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Steve Forbes | GOP loses way on fiscal cliff

In the war over the “fiscal cliff” of looming automatic spending cuts and increased tax rates, the GOP is reeling. Republicans are playing right into the Democrats’ hands, time and time again.

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) made the generous but misguided gesture last week of offering tax increases via eliminating or capping deductions, without demanding any sort of tax reform in return. Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) then exceeded the Speaker’s generosity on Sunday by acquiescing to higher tax rates, in the abstract hope that the White House would return the favor when it comes to entitlement reform.

Any tax increase will damage our already fragile economy — so why continue appeasing the White House and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), especially when Democrats have shown so little goodwill?

Republicans cannot win this debate until they realize what the White House already knows: that this war cannot be fought in closed-door negotiations, but must be carried out on the battlefield of public opinion.


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