Republicans Must Be Smart, Not Craven

November 15, 2012

As Congress reconvenes, Democrats are insisting that President Obama's re-election means that House Republicans are going to have to give in to his demands for tax increases on the wealthy. While this will do very little to actually solve the impending budget crisis, the president's supporters have a point when they claim that his victory means a majority of Americans supported his rhetoric about backing a balanced approach that would involve spending cuts in equal proportion to revenue increases. But as James Pethokoukis writes at AEI Ideas, a close look at what the president is asking for throws any notion of balance out the window.

It may be, as Bill Kristol pointed out on Fox News the other day, that it makes no sense for the GOP to "fall on its sword for a bunch of millionaires." Speaker John Boehner's initial offer to raise revenue by eliminating tax deductions for the wealthy was an indication that Republicans are prepared to start bargaining. And as Kristol said, there is an argument to be made that if the House leadership bargains the tax increase cutoff up, it may be good politics. But there should be no illusions that what the president is offering is a balanced plan in any sense of the word.

As Pethokoukis writes,

According to Obama's math, his "balanced" plan cuts the projected cumulative debt by $4.4 trillion over ten years with 36% of the reduction coming from a $1.6 trillion tax increases - 80% from wealthier Americans, 20% from business. So, basically, $2 in spending cuts for each $1 in tax hikes. "Balanced."

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