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Priority #1 for Republicans

Cal Thomas's picture

For newly empowered congressional Republicans, priority one must be an extension of the Bush tax cuts. There should be enough votes not only from a new Republican majority, but also from some of the decimated and dispirited (and even newly elected) Democrats. If President Obama is smart, he won’t veto the bill.

If the tax cuts are allowed to expire, everyone who gets a paycheck and has taxes withheld is going to see less money in the “net” column starting Jan. 1. has published some calculations. It reports that, according to the Tax Institute at H&R Block, “for a married couple earning $80,000 a year, increased taxes would drain $221.48 in withholding from a semi-monthly paycheck. Married individuals earning $240,000 a year” (just under the $250,000 standard President Obama defines as “rich”) “would lose $557.78 to withholding in a single semi-monthly paycheck.”

Double these figures for a month and multiply by 12 and you quickly see the additional drain on the economy at a time of anemic 2 percent growth.

Another example from Bloomberg: teachers, teacher aides and custodial workers who make from $20,000 to $40,000 per year would lose an estimated $50 per paycheck, which is significant at a time when every dollar counts.

President Obama has been telling us how much is enough for us to make. Instead, we should be telling him how much of our money we will allow government to take and spend. That is the theme emerging from the midterm election.

To further personalize the cost of allowing the tax cuts to expire, visit a handy government cost calculator called Type in your level of education, age and current income and the calculator will reveal what future taxes are likely to cost (these are estimates as everyone’s circumstances differ).

You will also see how much your money could earn if you invested in the private sector instead of having it go to the federal government. The enormous interest figure should rebut arguments by Democrats who claim reforming Social Security by allowing money to be invested in the stock market would bankrupt the elderly.

There are a number of other credible sources Republicans could use to stop and reverse runaway spending. The Heritage Foundation’s Brian Riedl has identified $343 billion in specific spending cuts the next Congress might enact in the fiscal 2012 budget.

Riedl acknowledges that cutting spending won’t be easy. That’s because every dollar spent by the government attracts self-interested supporters. But he maintains the identified cuts should be achievable. Read his spending cut targets at

The public is in the mood for repairing America’s crumbling financial house. Democrats will have a more difficult time demagoguing spending cuts when they have been primarily (though not entirely) responsible for the ocean of red ink.

The Debt Commission will issue its report on Dec. 1. Many conservatives suspect it will include a call for tax increases. Republicans should say “no” to any tax hikes and focus entirely on government overspending and misspending.

Many of us are ready for strong medicine. “We can’t afford it” still rings in the ears of those old enough to remember what parents or grandparents said when we asked for an expensive toy as a child, or a car at 16.

That Puritan ethic remains in the DNA of many Americans. It is now up to Republicans to get it out and remind us of what fiscal and personal responsibility can do to restore financial solvency.

It may take a while and there will be some discomfort and even pain involved. But in the end, we will all be better off than we are now and much better off than we will be if we fail to reduce our unsustainable debt.

[Cal Thomas is America’s most widely syndicated op-ed columnist, appearing in more than 600 national newspapers. He is the author of more than 10 books and is a FOX News political contributor since 1997. Email Cal Thomas at] ©2010 TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES, INC.


Cyclist's picture

this new session of Congress takes office on January 3, and Bush's tax cuts expire on January 1. How's this going to work? Perhaps retroactively?

Caution - The Surgeon General has determined that constant blogging is an addiction that can cause a sedentary life style.

Anything that happens on that consideration will be next year and be retroactive if any bill passes.

A trade about some other bill may allow the middle class tax cut to be extended a year or so, and the upper class and corporate tax cut extended one year.

Probably be a general election argument in 2012.

Something has got to be found to pay for it.

15,000,000 jobs aren't going to be found in next two years. Foreclosures won't even be completed, nor the 2-300 more banks to fail!

