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If we’re doing Doomsday, let’s really do Doomsday

If we’re doing Doomsday, let’s really do Doomsday

What does this solve? Via ABC News:

Republicans are seriously considering a Doomsday Plan if fiscal cliff talks collapse entirely. It’s quite simple: House Republicans would allow a vote on extending the Bush middle class tax cuts (the bill passed in August by the Senate) and offer the President nothing more: no extension of the debt ceiling, nothing on unemployment, nothing on closing loopholes. Congress would recess for the holidays and the president would face a big battle early in the year over the debt ceiling.

Two senior Republican elected officials tell me this doomsday plan is becoming the most likely scenario. A top GOP House leadership aide confirms the plan is under consideration, but says Speaker Boehner has made no decision on whether to pursue it.

Under one variation of this Doomsday Plan, House Republicans would allow a vote on extending only the middle class tax cuts and Republicans, to express disapproval at the failure to extend all tax cuts, would vote “present” on the bill, allowing it to pass entirely on Democratic votes….

Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., an influential conservative House Republican, is already on record supporting extending the middle class tax cuts — with or without the upper income tax cuts. On Sunday, he said Republicans should embrace the extension of the middle class tax cuts and take credit for it.

“That’s a victory, not a loss,” Cole said on This Week with George Stephanopoulos. ”And then we’re still free to try and fight over higher rates, offering revenue, which the Speaker has put on the table.”

So we get to keep people who basically pay no federal income taxes now from paying federal income taxes in the future so as to enable them to demand services and benefits for which they do not pay in a fiscal death spiral in which there just aren’t enough “wealthy” people from whom to confiscate more money? 

I’m okay with extending all Bush tax rates together with a Blue State punishing limit on deductions for state income and property taxes, closing Hollywood and tax-exempt loopholes, and maybe some other “loopholes,” provided we address spending.   We cannot tax our way to solvency.

News flash.  The debt ceiling is not a fall back position.  When the media howls about that, we will fold like a cheap suit.

I say package deal or no deal.  A “Grand Bargain” is the term, I believe.  Entitlements and the nanny state on the table, or there is no table.

If a deal can’t be reached by year end, the House should pass a 90 day extension of current rates to give time for the Grand Bargain to play out, send it to Harry Reid, then leave for Christmas.

Then get the message out that Harry Reid and Obama are the ones holding the “middle class tax cuts”  hostage.


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We should strongly oppose anything that makes the tax code more progressive.

So, vote on a clean (ie. no silly unrelated amendments attached) to make the current tax rates permanent and send it to the Senate. Put the ball in their court. Either keep the current tax rates for everyone, or let the expire – for everyone. Then go home for Christmas break.

Extending the tax rates for all except the top bracket would be a huge mistake. The rate gap between the 4th and 5th brackets would be big enough to strongly encourage people to reduce their taxable income (in many cases by not bothering to earn the money to begin with). It would also increase the overall tax burden on the very people that are already paying some 80% of income taxes.

Worse, there are some 700,000 small businesses that file as individuals and pay the top personal income tax rate.

The R’s need a coherent plan, in writing, that the House can pass and hand off to the D’s. Screw this closed door negotiation crap. Pass a responsible bill and send it to the Senate. Then, for the rest of the ‘fiscal cliff’ crisis, tell reporters that Republicans have already passed what is needed. Go talk to Harry Reid. Where’s Obama’s plan? When the Senate D’s pass a bill, or when Obama puts a proposal in writing, call us. Until then, go ask the D’s where their plan is.

    Aarradin in reply to Aarradin. | December 3, 2012 at 3:48 pm

    Boehner should take the Simpson/Bowles recommendations, put them in a bill, pass it, and send it to the Senate.

    Let Obama choke on the recommendations of his own debt commission.

I agree professor. The Republicans always play cute in an effort to limit damage and have it both ways. Given the irresponsible stateist media and cultural drivers that is foolish. It will be much more difficult to take a stand after another year of enablement with another election coming on.

Jack The Ripper | December 3, 2012 at 3:41 pm

Speaking of Doomsday, it appears that the New York Times (NYT) is still struggling. Boo-hoo.

