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  • Morning Bell: GOP Leaders Capitulate on Core Conservative Principles

    House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and Republican leaders have done it once again. Their latest fiscal cliff proposal capitulates on core conservative principles, yielding woefully inadequate concessions from President Obama in the process. Will they ever learn?

    The latest GOP offer essentially ignores Washington’s real problem — spending — and puts a $1 trillion tax hike on the table. It’s so bad that conservatives are now left with only one unfortunate alternative — passing a temporary measure that avoids a doomsday scenario until the end of March. It’s the best possible outcome with the days dwindling on the remainder of 2012.

    In a city where kicking the can has become a routine course of action, it’s hardly the preferable outcome for lawmakers. But it would be better than just going over the fiscal cliff and better than the current $1 trillion tax increase offered by Boehner, which, not surprisingly, was summarily rejected by Obama, who proceeded to counteroffer with an even bigger tax hike and even fewer spending cuts. At this point, no “grand bargain” is going to result in the spending cuts that are needed to reduce the debt.

    Yesterday, Heritage’s Alison Acosta Fraser outlined a few reasons why Boehner’s latest proposal is just plain bad policy:

    • Higher tax rates discourage all the activities that lead to a stronger economy. That’s even something Obama acknowledged when he signed legislation preventing a similar tax hike two years ago.
    • Dollar-for-dollar tax increases and spending cuts — Boehner’s plan — won’t fix what’s broken. Spending cuts, not a $1 trillion tax hike, should be the GOP’s focus.
    • After two years of running the House, there’s still no clear plan how Republicans would cut spending. Even as of this late date, they have provided few real guiding principles or details on spending reforms. It’s the $800 billion question.
    • Relinquishing control over the debt limit to Obama for a year would take away one of the only points of leverage for conservatives. It ensures no meaningful reforms will happen in 2013.

    These factors make it clear that any deal this year will be a disaster. That’s why Fraser recommends kicking the can until the end of March. This alternative is hardly ideal, but given the situation created by lawmakers, it’s the best possible outcome for Americans.

    So why March 31? Heritage’s J.D. Foster, the Norman B. Ture Senior Fellow in the Economics of Fiscal Policy, said it will give conservatives an opportunity to “live to fight another day” with better leverage at the negotiating table.

    Here’s how the temporary plan would play out, according to Foster:

    • The measure would postpone the dreaded fiscal cliff until next year, extending all tax rates and all spending policy without sequestration cuts.
    • Legislation funding the federal government expires on March 31, meaning that Congress must act by that date to prevent a shutdown.
    • The debt ceiling would increase, but only enough to allow the government to continue to operate until just after March 31. Congress would retain control of the debt limit.
    • Some 28 million taxpayer would avoid paying the Alternative Minimum Tax. A patch for 2012 would save an average of $2,250 for those taxpayers.
    • Doctors wouldn’t face deep cuts for Medicare payments in January.

    Let’s be clear: Kicking the can is not the preferable outcome. But, sadly, it is better than the only available alternatives.

    Quick Hits:

    • Representative Tim Scott will be the next senator from South Carolina in January. Senator Jim DeMint is leaving to become president of The Heritage Foundation in April.
    • NBC chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel and several colleagues escaped from their captors after being held for five days in Syria.
    • Abortion, gay marriage and immigration were the top three election-related search queries on Google in 2012. Representative Paul Ryan, the GOP vice-presidential nominee, topped the list of politicians.
    • The Hurricane Sandy relief bill is a perfect example of the spend-now-save-later practices that are driving the government deeper in debt, writes Heritage’s Patrick Louis Knudsen
    • Washington Redskins rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III has the best-selling football jersey in a single season since the NFL started keeping track.
    Posted in Economics [slideshow_deploy]

    51 Responses to Morning Bell: GOP Leaders Capitulate on Core Conservative Principles

    1. glynnda says:

      Well, what a shocker, the Republicans are caving!!! let's hope they follow that advice and push this out til March 31. Maybe they can grow spines between now and then.

      and please, don't assume that these guys are conservative……

    2. Its time to Kick the President Down the Road,Please!!!

    3. Dee says:

      I knew it, stupid weak GOP, do they really think this is temp. obama lies and they "fell" for it. just wait for the elections, not one of you will have a job. welcome to the real world of "US" the real victims, but you will now have a lot of explaining to do.GOD help the USA

      • Sandra Parrott says:

        Well, Dee, if you really mean that, better start NOW fielding conservative candidates to run for their seats. And be prepared to have to raise a lot of money for the campaigns. I agree with you……they should lose their jobs, but reality is that we will not hold their feet to the fire.

