Monday, May 20th, 2019

Reaction to the “fiscal cliff” deal


Darryl Enriquez in the Waukesha Freeman (two quarters and its yours) reported the irate reaction on WTMJ-AM Wednesday from the talk show callers. James T Harris, filling in for Charlie Sykes, was stoking the fires. Many callers were irate with the Republican Party and the office holders who let them down.

Enriquez asked Don Taylor, the chairman of the Waukesha Republican Party, and me, your favorite conservative columnist, what we thought of Senator Ron Johnson and Congressman Paul Ryan voting for the bill. I told Enriquez,

“I’m not outraged or surprised,” Wigderson said of the budget deal, “and I don’t know what people thought would happen. There was an election in November and conservatives lost and they don’t have the Senate or the White House. Obama was elected on the promise of raising taxes, and the best Republicans can hope for is to minimize the damage.

“There’s nothing conservative about taxes going up on everyone. I understand people’s anger but there was no alternative.”

Don Taylor told Enriquez,

“I would have voted along with Ryan and Johnson because we had no other reasonable choice,” Taylor said. “You have to play the hand dealt to you.

“If the Republicans in the House had turned it back and voted it down, you can image the inflammatory rhetoric from our beloved president and his bully pulpit. We didn’t make any progress at all in reducing the deficit, but we did stop raising taxes to all.”’s Erick Erickson, who is usually good for faulty analysis on the right, was a little cranky at Johnson for his vote.

The only intent of the legislation, we now know from the White House, was to break the Republicans. The White House wanted to get the GOP to break their no tax pledge.

Tom Coburn, Ron Johnson, and Pat Toomey were complicit in this.

Wow. Complicit.

Before calling them accomplices, Erickson wrote, “In fact, the Senate deal brings in less revenue than John Boehner’s Plan B, not that it was ever going to become law.” Okay, if “Plan B” couldn’t become law, then what deal did Erickson think Republicans were going to get by raising taxes on everybody? Sheldon J Plankton’s Plan Z? Maybe Erickson should ask Senator Mark Neumann?

Charlie Sykes has the official comment from Johnson, Ryan and Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner, as well as an interview with Ryan.

Ryan said that with President Barack Obama accomplishing his goal of taxing the wealthy, Congress can focus on spending cuts now.

“He can no longer claim, ‘I will start talking about spending cuts once we tax the rich,’” Ryan said of Obama.

“Now that the president got his tax increase, because current law automatically did that, there’s no excuse,” he said. “Now we can finally debate spending — clean and simple spending.”

The MacIver Institute has an interview with Johnson.

“I didn’t vote to increase anybody’s taxes. What I voted for was to prevent 98 to 99 percent of Americans having their taxes automatically increased,” he said.

Johnson said Republicans didn’t have many options going into the debate and got the best deal they could.

“Unfortunately we lost the November 6th election and President Obama made it loud and clear that he was demanding tax increases. We were in a position where we had no negotiating leverage whatsoever. So our role was, what can we do to limit the damage?” Johnson told MNS.

Johnson said the ball is now in the president’s court when it comes to solving the deficit.

“So, you got the revenue side of that balanced equation. Where’s the other side of that. What are your plans to address the other 95 percent of the deficit?” he said.

My column explaining the need to pass the “fiscal cliff” fix appeared in the Waukesha Freeman today.

My two previous columns on the “fiscal cliff,”  “Countdown to the Fiscal Cliff” and “Cliff Diving” appeared on the MacIver Institute website.

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