Bill Post: Conservative revolt against Obama tax deal

By Radio host Bill Post,
KYKN, Salem

This “Tax Deal” stinks and I finally get it!

I talked for an hour today on the air about my struggles to understand this “tax deal” between Pres. Obama and the Republicans. I really did struggle with this. I read many pieces by many great writers, both Conservative and Liberal. I of course was very concerned about the “Bush Tax Cuts” expiring this month and how that would affect all of us. Now I finally feel I have educated myself enough to take a stance and to the utter dismay of many (they figured it out long before I did) I think that this “deal” is wrong.

When I read this story on CNBC, I was alarmed greatly.

Then I read this story on National Review and started to really understand where we were going with this thing.

I feel in my heart that the Republicans are trying to do the right thing, but I should have trusted my gut when it came to Pres. Obama calling them, in essence, “terrorists” by “holding us hostage”. That is the kind of rhetoric I am becoming too used to from this man. I should have trusted my instincts and immediately said “no” to any deal with this man.

Obama is no fool. While getting Republicans to boost his own reelection chances, he gets them to make a mockery of their newfound, second-chance, post-Bush, tea-party, this-time-we’re-serious persona of debt-averse fiscal responsibility.

And he gets all this in return for what? For a mere two-year postponement of a mere 4.6-point increase in marginal tax rates for upper incomes. And an estate-tax rate of 35 percent — it jumps insanely from zero to 55 percent on Jan. 1 — that is somewhat lower than what the Democrats wanted.

I know there is a split on this issue amongst we Conservatives, as well as a substantial split between those on the Left. When I see the Left in chaos I rejoice, we are doing what drives them nuts, so that’s a good thing, right? Well, if we are doing the same, splitting amongst ourselves, then how are we any better?

It was fun as all get out watching and listening to the Dems shouting at each other and their president and especially the “f-you President Obama” business, but, the GOP isn’t doing much better.

I am very concerned that not only did President Obama not get the “message” from November 2nd, and I am pretty darn sure the Democrats in Congress didn’t get the “message” but now I am highly concerned that the Republicans in Congress didn’t get it either.
Sure some of them are on their way out the door, bitterly, but still, they should represent what we the people decided.
If the GOP really is intent on cutting spending when they take control of the House next year, then why are they letting this situation go? I mean “ethanol subsidies”? Really?

This whole “deal” reeks of the same old Washington insider garbage and I thought we told them “enough!”? I should have said something sooner but I wanted to really think about this and study it and pray about it. I really want those tax cuts extended, selfishly for myself, but I am willing to wait and see what a real action would look like next year when the control is in full sway and see what the GOP is really made of. What is most distressing to me now is that it may be the “loony left” that saves us from this “tax deal” and how ironic will that be?

  • Jim Ray

    Perhaps you’ve had a chance to listen to Bill Bennett and the discussions on his show regarding this matter. This morning the up & coming, next chairman of House Budget Committee Paul Ryan, expressed his support.

    What bothers me is the reluctance of any Republican leader (Boehner) to take the same people who have rammed bad policy down our throats and challenge them with NO MORE!

    This tax plan is bad news! Just like I was screaming back in ’08 that TARP was bad news and then in March ’09 that Stimulus 1 was HORRIBLE.

    This tax “scam” plan should be struck down and in three weeks the new House come out swinging and REPRESENT US FOR A CHANGE!!!

  • Ron Marquez

    My preference would have been no deal. Higher income tax rates, no extension of unemployment insurance, higher estate taxes, no earned income credit, and no pork like the ethanol subsidy.

    I’m with Bill…’s business as usual in Washington. Hope the first of the year, we’ll see a different Republican party step forward.

  • valley p

    Amusing. It didn’t take very long for Republicans to revert to form and increase the budget deficit again after swearing they would never do this again.