    4. It is time to Kick the president Down the Road

    5. pete says:

      Stop kicking the can down the road. Get a deal done with spending cuts more than what revenue is raised. I fully believe that the government spends more than what they should and they do not spend the tax dollars wisely. Time to stand up and if it means we need to hit rock bottom to move towards sobriety then, we need to hit rock bottom. Stop facilitating bad behavior to continue the bad behavior. This is a moment of tough love for this country.

    6. Capt. Jerry Hulick says:

      Lets be clear this is not captulation this is throwing out the baby with the bath water. Boner and the rest of the Rep. higher echlion need to be tossed out. All theri doing is chatting with the bamster and say "sir can I kiss your ass again, its so good"

    7. Vincent Salvatore says:

      It is time to actively work towards replacing John Boehner!!!

    8. Brad Doskocil says:

      Sadly, the Republican leadership does not know how to negotiate. Obama does not want any kind of deal unless he can get more of what he already has via the sunset of existing law and the implementation of the last debt ceiling debacle…..err, agreement. They should quit trying to cut a deal and let Obama come to them when he needs the debt ceiling increased for only then will they have leverage in negotiation. In a similar vein, they should quit appropriating funds as The House alone has the power of the purse. It is sad but Big Government Republicans are just as bad as Big Government Democrats!

    9. James Pruitt says:

      We have to abandon all hope that the GOP can save us. It's time for conservatives to flock to a new party or third party and get real. Boehner is a sell out and always will be. The GOP in Congress are sheep and will run off the fiscal cliff.

      • Sandra Parrott says:

        A third party will be a disaster for conservatives. I think we need to flush the toilet of the GOP and take it back for conservatives. It will be hard work, but we MUST do it,

    10. Darrell Russell says:

      Their is no plan to cut spending in Washington. As long as the Americans set around and let the government tell them what they will and will not do when it comes to spending and taxes. This is a time that WTP either give up and let the out of control government control our lives, or make a stand and take this country back even as riddled as it is. Then we could clean up the scumbags and recluses that are intentionally destroying this nation for their own benefits and gain, Obama is one of those people along with the progressive leadership in the congress.

    11. johnB says:

      Take. The. Cliff. I would love to see a drawing of the actual cuts that need to be made and their size in relation to the current budget – or what passes as one since the Senate won't fill their constitutional role. All the numbers we hear are run out to 10 years to make them sound bigger than they really are. Put the blame for going back to the clinton rates – and could we please start calling them that? – on Obama and take credit for the cuts. Then move on with a plan for 2014

    12. Brian says:

      Just like a family member with a spending problem, giving him/her more money over and over solves nothing. Root cause needs to be looked at. With this in mind, I support the March 31st extension versus merely giving in. Obama is saying "I made the federal government this big (holds hands up and wide apart), now give me more money — and I will allow you to tell people you are paying your fair share, when they ask why you supported it". Is this not an economic prison being built around us — change the course, we must.

    13. Chet Arthur says:

      I suggest that the Rs either just let all stand as is; over the "cliff"? and then let the chips fall where they will or; let the Ds and the Pres have everything they want; during the vote process ALL the Rs just vote present and then the Ds will own the whole ball of crap. After we all almost go down the drain then perhaps the followers of the Eye Candy man will wake up and get off the butts and vote the big tax and spenders out of office in both houses and we can begin to rebuild our country!

    14. andrew says:

      What the heck does RGIII have to do with policy or conservative values?

    15. Chris says:

      I am about fed up with the "gutless wonders" in the Republican Party. This won't be the last time and it won't be long and Obama will have willfully and skillfully dismantled the GOP; giving the liberals no competition what so ever. It is a sad day for our country.

    16. Mary.......WI says:

      Kick the can to the March deadline. No matter what the GOP does they will be blamed so it doesn't matter. Although, no one will know what to expect in tax hikes until then either Perhaps the House reps might consider replacing Boehner by then too?

    17. wayne meucci says:

      More true spending cuts.

      No compromise on control of the debt ceiling to Obama!!!

      A comprehensive review and reform of the tax code.

