Posts Tagged ‘Free Markets’
The “fiscal cliff” deal includes more taxes, more ridiculous spending, and NO significant spending cuts!
The REAL cliff is yet to come, when we crash like Greece, but on a MUCH LARGER scale!
While you were sleeping—or ringing in 2013—the Senate voted to raise taxes.
After missing the midnight deadline, Congress and the President have technically sent the nation over the fiscal cliff, meaning higher tax rates are already in effect for all income tax brackets. But the Senate’s deal, brokered by Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (KY) and Vice President Joe Biden, would target the tax increases on those making more than $250,000.
The Senate voted 89-8 to limit deductions for taxpayers making more than $250,000, which would raise their taxes, and to hike tax rates for those making more than $400,000.
As Heritage has pointed out, trying to tax the top income brackets to close the deficit is impossible. To overcome the massive federal deficit, top earners would have to be taxed atmore than 100 percent. And J.D. Foster, Heritage’s Norman B. Ture Senior Fellow in the Economics of Fiscal Policy, reminds us that President Obama has already raised taxes on “the wealthy”:
Never mind that Obama already raised taxes on upper-income taxpayers through the 3.8 percent Medicare surtax imposed under Obamacare. Never mind that tax rate hikes would weaken an economy stumbling so badly the Federal Reserve doubled its risky efforts to keep the economy from recession. Never mind Obama’s approach would likely put the kibosh on any hopes for tax reform. Never mind the resulting revenues would be a small drop in a very big bucket compared to projected budget deficits. Never mind that the only justification for higher taxes is spite and envy to be exercised through the extortive power of the federal government.
Some of the key points in the Senate deal, which could go to the House as early as today:
- Raises taxes on incomes over $400,000 for individuals and $450,000 for households
- Raises taxes on investment income for those taxpayers as well
- Limits tax deductions for incomes over $250,000—raising their taxes, too
- Increases the death tax rate for estates over $5 million
- Extends long-term unemployment benefits for one year
- Postpones sequestration’s automatic spending cuts (including those to defense) by two months
Matthew Boyle at Breitbart makes this shocking observation:
According to the Congressional Budget Office, the last-minute fiscal cliff deal reached by congressional leaders and President Barack Obama cuts only $15 billion in spending while increasing tax revenues by $620 billion—a 41:1 ratio of tax increases to spending cuts.
When Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush increased taxes in return for spending cuts—cuts that never ultimately came—they did so at ratios of 1:3 and 1:2.
Senator Rand Paul called the deal a “joke,” and refuses to vote for it:
Last night, without any legislative language, the Senate Republicans and Democrats voted to raise taxes. They did not just vote to raise income taxes. They voted to raise the payroll tax on all Americans.
This will hurt small businesses.
Ironically, this plan generates less revenue than even John Boehner’s Plan B option. But both options, as I have long maintained, were only about breaking the will of the GOP and getting the GOP to violate its tax pledge.
Well, today the White House is telling Fox New’s Ed Henry that this was the game all along. According to Ed Henry, the White House staff is saying that getting the GOP to break their tax pledge is, “One of the most consequential policy achievements of the last couple of decades.” The plan cuts $1.00 in spending for every $41.00 in tax increases. Contrary to what Senator Pat Toomey is claiming today, everyone’s taxes will also go up – the 99% and the 1%.
That will be the headline if the House Republicans vote for this plan.
Mike Lee, Marco Rubio, and Rand Paul were defiant. They know what is at stake.
Now, many of you think this is the best deal we can get. I understand that. But consider this — the White House has designed this solely for purposes of getting the GOP to break their tax pledge. Any way we play the game we lose.
The only way to even think of winning is to not play this game.
Sadly, the GOP leadership has played into Obama’s hands every step of the way, and it doesn’t look like this is going to be any different.
I know there are a lot of Protestants who buy into these ideas as well, but we’re so dispersed that it’s easy to dismiss a Protestant like Jim Wallis who peddles this garbage. Where are the conservative Catholics supposed to go?
Earlier in his homily, the leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics decried “hotbeds of tension and conflict caused by growing instances of inequality between rich and poor“.
The idea that economic inequality is the root of most conflict is a Socialist idea, not a Biblical one. The Bible makes it clear that man’s sinful nature is the source of mankind’s broken relationships and conflicts.