Guess these mendacious liberals – who think that everything in the world is static, except morals – are about to learn something about income mobility in the United States.

And again, if we must have more federal taxes, let it be a stiff sales tax with a 4-year sunset clause.

    Aarradin in reply to caseym54. | December 3, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    Absolutely NOT!!

    Don’t even consider a national sales tax unless it goes into effect the day after the federal income tax is abolished (including repeal of the 16th amendment).

    Otherwise, the D’s will pile the sales tax on top of the income tax and use it to fund more redistribution.

    I agree a consumption tax is far more fair than an income tax, but don’t lets have both.

Wealthy Hollywood celebrities enthusiastically support Obama, so let them contribute more to the government coffers like they did in the 1950s. Wonder how long it would take them to have an epiphany.

The New Excise Tax Frontier: Hollywood

    TrooperJohnSmith in reply to ETPaws. | December 3, 2012 at 4:01 pm

    I say we create a special tax based on the “fairness” disparity between what athletes and entertainers earn and what that favorite of the Left, the public school teacher, earns. Let athletes and entertainers have their first cool million each year all to themselves. Then, on incomes above that million, the tax rate will be designed to allow them to earn 10-times what a first grade teacher in Mississippi earns. If that’s 29K, then the entertainer will pay a rate that leaves him/her with 290K of each subsequent million.

    Whine about that, you stinking Progressocrats.

    logos in reply to ETPaws. | December 3, 2012 at 9:02 pm

    Instapundit has been advocating repeal of the Hollywood tax cuts for well over a year.

TrooperJohnSmith | December 3, 2012 at 3:52 pm

The Republicans are at a decided disadvantage. While the Democrats can offer Free Stuff and Entitlements, the Republicans can only offer the ability to be free, to work hard, to pay your fair taxes, and then if you’ve done it well, you have the freedom to prosper and keep a nice chunk of that as your reward for the risk you took.

On an related note, I think Rush told us a few months back that if all Americans making over million dollars a year were taxed at 100% of their income, it would fund the government for so a ridiculously short time, something like 18-days. Add in all those making 250K to a million, and it would run the government another 10-days. Like he said, we don’t have a revenue problem; we have a spending problem. Why don’t the Republicans frame the argument in these terms?

Instead of taxing our way out of a recession, we’ll tax our way into a deeper one.

    Rush is right, as usual. In ’07, before the housing market collapse, the total pre-tax income of the top bracket was something like $1.1 Trillion.

    About half that is taxed already. So, if even if you could capture the rest with a 100% tax rate, assuming everyone in that bracket continued to earn at current levels and fork over 100% of their earninges, you wouldn’t even close half the current annual deficit.

    Obama just won the presidency on a promise to let the top tax rate go back to the Clinton level. That’s a 4.6% tax hike. It’d raise some $42 billion per year if he gets it. Last year’s deficit was about $1.2 Trillion.

    $42 billion isn’t chump change, but compared to the size of Obama’s deficits its paltry. $42 billion is the size of the margin of error on estimates of annual Medicare fraud (which runs at 80-120 billion a year, they don’t even bother to track it and can’t even come up with a more specific estimate on it).

    That’s not entirely fair, really, Obama also won re-election on a promise to continue Planned Parenthood’s half billion a year taxpayer subsidy. So, young people won’t likely be able to get jobs, will get taxed to death if they do, and won’t be able to afford to raise a family. But, hey, Planned Parenthood will solve their little ‘problem’ cheap, thanks to the subsidy.

      TrooperJohnSmith in reply to Aarradin. | December 3, 2012 at 7:44 pm

      There is now a tax on tanning to help fund ObamaCare, and there are taxes on medical equipment, as well. Why not an abortion tax to help pay for free contraception and state-mandated abortions? Call it a user fee. If it’s okay to tax walkers and wheelchairs for people who can’t get around without assistance, why not tax abortions for women who can’t make better choices?

That seems kinda hopeful.

I dunno about the “Doomsday” thingy, except that you can expect trial balloons and head-fakes. Not ALLL of them will come from who you expect, either.

