Last Updated:July 24 @ 12:03 pm

Reagan: Republican Suckers

By Michael Reagan

Republicans had better learn from history -- and from Ronald Reagan's mistake.

President Obama and his fellow big-spenders in Congress are promising if they get higher tax rates today they'll make even higher spending cuts tomorrow.

It's an old sucker's game. Republicans -- and the rest of the country -- should know it by now, because for three decades we've all been suckers.

If history is our guide, and Republicans in Congress don't grow a spine, by this time next year we'll have higher taxes, higher spending, more debt and a bigger government.

Twice before, Republicans have been fooled into playing the Democrats' con game.

It happened to my father early in his first term when he sought to close a growing federal deficit caused by the deep economic recession. He believed Democrats in Congress would keep their pledge to make $3 in future spending cuts for every $1 in immediate tax increases.

In 1982 he signed a compromise tax bill with the horrible name of TEFRA -- the Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act. And, when those promised spending cuts never materialized in Congress, TEFRA became one of the biggest regrets of my father's presidency.

My father was duped by the duplicity of Democrats. And so was George H.W. Bush less than a decade later, when he foolishly allowed himself to be taken for the same ride.

In 1990's budget wrangling, which was aimed at reducing the federal budget deficit by $500 billion over five years, Bush 41 was seduced by the Democrats' promise of making $2 in spending cuts for every $1 in tax hikes.

The first Bush fell for it completely, reneging on his "Read my lips, no new taxes" pledge, opening the door for "tax-cutter" Ross Perot and losing in 1992 to Bill Clinton.

Even before he was de-elected, Bush 41 regretted the "bargain" he had made with Democrats. In March of 1992, the sucker in chief said, "I thought this one compromise -- and it was a compromise -- would result in no more tax increases.

"I thought it would result in total control of domestic discretionary spending. And now we see Congress talking about raising taxes again. So, I'm disappointed, and given all of that, yes, (it was) a mistake."

Fast-forward to "Nightmare on Obama Street, Part II." We have trillion-dollar federal deficits as far as our children's eyes can see. We have an economy that's looking at four more years of low growth and higher taxes.

And now some Republicans in Congress -- who apparently don't have a piece of conservative cartilage left in their bodies -- are getting ready to be duped again.

What's that old saying? "Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me." Well, Republicans look like they are about to be fooled for the third time, which is so stupid there's no adage to describe it.

While my father was bargaining with Democrats in 1982 over spending and tax cuts, he spoke over the heads of Congress to the American people.

"In a few days the Congress will stand at the fork of two roads," he said. "One road is all too familiar to us. It leads ultimately to higher taxes. It merely brings us full circle back to the source of our economic problems, where the government decides that it knows better than you what should be done with your earnings and, in fact, how you should conduct your life. The other road promises to renew the American spirit. It's a road of hope and opportunity. It places the direction of your life back in your hands where it belongs."

America is at that same fork in the road today. Twice in 30 years Republicans have let Democrat promises lead them and the country down a one-way road to bigger and bigger government.

Double shame on us. And if the GOP allows itself to be suckered again, it won't be just another disaster for conservatism, it'll be a tragedy for the whole country.

---

Copyright ©2012 Michael Reagan. Michael Reagan is the son of President Ronald Reagan, a political consultant, and the author of "The New Reagan Revolution" (St. Martin's Press). He is the founder and chairman of The Reagan Group and president of The Reagan Legacy Foundation. Visit his websites at www.reagan.com and www.michaelereagan.com.

