Friends, I am very tired.
Tired in the sense that I am sick of liberal crap enough to want to strangle every single last one of them.
What set me over the edge (this time)? Believe it or not, it is the subject of the “Bush Tax Cuts”. I weary of this battle, which is perhaps exactly the way liberals want us all to feel. But I am not weary in the sense that they had probably hoped.
Every year or two, we are drawn back into the same old debate that should have been settled nearly a decade ago. It isn’t the debate itself that irritates me so much as the reason for having it. I also grate at the so-called mainstream media, who portray the issue as “tax cuts for the rich” every year, instead of what it truly is; liberal Democrats pushing for tax hikes on a full-time basis. What further annoys me is the new liberal strategy of declaring that we should all join together to pass the parts upon which we agree, and fight over our differences later. Like every liberal position and talking point, it sounds great on a superficial level, but in translation it amounts to “give us everything we want and we’ll just sit back and ignore you later”.
The problem is this: Every since the original legislation was passed, Democrats who vote for–or refrain from blocking a vote on–the bill will do so only on the condition that it never becomes permanent. Their reason for doing this is far more maddening. It isn’t because they truly believe that the legislation is bad, or they would never have voted for it in the first place. The real reason is that liberals and their media lap-dogs believe that they have discovered a shiny, brand new way to deceive the American public.
Throughout their entire history, the Democrats have had the desire to raise taxes and expand government. Thus, the term “tax and spend” has haunted them, especially during election years. Unfortunately, early in George W. Bush’s first term, the Democrats found a way to remove that stigma from themselves, and the Republicans unwittingly abetted them.
Conservatives can make the argument every time that we are not actually debating tax cuts, and the failure to extend the Bush legislation would actually amount to a massive tax increase. However, I fear that this argument is largely lost on the American public, who are more likely to see the battle every year as one being fought over tax cuts, like the media constantly tells them.
Now every year, instead of Democrats being correctly pilloried for their constant desire to increase taxes, they are free to portray themselves as champions of the poor and the middle class, while demonizing conservatives as being beholden to those evil rich. It a cynical ploy on the instinctive human nature, to which all of us are susceptible, for people to envy those more successful than themselves; Class warfare.
So, what do we do about it?
There are only three paths:
1. Make the original legislation permanent
2. Allow the tax cuts to expire completely
3. Give the Democrats what they claim to want
The second one is off the table entirely. It would be a public relations disaster for Republicans, but it would also be a disaster for the American public, which is far more important. Still, the political implications are sad, because if it had been left to Democrats, none of these cuts would ever have existed, and it is only because of the Democrats that the legislation is at risk of expiring. But the Republicans would be the ones blamed if such a thing were actually to come to pass.
The third option is off the table largely for the same reasons as the second. While the Republicans are far less likely to face negative political consequences in this scenario, the damage to the American economy would still be devastating. Even the most squishy Republicans would not allow this to happen, and, oddly enough, they would likely be joined by at least a few Democrats to prevent it, despite the rhetoric coming from the DNC and President Obama.
That leaves only the first option, but how do we make it happen?
Well, that’s the real trick, isn’t it? Obviously, it could never happen with Obama in the White House, and so he must go. It also could never happen with Harry Reid leading the Senate, and so conservatives must turn out in record numbers this year to take the Senate back from the Democrats. Large as they may seem, these are not the biggest obstacles to the goal of making permanent the Bush legislation.
Even if we take back the Senate, we will almost certainly not be able to obtain a 60-vote majority. Unfortunately, the Democrats that would be likely to join us in avoiding a massive tax hike on those evil rich people who run small businesses across the country would be just as likely to balk at the notion of making things permanent. They’re not likely to easily let go of their pretty new political toy. They would try to block any effort to take their toy away from them, even to the point of filibuster.
In order to get this done, we must make the notion of temporary extensions politically toxic in such a way as to prevent liberals from blocking a vote to make this legislation permanent. That isn’t going to be easy, but I believe that it can be done.
We all know President Obama is only bringing up the matter of taxes to avoid having to address his horrible performance on the economy. It’s just his latest in a long line of distractions. The issue isn’t really on the table until after the elections, anyway–during the lame-duck session.
But the time to start our drum beat is still NOW. We need to use the opening he provided us to hammer the point home, over and over, that the uncertainty caused by the constant debate over this legislation is having an extremely negative effect on our economy. This has the virtue of being true. I believe it will resonate, and should be repeated as often as possible.
Assuming we do take back the White House and the Senate, we must aggressively take this battle to the Democrats during the lame-duck session of Congress. We must demand that these cuts finally be made permanent, and refuse to budge. If the Democrats still won’t give in, then we should threaten to let the entire legislation expire, and inform the American public that we will reinstate it once our newly elected representatives are seated. That would still be time enough to prevent a tax hike from effecting the American people in April.
My friends, it is time to reverse the roles here. It is time for us to put the Democrats in the position that they should rightfully hold; that of being in favor of raising taxes on everyone. We must put them on the defensive.
Do Republicans have the strength of will to act this aggressively?
I honestly do not know.
But they are our only chance to take this fight to the Democrat’s doorstep.