KE Cellars

GOP memo to Dems: You win.

Listen to the broadcast of You Tell Me on KTBB AM 600, Friday, November 16, 2012.

One day when I was a small boy growing up in Amarillo, Texas it was bitterly cold outside. Bitterly cold in a way unique to the panhandle of Texas, where the wags were fond of saying there’s nothing between Amarillo and the North Pole except for a barbed wire fence at Dumas. On those days in Amarillo, a north wind at 25 miles an hour would combine with a daytime high temperature in the teens to create cold that cut through human flesh like a knife.

I wanted to play outside. My mother said it was too cold. I wasn’t having it and insisted on playing outside. My mother wasn’t having me not having it. Back and forth we went with increasing volume, all day, me whining about wanting to go outside, my mother saying, “no.” By the end of the day both of us were very unhappy with one another.

In the middle of our bickering my dad came home. “What’s wrong?,” he asked. “Your son wants to play outside and it’s too cold and I’m tired of arguing with him about it,” said my mom. Dad looked at my mom, looked at me and then said, “You want to play outside, boy? Go put on your jacket and have fun.”

Over my mother’s strident objection, out the door into the howling wind and mid-teens temperatures I went.

But then, before my mom could tune herself up on my dad, back inside I came. It was too cold. An argument between my mother and me that had been running for hours was settled in minutes.

My father’s wisdom in that situation lay in allowing me to bear the responsibility for my own bad idea.

So it is now, I believe, with respect to the argument between Republicans and Democrats regarding the so-called “fiscal cliff.” Democrats believe that an indispensible key to solving the country’s massive fiscal problems lies in raising top rates on high-income earners back to 39.6 percent, the rate that prevailed prior to the reductions implemented under President Bush.

Raising tax rates is the only specific thing that the president and Democrats propose. If the “rich” (defined as a married couple with annual taxable income greater than $250,000) will only pay their “fair share” say the Democrats, the resulting revenue, taken together with some tinkering here and there with Medicare and Medicaid at some indeterminate date in the future, will result in balanced budgets, shrinking debt and prosperity for one and all.

Republicans, of course, know better. The most cursory review of easily-obtained IRS data and some very basic arithmetic clearly shows that raising taxes on those earning more than $250,000 will do exactly nothing to reduce the deficit. With respect to the yawning chasm that is the American balance sheet, the revenue resulting from raising tax rates — which naively assumes that those affected will simply stand there and take the haircut even though history shows that they won’t — can’t even legitimately claim the title of rounding error.

But Republicans are losing this PR battle. For all of the soundness of the Republican position, it’s just not getting through.

So it’s time now to apply the wisdom of Harvey Gleiser. Just as he let me have what I wanted, let the Democrats have what they want. They’re going to win anyway so give them their higher tax rates. Demand exactly nothing in return – save that they accept responsibility for the results.

Just make sure that when unemployment goes up, when more people go on food stamps, when the deficit continues to expand while gross domestic product continues to shrink, when the debt marches toward $20 trillion and when four years of stagnation stretches toward eight, that the Democrats get the credit that they will have earned.

Given the results of the election, the Republicans should conspicuously get out of the Democrats’ way.

At this point in history, I can think of no better way for Republicans to make their case.


  1. A great idea. Let the Democrats and their taker base chew on reality for a while.

  2. Pete Van Leuvan says:

    I would agree, but the MSM would still blame conservatives and the Republican party for the continuing problems. I think Republicans should loudly agree to the tax increase, though, but demand IMMEDIATE (and SIGNIFICANT) entitlement cuts – or no deal. Put the ball in their court.

  3. I agree.
    But from here it appears that the dems want to destroy all USA & its heritage.
    Now I hear they want the 401K o it appears the only ones who will lose are the working.
    All my life I obey laws & earn my way out of problems.
    The 47% who are on Gov’t $$ have no fear of higher taxes, losing 401K,etc.
    They have no skin in the game…that is why Obama won.
    Those on welfare even get cell phones paid for BY US.!
    Victimhood is espoused by PC. You hear it everywhere.

    Accepting responsibility is touted as “impossible”

  4. Paul, you state: “But Republicans are losing this PR battle. For all of the soundness of the Republican position, it’s just not getting through. – - – Let the Democrats have what they want.”

    I have a suggestion in the light of your idea to end the PR battle and let the Democrats OWN the consequences. Let the Republican Party SHUT DOWN for the next four years and stop their warnings and criticism of the long term DOOM that is being cooked up by the Democrat Party.

