Clifftastrophe: How the GOP Raised Taxes and Fed Obama’s Spending Addiction

Republicans in Congress screwed up big time in voting for President Barack Obama’s tax hike on Americans. All in the name of letting Obama “have his way” in sticking it to the rich, the deal to avert the country’s cliff dive doesn’t do anything but stall the country’s fall for another two months.  Republicans, yes, REPUBLICANS, voted for the first time since 1991 to raise taxes on Americans, a lot of taxes and postponed dealing with the $1.2 trillion sequester, cuts to government spending, until February 2013.

There are no government cuts in this is bill, making it nothing more than a license for Obama to keep spending on programs we can’t afford. That’s right our debt is $16.4 trillion and counting. Our yearly deficits are running $1 trillion. Entitlement spending for the big three, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid accounts for 50% of government spending and the Congressional Budget Office concluded entitlement spending in the next 75 years and other mandatory spending will be responsible for virtually 100% of our deficits. In other words, spending on government programs is bankrupting the country yet the president won’t stop and shamed Republicans into feeding his addiction.

The clifftastrophe bill, as I call it, brokered by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell with Vice President Joe Biden, didn’t just kick the can down the road but into oblivion. It passed first in the Senate then House Speaker John Boehner, who said all year he refused to raise taxes on the American people, couldn’t wait along with 84 other Republicans in the House to join 172 Democrats and do just that.

The tax increases targeted at higher earners is estimated to raise a paltry $600 billion over ten years, which amounts to $60 billion a year. This pays about 5% toward the yearly $1 trillion deficit’s Obama’s has been running since he became president. Obama’s tax assault on the “rich” amounts to little more than spitting in the deficit wind.

Here’s a menu of some of the tax hikes born solely by one group of Americans. Individuals earning $400,000 and couples earning $450,000, their tax rate will increase from 35% to 39.6% and these same people will have the good fortune of paying a higher capital gains and dividend tax up from 15% to 20%.  The personal exemption tax of $3,800 in 2012 will be ELIMINATED for those making $300,000 or more.

The pile on continues with the death tax rising from 35% to 40% on estates above $5 million. Obama and Democrats think Americans really shouldn’t be able to keep a fortune they amassed through a lifetime of HARD WORK in their family but rather should leave it to federal government to waste and redistribute to its heart’s content.

There’s more!  Higher earners will be hit with a 3.8% Obamacare tax on investment income and a 0.9% additional Medicare tax (added to current 1.45% Medicare tax for employees) to pay for the $2 trillion Obamacare entitlement travesty. As a friend told me, “Why bother to even work hard anymore. I’m thinking about dumping some clients so I can make less money and pay less in taxes.” That’s just it. As the Wall Street Journal noted when tax rates increase government revenue goes down because “ the rich change their behavior to avoid the higher rates.” Like Mitt Romney told Obama during one presidential debate, “you can’t tax your way out of this mess” but the president SURE can spend us into a bigger one.

But the real joke in this “cliff aversion” monstrosity is it’s larded with spending increases for Obama’s favorite things: $248 million to Hollywood producers, $12.1 billion to wind energy; and $30billion in extending the jobless benefits for a year. Obama can’t preach enough about “shared sacrifice” in this country but where is the president’s sacrifice? We see from this taxation picture, who’s sacrificing and who’s spending!

Republicans should expect Democrats to run against this GOP stupidity in the 2014 mid-term elections with slogans like: “You can’t trust a thing Republicans say! Obama is already laughing out loud, saying Republicans have reversed course on their Holy Grail pledge not to raise taxes. See what happened to George H. W. Bush when he flouted the pledge. He lost his re-election. Prior to this “deal,” Boehner proposed a Plan B of raising taxes on workers making $1million or more, which failed to get enough Republican votes in the House but then Republicans in the House and Senate turned around and voted for a tax hike hitting more Americans.

Congressional Republicans in Congress look even dumber and particularly “emasculated” in their collective belief  they have Obama over a barrel when it comes to the debt ceiling. Republicans believe Obama will be forced to accept spending cuts in two months in exchange for Congress increasing our borrowing limit so he can spend more. When pigs fly!

Obama has no intention of reforming the tax code or cutting government spending. In two months, Obama will shame Republicans once again into raising the debt ceiling so he can spend more because Congressional Republicans seem to have lost the ability to defend freedom and preserve American exceptionalism.

As Virginia lawyer Bernard McNamee wrote, Ronald Regan’s “tax cuts spurred economic growth, which actually increased tax revenue to the government” but “instead of cutting government (or limiting its growth), the new tax revenue was used to fund more government.” Republicans lost control of the fiscal cliff debate because they refuse to sell the merits of conservatism to the American people.  “Voters need to understand that the battle is not about tax rates, it is about a government so big that it threatens their freedom,” McNamee wrote and I would add our national security and economic fortitude.

