Taxes must not be allowed to increase in 2011. However, the deal on the table today to extend the Bush tax cuts is not a good one. Americans sent a clear message on Election Day — that Republicans need to stand firm on what they really believe: the Bush tax cuts should be made permanent, and that spending must not be increased. The current deal made with President Obama and some Democrats in Congress does neither.
Sacrificing the certainty of permanent tax reductions, coupled with reduced spending, in order to pass something by January 1, is neither good policy nor good politics. If a permanent tax cut bill cannot be passed now, the new Congress should return in January and do it right.
Yes, voters sent a strong signal on taxes in November. The stronger message, though, was that out-of-control spending must be stopped. Attaching tens of billions in spending to the tax cut extension simply doesn’t make sense. A bad deal agreed to under the duress of the current lame-duck Congress should not be a substitute for good policy.
Gary Johnson is the honorary chairman of the OUR America Initiative (www.ouramericainitiative.com), a 501(c)(4) advocacy committee. He is also the former Republican Governor of New Mexico (1994-2002), and has been a consistent and outspoken advocate for efficientgovernment and lowering taxes.