Now that President Obama has been overwhelmingly reelected, at least by the spread in the Electoral College, and GOP House Speaker John Boehner has made conciliatory statements about working with the administration to prevent the “fiscal cliff,” higher taxes and spending cuts that are scheduled to take effect on Jan. 1, 2013.
If Speaker Boehner wants to work with President Obama to avoid gridlock in DC, he should offer one of two proposals.
First, the Speaker should tell the president that he is in “charge” of the country for the next four years because the American people spoke loud and clear on November 6, they want Barack Obama to “lead” America. Therefore, we loyal American Republicans will not stop any of your initiatives in your second term. In other words, Mr. President, if you want to hike taxes, cut federal spending, increase federal spending, expand programs, defund programs, increase regulations, abolish or modify regulations, implement universal health care, or decimate the people’s civil liberties, it’s all yours for the asking.
Furthermore, if you want to invade other countries, intervene in foreign lands, withdraw American troops from around the world, have the Federal Reserve flood the economy with gazillions of new dollars, we will not oppose you. In short, Mr. President, we will not be obstructionists, we will allow you to impose your (welfare-warfare state) vision for America. After all, the GOP presidential standard bearer wanted to impose his welfare-warfare state vision for America, and if Mitt Romney were elected president, we would have expected congressional Democrats to fall in line with president-elect Romney.
This proposal has several outstanding merits. It would give all the left-wingers on MSNBC and other media outlets their fondest dreams, a collectivized America, if Obama goes down that road. If he does, in four years we will see if they approve of the consequences of their statist ideology. If Obama rules America with the GOP not opposing his agenda, then Paul Krugman and others will have nothing to kvetch about, but he would have the opportunity to write a new book in 2017, "How Obamanomics Bankrupted America."
Krugman and others will never admit that big government is a problem for the economy. They will only assert that government spending is the answer to all our ills. Under Obamanonics, they will see it in action unimpeded for the next four years.
If Speaker Boehner and his GOP colleagues are unwilling to make Obama a virtual dictator, he could offer a grand compromise. The Speaker should offer this bipartisan proposal: for every initiative the president wants, the Republicans get to have one of their initiatives enacted. Under this scenario, all bills would be passed unanimously so the American people would hold every member of Congress accountable.
For example, if President Obama wants higher tax rates on upper income individuals, then the GOP would get to cut entitlements or corporate welfare. (The GOP should end corporate welfare ASAP so they could demonstrate their opposition to crony capitalism, which most of them support by the way.) In other words, quid pro quo. If Obama wants to cut military spending (an unlikely proposal), then the GOP could eliminate a major piece of regulation, Dodd Frank, Obamacare, raise the age for Social Security or Medicare, or better yet, phase out the two Ponzi schemes over the next two to three decades.
If everything is supposed to be on the “table,” then everything should be on the table.
What is the likelihood that we will see compromise, a quid pro quo that would downsize the federal government, not just reduce the growth of the federal spending under Obama, balance the budget at much lower levels than today’s $3.7 trillion budget? Slim to none.
What then can we expect over the next four years if Obama, Boehner conduct business as usual? More of the same, more spending, more taxes, more regulations, more money printing, more interventionism overseas. In short, a continuation of the welfare-warfare state, and thus a lower standard of living for most Americans.
Murray Sabrin, a professor of finance at Ramapo College of New Jersey in Mahwah, has been a candidate for statewide office on both the Republican and Libertarian Party lines.