It’s Sure Not “Weak TEA” – It’s Weak Republican Spines

I hate to say “I told you so,” but this was so predictable as to make anyone who couldn’t see it coming incompetent to comment on national issues.

GOP member of supercommittee leaves door open to raising revenue

Surprise! NOT!

Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) on Wednesday left the door open to allowing some revenue to be raised as part of the final package produced by the deficit-cutting supercommittee of which he is a member.

“I don’t want to get into the hypotheticals yet,” Upton said when he was asked by Western Michigan University Public Radio WMUK whether he would agree to a 10-to-1 ratio of spending cuts to revenue raisers. “[W]e are going to be looking at this with a lot of debate. I don’t want to put something to the side.”

“I want more revenue in that we help the economy move forward,” Upton added. “[W]e will have to number crunch this stuff as we go and try to make a decision.”

But wait…I thought “revenue increases” (read: taxing productive Americans into oblivion) were off the table according to Boehner during the entire debt ceiling debate. Oh yeah, Boehner’s ability to take things off the table was stripped from him by the creation of the Super Congress that he himself voted for!

Upton also left open the possibility of pushing some of the more drastic cuts back on the timeline as the economy remains shaky.

Hmm….What might those “more drastic” cuts include? Defunding Planned Parenthood maybe? Public TV/Radio? ACORN in whatever new name(s) they’re currently hiding behind? The Endowment For The Arts?

My prediction is that those things will be labeled as so insignificant that the Super Congress wouldn’t be addressing them under any circumstances, shaky economy or not, and that Upton and his weak-spined Republican cohorts on the committee will be “pushing back the timeline” for reforming or cutting MedicAid, MediCare, Social Security, Dept. of Education, EPA and all the alphabets that are the only legitimate source of overspending that even hold the potential for reducing the deficit. How far will they be pushed back? 2013? 2015? 2025? 2100? Actually,none of those, because history tells us that government never cuts actual spending, but rather applies miniature Band-Aids to the problem by appearing to cut the growth of programs, which also never really happens as those cuts in growth rates are eaten up by inflation and other intentional government-imposed or government-sanctioned manipulations of the dollar.

“You really are not bound by a short-term number,” said Upton referring to the mandate of the supercommittee. “You are bound only by the ten-year number.”

As a Super Congress member, you’re not bound by anything there Freddie old boy. You’re not bound to act like a jellyfish on any issue, whether having to do with the economy, gun control, abortion, civil rights, expanding the Patriot Act, establishing jurisdictional limits on the courts, illegal immigration, Hell, conceivably, the Super Congress could even propose a Declaration of War that could limit the time of debate on the House Floor and preclude any offers of amendment to the committee’s original language that would limit or otherwise clarify Congress’ intentions as the President carries out and enforces the declaration. And then, if the full House actually showed some spine and voted down that Declaration of War, guess where mandatory draconian cuts would take place? In the same Defense Dept. that would’ve prosecuted that war to begin with! NOTHING is out of bounds of this committee!

The debt-ceiling deal signed into law earlier in the month establishes the bipartisan, bicameral supercommittee of 12 legislators. Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) selected Upton and two others for the panel.

Think Boehner is regretting his appointment of Upton now? Of course not! Boehner is an establishment, status-quo politician, not a principled, conservative constitutional originalist. He is free now from the bonds of accountability as Speaker since he has no authority over the Super Congress. That’s why it’s called the Super Congress! He doesn’t care if taxes get raised, as long as he can blame it on the Super Congress and absolve himself from the betrayal his awake and aware constituents will most assuredly feel the sting of.

And who are the awake and aware constituencies in this country? They sure as Hell aren’t the ones voting election after election for the establishment-entrenched incumbents. They sure as Hell aren’t the ones trying to stifle the voices of free Americans with support for legislation like McCain/Feingold or The Patriot Act. They sure aren’t the supporters of daily TSA abuses across this country. By and large, the only conservative constituency to maintain a strong backbone in the last 2+ years have been the Tea Party, or at least people and organizations who share their mindset on important issues, and that sure as Hell ain’t politicians like John “Jellyfish” Boehner.

The committee is charged with finding at least $1.2 trillion in deficit-reduction measures.

The Super Congress is charged with doing whatever the Hell it wants to do, while giving cover to those like Boehner who don’t have the spine to stand on principle or the promises and assurances they made to get elected.

CC

 

Comments are closed.

  1. richtaylor365

    You do realize don’t you that there are many ways to increase revenues without raising taxes? This can be done in any number of ways:
    Eliminating government subsidies, those going to oil producers, ethanol, green research, even most farm or agricultural subsidies should be looked at.

    Streamlining or re writing the tax code could:
    Do away with itemized deductions.
    Do away with tax credits and deductions for going to college.
    Do away tax credits for making babies, giving to charity or even mortgage deductions.

    The federal government could legalize and tax marijuana and internet gambling.

