Has the Republican Party in this lame-duck session of Congress cocked the gun that it will use to shoot off its foot in the new session?
Do I, like Dalrymple, misunderstand what just happened? Did the Republicans cut a deal with Obama to extend the Bush tax cuts in a bill that includes $246 billion in new spending? Are these the same Republicans who campaign on cutting spending and limiting the size and power of government? The same Republicans who say they are willing to work with the opposition, but not to the extent of compromising their “core” principles?
Okay, extending the Bush tax cuts I can see—Republicans have been saying all along that they would do that. And raising the exemption for estate tax while setting the rate at 35% is something somewhat in line with what they’ve said all along, never mind that it’s not quite eliminating the estate tax, something many Republicans have advocated.
But extension of the unemployment benefits for 13 months, a Social Security tax break, extension of individual tax credits and a plethora of business tax breaks, all add up to new spending because there is no provision for spending cuts to offset any of that.
Is Obama smarter than we think? By agreeing to the “compromise” bill, could he be setting the Republicans up for the 2012 campaign when he will argue that the Republicans agreed to their own stimulus bill, so why are they criticizing his?
As I wrote in a previous post, Republican control of Congress is unlikely to do anything to stop the rampant expansion of federal power and the loss of Americans’ liberties? That is why a drastic, fundamental change in government through constitutional amendments is needed.
Meanwhile, will the Republican Party fire that cocked pistol at its foot in January, and suffer in 2012 the same fate as the Democratic Party in 2010? There’s a better-than-even chance, I think.