First, understand that Bahnsen writes like a neo-con. This means he is a progressive though he interprets everything from the right side of the left. He is not a conservative in any legitimate sense of the word.
There is nothing to celebrate or bemoan in what happened over the last 24 hours. A little rule-of-thumb of mine may be appropriate to share here: When BOTH parties say they want a certain thing, you can bet that after a whole lot of posturing or politicking and time-wasting, that thing is going to happen. It is not that easy when only one party says they want something. BOTH parties said they wanted the bottom four tax rates to stay where they were. BOTH parties said they did not want the estate tax exclusion amount to revert to the preposterous $1 million level. BOTH parties said they wanted a dividend tax rate at 20% or lower. It is no surprise that all these things are happening.
There is plenty to bemoan with this legislation.
1.) progressive income tax is a plank in the Marxist manifesto. The fact that any group of wage earner’s tax is going up is plenty to bemoan. Bahnsen has embraced the premise that progressive income tax is something that we just have to live with. I bemoan that we have a progressive income tax instead of a flat tax or something like a flat tax.
2.) The fact that we are getting more spending then tax cuts is outrageous. Not only does the McConnell Tax Hike stick it to the middle class, it raises taxes $41 for every $1 in spending cuts. Those spending cuts are ephemeral as there is $330 billion in new spending and a $4 trillion price tag over the next ten years. This plan is not fiscally responsible for a people who own their souls to the Chinese and are borrowing against future generations wealth.
3.) Keep in mind that with this deal more than 80 percent of households with incomes between $50,000 and $200,000 would pay higher taxes.
Both Hollywood and NASCAR get carve outs. So too do wind energy companies.
Now, do I want my income tax rate going up? No, and I think it is immorally high even at 35%, let alone 39.6%. However, anyone telling you that the Senate or House voted for a tax increase is lying, and they know it. The law of the land was for a dramatically higher increase in rates across the board to kick in, and there have been huge reductions passed in the last 24 hours from all of those legally set levels. In other words, a tax cut was passed, not a tax increase. Did the Republicans hold their ground about not agreeing to see the top rate go from 35% to 39%? No. Did the always-pompous Obama keep his sworn campaign pledge for rates to go up on all incomes above $250,000? No, with all the leverage in the world he folded like a bad poker hand and agreed to a $450,000 income level for that increase. There are things to like and things not to like, but there is simply no debating that it is better than what we were going to get – by a mile.
This is typical compromise political speak. Bahnsesn doesn’t know what we were “going to get” so how can he proclaim that this is “better then we were going to get?” This is like a virgin being told that she has to choose between becoming pregnant or contracting a STD and then upon becoming compromise her chastity saying, “Well, I may have gotten pregnant but I didn’t get a STD and so being pregnant is better than I was going to get by a mile.”
What if she had just said “no.” What if the Republicans had just said “no?” Who knows what we would have got?
So why are people like Erick Ericson so mad? Because this plan does not cut spending the way we want. Well, no kidding Sherlock (I like the real expression better). It does not tackle deficits and debts because THE WRONG PARTY WON THE ELECTION.
More compromise from Bahnsen. He is cut from the same cloth as Boehner and McConnell.
We are so mad because even though the Republicans won the house they cave at every turn. We are so mad because the Republican moderates (Boehner & Cantor’s people) are forging a ruling coalition with the Democrats against Republican conservatives. Has Bahnsen forgotten how divided Government works? Given the 2012 vote that gave the House to the Republicans and the Presidency to Democrats the people obviously wanted gridlock. All because a Democrat wins the Presidency doesn’t mean that he gets what he wants when there is a decidedly Republican Congress. Bahnsen reasoning is curious.
The so-called resolution to fiscal cliff is a joke, but that is not because it is a bad piece of legislation. The bad piece of legislation was the initial bill that failed to build in tax reductions on a permanent basis back in 2001 and 2003. Elections matter. Do not ever set policy on the presupposition that your party will never lose again. And when you do lose, do not act like you didn’t. The time to flex our muscle and block spending where we legally can is coming. But there was no possible way to do that yesterday.
There was a way to do that before this deal. Boehner could have held the debt limit increase that Obama wants in a very short time hostage. He could have used that as a leveraging chip but he didn’t and when the time comes around to debate the debt ceiling limit the Republican will cave AGAIN. Why elect Republicans when they are not going to be fiscally responsible?
For Republicans mad about this deal, I suggest you do what always has to precede real political improvement in a Republic: Win your elections. The Libertarians and Paul-bots have been sitting around crying in their beer for over thirty years while they capture 1% of the voting public’s attention. Do not stoop to their loser level. Win an election, then demand a harder line on spending. For now, we were facing something far, far worse, and we got an improvement. Keep your eye on the ball, friends. This is a long war.
Bret L. McAtee
This is a untempered statement by someone not thinking through the implications of what he says.
Republicans won MASSIVELY in 2010. Did they do anything? Did they stop the debt ceiling limit? Did they do anything to investigate this President? No .. instead what we got with a Tea Party propelled victory is a Neo Con Speaker. Clearly winning elections do not matter as Rockefeller Republicans dance cheek to jowl with Socialist Democrats. Boehner is not a conservative and neither is McConnel or Bahnsen.
And why is he moaning about the Libertarians if they are so insignificant? Me thinketh Bahnsen doth protest too much.
We are being turned into a slave people and the best Bahnsen can do is lash out at Libertarians?