The Republican Party needs to start defending conservatism and stop apologizing for it.  America has a spending problem and until we face this reality, the country will continue “slip sliding away”  into economic weakness while the GOP fades into oblivion.

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17 Responses to “Clifftastrophe: How the GOP Raised Taxes and Fed Obama’s Spending Addiction”

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  2. Matt says:

    That is an excellent post.


    What is the fix. Spend more money we do not have. More laws
    that the lawful already obey, but the unlawful do not.

    Lets pay more people to not work, and than cover more people with health insurance while the few left working are paying the BILL.

    Nothing is free, and money does not grow on trees.

    There is a fix, but we are not there yet,by either side.

  3. Wes says:

    @ Jeff Turner
    Please disregard the previous post. I apologize for not picking up the context about the honesty of the democrats.

  4. Wes says:

    @ Jeff Turner
    If you call parading Bill Clinton around the country and at the Democratic Convention like he is an economic genius when he was the one who sent all of the jobs overseas in 1994 … if you call that being honest … If you call saying we need more gun control laws when the gun control laws that we already have aren’t being enforced adequately is being honest … If you say voting for bills before reading them is an honest way to pass legislation…

    Just because u understand that the republicans are out to screw everybody who isn’t rich, it doesn’t necessarily follow that the democrats are on our side.

  5. AlwaysRight says:

    @Jeff Turner: you and a few others posting here seem to admire the “honesty” of the Democrats. Does that mean that accepting them for who they are and letting them continue to damage America is okay, because they’re up front about it? Seems like misplaced and dangerous admiration to me.

  6. sbenard says:

    Confession: I’m a fan! Keep it up! Thanks for sharing!

  7. Jeff Turner says:


    At least most of the Democrats in Congress are honest with themselves and to the public. They come out and clearly say that they are about “more federal spending and taxing”. Most of the Republicans can not say that. The Republicans talk about cutting spending, but it is a lie, when the rubber meets the road, they vote for more federal spending. They can not even be honest with themselves. At least the Democrats are honest about who they are!

  8. […] Crystal Wright:  Clifftastrophe: How the GOP Raised Taxes and Fed Obama’s Spending Addiction […]

  9. Charles says:

    This fiscal cliff debate was definitely a mess all around. What I find most interesting is the fact that Obama says he’s happy with the current tax rates and only wants to raise it for the wealthiest Americans.

    Hmm, let me get this straight. When Bush wanted to pass his tax cuts he was accused of helping the wealthy at the expense of the middle class. In fact, he had to agree to allow them to sunset in 10 years to get the cuts passed. Now, Obama is saying that he wants to keep these cuts permanent. So, what made the tax cuts SO good all of a sudden?

    And the worst part is that people continue to fall for it.

  10. Scott says:

    @Pastor Sandi – Well stated liberal progressive stance.

    As a conservative, I am unabashedly for:
    1. Children being educated.
    2. No murder and no mass murder.
    3. No starving children.
    4. Control of malevolent businessmen (and politicians).
    5. Infrastructure.
    6. Help for unemployed and incapable people.
    7. Being allowed to make mistakes that do not hurt others.
    8. Helping our environment, including doing something about the number one cause of environmental problems: excess human population.
    9. Many other egalitarian goals.

    Last time I was on a plane with an annoying child behind me kicking the seat – from Europe to the USA – I asked the mother to control her child. She said “it takes a village…” I asked her if this villager could discipline her child. She was offended. The child was annoying for another 4 hours.

    I do not believe the simplistic, one mental step approach is how to accomplish things. Liberals do not even seem to be aware of the law of unintended consequences.

    Conservatives unfortunately have begun to confuse lower taxes with less intrusive government. They no longer argue that the government is inept and therefore should not make stupid rules. They instead argue for lower taxes….they promote their cause so ineffectively as to be laughable.

    We need fewer stupid rules and more thoughtful in depth fact finding with objective analysis to come up with viable solutions: real science including something more than feel-good psychology to solve our problems. Of course that would make politics and ideaologs on both sides obsolete.

    It is possible to make progress but both sides seem to be captured by pre-conceived ideas with little regard for truth and objectivity.

  11. Kelly says:

    Well put! As a fellow Black conservative I’m not sure why Obama continues to gets support to continue spending money we don’t have and extending gov’t control in so many areas! Why so many smart, seemingly insightful people are turning blind eye to the outcomes of this I don’t understand and just don’t get it. Things don’t add up – but they will when people start seeing their paychecks affected and quality of healthcare impacted!

  12. Pastor Sandi says:

    So, gun violence will be reduced by more attention to mental health. But let’s not increase government spending to make that happen, because that’s got to mean more taxes. And let’s not increase regulation on insurance companies so that they’ve got to cover it psychiatric services at a reasonable level; isn’t it obvious that there’s already too much government control over health insurors? And let’s not make parents responsible for getting help for their children, because emotional distress is a very subjective thing and privacy rights need to be maintained. And let’s not legislate that gun owners should be legally responsible for the security of their guns, because that would be a violation of their 2nd Amendment rights to keep guns under the bed and on the kitchen table.

