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  • Morning Bell: House Republicans Cave on Tax Increases and Punt Entitlements

    When President Obama put forth his first offer on the fiscal cliff, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) said, “You can’t be serious.” We could say the same thing to the Speaker after his counteroffer yesterday.

    In a letter signed by House Republican leadership, including Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) and Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI), Boehner offered to raise taxes by $800 billion and cut spending by $1.4 trillion, with no substantive reforms to the entitlement programs that are driving U.S. spending and debt.

    Heritage’s Alison Fraser, director of the Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies, and J.D. Foster, the Norman B. Ture Senior Fellow in the Economics of Fiscal Policy, quickly responded that “the Republican counteroffer, to the extent it can be interpreted from the hazy details now available, is a dud. It is utterly unacceptable. It is bad policy, bad economics.”

    Boehner’s letter to the President actually said that the Republicans were not going to make their more serious proposal, which has already passed the House.

    If we were to take your Administration’s proposal at face value, then we would counter with the House-passed Budget Resolution. It assumes an overhaul of our tax code with revenue remaining at historically normal levels and proposes structural reforms to preserve and protect the Nation’s entitlement programs, ensuring they are sustainable for the long-term rather than continuing to grow out of control.

    But, they said, “we recognize it would be counterproductive to publicly or privately propose entitlement reforms that you and the leaders of your party appear unwilling to support in the near-term.”

    This is precisely the time for laying out bold reforms, showing the nation the principles, vision and policies conservatives share to dig out of this budget mess, today and for the long term. Instead, the leadership pointed to a plan they said was suggested by Erskine Bowles, the co-chair of President Obama’s debt commission and formerly Bill Clinton’s White House Chief of Staff. It raises taxes, but not by raising tax rates—instead, by lowering the amount or number of tax deductions or exemptions available.

    This misses the point of the tax reform America really needs, said Fraser and Foster:

    While preferable in general to raising tax rates, this proposal largely dooms future efforts at tax reform based on the sound principle of broadening the tax base to lower the rates. Instead, this proposal would broaden the base, not to lower rates, but to raise revenues. So much for improved economic growth.

    Essentially, it appears the Republican leadership caved on raising taxes and first steps toward fundamental entitlement reforms that are desperately needed to keep Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid going. To be sure, the Boehner letter is short on details. But, as Fraser and Foster put it, “Beyond disappointing, the House Republican counteroffer appears at best to suggest incremental tweaks to these programs. Without real entitlement reform—not just spending cuts—we will never fix the underlying problem.”

    Not only would this be the right course to take, but Americans polled just after the election have these priorities more in order than the President and Congress.

    Just a few days after the election, Gallup asked people to rank a list of 12 issues by importance for the President’s second term. Restoring “a strong economy and job market” was No. 1, with entitlement reform—“take major steps to ensure the long-term stability of Social Security and Medicare”—No. 2. “Make major cuts in federal spending” was No. 6 on the list, while raising taxes on people making more than $250,000 a year was way down the list at priority No. 10.

    Now is the time for leaders to get serious. That means serious entitlement reforms that will deliver real savings and improve the programs. The President and House Republicans should both start over and work together toward solutions the nation truly needs.

    Quick Hits:

    Posted in Economics [slideshow_deploy]

    62 Responses to Morning Bell: House Republicans Cave on Tax Increases and Punt Entitlements

    1. glynnda says:

      Republicans cave????? no no no, they've intended to give on that one all along….

      If they were serious about getting what they want they would have that spineless simp Priebus out there doing a marketing blitz and they would have some serious cuts with names on them in their "proposal". They are no better than the dufus in chief. Once again the Republicans are playing right into the hands of the democrats strategy-wise….I have to think they are doing it on purpose….can they really be this dumb???

      How about they come out like a pack of lions going after prey???? Why don't they expose Obama's crappy offer for what it really is…..a joke, a political strategy…..why don't they get aggressive for a change and start some serious marketing???? This is why I left the party on 11/7……Boy would I love to see Herman Cain go after the president……what a slaughter.

