House GOP offers a familiar ‘Plan B’ for dodging the fiscal cliff

Reports from Washington vary on how close President Obama and Speaker John Boehner are to striking a deal to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff. But the emergence of Boehner’s apparent back-up plan in case they don’t reach an agreement caught my eye.

This morning, Boehner said his “Plan B” is for the House to extend all the rates for taxpayers earning $1 million or less per year while raising them on those who make more than that, and leaving the broader discussion for next year. Hmmm … who has suggested just such an approach?

[T]o, to Obama, this clearly is more about good politics than good policy. The House GOP should respond in kind.

It should pass the “Buffett Rule” bill that failed to pass the Senate in April, amended to include an extension of all current tax rates through 2013, as a down payment. While the Buffett Rule is projected to raise $47 billion during the next decade if the current tax rates for high earners are not extended, I’ve seen projections of more than $160 billion in 10 years if rates don’t rise. That’s an increase of approximately $16 billion next year, and it comes from real millionaires — not Obama’s “millionaire” couples who earn $250,00 a year.

Boehner wasn’t specific about the rate he envisions for million-dollar earners. If he was referring to the Buffett Rule, I assume he would have mentioned it by name and taken the credit for backing an Obama policy in the spirit of compromise. So I’m not exactly taking credit for the new Plan B.

But I still think it makes sense, if Boehner believes he can’t get a good deal from the president, to take away the “GOP only protects the rich” argument by proving the House is willing to raise taxes on the real “millionaires and billionaires” Obama is so fond of talking about — but insisting on more substance from Obama in any bigger deal.

– By Kyle Wingfield

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250 comments Add your comment

Aesop's Fables and other Lib Economic Theories

December 18th, 2012
1:07 pm

If Boehner thinks he can get a good deal from obozo then he is truly naive.

Aesop's Fables and other Lib Economic Theories

December 18th, 2012
1:08 pm

If Boehner believes one word that obozo says then he is worse than naive.

@@

December 18th, 2012
1:20 pm

Obama’s “millionaire” couples who earn $250,00 a year.

Kyle, you dropped one of the golden goose eggs.

For Obama to place those making $250,000 a year in the category of millionaires has never made sense to me.

Haste makes waste. Democrats are fond of both.

Lil' Barry Bailout - OBAMAPHONE!!!

December 18th, 2012
1:21 pm

Democrats won’t permit any real spending cuts or entitlement reforms. Republicans won’t allow taxes to be raised except on the top 1-2%. Nothing really changes. Nothing gets fixed. Don’t worry, the Titanic is unsinkable.

Just forget about all the media garbage (sorry Kyle) and the political garbage and at least enjoy Christmas.

Logical Dude

December 18th, 2012
1:22 pm

Everyone (ie, Boehner, Obama) should also take the easy step in adjusting COLA for Medicare and Social Security. Basic, basic steps that have been brought up before, and brushed repeatedly under the rug.

Terry Tucker

December 18th, 2012
1:23 pm

At some point the GOP needs to remember they are supposed to do what is in the best interest of the United States – not the Republican Party.

dcb

December 18th, 2012
1:25 pm

Can Obama agree to anything from Hawaii?

Tiberius - pulling the tail of the left AND right when needed

December 18th, 2012
1:28 pm

Let’s not forget that both Princess Pelosi and Upchuck Schumer both suggested a $1 million income threshold beforehand.

And suddenly, it’s not good enough for President Incompetent.

Lil' Barry Bailout - OBAMAPHONE!!!

December 18th, 2012
1:29 pm

Terry Tucker: At some point the GOP needs to remember they are supposed to do what is in the best interest of the United States
—————–

And what might that be?

Tiberius - pulling the tail of the left AND right when needed

December 18th, 2012
1:29 pm

“At some point the GOP needs to remember they are supposed to do what is in the best interest of the United States – not the Republican Party.”

Democrats and President Incompetent should remember that as well, Terry.

dcb

December 18th, 2012
1:31 pm

To Logical Dude above – from one of those senior citizens who fortunatelly, doesn’t live on Social Security alone …. the current COLA increase for Medicare and SS is a joke in the first place. Removing the cost of food and whatever else from the gross amount is the first joke. And then if you look at this year, the increase in the SS and Medicare Part B alone took virtually all but a dollar or two from the so-called cost-of-living increase. Add the increases allowed for Parts D and G and as will always be the case with the current system, seniors such as me actually go significantly backwards. But such is life and at age 71, I guess until my wife and I are forced to use any other “entitlements” that are out there, worrying about what ain’t going to happen at the hands of the fat cats occupying Congressional seats with handsome retirement benefits “earned” with as little as 1 day of service, isn’t worth the hassle.

