Obama has succeeded in his ultimate goal of getting Republicans to break their “no tax hike” pledge. Â And for what purpose? Â So the Democrats can continue their uncontrollable spending binge, while Republicans take the blame.
First day of the year, and we’ve already been royally screwed over by the so-called “conservatives” in congress. More debt on my kids’ backs, more money stolen from our paychecks, and for what? So they can flush more money down the toilet on shrimp treadmills, rum subsidies and blatant assaults on our constitutional rights. America, if THESE are the clowns you want running your lives, you deserve what you get.
The House of Representatives late Tuesday night voted 257 to 167 to approve a “fiscal cliff” deal that had been negotiated by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R.-Ky.) and Vice President Joe Biden and approved by the Senate in the wee hours of Tuesday morning.
The majority of House RepublicansÂ voted against the bill, with 151 opposing it, 85 supporting it, and 5 not voting. House Speaker John Boehner voted for the bill. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor voted against it.
The deal phases out exemptions and deductions for individuals earning more than 250,000 per year and for couples earning more than $300,000, according to a summary published by the New York Times. It also increases the income tax rate for individuals earning more than $400,000 per year and couples earning more than $450,000 per year.
The deal also suspends for two months the $110 billion future spending cuts, set to take place in 2013, that House Speaker John Boehner and President Barack Obama agreed to when they made a deal in August 2011 to increase the federal government’s debt limit by $2.4 trillion.
The federal government exhausted that $2.4 trillion in new borrowing authority on Monday. So, the government has thus far been able to borrow all of the additional $2.4 trillion that Boehner and Obama agreed to in seventeen months ago without actually carrying out any of the spending cuts they agreed to at that time.
The bill also spends $30 billion–with no offsetting spending cut–to provide extended unemployment benefits to people who have not worked for more than half a year.
The bill, according to the Republican Study Committee, would also permanently reinstate the federal death tax, requiring a family to pay 40 percent of the value of all assets above $5 million when the senior member of the family dies.
While taxing family-owned businesses through the death tax, the bill would also pay out $134 billion in “refundable” tax credits to low-income people who did not, in the first place, pay the “tax” they are being refunded by the federal government.
It also, as the Republican Study Committee points out, will reimpose the “marriage penalty” by starting the top federal income tax rate at $400,000 for individuals but at $450,000 for married couples.
To add insult to injury, Obama’s favorite cheerleaders in Hollywood got the kickbacks they wanted. So much for “the rich” paying their “fair share.” Obama’s pets get special perks while everyone else gets slammed. Welcome to the new Banana Republic of Amerika, where corrupt politicians pick the winners and losers.
While you were sleepingâ€”or ringing in 2013â€”the Senate voted to raise taxes.
After missing the midnight deadline, Congress and the President have technically sent the nation over theÂ fiscal cliff, meaning higher tax rates are already in effect for all income tax brackets. But the Senateâ€™s deal, brokered by Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (KY) and Vice President Joe Biden, would target the tax increases on those making more than $250,000.
The Senate voted 89-8 to limit deductions for taxpayers making more than $250,000, which would raise their taxes, and to hike tax rates for those making more than $400,000.
Never mind that ObamaÂ already raised taxes on upper-income taxpayersÂ through the 3.8 percent Medicare surtax imposed under Obamacare. Never mind that tax rate hikes would weaken an economy stumbling so badly the Federal Reserve doubled itsÂ risky efforts to keep the economy from recession. Never mind Obamaâ€™s approach would likely put the kibosh on any hopes for tax reform. Never mind the resulting revenues would beÂ a small drop in a very big bucketÂ compared to projected budget deficits. Never mind that the only justification for higher taxes is spite and envy to be exercised through the extortive power of the federal government.
Some of theÂ key pointsÂ in the Senate deal, which could go to the House as early as today:
Raises taxes on incomes over $400,000 for individuals and $450,000 for households
Raises taxes on investment income for those taxpayers as well
Limits tax deductions for incomes over $250,000â€”raising their taxes, too
Increases the death tax rate for estates over $5 million
Extends long-term unemployment benefits for one year
Postpones sequestrationâ€™s automatic spending cuts (including those to defense) by two months
According toÂ the Congressional Budget Office, the last-minute fiscal cliff deal reached by congressional leaders and President Barack Obama cuts only $15 billion in spending while increasing tax revenues by $620 billionâ€”a 41:1 ratio of tax increases to spending cuts.
When Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush increased taxes in return for spending cutsâ€”cuts that never ultimately cameâ€”they did so at ratios of 1:3 and 1:2.
Last night, without any legislative language, the Senate Republicans and Democrats voted to raise taxes. They did not just vote to raise income taxes. They voted to raise the payroll tax on all Americans.
This will hurt small businesses.
Ironically, this plan generates less revenue than even John Boehnerâ€™s Plan B option. But both options, as I have long maintained, were only about breaking the will of the GOP and getting the GOP to violate its tax pledge.
Well, today the White House is telling Fox Newâ€™s Ed Henry that this was the game all along. According to Ed Henry,Â the White House staff is saying that getting the GOP to break their tax pledge is, â€œOne of the most consequential policy achievements of the last couple of decades.â€Â The plan cuts $1.00 in spending for every $41.00 in tax increases. Contrary to what Senator Pat Toomey is claiming today, everyoneâ€™s taxes will also go up â€“ the 99% and the 1%.
That will be the headline if the House Republicans vote for this plan.
Mike Lee, Marco Rubio, and Rand Paul were defiant. They know what is at stake.
Now, many of you think this is the best deal we can get. I understand that. But consider this â€” the White House has designed this solely for purposes of getting the GOP to break their tax pledge. Any way we play the game we lose.
The only way to even think of winning is to not play this game.
Earlier in his homily, the leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics decried “hotbeds of tension and conflict caused by growing instances of inequality between rich and poor“.
The idea that economic inequality is the root of most conflict is a Socialist idea, not a Biblical one. Â The Bible makes it clear that man’s sinful nature is the source of mankind’s broken relationships and conflicts.
Also, the Pope appears to mistakenly assume that economic inequality is automatically a form of injustice which creates resentment, not recognizing that poor people are not made poorer by other people getting richer, because wealth is not a zero-sum game. Â Any resentment over inequality is either based in envy, or anger over being cheated and exploited (in which case, it is the dishonest manner in which the wealth was gained, not the wealth disparity itself, which is the problem).
He also denounced “the prevalence of a selfish and individualistic mindset which also finds expression in an unregulated capitalism, various forms of terrorism and criminality”.
Funny how Socialists believe that it is “selfish” for people to want to keep what they earn, but neglect to recognize selfishness in those who demand that money be taken from those who earned it and given to themselves (who didn’t earn it). Â The Bible has a word for that, however: theft.
Also, Socialists denounce any rejection of collectivist control over goods and services as “individualist” and selfish, completely ignoring the fact that God Himself established private property rights when he gave the 10 commandments, including “Do not covet” and “Do not steal.”
Socialists also assume that pure Capitalism is an “unregulated,” winner-takes-all affair. Â Nonsense! Â True Capitalism requires law and order to make sure that all transactions are conducted honestly and voluntarily, without coercion or deceit. Â Free enterprise is not anarchy. Â Nor is it a form of “terrorism and criminality.”
Guess I shouldn’t be surprised that the Pope completely misses these points. Â He’s a former Nazi youth, after all, and like most Germans has never fully rejected the Welfare State or many of the other Socialist underpinnings of the Nazi party. Â Also, like most Christians across the theological spectrum, he has never studied Biblical Economics.
Even more sadly, millions of Catholics are fighting for religious liberty against the very kinds of oppressive Socialist governments the Pope is supporting with these statements. Â At a time when he should be denouncing abuses of government power, he denounces the “individualism” of those fighting for their God-given rights of economic and religious liberty instead.
Senators spent the weekend trying to craft a new proposal that they originally claimed could be ready as early as Sunday. But Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid reported late in the day that there was significant distance between the two sides, following a tense afternoon during which Vice President Biden was brought in to referee.
Talks now push on, likely into Monday — but President Obama has already made clear he will press Reid to call a vote on a separate White House plan if nothing is produced by then.
