But Boehner’s fundamental misunderstanding of the debt ceiling (or his willingness to publicly lie about what it does) did not stop him from taking it hostage and threatening to use it to impose his version of “fiscal sanity.” Last year’s debt ceiling debacle ultimately will cost taxpayers $18.9 billion due to the elevated interest rates on U.S. debt issued during that period.It is great to know that there are more then just a few Republicans who understand the House GOP is in the hip pocket of Norquist along with the Koch Brothers and other major donors. It doesn't seem to make them any difference that mainstream Republicans are against their stance. They may not like the results in 2014 because many of us will not forgive or forget their willingness to go over the cliff so the tax cuts disappear for all including those under $250,000 rather then raise taxes on the wealthy. Shows that the wealthy mean more to them then the majority of their voters. Now that the polls have completely turned on them, will they be willing to deal? Wouldn't bet my house on that happening with this 'stubborn like a mule' mentality out of a group of Republicans in Congress.
According to a new NBC News poll out last night, the public overwhelmingly believes that the election gave President Obama a “mandate” to:
- 68 percent: cut taxes for working families earning less than $250,000 a year
- 65 percent: reduce the federal deficit by both increasing taxes on the wealthy and reducing federal spending
- 59 percent: eliminate the Bush tax cuts for those with higher incomes over $250,000
The poll also found that a whopping 76 percent of Americans believe that increasing taxes on the wealthy is an “acceptable” part of any deal to avert the fiscal cliff. This is all consistent with other polls out in recent days, including one that found nearly half of Republicans believe the election delivered the president a mandate to raise taxes on the wealthy. Overall, the poll found that by a 2:1 margin Americans believe the president won both a mandate on taxes and to protect Social Security and Medicare benefits.
It’s also clear that the Republicans’ intransigence is taking its toll on the already-tarnished image of the party and its leaders:
- 53 percent said they would blame Republicans in Congress if we go over the fiscal cliff. Just 27 percent said they would blame the president.
- Just 25 percent approve of Boehner’s handling of the fiscal showdown, compared to 49 percent who disapprove. Meanwhile, 49 percent approve of the president’s handling of the negotiations and his overall approval rating, 53 percent, is the highest since the killing of Osama bin Laden.
And overall, nearly two-thirds of Americans agree that we need to address our fiscal problems using a balanced approach:
- The three least popular politicians and political institutions in the country are: the Republican party, Boehner, and Mitt Romney. By contrast, Obama is the third most popular, trailing only Bill and Hillary Clinton.
“Leaders in Congress should make compromises to gain consensus on the budget deficit, even if it means Democrats would have to accept targeted spending cuts in Social Security and Medicare and Republicans would have to accept targeted increases in tax rates.”
BOTTOM LINE: It’s time for Republicans to heed the will of the American people — and many of their own conservative voters — and agree to a balanced approach that includes asking the wealthiest Americans to pay higher tax rates, just like they did during the economic boom we experience under President Clinton.
Norquist made the bizarre Wag the Dog prediction on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal:
NORQUIST: We got lots of things Obama claims to be for, and we will make — we, the Republicans in the House and Senate — will make him actually make those spending restraints, in order to get the continuing resolution out [for] a week, two weeks, a month. Obama will be on a very short leash, fiscally speaking, over the next four years. He’s not gonna have any fun at all. He may decide to go blow up small countries he can’t pronounce because it won’t be any fun to be here, because he won’t be able to spend the kind of cash he was hoping to.
Watch the video:
It is noteworthy that Norquist says “we” when referring to the Congressional Republicans. This would seem to conflict with his group’s frequent claim that it is a “a non-partisan coalition of taxpayers and taxpayer groups who oppose all tax increases.” And it seems to ignore the 50 Congressional Republicans who have already distanced themselves from his ironclad oath.Did those 50 really break from Norquist is the question of the day? Could it be that they are doing so only for public consumption and will vote with leadership against raising taxes on the wealthy? We should know shortly if those 50 are telling the truth. I will have to see their votes to raise taxes on the wealthy before I believe they are serious.