It is bad folks! Too bad Ms. O'Donnell and Sarah couldn't have been elected to resolve it! Maybe Paul can do it alone! He said today he was going to take back the government from somebody.

Please explain how a tax cut costs money.

Does a cut in funding cost money or an increase in funding cost money?

Your friendly local teabag supporting, fanatical, right wing, extremest, Christian, party of no, 'enemy', 'hostage-taker', neoconservative, gun and bible clinging, homophobe.

that it would take two generations to get out? Do you know anyone who has amassed so much debt that their great- grandchildren ( scores of them) will have to repay? Only federal goverments ( and CA) spend that kind of vapor money. The cure will hurt us all, but the answer is not to continue with the current leftist policies unless you really are willing to fork over 60% (or more) of you pay every hour that you toil.

Just think how hard our kids will want to work knowing that if they do nothing, they will still have that big ol' flat screen and steaks on Sunday while they watch the big game.

Don't equivocate, choose what you want your society to be and vote it. That's what the Tea Party folks did and the majority is pretty clear...but that never stopped a socialist before!

don't cause debt!!! Here is the truth. The ONLY thing that causes debt is SPENDING MONEY YOU DON'T HAVE period. A tax cut or as I like to call it less governmental theft will be a positive thing for jobs and the economy. -GP

You know how old that is getting. Democrats controlled congress from 2007 until 2010 and we are now 13 TRILLION DOLLARS IN DEBT!! -GP

Apparently you don't understand how bills are passed!

They are submitted to congress by the President, then the President must approve or disapprove them after congress passes them with amendments if any.

The President can VETO all of them if he wishes and then it is 2/3 majority.

He didn't even bother to submit a price for the total war costs! Just borrowed it.

Won't you get off this guy NOT screwing up!

I am not a Bush fan. He had too many big government progressive tendancies for my liking. It is just the "It's George Bush's Fault" excuse is getting old. IMHO it's time for the current President and Congress to "man up". BTW, the democratic Congress could have easily reined in spending years ago. Biils can be introduced in the House or Senate but must be passed by both houses (or deemed passed-LOL) and signed by the President. FYI -GP

Prepare customer service and fruit.

Needed experienced 2 year old teacher.

Experience leasing professional

Vote will be Jan 3rd retroactive to 1/1/2011. -GP

Tell us again how making the Bush tax cut permanent will cut the federal deficit.

by not spending money you don't have!!! I know there are a few that say we have to "spend our way out of this recession", that is like digging more to get out of a hole!! Cutting taxes will do more to stimulate the economy and create jobs than any of the bogus porkulas/stimulas garbage ever will. A stable fiscal policy with low taxes is what business is looking for. Government needs to realize, it is not their money, it belongs to whoever EARNED it and the ones who earned it want it spent frugally and efficiently. Lower taxes and no more "earmarks", that would be a start. -GP

Well, we cut the cost of doing business for our banks by loaning them money at 0% interest to loan to small business.

That is very similar to giving them a tax cut!

What have the banks done with that 0% money? They kept it and loaned it to each other at 3%, or loaned some of it to businesses who, like the banks, paid it out in dividends to stockholders and employees.
Some even invested it in assets, that were cheap for future use!
Very, very little to local businesses, if any significant amount!

Income from jobs (not tax paid jobs) is much better for our budget than
any kind of income.
The banks could have created jobs by loaning that money correctly.
But, they are bankers!!

works and is correct, presently we are on the right side of the curve and headed down. -GP

[quote=Georgia Patriot]works and is correct, presently we are on the right side of the curve and headed down. -GP[/quote]
Prove it.

Prove that the laughable Laffer curve works.

Then, prove that we're on the "right side of the curve".

Observerofu's picture

Now take your time and read all of it.

"Neither the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt"
-Samuel Adams
Illegitimi non carborundum

Interesting commentary here <a href=" Does The Laffer Curve Bend?</a>)

Ezra Klein polls a number of Very Important Folks as to exactly where the Laffer Curve bends.

