Lots of back and forth on fiscal cliff options. The problem is , the back and forth is between just one party. The trio of McCain, Graham, and Chambliss, can’t seem to miss out an opportunity to bleat and capitulate to no one but the media so they can lauded as “reasonable”
Lets be clear, there’s nothing reasonable about negotiating with yourself in a vacuum.
Here’s the facts
1. Not one Democrat has offered up spending cuts to either offset sequestration.
2. None are serious about entitlement reform.
3. Obama just made an initial offer that is so toxically offensive, you can conclude one of two things: He is either completely incapable of understanding how to build a consensus or he want there to be no deal.
Why Democrats want the Cliff
·They know they need to cut Medicare but don’t want their hands on it
·Their base likes the idea of cutting defense. These are the people that think the Military should have to hold bakesales for their funding because kids do for schools.
· They need tax revenue badly. The tax on the 2% won’t generate much. This way they can blame the Republicans for the tax hike.
They need a villain to distract from the abysmal failure that is liberal policy. The GOP is their favorite foil and this cliff scenario gives them the taxes they really want.
So what do you do when confronted with destructive self serving behavior?
· Accept it. The Republican party needs to realize they are not negotiating with their Dad’s Democrat party. Realize, no matter what, they will look for a way to blame you.
· Ignore the popularity polls, leadership is about doing the right thing for the country. The right thing is raising no ones taxes and cutting wasteful government spending. To ensure a safety net for the elderly, entitlement reform is a must but unlikely to be part of the fiscal cliff deal. Its too complicated to get resolved in a few weeks.
· At a minimum, pass a bill in the house extended the Bush tax rates to ensure no one’s taxes go up in the new year and send it to the Senate. Cut this separately so it requires only 51 one votes via reconciliation. Dare the Dems to scuttle it.
Alternatively, the only framework available out there for a Big Deal is Simpson Bowles. It’s the only ready to go plan that would be available before the Cliff. Read more from Guy Benson
· Develop an ability to message as a party with a united front. Someone please find something better for Saxby, Lindsay and the McCain’s of the worlds to focus on besides courting the media for their Miss Congeniality reward.
Compile a bill of immediate cuts that are popular.
Options can include:
Mandatory drug testing for welfare recipients.
10% across the board cut of every budget and department. Its not optimal but it’s a start
Hiring Freeze of federal workers. No backfilling of current openings
Zero based budgeting to replace baseline budgeting.
On the revenue side
If you want the GOP to sacrifice their stand on tax increases which are destructive to our current economic situation, you have to swap it for something that would be stimulative of economic growth
· Repeal of unproductive regulations from agencies such as the EPA
· Opening of land to energy production
· Repeal of the one of the largest drags on the economy: Obamacare.
Alternatively, get creative and propose taxes on the left’s rich. Surcharges on large malpractice suit rewards for lawyers. Tax public union dues. And of course, close the Hollywood loopholes courtesy of Instapundit
Frankly unless the GOP gets any of the above they should have no interest in raising tax rates
My personal counter offer to the ridiculous deal offered by the White House would be, I’ll give you 2% on the 2% if you eliminate Obamacare, and commit to revisiting Simpson-Bowles. Otherwise, tax rates are steady and sequestration is sadly the only way to get real cuts.
I would ask every Republican to consider just how hard it will be to get reelected without your base. Either stand for your constituents or prepare to exit stage right.