The stumbling block Sunday initially appeared to be a provision in the Republican proposal that would change the way Social Security benefits are calculated — effectively reducing benefits over time.
But while that drew the ire of Democrats, some Republicans indicated they were willing to drop the provision. Instead, they voiced serious concern about a Democratic push to use new tax revenue for new spending.
â€œThe biggest obstacle we face is that President Obama and Majority Leader Reid continue to insist on new taxes that will be used to fund more new spending, not for meaningful deficit reduction,” said Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, the ranking Republican on the Senate Budget Committee.
Despite the fact that his unreasonable demands are to blame, Obama isn’t afraid of taking the fall for this impasse. Â He knows the media will cover his hide and pin the blame on the Republicans no matter what.
On this weekendâ€™s broadcast of â€œFox News Sunday,â€ South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham conceded a political victory to President Barack Obama on the pending fiscal cliff negotiations.
â€œWhat have we accomplished? Political victory for the president,â€ Graham said. â€œHats off to the president â€” he stood his ground. Heâ€™s going to getÂ taxÂ rate increases, maybe not at [$250,000], but on upper-income Americans. And the sad news for the country is weâ€™ve accomplished very little in not becoming Greece or getting out of debt. This deal wonâ€™t affect the debt situation. And it will be a political victory for the president, and I hope we have courage of our convictions, when it comes to raise the debt ceiling to fight what we believe as Republicans. Hats off to the president, he won.â€
This is exactly why I donâ€™t like Lindsey Graham. Itâ€™s like having a minute left at the end of a football game where his team is a touchdown behind with the season on the line and heâ€™s on the sidelines congratulating the other coach for playing a great game. Ugh! He even admits later that this deal does nothing for the country, yet heâ€™s gonna vote for a tax increase because of politics, saying on national TV that Obama won and even congratulated him.
Lindsey Graham is exactly what is wrong with the Republican Party. A bunch of dang smushes.
Even if Congress manages to come up with a solution to avert the â€œfiscal cliff,â€ a combination of year-end tax increases and spending cuts, it wonâ€™t be worth anything because itâ€™ll probably only deal with tax rates and ignore the problem of runaway government spending, or so say Texas Congressman and former presidential candidate Ron Paul.
â€œI think we have passed that point of no return where we can actually get our house in order,â€ Rep. Paul said Friday onÂ CNBC. â€œI believe there is too much bipartisanship on the spending. Nobody is talking about cutting any spending.â€
â€œRepublicans and Democrats,â€ he continued, â€œthey pretend theyâ€™re fighting up there, but they really arenâ€™t. Theyâ€™re arguing over power, spin, and who looks good, and who looks bad, but theyâ€™re all trying to preserve this system where they can spend what they want, take care of their friends, and let the Fed print money when they need it.â€
[…] Â â€œThereâ€™s no admission that they [U.S. lawmakers] have a crisis. They have no admission that the country is bankrupt. Thereâ€™s no admission that our government is spending way too much and itâ€™s way beyond our means and thereâ€™s not a single bit of effort to cut anything,â€ the congressman continued.
â€œThey are so they so far removed from admitting the seriousness of this crisis and if they donâ€™t admit it, they canâ€™t solve the problem. Theyâ€™re like a bunch of drug addicts that just want another fix. Thatâ€™s what they are looking for,â€ he concluded:
After taking criticism for missing an October deadline, the Obama administration Friday released its list of proposed government-wide regulations that it plans to consider in the next year.
The administration put out its notice, called the unified regulatory agenda, online around 3 p.m. on the Friday before Christmas, after most lawmakers had left town. The proposed rules cover everything from power plant pollution to health-care standards to workplace safety. Critics who accuse President Obama of being an overzealous regulator said the timing of the announcement was no accident.
