We gave the Republicans every advantage, great leverage, in the recent election. They are repaying us with more same old, same old. Get with the program, recognize the message.
Let us test the Obama Compromise.
First, the Bush tax cuts. If they expire in total, everybody agrees the country is in for a heap of hurt. Therefore, up or down, should we let the tax cuts expire? A two-part question, middle class [sic] and filthy rich. There is virtually unanimous consent on the so-called middle class tax cut so keep it, don't let it expire. The so-called millionaire's tax cut? No consensus so let it expire and judge the consequences when the new congress is seated. If necessary, and I think it will be necessary, reinstate it. Second, extending unemployment insurance. This is obviously a contradiction in terms. Any insurance element to unemployment payments has long since been blown away. Unemployment payments are popular but contrary to sound fiscal policy. Scott Brown, you are half right when you insist on using existing monies to pay for this. Scottie, we love you in New Hampshire, but those existing monies are borrowed monies; let's just give them back and reduce the deficit. When I was unemployed and my benefits ran out, I became much more aggressive (and successful) in job hunting. Third, payroll tax reduction. As I understand this, it is a 2% reduction in the Social Security tax payment for the worker. (I would save $2,200 a year. The total cost to the deficit - $120,000,000,000) Does this mean that we are finally doing away with the fiction that Social Security has a trust fund and a guaranteed funding stream? I think it does. Social Security can now be recognized as the massive welfare program that it actually is, an entitlement in urgent need of reform. Do not cut Social Security funding arbitrarily at this time. Fourth, the death tax. The progressive shudders at people profiting from their labors and seeks more confiscatory marginal tax rates. The progressive becomes absolutely apoplectic when thinking of the profits of one generation's labors being passed to the children. Of course, when one thinks of the connection between John Kerry's money and Grandpa Heinz, maybe the progressive has a point. Fifth, ethanol?? Come on, this is plainly beltway funny business as usual. Ethanol is more expensive and less efficient than gasoline and using it as fuel simply drives up the cost of food. Let us use our oil reserves, now off-limits per decree from Obama, and not waste resources on ethanol.
We sent a message in November. The message applies to both parties although the Democrats felt the most pain this time around. This current compromise ignores our message.
How can a compromise that fails on every individual point look good when taken as an aggregate? Only in the I scratch your back while you scratch mine occasion of sin that is the current congress.
Our message is no more business as usual, slathering every legislative bill with earmarked pork to buy votes. Consider one aspect at a time. Is it good or bad for the country? Then vote it up or down on its own merits.
Continue to ignore us at your own peril.
Mike Johnson is a concerned citizen, a small government conservative, and a licensed to carry live-free-or-die resident of New Hampshire. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org