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Wednesday, 5 December 2012
WOLF: GOP should fear voters, not the ‘fiscal cliff’ -- Keep fingerprints off Obama’s tax hikes
How many times does Lucy have to pull away the football before Charlie Brown finally wises up and quits playing her game?
don’t have to keep falling for the Democrats’ duplicity. The Democrats
pretend the so-called “fiscal cliff” debate is about getting our
financial house in order, so they propose a tax increase on people
earning more than $200,000 a year (i.e., “millionaires and billionaires”
in Democrat-speak), which will fund their leviathan government for all
of — drumroll — four days.
These are pathologically unserious
people. Their goal is not to solve the current fiscal crisis. Their goal
is to use the crisis to grow government and further their statist
agenda which, incidentally, created the crisis in the first place.
Recall Democrat Rahm Emanuel’s unmasked moment of clarity: “You never
want a serious crisis to go to waste.”
Now, in hopes of enacting
their panacea of tax increases, Democrats offer spending cuts that
everyone knows never will happen. What’s worse, the president calls for
$255 billion in more spending. Only a Democrat would claim increased
spending will reduce the deficit, and only a Republican would fall for
The Democrats’ lust for tax increases goes far beyond simple
class warfare, as atrocious as that alone is. Democrats are fully aware
that the rich already are paying more than their fair share. The wealthy
(top 10 percent) may earn 50 percent of the income, but they pay 70
percent of the federal taxes. If that’s not fair, what is? Eighty
percent? One hundred percent?
The Democrats’ long game is to push
an ever-increasing tax burden onto fewer and fewer taxpayers. This grows
a class of Americans who may or may not earn paychecks but certainly
become beneficiaries of government largesse while remaining blissfully
detached from its enormous cost. (What’s their fair share?) Economists
would call this a recipe for disaster. Democrats would call it a voting
base. Weak-kneed Republicans are poised to help them build it.
will follow is just as predictable: The economy will continue to
suffer, the debt will continue to rise, and Democrats will blame
Republicans. Why play their game? Republicans must reject compromises
that (1) only hope to slow the Democrats’ inexorable march toward
statism and (2) absolve Democrats from blame. One Republican vote is all
the cover they need.
The Republicans understood this in the
run-up to Obamacare. Outnumbered and unable to stop this disaster, they
at least were smart enough to stay away from it. They could have
“compromised” in hopes of making it slightly less disastrous, but that’s
a fool’s errand. Just ask former Rep. Bart Stupak, whose abortion
compromise failed to protect the unborn or his job.
squarely own health care. They can’t blame Republicans for this one.
Your insurance rates went up? Thank a Democrat. Your doctor no longer
takes Medicare? Thank a Democrat. Your company cut your hours back to
part time in order to avoid Obamacare penalties? Thank a Democrat.
for the “fiscal cliff” debate, let the Democrats own it. Republicans
would be foolish to compromise with Democrats, whose real goal is to
grow the non-taxpayer class by shifting the tax burden onto fewer and
fewer voters. This is exactly what a tax increase on “the rich” does. It
would be far better to allow all of the George W. Bush tax cuts to
expire than to play into the Democrats’ hands. The economy will suffer
either way, and Republicans will be blamed either way — that’s a given —
but the Democrats finally will be exposed.
The left has railed
against the “Bush tax cuts for the rich” for a decade. (Start preparing
those YouTube video montages now.) Democrats’ dishonesty will be fully
exposed, as the typical middle-class family of four who once bought into
the anti-Bush mythology sees their taxes go up by $2,200. If the Bush
tax cuts were only for the rich, the difference must be what we’ll call
the Obama tax hikes.
Democrats hate the Bush tax cuts on a
visceral level. In their minds, those cuts caused the recession,
exploded the debt and are the root of all evil. If undoing them makes
things worse — and it will — Democrats have some serious explaining to
do. If Republicans aren’t up to winning that debate, it’s time to
It would be far better to let the Democrats own this
disaster than to put a GOP stamp of approval on it. Republicans would
be foolish — as Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist puts
it — to “have their fingerprints on the murder weapon.” Dr. Milton R. Wolf, a Washington Times columnist, is a radiologist and President Obama’s cousin. He blogs at miltonwolf.com.