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Did Republicans Win The Economic Debate? Guest Post

12/08/2010
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Guest Post: Steve Oravecz. Former Political Editor and Columnist.

The Wall Street Journal said Obama’s tax deal “proves again that Republicans win the economic debate when they make the case for lower taxes for everyone in the name of faster growth and job creation.”

I don’t think they “won the debate.” In the first place, they agreed to add
almost $1 trillion to the debt, which flies in the face of all the principled statements they were making up to Monday night.

What the compromise really proves is that GOP unity trumps Democratic
disunity every time.

Just before the above statement, the Journal said, “Much credit” for the
deal “goes to Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans for holding together against the class war attacks of Chuck Schumer and other Democrats. By holding firm, they divided the opposition.”

The NY Times reported: “Mr. Obama was propelled to his decision in part by a Nov. 18 meeting with Democratic Congressional leaders that persuaded him the Democrats were not unified behind a realistic plan for moving forward.”

Liberals in Congress are attacking Obama again, but the real fault is with
the party as a whole, not the president. It is absurd to expect Obama to
lead Democrats in a fight without knowing the vast majority of the party
will stand behind him.

The deal itself isn’t bad. With the compromise on the tax cuts and
inheritance tax, Obama got stuff that otherwise would have been
unattainable.

And by the way, it is NOT a death tax. It IS an inheritance tax paid by
living people who got control of money they did not EARN. If the dead person had spent his or her money, there would be no estate to tax. Any Democrat who uses the term death tax should have to write the words inheritance tax on the blackboard 100 times and be required to read FDR’s defense of the tax.

That said, a 35 percent tax on estates over $5 million sounds to me like a
reasonable compromise between the old rate and the zero rate the GOP wants. If it this rate is made permanent, though, the $5 million should be adjusted for inflation each year.

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