Forbes' olive branch

If government raises taxes, will it slash regulations in kind?

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We appreciate and respect magazine magnate Steve Forbes and his announced acquiescence to higher tax rates on the wealthy.

Coming from Mr. Forbes, a clear-headed fiscal hawk, the concession may encourage leaders in Washington to arrive at a consensus to avoid the infamous “fiscal cliff” the country is headed for at the end of the year: massive tax increases on everyone, as well as blunt, inartful cuts to the federal budget that no one seems to favor.

What may get lost in his unexpected peace offering is what he is asking for in return – which is that, if we’re going to return to 1990s-style tax rates on the wealthiest Americans, let’s at least reduce government regulations to comparable levels as well.

Democrats, including President Obama, are nearly as nostalgic for the Bill Clinton years as Republicans are for the Reagan years. But are Democrats willing to really go there – complete with a more business-friendly regulatory environment?

The ’90s also were quite contrary to today in the way we approached dependency on government. Bill Clinton liked to talk about “ending welfare as we know it.” Today, record numbers of Americans are on government assistance – and the Obama administration has been advertising to put more people on food stamps, and recently even put up a “welcome package” on a federal website directing recent immigrants (illegal too?) directly to public assistance programs.

A return to fewer regulations, Forbes notes, also would include the repeal of Obamacare.

In summation, Forbes wrote just before Thanksgiving that a return to a Clinton-era economy must include more than just a return to similar tax rates; it must also include a freer economy, similar federal spending levels and a strong and stable dollar.

If Mr. Obama is serious about getting the economy moving again, Forbes wrote, “he has to combine Clinton tax rates with the former president’s wise management of the economy that encouraged free enterprise and a true recovery. If not, we will see a return to recession in 2013 and continue on our current path toward European-style malaise and stagnation.”

Forbes is right.

We hope Democrats in Washington will acknowledge it, just as Forbes and others are beginning to acquiesce to higher tax rates for some. We wish they would accept that there’s simply not enough wealth in America, much less in a few hands, to support the kind of suicidal spending the federal government is engaging in. Our leaders also need to deal with entitlement spending, which, alone, will bankrupt America in just a few years.

People like Steve Forbes have spread the seeds of compromise. Pray they grow.

Prayer may be the key. And we appreciate the sentiments of the Rev. Franklin Graham, son of famed evangelist Billy Graham, who – about the same time Forbes was extending his olive branch – issued a call to prayer for unity and humility and cohesion in the country:

“Having just come through a divisive national election, I am urging pastors across this country to lead their congregations in praying daily for our president, Barack Obama, and all of our elected leaders – for wisdom, Divine guidance, and that God would accomplish His will and purposes.

“While politics is noticeably partisan, prayer must never be partisan. Americans need to come together, and people of faith should lead the way, by praying diligently for our leaders whether or not they agree with them or their policies. God’s Word commands us to pray for ‘kings and all who are in high positions’ (I Timothy 2:2).

“When we look at the moral and economic decline of our nation and the international threats before us, it should be clear that we cannot solve these monumental problems without the help of Almighty God.”

Amen.

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Young Fred
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Young Fred 11/30/12 - 02:45 am
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How do you define

How do you define compromise?

We've a spending problem pure and simple. We can raise taxes on successful job makers, just to make a point, but until somebody has the 'nads to take on the insatiable appetite of our bloated government nothing will improve.

I forsee deficit spending and an increasing nat'l debt into the the short-term future. Our recently re-elected president is feeling his oats and cares nothing about problems that will rear its head well after he's left office.

Techfan
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Techfan 11/30/12 - 06:08 am
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Forbes:Make your money the old fashioned way. Inherit it.

Has Forbes ever been right about anything?

"Mitt Romney will win big tonight. His popular vote margin will be between 3 – 5%. He will win the Electoral College I believe by a vote of 321 to 217, and with luck, even more. He will win all of the states McCain carried in 2008 which will give him 180 electoral votes. He will also carry the three states that normally go Republican that in 2008 went for Obama – Indiana, North Carolina and Virginia. That brings him to 219. He will also take Florida, which will bring him to 248 votes. Although the Obama campaign will deny it, it effectively wrote off Virginia and Florida several days ago.

Despite intense efforts, Obama will lose both Ohio and Pennsylvania. In Ohio the voter turnout for Republicans will be more like 2004 instead of 2008. Southeastern Ohio has a number of evangelical voters and the area also has a coal industry. Romney should win the state by up to 200,000 votes. He will also win Pennsylvania where he has not been damaged by a long-lasting barrage of negative ads.

