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  • Morning Bell: Straight Talk for the Super Committee

    It has been 12 months since the American people spoke resoundingly at the polls against overtaxing, overspending, and overborrowing, but memories can be short in Washington.

    All it takes is for a couple of politicos and the so-called “mainstream” media to denigrate the Tea Party and the freshman congressional class–and urge compromise–and you have the spectacle of some Members of Congress hiding under the neutral-sounding “revenue raising” banner and urging the so-called “Super Committee” to raise taxes.

    Throw in some character assassination of those holding the line against spending and higher taxes and you have a potential stampede on Capitol Hill that rivals the flight of a herd of buffalo in an old Western movie.

    But those Members of Congress who bow to the pressure of more spending and higher taxes will encounter serious trouble from the voters–which President Obama dismissively described as “bitter” as they “cling to guns and religion.”

    The American people have shown time and again that they don’t suffer from amnesia; if double crossed by the same old Washington crowd, Americans are not likely to forgive and forget.

    Many politicians forget that the American people always remember.

    And many politicians also think that the American people will fall for euphemisms (a fancy word for lies) such as “revenue enhancement.”  That’s another mistake. Every time a politician or a journalist refuses to call something what it is–in this case, raising taxes–the American people know that someone is trying to pull the wool over their eyes.

    So here is some straight talk.

    Members of Congress sitting on the super committee–officially the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, which was created in August by the Budget Control Act–should be on notice that if they propose raising taxes when they submit their deficit-cutting recommendations later this month, their problem will be with the American people.

    America’s problem is not that our taxes are too low, but that spending by the federal government is too high.

    Members of Congress who call themselves conservative know that tax increases weaken the economy. They should not waver out of fear of being demagogued by liberals, including President Obama.

    The case is strong against the snake oil President Obama has been selling on the road for weeks.

    Conservatives should make this case with force. We should relish demonstrating how President Obama continues to press for those taxes that would do the most job-killing damage — higher tax rates on small businesses, investors, and savers.

    Raising the top tax rates might make sense to those beholden to the Occupy Wall Street mentality, which believes that the rich must be punished. But when a growing economy with job growth is the goal, advocating this policy is bizarre and self-defeating.

    In view of his background and his goals, it is understandable that President Obama sympathizes with the left wing mob wreaking havoc in Oakland and other cities across our nation. But it makes no sense when a conservative from middle America begins to mouth nostrums about inequality.

    Conservatives, of course, must push back against absurd claims by President Obama and others that conservatives or Republicans just want to keep taxes on the rich low.  Conservative Members of Congress should make the case again and again that principled conservatives, especially those in the media-vilified Tea Party, don’t want government protecting the rich. On the contrary.

    Most people I know wouldn’t mind becoming rich themselves, but they want to do so by their own effort and spirit. What these Americans find offensive is that some would become rich–or richer–by buddying up to the politically powerful.  That’s what happens, for example, when the government picks a company to subsidize because it likes its product or because company executives know and kow-tow to people in high places. That’s Solyndra.

    Conservatives care about freedom.

    And they care about those who use the opportunities of this great nation, combined with their own hard work and talents, to become better off for themselves and their children and grandchildren.

    And even more, conservatives care about the process that leads to wealth creation, because that process also leads to more jobs and higher incomes for others.

    Liberals want to separate the taxation of the wealthy from the processes that lead to wealth and job creation. The economy just doesn’t work that way.

    Another fact that those serving on the Super Committee should consider as they ponder how to cut the deficit is that the problem with future budget deficits is not a shortage of revenues, but too much spending.

    Federal revenues in normal times average about 18.5 percent of our economy.  Revenues are deeply depressed today due to the recession and useless stimulus programs, but revenues will recover as the economy recovers.  In contrast, while spending is traditionally around 20 percent of the economy, today it stands at 24.3 percent.  Although it is projected to decline somewhat as the economy improves and war spending declines, spending will take off again soon as Social Security and Medicare spending increases.

