Your daily jolt: Isakson defends GOP counteroffer, says fiscal cliff leap would be ‘stupid’

Even as conservative groups in Washington began ripping it apart, U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson this morning defended House Speaker John Beohner’s offer to raise $800 billion in new federal revenue while holding firm on tax rates.

The counter-offer is one-half the revenue that President Barack Obama opened negotiations with last week, and also includes $600 billion in health care cuts. Isakson again asserted that jumping off the “fiscal cliff” at the end of the year – as proposed by some on both the right on the left – would be “stupid.

From his interview on MSNBC this morning, Isakson called Boehner’s deficit reduction plan a good start:

”In fact, I think it’s more reflective of a Simpson-Bowles type of approach, although it’s Simpson-Bowles light. It’s not the whole program. It’s a first step.

“You know, I made a living selling houses for 33 years. You don’t get people together until they finally sit down at the table and negotiate. There’s still too much posturing. Still too much, the president wants it his way, somebody else wants it that way. I believe Tom Coburn was right. It’s time to sit down in a room, see if we can work this out, because going off the cliff would be a very stupid idea.”

Isakson said he doesn’t accept the need to raise tax rates, but that doesn’t mean some wealthier Americans wouldn’t be sending more money to the U.S. Treasury:

”The idea I like the most is capping deductions in the aggregate, so you don’t pick on one deduction or itemized deductions for mortgage interest deductions or charitable deductions. You just have an aggregate that’s a cap. Maybe $35,000, whatever it might be. So you cap the total of deductions. You don’t itemize them and pull one of them out and leave the other on the table.”

Bottom line, Isakson said the White House would end up the victor if talks with Congress were to break down:

”The time to negotiate is now. It’s not time to just say we’re going to punt….It appears to me the president would just as soon us go off the cliff. Everybody’s taxes go up, sequestration takes place, we cut a $1.2 trillion in spending, and then he’ll come back and cut taxes for some people and try and claim himself to be the hero.

“I don’t think that’s the right way to go, because if you do that, you’re going to have negative GDP for at least the first couple of quarters of next year, and a return to recessionary times.”

A Washington Post/ABC News poll out this morning says Isakson may be right:

While 53 percent of those surveyed say the GOP would (and should) lose the fiscal cliff blame game, just 27 percent say President Obama would be deserving of more of the blame. Roughly one in 10 (12 percent) volunteer that both sides would be equally to blame.

And yet, although Monday’s House offer was endorsed by Boehner’s entire leadership team – including former GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan of Wisconsin – the House speaker’s right flank is exposed. From today’s National Journal:

Heritage Action, the Heritage Foundation’s lobbying wing, alerted its members in an e-mail: “Not only are Republican leaders asking their members to go back on their promise not to raise taxes on the American people, but they appear unwilling to fight for the bold entitlement reforms that won them the House in 2010.”

In an interview with, U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss appears to concede that he’ll have someone running to the right of him in 2014 – always a dicey situation in a Republican primary:

“I’m a problem-solver and a lot of people don’t want problem-solvers — they’d rather have the issue. And I’m very open at home that I’m going to continue to work hard to solve problems because our country’s in trouble, and you can’t do it without Democrats and Republicans working together,” Chambliss [said] in an interview.

“I’ll never compromise my principle, but I’m certainly willing to work with folks on the other side of the aisle to fix the problems of the country.”

Bob Woodward reports today that Fox News chief Roger Ailes attempted to recruit David Petraeus as a GOP presidential candidate:

[I]n spring 2011, Ailes asked a Fox News analyst headed to Afghanistan to pass on his thoughts to Petraeus, who was then the commander of U.S. and coalition forces there. Petraeus, Ailes advised, should turn down an expected offer from President Obama to become CIA director and accept nothing less than the chairmanship of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the top military post. If Obama did not offer the Joint Chiefs post, Petraeus should resign from the military and run for president, Ailes suggested.

