Two days ago Karl Rove penned an excellent piece in the Wall Street Journal, which I believe fully exposes President Barack Obama’s true intentions with regard to the so-called “Fiscal Cliff” crisis. His lack of real proposals, and unwillingness to work across party lines, has been dumbfounding to many Americans; however, such actions make perfect sense if the President really wants to go over the “Fiscal Cliff” for political purposes. I have believed for weeks that the President wants to go over the cliff, for two reasons: 1.) to get across-the-board tax cuts that he can blame on Republicans and 2.) Ensure that Republicans lose the House of Representatives in 2014. The President is playing political chess, and too many Republicans have been too naïve to know it.
The President knows that, if he can force the nation into the created crisis that is the “Fiscal Cliff,” he can get massive cuts in defense coupled with a massive tax hike without bearing any of the blame. This way, the President can enact the policy dream of the Left, while being cast as a victim right along with the American People such a policy will pummel. Then, as the 2014 midterm elections heat up, which will take place almost immediately after the Presidential Inauguration in January, the President will use the “Fiscal Cliff” as a battering ram against Congressional Republicans.
Even more devastating than across-the-board tax hikes that the President would try and pin on Republicans, is if he pushes us over the “Cliff,” only to propose a middle-class tax cut in the New Year. Under this scenario, the tax rates that President Bush gave all Americans, through his across-the-board tax relief that unleashed an economic boom, would be relabeled the Obama Tax Cuts for the middle class. Then, through an act of legislative chicken, the President will have taken the number one economic policy issue from Republican hands: tax relief for middle-class Americans. This would prove to be an electoral disaster for Congressional Republicans, unless our side can properly reframe the debate.
Spending is the problem, not revenue. The President paints a rosy picture wherein our debt crisis is ended if we raise tax rates on top income earners. Nothing could be further from the truth, for such a tax cut would raise less than $90 billion per year, which is less than 7% of the President’s projected budget deficits each of the next two years. The reality is that tax revenues to Washington have increased 10% over the past 12 months, while new spending has increased over 16%. Thus, any new income wrought by new taxes will not only be completely spent, but the hole will continue to get deeper every year.
House Republicans should stand in the power of their convictions, and immediately pass an across-the-board tax cut to send to the Senate for approval. Then, and I agree with Newt Gingrich on this, they should pass tax cuts for the middle class independently of across-the-board cuts, and force the President to veto both. This would shift responsibility back to the President, and call is legislative bluff. Simultaneously, they should take the focus off of the revenue side of the debt equation, as they don’t have a revenue problem in Washington, and focus it on out-of-control spending that threatens the prosperity of every single person in this nation. Republicans cannot win the debate by debating with themselves over their own values. President Obama is trying to incite civil war within the conservative movement, and the loser will be the American People. We must not allow this President to divide and conquer…again.
Take a moment to read Karl Rove’s Column in the “Fiscal Cliff.”