  • The Bill Post Radio Show

    I am still very torn on this thing….
    I think one very important issue to think about is that we, Republicans, have less leverage in January than some people seem to be convinced we do.
    I also think folks forget HOW hard it is to pass legislation and need to go back to 2001 when these tax cuts first passed with all three branches, house, senate and president in GOP control.
    I HATE making a deal with the Dems but I am just really stuck on this thing. I will have Max Pappas on as a guest today to help sort it out, he is the vice president of policy for FreedomWorks.

    • Jim Ray

      Since FreedomWorks has already endorsed this scam perhaps having someone like Jeff Kropf on from Americans for Prosperity who reject it, would be a good debate for your show. Just a suggestion.

      What’s really important to keep in mind is whethet you endorse or reject the plan now the “death tax” does not go away and the income tax rates will either go up or be fought over Again! In just two short years! Mind boggling to do this dance now, for what?

      • The Bill Post Radio Show

        Invitation is on it’s way as we speak Jim! I am anxious to have Jeff explain his side.

        • Jim Ray

          Good show today Bill, Thank you!

  • John in Oregon

    The congressional accounting system is amazing. As Douglas Holtz-Eakin points out no tax rate change counts as a deficit increase while more debt spending isnt.

    If my accountant used that kind of accounting, he and I would be in jail.

    Far and away my largest objection is the pork for crony capitalist. Ethanol subsidy mandates — ADM, wind subsidy mandates — GE, and death tax — Warren Buffett.

    On the front end family business owners are forced to take out massive life insurance in order to reduce estate taxes and keep the business operating when they die.

    “Did you know that Warren Buffett owns six life insurance companies? Did you know he supports the estate tax? You do now.” Profit for Buffett

    Then Buffett profits again on the back end. He is buying companies that are forced to sell themselves to pay the death tax. Mr. Buffett’s ability to buy family businesses at bargain basement prices depends on families being desperate to sell-and nothing produces family businesses desperate to sell quickly like a 55% bill from the IRS on all of the businesses’ assets. More profit for Buffett

    But the simple “tax deal” morphed into a massive permanent expansion of government spending just keeps rolling along. All 1,944 pages of it. More or less.

    VP, you know as well as I do that if the Republican minority could stop this simple deal turned Pelosi, Reed, Obama and Schumer spending monstrosity, then you would screech obstructionist at the top of your lungs.

  • Rupert in Springfield

    Republicans better get their act together real quick. Whether or not you support the tax deal, it wasn’t exactly a tough call that Democrats would use the opportunity to load it up and then try and shift blame for the deficit to Republicans.

    The big thing Republicans need to do is get their people, and the words of some Democrats, out there and make clear that avoidance of a double dip recession is a big concern here. We are in serious trouble and for two years Democrats have wrestled with non serious issues, Dont Ask Dont Tell and Obamacare. People recognize that. The last things Republicans want is to appear as the party wasting another two years while market uncertainty rules the day and people feel our economy is spiraling out of control.

    If Republicans think that if this deal fails they will be able to get another deal in January and signed by February, they are playing an incredibly risky game. That doesn’t mean they shouldn’t get a good deal. However they should be wary of being painted into a corner of appearing to be wasting time while the economy dies. We did that for a solid year on an unpopular health care bill only to see it so demonstrably bad that Obama himself has excused over 200 companies from its burden and a judged has just ruled its key provision unconstitutional. In no way shape or form do Republicans want to be in that position. They will be if this drags out for months in 2011.

    Obama will be happy to twist Republicans in the wind while the economy goes in the tank. If Republicans don’t know this, they better learn it. If we have learned nothing else in the last two years it is clear Obama is willing to sacrifice the economy to achieve his goals.

  • Bob Clark

    I am for extending the Bush tax cuts but doing so in this deal is getting to be fiscally too steep. The extension of unemployment compensation another 13 months results in higher unemployment than otherwise according to a study by the San Francisco Federal Reserve bank. Then there’s the cut in social security tax that wasn’t even something every day folks were clamoring for; but puff, there it is with the federal government encouraging spending instead of retirement savings of sorts (no accompanying reform in the social security program). Then there’s the ethanol tax credit extension, which even Al Gore the originator of the idea says he only proposed to gain votes in the 2000 presidential election. (Doesn’t believe in the ethanol path, never actually did.)

