Sunday, December 12, 2010

Business As Usual In Washington

One commentator said that the Americn people didn't have an election in November, they issued a restraining order. Senator Jim DeMint said that the election results were't a mandate for Republicans, but rather the Republicans had been given a second chance.

It seems as though the Republican leadership still doesn't get it.

The tax compromise recently struck by Obama and the Republican leaders (McConnell and Boehner) is more "business as usual" in Washington. It's as though the election never happened; nothing has changed in their approach.

The tax proposal does leave all current tax rates in place, thus preventing an economic catrastropy come January 1 by raising taxes. But the extension of current tax rates is only for two years. Our fearless leaders are just kicking that can down the road. It does nothing to remove the tax uncertainty on businesses, thus still leaving them reluctant to spend money by hiring. They still have that looming tax increase (in two years) hanging over their heads.

Message to Republicans: You won the election!! People want to see a new approach coming out of Washington, not more of the same old political maneuvering. If keeping tax rates where they are now is a good thing, then it's also good in two years. Fight that battle now, Republicans, while you are fresh off of a big election win; don't leave it hanging out there. The tax rates should be made permanent. Do that, and let the Dems propose tax increases whenever they so desire. "The votes aren't there", you say. Well, in January, they will be.

Next, the current tax compromise extends unemployment payments for another thirteen months by means of borrowed money. There were no offsetting spending cuts. Again, more business as usual. The people let it be known forcefully that they were fed up with out of control deficity spending in Congress, yet only a month later, there they go again.

And the tax compromise is larded up with earmarks in the form of special tax breaks for such vital national interests as NASCAR and Hollywood.!! Unbelievable!!

I recommend that the Republicans come to their senses, quickly. The tax question should be in a bill addressing that alone. Let's have a debate and vote on the tax issue by itself, so the positions on whether or not taxes should be raised will be clear. Have that debate clearly; don't cloud it with other things thrown into the bill. If you can't do that now, then do it in January when you will have a big majority in the House, and increased numbers in the Senate.

If the Republicans continue with "business as usual", they will squander their big election win and probably put themselves into extinction by means of the rise of a third party that "gets it".

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