IBD-Tax Deal: Republicans are being lauded for their political savvy in agreeing to extend the payroll tax cut and jobless benefits for another year without paying for it. Well, it may be good politics, but it’s bad on principle.
If there’s one thing pundits on the left and the right agree on, it’s that Republicans in Congress were politically clever to deny President Obama two issues he wanted to use against the GOP: extending the two-percentage point payroll tax cut and extra jobless benefits through the end of this year.
No doubt, they’re right. After all, as we’ve heard repeated for decades, politics is the “art of compromise.”
Without action by Congress, the payroll tax cut would have expired at the end of February. Republicans knew they would be tarred by the Democrats and the mainstream media — is there really any difference? — for “raising taxes” on 160 million Americans when it did.
So instead of opposing it, as they did last year, the GOP went along with Democrats to extend it.
“The payroll tax cut is political candy,” Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C. correctly observed Wednesday. “Once you hand it out, it’s hard to take it back.”
The big problem with this is that it adds $100 billion to the deficit and won’t be offset by cuts elsewhere. It moves up the bankruptcy of the Social Security system, while adding another $100 billion to our debt — all for a benefit worth less than $20 a week to average workers.
This is political pandering at its worst. And as we noted earlier this month, a new study of industrial nations finds that payroll tax cuts don’t boost the economy. Personal income tax cuts and business tax cuts do, but Obama and the Democrats want to raise those.
So we’re spending $100 billion for what? Politics.
To their credit, Republicans tried to behave like responsible adults on this. In both last summer’s debt ceiling debate and in December’s battle over the payroll tax, they insisted that the payroll tax cuts be paid for.
They were pilloried for it, portrayed as mean-spirited advocates for the rich. That’s a lie. So not to be outmaneuvered again, the GOP lowered itself to the cynical level of President Obama and the Democrats by keeping the economically useless payroll tax cut in place.
“It’s the perfect example of what all the fights are about,” Charles Krauthammer told Fox News’ Bret Baier. “This is a free-lunch presidency. But he now wants to add dinner and breakfast to the menu.”
GOP voters need to know their party is a party of principle — and not just about getting elected. What today looks like a smart political move may in the long-run come back to bite the Republicans if Democrats use this as a precedent for spending more without making cuts.
For the record, we think this is the most important election since at least World War II. A party that makes a case for less spending, lower taxes, smaller government, fewer regulations and a strong defense can win it.
Only Republicans can make that case. This latest move, however politically astute it was, doesn’t do it. More principle, less politics, please.
Not going to happen. It’s all Politics all the time. And the wimpy Republicans are desperate to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory and do like children beating each other up in a sandbox during recess.
And Obama is in full-on campaign mode and won’t do or say anything that isn’t about his re-election.
Ann Coulter: If liberals like it, it’s subsidized; if they don’t, it’s prohibited. And now they can impose their left-wing authoritarianism on the entire country by calling their mandates and prohibitions “insurance.”
Liberal fundamentalists say: I don’t see why anyone needs to hunt; I don’t know why anyone needs to eat meat; I don’t see why anyone needs to bathe every day; I don’t know why anyone minds looking at urine in a low-flow toilet; I don’t know why anyone needs an incandescent light bulb …
Screw you, liberals. I don’t know why anyone needs an abortion, free contraception, crap-ass “art” with photos of vaginas on the Virgin Mary, non-farming farmers or a $1 million pension for Anthony Weiner.
But I’m forced to subsidize all of that.
And now we’re all going to be forced to subsidize the entire wish list of the Berkeley City Council, recast as “health insurance.”
Insurance is not supposed to be for normal expenses in the ordinary course of events, such as multivitamins, house painting or oil changes. Insurance is for unexpected catastrophes: fires, accidents, cancer.
The basic idea is to spread the risk of unforeseen disasters. Filling up your gas tank, for example, is not an unforeseen disaster (though it’s getting to be under Obama).
So why is birth control covered by insurance? Birth control pills aren’t that expensive — generics are about $20 a month — nor is the need for them a bolt out of the blue. Why not have health insurance cover manicures, back massages, carrot cake and nannies?
Liberals huffily ask why it’s so important to the Catholic Church not to pay for insurance plans that cover birth control, but the better question is: Why is it so important to liberals to force them to? (Wait until they have to buy coverage for vibrating butt-plugs!)
The answer is: They want the government giving official sanction to birth control and, later, abortion. That comes next. They want it for same reason gays want gay marriage — it’s purely symbolic.
Following Betty Friedan, gender feminists believe the pill is so central to what we are as a nation that it must be paid for by all, i.e. by insurance. The argument for fully subsidized abortions will be: We don’t vote on a basic human right!
Whether or not it’s a “right,” it’s not an area for “insurance.” Abortion is an elective procedure. No families are going bankrupt because they had to pay for an abortion — which costs about as much as a haircut for John Edwards or Bill Clinton. Can’t we limit the health insurance we are all required by federal law to purchase to financially ruinous, actual medical problems?
No, that is not in the cards. Just as liberals have turned the Constitution into a vehicle for achieving all the left-wing policies they could never get Americans to vote for, now they are going to use “insurance” for the same purpose. Their new method doesn’t even require them to get votes from five justices on the Supreme Court.
The secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, will do it all on her own.
Anything close to the beating heart of feminism is about to become a mandatory part of insurance coverage: fertility treatments, chemical sensitivities, a year’s leave of absence for fathers after the birth of a child, attention deficit disorder, massages, aromatherapy, watching MSNBC, sex change operations, gender reassignment surgery, gender re-reassignment surgery.
And then, once every single insurance plan in the country is required by federal law to cover one million liberal causes having nothing to do with medical problems, Democrats will be happy to let us purchase health insurance across state lines. Sure, buy your insurance from Utah or Kentucky. Every insurance plan in the country, by federal law, will be identical.
The contraception diktat is only the beginning of the government controlling your life under ObamaCare. There are approximately 100,000 more decisions the HHS Secretary will have to make under ObamaCare that you will not be able to appeal.
The bill should have been called “Kathleen Sebelius’ Dream Journal.”
As we have seen, Sebelius is not a go-with-the-flow kind of secretary. She is a doctrinaire feminist who thinks it’s important to make a statement by ordering something that has only a tangential connection to health care but will have the effect of costing everyone more money.
Are you getting why this isn’t a Catholic issue? So what if some “compromise” is reached that makes the Catholic bishops happy? They supported ObamaCare to begin with! They ought to be forced to live with the consequences of the totalitarian regime they helped foist on the rest of us.
Maybe they’ll get a waiver from the contraception mandate on religious grounds — just like unions and Obama-friendly corporations got waivers on the grounds that they realized ObamaCare would suck and they didn’t want to be a part of it.
What about the rest of us? You know, the ones who didn’t support ObamaCare? We still have to live under the thumb of a nutcase gender-feminist with unlimited authority to ban whatever she doesn’t like, subsidize whatever she does like and call it “insurance.”
If Obama is re-elected this November and ObamaCare is not repealed, Republicans’ only option will be to make Rick Santorum the head of HHS under the next Republican president (if we ever have one).
He can prohibit insurance companies from covering anything related to contraception, AIDS and substance abuse, and mandate that insurance plans pay subsidies to stay-at-home mothers, tuition for home-schooled kids and cover the purchase of his book, “It Takes a Family.”
Those particular lifestyle choices have as much to do with “insurance” as contraceptives do.