â€œPresident Obama has earned a permanent spot on the disclosure naughty list as his administration dumped their entire regulatory agenda out to the public when everyone else was celebrating the holidays,â€ said Rick Manning, communications director for Americans for Limited Government. â€œThe late Friday dump cannot be good news for those concerned about the regulatory overreach that this administration has become renowned for.â€
For months now,Â lawmakers have been complainingÂ about the Obama administrationâ€™s glib dismissal of their explicitly promised commitment to transparency and their blithe failure to publish either a spring or a fall regulatory agenda â€” which is even worse when you consider the fact that his administration has been rolling out new regulations at anÂ economically soul-crushing pace. Wouldnâ€™t want to start circulating anything that might damper the presidentâ€™s chances ahead of the election, especially with all the mega-rules of Dodd-Frank and ObamaCare still unwritten, now would we?
But, lo and behold, the Obama administration finally released their regulatory agenda,Â on Friday afternoonÂ â€” just as everybody was leaving town for the four-day Christmas holiday. A convenient accident of timing, or one of the most news-dumpy Friday news dump, ever?
A defection of conservative Republicans forced House Speaker John Boehner to abandon his final-hour plan to block automatic tax increases, leaving taxpayers hanging on the edge of the fiscal cliff that is scheduled to crumble on Jan. 1.
â€œThe House did not take up the tax measure today because it did not have sufficient support from our members to pass,â€ Boehner said in statement Thursday night after cancelling the vote and sending members home for the Christmas holiday.
â€œNow it is up to the president to work with Sen. (Harry) Reid on legislation to avert the fiscal cliff,â€ Boehner said.
The collapse was announced shortly after an emergency GOP conference was called at 7:45 p.m. to count votes and twist arms, just moments before the legislation wasÂ to be debated on the House floor.
The bill is referred to as â€œPlan Bâ€ and would have averted an automatic tax increase for families making less than $1 million a year but raised tax rates for those making more than $1 million.
A second bill to block military and domestic spending cuts that are part of sequestration narrowly passed Thursday on a vote of 215 to 209 with no Democratic support and 21 Republicans voting no.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said the â€œPlan Bâ€ bill would have been dead on arrival in the upper chamber. The plan was offered by Boehner (R-Ohio) after failed negotiations with President Barack Obama to avert the tax hikes and spending cuts.
Without a deal, taxes are on autopilot to increase $4.6 trillion over the next decade along with $1.2 trillion in cuts across the board.
He was turned down anyway, because Obama knows Boehner is a pushover. Â He won’t settle for anything less than a blank check with no conditions, and unlimited power to unilaterally raise the debt ceiling.
Late Saturday evening, a source from the White House said the Speaker of the House John Boehner had put tax rate hikes on the table in fiscal cliff negotiations. The White House promptly rejected the offer, since Boehner also wanted entitlement reform as a compromise. But the announcement is likely to exacerbate the war within the Republican Party with regard to tax policy in the run-up to the fiscal cliff.
According to aÂ ReutersÂ source, Boehner agreed to a tax rate hike of an unspecified size on high earners â€“ a term the source left undefined. The source said that Obama thought that the offer represented â€œprogress.”
House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner’s offer to accept a tax rate increase for the wealthiest Americans knocks down a key Republican road block to a deal resolving the year-end “fiscal cliff.”
The question now boils down to price – which income levels, what rates and what’s offered in return. Such major questions, still unanswered so close to the end of the year suggest, however, that no surge toward an agreement is immminent.
[…] Â “Boehner has now accepted the premise of higher rates. So now we’re just arguing over details. I think it’s a significant step,” said Greg Valliere, chief political strategist at Potomac Research Group.
Why should Obama negotiate with him? Â He’s already getting what he wants on on Jan 1st automatically: tax hikes across the board, huge cuts to the military, and an opportunity to falsely pin the blame on the Republicans, which the media will gladly help him do.
Now that Obama has rejected this offer, the Republicans should start a huge PR offensive and MAKE HIM OWN IT when the tax hikes slam the middle class and throw us into another recession. Â NO MORE CONCESSIONS!
Seventy-five percent of the new revenue pulled in by President Barack Obama’s “fiscal cliff” plan would go toward new spending, not toward deficit reduction, the Republican side of the Senate Budget Committee contends. Here’s a chart, detailing how money from the new tax hikes would be distributed:
According to the minority side of the Senate Budget Committee, $1.2 trillion of the proposed $1.6 trillion in tax hikes would go toward new spending, while only $400 billion would go toward deficit reduction.
