House Republicans to Blame for Cliffhanger

We dodged the end of the world on Dec. 21, but now—due to Republican intransigence—we’re heading off the fiscal cliff on Jan. 1. The mascot of the Republican Party is no longer an elephant; it is a lemming.

Of course, some Republicans could do the right thing and join Democratic House members to avoid the calamity that will befall our economy. But it doesn’t look like that will happen. Gone are the days when Republicans will put country ahead of party. Keeping their congressional jobs in safe, gerrymandered districts is far more important than moving the country forward.

In their defense, Profiles in Courage was not about a bunch of political winners. They do not fear a Democrat challenging them in their congressional district; they fear a Republican challenger in their primary. The guardians of political cash are ideologues only too willing to take out their own. Those who fail to adhere to the no-tax pledge will suffer the wrath of the right. Tax increases of any kind, for anyone, anywhere, regardless of circumstance are an anathema—country be damned.

Exacerbating this ridiculously rigid policy stance is an unwritten rule of the Republican Caucus—anything that passes the House must be done solely with Republican votes. Democrats are not to be consulted. The paralysis in the House is mind numbing.

The leader of this circus is Speaker of the House John Boehner, but he is clearly not in control of his members. His latest plan to show “strength” in negotiations with the President—by simply passing his own plan—failed to get enough Republican votes to pass the House.

So, taxes will go up automatically for everyone, unemployment insurance ends for 2 million people, automatic spending cuts go into effect, and uncertainty is sure to roil the financial markets.

Ironically, the rich will most likely lose more money in the stock market slide than they would have paid with a 2 percent tax hike. The proverbial “cutting off one’s nose to spite one’s face.”

But, hey, Happy New Year. The world did not end, and, in the final analysis, we still have healthcare.

Rich Robinson is an attorney and political consultant in Silicon Valley. Opinions are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of San Jose Inside.


  1. One thing we can always count on; Rich Robinson dutifully getting himself all worked up about whatever the mainstream media tells him he should be getting all worked up about.

    In this case he’s actually allowed himself to be talked into the idea that there is such a thing as this “fiscal cliff”. And, in his thoroughly brainwashed mind, the only hope the country has of avoiding falling off this “fiscal cliff” is if Republicans pretend that this “fiscal cliff” really exists and also pretend, like President Obama pretends, that the only way to keep ourselves from falling off this “fiscal cliff” is to raise taxes on the wealthy.

    Reality Check to Rich,
    The ONLY people in politics who understand the nature of the real fiscal cliff are House Republicans.
    This country has a spending problem. It doesn’t have a revenue problem. It has a spending problem.

  2. Here we go again, your bias blog.  I understand it is in your DNA Rich.  But everything from taxes, gun control to global warming is not all the republicans fault.

    Obama is as much to blame and his fellow demos for adding so much pork belly special funds that the country will implode.  Can’t we just write a simple bill to protect all instead of printing money like a candy machine.

  3. You folks are daft.  Just how would you pay for everything Bush put on the credit card, including the national debt with current spending.  What would you cut—and how much would it cost us?  Because if the governemnt doesn’t pick up the spending, somebody else must. . .

    This is not your kitchen table, this is macro economics and if you check the record you will see Democrats as the fiscally responsible party and Republicancs as free spenders when they are in charge and obstructionists to growth when they are not.

    Take a simple macro economics course.  Depression is not a viable way out of deficit spending.  It just is not.

