Republicans Don’t Give A [Hoot]

Some people are crowing about poll results showing that few people want to extend the Bush tax cuts, or that most people (including most Republicans) want to increase marginal income tax rates on the very highest income earners.

It’s important, first off, to read some of these polls skeptically.

But the more important fact is, the GOP’s tax policies have been unpopular for over a decade, but they enact them anyway.

Then-Gov. Bush in 1998 found ”tax cuts to be ‘the least popular choice’ on his agenda among swing voters.” He changed his messaging in response, but prioritized tax cuts as president. He even claimed that the unpopularity of his tax program showed that he was guided by principle.

Now most Americans want the Super Committee members to compromise. It doesn’t matter. All six Republicans on the committee have pledged fealty to Grover Norquist’s “no taxes ever” agenda.

(Norquist, incidentally, was described by an adviser to then-Majority Leader Dick Armey a decade ago as the “Field Marshall” of the Bush Jr. policy agenda. To this day, the Republican Party is George W. Bush, from top to bottom).

Every single Republican will always sacrifice all other interests, regardless of context, to shrinking government revenues. A vote for any Republican running for federal office is a vote for Grover Norquist.

The below video (some commentary NSFW) is a metaphor for American politics. The honey badger’s hunger represents the Republican Party’s desire for tax cuts for people earning $250,000 or more per year or inheriting large sums of money; the swarm of bees and the cobra represent American public opinion; the birds and jackals represent social conservatives; the birds’ and jackal’s treats represents state laws restricting access to contraception and preventing legal recognition of same-sex relationships. 

ADDED: Bruce Bartlett compiles 23 polls, all showing that Americans support raising taxes rather than spending cuts alone to reduce the deficit. This will really impress Republicans won’t change a thing.

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  • http://www.tarheelred.wordpress.com Pino

    Now most Americans want the Super Committee members to compromise.

    But surprisingly, you don’t seem to wanna compromise. I don’t think you are in favor of cutting spending. Add to tat the fact that you won’t acknowledge that we are already raising revenue.

    You want both.

    Increased spending and add to already growing revenues. You want to tax more to spend more.

    • http://poisonyourmind.com dedc79

      I think we need to set baselines too. Republicans claimed that their compromise was raising the debt ceiling at all. That was BS since the debt ceiling had always been raised (18 times under Reagan, I think). The compromise was supposed to be cuts in spending in exchange for more tax revenue. That was the democrats offer and that was Obama’s offer. It meshed with public opinion. the republicans took the position of no tax hikes ever.

      • http://www.tarheelred.wordpress.com Pino

        But we didn’t cut spending at all. All we did was raise revenue.

        I’ve never heard that the Democrats had a requirement on “how” revenues be raised, only that they do, in fact, rise.
        If you check, next year we will bring in more than we did last year. And we are going to spend more than we did as well.
        So, the Republicans didn’t get either. Revenues did in fact rise and spending wasn’t cut.

        • http://poisonyourmind.com dedc79

          What revenue was raised? What tax was added? what tax loophole was closed?

          Defense spending was cut and so was spending to health care providers. I take it you are arguing that the spending cuts aren’t cuts because they come out of projected increases in spending? The fact is that the country will be spending less than it would have otherwise

    • http://poisonyourmind.com reflectionephemeral

      (1) But surprisingly, you don’t seem to wanna compromise.

      This is a post about public opinion and Republican behavior, not my preferences.

      The Republicans are universally beholden to horrible, relatively unpopular ideas (invading and occupying Iraq, Bush revenue reductions). They fight to the mat for them. Enough Democrats are always willing to compromise, so awful, calamitous Republican priorities get enacted.

      Democrats are willing to compromise on cuts, but Republicans are not willing to compromise on revenues (as mentioned above, all six GOP supercommittee members are wholly owned subsidiaries of Grover Norquist).

      (2) It’s true, were I emperor, I would solve the long-term debt problem along lines something like this, largely based on returning taxes to 1990s levels.

      Were I a Democratic Congressman, I’d walk into negotiations with those as preferences, then engage in bargaining to get something (mutually disagreeable) done.

      Except there is no bargaining, because there are no Republicans willing to compromise. The discussion is over, with Republicans, before it begins. Even though a majority of Republicans want compromise, even though 23 straight polls have found that a majority of Americans wants to address the deficit through a mixture of spending cuts and tax increases, the Republican Party won’t discuss it.

      Anyone who voted for Ronald Reagan because they liked his policies has left the GOP. He worsened the debt, of course, but he at least cared about it, enough to raise taxes at least 11 times to address the deficit. If Reagan were in office today, he would be primaried by the Tea Party.

      Today’s Republican Party is an extremist party, rigidly enforcing their baseless anti-revenue orthodoxy, which is at odds with policies that were commonsense consensus for about a half century after WWII.

      (3) Add to tat the fact that you won’t acknowledge that we are already raising revenue.

      What?

      • http://www.tarheelred.wordpress.com Pino

        Republican behavior

        The bill the Republicans just negotiated increased revenues while at the same time increased spending.

        Add to tat the fact that you won’t acknowledge that we are already raising revenue.

        What?

        I have a job. Last year I saw a 1.5% raise. This year I expect to see another 1.5% raise. To me, me “revenues” are increasing. That is, my family brought in more money this year than last and we expect to do the same next year.

        Revenues are INCREASING.

        In a similar vein, we want to decrease our spending this year and then again next year. That is, the total amount of money I spend will be less than the year before.

        If we apply the same to the government, we want the amount of money the federal government brings in to increase and the number of dollars the federal government pays out to decrease.

        Year over year the receipts into the government goes up by an average of 7% or more. That is, we are already increasing revenue. Every year. Now, to be sure, are there years we don’t see 7%? Sure, even some are real revenue decreases. But we make up for that in other years. Revenues DO increase.

        The deal the Democrats insisted on didn’t cut spending one single thin dime. In fact, the expenditures are increasing under the debt ceiling deal. The Democrats got everything they wanted. Revenue increases and spending increases.

        So, if anyone needs to compromise, it’s the Left, the Democrats. Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi and the President.

        If, however, the Democrats insist on tax increases, that is a different conversation. Now we’re talking pure ideological class warfare. It’s as if you have to be able to dictate that revenues increase and HOW they increase. If 7% isn’t enough, what is? What hard number based on facts would be enough to satisfy the Democrats? Because clearly 7% year over year gains isn’t enough.

        • http://poisonyourmind.com dedc79

          Maybe we’re back to the torture debates where you have a different definition than the rest of the world.

          Nobody has come out of the debt ceiling debate claiming that revenue increases were part of the deal. That’s because when people refer to raising revenue they mean taking steps to either raise taxes or eliminate deductions/tax loopholes in order to bring in money that would not have otherwise come in.

          Regardless, receipts (in current dollars) declined from 2007 – 2008, from 2008-2009, and then rose just a bit from 2009-2010 (although still well below 2007 revenue). If you use a constant dollar amount (in this instance, the 2005 dollar), revenue is projected to decline again in 2011. http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/taxfacts/displayafact.cfm?Docid=200.
          So even under your bizarre definition, revenues are declining.

          • http://www.tarheelred.wordpress.com Pino

            That’s because when people refer to raising revenue they mean taking steps to either raise taxes or eliminate deductions/tax loopholes in order to bring in money that would not have otherwise come in.

            Which is crazy nonsense speak. Democrats demanded that revenues increase. They did and they will again. Every year. The fact that no one will admit that, or short of that, identify a revenue increase that is sufficient, demonstrates an agenda. Class warfare is the only available such agenda.

            Tell me, what amount of their income does a rich man have to pay before the Left will cede he has paid his “fair share” in full?