BenDaho

December 18th, 2012
1:31 pm

After the repubs cave, we’ll get to watch O’spender kick the can down the road and offer nothing in the way spending cuts or entitlement reforms. This country needs some real leadership, not politics by polls.

JamVet

December 18th, 2012
1:33 pm

Man, you economic liberals in the GOP crack me up!

For years you go ballistic over any mention of the name Buffett.

NOW, you love his ideas.

Is it any wonder your political party has almost zero credibility on any and all matters fiscal?

(The answer is no.)

Lil' Barry Bailout - OBAMAPHONE!!!

December 18th, 2012
1:34 pm

JamVet’s making stuff up again.

Lil' Barry Bailout - OBAMAPHONE!!!

December 18th, 2012
1:40 pm

Terry Tucker, what’s in the best interest of the United States, in your humble opinion? Should taxes be higher or lower? For all, or just a few? Should spending be higher or lower? Should entitlements be reformed or not?

Come on man, we’re all waiting to hear what you think is in the best interest of the U.S.

Daniel

December 18th, 2012
1:44 pm

When we were an inch away from budget surpluses under Clinton were we not also a inch away from actually bring the deficits down? Then what happened?

Bush tax cuts, (a trillion), medicare part D (a trillion), a unjust war in Iraq (3+ trillion and counting.)Talk all the BS about spending you want, Republicans are pretty much to blame, although they like to pretend they are perfect.

Remember America, Republicans started this by not raising the debt limit, just to make Obama look bad, even though a huge part of the debt is their doing.

See, Republicans take credit for everything but responsibility for nothing. They don’t stand for anything and no one asks then to, especially their dimwitted voters.

I think Democrats would gladly own the raising of the taxes on the rich. Right back to Clinton era rates, and with out raising taxes on poor or middle class. It’s a win, win. …and closing some loopholes for the rich that let them dodge taxes and get tax breaks on their Private Jets.The fact of the matter is that raising taxes on the rich the Clifton levels does not hurt our economy one bit. Republicans have been spewing that lie for far to long.

The problem Republicans have is their feet are stuck in the pit of hypocritical mud. They talk a big game about reducing spending but they don’t reduce any spending when they are in power. They crank it up! They talk about cutting programs that actually help people but wouldn’t really make a dent on the deficit if they were cut.

What are Republicans really afraid of? I’ll tell you. It’s getting what THEY want. Reduced spending, but not the type they want to talk about. The fiscal cliff cuts defense spending by drastic amounts and that’s what their really afraid of. The military industrial complex is their “social engineering program” that they won’t cut because they are bankrolled by the industry. Republicans have no problem wasting trillions of tax dollars blowing up civilians in foreign countries that did not attack us, or a give away to big pharma, but helping the poor or vets get good healthcare when they come home from unnecessary wars is spending too much.

Bankers and baller CEO’s are the only people that Republicans really care about. Remember the midterm elections America!! Vote all these Republicans hacks out!

BenDaho

December 18th, 2012
1:45 pm

JamVet

December 18th, 2012
1:33 pm
Man, you economic liberals in the GOP crack me up!

For years you go ballistic over any mention of the name Buffett.

NOW, you love his ideas.

Is it any wonder your political party has almost zero credibility on any and all matters fiscal?

(The answer is no.)

I know you commies have all the credibility on the economy. Jimmy Carter should have won the nobel prize for his mastery of it.

Rafe Hollister preparing for an Obamanist America

December 18th, 2012
1:46 pm

This plan sounds so much more helpful than the total GOP cave they were talking about yesterday, where the GOP was going to let the Mistake raise the debt ceiling at will. Pass it, go home, and let the Senate do what they usually do, nothing. Let Barry explain why this was not good enough, to his loyal sycophants and his lapdog media. People with any sense of fair play and reasoning will ignore him as usual, as they realize the GOP did the best they could to avert tax raises on most Americans.

No matter what happens, the GOP is going to get the blame from the low information voters and the media, but they shouldn’t help Barry sink the economy, just to get credit for “working together”.

loco

December 18th, 2012
1:48 pm

500K or so will be the point where the taxes increase.