Also, the Pope appears to mistakenly assume that economic inequality is automatically a form of injustice which creates resentment, not recognizing that poor people are not made poorer by other people getting richer, because wealth is not a zero-sum game. Any resentment over inequality is either based in envy, or anger over being cheated and exploited (in which case, it is the dishonest manner in which the wealth was gained, not the wealth disparity itself, which is the problem).
He also denounced “the prevalence of a selfish and individualistic mindset which also finds expression in an unregulated capitalism, various forms of terrorism and criminality”.
Funny how Socialists believe that it is “selfish” for people to want to keep what they earn, but neglect to recognize selfishness in those who demand that money be taken from those who earned it and given to themselves (who didn’t earn it). The Bible has a word for that, however: theft.
Also, Socialists denounce any rejection of collectivist control over goods and services as “individualist” and selfish, completely ignoring the fact that God Himself established private property rights when he gave the 10 commandments, including “Do not covet” and “Do not steal.”
Socialists also assume that pure Capitalism is an “unregulated,” winner-takes-all affair. Nonsense! True Capitalism requires law and order to make sure that all transactions are conducted honestly and voluntarily, without coercion or deceit. Free enterprise is not anarchy. Nor is it a form of “terrorism and criminality.”
Guess I shouldn’t be surprised that the Pope completely misses these points. He’s a former Nazi youth, after all, and like most Germans has never fully rejected the Welfare State or many of the other Socialist underpinnings of the Nazi party. Also, like most Christians across the theological spectrum, he has never studied Biblical Economics.
Sadly, millions will hear his ignorant statements and become even more firmly entrenched in the unscriptural idea that Socialism is Biblical and free enterprise is evil.
Even more sadly, millions of Catholics are fighting for religious liberty against the very kinds of oppressive Socialist governments the Pope is supporting with these statements. At a time when he should be denouncing abuses of government power, he denounces the “individualism” of those fighting for their God-given rights of economic and religious liberty instead.
Thanks to spineless Republican leadership, Obama is going to get his tax hikes on job creators, which will drive more businesses to cut hours, freeze hiring, and send jobs overseas.
Brace yourselves for another deep recession.
Senators spent the weekend trying to craft a new proposal that they originally claimed could be ready as early as Sunday. But Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid reported late in the day that there was significant distance between the two sides, following a tense afternoon during which Vice President Biden was brought in to referee.
Talks now push on, likely into Monday — but President Obama has already made clear he will press Reid to call a vote on a separate White House plan if nothing is produced by then.
The stumbling block Sunday initially appeared to be a provision in the Republican proposal that would change the way Social Security benefits are calculated — effectively reducing benefits over time.
But while that drew the ire of Democrats, some Republicans indicated they were willing to drop the provision. Instead, they voiced serious concern about a Democratic push to use new tax revenue for new spending.
“The biggest obstacle we face is that President Obama and Majority Leader Reid continue to insist on new taxes that will be used to fund more new spending, not for meaningful deficit reduction,” said Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, the ranking Republican on the Senate Budget Committee.
Despite the fact that his unreasonable demands are to blame, Obama isn’t afraid of taking the fall for this impasse. He knows the media will cover his hide and pin the blame on the Republicans no matter what.
Sen. Lindsey Graham began waving the white flag before noon:
On this weekend’s broadcast of “Fox News Sunday,” South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham conceded a political victory to President Barack Obama on the pending fiscal cliff negotiations.
“What have we accomplished? Political victory for the president,” Graham said. “Hats off to the president — he stood his ground. He’s going to get tax rate increases, maybe not at [$250,000], but on upper-income Americans. And the sad news for the country is we’ve accomplished very little in not becoming Greece or getting out of debt. This deal won’t affect the debt situation. And it will be a political victory for the president, and I hope we have courage of our convictions, when it comes to raise the debt ceiling to fight what we believe as Republicans. Hats off to the president, he won.”
This is exactly why I don’t like Lindsey Graham. It’s like having a minute left at the end of a football game where his team is a touchdown behind with the season on the line and he’s on the sidelines congratulating the other coach for playing a great game. Ugh! He even admits later that this deal does nothing for the country, yet he’s gonna vote for a tax increase because of politics, saying on national TV that Obama won and even congratulated him.
Lindsey Graham is exactly what is wrong with the Republican Party. A bunch of dang smushes.
Ron Paul: There’s Too Much Bipartisanship on Spending
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He’s absolutely right.
Even if Congress manages to come up with a solution to avert the “fiscal cliff,” a combination of year-end tax increases and spending cuts, it won’t be worth anything because it’ll probably only deal with tax rates and ignore the problem of runaway government spending, or so say Texas Congressman and former presidential candidate Ron Paul.