Possibly, we now know why Petraeus didn’t bite.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

For instant updates, follow me on Twitter, or connect with me on Facebook.

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47 comments Add your comment


December 4th, 2012
11:00 am

The idea I like the most is capping deductions in the aggregate, so you don’t pick on one deduction or itemized deductions for mortgage interest deductions or charitable deductions. You just have an aggregate that’s a cap.

Isn’t the alternative minimum tax that is supposed to accomplish this objective? Essentially capping deductions? It seems redundant to propose a cap on deductions when we already have an AMT. Somebody help me out here.

Also, it should be pointed out that Obama’s proposal would raise taxes exclusively on those make $250,000 dollars and above. On the other hand, Boehner’s proposal would would have to tax families making less than $250,000 in order to raise the $800,000 proposed without raising rates.

Puerile Pedant

December 4th, 2012
11:04 am

If you believe that capping deductions will result in more revenue you are just the gullible fool that bankers, short-sellers and hedge-fund managers make millions off. No matter what the clowns in Congress and the White House come up with to “limit deductions” tax lawyers and CPAs will figure out a work-around.

That’s what they get paid to do and they are much better at it then our Congress is at passing laws and the Executive Branch is at carrying out those laws.

After listening to the hand-wringing and rhetoric from the lefties and the righties, the so-called ‘fiscal cliff’ is looking like a better option than whatever BS deal Boehner and Obama come up with. Blame Obama, the GOP and the Congress (dems and repubs) for the repercussions — they share the responsibility.


December 4th, 2012
11:04 am

Forbes: “The expressed purpose of AMT is to limit taxpayers from reaping too much benefit under the regular income tax law. For purposes of AMT various deductions, exemption, income exclusions and credits for regular income tax purposes are eliminated or reduced in calculating tax under AMT.”


December 4th, 2012
11:17 am

Will the republicans ever learn? Didn’t they JUST lose the White House AGAIN???

The American people want the tax breaks for the most wealthy to end. Period. The republicans SHOULD NOT hold the middle class hostage – meaning that the republicans SHOULD NOT say that if the tax breaks for the most wealthy end, so do the tax breaks for the middle class. Duh!

The American people want to minimize cuts to social security, medicare, etc. We do not want to gut the social programs in place to help the elderly and the sick. Duh!

The American people are fine with stopping tax deductions for people making over $250,000. We do not want to hurt the middle class even more by stopping them for all. Duh!

Do we know that compromise is needed? Of course! But the republicans just don’t seem to get it…


December 4th, 2012
11:22 am

@Puerile Pendant -

No one really thinks that one thing is a cure all. So, no – simply capping deductions is not the “solution” to everything.

It has to be a “balanced approach” which is what President Obama has said all along.

1. End the Bush era tax breaks for the most wealthy. The republicans do not want this and say that if it ends for the most wealthy then it ends for all – how stupid is that?

2. Cap deductions. This means the for people making over $250,000 they cannot deduct things such as their mortgage. It is stupid to do this to middle America because then no middle American could ever afford to purchase a home. Duh!

3. Minimize impact on social security, medicare, etc. President Obama did minimize the impact in his plan even though he was able to reduce spending on those entitlements. This, however, is not good enough for the republicans. They just want to “gut” social security and medicare.

Smoke and Mirrors

December 4th, 2012
11:33 am

@ Reality…you’ve nailed it…

Social Security and Medicare comes out of a different fund…but yet the republicans have decided to through this into the compromise in avoiding the fiscal cliff..

It’s business as usual ….they don’t won’t to work with the President and they never had and never will…

President Obama needs to stick to his guns…let us fall of the cliff and we see how it goes from there.

Former President Clinton had to do it the the government shutdown a several years ago…the President must send a message that he is willing to compromise but not on preserving the tax cuts for the rich.

It’s amazing to me that the republicans refuse to raise taxes on the rich but are so willing to cut government programs that the poor rely so much on….it’s CRAZY………….

