This week the President offered Republicans a corporate tax reform plan that basically gives them everything they want (before negotiations even begin,) in exchange for please allow We the People to have some jobs and infrastructure and education. The Republican leadership pre-demanded additional tax cuts for the wealthy, while rejecting out-of-hand the idea that government should do anything to help the economy or people. Tea Party Republicans went further, saying taxes are theft and and government is socialism, and demanding an end to or at least drastic reductions in government programs that help people, plus the repeal of Obamacare, or they will both shut down the government and force a default when the debt-ceiling is reached.
This is who they are.
The President’s Proposal
In Chattanooga President Obama offered a new “Grand Bargain for the Middle Class,” offering huge corporate tax cuts and a huge “tax holiday” on profits parked overseas to avoid taxation, saying he offers this “as long as we use the money … for a significant investment in creating middle-class jobs.”
Specifically the President asked for funds to:
- Put construction workers on the job rebuilding our infrastructure
- Expand our network of high-tech manufacturing hubs
- Strengthen job training at community colleges
Also, the President wants Congress to raise the minimum wage. (Note: 40% of Americans now make less than the 1968 minimum wage, had it kept up with productivity gains. The difference went — well, see if you can guess where it went.)
Republican Response: “Tax And Spend”
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said, “It’s just a further-left version of a widely panned plan he already proposed two years ago – this time, with extra goodies for tax-and-spend liberals.”
The Heritage Foundation said the President “trotted out familiar tax-and-spend ideas.” Heritage wrote that “every time the government spends, it takes money out of the economy.” There is “the negative effect on the economy from the higher tax burden that’s necessary to pay for that spending.” Spending on infrastructure “transferr[s] resources from the more efficient private sector to the less efficient public sector.” “Mr. President, if you truly want to help the economy, how about approving construction of the Keystone XL pipeline?”
Fox News called the infrastructure and education proposals “more stimulus-style spending.”
Michael Steel, a spokesman for House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) said, “This proposal allows President Obama to support President Obama’s position on taxes and President Obama’s position on spending, while leaving small businesses and American families behind.”
The Drudge Report headlined a Weekly Standard claim that Obama is asking small businesses to pay 40%, while lowering corproate tax rates to 28%, saying Obama wants to “raise the top marginal tax rate on small businesses but lower it for corporations.”
Senator John McCain said, “We’ve heard that song before. Everything should be negotiated, but certainly I’m not in support of it.”
Rep. Phil Roe (R, Tenn.) said in response to Obama’s proposals (made in Tennessee) that in 2008 a grocery store used to sell 16% of its food through food stamps but today, “because of regulatory and EPA and so forth it is 65%, … coal was their job.”
Business Roundtable President John Engler (former Republican governor of Michigan) said, “All revenues from corporate base-broadening measures should be applied to corporate rate reduction and to modernizing our international tax system, not for unrelated spending.”
Tea Party Wants Shutdown, Debt-Ceiling Used As Hostage
Tea Party Republlicans are threatening to shut down the government over Obamacare, and force the country into default if there are not addtional cuts on top of the sequester, which the Office of Management and Budget said this week is costing the country 1.6 million jobs.
House Speaker John Boehner said, “We’re not going to raise the debt ceiling without real cuts in spending. It’s as simple as that.”
Texas Repubican Senator Ted Cruz said today, “We need 41 Republicans in the Senate or 218 Republicans in the House, to stand together, to join me, to join Mike Lee, to join Marco Rubio, all of whom have said: we will not vote for a single continuing resolution that funds even a penny of ObamaCare.”
On the debt ceiling, Eric Cantor, the House Majority Leader says there will be no House vote on a “clean” debt ceiling bill, instead
In House Republicans itching for a shutdown, Dana Milbank reports that House Repuboicans are intentionally slow-waling the budget process,
House Republicans aren’t even trying to get the job done — which would seem to confirm the suspicion that they are precipitating a crisis.
… On Monday, leaders of influential conservative groups such as the Club for Growth, Heritage Action, Family Research Council, FreedomWorks and Americans for Tax Reform sent a letter to House leaders begging for a donnybrook. “The best and last chance for House Republicans to stand up and thwart this law before its new entitlements kick in is during the upcoming funding debate,” they wrote, “and the House should live up to the moment and pass a bill funding the government but denying any funding for Obamacare.”
… For them, “stop government” is more than a slogan; it’s a way of life.
Repeat: “For them, “stop government” is more than a slogan; it’s a way of life.” This is who they are.
And, finally, Tea Party Senator Rand Paul accused New Jersey Repubican Governor Chris Christie of saying, “‘Gimme, gimme, gimme — give me all my Sandy money now.”
This is who they are.
Follow me and CAF on Twitter: