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Dump Boehner - A No-Brainer

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									President Barack Obama wants the Bush tax cuts of 2001 and 2003 extended
at the end of this year for only those making under $250,000, and not for
small business owners and two-income families-sorry, "the filthy,
stinking rich."Republicans, including House Minority Leader John Boehner,
want all of them renewed.Last June, Obama's former economic advisor
Christina Rohmer published an empirical paper demonstrating that lower
taxes stimulate economic growth.In July, Obama's Federal Reserve Chairman
Ben Bernanke observed that continuing all of the Bush tax cuts past 2010
would be a wise idea.Recently, moderate Democrats and Independents in
Congress including Senators Kent Conrad, Evan Bayh, Ben Nelson, Jim Webb,
and Joe Lieberman, and a dozen Representatives, have stated that they are
open to extending all of the Bush cuts.Last week, Peter Orszag, Obama's
former Director of the Office of Management and Budget, wrote an
editorial in the New York Times supporting both sets of cuts as
preferable to neither.On Monday, Rasmussen reported that a majority of
Americans favor letting the Bush tax cuts continue for upper income
brackets.Naturally, in this environment of receptiveness to renewing the
Bush tax cuts and reinterpreting economic history, Boehner has
capitalized on the wave of bipartisan goodwill and public support by
announcing that he is fine with... discontinuing the tax cuts for high
earners.The setup for Boehner's boner was foreseeable, since it has
happened to Republicans too many times before. Â During his speech last
Wednesday in Cleveland, Obama claimed that Boehner had no new ideas and
simply wanted to return to the Bush era.On CBS's "Face the Nation" on
Sunday, host Bob Schieffer tried, successfully, to trap Boehner into
saying that he would support only the middle class tax cuts, if Democrats
opposed the tax cuts on high earners.I may be reading too much into the
tea leaves, but it seems that Schieffer may possibly have tipped his hand
to Boehner when he rhetorically asked his audience, in the immediate
lead-up to the interview, "Will he try to block middle-class tax cuts, if
he can't get the same cuts for the wealthy? Â We'll ask."When asked,
Boehner sheepishly agreed that this would be a dandy idea.Schieffer
rubbed Boehner's nose in his blunder by restating, no fewer than three
times, what Boehner's new position on taxes apparently was. Â Boehner
never once regained his footing.As Mark Levin put it, Boehner responded
to Schieffer by "embracing the template of the left, rather than
deconstructing it."In the midst of a national anti-spending, anti-taxing,
anti-class warfare tempest, in which Republicans have their largest lead
by far in the history of the generic poll, and are poised to make
overwhelming gains in Congress, Boehner decided, on the most important
issue of the day, to punt.Evidently Boehner fears that if he stands his
ground against extending only some of the tax cuts, Democrats will try to
portray the Republican leader as opposing all tax cuts. This is like
portraying a fish as opposing water. Even liberal voters don't believe
Republicans are opposed to tax cuts.Boehner should have responded, "I
object to the premise of the question, which inappropriately puts our
side on the defensive. Why aren't you asking House Democrats, who are
actually the ones in power and can set the agenda for what we vote on,
whether they would veto tax cuts for the middle class if the legislation
didn't exclude tax cuts for people in the upper brackets? Is their
irrational desire to punish the rich so strong that they would hurt lower
income earners just to spite Republicans? Are they not even going to
allow an up-or-down vote on our proposal?"When the Republicans sweep
Congress in November, they will need a leader who can bravely implement
conservative views and oppose Democratic monstrosities.House Minority
Whip Eric Cantor, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, and Senate
Minority Whip John Kyl all disavowed Boehner's comments on Monday,
affirming that they would insist on a vote on renewing the entire set of
tax cuts. McConnell and Kyl reported that all 41 Republican Senators
are opposed to extending the tax cuts to only the middle class. But no-
Boehner had to make nice to a liberal talk show host and demonstrate to
Democrats that he was willing to compromise with their disastrous
agenda.I don't care if Boehner is "triangulating," or trying to win
points with the administration because he thinks Obama's bill can't pass
the Senate anyway. He needs to defend the principle that tax cuts for
high earners increase incentives to invest and take risks, and yield
greater government revenue, and he needs to say it using those terms.Â
What if Boehner's strategy backfires during the upcoming lame duck
session of Congress-a distinct possibility, given the ruthless kamikaze
machinations we saw from Democrats on the health care bill? What if his
words lead some moderate Republicans to feel pressured into giving in on
tax cuts?This is not an ideological purity test-it is a test of basic
competence. If Boehner can't come up with an uncompromising response to
a predictable query from a leftist in the dinosaur media, then he's not
adept enough to be an effective House Majority Leader for the
reenergized, newly ascendant, Tea Party-infused conservative movement.

								
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