Friday, July 15, 2011

Why the Republicans Will Not, Can Not, and Shound Not Raise Taxes

All the Republicans have to do is vote to raise taxes as part of the budget deficit shrinking package. The obstinacy of Congressman Eric cantor and the Tea Party freshmen is viewed as stupid and mean by democrats and the mainstream media.

The Democrats are the party of government and the Republicans the party of the individual, or are the Democrats the party of the people and the Republicans the party of the rich? Sometimes it’s confusing, but not today.

The Republican sweep of 2010 at the national and state level was a vote to cut taxes and shrink the budget deficit.

The Republicans know that.

They also know their history. They know the legacy of President Reagan, and of President George H. W. Bush and of Senator Robert Dole. They know the story of the Pennsylvania Republicans who voted to raise taxes in the state legislature, and then were bounced from office. They witness the success of the Republicans governors and legislators in New Jersey, Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana, Minnesota, and Pennsylvania in controlling costs without raising taxes. They see the future.

But let’s look at history.

President Reagan got a Democratic Congress to cut tax rates 25%, but later reached a deal with Speaker Tip O’Neil to raise taxes in the 1982 Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982, which raised taxes $98 billion over three years. He was promised three dollars in spending cuts for every dollar in tax increases.

Of course, the taxes went into effect immediately, and the Democratic Congress never delivered on the spending cuts.

President Obama is currently promising $3 in unspecified future cuts for every dollar in tax increases by the Republicans. Sounds like déjà vu all over again.

President George H. W. Bush pledged in his 1988 Convention acceptance speech: “Read my lips. No new taxes.” Six powerful words penned by the wordsmith Peggy Noonan. “Read my lips. No new taxes” became his campaign theme. Indeed, “No new taxes” became a covenant with the America voters.

He breached the covenant two years later in the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990. He lost his base in the Republican Party, and reelection two years later.
President George W. Bush never forgot the tax lesson of his dad. He cut, but did not raise, taxes.

Senator Robert Dole, the Republican leader in the Senate, signed onto the tax increases, as he had often done for fiscal stability. The Senator was a moderate Republican, a stalwart of the party, but a young Republican Congressman Newt Gingrich labeled him “the tax collector for the welfare state.” It stuck.

Although he won the Republican nomination for President in 1996, he had to accept a true tax reducer, Congressman jack Kemp, as his running mate.

Today’s young Republicans remember the past.

They remember that they lost the Congress in 2006 because the Republican base was offended by the spending of the Bush Administration.

They know that if they raise taxes, the Democrats will simply spend the additional revenues, just like Lucy always pulls the football out from Charley Brown.

They know that if they agree to raise taxes, they will not only, once again, lose their base, but go far towards reelecting President Obama in 2012.

They are engaged in fight for the future of America - the state versus the individual.

These Republicans will not raise taxes, and the President knows it.

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