Here’s what I know as fact about the fiscal cliff negotiations: President Obama offered to limit tax increases to households earning more than $400K a year. The Democrats agreed to spending cuts, not quite as draconian as the Tea Party demanded, but they also indicated there was room for negotiation on the cuts. Speaker of the House Boehner went back to the Tea People controlling the House and tried to put together a plan that would lift the tax increase threshold to $1 million a year. They realized that was going nowhere in their party and attempted to shift negotiations towards using the adjusted CPI for Social Security. John McCain, now considered a moderate, said “it won’t look good if we are advocating tax increases and social security cuts”. Again, no movement and surprise… The Tea Party obstructed. Which part? All of it. They want across the board, draconian spending cuts and NO tax increases on anyone. Again, realistic, intellectual thinking at it’s finest. Meanwhile rank and file GOP conservatives can do nothing. Their party is still held hostage by the radical faction in their ranks.
Grover Norquist will be proud of these obstructionists for hold their ground on their tax pledge. The majority of Americans will not. 50% of Republicans agree with the Presidents approach to revenue according to a Dec. 7th Bloomberg poll. Staunch Tea People will make these arguments:
- The federal deficit is solely a spending problem. It is not. Every merited, non-biased, international economist on the planet has acknowledged it is a spending AND revenue problem. This is where the GOP fails. They do not want to acknowledge that revenue is required. Specifically they do not want to acknowledge that revenue is required from top earners. Their claim that revenue should come from “the 50% of Americans who pay no federal income taxes” is juvenile and hollow. Why do people rob banks? That’s where the money is. Why should the wealthy pay an increased and proportionate percentage of taxes on their income (i.e. pre Bush tax rates)? Same reason.
- Raising taxes on millionaires will kill their ambition and discourage them from working. Never mind it didn’t discourage them prior to the Bush cuts they now enjoy.
- Raising taxes on the wealthy will punish successful people for being successful. Just like they were punished via bullwhip during the Clinton Administration.
- Raising taxes will stop “job creation”. You know, it will put a stop to all the job creation they have embarked on during the last six years they’ve enjoyed these tax cuts. This lie is starting to tell itself.
- And finally they will argue “It’s Obama’s fault”. One of the things I get the best chuckle out of is reading the GOP remarks calling Obama and obstructionist. This is a clear indication you are reading or discussing the fiscal cliff negotiations with someone who is not paying attention and/or is loaded with bias. Democrats have offered concessions and offered to negotiate further spending cuts. The GOP has been able to offer nothing thanks to lack of agreement within their own ranks. Many of those on the far right will not agree with Obama on any initiative simply for the sake of posturing and obstruction.
The worst part of this for the GOP is the comments I’m hearing from those claiming to be lifelong conservatives. They do not recognize their own party anymore and are prepared to change their voter registration cards. Sad they are being forced to leave their party because it has been hijacked by Libertarians who refuse to acknowledge their true political identity for the sake of compounding ideological influence. Today the GOP as we know it will be dead as moderate Republicans will no longer have a voice. Just like Democrats and the majority of legislation over the past six years they have been stifled by the group known as the Tea Party. I will always refer to them as Tea People or Tea Baggers because they are in fact not a registered political party. They did not ride in on the coat tails of true Republicans. They tore them off and stole them.