The last forty-eight hours have been a complete failure for the Republican Party leadership in the U.S. Senate and U.S. House and scores of their members. With a clear majority in the House of Representatives 85 Republicans voted for a $620 billion tax increase on all Americans. In the Senate, only five Republicans stood their ground and voted against the bill…five! The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center says that the “Fiscal Cliff Compromise” will raise taxes on 77.1 percent of Americans. What is the Republican leadership in Congress doing, and do they stand for anything anymore?
As Kentucky Senator Rand Paul said on New Year’s Eve, and who ultimately voted against this flawed piece of legislation, “Not only are they raising taxes — maybe on a smaller percentage of people but a large amount of money — they’re also going to spend more money…So it’s a spending bill.”
America has a spending problem not a revenue problem. With the passage of this “compromise” the Congressional Budget Office projects that the federal government’s spending will actually increase by $330 billion over ten years. To put it in even starker terms, for every $1 in spending cuts $41 is generated in tax increases. A real compromise would have included entitlement reform and meaningful cuts in all federal spending programs across the board.
So how did we get here? Since the failure of the “Super Committee” in the fall of 2011, thanks to President Obama’s jihad against successful people, a ticking time bomb was set in motion where a number of tax increases and unsavory defense cuts would go into effect on January 1, 2013. Congress waited to the last possible second to come to a resolution. The House of Representatives did pass a number of bills that alleviated pressure from the “Fiscal Cliff” but those pieces of legislation died in the Democrat controlled Senate. Harry Reid and President Obama skillfully played Republicans by using the hourglass to their advantage and forcing this bad piece of legislation through Congress in the dead of the night.
To be an honest broker, one also has to fault the failed presidential campaign of Mitt Romney. The Romney Campaign chose not to make the “Fiscal Cliff” a central theme of the campaign. If they had a detailed plan, they did not make it public and by doing so the campaign and the Republican Party lost the message war to the Obama campaign in the fall.
So where do we go from here? Thankfully Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell did not give the whole store away and cede control of the debt ceiling to President Obama. In two months Republicans in Congress will have a chance to redeem themselves in holding the line on spending when it comes to our $16 trillion plus national debt.
Republicans in both the Senate and the House must aggressively cut government spending. Punting yet again is not an option after the fiasco of the “compromise” that passed last night. Our debt is out-of-control and future generations of Americans depend on what will happen in Washington in the near future. When will America’s leaders show courage to tackle entitlement reform?