Charles Krauthammer is absolutely correct in his assessment that Obama’s strategy in the “fiscal cliff” negotiations has nothing to do with economics or real fiscal reform. “This is entirely about politics,” he argues.
This is why he sent Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner to the Republicans to convey not a negotiating offer but a demand for unconditional surrender. House Speaker John Boehner had made a peace offering of $800 billion in new revenues. Geithner pocketed Boehner’s $800 billion, doubled it to $1.6 trillion, offered risible cuts that in 2013 would actually be exceeded by new stimulus spending, and then demanded that Congress turn over to the president all power over the debt ceilingBoehner was stunned. Mitch McConnell laughed out loud. In nobler days, they’d have offered Geithner a pistol and an early-morning appointment at Weehawken. Alas, Boehner gave again, coming back a week later with spending-cut suggestions — as demanded by Geithner — only to have them dismissed with a wave of the hand.
What’s going on here? Having taken Boehner’s sword, and then his shirt, Obama sent Geithner to demand Boehner’s trousers. Perhaps this is what Obama means by a balanced approach.
He pretends that Boehner’s offer to raise revenues by eliminating deductions rather than by raising rates is fiscally impossible. But on July 22, 2011, Obama said that “$1.2 trillion in additional revenues . . . could be accomplished without hiking tax rates, but could simply be accomplished by eliminating loopholes, eliminating some deductions, and engaging in a tax reform process.” Which is exactly what the Republicans are offering today.
As for the alleged curative effect on debt of Obama’s tax-rate demand — the full rate hike on the “rich” would have reduced the 2012 deficit from $1.10 trillion to $1.02 trillion.
That’s a joke, a rounding error.
Such nonsense abounds because Obama’s objective in these negotiations is not economic but political: not to solve the debt crisis but to fracture the Republican majority in the House. Get Boehner to cave, pass the tax hike with Democratic votes provided by Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and let the Republican civil war begin.
It doesn’t even matter whether Boehner gets deposed as speaker. Either way, the Republican House would be neutered, giving Obama a free hand to dominate Washington and fashion the entitlement state of his liking.
This is partisan zero-sum politics. Nothing more. Obama has never shown interest in genuine debt reduction. He does nothing for two years, then spends the next two ignoring his own debt-reduction commission. In less than four years, he has increased U.S. public debt by a staggering 83 percent. As a percentage of GDP, the real marker of national solvency, it has spiked from 45 percent to 70 percent.
Obama has never once publicly suggested a structural cut in entitlements. On the contrary, he created an entirely new entitlement — Obamacare — that, according to the CBO, will increase spending by $1.7 trillion.
What’s he thinking?
He’s thinking he can do anything he wants – go over the cliff, crash the economy – blame it all on Republicans – and with the MSM in his back pocket, he’s right.
Obama’s approval rating stands at 57 percent, the highest since May 2011, when U.S. Navy SEALs killed the terror leader, and up 5 percentage points from before the election. And 42 percent say the country is on the right track, up from 35 percent in January 2009.
A majority think it’s likely that the president will be able to improve the economy in his second term.
“Compared to the alternative, I’m more optimistic about government and the economy with him in office,” said Jack Reinholt, an independent from Bristol, R.I., who backed Obama in 2008 and again in 2012. “I feel he has the better path laid out.”
“Soak the rich.” That’ll fix the economy. *Double face palm*
As Allen West told Mark Levin, Negotiating With “Marxist, Socialist, Rigid Ideologue” Barack Obama Is “Silly”…
They have to go over the White House and the media’s head.
David Limbaugh says It’s Time To Turn the Tables on this Presidential Bully:
Boehner needs to turn the tables on Obama and go into attack mode himself. There is no other way to deal with this destructive bully. Boehner must sprint to the national microphone and tell the American people that Obama is being unreasonable, reckless and uncompromising.
Obama is the one who won’t address the only problem that matters: spending. He won’t budge from his intolerable demands that Republicans raise rates on the “wealthy” in exchange for his vague promise of implementing spending “cuts” in the future, his insistence on spending more money on new programs today, his steadfast refusal to put entitlement reform on the table, and his demand that he be given unilateral authority to raise the budget ceiling at his whim.
Boehner must point out that Republicans have gone out of their way to compromise — way too far out of their way — by agreeing to eliminate deductions for the highest income earners to the tune of $800 billion, a figure Obama himself demanded not long ago. He should say he agreed to that not because he believes they’re paying too little (they are indeed already paying more than their fair share) or that it will increase revenues, but in a good faith effort to secure an agreement from Obama to greatly reduce spending and restructure entitlement programs.
The GOP majority did not get re-elected to roll over to Obama’s disastrous policies. They have a moral, legal and constitutional duty to resist Obama’s path of destruction with every fiber of their beings. At some point, their desire not to look mean must yield to their duty to inform the American people of the gravity of our situation and how reckless Obama is being.
Face it: Unless Republicans accede to all of Obama’s unreasonable demands and thus to the accelerated destruction of the country, there will be an impasse, because Obama will not yield, and Republicans will be blamed for it.
The only conceivable way Republicans can avoid this fate is if they quit playing his sinister game of negotiation chicken, call him out in plain terms on what he’s doing, and show he has never been and is not now serious about averting a national financial meltdown.
McConnell was doing that in his own special way when he offered Obama’s unserious proposal up for a vote on the Senate floor, (for a second time, yesterday). But they need to start forcefully denouncing Obama’s tactics, too. He is not operating in good faith, and Republicans need to make that clear to the American people.
Further proof that Obama has no problem going off the fiscal cliff:
Asked about Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner’s statement that the administration would “absolutely” prefer to bring on the combination of tax hikes and spending cuts pending at year’s end over signing legislation that extended highest-income tax breaks, Carney said Geithner was restating administration policy.
The mainstream media sees what’s going on, but they’re not going to trumpet it. That has to be the Republicans’ job. They should insist that negotiations be done in public, and they should be “sprinting to the microphone” every chance they get to explain to the American people that it’s the uncompromising Regime’s policies that are bringing this country to its knees. Where the hell is Paul Ryan? He should be front and center in this battle for hearts and minds.
Linked by Michelle Malkin, thanks!