Republicans Opposed to Tax Increases Need Not Apply

Bookmark and Share    The debt ceiling debate did little to solve our problems.

In fact, as demonstrated by the S&P’s downgrading of our credit rating, if the debt ceiling arrangement did anything, it exacerbated our dire economic situation. Only two possibly promising things came out of it. One was the successful attempt to get Democrats on record as opposing a balanced budget amendment that will come up for a vote by years end. The other was the promise to deal with the budget issues that they once again refused to deal with today. In some ways this is a step in the right direction. Having a vote on the balanced budget amendment is a good first step. But as it currently stands, this is only a possible political success for Republicans, not a policy victory for Americans. Under the current make up of Congress, the bill will not pass the Senate and even if it did, there is not a veto proof Republican majority that can override President Obama’s refusal to sign such a bill. However; being able to get Democrats to vote on the issue, gives Republicans a strong image to run on in future elections. They will have the ability to claim that Democrats don’t want to balance the budget. Such a sound bite is enough to influence the votes of many swing and Independent voters and over time it could help to elect enough Republicans to actually pass a balanced budget amendment. But that is years away. In the near future, we are still left with a debt crisis.

The recent debt ceiling hike deal intends to solve our problem with the creation of a bipartisan Select Committee on Deficit Reduction that will be charged with finding a way to significantly reduce the deficit in the near future not the distant future. But the committee will be made up of 6 Democrats and 6 Republicans. 3 each will be chosen from the respective leaders of the Republican and Democrat House and Senate leadership. For Republicans that means Speaker of the House John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell will choose which Republicans are on the committee. But now we are told that both Boehner and McConnell will only consider those who voted for the recent debt ceiling agreement for the Select Committee on Deficit Reduction.

That means that those who rejected stifling economic tax increases will not be at the table. Instead of having any voices that will focus on making significant spending reductions along with major reforms of the entitlements which will account for the bulk of our debt, we are assured only the input of Republicans who are willing to meet Democrats demands. And what do Democrats demand? Tax increases. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid already stated that taxes will be raised by the Select Committee on Deficit Reduction.

It is bad enough that the so-called super committee charged with deficit reduction is composed solely of the members of the same legislative bodies that got us into the mess were in. But to limit the membership of that committee to Senators and Congresspersons who are willing to consider tax increases is a victory for Democrats. It not only weakens our hand in negotiations from the get go, it essentially concedes ground on the spending addiction we have that we have, to the left.

The Select Committee on Deficit Reduction should be balanced. Of the six Republicans on the committee, 3 should be from the group of G.O.P. members who opposed the debt ceiling hike and 3 should be from among those Republicans who voted for it. Boehner should select two of the many in his conference that voted against it, and McConnell should select one of his Senators that voted against is.

That would be balance. That would assure proper representation of the majority of people in America who believe that we need to cut more than tax and that we need to significantly reform Social Security and Medicare.

This is an issue which our Republican presidential candidates should be chiming in on. They should be criticizing our Congressional leaders who are tying conservative hands in the deficit reduction debate. They should be leading the charge and building the type of popular opinion that can persuade Boehner and McConnell to appoint members who opposed the debt ceiling debate to the deficit super committee.

This committee should really be filled by competent people who have no concern for reelection. People who have balanced budget, created solid pension plans for their employees, instituted successful private sector health insurance policies and plans, and who have created jobs. People like G.E.’s former CEO, Jack Welch. But such is not the case. Instead we are left to rely on the same forces that got us into this problem, to get us out of this problem. Given that sad reality, conservatives should be assured of representation on the super committee that is fiscally conservative, not just politically compromising.

Boehner and McConnell’s refusal to appoint anyone to the deficit reduction committee who voted against the debt ceiling hike forces fiscal conservatives to only hope that the committee is deadlocked and unable to agree upon a plan. Based upon the legislation recently passed, if the committee comes up with nothing, automatic cuts will kick in. That might just be the best thing that could happen.

That said, what do you think?  Vote in this weeks White House 2012 poll and join in the debate on White House 2012’s Facebook discussion page.  

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President Obama Also Inherited A Triple A Rating: Punch Line Politics

Bookmark and Share   In honor of President Obama becoming the first American President to have our credit rating downgraded, White House 2012 presents to you a page dedicated to the Obama economy. And yes, after well over two years, this is his economy. I mean after all, President Obama did inherit many things when he took office. But you know what he also inherited from former President George W. Bush? A triple A credit rating? So suck it up Mr. President. After more than two years of laying blame on others, what exactly is it that you are responsible for?

President Obama was not responsible for the handing of the Gulf Oil disaster, the debacle that turned what was supposed to be “The Summer of Recovery” into the summer that never was for businesses and tourism in the Gulf States. He was responsible for creating 2 million jobs but he is not responsible high unempoyment?   He is not responsible for the national debt, yet President Obama added more to the national debt in the first 19 months of his first term than all the Presidents from Washington through Reagan combined. President Obama is not responsible for the war he created with Libya and left up to our incompetent European allies, but he is responsible for the capture of Osama bin Laden?