It would appear that virtually no academic expert agrees with your conjecture that "we are on the right side of the curve". Virtually all of them agree that the "right side of the curve" begins at a tax rate of fifty to seventy percent.

Most of the chattering class on television, however, has a different view: they intuitively "feel" that the curve bends somewhere between 33 and 50 percent, which would be more in line with your anti-intellectual viewpoint.

Interestingly, the President's Council of Economic Advisors all refused to go on record with their opinion (best of the brightest here....probably refuse to recognize Laffer snake oil).

Also, no prominent Republican politician would go on record either.

Tax cuts do not create jobs.

Market demand creates jobs.

and the governement creates jobs by robbing business profits? Lower taxes does create jobs. NEWS FLASH: ONLY THE PRIVATE SECTOR CREATES WEALTH. That is of course unless you can print your own money but that is another story. -GP


A while back the US economy was called a 'war-based economy'. We changed that by turning over our 'building of war equipment' over to the private sector - and now we're (the government) broke. Hmmmmmmmm.

NUK_1's picture

...broke from automatic social welfare programs that have grown out of control and will only get worse. Broke from the government's interference(and the idiots at the Federal Reserve like Greenspan and Bernanke)destroying the private sector for their own political gain. Broke from paying interest on printing money to buy our own debt after we couldn't get other countries to buy enough of our debt.

War can be a great economic generator sometimes, but this isn't one of them since the war takes place thousands of miles away and may/may not be a matter of national security in the first place.

GM, AIG, Chrysler, et al should have all been allowed to FAIL and FAIL HARD. Bailing-out companies to protect union members or stupid bankers is pathetic, especially when it's our government taking over the normal business procedures of bankruptcy to change the outcomes.

[quote]War can be a great economic generator sometimes, but this isn't one of them since the war takes place thousands of miles away and may/may not be a matter of national security in the first place.[/quote]

Modern technology and human unawareness can destroy us - and it doesn't make a hill of difference how 'far away' the enemy is.

[quote]GM, AIG, Chrysler, et al should have all been allowed to FAIL and FAIL HARD. Bailing-out companies to protect union members or stupid bankers is pathetic, especially when it's our government taking over the normal business procedures of bankruptcy to change the outcomes.[/quote]

Tell that to the thousands of workers whose jobs were saved by not allowing them to fail. <cite>Me first</cite> will be the destruction of this country.

We're broke because we have 'outsourced' our industry so that the private sector can make a bigger profit! Wake Up!!!!

hutch866's picture

I think you're losing it here, you addressed this to me why?

I yam what I yam

This response should have been directed to NUK.

An opposing viewpoint: <a href="">Both private sector, government "create wealth"</a>

I read the article you referenced twice and I still don't see government creating wealth at least my as I understand wealth. It seems there is a trend to redefine definitions of words, it all started when Clinton stated "it depends on what the definition of is-is". In the article taking money from the private sector and redistributing it in the form of goods or services is somehow warped into the government creating wealth. That is not creating wealth, that is pure socialism, and that has failed everywhere it has been tried and will fail here. Government is not the answer, government is the problem. -GP

[quote]Lower taxes and no more "earmarks", that would be a start.[/quote]

The trend of the American voter is to demand that every legislator refuse earmarks -BUT THEIR ELECTED LEADER! (Another result of our 'me first' syndrome)

hutch866's picture

Wasn't that a plank in Obama's platform, no more earmarks? How's that worked for us so far?

I yam what I yam

[quote=hutch866]Wasn't that a plank in Obama's platform, no more earmarks? How's that worked for us so far?[/quote]

Not so good. <a href=" Leaders Ignore Tea Party's Calls For Earmark Ban</a>

I suspect those oh-so-pure Teahadists will get on the earmarks gravy train before too long.

hutch866's picture

It appears that Obama and the Dems ignored it too, and first.

