 day fun in the sun in Hawaii. The government media says the cost will be $4 million, but we know better. Still, its cheaper then the crappy legislation they’ll pass when they’re in session.

Belle on December 10, 2012 at 3:09 PM

steveracer,

1. Move

2. If both the leaders of the D’s and R’s want to skin U.S. for tax money, it is not a good thing.

3. You can not win if your not in the game.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on December 10, 2012 at 3:10 PM

Hey, Apache: Where can one move to avoid the Obamanation that’s coming? Answer: nowhere.

Belle on December 10, 2012 at 3:20 PM

Belle / steveracer / etal.

Texas.

We are not all as dumb as Rick Perry.

You have to act.

The Democrats are in the act.

If you do not, they win.

Example is the movement of the smart people from California.
The few, the smart, the proud.

apache

APACHEWHOKNOWS on December 10, 2012 at 3:26 PM

It seems pointless to worry about the blame when we know we get the blame anyway.

Adjoran on December 10, 2012 at 3:30 PM

My guess is that if it gets done your way, we won’t have to worry about Boehner in 2014 anyway because Pelosi will be the speaker.
If we don’t allow the Democrats to fail NOW, then they will throw us out of the House and fail even worse in 2014-2016.

crosspatch on December 10, 2012 at 2:39 PM

Right now, I’m not seeing a lot of difference between the two. Either way, Bronco Bama gets what he wants.

Alabama Infidel on December 10, 2012 at 2:50 PM

Compare the runaway spending of the first two years of Obama to the current direction.

Bad as Boehner may be, it could be lot worse.

tom on December 10, 2012 at 3:57 PM

I completely agree with Larry Kudlow on this one:

http://dailycaller.com/2012/12/07/gop-should-consider-a-strategic-retreat-on-fiscal-cliff/

crosspatch on December 10, 2012 at 5:33 PM

I’m a strong believer that the best way to formulate a plan to deal with your opponents is to understand what perspective they use… to understand “where they are coming from”.

In that spirit, I present a link to a progressive discourse on how the idea of money itself needs to be re-shaped.

This is not wild-eyed Occupy Wall Street ranting… this is (from their perspective) reasoned thought on the part of “the other side”.

Have a gander if you’re interested in seeing what they are really thinking. I wager it’s a bit eye-opening for some. If you wish to win the war of ideas, it’s best to understand what passes for “ideas” on the other side.

VekTor on December 10, 2012 at 6:05 PM

Corker is an idiot. There is no merit in granting any tax increase. The Dems will never talk of any spending decrease.

Exactly my sentiments. I live in Tennessee. Corker is a pompous jerk. Why, oh why, didn’t somebody primary him?

The political class makes me want to puke.

FastTalker on December 10, 2012 at 6:41 PM

This Corker guy resembles Andrew Jackson in appearance and is even from Tennessee.

The only difference: Jackson had b@#ls

Joey24007 on December 10, 2012 at 7:00 PM

The obvious questions still being, will low-information voters necessarily blame Democrats for the negative economic effects of tax increases?

Low-information voters? LOL.

ANYONE who votes to raise taxes would rightly deserve blame.

Dante on December 10, 2012 at 10:08 PM

Rand Paul is just as nutty as his daddy.

And the rest of the GOP?

Might as well stick them all into a cave for they have already taxed my patience.

Sherman1864 on December 11, 2012 at 5:58 AM

Senator Cork Bobber, you say?

Sherman1864 on December 11, 2012 at 5:59 AM

I don’t care if Lincoln himself comes back, if they cave on tax rates, primary and defeat them!!!

Mr. Grump on December 11, 2012 at 9:13 AM

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