Mr. President …..don’t comprise on the tax issue……

Don't Tread

December 4th, 2012
11:41 am

And now we get to see how a republic becomes a dictatorship…

[...] Your daily jolt: Isakson defends GOP counteroffer, says fiscal cliff leap would be ‘stupid’ [...]

Jon Lester

December 4th, 2012
11:50 am

Why do they always want to gut social programs and health care? You know most Republican legislators belong to country clubs, and therefore understand perfectly the concept of paying dues for group benefits, so it must be something conscious on their part. Is aid to apartheid Israel and Islamist Egypt really more important than the health of our own citizens?


December 4th, 2012
11:53 am

Over the ‘cliff’.
End the failed shrub tax policy once and for all.
Start from Clinton levels and negotiate reasonable tax policy (in February).
Start from Clinton levels and negotiate reasonable military spending policy (in February).

Then see what it is that republicans in Congress really do other than defend failed tax-cut-policy!


December 4th, 2012
12:02 pm

Tax capital gains, carried interest, dividends, etc as ordinary income.
Reduce the DOD budget by 50%


December 4th, 2012
12:12 pm

It is hilarious that Republicans are saying they do not want to vote to raise taxes. They have already voted to raise taxes! They voted to raise taxes effective 1/1/2013 in December 2010.

A short history of the “fiscal cliff”.

This is how the tax increases going into effect 1/1/2013 were created.

The Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 passed the Senate on December 15, 2010 by a vote of 81 to 19 with Georgia senators Chambliss and Isakson voting yes. This bill called for the end of the “Bush Tax Cuts” on 1/1/2013.

The bill then passed the House on December 16, 2010 with 277 votes, 139 Democrats and 138 Republicans voting for the bill.

The bill was signed into law by President Barack Obama on December 17, 2010.

Now to the creation of the “Sequestered” spending cuts that will go into effect 1/2/2013.

The House passed the Budget Control Act on August 1, 2011 by a vote of 269–161. 174 Republicans and 95 Democrats voted for it, while 66 Republicans and 95 Democrats voted against it.

The Senate passed the Act on August 2, 2011 by a vote of 74–26. 45 Democrats and 28 Republicans and 1 Independent voted for it.

President Obama signed the bill shortly after it was passed by the Senate.

Now if we have a “fiscal cliff”, it is a fiscal cliff created by a bi-partisan vote of Congress and signed into law by the President.

Why is everyone suddenly excited?

you can't fix stupid or Democrats

December 4th, 2012
12:17 pm

Will somebody tell Obama that the election is over with and he needs to keep his butt in Washington and work with congress ( like Bill Clinton did). He still trying to blame someone else instead of doing his job! Democrats its your plan that the GOP is using that your president does not want. He’s a jerk and wants to make the US into a third rate power.


December 4th, 2012
12:33 pm

I’m for going over the cliff. That seems to be the only way to get spending reduced. The non-entitlement welfare part of the budget is now over $1 trillion a year. Want market rate rents to go down- eliminate Section 8. $55 million to pass out anti-violence flyers in Chicago … Plenty of places to cut and the small numbers (relatively speaking) add up.


December 4th, 2012
12:34 pm

Let’s go over the cliff. That’s the only way dems will ever cut spending.


December 4th, 2012
12:42 pm

@you can’t fix stupid or Democrats:
I’d say you can’t fix Republicans. I love how they say they won a majority in the House. Yes they did, but they don’t bother to mention that they lost seats and the only reason they won is that the Republican state houses gerry rig the districts so much that no one has to have anyone run against them. Democrats did the same when they were in power. As in Georgia, you NEVER have any one to vote for. You are stuck with ‘incumbents’ even though they are pathetic. Phil Gingrey is one of the pathetic ones but they control the money so noone will ever run against them.
I can tell you that the only republican I might vote for ever again is Saxby Chambliss but only if he sticks to his guns and works toward a compromise. Neither side is right but for these nuts who keep saying that tax increases will be job killers, it didn’t help jobs either time it was approved. Either under GWB or the last time in 2010 when Obama approved it for the 2 years. The millionaires and billionaires pocketed the money. A lot of these guys are trust fund babies anyway. Look at Mitt’s 5 sons.


