Time for a third party

Byline: | Category: Taxes & Spending | Posted at: Tuesday, 1 January 2013

“House Republicans abandoned their effort to add spending cuts to the Senate’s budget legislation and . . . Oklahoma Representative Tom Cole said he expects the House to pass the Senate bill unchanged with a ‘substantial’ bipartisan vote.”

If this is true . . . if House Republicans and their leadership support a bill that raises taxes and spending as opposed to the status quo that raises taxes and lowers spending, then it is time for a third party.  I don’t care how many Democrats win House seats in 2014.  I really don’t.  If this is what Republican style fiscal conservatism looks like, then I am done with the GOP.


I’ve received lots of criticism for my post.  Let me tell you why you’re wrong to think that this bill was anything less than a complete catastrophe.

1.  There were NO spending cuts.  None.  Not a single dime.  In fact, there were spending increases.  Massive ones.  If the Republican Party believes that spending is the problem–and it is–then this deal is a complete betrayal of that belief.  Going over the cliff, as imperfect as that option was, at least sends the strong message that without spending cuts, the GOP will not be on board.

2.  Along those lines . . . seeing that, Barack Obama going forward would know that every time he has a wish, he would have to come to the table with something he is willing to cut.  Now he knows that when bargaining with the GOP, it’s just a matter of how BIG future spending increases will be.

3.  Under the fiscal cliff, the biggest spending cuts would have been to DoD–which is as it should be.  The Defense Department is bloated and wasteful as a result of twelve years of unshackled restraint.  The GOP, by making defense spending the center piece of its opposition to the cliff says loud and clear that they are exactly the same as the Democrats:  we want spending cuts–as long as they aren’t cuts to our spending programs.  The cliff was a cut to every program.  We need that.  Big time.

4.  Nickel and dime tax victories over a few tax cuts pale in comparison to what was lost in new taxes.  We’re still going into a recession because of this tax increase (I actually think that it will be back-dated to the third quarter of 2012, so we’re probably already there anyway.)  So if you thought that this is going to save us from a recession, you should think again.

5.  Republicans will be portrayed by the media as having lost.  That was going to be the case no matter what happened.  The GOP will always get the blame and will always be losers–at least in the eyes of the media.  So if you’re always going to get the blame no matter what you do, you might as well do what is right.  Any attempt to play nice with the media will not work.  So stop trying.

6.  Any political victories were tactical in nature.  Strategically, the GOP ceded the long game.  Spending is the enemy.  Politically, spending creates addicts for government dollars.  Those addicts will always vote for the party of more spending.    By voting for more spending while giving lip service to restraint, the GOP has created more Democratic voters over the long term.  Congratulations.

7.  Still on the subject of strategic failures, and perhaps most importantly, the GOP has not positioned itself for the time when math finally catches up.  The only thing enabling our spending binge is a prolonged period of historically low interest rates.  Rates are only that low because of (A) a slutty Fed that’s just giving it away for free, and (B) there are no other investment options because the worldwide economy sucks.  (A) is obviously inflationary in the long term.   And as for (B), it does not benefit the party in power to maintain a crappy economy so that the government can continue to borrow at low rates.  Eventually something gives, and when it does, the party out of power–IF IT HAS BEEN MAKING THE PRINCIPLED CONTRARY CASE–is perfectly poised to make changes of historic magnitudes.

From 1912 until 1930 Democrats were largely out of power.  They aligned themselves with progressivism, and in the 1920s especially, national Democrats paid a huge political price for it.  But once the collapse came, they were perfectly poised to cement in place progressive rules that are with us to this day.  Those very rules are the foundations of the next failure.  Last night the GOP decided that it didn’t want to offer the nation a different path.  It has become just a Dead Elephant Walking.

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13 Responses to “Time for a third party”

  1. Stan Says:

    Or yu can work for change within the GOP, A third party leaces one with serious political clout and that is the Democratic Party.

  2. Jeremy Abrams Says:

    Yesterday, Jan. 1, 2013, the Clinton era tax rates went into effect, on myself and on others poorer than I. The House ratified a law that, during a democratic administration, and with a democrat senate, made the Bush era rates permanent for all but a few.

    Failure to do this would have allowed Obama to grasp the mantle of tax cutter, and will split the republican caucus and the party for an election cycle at least. And it will make us properly look like fools before the taxpaying public.

    Also, the payroll tax cut has to be rescinded to properly fund social security. Do you want that rescission to occur during a republican administration? Why not saddle Obama with the negative economic consequences of a painful but inevitable return to the necessary rate?

    You want spending cuts? Why not take our stand by stalling all business until the senate submits a budget? That’s a far more favorable battleground. Where’s the long-term strategy?

    Oh, and have you looked at the structural impediments to building a third party? Much better to take over the rotting husk of the republican party apparatus. Think, please!

  3. RRsafety Says:

    The idea of a third party is so dumb when the use of primaries against wayward GOP members have been largely successful. In what fantasy land would the emergence of a third party result in anything but more liberal power?

  4. Bullard W. Says:

    No need for a new party Bob. If we can rid ourselves of the RINO’s, the smarmy turncoats and the unnamed squishes we’ll be just fine. Keep in mind, we’re doing well regaining state government.

  5. CosmicConservative Says:

    Republicans have no leverage, no support, and an hostile media that will paint them as evil no matter what they do.

    If I were the Republican leadership I would announce to the American people that “we got the message, you want Democrats to run things, therefore for the foreseeable future, until you learn your lesson, we will not oppose any single Democrat initiative.”