I yam what I yam

The Democrats and President Obama certainly did ignore the promise to rein in earmarks....the "first" is debatable, though.

In the big picture, though, earmarks are at best 2% of the Federal budget. There are bigger fish to fry.

Cyclist's picture

So wouldn't it be nice if both the legislative and executive branches agree to start with this 2% and continue from there. It's got to start someplace.

Caution - The Surgeon General has determined that constant blogging is an addiction that can cause a sedentary life style.

The operative word here <strong>'agree'</strong>.

Observerofu's picture

This from Center for Fiscal Accountability.

"While the financial cost to taxpayers in real dollars may be small compared to the massive overall overspending problem which has led to the federal budget balooning to over $3 trillion in 2009, the relevance of earmarks should not be underestimated.

In fact, earmarks have become the broken windows of the federal budget. The opaque earmarking process paired with a series of examples of corruption and self-aggrandizement has left taxpayers frustrated. "

Earmarks may be a drop in the bucket but this reeks with corruption.

"Neither the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt"
-Samuel Adams
Illegitimi non carborundum

Observerofu's picture

as is the Huffington Post. Not credible at all.

Here is the whole story without the progressive spin cycle.

"BOEHNER: Well, the Appropriations Committee is responsible for funding our government. And -- and over the years, there's been a lot of excesses coming out of that committee. But I believe that -- that if we listen to the will of the American people, we're going to see less spending out of the Appropriations Committee.

BAIER: But the guys in line to be chairmen, they're big fans of earmarks.

BOEHNER: There's going to be an earmark moratorium, it's pretty clear.

BAIER: Why not an outright ban?

BOEHNER: Only because some things that people call earmarks here wouldn't -- wouldn't classify as an earmark to the American people. I've made it pretty clear, this process is going to stop. As you're well aware, I've been here 20 years. I've never asked for an earmark. And I'm never going to ask for one. I told my constituents in 1990 when they elected me that if they thought my job was to come to Washington and rob the public treasury on their behalf, they were voting for the wrong guy.

I said it. I meant it. And I've been committed to reforming this process from the day I got here. And over the last five years, I've spent countless hours trying to make sure that we spend the American people's money wisely."

So tell me bacon how is anything he said against anything the TP stands for?

<strong>You want to see media spin look at Bacon's Huff piece and then the actual interview. They link supposedly to the interview on Fox instead it goes directly to Media Matters, another Soros entity, with the same spin.</strong>

The Progressive left loves to slam Fox for bias but then goes hook and line and sinker for a George Soros created media. One of the reasons they lost last Tuesday. They can't face the real world.

"Neither the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt"
-Samuel Adams
Illegitimi non carborundum

I will tell you that the D or R does not matter to us, guys like this are part of the problem need to go as well. -GP

Observerofu's picture

RINOS must go.

This is where the new breed is going to have to cut their teeth. These old blue blood establishment republicans must be dealt with.

We the TP Nation have to keep up the pressure. We might even drag a few democrats kicking and screaming mind you along for the ride.

"Neither the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt"
-Samuel Adams
Illegitimi non carborundum

Find those 15,000,000 jobs quickly, please.

Pay that 14 trillion off soon, please.

Solve that impossible health care cost spiral soon, please.

Solve our atmosphere problems soon, please.

Solve our transportation, bridge, dam, water problems soon, please.

Bail out the states, rest of the banks, and Chinese debt soon, please.

Did you know that Harley-Davidson has decided to move their operation to India, soon? Can you stop that one, please?

I will tell you (also) that I do not know one democrat that was endorsed by the TEA party.

Not to run or replace a republican!

They did have 750 of them at their conventions however (republicans).

Bush and Cheney and Newt and O'Donnell and Palin (Sarah and Bristol) make it hard for you don't they?

Check the record: Isakson took his BIG share of earmarks for Georgia - and he was re-elected. The American people spoke. Earmarks are OK if they benefit their state. So much for that. The people have spoken.

hutch866's picture

You're dodging the question Mom, Obama said he would STOP the earmarks, did he lie?

