During the GOP's tenure as the majority party in Congress, spending rose an incredible amount, and I'm not talking about spending for the operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.
It looked like the Republicans never saw a spending program they didn't like. As such, the people remember the profligate spending of the record tax revenues (after the Bush tax cuts). It's not likely that they'll forget about it. And after such spending, it's not likely that the taxpayers will believe the GOP about more tax cuts.
A few weeks ago Republican leaders gathered on Capitol Hill to hear from their top pollsters and pundits about how they can win back the votes of independent voters. Some of the attendees are still in a state of cardiac arrest over what they learned.
America's swing voters, especially the suburban "security moms," who abandoned the GOP in droves in 2006 still hold Republicans in very low regard. What has party tacticians especially spooked is that these independents are apparently not much attracted to what the Republicans are saying about taxes. That's a bitter pill for party leaders to swallow, because for 25 years the anti-tax banner has been a political trump card for conservative candidates. A top strategist at the Republican National Committee who attended the meeting told me: "Our tax message has worn thin."
Well, that's not exactly true. It is true that the GOP message on taxes needs a makeover, perhaps a radical one--and the party's congressional leaders had better figure this out soon: The big tax fight starts as early as next week when House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charlie Rangle unveils his multibillion dollar soak-the-rich tax hike plan to pay for middle-class Alternative Minimum Tax relief. So let's review some of the key attitudinal shifts of voters on taxes as revealed in recent polls and focus-group findings.
I think we'll all be in for a bumpy ride. Should the Dems hold on to their majority in the House and take a solid majority in the Senate, I think that it will be safe to say that we should all hold on to our wallets. You know that the Democrats will suck so much money out of the economy in an effort to “soak the rich” that they'll help bring on a recession that they'll find some way of blaming on the Republicans. The sad thing is that they'll be right, but only to the point that the GOP had the chance to stop this years ago but decided that it wasn't worth the effort.
I'd say that makes it the Republican's fault.