Well the truth is that our President is responsible. He can’t have it both ways. He is the Commander-in-Chief and as such, he is responsible. He is responsible for both his actions and his inactions. And when it comes to the economy, he is just as responsible for its condition as a bank robber is for the money they stole from the bank vault.

To drive that point home, here are few humorous ways of pinting it out:

The Obama economy is so bad.… that the I.R.S. is allowing Americans to list him as the most expensive dependent on your tax return?

The Obama economy is so bad…. that President Obama is planning to write off his second term.

The Obama economy is so bad.… that Kenya now claims he wasn’t born there.

The Obama economy is so bad…that the President is changing his slogan to “Hope and Spare Change!”

The Obama economy is so bad…that Nancy Pelosi is selling earmarks for 1/2 price.

 The Obama economy is so bad…that the President is running a small business on the side. It’s called GM.

The Obama economy is so bad…that Rosie O’Donnell is losing weight.

The Obama economy is so bad…that Al Gore is selling carbon credits on late night television.

 The Obama economy is so bad…that Bill Ayers has to make do with M-80s.

 The Obama economy is so bad…that Barack’s pyramid is on hold.

The Obama economy is so bad…that you can order checks pre-marked “Insufficient Funds.”

The Obama economy is so bad…that Americans are being caught sneaking into Mexico.

The Obama economy is so bad…that the Chicago mob is laying off judges.

The Obama economy is so bad…that the federal stimulus checks are bouncing.

The Obama economy is so bad…that even people who aren’t in the Cabinet have stopped paying taxes.

The Obama economy is so bad…that Michael Vick is working at Petco.

The Obama economy is so bad…that Al Sharpton cuts his own hair.

The Obama economy is so bad…that McDonald’s has a layaway plan.

Now going from the ridiculous to the sublime……… some brief facts:

Our credit rating was downgraded for a number of factors.  Among them, according to Standard & Poors the political atmosphere which makes it unlikely for a significant political agreement on how to control spending, and an inability to reform Medicare and Social Security which will account for the largest portion of doubt. Other factors played a roll too but all of them led to one overriding issue……..our inability to control our debt.

More facts:

When it comes to the very thing that is responsible for the United States’ having its credit rating downgraded for the first time in history, our debt, one should understand that no single person is more responsible for that debt than is our President. Don’t believe me? Than look at the facts below

While the numbers below do not reflect the actual total national debt, it does reflect the amount of the INCREASE in the national debt during each presidential term.

  • Ronald Reagan’s First Term – $656 billion increase
  • Ronald Reagan’s Second Term – $1.036 trillion increase
  • George H.W. Bush’s Term – $1.587 trillion increase
  • Bill Clinton’s First Term – $1.122 trillion increase
  • Bill Clinton’s Second Term – $418 billion increase
  • George W. Bush’s First Term – $1.885 trillion increase
  • George W. Bush’s Second Term – $3.014 trillion increase
  • Barack Obama’s First “Year” – $1.573 trillion increase

So, while it is obvious that the national debt was a creation of bi-partisan doing, it is also quite apparent that the largest increase during a single year occurred during Barack Obama’s first year. While George W. Bush’s second four years in office saw the largest increase for a complete term, Barack Obama is barely through half of his first term and he has surpassed that record in droves. So who is responsible? Is it the TEA Party? Is it the new Republican majority in the House of Representatives? Is it those who voted against the recent debt ceiling hike agreement because they believed it did not cut spending enough? Or is it the President who refused to play an ctive role in cutting spending and has grown the size and scope and cost of  government by leaps and bounds?

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Who Would the Republican Presidential Candidates Appoint to the Deficit Committee?

Bookmark and Share   With the passage of the multifaceted, two staged, bill to raise the debt ceiling, one must ask if it makes any difference. It has received mixed reaction. Those on the left despise the fact that the deal does not include any immediate tax increases, or as they have been defined in this debate, revue increases. Those on the right despise the deal because it does not contain any significant reforms on entitlements and does no go far enough in proposing cuts. Then there are those who have no partisan political allegiances. These are for the most part, the average independent, middle of the road voter. These individuals understand that the proposal’s almost $3 trillion in deficit reduction over a ten year period is really only a drop in the bucket that does little to put a dent into our long term debt and is still not enough to maintain the United States’ AAA credit rating.

Yet, despite conservative angst with the proposal and liberal disgust for the bill, both Houses of Congress passed it. This brings up another debate, one that is totally based on political perceptions and asks who won this deficit ceiling debate?

Seeing as how the bill raises our debt ceiling and does not reduce our debt significantly enough, there are no winners. At least not immediately. In fact the lack of immediate results makes us all losers here. But at the same time, it is clear that Republicans have settled on a deal that moves things in their direction. Democrats received none of the tax increases they wanted, they received none of the spending increases they wanted, and they were forced to accept some bitter pills. Some of these pills include the Republicans desire to get Democrats on record with a future vote on a balanced budget amendment and immediate spending caps. Another Republican victory in the proposal that is hard for the left to swallow is the automatic wholesale cut of up to $1.2 trillion that will occur if several terms of this bill are not met by the time Congress goes on their Thanksgiving recess in October.

