I admit that I haven’t been paying too much attention to the certified vote totals from each state in the presidential election, but how did I miss the news that President Obama won 100 percent of the votes in every single state (not just select Philadelphia precincts)?
That’s the only explanation I can conjure for his reported “offer” on the fiscal cliff, via the New York Times:
Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner presented the House speaker, John A. Boehner, a detailed proposal on Thursday to avert the year-end fiscal crisis with $1.6 trillion in tax increases over 10 years, $50 billion in immediate stimulus spending, home mortgage refinancing and a permanent end to Congressional control over statutory borrowing limits.
The proposal, loaded with Democratic priorities and short on detailed spending cuts, met strong Republican resistance. In exchange for locking in the $1.6 trillion in added revenues, President Obama embraced the goal of finding $400 billion in savings from Medicare and other social programs to be worked out next year, with no guarantees.
He did propose some upfront cuts in programs like farm price supports, but did not specify an amount or any details. And senior Republican aides familiar with the offer said those initial spending cuts might be outweighed by spending increases, including at least $50 billion in infrastructure spending, mortgage relief, an extension of unemployment insurance and a deferral of automatic cuts to physician reimbursements under Medicare.
I can just hear Geithner making the offer now: “That’s none for you, a trillion for us; none for you, fifty billion for us; none for you, infinity for us.”
Even assuming the Medicare cuts were to transpire — and the key phrase about that in the Times’ story is “with no guarantees,” which is short-hand for “Democrats are always happy to agree to cuts they have no intention of making” — we are talking $4 in tax increases for, at most, $1 in spending cuts. That’s well past the opposite of the ratio, widely discussed since last year’s debt-ceiling negotiations, of $2.50-$3 in spending cuts for every $1 in tax increases.
If that’s what the American people wanted, we would be calling Nancy Pelosi “Madam Speaker” again. But we’re not. Instead, we have Speaker John Boehner, who has offered to raise revenues by capping deductions in exchange for concrete entitlement reform, and a number of Republican House members and senators who are sticking their necks out to talk about reneging on their no-tax-hikes pledge.
Note to Saxby Chambliss: As long as this is the way the president is talking, there’s really no sense in talking about compromise for the good of the country.
What would be a GOP equivalent to this kind of unserious nonsense? Reason’s Peter Suderman took a pretty good stab at it on Twitter:
Republicans hear Obama’s opening bid, counter with: Eliminate the federal government, except for defense.
Folks, no matter how much you earn, it might be time to sit down and figure out what your household finances are going to look like with Clinton-era tax rates. Because Obama is giving every indication he would rather go over the fiscal cliff than move in anything like the GOP’s direction.
– By Kyle Wingfield