Last night, radio host Mark Levin said that President Obama plans to unilaterally and unconstitutionally lift the debt ceiling, thereby circumventing Congress and avoiding negotiations with them. Levin also stated that President Obama plans to play the â€œcatch me if you can, take me to the courtâ€ game by taking this unilateral action, because he will be able to get away with it by the time it reaches the Supreme Court.
â€œWeâ€™ve never had a president thatâ€™s spent like this ever. Ever. Thatâ€™s why, in particular right now, the debt ceiling is so crucial, because thereâ€™s no other way to stop him. Â […]
â€œHeâ€™s going to violate the Constitution, unilaterally lift the debt ceiling, and say â€˜catch me if you can, take me to the court,â€™ and he figures by then maybe heâ€™ll have another appointment or two to the Supreme Court by the time it winds its way there, or maybe John Roberts will help him out again. You never know.
â€œBut heâ€™s more than happy, more than happy to have 12, 18, 24 months of litigation, and by the time thatâ€™s done he will have already done what he will have already done.
â€œSo I am telling you â€“ itâ€™s not a prediction. Itâ€™s reality. Iâ€™m telling you what heâ€™s talking about right here. Heâ€™s not playing that game anymore, ladies and gentlemen, because heâ€™s going to defy the rule of law, and on his own lift the debt ceiling.
â€œThatâ€™s what heâ€™s going to do. [Senator] Schumer wants him to do it. All the Leftists want him to do it, and thatâ€™s what heâ€™s going to do.â€
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., blocked a vote on President Obamaâ€™s proposal, articulated last week by Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, saying that â€œthere is no Geithner proposal.â€
â€œIf the Presidentâ€™s proposal was made in good faith, Democrats should be eager to vote for it,â€ McConnell said today. â€œSo Iâ€™m surprised the Majority Leader just declined the chance for them to support it with their votes. I guess weâ€™re left to conclude that it couldnâ€™t even pass by a bare majority of votes, and that theyâ€™d rather take the country off the cliff than actually work out a good-faith agreement that reflects tough choices on both sides.â€
Earlier this year, the Senate voted down Obamaâ€™s budget proposal by a vote of 99-0. McConnell proposed the vote both as an amendment to the Russia Trade Bill and as a stand-alone item. Reid objected to both.
â€œThere is no Geithner proposal,â€ Reid said. â€œThis is all made up.â€ Reidâ€™s comment might come as a surprise to Geithner and the reporters who interviewed him over the weekend.
â€œWe laid out a very detailed, carefully designed set of spending, savings and tax changes that help put us on a path offiscal responsibility,â€ Geithner told Fox Newsâ€™ Chris Wallace on Sunday.
Letâ€™s go ahead and accept Mr. Reidâ€™s language that this is a Republican â€œstunt,â€ but it being a â€œstuntâ€ isnâ€™t why Mr. Reid objects to it â€” the real problem is that a vote on President Obamaâ€™s plan would expose exactly whatâ€™s really going on here. The White House insists thatPresident Obamaâ€™s planÂ â€” to hike up all kinds of taxes and virtually eliminate the debt ceiling â€” is a substantive, credible, good-faith proposal, yet plenty of Democrats areÂ conspicuously hanging backfromÂ endorsingÂ it.Â Could it beÂ that the White House really doesnâ€™t care about compromise, avoiding the pain of the fiscal cliff, or reducing the deficit, but is actually just single-mindedly committed to their entirely reckless goal of merely hiking taxes on the wealthiest Americans â€” a plan that even most Congressional Democrats wouldnâ€™t vote for?
In terms that are easily the toughest-sounding it has so far uttered on the subject, the White House today insisted again that taxes â€œhave to go up on millionaires and billionairesâ€ and that the President â€œwill not sign an extensionâ€ of present tax rates for the top two per cent of wage-earners (who are not all â€œmillionaires and billionairesâ€).
Although the Obama Administration has made it clear for sometime now that an increase in tax rates on the highest wage-earners was a non-negotiable part of any deal to avoid the â€œfiscal cliff,â€ Press Secretary Jay Carney used his strongest language yet on this point today.