    Provide a one year of amnesty for delinquent taxpayers, a study by Arthur Laffer, found that one year of amnesty could bring in $800 billion to $1 trillion in revenues over the course of a decade.

    How about selling federal land or unused office buildings and equipment?

    There is still some Stimulus money unspent, grabbing that would be considered a revenue increase, along with decreasing any foreign aid money that we decide we want to keep instead.
    Even Ezra Klein, believes income can be regenerated without raising taxes.

    From your article:

    “I want more revenue in that we help the economy move forward,” Upton added.

    Since he knows that tax increases does not “help the economy move forward” I would be inclined to think he would be against them.

    It also mentions that he is weighing the 10 to 1 ratio dynamic, that sounds pretty good to me, considering that Simpson/Bowles only offered ¼ revenue increase to ¾ spending cuts.

    Re: the super committee, Paul Ryan was on the news shows last Sunday and he mentioned more than once that he would be surprised if they got anything done, given the politics involved. With so many people distrustful of this whole process and of the committee and the eyes that will be focused on their every move:

    A bipartisan group of Members of Congress sent a letter to House and Senate leadership outlining specific transparency recommendations for the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, aka the Super Committee. The letter echoes Sunlight’s proposals for Super Committee transparency, calling for live broadcast of committee meetings; posting of the Super Committee’s final recommendations for 72 hours prior to a final committee vote; weekly posting of campaign contributions received by committee members; and weekly posting of meetings between committee members and special interests.

    You mentioned before that you thought the committee formation breached Constitutional authority, this may be true, but given all the opposition, from both sides, why no legal challenge so far? With all the scrutiny involved and the brilliant legal minds available to congress, Ron Paul is the only one I have heard that has gone beyond the grousing stage. If he is right, then the sooner it gets torpedoed, the better.

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  2. sahrab

    oil producers

    If you eliminate a Tax Credit/Deduction then its Tax increase, plus this will translate to higher pump prices

    ethanol

    Same as above

    green research

    Dead anyways

    most farm or agricultural subsidies

    Depends. If you mean elimnate subsidies that are designed to prevent US farmers from producing, then i agree.

    Do away with itemized deductions.

    If you eliminate a Tax Credit/Deduction then its Tax increase

    Do away with tax credits and deductions for going to college.

    If you eliminate a Tax Credit/Deduction then its Tax increase

    Do away tax credits for making babies

    If you eliminate a Tax Credit/Deduction then its Tax increase

    giving to charity

    If you eliminate a Tax Credit/Deduction then its Tax increase

    mortgage deductions

    If you eliminate a Tax Credit/Deduction then its Tax increase

    All of your “Solutions” are backdoor Tax increases. Not disagreeing but need to be realistic

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  3. Hal_10000

    Disagree sahrab. Alan Greenspan noted that the effects of these deductions/credits are the same as spending. They distort markets and blow up the deficit with very little economic benefit. Take ethanol, for example. No one would support that shit if they had to pay market prices. Subsidies for oil producers? Why should the government be encouraging us to burn more oil and distorting the price?

    Tax expenditures are expenditures. You are lowering person A’s tax bill at the expense of person B because person A has done something we’ve decided to support financially. Government should no be playing those games.

    Check out Simpson-Bowles proposal. We’d eliminate almost all tax loopholes and cut the corporate tax rate to 26% and the personal rate to a maximum of 23%. Even if revenues increase, that is a much more economically viable and competitive system that the current disaster we are dealing with now.

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  4. richtaylor365

    All of your “Solutions” are backdoor Tax increases. Not disagreeing but need to be realistic

    I respectfully disagree that any of these are tax increases:

    Re:Corporations, the government should not be in the business of subsidizing , propping up or giving monetary preferences in the form of tax brakes to any business. We have a free market/capitalist system, if you can’t make it on your own then you deserve to let free market forces do it’s work and drive you out of business. You are in business, not for the tax brakes, but to make money, if you can’t do that then you are gone.

    Re: individuals, if “fairness” it what we are after then it is not fair to tax you less or more depending on things other then income. If you want to have more kids, go to college, give to charity, buy a home, good for you, those are personnel decisions you make and should not in any way effect your tax liability. Just because the government gave you a credit in the past, but now, in an effort to simplify the tax code, decides to take that credit away from you, your tax liability is still the same.

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  5. West Virginia Rebel

    The Super Committee is more kabuki theater a la the debt ceiling talks.

    As for “revenue,” the real economic returns come from encouraging private businesses, not trying to tax them into subsidized subservience.

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  6. CzarChasm *

    First, I am all for getting rid of all subsidies to every industry and quasi-political organization (Planned Parenthood, ACORN etc.) in the country, but a subsidy does not represent revenue, but rather, subsidies represent government expenditures. I don’t care if it’s 1-to-1 or a 100-to-1 ratio of “new revenue” increases, you don’t get new revenue from cutting current expenditures, you only get “new revenue” from new sources of revenue. And when you document a case of government actually cutting government spending, as opposed to only cutting the rate of growth, you know, that same tired old “semantic” argument, maybe then I can take those kinds of suggestions seriously rich.