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44 Comments

  1. inluminatuoComment by inluminatuo
    December 3, 2012 @ 8:31 am

    Men of integrity never win in competition with men who have no integrity when, you rely on flawed damaged men to adjudicate in the cause of justice and fair results. Integrity means wholeness in body, mind and spirit. The very first sign of lack of integrity in the other that you foolishly trust in, is to look at their credit rating, bank accounts and how well they handle their money and balance their accounts. SO just WHAT is it about any of the Democrats, Obama, Reid, Pelosi that has indicated in the past that we are dealing with people of integrity, wholeness, balanced accounts or even balanced minds. As for me I am tired of trusting imbalanced minds and imbalanced souls whose lack of integreity is reflected in our unbalanced economy and Debt ridden Government whose lack of soundness and integrity is only a reflection of the leaders who would corrupt those few left in Washington who seek to retain their integrity and remain whole in themselves and whole in their nation. Let each of the Conservative ask themselves, “What do I stand for and which team toI choose to play on, team light or team darkness, team wholeness or team integrity,,,,,I am what I vote for.”

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  2. rstoeckComment by rstoeck
    December 3, 2012 @ 9:12 am

    My recurring question is: When will the young people of this country get tired of us spending all of their money?

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    • Grouchy OneComment by Grouchy One
      December 3, 2012 @ 9:45 am

      Unfortunately, it is the young people in this country — those who have yet to obtain a real job or pay enough taxes to know they paid any who were a major contributing factor to this mess. Their vote was, and always has been, if they bothered at all, based on idealistic drivel spewed from the mouths of liberals. It all sounds good until you have to live with the consequences. About 20 years from now, if we still have a government at all, maybe they will wake up.

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    • powertothepeopleComment by powertothepeople
      December 3, 2012 @ 9:48 am

      Not sure who is included in “us” as I sure as hell did not vote for Obozo and I am not spending anyone’s money.

      Many of the young who have yet to really mature voted for this joke and many of his band of merry bandits! They will look back one day and say “what was I thinking?”

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    • mcrankComment by mcrank
      December 3, 2012 @ 5:22 pm

      Has it gotten to the point that anarchy is the only saving grace we have left?

      Impeachment is obviously not going to be acted upon. Voting is almost an exercise in futility due to a system in need of repair and a voting pool saturated with uneducated people clueless as to what they are actually doing. The Conservative Party has gotten so watered down, it practically mirrors the Democratic Party. So, what final act of desperation remains in order to save our Nation?

      I’m seeing no other way other than flat-out revolt and that is going to require an enmasse undertaking. Do the people have the vision that they want the leaders to have?

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  3. notofthisworldComment by notofthisworld
    December 3, 2012 @ 9:24 am

    My heart is broken. The American “experiment” has been sabotaged by the House of Saud, communists, progressives, Nazis, and evil U.N. A plan 50+ years in the making. A country once BLESSED BY GOD, now trashed by satan. GOD HELP US! Check out this very old video which predicted much. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mqXVYTKKMec&feature=youtu.be

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  4. powertothepeopleComment by powertothepeople
    December 3, 2012 @ 9:52 am

    The GOP will cave as they always do. I agree that the measure of a politician is what they support and vote for.

    If you check the voting record of the GOP many of them do not have a solid record of putting America first. Thus, no wonder they cave so easy to the Demorats lies and traps.

    If there ever were a time to go to the wall against the sick perverted spenders and thieves in DC, this is the time. Who among the GOP and independents will show a backbone and take Obozo to the mat?

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  5. Grouchy OneComment by Grouchy One
    December 3, 2012 @ 9:55 am

