BOSTON —In the city where a protest over tax policy sparked a revolution, modern day tea party activists are cheering the recent Republican revolt in Washington that embarrassed House Speaker John Boehner and pushed the country closer to a “fiscal cliff” that forces tax increases and massive spending cuts on virtually every American.
“I want conservatives to stay strong,” saidSmith said his “hat’s off” to those Republicans in Congress who rejected their own leader’s plan.
“Let’s go over the cliff and see what’s on the other side,” the blacksmith said. “On the other side” are tax increases for most Americans, not just the top earners, though that point seemed lost on Smith, who added: “We have a day of reckoning coming, whether it’s next week or next year. Sooner or later the chickens are coming home to roost. Let’s let them roost next week.”
Christine Morabito, president of the Greater Boston Tea Party. “Sometimes things have to get a lot worse before they get better.”
Anti-tax conservatives from every corner of the nation echo her sentiment.
More than a dozen activists said they would rather fall off the cliff than agree to a compromise that includes tax increases for any Americans, no matter how high their income.
They dismiss economists’ warnings that the automatic tax increases and deep spending cuts set to take effect Jan. 1 could trigger a fresh recession, and they overlook the fact that most people would see their taxes increase if President Barack Obama and Boehner, R-Ohio, fail to reach a year-end agreement.
On Capitol Hill, some Republicans worry about the practical and political implications should the GOP block a compromise designed to avoid tax increases for most Americans and cut the nation’s deficit.
“It weakens the entire Republican Party, the Republican majority,” Rep. Steven LaTourette, R-Ohio, said Thursday night shortly after rank-and-file Republicans rejected BoehIt’s not just tea party activists who want Republicans in Washington to stand firm.
In conservative states such as South Carolina and Louisiana, party leaders are encouraging members of their congressional delegations to oppose any deal that includes tax increases. Elected officials from those states have little political incentive to cooperate with the Democratic president, given that most of their constituents voted for Obama’s Republican opponent, Mitt Romney.
- eIn Louisiana, state GOP Chairman Roger Villere said that “people are frustrated with Speaker Boehner. They hear people run as conservatives, run against tax hikes. They want them to keep their word.”
r’Conservative opposition to compromise with Obama does not reflect the view of most Americans, according to recent public opinion polls.
s “Plan B” — a measure that would have prevented tax increases on all Americans but million-dollar earners.