    Spending is out of line and is going to get much worse under current policy. Conservatives have no reason to agree to higher taxes just so Washington can spend more.

    This battle is about both getting spending under control and limiting the size and scope of government.

    Simply stated, more taxes means more government.

    And make no mistake, this is what will happen. Liberals will promise spending cuts–they will even promise $3 or $4 in spending cuts for every $1 in raised taxes. Only, these spending cuts will never, ever materialize. This happened under President Reagan and has happened since, and will happen again. It will be just like that beloved TV special we all watched last week at Halloween. The Lucy Van Pelt liberals will take the ball away and the conservatives will end up like Charlie Brown.

    We at the Heritage Foundation stand with the 33 Senators who last week sent a letter to the members of the Super Committee, asking that their recommendations meet the following criteria:

    ·       ”Balance our budget within ten years;
    ·       ”Place entitlements on a path to fiscal solvency;
    ·       ”Comprehensive tax reform that lowers rates and promotes economic growth, with no net tax increase; [and]
    ·       ”Avoid a further downgrade of our credit rating.”

    Though the Senators left out a crucial fifth criterion — fully funding defense to protect America — theirs is an important clear statement to which I subscribe.

    I encourage you to add your name to this letter (below) and stand with the brave lawmakers who are standing up for principle and fighting for real fiscal reform, not increasing taxes in the interest of preemptive “compromise.”

    Edwin J. Feulner
    President, The Heritage Foundation


    Quick Hits:

    • A new report by the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog agency says that Iran is at the brink of having nuclear weapons capabilities, according to The Washington Post.
    • Big labor has descended on Ohio in a statewide effort to repeal Senate Bill 5 — legislation passed in March that would limit collective bargaining rights of public sector workers.
    • Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi is facing pressure to step down as his country battles a large debt and slow economic growth.
    • The Syrian government is continuing its offensive against protesters in the city of Homs and elsewhere, with 23 people killed in a crackdown on Sunday. To date, 3,000 people have died in the 7-month-old uprising.
    • Eight major GOP presidential candidates will attend a foreign policy and national security debate hosted by The Heritage Foundation and American Enterprise Institute to be broadcast November 22 on CNN.
    Posted in Economics [slideshow_deploy]

    42 Responses to Morning Bell: Straight Talk for the Super Committee

    1. Frank says:

      Virtually all Democrats & even most Republicans (who are really just "establishment type") are for Unconstitutional "Big Government". Republicans don't even have the guts to call Obama a fraud of a President, since he fails the test of "natural born" citizen with his father NEVER becoming a US citizen, REGARDLESS of where Obama was born (I still believe he was most likely NOT born in Hawaii, since if this was true Obama would have long ago released his original birth certificate for expert examination for authenticity). All Democrats & most Republicans are part of the problem in America… not the solution. Just watch & see as the once great USA continues to implode. If the GOP doesn't reform itself, we will need a third Party to rise up & take its place. That will be our only hope to restore a small, limited Constitutional Federal Government with a balanced budget & ensuring our God given rights.

      • gary says:

        You are very scary. Read the constitution first before you blow your mouth.

      • bobzaguy says:

        damn dumb.

      • Shane says:

        Seriously? Wow. Let's see – our government is Unconstitutional? And Obama's a fraud b/c his father wasn't a U.S. citizen? And Obama wasn't born in HI? Put your tinfoil hat back on, buddy! The x-rays are coming to get you!

        A balanced budget isn't the answer. cutting services in the middle of a slump is the last thing we want to do to boost the economy.

        • Bobbie says:

          boy, you sound like Frank is the first to mention this! we need responsible, honest leadership that will follow a balanced budget! it's irresponsible and disrespectful to speak of a budget only for abuse and unconstitutional measures. That's not a government of the people, for the people and by the people or competent to their oath of office or deserving to the American tax payers and America who do deserve respect and integrity in government of the people, for the people and by the people. Otherwise we want our money back cause whoever wants this treatment in such blatant contrast to America, they can foot the bill!

          people have to toughen up and educate themselves under proper interpretation of America because the government is doing way more than they're constitutionally suppose to! first cut the fraud, then the corruption, then the services! Everything government has unconstitutionally taken control of has to be eliminated.