“I think we have passed that point of no return where we can actually get our house in order,” Rep. Paul said Friday on CNBC. “I believe there is too much bipartisanship on the spending. Nobody is talking about cutting any spending.”
“Republicans and Democrats,” he continued, “they pretend they’re fighting up there, but they really aren’t. They’re arguing over power, spin, and who looks good, and who looks bad, but they’re all trying to preserve this system where they can spend what they want, take care of their friends, and let the Fed print money when they need it.”
[...] “There’s no admission that they [U.S. lawmakers] have a crisis. They have no admission that the country is bankrupt. There’s no admission that our government is spending way too much and it’s way beyond our means and there’s not a single bit of effort to cut anything,” the congressman continued.
“They are so they so far removed from admitting the seriousness of this crisis and if they don’t admit it, they can’t solve the problem. They’re like a bunch of drug addicts that just want another fix. That’s what they are looking for,” he concluded:
Funny how they waited until the Weekend before Christmas – when most Americans are wrapped up in the holidays – to drop this bomb on us.
After taking criticism for missing an October deadline, the Obama administration Friday released its list of proposed government-wide regulations that it plans to consider in the next year.
The administration put out its notice, called the unified regulatory agenda, online around 3 p.m. on the Friday before Christmas, after most lawmakers had left town. The proposed rules cover everything from power plant pollution to health-care standards to workplace safety. Critics who accuse President Obama of being an overzealous regulator said the timing of the announcement was no accident.
“President Obama has earned a permanent spot on the disclosure naughty list as his administration dumped their entire regulatory agenda out to the public when everyone else was celebrating the holidays,” said Rick Manning, communications director for Americans for Limited Government. “The late Friday dump cannot be good news for those concerned about the regulatory overreach that this administration has become renowned for.”
For months now, lawmakers have been complaining about the Obama administration’s glib dismissal of their explicitly promised commitment to transparency and their blithe failure to publish either a spring or a fall regulatory agenda — which is even worse when you consider the fact that his administration has been rolling out new regulations at an economically soul-crushing pace. Wouldn’t want to start circulating anything that might damper the president’s chances ahead of the election, especially with all the mega-rules of Dodd-Frank and ObamaCare still unwritten, now would we?
But, lo and behold, the Obama administration finally released their regulatory agenda, on Friday afternoon — just as everybody was leaving town for the four-day Christmas holiday. A convenient accident of timing, or one of the most news-dumpy Friday news dump, ever?
Even if this had passed, Reid would never have allowed it to come up for a vote in the Senate, and Obama had promised to veto it.
NO MORE NEGOTIATIONS. Make the Democrats OWN THE CONSEQUENCES!
A defection of conservative Republicans forced House Speaker John Boehner to abandon his final-hour plan to block automatic tax increases, leaving taxpayers hanging on the edge of the fiscal cliff that is scheduled to crumble on Jan. 1.
“The House did not take up the tax measure today because it did not have sufficient support from our members to pass,” Boehner said in statement Thursday night after cancelling the vote and sending members home for the Christmas holiday.
“Now it is up to the president to work with Sen. (Harry) Reid on legislation to avert the fiscal cliff,” Boehner said.
The collapse was announced shortly after an emergency GOP conference was called at 7:45 p.m. to count votes and twist arms, just moments before the legislation was to be debated on the House floor.
The bill is referred to as “Plan B” and would have averted an automatic tax increase for families making less than $1 million a year but raised tax rates for those making more than $1 million.
A second bill to block military and domestic spending cuts that are part of sequestration narrowly passed Thursday on a vote of 215 to 209 with no Democratic support and 21 Republicans voting no.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said the “Plan B” bill would have been dead on arrival in the upper chamber. The plan was offered by Boehner (R-Ohio) after failed negotiations with President Barack Obama to avert the tax hikes and spending cuts.
Without a deal, taxes are on autopilot to increase $4.6 trillion over the next decade along with $1.2 trillion in cuts across the board.
Knowing that the Democrats won’t budge towards a compromise, David Harsanyi wants to know, “What’s Plan C?” Good question.
Boehner played right into Obama’s hands, doing exactly what the president predicted he would do.
He was turned down anyway, because Obama knows Boehner is a pushover. He won’t settle for anything less than a blank check with no conditions, and unlimited power to unilaterally raise the debt ceiling.
