The difference between the Republican Party establishment and the Tea Party
In the wake of last week’s disastrous elections, many establishment Republicans are acting in ways they believe will help “save” the party. Never mind that the GOP lost in 2008 and 2012 because it embraced big government solutions to the nation’s problems. Never mind that its establishment dictated who was the party’s Presidential nominee in both years. Never mind that the GOP has in many ways become Democratic-lite, not the party of true fiscal discipline and freer markets.
Ignoring the question of whether the GOP deserves to survive in its current form if it can’t offer a stark alternative to the big spending of President Obama and his allies, it certainly won’t if it keeps abandoning principles when they are inconvenient. Which brings us to Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol and higher taxes.
On Sunday, Kristol was on Fox News Sunday when he described how he thinks the Republican Party should move forward, tactically and otherwise. (See the video, and read the transcript, here.) Part of his solution was to raise taxes on those making $500,000 or $1,000,000. According to Kristol, the party should not “fall on its sword” to protect the wealthy, especially when half of the wealthy voters in America support Democrats.
And herein lies the main problem with the establishment: it views the GOP as a good in and of itself. Getting the Republican Party back in power is the goal of the establishment. Never mind what the party stands for, or what principles it has to abandon to gain said power. Power is what drives most of these people, whether they be politicians or pundits.
Contrast this with the Tea Party. The Tea Party has rock-solid principles of tax reform and not raising taxes. Regardless of whether these principles benefit supporters of Democrats or Republicans, these are principles that are based upon philosophical grounds, and philosophical grounds don’t change with the political winds of the day.
So this is another reason to overturn the establishment with Tea Party Patriots – you will rarely find such strength among those who look to a party to save the country instead of principles. Remember, too, that Kristol’s newfound stance on taxes would join President Obama in standing for a position that fails to pass the test of national benefit, as this blog explained the other day:
- Raising taxes on the rich have historically trickled down to impact the middle-class. Consider that the individual income tax and the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) went from hitting only the wealthy to hitting many middle-class earners, for two prominent examples.
- The top one percent of earners pay 1,500 times the taxes of the bottom 20% of earners. That’s not enough?
- Taxing the rich simply won’t bring in much more tax revenue. The much-ballyhooed “Buffett Rule,” which would hike taxes on the wealthy to 30%, would bring in $47 billion over ten years, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation. For a point of comparison, we’ll borrow that much by Thanksgiving.
For another point of comparison, if Washington took every dollar from every American earning at least one million dollars annually in 2009, only $235 billion…would come into the federal coffers [from this policy]. This barely covers one-fifth of the Fiscal Year 2012 deficit.
Raising taxes is not the way to get the Republican Party back in power. If it goes down this route, it risks its very survival as fiscal conservatives and libertarians continue to abandon the GOP in droves. Instead, a legitimate alternative to big government must be presented for the American people.