    2. Where are the jobs? Indeed, the Republicans and Democrats are out of control as respects taxes, spending and deficits, but these issues do not resonate to the millions of unemployed and underemployed Americans.Put America back to work with living wage jobs and these issues will dissipate like a unpleasnt odor in a wind storm. Americans must produce for their own needs if our Country is to survive as a free, self-sufficient and sovereign Nation.

      • Cheryl B says:

        Jobs will NOT make the issues of out-of-control taxes and spending go away. Addressing those issues WILL help make the jobs issue go away.

    3. Blair Franconia, NH says:

      This would be my idea for reforming Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. We adopt the Chilean Model and
      the consequences be damned. We need to get this country back on track or we'll be an American Tragedy. That's the way I see it.

      • Dave says:

        How about just separating Social Security and Medicare away from the federal budget? Set them up so that they are self regulating (money out = money in) and untouchable from the general fund.
        At that time we could see clearly what can be cut, where the increases are, and the real cost of government.

    4. Don Bender says:

      Good Article,,, BUT,, Let us HOPE;

      1. That more Americans are not Nanny state Wanna-be's than we think.

      2. Conservatives need to "MINE" the OWS folks, and convert the non-Socialists and Communists to the Conservative Cause. For we are, after all, in the same camp when it comes to Not getting services from the U.S. Government while we are being overtaxed for the same.

      3. Conservatives must not do what Obama is doing and single out a specific group of people. For instance Government Workers who just as all Americans are doing now are looking for jobs, looking to keep those jobs and benefits, and Health Plans, and retirement Annuities. Obama singles out the "Very Rich", Conservatives must not single out other Americans.

      4. Changes must be made to our Government, we, the people must change our "Expensive" ways, but ALL Americans must participate, as an entity, as a people, to make the changes succeed. Favoring, or making one aspect the "Bad Guy" will simply NOT do the job. We must all share the burden, if we want to share the prize.

      • Shane says:

        I agree with most of what you say, but I think you're missing the fact that the OWS folks are saying that the lower 99% have already taken on their burden. It's now up to the 1% to take on theirs; you know – that wages for the top 1% has grown 280% and for the bottom 20%, it has grown like 15% over the same period.

        I'm all for making money, but no one's ever made money without the help of a lot of other people. If the top earners make less and the lower earners make more, the economy would help to heal itself, IMO.

        God Bless.

    5. LibertyAtStake says:

      The Left *wants* the uber-duper committee to fail. Because the automatic triggers give them two things they desire: gutting defense, and blaming the GOP for medicare austerity. So, the etsblishment GOP members have two choices, cave to the Left's demands for higher taxes and more gub'ment, or let the Left's trap close and live with it for one final republic cleansing chaotic election year. LAS offers that the latter is preferable. Establishment GOP should have listened to LAS before the trap was set and walked away from it.

      d(^_^)b http://libertyatstake.blogspot.com/
      “Because the Only Good Progressive is a Failed Progressive”

    6. Phil Davis says:

      Many of our citizens are stressed and feel helpless as they wait for the next major election cycle in 2012. The Tea Party with its "straight talk" along with many conservative organizations like Heritage are the sentinels of diminishing freedoms. It is noteworthy how the American people (Tea Party) on their own accord felt the increase in tyrannical control by a few ideologues and stood up and said–No! With no real knowledge of our founding documents people all across this land felt the attack on their “natural rights” that hit the fast starting in 2009. A new national leadership began to serve up that darkness that has been festering for the last 100 years.

      Thank you Ed for the straight talk!!

    7. "This battle is about both getting spending under control and limiting the size and scope of government."
      The tragedy of government growth is the destruction of what was once a fairly sooth running country without so many regulations and restrictions on its citizenry.