    18. Lloyd Scallan says:

      Boehner didn't "capitulate". For a man to "capitulate" he first must have a backbone and principals. Boehner has neither nor is he a man. Boehner is a gutless wimp that again ignored the American people who put him in office and bends over even further to Obama. Do Republicans not realize a tyrannical dictator cannot be appeased? He must be defeated! Boehner should have been thrown out the door a long time ago. Yet the inept Republicans keep allowing the American way of life be destroyed because they are too afraid to fight the communist that infect the Democrat Party.

    19. KC - NM says:

      I think Heritage and the GOP along with Obama and his liberal democrats are missing the point. We are in the hole and getting out is going to be painful for everyone. Why should only the rich shoulder the issue. Everyone should have skin in this game. The real issues of cutting spending are not evident by Obama but the reality is that the revenues are also needed. The real answer is to significantly cut spending and pass tax hikes onto every American to start moving towards a balanced budget. Reid and his dumb democrats need to produce a budget! Then we need to start working on the morality of this country and not just political gain!

    20. Jerry says:

      Perhaps it's time that God let America go over the cliff. Unless there are consequences to our actions, we will never learn!

    21. Morris Steen says:

      Please give us a "bottom line", step by stem, clear and concise, outline of what The Heritage foundation recommends to avoid the fiscal cliff! Avoid the verbiage, just number 1 through number last, of what the Republicans should do.

    22. John H. says:

      Really, John has botched it too many times now, it's time for Conservatives to stand up in the House and do something about it!

    23. Fred Burdick says:

      Why not! Hell it is not their money! Government never reduces taxes just increases. They don't cut spending, oh God forbid they cut anything and take a chance on not getting re-elected. The entire political process is funded by our taxes. They've turned over passing laws to regulators. Regulators answer to no one. The congress has a retirement out of this world, their own private healthcare and they expempt themselves from laws the rest of us must abide. No wonder they have no repect. At long last they have no shame.

    24. Paul Terry Stone says:

      The President is the worst enemy of this country. The Republicans were not hired to raise taxes and were hired to oppose anything that is harmful to this economy. Therefore the Republicans should do the job that they were hired for and oppose anything that raise taxes. We get fired if we don't do what we were hired to do. Apparently the Democrats weren't hired for such things.

    25. Wayne Peterkin says:

      Talk is cheap, action's matter. If one looks at Obama's policies rather than his phony rhetoric, it is obvious that Obama is engaging in Cloward and Pivens economics with the same intended result; the destruction of our economic system and the dramatic weakening of our nation. Amazingly, it seems that the entire Democratic Party (and far too many Republicans) are perfectly willing to go along.

    26. Jax says:

      As long as the pols,get to set their own pay and retirement,they don't give a damn about you and me.Notice the first thing out of their mouths is cutting SS and medicare 10%Nothing about cutting everything across the board 10%.The congress people are nothing but a group of lieing conniving theives.

    27. toledofan says:

      One thing is very clear, Boehner needs to stop negotiating with himself and the other Republican members of the house need to stand together and reject whatever deal he made. It is time for the Republicans to just stand up and say enough. This entire financial cliff negotiating debacle has been a sad thing to watch and it shores up why we can't win elections; not only do we let the media pick our candidates, our leaders are so weak kneed and willing to just capitulate to the Democrats, it's sickening. I think Boehner will single handedly bring down the Republican party and generate even more disguist.

    28. Mike Prunty says:

      Really now, folks … did anyone still in possession of any memory and intellectual honesty actually believe that the Republican leadership would have the testicular fortitude to stand firm against Obama from the get go?

      I certainly didn't. Have they ever stood firm for anything against anyone on the left?

      No. Boehner has been as predictable as the sun coming up in the morning.

      Boehner and Cantor are a joke … no, they're worse than that. They are a constant source of humiliation and despair for the conservative base.

      The fact of the matter is that the Republican Party has no leadership, and hasn't for a very long time. The GOP establishment ferociously suppresses every attempt by true conservatives to rise through the ranks to the top. In fact, that is the ONLY time they manage to be forceful.

      They were certainly nowhere to be found in helping embattled Congressman Allen West in Florida. I can recall an endless list of conservative candidates here in Virginia who were systematically shot down by the party establishment over the years to assure the election of liberal Republicans and even Democrats!

      Goodbye to those "Tea Party" Republican "trouble makers" on the various committees! We can't be bothered with principles, now can we?

