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Congress’ Perfect is the Enemy of the Good

I liked Bohner’s compromise proposal taxing millionaires.

Yes, I know it was unfair and counterproductive, but it had the potential to win the PR battle with the President. Once the Senate refused to consider it, or the president refused to sign it, it might actually sink in to some exactly how hysterical is the Democrat’s position on taxes. It had the air of compromise while drastically limiting the scope of the damage. And it had the potential to weaken the President’s hand.

Instead the you…

  1. Vice-Potentate

    Elongating tax cuts without triggering spending cuts seems counter-productive in the long run. It seems everyone has conveniently forgotten about the deficit.

  2. Mark

    This is a disaster for the R’s.  The D’s are now to their right on tax cuts as the R’s have positioned themselves as willing to have everyone’s taxes go up.  A juvenile tantrum by Plan B opponents is not a strategy.

    I’m unhappy with the election results but the reality is that the White House and Senate are D and some crappy compromise I won’t like is inevitable.

  3. Thom Williams

    The stupidity behind leaving Boehner dangling is difficult to measure. The democrats will now come back in January and pass a tax cut for everyone making less than $250,000. So, now the GOP will not only get painted – once again – as the party that only cares about the rich, everyone else be damned, because they would rather raise taxes on everyone than just raise taxes on millionaires; the GOP has now allowed the democrats to take credit for the tax cut they will pass upon their return. The GOP gets nothing out of this but more ignominy. The dems get everything they could have possibly hoped for and more.

    Thank you Tea Party [redacted for Code of Conduct].

  4. BrentB67

    If we want to spend $3Trillion + per year why shouldn’t we pay for it?

  5. Trace

    @BrentB67 If higher rates precipitate a recession, there is no guarantee that revenues will increase, and pressure for additional spending will surely increase. It’s a spiteful, unproductive gesture.

  6. Thom Williams
    BrentB67: If we want to spend $3Trillion + per year why shouldn’t we pay for it? · 7 minutes ago

    So, we’ve gone from starve the beast to feed the beast. What makes me think this brilliant strategy will work even less well than the former.

  7. Mr. Bildo

    It strikes me that Boehner had a very good sense of the politics of the moment, but he no longer speaks for his caucus and after this latest debacle could well be out of a job.

    For the sake of the country and the GOP, I hope that’s the case.

  8. Roberto
    Mendel: I would find the conservatives in the House laudable and less odious if they actually put their conditions on the table and at least engaged in some type of discourse.

    Uh, what???

    H.R.2560 Latest Title: Cut, Cap, and Balance Act of 2011 H.R.6169 Latest Title: Pathway to Job Creation through a Simpler, Fairer Tax Code Act of 2012 H.CON.RES.112 Latest Title: Establishing the budget for the United States Government for fiscal year 2013 and setting forth appropriate budgetary levels for fiscal years 2014 through 2022.

    Reid Laughs at Prospect of Bringing GOP Bills Up for Votes in Senate

    In total, there are 40 House-passed bills, according to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s (R-Va.) office, that have passed the House but languish in the Senate.

  9. BrentB67

    Irrespective of the outcome the republicans were going to be blamed. Even if Obama proposed $1.6Trillion in tax hikes over 10 years and the republicans unanimously passed it by the time the bill made it to the President’s desk it would be republican’s fault that it wasn’t $1.7Trillion.

    I would personally rather see all the tax rates increase and taxmageddon be unleashed on all the country. When all of us (that actually pay income taxes) get smacked with higher rates and we begin to scratch the surface of paying for the welfare state maybe then more of us will start paying attention. 

    Dividing the country according to tax brackets plays into the progressive’s hands. Let the ‘fiscal cliff’ occur. Things aren’t bad enough for real reform, wait until they are that bad and rejoin the fight. Don’t raise the debt ceiling and then let Obama squirm.

    No matter what R’s do it is wrong and bad so might as well make a statement.

  10. Leigh

    I agree and really don’t get the opposition.  The simple fact is that in real life anything else will be worse than Plan B.  That’s what happened during the debt-ceiling crisis (which I think might have been the turning point for Obama, because the optics for conservative Republicans were so bad) — conservatives rebelled against the most realistic option which would have put them in the best spot politically, and we got sequestration.

    In other areas, conservatives operate on this principle.  If it’s about abortion, pro-lifers vote for the bill on the table that will save the most lives, regardless of whether they like its language.  And so forth. Why are taxes and spending different?  If the only alternative is worse for the country, vote for the bill!  The legislative version of the Buckley rule: vote for the most conservative option really on the table.  Yelling “stop” does no good when you throw away your chance to access the brakes.

    That doesn’t let Boehner off the hook; he’s not convincing his caucus that his leadership is consistent with their principles.  Whether a new Speaker will improve matters, I have no idea. 

  11. Trace

    But Roberto these are measures that have no hope of passing. So again, the purists are allowing the perfect to be the enemy of the good. They will never achieve perfect and so will permit something worse in what I believe is a misguided idea that Americans will see the error of their ways and come back to supporting one of these pure measures. They had an opportunity to vote that way in November and declined. So all that this accomplishes is to confirm their November suspicions that Republicans are extremist.

  12. Mendel

    I would find the conservatives in the House laudable and less odious if they actually put their conditions on the table and at least engaged in some type of discourse.

