Thursday, December 6, 2012

Thursday, December 6, 2012

DeMint Resigning From The Senate

South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint announced today that he will resign his Senate seat in January to become the next president of the Heritage Foundation, a conservative Washington, D.C. think tank. Senator DeMint is one of the conservative movement’s staunchest allies in Washington, and his leadership in the Senate will be sorely missed.

It pains me whenever someone of Senator DeMint’s stature leaves Congress. But as the senator said himself, he is not leaving the battle. He will continue to be a powerful voice for the conservative principles of lower taxes, smaller government and more freedom. I am confident the Heritage Foundation will thrive with Jim DeMint at its helm.

South Carolina’s Governor Nikki Haley will appoint a successor to fill Senator DeMint’s seat until the 2014 elections.

Bailout Nation

First the big banks got their bailout. Next the auto unions got their bailout. Then a slew of left-wing constituencies got bailouts from the stimulus bill. Now one city councilwoman is demanding to know when Detroit will get its bailout. (Another one?)

The White House has announced that President Obama will travel to Detroit next week. And when he’s there, he better be ready for JoAnn Watson. At an emergency city council meeting Tuesday, Watson said this:

“After the election of Jimmy Carter, [Mayor] Coleman Alexander Young, he went to Washington, D.C. He came home with some bacon. That’s what you do. Our people in an overwhelming way supported the re-election of this president and there ought to be a quid pro quo.”

Detroit had better get in line. There is a growing wave of municipal bankruptcies, which have largely escaped the media’s notice. But while Washington politicians are obsessed with raising taxes, the bottom line is inescapable: Government — at every level — has simply gotten too big, and liberal policies are not creating enough economic growth to sustain it.

Geithner: Our Way Or The Cliff!

For all the talk about the need for bi-partisan compromise on the fiscal cliff (just 25 days away), liberal politicians have become as stubbornly inflexible as, well, a donkey. The president has staked out his position — tax rates must go up — and he is refusing to budge.

Yesterday Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner was interviewed on CNBC. Consider this exchange:

CNBC: “When it comes to raising taxes on the wealthy … if Republicans do not agree to that, is the administration prepared to go over the fiscal cliff?”

Geithner: “Oh, absolutely. There’s no prospect in an agreement that doesn’t involve the rates going up on the top 2 percent of the wealthiest.”

In other words, it’s their way or the highway, and 90% of American households will face an average $3,500 tax increase.

Whenever a conservative takes a stand against raising tax rates, media commentators fly into hysterical reactions about how uncompromising conservatives are hurting the poor, the middle class and putting the economy at risk for their narrow ideological agenda. But whenever liberals adopt such hardline positions, the commentators usually nod approvingly and move on.

By the way, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell tried to put President Obama’s fiscal cliff proposal on the Senate floor for a vote yesterday. Guess what happened? Senator Harry Reid objected and refused to allow the vote.

Dr. Dean Spills The Beans

My friends, here is a key fact to keep in mind as this debate drags on: House conservatives have already made a good faith offer. They agreed to $800 billion in additional revenue through tax reform measures. That is a huge concession for advocates of lower taxes, less spending and smaller government. But it’s not enough for some liberals like Dr. Howard Dean.

As we have explained repeatedly, raising taxes on the so-called “rich” doesn’t solve the problem. The problem is that government is simply too big and spending too much. I was reminded today that all the talk about marginal tax rates misses the point. We should be talking about real tax rates — the taxes required to pay the real costs of big government.

Obama’s tax increases on the rich amount to $80 billion a year, when he’s running deficits of $1,000 billion a year. As Thomas Sowell put it, “Raising the tax rates on everybody in the top 2% will not get enough additional tax revenue to run the government for 10 days. And what will the government do to pay for the other 355 days in the year?”

Howard Dean has his solution: He wants to go over the fiscal cliff in order to raise everybody’s taxes! Here’s what he said on MSNBC last night:

“The truth is everybody needs to pay more taxes, not just the rich. … we’re not going to get out of this deficit problem unless we raise taxes across the board… And if we don’t do that, the problem is the pressure is going to be on spending even more.”

Unfortunately, Dr. Dean’s prescription still doesn’t pay for the real cost of big government. But he may have just spilled the beans as to left’s real goal in this fiscal cliff showdown.