      • The republican and democrat establishments are two sides of the same poison pill . If you and Heritage want to save America , push for repeal of the 16th and 17th Amendments .

      • Paul says:

        THe GOP is no different than the demcrat party. I remember when H.W. Bush made a speech about the NWO. The GOP is in on the same scheme as the Progressives when it comes to putting the government in control of everyone. They are just trying to give us a little show first knowing that they have to do it in steps. Unfortunately, the job is almost complete now and we will most likely have a single party vote in the next general election. Have you noticed that the presidents (including Bush II.) have been creating one crisis after another which the opposing party decries as offensive, yet the republicans always give in to the wishes of the left after much bluster and effusive demagoguery(?).

      • R Sharp says:

        I have a copy of Boehner's letter. That is not what it says. There is no tax increase in it. There is only closing of loopholes. So, is somebody around here working for Rand Paul or Obama or, where is this misinformation coming from? Hasn't this past election taught you something? Go to the original source. The left will attack, unprincipled politicians will attack, and the left always tries to feed lies to the right so they ditch their guy overboard.

      • Big D says:

        The GOP has lost it. We need to all become Libertarians. After a few more disastrous elections, the Libertarians will emerge with the best policy. Hopefully by then there will still be a USA.

      • Phil185 says:

        For as much as the GOP vilified Steele, at least he was out there fighting for the Party daily. Since Steele was removed, I don't think I"ve seen Priebus twice on t.v., taking on the issues of the day. Steele fought hard for conservative principles, IMHO, I liked Steele myself, at least he lead.

    2. Sam Lieberman says:

      This is the time for Republicans to use a new strategy that provides them with a win in 2014 instead of a loss.
      Let Obama have is way on raising taxes on the upper 2%. Lower taxes for the 98%. It is worth more P.R. and advertising money than Heritage can raise in 20 years to combat the blames Republicans will get from the President and his accomplices. Let Obama own the outcome and consequences of his economic policy. He will be 100% accountable without Republicans to blame. Then the public sees Conservatives as correct, not different and we win.

    3. macbil says:

      I'll take the increase as opposed to the cliff! The Dems have 20 Senate seats coming up in 2 years, and we can grab those seats, as long as we don't put up some of the dodo's we did this time! The 401k's would get killed if we allow the current cuts to automatically go up.

      • Alfrom Fl says:

        You have to have people willing to vote for them. Based on this latest republican proposal, the republican party may just have lit the spark for a third party as disasterous as that may be. Why vote republican if they don't stand for their claimed values. If the repub party doesn't firewall the dems attempt to tax and spend us into bankruptsy, who will vote republican in two years?

    4. Jerry says:

      When you get right down to it, the Republicans are the real problem in Washington – No core conviction, no spine. What a disappointment!! I expected this kind of capitulation from Boehner but to have Paul Ryan sign on to this is a huge disappointment. The Republicans have proven beyond a doubt that they are cowardly and out of touch.

    5. Lloyd Scallan says:

      Does this come as a surprise to anyone? Obama and the Dems knew it. Most certainly conservatives knew it. This bunch of spineless Republicans, the same Republicans that gave us losses in the last two presidential elections by forcing McCain then Romney down our throats, while maliciously destroying any conservative in the race, have once again proven they do not intent to uphold the values and principles of the American people. It's about 20 years past the time for this Republican Party to be put out of our misery and replaced it with a true conservative party.

    6. toledofan says:

      And the problem in a nut shell is no leadership. It is just amazing to me that we would just roll over, I mean who created the mess in the first place and who are we noegotiating with? Let's face it the Republican Party is weak, wounded and once Boehner capitulates he very well may put the nails in the Republicans coffin. He should just walk away, the Democrats have no plan other than to spend more and everyone knows, I guess, except those Republicans in Washington, that the Democrats don't care about the country, they have no plans to cut any spending and will spend every dime they can get their hands on. For Boehner and the Republicans to just cave on the party principles is just sad and pathetic.