December 4th, 2012
12:45 pm

Job Creators is just a euphemism the greedy rich.


December 4th, 2012
1:11 pm

let’s go over the watefall, nothing ventured nothing gained…


December 4th, 2012
2:33 pm

What flavor of leftist Kool-Aid are you statists drinking today.

How ’bout the part about Obama wanting Congress to relinquish control of the debt ceiling?

But once you’ve shredded the Constitution, another round through the shredder won’t make that much difference, will it?

Will one of you secularists please explain how raising taxes expands the economy? Go ahead, take a shot at it.

Road Scholar

December 4th, 2012
2:45 pm

Don’t tread: Whoa be me! The sky is falling! What BS!

Has anyone seen a study on what reducing/eliminating the interest deduction on homes does to the home building industry? Same for charitable donations? Leave those alone except cap them. The other income (capital gains etc) should be taxed as income, maybe at a slightly smaller rate. get rid of the tax subsidy for Humvees as a farm vehicle etc.

Increase rates on income over $250k, cut defense by 10 %, and means test SS and Medicare/medicaid.

Where do we start

December 4th, 2012
2:47 pm

The ignorance in the comments is overwhelming. Meaning we need to take high school civics again.

All was hunky dorey in “Clinton” years so let’s go back there….uh, we were in a bubble economy then, mostly created by our own Fed and fears of Y2K. Unsustainable and led directly to recession in 2001-2002, etc. Biggest thing that has kept economy from going into recession much earlier was deficit spending (unsustainable).

We spend in excess of $1 Trillion a year more than we tax. So…..that means EVERYONE has to pay more taxes and EVERYONE has to get less from the government. That easy enough for everyone to understand?


December 4th, 2012
3:20 pm

“Don’t tax you, don’t tax me. Tax that man behind the tree.”

H. Talmadge

(Dream on.)


December 4th, 2012
3:25 pm

Why should households with income at $251k pay more than those at $249k? Why should the top 2% pay a higher % of their income than the other 98%? How is this exactly fair or equitable?

And Obuma says...

December 4th, 2012
3:27 pm

…says NO, he will not play because even though last year when I said I would compromise I did not mean it I just said it to get elected, and looky here, I was re-elected and I am going to renig on what I said I would do, becaues, well, I can just do it…

Business Owner

December 4th, 2012
3:28 pm

I’m one of the dreaded small business owners this greatly affects that most of you seem to despise. I’m not sure why because I’m sure a lot of you work for someone like me or are trying to find a job which could also be for someone like me. My taxes will go up no matter what next year due either to Obamacare (guaranteed), the fiscal cliff, or either party’s fix. And though I fall into that hated top tax bracket I am by no means Warren Buffett, George Soros, Mitt Romney or even Obama himself. Neither party has a great answer to this problem and both are at fault for letting it get to this point. I do, however, feel there is a vast difference between the two plans.

Obama’s plan if passed would crush the economy. We will have a recession next year no matter what but his plan would increase and lengthen the pain and depth of it. For most small businesses which are S corps this means a higher tax on what the company earns as a whole. This means my retained earnings will have to decrease to compensate not just what I earn as an individual. Retained earnings is what my business grows off of for those that don’t understand that part of the concept. This means I either cannot afford the people, buildings, etc. that I currently have or I will not hire or expand from what I have now. No amount of stimulus or spending cuts can adjust for that.

