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John Boehner is failing. He’s playing President Obama’s game on President Obama’s court. He’s prosecuting the wrong case. Rather than discussing the terms of the fiscal cliff debate, Speaker Boehner should be talking about why Republicans’ pro-growth tax policies are America’s only hope for a variety of Obama-created ills.

First, Speaker Boehner should highlight the fact that President Clinton’s high tax rates didn’t trigger the great economy. He should remind the nation that it was Newt’s capital gains tax cuts that sent the economy into high gear. Prior to those tax cuts, the economy was doing ok. After cutting the capital gains tax, growth exploded.

Another thing that Speaker Boehner must do is remind people that Republicans’ insisting on balancing the federal budget helped strengthen the dollar, which led to a dramatic shrinking of America’s trade deficit. That especially affected gas prices.

Third, Speaker Boehner should shout from the rooftops that revenues during the Bush tax cuts were significantly bigger than revenues are today. If Speaker Boehner asked President Obama why he’s insisting on anti-growth policies that tamp the economy down rather than implementing new pro-growth policies that strengthen the economy, President Obama might well blow a gasket.

This is the debate we should start. This is the debate President Obama can’t win. This is the conversation that would expose President Obama’s motivation for imposing higher tax rates.

Rather than the pattern of proposal-counterproposal, then a counter offer to the counterproposal, with each side publicly stating that the other side needs to put forth a serious proposal, Speaker Boehner should ditch that pattern, especially the taunting language.

Instead, Speaker Boehner, followed by every Republican in Congress talking with their local newspapers and TV outlets about how cutting spending is what’s fair to taxpayers and how reforming the tax code, highlighted by fewer deductions and lower tax rates, would strengthen the economy.

Highlight the fact that this was the real reason why the economy was strong during the Clinton administration. Highlight the fact that the economy didn’t take off until Newt changed the trajectory of the debate.

President Obama is too arrogant to be frightened by that debate, which means Speaker Boehner should be able to turn this situation into a discussion on getting America’s economy going for the first time during President Obama’s administration.

With expensive utility bills, shrinking paychecks, high gas and grocery prices and unacceptably high unemployment rates, the indictment against President Obama’s mishandling of the economy should be lengthy and powerful.

Finally, he should unleash Paul Ryan. Speaker Boehner should insist on a televised fiscal cliff summit, with Ryan leading the prosecution of the case against President Obama’s reckless spending. Dave Camp should prosecute the case for why the GOP tax reform plan will strengthen the economy.

GOP senators and governors should take part in this summit, too. One tactic President Obama has overplayed is saying that ‘we can talk about that’ on a variety of policies, then dropping that position the minute he’s out of the room. Republicans should tell him that implementing a pro-growth economic plan is non-negotiable.

Finally, make the case that raising the top marginal tax rates won’t affect the Warren Buffetts of the world because their income comes from investments, not wages. Make the case that raising the top marginal tax rates will hurt small businesses, not the evil Wall Street fatcats President Obama always talks about.

President Obama’s policies are failing. Speaker Boehner’s ineptitude in highlighting those failures has the fiscal cliff conversation heading in the wrong direction. It’s time to change the direction of that conversation.

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If there’s anything that the American people are pissed about, it’s the rate at which the federal government spends money. That’s why Republicans should be thanking their lucky stars for the upcoming deadline for the CR.

This isn’t something that should be dreaded. Why wouldn’t we want to pick this fight? If the Senate insists that they won’t go along with deep spending cuts, then we should have Paul Ryan on every Sunday morning show and have him holding daily press conferences, talking about the virtues of cutting spending.

Karl Rove and Dick Morris agree that we should fight this fight to the end. Here’s Rove’s take:

President Obama’s 2012 budget is not a serious governing document. It’s a political one, designed to boost his re-election chances.

By repeatedly saying that his budget reduces the deficit by $1 trillion over 10 years, he hopes the numbers make him sound fiscally conservative. But he puts off 95% of the deficit reduction until after his term ends in 2013. And he assumes that economic growth in the next few years will be at least 25% higher than credible economic forecasters estimate.

Mr. Obama’s budget includes $1.6 trillion in tax increases that are real enough—but most of the spending cuts are not. For example, as Rep. Paul Ryan, the House Budget Committee chairman pointed out to me, the administration projects war costs for Iraq and Afghanistan at surge levels for the next decade, and then conjures up about $1.3 trillion in defense savings by assuming drawdowns in each theater—drawdowns that were already in the cards. Outside of this sham transaction, according to Mr. Ryan, there are only $104 billion in real spending cuts over the next 10 years.

