I like Mike Pence (R-IN), and maybe it’s not fair to categorize this post under “Wimpy Republicans.” It’s maybe a lack of being articulate enough.
Congressman Pence appeared on Fox News Sunday July 18, 2010, with House Democrat James Clyburn (D-SC). Clyburn challenced Pence on the issue of funding the latest unemployment benefits extension. The Republicans are insisting that this funding not add to the deficit, but that we find other places in the budget we can cut to compensate. A reasonable enough request. Clyburn, however, threw it back at Pence, saying that Republicans want to extend tax cuts to the rich without paying for those. Host Chris Wallace jumped on the question, with something like, “Yes, Congressman Pence. Why are you willing to give those tax cuts without paying for them, but then you want unemployment benefits paid for.” Pence bumbled through the answer and finally got it out that it seems that the history of some of these tax cuts is that they generate more revenue.
Oooh, I wanted to shake him. Congressman, your answer was too indirect, too wordy and difficult to understand. How about being direct and bold, and saying it in such a way that there is no way people won’t understand you.
Here’s how I would have answered that question:
First, I’m offended anytime Democrats talk of tax cuts as if they are expenses to the government. But that’s how they think. They think this is their money, that they’re entitled to it. To compare tax cuts to their wild, unrestrained spending is offensive to the American people.
Second, tax cuts increase revenue. The Bush tax cuts increased the revenue to the government. The Reagan tax cuts increased revenue. Tax increases are oppressive and dampen the economy, often resulting in an actual decrease in total revenue.