“Rep. LaTourette: Tea Party “Chuckleheads” Are to Blame for ‘Plan B’ Tax Vote Being Canceled”
Just so we’re clear here, LaTourette is admitting it was TEA Party conservatives who prevented the Republican Party from surrendering to a Marxist class warfare paradigm in exchange for funding the government for what, two days?
You’re welcome, bitch.
update: Writes Ed Morrissey:
That’s not to say that LaTourette doesn’t have a genuine beef, either. Steve Doocy defends the Tea Party opposition to Plan B as a response to Boehner abandoning the key principle of not raising taxes. Unfortunately, that doesn’t make much sense as a defense. At some point, we either cut a deal before the fiscal cliff raises everyone’s taxes, or go off the fiscal cliff and raise everyone’s taxes, or cut the deal after raising everyone’s taxes temporarily. To the extent that the Tea Party caucus had an impact yesterday, it was a push toward those latter two outcomes.
Nonsense. What Ed leaves out of his analysis is that when Boehner struck the initial deal with the President that led us the “fiscal cliff,” it was TEA Party types — or un-nuanced, naive Hobbits, take your pick — who objected and were shouted down by the likes of John McCain. So LaTourette’s beef is genuine only to the extent that the TEA Party representatives have never agreed with Boehner’s strategy of playing in the Marxist class warfare sand box, and so have made every bad compromise difficult for Boehner to pull off.
The fact that taxes will increase is not an affirmation of those increases by the Republicans. In August, the House passed a bi-partisan bill that would extetnd the Bush rates. The Senate hasn’t brought that to a vote. Why isn’t Boehner out noting this? Why isn’t Boehner out claiming that Obama is holding middle class tax rates hostage to his desire to punish the wealthy in a move that will kill jobs while only funding the government for 8 days? After all, it was Democrats like Schumer and Biden and Durbin who voted against those rates the middle class enjoys in the first place — while it was Republicans pushing for them. Why isn’t Boehner taking about spending cuts, not tax rate increases?
There’s been nothing balanced about Obama’s “balanced approach.” But Boehner fears that because the President has pushed his agenda using such language — and a small majority of voters fell for it — that Obama has a mandate to punish small business owners and weaken the private sector economy. He doesn’t. And Republicans should stop acting as if he does.
Having said that, Ed is correct that taxes will — and I submit should — go up temporarily should we go over the phony fiscal cliff, after which time the President can blame the GOP. But that would allow the GOP House to respond by passing a bill that cuts the rates on the bottom three brackets and returns the top to brackets to the Bush rates. The bill should also include a cut on corporate tax rates, and specific spending cuts, like some military cuts and an end to the “one-time stimulus money” being rolled into the baseline, included as a way to take from the progressives their trope that we can’t “pay” for those tax rate cuts (as if all money belongs first to the government). This is, they could argue, not some nebulous nattering about a “balanced approach” but rather what an actual balanced approach looks like. And Obama, for all his talk about a desire for a balanced approach, never offered up specific spending cuts. Including, say, $4 million in vacation money he spent to go on a 20 day vacation with his family while the nation was supposedly on the brink of a “fiscal cliff” crisis.
Conservatives don’t object to political maneuvering. We can recognize the need for strategic compromise just the same as the Karl Roves of the world. What we object to is bad political maneuvering proceeding from a position of weakness, and always inclined toward the surrendering of principles.
As I noted yesterday, there’s a principled way to sell such a pro-growth GOP tax and spending cut plan (point to revenue increases under Reagan and Bush, eg) — and what would be indisputable is that where Obama wants simply to keep the “Bush tax cuts for the rich” in place for the “middle class,” the GOP plan offers actual tax cuts for the middle class while keeping rates low on job producers and incentivizing offshore money to re-invest in US business.
Republicans shouldn’t need me to remind them what their position is supposed to be. I just worry that having started from a position of surrender, Boehner has played into the hands of Obama and the left and, if he isn’t able to change course immediately and sell a pro-growth plan to the public, voters, including many fed-up conservatives, will give up on the GOP altogether and hand the House back over to the Democrats, giving them the same super-majority they had during Obama’s first two years.
And oh, the damage they will do.