Driving the Week: Negotiators to Miss Deadline, But Don’t Panic

The left has claimed that President Obama has been involved in debt negotiations (because Vice President Biden is involved – try to figure that one out), but now after House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) and Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-AZ) pulled out of the negotiations, it’s time for the President to actually get involved.

Having a surrogate negotiate for your side while you’re out at star-studded fundraisers in another state is not the same as being involved. But now the President has no choice. He will be meeting with Senate Leaders Harry Reid (D-NV) and Mitch McConnell (R-KY).

The negotiations apparently stalled over an impasse on taxes. Democrats now claim that the “revenue increases” they asked for were simple and not damaging (yet somehow would help make up the deficit). According to The Hill”

“[Congressman Chris] Van Hollen [D-MD] said that the Democrats had floated a plan to change the accelerated depreciation schedule for corporate jets so that they more closely align with commercial jets. He said Democrats had also pushed to end oil-and-gas tax breaks.”

Oh good, that will solve all our problems. Conservatives are talking about cutting trillions, and Democrats continue to believe that changing depreciation rates and raising taxes on profitable industries will keep us from making necessary spending cuts.

Remember what they’re talking about when it comes to ending “tax breaks” for big oil. Most of those “tax breaks” are deductions that a variety of different industries enjoy, so this isn’t ending special interest handouts; it’s targeted tax increases. The Hill goes on:

“On individual taxes, Van Hollen claimed that the Democrat proposal actually would have provided tax relief for more taxpayers. The proposal would have ended tax deductions for those making above $500,000 but would have removed limitations on deductions for those making above around $170,000.”

END deductions for those making $500,000? Do they realize that charitable donations are a tax deduction, and that the wealthy donate BILLIONS of dollars to charity every year? It’s like they don’t think! A spokesman for Rep. Cantor responded to such allegations:

“While Congressman Van Hollen’s selective memory is amusing, the bottom line is that the proposals pushed by Democrats would increase taxes by hundreds of billions of dollars on individuals, small businesses, and employers at a time when we need to focus on job growth.”

In fact, Democrats demanded up to $400 billion in higher taxes. The truth is, raising taxes will not solve our problems and doing it during a slowing economy is a recipe for disaster. It won’t spur job creation, it won’t grow the economy, it will only take money from people who would spend it and reduce our deficit by mere pennies. Even if you took every penny (literally every penny – bankrupt them) from the top 10% of earners (which account for about 70% of all tax revenue) it would be a one-time revenue (they’d be broke afterwards) you would get $3.4 trillion (our debt is $14.3 trillion). The top 10% has income of over $114,000, which is hardly the super wealthy.

Of course, Democrats aren’t proposing that large of a tax increase. But that is what it would take in order to make a dent in our debt by simply raising taxes. Studies also show that lowering taxes produces more revenue. Perhaps it’s just easier for Democrats to conveniently avoid the truth and claim higher taxes produce more revenue. As stated over and over again, we do not have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem.

We know where President Obama stands on spending:

“We can’t simply cut our way to prosperity. We need to do what’s necessary to grow our economy; create good, middle-class jobs; and make it possible for all Americans to pursue their dreams.”

Did you catch that? He just undermined what needs to be done to get America back on track (cut spending) by calling for…more spending! The utter lack of reality that seems to embrace this President is astounding. If he goes into these discussions with the attitude that we can tax-and-spend our way to prosperity, there is no chance we can leave out children and grandchildren a prosperous nation. The President will also lack the votes in Congress to raise the debt ceiling.

Of course, failing to raise it by August 2 will not cause the world to plunge into chaos. Remember, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has the authority – and obligation – to prioritize spending to service our debt and we will not default. Unfortunately, this line of rhetoric is more important to Democrats than saving our country.

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