This is why Paul Ryan must be the Republican face of this fight. The Obama administration’s con game is being exposed, thanks to Chairman Ryan’s work. Why would the administration argue that drawdowns that are already scheduled should count as budget savings? This is insulting.

Here’s a key portion of Morris’ post:

The Republican leadership needs to make a bold statement and send Obama a bill that sticks in his big-spending throat. If the Senate won’t pass it or the president threatens a veto, even better. Obama’s approval ratings, recently rising to 51% from 41% in the past two months according to the FoxNews poll will fall back down again, and lower, if he gets into a fight against cutting government spending. The Republicans in the House will have called his bluff about moving to the center and will force the kind of fiscal belt-tightening they heralded during the campaign.

And if the government has to operate in a state of crisis, with continuing resolutions keeping it funded day after day, so much the better! It will call attention to how intractable the Democrats are in resisting any cut in spending.

President Obama isn’t moving to the center. When Clinton moved (relatively) to the center, he supported the death penalty; he “ended welfare as we know it”; he balanced the budget. President Obama’s ‘move to the center’ has been saying that he’d consider other people’s good ideas for health care reform.

Mind you, he didn’t say he’d say that he’d agree with anything beyond the most minimal change in provisions. He said he’d consider other people’s ideas. How noble of him.

This isn’t a fight the Republicans should shy away from. This is a fight they should run towards, provided they put their best people at the front. That means putting Paul Ryan, Dave Camp, Mike Pence, Thad McCotter and Jeb Hensarling at the front to argue the Republicans’ case.

If they do that, they’ll win this fight and the 2012 election. It’s just that simple.

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This afternoon, FNC Digital Editor Chris Stirewalt reported that some so-called moderate Senate Democrats are open to re-open discussions on O’Care. He said that there’s even been hints that they’re willing to discuss eliminating the individual mandate.

This evening, Rep. John Garamendi, (D-Calif.), said that “the bill was never a perfect bill” and that they always knew they’d have to “return to tweak it.”

It’s impossible to take Rep. Garamendi’s spin seriously since the Democrats, both in the House and Senate, caved when their votes were needed to ram the bill down the American people’s throats.

In the House, so-called right-to-life Democrats like Jim Oberstar and Bart Stupak dropped their opposition to the bill the minute Speaker Pelosi told them she needed their votes. There was a little haggling on Stupak’s part to save political face but the cave was obvious.

Rep. Garamendi’s statement rings especially hollow considering the fact that multiple bills were written and passed in the House and Senate. After the various bills passed, they were ‘condensed’ into a House version and a Senate version without any input from people like Paul Ryan, Dave Camp, Judd Gregg or Sen. Barrasso, not in committee rooms but in Sen. Reid’s and Speaker Pelosi’s offices far from the cameras.

Now they’re ‘accepting’ the thought that they’ll need to ‘tweak’ the bill a little bit. How accomodating of the D’s.

There’s just one flaw with that accomodation: most of the D’s bill either adds to the deficit, doesn’t lower health care or health insurance premium costs, encourages overuse of health insurance coverages and doesn’t introduce cost-changing competition to the equation.

That’s before talking about the unconstitutional individual and employer mandates, the $670,000,000,000 worth of job-killing tax increases or the federal government’s takeover of the student loan industry.

Other than those things, the GOP’s and the Democrats’ plans are practically identical.

That’s what happens when two groups of tyrants get together behind closed doors, forbids input from the opposing political party, especially since the GOP’s ideas were infinitely more popular and made more sense. Reid and Pelosi certainly couldn’t entertain the GOP’s input in that setting.

Now that serious jurists have ruled or hinted that the individual mandate is unconstitutional and with the Supreme Court split with 4 progressive and 4 conservative jurists with center-right justice Anthony Kennedy likely to cast the deciding vote, the Obama administration suddenly is in a mood to negotiate.

This isn’t likely to be a good faith negotiation. It’s more likely to be a face-saving negotiation intended to only go as far as necessary. It won’t have anything to do with doing what’s right for the people.

