A number of Republicans have decided to vote for the restoration of the Bush tax cuts with an upper limit. Obama's upper limit is $ 250,000. Apparently, many Republicans are willing to sign on if the upper limit is moved up a bit to $ 400,000 or $ 500,000. If Republicans would simply refuse to sign on unless all the Bush cuts were restored, they would, without any doubt, get their way. But somehow they have become convinced by the media, the Democrats, and their reading of the polls that they must buy into the Obama tax hike.
Why would Republicans get their way? Because Obama would be forced to go along if the choice were that stark. Obama does not want to preside over a major tax increase that further damages an already weak economy. He would own it, not Republicans. After all, the Republican House passed a full extension of the Bush tax cuts last July. It is only Obama's petty insistence on raising rates on the top 2 percent, raising at best a trivial amount of revenue, that is holding up the extension. It is Obama's economy for good or evil. That is the leverage that the Republicans have. But, they seem intent on throwing away that leverage. They won't have this opportunity again if they let it slip away now.
Boehner, they say, will hold an "open vote" on any Reid-McConnell compromise so that House passage can be accomplished with a majority of Republicans voting no.
It's time to rev up the tea party. What good is a Republican who votes for tax and spending increases, which is what the Reid-McConnell compromise will amount to? If there were no Republicans at all in the House or Senate would the ultimate outcome be much different?
Various conservative pundits, Bill Kristol for one, have advocated that Republicans simply surrender and vote for the tax increase on the top 2 percent. Has Kristol forgotten the effect of higher marginal tax rates on job creation? Or is Kristol only concerned about pleasing the media?
Republicans should reject any compromise that involves raising taxes on anyone unless there are major cuts to social security and medicare. Boehner should be replaced as Speaker if he permits a vote on a bill that a majority of House Republicans are opposed to.
The country's future is at stake because of the exploding national debt. Going over the fiscal cliff is far, far preferable to a bad Reid-McConnell deal.
It looks for now like Republicans are planning to join their Democratic brethren in raising taxes, increasing spending, and further damaging the country's future prospects and economic vitality.