Saturday, January 23, 2016

'No Compromise!' Stance of Republicans Has Led To Donald Trump

Elected Conservatives' Reading For Past 15 Years
The National Review has dedicated its recent edition to making the case with 22 'conservative' commentators that Donald Trump should not be the choice of Republican voters for President of the United States of America.

We can tell you why Donald Trump is slaying all incumbent Republican elected officials in 11 words:

'They have not gotten anything done for the past 15 years!'

Nothing of major bipartisan consequence, that is. The least of which is the federal budget and national debt as you will see below.

There is absolutely nothing 'conservative' about allowing the national debt to explode either by commission or omission of effort while any conservative Republican is in elective office anywhere in Washington, D.C. Conservatives have collectively failed the American people by not arresting federal spending and deficits when: 1) they had control of the White House and/or Congress and 2) by failing to work every day to cut deals with Democrats in control of the White House or Congress to do the same by whatever means necessary.

All of the hot air blown out over the airwaves over the past 15 years has accomplished exactly the same result as when you flick a square of Jello with your finger and it shivers a little while on the plate...and then returns to the exact same position it was in the beginning.

President George W. Bush was a Republican and the US Congress and Senate were under GOP leadership for most of his time in the White House. He did get the Bush Tax Cuts through Congress* along with authorization and money to prosecute the War in Afghanistan after 9/11 which most people supported and the War in Iraq which divided America in ways we are still trying to repair.

The reason why nothing has gotten done in a big bipartisan way is because neither side understands or remembers the importance of the word 'compromise' in American democratic republican government history. 

Today, we are focusing on the failure of the Republicans. We have already pointed out the many failings of President Obama in this regard.

So-called 'conservative' commentators noted above have held to the shibboleth of 'No New Taxes!' for 25 years now, ever since President G.H.W. Bush 41 'broke his promise!' and signed a budget control bill that included some taxes in 1990.

Lesson #1: Don't make promises in politics.
Lesson #2: When you do make them, don't break them.

Can anyone remember what the tax hikes were in that bill? (answers below)

Nope.  But you know what else was in that bill?
  1. PAYGO, The law that forced legislators to either find savings in other existing program to pay for new programs they want or propose new taxes to pay for them.

    (Think of the fiscal discipline that was lost in this one budget tool when Bush 43 and a GOP Congress repealed PAYGO in 2003-2004 so they could pass their tax cuts)
     
  2. Discretionary spending caps on non-entitlement federal programs.
  3. Overall spending discipline that forced Congress to do a better job of congressional oversight to make sure your taxpayer money was spent more wisely and efficiently or else they would have to raise taxes to pay for new programs.

Know what that led to?

Correct. 7 years later in 1997, we had our first balanced budget since under President Eisenhower in 1960.

President Bill Clinton signed a deal negotiated by his chief of staff Erskine Bowles with Republican leaders Newt Gingrich, Dick Armey, Tom DeLay and John Kasich in 1997 based on the foundation of the 1990 agreement and a Republican budget called 'Cutting Spending First' that started on the Republican side of the House Budget Committee in 1993.

We had balanced budgets and actually paid DOWN federal debt from 1998-2001 to the tune of just under $1 trillion.

Can you even believe that happened not too long ago in our lifetimes? Hard to believe given our current fiscal straight-jacket we find ourselves in today with $19 trillion in national debt staring us in the face.

The point is this: Massive amounts of 'compromising' went on in 1990 to get the 1990 budget agreement done. It included 3 tax increases: 1) the cap on Medicare payroll taxes was lifted on earned income; 2) federal cigarette taxes were doubled to 4 cents/pack; and 3) a 'yacht tax' was imposed on high-end yacht purchases.

No 'conservative' back then liked voting for these tax hikes. In fact, they had the dry heaves before the vote thinking about voting for them.

However, they knew what they were about to get in return for having to swallow these tax hikes:

Massive Budget Discipline and Restraint. The core bedrock of conservative principles towards self-governance for centuries.

'Conservatives' who wanted to keep federal spending down got the following: a lower overall federal baseline in overall spending that led to the balancing of the budget for the last 4 years of the decade.

Probably $3-5 trillion in additional debt was avoided during the 1990's because of the compromise of 1990 which included taxes and the 1997 budget agreement that did not include higher taxes (although there were higher 'fees' on certain federal programs)

Now THAT is a 'conservative' value. Saving money and avoiding debt is a 'conservative' value. Having a smaller bloated federal government without the capacity to overburden the American economy with overwrought regulations is a 'conservative' value.

Know one thing about voting for higher taxes the 22 commentators in the NR don't seem to understand? They can be repealed by a vote the next session of Congress.

KNOW WHAT CAN NOT BE REPEALED BY A VOTE OF CONGRESS EVER? THE NATIONAL DEBT! HOLDERS OF OUR DEBT WANT TO BE PAID ON TIME EVERY PAY PERIOD. 

Period.

Saying you are 'against taxes!' while allowing the federal debt to go from $3.3 trillion when Bill Clinton left office to over $19 trillion today 15 years later is not a 'conservative value'.

The people of America know that. They may not all be Harvard or Yale-educated economics or public finance majors but intuitively they know that something is wrong when our elected officials can't hammer out a deal to balance our budget and reduce this debt and instead choose to go outside and throw excrement at the other side like the monkeys do at the Washington Zoo every day for 'not balancing the budget the way we want to do it!'

That is why we elect people to go to Congress in the first place: Hammer Out Deals.

Think the delegates to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia didn't compromise their powdered wigs and silk pants off? They compromised their rear ends off on everything except slavery which they chose to punt to 20 years in the future when they would be dead and gone. From public elective life at least, most of them.

Donald Trump has his faults, to be sure. But he is viewed by a growing number of average, non-elite Americans as a 'deal-maker', a 'negotiator-in-chief', a guy who will get people into a room, unlike President Obama, and not leave until a deal is done for the overall good of the nation.

That is what the 22 commentators in the National Review are missing sadly. An appreciation for the concept of 'compromise' in our democratic republican system.

Without it, we will perish. That is what the Founders believed as well.

*Cutting taxes leads to bigger deficits and higher national debt unless they are offset by spending reductions elsewhere in the federal budget which President Bush 43 and the GOP Congress at the time sadly failed to do.


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