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Time for GOP to Push Obama off the Fiscal Cliff

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

Republicans need to stand for something and start defending conservatism not apologizing for it. Whether we’re talking about economic or individual prosperity, conservative policies work. When Presidents Reagan and Clinton cut taxes, government revenues increased and economies boomed. When babies are born to married couples, their chances of succeeding in life grow exponentially as opposed to falling into a life of poverty and crime, if they are born to single moms.


As Mitt Romney remarked in his NAACP speech, a Brookings Institution study found kids “who graduate from high school, get a full-time job, and wait until 21 before they marry and then have their first child, the probability of being poor is two percent. And if those factors are absent, the probability of being poor is 76 percent.”

When parents are given choices to escape failing public schools with programs like vouchers, their kids’ chances of finishing high school and going to college increases. The Republican Party supports policies that promote an opportunity society versus a government dependent society. Living off welfare and food stamps won’t buy you a home in the suburbs or send your kids to college. Yet Democrats make their pursuit of an ever-growing role of government in our lives sound chic, fulfilling and something to aspire toward.

Congressional Republicans have allowed Democrats and President Barack Obama to use the fiscal cliff battle to paint Republicans as the party of bad while falsely positioning Democrats as the party of good. There’s nothing good about a person or nation living beyond his or her means and that’s what Democrat policies persistently pursue.

As expected, Republicans have lost control of the narrative just like Mitt Romney did during the election because the party won’t stand on terra firma and defend its principles. America doesn’t have a taxing problem we have a spending problem and are living in debt denial. Republicans need to remind Americans that our nation is marching down the path of Greece and Spain both with a 25% unemployment rate unless we reign in our spending.


According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), entitlement programs of Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid are nearly solely responsible for blowing up our deficits in the next 75 years. This is why we need bold entitlement and spending reform and tax reform of the kind Rep. Paul Ryan proposed in his budget plan, The Path to Prosperity. As Bob Woodward’s The Price of Politics notes, CBO confirmed Ryan’s budget would cut $4.4 trillion from the deficit over ten years.

Thanks to Obama’s penchant for spending on his favorite things like the failed stimulus, Obamacare, and Dodd-Frank, the president has taken the debt from $10 trillion in 2009 to over $16 trillion in four years. President George W. Bush spent that in eight years. As Senator Rob Portman noted in a recent Wall Street Journal editorial, our “national debt now tops $130,000 a person” and allowing the $800 trillion in Bush tax cuts to expire for higher earners only pays for “nine days of spending.”

Why aren’t House Speaker John Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell getting their people in line and hammering away at these facts?

Why isn’t the GOP reminding Americans that the $3.2 trillion in Bush tax cuts Obama wants to protect for 98% of Americans “was proposed and put into law largely by Republicans.” So if Obama admits we can’t afford to hit the middle class with tax cuts then it wouldn’t be good to hit 2% with $800 trillion in tax cuts either because this group includes small business owners, who create jobs and put money back into the economy.


Moreover, why isn’t the GOP reminding Americans as Portman wrote only 4% of the $12 trillion of in deficits accumulated from 2002-2011 was due to tax hikes on the rich or that Obama’s $3 trillion budget increases spending by $1 trillion over ten years. Curiously, Obama’s relentless quest to make higher earners pay more in taxes would only pay 7% ($80 billion a year) of Obama's $1 trillion yearly deficits.

Why aren’t Republicans reminding Americans Obama's budgets are so out of control they never passed Congress? Obama’s cliff bargain of $1.6 trillion in tax hikes on the rich is the same cost of “the three entitlement programs in 2012,” (p. 379, The Price of Politics) but Obama refuses any reforms to entitlements or cuts in government spending. In ten years Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security will cost $3 trillion.

“The single biggest threat to the future of this country—there’s nothing even close—is the unsustainable path we’re on, driven by excessive generosity beyond our ability to pay . . .on very popular programs,” said McConnell, (p.364, The Price of Politics). Why aren’t Republicans telling the American people this story?

If Republicans cave into Obama’s demands to punish higher earners with tax hikes while all other earners enjoy the lower Bush tax cuts, the GOP will lose all credibility with the American people. Looking to the 2014 mid-term elections and the 2016 presidential election, Democrats will campaign against untrustworthy Republicans. “They said they were for lower taxes and raised taxes. Their presidential nominee Mitt Romney changed his positions like the wind to suit the political climate. What does the Republican Party really stand for?”


It’s time for Republicans to stand, deliver and let Obama face his own cliffhanger. America has a spending problem, not a taxing one. Do or die. The moment is now!

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