Menu

Now is not the time for Republicans to panic and retreat

  • McConnell_cliff.jpg

    FILE: Friday, Nov. 16, 2012: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker John Boehner outside the White House in Washington.AP

  • 120312_DeficitFight.jpg

    Nov. 7, 2012: House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, talks about the elections and the unfinished business of Congress at the Capitol in Washington.AP

  • Boehner_Hill4.jpg

    Nov. 28, 2012: House Speaker John Boehner at a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington.REUTERS

I don’t know about you but I have always been leery of politicians who have “grown” during their time in Washington.

Since the elections it seems that some Republicans have “grown” when it comes to tax rates and dealing with the so called “fiscal cliff.”

As an old supply-sider and follower of the late Jack Kemp -- the GOP’S “Happy Warrior” -- I have always subscribed to -- and have seen the proof --that lower tax rates helps create jobs.  And as John Kennedy said, “a rising tide lifts all boats.”

Now is not a time for Republicans to panic and to retreat. Republicans must pivot and change the debate and stick to their no new taxes pledge.

Both Presidents Kennedy and Reagan understood that lower taxes benefited all sectors and segments of the economy. And let’s be clear, President Obama’s insistence on raising tax rates on those who make over $250,000 will stifle job creation and may well increase unemployment.

It should be pointed out that 64 % of all new jobs are created by small business owners and they will take it on the chin if Mr. Obama and his allies in the Senate have their way and bump the tax rate from 35% to 39.6 %.

Couple an increased tax rate with the cost imposed by ObamaCare on small business and you have recipe for slow job growth and potentially another recession.

There is much talk of a “Grand Bargain” by the president. From this conservative’s point of view -- any grand bargain must include no net tax increase, no decoupling of tax rates, no sequester without spending reductions, and insist on a no two step process that kicks the can down the road,  and no increase to the debt limit without budget cuts and spending caps.

The fiscal cliff can be avoided and a path to economic prosperity can be attained only if Republicans stick to their principals.

Republicans historically have been the party of low taxes. This stance on taxes has served the party well and because of Reagan and Kemp it resulted in 25 years of record economic growth for America.

Obama’s reelection was not a mandate in any way shape or form. It certainly wasn’t a mandate to raise taxes. Now is not a time for Republicans to panic and to retreat. Republicans must pivot and change the debate and stick to their no new taxes pledge.

My message to the party's leaders is this: don’t play the president’s class warfare game on taxes, and question why bloated and duplicitous government programs need more money especially when the nation has incurred a $16 trillion debt that is growing daily.

They must insist on transparency on the “Fiscal Cliff” negotiations. The process should be open and on C-SPAN. The country is hungering for fiscal sanity and it understands that we can’t spend our way this economic crisis.

The public also understands if we keep on the same track that the president and allies have prescribed  -- we are then well on our way to that of Greece.

Inaction and uncertainty will not serve the American public or our job creators. Here’s what will: Real tax reform, significant spending cuts, lower tax rates for individuals and coming to grips with entitlements.

Marc Rotterman is  a Senior Fellow at the John Locke foundation in Raleigh NC and served in the Reagan administration from 1981-to 1984.