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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