I was afraid I was the only conservative scratching his head that the House GOP seemed ready to make a tax increase the hill they wanted to die on. Money quotes:
While we welcome the newfound Republican hawkishness on the deficit, a salubrious result of the Tea Party’s influence, the GOP’s hesitancy in extending the payroll-tax cut was an odd thing. The arguments that some Republicans made against it — that temporary tax cuts have little or no effect on economic growth and jobs, that there were insufficient offsets to neutralize the revenue effects of the tax cut — might have been made against any number of tax policies that Republicans support with good reason, the extension of the Bush tax cuts prominent among them. This is not the moment, economically or politically, for a tax increase…
It is critical that Republicans remain energetically committed to both sides of the ledger-sheet fight: tax cuts and spending cuts. The main problem contributing to the deficit, as the tea partiers have been especially energetic in pointing out, is spending, not lack of sufficient tax revenue. In the long term, no workable payroll-tax rate is going to make Social Security or Medicare sustainable, and no combined level of federal taxation is going to render Washington’s current spending habits anything less than catastrophic. These are problems that are going to have to be solved, and they are going to have to be solved over the worst sort of Democratic demagoguery that one can imagine. If Republicans cede their historical advantage on taxes, the fight will be that much more difficult. Keep cutting taxes, whenever and wherever possible, and then remind voters in November of what is standing in the way of spending cuts and a return to fiscal sanity.
Full article here.