After a close election in which the seats of power remained the same, President Obama is trying to claim a mandate for tax hikes, increased spending, and executive power grabs. There is no such mandate.
His first offer in the fiscal cliff negotiations included $1.6 trillion in tax increases, $50 billion in new spending, and the authority for the President to unilaterally increase the debt limit without congressional approval. Mr. Obama laid out such a ridiculous plan because he has no interest in coming to a deal and averting this crisis. Republicans may get the blame in the short term, but when our economy goes further in the tank because of the President’s lack of leadership it will still be the Obama Economy for the next four years.
Now is the time for Speaker Boehner to stand firm for our core conservative principles. Not only should tax rates not be increased, they should be lowered! The GOP is the low tax, pro-growth party and concessions on this front would sully the party’s brand. To paraphrase President Ronald Reagan, the country doesn’t have a tax revenue problem, it has a spending problem! A serious resolution to the fiscal cliff situation that wouldn’t harm our economy should include lower tax rates to grow the economy and increase revenue by growing the pie, structural entitlement reform, defunding Obamacare, and real budget cuts to discretionary spending. As Speaker of the Republican-controlled U.S. House, Speaker Boehner can offer, pass, and take a plan like this to the American people that encompass these goals.
I am also deeply concerned by the fact that conservative Congressmen Justin Amash, Tim Huelskamp, and David Schweikert were kicked off their respective positions on the House Budget and Financial Services Committees. A purge of conservatives willing to do what is necessary to put our country’s fiscal house back in order is the exact opposite of what the party needs right now. Now more than ever we need principled fiscal conservatives in these important positions.
Yesterday I sent a letter to Speaker Boehner laying out these concerns; it can be read in full here.