How should the GOP respond to the Obama demand for increased taxes?
I have a pretty good idea, but first, here’s the gist of the demand:
President Obama pressured Republicans on Wednesday to accept higher taxes as part of any plan to pare down the federal deficit, bluntly telling lawmakers that they “need to do their job” and strike a deal before the United States risks defaulting on its debt.
Declaring that an agreement is not possible without painful steps on both sides, Mr. Obama said that his party had already accepted the need for substantial spending cuts in programs it had long championed, and that Republicans must agree to end tax breaks for oil and gas companies, hedge funds and other corporate interests.
So how should the Republicans answer this demand?
Well, as I mentioned in my post about why the GOP should stand firm on declining to raise taxes, the problem isn’t tax revenue. It is, quite simply, spending.
What the Democrats and Obama will promise you is they’d use any increased revenue brought in by increased taxes to reduce the deficit and debt. But that is never how it really works and we know that. It’s like giving an alcoholic another shot – he’s going to drink it. Revenue isn’t the problem. Spending is the problem.
So what the GOP must do is say, “Mr. President, when the government has proven that it can indeed cut spending and cut it drastically, and it has done everything it can conceivably do in that regard, if there is a revenue problem at the bottom of it, then we can discuss tax increases. But until such a time that it is proven – through action, you know actual cuts – that the government has done all it can in the area of spending cuts, there’s nothing further to discuss in terms of tax increases.”