    And of course, we wouldn’t want to fund any “liberal social engineering” with estate tax revenues. It appears that the prevailing interpretation of conservatives seems to be that our founding fathers must have thought that intergenerational inherited wealth was a wonderful thing. (They did not–estate taxes came along a very long time ago.) This all adds up to we need to cut taxes just like Ronald Reagan did. (That way maybe we can have another S&L crisis.)

    Or maybe we could all take some really good advice from that most liberal of liberal ladies, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton: It Takes a Village to Raise a Child. A responsible, communitarian politic seeks the right amount of control, requiring give and take from all–meaning taxes might need to be higher and even a voluntary curtailing of the rights of people to keep guns in a home with a mentally ill person.

    We live much too close together to forget that we DO live together in an interdependent global village, and that each one of us is both “brother’s keeper” and the person called to love neighbor as we love ourselves. Those are the tenets at the heart of a Judeo-Christian culture.

  13. Pam says:

    Cowardly move on the part of the Republican Party. However, it’s hard to stand on principle when the Yellow Press (all of those bastards) keep feeding lies to the American public. I am worried about the midterm elections; if we lose the House we are totally F’ed.

  14. James says:

    Republicans talk the talk but can’t walk the walk. During his eight years in office, Bush 43 oversaw a large increase in government spending. In fact, Bush 43 increased government spending more than any of the six presidents preceding him, including LBJ. In his last term in office, President Bush increased discretionary outlays by an estimated 48.6 percent.

    During his eight years in office, Bush 43 spent almost twice as much as his predecessor, President Clinton. Adjusted for inflation, in eight years, President Clinton increased the federal budget by 11 percent. In eight years, Bush 43 increased it by a whopping 104 percent. So why are you acting so surprised now.

  15. Noel says:

    I agree. Obama laughed all the way to Hawaii. I think he’s still laughing.

    I think most of the suffering in the world is caused by governments. It’s been like that since man left the cave. For the first time in history, the American Founding Fathers came up with an idea; the idea of getting the government off people’s back. And it worked, America prospered.

    Today politicians (globally) live off the people, they will never get off the people’s back, unless shaken off it violently.

  16. JEFF TURNER says:

    Totally correct on all points.

    It seemed to me that the Republicans should have given the tax increases that Obama demanded, but specified that every penny of the new revenue would go to reducing the Debt and 0 dollars to new spending. Then they could have taken back the power position, and dared Obama to veto it. When Obama realized that there would be no new spending, he would have totally lost interest in tax increases. But the Republicans did not do that. This is a simple idea, and I am sure the Republicans thought of it. The Republicans are just like Obama and the Democrats, they do not want to cut spending either. But the Republicans like to sell themselves as cutting spending, but they will not do it. At least the Democrats are honest about who they are – bthey are into spending and taxing. We are in for a bumpy ride. We need a real conservative. Not Mitt Romney, he was a disaster.

  17. Charles says:


    While I agree in principal that taxes should be lower and we should target spending cuts, the entitlement programs in my opinion are not a way to do it. Millions of people have worked in low income jobs for years and may not have the means to rise above their current role. While ideally this would not be the case reality tells me that it is. What do you say to someone that worked 30 to 40 years at a job where capitalism has removed pensions, and the rightfully so money grubbing unions from their jobs when they retire? Sorry we as a country don’t care for your contribution so no Social Security for you, sorry you’re on your own for healthcare? I don’t think that’s the right approach, nor do I think having those same funds in the stock market is correct either. With Medicare and Medicaid while yes their Rx drug cost are low because the government forces the Pharm companies to sell drugs at a fixed price. One of the biggest drivers in the high cost of medical care today is the cost of prescription drugs that due to lobbyist have never been addressed on either side of the aisle. By addressing this huge cost gap surly there can be a way to keep Medicare and Medicaid solvent beyond the time you and I will ever need it.

    As I’ve tweeted to you before a balanced approach is needed with strategic spending cuts and limited tax increases. One approach is not the answer, you quoted figures that state that during the Reagan years there was growth in the economy due to tax cuts, and yes there was but at what cost? There were massive cuts in several social programs that aided in helping people to quote Clarence Thomas “raise themselves from their bootstraps” out of poverty. Additionally during this same time the hiring of Federal employees increased during the Reagan years and my mother a 30 plus year government employee was a direct recipient of this increased hiring. While I certainly will not rubber stamp president Obama and his pandering to the far left base I am hopeful that what I saw as a Rockefeller Republican in him comes through as we move forward. The party in which I believed in is nowhere to be found and their voices shuttered by those that only care about singular issues and lack the art or skill in the act of compromise and common sense.

    While I may not always agree with your opinion I respect the fact that you stick by your convictions and stand up to those that are disrespectful in their rebuttal.

    Best Regards,


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