    Give them what they voted for. If it destroys the nation, then it destroys the nation. Republicans can’t save the nation from an electorate that is hell-bent on destruction anyway. The faster we hit bottom, the better.

  6. fit2post Says:

    What? You’re giving up? I guess the world has ended and you don’t want to face the debt ceiling battle, just give up and go home.
    Pick your battles. You should know by now. With Obama’s ‘tax the rich’ mantra set aside, the peoples’ work can now be done. Or are you done with the people?

  7. Mark Buehner Says:

    The deal is only awful if you look at it out of context- here are the positives:

    -We helped A LOT of small business owners by getting the kick in point of the tax increases raised from what the president campaigned and won on.
    -We made the Bush tax cuts permanent on a lot of people so its no longer a political lever for the Dems every few years.
    -We got the AMT finally indexed so ITS not a political lever for the Dems every year.
    -We got the medicare rates indexed so ITS not a political lever for the Dems every year.

    Most importantly- you have to understand that the spending is going to be dealt with separately. By getting taxes off the table, the President now cant hold taxpayers hostage in order to get the sequester lifted on spending. That is a HUGE advantage in the next two months. It is the debt ceiling and the sequester negotiations that the republicans now have a tremendous advantage on. Think about it- the status quo is unacceptable to the president spending wise, so he HAS to sign what Congress ends up sending him. He’s basically out of the loop. Republicans ought to be able to get something along the lines of a 5% across the board cut THIS YEAR, which isn’t much of course, but given the political realities of the last election (and a president that wants to spend more this year) that is a major, major victory. Given the circumstances.

  8. Lexington Green Says:

    A third party is a waste of time. The laws are written to favor the Dems and the GOP. Even getting on the ballot is nearly impossible. The only way forward is to take over the GOP from within. This can be done. The Progressives took over the Democratic Party from within a century ago. The Buckley, Goldwater, Kemp, Reagan faction took over the GOP, and it could do so again. There is no reason to lose elections to Ds. Primaries will push the GOP in the direction needed, either by getting better candidates or causing existing candidates to shift to the right to protect themselves. Strategy, not anger. The goal is to win, not to vent and kvetch. It is a slow process.

  9. curtis rathburn Says:

    Yup. Clear out the RINOs. LOL. Should only take another 12 years, or in other words, at least as as long as I’ve been hearing about getting rid of RINOs.

    I say again. LOL.

  10. Steve in SoCal Says:

    Obama wanted Clinton era tax rates, and he got them. He wanted 1.6T in new taxes and got 600B. Let him now say where he wants to get the other 1T.

    And in contrary to the debt ceiling, Obama will be negotiating on that point. My estimation is once people see their paychecks either this Friday or next reflect 2% less (SS deductions properly going up), then the idea that I (Obama) need new taxes is going to be a very tough arguement. After all, he just got his “rich” taxes.

    And in 2013 as businesses/employers brace for Obamacare, higher tax rates on Sub-S corps, guess who’s not getting alot of raises in 2013? And once these tax increases on everyone, and the “rich” sink in, reducing the scope of the gov’t will be much easier.

  11. JohnnyL Says:

    What kind of leverage does Obama have now that he can’t hold the middle class hostage? Now is the time for the Repubs in the House to go after that balanced approach he was always ranting about. He got $600B in tax increases, now it’s time for $600B in spending cuts. The public will understand a balanced approach. Dollar for Dollar. Hold their feet to the fire. He threatened that he will be back for more tax sacrifices. Tell him he gets jack until he agrees to a balanced approach. He has no leverage now.

  12. apetra Says:

    Craft a standalone bill that extends the debt limit by (say) $200 billion, but dedicates the amount exclusively to interest and due principal on already outstanding national debt.

    The same legislation would clarify federal legislation spending priorities, as need be, so the funds cannot be diverted to other discretionary spending.

    In one stroke, this would take Democrat threats of default off the table. If done right, so that it additionally protects the priority of current Social Security and Medicare, they cannot scare seniors, either.

    If Democrats in the Senate will not pass it, or the President will not sign it, and heaven forbid take the country into default, the Democrats are holding solvency hostage and blame falls on them.

    House Republicans could also, in a second standalone bill, pass the Republican legislative agenda. Repeal Obamacare. Enact the Ryan entitlement reforms. End the EPA’s regulation of CO2 emissions and give the go-ahead to Keystone and fracking. Cut taxes by 5% across the board, while eliminating the deductibility of state and local taxes. Slash discretionary spending 20% across the board, including defence (which would have much less impact on national security with such a weak and misguided Commander in Chief).

    Authorize the additional (but much smaller) borrowing needed to fund this agenda, but no other.

    Lay the groundwork for new bipartisan commissions to discuss selective restoration of spending, or additional cuts and department eliminations, and a new healthcare program focused on the uninsured and opening a national market for healthcare consumers.

    With such a strong position, the Republican caucus could literally pass it and leave town. Sell the program in the districts, in the streets, on the airwaves. If the Democrats default on the debt, debauch the currency, shut down the government, or otherwise act extra-constitutionally, the Republicans must fight on all fronts.

  13. Tim Says:

    Get rid of the RINOs? When folks like Chris Christie are coming out of the closet AS Rinos, we’re toast.

    I agree. Time for something different. A middle ground party not beholden to wackjob libs or bible thumping righties. Something might acutally get done.