The republicans plan, however, mainly hurts my personal income as it is tied to what I pay myself not what my company earns. This will lessen my ability to purchase goods and invest as an individual which will also hurt the economy (again recession no matter what because either way less consumer spending hurts growth) but will not greatly affect my company directly. The spending cuts in this plan are higher but a lot are needed to balance the budget. Both plans or any plan simply cannot raise enough revenue to overcome the current deficit. This is a problem that will not go away and will turn us into Greece or Spain in about 15 years unless we change the direction of our nation’s finances. All of the safety net plans are unsustainable as they are and will eventually bankrupt us if they go unchecked.

Middle of the Road

December 4th, 2012
3:29 pm

“We spend in excess of $1 Trillion a year more than we tax. So…..that means EVERYONE has to pay more taxes and EVERYONE has to get less from the government. That easy enough for everyone to understand?”

You speak the truth!

Uh, Sandra...

December 4th, 2012
3:30 pm

…just what is wrong with “trust fund” babies?

For the last time, Road Scholar...

December 4th, 2012
3:35 pm

…you CANNOT means test for SS if someone has paid their been FORCED to pay their earned money into that system…

For the last time, Road Scholar...

December 4th, 2012
3:36 pm

Middle of the Road

December 4th, 2012
3:36 pm

“Retained earnings is what my business grows off of for those that don’t understand that part of the concept. This means I either cannot afford the people, buildings, etc. that I currently have or I will not hire or expand from what I have now.”

Excuse me, but doesn’t “people” (workers) , and buildings get counted as “costs”, and are subtracted from income before the profit is taxed? You get taxed only on business profit, right? Of course, as a good businessman, you only hire just enough people to accomplish your business goals, right? You don’t do “welfare hiring” (if you do, you are the ONLY businessman who does). So why would you say that taxation affects your hiring? Unless what you really mean is that you would see less “personal income” so you would cut your employees to make up for it and just make the remaining work harder. Is your name Scrooge?


December 4th, 2012
3:37 pm

Why should households with income at $251k pay more than those at $249k? Why should the top 2% pay a higher % of their income than the other 98%? How is this exactly fair or equitable?

I’ll let Adam Smith respond to that question:

“The necessaries of life occasion the great expense of the poor. They find it difficult to get food, and the greater part of their little revenue is spent in getting it. The luxuries and vanities of life occasion the principal expense of the rich…It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion.”

“It must always be remembered, however, that it is the luxuries, and not the necessary expense of the inferior ranks of people, that ought ever to be taxed.”

Middle of the Road

December 4th, 2012
3:37 pm

“And though I fall into that hated top tax bracket I am by no means Warren Buffett,”

No, but that means you make a lot more money (personal income) than most of us.


December 4th, 2012
3:44 pm

No, Business Owner, Obama’s plan, if passed, would not crash the economy. Just like those tax rates didn’t crash the economy when Clinton and Congressional Democrats passed them in 1990s, despite Republican assertions to the contrary. Nor did Bush’s tax cuts grow the economy, despite Republican assertions to the contrary.

I don’t know how you guys can be so wrong, so often, yet continue to prognosticate about the future with such confidence.

Retired Soldier

December 4th, 2012
3:46 pm


Adam Smith had it right. Now can you find an Adam Smith quote where he advocated 50 per cent of society should not pay ant federal income tax?

Retired Soldier

December 4th, 2012
3:54 pm

What’s wrong with Obama’s plan? Where are the spending cuts? We are running a 1.3 trillion deficit and Obama wants to go further in debt?

Don’t get me wrong, the republicans don’t go nearly far enough. Where are the propsals to eliminate the Dept of Education, Energy, Homeland Security, etc? We must reduce the size of government if we ever hope to get out of this mess. And yes there are lots of saving to be found in the defrnse dept. too. It is time to act!


December 4th, 2012
4:08 pm

Retired Soldier,

Apparently you’re behind the curve on the the “federal income tax” con. The lie is that when you combine payroll taxes and state and local taxes, including sales taxes, poor people frequently pay as much or more in taxes than those at the top.

