Republicans had better learn from history — and from Ronald Reagan’s mistake.
President Obama and his fellow big-spenders in Congress are promising if they get higher tax rates today they’ll make even higher spending cuts tomorrow.
It’s an old sucker’s game. Republicans — and the rest of the country — should know it by now, because for three decades we’ve all been suckers.
If history is our guide, and Republicans in Congress don’t grow a spine, by this time next year we’ll have higher taxes, higher spending, more debt and a bigger government.
Twice before, Republicans have been fooled into playing the Democrats’ con game.
It happened to my father early in his first term when he sought to close a growing federal deficit caused by the deep economic recession. He believed Democrats in Congress would keep their pledge to make $3 in future spending cuts for every $1 in immediate tax increases.
In 1982 he signed a compromise tax bill with the horrible name of TEFRA — the Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act. And, when those promised spending cuts never materialized in Congress, TEFRA became one of the biggest regrets of my father’s presidency.
My father was duped by the duplicity of Democrats. And so was George H.W. Bush less than a decade later, when he foolishly allowed himself to be taken for the same ride.
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