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Froma Harrop
NationofChange / Op-Ed
Published: Monday 7 January 2013
With the recent election showing a public weary of Republican dramatics— and polls finding folks fully prepared to blame the Grand Old Party for this latest round of damage—the party traditionalists should have strong self-interest in curbing the house wreckers.

The Wrong Republicans

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"The damage may have already been done," starts a Wall Street Journal news story about the fiscal cliff. This is damage a fix at this point can't fix. That Washington couldn't stop big automatic spending cuts and tax increases in an orderly manner marked another hit on the psyche of American business and consumers. Feeling captive to a bizarre political game is not pleasant, and yes, the damage can already be measured in dollars.

Consumer confidence has crumbled, as Republicans insist progress can't be made except when wrestling Democrats on an outcropping over an abyss. The problem isn't Republicans, exactly, but the wrong kind of Republicans — those who won't let the good kind negotiate absent a terrifying threat to everyone's well-being. President Obama proposed deep spending cuts and retaining marginal tax rates for all but the top 2 percent, so where's the problem in making a deal, unless you're the problem?

The wrong Republicans forced a death match in 2011 over raising the debt ceiling. Before that remarkable spectacle, raising the country's debt limit was a routine vote (defaulting on America's debt having previously been unthinkable). A temporary agreement was reached — leading to the current cliffhanger — but not before consumer confidence cratered, and Standard & Poor's lowered America's credit rating. In a few weeks, another debt-ceiling vote is coming along, and the wrong Republicans want the matter back in play.

Traditional Republicans believed in paying the bills, and if they didn't like the bill, would reduce it first. That was before the radical right came up with the free lunch of "starving the beast." The magical thinking revolved around the idea that shrinking revenues would force cuts in spending. That theory failed in spectacular fashion during the George W. Bush years, not that the wrong Republicans seem to have noticed.

Put simply, good Republicans felt a double duty to put a lid on taxes but also keep deficits in check. The last Republican president to take that responsibility seriously was George H.W. Bush. He made a foolish no-new-taxes pledge while running for office, but when deficits started piling up he showed the political courage and fiscal discipline to raise taxes.

For his efforts, the party base hounded him into losing re-election. Fortunately, he lost to Bill Clinton, who both benefited from policies the elder Bush had left him and oversaw another tax increase without a single Republican vote in the House.

In the following year, 1994, Republicans won majority control of the House. That gave them a tiny hook on which to hang credit for the budget surpluses Clinton bequeathed to his successor. Deficits shrunk under Clinton, they say, because House Republicans would not let him spend. Actually, Republicans didn't officially take over the House until early 1995, by which time deficits had already fallen from $290 billion when Clinton took office in 1993 to $203 billion.

Some Republicans say their 1997 cut in capital-gains taxes brought about Clinton-era prosperity. (They don't explain why the even lower capital-gains tax rates of the George W. years didn't make us fat and happy.) But do note that the lower capital-gains tax rate Republicans claim spurred investment under Clinton was 20 percent. This is the same number that the wrong Republicans insisted would mark the end of capitalism as we know it, but fortunately is part of the New Year's Eve deal. (It is also lower than the 28 percent top effective tax on capital gains left by Ronald Reagan.)

With the recent election showing a public weary of Republican dramatics — and polls finding folks fully prepared to blame the Grand Old Party for this latest round of damage — the party traditionalists should have strong self-interest in curbing the house wreckers. So should we all.


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ABOUT Froma Harrop
Froma Harrop’s nationally syndicated column appears in over 150 newspapers, including The Dallas Morning News, Houston Chronicle, Seattle Times, Denver Post and Newsday. The twice-a-week column is distributed by Creators Syndicate, in Los Angeles. Harrop has written for numerous other publications, ranging from The New York Times and Institutional Investor, to Harper’s Bazaar and Metropolitan Home. Previously, she covered business for Reuters Ltd., in New York, and was a financial editor for The New York Times News Service. A Loeb Award finalist for economic commentary, Harrop was also honored by the National Society of Newspaper Columnists. Over the years, the New England Associated Press News Executives Association has named her for five awards.