    • Economics is not a hard science. I could take a simple macro-economics course taught by an economist with a different political ideology than the one who taught yours and wind up coming away with a completely different conclusion than you did. Unlike you though, I would at least acknowledge that there IS more than one way of looking at the situation.
      You’ve been talked into the notion that the basic economic laws and principles that are always at work on the kitchen table scale don’t apply at the macro level.
      I think they do. And I think many big spending Democrats think they do too but to them its more politically advantageous to punish the rich because they know that enough people erroneously believe that the poorer the rich are made to be, the richer the poor will become. Some of us have begun to wonder just where all this pandering to class envy will end. What happens when higher marginal tax rates still don’t generate the sort of revenue deemed necessary by the big spenders? What then? Will Obama’s successor be advocating that we simply decide how much money each person really needs and confiscate anything they make above that number?
      The thing that makes no sense to me is the terming of the impending combination of tax hikes and spending cuts as a “fiscal cliff”. Shouldn’t it instead be called the “perfect compromise”? Liberals want us to pay higher taxes. Conservatives want spending cuts. Those ARE the two primary components of this “fiscal cliff”. On the personal level, as a conservative who recognizes the importance of closing the budget deficit, I’m willing to do my part of paying more in taxes as long as I’m given some assurance that it will be used not to increase our debt but to decrease it( whether that debt is Bush’s fault or Obama’s fault- Republicans or Democrats)

      • John, you got it right.  I could sit here all day and not appease Rich.  All levels of govt. piss me off.  It’s not about Dem. VS Rep, granted who has the most votes USUALLY win.  Chuck is good at that.

        It’s about responsible spending,  we are getting taxed more at every level.  And what do they do, spend more money.  We are expected to live within our means and yet, no level whether fed, state, county or city seems to give a rats behind.  All levels seems to have special interest pork belly projects.

        Feds are the worst, but state wants high speed rail, county wants VTA expansion to LG which they say only 400 additional riders for 173 million, city wants low income housing and a ball park for the A’s just to name a few.  How about making sure we are safe on all levels.  Pay off RDA billion dollar bill, increase city services and quality of life issues.  Maybe even put some money in the general fund instead of the airport.


  4. “Exacerbating this ridiculously rigid policy stance is an unwritten rule of the Republican Caucus—anything that passes the House must be done solely with Republican votes. Democrats are not to be consulted. The paralysis in the House is mind numbing.”

    Substitute Democrat for Republican, and it sounds just like Pelosi’s Congress.

    How can you continue hanging the fiscal problems on Bush after four years of Obama running up more debt than all previous presidents (including Bush) combined?

    Explain to me how a “one time” stimulus package drove federal spending from $2.7T annually to a new permanent base of $3.5T. What happened to the one-timeness? Why hasn’t spending fallen back to pre-stimulus levels?

    How can a Superstorm Sandy disaster recovery bill total $60B with only $12B for disaster relief?

    How can a budget proposal by the president get zero votes in the Senate?

    This president has never shown any inkling of fiscal restraint and is bankrupting our country. He will gladly take all the money he can and dole it out to his cronies at Solyndra, et al. He will happily accept tax increases today, for the promise of spending cuts tomorrow.

    Yes, the republican congress under Bush was fiscally irresponsible when it came to spending. Yes, Bush was a wimp who failed to exercise his veto authority to constrain spending growth. But Obama has doubled down on that.

    The proposed tax increases will do virtually nothing to the deficit. You’re so smart, Rich, why don’t you propose where spending cuts can come from.

  5. > …. I’m willing to do my part of paying more in taxes as long as I’m given some assurance that it will be used not to increase our debt but to decrease it….


    I’m SHOCKED!

    Name one incumbent politician whose assurance you would accept that additional tax revenues would be used for debt reduction.

    Barack Obama?

    Mitch RINO McConnell?

    John Weepy Boehner?

    John “S&L Scandal” McCain?

    Lindsay Grahamnesty?

    Any assurance provided by any Republican politician would have to be linked to a matching assurance provided by a Democrat politician.

    You know, Democrat politicians: those people believed and beloved by Rich Robinson.

    Name one Democrat politician who you would trust to hold your wallet, your piggy bank, or your Chucky Cheese game tokens.

    John “MF Global” Corzine?

    Barbara “Check Bouncer” Boxer?

    Dianne “Insider Trader” Feinstein?