Late Saturday evening, a source from the White House said the Speaker of the House John Boehner had put tax rate hikes on the table in fiscal cliff negotiations. The White House promptly rejected the offer, since Boehner also wanted entitlement reform as a compromise. But the announcement is likely to exacerbate the war within the Republican Party with regard to tax policy in the run-up to the fiscal cliff.
According to a Reuters source, Boehner agreed to a tax rate hike of an unspecified size on high earners – a term the source left undefined. The source said that Obama thought that the offer represented “progress.”
Newsmax reports that “Boehner’s Reversal Opens Door to Major Tax Hikes“:
House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner’s offer to accept a tax rate increase for the wealthiest Americans knocks down a key Republican road block to a deal resolving the year-end “fiscal cliff.”
The question now boils down to price – which income levels, what rates and what’s offered in return. Such major questions, still unanswered so close to the end of the year suggest, however, that no surge toward an agreement is immminent.
[...] ”Boehner has now accepted the premise of higher rates. So now we’re just arguing over details. I think it’s a significant step,” said Greg Valliere, chief political strategist at Potomac Research Group.
Why should Obama negotiate with him? He’s already getting what he wants on on Jan 1st automatically: tax hikes across the board, huge cuts to the military, and an opportunity to falsely pin the blame on the Republicans, which the media will gladly help him do.
Now that Obama has rejected this offer, the Republicans should start a huge PR offensive and MAKE HIM OWN IT when the tax hikes slam the middle class and throw us into another recession. NO MORE CONCESSIONS!
All their claims about needing these tax hikes to pay down the deficit are complete bull. When you give a spending addict more money, they’re going to SPEND IT!!
Seventy-five percent of the new revenue pulled in by President Barack Obama’s “fiscal cliff” plan would go toward new spending, not toward deficit reduction, the Republican side of the Senate Budget Committee contends. Here’s a chart, detailing how money from the new tax hikes would be distributed:
According to the minority side of the Senate Budget Committee, $1.2 trillion of the proposed $1.6 trillion in tax hikes would go toward new spending, while only $400 billion would go toward deficit reduction.
Mark Levin- Obama Will Violate Constitution (explanation begins at 9:40 mark):
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I’m afraid he’s probably right.
Last night, radio host Mark Levin said that President Obama plans to unilaterally and unconstitutionally lift the debt ceiling, thereby circumventing Congress and avoiding negotiations with them. Levin also stated that President Obama plans to play the “catch me if you can, take me to the court” game by taking this unilateral action, because he will be able to get away with it by the time it reaches the Supreme Court.
“We’ve never had a president that’s spent like this ever. Ever. That’s why, in particular right now, the debt ceiling is so crucial, because there’s no other way to stop him. [...]
“He’s going to violate the Constitution, unilaterally lift the debt ceiling, and say ‘catch me if you can, take me to the court,’ and he figures by then maybe he’ll have another appointment or two to the Supreme Court by the time it winds its way there, or maybe John Roberts will help him out again. You never know.
“But he’s more than happy, more than happy to have 12, 18, 24 months of litigation, and by the time that’s done he will have already done what he will have already done.
“So I am telling you – it’s not a prediction. It’s reality. I’m telling you what he’s talking about right here. He’s not playing that game anymore, ladies and gentlemen, because he’s going to defy the rule of law, and on his own lift the debt ceiling.
“That’s what he’s going to do. [Senator] Schumer wants him to do it. All the Leftists want him to do it, and that’s what he’s going to do.”
It’s almost like Reid’s afraid that a senate vote would reveal that even Obama’s own party won’t vote for this nonsense.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., blocked a vote on President Obama’s proposal, articulated last week by Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, saying that “there is no Geithner proposal.”
“If the President’s proposal was made in good faith, Democrats should be eager to vote for it,” McConnell said today. “So I’m surprised the Majority Leader just declined the chance for them to support it with their votes. I guess we’re left to conclude that it couldn’t even pass by a bare majority of votes, and that they’d rather take the country off the cliff than actually work out a good-faith agreement that reflects tough choices on both sides.”
Earlier this year, the Senate voted down Obama’s budget proposal by a vote of 99-0. McConnell proposed the vote both as an amendment to the Russia Trade Bill and as a stand-alone item. Reid objected to both.
“There is no Geithner proposal,” Reid said. “This is all made up.” Reid’s comment might come as a surprise to Geithner and the reporters who interviewed him over the weekend.
