Monday, December 10, 2012

Shocker!: Democrats Negotiating in Bad Faith

So, for weeks, if not months, we've heard nothing from Democrats on the "Fiscal Cliff" except for the need to "raise revenue" by which they mean tax rates.  This is such a thoroughly silly idea, that it doesn't even bear the most basic of scrutiny.  For one thing, we don't have a "revenue" problem, we have a spending problem.  For another, raising tax rates does not actually increase government revenue.  If anything, it has a depressive effect by also slowing growth.

Now, however, we finally have some movement on the Democrat side.  They've shifted positions!  Wait, no, that was the goal-posts they just moved.  See, now, it's not enough that we merely raise tax rates on actual job and wealth creators.  No, now we also have to further extend Unemployment Benefits past 99 weeks.  As though nearly 2 years of unemployment was not absurd enough, now it needs to be longer.

Let's assume that Democrats were negotiating, in the beginning, in good faith.  Let's say they really wanted to reduce the deficits and (eventually) start paying down the debt.  Let's further grant that they really believe that increasing tax rates will increase revenues this time, despite its utter failure every time it's been tried in the 40+ years.  Even assuming those things (which aren't true, but go with me here), does it make sense then to further increase spending?

Even if we did have a revenue problem, and not a spending problem, in what world does it make sense to increase spending further when our deficits are already about 10% of GDP, we're already spending nearly 150% of tax receipts, and our debt is over 100% of GDP? 

The short answer: none.  It doesn't make sense.  Increasing spending is the absolute wrong thing to do to close the deficits, even if you grant that increasing tax rates would increase revenue.

If that is the case; it if it is true that increasing spending is absolutely and obviously counter-productive, then it follows that the Democrats were never negotiating in good faith.  They want the Fiscal Cliff.  They want higher taxes on everyone.  They simply assume that the spending will continue.  Since we haven't had a budget in 4 years, but we've been spending anyway, I don't see how they're wrong, either.

Republicans must not budge on this.  Let's go over the fiscal cliff together.  And then, when it's time for another "continuing resolution" to keep spending money we don't have?  Don't do that either.  When it's time to increase the debt ceiling again?  Don't do that, either.

The American People voted for the Fiscal Cliff.  They also voted for deadlock, since they didn't see fit to give the Democrats the house back, or even a filibuster proof majority in the Senate.  Give them what they asked for.

Let it burn.

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