Five Good Men

By Katie Kieffer

Rand Paul

Image credit: “Rand Paul at Bowling Green Tea Party” by Rand Paul for U.S. Senate 2010 on Flickr via Creative Commons.

There are a few good men. And by “a few,” I mean five.

Certainly there are far more than five good men in America. But in the U.S. Senate, there are just five moral Republicans.

Who am I referring to? Let me introduce you to the five men in the Senate who stood their ground while their Republican peers (save two abstainers) voted for a fiscal cliff deal that essentially codifies theft:

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky), Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Alabama), Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida), and Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah).

I think conservatives and libertarians should praise and uphold these leaders—and fire their Republican peers who may as well be Democrats.

I expect my leaders to keep their word. If they tell me they are Republican, I expect them to act like Republicans. And being Republican means voting a certain way; saying “no” to new spending, inflation and taxes—and saying “yes” to virtue, freedom, growth, prosperity and small business opportunities.

Like these five men, I believe we should have gone over the so-called fiscal cliff. Here’s why:

  1. Spending cuts would have occurred. Instead, Republicans voted to add $4 trillion to the national debt, which already parallels our GDP.
  2. Republicans justified voting for this deal by saying it would not raise income taxes on most Americans. But more debt will increase taxes on all Americans via inflation; the unconstitutional Federal Reserve will “create money” through tactics like printing money and keeping interest rates artificially low to “pay off” the debt. And inflation is a hidden tax that especially hurts poor people and young people who are less established and have fewer savings.
  3. If we had gone over the cliff, practically everyone would have experienced higher taxes, which would have motivated Americans to embrace lower taxes in the long run. It is human nature to care more about your own tax rate than your neighbor’s. So, Americans who currently pay little-to-no taxes would stop voting to redistribute wealth if they experienced the pain associated with paying higher taxes themselves.
  4. This deal discourages entrepreneurship. If you are successful as an entrepreneur and make it into the highest income bracket, you could face a 60 percent tax bracket in a high-tax state like Minnesota, New York or California. Who wants to work hard to become the next Steve Jobs if it means entering a tax bracket where you may only keep $4 of every $10 you earn? No one in his or her right mind.
  5. This deal will lead more Americans to move their companies, jobs and/or wealth abroad.

Indeed, here are some of the reasons these five good men give to explain why they voted against the fiscal cliff deal:

Sen. Paul explains: “…there’s no objective evidence that we are good with money up here [in Washington], so we shouldn’t send more money up here; we should leave more money in the private sector. Now Milton Friedman recognized this when he said: ‘Nobody spends someone else’s money as wisely as you spend your own.’ That in a nutshell, that in a once sentence, explains to you why the private sector is more efficient than the public sector; [in] the public sector…it’s not their money…that’s why they [politicians] spend a trillion more than they have each year… And guess what? When you raise taxes on two percent of the people, there’s a chance you don’t get more revenue.”

Sen. Shelby broke down the political situation: “…I believe you never know — if we would have held out, maybe it would have done something. The pressure was building on the president to do something. He certainly doesn’t want us to go into recession. But we need fundamental tax reform. We need to reform our entitlements. We need to look at the spending ledger.”

Sen. Rubio explained his vote thus: “Thousands of small businesses, not just the wealthy, will now be forced to decide how they’ll pay this new tax and, chances are, they’ll do it by firing employees, cutting back their hours and benefits, or postponing the new hire they were looking to make. …Of course, many Americans will be relieved in the short term that their taxes won’t go up. However in the long run, they will be hurt when employers pass on to them one of the largest tax hikes in decades.”

Sen. Lee tweeted his viewpoint: “Even the best #fiscalcliff deal will leave 99% of a dysfunctional system intact.”

And Sen. Grassley tweeted: “When will Wash start work to control spending? Deal failed 2 do so& President made clear he wants more tax increases. Yet prob is spending”

Let’s give these five good men a round of applause. And let’s only entrust men and women like them with political power.

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  1. William Wohlsifer says:

    In the House, my representative, Steve Sutherland, a newcomer who is seldom heard of (a bit too far to the right for me) dutifully rejected the deal on the House side and released the following comment:
    “After prayerful consideration and hearing the concerns of hundreds of North and Northwest Floridians, I came to the conclusion that I simply could not support a fiscal cliff deal that takes a bad situation and makes it worse."

  2. etherman23 says:

    One small correct: Had we gone over the fiscal cliff there still would have been no spending cuts. Our politicians are incapable of cutting spending. All they do is slow the projected growth and call it a cut.

  3. Peyton says:

    Another spot-on column, Miss Kieffer! I'll share this one with all my friends.

  4. Lodzia says:

    It was good of you to mention these five men that could stand ground!
    I am really disappointed in our elected GOP! What a terrible mess our country is
    in. God help us.

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