Kristol: It won't kill us if we raise taxes on millionaires
This is called surrendering before the war starts:
Conservative commentator and Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol said Sunday the Republican Party should accept new ideas, including the much-criticized suggestion by Democrats that taxes be allowed to go up on the wealthy.
"It won't kill the country if we raise taxes a little bit on millionaires," he said on "Fox News Sunday." "It really won't, I don't think. I don't really understand why Republicans don't take Obama's offer."
"Really? The Republican Party is going to fall on its sword to defend a bunch of millionaires, half of whom voted Democratic and half of whom live in Hollywood and are hostile?" he asked.
One of the biggest fights as Congress returns will be over taxes, as cuts put in place by former President George W. Bush are set to expire at the end of the year. Republicans want to extend those tax cuts for all income brackets, while Democrats want to raise revenue by allowing them to expire for wealthy Americans.
Exit polls last week found that six in ten voters supported ending the tax cuts on the wealthy, but House Republicans have remained adamantly opposed to allowing any of the rates to expire, instead supporting other changes to the tax code. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) indicated on Friday that was unlikely to change.
First of all, if Kristol wants to go belly up and grovel before Obama before negotiations even begin, that's his business. Leave the rest of us out of it.
But Kristol - and much of Washington - misses the point. It's not that raising tax rates would break the rich. Money is not the issue. Nor will raising rates on the wealthy impede economic growth - such as it is. That is not the issue either.
The point is, we don't have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem. It's a simple, common sense principle: don't raise taxes until you have to. And that means, cutting every last dollar from the budget that can be safely squeezed out of it before thinking about raising taxes on anybody to balance the budget.
The Democrats see every dollar of federal spending (except the military budget) as sacred. Why isn't anyone putting any pressure on them to come off that ridiculous position and debate the real issues at stake; how big should government be? What should be its responsibilities? What limits should be placed on its growth?
Governing is about choices and the Democrats refuse to make any. Until they do, the GOP should dig in its heels about any tax increases.
And to Bill Kristol: Shut up.