Saturday, December 1, 2012

Republicans Should Embrace Simpson Bowles

I've seen some sharp Republican thinkers raise this as an option in the "fiscal cliff" negotiations, and I'm inclined to think it might be a smart idea.  It is smart for a couple of reasons, most of which are covered in this passage from the link:

"Simpson-Bowles, for all its faults, was conducted in an open and transparent manner and brought disparate political players into a room to forge a serious compromise. It overhauls and streamlines our byzantine tax code, takes some important first steps on entitlements, and reduces and caps federal spending. On substance, I’d wager that it would be considerably better than anything Obama and Boehner might produce after weeks of behind-closed-doors acrimony with the proverbial gun to their heads. Politically, it paints Democrats into a tough corner. Republicans could make a grand show of reluctantly supporting Simpson-Bowles for the betterment of the country. Ideally, the press conference would be led by Paul Ryan, who might explain why he voted against the plan as a commissioner, but is now willing to set aside some of his strong ideological preferences to move the nation forward. They would remind viewers that the proposal they’re now backing only exists because President Obama specifically and publicly asked for it. Plus, more Democrats than Republicans voted for it, including Harry Reid’s top lieutenant in the Senate. Put simply, Simpson-Bowles represents the very embodiment of bipartisan collaboration and problem solving — precisely the sort of thing “moderates,” the media, and the public are always demanding. It would be exceedingly difficult for Democrats to paint the plan as radical or draconian in light of the commission’s origins and participants. The GOP’s “party of no” problem would also be hugely diminished; after all, they would have just signed on to the president’s commission, with the previously recalcitrant Paul Ryan magnanimously leading the way. It would be fascinating to watch the president and his allies try to denounce and reject the very proposal he called for."

Best of all though, it would definitively reveal the tendentiousness of the President and his negotiating team, by forcing the Press to cover the clear difference between the "balance" of Simpson Bowles and the ridiculosity of the President's latest, unserious proposal ($900B in immediate tax increases, $600B in deferred tax increases, $400B in spending cuts sometime in the future....).

Paul Ryan voted against Simpson Bowles because it left healthcare/Obamacare off the table-something with which I have no problem.  That said, swallowing hard and voting for it now makes much more sense, now that the voting public declined its opportunity to rehash Obamacare by re-electing its architect.  Time to move on--for now--to fix the larger issues.  Come back to Obamacare when you have the votes to do so.


"The Hammer" said...

Absolutely! It was the President's commission, which he ignored, and we should hang it around his neck.

But no deal is better than a bad deal. Let them go off the cliff and let them blame the Republicans. We have two years to beat the Democrats up with this shit economy. Obama said a "balanced approach", spending cuts with everything on the table for tax hikes. It's either that or nothing.

I've heard a lot of talk from the bowtie Republicans about how we're getting most of what we want, Bush's tax cuts less higher rates on the rich. But that's not the point. SPENDING is the issue. It's the only issue that will make a difference politically or economically.

So we either get spending cuts in the deal or we don't deal. Just wait for the automatic cuts etc. to kick in. If Boehner folds now we'll be taking it up the poop chute for the next four years.

Mudge said...

Until at least a majority of voting American feel the pain of profligate spending, we will continue to mark the box beside Hammer's "take it up the poop chute" on our national ballots. I say let the tax cuts expire on all. I voted against uncontrolled government spending, Mr. and Ms. 2012 Majority Voter. You voted for it (and your President-elect got your message loud and clear). If I'm going to pay for it, then, by God, so are you. And this isn't just a case of not wanting to pay for your ballot lunacy. It's because until you figure out that we cannot continue on this path, we get ever closer to the end. Fiscal cliff? That's nothing compared to what happens when we become the former Soviet Union. And I still worry about just what kind of "wait until after the election" bargain our brilliant global apologist has in store with Putin. Putin is no dummy. He is intent on rebuilding the Soviet Union. He knows it was our unbeatable economy that defeated the Soviet Union in the Cold War. Now that our economy is in the tank and heading even deeper with this last election, mark my words, Putin is ready to mop the Kremlin floor with US flags. Yep, tax the hell out of us all and just try to keep spending when people start feeling the direct cost of their vote.

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