Laugh, growl, get as vitriolic as you like, but you read it here…

Guess it couldn’t be any worse than Rove, Morris and other right wing pundits predictions regarding the election

Finn McCool (The System isn't Broken; It's Fixed)

December 18th, 2012
1:48 pm

The rate on capital gains needs to increase as well.

Kyle Wingfield

December 18th, 2012
1:51 pm

Logical @ 1:22: I believe that (at least for SS) is on the table for a grand bargain if they can agree on taxes.

Finn McCool (The System isn't Broken; It's Fixed)

December 18th, 2012
1:51 pm

And forget about changes to Social Security. WE aren’t going to fix this thing on the backs of our elderly.

Close a couple of military bases or whatever — defense should be the MAIN target.

What does it mean when you spend more than the next 27 countries combined on defense? That you are chicken s&%$, scaredy cat, might as well be hiding under the bed.

Rafe Hollister preparing for an Obamanist America

December 18th, 2012
1:51 pm

Daniel, is there a DNC talking point to which you do not believe? I think you covered all their points in one post, except nothing on gun control.

Kyle Wingfield

December 18th, 2012
1:52 pm

JamVet @ 1:33: Looks like you need to go back and re-read (or read for the first time) what I wrote last month. It’s linked in the OP.

Nzinga

December 18th, 2012
1:53 pm

Well I was going to buy a Fantasy 5 ticket this afternoon until I realized that if I win I’ll be in the evil-millionaire tax bracket so I’ll just use my $1 to buy 1/3 gallon of gas.

loco

December 18th, 2012
1:54 pm

Kyle

SS for sure. I can see an increase in the cap and probably some new age requirements, higher penalties for collecting early, etc

curious

December 18th, 2012
1:55 pm

Go over the ‘fiscal cliff”.

Time we took real action and let everybody pitch in to help the Nation.

Georgia, The " New Mississippi "

December 18th, 2012
1:55 pm

J-BO and the Tea Party Clowns created this monster called sequestration that now has to be fed. This is the outcome when you sign tax pledges with folks that do not live in your state , city or voting district and insist on playing “team politics” at the expense of the folks back home. President Obama was elected to represent our nation. J-BO was elected by a handful of white guys that represent gerrymandered Congressional districts. President Obama is going to have to take the gloves off sooner or later and deal with J-BO Chicago style.

Lil' Barry Bailout - OBAMAPHONE!!!

December 18th, 2012
1:58 pm

Daniel: Republicans are pretty much to blame, although they like to pretend they are perfect.
——————

And yet, no Republican ever proposed or ran a trillion dollar deficit.

Rafe Hollister preparing for an Obamanist America

December 18th, 2012
1:58 pm

Finn,

And forget about changes to Social Security. WE aren’t going to fix this thing on the backs of our elderly.

I thought it was the GOP is going fix this thing on the backs of the poor, then I heard the backs of the middle class, now the elderly. Maybe we should go on to the backs of the disabled, or the children, WAIT, that one would be true, for a change. Truth in a slogan, whodda thought it.

We are continuing to run up debt, which is going to be passed on to our children. So, the Dems are in favor of continuing to spend and finance the spending on the backs of our children and grandchildren. Stout lads and laddies, all, they should be able to handle it.

loco

December 18th, 2012
2:01 pm

Barry

Nor have they did much more than talk and brainwash you that they have attempted to stop one… They do run the House, do they not?

Or does Obama now have authority to bypass the House on Appropriations

Lil' Barry Bailout - OBAMAPHONE!!!

December 18th, 2012
2:01 pm

The fiscal mess isn’t going to be fixed by politicians. It isn’t the politicians fault, either. It’s our fault because we (and by “we” I mean the majority that is dependent on government) will never allow the politicians to fix the mess.

The mess is going to be fixed by those who loan us money.

Lil' Barry Bailout - OBAMAPHONE!!!

December 18th, 2012
2:04 pm

loco: [Republicans] do run the House, do they not?
——————

They do. Would you support them shutting down the government to cut the deficit in half? Because that’s what it would take.

Man up–do you support a government shutdown, or are you just talking big?