    I still think the House Dems are really after extending Build America Bonds so as to help bail out high spending state governments like California. It’s really not about taxing the rich and deficits for them. This is just bargaining rhetoric.

    • a retired professor

      Don’t forget, cuts in the payroll (social security/medicare) tax have been advocated by prominent “supply side” economics advocates, in standout media like the Wall St. Journal. If this isn’t a “conservative”, Republican cause, I’m not sure what it is. The Republicans also demanded extension of the Bush tax cuts, the extended unemployment benefits are OK with them. Don’t think that just because they “got religion” to win the last election, that they’ve really mended their reckless ways.

      The entire country seems hell-bent on economic self-destruction. Sort of makes you sometimes wish we were more like one of those more sensible countries — like Canada. Eh?

      • valley p

        “As Douglas Holtz-Eakin points out no tax rate change counts as a deficit increase while more debt spending isnt.”

        Because when the Republicans passed the Bush tax cuts they set an expiration date in order to hide future deficits. Now, it is the future. So if the tax cuts are continued then the projected deficits from this day forward go up accordingly. If the Republicans wanted the tax cuts to be forever then they should not have set an expiration date. Its not complicated.

        “and then try and shift blame for the deficit to Republicans.”

        Ha ha. Shift the blame? How about assign responsibility for? You want to cut taxes, fine. Its now your deficit unless you also cut spending by the same amount. Simple math.

        “Sort of makes you sometimes wish we were more like one of those more sensible countries — like Canada. Eh?”

        We could do a lot worse fiscally. And their health care system beats ours for value any day.

        I love being an I told you so. I told everyone here that once Republicans got some power back the deficit would no longer matter. The first thing the do is sign onto an agreement that adds 900 billion to the deficit, and it was only because they themselves insisted on tax cuts for millionaires paid for by ious to China. Fool me once (Reagan). Fool me twice (George W Bush). Fool me 3 times (Mitch McConnel and John Boehner). Might as well wear a kick me sign.

        • eagle eye

          You’re much too easy on the Democrats and much too hard on the Republicans, though both deserve plenty of blame.

          The Bush tax cuts are only a part, less than half, of the projected deficits in this latest blowout. Of course, raising taxes would raise less revenue than “expected”, as well.

          Obama and the Democrats are more or less responsible now. The Republicans may be back to their old ways, but that doesn’t let the Democrats off the hook.

          • valley p

            Both parties run deficits, no question. But here is my scorecard. Clinton was the only president out of the last half dozen to run a balanced budget, and he did so after raising taxes and taking a political hit from the Rs for that. Chalk one up for Democrats. Second, when the Rs had power and tackled health care they passed Medicare Part D, adding hundreds of billions of debt, no financing. When the Dems tackled health care they cut Medicare spending, again taking a political hit from the Rs, and raised other taxes to surplus the program (with a bit a fancy accounting, no question). but chalk 2 up for the Dems.

            Third, we have Bush inheriting a surplus and squandering it. A negatory for the Rs.

            We just experienced the whole tea party nonsense about fiscal responsibility, and here the Rs go right back to what they always do, cut taxes without cutting spending. Yes, Obama is clearly complicit here, but he was the one arguing for letting part of the tax cuts expire. When the Rs would not let that happen he took the opportunity to load up the xmas tree for his side of the aisle as best as he could. Smart politics, bad budget management. So we can call this last one a draw. That makes it 2-0 Democrats with one tie on fiscal responsibility and one negative for the Rs. So am I really too hard on them? Show me how your math adds up to something else.

  • Mandy

    I just want taxes on the rich to go up so the government can continue to care for me in the manner to which I am accustomed. I was a street artist until I broke a bone in my leg, so now I am on unemployment, food stamps, public housing, etc. It is not a bad life, really, albeit a tad boring.
    I just hope they grant me another extension as I only have one more year left after the 86 weeks I have already been on.

  • Bono

    Seems like the tax passed by both parties

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