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The Republican party abandoned it's born-again principles, when the GOP-led House agreed to a $143 billion deal to extend the payroll tax for another year and extend unemployment benefits:
The Senate approved the $143 billion measure by a bipartisan 60-36 vote. That tally came minutes after the House approved it by a sweeping 293-132 vote.
Under Friday's measure, workers would continue to receive a two percentage point increase in their paychecks and people out of work for more than six months would keep jobless benefits averaging about $300 a week. It would also head off a steep cut in reimbursements for physicians who treat Medicare patients.
The compromise came together after House GOP leaders on Monday backed down from a long-standing position that the tax cut be paid for with commensurate spending cuts. "We made a decision to bring them to the table so that the games would stop, and we would get this work done," said House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio.
Yes, the GOP did indeed back down from it's "long-standing position" (with "long-standing" meaning "since 2010") that tax cuts should be paid for. The Bush-era GOP certainly didn't believe tax cuts had to be paid for, nor did they believe spending should be held in check. They did neither. That's why I refer to the Republicans principles as born-again. The GOP had principles during the Clinton years, then they lost them during the Bush years, then they appeared to have them back during the last couple years of Obama's reign, and now they've lost them again. These clowns are making me dizzy.
The upshot of all this is, Obama and Congress just added another $100 billion or so to this year's deficit. That's a lot of money, even in this age where the word "trillions" is tossed around so often that money seems to have lost all meaning (which it soon will if we continue down this road of borrowing and spending). I'd really like to corner Boehner and ask him what all that fuss was about in December, when the GOP demanded spending cuts in exchange for a two-month payroll tax extension. The GOP lost that battle too, but at least they fought. Even if they had been successful, the GOP erased all that and more with this cave. I'd also like to ask Boehner why he believes fighting for the fiscal sustainability of our country is a "game". I'm also wondering where the Tea Party caucus in the House went, but the vote was 293-132. I'm hoping the Tea Partiers voted against this.
This is very disheartening. Pretty much the ONLY reason I support Republicans over Democrats is because Republicans stand for limited government moreso than Democrats, who stand for unlimited government. As Thomas Jefferson said, 'A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have.' The only modification I'd make to Jefferson's brilliant statement is this - a government big enough to give you everything you want WILL take everything you have...because it has no choice. The revenue has to come from somewhere, and that somewhere is the American public.
To be clear, I'm not against tax cuts per se. I'm FOR them, but I want them to be offset by spending reductions, because that puts us a step closer to limited government. As both political parties now openly admit with the payroll tax cut, tax cuts stimulate the economy. There's no arguing that fact (even though liberals have argued it for years), but I've never bought fully into the credo of some conservatives that tax cuts pay for themselves either. Whether tax cuts pay for themselves or not is beside the point (see: tax cuts stimulate the economy). The point is, we need a fluorishing private sector and the more money you leave in the hands of those who earn it, the more the private sector will fluorish. What we can't have happen is what we've seen during both the Bush II era and now on steroids in the Obama era - tax cuts combined with massive spending increases. That's a recipe for certain disaster. Democrats understood this when Bush was the President, but they've conveniently forgotten it since Obama took the helm. For the Republicans, it's vice versa. Hell, maybe it is just a game, a shell game with the American citizens being the marks. Make no mistake here America, Obama didn't GIVE you anything with this borrowed payroll tax cut. He just delayed when you'll have to pay for it (and now you'll have to pay it back WITH INTEREST). The mainstream media will conveniently forget to tell you that part. What is important to remember, my fellow Americans, is that we are living in the age of absolute fiscal lunacy.
Perhaps the GOP wanted to avoid another big fight with Obama in an election year for fear they would come out on the short end of the stick again. If so, my disdain for the GOP only intensifies. Republicans have to understand one thing. No matter which side of an issue they take, the mainstream media is in the pocket of the Democrats, and the mainstream media will paint the GOP as the bad guys. Back in December, the media painted Republicans as obstructionist for demanding spending cuts in exchange for a payroll tax increase. The media said the Republicans were threatening the economic recovery. Now, with the Republicans not demanding any spending cuts in exchange for payroll tax cuts, the media will say the GOP surrendered, caved, etc. I guarantee you, the liberal media is thrilled right now. For Republicans, it's heads they win, tails you lose. The GOP should forget about the media and fight for what they believe in. They did not do that here.
Finally, why a payroll tax cut ? Why defund Social Security further when it's already unfunded to begin with ? That doesn't make a lot of sense to me. I suppose the idea was to get money to the most people possible, but Obama could have just sent everyone a check. It wouldn't make much difference how the money gets to the people, it's all borrowed anyway. Obama should just cut to the chase, crank up the printing press, and send everyone a thousand bucks with the words "Obama In 2012" stamped on it. Apparently, he'd have the blessing of the GOP.