Dead Dog Bounce | December 3, 2012 at 4:09 pm

Along with the Hollywood tax, take a shot at Higher Education (which is also a one-party-state).

How about a 10% surcharge on College fees above 20k pa? It’s not like those colleges are all broke.

Regardless of what they do on taxes, there should be zero increase in the debt ceiling and zero appropriations without massive deficit reduction.

Without massive, structural deficit reduction, nothing matters. We either borrow our way to destruction, or we stop it here and now.

    Aarradin in reply to kohath. | December 3, 2012 at 6:14 pm

    Also, House should pass a budget but refuse to take action on debt ceiling or continuing resolutions until the Senate passes a budget.

Without addressing the causes of inflation and other distortions in our economy, then any reform will be a race to the least common denominator: death. Without addressing the causes of a progressive inability to self-moderate behavior, then a progressive reduction of purchasing power through inflation (for which the ultimate conclusion is subjugation to the state or sovereign) will be the least of our concerns.

As for the middle class “tax cuts”, they have only served to accelerate insolvency of the Social Security and Medicare programs. This is in addition to the 700 billion dollars redistributed from Medicare to fund Obamacare.

Involuntary exploitation (taxation or redistributive change), should be neither regressive (i.e. negative progress) nor progressive (i.e. ambiguous). This does not mean anything other than it should be equally proportionate. The goal should be to preserve and respect individual dignity.

The Republicans should let the tax cuts laspe. The public wants more taxes, let them have it. Then they can see what a real depression looks like. Ultimately, our problems are not going to be solved until we have another civil war. The fall of our economy will get us there.

I say we go all-in. For every $1 Obama wants to spend, lets propose $3 in new spending. For every $1 he wants to raise in taxes lets propose $3 of new revenue from his core constituencies. If Obama wants to drive off the cliff let’s slam our foot down on the accelerator.

Imagine how wonderful it would be to hear the Left howling about excessive spending and burdensome taxes.

The sooner the illusion is shattered the sooner we can get to the real work of fixing the nation’s finances.

Draw a clear, bright line.

Send out letters to your constituents explaining in one page or less, 250 words or less, with a few charts, exactly what you are doing. To the people that elected you. Small ball.

Ignore the name calling. Then wait. And send another letter to the people that elected you when Obama and his cronies start the games.

And then another letter.

Give the post office something to deliver besides pizza coupons. After all, franking is a perk of the office.

I continue to be amazed at how many, otherwise very intelligent peopole, continue to think that that Apple Dumpling Gang up there in Congress, whom we call the Republican Party, is going to stand up against these in your face thugs. Please.

FYI, there are non-Democrats living in Blue States. Thanks for throwing us all under the bus. Appreciate that.

For once I wish the GOP would be less worried about being blamed for something bad and more about doing what they think is right for the country.

Everyone has to know that the media will blame us for the negative and give Obama credit for the good. Rp Cole has to be crazy if he really thinks the GOP would get any credit for going along with extending the middle class credits. The Left & their media lapdogs would trumpetloud & wide about how Obama MADE the evil GOP guys back down and how the voters need to remember who fought for them. Where exactly is there room for any GOP credit in that spn?

The GOP “Doomsday” plan for the fiscal cliff spells doom for the GOP…

You can’t tax your way to solvency. But if the GOP really wants to do “Doomsday”, then by golly let’s do Doomsday….

The House needs to pass two separate bills.

The first makes permanent the current middle class tax rates.

The second makes permanent current upper income tax rates, but adds the various revenue enhancements that have been discussed here and elsewhere – phasing out of deductions for State and local taxes, the entertainment/Hollywood excise taxes, etc and whatever other dollar increases the GOP has suggested and want to keep.

Then send them on the Senate ASAP.

The SOONER this is done the better – it gets the ball out of the GOP’s court and makes this into an issue for Harry Reid. If he doesn’t get both bills a fast vote then he’s visibly guilty of drawing out and delaying the process of avoiding the fiscal cliff.

Whatever they do, doing it sooner will be better than doing it later. Drawing it out and doing it at the deadline is exactly how Obama wants it to play out. That expectation needs to be shattered post haste.