Republicans Must Avoid Tax Distraction, Rally to Their Principles

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GOP Needs to Stop In-Fighting and Start Battling Obama
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Speaker John Boehner leads the Republican-controlled House of Representatives in attempting to negotiate …

As portions of the Republican Party split over how to tackle fiscal cliff negotiations, Yahoo News asked GOP voters to weigh in: Which camp in the party do they support? Here's one perspective.

COMMENTARY | With political muscle earned from re-election, President Obama masterfully shifted the burden of responsibility in the impending "fiscal cliff" crisis to the Republican House of Representatives. Though Obama's initial proposal began negotiations, the White House refuses to bend on taxes, dismisses legitimate spending cuts, and demonstrates little concern for perpetual trillion-dollar deficits.

In response, Speaker John Boehner has struggled to vocalize a consistent position, knowing compromise could cost the support of his base. While Boehner countered with alternate ways of raising revenue, he seemingly accepts confining the issue to taxes on the wealthy. The conflict was displayed recently when four conservatives lost prime leadership positions in the new Congress.

For this petty display of authority, I'm disappointed in Boehner. There is no justification for pursuing a deal entirely on the president's terms and the move signals that may be the speaker's intent. In contrast, I concur with the tea party belief that spending cuts and deficit-reduction must dominate efforts to avoid the fiscal cliff.

One of my senators, Marco Rubio, capably expressed my beliefs: "As far as rates are concerned, I don't have a religious, spiritual objection to higher tax rates," Rubio told a Washington Idea's forum. "I have an economic objection because of the impact on growth."

Rubio realizes tax hikes are not a solution during economic turmoil and only eradicate a meager 7.5 percent of the deficit. If the Republican Party backs away from long-standing principles, voters' equally empowering choice of a GOP House has been invalidated. No deal is often preferable to an illegitimate one.

-- Jeff Briscoe, Port Charlotte, Fla.

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