An Establishment in Panic
By refusing to
accept tax increases in a deal to raise the debt
ceiling, Republicans are behaving like
writes David Brooks of
The New York
Republicans "have no sense of moral decency," he adds.
"willing to stain their nation`s honor" to
idol." If this
"deal of the
century" goes down, as he calls the Barack Obama
"Republican fanaticism" will be the cause.
"The GOP has become a cult"
that has replaced reason with
writes Richard Cohen of The
"presidential field (is) a virtual political
Guyana site where more than 900 followers of the Peoples
Temple drank the Kool-Aid that Rev. Jim Jones mixed for
Hezbollah Wing Is Now Fully in Control," screams
The New Republic over a recent lead editorial.
charge the GOP with holding America
refusing to accept tax hikes to avert a default on the
What to make of
Establishment is in a panic. It has been jolted awake to
the realization that the GOP House, if it can summon the
courage to use it, is holding a weapon that could enable
it to bridle forever the federal monster that consumes
25 percent of gross domestic product.
To bully and
blackmail the GOP into surrendering the weapon and
betraying its principles and signing on to new taxes,
that establishment has unleashed rhetoric more befitting
a war on terror than a political dispute.
exactly, are Republicans threatening the republic?
The House has
not said it will not raise the debt ceiling. It must and
will. It has not said it will not accept budget cuts. It
has indicated a willingness to accept the budget cuts
agreed to in the Biden negotiations.
Where the GOP
has stood its ground is on tax increases.
behind this stance? Does this manifest insanity? How
does this imperil the nation`s honor and future?
Behind the GOP
opposition to tax hikes is the party`s word given to the
country that elected it in 2010, its political
principles, its traditional view of what not to do when
the nation is in a slump, and party history.
Republican House members signed a 2010 pledge not to
raise taxes. And by giving their word they were rewarded
Should they now
dishonor that pledge, what would differentiate them from
George H.W. Bush, who famously promised in 1988:
"Read my lips! No
new taxes!" then went back on his word and took
the party down to defeat with him?
Second, the GOP
is the party of small government and low taxes.
Why would it
agree to raise taxes on the private productive sector
when federal spending, now at a peacetime record of 25
percent of GDP, is the problem?
is in a slump, with 9 percent of the workforce
unemployed, another 7 percent underemployed and the
economy growing at a tepid 1.8 percent.
What school of
economic thought—Keynesian, supply-side or
monetarist—says raising taxes in a slumping economy is
the recipe for a return to prosperity? There is no such
Why, when the
whole country is talking about the need to create jobs,
would Congress raise taxes on a private productive
sector that employs six in seven Americans and is the
creator of real jobs?
President Reagan agreed to the same deal being
offered the party today: three dollars in spending cuts
for every dollar in tax increases to which he assented.
As he ruefully told this writer more than once, he was
lied to. He got one dollar in spending cuts for every
three in tax increases.
What of the
charge that the Republican House is holding America
hostage, blackmailing the nation with a suicidal threat
to throw us all into national default if it does not get
This smear is
the precise opposite of the truth.
Party has not said it will refuse to raise the debt
ceiling. It has an obligation to do so, and will.
The House has
simply said it will not accept new taxes on a nation
whose fiscal crisis comes from overspending.
If the GOP keeps
its word, raises the debt ceiling and accepts budget
cuts agreed to in the Biden negotiations, the only
people who can prevent the debt ceiling`s being raised
are Senate Democrats or Obama, in which case, they, not
the GOP, will have thrown the nation into default.
It is the
establishment that is resorting to extortion, saying, in
effect, to the House GOP: Give us the new taxes we
demand, or Obama will veto the debt ceiling and we will
all blame you for the default.
The GOP should
stand its ground—and fix bayonets.
CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.
Patrick J. Buchanan
no introduction to
VDARE.COM readers; his book State
of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and
Conquest of America, can
be ordered from Amazon.com. His latest book
Hitler, and "The Unnecessary War": How
Britain Lost Its Empire and the West Lost
Paul Craig Roberts.