    7. Get Boehner out of there and let a true conservative in his place. What is the method?

    8. Benton H Marder says:

      When are we ever going to realise that neither Congress nor the Administration have any intention whatsoever to get our financial house in any semblance of order or balance.
      Consider just one aspect: the Disability Insurance part of Social Security.. This program becomes insolvent by 2016; it's financing runs into the red by then. Is there any recognition of this by Congress or the Administration?
      We are going to run into the stone wall at full speed with no intention of putting on the brakes.
      This is what we elected. This is what we deserve. This is what we shall receive—-in spades.

    9. tom says:

      I'm getting very frustrated with all the govbenment, republicans and most of all democrats! Democrats are destroying our country w/ obama leading, the republicans don't have the jewels to stand up to them, all talk and no action. Where does that leave us tax paying Americans? Because of the politians and the lazy ass grab everything you can get for free, this coountry is crumbling. Does ANYONE care? They griped about everything Pres. Bush did, but not a word about the power grab obama's doing. Must be taking lessons from his buddy Morsi.

    10. SickofWashington says:

      There's no difference between the two parties, it is all talk…..the only thing you can count on is that Washington will screw you. Take our money and line theirs. To bad the American people are so stupid not to throw them all out. Our founding fathers must be rolling over with this group of representatives.

    11. sdfultz says:

      Great topic this morning, I'm very happy to read the old balanced writing on serious issues,
      Welcome back to the morning Bell

    12. Fred Starkey says:

      So, how do we get them to do what they promised to do?

      More money is not the answer. Remove them from office.

    13. The sad thing about the poll is that the public expects government to change the economy. Sadder still is the fact that politicians feel they can do something about it. I think we need a major education effort. Government should be focussing on more regulation to prevent economic meltdowns in the investment sector like that causing the Economic Crisis. If trillions of dollars hadn't vanished, we wouldn't be having these discussions.

    14. Renaus says:

      I've said it before and I"ll say it again…..the Establishment Republicans are simply Democrats in Republican clothing. They want this 'Fiscal Cliff" as much as Obama. See "Retribution" on the Morning Bell Quick Hits.

    15. Their strategy should be to do what they need to do regardless of the politics. At the same time, knowing they're going to take a political hit, they should be starting to look in ernest for good candidates to run against themselves. People who can run against Washington because they've never been there. People who are popular in state government etc. (just make sure that if they're Tea Party candidates, they're vetted for any non-mainstream personal wackiness).

    16. Joyce says:

      Nothing will get done just like the last 4years. Same old group fighting. Nothing changed.

    17. LisaTX says:

      It would not matter either way taxes are going up!

    18. PaulE says:

      Was there ever any real doubt that at the end of the day, the Republican Party would cave? I mean come on people. The Republicans can't even articulate to the American people why raising taxes, on anyone, leads to slower and weaker economic growth. This is proven economic principles 101 for God's sake! History is littered with examples they could tell the American people about. Instead they spend their time negotiating amongst themselves over how to cave into Obama's insane demands in a way they least upsets their chance for re-election down the road.

      We have a massive spending problem in this country, NOT a lack of adequate taxes problem. If we can't even acknowledge the cause of our slide toward national insolvency, how can anyone realistically expect to ever fix the problem?

      Taxing the so-called rich is just the start for Obama. When revenue comes up short, as it no doubt will, he'll then start saying we have to lower the bar to capture more taxpayers in his net. This cycle will repeat until all but the bottom fifth of the American population, the core of the Democrat voter base, is stuck paying much higher taxes to subsidize the welfare state.

    19. Mary.......WI says:

      Boehner should step down. Increase the taxes as requested by the dems…..it's their idea let them live with the consequenes. BUT they must decrease entitlement spending. Stop advertising free food stamps to Mexico for starters. Scratch the Obamaphone, review the way food stamps are distributed, cut back on the number of weeks of unemployment, and if the mortgage crisis wasn't fixed in the last 4 years then there's nothing left to do. There are way too mnay people in this country accepting "free stuff" even if they don't qualify for "free stuff". At some point it has to stop although isn't that Obamas plan….to make everyone equal. DId I just read something like that in The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich? or was it the article written in PRAVDA last week claiming Americans that voted for Obama had been mesmerized by communist Obama?

