December 8, 2012

The Strategic Retreat Chorus Grows

Larry Kudlow is in. I just caught Thursday's show last night (Yay TiVo and Yaayy Broncos!). It was not one to miss.

Here is the Gov. Dean piece The Refugee quoted. Gotta raise taxes on everybody, not just the rich!

But the jewel for me was Senator Rand Paul (HOSS - KY). He confirmed my parliamentary suspicions, and favors strategic retreat to getting killed in a compromise:

Senator Rand Paul, who may have the best idea, told me in an interview this week that he's prepared to pin the tail on Obama's tax-and-spend donkey. "In the Senate," Paul said, "I'm happy not to filibuster it, and I will announce tonight on your show that I will work with Harry Reid to let him pass his big old tax hike, with a simple majority, if that's what Harry Reid wants, because then they will become the party of high taxes, and they can own it."
Mister Mencken had it right: "Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard."

UPDATE: I left out that Kudlow repeated this to his guests on Friday in the spirit of endorsement. Elections have consequences, right H.L.?

113th Congress Hoss Posted by John Kranz at December 8, 2012 10:49 AM

For over a year Mr. Romney and a chorus of supporters told Americans that raising tax rates would reduce investment, job creation, GDP growth, and as a result, prosperity. 50.9% of Americans didn't believe it. They've earned their chance to see it.

Posted by: johngalt at December 8, 2012 12:18 PM

Yup, and I do NOT mean this in a millenarian, "when we're living like Mad Max instead of Mad Men, they'll see I was right, bwahahaha!" sense. If the Republicans "win" we'll muddle along slowly thanks to other Administration policies. If they "lose" we'll muddle more slowly and have a chance to fix it in 2014. It's not like a flat tax and 91% are the choices.

Good and Hard.

Posted by: jk at December 8, 2012 12:26 PM

Having listened to both this Rand Paul interview and the 30 second Huntsman blurb that drew adhominem below I'm struck by the contrast between direct yes or no answers to legislative questions in Rand's case versus sweeping generalities devoid of specifics from the governor.

Posted by: johngalt at December 8, 2012 12:27 PM

You're right that the range of compromise on the table is only shades of gray. What I think we also agree on is there is no political gain to be had by continuing to obstruct. Ten pounds of "extreme" for one pound, nay, one ounce of economic liberty. Were the prospects for compromise between the status quo or replacement of federal income taxes with a national sales tax we should all tie our bodies to the tracks.

Posted by: johngalt at December 8, 2012 12:37 PM

Moreover, the principle over which Republicans obstruct is far bigger than the proposed rate hike. We may even suggest that the Democrats pass their one-party soak-the-rich tax at a much much higher rate. It must be done very publicly though, with great fanfare: "The nation has elected Democrats who wish to take more money from those whose success is greatest. If this is such a good idea, why are they so timid about it? If they are in the right to take 39% then why not 49? 59? Mister President, where are your balls?"

Posted by: johngalt at December 8, 2012 12:50 PM

I'm afraid this strategy makes me nervous. As included in a discussion below regarding the ideas of Marx, irrational people are incapable of connecting consequences to the IDEAS which caused them. So why should we expect people to connect the continued economic malaise to the polices of the Obama administration policies they voted for. "Clearly no matter how much we soak-the-rich, it was insufficient if things didn't improve."

Posted by: dagny at December 10, 2012 11:55 AM

That is a concern and a highly plausible outcome, dagny. That is why I want it to pass without a GOP vote.

It is important in this strategy, as Larry Kudlow says to "pin the tail on the Democrats."

I like this in the context of the other alternatives. We lost and cannot exert our will. The President and Senate Majority Leader are both ideologues who want to punish the rich more than they want growth or prosperity (feel free to rephrase that a little less harshly, but they are pretty devoted).

The other very real alternative is to play brinksmanship right through, drive the economy into recession, get little or no spending cuts -- and then still be blamed for the bad economy but somewhat legitimately.

The retreat is the least worst option. If that makes it the best...

Posted by: jk at December 10, 2012 1:09 PM | What do you think? [7]