Why is this? Because most Americans do something really interesting with the money that comes their way: they spend it. They buy food. They buy clothes. They buy toothpaste, toys, tools, and toilet paper. Through that spending, they create demand. What doesn’t get spent on consumables gets turned into the kind of long term assets that most people need to get by in the world. It turns into a roof over their heads and transportation to get to work. Which creates more demand. More jobs. By spending their money, the majority of Americans fuel the health of the economy.

Meanwhile, up at the top end of the scale, those top 1% of earners don’t spend most of their incomes. They just sit on it. Cutting the taxes for those at the top is worse than pointless. The very rich are not turning their money into things / demand / jobs. They have so much more than they need that their money is simply stagnant. Sending them more cash would be no more effective than throwing it into a volcano.

Unfortunately, those spending and converting actions that most Americans engage in are attacked by regressive systems that hit from dollar one. These are not invisible taxes. They’re all too visible. They’re part of every transaction, large or small. They’re the reason your dollar bag of pretzels can’t be purchased with a dollar. They’re the reason that new Chevy or Ford costs you extra both when you buy it and every year you own it.

As of a few weeks ago, only 47 percent of the voters, the percentage who voted for Romney, bought into his 47 percent nonsense. Since then, I suspect that more people are beginning to realize that they were being scammed to buy into the argument that most of us need to sacrifice in order to make the rich even richer.

Retired Soldier

December 4th, 2012
4:19 pm


You very well may be correct, but not paying anything to the federal govt except a reduced rate for Social Security is wrong. Everyone needs to have a financial stake in the federal govt.

Using your logic why should the bottom 50 per cent pay state or local taxes? We all have made choices in our life and we live a life as a result of thos choices. I am a long way from wealthy, but if you want the services then you have to pay for them. No free lunches, we must ALL do our part to bring fiscal sanity back to this country.

Middle of the Road

December 4th, 2012
4:24 pm

“Everyone needs to have a financial stake in the federal govt.”

I agree – I would support a minimum 5% federal income tax – absolute. In return for treating capital gains as regular income.

[...] Your daily jolt: Isakson defends GOP counteroffer, says fiscal cliff leap would be ‘stupid’ [...]

Retired Soldier

December 4th, 2012
4:31 pm


I would like to see the numbers on that, but at face value it sounds good to me. Balanced and shared, what a novel idea.

Business Owner

December 4th, 2012
4:37 pm


True that many are fixed costs (commission only people are not for example nor are utilities etc for buildings which could go up because of taxes in the channel) but as a smart businessman you must keep extra capacity to a point with many different fixed costs to make sure you don’t lose business or miss growth opportunities. Efficiency means you don’t have too much or too little of this excess. If my profit drops as a result of increased taxes then I have very little choice but to reduce my overhead which would mean trimming the fat somehow. And though no business runs on welfare all have excess capacity that they can trim when needed. Even in 2009 I avoided mass layoffs but I did have to let extra people from top to bottom go. Though the biggest problem with a drop in retained earnings that still remains is that it hurts my ability to expand which does mean less hiring and less investment in buildings etc. All of those would of course be beneficial for a struggling economy with high unemployment but I simply cannot do them if I don’t have the cash.

Also if I were a scrooge I would choose to cut benefits like health insurance because that could actually make back the difference in increased taxes. $2000 per employee would be much cheaper than what I currently pay to offer everyone insurance.

Lastly, why I shouldn’t I make more than someone who didn’t work at getting a good education or didn’t take the risks I have? If you make less than me what has held you back and why did you let it? I pay my people based on this and the ones who put forth more effort get higher rewards.


I said crush not crash. Of course taxes like those discussed will not cause a crash like the great depression but Obama’s plan certainly could crush any hint of recovery (1% GDP growth is still very weak). With less investment/spending throughout the economy there will be less growth or none. Raising taxes pulls money out of the open markets to the government which means there is less money invested/spent. Simply mathematical fact that seems to be getting ignored. In 2009 Obama himself said you don’t raise taxes during a recession. What drastic growth has he seen that the rest of us missed?