    20. Denise says:

      Well it appears that it is business as usual in Washington, D. C. and the American people are again without representation. It is time to remove the infection that has taken over our republic; the President, Congress and the Judicial System.
      We were told that we needed TARP; more stimulus and now we must avoid the fisical cliff. The correction will have to come sometime and now is good as any. The time for kicking the can down the road is over. If these individuals do not have a backbone then it is time to send them home. There is another election in two years; start sending the message that it is time that men and women with strong principles and intergrity are needed in Washington, not wimps who run a the first sign opposition!!!

    21. Charley Brown says:

      If Bonehead actually caves it will be the end of the Republican Party. I will be registering as a Libertarian.
      So will my brother and several other people I know.

    22. Arcon says:

      I fear the GOP has lost all contact with the needs of the people and of this nation as well as members of the Republican party. First and foremost not only should FICA be returned to the 6.2% per worker but consideration should be given to increase it to at least 6.7% along with an increase in ceiling for payments. To continue arguing about "no tax increase on the wealthy" is demeaning to the position of the party and causing a greater divide in the political arena. Our position on the issues and our methode of communicating any position is sounding just like the failed political campaign we just endured. I have discovered that a larger group of conservative voters in my area went against the GOP due to the weak, fuzzy, position of Mitt Romney and the continued threat to change Social Security with no solid details. Spending cuts need to come from Medicare abuses, provision of food stamps that can be traded or used for anything except food, social reforms to allow and even encourage welfare families to remain in the system and import/export systems that encourage US manufacturers to build their products outside the US with foreign labor. We are now the party that cries but does not perform. Al

    23. Palrak says:

      Obama is Boehner's personal roadblock–or more like a brick wall. I do believe Boehner is trying to negotiate, while Obama won't compromise in any way. In the many comments I've read here and elsewhere, people are blaming Boehner. Place the blame where it belongs: BHO.

    24. Wally Pieper says:

      House Republicans Cave on Tax Increases and Punt Entitlements

      House Republican leaders stripped three conservatives from prominent committee assignments—retribution for bucking the GOP establishment, according to Roll Cal

      The time has come for ALL responsible Republicans to abandon the GOP (Whigs) and form The Conservative Party. The GOP leadership, since Nixon, has completely walked away from the true conservative ideals which since 1886 had been THE foundation of the GOP.

      If elections as we were taught in civics class, are held in 2016, that is the time for the Conservative Party to run it inaugural slate of candidates. But, for that to happen, work to build the infrastructure MUST begin today.

      • Bob says:

        Wally is the problem in the conservative movement tell me Wally how many Senators and Representatives do we have in the House and Senate who are from the Conservative Party? Why aren't you in the House or Senate? Pretty easy to sit on your can and complain about others isn't it.

    25. M. Rohrs says:

      Obama has no intention of negotiating. He has two goals: turn our economy into a Socialist economy and destroy the Republican party. He is well on his way toward both. He wants us to go over the "fiscal cliff" so that, in the chaos that will follow, he can institute further Socialist changes without serious opposition.

    26. vazirmukhtar says:

      Recently Mr Bowles remarked that what we are seeing in the remarks by Speaker Boehner and counter-remarks by the Administration is kabuki theatre. It is a necessary component of politics.

      We may certainly urge the Republicans in the House especially to be steadfast in holding their principles.
      Ultimately, however, a compromise must be reached. To do otherwise is to risk fiscal suicide.

      The Republican House and the Democrats are playing a game of chicken. Let's hope that the Administration and the Senate blink first.