    I thought this was a pretty good article, riddled with more fact than fantasy. Those who have been paying any attention for the last 30 or 40 years know, if they know nothing else, that the Democrats are all about raising taxes. The taxes they impose more often than not put small businesses out of business and downward slides the whole economy.
    Now, even though it’s called something other than a tax, the health care mess is going to put a further crimp in our budgets. Insurance companies are raising their rates in conjunction with the federal gov’t raising the rate that social security recipients on a fixed income will be paying for their medicare premiums. Then they will turn around a give the seniors a tiny raise in social security that doesn’t mean a darn thing in light of the constant cost of living increases and pat themselves on the back for their benevolence. This is total nonsense!
    I know that there are people out there who feel like their representatives are caving under the pressure. And they are. But keep in mind, those representatives who have held out and kept a budget from passing at all are now being blamed by even the people who voted for them because it looks like they aren’t doing anything when, in fact, they are getting lambasted from both sides. The make believe president seems to think he is running the whole show and you know that it’s always someone else’s fault in his eyes. He blames the republicans and all the others who disagree with his hare-brained schemes. Unfortunately, too many ignorant people in this country think the president, because he gets the most press time, is the only one who is saying anything and therefore the only one who knows what he’s talking about.
    Meantime, they write to tell their congressman that he’s a lazy so and so for doing what they wrote last week and asked him to do. It can’t be both ways.
    It is nauseating!

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    • notofthisworldComment by notofthisworld
      December 3, 2012 @ 10:39 am

      Chief Justice Roberts clarified that one for us. It’s a tax. And YES, it is NAUSEATING! Taxation without representation and for NOT purchasing something? Then when we purchase that said something, said service IS CONTROLLED BY THE GOVERNMENT APPOINTED Review Team aka DEATH PANELS? Glad I’m old…hope I can stay somewhat healthy until militant Islam comes for me. Good luck there too.

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  6. bless2liveComment by bless2live
    December 3, 2012 @ 10:03 am

    No more spending money for this fat cat goverment. They are fools standing in gasoline with a match and looking for a place to strike the match!

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  7. Pingback: Republican Suckers | The Dubuque Town Crier

  8. rosecoatsComment by rosecoats
    December 3, 2012 @ 10:25 am

    Somebody needs to send this article to John Boehner.

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  9. nickster99Comment by nickster99
    December 3, 2012 @ 10:26 am

    Obama is hell bent on destroying the republican party or what is left of it! Does everyone have their parachute ready! We are going over the cliff!

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  10. jmikes1951Comment by jmikes1951
    December 3, 2012 @ 10:28 am

    No one in this government has any integrety. All they want is to be reelected so big government can rape us again and again. Succeed from this corruption and lets start over where the Constitution means something instead of Obama’s toilet paper.

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  11. agnesdayComment by agnesday
    December 3, 2012 @ 10:37 am

    Having read a few blog comments accusing us of crying and taking our ball and going home, I think that leaving the game is looking more and more attractive. Who can fathom the mindset of the current Democratic administration? It is sheer madness to think we can manufacture prosperity out of debt, if that were their intention. Surely, they are smarter than that. If so, God help us all, because their goals are sinister indeed.

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    • nickster99Comment by nickster99
      December 3, 2012 @ 10:53 am

      Do you think for 1 minute that obama cares about the debt? Come on now where have you been the last 4 years? He doesn’t care if it is 11 trillion or if its 50 trillion. As long as his 47% er’s are taken care of dam everything else. The man is a COMMUNIST! And get ready for 4 more years of him! Get ready for the death panels telling you when you are going to live and when you are going to DIE!

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    • powertothepeopleComment by powertothepeople
      December 3, 2012 @ 10:56 am

      Evil comes in many forms. I firmly believe this administration is evil.

      No country has ever avoided collapse via over spending….no country! We are not going to either. They know this and have made a conscious decision that they will reset the dial once the monetary system implodes.

      We all need to be real about this…the GOP has had a hand in the mess too folks. They controlled Congress for many years when this mess was in the early stages and participated in the ratcheting up of the spending dial. Congress controls the money…not the Executive Branch. They all share in the debacle along with all the citizens who demand more and more!

      Write and call your Congressman and demand they stop the insanity!

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    • Grouchy OneComment by Grouchy One
      December 3, 2012 @ 11:06 am

      powertothepeople, our only hope is congress. Truth be told, the only reason I bother to vote in the elections at all is to have my say about who I want to represent me at the state and local levels. I do vote for president when one’s running but not because I have any illusion that my vote means a damn thing. We certainly don’t have a lot of say over who’s going to be president as long as the electoral college is in place. It is unfortunate that only the president gets the press ant that this one in particular is so fond of photo ops and the chance to whine and run his mouth every day.

