ONTD Political

2012 Fiscal Cliff: Anti-Tax Conservatives Say No To Tax-Increase Deal

12:41 pm - 12/24/2012

BOSTON -- In the city where a protest over tax policy sparked a revolution, modern day tea party activists are cheering the recent Republican revolt in Washington that embarrassed House Speaker John Boehner and pushed the country closer to a "fiscal cliff" that forces tax increases and massive spending cuts on virtually every American.

"I want conservatives to stay strong," says Christine Morabito, president of the Greater Boston Tea Party. "Sometimes things have to get a lot worse before they get better."

Anti-tax conservatives from every corner of the nation echo her sentiment.

In more than a dozen interviews with The Associated Press, activists said they would rather the nation fall off the cliff than agree to a compromise that includes tax increases for any Americans, no matter how high their income. They dismiss economists' warnings that the automatic tax increases and deep spending cuts set to take effect Jan. 1 could trigger a fresh recession, and they overlook the fact that most people would see their taxes increase if President Barack Obama and Boehner, R-Ohio, fail to reach a year-end agreement.

The strong opposition among tea party activists and Republican leaders from New Hampshire to Wyoming and South Carolina highlights divisions within the GOP as well as the challenge that Obama and Boehner face in trying to get a deal done.

On Capitol Hill, some Republicans worry about the practical and political implications should the GOP block a compromise designed to avoid tax increases for most Americans and cut the nation's deficit.

"It weakens the entire Republican Party, the Republican majority
," Rep. Steven LaTourette, R-Ohio, said Thursday night shortly after rank-and-file Republicans rejected Boehner's "Plan B" – a measure that would have prevented tax increases on all Americans but million-dollar earners.

"I mean it's the continuing dumbing down of the Republican Party and we are going to be seen more and more as a bunch of extremists that can't even get a majority of our own people to support policies that we're putting forward," LaTourette said. "If you're not a governing majority, you're not going to be a majority very long."

It's a concern that does not seem to resonate with conservatives such as tea party activist Frank Smith of Cheyenne, Wyo. He cheered Boehner's failure as a victory for anti-tax conservatives and a setback for Obama
, just six weeks after the president won re-election on a promise to cut the deficit in part by raising taxes on incomes exceeding $250,000.

Smith said his "hat's off" to those Republicans in Congress who rejected their own leader's plan.

"Let's go over the cliff and see what's on the other side," the blacksmith said. "On the other side" are tax increases for most Americans, not just the top earners, though that point seemed lost on Smith, who added: "We have a day of reckoning coming, whether it's next week or next year. Sooner or later the chickens are coming home to roost. Let's let them roost next week."

It's not just tea party activists who want Republicans in Washington to stand firm.

In conservative states such as South Carolina and Louisiana, party leaders are encouraging members of their congressional delegations to oppose any deal that includes tax increases. Elected officials from those states have little political incentive to cooperate with the Democratic president, given that most of their constituents voted for Obama's Republican opponent, Mitt Romney.

"If it takes us going off a cliff to convince people we're in a mess, then so be it," South Carolina GOP Chairman Chad Connelly said. "We have a president who is a whiner. He has done nothing but blame President Bush. It's time to make President Obama own this economy."

In Louisiana, state GOP Chairman Roger Villere said that "people are frustrated with Speaker Boehner. They hear people run as conservatives, run against tax hikes. They want them to keep their word."

Jack Kimball, a former New Hampshire GOP chairman, said he was "elated" that conservatives thwarted Boehner. He called the looming deadline a political creation. "The Republicans really need to stand on their principles. They have to hold firm."

Conservative opposition to compromise with Obama does not reflect the view of most Americans, according to recent public opinion polls.

A CBS News survey conducted this month found that 81 percent of adults wanted Republicans in Congress to compromise in the current budget negotiations to get a deal done rather than "stick to their positions even if it means not coming to an agreement." The vast majority of Republicans and independent voters agreed.

Overall, 47 percent in the poll said they blamed Republicans in Congress more than Obama and Democrats for recent "difficulties in reaching agreements and passing legislation in Congress." About one-quarter placed more blame on the Democrats and 21 percent said both were responsible.

