The GOP members of the Supercommittee made a terrible mistake when they floated tax hikes in the form of limits on the deductability of home mortgage interest, charitable contributions and state and local taxes.
When the story broke and anger began to build among the voters that gave the GOP the House in 2010, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor quickly tweeted that the House GOP would not support the tax hikes. (@EricCantor and @HouseLeader are his Twitter addresses.)
Good for him, but the MSM, the president and Congressional Dems have not given up trying to force through tax hikes, including this terrible trio of enormous hits on the middle class. The president is threatening to allow the national security-gutting defense budget sequestration to proceed if he doesn’t get his way.
At this point the GOPers on the Supercommittee should give up trying to bring reason to their Democratic colleagues and announce failure. The House can pass a Defense budget that reverses the DoD sequestration and dare the president to veto it. As anti-Defense as this president is, he just might but in an election year, and on top of the massive cuts he has already imposed on the nation’s military?
What the GOP cannot do is fold and accept tax hikes, especially on the fragile housing market and the reeling not-for-profit sector. Limiting the mortgage interest deduction is the worst of many bad economic ideas bandied about by the Beltway wizards who first brought us Fannie and Freddie, and the canard that people don’t give to charity because of the deduction marks anyone who utters it as simply ignorant of how the world of churches, universities, hospitals and the hundreds of thousands of crucial not-for-profits from homeless shelters to disease prevention and research groups all operate.
Neither should the Supercommittee set up some lame duck Supercommittee as the Los Angeles Times reports is being considered. If the Congress is broken because Democrats won’t reduce federal spending to 20% of GDP, then declare the impasse and let the people decide what to do, but don’t do so by empowering the departing Democratic Senate majority the power to jam through tax hikes.
The 2010 election was about reducing spending. If the Supercommittee cannot reduce spending because the Democrats refuse to then it is time to call the game over and go to the people in the 2012 elections, and not with some backup plan to let the Supercommittee spring back into life to ignore the results of the election ahead. Let the Dems campaign next year on the tax hikes they are demadning on home owners and laying off the staffs of the not-for-profits while crippling the high tax states. The GOP needs to insist on entitlement reform and only entitlement reform, not tax hikes dressed up in the language of “tax reform” which tricks no one into not noticing the massive tax hikes they are paying except the Beltway sharpies who thought it up.
A handful of House members on important committees should not push the GOP into abandoning its core views, and lobbyists ought not to set up all next year as a bacchanalia of secret deals and celebratory toasts to their shrewd manipulation of the Beltway processes. If there is a deal to make a deal during the lame duck session next year it will be obvious to the conservative base, the Tea party and anyone who isn’t drunk that the fix is in to raise taxes and the Congressional GOP is a part of it.
Don’t do it. Don’t split the party and the base. Declare impasse and begin a ten month campaign to win the argument and the majorities necessary to fix the spending problems, and do so without a deal in place to ignore the results of that vote.
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