Define: “postmodern compromise”
n: a compromise reached on the basis of reaching a compromise and being able to say a compromise has been reached, regardless of whether the substance of the compromise actually works as a compromise in any meaningful way. See, eg., US Senate Republicans:
Early Tuesday morning, the Senate approved a scaled-down package aimed at halting historic tax hikes for most Americans and postponing across-the-board spending cuts, just hours after Congress missed a midnight deadline for action.
The Senate voted 89-8 in favor of the package, which was hastily pulled together after a late-night deal between White House and Senate Republican negotiators.
In total, $600 billion in tax hikes and spending cuts are scheduled to hit in the new year unless and until the legislation is finalized.
But the goal in Washington is to produce a bill that could patch up the problem in the coming days, sparing most Americans from any major or lasting blow to their paychecks.
Senate leaders hailed the deal as an “imperfect” but vital solution to the fiscal crisis.
“The president wanted tax increases, but thanks to this imperfect agreement, 99 percent of my constituents won’t be hit by those hikes,” Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said.
Obama praised Senate lawmakers for passing the bill and implored the House to do the same.
That last is what we in the business call a tell: if as a Republican Obama is praising you, you’ve done something terribly terribly wrong — both to your constituency and to your country. Mitch McConnell seems to think the percentage of those in his constituency he didn’t just sell out in order to appease the appetites of an insatiable government and a Marxist Democrat party makes his betrayal of whatever principles the GOP once stood for laudable. It isn’t. In fact, it’s repugnant — and it’s a sign of surrender.
Worse, McConnell and Senate Republicans have now kicked the can back over to Boehner, who will be in full screeching and then weeping mode today trying to twist enough arms and threaten enough conservative Republicans to go along with the “compromise” — all because it is important to Boehner and House Republicans to be seen as compromisers, regardless of what their compromise does: takes an affirmative role in raising tax rates on a portion of the population — including many small business owners — thereby weakening the private sector so that the President can exert power in a largely symbolic move to punish “the rich”.
And what exactly does the GOP — and those who supported them for election — get for this necessary “compromise”?
[...] according to rough calculations forwarded by a source close to the talks, the proposal would include $620 billion in new tax hikes and $15 billion in net spending cuts.
That kind of lopsided ratio could turn off House conservatives, presuming the bill clears the Senate.
One Republican predicted House leaders may only be able to attract 70 Republicans in the chamber.
The tax hikes would mostly come from an increase on families making more than $450,000.
The value of net cuts, though, was held back because of the sheer amount of spending in the proposal. Long-term jobless benefits, for example, would be extended for a year, at a cost of $30 billion.
Translation: nothing. What they lose, however, are their principles: on taxes (all for the optics, because in a practical sense, the tax hikes will fund the government for less than one business week); on spending, there being no effective spending cuts at all, despite over a trillion dollars in deficit spending already built into the baseline budget; and on class warfare, having accepted as legitimate the progressive left’s paradigm in which those who already pay the vast majority of the nations federal income taxes are selfish fatcats who need to pay their fair share — by funding increased dependency, tax credits for those who work the system and live off of various governmental programs, and another year of long-term jobless benefits, which become necessary as taxes on job producers all but make certain that jobs won’t return any time soon — and that the debt will continue to grow at a truly surreal and nearly unfathomable rate.
A postmodern compromise is a compromise that benefits those whose world-view is built around post-modern assertions about how the world works: through perception, the control over language, and manufactured consent cobbled together by massaging and finessing a coalition of identity groups willing to punish others for their own “economic self interest.”
It is a compromise conservatives should not consider. Take the hit. Walk away. Tell the media that you’ve already passed a bipartisan bill that would extend current rates for everyone — and that the Senate refused to take up that bill. Tell the press that the President himself has said you don’t raise taxes in a recession — and that is doubly true when doing so only funds the government for 4 days and is immediately offset by a failure to cut spending in any significant way, hardly the “balanced approach” the President preached.
Tell the press that for a decade, the Democrats bemoaned the “Bush tax cuts for the rich” — the very tax rates they now claim are essential for the middle class, the very tax rates the House voted in a bipartisan bill to extend for all Americans.
Inform the press that, contrary to propaganda efforts by the left and the media, the President has been willing to hold the middle class hostage over a desire to show he has the power to punish private sector business — in a move that would raise barely enough revenue to fund the government for a working week. That is, it is symbolic, and it is alien to the way we as Americans have traditionally defined “fairness.”
Reject the “compromise”, but in doing so announce to the press that you will author a bill to send to the Senate that gives the bottom three brackets a tax rate cut — noting that Obama’s plan simply tries to leverage the status quo for the middle class out of his attempt to punish small business owners and private sector employers who Americans rely on for producing 70% of the private sector jobs. Explain that under your bill, the middle class will keep more of its money than under Obama’s plan, and that by not raising taxes on small business owners, job production would not be harmed. Attach to that cuts in military spending, redundancy spending, a 10% cut to the budget of all federal agencies, and a cut to the corporate tax rate that will bring investor money back into the US and revitalize the economy from one that is quickly becoming a dependence economy into one that once again lays claim to a growth economy.
Explain your positions. Articulate the principles behind them: we are alive for a limited time, and we should ALL OF US be allowed to keep more of the money we earned without first laundering it through a wasteful, irresponsible federal government. Reagan’s already written the speeches. Paraphrase from them.
Then, pass that bill, pat yourselves on the back and congratulate yourselves loudly for having done so, and send it over to Harry Reid, where he can let it die. Result? Reid and Obama affirmatively choose tax increases on everyone over real cuts to middle class taxes — all so they can keep demanding symbolic tribute from the private sector.
The compromise passed in the Senate shows exactly this: Obama has no interest in a “balanced approach” or cutting spending. He just wants to soak “the rich” — and not the kind of rich he runs with, whose wealth is placed outside of income. It is the upwardly mobile — the bourgeois — whom he is targeting.
And that’s because Obama, like all Marxists, wants there to be a clear delineation between the ruling class and their corporate cronies, and the masses whom they make dependent and then herd and control and coax and dictate do like so many domesticated farm animals.
I’m nobody’s milk spigot.
A GOP fold means an end to the GOP. The Senate has already laid the ground work. Now it’s up to Boehner to hold the line.
Which, good luck on that.
Happy New Year, comrades.
(h/t Terry H)