Mark my words: The Tax Vote Debate of 2010 is going to turn into the Tax Vote controversy for Republicans running for President in 2012.
So far the following fiscal conservative political heavyweights have signaled their distaste for this Obama/GOP tax compromise: Sarah Palin, Sen. Jim DeMint, the Tea Party Patriots, Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck. There are plenty more.
Here’s what Jim DeMint says about the compromise:
Jim DeMint: “Most of us who ran this election said we were not going to vote for anything that increased the deficit. This does. It raises taxes, it raises the death tax. I don’t think we needed to negotiate that aspect of this thing away. I don’t think we need to extend unemployment any further without paying for it, and without making some modifications such as turning it into a loan at some point. It then encourages people to go back to work. So there’s a lot of problems with it. I mean, and frankly, the biggest problem I have, Hugh, is we don’t need a temporary economy, which means we don’t need a temporary tax rate. A permanent extension of our current tax rates would allow businesses to plan five and ten years in advance, and that’s how you build an economy.”
Jim DeMint: “Frankly, I don’t think the President is going to let us leave town without extending tax rates for at least the middle class. So I think we had a lot of leverage. I don’t want to second-guess my leadership, but frankly, I think we need to come away with a lot better than this. We cannot increase the deficit, or keep increasing deficit spending. So again, I’m trying not to be too hard on the people who’ve done this, but we’ve worked too hard, and Americans worked too hard to elect us. And like you said, I think our new members should have a say in what we’re doing here. So it wouldn’t hurt my feelings at all if we pushed this whole thing into next year.”
The shorthand version? Don't sell out your values and principles for a so-called compromise.
Look, here’s the deal. In 2012, the GOP presidential field will be courting tea party Americans. That is a hoop that must be jumped through and a political reality that cannot be ignored. Any future GOP presidential candidate that comes out in favor of this compromise now risks a major backlash from tea party Americans and overall we’ve seen how that works out so far. (Oy-gevalt)
When it’s time to vote, all eyes will be on Romney, Pawlenty, Gingrich, Huckabee, Santorum and the rest of the potential nominees. But they won’t have a vote. That’s why politically this vote is HUGE for Sen. Thune and Congressman Mike Pence. Both are clearly thinking of running for President. Thune has pretty much said that this is the best deal the GOP can get so he looks like he’s going to vote for it. Pence doesn’t like the deal all that much but hasn’t said whether he will vote for or against it.
Folks, the Democrats may be in a big intra-party fight now but just wait. Obama and the Democrats may just be the opening act. The 2012 GOP presidential tax vote dilemma may be the main showcase.