by Eric Martin
Then maybe they would, one-by-one, drop out of their respective races in order to oppose Obama's agenda. After all, he's managed to get the GOP to come out in opposition to tax cuts, paygo, a freeze on discretionary spending, cuts in discretionary spending and a commission dedicated to deficit/debt reduction. From Sam Stein (via Benen)
Some senior Republican strategists and party veterans are beginning to fret that the party's refusal to work with President Obama, even when he crosses onto their own philosophical turf, could ultimately erode some of the political gains they've made this past year.
Over the past two weeks, Republicans in Congress have united in nearly unanimous opposition to a series of ideologically conservative policy suggestions, starting with a commission to reduce the deficit, a pay-go provision that would limit new expenditures, and a spending freeze on non-military programs.
Opposition has usually been based on specific policy concerns or complaints that the measures aren't going far enough. But the message being sent is that the GOP's sole mission is presidential destruction.
Now, some in the party are beginning to worry.
Perhaps, but Mike Pence sure didn't get the memo. Check out the following from the American Conservative's Daniel Larison. First this:
Nestled in the list of small-business initiatives that President Barack Obama announced in the State of the Union address was a measure providing incentives to small firms that hire employees and raise wages.
The details of the initiative, which Mr. Obama is expected to highlight when he visits Baltimore today, include a $5,000 tax credit for every net new employee in 2010 [bold mine-DL]. This credit would be retroactive to the beginning of the calendar year and could be received on a quarterly basis, if the business so chooses. In addition, employers would receive a tax credit to cover Social Security payroll taxes on wage increases. ~The Wall Street Journal
Pence called a White House plan to offer tax credits to small businesses the “Jimmy Carter tax credit,” arguing that it could provide incentives for employers to lay off employees [bold mine-DL]. Although Republicans have criticized Democrats for doing too much too fast, Pence called the plan a continuation of the “small ball” economic policies from Democrats in Congress and the White House.
“I don’t think we should be looking to the economic policies of the Carter administration to get us out of the worst recession in 25 years,” Pence said. ~Politico
Wow. I must admit, I didnt' see that coming. Larison's reaction is rather on target:
Yesterday I said that the GOP remains just as intellectually bankrupt and unimaginative as ever, but I need to amend that in light of Pence’s comments. If possible, the GOP has somehow managed to become even worse than it was in previous years. How else can you explain the desperate bid to reframe tax credits for small business as a job-killing measure? It is tax credits similar to these that the Republicans normally advocate as a matter of course, and it was this sort of thing that Republicans were demanding more of last year during the debate over the stimulus bill. Instead of recognizing this and trying to claim that the administration has adopted one of his party’s solutions, Pence is reduced to the absurdity of claiming that possible tax reduction on businesses that hire new employees is some revival of the dreaded Carter years. [...]
Let’s remember that Pence is not some minor member of the minority. He is the House Republican conference chair, the third highest-ranking Republican in that chamber, and he recently decided not to pursue a Senate bid against Evan Bayh in order to re-build a Republican majority in the House. If this is what he has to offer in his current role, perhaps it would have been better for the GOP if he had tried his luck back home in Indiana.
Rounding out the list, we have the National Review complaining that Obama might cut funding for voyages to Mars and the moon as part of an effort to get spending under control (or redirected to more exigent uses). Apparently, in this instance, Obama's cuts will cause us to lose the space race to China. Because China will beat us to the moon. Or something.
In addition to the China scaremongering, the National Review actually argues that cutting government spending in such a manner will, get this, lead to the loss of jobs. That government spending "creates jobs."
But...I...you...thought, ahh, forget it.