It’s beginning to look like the Republicans are losing their nerve and starting to duck away from the fight that must be fought for our nation’s soul.
House Speaker John Boehner looks like he’s beginning to bend on the matter of tax increases; he’s conceding that a final deal, from the super committee or in Congress, could include revenue increases; although he maintains that “there clearly is a limit.” Additionally, 100 Representatives, including 40 Republicans, have signed a letter to the super committee that insists that “all options for mandatory and discretionary spending and revenues” be considered. Unfortunately, we know what the limit invariably is, once the camel’s nose is in the tent.
Senator Jim DeMint (R, SC), while professing general optimism, notes that one of the reasons he’s not endorsing any of the present Republican candidates for President is that he wants to focus on getting a greater number of conservative Republicans elected to the Senate in 2012. He’s already seen in the past week, for instance, 32 of his colleagues side with Senate Democrats to block an amendment offered by Senator Tom Coburn (R, OK) that would have cut spending by $1 billion through reducing funding for the Rural Development Agency. In the same week, 11 Republican Senators, together with the Democratic Party, couldn’t even figure out how to cut $6 million from the Small Community Air Service Development Program. Senator DeMint has been forced to take a different route than he did in 2008 when he endorsed then-candidate Mitt Romney:
I want to do better for our next president than we did for George Bush. [He] had a Congress that wanted to spend money, and if he wanted anything done, he had to agree to that spending….”
Apparently too many Republicans, in the Senate, at least, have lost their stomach for this fight to reduce government and cut spending.
We cut our deficit and our debt by cutting spending. Period. This isn’t rocket science. The government has too much money, already; there’s no need to raise taxes. Eliminate loopholes—starting with the energy subsidies, both oil and gas and “green” energy subsidies—absolutely, and this will raise revenue sufficient to Boehner’s “revenue increases,” but it does so without raising taxes, without raising tax rates. The surest way to increase government revenue, and the most economically sound way, the most moral way, is to get government out of the way of our economy, out of the way of our businesses, and let our economy recover and our citizens get back to work. This demands, as a first step, spending reductions. This requires cutting wherever the opportunities arise. This requires forcing the Democrats—alone—onto the record as voting for spending increases.
If we need to alter our taxes, and we do, we need to do so by reforming our present system by replacing it in its entirety with a flat tax that has no subsidies, no credits, no loopholes, and that has everyone paying something. Ten percent of Americans paying 70% of the nation’s income tax, while 50% of us pay 3%-4%, is a system that cries out for wholesale replacement.
The Republicans need to find their…sticking-place…and rescrew their courage to it. One sitting Senator understands this need.
I think you may be too narrowly focused here on the Republicans. Many Democrats are also facing the consequences of the Progressive agenda come to pass. There is an opportunity here to bring the Democratic party back to its Cold War era sensibility in many parts of the foreign policy arena – the Democratic foreign policy sensibility of Scoop Jackson and Harry Truman. Even the distrust of dictatorships evinced by John Kennedy (though his ability to act on that was inept, at best) would be an improvement. And we might actually have the chance to regain the benefits of a dynamic two-party system.
I am focused on the Republicans. The Democrats who are facing “the consequences of the Progressive agenda” did it to themselves–they are those Progressives. Further, their constant push for more spending and more taxing (even the “moderates” are actively engaged in this push by condoning the behavior of their leadership) demonstrates that they have no interest in recovering any form of “sensibility,” foreign policy or domestic (if you want to talk about their foreign policy skills, look at Reid’s bleat that the (Iraq) war is lost, made at the moment of victory; look at Obama’s blind rejection of Bush’s foreign policy, even as he pushes exactly that today).
As to Jackson and Truman, they were DINOs, and Truman was reviled in his own party. He wasn’t elite enough to suit them, even then.
We already, and still, have a dynamic two party system: we have real differences between the classic Democrats and classic Republicans, and we have the dynamicism of the Tea Party movement.