Romney should also win narrowly in New Hampshire, Wisconsin, Iowa and Colorado. He even has a chance to take Nevada. That gives him 321 electoral votes."

wayne2410
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wayne2410 11/30/12 - 06:17 am
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I think Techfans comment
Unpublished

I think Techfans comment shows us just how much comprimising the liberals plan to do. Not that I'm surprised

carcraft
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carcraft 11/30/12 - 06:44 am
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Has Obama been right on any

Has Obama been right on any thing? The unemployment rate was over 8% after Obama promised it would never get there if we spent $800 billion dollars. Well it was above 8% for 40 some months. We will be more respected over seas. That is why they shut shut down the embassy in indonesia, we had oout embassies demonstrated against from England to Egypt to the far east huh? You can keep your health care insurance if you like it. uh, no, I now pay higher premiums fo lower coverage and the cost of health insurance is hurting people and local governments across the country. What has Obama been right about ? LOL

carcraft
55762
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carcraft 11/30/12 - 06:45 am
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Could I throw in balanced

Could I throw in balanced budgets and cut deficits?

Techfan
6466
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Techfan 11/30/12 - 08:23 am
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Same old same old

Obama won by 3.5 million votes (332 to 206 in the Electoral College), the 5th out of the last 6 elections Democrats have won the popular vote. The Democrats picked up 2 Senate seats, despite having 21 seats up for election (and 2 Independent) vs 10 for the GOP and 8 House seats (and if it wasn't for gerrymandering it would have been many more). If a 2 million popular vote and 286 to 251 electoral college win, and a 3 vote pick up in the House and 4 in the Senate was a mandate for Bush in 2004 (and you can be sure Bush and all of the right wing media, including this newspaper, sure claimed it was), why wouldn't Obama's win be claimed the same. You sure didn't see the AC or any of the other right wing media saying that Bush sure swing to the Democrats side after that election. No, he "political capital" and he intended to use it with all of the right wing saying he should essentially just run over the Democrats. If all of that held true, then Forbes and all of the other talking head of the far right should shut up and try the Presidents plans for a change instead of blocking everything, even if it would help the country, just to make Obama look bad. Maybe they'll change the filibuster rules so McCain, McConnell will have to keep their rear ends on the Senate floor and run their mouths 24/7 like the old days. I also say, since Obama and the Democrats won a mandate, don't allow chairs, make them stand the whole time. Maybe the GOP will back off on their rcord number of filibusters and cloture votes.

justthefacts
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justthefacts 11/30/12 - 09:18 am
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Techfan is correct

Unfortunately, the inmates are now running the asylum.

Humble Angela
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Humble Angela 11/30/12 - 09:51 am
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"Has Forbes ever been right
Unpublished

"Has Forbes ever been right about anything?"

Well...he's a multi-millionaire...must have made some correct decisions. What's YOUR net worth?

I did notice one thing about Techfan's post.....it was just as most of his posts.....don't attack a single thing in the editorial....just attack the person.

InChristLove
22493
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InChristLove 11/30/12 - 10:14 am
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Same old same old......yes it

Same old same old......yes it is Techfan.

You asked the question “Has Forbes ever been right about anything?”. Then you proceed to give us three tired paragraphs on a comment the man made about who, in his opinion, would win the election. So this man’s opinion concerning the election, although incorrect, determines that he has NEVER been right about anything? He wasn’t right about this so he must be wrong about everything else. Makes sense to me (sarcasm).

Then when a poster makes a comment about things President Obama has been incorrect on, and how his decisions have negatively affected this country, you still want to laminate on Obama winning, how many popular votes, how man electoral votes, blah, blah, blah. That has nothing to do with this article and its comments concerning Mr. Forbes, taxes, and the disastrous economy. But like you said Same Old, Same Old.

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 11/30/12 - 10:15 am
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Take it or leave it

Here's Obama's non-negotiable offer tossed to the Republicans:

Raise marginal income tax rates to married couples and S Chapter small businesses reporting more than $250,000 gross income (single taxpayers get hit if they report more than $200,000) and leave the rates for everyone else the same. Do it before Jan. 1. Then in 2013, Congress can form a sub-committee to discuss a total re-vamp of the tax code. I will not participate in those discussions because I am the president and I need to go play golf in Hawaii.

Did you note that there is nothing in there about spending cuts? Not one thing.

