I believe Barack Obama becomes more beatable every day, though he should probably still be favored in 2012 at this point. Republicans are making up ground, and the slate of candidates is getting plenty of exposure. So far, so good. Then we get to the debate the other night, and this question:
“Democrats will demand that savings come from a combination of spending cuts and tax increases, maybe $3 in cuts for every $1 in higher taxes,” York noted. “Is there any ratio of cuts to taxes that you would accept? Three to one? Four to one? Or even 10 to one?”
Every active Republican Presidential candidate save Rick Perry--who will almost certainly be asked this question immediately--is on the record as saying there were no formula in which they would support raising revenue/taxes. Want to hear how I would answer that question?
"Byron, of course I would take that deal. And you know what? So would every other person standing on this stage--if they were the occupant of the White House. Those who say they wouldn't are either lying outright or are not ready to be President. Do you realize what this deal would mean? It means you could balance the budget NEXT YEAR. Not ten years down the road after we've piled up another couple of trillion in debt--but NEXT YEAR. It means that in the course of one year, we could deprive the federal government of substantial portion of the drain it represents on private activity and free markets--unleashing the real and raw power of both. I honestly don't care if the answer to this question means the end of my candidacy. I'm not going to lie to my Party, and I'm not going to treat the Republican electorate like children from whom I withhold bad news. So yes--I would take the deal."
What is AMAZING to me is that all eight of them thought that their chances of being nominated were good enough that they didn't need to (or shouldn't) differentiate themselves from the others on this question. Some would say that is a sign of how strongly held the notion of no taxes is within the Republican Party. Perhaps. But I would suggest that it also bespeaks a certain level of "tell the primary voters what they want to hear and then tack back to the center in the general election" tactics. I don't think that's what voters want anymore. I think they want leadership.