Every Republican running for office last week ran on a platform of fiscal responsibility, cutting spending, and cutting the deficit. They have now proven what we always knew: They'll lie about everything to win.
Since the election, the Bush tax cuts have been the big prize for Republicans. Flush with the power of an imagined mandate, they're strutting around on Fox News crowing about how they will not compromise on tax cuts. That's too bad, because it means the Bush tax cuts will all expire in a couple of months, and the rich folks are going to have to suck it up and pay the big bucks to Uncle Sam next year. Unfortunately, it also means the middle class will be hit with higher taxes, though not significantly higher than in previous years since the lions' share of tax cuts went to the upper 1%. Since incomes haven't risen substantially for many middle class workers, it may be mostly a wash, but count on Republicans to say otherwise, loudly, repeatedly and often, using their propaganda platform over at Fox as an amplifier.
In their usual inimitable fashion, they are wagging their fingers (or waving their middle finger, take your choice), crossing their arms, stomping their tiny little hooves, and saying "Screw you all if we don't get ours."
Via The Hill:
House GOP Whip Eric Cantor (Va.) threw cold water on the proposed plan, which would temporarily extend tax cuts for the wealthy while permanently extending tax cuts for the middle class. “Taxes shouldn't be going up on anybody right now,” Cantor said.
Cantor’s comments Monday evening on Fox News follow similar remarks from Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), the incoming senior Republican on the Senate’s tax-writing committee. While Hatch expressed an open mind to extending tax cuts past the 2012 election rather than permanently extending the rates, he also ruled out the decoupling proposal.
Of course, we know that taxes aren't going UP, they're simply going back to the rate structure that actually lowered the deficit and had us on track to paying off the national debt by the middle of this decade. But they will continue to claim it's a tax increase, while they also continue to dodge the question of how they think letting these breaks expire somehow constitutes a tax increase.
If we had a press that actually spoke truth to power, someone would outline their strategy, which includes trying to push those tax cuts into the 2012 election, so they can use the ballooned deficit as evidence of the Obama administration's "fiscal irresponsibility" while crowing to their adoring crowds about how they "lowered taxes" for everyone.
If we had a press that actually spoke truth to power, someone would take the time to frame taxes as a necessary part of living in a responsible society that takes care of its infrastructure, its poor, educates its children and leaves no one begging in the gutter.
But we don't, so they get away with going on Fox News and CNBC and complaining about how it's all the Democrats' fault tax rates are higher. Let them. They are, after all, the party who thinks they have all the power after they won one chamber of the legislature last week. Let them take the blame, but the credit will be on those who actually tried to be responsible and responsive.
The 2012 campaign should kick off on January 1, 2011 with four words: Republicans Lie to You.