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Opening Arguments

Read his lips

Sixth District GOP Rep. Mike Pence had an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal today, smacking the Bush administration around pretty good for its apparent willingness to go along with a tax increase for Social Security:

Despite the fact that Republicans have already turned off millions of conservative Americans by runaway federal spending, some conservatives are expressing support for a Republican tax increase. They believe that through shrewd negotiating, the administration will get Democrats to agree to benefit reductions without a net tax increase, meaning a removal of the payroll cap could lead to a reduction in the payroll tax or the offering of tax credits to low-income workers. Such hope is folly disguised. Democrats are not likely to agree to reductions in promised benefits without exacting an actual tax increases, unless of course, "tax credits" are a thinly veiled attempt at passing a new entitlement for low-income workers through the tax code.

We have been down this road before. In 1990, I was a young candidate for Congress when the last Bush administration sided with a Democrat majority in Congress to pass the largest tax increase in history, all in the name of bipartisanship and compromise. This compromise ushered in economic recession and a two-term Democratic administration in the White House. We cannot walk down the 1990 road to "compromise" again.

Pence may be the last conservative left standing for those of us still clinging to the foolish dream of fiscal restraint.


Craig Ladwig
Mon, 01/15/2007 - 3:51pm

It's not so much the money as the government itself. Pence, a former president of the Indiana Policy Review Foundation, stands for fiscal restraint, as you are kind enough to note in your column. He also stands for the principles of Public Choice economics, i.e., a realization that government spends money . . . well, like it was the property of someone else. Its activities, therefore, should be limited to the essential.