White House sources are telling Democratic reporters that the president is willing to go over the so-called â€œfiscal cliffâ€ if GOP leaders donâ€™t agree to his demand for higher taxÂ ratesÂ on the wealthy without substantive spending cuts.
A political deadlock would mean an automatic tax increase for middle-class and wealthy Americans on January 1, and the opportunity for Obama and the Democrats to push a tax-cutting bill for middle-class voters in 2013, say the White House officials, who leaked the claim to two liberal columnists.
After the Republicans’Â counterofferÂ on the fiscal cliff today, ABC’s Jake TapperÂ tweeted a responseÂ from a senior White House official: “if GOP doesnt agree to higher rates for top 2%, we’ll go over the cliff and the American people will hold them responsible.”Â This is a hugely irresponsible threat from PresidentÂ Barack Obama’s administration.
[I}f the White House really is willing to risk an austerity crisis unless it gets its way on an unrelated policy matter — then the Obama Administration is as irresponsible as it often accuses Republicans of being.
President Obama would have failed Negotiations 101. If there was such a course, the first rule would be â€œdo not insult the people youâ€™re dealing with.
[…] Â In a few weeks, our country could be pushed back into another recession if both sides cannot agree on a way to prevent everyoneâ€™s taxes from rising sharply on Jan. 1.
Yet there was Mr. Obama, acting as though his political blood sport campaign isnâ€™t over, going on the attack and making a meaningless offer toÂ Mr. BoehnerÂ that was nothing more than his original budget proposal, whichÂ CongressÂ had rejected out of hand: $60 billion a year in spending reductions, a puny 1.6 percent out of a nearly $4 trillion annual budget.
On top of that, he wantedÂ CongressÂ to give him greater powers than he already has, which the Constitution explicitly gives toÂ Congress: control over raising the debt limit when and how he wishes.
Mr. BoehnerÂ responded with great restraint, telling reporters that the president clearly wasnâ€™t taking these negotiations seriously. Mr. Obama, he remarked, had made a â€œla-la-land offer.â€
â€œWe could have responded in kind, but we decided not to do that,â€ the Ohio congressman said. It was a class act versus a Chicago-style, former community organizer who thinks he is still in the 2012 campaign and that this is no time for leadership.
They’ve caved on more spending. Â They’ve caved on bigger government. Â They’ve caved on illegal immigration and welfare and crippling cuts to our military.
Now the Republicans are preparing to cave on one of the last reasons anyone might consider voting GOP: raising taxes.
If they cave on this, the Republican party is as good as dead…and Obama knows it, which is why his entire strategy is not to fix the fiscal crisis, but to split the Republican party by pressuring the GOP leadership to betray their principles and their base. Â Sadly, they’re dumb enough to take the bait.
For most of my adult life, there has been one thing I could rely on with the Republican Party; they weren’t going to raise my taxes. Sure, President George H.W. Bush did it in 1990, but his shock reelection loss quickly taught the party a lesson. Tax policy was one clear issue advantage the GOP had over the Democrats. Yesterday, Speaker Boehner released a Democrat-inspired “fiscal cliff” offer that finally surrenders this advantage. The GOP is now the party of “slightly less tax hikes.”
[…] Â Taxes are the foundational corner-stone of the Republican voting base. The Republican Party is arguably on the wrong side of many shifting cultural issues. President George W. Bush squandered any advantage the party had on controlling government spending. One of its final appeals to voters has been that the party wouldn’t feed the government spending beast with more taxes. You simply cannot control government spending by giving it more revenue. The history of modern governance dictates that increased revenue will simply move the baseline of spending higher.
[…] Â Keeping taxes low is an existential position for the modern Republican Party. It is one of the last issue appeals it has that registers with voters. And yet, they are allowing the Democrat-Media industrial complex to negotiate themselves into surrendering it.
If they do so, why would anyone vote for a Republican ever again?
Republicans have reportedly drafted a â€œDoomsdayÂ Planâ€ in anticipation of a stalemate on fiscal cliff negotiations.
ABC NewsÂ reportsÂ that a large group of Republicans could vote â€œpresentâ€ on a bill extending the Bush-era middle class tax cuts. This would assure the bill passes solely on Democratic votes, signifying Republicansâ€™ refusal to only extend tax cuts for one subset of citizens.