I yam what I yam

Show me and Obama where he or any other president has the power to 'stop' earmarks? The Congress showed this and other administrations how 'Washington' works. Until we the people demand that this practice stops - the Isakson's of our government will continue to take those steps which benefit their states. . that's why we re-elect them!

Using the blame Bush/Obama argument will not solve our problem of deficit spending - unbalanced budgets.

hutch866's picture

Did he say it or not, simple question, yes or no, he's the one who said he would stop them, he must have felt he could. Campaign rhetoric? Say anything to get elected? I love it that you blame Isakson, yet can't say anything about the one who PROMISED to stop them. So tell me Mom, did he promise or not?

I yam what I yam

Whose blaming Isakson? He's doing what he was elected to do - get the best he can for the benefit of the citizens that he represents! You can waddle all you want in the 'blame' game between who made the most 'mistakes' in promises, etc. THAT IS NOT GOING TO SOLVE OUR ECONOMIC PROBLEM!! Move on - and encourage all of those who represent us to get the job done; <strong>work together to get us out of this mess</strong>. . .or we are sunk! Wake up hutch - winning a debate is not the issue - we're having a discussion on how can we, the people, really get our representatives to work for us - not for only their re-election. It's going to take bi-partisanship. . .. plain and simple. The power of hutch and david's mom lies in their voice by expressing their demands to those who represent them. It is obvious that Isakson represents me and you . . and to most of those whom Isakson represents - earmarks are OK. This is true of almost all of our suggessful legislators. When we re-elect them, we're saying the earmarks are OK with us also. Washington operating as usual. Bush, Clinton, Obama could not/did not change that reality. The message has to come from we, the people. Difficult to do when we benefit from this 'earmark' thing. I agree with PTC on this one. Look at the man in the mirror.

hutch866's picture

Yes or no? Just can't do it can you? Where have I blamed anyone, for anything? Twist it around as you always do, but it comes down to DID HE SAY IT. I find it odd that with all the control the Dems had, they could push through the health thing, but couldn't stop the earmarks. They controlled the Gov, but couldn't stop the earmarks. And you can't even say yes or no...LMAO

I yam what I yam

Since you seem to be fixated on President Obama's campaign promises today, and since you seem very critical of campaign promises that President Obama has broken, will you give President Obama credit for <a href="">camp... promises he has kept?</a>

For example, I'm very proud of our President for keeping his campaign promise to require insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions. Will you give the man credit for keeping that campaign promise?

Ok, credit for getting pre-existing conditions into the "insurable" category. But did it have to be part of bad legislation that will cost many of us mucho dinero in our next yr's premiums? Couldn't they have written it so that those who have such conditions perhaps pay a higher premium? Sounds simple to me. Maybe that's the problem--too simple. Also, those who want their 26 yr old adult children covered should also have to pay a higher premium--not the rest of us. I'd say the unintended negative consequences outweigh the kept promise.

I take it that you don't have such prior conditions nor a kid under 26 with no job paying for insurance?

What do you think insurance is for anyway? Only the well?

"Kids" are considered Adults at age 18 for many purposes and what is magic about 26? My kids were college graduates and gainfully employed, with their own insurance by age 26. And on a personal note, I've had the same health insurance for 15 yrs but having had a stroke 5 1/2 yrs ago, if I had to go into the market now, yes, I'd have "pre-existing conditions and would expect to pay a higher premium. I certainly didn't need a 32% increase for next yr just because of that awful legislation.

I'm not familiar with a 32% increase in anyone's insurance next year on the new health care!

I think we will hear the details in congressional hearing soon about the details of the costs. And just how many and who will get some coverage that have none now.

They aren't all college graduates with their employer paying for their insurance as your children have!
That is about dead anyway! Companies are refusing to pay such amounts for their employees! Not even Delta----maybe Lockheed does?


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