Republicans should stand and fight
When the 1st Marine Regiment was encircled by communist forces at the Battle of Chosin Reservoir, Marine Col. Lewis “Chesty” Puller was said to have declared: “We’re surrounded. Good! Now we can fire in any direction.”
It’s time for congressional Republicans to adopt some of Puller’s courage — and strategy — when it comes to their fiscal stand-off with Barack Obama.
Like Puller’s Marines, the GOP is surrounded. That means Republican leaders have only two options: 1) Surrender. 2) Stand and fight.
Right now, it seems as if they are seeking the least painful way to surrender. It’s time to stand and fight instead. Republicans can still shoot their way out of their current predicament. It won’t be pretty and they will have to fight ugly — but they can still win. Here is a three-step battle plan for doing so:
STEP ONE: Stand your ground on taxes. You’ve already conceded hundreds of billions in new revenue through limiting deductions. If Obama refuses to compromise, pass legislation extending current tax rates for all Americans. Let Obama reject it and take us over the “fiscal cliff” — and then be prepared to live under the Clinton tax rates while negotiations on tax reform continue. In the short term, Americans may blame you. You can recover from that. What you will never recover from is surrendering your principles and giving up your brand as the party of low taxes and limited government.
STEP TWO: Go on the offensive. Immediately put forward a plan to fundamentally reform the tax code. You will be able to outbid Obama and the Democrats in any tax-cut fight. And the intellectual groundwork has already been done. During the supercommittee negotiations last year, Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) put forward a plan to lower rates, raise revenue and limit deductions. Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) has a revenue-neutral corporate tax reform plan that lowers the rate to 25 percent and moves to a territorial system. ...