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Can business NOT afford Jim DeMint?

Steve Pearlstein, the Post business columnist, launches an attack on Jim DeMint in today's paper, asking, "Can business afford Jim DeMint?" The crux of Pearlstein's argument is that if Republicans are elected they will produce gridlock on Capitol Hill and stop the Obama administration from imposing its big-government agenda. Writes Pearlstein:


The good news, of course, is that you won't have to spend a minute over the next two years worrying about tax increases or climate-change legislation or that odious card check idea that would open the doors again to union organizing. The bad news is that you can kiss goodbye tax reform, education reform, infrastructure investment or any new trade treaties.

Has it occurred to Pearlstein that American businesses may care more about stopping tax increases, stopping a massive new energy tax that would raise energy prices for enterprises large and small across America, and stopping card-check legislation that could kill up to 4.5 million jobs and result in over $500 billion in lost output and income than they do about liberal priorities such as "tax reform" (read: tax increases), "education reform" (read: government intervention and spending) and "infrastructure investment" (read: a second stimulus)?

As for the charge that if Republicans are elected business can "kiss goodbye… any new trade treaties," this is laughable. Despite controlling the largest congressional majorities in decades, Obama and the Democrats failed for almost two years to lift a finger to enact free-trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea that are sitting before Congress today. Does Pearlstein blame Jim DeMint for this as well?

Pearlstein also argues that a Republican victory will lead to "regulatory uncertainty" as "the Obama administration tries to do through regulation what it will no longer be able to achieve through legislation." So it will be Jim DeMint's fault if President Obama tries to bypass Congress to enact his agenda unilaterally through massive new regulations and Republicans try to stop this end-run around will of the American people?

Want an idea of what business cares about? Here are the five questions the U.S. Chamber of Commerce wants every citizen to ask his or her candidates for the House and Senate to find out "Do Your Candidates Get it?":


1. Do you believe that our free enterprise system is currently threatened?
2. Do you believe that tax increases hurt job creation?
3. Do you think that the growth of government at all levels and the deficits that follow negatively impact job creation?
4. Would you deal with the debt and deficit issues through increasing government revenue or decreasing government spending?
5. Do you believe that the uncertainty resulting from pending tax increases, higher government deficits, and more government regulations will hurt the economy?

Funny, nothing in there about the danger that electing Jim DeMint and an influx of fiscal conservatives could put the brakes on runaway spending and massive new tax increases.

By Marc Thiessen  | September 29, 2010; 12:41 PM ET
Categories:  Thiessen  | Tags:  Marc Thiessen  
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Comments

Pat Buchanan opined in an op ed piece in the Miami Herald as follows:

"What is the Republican establishment going to do, what are the neoconservatives going to do, if returned to power?

Are not these the same people who assisted George W. Bush in stampeding the nation into an unnecessary war that got 4,400 Americans killed to strip Saddam Hussein of weapons he did not have?

Are these not the same people who misled or deceived us about Iraq's role in 9/11?"

They are the same people.

And Jim DeMint is the epicenter of their soul. A who will lead this nation back to the dark ages if ever he should have the power to do so.

Having borne the dire and ongoing consequences of Republican deceit, the people of this nation can ill afford to believe the current incarnation of Republican deceit, the "Pledge for America", especially the promise of a"smaller, more caring government".

It will be smaller, and it will be more caring.

But it will not be caring about people.

See Joe Barton http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4elLeTY8Mwo

and

See Jim Bunning (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YQgH7jAef10)

Posted by: howardscottlaw | September 29, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

As an intermediate step, I think grid lock is just fine. No new taxes, no new spending, no new "comprehensive reform of the X industry" no amnesty for illegals.

What's the problem with that?

the liberals hate grid lock for a few reasons among them are:
(1) Liberals believe in the government as the "solution". No government action, they reason, no "solutions".
(2) Liberals fervently hope to embed their agenda so thoroughly in the fabric of federal law and regulation that it cannot be completely undone.
(3) imposing new taxes on people to fund the insatiable appetite of the liberal transfer payment schemers cannot proceed in grid lock. therefore the deficit will grow and the Democrats doing the spending will be blamed.