This is extreme. If the

This is extreme. If the Republicans try the extortion game again on the debt limit, President Obama should declare a national emergency and call out the National Guard to encircle the Capitol and hold all Congressmen and Senators in the building until they raise the debt limit. Obama should join them to twist arms until he gets enough votes.

Golly Gee! If only the real

Golly Gee!

If only the real Republicans would act like what the real Republicans? And if Santa only could have fit an economic recovery all wrapped up in ribbon & wrapping paper w/ a bright bow, in his sleigh then things coulda been different, yeah right.

The Republicans & the Democrats are openly bought, sold & controlled by those 2%ers, remember them, who control 85 to 95% of the wealth in America, who manipulate Wall St& Congress so they profit no matter what. Started foreign & domestic wars for profit. Monopolize energy, food, communications, etc right before our very eyes. So whose doing who here? The not real Republicans against all the rest of us or are you also against us in believing their scam so much by sell this crock of BS.

The same individuals control both Congress & Wall St, and not just the top ends, so it doesn't matter what happens, they make money, that is their only principle.

As long as We, the People lose more wealth, rights, health, liberty etc. The 2%ers, the new aristocracy prevails & by this kabuki & smoke screens they intend us to stay blinded, more frightened & insecure for decisions they made in quite rooms and are implementing.

I am flabbergasted by the fact that we all hold and have been shown to dramatically enforce that any 17 or 18 year old who volunteers to be a soldier must be ready, willing and able to die, be maimed etc because he/she took an ‘oath to protect the Constitution’, to kill our enemies, to serve America, but we intentionally ignore that very, and any other, obligation when it comes to our ‘elected’ representatives duty to America. To you & me, our children, to our nation.

This struggle isn’t about Rep vs. Dem or their failings, it’s not even about rich vs. poor. It’s about a few families, let’s see, 2% of 350,000,000 is only 7 million people.

Who, are ruling America, you & me now are just chattels, to be used & abused for their pleasure and cast into the dung heap when there is no further profit to be gained from our existence. Or did we all miss that one to? You know that, 'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,….

They literally are killing us off, fracking, FDA rule deregulation, EMO, Global Climate Change, you know how, suicides are up, folks losing hope, human dignity, worth. The 2%ers don’t care if a child of ours is torn to pieces by dogs, as long as their dogs & children are well fed & cute.

O! Oh, I must be ranting here? Or did you forget about the Wal-Mart factory fire in Bangladesh, or for you, like the Sam Walton family those were not Americans or even real people so who cares, it’s about profit margins. That principle again, just keeps poping in.

Yeah, time to cull the herd, drag all the injured down so only the worthy can sustain life, that old ‘American Dream’ shit.

I cry out for justice, it is We, the people who must begin this culling with the immediate elimination of say 1,000,000 of those 2%ers. It don’t matter who of the 2%ers either. They do more of us every year than that & squander the money on their toys, cause they aren’t investing it in America anymore are they.

That would turn things around real quick. All of a sudden problems would get resolved/fixed, prosperity imagine that. And I bet it would take much much less than 1 million dead to fix it.

Unlike the writer of the article I do not accept this façade of ‘Real vs. extreme Republicans’ as a given, but neither am I so enthralled or intimidated by the 2%ers power that I naturally avoid the truth & facts.

It will not be our Government that corrects this malady We, the people are in. Only by taking up arms against these present slings and arrows of this outrageous fortune will we once again stand in the sun as honorable men & women among the nations of this Earth.

We all have obligations, the Reps & Dems, our President, every citizen and illegal alien on this dirt has obligations that are not being fulfilled. It is time, if we don’t things get worse & the explosion & erosion will destroy without thought of tomorrows. Now that is spookier then a little bloodletting.

This boat sinks or sails because we are the crew, the captain, the owners, the passengers, the boat itself & the fuels to make it go. And the brakes/anchors it needs.

God don't bless America! WE, the people ... DO!

Harrop don't git it. It dun't

Harrop don't git it. It dun't matter which of 'em gets to be playin' boss cause the real boss would smack eider of 'em around if they tried to call the shots.

bho got his tax hike now he

bho got his tax hike now he needs to show leadership and propose cuts

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