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Thursday, December 9, 2010

Deal or No deal

"But how is this legal plunder to be identified? Quite simply. See if the law takes from some persons what belongs to them and gives it to other persons to whom it does not belong. See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime." — Frédéric Bastiat (The Law)

“The deal” forged between President Obama and Congressional Republicans has drawn most of its public critics from the left, but some conservatives in Congress have stepped forward to blast the deal, and their numbers will grow over the next few days. For the past few days I have been listening to interviews with Republicans and Democrats on this issue and I see a hardening of lines on both sides of the political aisle.

Republicans like Jim DeMint of South Carolina and Tom Coburn of Oklahoma and Congressman Jeff Flake of Arizona and Mike Pence of Indiana are turning against this tax cut extension compromise with Obama. They are not pleased with the trillion dollar unfunded extension of unemployment insurance for another 13 months. They see this as a back door stimulus program that will create even more borrowing. They want any such extension to be funded with unspent funds from the first stimulus package. They also want the estate tax (death tax) to be zero, not five million dollars.

Democrats like Congressman Anthony Weiner from New York’s 9th district is opposed to the increased ceiling on the death tax and the extension of the full Bush tax cuts. I had the unfortunate experience see a cat fight between Megyn Kelly of Fox News and Rep Weiner. Weiner is no doubt the one of the most arrogant uber liberals in the House.

Kelly tried to ask him questions he refused to address and pouted like a baby when she would not accept his answers. His comments on the death tax were absolutely obscene. His explanation for the continuation of the tax was that it only affects 32,000 Americans and why it should matter, they are dead. He just would not address Kelly’s question that it should not matter for anyone and that the people had earned and paid taxes on his money during their life and should not be taxed on just because they wanted to pass it on to their heirs. This is pure example of class warfare. You can see Kelly’s interview with Weiner by clicking here. It’s worth several minutes of your time.

The arguments against “the deal” are many and profound. In no particular order, the most pressing objections are:

Hugh Hewitt writes on Townhall. com

"The deal" was forged in secret, without consultation with the scores of new representatives and senators who campaigned on a much different agenda much less with their supporters and contributors who worked for two years and gave vast sums of money so that a new start could be made, one built on transparency and principle.

"The deal" like Obamacare, isn't reduced to writing even now, when Senator Reid says a vote could be held on Saturday. Like Obamacare, we are being told we will have to pass the bill to find out what is in it.”

"The deal" revives the death tax, an immoral “vampire tax” that sucks the blood from the dead, ruins family businesses and double taxes savings that were accumulated over a lifetime. It took ten years of gradual step downs to eliminate the tax, and now "the deal" revives it at 35% with a $5 million dollar exemption, a rate that looks and feels permanent and which will immediately impact tens of thousands of families in 2011 and when inflation works its way into the system, thousands more over time. The GOP has spent years making the case against the death tax on moral and economic grounds, and in the course of a weekend of secret meetings, it gave that issue away.”

"The deal" spends billions and billions of dollars that the country does not have in order to prevent a tax hike that the country voted against. In essence the GOP bribed the president to follow the will of the people. There is at least $75 billion in new spending in the plan, agreed to by the GOP less than 5 weeks after the country fairly screamed "Stop Spending Our Children's Money!"

“On September 23, all of the House GOP leadership agreed to the “Pledge to America.” A photo op was arranged at the Tart Lumber store in Sterling, Virginia, and the senior leaders of the would-be majority, with their shirt sleeves rolled up, took the pledge and asked America for the majority back. There are at least five provisions of the Pledge that are breached by “the deal.” In September the House GOP promised to:
  • Permanently Stop All Job-Killing Tax Hikes” (p. 16)
  • Act immediately to Reduce Spending” (p. 21)
  • Cut Government Spending to Pre-Stimulus, Pre-Bailout Levels” (p. 21)
  • Read the Bill” (p. 33)
  • Advance Legislative Issues One at a Time” (p. 33)
The deal’s” assault on “The Pledge” will make the latter a joke, and instantly impacts the credibility of all future efforts to propose agendas to the electorate.

