The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Fiscal Spliff: House GOP Takes A Hit From His Insta-badness

Posted on | December 3, 2012 | 22 Comments

by Smitty

No sooner had Glenn Reynolds suggested in his USA Today column:

1. Adopt the Bowles-Simpson Plan. The plan was the product of a bipartisan commission, chaired by Democrat Erskine Bowles and Republican Alan Simpson, appointed by President Obama to address America’s ballooning deficits and national debt. Most experts agree that it’s a pretty good plan. President Obama didn’t like it because it shrinks government too much.
Tough. It’s a plan, which is more than President Obama has offered, and from a bipartisan commission he appointed. Can Obama get away with vetoing that? Can Senate Democrats get away with rejecting it and bringing on the automatic cuts and tax increases of the sequester? Doubtful. Plus, though the press tends to cover for Obama and blame Republicans, media types love Bipartisan Commissions.

. . .then they went with it:

In the latest in a tit-for-tat between Capitol Hill and the White House to avert the fiscal cliff, House Republican leaders sent President Barack Obama a $2.2 trillion counteroffer on Monday — but it doesn’t hike tax rates on the wealthy or deal explicitly with tricky issues like the debt ceiling and the sequester.
After days of Democratic criticism that they lacked a plan, the Republican leadership endorsed a framework first outlined last year by Erskine Bowles, a Democrat who led the president’s debt reduction committee.
The proposal, unveiled by senior GOP aides Monday during a briefing in the Capitol, assumes $800 billion in fresh governmental revenue through tax reform, $600 billion in health savings and changes to an inflation formula that determines benefit levels across government programs, including Social Security.
There’s also $600 billion in other savings, split evenly between mandatory and discretionary spending.

Why I’m so flippant about this farce, starting with this post title, is that the actual problem is concentrated power and nothing whatsoever in this farcical kabuki seems to consider that:

he Obama administration’s opening bid on Thursday in negotiations to avert a year-end fiscal crunch included a demand for new stimulus spending and authority to unilaterally raise the U.S. borrowing ceiling, a Republican congressional aide said.
The proposal, made by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner to congressional Republican leaders on Capitol Hill, was seen as offering little the Republicans could agree to and was greeted with laughter, the aide said.

I’m not ready to quit yet, but I do grow to understand those who’ve just punted, given up, and said “Up this noise.”

GOP: we’re on a suicidal course. Articulate an alternative, federalist, Constitutional course. What part of “the course we’ve steered the last century has Got. To. Go.” eludes you?

James Pethokoukis at AEI has more.


22 Responses to “Fiscal Spliff: House GOP Takes A Hit From His Insta-badness”

  1. gary4205
    December 3rd, 2012 @ 7:00 pm

    RT @smitty_one_each: TOM Fiscal Spliff: House GOP Takes A Hit From His Insta-badness #TCOT

  2. Dai Alanye
    December 3rd, 2012 @ 7:28 pm

    My approach is to offer something that superficially meets the Dem desire to soak the rich but which the elite cannot accept. Thus the proposed wealth tax on billionaires. Or, as we might title it, Calling Buffett’s Bluff.

    Design a tax that makes a levy on every single thing Warren Buffett owns or hopes to own, including all those categories presently exempted–trust funds, annuities, stock options, tax-free securities. Allow NO exemptions for charity or anything else. Tax at a low but ultimately punishing rate–2% to perhaps 4%–single digits, in any case.

    Then sit back and listen to Warren and the lefties wail and dream up excuses.

  3. smitty
    December 3rd, 2012 @ 7:37 pm

    My response is to light off the bagpipe and play some diatonic blues.

  4. Mortimer Snerd
    December 3rd, 2012 @ 7:44 pm

    The Putter-in-Chief wants full control over the debt ceiling. Wouldn’t that be like giving a teenage boy a fifth of vodka and the keys to the car?

  5. Dai Alanye
    December 3rd, 2012 @ 7:48 pm

    Thanks for the thoughtful and sincere response.

  6. richard mcenroe
    December 3rd, 2012 @ 7:49 pm

    Hit or hint?

  7. Cube
    December 3rd, 2012 @ 7:57 pm

    What part of “the course we’ve steered the last century has Got. To. Go.” eludes you?

    My guess is it would be the three central words,”Got. To. Go.”