    Secondly, in your last post, and your first one too for that matter, you make it sound like Upton and the Super Congress are out to rewrite the Tax Code and autonomously institute a Flat Tax, which I might actually support if it were true, but which is the most wild-eyed fantasy ever transcribed to blog text that I’ve seen in the last 15 years or so of surfing the interwebs.

    And while we’re on the subject of the Super Congress rewriting the Tax Code to generate revenue, please explain how six senators have any business whatsoever being involved in revenue legislation? I’ve asked you this from the first time I engaged you on the debt deal and creation of the Super Congress.

    Article 1, Section 7, Clause 1 of the Constitution states unequivocally:

    1. All bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with amendments as on other bills.

    When you offer a valid, rational, constitutional argument to get around that clause in support of revenue legislation originating in a joint committee, then we can have an intelligent discussion instead of the fantasy-fest you have engaged in thus far.

    Thirdly, legalizing and imposing taxes on pot and internet (or otherwise) gambling would be raising taxes, wouldn’t it? Oops. Next.

    Fourth…..

    Provide a one year of amnesty….

    Are you seriously trying to suggest that this kind of stuff is what Upton had in mind in leaving the door open to new revenue measures?

    How about selling federal land or unused office buildings and equipment?

    Same question again. This is an example of Upton’s revenue generation? Who during the debt ceiling debate referenced “revenue increase” or “new revenue measures” or any variation thereof when they weren’t talking about tax increases? A few months ago “investment” was the new tax increase, and now “revenue increase” is the new investment! All this grasping at straws to try to make it look like Upton was talking about anything but tax increases is just ridiculous. Let’s just be real. Rather than the Super Congress getting ready to rewrite the Tax Code, the Super Congress itself is an illegal rewrite of the Constitution. Which brings me to:

    You mentioned before that you thought the committee formation breached Constitutional authority, this may be true, but given all the opposition, from both sides, why no legal challenge so far? With all the scrutiny involved and the brilliant legal minds available to congress, Ron Paul is the only one I have heard that has gone beyond the grousing stage. If he is right, then the sooner it gets torpedoed, the better.

    Man, you’re nothing if not consistent. You asked that same question less than two days after Obama signed the law into effect! How do you know that there haven’t been any challenges yet, for one thing, and even if there haven’t been, think about this; how many centuries passed after the ratification of the Constitution before the very first case testing the individual right vs. collective right of the 2nd Amendment made it to SCOTUS? I’ll give ya a hint. It was more than one and less than three centuries. How long did it take for the 1st Amendment violations of McCain/Feingold to be overturned? I personally don’t know the exact answer to that question, but it was several years, not several days. The question you keep asking about SCOTUS challenges at this point are meaningless to anything. You can read, can’t you? I’ve cited one passage of the Constitution in this post. Can you not read it and understand the constitutional problems with at least that aspect of the Super Congress for yourself, without the help of 9 unelected men and women in black robes telling you what to think? I’ve cited other passages in other threads. Can you not reason any of it out for yourself?

    Next, you say there’s lots of opposition to the Super Congress from both sides. I haven’t seen hardly any from within Congress. I’ll bet there aren’t 10 members total who would (or could?) cite a passage of the Constitution that highlights the constitutional problems with the Super Congress as the reason for whatever opposition that really does exist. Of the relative few who voted “Nay,” most cited the fact that no spending was actually being cut, and others cited the lack of mandated reforms to the biggest programs like SSI etc, predicting that would be a “poison pill” for failure. As far as I know, Ron Paul is the only member to check with the Constitution before he votes on any legislation. The vast majority of opposition being expressed to the Super Congress is coming from people “out here” in the real world. Bloggers, talk show hosts, pundits, and surprise, the same Tea Partiers who have stood for constitutional adherence from their inception, as well as standing for debt reduction, less taxation and less spending since the beginning.

    CC

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  7. AlexInCT

    First, I am all for getting rid of all subsidies to every industry and quasi-political organization (Planned Parenthood, ACORN etc.) in the country, but a subsidy does not represent revenue, but rather, subsidies represent government expenditures

    Don’t forget unions. And while we are at it. No exemptions from Obamacare. In fact, make that the only plan allowed for any government employee – federal or state – too.

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  8. sahrab

    We’re mixing two concepts into one to make a blanket statement about both.

    Lets break it up and address them seperately.

    Subsidies – Government using citizens money to pay other entities

    Deductions/Tax Credits – In practice* Government returning Citizens money back to the Citizen

    *because we know and acknowledge some citizens recieve credits and refunds in excess of the Tax Payments they may or may not make.

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