Monday, December 31, 2012
Sorry for the light blogging, but the holidays and a family trip to Santa Barbara took precedence over blogging about the fiscal cliff and other Beltway Kabuki matters.
Still, I want to go on the record (again) by repeating my belief that we should just go over the cliff and deal with what comes after as best we can. The GOP has made its point, I think, that they really really don't want to raise taxes without spending cuts. If you want my opinion, I think the Dems' "plan" to raise taxes and cut defense and then blame both outcomes on intransigent Republicans will not work as well as they think for the simple reason that there is a long paper and video trail of various liberals demanding those very outcomes.
Many on the right worry that a tax increase will split the GOP a la the Bush 1990 budget deal, but I don't see how that will work for the simple reason that the 1990 situation is not the same as that of 2012. Back in 1990, Bush 41 had won re-election* and still entered into a RINO-esque budget compromise that predictably angered the base. Now? Unless I missed something, we don't have any Republican president-elects strutting around negotiating any deals with anybody. Quite the opposite. Obama won on very little, except for his repeated demand that "the rich" pay just "a little bit more" in taxes to make things "fair." That apparently was a winning message ca. 2012 A.D. Why is the GOP going to be blamed for that?
Rather than negotiating another round of secret deals, the House and Senate Republicans should simply let the cliff approach and then pass by, and then begin to treat the Dems as an enemy to be defeated, rather than lovable opponents who need to be appeased.
*it was Ronald Reagan's third term, remember.