Are Republicans Set to Cave on Tax Hikes?

November 27, 2012 at 10:56 pm (Fiscal Cliff, Lindsay Graham, Medicaid, Medicare, Peter King, Saxby Chambliss, Social Security, Taxes)

A skilled poker player as they say, never shows his cards. Republicans seemingly haven’t heard such advice.  With ‘fiscal cliff’ negotiations taking place in the media of late, they are proving to be poor poker players, poor negotiators, and all-to-willing to fold.

Several Republicans, responding weak-kneed in a kneejerk reaction to their 2012 election beating, have signaled a willingness to compromise on tax hikes, despite little indication that Democrats would make similar concessions with spending cuts. Senators Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), Lindsay Graham (R-SC), and Peter King (R-NY) have gone so far as to walk back a no-tax pledge they placed their signatures upon.

Amelia Chasse, vice-president of Hynes Communications, says that while Americans are looking for both sides to come together after the election, Republicans should not be so quick to give away the farm.

Discussing the matter on Neil Cavuto’s show late last week, Chasse opined that, “In terms of raising taxes, I think Republicans will be making a huge mistake with their constituents if they agree to any proposal that raises taxes for the sake of raising taxes”.

According to a source with knowledge of the negotiations however, Republicans are set to do just that.  Their information indicates:

“We suspect that enough Republicans could support a top tax rate in the 37-38% range along with limits on deductions, which together would raise $600-800 billion over 10 years.  Along with a few other revenue provisions, the total deficit reduction from revenue could reach $1 trillion.”

The 37-38% represents an increase on the current level of 35%.  Chasse indicates that such a tax hike plan “would raise rates for some of the most vulnerable taxpayers in this economy – small business owners”.  Furthermore, limits on deductions would have the same economic effect as raising marginal rates on upper-income taxpayers even further.

Why would Republicans agree to such a plan?

“The key to Republicans going along with this tax increase,” the source adds, “is structural reform of entitlement programs”.  This would presumably involve such programs as Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare.  The wisdom being that meaningful deficit reduction can be accomplished through ‘means testing’ and raising the eligibility age.

FreedomWorks Vice President of Health Care Policy, Dean Clancy, doesn’t believe these methods will be successful.

“These two ideas are unpopular, and, while they are better than across-the-board cuts, they do not alter the underlying structural problems with the big entitlement programs or make them more voluntary for individuals.”

He adds, “If ObamaCare goes into effect, raising the Medicare retirement age will have the effect of increasing federal outlays for ObamaCare premium subsidies and for Medicaid.”

So a cave-in on tax hikes is being negotiated for the benefit of a deficit reduction plan that would likely be unsuccessful.  But at least an agreement and compromise on tax rates and entitlement reforms will lead to significant cuts in the deficit, avoiding an economic calamity, right?

Not quite…

The real key for a fiscal cliff breakthrough, according to the source, lies with the President himself.

“If he puts major entitlement reforms on the table, a grand bargain that reduces the deficit by roughly $2-2.5 trillion over ten years is likely.”

Such a ‘grand bargain’ would fall significantly short in terms of necessary deficit reduction over the next decade.

Clancy claims, “We would need more like $8 trillion in savings over 10 years to balance the budget within 10 years.”

Chasse agrees, stating that the President’s proposals “would barely make a dent in the deficit”.

With the fiscal cliff looming in the near future, Republicans are foolishly signaling a willingness to concede on tax hikes.  Such concessions – with little to no valuable reductions in spending and entitlements – indicate the party has not only lost the election battle of 2012, but they may be willing to surrender in the war on conservative fiscal values.

Cross-posted at FreedomWorks

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Obama Considering the Release of World Trade Center Bombing Mastermind

September 20, 2012 at 4:10 pm (Blind Sheikh, Egypt, Foreign Policy, Osama Bin laden, Peter King, President Obama, Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman, Wendy Long)

What.  The.  Hell?

The Obama administration is weighing the release of blind Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman — the spiritual adviser to the 1993 World Trade Center bombers — in a stunning goodwill gesture toward Egypt that has touched off a political firestorm, officials said yesterday.

The Egyptian government “asked for his release,” an administration source told The Post — and Rep. Peter King (R-LI) confirmed the request is being considered.

The White House, State Department and Justice Department each issued statements denying any deal is in the works, but, “There’s no way to believe anything they say,” said Andrew McCarthy, the former assistant US attorney who prosecuted Abdel-Rahman. “I believe there may already be a nod-and-wink agreement in place.”

Let me get this straight.  We have our embassies attacked and diplomats murdered in the name of radical Islam, and the administration’s answer is to run apology ads in Pakistan, and reward the attacks by negotiating the release of a man who was not only very actively involved in the WTC bombing in 1993, but many other attacks in Egypt itself?

Why not just say, ‘thank you sir, may I have another?’

New York’s own Wendy Long released the following statement:

The Obama Administration is reportedly considering the Egyptian government’s call for the release of convicted terrorist Omar Adbel Rahman, also known as the ‘Blind Sheikh,’ who was sentenced to life in prison in the U.S. for his role in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. 

U.S. Senate candidate Wendy Long said, “The reports are so outrageous that they are hard to believe.  But Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi is on record saying that he will seek the release of this convicted criminal terrorist from President Obama when they meet next week in New York.  President Obama and Senator Gillibrand must assure New Yorkers and all Americans that the United States will not cave in to Morsi’s demand.” 

Long continued, “There is now evidence that suggests that Egyptians attacked the U.S. embassy nine days ago for the very reason of pressuring the United States to release Rahman.  We cannot possibly reward the attacks on American sovereign territory and American lives with more apologies, concessions, and now the possible release of a terrorist killer of Americans.  New Yorkers and all Americans want this insanity to stop.”

There is no better word to describe this – insanity.

Has there ever been a weaker or more out of touch President when it comes to foreign policy than this one? The proper response to Egypt’s request to release the sheikh is to Fed Ex pictures of Osama bin Laden’s bullet riddled dome, and including a post-it note that says shut the f*** up.

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