    27. Jude Andrews says:

      Kubaki theatre at it's best.
      All orchestrated drama.
      Republicrats are so predictable.
      Time to organize for 2016 — move to the Liberty Party.
      Bye bye republicrat party.

    28. Pete Lowry says:

      John Boehner is such a wimp. If I lived in his district, I would be voting for a real conservative.

    29. Vern says:

      First let me say I am 81, retired, and financially independent — not super rich, but independent. My income comes from pension, Social Security, and dividends and interest, mostly the latter.
      So, let's consider what is best for the country in the next 20, 30, or 40 years, not just next year or the balance of the Obama administration (which I loathe). Let's go over this fiscal cliff! What's the worst that will happen? We will have a recession – we have had them before, and always came out the other end stronger. The stock market will probably go down by 30 to 50%. My wealth will decrease by that same amount – on paper. I can panic and get out, or be patient and wait for the long recovery (or my children can – they didn't earn any of it in the first place). Our tax rates will revert to the Clinton years. My taxes will rise considerably, but so will the taxes of everyone, including many of the 47% who now pay no taxes and just live by sucking off those of that do. Maybe the public will start to look at some of the union, government and public workers and figure out that we can longer support them and their 20 year work careers and 40 year retirements on full wages. The same goes for the blood-sucking politicians, who care more for themselves than they do for the country they represent.

      Unemployment will rise even more, at least for a while. Prices of goods and services will eventually decrease. The value of the dollar will decrease more, making it easier to compete with China and other cheap-labor nations, our manufacturing will slowly start to replace foreign imports and employment will eventually begin to rise again.

      Corporate income may fall for a time, and maybe some of the corporate boards of directors will start to realize that they can no longer pay their officers (and themselves) multi-million dollar annual pay packages. The same may happen in the sports and entertainment industries.

      The government should have more money from the taxes. Let's see what they do with it – pay it out to welfare programs, or balance the budget and pay down the debt. The people will be watching.

      In the meantime, severe spending cuts (sequestration) will affect all public programs, mostly the military. Maybe we will decide that we can no longer keep our military in Iraq, Afghanistan, Korea, and other countries all over the world, and we will bring most of them home to protect America. Maybe we will finally decide that we can no longer send aid to Egypt, Pakistan, and all the other nations of the world, most of which ends up in the Swiss bank accounts of despots and dictators. Maybe we will also decide that we can no longer afford the EPA, Dept. of Education, and all the other worthless and counter-productive, anti-constitution government organizations that have been created during the past several decades. And hopefully we will start to look seriously at some of the dufuses that we elect to run our country, and start to send more capable and serious people to Washington.

      And maybe we will decide that the United States can no longer afford to offer citizenship, free health care, free food, education, social security and other welfare programs to anyone from anywhere that can weasel their way into the country, legally or illegally, and we will start to protect our borders and control our immigration.

      We will suffer, but we will all suffer. Maybe this is what we need to bring our nation back together as One Nation Under God! E Pluribus Unum!

      Am I wrong? Tell me.

      • CapJC says:

        Vern you absolutely correct. I especially like the immigration and suffering parts in your last 2 paragraphs. Maybe some of the 47% will have to start suffering a little too. Maybe, just maybe, they'll go home and won't be such a drag on our economy.

    30. Larry Welch says:

      Start with balancing the budget by fund: social security & and medicare funds ( raise age & rates), transportation fund (raise per gallon rates for use on roads, AMTRACK (Lives with incomes within its own fund with no contribution from general fund). But Congressmen in other areas as out lined by 60 minutes are defrauding the government in the medical field — called your congressman to stop an audit

    31. Alice says:

      If they have outlived their promised principles and became corrupt,then it's your job to vote them out!

    32. Juan Martinez says:

      I'm hoping that the two sides never agree — the fiscal cliff is the best thing this nation has had going for it since the 13th amendment. Man up America! Time to pay our bills, pay for our wars, and stop borrowing money to pay for things we don't want and can't afford.