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  12. BobinmsComment by Bobinms
    December 3, 2012 @ 10:38 am

    The same history applies to the immigration problem. Twice before we have agreed to an amnesty with a promise for future border control that never happens.

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    • nickster99Comment by nickster99
      December 3, 2012 @ 10:59 am

      There should be a small contingent of troops stationed every 3 miles all along the border with Mexico to turn back any illegals at once! This can be done until a 25 ft high concrete wall can be constructed!

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    • canada3dayerComment by canada3dayer
      December 4, 2012 @ 7:05 pm

      nah, nickster99, that won’t happen – building that 25′ high concrete wall for that distance would be a “shovel-ready job source”, and we all know how Obama feels about those…

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  13. cwa317Comment by cwa317
    December 3, 2012 @ 10:47 am

    JUST VOTE PRESENT

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    • Grouchy OneComment by Grouchy One
      December 3, 2012 @ 10:58 am

      Unfortunately too many already do that. Or abstain entirely.

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  14. juicyfruit56Comment by juicyfruit56
    December 3, 2012 @ 10:58 am

    I have never been as disgusted with the Republicans as I have been during this last election. The only hope our country has is if a conservative third party begins to form up. The democrats and republicans are one party as far as I and many others I know are concerned. When I look back at this election and Romney not even attempting to go after Obama and his socialist agenda makes one wonder was this a set-up? The only way the American public will decide enough is enough is when the government comes after retirment accounts that Americans have worked all their life to save. And that prospect is coming very soon. Their is no republican party it is just an extension of the democrat party and they will do whatever the democrats want them to do as they are spineless. Boehner will start to cry and suck his thumb. If the republicans had even one spark of a spine they would immediately get rid of this loser speaker, he’s just another Pelosi wearing pants instead of a dress!

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  15. powertothepeopleComment by powertothepeople
    December 3, 2012 @ 11:01 am

    I am feeling like we need a Parliament so we can have a vote of no confidence and have to have a new election! Why not? It can’t be worse the mess we have today!

    This is no democracy….not even sure it is really a Republic any more either. We have become more of a fascist state and Obozo is our modern day Mussolini!

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    • middlegroundComment by middleground
      December 3, 2012 @ 3:14 pm

      First, you’d have to get Harry Reid to realize we don’t have a parliament with Obama as his party’s leader. Our system of government, as you know, was set up with the House acting in a manner similar to the British Parliament, the Senate similar to the House of Lords, but with re-election every 6 years rather than appointment for life and a president who would serve as a Constitutional monarch who would be elected for a four year term. These three were supposed to act independently with all spending bills originating in the House in the same manner they do in Parliament with a PM acting a head of his party.

      Harry Reid and his followers in the Senate seemingly don’t understand the difference between our system that was established to limit the power of the president, namely, that the House is set up to impeach the current president for all the unconstitutional actions of the last four years and the Senate to try him for his unconstitutional actions of which there have been about 20 cited, the most blatant being his appointment of 37 czars and the seizure of two private companies so that he could reward his union contributors. Obama might have been able to claim war powers, but that is up to Congress and the courts to decide.

      Right now we have the beginnings of a dictatorship and a realist might suggest we are merely waiting for our very own Reichstag fire to occur so we can find out how easily we gave up control of our nation to Marxists backed by union money and voting blocks of so called victims.

      The English had to fight a civil war to determine whether a king had absolute power or Parliament. It would be nice if we can avoid that end.

