Now that the Republicans have taken back Congress, their most difficult hurdle is ahead. President Obama has made it clear that he will not tack to the center a la Bill Clinton following 1994’s bloodbath, so we can expect a lot of gridlock — the Republicans will not bring the administration’s policies to a vote, but they do not have enough votes to easily override a veto unless they can get many Democrats to jump ship. However, even the threat of a veto should not prevent Republicans from passing the following legislation.
The first thing Republicans need to do is to renew the Bush tax cuts. Letting the Bush cuts expire will cost taxpayers $115 billion next year alone, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), and $2.6 trillion through 2020. Now if every single penny of those increases went to paying off our debt, maybe I would support letting them expire; however, we all know that this money will be appropriated elsewhere and will only increase our grandchildren’s burden and guarantee our slide into second rate world power. These cuts affect more than just the wealthy. The lowest personal income bracket jumps 50 percent — from 10 percent to 15 percent. The 25 percent bracket rises to 28 percent, and the old 28 percent goes up to 31 percent.
Next on the agenda is overturning ObamaCare. The costs for ObamaCare have already risen to more than $1.05 trillion, and the CBO has admitted both that it will not decrease the cost of health care (as we’ve seen through the increase in premiums in response) and will not save the government/taxpayers money. Large corporations have said they will be cutting out health care for many of its workers due to the expenses ObamaCare is placing on them. This plan certainly is not bringing affordable healthcare to the people, but rather taking employee provided health benefits away.
The GOP must make good on its platform of cutting the size of government. For too long it has given lip service to one of the fundamental tenets of the party. For most Republicans, a budget “cut” simply means approving federal budgets for less than what agencies want, but still higher than past years. In other words, they simply do not expand at as fast a rate as the Democrats want.
The entire idea of keeping taxes low is to starve the government so it can not expand, but especially the Bush-era GOP forgot this idea entirely and gave us tax cuts and bigger budgets, and that’s the biggest reason the party lost power in 2006. The Democrats had been out of power long enough and voters had forgotten how much the Democrats could spend like drunken sailors in Bangkok. Hopefully, both parties and the voters have learned their lessons on the real cost of run away government spending.