    33. Paul Zahn says:

      The GOP needs to stick with their proposal of closing some tax loopholes to get some more revenue, but Priority has to be pressuring Obama & the Dems to list their Spending Cuts. The GOP had already offered a responsible offer with 65% voter approval, so it is all on Obama & the Dems now. Call their bluff, as you should have done last debt ceiling increase.

    34. Dr. Henry Sinopoli says:

      What do you expect…they're politicians…Republican politicians who want to stay in their job…Next time Heritage leaders are having lunch with Boehner…show him this article…

    35. ACP says:

      Let's get serious about these entitlements. Put some tight controls on the food stamp program and limit purchases to basic needs and come down hard on those merchants who ignore the rules. Tighten up the rules on Section 8 housing allowance. Force the government to repay the billions that they have raided from the Social Security "Trust" fund. Quit giving out funds for every time a woman has another child. Lets face it a lot of low income women get pregnant just for that reason. There is too much waste going on. Tighten up the rules for those getting SSI.

    36. CapJC says:

      Boehner should be fired. He needs some serious help[. Where is Newt when we need him. Somebody needs to tell Boehner to get away from his inept attitude and willingness of caving to obama's desires and illusions. Play hard-ball with obama. Does he really want to US to go into another recession….possibly, but, chances are he is putting up a big bluff. Just CALL him on it. Force him make the next move. His requests so far have been sheer idiocy, and as Mitch McConnell did, lets just laugh in his face.

      • Palrak says:

        Anyone can be Speaker of the House. He/she doesn't have to be a member of the House. Newt would be perfect! We need him NOW.

    37. Patriot says:

      What we need to do is get rid of the RHINOs such as Lisa murkowski of Alaska, she continues to vote with the regime.
      I would also like to know when are we going to demand their salaries, benefits, and retirement are the same as their employers "WE THE PEOPLE". They take our sweat and blood taxes for their obscene salaries, medical care, many vacations and retirements while we struggle for food an housing. The regime keeps taking everything from "WE THE PEOPLE" and give to them for their cost of living raises, banks, auto companies, and foreign aid to countries that are committed to our destruction, all the while taking from the elderly and military.
      They are always talking about social security and Medicare going bankrupt. I submit if they would take these funds and put them in social security and Medicare they would be solvent forever.

    38. Bob Ward says:

      Come on, what should "we the people expect!?" It is Congress which is the root of all things gone wrong with our budget. Why would anyone expect the Congress–either side of the aisle; they are all losers— to fix what they created?! They are not being held accountable, they continue to line their own selfish and greedy pockets with money, and their terms are not limited! I have had it with the limp wrist-ed "Republicants" and I am re-registering as an Constitutional Independent. It is time for the people to rise up and defeat them for our country's very sovereignty is at stake now– it's written in our founding documents to do, if necessary!

    39. And who do you think this surprises. The Tea Party, Liberterians, and other conservative organizations need to ban together to start a 3rd Party and wipe out the Good Ole Boy Repukes. There is only one party in Washington now. It just has 2 names.

    40. Len says:

      Is anyone listening? Is Congress listening? Are the people listening. Nothing changed from what you have been suggesting, Nothing. What good does your contribution to a fix do? It never has. What you need to do is change your paradigm. Get angry. Be hostile. Be aggressive. Sound the alarm, because if you don't your efforts will continue to be all for naught. Another Germany is blooming and you can't smell the stench. Blow your nose, its plugged tight!

    41. Leith N. Wood says:

      This is a truly sad and disgusting day concerning politics in America. We will no longer try to work with the Republican party in America, but will continue to call ourselves Conservatives and work hard to recover from the socialism taking over our freedoms. How dare they sell us out by being spineless wimps. There were so many other choices, but they required courage!

    42. Bob says:

      There are NO republicans. They are ALL RINO's, nothing more, nothing less. We are so screwed!!

    43. krdave says:

      Before the election, I was getting all worked up and mad. A friend kept telling me to calm down, it was all politics and both sides are together on all of it. I guess he was right.

