Obama won't agree to serious spending cuts or entitlement reform, and he's demanding punitive, revenue-negligible tax increases (and elimination of deductions) for the wealthy. Further, he insists Republicans unconstitutionally delegate to him unilateral authority over future spending ceilings and thus abandon any future leverage they would have to force him to cut spending.
Why is it just assumed by Republicans and even conservative commentators that Republicans can't make their case against a reckless president who is primarily to blame for our problems and for any budget breakdowns?
Why, indeed? Fox News just released a poll showing that 89 percent of Americans believe that if taxes go up on the wealthy the president should agree to major spending cuts.
Polls also show the public fears the reduction of entitlement benefits more than it fears an economic collapse mostly caused by entitlements. So Republicans must explain clearly that entitlement reform is what ensures they will keep their benefits and that without reform we will have an economic collapse in which everyone will lose their benefits or receive substantially less.
Republicans appear feckless, unconfident and tongue-tied. They need to go on the offensive and show that Obama is causing these problems and preventing their solution. They need to refuse any deal that doesn't include major spending reductions and substantial entitlement reform, because such a deal would accelerate the bankruptcy of America, while tax increases on the rich won't help at all.
Even going over the cliff would be preferable to accepting Obama's unreasonable demands, which would be destructive to the economy and our financial situation and pointless, except to punish the rich and damage the Republican brand. While the automatic tax increases would be anti-growth, at least we'd have spending cuts, and Republicans will have stood on principle.
Thus, if the negotiations break down and we go over the cliff, it will mostly be Obama's fault. Obama refuses to address the financial crisis. Republicans insist we do. And we can't win this argument? Are we 2-year-olds who can't complete a simple sentence?
It's time for Republicans to draw their line in the sand and spell this out with a strong, unified, articulate voice. And while they're at it, perhaps they could make their case for a pro-growth society rife with opportunity, as contrasted to a future of ever-increasing economic malaise and government dependency.