Rep. Cole On McCarthy, Creating New Tax Hikes, and Giving Obama Credit for ‘Reform’

October 29, 2013 | Filed Under Anti-Americanism, Barack Obama, Budget, Business, Capitalism, Congress, Constitution, Democrats/Leftists, Ethics, Government, Health, House of Representatives, Jobs, Liberals, Obamacare, President, Progressives, Republicans, Taxes, Warner Todd Huston | Comments Off on

Rep. Cole On McCarthy, Creating New Tax Hikes, and Giving Obama Credit for ‘Reform’

-By Warner Todd Huston

In a recent interview, Representative Tom Cole (R, OK) tried to take the “reasonable” stance by claiming that President Obama deserves credit for “reform,” but wouldn’t go so far as to say the tea party was like McCarthyism. He also said he’s open to tax hikes.

In an interview with Bloomberg’s Al Hunt aired on October 26, Cole said that he thinks “both sides would like to deal with the sequester” and by “deal with” he means he’s open to raising taxes, though he uses the euphemism “raising revenue.”

Cole told Hunt that “we,” meaning the GOP, are “willing to put more revenue on the table” to settle the budget negotiations by the December 13 deadline.

The Congressman claims that the GOP is looking to raise taxes in a “pro-growth” way. Cole also says that he’d like to see a tax hike connected to “larger tax reform.”

When he was questioned on those Republicans that no matter what comes will vote no on new “revenue,” Cole ceded the point that many would.

“But, you know, the reality is,” he said, “you’re going to have to have a deal here. And a deal means everybody gives something up. Now, again, we’re much more into what I’d call pro-growth revenue. And I could give you, you know, a number of examples of what that would be, an amount, although a lot of that would be specified – would have to be worked out between…”

Strangely, Cole feels the GOP needs to give President Obama “credit” for entitlement reform.

Hunt asked Cole whether or not the President’s budget proposal is a “good starting point for entitlements” because Obama proposed to put a limit on growth in entitlement spending with chained CPI.

“I think they are a good starting point, and the first time he’s put on the table,” Cole insisted. “You know, he did not do that his first four years, so I give him a lot of credit. And he caught a lot of flak from his left wing. So that tells me–and I tell my Republican friends, look, look how much outrage he got from some of his core constituents. So let’s recognize he stepped toward us here, we ought to try to step toward him.”

Cole may be a bit too generous, here. Even Obama’s hometown paper, The Chicago Tribune notes that Obama’s so-called “reform” is a meaningless gesture.

The change Obama proposed in entitlements is “merely technical” the paper says.

“The White House itself admits that the result is simply a more accurate measure of inflation. It’s not really cutting anything. It merely eliminates an unintended overpayment,” The Tribune wrote in April.

While Cole may be right that the left screamed about this tiny correction in entitlement spending, he isn’t correct that Obama is offering any major reforms to entitlements. The Congressman’s attempt to sound “reasonable” makes little sense here.

But at least Cole didn’t jump in with the rest of the moderate GOP caucus and attack the tea party too much. For instance, he refused to accept Hunt’s attempt to paint tea partiers as “McCarthyites.”

Hunt tried to get Cole to “stand up” to Ted Cruz and bash the tea party but the Oklahoman properly pointed out that the tea party are the ones that helped create the Republican majority in the House.

So, Hunt tried to paint the tea party caucus as McCarthyites, though the Bloomberger didn’t bother to identify just who Cruz and the tea party were trying to persecute.

Cole responded negatively on that saying, “No, I – look, if we’re going to talk about Joe McCarthy, I’m happy to talk about him. I’m not happy to characterize somebody that I’ve never met.”

But Cole still played the moderate by dissing the conservative’s tactics.

“On the other hand, do I think this was a wise political strategy? No. And I’ve said that all along and, of course, voted for the deal that got us out of the box that some of these folks pursuing this had put us in, and that’s the sad part. The guys that get you into these–what did Senator Corker call it, you know, box canyons–are never the ones that lead you out, that somebody else has to go make the tough decisions,” he said.
“The only end of writing is to enable the reader better to enjoy life, or better to endure it.”
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Follow Warner Todd Huston on:

Warner Todd Huston is a Chicago based freelance writer. He has been writing opinion editorials and social criticism since early 2001 and before that he wrote articles on U.S. history for several small American magazines. His political columns are featured on many websites such as Andrew Breitbart’s,, and, as well as,,,,, among many, many others. Huston has also appeared on Fox News, Fox Business Network, CNN, and many local TV shows as well as numerous talk radio shows throughout the country.

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