The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Fiscal Cliff

December 29, 2012

Make Middle Class Pay More

(Continued)

WASHINGTON —

So let's do it. Let's all of us experience the true cost of big government in the form of a bigger tax bill.

It might well be that the biggest mistake Republicans made during Obama's first term was forcing the president to extend the Bush tax cuts. At the time, it seemed like a major victory by the newly elected GOP House. But in truth, it was a victory for Obama. Extending the tax cuts shielded the economy from the full brunt of Obama's economic failures and allowed him to put off job-killing tax increases until his second term. It's ironic: Obama never passed up an opportunity to blame President George W. Bush for his economic woes, yet he rode the Bush tax cuts to reelection.

Extending the tax cuts also shielded Americans from the costs of Obama's spending spree. Shopping on a credit card is fun until the bill comes due. But if the bill never arrives, what incentive do people have to stop the spending?

Big government is great if you don't have to pay for it. Well, now it's time to pay the bill. Maybe when the costs of the stimulus, Obamacare and exploding entitlements are finally deducted from their paychecks, Americans will rediscover the virtue of smaller government. If they don't like paying higher taxes to allow for more spending, there's a simple solution: Demand that politicians in Washington cut taxes and spending instead of expanding them. And if they won't do it, elect men and women who will.

Until then, Republicans need to stop protecting Americans from the consequences of their decisions to elect profligate politicians.

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