    8. victorbarney says:

      Next up is economic collapse! Watch!

      • billy barney says:

        You got it right Victor. The radicals are looking for another bridge, since it didn't work out on the Brooklyn Bridge. When they locate one, the blood will begin in the streets. The Democrats and their gangs are misguided Patriots, the Republican's conversely are social Cowards.

    9. Carl says:

      WHY does every bill or thought rely on a 10 year plan?
      It took Obama ONE year to raise spending 1.1 trillion, over night our budget went out of F'ing control, now we will plan on easing back the spending over a 10 year period!!!

    10. Russell Errett says:

      Socialism is based on greed. The promise of an equal share of the wealth produced whether they share in the equal production of that wealth. The population becomes complacent Why would anyone try to produce more when the rewards are the same? This generates laziness in the population. This results in a smaller pie. What do the promoters of socialism want. Certainly they haven’t learned from the past. Wherever it has been tried it has failed. Socialism requires a larger government and the larger the government the closer we get to tyranny.
      Capitalism on the other hand promotes greed. But unlike socialism, the competitive free enterprise system controls that greed. The latent effect of capitalism is that it provided more goods to more people. Socialism (welfare, subsidies and grants)removes the penalties that has keep the greed of capitalism in check. So why would any one wont to inject socialism into a good system? Socialism puts laziness into the system and reduces the size of the pie.

    11. AD-RtR/OS! says:

      It is time to tear down the barriers to savings and investments that have been erected over the past half-century.
      Specifically, the tax on "savings accounts" needs to be eliminated (with banks paying interest on savings at 1-2%, how much is the government getting anyway?). I remember that as a child in the 40's, I had a "school" passbook savings account with BofA that paid 3.25% – do they even pay that much for Jumbo's now?
      Taxes on equities/investments need to be rationalized back to where long-term investment is encouraged by eliminating the Capital Gains Tax on investments held for extended periods (the rule used to be 6-months, wasn't it? – plus, why should investors be taxed on the inflationary effects created by poor economic/monetary policies of government?), and with short term investments taxed as regular income so that we can extract the required "pound of flesh" from the dreaded hedge-fund traders.

    12. AD-RtR/OS! says:

      … Government (at all levels) needs to pare itself back to its' core duties and stop infringing on the Liberties and Freedoms of the American People – I know it's inconvenient to hear this, but we do not work for you, you work for us; and we want you to do less of it!

    13. Jack Krings says:

      Heritage must identify supercommittee Republicans and their day -to-day actions. Without real time transparency it is unreasonable to assume they will do the right thing. "Trust but verify"

      A public DAILY report is absolutely necessary. Our future national security( Debt and Military) is in their hands.

      Frightening!

    14. Fred DeSena says:

      Everyhting is relative. Taxes are too low, Taxes are too high…the bottom line is that the tax code is figured in percentages and if there is no money in circulation (earnings/ public sector spending) then there is no revenue. Wheter the number is 10% or 25% …25% of nothing is…nothing…….So the tax rate is not necessarily the problem it is getting money in ciruclation via jobs and disposable income at the middle class level. Also with hundreds of thousands of home sin foreclosure and no end in site there are no property taxes for local communities to collect. The middle class has been decimated so this rel

      • lights on says:

        They're collecting property taxes by unfairly adding it to homeowners that responsibly pay their own bills.

    15. Retired Lady says:

      The "super" committee will never come to agreement because the configuration is evenly split between democrats and republicans. The democrats have loaded this committee with some of the biggest spenders from the House and the Senate. These are the same people who think more govt. is essential for the US, these are the same people who told us that Obamacare was going to "save" medicine, make health care cheaper and more cost effective! These are the same people who told us that Stimulus I—jobs would be plentiful! These are the same people who said Stimulus II is needed for "jobs!" The biggest problem with these people is their combined failure to grasp the impact of "spending MORE than you collect!"

