Tedder

Republicans are Not Stopping the Tax and Debt Increases

The so-called “Super Committee” failed to come to a consensus. Big surprise, eh? I mean, when you put six Republicans and six Democrats in a room together in the midst of a presidential election cycle and task them with compromising on a budget, what could go wrong?

I must admit that I was fearful the Republicans would cave. Thankfully, they didn’t. So let’s rewind the clock to August. We’ve gotten absolutely nowhere, which is about where we thought we’d be.

It basically boils down to this. President Obama and the Democrats believe that raising taxes is the way to solve our debt and deficit problems. The Republicans believe raising taxes will only damage the economy and make matters worse. They favor cutting spending. What’s interesting is the Democrats, who knew the super committee would fail—even longed for it—will take this issue to the people and try to score points at the polls.

That may sound odd, going to the people and saying, “We wanted to raise your taxes but those mean, ole Republicans wouldn’t let us.” That’s not the way it’ll go down. It will be more like, “The Republicans insisted on giving tax breaks to their rich constituents so they could cut services to the poor and take away your Social Security and Medicare.”

I believe the Democrats have miscalculated the sophistication of the electorate. Medicare used to work before the availability of so much information. Now people can access facts via the Internet that were heretofore closely guarded by the ruling elite. The peasants have stormed the Bastille, technologically speaking. Knowledge truly is power, and more and more people are using it.

The only wild card is the Republicans blowing this golden opportunity . . . again. The fact that we even had this debt reduction super committee is the result of the colossal failure of the House Republicans back in August during the debt ceiling debate. The standard excuse given for their lack of boldness was, “We’re only one half of one third of the process.” That was bovine scatology. In reality they were much more.

The simple fact is this. There was going to be no increase in the debt ceiling without the House Republicans going along. Period. This was their chance to jam their foot in the proverbial revolving door of compounding debt. In order for our federal government to increase our national debt by even one dime, it was going to take the permission of John Boehner and the Republicans in the House.

Instead of plowing through on fourth and inches, they decided to punt. They tried to pin Obama and the Democrats deep in their own territory with the super committee. I guess somehow they hoped the Democrats would come to their senses and embrace some form of tax cut and spending reduction. You know, the same kind embraced by JFK and Reagan and W that got the economy moving every time it was tried.

That’s not at all likely. The Democrats have proven themselves incapable of grasping that concept.

The House Republicans have the ball back again only this time it’s not fourth and inches, it’s third and long with a lot of green in front of them. Will they be bold enough to sell their ideas of fiscal restraint and job-creating tax cuts to the American people, or will they be content just to run out the clock?

Somebody needs to yell “scoreboard” at the Republican bench. They’re losing this game and sitting on the ball hoping for a last-second touchdown in November is a risky move indeed.

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About the Author

Phil Valentine is an author and nationally syndicated radio talk show host with Westwood One. For more of his commentary and articles, visit philvalentine.com.

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