    Maybe I’m a little slow to catch on but it’s becoming clear to me that the GOP has no more interest in cutting back government than the ‘Rats do. I’m coming around to Bill Quick’s point of view – let it burn. It doesn’t seem that there’s anything we can do about it anyway since our “elected representatives” don’t listen to us.

    When the collapse happens, it will be fun listening to the screams of outrage from lefty types who thought they were exempt from the laws of economics.

  8. Freddie Sykes
    December 3rd, 2012 @ 8:02 pm

    This cliff or some future one: there will be pain as we are forced to abandon our unsustainable ways.

    My tax proposal is simple: allow corporations to deduct dividends which might encourage them to pay more and perhaps repatriate overseas’ earnings. Make up for the lost revenue by taxing tax dividend income as ordinary income. That should make Warren happy without damaging the economy.

  9. smitty
    December 3rd, 2012 @ 8:16 pm

    Hit, as in from a spliff.

  10. M. Thompson
    December 3rd, 2012 @ 8:22 pm

    More like a fifth for him and his friends each, plus a late model sports car.

  11. higgins1234
    December 3rd, 2012 @ 8:32 pm

    ….and watch it all burn down.

  12. Bob Belvedere
    December 3rd, 2012 @ 8:50 pm

    Allow the Democrats to put before the House the proposal as offered by Timmy No-Taxes, let it come to a vote, and have every GOP member vote ‘Present’ – let the Leftist bastards get what they want, but without the GOP’s help. Let ’em own the Mike Foxtrot.

  13. richard mcenroe
    December 3rd, 2012 @ 8:57 pm

    The corporations are in a bind with overseas assets as taxed right now: 35% if they bring them back into the US. Many couldn’t survive the hit to their ledgers if they had to write off those assets. More couldn’t survive the 100% loss they’re exposed to in Eurobanks being squeezed to bail out the PIIGs and the EU socialist crib.

  14. Freddie Sykes
    December 3rd, 2012 @ 9:31 pm

    True under the current tax law but not if dividends paid were deductible. Any foreign earnings that were paid out as dividends would then escape this double taxation. The current excuse for special tax treatment of dividends is to partially compensate for double taxation. I propose moving the tax burden on dividends from the customers of corporation to the owners of corporation. I do not see how taxing dividends as ordinary income would then be particularly onerous.

    Obama’s plan for higher taxes on earnings would penalize what I hope are the most productive members of society. People who own shares of companies are necessary to capitalism but not necessarily among the most productive,

  15. Wombat_socho
    December 3rd, 2012 @ 10:13 pm

    Hey, as long as they all drive over a cliff together, I could get behind that plan – and push.

  16. Adjoran
    December 3rd, 2012 @ 11:18 pm

    Unfortunately, the rest of us are in the trunk.

  17. Adjoran
    December 3rd, 2012 @ 11:21 pm

    I’ve thought that for a while, but now I’m leaning towards holding firm and going off the cliff. Let America taste the Clinton-era rates that Obama loves so much. Sure, the press will blame the GOP at first, but the marginal voters don’t have such memories, and the next recession will be Obama’s before much time passes.

  18. Adjoran
    December 3rd, 2012 @ 11:53 pm

    Reality must be acknowledged. It does no good to rail against “a century of Progressivism” when the country just reelected a Progressive President and increased the Progressive hold on the Senate.

    The fight isn’t between What Is and What Should Be, it’s between The Worst and The Best We Can Get. To reject the best we can get right now because it isn’t close to what ought to be is a rejection of reality.

  19. scarymatt
    December 4th, 2012 @ 6:09 am

    And all we got were those lousy slurpees. At least share the good stuff already!

  20. Bob Belvedere
    December 4th, 2012 @ 7:45 am

    You have, methinks, still too much confidence in the American Sheeples, er, Peoples.

  21. Bob Belvedere
    December 4th, 2012 @ 7:46 am

    There’s a good argument to be made that, if the country wants Fascism, let them get it good and hard. A lot of people only learn their lessons by getting hit upside the head with a 2×4.

  22. WyBlog - The GOP "Doomsday" plan for the fiscal cliff spells doom for the GOP
    December 4th, 2012 @ 10:44 am

    The GOP “Doomsday” plan for the fiscal cliff spells doom for the GOP…

    Dear Leader rejected the GOP’s offer to revisit Simpson-Bowles. Then Erskine Bowles repudiated his own plan. Because the Democrats never intended to use a “balanced” approach to the fiscal cliff. Their goal all along was to punish success via class …