“We laid out a very detailed, carefully designed set of spending, savings and tax changes that help put us on a path offiscal responsibility,” Geithner told Fox News’ Chris Wallace on Sunday.
Let’s go ahead and accept Mr. Reid’s language that this is a Republican “stunt,” but it being a “stunt” isn’t why Mr. Reid objects to it — the real problem is that a vote on President Obama’s plan would expose exactly what’s really going on here. The White House insists thatPresident Obama’s plan — to hike up all kinds of taxes and virtually eliminate the debt ceiling — is a substantive, credible, good-faith proposal, yet plenty of Democrats are conspicuously hanging backfrom endorsing it. Could it be that the White House really doesn’t care about compromise, avoiding the pain of the fiscal cliff, or reducing the deficit, but is actually just single-mindedly committed to their entirely reckless goal of merely hiking taxes on the wealthiest Americans — a plan that even most Congressional Democrats wouldn’t vote for?
…Oh, hey, check that out — they just admitted as much.
This is not going to end well.
In terms that are easily the toughest-sounding it has so far uttered on the subject, the White House today insisted again that taxes “have to go up on millionaires and billionaires” and that the President “will not sign an extension” of present tax rates for the top two per cent of wage-earners (who are not all “millionaires and billionaires”).
Although the Obama Administration has made it clear for sometime now that an increase in tax rates on the highest wage-earners was a non-negotiable part of any deal to avoid the “fiscal cliff,” Press Secretary Jay Carney used his strongest language yet on this point today.
Neil Munro reports that Obama has promised he’s willing to “go over the cliff” if the GOP doesn’t bow to his hostage demands:
White House sources are telling Democratic reporters that the president is willing to go over the so-called “fiscal cliff” if GOP leaders don’t agree to his demand for higher tax rates on the wealthy without substantive spending cuts.
A political deadlock would mean an automatic tax increase for middle-class and wealthy Americans on January 1, and the opportunity for Obama and the Democrats to push a tax-cutting bill for middle-class voters in 2013, say the White House officials, who leaked the claim to two liberal columnists.
After the Republicans’ counteroffer on the fiscal cliff today, ABC’s Jake Tapper tweeted a response from a senior White House official: “if GOP doesnt agree to higher rates for top 2%, we’ll go over the cliff and the American people will hold them responsible.” This is a hugely irresponsible threat from President Barack Obama’s administration.
[I}f the White House really is willing to risk an austerity crisis unless it gets its way on an unrelated policy matter -- then the Obama Administration is as irresponsible as it often accuses Republicans of being.
President Obama would have failed Negotiations 101. If there was such a course, the first rule would be “do not insult the people you’re dealing with.
[...] In a few weeks, our country could be pushed back into another recession if both sides cannot agree on a way to prevent everyone’s taxes from rising sharply on Jan. 1.
Yet there was Mr. Obama, acting as though his political blood sport campaign isn’t over, going on the attack and making a meaningless offer to Mr. Boehner that was nothing more than his original budget proposal, which Congress had rejected out of hand: $60 billion a year in spending reductions, a puny 1.6 percent out of a nearly $4 trillion annual budget.
On top of that, he wanted Congress to give him greater powers than he already has, which the Constitution explicitly gives to Congress: control over raising the debt limit when and how he wishes.
Mr. Boehner responded with great restraint, telling reporters that the president clearly wasn’t taking these negotiations seriously. Mr. Obama, he remarked, had made a “la-la-land offer.”
“We could have responded in kind, but we decided not to do that,” the Ohio congressman said. It was a class act versus a Chicago-style, former community organizer who thinks he is still in the 2012 campaign and that this is no time for leadership.
Clearly Obama thinks he can get away with this behavior because he knows the media will blame the Republicans no matter what.
They’ve caved on more spending. They’ve caved on bigger government. They’ve caved on illegal immigration and welfare and crippling cuts to our military.
Now the Republicans are preparing to cave on one of the last reasons anyone might consider voting GOP: raising taxes.
If they cave on this, the Republican party is as good as dead…and Obama knows it, which is why his entire strategy is not to fix the fiscal crisis, but to split the Republican party by pressuring the GOP leadership to betray their principles and their base. Sadly, they’re dumb enough to take the bait.
For most of my adult life, there has been one thing I could rely on with the Republican Party; they weren’t going to raise my taxes. Sure, President George H.W. Bush did it in 1990, but his shock reelection loss quickly taught the party a lesson. Tax policy was one clear issue advantage the GOP had over the Democrats. Yesterday, Speaker Boehner released a Democrat-inspired “fiscal cliff” offer that finally surrenders this advantage. The GOP is now the party of “slightly less tax hikes.”
