Here's one example. Just days after Christmas, a large number of unemployment payments will expire. Sure, the GOP will get the blame for that, but those who care about it will never vote GOP and, moreover, will find President Obama and Congress rushing to their rescue -- oh, and that requires Republican votes, which creates leverage in future negotiations.
And yes, taxes will automatically rise on virtually every category of taxpayer, and their payroll deduction will increase, and the Obamacare tax will kick in -- all of which will cause most working Americans to realize just how good they had it under the "bad, bad George W. Bush." That will hopefully lead to quicker real negotiations between Democrats and Republicans and a more realistic reworking of the tax system and cuts in spending.
If Congress and Obama kick the can down the road with a "tax the rich" temporary solution in December, Obama will roll everyone next year. Promises by the administration of spending cuts in the future or assertions that "existing cuts" are future ones are hollow and silly. What leverage will the GOP have next year that will be stronger than the cards they hold now? The answer: none.
As a former GOP legislator, I was notorious for working with Democrats to reach a common ground. But in this case, there is no common ground. President Obama truly believes in using the excuse of "the rich," which never differentiates a Bill Gates from a farm owner or small-business person, as a means not of balancing budgets, but reengineering the social fabric of America. That's his gig. I get it.
But Republicans will just keep losing ground if, every time the threat of a crisis arises and markets take a temporary dive, they cave in to compromise that means giving up more and more of what they allegedly stood for in the first place.
Hold your nose, Republicans, and take a dive off the cliff into the uncertain waters of temporary unpopularity. You won't drown, and you will force the other guy to have to start swimming just as hard.
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