Last week, President Obama called for Americans to use words that heal, not wound. Implicit in that sentence was a call for bipartisanship. With all due respect, bipartisanship isn’t what’s needed because bipartisanship might only mean that opposite sides of a debate agree to scratch each others’ backs.

What’s needed is old-fashioned statesmanship, where men of gravitas whose word meant something, set aside party considerations to do what’s right for the nation.

What Republican in their right mind would trust Pelosi, Reid, Schumer or Durbin?

Rather than negotiating a deal where each side says ‘I’ll give you this if you give me that’, what we need is a negotiation where genuine heavyweights figure out what’s best for the country, then persuade enough people from both sides to do what’s right.

Rep. Garamendi said that repealing O’Care would lead to people needlessly dying. That isn’t statesmanship. That’s hyperbole and it should be instantly rejected. That won’t happen with Rep. Pelosi leading the House Democrats.

The next 2-3 election cycles will clean out alot of the Democrats who can’t be trusted. Politicians like Harry Reid, Chuck Schumer, Dick Durbin and Nancy Pelosi won’t be defeated. Their numbers will shrink and they’ll become more irrelevant with each passing electoral cycle.

By then, hopefully, Republicans and SCOTUS will have cleaned up the policy and constitutional mess Obama, Reid and Pelosi created.

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Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson isn’t one of the brighter bulbs in the progressive media’s chandelier. Still, I’d hoped he’d gotten better with his observations and opinions than he shows in this column. Here’s what I’m referring to:

I don’t want to overstate the Republicans’ predicament. They did, after all, take control of the House and win six more seats in the Senate. But during the lame-duck session, it seemed to dawn on GOP leaders that they begin the new Congress burdened with great expectations, but lacking commensurate power. It’s going to be a challenge for Republicans just to maintain party unity, much less enact the kind of conservative agenda they promised to their enthusiastic, impatient voters.

It’s easy to see Robinson’s bias in that paragraph. Like most progressives, he’s resorted to talking down to the readers. NOTE TO MR. ROBINSON: We know that we won’t undo all the destructive policies that the 111th Congress established. We couldn’t even if we would’ve won back control of the Senate, too.

That doesn’t mean TEA Party Republicans aren’t committed to getting rid of most of the destructive policies the Democrats put in place. It’s just that they know they’ll need to take the incremental approach to this endeavor.

Barring something unexpected happening, Obamacare won’t be disappearing in the next 2 years. We won’t be able to undo all of the reckless spending that the Obama/Pelosi/Reid trio enacted. That said, we can certainly put alot of dents in the ‘Obamamobile’.

Let’s start with hearings on Obamacare. Let’s ask Kathleen Sebelius about the $670,000,000,000 worth of tax increases that will go into effect at midnight, Jan. 01, 2011. Let’s ask her about the new rule she’s trying to implement. Let’s pin her down on what this financial incentive on end-of-life counseling involves.

Let’s ask Eric Holder why he withdrew the NBPP case after the DOJ won it.

Most importantly, though, let’s get Paul Ryan, Dave Camp and others working on putting a more appealing set of policies together that will put America’s economy on the pathway to prosperity and fiscal sanity.

It’s important that Republicans take a two-track approach to this. The minute that Republicans start conducting oversight hearings, it’s guaranteed that Democrats and the Democrats’ shills in the media will start whining that Republicans don’t want to govern, that they really only want to conduct partisan witch hunts.

That’s why having Ryan and Co. working on their reform agenda is vital. When the Democrats and their media shills whine about the partisan witch hunts, Republicans can instantly point to the reforms that Ryan, Camp and others are working on.

That’s how you discredit the media and the Democrats.

Bit by bit, these hearings and these reforms will change the debate in DC and across the nation. With the TEA Party’s amplification, we’ll be able to tell the story on what’s getting accomplished.

There will be times when we won’t get everything we want, though, simply because President Obama will push back. That’s ok because putting a healthy-sized dent in Obamacare is a positive thing as long we aren’t satisfied with just putting a dent in it.

The eventual goal must be to put Obamacare in the outsized junkyard of failed progressive ideas.

Conservatives are smart enough to know that we won’t get everything done overnight, Mr. Robinson, so don’t worry yourself about the fracturing of the GOP. It ain’t happening anytime soon.

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The first time I, like most of the nation, noticed Rep. Dave Camp was at the health care summit. Most think of that as Camp’s coming out party. I remember listening to Rush gush about Camp’s performance. As I recall, Camp was the star of the morning session.