      My bewilderment extends to the entire Republican caucus, including the moderates and liberals. Do they not become weary of losing these negotiations again and again? Why do they keep re-electing spineless jelly fish like Boehner and Cantor to the leadership positions?

      I can only submit that it was "going along to get along" with the "old boy" establishment which got them into Congress in the first place. So why expect them to demonstrate courage, integrity and character now?

      • Brad Doskocil says:

        At what point will the Republicans have so alienated their base that the Tea Party component (which comprises the base) splinters off to form a new party (Tea Party) in a similar manner that the Rebublicans were orginally an outgrowth from the demise of the Whigs?

    29. Michael Healey says:

      I am a small business owner who makes $350 k per year. I used to make $650k. I have not been able to put anything away for retirement the past 3 years due to prior financial commitments, nor have I made any large purchases. I have reduced my workforce by 2 1/2 full time employees. I not a millionaire (most with incomes over 2million only have 6% of their income subject to fed income tax) where 100% of mine is. I feel abandoned and unjustly attacked. If the present leaders cannot articulate how this attacks small business then let Tom Price do it.

    30. Fred Gramlich says:

      Forget short term politics and appearances. The key here is to focus on what will keep long run spending down, not which plan keeps marginal rates lowest in the short run. During the Clinton years, the share of federal spending to GDP fell from 21% to 18% even though marginal tax rates rose. We have to start cutting spending now, and if it's time to break a bit of glassware in the process, so be it. As long as going off the fiscal cliff cuts long run overall federal spending more than the "kick the can" strategy, why not go for it and work with the rough edges in 2012. Being willing to go over the cliff also has the advantage of demonstrating seriousness of purpose.

      In the long run, Republicans should not agree to gimmick budgeting, e.g., sequestration, expiring tax cuts. These only increase the inside baseball factor for the media and allow Republicans to lose PR wars. Vote for or against permanent spending and tax changes only. Keep it simple so the public can see more clearly what is going on.

    31. Roger King says:

      As far as I am concerned the GOP are dead to me. When the undercut the Tea Party at the convention, kicked conservative members off committees for not towing their line and now this, I just will find another party. I see no use in voting for Liberal Lite people that just slightly slow our path to a vastly degraded economy and very possibly a Greek style catastrophe.

    32. Jeffrey says:

      No surprises here. This is the same bunch that gave us the "fiscal cliff" deal last year. The Republican cowards in the Senate will not even stand with the Constitution and demand a budget be passed. They have no problems with giving themselves a raise in salary, perks or pork.

    33. Darrell McNutt says:

      I cannot believe the Republicans are considering going back to a $1M exemption on esatate taxes and then pay 55%. Many Americans are going to be exposed to this horrible death tax and 55% will go to the Democrats for their socialistic give away programs Thanks Darrell

    34. Jim says:

      Me thinks John boehner is our guy to say "peace in our time" which of course didn't work out. And his caving in on tax hikes won't work out either. he and other RINOS need a crash course in PR or something, or better yet, to find out what he and other Republicans stand for, which doesn't seem to be much.

    35. Frank says:

      "GOP Leaders Capitulate on Core Conservative Principles"

      -No surprise here! That's because the Establishment GOP is full of big government loving Progressives. That's why they help push lovers of big government like McCain & Romney & why they try hard to fight off any Tea Party candidates in the Primaries.

      Time for the truly conservative voters in the GOP to abandon the GOP. I do not think it is reformable.

      Time for fiscally conservative, small government & Constitution-loving Republicans to leave the Party en mass for another Party. For better or worse, the various Tea Parties do not have a unifying "leader" & instead try to be run from the bottom up at local levels. It makes us hard to unify our strength.

    36. rmadd says:

      House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and Republican leaders have done it once again. Their latest fiscal cliff proposal capitulates on core conservative principles, yielding woefully inadequate concessions from President Obama in the process. Will they ever learn? NO they will never learn, Boehner is a closet liberal, has never been a conservative, the the weak-kneed republican establishment makes sure these clowns are re-elected time and again. Rush and other talk show host talk how strong the conservative movement is, then where is it? Why can;t we get rid of these progressive republicans?

    37. Mike McCabe says:

      No major spending cuts…no deal.
      No can kicking. How many times have we done that before!
      We keep "living for another day".
      And losing.
      Stand firm NOW.