December 4th, 2012
5:02 pm


First, if the government taxes $1 and then turns around and spends that $1, that’s not less investment/spending throughout the economy. The economy (i.e., GDP) is measured by ALL spending, public and private…not just private. You might not like that, but not liking it doesn’t change the fact.

Second, if the government taxes (and spends) a $1 that is sitting on the sidelines, then it took a dollar that wasn’t growing the economy, and used it grow it. Again, the economy (GDP) is measured by adding up all purchases of FINAL goods and services only. Trading stocks and investments don’t, by definition, grow the economy unless and until somebody purchases the goods and services offered.

Money spent, by government, on ports, highways, levies, damns, bridges, school buildings and other components of our infrastructures grows the economy.

Retired Soldier

December 4th, 2012
5:34 pm

Wrong CJ, the feds tax $1 and then spend $1.40, that is the problem. Why is that difficult for liberals to understand?


December 4th, 2012
6:43 pm

Liberals? I infer from your comment that you voted for the guy who promised to make the Bush tax cuts permanent, put ‘em steroids by cutting rates by an additional 20 percent, put a floor (as opposed to a cap) on military spending, all while beating the war drums for Iran. In other words, you voted for adding trillions of dollars to our deficits.

I’m sorry, but you can’t vote for “conservatives” while claiming to care about deficits. At least don’t expect to be taken seriously when you do.


December 4th, 2012
8:10 pm

It would seem the point was made well and clear on Nov 6. Sen. Issacson used to sound like a practical leader. He’s sounding more like a shill these days. The so-called counter proposal disproportionately slams the middle class and the President made the protection of the middle class the fundamental issue of the election.
But, Georgia’s Republican delegation will be the last to figure that out. (except maybe Saxby)

[...] Your daily jolt: Isakson defends GOP counteroffer, says fiscal cliff leap would be ‘stupid’ [...]

Randolph Phillips

December 5th, 2012
2:58 pm

Given that the truly awesome Obama election machine vs. Romney’s Dudly Doright persona and inept campaign resulted in a very close election, the emotion created by Obama’s incessant calls to “tax the rich” (though the Very Rich supported him by hefty margins) may have been why he won, and he is still riding that pony on the Fiscal Cliff. it’s working, too.

“Tax the Rich” is popular with have-nots and lefties anytime. When it is coupled with the soothing falsehood that by taxing the rich we can save our big government and fix the deficit/debt and make the government even bigger, “Taxing the Rich” becomes almost irresistably appealing.
The Status Quo Republican establsihment is Washington ifeels surrounded, boxed in, badgered, held in captivity, and seeing contempt everywhere it looks. Surrender and defeat is all it can forsee, just because it won’t agree to “tax the rich”.

I have a suggestion. The Republicans should take the offensive. They should propose a real tax increase on the rich for 10 years, defining “the rich” as those with incomes of say $2 million or more, but earmark all that money to paying off the debt of $16 trillion which we now owe at an accelerated rate and in addition to regular debt service payments–none of it to be spent on our already too-big government. None of it to spent to make the Government bigger. Just to get us out of debt.

This proposal would counteract the charge republicans are for the rich. It would prevent new funds to prop up our too big government and provide no money to expand it. It would reduce the debt. In fact, this tax money would be spent in part to repay the billions the Government has borrowed from the Social Security trust fund and help pay out all those checks every month to retirees.

This good news plan is a real compromise. The new taxes would be raised from the rich. They would be used to pay the debt, and help save social security. But none of the money would go to make the government bigger or prevent it from being reduced. The Republicans shoul then sell the plan to the public–by horseback and town crier if need by.

If Boehmer, Chambliss, and all the others got behind this idea and pursued it, Obama on his prancing poney would be blustery, outraged, and in frantic defensive retreat.

If anyone reading this can get the idea to our Republicans in Washington and persuade them to read it, please do so.

W. Randolph phillips,
former State Representative