[...] Taxes are the foundational corner-stone of the Republican voting base. The Republican Party is arguably on the wrong side of many shifting cultural issues. President George W. Bush squandered any advantage the party had on controlling government spending. One of its final appeals to voters has been that the party wouldn’t feed the government spending beast with more taxes. You simply cannot control government spending by giving it more revenue. The history of modern governance dictates that increased revenue will simply move the baseline of spending higher.
[...] Keeping taxes low is an existential position for the modern Republican Party. It is one of the last issue appeals it has that registers with voters. And yet, they are allowing the Democrat-Media industrial complex to negotiate themselves into surrendering it.
If they do so, why would anyone vote for a Republican ever again?
Jessica Stanton at the Daily Caller reports that the establishment Republicans have a “doomsday” plan for trying to ride the fence:
Republicans have reportedly drafted a “Doomsday Plan” in anticipation of a stalemate on fiscal cliff negotiations.
ABC News reports that a large group of Republicans could vote “present” on a bill extending the Bush-era middle class tax cuts. This would assure the bill passes solely on Democratic votes, signifying Republicans’ refusal to only extend tax cuts for one subset of citizens.
The bill would be void of any unemployment or tax reform and also would not raise the debt ceiling, measures that President Barack Obama favors. Such a scenario would force Obama and congressional Democrats to address massive spending cuts as soon as they return from the holiday recess.
[...] Two senior Republican elected officials told ABC News this contingency plan is “becoming the most likely scenario.”
The Doomsday plan could allow Republicans to escape the blame for tax increases that would hit nearly all Americans after New Year’s Day.
It’s disgusting that we even have to ask such a question regarding an American president, but Obama’s certainly no friend to free speech or keeping American sovereignty safe from foreign control.
The world’s tyrants would love nothing more than to get control of the one place where international free speech still exists.
A UN agency is trying to calm fears that the internet could be damaged by a conference it is hosting.
Government regulators from 193 countries are in Dubai to revise a wide-ranging communications treaty.
Google has warned the event threatened the “open internet”, while the EU said the current system worked, adding: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
But the agency said action was needed to ensure investment in infrastructure to help more people access the net.
If you believe that, I’ve got bridge to sell you.
The U.N. plans to control the tool that tyrants fear most — technology that promotes free speech and intellectual freedom — by imposing a global tax in the name of fairness. Think of net neutrality on steroids.
Elections have consequences, and one consequence of President Obama’s re-election may be U.S. acquiescence to the administrative control of the Internet to the United Nations and journalist-jailing and Web-censoring regimes from Iran to Venezuela, complete with a global tax on its use.
The U.N.’s International Telecommunications Union (ITU) is holding the World Conference on International Telecommunications in Dubai from Dec. 3 to 14. U.N. member states, largely composed of Third World despots, will be meeting to update the ITU treaty arrangements for international communications.
The ITU last drafted a treaty on communications in 1988, before the dawn of the Internet as we know it, and many of the world’s thugs seek to restrict its freedoms by imposing on it a global tax. The Internet was then primarily a university network, and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was a mere 4 years old.
Today, the self-regulating Internet means no one has to ask for permission to launch a website, and no government can tell network operators how to do their jobs. The Internet freely crosses international boundaries, making it difficult for governments to censor or to tax.
Regimes such as Russia and Iran also want an ITU rule letting them monitor Internet traffic routed through or to their countries, allowing them to eavesdrop or block access.
Obama has declared that he will not sign any bill that doesn’t include massive tax hikes for any individual or small business who makes more than $250K. Even though the top 1% already pay more income taxes than the bottom 80%. Even though his proposed tax hikes would only pay for 8 days of government spending. This has nothing to do with helping the middle class or paying down the deficit: it has everything to do with Obama’s ideological hatred for “the rich” and imposing his twisted Marxist vision of “fairness,” no matter who gets hurt.