The bill would be void of any unemployment or tax reform and also would not raise the debt ceiling, measures that President Barack Obama favors.Â Such a scenario would force Obama and congressional Democrats to address massive spending cuts as soon as they return from the holiday recess.
[…] Â Two senior RepublicanÂ elected officials told ABC News this contingency plan is â€œbecoming the most likely scenario.â€
The DoomsdayÂ plan could allow Republicans to escape the blame for tax increases that would hit nearly all Americans after New Yearâ€™s Day.
The U.N. plans to control the tool that tyrants fear most â€” technology that promotes free speech and intellectual freedom â€” by imposing a global tax in the name of fairness. Think of net neutrality on steroids.
Elections have consequences, and one consequence of President Obama’s re-election may be U.S. acquiescence to the administrative control of the Internet to the United Nations and journalist-jailing and Web-censoring regimes from Iran to Venezuela, complete with a global tax on its use.
The U.N.’s International Telecommunications Union (ITU) is holding the World Conference on International Telecommunications in Dubai from Dec. 3 to 14. U.N. member states, largely composed of Third World despots, will be meeting to update the ITU treaty arrangements for international communications.
The ITU last drafted a treaty on communications in 1988, before the dawn of the Internet as we know it, and many of the world’s thugs seek to restrict its freedoms by imposing on it a global tax. The Internet was then primarily a university network, and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was a mere 4 years old.
Today, the self-regulating Internet means no one has to ask for permission to launch a website, and no government can tell network operators how to do their jobs. The Internet freely crosses international boundaries, making it difficult for governments to censor or to tax.
Regimes such as Russia and Iran also want an ITU rule letting them monitor Internet traffic routed through or to their countries, allowing them to eavesdrop or block access.
“Why are Republicans allowing the entire debate to be about taxes and about the war among Republicans over holding the line on the Norquist pledge or not, when what Obama is proposing on raising the rates on the 2% is a triviality? It will reduce the deficit from 1.10 trillion to 1.02 trillion, 8 cents on the dollar. It is nothing. Itâ€™s lunch money, itâ€™s a rounding error. And yet thatâ€™s all the debate that we are hearing. Obama understands this. Heâ€™s not trying to fix our fiscal issues and problems. Heâ€™s trying to destroy the Republicans by insisting that there is a split among the Republicans on this issue which has held them together, the same way it destroyed President Bush Senior when he went back on the pledge he made. This is a political attack on the Republicans. There is no evidence right now that he has any interest in the real fiscal issue because he would have to talk about spending and entitlements and he isnâ€™t.”
â€œWhat [Obama] proposed this week was a classic bait and switch on the American peopleâ€”a tax increase double the size of what he campaigned on, billions of dollars in new stimulus spending and an unlimited, unchecked authority to borrow from the Chinese,â€Â Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said in Saturdayâ€™s weekly GOP address.
â€œMaybe I missed it but I donâ€™t recall him asking for any of that during the presidential campaign. These ideas are so radical that they have already been rejected on a bipartisan basis by Congress.â€
Where are the Democrats standing up to their special interests and proposing compromises contrary to their base? Where is the Democrat saying, you know what, we can’t keep posting trillion+ deficits? Demographics make Social Security and Medicare unsustainable, yet not a single national Democrat will admit that.
Why is the media not seeking out some “adult” Democrat who is willing to admit that we have a serious spending problem and need to reform entitlements? Why do Democrats simply get to deliver pablum that we need a “balanced” approach, but never have to articulate both sides of this balance?
I’ve been around long enough to realize these questions answer themselves. Only the GOP has to compromise its closely held beliefs. The Democrats, who arguably have created this entire mess, never have to question their basic assumptions. They have failed to produce a budget for four years and are currently spending more money than LBJ and FDR ever dreamed of spending, yet no one can question this basic framework.
How is it that the GOP is so feckless and ineffective that it can’t even convince the 48% who voted for Romney that raising taxes on those making over $250,000 is both pointless and bad policy:
Sixty percent of all Americans back higher taxes on higher incomes in the new Post-ABC data. Earlier this month, an identical 60 percent of voters in the presidential election said income taxes should be raised on income over $250,000, according to the national exit poll.
