Last week, the so called “Super Committee” created earlier this year by Democrats and cowardly Republicans afraid to hold firm on the spending cuts they promised on the campaign trail, fell short of doing its job as most casual observers knew would happen. The Committee was tasked with finding one trillion dollars in cuts from the annual budget. If the Committee failed, forced budget cuts taken mainly from defense spending would occur automatically in 2013 (assuming the next Congress bound itself to this Congress’ legislation).
Although the point is moot, the idea itself was bankrupt from conception. There is little middle ground to cover with the separate visions that each party has for this country that are so diametrically opposed. Conservatives should be relieved that neither party’s plan got out of the Committee because both the republican and democrat plan would have raised taxes. Our party must stand against taxes. Republicans should never again be the party that raises them.
The Toomey plan.
Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA), a tea party senator and a reliable voice on fiscal issues, put forward a conservative compromise that would eliminate many cumbersome tax loopholes in the code, at the expense of raising taxes. To his credit, he was attempting to lead pragmatically in a state that appreciates moderate senators, but to his base, this was a large misstep, and he is lucky that it won’t pass out of committee. Toomey’s approach represents a more moderate and supposedly “pragmatic” approach to budget cuts; that spending shouldn’t be cut without raising taxes.
The Toomey compromise would’ve cost Americans $250 Billion in new taxes and that is unacceptable. We can balance the budget without asking Americans to pay more.
Tax increases are not necessary.
Democrats argue that balancing the budget must include tax increases. They are wrong. With regularity, many democrat talking heads mount their high horses’ to lecture conservatives about being “adults” during these debates. During the debt ceiling negotiations, democrats regularly argued that they were the adults in the room confronting the childish tea party.
In fact, cutting spending is the only responsible adult task to undertake right now. Raising taxes to offset deficits is a lazy and juvenile approach to a complex problem. Sure it’s easy to take more money from wage earners to pay to non-wage earners and slow the increasing debt, but it isn’t a long term plan for economic growth and it doesn’t hone in on the basic fact that government is the problem we should be trying to solve.
On education, defense and social welfare the problem isn’t that we don’t spend enough money but rather that we don’t spend the money efficiently. If money was to be doled out with increased frugality, local citizens would demand that it be used wisely.
Opposition to raising taxes.
The citizen’s inherent opposition to tax raises is more than a knee jerk reaction of personal greed. Whenever government programs usurp too much power, they tend to become bloated and inefficient. All of the huge intelligence agencies in America failed to stop the 9/11 attacks and FEMA failed to efficiently deal with Hurricane Katrina. This is the nature of big government. Small government works better. Mississippi’s state government dealt efficiently with the hurricane clean-up as did NYPD in the months following 9/11.
No one except people who make more than they know what to do with (Warren Buffet), wants to pay more taxes. But the battle that we face is larger than that. Republicans should not only be against raising taxes but also about “starving the beast.” This is a two-step process with the first step keeping taxes low and the second keeping spending low.
There is a multitude to be cut from the budget.
There are many places in our budget to cut from.
Foreign military bases in almost 200 countries?
900 worldwide bases?
Unemployment for years?
This is where you start. Without cutting entitlements and defense, there is no cutting. The conversation is over.
Conservatives love to talk about budget cuts and neo-conservatives love to discuss national defense, nation building and what nation-of-the-month poses an imminent threat. These two groups of people are important pillars in the republican coalition. But at the end of the day, these two movements are as opposite as the enviro and union movements within the democrat coalition. Neo-cons are going to have to give in at some point. The Tea Party needs to stand up for low spending always. It is not genuine to be willing to cut welfare spending if we can’t also be willing to cut 20% of the defense budget.
America could use 60 Billion dollars in cuts out of 700 Billion annually. This doesn’t even include Iraq and Afghanistan budgets. With less money, we will use it more efficiently and worry about enemies that are a true threat like China, rather than Iraq.
The forced Committee cuts are superior to the democrat or republican plan for cuts.
There are a number of reasons why the country is better off without this deal having passed.
Democrats wanted $1 Trillion dollars in tax increases during a recession. Cleverly, the increase wouldn’t go into effect until the next administration was sworn in. This is the same old, same old democrat mentality and it doesn’t work any better than the Bush administration’s policy for the last decade.
What we need is a conservative plan that shrinks the size and scope of government so that it no longer needs to tax businesses and citizens, freeing most Americans up with excess income to buy products and start businesses.
Likewise, republicans this week spoke of eliminating tax loopholes that serve as tax cuts to the top wage earners. The top wage earners are the small business owners of America. People that have money use it to make money through business. Raising their taxes is akin to sending a message to small business owners not to hire new employees or spend any of their existing money on risk.
The “fair” share.
Obama and his democrats are constantly arguing that the rich aren’t paying their “fair share” of taxes. The numbers tell a different story. For starters, the top 50% of income earners are paying 100% of income taxes.
The top 1% richest Americans? They pay 20% of all income taxes.
The lowest 20% of Americans? They pay about 2% of all federal income.
Serious people shouldn’t even imply that this isn’t fair enough.
Most conservatives aren’t even necessarily opposed to a progressive tax. Many people do not have a problem with people who make millions of dollars per year giving up as much as 40-50% of what they make. But there has to be a line where the dems can stop saying that the brilliant and hardest workers making the most money aren’t paying their fair share. Should they be paying 70%, 80%, 90%? Obama thinks so. Bernie Sanders thinks so. These people are already paying their fair share and shouldn’t be forced to give up more.
For the time being, it is good for America that this deal didn’t go through. Tax cuts are to be preferred over tax raises and defense cuts to be preferred over domestic cuts. All in all, the super committee will have been all for naught.
Next time, republicans should hold the line on spending cuts in the first place so that it doesn’t come to this. In the mean time, let the cuts go into effect.