Charles Krauthammer nailed it in this interview when he observed that Obama’s agenda is to destroy the Republicans, not to fix the economy:
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“Why are Republicans allowing the entire debate to be about taxes and about the war among Republicans over holding the line on the Norquist pledge or not, when what Obama is proposing on raising the rates on the 2% is a triviality? It will reduce the deficit from 1.10 trillion to 1.02 trillion, 8 cents on the dollar. It is nothing. It’s lunch money, it’s a rounding error. And yet that’s all the debate that we are hearing. Obama understands this. He’s not trying to fix our fiscal issues and problems. He’s trying to destroy the Republicans by insisting that there is a split among the Republicans on this issue which has held them together, the same way it destroyed President Bush Senior when he went back on the pledge he made. This is a political attack on the Republicans. There is no evidence right now that he has any interest in the real fiscal issue because he would have to talk about spending and entitlements and he isn’t.”
“What [Obama] proposed this week was a classic bait and switch on the American people—a tax increase double the size of what he campaigned on, billions of dollars in new stimulus spending and an unlimited, unchecked authority to borrow from the Chinese,” Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said in Saturday’s weekly GOP address.
“Maybe I missed it but I don’t recall him asking for any of that during the presidential campaign. These ideas are so radical that they have already been rejected on a bipartisan basis by Congress.”
Mike Flynn asks, “Where Are Democrats Willing To Compromise?”
Where are the Democrats standing up to their special interests and proposing compromises contrary to their base? Where is the Democrat saying, you know what, we can’t keep posting trillion+ deficits? Demographics make Social Security and Medicare unsustainable, yet not a single national Democrat will admit that.
Why is the media not seeking out some “adult” Democrat who is willing to admit that we have a serious spending problem and need to reform entitlements? Why do Democrats simply get to deliver pablum that we need a “balanced” approach, but never have to articulate both sides of this balance?
I’ve been around long enough to realize these questions answer themselves. Only the GOP has to compromise its closely held beliefs. The Democrats, who arguably have created this entire mess, never have to question their basic assumptions. They have failed to produce a budget for four years and are currently spending more money than LBJ and FDR ever dreamed of spending, yet no one can question this basic framework.
Obama is putting out unreasonable demands in the hopes that Republicans will either alienate their fiscal conservative base by complying, or take the blame for the fall-out if they refuse, which recent polls indicate is very likely, thanks to the help of the media. He’s even making the ridiculous claim that a GOP refusal to accept his outrageous offer will spoil Christmas.
How is it that the GOP is so feckless and ineffective that it can’t even convince the 48% who voted for Romney that raising taxes on those making over $250,000 is both pointless and bad policy:
Sixty percent of all Americans back higher taxes on higher incomes in the new Post-ABC data. Earlier this month, an identical 60 percent of voters in the presidential election said income taxes should be raised on income over $250,000, according to the national exit poll.
Only 37% oppose the tax hike.
Other than a complete inability to communicate, there’s no rhyme or reason for this. Facts, logic, and history are all with us in this debate, but we still can’t make our case to more than 37% of adults?
We lost here, though, the moment Obama and the media were able to make the deficit reduction debate center on a silly tax increase as opposed to spending decreases.
How is it possible for Democrats to be losing a debate over raising taxes in the middle of the longest, worst recession since the Great Depression? Because they’re too afraid to STAND UP AND MAKE THE ARGUMENT! We need BOLD leaders who don’t have Stockholm syndrome, aren’t intimidated by the predictable liberal playbook, and aren’t ashamed to argue for the conservative principles they claim to represent!
The Democrats are using typical Alinsky scare tactics. But instead of anticipating the predictable Democrat playbook and being prepared to counterattack, the GOP establishment will cower and cave like a scolded puppy. Obama’s playing them like a fiddle.
Several Republicans have already indicated that they plan to violate their Norquist Pledge against raising taxes:
Today, multiple high-ranking Republicans announced that they were willing to raise taxes as part of a deal to avoid the “fiscal cliff,” breaking the pledges they had made to Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform.
Norquist has responded by calling them Democrat “pawns,” which they are:
The leader of Americans for Tax Reform told Human Events that Republicans should be ashamed to be part of the Democratic media campaign to raise taxes.
“They should be embarrassed,” said Grover G. Norquist, the founder and president of the Washington-based ATR.
[...] Despite the barrage of attacks against him, and reports of defections, the “Taxpayer Protection Pledge” he asks every candidate to make to the voters is not going away, he said.
“The truth is that 90-plus percent of the pledge signers, they sign the pledge because they have no intention of raising taxes,” said the Massachusetts expatriate.
“They are very comfortable making that commitment because it never occurs to them to raise taxes. They know taxes are bad for the economy. They know raising taxes kills jobs,” he said. “Why would they raise taxes if they know the problem is spending?”