Yeah, let us take a stand. If gridlock is the best we can achieve after the election, we'll learn to love it.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | September 29, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

1. Do you believe that our free enterprise system is currently threatened?

=== Yes, by crooked businessmen that can't seem to play by the rules. These pirates drag the rest of us into the muck that is their business plan.

2. Do you believe that tax increases hurt job creation?

=== Reduced tax rates over the last 10 years did not result in significant job or wealth creation that was sustainable. Up to a point, reduced tax rates can stimulate consumption, but only temporarily. Businesses hire when they need workers, not because of taxes.

3. Do you think that the growth of government at all levels and the deficits that follow negatively impact job creation?

=== There are good ways to grow government, and not so good ways. Growth in the Security establishment is not good growth, because it does not promote the private sector. Growth in infrastructure maintenance and improvement is good growth, because improved infrastructure greases the wheels of private commerce. Just as a home mortgage can be "good debt", while credit cards are "bad debt", government can spend more wisely, but should not stop spending in a downturn.

4. Would you deal with the debt and deficit issues through increasing government revenue or decreasing government spending?

=== Gee, how about BOTH? We can afford deep cuts in Defense, and probably some other programs, without loss. Our future, however, depends on improving education, roads, sewers, power grids, health care, and transportation. Having some folks in their gated communities pay a bit more in taxes that they can afford, while simultaneously promoting new industries, will enable the generation of national wealth far more than subsidizing Neimann-Marcus and Tiffany's.

5. Do you believe that the uncertainty resulting from pending tax increases, higher government deficits, and more government regulations will hurt the economy?

=== Uncertainty always seems to freeze business investments. Resolving these issues will allow the business community to plan appropriately, and get back to what they do... make money. It is not a question of yes or no on taxes and regulations, but a question of "maybe" that disturbs businesses. Public debt is an issue, but really the least of our worries today; we can grow out of some of it, and monetize a good portion also. A little inflation (weakening dollar) is healthy for our export industries, as long as it remains under some control.

America will never be Greece; what concerns me now is that we will never again be Germany. Both nations have stronger social contracts than we do, but Germany is growing, while Americans argue over taxes.

Posted by: OldUncleTom | September 29, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Not all services are bad, ergo not all taxes are bad. If businesses are profit maximising they will support candidates who support services that maximise profits (especially in market failures) and they will support taxes that are efficient and or correct market failures too.

Posted by: ideallydc | September 29, 2010 6:41 PM | Report abuse

Sorry. These days the US Chamber of Commerce is an adjunct of the Republican Party... it is NOT an independent voice.

Posted by: ablum1 | September 29, 2010 6:59 PM | Report abuse

Can the Washington Post afford to continue to use Theissen as an Op-Ed contributor? Don't use the "American" Enterprise Institute to tout your bogus "kill 4.5mm jobs". I really am trying to figure out why you get a piece of ink here. If ever there was a reason for paywalls on internet sites, your drivel is a great reason to install it.

Posted by: mty917 | September 30, 2010 7:44 AM | Report abuse

Post Designers,

Can we not have a truly "postpartisan" commentary page? Is that impossible in today's climate. Whatever happened to analysis expressed as opinion vs. opinion expressed as analysis?

Posted by: rgs21 | September 30, 2010 8:28 AM | Report abuse

Thiessen, every blog, op-ed you write is one more proof that you are an idiot. This is a great country. Idiots like Thiessen, Krauthammer, Sarah Palin, the Faux News group et al make more than a comfortable living.

Posted by: sarvenk63 | September 30, 2010 9:38 AM | Report abuse

The five questions posed by the Chamber of Commerce is an excellent indicator of what's wrong with political discussion today as not one of those questions is, as intended by the Chamber, a choice between just two options; neither can any of them be answered realistically yes or no. This "either my way or disaster" attitude has poisoned any chance of helpful discussion. So, yes, Jim DeMint is dangerous, but so are all the other ideologues posing as our Congress.

Posted by: rolandssong | September 30, 2010 10:30 AM | Report abuse

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