    44. 2chestnuts says:

      You know, it really is a shame after all the good money and hard work that was put into this past election by Real Conservative Americans, these phony conservatives don't fight for less spending, reduction in entitlements and tax reductions accross the board.

      This is what we expect and demand. Go home, hang it up if you do not FIGHT for these truly desperate needs. You can continue to take our country down and we will REMEMBER!!! I am really disappointed in our Republican politicians in Washington. They are a failure to the American way of life. Seriously, go home. Why are citizens leaving the Republican party? Because of you weak, poor excuse of a real American.

    45. DJS says:

      This counteroffer by the House of Representatives is an outrage. I am really disappointed that our so called leaders have caved in to an outrageous demand by a narcistic, socialistic. This is not saving America, this is destroying the greatest country on earth. What is next — I cannot wait to hear?

    46. frank Boudreault says:

      I have had it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 59 years in the Rep party, down the drain. I QUIT. Our leadership couldn't find their way out of a paper bag , even a wet one. Y , Boenher, can you not answer Dems with something other than " OK, I give up" ?? YOU LEAD THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES< for goodness sakes. LEAD.The leadership of the Dems must laugh their asses off when they discuss strategy with you.
      I am now a conservative voter, and I will not receive any more calls for funding from the Republican Party.Don't call me .
      Frank in Ft. Myers Fl.

    47. Donald DaCosta says:

      The Republicans lost this battle on November 6th. The majority of the electorate are not listening to the conservative message; none of the legacy media that commands their attention is giving it even lip service. Boehner, Cantor, McConnell, et al, the Republican Light, are between the proverbial rock and a hard place, have been for the past four years.

      To get any traction for the conservative message of limited government, less regulation, reduced spending levels, lower taxes, a strong military, fiscal responsibility, entitlement reform, etc., will require getting footholds in the legacy media which, as it's currently constituted, spins, obfuscates, obscures, lies, whatever is necessary to discredit any and all efforts to portray this message objectively.

      Conservatives rely on a majority of Americans being well informed about the issues. They are not. Obama would have lost in a landslide if they were. That's the only conclusion that fits with the Nov. 6th result.

    48. T K says:

      Does anyone really even believe there is any hope for the future of this country????? We will one day all be hoping that we to can seek a better life in the Soviet Union. Republicans just need to get over it and merge with the Democrats, they are almost ALL the SAME. Both paries, the Dems and the Repubs are dishonest power hungry morons.

    49. will says:

      Where's the vision… where's the framework? If we do what President Obama has proposed, where does it get us? Where does Boehner's response take us? One path takes us to a horrible death, the other to certain annihilation… let's hope we make the right choice!
      To keep from adding to our debt we have to balance the budget. Federal spending now is approximately 26% of GDP. Historically, we've done fine at 18-19% of GDP. At 18% we need revenues of $2.63 trillion, which means we need to increase taxes by $126 billion a year. Then all we need to do is cut expenses by $980 billion a year and we're there. That's how out of whack our spending has gotten. Solution: Develop a plan to grow revenues to 18% of GDP and to cut spending to 18% of GDP by the end of 2016. If fair-minded folks make a case that, with an aging population we need 19% or 20% of GDP, let’s involve the American people in that debate in the 2016 election. We can live with whatever we decide.

    50. Lynn R. Kirby says:

      We need more than just talk, etc. from the Heritage Foundation and other conservative groups. We need to bypass the media in educating the American people about the terrible situation Obama is getting the country into with arrogant overspending etc.
      Can the Heritage Foundation and other similar organizations rally together to to form a large and influential
      group, with prominent leaders, to accomplish what the mainstream media is not doing, and influence the Republican majority in the House to show some courage in controlling and overseeing spending?

    51. Nick999999 says:

      The bottom line is that Republican strategists are just not that smart. We need new people with fresh ideas who DON'T live in DC. Why not pass the Bowles-Simpson plan in the House, or a close variation of it, and let the Democrats squirm trying to come up with excuses not to vote for it.

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