You may recall that Vice President Joe Biden, having previously failed in his mission as the “sheriff” assigned to locate all the vanished “stimulus” money, was put in charge of forming a bipartisan deficit reduction committee. Supposedly all of Washington was waiting on pins and needles to hear what they would come up with.
Alas, tragedy struck today, as Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ) and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), the only two Republicans involved in Biden’s group, decided they’ve had enough.
“The White House and Democrats are insisting on job-killing tax hikes and new spending,” said Kyl, in a joint statement released with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). “That proposal won’t address our fiscal crisis, our jobs crisis, or protect and reform entitlements.”
“Each side came into these talks with certain orders, and as it stands the Democrats continue to insist that any deal must include tax increases,” added Cantor, with carefully-applied makeup covering the bruises inflicted by banging his head against the Democrats’ brick wall for the past six months. “There is not support in the House for a tax increase, and I don’t believe now is the time to raise taxes in light of our current economic situation.”
Of course, class-war Democrats immediately raced to blame the Republicans’ irrational resistance to some lovely new tax increases as the reason for fiscal Armageddon. “Yes, we do want to remove tax subsidies for big oil,” chirped House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. “We want to remove tax breaks for companies that send jobs overseas. I don’t know if that’s a reason to walk away from the table.”
Let me see if I can give her a better one: the American people are no longer willing to let politicians decide what deserves subsidies, and what deserves to be penalized. We’re not willing to fund huge windfalls for Obama cronies, while paying more at the pump so Democrats can score political points against the hated oil industry. We don’t care what you hate any more.
A surprisingly jittery Rep. Chris van Hollen (D-MD), who was part of the Biden group, said “people are playing with fire and really putting the very fragile economy at greater threat” by hesitating to raise the national debt ceiling. I say “surprisingly” because his party hasn’t bothered to pass a budget in 744 days. Isn’t that “playing with fire,” since the entire point of raising the debt ceiling is giving them more money to spend in the budget they refuse to write?
We don’t have any more time to fool around with “bipartisan” smoke screens. There is a profoundly partisan difference between the proposed approaches for dealing with the debt crisis. The correct answer is to give Washington less control – no more tax increases, regulations, unfunded mandates, subsidies, and bloated government programs. The Democrats’ unyielding hunger for more control – through the tax increases they refuse to compromise, and the spending they refuse to cut – is their partisan position. Let them sell it to the people crushed beneath their fiscal footprint, without any help from Republicans.
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