On the December 30th edition of "Face the Nation", with guest moderator Lauren O'Donnell, Senators Tom Coburn (R-Oklahoma) and Richard Durbin (D-Illinois) debated the last minute negotiations about the fiscal cliff.
Durbin engaged in the same blame game suffused in liberal-progressive rhetoric, in which he handed down the same tired tirade of "rich must pay their fair share." The Illinois senator is playing politics with the national debt and the annual deficits which are hurting this country and damaging this nation's future.
With his conservative colleague sitting quietly by, Durbin came out swinging, blaming the Republicans for the hold-up over a comprehensive deal. Durbin identified "two basic issues":
1. What percentage of the American people will pay a higher tax rate.
2. How many of the richest who pass away should be spared from paying a higher estate tax.
Durbin then jabbed that "the rich" remain the highest priority for the Republicans. Durbin neglected to discuss the spending which drives the debt and dysfunction of our federal government. The previous week, Peggy Noonan slammed President Obama for refusing to deal on spending cuts. Congressman Raul Labrador (R-Idaho) has asserted over and over that Republicans are willing to discuss revenue, but only in the event of comprehensive, real, outlined spending cuts. Democrats have refused to lead, refused to deal, refused to get real, and Senator Durbin represents this smug recalcitrance.
The leaders in Washington should stop waiting for a bipartisan agreement, especially if the Senate's second-in-command, majority whip Dick Durbin, continues to paint the failure of fiscal cliff talks entirely on the Republicans. Republicans who are willing to raise revenue but demand spending cuts should not yield on tax increase alone. The party platform stands on limited government and fiscal prudence, neither of which will win if the "fiscal cliff" deal takes in only more revenue without spending reductions.
For the past four years, President Obama has done nothing, nothing, nothing besides pressing for a costly health insurance mandate, followed by dancing around the debt ceiling and avoiding deficit reduction. Record trillion dollar deficits have eaten away at the federal government's burdened bank account for the past four years, and the President has no one to blame but himself, along with former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Majority leader Harry Reid. Obamacare is robbing Medicare by the hundreds of billions, while current Medicare recipients are taking three times what they pay in. New Obamacare taxes are setting in for the new year, and no one in the Beltway or the Mainstream Media is willing to announce it.
The Republicans in the House of Representatives are representing their several congressional districts, their exact calling. Their interests represent the interests of the country, not just the rich. One group refuses to raise taxes, no matter what, since the federal government has a spending problem, not a revenue problem. Establishment types just want a deal, no matter how much that hurts the national credit card in the near future. To coalesce the diverse interests of his own caucus, Boehner floated raising taxes on millionaires, a proposal suggested by Senator Chuck Schumer (D-New York) and House minority leader Nancy Pelosi (D-California). Obama said no, and Boehner tried another plan, which also failed.
The unseen yet necessary element also missing from this debate, the tax hikes on the "rich", remains one of the most nettlesome and unsettling elements yet. Raising tax rates will not raise revenue. Rising tax rates will increase the number of trust funds and hidden tax shelters in this country. Tax hikes on the $250k and up constituency will hurt small businesses, which will hurt middle class consumers and working class unemployed. Tax hikes stifle innovation and inhibit investment. Tax hikes feed Big Government instead of making a Big Dent in the Big National Debt.
The Republicans in the House have passed two budgets. They have passed immigration reform. They have proposed Medicare reform. They have reached out time and again with an unmoving Senate and an unmoved President. Democrat Majority Leader Harry Reid and his caucus have not passed a budget in four years. Senate Republican Minority leader Mitch McConnell personally contacted Senate President Joe Biden to help move the impasse in Washington.
Senator Dick Durbin alleges that the Republicans are at fault for refusing to move on fiscal cliff negotiations. This comment betrays his unseeming ignorance of an overweening arrogance. Furthermore, Durbin readily assumes that his Illinois constituents are blind to their blind guides in Washington who are leading the federal government over a "fiscal cliff". Durbin and his liberal colleagues are also leading this nation into the red quicksand of national debt, one which is loading every citizen with an average of $50,000. Durbin's incessant penchant for politicizing, politicking, and playing political ploys must be put down.
Senator Durbin, stop playing games with our nation's financial future. Show some leadership in Congress, get a real deal passed, or get out of the way and let leaders like Senator Coburn show you and your Democratic colleagues how to cut deals which help the entire country, not just further your political career.