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Democrats Refuse To Compromise On Spending

I wrote yesterday how some GOP lawmakers were announcing their willingness to abandon the “no new tax” pledge they made to Grover Norquist. Most, if not all, of them said they would consider Spendingcompromising on taxes and new revenue, only if serious entitlement reform was part of any package agreed to by both parties. Clearly, the pressure is on the Republicans to compromise their hardline stance on raising taxes, with no mention of cutting spending. President Obama announced yesterday that he wanted to prevent Republicans from ruining Christmas for the middle class. That is what would happen, said the President, if Republicans refused to budge on taxes. One would almost think he was still running for President. Maybe someone needs to tell him the election is over. At any rate, the campaign of rhetoric continues to grow, as every available ounce of pressure is brought to bear on the Republicans in Congress.

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As a way of doing that, the labor unions have organized a visit to Capitol Hill by their members. Hundreds of them are scheduled to meet with Democratic lawmakers, hoping to help them stiffen their resolve.

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(The Hill) Union members from the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), the National Education Association (NEA) and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) will also be on Capitol Hill this week to lobby lawmakers.

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During their lobbying visits, union members will have an open letter sent to Congress from AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka.

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The head of the nation’s largest labor federation cites this month’s election results — specifically Mitt Romney’s loss to President Obama — as reason not to cut into entitlement programs or keep tax cuts for the country’s wealthy.

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“We just had an election in which one candidate proposed to lower tax rates for the richest 2% of Americans and cut benefits for Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare. He lost,” Trumka says in the letter. “We ask you to respect the will of the voters and promise to (1) let Bush tax rates for the richest 2% of Americans expire in December and (2) oppose benefit cuts to Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid.”

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From the tone of Trumka’s letter, as well as what the union members are expected to tell their fellow Democrats, I think it’s pretty clear where this is all headed. Couple that with the campaign of rhetoric President Obama is using to put pressure on Republicans, and I am sure of it. Nowhere do you hear serious mention or discussion of spending reform coming out of their mouths. Their baseline argument starts and ends with one issue: Republicans need to compromise on taxes and raise them on the wealthiest Americans. Here is a portion of the open letter President Obama used to lay out his case.

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(Fox News) “Stop holding the middle class and our economy hostage over a disagreement on tax cuts,” the letter states, as Congress returns to Washington this week to try to reach a deal that would avert the $500 billion mix of tax increases and budget cuts set to take effect in early January.

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Respectfully, I disagree with the President and vehemently object to the rhetoric he is using. He is portraying the upcoming negotiations as all about keeping taxes lower on the middle class. He likes to come across as their savior, but the reality is much different. Let’s turn it around on him and ask him to explain why he is willing to stand his ground and allow taxes to go up for the middle class, unless he gets his way on tax hikes for the 2% of Americans who make over $250,000 per year? Is that not a legitimate question, just as much as the question he is posing to Republicans? Again, I ask you to look at his words. His main argument is raising taxes on the wealthy. He seldom mentions spending reform, and then only in passing.

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The rhetoric being used by the President, and the visits to Capitol Hill by union members highlight one thing. They have no real intention of compromising on spending and entitlement reform. They are focused on one thing, raising taxes. Unless that changes, any failure to reach a compromise rests squarely on their shoulders.

About LD Jackson

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LD Jackson has written 2053 posts in this blog.

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Founder and author of the political and news commentary blog Political Realities. I have always loved to write, but never have I felt my writing was more important than in this present day. If I have changed one mind or impressed one American about the direction our country is headed, then I will consider my endeavors a success. I take the tag line on this blog very seriously. Above all else, in search of the truth.

  • Time to start the revolution (D) = deceased

  • Politics is all about power and the application of it. Now that Obama has been re-elected it’s time to use the power he believes he has to raise taxes. Part of it is a plan to make the Republicans look badly. For those Republicans who made a 100% unconditional pledge to never raise taxes, they are going to look very badly indeed.

    I do have to give Obama credit… he’s making every play he can and doing it perfectly.

    • You are exactly right. President Obama is playing a masterful game, one in which the Republicans seem to be helpless. I see very little chance of avoiding a tax increase, one that will be blamed on the Republicans, no matter how it actually goes down.

  • Jim at Conservatives on Fire

    Sometimes, Larry, I think the Dems are just plain evil. Other times like now, I think they are just plain stupid. I read a quote from one of our ilustrious Dem. House members who said “no deal is better than a bad deal. We can take this up again in anuary.” The man does not have a clue how decastaing that would be.

  • Leftists are very good at mischaracterizing what other people believe. Having said that, this next month is going to be really nasty. I question whether they can work out a deal and I further question whether Obama even wants to. I think he wants middle class taxes to increase so he can blame it on the GOP.

    • I wouldn’t put it past him to do exactly that. He may very well frame the debate, knowing the media will help him with that framing, in such a way that the Republicans are blamed for whatever happens.

  • Unfortunately the president’s rhetoric seems to resonate with a majority of the voters and even though Obama is willing to hold the middle class hostage if he doesn’t get what he wants the American people will blame the Republicans if a deal is not reached. he has brilliantly triangulated this position and has painted the Republicans into a corner. The only concession the Republicans might win is that taxes will not go up as high as Obama would like, but taxes will go up and there will be no spending cuts. Somehow Barack Obama managed to win this battle and he is already setting the Republicans up for future defeats in 2014 and 2016.

    • The media has a lot to do with it. No matter what he says, they treat it as gospel. I was listening to an interview of Saxby Chambliss on NPR this morning and even though he tried to explain the GOP position on taxes, Steve Inskeep kept coming back to one point. He did his best to get Chambliss to say he knew wealthier Americans could afford to pay a little more in taxes. That’s always their fallback position, that the wealthier Americans can afford to pay the extra taxes. Never mind a substantive discussion about the right and wrong of that position. The politicians who are fighting against these tax increases are facing an uphill battle.

  • Mike’s America

    At times I feel we have been transported to some strange world of alternate reality where honest discussions of important issues are no longer possible. The Democrats ONLY plan to address fiscal issues is to raise taxes. Yet, as everyone knows, even if you confiscated 100% of the annual income of “the rich” you’d barely pay off Obama’s deficit for one year.
    Where is the Democrat plan to cut spending? I haven’t heard one word from them except to demand a tax increase. It’s not like elected Democrats are totally oblivious to the unsustainable spending path their binge vote buying put us on.
    My fear is that they will continue to kick this can down the road with enough band aides on it to get past the next election when a Republican will FINALLY be returned to the White House. Then all of a sudden the chickens will come home to roost and somehow these same Dems who have ignored the problem will blame the consequences of their own inaction on Republicans!

    • Your fears may be well-founded. Far be it from me to suggest the Republicans are completely blameless for our current situation. I know part of it is their fault, but not all of it. If there is one thing we can count on, it is the response of the Democrats and their partners in the media. However this goes down, no matter what kind of deal is reached, the blame will be cast directly on the Republicans.

  • Liberty At’Stake

    If it looks like Cloward-Piven and quacks like Cloward-Piven …..