Republicans used to believe in free enterprise, the private sector, and low taxes. They believed in getting government the heck out of the way. They still talk like that, but they don’t seem to actually be operating like that. Senate and House Republicans seem to be in a bidding war to increase revenue in Washington. What’s worse, they are mendacious enough to call it “increasing revenue” instead of “tax increases,” when it amounts to the same thing. The Republican Party of John Boehner and Mitch McConnell have taken a party that once believed in starving the beast and transforming it into a party that believes in feeding the leviathan lest the leviathan consume them. They operate out of fear — fear of losing their remaining power, fear of blame, and fear of the unknown.
[...] The fiscal cliff is actually a bipartisan compromise that congress critters and their friends in the press have now given a spooky name to scare the American people lest Washington have to take the medicine it prescribed itself. The Republicans were complicit in this arrangement.
Republicans and Democrats punted and punted on the Bush tax cuts and they arranged a debt ceiling increase that would, should a committee designed to fail actually fail, force draconian cuts that both sides could scream about and demand be rejected. So Washington would get a debt ceiling increase, but would not actually have to suffer the pain of cuts. Republicans and Democrats collaborated to design a medicine so vile they could ask the public’s forgiveness if they chose not to take it and design a more sugary medicine instead.
But one way or the other, the medicine must now be taken.
[...] So what the heck does the GOP actually stand for? Right now, they seem to want to be the “responsible” party, but know they’re going to get blamed for whatever happens. They are scared of their own shadow. They are caving, but to what?
I couldn’t tell you. I have no idea what John Boehner and Mitch McConnell’s Republican Party stands for other than the acquisition and maintenance of their own power. They’re Bob Michel without the charm willing to take scraps from the Democrats’ table so long as they can sit on the floor next to it. Their own plans are designed around tactics, not strategy, and tactics designed to avoid as much blame as possible for a mess they were complicit in creating.
I can’t tell you what they stand for anymore.
That’s why it’s more important than ever for the Tea Party to zero in on these RINO’s and oust every last one of them in 2014.
Newt has it EXACTLY RIGHT!
“The Republicans need to take a big step back, rethink the role of the legislative branch, and understand that they have gone down a trail that has no positive outcome.
A legislative branch does five things: it appropriates, it legislates, it has oversight, it communicates, and it negotiates. They have been overwhelmingly fixated on negotiating, but their real power is appropriate, legislate, oversight, and communicate. I would urge the House and Senate Republicans to take a deep breath, pull all the way back, say ‘when you have a serious proposal, send it up…’
First, I would focus on how they’re going to control appropriations. Obama can’t spend a penny if congress doesn’t give it to him. The House Republicans don’t have to give the Senate Democrats a penny.
Two: what do they need oversight on? Because if every committee and subcommittee was looking at how badly this administration is wasting our money, the president wouldn’t have the gall to ask for more stimulus money.
Three: I don’t think they should move big bills. They should move lots and lots of small bills. Make the Democrats block over and over in the Senate. Set a stage for an obstructionist Democrat reelection effort in 2014.
And then frankly, they need to get their act together on communication. It is pathetic how badly Republicans do, whether it’s the presidential campaign, or when it’s trying to govern, when they are competing with the news media and Obama, which is essentially the same thing. They have got to really rethink their entire communication strategy.”
Keith Koffler believes that the Republicans have more leverage than they think:
I don’t think President Obama wants to go down as the worst president in history, do you?
Well, that’s what going over the fiscal cliff will make him. And that’s why the Republicans have a lot a leverage.
The massive spending cuts and tax increases set to kick in January 2 will cause a second recession, from which we may not emerge for many months. The economy may not really get going for years. Obama will have presided over two terms of economic disaster. It will ruin his legacy, and sow the seeds for a major Republican revival.
Republican revival? But the Republicans are going to get blamed, you say.
They will, in the short run. But in the end, it will be the president who failed to somehow make a deal. Presidents are ultimately responsible for their presidencies. The good ones tame their enemies, pick off some of them and make them allies, and get a good result. The bad ones go over fiscal cliffs.
The history books will say that Obama had to deal with a recalcitrant Congress. That will be the second thing school kids learn. But the first thing they will learn is that Obama sucked.
While polls may say Republicans could be blamed for the country falling over the fiscal cliff, make no mistake about it: within months, this will be President Obama’s failed economy for keeps. If we go over the fiscal cliff because the President wants to raise taxes, hike spending, and give himself an unchecked monarchical ability to increase the debt limit, he is the one who will ultimately end up paying the political consequences.