Only 37% oppose the tax hike.
Other than a complete inability to communicate, there’s no rhyme or reason for this. Facts, logic, and history are all with us in this debate, but we still can’t make our case to more than 37% of adults?
We lost here, though, the moment Obama and the media were able to make the deficit reduction debate center on a silly tax increase as opposed to spending decreases.
How is it possible for Democrats to be losing a debate over raising taxes in the middle of the longest, worst recession since the Great Depression? Because they’re too afraid to STAND UP AND MAKE THE ARGUMENT! We need BOLD leaders who don’t have Stockholm syndrome, aren’t intimidated by the predictable liberal playbook, and aren’t ashamed to argue for the conservative principles they claim to represent!
The Democrats are using typical Alinsky scare tactics. But instead of anticipating the predictable Democrat playbook and being prepared to counterattack, the GOP establishment will cower and cave like a scolded puppy. Obama’s playing them like a fiddle.
Today, multiple high-ranking Republicans announced that they were willing to raise taxes as part of a deal to avoid the â€œfiscal cliff,â€ breaking the pledges they had made to Grover Norquistâ€™s Americans for Tax Reform.
Norquist has responded by calling them Democrat “pawns,” which they are:
The leader of Americans for Tax Reform told Human Events that Republicans should be ashamed to be part of the Democratic media campaign to raise taxes.
â€œThey should be embarrassed,â€ said Grover G. Norquist, the founder and president of the Washington-based ATR.
[…] Â Despite the barrage of attacks against him, and reports of defections, the â€œTaxpayer Protection Pledgeâ€ he asks every candidate to make to the voters is not going away, he said.
â€œThe truth is that 90-plus percent of the pledge signers, they sign the pledge because they have no intention of raising taxes,â€ said the Massachusetts expatriate.
â€œThey are very comfortable making that commitment because it never occurs to them to raise taxes. They know taxes are bad for the economy. They know raising taxes kills jobs,â€ he said. â€œWhy would they raise taxes if they know the problem is spending?â€
Republicans used to believe in free enterprise, the private sector, and low taxes. They believed in getting government the heck out of the way. They still talk like that, but they donâ€™t seem to actually be operating like that. Senate and House Republicans seem to be in a bidding war to increase revenue in Washington. Whatâ€™s worse, they are mendacious enough to call it â€œincreasing revenueâ€ instead of â€œtax increases,â€ when it amounts to the same thing. The Republican Party of John Boehner and Mitch McConnell have taken a party that once believed in starving the beast and transforming it into a party that believes in feeding the leviathan lest the leviathan consume them. They operate out of fear â€” fear of losing their remaining power, fear of blame, and fear of the unknown.
[…] Â The fiscal cliff is actually a bipartisan compromise that congress critters and their friends in the press have now given a spooky name to scare the American people lest Washington have to take the medicine it prescribed itself. The Republicans were complicit in this arrangement.
Republicans and Democrats punted and punted on the Bush tax cuts and they arranged a debt ceiling increase that would, should a committee designed to fail actually fail, force draconian cuts that both sides could scream about and demand be rejected. So Washington would get a debt ceiling increase, but would not actually have to suffer the pain of cuts. Republicans and Democrats collaborated to design a medicine so vile they could ask the publicâ€™s forgiveness if they chose not to take it and design a more sugary medicine instead.
But one way or the other, the medicine must now be taken.
[…] Â So what the heck does the GOP actually stand for? Right now, they seem to want to be the â€œresponsibleâ€ party, but know theyâ€™re going to get blamed for whatever happens. They are scared of their own shadow. They are caving, but to what?
I couldnâ€™t tell you. I have no idea what John Boehner and Mitch McConnellâ€™s Republican Party stands for other than the acquisition and maintenance of their own power. Theyâ€™re Bob Michel without the charm willing to take scraps from the Democratsâ€™ table so long as they can sit on the floor next to it. Their own plans are designed around tactics, not strategy, and tactics designed to avoid as much blame as possible for a mess they were complicit in creating.