Pass the Clinton Prosperity Act
By: Steve Yuhas
Republican leaders in the House are on their way to ‘compromise’ with President Obama (by giving him everything he wants) to avoid hitting the so-called fiscal cliff. Losing the presidency is not the same as losing the argument, but you would not know that based on the behavior of House Republicans.
Since Election Day, House leaders have been acting contrite when they should be acting courageous and they have been deferential to the president’s scare tactics and public blame instead of defiant. I understand House leaders are tore up about losing the presidency, but Mitt Romney losing to Barack Obama does not mean you have to give the president what he wants when you were returned to office to fight against high taxes and decreased spending.
If House Republicans don’t plan to fight for what they believe then by all means hand the gavel back to Nancy Pelosi and let Democrats push through legislation that will further damage the struggling U.S. economy. There is an alternative to collapsing under questions from reporters about the blame for the fiscal cliff and it comes from doing something. I’ve got just the thing.
Pass The Clinton Prosperity Act (shorten the name to the Boom Time Bill) and send it to the Senate to let them argue with each other about how terrible it would be for the economy.
What is the Clinton Prosperity Act and why will Democrats be unable (or less likely) to say no to it? It’s an act that gives Democrats all that they talked about during their convention and it attaches to it the name of a former president who likes nothing more than things being named after him.
Last week the Boom Time Bill received its greatest endorsement from a most unlikely liberal. Former Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean appeared on MSNBC (apparently without regard for his Media Matters talking points) and said, “The truth is everybody needs to pay more taxes, not just the rich.”
And as luck would have it, the first part of the act has to do with taxes: take all rates back to the Clinton years. That will raise rates for everybody and will return many taxpayers to the rolls (removed by the evil Bush tax cuts). We heard during the Democrat National Convention this summer that four more years of Barack Obama would be like another four for Bill Clinton – give Democrats and the American people what they want!
The second part of the bill has to do with spending: since we don’t have a revenue problem (and did not have one when Clinton was in his last year) take spending levels back to the last year of the Clinton administration and adjust only for inflation. How can anybody logically argue that taxes should be at Clinton-era rates, but spending should not? It is counterintuitive to think that one can work without the other, but I would be willing to try the spending part alone.
Pass the act and leave. Do not stay in Washington fighting amongst yourselves and hoping against hope that the mainstream media will understand your position. When you find that you are going to buckle under presidential pressure, buckle big or go home. Either fight tax increases for producers of jobs and wealth or go home and do nothing – or, pass the Clinton Prosperity Act and let Democrats fight amongst themselves for once.
The best part of the plan is Republicans will get to stop eating their own. No need to kick conservative members off the Budget Committee (Justin Amash and Tim Huelskamp) or from the Financial Services Committee (Walter Jones and David Schweikert) – all removed without notice or need last week simply because the Speaker of the House John Boener believes they will not tow the party line if there is an agreement to raise taxes with the president.
Agreement with Obama seems a fait accompli – all one need do is look at the long faces of the Republican leaders as they walk the halls of Congress: you would think somebody hit their favorite dog with their car. Force the Democrats in the Senate to say that the Clinton Prosperity Act is not good for America after it was heralded during the summer at the DNC.
Every bill passed by Congress includes a section devoted to partisan hyperbole and the occasional truthful rationale for passing the act – a.k.a. the “whereas section” – in the case of the Clinton Prosperity Act, the “whereas section” is available at the DNC website. Considering the high volume of DNC speeches used to nominate Barack Obama for Bill Clinton’s third term there is plenty of whereas material to choose from.
“Whereas President Obama said during the DNC that ‘Clinton’s big ideas and focused cuts on spending gave America unprecedented growth…” Then this bit, “Whereas Representative Pelosi reminded us how good the Clinton years were and how little unemployment there was during the Clinton years…” Finally, when you get to the whereas from Harry Reid, give him what he gave Republicans, “Whereas the Clinton years were the most prosperous and growth filled years of the last century of American progress…” Then remind the Majority Leader that his advice to President Obama in 2011 was to create a path toward the Clinton years.
Here is the path: the Clinton Prosperity Act, the Boom Time Bill.
Since Republicans are going to give – give in big then go home. Give Democrats something more than high taxes and your own tears about the downfall of America. You will be cheered when your infighting ends and you stop telling conservatives how wrong we are when you were handed a victory to fight not fold.
Steve Yuhas is a radio talk show host in southern California. He can be heard on AM 600 KOGO from San Diego to Santa Barbara, Los Angeles to Arizona. Reach him at www.steveyuhas.com or firstname.lastname@example.org