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  16. dsmetatrader9999Comment by dsmetatrader9999
    December 3, 2012 @ 11:09 am

    If I ran for Congress as a Republican my slogan and vow would be to JUST VOTE NO! I would vote no to every bill proposed by a Democrat and a lot of Republican Rhinos. Anything that smacked of a spending increase or tax increase, I would JUST VOTE NO! It would make my job so simple. Any bill longer than 20 pages and I need a Gobbledegook Universal Translator device to understand the language, I would JUST VOTE NO!

    If they want to do something real about tax reform, JUST PASS THE FAIR TAX! It eliminates all tax loopholes because it eliminates the illegal Personal and Corporate Income tax, Gift Taxes and Estate taxes and replaces all other taxes that build up the price of goods and replaces it with a National Sales tax of around 23%. The tax is based on what we spend for goods and services not on what we make as income or profit. For a full description of the tax plan go to http://www.fairtax.org. The promoters of this tax plan have done their homework and research. This plan is the only plan out there that will work and it follows true Conservative principles. If we are to get any kind of Conservative victory over these tax and spend Socialists we need to get Congress to pass this tax. IT IS THE ONLY BILL THAT I WOULD VOTE FOR. Every thing else I WOULD JUST VOTE NO!

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    • bhagwan1Comment by bhagwan1
      December 3, 2012 @ 11:52 am

      You are 100% on target ds. I’m on the Board of the FLorida Fairtax and it is alive and well in Congress. Rep Rob Woodall has replaced John Linder at the helm and we still maintain about 70 co-sponsors in Congress. Word is that the 16 members of the Ways and Means Committee are pondering whether to recommend Fairtax or another flat tax. The former , of course, is the only one that gets rid of the IRS forever and makes taxation, fair, simple and transparent. Glad we have some folks who recognize its merit like yourself. We are making a strong push because it is becoming obvious to all we cannot continue with this continuous crisis mentality.

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    • NY GrahamComment by NY Graham
      December 3, 2012 @ 11:56 am

      I am a huge believer in the Fair Tax. I think it is the most American form of taxation, far superior to the Marxist progressive income tax. It would give a boost to the economy by simplifying the tax code, and have other benefits too numerous to list here.

      But what good would it do to pass a Fair Tax bill in the House? Will the Senate vote on it? Will Obama sign it? The House GOP will be accused (correctly) of wasting everyone’s time.

      There is only one viable strategy for the House Republicans to follow. They should allow Obama’s legislation to be voted on in the House, and every Republican should just vote “present”. Let the Democrats go on record as voting for the tax increase that triggers the 2013 recession. Get out of their way and let them hang themselves with their own rope. Then there will be nowhere for them to hide, and even a complicit media will be unable to blame the GOP.

      To oppose the Democrats at this point is lose/lose for the Republicans. They will be portrayed as obstructionist in the media, and will eventually reach a “compromise” making them look weak. If they succeed in getting some spending cuts, they will then be blamed for the inevitable recession that occurs when the tax rates are raised. Let the President raise the debt limit so that when the inevitable downgrading of treasuries occurs, he gets the blame.

      The country voted for this President and his policies. It’s time they saw what really happens when he gets his way.

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  17. westinComment by westin
    December 3, 2012 @ 11:10 am

    The GOP leadership needs to show real outrage. Boehner and Mcconnell need to get ugly mean and nasty with Obama.

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  18. rickinnevComment by rickinnev
    December 3, 2012 @ 11:38 am

    “The danger to America is not Barack Obama, but a citizenry capable of entrusting a man like him with the Presidency. It will be far easier to limit and undo the follies of an Obama presidency than to restore the necessary common sense and good judgment to a depraved electorate willing to have such a man for their president. The problem is much deeper and far more serious than Mr. Obama, who is a mere symptom of what ails America. Blaming the prince of the fools should not blind anyone to the vast confederacy of fools that made him their prince. The Republic can survive a Barack Obama, who is, after all, merely a fool. It is less likely to survive a multitude of fools, such as those who made him their president.”

