The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Reasonable Proposal

I've been watching the kabuki theater that is Barack Obama "negotiating" with Speaker of the House John Boehner in an effort to avoid "the fiscal cliff." It shouldn't surprise anyone that Obama seems ill-at-ease negotiating with an opponent, given that he couldn't negotiate anything of any consequence during his first term. Recall that the abomination that is the ACA was rammed through congress without a single vote from the opposing party—unprecedented for major legislation.

So rather than negotiate or propose a broad based plan for addressing our budget crisis, Obama seems happy to "tax the rich"—a purely symbolic gesture to mollify the Left and stoke the embers of his successful class warfare meme. In practical terms, the money raised from taxing the rich will run the government for 8 days. The other 357 days? Who cares, it's the symbolism that's important, isn't it? After all, taxing the rich will reduce Obama's trillion dollar deficit to a measly 920 billion dollars on an annual basis. Good stuff.

But in my view, John Boehner and the GOP are missing an important opportunity here. They should accept the tax hike on the rich, publicly and with great fanfair. Only two conditions would apply and both would certainly be supported by those Americans who are not part of the dependency class.

First, the President must propose immediate spending cuts for 2013 to match his own deficit reduction commission's recommendation of $3 in cuts to every 1 dollar in tax hikes. This means that Obama must propose $245 billion in cuts effective immediately—not later next year or in 2017 (after he leaves office). This represents less than 8 percent of our annual budget, so maybe the best approach would be an 8 percent across the board cut, but whatever.

Oh, one more condition. Obama must commit to modifications to social security and medicare to make both programs solvent through 2060, and have those modifications in place not later than September, 2013.

Tax the rich!! Great idea, Barack, but at the same time, control spending and fix entitlements. And do it now.

Sounds like a plan to me, but I'll bet my tax increase that Obama would never, ever agree to such a reasonable proposal.