So it would seem that Republicans have advanced their conservative agenda far more than liberals advanced their socialist agenda. Still, the need to reduce the deficit significantly enough to insure that our debt does not continue to exceed our GDP, has not been achieved.

Solving that problem will require deficit reduction actions that more than double the nearly $3 trillion proposed over the next decade. And that will have to be done in the not so distant future.

In the meantime, while Republicans did not have to compromise as much as Democrats were forced to, they are not yet winners in the debate. That will only be determined in October when the newly created Select Committee on Deficit Reduction proposes the $1.2 trillion in cuts and expense saving reforms that the bill demands. From the Republican perspective, the danger here is that this super committee is not limited to spending cuts and entitlement reforms. It could end up proposing tax increases (revenues). The committee could also shirk its responsibility to significantly reform entitlements, something that will be quite hard to pass the Senate anyway.

Given the flexibility that the Select Committee on Deficit Reduction has, the only way the G.O.P. will have proven that they were successful in this recent deficit ceiling debate will come from what the Select Committee on deficit Reduction comes up with.

The committee is to be comprised of 6 Democrats and 6 Republicans, presumable chosen by the legislative leaders of the perspective political Parties. Boehner and McConnell for Republicans, and President Obama, Harry Reid, and Nancy Pelosi for the Democrats.

The Party leaders will initially consider the usual cast of characters as candidates for this committee. People like Tom Kean, Erskine Bowles, Alan Simpson, Lee Hamilton, Judd Gregg, and other seemingly, now non-partisan, elder statesmen. Now while there may not necessarily be anything wrong with the usual cast of candidates for typical D.C., bureaucratic committees, the crisis we are in is not typical. Our debt crisis is so severe that for the first time in history, military experts warn that it has become a national security crisis. Furthermore; President Obama’s leadership has awakened the nation to just how distinct the political ideologies that divide our nation are. People have come to question what kind of nation America will be. Will we be the type of nation with a government that controls more and more of our lives with greater control, or do we want less spending, less government, and more freedom. Including economic freedom.

The ideological differences have become so divergent, that it is incumbent on the G.O.P. to make sure that the 6 members they choose for the deficit reduction commission are true conservatives who believe in limited government. Any one of those who doesn’t hold true to that belief, can easily defect and give the balance of power to the 6 liberals that Democrats will appoint to that committee.

So who should the G.O.P. appoint to the committee?

The first choice should be House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan.

Ryan is a must. He is a deficit hawk who is reasonable but passionate. He understands the need for entitlement reform, supports a balanced budget amendment, is brave enough to stand against the tide of popular opinion and not looking for anything more than getting the job done.

Another appointment should be Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels.

Daniels has been there and done that when it comes to the budget, deficits, and spending. As Governor, his state has been one of the most economically stable states in the nation and he brings to the table some first hand experience with the excellent built-in, economic structural aspects of the budget process that Indiana has and that the United States would be wise to adopt.

Former Tennessee Fred Thompson is another excellent choice.

Thompson has proven to have a wealth of understanding for our existing problems and a unique down-to-earth and often blunt approach to the problem that can be refreshing.

Other good choices would be individuals who do not come from the often self-contained alternative reality that is Washington, D.C. People who are students of sound economic policy and people who have operated with and successfully crafted budgets that created jobs. The type of people who come from the real world……the private sector. People like Jack Welch, the most studied CEO of the 20th century, who had a successful 41- year career with the General Electric Company, one of the nation’s most preeminent names in the free market. Lawrence Kudlow is another refreshing suggestion. The CEO of Kudlow & Co., LLC, an economic research firm was a chief economist and senior managing director of Bear Stearns & Company, back when Bear Sterns ran things right, he improper workings of the Federal Reserve Bank regarding open market operations and bank supervision. Kudlow is also the host of The Kudlow Report on CNBC.

With the exception of Paul Ryan, there are probably others who would make even better members than those suggested above. These are the type of people who should have a seat at the table that represents the conservative, free market, economic principles which can get us back on track. Without conservative voices who will stand firm on these values, Democrats will wind up being the real winners of this most contentious recent debt ceiling debate.

I would be most interested in knowing who the Republican presidential candidates would seek to appoint to this deficit super committee? Who they would appoint would be incredibly telling. Their selections to this committee would be even more telling than the name of those whom they would nominate to the Supreme Court. That decision is affected by politics much more than an appointment to this deficit committee which requires no congressional hearings and a no need to get the blessing of those who hold true to the liberal ideology . Who the Republican candidates would appoint to the Select Committee on Deficit Reduction would be a great sign of just how truly conservative their instincts are and just how committed to the conservative ideology they are. It would also tell us if how serious they are about reducing the deficit controlling spending and reforming the entitlements programs that are sucking the air out of the room.

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