“The idea that this massive tax and spend bill has not yet even been written but may be voted on by the Senate this weekend is appalling, and has rightfully drawn the anger of the and other Tea Party activists, an anger that will not diminish.”

“Ten Republican senators are up for re-election in 2012: John Barrasso of Wyoming, Scott Brown of Massachusetts, Bob Corker of Tennessee, John Ensign of Nevada, Orrin Hatch of Utah, Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas, Jon Kyl of Arizona, Richard Lugar of Indiana, Olympia Snowe of Maine and Roger Wicker of Mississippi.”

“Of these 10, Senators Kyl and Wicker are safe bets for re-election, but the other eight cannot afford to begin their campaigns for re-election with a vote for this compromise. On the House side the damage will be even deeper. Every narrow victor begins their first day in office with this "deal" on their backs.”

“Some in the GOP are arguing that they will have time to make up for this sin or for what is at best a hand badly played. But as Mark Meckler of said on my radio show yesterday, the voters never forgot or forgave TARP, and unlike TARP, there is no financial crisis driving the rush to vote for this deal.”

“The Democrats are rushing to add ornaments to what has already become a Christmas tree bill, unwritten though the provisions might yet still be. The GOP can walk away from the deal and begin again, this time with a commitment to stay true to the principles which drove the GOP win in November.”

I agree with Hewitt. Everyone screams that they want bipartisanship, unless liberals have all the power, then it’s “we won the election so get over it. Why do Republicans have no spine and consistently allow the left to dictate the terms of debate? They will not stand up for what the voters said in November. Perhaps we need to wait until January 3rd when the 112th Congress is sworn in and those tea party backed candidates start taking control of the debate.

Bipartisanship and compromise sound great when liberals are out of power and pushing the debate. Bipartisanship and compromise cannot cover a bad policy. What if after much debate at the Wannsee Conference the attendees, who were at loggerheads over what Jews should be killed and how many, agreed that only the ones already in Poland should die. This would have been a bipartisanship and compromise decision, but still wrong.

Taxing and spending is the same. Because some people want the death tax rescinded and other want it to revert back to its original state prior to the Bush era a compromise of $5 million is not acceptable. It’s still a confiscation of private property, redistribution of one’s accumulated wealth, a burden on the heirs and immoral.

The death tax affects many family farmers and small business owners. They are forced to sell the business or farm when the owner dies. I know there a ways to shield the money or value through various legal means, but somewhere along the line the government will step in and demand their money, not based on the cash in the bank, but the appraised value of the assets.

As to the tax cuts for the “wealthy” it’s another example of class warfare. Again the small business owner is affected the most. Most small businesses are sole proprietorships, limited partnerships or Sub-S corporations where the gross receipts of the business are deemed part of the owner’s income. They are then required to discount the expenses for running the business and the remainder is profit. This profit is used to expand the business and reward the owners for their work and risk. What is it to me that the fellow down the street makes more than $250,000 per year? It does not affect me or my family.

The extension of unemployment benefits is wrong. In Denmark they had had unemployment benefits lasting five years and found that people found jobs after 59 months on benefits. They lowered it to four years and found the same. People found jobs after 47 months. All we are doing is extending the period these people will be employed and collecting benefits. I know this sounds harsh and I have never been unemployed, but at some point we have to put away out “feel good” attitudes and begin running this country with more fiscal responsibility.

It’s time for the conservatives to take control of the debate. They will be vilified by the left but supported by conservatives and independents. That was proved in November. Republicans, man up and take charge. Obama is playing you and you are afraid to face him down. Let the tax cuts expire on 12/31 and on January 4th introduce legislation to do it right and let the Democrats go on the defense. They will lose the debate and you will get it right.

No new taxes. No new spending. No secret deals.

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