In the 20th century our politics resembled the Two Santa Claus Theory of my old guru, Mr. Jude Wanniski, the architect of the Reagan revolution. He pointed out that each party could offer something from the Santa Claus of Tax Cuts, or the Santa Claus of Spending Increases. The Democrats for the large part were Santa Spending, while the Republicans were naturally more inclined to be Santa Tax Cut.
The Democrats tended to wisely steal the position of Santa Tax Cut during elections, and then give it up upon election. The Republicans generally avoided success by coming out in favor of cancelling Christmas in the name of balancing the budget. Probably the only Republicans who truly embrace the tax cut approach were Calvin Coolidge, Ronald Reagan and some might argue George W Bush.
This year has been no different. While Republicans emphasized the foolhardy repeal of the Bush Tax Cuts they had a good lead. Now that they have decided to become the party of spending cuts, largely as a matter of envy and laziness, the door is open for the Democrats to make a comeback.
In the recent roundup of a debate among the Republican challengers to Niki Tsongas, the aspirants agreed in their debate that spending cuts must come first. If Niki was smart, she would counter with a plan to cut taxes for those earning under $300,000 to get the economy moving again, and maybe put a surtax on millionaires to pay for it.
All four candidates spoke last night of the need to reduce government spending and the national deficit. But only Shapiro gave a specific percentage of the federal budget he would cut when asked by a Methuen resident to do so.
“We need to cut the budget in half and start paying down the national debt,” said Shapiro. “It needs to be addressed right now.”
Wanted: a GOP Tax-Cutting Santa