That isn’t a tiny thing. Going into the summit, the majority of pundits thought Team GOP was going to get creamed, not because they didn’t know their stuff but because most people thought President Obama would talk about all the poor people who needed his health care elixir.

Thanks to Camp, Sen. Alexander and Eric Cantor, Team GOP didn’t just outperform their expectations. They won the morning session handily. While the Democrats told their endless string of sad stories, Team GOP stuck with their policies, showing how their policies would benefit people more.

Now George Will’s column reintroduces him to us. Here’s a sample of Camp’s wit:

Now 57 and about to begin his 11th term in Congress, he will chair the House Ways and Means Committee, where he will try to implement the implications of his complaint that “the tax code is 10 times longer than the Bible, without the good news.”

Rest assured that one thing Dave Camp will work on is tax reform and simplification. People won’t have difficulty recognizing the difference between Camp’s Ways and Means Committee and Charlie Rangel’s regime.

Camp likely won’t only be involved in tax reform. I suspect that he’ll have a significant role to play in health care reform, too, where he’ll work to craft policies that genuinely will bring costs down, will improve accessability and will let people stay in charge of their health care.

Again, there won’t be any trouble distinguishing between the Obamacare government takeover of health care and the Ryan-Camp version of real health care reform.

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For the past couple weeks, Charles Krauthammer has been absolutely gaga over President Obama’s supposed outmaneuvering Republicans in extending what he calls tax cuts.

It’s now official. It’s ok to say that I’m more than annoyed with Charles’s logic. This is some of the most short-sighted punditry I’ve ever seen. Let’s take this step-by-step.

First, let’s ask ourselves whether extending President Bush’s tax policies and extending the unemployment insurance will have a stimulative effect. At best, the answer is possibly. This isn’t a guaranteed boost to the economy by any stretch of the imagination.

Next, let’s ask the most important question, which is whether any of these things will create jobs by the 100’s of thousands. That’s really the thing that voters are worrying about the most. The answer to that question, at least according to the WSJ’s Kimberley Strassel.

On last weekend’s Journal Editorial Report, aka JER, Ms. Strassel said that extending President Bush’s tax policies meant that we’d avoided another recession, that it didn’t guarantee a vibrant recovery.

After seeing the unemployment rate at almost 10 percent for 18 months, the American people don’t care about clever maneuvering or who got the better of what legislation. They simply want the economy growing again. There’s no proof that anything President Obama did last week will get the economy growing at a pace that will significantly lower the unemployment rate. Until that happens, everything President Obama does will be viewed as insignificant.

Finally, we’re seeing that President Obama’s administration keeps working hard to control our lives, whether it’s through net neutrality or through Obamacare. Tuesday, the FCC voted to ignore the DC Circuit’s ruling that it doesn’t have the authority to regulate the internet, setting up another embarrassing court lost for the Obama administration.

Another in that they got handed a pretty stinging defeat in Virginia when Judge Henry Hudson said that the government didn’t have the authority to regulate nonactivity.

When Paul Ryan puts a substantial list of sensible spending cuts and Dave Camp puts together a sensible plan to reform the tax code and after the House Budget Committee refuses to fund the implementation of Obamacare, people will see that President Obama is still the same radical he’s been through the first 23 months of his administration.

When further litigation is brought about Obamacare, people will be reminded that President Obama totally ignored the people and shoved it down our throats anyway. I’ll guarantee that that won’t play well with independents.

When Republicans put together a serious set of thoughtful spending cuts, the people will be reminded that the Obama administration, with their willing accomplices in the House and Senate, spent like maniacs.

When Republicans propose better health insurance legislation than Obamacare, one that doesn’t rely on the government telling people what they must do, one that doesn’t tell insurance companies what their prices will be or what things they’ll have to cover, the Comeback Kid talk will be silenced.

Krauthammer can talk smart about how Obama got the better of the Republicans because he doesn’t have any skin in the game. In fact, to him, it’s just a game. To the 15,000,000 people who aren’t employed, this isn’t a game. In some instances, it’s a matter of life and death.

I don’t think Mr. Krauthammer is thinking that. It’s time he pulled his head out of his backside and started thinking in terms of what’s best for America instead of thinking about things in terms of Washington echochamber games.

This isn’t a game. And President Obama isn’t the Comeback Kid.

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