This is a recipe for status quo. It is a recipe for a downward spiral for a great deal of Americans. Dependency on government for food, housing, medical care, education, entertainment, etc. is destroying our moral fabric.

burninater
13593
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burninater 11/30/12 - 10:22 am
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Defense, social security, and

Defense, social security, and major health programs constitute 61% of our federal spending. Safety net programs constitute 13%. An unrelenting obsession with safety net spending, at 13%, while ignoring the rest of spending, at 87%, indicates an unwillingness to address the majority of our spending problem.

Don't get me wrong, if we ended safety net spending, I wouldn't complain about a 13% tax decrease. Unfortunately, knowing that the majority of safety net spending recipients are children and the elderly makes it impossible for me to be as disgusted with them as many seem to feel comfortable being.

Think about that situation for a moment. People complain the liberal media has portrayed the Right as heartless and greedy. Yet in their own words, the constant theme of our fiscal dilemma is that safety net spending is to blame. Obama handouts, they say. A gimme gimme voter base, they say. The obsession with the 13% component of spending, primarily on children and the elderly, while staying for the most part comparatively silent on the supermajority of federal spending, raises serious doubts for many about the seriousness of the Right's claim to want to rein in spending, and serious doubts about their basic understanding of the nature of the problem.

Humble Angela
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Humble Angela 11/30/12 - 10:20 am
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Little Lamb.....but he
Unpublished

Little Lamb.....but he promised to talk abou spending cuts next year....and we all know, Obama has NEVER broken a promise......right?

Humble Angela
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Humble Angela 11/30/12 - 10:24 am
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I would be happy if the
Unpublished

I would be happy if the Government cut me a check for all the SS and Medicare I have paid them, and I wouldn't ask for one cent from them again.....With that check I could probably retire.

burninater
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burninater 11/30/12 - 10:26 am
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Incessantly attacking

Incessantly attacking Obamacare also raises problems concerning one's seriousness about tackling spending. A full 21% of our spending is on healthcare programs. The Democrats are attempting a reform to decrease costs. It may not work, but for goshsakes, at least they're TRYING. The opposition standpoint of doing nothing in hopes the exploding trend in healthcore costs of the past two decades will magically self correct inspires zero confidence.

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 11/30/12 - 10:31 am
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Burninater:

It is the democrats who refuse to discuss cuts in Obamacare (of which Medicare is now a component) and cuts in Social Security. Now, for myself, I'm a big proponent of cutting bloat in Defense programs, but Defense should not be the only agency cut. The scalpel needs to be applied broadly.

Humble Angela
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Humble Angela 11/30/12 - 10:32 am
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It would be easier to take
Unpublished

It would be easier to take the Democrats seriously about attempting a reform to decrease costs if they hadn't passed Obamacare. It does NOTHING to decrease costs.....even though without reading it, they assured us that it would. Telling the American people that we must pass a bill so we can see what's in it inspires less than zero confidence.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 11/30/12 - 10:43 am
5
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Go back to Clinton's taxes AND spending.

The key under Clinton-Gingrich is that spending was a lower percentage than it is now. Plus everyone paid a little in taxes. Thank Newt because Clinton fought all the Republican measures to decrease spending. Some things never change. Go back to Clinton's taxes and spending.

TParty
6004
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TParty 11/30/12 - 10:54 am
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3
"Go back to Clinton's taxes

"Go back to Clinton's taxes AND spending."

Yeah- the cry for taxes to go up is pretty high right now, and the Clinton era is being used as the example. But no one is shouting what the spending was like during Clinton!

Of course- Clinton did cut back on the military, and I'm all for defense cuts, alongside other cuts.

Investments for infrastructure, science and research need to be a priority- however cuts in other areas HAVE to be done. It's going to hurt for a year- maybe two, but we have to live within our means. We are Americans- we can cut back and sacrifice some. The Greatest generation did so.

justthefacts
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justthefacts 11/30/12 - 10:55 am
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Burn

" An unrelenting obsession with safety net spending, at 13%, while ignoring the rest of spending, at 87%, indicates an unwillingness to address the majority of our spending problem." You know that's not true. How can your forget the Democrats constant accusations about Romney/Ryan's plan to push Grandma off the cliff? Who again was unwilling to dicuss the tough issues?? It wasn't the Republicans.

Humble Angela
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Humble Angela 11/30/12 - 10:55 am
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"If any of you on the right
Unpublished

"If any of you on the right believe Obamacare will not continue to be the law of the land for the foreseeable future, you are living in fantasyland. "

Problem is, the foreseeable future isn't very long with the out of control spending we are seeing, and the other economy damaging policies.

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 11/30/12 - 10:59 am
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Where?

