President George W. Bush and his compatriots introduced a new typology of conservatism called "compassionate conservatism". They believed in big government, entitlement and transfer programs, market distortions such as ethanol mandates, and special interest handouts. They felt that it was all fine and dandy to grow government, as long as they advocated for tax reform.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has always been a paradigm Bush Republican. It is therefore not surprising why he so emphatically supports the Obama tax deal.
All throughout the week, we have highlighted the disastrous big government spending and ethanol price distortions that were part of the larger compromise. All of these permanent concessions are being used as bait for temporarily retaining the marginal tax rates and reinstating the death tax. I'm glad to hear that Rush is categorically rejecting the compromise even if it means that we miss the deadline. The tax rates for 2011 will not be finalized until the end of the year and we will have the political clout and mandate to repeal them retroactively when we retake the House on January 3. On the other hand, if we acquiesce to this deal, there will be no way to repeal the destructive entitlements, market-distorting corn welfare and tariffs, and God knows what other special interest handouts will be slipped into this bill before the session is over.
It is surprising to me that the likes of Grover Norquist and some at the Heritage Foundation (although, they appear to be coming around) have come out in support of the deal so soon. Don't they realize that the President doesn't legislate? By agreeing to "the deal" up front we will wind up supporting a piece of real legislation that is dubbed as "the deal", but in reality, will be a new monster filled with budget busting special interest handouts and market distorting mandates.
Many Republicans will retort that this is the best deal we could secure in this political dynamic and if we reject the compromise, we will be doomed on January 1st. However, I have a sneaking suspicion that McConnell and the other Bush Republicans don't view this deal as a necessary evil. In fact, this is the type of legislation that they promote all the time. It cuts taxes, but increases spending and big government regulations. That's what compassionate conservatism a.k.a. big government liberalism is all about. They wouldn't have it any other way.
We must remind them that "green provisions" in the bill are backdoor tax cuts and are just as destructive as the sun setting of the Bush tax cuts. Let's hope that the folks at ATR score this bill and treat it as a violation of its tax pledge.