      • Brian says:

        So Retired Lady, are you prepared for your medicare costs to go up while your social security check goes down? This is precisely what you're advocating for. You bemoan the stimulus, but that is a drop in the bucket compared to medicare and social security liabilities.

        Also, virtually all economists believe the stimulus was absolutely necessary. The government SHOULD be spending more than it collects during a recession (and doing the opposite during a boom). Unfortunately Bush spent like mad while cutting taxes during the boom… making today's situation much harder to combat from a policy standpoint.

    16. Robert says:

      The distance between the Democratic party and an old-fashion extortion mob is nil. Obama and his henchmen have every intention of using the "super committee" to milk billions from business and the American taxpayer. In better days, these politicians and bureaucrats would have been dragged from their beds and hanged.

    17. toledofan says:

      Well, Mr. Feulner you hit the nail on the head, great article. It's becoming clear , to me, that neither party is really serious about doing what is best for America. The size and score of government has grown way beyond it's bounds and until Congress decied to reign in the speding and the size of government nothing will change. The Democrats have created a monumental mess, and the Republicans have sat by watching it happen. I mean today we read that the big news is Boehner and Obama's relations have cooled, I say great, maybe if these Republcans gets hit over the head enough times maybe, just maybe, they will realize the Democrats really only want what's best for their party and regaining power and care little for the country.

    18. Dr. Henry Sinopoli says:

      I supported a new congressperson and he was elected. Kelly defeated Pelosi's dupe, Dalkemper. Once elected Kelly folds and supports a 'super committee'. John 'deep voice' Kerry was selected as one of the members. That's like putting Teddy Kennedy in charge of bridge building. This whole super committee is a farce, It is another way to enable lifer politicians pass the buck.

      Nothing will be done and we will still have Obama care…another thing Kelly said he would fight to eliminate…no news so far. Perhaps we need another super committee…I wonder what Bill Clinton is doing these days?

    19. Louis Latendresse says:

      I for one like what Warren Buffett said about how to fix congress,I"m no fan of W.B.But thats the way it should be,Out with the bums! L.L. South Dakota.

    20. Charlies Nystrom says:

      Since January of this year i have urged, prodded, and begged Speaker Boehner to speak strongly for conservative principles. I'm still waiting.

      In the meantime time I have to listen to platitudes about "the GOP trying to find areas of mutual interest with Obama". It is time for this Speaker to retire.

    21. charles yoder jr. says:

      Here the Media is talking about herman cain and this country is going down the tubes.We as a people have a short time to fix our debt crisis or it will destroy us.I don't understand why the liberal media does'nt get it.Some in the liberal media underestand the concept, but won't speak out.

    22. Shane says:

      "Members of Congress who call themselves conservative know that tax increases weaken the economy." If this is true, why was our economy stronger under higher tax rates for the rich in the past?

    23. Mike, Hickory, NC says:

      Americans know and don't forget when being betrayed, deceived, misled, and otherwise exploited and endlessly "milked" by the Statist so-called "Left"?
      Not so fast! I once had a van with a bumper sticker on which was printed "Higher taxes or hire employees", which means we can have higher taxes, or hire employees, one or the other but not both, and many people responded to it, but the only American people who reacted to it were those who asked me "What does that mean?", and, when I told them what it means, their only response was a silent blank stare which made it obvious that they still didn't get it.

    24. KC - NM says:

      The "super" committee is becoming a joke like most of the leadership in Congress and the Whitehouse. They just do not get the issues nor do they really care that much for the USA. They need revenue and they need all Americans to have skin in the game. We can no longer hand out the entitlements to individuals who do not earn them. I suggest a complete revision of the tax system – use only the flat tax process. No exceptions, no deductions, no one is exempt and the flat tax is based only on income. Mr Buffet would pay much more! But the 50% who don't pay would now pay their fair share. Even the poor would pay their share of tax and if they can't pay in money, then they can work if off through community service. The only individuals who might be exempt are the fully disabled and this would be determined on a case by case issue. I know this will not pass because of our socialistic behaviors but it would certainly fix the issue!

