Memo to the GOP: You won. A huge victory. Act like it, and start telling the Democrats that losers don’t make the rules. And that begins with the Bush tax cuts which ought to have been made permanent when they were passed and are going to be made permanent now.
A growth agenda looks out as far as the eye can see and tells investment the U.S. will be a low tax country with stable rates that will solve its deficit problem with spending cuts and economic growth, not punishing taxes. Putting that long-term tax policy in place is job number one, and the detailed and deep spending cuts job number two.
Congressman Paul Ryan was on with Sean Hannity last night and I shook my head when he said that maybe the GOP could get a two or three year extension of the current tax hikes from the lame duck Congress.
This “compromise” with a defeated and repudiated Democratic caucus would be an early defeat for the new GOP majority, and given the crushing blow dealt the Obama-Pelosi-Reid team, tantamount to snatching defat out of the jaws of victory. Why else would Max Baucus be thinking the same “two year” deal makes sense.
The country doesn’t want their taxes raised now or in two or three years. Taxes are high enough and, when the various state taxes are added in, are still crushing of economic growth. Businesses and individuals want to plan, and planning isn’t a two or three year exercise but one that stretches beyond a decade out. A two or three year extension will not keep capital in the U.S. or jumpstart hiring as it simply kicks the uncertainty down the road. With the disaster of Obamacare looming over every business, a two or three year extension is a band aid.
The GOP has to act like the mandate-winning-party that it is. It won an enormous victory, and the 23 Democratic senators facing re-election in 2012 know this. They dare not raise taxes on the job creators, or to try a trick of getting them raised in two or three years, and more than they would dare try for a another stimulus.
It is time to drive home the victory and the country’s message on both taxes and spending. Ryan sounded completely like a man with a mandate on spending –there will be no earmarks from the new Congress, he said, and no budget now if the spending cuts aren’t deep– but his hesitation on the tax rates was both stunning and alarming.
The people told their House to demand growth, not taxes. Hopefully Congressman Ryan and the future Speaker and Majority Leader will be out on the interview trail today making sure the public knows that the agenda isn’t already being whittled down.