What has been most troubling about the recent tax cut debate (though calling it a tax cut is a misnomer – it is in reality a debate about whether to raise our taxes) hasn’t been the fact that the President offered a compromise. It hasn’t been that a number of Democrats have rejected the compromise. What has been most troubling is that despite winning a decisive victory in November, the clear message of which was ‘deal with spending’ the Republicans are still sloshing through the mud accepting deals that greatly increase spending and debt in trade for something that the President and Democrats will be obliged to give us eventually anyway.
Do the Republicans really think when it is all said and done that the Democrats are going to let the incomes of millions of Americans be reduced during this time of economic hardship? The worst case scenario is that the lame duck session will fail to maintain current tax rates, and the Republicans will have to deal with them again next session when they have the majority in the House. But these Republicans are so anxious for a ‘win’ that they are willing to let the Democrats spend billions more on worthless riders (like ethanol subsidies) on the current bill, putting us even deeper into debt.
The fact is it is time for Republicans to stop being compromisers. It’s even time for them to stop being conservatives, at least on financial issues – what we need are radical reformers willing to seriously cut spending and bring an end to any number of federal programs and subsidies – what we don’t need is another tepid and typical response of the sort we have seen this last week.