          • http://poisonyourmind.com dedc79

            You still haven’t acknowledged that revenues have declined no matter which metric you used. Say we take revenue as a function of GDP? There’s been a decline there too.

            So if revenues are declining the way 99.99999999% of people define the term, and they’re declining the way you use the term, what exactly is the argument you’re making?!

          • http://www.tarheelred.wordpress.com Pino

            You still haven’t acknowledged that revenues have declined no matter which metric you used.

            Are we making more money than we did last year? Just like a pay check or a business. Is the amount of money we get going up or going down?

            And, by the way, you haven’t addressed what rise in revenues is enough for you. Or, for that matter, what “fair share” means to you.

            So if revenues are declining the way 99.99999999% of people define the term, and they’re declining the way you use the term, what exactly is the argument you’re making?!

            Umm, I’m not making the claim revenues are declining, you seem to be. Or, at least, you are claiming they aren’t rising. Which, by the way, they are.

            My argument is that the deal continues to let revenues rise while at the same time letting spending rise even faster. A Democrat’s dream to be sure, but not an indication that it’s the Republicans that are unwilling to compromise.

          • http://poisonyourmind.com dedc79

            Are you looking at the link you sent? it shows declines in receipts (revenue) from 2007-2011 at a fixed amount for the dollar. It also shows a decline in revenue as a function of GDP. Revenues are declining however you define the term.

        • http://poisonyourmind.com reflectionephemeral

          Could you direct me to a source for all this? Everything I’d seen indicated that the debt ceiling agreement was all cuts, zero revenue.

          Now, we need to use constant dollars, because, unlike your family, the US’s GDP & population increase predictably every year. So to say “it takes in more revenues” without getting into that distracts from the real story.

          • http://www.tarheelred.wordpress.com Pino

            Could you direct me to a source for all this?

            http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/taxfacts/displayafact.cfm?Docid=200

            So to say “it takes in more revenues” without getting into that distracts from the real story.

            No. No it doesn’t. When your boss gives you a raise of 1.5% last year and then gives you one of 1.5% this year, you don’t claim you didn’t get a raise because your “raise amount” didn’t increase. Neither do you tell him you saw a pay cut because 1.5% didn’t match inflation.

            An increase of revenue means that the amount of money brought in increases.

            Similar, spending cuts means the amount of money being spent next year is less than this year. The fact that we spent a hundred bucks this year, budgeted 125 net and then only spent $115 is not a spending cut. it’s a spending increase.

            Every single person in America knows these things to be true. But when you’ve got Liberals spinning the truth…..

          • http://poisonyourmind.com dedc79

            to the extent revenues are projected to increase in 2012 and after, it is presumably because that’s when the bush tax cuts sunset (finally)

          • http://www.tarheelred.wordpress.com Pino

            it is presumably because that’s when the bush tax cuts sunset (finally)

            I’m interested in hearing your explanation for the increase in revenues during the Bush years.

          • http://poisonyourmind.com dedc79

            There’s no need for an explanation. Using a fixed dollar value (again 2005), revenue was lower in 2008 (Bush’s last year in office) than it was in 2000 (the year Bush was elected and the year before he took office)

  • http://www.tarheelred.wordpress.com Pino

    Revenues are declining however you define the term.

    Yes. When I make the claim that revenues rise year over year, it implicitly acknowledges that individual specific years will see declines. For recessions like we’ve just weathered, I would expect to see such revenue declines.

    Uncle.

    It think this has been illustrative. I think you are reasonably reasonable. I like to think that I am as well. And if you and I cant agree when neither of us has anything to lose or gain, it’s no small wonder Congress can’t agree either.

    I guarantee you that this is what frustrates America. That reasonable people can’t agree on what is a rise in revenue and a cut in spending is the exact problem people have with our leaders. And after tonight I’m gonna have to cut those leaders some slack. How can I expect them to agree when I can’t come to agreement?

    Sigh.

    Time for some Sisters.