    Have the Democrats accepted the consequences of the current economic debacle over the last four years? Aren’t they immune from judgment by the 52% of the population that voted for them? Is that really going to change in the next 4 years? The “gravy train” constituents of Obama the Savior is only going to swell in number as the Democrat PR machine grows in power and volume.

    There should be no doubt, any longer, that the Socialists-Marxists that control the Democrat Party INTENDS to establish a permanent Socialist Welfare State by destroying the free market, capitalist system that the Constitution put in place 236 years ago. Why isn’t this obvious? The Democrats aren’t stupid. They know they are getting away with this, now, and it is the recipe for total destruction of the Republican Party and Conservatism.

    The followers of Obama will only grow in number and strength as the economy crumbles and even more dependent citizens (out of desperation) suck even tighter on the Federal Welfare teat. The dirty little secret is that Obama is actually at war with the Middle Class.

    I agree that the Conservative-Republican battle for fiscal sanity has been lost and the subversive encroachment of Socialism into every institution in our society over the last 80 years has succeeded. The Conservative Argument has been unwilling to counter the lies or match the enthusiasm and dedication of the Left. The Republican Leadership continues to be severely intimidated by the Liberal Press and the shouts of vicious Democrats and wants to participate in the BIG Government party in Washington. I can hear them even now: “Please let me play with you.”

    A better idea is: a Revolution in the Republican Party.

    Didn’t the Republicans KEEP the House of Representatives that control the purse strings of Federal expenditure? What is wrong with these weak Republicans forgetting their PR battle (that the Liberal Press will always condemn anyway) and STAND FIRM for once? If we are going to lose anyway, why not fight to the death? What happened to: “DO THE RIGHT THING, NO MATTER WHAT IT COSTS?”

  5. Willis Martin says:

    There is one hugh problem with this approach >After the last four years and the results to our economy the mass of fools voted the fool in chief for more of the same (Pigs in the trough)will always back the biggest supplier of slop.God save us!!!!! WSM ,Tyler

  6. This sounds good if you believe that they will actually accept the responsibility.

  7. C M Solomon says:

    Paul,

    The flaw in you argument is your desire for the Republicans to insist that the Democrats accept responsibility for the disastrous results of the next 4 years by letting the Democrats have their way and that there is no better way for Republicans to make their case. This is wishful thinking, given the skill of the Democrats to LIE and their successful ability (with the Liberal Media) to keep the Republicans under the bus as they continue to lick their wounds and smell of defeat all the time.

    If the Republicans can’t win the PR battle for the TRUTH then they might as well accept continuous defeat from now on. The Conservative base will abandon the Republican Party – - – Hello Third party! and may the Republicans RIP. If the Republicans are so afraid of criticism by liars then why not hire a fearless spokesman who is equipped to educate the American people and RAISE HELL in the process.

    Frankly, the problem is that the American people have lost respect for the Republicans because they have lost their passion for Conservatism and strict support of the Constitution and additionally show weakness at every turn. Real Americans love fighters even when they are wrong. The “never give up attitude” of the Democrats will win every time against the Republican’s timid response. This is basic “school yard” logic.

  8. Laura Burns says:

    Amen!

  9. Brian Eggerman says:

    How soon we pretend to forget.
    The tax rates of the Clinton administation (installed primarily by George “Read my lips” H.W Bush)combined with practical spending cuts, the majority of which were in the bloated defense department, resulted in what will probably be the last balanced budget in our lifetime. Such a strategy would no doubt work again, but the republicans won’t allow it, as their allegiances are to the mega-wealthy, defense contractors, and Grover Norquist(sp?). The American people can…well, go jump off a fiscal cliff.
    A four year sabbatical by the republican party would definitely speed up the recovery process, but it would also be the death of the party, so I wouldn’t hold my breath on that scenario coming to fruition.
    As for who’s to blame if the cliff can’t be avoided, a recent poll showed that 29% of Americans would blame Obama, while 53% would blame the republicans. Of course it’s not as simple as either/or, but after watching the GOP stonewall any economic progress and then try to blame Obama and the democrats, the people are disgusted with these tactics. Republicans must (and will) compromise on the issue, or render themselves totally irrelevant. Another four years of stalling will fall straight into their laps, and the right wing propaganda machine won’t be able to fix it.

  10. Alvin Jaresh says:

    Republicans have no one to blame but themselves. Too many conservatives remained silent when George Bush grew the government with big spending on Medicare, started at least one war which seemed questionable from the start, and encouraged government control of private enterprise with the bailout of banks and investment firms. The backlash gave Obama a foot in the door and look what we have now.

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