    Even if they can never get anything close to what they would want, by at least making a serious proposal the conservative caucus would demonstrate an eagerness to solve the problem and a set of principles they stand by.  But now they just look like the obstructionists they are labelled to be with no constructive ideas of their own.

  13. The King Prawn

    Could he not get some dems to go along with the plan thus covering for those who rebelled and putting pressure on the Senate and the president because it was a bipartisan bill?

  14. Trace

    But @BrentB67 this “lesson” comes at too great a cost. The principal of it could be lost while the cost of it in economic hardship will be quite real. While I understand the impulse to “teach everyone a lesson,” I’m afraid in this case it is both unwise and unkind and NOT in keeping with the purpose of public office.

  15. Shane McGuire
    Thom Williams: Shane, republicans would not have raised taxes on millionaires because the bill would never have passed in the Senate. What would have happened is that senate democrats and the president would have had a light shone on their BS.

    · 3 minutes ago

    I assume you’re exactly right that the Democrats in the Senate wouldn’t have passed Plan B.

    Do you think that Obama wouldn’t refer to people making $500,000 a year as “millionaires”? He certainly would’ve, or he would’ve used some other politically useful term. So then the Senate passes a tax hike on people at $500K and up, and then what? Well, then the ball goes back to the House, where Republicans would then be seen as in the pockets of the rich for not lowering taxes on the middle class in favor of protecting the entitled $500K and up crowd. That’s how it would play out, and Boehner would lose.

    Instead, the minority in the GOP is going to say, “Let’s extend all the tax cuts and not budge.” If they call Obama’s bluff, he’ll fold on that, while vilifying Republicans.

  16. Blame The Innocent

    Republicans read books.  Democrats watch TV (a.k.a. The Ministry of Information). 

    CuriousJohn: Can you name a single issue in which the GOP won the battle and the Left has ever said, you know, they were correct. They don’t even have to try. The massmedia will do it for them by claiming the solution was due to the Left’s willness to work for the good of the country.  The subject/meme moves from the solution to the lovable Left that is on the side of good.  Leaving the GOP a image of the bad guy. even when we won the battle.

    You have to admit, they aregood,  (EVIL, butgoodat it).

    I blame it on the media, that we let stay in power.  Its our fault that we let the massmedia drag the country around like a dog on a leash.  We act as if we can wonder free,  Just when we think we can start to run.  The heavy hand of the massmedia yanks us back in line.

     

      · 3 hours ago

  17. Thom Williams
    Guruforhire: Who cares if they are the minority party in 2014, the change from the present would be what?

    A great pile of nothing. · 2 minutes ago

    Well, if we hadn’t been the minority party in the spring of 2010 we could have blocked Obamacare. Giving the dems full control of the government in 2014 could see all sorts of new and terrifying progress. I just don’t get how people continue to delude themselves that “principled” loss is somehow winning. It’s not a win in any sense, it just allows even worse things to happen. It’s all pride and vanity.

  18. James Of England
    Brian Clendinen:

    Just the fact the Republican leadership allows a communist or Fascist (I can’t decide which one he is)  like Bloomberg says all you need to know about the party leadership. · 2 minutes ago

    I can see the arguments for fascist, but not for communist. Could you outline the latter for me?

    Obviously, since Bloomberg is a Jew, calling him a fascist is in poor taste; he may agree with Mussolini and Hitler about secular dietary laws, high speed rail, welfare, gun control, and all the rest, but the term is most strongly associated today with the holocaust. Bloomberg does not advocate genocide.

  19. Thom Williams
    Shane McGuire

    So then the Senate passes a tax hike on people at $500K and up, and then what? Well, then the ball goes back to the House, where Republicans would then be seen as in the pockets of the rich for not lowering taxes on the middle class in favor of protecting the entitled $500K and up crowd. That’s how it would play out, and Boehner would lose.

    Wrong, first there would probably not be time for that sort of thing. Secondly, I don’t believe Reid would have the votes for that seeing as so many in his caucus are happy to let this go off the cliff.

    But let’s say it did happen. The House could say, okay, we’ll let them go up on $500,ooo and above, but you have to scuttle sequestration and agree to these spending cuts and entitlement reforms.

    Then, either the senate agrees, and you’ve limited tax increases to fewer than would get them otherwise, as well as getting some great concessions sparing defense and limiting spending. Or, more likely, the senate balks again, and you’ve shone another light on dems lies about sequestration and spending cuts.

  20. Shane McGuire
    Thom Williams

    Shane McGuire

    So then the Senate passes a tax hike on people at $500K and up, and then what? Well, then the ball goes back to the House, where Republicans would then be seen as in the pockets of the rich for not lowering taxes on the middle class in favor of protecting the entitled $500K and up crowd. That’s how it would play out, and Boehner would lose.

    Wrong, first there would probably not be time for that sort of thing. Secondly, I don’t believe Reid would have to votes for that seeing as so many in his caucus are happy to let this go off the cliff.

    You’re assuming the Senate’s bill would be a tax hike on 250+?

    How are the politics of that any different, for the democrats,  than 1 million+ tax hike?

    If the GOP refused to pass the 250% tax hike, they’d still be blamed for protecting the rich, because to the overwhelming majority of people in the country (especially the Dem base) $250,000 is obscenely wealthy, and the media will play ball.

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