    38. Ray K says:

      Me thinks that all it took was a newspaper article that said that the GOP plan was losing popularity with the people and they caved in. Don't want to look bad before the left leaning masses, but what about the conservative masses that put them where they are. Where was the Tea Party? What is it that these old GOP "leaders" cannot see that the new conservatives are telling them? Term limits look more and more appealing every day.

    39. Len says:

      I stopped listening to all news just after the election because the so-called pundits got it all wrong thus revealing their truly unreliable nature. Your value is only a reliable news source, but certainly not a remedy for any of our country's ills. Case in point, not a word of what your organization has been proposing has ever been adopted by anyone. The real point is, who is listening out there. NO one responds and business goes on a usual. What is your point? I would really like to know. You mean well but you don't seem to percieve that there is no responsible audience. Please enlighten me. I can't help you, and others like me, and until there is a serious disaster, deaf ears are your only vessels.

    40. Benton H Marder says:

      The end of March? What makes anyone think that there will be anything other than a total GOP cave or just another bout of can-kicking. These people, as well as the Fed and the bankers, have no intention whatever of restoring our country in any shape, manner, or form—period. They are just stringing us along while they prosper themselves. We lost a last opportunity of changing this equation by the political process. We blew it down the tube. The consequences of our folly? "We're freakin' doomed!"—The Mogambo Guru.

    41. Diane French says:

      The Republican establishment wonders why they consistently loose elections. Are they all on the payroll of the DNC? More and More conservatives (who once called themselves Republicans) are voting the bottom half of the ballot in National elections. You are correct. They never seem to learn and are as guilty as Democrats of spending and taxing their way out of the financial disasters they have all created. I guarantee that right now, Jeb Bush is practicing his concession speech. Heritage, thankfully, keeps me sane.

    42. Smitty says:

      It is readily apparent that instead of telling the kid that he can't have another cookie, the parents have thrown up their hands and given the little snot the whole jar. Maybe this fall in line with the lack of parenting these days, but on a national level, it is a disaster. The Republican Party has become a ghost of what it once stood for, and the recent decision is just another nail in its coffin and one of the reasons I left the party. The big question now is: What does the Party stand for? It has obviously caved in to our Dear Leader, whose only claim to fame is a deep voice and ability to easily con people without trying. What a sad chapter in our history, and one that we will regret having written.

    43. Jose L. Lira says:

      All that I see in "our" government is: "Divisions within divisions" and those in the two parties of doom .. they all want to have their cut, as well as have all things go their own way. There's no longer the idea nor purpose of their working (yeah .. right!) together "for common good". The way our Country appears to be heading .. just as Obama and his gang of traitors and crooks continue non-stop with their "fundamental transformation" plans and their obvious intent to bankrupt our Nation .. what do Republicans do, other than disagree and back-stab each other? NOTHING. The GOP needs to get their act together and start working on getting Obama out of office .. starting with the fact that .. based on constitutional grounds, Barack Hussein Obama does not meet the "natural born" requiremet to be president of the United States of America.

    44. Mark E. Galloway says:

      What a surprise the GOP (Gagging on Principles) leadership is folding. Nothing happens now, it isn't going to happen. Better get ready for the imminent collapse because what Congress and the President can't agree upon in spending cuts will be levied via future economic forces. Hey Boehner and Cantor (and where's Paul Ryan?);quit being Republicant's!

    45. charlie says:

      The Republican leadership is spineless and doomed to be obliterated taking a lot of good people with it. Guys like Boehner would have surrendered the day after Pearl Harbor.

    46. Am I the only one noting that this piece DOESN'T call for Boehner's ouster…?

      Is it me, folks…??? Did not the author just make the case that the present GOP House leadership is unprincipled and frankly incompetent… and then basically fall back on "hoping they do better in the future?"

      Is it something in the air in Washington…? The water perhaps? The soil? I mean… they're ALL nuts!

      Anyone who doesn't believe Boehner and Cantor (and McConnell and his clique) need to go and go quickly isn't a person I'm willing to take seriously.

      Rob Bluey… you're part of the problem. As is Heritage, unfortunately.

    47. Sandra Parrott says:

      It's time to stop sending them our money. If we keep it they can't spend it.

    48. RRS says:

      READ YOUR BIBLE! The seriousness and dedication of THE CHOSEN always, in the long run,
      a;way conquor the common, ordinary proles.

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