    (this comment is from Europe..Prauge Newpaper think it was..how nice they can see clearly)

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    • truckmanComment by truckman
      December 3, 2012 @ 3:59 pm

      SEE THAT?? Everyone,even in EUROPE,can see what these idiot Obama supporters are doing to the very Country they live in. And they think they’re RIGHT! THEY shouldn’t be allowed to vote!

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  19. bizzybuzzerComment by bizzybuzzer
    December 3, 2012 @ 12:09 pm

    When a president, guided by a secret and evil master, closes himself into a nationally guarded environment then buys junk yard dogs named czar and commands the best military in the world….who am I ? Once the second Hail to the king is sounded, using suckers is over. The doom is (or will be) sealed. No more cute talk or fancy promises. The old gray goose is dead.

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  20. libblasterComment by libblaster
    December 3, 2012 @ 12:45 pm

    I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today. Wimpy strikes again.

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    • truckmanComment by truckman
      December 3, 2012 @ 4:00 pm

      LOL! Wimpy on STEROIDS!

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  21. jaijacobiaComment by jaijacobia
    December 3, 2012 @ 12:49 pm

    Ronald Reagan may have been the last President with innate immunity to the epidemic sweeping out capitol.

    It is time Republicans stop seeking to cozy up to Democrats. Instead, it is time to quarantine those suffering from what is obviously a contagious liberal condition affecting every citizen of our great country. The infected liberal suffers from limited personal power which they attempt to treat with false generosity.

    Those afflicted mistake ‘false compassion’ for ‘love of country’ and as a result of their great need for personal power they become increasingly willing to lie, cheat and steal to acquire the drug of false generosity with which they attempt to soothe the need for personal power.

    The taxpayer is an easy target for theft through re-distribution, but the pleasure of false generosity is short lived and only exacerbates the liberal condition. The need to lie, cheat and steal for the next infusion of false generosity is a vicious circle of addiction that can be stopped only by an infusion of courage and the intervention of patriotic Americans.

    The liberal condition is contagious and is at epidemic proportions in Washington. If not stopped, the quest for personal power resulting in the disease of lying, cheating and stealing will infect and destroy our once great country.

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  22. kpjlawComment by kpjlaw
    December 3, 2012 @ 2:24 pm

    Remember Wimpy from the Popeye comic strip – “I’ll pay you next Tuesday for a hamburger today.” That is the democrats. No intention of paying or keeping their word. Unfortunately, it is the Republicans who are so wimpy that they keep believing the Democrat lies.

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    • truckmanComment by truckman
      December 3, 2012 @ 4:07 pm

      I want to believe the Republicans aren’t “wimpy” as much as they’re mainly trying to conduct Politics without resorting to Liberal “standards” (for lack of a better word).
      And THAT’S what happens when you try to take the high road in Politics.

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  23. kpjlawComment by kpjlaw
    December 3, 2012 @ 2:32 pm

    The fools voted Obama in. These fools include the persons who did not vote because they did not believe that Romney was conservative enough. I hope that we survive.

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  24. gimmesometruthComment by gimmesometruth
    December 3, 2012 @ 3:07 pm

    Dear Mr. Reagan: Average Americans are the FOOLS for ever listening to either corrupt party. If the public could pry themselves away from the “X Factor”, and investigate how many millions these elected criminals have made through insider trading while they sit on committees overlooking financial issues, they would converge on D.C. with loaded weapons to eradicate the RATS who inhabit the halls of Congress.

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  25. gwn67Comment by gwn67
    December 3, 2012 @ 3:28 pm

    I’m all for Congress working together “across party lines.” But compromise in this Congress is going to be a hard sell. There’s no real compromise that I can see–how do you find middle ground and not raise taxes? I like the suggestion of one that says we cut expenses first and then talk about taxes later–but it won’t happen of course. It’s clear that “reaching across the aisle” is Demo-talk for expecting the GOP to “give up and do what we tell you.”

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