GOP: Please Don't Jump

Dear Republicans: Please wake up. Barack Obama is a welfare state socialist. There is nothing he would like better than a 5 trillion dollar tax increase, an opportunity to gut military spending, and millions of additional destitute people begging for handouts.  But he needs someone else to take the blame for such a catastrophe. This is the role you are volunteering for by refusing to pass the middle class-only tax cut he has put on offer as his bottom line condition for avoiding the Fiscal Cliff.

I am a small business man with a personal income high enough to be affected by the repeal of the Bush tax cut for the upper two percent. Like all other small businessmen in my position, I would certainly prefer not to take the hit. But repealing the Bush tax cuts for all income levels would be far worse. Not only would it increase our own taxes still more, by hitting the portion of our incomes below $250,000, but it would slam our bottom line hard by decreasing the effective wages of our employees and customers and increasing the costs, and thus prices, of our vendors. The same can be said for the repeal of the payroll tax cut. And if you are against the growth of taxation, why on Earth would you want to increase it by $5 trillion, in place of the $850 billion Barack Obama is willing to settle for?

It is perfectly true that raising the rates on the upper two percent will have negligible impact on the deficit, and that Obama’s demand in this respect is obsessive infantile demagoguery. But he has the power to get his way on this, because the 99.5 percent of the American people who have all or a substantial portion of their incomes below $250,000 are not willing to go to the wall to prevent a tax increase on the rest.

So please, face facts, stop trying to invent alternative creative ways to raise taxes -- they will only be added to Obama’s core demand -- and just pass the middle class income and payroll tax cuts. If you are worried about your pledge to Grover Norquist, you can then vote for another bill to save the Bush tax cuts for the upper two percent. This will almost certainly fail in the Democrat-controlled Senate, but you will be able to tell Mr. Norquist -- and the nation -- that you had done your best, and your statement will be one hundred percent true. It’s very simple. You don’t have the votes to get everything you want, so get what you can.

If you think you can gain leverage by holding 98 percent of the American people as hostages, you are out of your minds. You are not gaining leverage, you are gaining enemies -- hundreds of millions of them. This is madness. The bottom 98 percent is not a sliver of the electorate you can write off in the hope of making it up with higher turnout among the rest. If you keep this up, you will turn America into a one-party state.