In my ongoing analysis of where our conservative movement has gone wrong and how to get a true conservative government in this country, I had planned to discuss taxes, but originally it was meant for much later in the discussion. We, however, find taxes at the forefront of the national debate due to the fiscal cliff, so here I go and I am going to break some eggs.
There was a critical point in one of the Republican primary debates when the candidates were asked if any of them would accept a trade of $10 in spending cuts for every $1 in additional revenue (taxes). Not one of the candidates took the offer. I was screaming at the TV and begging one of them to take the deal. They and the Republicans looked completely foolish at that moment. None of them raised their hands for multiple reasons and there are many reasons why they didn’t raise their hands. Let’s look at each of those reasons.
1. Can’t trust the Democrats – Republicans have fallen for this trick before. The Democrats promise cuts if we give them tax hikes. The taxes always come, but real cuts never do.
With that said, all any of the Republican candidates had to say in the debate was, “As President I will definitely accept a 10-1 deal, but only if the cuts are real and I will make sure that the tax increases are only triggered once the cuts actually happen.” Now how hard is a statement like that? Not hard at all, but nooooooo, instead we have a group of idiots standing up there looking like …well … idiots!
2. Grover Norquist – Republicans have been so scared of breaking Grover’s pledge that they won’t publicly accept a 10-1 scenario. I expect my Republican/conservative lawmakers to have principles and intelligence. I don’t give a rat’s ass about a pledge.
Oh and by the way, since when is cutting taxes the only item that makes someone conservative? All these idiots who signed the pledge and refuse to raise taxes had no problem spending our money and voting for one deficit after another. Where is Grover with a pledge not to vote for an unbalanced budget?
Now should Republicans be defenders of lower taxes? Yes, but we live in extraordinary times with a huge deficit which they helped to create. Now everyone has to sacrifice to fix the crap they created. In a battle, you have to know when to do a strategic retreat. Sometimes you have to retreat to a line that you can defend.
Republicans look like they are defending tax cuts for the rich. It is a losing position to defend. Give in on higher income taxes for the rich, but stand firm publicly and defend keeping taxes on small businesses and corporations low. You then become the defender of business, not the “rich”.
In the debates we missed great opportunities in both 2008 and 2012. When Obama said he wouldn’t raise taxes on the middle class, all McCain or Romney had to do was say, “Obama just lied to you. If you buy milk or put gas in you car, Obama will raise your taxes. If you go out to dinner or a movie, Obama will raise your taxes. Every time you buy anything, Obama will raise your taxes. Obama wants to raise taxes on the “rich” corporations, but they aren’t the ones that will pay the taxes. You will be the ones paying for those taxes because businesses simply will pass on the costs to you. So when Obama tells you your taxes won’t go up, don’t believe him.” Why Republicans can’t make this argument is beyond me.
3. Finally, and this one hurts, I don’t believe the Republicans really want to cut spending. They talk a lot about balanced budgets and cutting spending, but when have they really done it.
We talk about the 90’s, but there was some trickery in those numbers. Not even Reagan made the government smaller. Ok, he had a congress controlled by Democrats. What about Bush and the Republican controlled congress? Not one year did we have a balanced budget and not only did they not cut spending, they significantly increased it.
Even now the Ryan budget doesn’t really solve any of our long-term problems. Let’s face it, the Republicans just like the Democrats are invested in large government. We will never have real change until one of the parties is invested in empowering the people rather than getting power from the people.
It is time for hard decisions and hard cuts across the board, including our military. We need courageous real conservatives who also understand how to sell what needs to be done to the American people.
We are Americans. Throughout our history we have risen over and over again to accomplish great and hard things. What needs to be done now pales in comparison to the achievements of past generations. Republicans, for goodness sake, have the courage to do what is right and to stand and ask our great people to stand with you. I know the America that I grew up in and that my father fought for will rise, but you must rise first.