Although negotiations broke down last week, Obama still hopes to broker a larger debt-reduction deal that includes tax increases on high earners and Republican-favored cuts to entitlement programs such as Medicare and Social Security. If a compromise continues to prove elusive, lawmakers could pass a temporary extension that delays the cliff's most onerous provisions and gives Congress more time to work out a longer-term solution.

That's becoming the favored path by some Republicans leery of going over the cliff.

Mississippi Republican Chairman Joe Nosef shares his Southern colleagues' disdain for tax increases. But he stopped short of taking an absolute position.

"I really, really feel like the only way that Republicans can mess up badly is if they come away with nothing on spending or something that's the same old thing where they hope a Congress in 10 years will have the intestinal fortitude to do it," he said.

Matt Kibbe, president of the national organization and tea party ally, FreedomWorks, says that going over the cliff would be "a fiscal disaster." He says "the only rational thing to do" is approve a temporary extension that prevents widespread tax increases.

But his message doesn't seem to resonate with conservative activists in the states.

"If we have to endure the pain of the cliff then so be it," said Mark Anders, a Republican committeeman for Washington state's Lewis County. "While it may spell the end of the Republican Party... at least we will force the government to cut and cut deep into actual spending."

Back where the Boston Tea Party protest took place in 1773, Morabito wonders whether Boehner will survive the internal political upheaval and says Republicans need to unite against Obama.

"It looked like from the very beginning they were just going to cave to what President Obama wanted," she said of the GOP. "I didn't want that to happen. Now I'm hopeful that they're standing up for tax-paying Americans."

By Steve Peoples. 12/24/12 04:12 AM ET EST. Associated Press writers Bill Barrow in Atlanta, Rachel La Corte and Michael Baker in Washington state, Thomas Beaumont in Iowa, and AP Director of Polling Jennifer Agiesta in Washington contributed to this report.

astridmyrna 25th-Dec-2012 07:15 am (UTC)
a_phoenixdragon 25th-Dec-2012 09:05 am (UTC)
This GIF says it all. Thank you.
nope_de_plume 25th-Dec-2012 07:43 am (UTC)
Wait, ok I'm behind on all this, aren't bush tax cuts going to expire regardless of the repubs wanting to stomp their feet?
nope_de_plume 25th-Dec-2012 07:49 am (UTC)
I clearly need to stop reading these so late at night, nvm
4o5pastmidnight 25th-Dec-2012 09:02 am (UTC)
These guys are such fucking idiots.
a_phoenixdragon 25th-Dec-2012 09:04 am (UTC)
What a bunch of -


Is it just me, or didn't we get rid of these morons?!

corinn 25th-Dec-2012 09:55 am (UTC)
"We are against tax increases for anyone! So we support a tack that will cause tax increases for almost everyone!"



I mean--

These people. I just. What the hell.

"I want conservatives to stay strong," says Christine Morabito, president of the Greater Boston Tea Party. "Sometimes things have to get a lot worse before they get better."
Your party said the opposite throughout the election. Obama didn't magically completely fix eight years of bullshit within the four years he was originally allotted, so OUST THE FAILURE!!! despite improvement. When your own party is set to scupper the economy, ~sometimes things have to get a lot worse before they get better~. I SEE.
cindyanne1 25th-Dec-2012 10:50 am (UTC)
I know right? "We are against raising taxes! So therefore everyone's taxes will go up!"

angelus7988 26th-Dec-2012 08:31 am (UTC)
They can argue that they were trying to get a deal with no tax increase. It'd be a crock of shit, but not everyone is able to see that some people would rather watch the country go down in flames than not get their way.
hinoema 25th-Dec-2012 11:49 am (UTC)
A CBS News survey conducted this month found that 81 percent of adults wanted Republicans in Congress to compromise in the current budget negotiations to get a deal done rather than "stick to their positions even if it means not coming to an agreement." The vast majority of Republicans and independent voters agreed.

