Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Heritage's Morning Bell: Boehner Republicans Cave, Punt, and (Once Again) Disgrace Themselves

Actually... truth be told... the original title of the piece is "House Republicans Cave on Tax Increases and Punt on Entitlements":

When President Obama put forth his first offer on the fiscal cliff, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) said, “You can’t be serious.”

We [here at Heritage] could say the same thing to the Speaker after his counteroffer yesterday.

In a letter signed by House Republican leadership, including Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) and Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI), Boehner offered to raise taxes by $800 billion and cut spending by $1.4 trillion, with no substantive reforms to the entitlement programs that are driving U.S. spending and debt.

Folks... what have I always told you about Ryan?


I know... it's sad... you've been told he's "one of us" - actually one of "our leaders."

Yeah. Uh-huh.

(And please... don't get me started on Rubio!) 

Heritage’s Alison Fraser, director of the Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies, and J.D. Foster, the Norman B. Ture Senior Fellow in the Economics of Fiscal Policy, quickly responded that “the Republican counteroffer, to the extent it can be interpreted from the hazy details now available, is a dud. It is utterly unacceptable. It is bad policy, bad economics.”

Boehner’s letter to the President actually said that the Republicans were not going to make their more serious proposal, which has already passed the House. 

Folks... again... with men like John Boehner, Eric Cantor, and sadly Paul Ryan leading the GOP governing contingent...


If we were to take your Administration’s proposal at face value, then we would counter with the House-passed Budget Resolution. It assumes an overhaul of our tax code with revenue remaining at historically normal levels and proposes structural reforms to preserve and protect the Nation’s entitlement programs, ensuring they are sustainable for the long-term rather than continuing to grow out of control.

Folks... Social Security is underwater NOW... and it's BEEN underwater...


But, they said, “we recognize it would be counter-productive to publicly or privately propose entitlement reforms that you and the leaders of your party appear unwilling to support in the near-term.”

OH... MY... GOD...!!!

This is precisely the time for laying out bold reforms, showing the nation the principles, vision and policies conservatives share to dig out of this budget mess, today and for the long term. Instead, the leadership pointed to a plan they said was suggested by Erskine Bowles, the co-chair of President Obama’s debt commission and formerly Bill Clinton’s White House Chief of Staff. It raises taxes, but not by raising tax rates — instead, by lowering the amount or number of tax deductions or exemptions available.

Folks... Here's where Heritage can't be trusted either! Enough with tax loopholes! Close 'em! I'll concede to a "progressive" income tax code, but beyond that... if we're gonna have a federal income tax then by God every INDIVIDUAL earning income must pay a "floor" tax and we need to decide upon a fair "ceiling" tax as well as where a majority of an American citizen's income taxes should be going - to the federal government or to each American's state!

Said Fraser and Foster: "While preferable in general to raising tax rates, this proposal largely dooms future efforts at tax reform based on the sound principle of broadening the tax base to lower the rates. Instead, this proposal would broaden the base, not to lower rates, but to raise revenues. So much for improved economic growth."

Granted! But any system which fosters a class divide whereby almost half of all American families end up effectively paying NO federal income taxes each year is on the face of it inefficient and unjust!

Essentially, it appears the Republican leadership caved on raising taxes and first steps toward fundamental entitlement reforms that are desperately needed to keep Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid going.

Again... Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid are already at a crisis point! They need to be revamped. Period.

To be sure, the Boehner letter is short on details. But, as Fraser and Foster put it, “Beyond disappointing, the House Republican counter-offer appears at best to suggest incremental tweaks to these programs. Without real entitlement reform — not just spending cuts — we will never fix the underlying problem.”


Folks... understand... the average politician - Democrat or Republican - looks only as far down the road as his or her own re-election or race for higher office. Once you get past the local level... past village government... you're talking mainly scumbags. (This is why it's so important to limit the size, scope, and power of government; therefore affording the scumbags as little as possible to control and thus muck up!)

Just a few days after the election, Gallup asked people to rank a list of 12 issues by importance for the President’s second term. Restoring “a strong economy and job market” was No. 1, with entitlement reform — “take major steps to ensure the long-term stability of Social Security and Medicare” — No. 2. “Make major cuts in federal spending” was No. 6 on the list, while raising taxes on people making more than $250,000 a year was way down the list at priority No. 10.

Who cares what idiots say...? Think about it... implicit in the answers is the false premise that government - that a president - can "restore a strong economy and revitalize the job market" via government/presidential action. They can't! He can't! Certainly not be delivering more of the same!

As to "entitlement reform"... I guarantee you that 80% (and probably better!) of respondents aren't aware that Social Security has been running at a deficit for several years now!

Folks... the average American has been deliberately undereducated... often miseducated... and absent intellectual curiosity has failed to do the research necessary to truly understand what the situation we face is and why it is!

Now is the time for leaders to get serious. That means serious entitlement reforms that will deliver real savings and improve the programs. The President and House Republicans should both start over and work together toward solutions the nation truly needs.

They should... but they won't.

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