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November 30, 2012

Top Headline Comments 11-30-12

Happy Friday.

The Obama Administration's opening salvo in the fiscal cliff negotiations was so unserious that Sen. McConnell actually laughed at Sec. Geithner when he presented it. McConnell later expanded on just why the proposal -- which included millions in tax hikes and millions in more stimulus spending (yes, more stimulus spending), but no actual spending cuts -- was so unacceptable:

Are the entitlement-eligibility changes his price for any deal? “There’s a nexus,” he says, “between my willingness to raise revenue and their willingness to make serious entitlement-eligibility reforms.” Does he worry that Republicans will be attacked for refusing to raise taxes on the rich without entitlement cuts? “They’ve talked about our reluctance to raise taxes on high-income people incessantly for a generation.”

Exactly. Making decisions based on whether the GOP is going to get blamed or not is stupid. Of course Democrats are going to blame the GOP no matter what happens and of course the lemmings in the media will do the same no matter what happens. Folks proposing that the GOP simply allow the Democrats to do whatever they want are kidding themselves if they think that GOP cooperation will not be viewed as GOP consent to Democratic failures.

That's a consequence of being in power. It would be another story if, as in 2009, the Democrats controlled the House as well as the Senate. But they do not. The GOP is sharing power; they will therefore share the blame.

More from McConnell:

The main point is that he wants to lock in entitlement changes right away. He wants to “do something other than set up some process where we promise to do something later and it doesn’t happen.” He worries setting up another commission to debate entitlements will give the “AARP and the unions a whole year to beat everybody up so we don’t ever get an outcome.” He emphasizes, “We ought to do it now, right now.”

This should sound familiar. It's the same thing Ace and Drew have been saying forever (well, at least until their more recent decisions to let the Democrats do what they want). The GOP can't just secure a promise from Obama to do something later in exchange for his tax hikes now. The two are linked and must remain linked. Any revenue deal must include spending cuts and a huge chunk of our spending problem is entitlements. But, as McConnell says, kicking the can down the road just gives Democrats more time to find ways to avoid serious cuts.

McConnell had more to say on Hewitt:

HH: Did [Geithner] outline what other taxes [Obama] wants to raise?

MM: Yeah, you know, it’s all on the usual poll-tested, oil and gas, raise the estate tax, there’s hardly anything they missed. It is a massive, whopping punch right in the nose to the American economy. I can’t imagine the Democrats would support it. I mean, Max Baucus, the chairman of the Finance Committee, is certainly not going to support the estate tax proposal, Mary Landrieu, the Democrats from Louisiana, is not going to support the gas tax. Neither is Mark Begich of Alaska, completely unserious, and here we are witnessing the President running around the country thinking the campaign is not over yet. And they’re presenting laughable suggestions from the Secretary of the Treasury. He ought to be embarrassed to be asked to go up here and do something like that. It’s a serious blow to his credibility.

There's some other juicy stuff at the link.

The bottom line, of course, is that we're in a complete reversal of our usual roles right now. McConnell and other leaders in D.C. are trying to put the brakes on economy-killing "progressive" ideas . . . while conservative commentators are ready to give in and give socialism a try.

I'm still stunned by that. I understand being tired and a bit low after the election loss. I don't understand acceding to evil because of it.


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posted by Gabriel Malor at 06:54 AM

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