Well, 81 percent of the people had damn well better vote the republicans out of the House next midterm, then.
agentsculder 25th-Dec-2012 02:30 pm (UTC)
Exactly. Until people stop electing these Tea Party morons who have no ACTUAL interest in governing, NOTHING is going to get done. To me, that is the scariest thing about these guys. We have at least two more years of them in the majority of the House where they refuse to compromise on anything. They're basically making it impossible to govern the US because they are completely dysfunctional. What's worse, they don't give a crap that they've essentially paralyzed the nation because they don't think government can ever accomplish anything.
maladaptive 25th-Dec-2012 12:46 pm (UTC)
It seems like most of the opposition is anti-Obama rather than for practical reasons. I remember my grandfather worrying about the cliff and my grandmother saying "if Obama would just compromise" and I almost choked on my dinner because he's come so far to meet the Republicans, way past the middle of the issue, and they won't budge. But they still see him as this immovable idealogue.
hinoema 25th-Dec-2012 01:22 pm (UTC)
It's a conflict of interest, at least on the legislators' part. The people wanting to preserve tax breaks for the rich pay for these people's re-election campaigns, which perfectly describes their real priorities.

Edited at 2012-12-25 01:22 pm (UTC)
roseofjuly 25th-Dec-2012 03:25 pm (UTC)
People rewrite history to fit their own ideaology.
aviv_b 25th-Dec-2012 01:49 pm (UTC)
Fine by me. Let's go. Eighty one percent of Americans knows who are at fault.

I'm hoping that Obama has a way through executive order to restore some of the most necessary social welfare spending that will be effected. Because cuts to Medicaid and unemployment payments are not acceptable.

But personally, if this is what it takes to get tax rates up on the wealthy and pork barrel defense spending cuts enacted, I'll pay more for a while.

(no subject) - Anonymous
blackjedii 26th-Dec-2012 02:45 am (UTC)
The stock market plummet that would ensue would probably wake them up.

blackjedii 25th-Dec-2012 04:20 pm (UTC)
The Republicans don't have to shive a git - they've gerrymandered their districts enough that unless they do something really boldly stupid, they're pretty much going to keep their seats until 2020.

And they'll blame the economy and brand new recession on Barack Obama and those EVIL TAX-INCREASING DEMOCRATS!!
(what really scares me is going through the debt ceiling talks. again.)
shipperx 25th-Dec-2012 04:56 pm (UTC)
Good thing they're rational and not hissy-fit throwing ideologues. [/sarcasm]
shadwing 25th-Dec-2012 05:41 pm (UTC)
What needs to happen is a break in the Republican Party, the Tea Party on one side and everybody else on the other. The 'true' Tea Party members are not the majority but the Repubs are more concerned with the 'united front' and the Money/Man Power the Tea Partiers bring to do what needs to be done and Freeze them out of the process completely and remind them they are in Washington to GOVERN not Sit on a Soap Box and preach.
ragnor144 25th-Dec-2012 06:53 pm (UTC)
OK, this is the point where I seriously lose it. I spend every day on the verge of suicide because I am bipolar and the 40+ medications in different combinations have done jack shit for me over the decades. Despite that I have struggled to raise three kids on my own, get through college, and work. It has all come falling down on my head this year and I can't do it anymore. I am facing a life of unrelenting poverty on top of mental illness and brittle diabetes, migraines, and other health issues. My family is in crisis and these asshats want the programs that literally keep me and mine alive to be cut. They basically cheer for my death. And who do I have for help? None of these people. The most giving people I know are ones who are even worse off than I am. And I volunteer because it is important. Fuck these teaparty people.

/end rant
tabaqui 25th-Dec-2012 08:09 pm (UTC)
tabaqui 25th-Dec-2012 08:09 pm (UTC)
The fucking idiocy spewing from these people is mind-boggling. Holy fucking hell.
zhiva_the_mage 25th-Dec-2012 10:18 pm (UTC)
Idiocy? I have to disagree. At this point it's not stupidity, it's malice.
aznlax39 25th-Dec-2012 11:16 pm (UTC)
Fucking dumbasses.
muppetfromhell 26th-Dec-2012 04:24 pm (UTC)
How did this work against Clinton? Remember that time you held your breath and turned blue and shut down the govt?
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