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Friday, December 21, 2012

Hardcore Conservatives Block Boehner's Plan B- Were They Right Or Wrong?

By Susan Duclos

They were right. Pains me to say it because some of us would have supported it, but  they were right.

Let me explain my thinking:

Plan B is the short name for the Permanent Tax Relief for Families and Small Businesses Act of 2012 tht House GOP leaders wanted their caucus to vote on last night, but was pulled for lack of votes.

Long story short, Plan B would have prevented taxes from going up when they expire in 11 days, on all Americans making up to $1 million.

Hardcore conservatives believe that all tax cuts should have been extended or made permanent because raising taxes on those making $1 million plus, higher than the 35 percent of their income they already pay to the government, would be harmful to the economy.

Those are the people that spend into the economy, invest in the economy, start businesses, hire employees and basically keep our economy running, so raising their taxes would be harmful to the economy, is the conservative argument.

Moderate conservatives made the case that passing Plan B would protect 99.81 percent of Americans and passing the bill through the House would have put the pressure on Senate Democrats and Barack Obama to either sign it and save the 99.81 percent of Americans, or refuse to do so and let all taxes rise for every American.

Make no mistake, no conservative wants to see taxes rise on anyone at all.

So, we have two factions of the Republican Party, one wringing their hands over Boehner's failure to garner enough support to even bring his Plan B to the floor for a vote and the other faction who are commending House conservatives for standing their ground and refusing to vote for a bill that would, in effect, allow taxes to be raised on anyone.

Were House conservatives that blocked Boehner's Plan B right or wrong to do so?

They were right.

Personally, I would have still gone to the polls in 2014 and voted for the GOP had they passed Boehner's Plan B, because with Democrats' and Obama's insistence on raising taxes, one in the White House and one in control of the Senate, I would have considered half a loaf and future leverage better than no loaf at all.

That doesn't mean I think no-tax conservatives were wrong though in forcing Boehner to postpone a vote on his Plan B.

Bear with me for a quick, very quick, trip down memory lane.

When Nancy Pelosi controlled the House of Representatives, I was very critical of the way she twisted arms, forced House Democrats that didn't agree with certain bills to vote her way or be punished, in one case actually telling them they should "sacrifice" their jobs to do what she wanted (RE: Obamacare).

They did so and in many cases they saw defeat at the next election, the 2010 midterms, where Democrats suffered the worst defeat seen in over 70 years and lost control of the House of Representatives.

At the time, I said, they acted as her puppets, gave up principle and were willing to betray their constituents, putting party above those that elected them.

Okay, memory lane trip is over.

Which brings us back to last night and Boehner being forced to pull his Plan B because of a lack of votes for it.

In the 2014 elections, the same electorate that reelected Barack Obama, also reelected the GOP to the majority in the House, and many conservative and Independent voters did so because those politicians campaigned against raising taxes.

Now, I understand voting to prevent the expiration of  tax cuts on 99.81 percent of the American population isn't a vote cast to raise taxes, hence even the American for Tax Reform (ATR) statement saying voting for the Plan B bill wasn't a violation of Taxpayer Protection Pledge,  but that is a loophole, a mere technicality.

The House conservatives that blocked Boehner's Plan B, owe their constituents, those that elected them, their loyalty, even above party loyalty. They owe them the courtesy of keeping their campaign promises, even if it goes against what party leaders want them to do. 

When you make a promise, you keep it. Period.

Despite the liberal media and blogosphere doing a celebratory dance over Boehner's failure to move his Plan B forward, conservatives in the House do have an option going forward.

• Wait for Harry Reid and Barack Obama's plan to hit the House and vote overwhelmingly against it, then as Heritage encourages, pass a temporary measure that extends all tax rates and all spending policy without sequestration cuts through March 31, 2013, thereby putting the onus on Obama and Reid to prevent all taxes from going up and all fiscal cliff spending cuts from going into effect.

That would buy Washington another three months to cool down from the 2012 elections, have the newly elected members of the House seated for the votes instead of passing permanent laws during a lame duck session, and it would bring negotiators back to the table.

Or we can all jump off the so-called fiscal cliff, hit bottom, then all the politicians in Congress and Obama will have to compromise to climb back up that cliff.


National Journal- Why A Fiscal Cliff Deal Is Still Possible