The latest rumors circulating about the negotiations between Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner and United States President Barack Obama are finally making progress. Of course, this all depends on one’s definition of progress. According to some in the media there is movement in the negotiations and apparently both sides are giving a little to get a little. The stories vary slightly from one source to the next but there are a few items which have proven to be consistent over multiple sources. So, what does reading the tea leaves reveal about this swirling fog that shrouds the entire debate over the fiscal cliff?
Well, the latest news is that only a few small details stand between the two sides and avoidance of falling over the self-imposed doomsday fiscal cliff. It is said that Speaker Boehner has agreed to allow some amount of tax increase on the top two tax brackets which covers people who make well over $200,000.00 a year while President Obama is granting that cuts will be made on entitlement spending in the future. If this is really the agreement, then obviously the Republican leadership has once again failed to learn from history. They are falling for the Wimpy argument of I’ll gladly pay you next Tuesday for a hamburger today. Tuesday, or cuts to entitlements in the future somehow never seem to arrive. I like to call this the tomorrow promise which goes like this, “My guarantee to you is whenever we talk about my promise I will restate my intentions to do it tomorrow.” And what happens is every time you mention or even begin to broach the subject you are waved off with the simple mention of one word, tomorrow. This was the promise the Democrat Congress gave President Reagan when he cut taxes and they guaranteed to start cutting the budget starting with the next budget, which needless to say never came. This was the promise made to President “Read my lips, no new taxes” Bush who also never saw the reduction come to fruition. And the one thing I can guarantee Speaker Boehner is that he too will wait forever and a day and until there exists a majority of conservatives in both houses of Congress and in the White House and there will be no cuts to entitlement spending coming anywhere in the future. But who cares, Boehner has the complete support of the vast numbers of go along to get along RINOs who will laud him for his great courage and fortitude in obtaining an empty promise.
This has been the problem with the Republican Party for as long as I can remember with very few exceptions found in their leadership with the obvious exception, for the most part, being Ronald Reagan. Almost universally the rest of the leadership of the Republican Party honestly believe that the path to winning election is to move as close as possible to the Democrat position on all subjects in order to guarantee they will win that ever so overly-hyped middle of the road voters. There is one thing that is consistent about voters; they will vote for only one of two things, money in their own pockets and a principled candidate who stands firmly on his convictions and is offering an actual alternative which has the appeal of bettering life for everybody. If the Republicans continue to try and sell themselves as almost the same as the Democrats but slightly concerned with the principles of the constitution, enough to actually bother to mention its existence, then they will continue to lose as why would anybody who wanted a Democrat vote for the Republican offering to be Democrat-lite? The Republicans are not losing elections from not garnering sufficient votes from the center; they are losing by not getting the votes from the conservatives who are their base.
How can we say this when virtually every pundit after the election pointed to the numbers interpreting them in such a way as to indicate that President Obama won reelection precisely because he swayed the majority of the center voters. We would like to point out that many of those who report and interpret the news have a unique definition of the center. Their idea of the center are those voters who mostly hold views of a similar nature to those of the journalist, after all, the journalist is the best example of somebody who is from the center due to their presumed ability to cover the news free of any political bias. So, if the people who are claiming that in order to win the candidates need to win the votes from the people who most closely mirror the views of most journalists, then their suggestion is that candidates need to be well left of center progressives in order to win. The majority of journalists underestimates and even ignore that there are people who strongly believe in the Constitution and actually would be in favor of the government being pared down by applying the governmental limits from the Constitution to reduce the size and scope of government. If one takes the time to inspect the actual numbers one would find that in this last election Mitt Romney received less votes from Evangelical Christians, Tea Party members, and many other conservative, libertarian, Constitutionalists, and other right wing voters than had John McCain four years earlier. This is what sunk the Presidential aspirations of Mitt Romney. Statistically, had Mitt Romney received the same numbers of votes from the entire gauntlet of libertarians, Constitutionalists, social conservatives, fiscal conservatives, and other right of center voters as had voted for John McCain, then Mitt Romney would have won the election and we would be awaiting a Republican being sworn into the White House this January instead of a reinduction of President Obama.
So, Speaker of the House John Boehner, leader of the Republicans and supposed conservative leader in the House of Representatives, do yourself, the Republican Party, and the people of the United States a favor and refuse to allow any tax increase without an immediate across the board reduction in entitlement and social spending. No promises of future cuts or of intentions to make cuts, hard, noticeable, real, and actual cuts in entitlement and social spending now or no deal. And make as much noise and yell your convictions that there will be no tax increase without real spending cuts while you are Speaker of the House. Even if in January and after we have gone over the fiscal cliff and President Obama comes to the congress and asks that you legislate tax cuts for those making less than $250,000.00 a year and again says that spending cuts can be discussed down the road and that tax cuts are the immediate item which is needed for the country, once again stand on principles and demand that if there will be tax cuts only for those who the President favors and not across the board for everybody, then this requires spending cuts be made at the same time. Take the stand that everybody gets to keep their current tax burden and that if the President demands otherwise then he has to grant your demand of spending cuts. You are the Speaker of the House and as such you are equal in power to prevent legislation from becoming law as is the President. Stand firm and you will likely be surprised at the support you will find.
Beyond the Cusp