    25. FedUpMan says:

      The people are watching and man ARE they paying ATTENTION like NEVER before.
      The next election is going to burn politicians like NEVER before. People are angry like NEVER before.
      There are going to be huge surprises like NEVER before.
      The old days are gone forever. The new days WILL change Congress and our government like NEVER before.
      Govt will be changed like NEVER before. As soon as the R's win the Presidency the roder should go out to NOT destroy evidence because you will go to jail. Executive orders will be rescinded and people who broke any law will be frog walked straight to jail. No FOB (friend of Obama) can help you, the DOJ will actually dispense real justice not the crony FOB type you might be used to. Real law will be practiced by the new DOJ and it WILL be enforced. A new sheriff is in town and he ain't backing down.

    26. WILLIAM WERNER says:

      I joined "H" for direct, concise information – why are you avoiding naming those elected as conservative who are "wavering" , so that we can "Hold Their Feet to the Fire" ? The Morning Bell is helpful only so far as it is willing to inform and not demagog. Who are these RINOs that are part of the 50+ communicating to the "Super" group that raising taxes should be considered? Come on Heritage, they put themselves at risk so lay it on us!

    27. Stirling says:

      I came across a good bumper sticker this past weekend .. "Politicians need to be changed out as frequently as a baby diapers otherwise they start to stink." Kinda describes the current state of washington dc today.. I hope 2012 will bring some fresh air to the place..

    28. Indy says:

      It's frustrating how the GOP leadership and candidates have allowed the discussions to turn from our crushing debt and deficit from spending to class warfare, tax the rich. They have no spine to play this game at the national level and allowed the conversation to change, some even embracing the OWS 99% language, where is their plan to tackle Freddie / Fannie and why hasn't it passed the House?

      I have no confidence in this committee to do the right thing nor do I have any confidence in the GOP leadership. This deal is Boehner and McConnell's way to stick it to the GOP freshman class, many who have bought into the establishment game. I am tired of calling my Rep and Senators, they have thrown our country under the bus and don't care, all they want is power. The few good ones in Congress do not have the numbers needed to do the right things for our country, all eyes in DC are on 2012…they are too cowardly to face the voters with townhalls

    29. Mike C says:

      Between the silent blank stares in response to Mike's (Hickory, NC) bumper sticker "Higher Taxes, Or Hire Employees", the other bumper sticker with something like "Politicians are like diapers; they need to be frequently changed out or they start to stink", and what Indy said (starting with what amounts to how GOP & candidates allow the Left to distract and mislead), that all nails what boils down to the basic problems (from the "dumbing down of Americans", to both career and spineless other politicians), and indicates what needs to be done about it…completely clean house…however realistically that is unlikely to happen, considering how ingrained the Statist ways of the Left have become, but it will be much worse much sooner if we, the people, don't clean house as much as we can now.

    30. gary smothers says:

      I'm sorry to see that all attention, to the glee of those who no longer respresent us. is focused on the budget.
      folks these are the people who made the mess to begin with…….please…please….realize that the only even partially road to resolution is to excise the tumor which no longer fears or hides from us….these representives….term limits…term limits will partially put an end to the control big labor and big money are excercising over us…look at them with untold and unaccounted for billions wasted and waiting to be waisted, not even an apology from any of them after taking food right off the table of your family….these people cannot be asked to do this they must be told for a certainty that they must leave. term limits will eliminate one other thing….their fringe benefits that they get to write a check against your family for. if each of us does not act and act soon liberty that has stood for 200 plus years will succumb because of their activitiers again right under your nose////can you smell it now?

    31. Ken says:

      When I hear so many democrats touting the ways of the protesters, I ask why are supposed leaders like Pelosi, Reid and Biden not being chastised for incited riots?

    32. charles yoder says:

      Obama should be working with the super committee instead of running around the country promoting his idiotic tax plan.This country's about to go over a cliff,and he's running around trying to blame congress for the economic woes.

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