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Quote of the Day: “No-Brainer, Support the Deal”

December 13th, 2010 by mopns · No Comments

Over the weekend, several well-known conservatives continued to make arguments for supporting the framework for preventing a massive tax increase on New Year’s Day.

Writing for the Weekly Standard, Matthew Continetti lays out many good reasons conservatives should support the tax deal. “[T]he larger question is this: Are conservatives and Republicans willing to take yes for an answer? Consider the deal on current tax rates. . . . [Some] conservatives dislike the deal because it would raise the estate tax from zero in 2010 to 35 percent in 2011 and 2012. But this is just another instance of letting the perfect be the enemy of the good. If no deal is reached, the estate tax will reset to 55 percent next year. Furthermore, there’s nothing to stop Republicans from cutting the estate tax in the future. So why let it get in the way of preserving current tax rates on income, capital gains, and dividends now? . . . The most important stimulus in the current deal is that no one will see their taxes rise in 2011. This means America won’t repeat the mistakes of 1932 and 1937, when taxes were raised and the economy suffered. Plus, the deal contains what may be the first payroll tax cut in American history. Conservatives have backed such an idea for a long time.”

At the American Spectator’s blog, Philip Klein responded to some of Charles Krauthammer’s concerns on Friday. Klein argues, “Krauthammer writes that two-thirds of the price tag of the deal ‘is above and beyond extension of the Bush tax cuts but includes such urgent national necessities as windmill subsidies.’ This is highly misleading, as it gives off the impression that most of the deal is just pork-barrel spending. But that’s not the case. In reality, an overwhelming majority of the $857 billion represents tax breaks that are traditionally unobjectionable among conservatives.”

Klein concludes, “I don’t want to see taxes go up next month, and I would much rather enter a debate over fundamental tax reform starting from the Bush tax rates as the status quo than I would with higher rates as the status quo. At the very least, I think that conservative critics of the deal have gone way overboard in attacking the deal as some sort of second coming of the economic stimulus boondoggle. . . . [W]e should still recognize that an overwhelming majority of the deal is stuff that conservatives have either been actively campaigning for or would be perfectly comfortable with.”

In the Weekly Republican Address, Rep.-elect Kristi Noem (R-SD) emphasized the importance of making sure taxes don’t go up in January. “With unemployment still rising, the number one thing our family-owned small businesses need right now is certainty. They need to know that the government is not going to come in and do anything to jeopardize their ability to keep their doors open. So it’s certainly encouraging to see that President Obama has proposed a potential agreement to stop all the tax hikes scheduled to take effect on January 1st. Failing to stop all the tax hikes would mean taxes would go up for small businesses all across this country, destroying more jobs.”

And On Fox News Sunday, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), the incoming Budget Committee Chairman and widely-recognized deficit hawk, said, “We’re interested in passing this [deal] through.” Asked by Chris Wallace, “Take it or leave it?” Ryan responded, “Take it — look, Chris, we already have an agreement with the president. We already have an agreement with some Senate Democrats. We want to go through with this.”

Meanwhile, The Washington Post reports today, “About seven in 10 Americans back the tax deal negotiated last week by President Obama and congressional Republicans, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll. . . . Large majorities of Democrats, Republicans and independents alike favor the agreement, which has drawn stiff opposition from some Democrats in the House.” The Post also points out, “Some 54 percent of all Americans support an extension of the Bush-era tax cuts for all taxpayers, including wealthy people and the middle class.” That includes 49% of independents and even 38% of Democrats.

With strong support from the American public and prominent conservatives, consider former senior economic advisor to President George W. Bush Keith Hennessey’s recommendation: “No-brainer.  Support the deal.”

Related:

Rasmussen Reports: 55% disapprove of the president’s performance  

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