TParty posted:

Investments [i.e., government spending - LL] for infrastructure, science and research need to be a priority - however cuts in other areas HAVE to be done.

Show me where the president or Harry Reid or Nancy Pelosi have offered up one program, one bureau, one agency (or even one federal job) to be cut before Jan. 1.

Humble Angela
41338
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Humble Angela 11/30/12 - 11:00 am
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Conservatives aren't acting
Unpublished

Conservatives aren't acting like raising the marginal rate is outragous. What is outragous is the idea that it will make a difference without cutting spending, which the President and the Democrats REFUSE to even discuss. Not to mention, it was the President, himself who said you shouldn't raise taxes during a recession....was he lying then or is he lying now?

Humble Angela
41338
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Humble Angela 11/30/12 - 11:04 am
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I get it. If we ignore the
Unpublished

I get it. If we ignore the fact that we are just a few years behind what is going on in Greece, then it won't happen. Good plan. It worked well for THEM.

TParty
6004
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TParty 11/30/12 - 11:12 am
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1
"Show me where the president

"Show me where the president or Harry Reid or Nancy Pelosi have offered up one program, one bureau, one agency (or even one federal job) to be cut before Jan. 1."

I've been out of the loop for maybe two weeks- so I'm not caught up on negotiations.

But I know Obama has spoken a lot about getting rid of inefficient programs, agencies that do the same job and are redundant, while streamlining things.

This is a good example:

http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2012/01/13/obama-to-merge-6-governme...

Humble Angela
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Humble Angela 11/30/12 - 11:25 am
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"But I know Obama has spoken
Unpublished

"But I know Obama has spoken a lot about getting rid of inefficient programs, agencies that do the same job and are redundant, while streamlining things."

He's TALKED about a great many things. Like closing GITMO, posting bills for the public to read before signing them, unemployment not going over 8%, not having lobbyists on his cabinet.

He's real good at TALKING.

burninater
13593
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burninater 11/30/12 - 11:36 am
2
2
A defining difference between

A defining difference between today's spending and Clinton-era spending is that in the Clinton era, we were not paying for two wars that had been kept off budget. It is important that we keep in mind the impact of expenses with a fixed timeline when considering cuts in ongoing programs.

justthefacts
50442
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justthefacts 11/30/12 - 11:47 am
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CBO

I believe when the CBO analyzes these on going programs, they do it stand alone without the impact of fixed timeline expenses.

Little Lamb
64323
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Little Lamb 11/30/12 - 11:48 am
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2
Excellent 10:16 post from

Excellent 10:16 post from Dichotomy. You should read the whole thing. Here is an exerpt:

Obama just released his budget. Believe me, the fiscal cliff looks like a better choice. Nothing but spending increases and tax increase from Obama.

I've been thinking the same thing for a couple of weeks. (Dichotomy and I often think alike.) If John Boehner adjourns Congress next week and they all go home for Christmas to be with their families, what will happen on January 1? Well, not much. Like RA says each day, "the sky has not fallen yet." The IRS will have to start withholding a small amount extra from employee paychecks. Self-employed people will have to set aside a little more for their quarterly tax payment due in March. Nothing will change for those who pay no income taxes (the 47%).

Federal bureaucrats will have to start scratching their heads on how to implement the automatic cuts from the sequestration law. That will be a good thing. The whole budget cuts "cliff" will be managed by professional Civil Service employees and not by Congress. It will actually be better.

The Cliff — bring it on.

Without the pressure of a stupid, self-imposed deadline (that leads to bad decisions in haste), the Congress can deliberate next year, take their time, leave Obama out of the loop, and tweak the tax code and tweak the cuts in a thoughtful manner, not in a panic.

allhans
25545
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allhans 11/30/12 - 12:42 pm
5
2
The social security deduction

The social security deduction aka "payroll tax" will end Dec 31...
According to Harry Reid. (This too, will not affect the 47%, only the poor working stiffs.)
Ole Harry says they have already made cuts, they cut Medicare by 718 billion not including 300 billion more that is a part of the plan. They shouldn't be expected to cut anything else, he says. (this is known as talking down to the dumb masses, those who believe his b.s.

It just keeps coming.

Jane18
12332
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Jane18 11/30/12 - 01:12 pm
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e e liberal's comment @10:31

Sooooooo, are you saying that America C

Soooooooooo, are you saying that America cannot, and will NOT collapse, under the level of public spending coming out of Washington if it continues? Hint: if you ran your home as Washington has ran this country, what would become of e e liberal and all that he/she has? Dichotomy and alhans, very good comments!

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