    • Tom McClintock, Michele Bachman, Rand Paul to name a few on the Republican side. But as you well know, I’m stumped to name any on the jackass side of the aisle.
      So fear not, Loose.
      I know the Democrats and I know I’ll never have to make good on my very genuine but conditional pledge because I know that people like Rich Robinson will never agree to cut or eliminate federal spending on things like high speed rail.

  6. Rich Robinson can now heave a sigh of relief.
    The Ministry of Truth has informed him that we have avoided the fiscal cliff.
    Taxes have been raised on most Americans. No spending cuts. Life is good in the fantasyland called known as ‘progressivism’.

  7. Rich,

    Forgot to ask you what you think of our leader flying back to Hawaii for the second time in a week at a cost to tax payers at how many million dollars.  But could use an electronic signature to SAVE US ALL AT THE FISCAL CLIFF.

    Doesn’t sound like he was to concerned about tax payers to go back on vacation.  Can you count how many flights have been taken on AIR 1 during this administration?

    And just for grins tell me what a flight costs to get the plane up in the air.

    Please Rich, keep us informed.

  8. A small truth is that finger pointers who place blame on others usually either cheat on or forget to file their taxes (and when they finally do, complain about all the dumb stuff “those people” are doing with my money.)  Hahaha…

    Sometimes its healthier to be part of consensus building and compromise than a die hard.  I also think that’s a good way to grow the economy…partnerships.  grin

  9. Don’t hold your breath Rob. The liberal’s only reason for discussing anything is to complain that they don’t have enough of our money. Once they’ve got that there’s no reason to talk any longer.

  10. First, thanks to the 85 republicans, including the Speaker, who voted for sanity. 

    As for the Sandy bill, I don’t know everything that is in it.  But I am in favor of helping those who need help and $60 Billion does not seem like a huge number given the damage.  Also, 250,000 jobs were created, partly because of the Sandy rebuild.  Every billion in aid equals about 100,000 jobs.  I assume most of this “aid” is in the form of low interest loans.  But again, not familiar with the specifics.  In every expenditure there will be some pork—it is the price of a democracy that one person’s pork is another person’s necessity.  You have to compromise and make deals—a dictator has the luxury of paying exactly what he thinks you need to rebuild—republics are messy.

    You want to talk about waste; we can talk about the military budget, the subsidies to big oil, ag, and tobacco. 

    As for the President’s vacation; if Republicans had not held up the bill—he could have stayed on vacation.  But what about the cost to send all of Congress home before xmas, only to have them return?  All on the taxpayers dime.

    This President has done more with no help than any other during my lifetime.  If he wants to go to Hawaii, I just wish I could go with him.  Beautiful state, warm people and the spirit of aloha is a long way from Washington.

    Like many people, I did not mean to ignore you.  Just been on vacation and busy other places.

  11. Rich,

    You have gone quiet.  Tell me how a hurricane relief bill for 60 BILLION when only 12 BILLION goes to HELPING VICTIMS.  Smells like pork to me.  Want to break it down or is it just Rep. again.

    And you wonder what is so wrong with President spending habits as well as all in PUBLIC office.

    Pass a bill and our taxes are still going up.




  12. > As for the Sandy bill, I don’t know everything that is in it.  But I am in favor of helping those who need help and $60 Billion does not seem like a huge number given the damage.

    $60 billion is the amount of money raised by Obama’s new taxes on “millionaires and billionaires”. An amount that Obama’s takers said the government absolutely, positively could not do without.

    Now, Richie proposes to blow it all on one pork barrel disaster relief bill.

    Oh well.  Easy come, easy go.

    Open up another can of millionaires and billionaires.

  13. The first $10 billion of this Sandy bill is to come up with the cash to pay out legitimate claims on the National Flood Insurance Program. Could we have any clearer evidence that it’s a bad idea to rely on the government to run an insurance program? These claimants were policy holders and had paid their premiums but what happened to the money? Does FEMA (which administers the program) have the slightest idea of the concept of insurance?
    Look forward to the same sort of incompetence, abuse, waste, fraud, and mismanagement, icreased exponentially, as Obamacare gets rolling.

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