June 28, 2011
"George Orwell" wrote in the novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, "Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past." To which we may add, Who controls the presidency controls the "bipartisan" panels.
The Biden deficit-reduction panel perfectly fits this mentality, for President Barack H. Obama stacked the membership to create a tax and spend steamroller. Its roster of members comprises:
- Vice President Joe Biden - chairman
- Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner
- White House budget director Jack Lew
- Director of the National Economic Council Gene Sperling
- Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Dan Inouye (D-HI, 80%)
- Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT, 85%)
- Assistant House Minority Leader Jim Clyburn (D-SC, 95%)
- Ranking member House Budget Committee Chris Van Hollen (D-MD, 100%)
- Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-AZ, 96%)
- House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA, 100%)
I make it eight Democrats vs. two Republicans, but who's counting? (Why, President B.O., it appears!) Does the panel decide on recommendations via voice vote?
(I find it particularly delicious that four months after the November 2010 elections, Obama and Biden decided that the House Democratic minority should be represented on the panel by two members, while the House Republican majority should have only one.)
Last week, the "childish" "temper-tantrum"-throwing Republicans walked away from the panel after the Democrats on it made clear that they want most of the deficit reduction to come in the form of tax increases, $600 billion worth:
Negotiations collapsed Thursday when House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Virginia Republican, walked out after complaining that Democrats refused to budge on their demand for tax increases. Mr. Kyl, the only other Republican member of the Biden panel, quickly followed suit, essentially rendering the group dead.
I understand that an overwhelming consensus -- fully eighty percent! -- of the "bipartisan" panel favored the new taxes, though I'm sure they prefer calling it "cutting excess spending from the tax code." After all, it's well understood in mainstream circles that the deficit is not caused by too much spending but by insufficient taxation. Darn it, if we could only just restore that 90% bracket for "millionaires" (defined in Democrat Newspeak as anyone earning more than the average government worker -- members of Congress exempted, of course) and apply it. Retroactively to 2006.
The Dems called out their big guns to defend tax-code spending cuts:
Democrats and the White House have accused Republicans of falsely suggesting that they want to raise taxes on average Americans. Rather, Democrats say, they want to close certain tax “loopholes” for wealthy corporations.
“How do you call closing loopholes to oil companies that are making billions of dollars in profits … how do you call that a tax hike?” Rep. James E. Clyburn, South Carolina Democrat, said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.”“I don’t know of anybody who would define a tax increase as closing the loophole.”
(Where "loophole" is defined in Democrat Newspeak as an oil company taking a specific tax deduction that every other industry in America is allowed to deduct from taxable income. It's like accusing accusing Bill Gates of crawling through a loophole because he deducts his payroll as a business expense.)
Democrats added they have been willing to accept some GOP demands, such as reductions in Medicare spending, though no cuts in benefits.
“This was not about coming to an impasse,” Sen. Charles E. Schumer, New York Democrat, said Friday regarding the breakdown of the Biden panel. “There was just a lack of political will by Republicans to accept the kind of compromise that was taking shape.”
Churls who retort that Democrats simply want to force Republicans to do their dirty work for them should have no place at the Joe-gonquin round table. This critical debate isn't about partisan bickering or silly complaints about tax increases; it's about Republicans stepping up and passing the Democrats' vital agenda.
If not now, then when? If not the GOP, then who?
Hatched by Dafydd on this day, June 28, 2011, at the time of 12:42 AM
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