Centrist

December 18th, 2012
2:05 pm

Plan B and what ever the Democrats send back to the House will be one of those last second bills they do just as they adjourn and leave town – blaming the other side for not accepting it. Maybe there will be at least some partial deal and extend the Jan 2nd deadline on taxes and sequestration before such an option.

I saw an article which said Boehner should now drop to $500K from his $1 million on tax rate increases, which was just the writer’s opinion. Hard to say where they might meet on tax rates. Much of the added revenue will really come from changes in capital gains, dividend/interest, caps/phaseouts on deductions, exemptions, and tax credits.

The real sticking point is now spending. Democrats are refusing to phase in an increase in age for Medicare eligibility, and using bogus accounting for other “cuts”. Boehner and Republicans might go along with some of this to save face and cut a deal postponing real cuts, but not most of the smoke, mirrors, and future promises. The debt ceiling will be the next point when real cuts or more creative accounting will have to be made, and both sides are jockeying as to how far off to postpone that time frame.

Boehner and Republicans were way late in finally agreeing to at least a “Buffet rule”. Had they done this during the “Grand Bargain” negotiations or election campaign, things would be a lot further along now – maybe they would have done better in the election, too. They overreached trying to have their cake and eat it too hoping for a Romney win and protection of the ultra wealthy including themselves, family, friends, and campaign contributors. There are also many Democrat Senators and their entourage supporters who secretly were glad a “Buffet rule” was defeated last year. Trust and tax attorneys will be getting a lot of work to get around as much of this as possible.

loco

December 18th, 2012
2:06 pm

They can do as Newt did….

Man up…. A midget telling me to man up..

Hahahahahahahahah

Lil' Barry Bailout - OBAMAPHONE!!!

December 18th, 2012
2:09 pm

Oh, hello sockpuppet.

Rafe Hollister preparing for an Obamanist America

December 18th, 2012
2:10 pm

The mess is going to be fixed by those who loan us money.

LBB, homerun, truer words have never before been posted on this blog. Neither side can fix this, the takers will not allow it. The politicians will continue to pander until they can’t borrow anymore, to pander with. Seems as though the only option in the mean time is to delay the day that happens, by supporting the GOP.

Dusty

December 18th, 2012
2:10 pm

Well, yawn and ho hum, all plans are beginning to sound just like the plan before and the one before that one..

One thing I do know. People making $250,000 per year are not millionaires They are not buiilding football stadiums, aquariums or art museums. They are “unbuilding” their mortrgages most of the time.

So this vibrant (zzzz) .discussion between O & B is going to end with a hug & a squeeze and a fresh pineapple to the winner..The great debt burden will shrink to an insignificent fifteen trillion. The fiscal cliff will be bulldozed and a field of sweet petunias will blossom for us. Hot dog!! Happy days are here again!!

WHAT? There’s a PLAN C? You betcha. Everyone will ask Santa to drop a million $$$ in every chimney and stocking . Yes, Virginia, there is a PLAN C.

Just Saying..

December 18th, 2012
2:11 pm

“And suddenly, it’s not good enough for President Incompetent.”

That would be two-term President Incompetent.
The American President.

Rafe Hollister preparing for an Obamanist America

December 18th, 2012
2:14 pm

That would be two-term President Incompetent.
The American President.

Pride goeth before the fall!

loco

December 18th, 2012
2:16 pm

Kyle

While I certainly agree that 250K is not close to being a millionaire in terms of income, did Obama say that exactly or is that an implication?

He may have. If so, you should have put in the actual quote in your article.

loco

December 18th, 2012
2:18 pm

Rafe

Good post. Bush certialy found that.

1961_Xer

December 18th, 2012
2:25 pm

The mess is going to be fixed by those who loan us money.

That, I think, sums it up. That is the way Greece is getting fixed. That will be the way that Argentina gets fixed. That is the way all nations who are close to defaulting on debt get fixed.

The congress and BO are going to kick the can yet again…

Kyle Wingfield

December 18th, 2012
2:27 pm

loco @ 2:16: Here’s one example. Note that this story ran before he proposed his Buffett Rule, the only tax plan of his that applies only to people making more than $1M, as far as I’m aware. Certainly, at that time, he was advocating only the rate increases on those earning more than $200K ($250K for married couples).

1961_Xer

December 18th, 2012
2:27 pm

While I certainly agree that 250K is not close to being a millionaire in terms of income, did Obama say that exactly or is that an implication?

He campaigned for two years on “millionaires and billionaires”. How much “exactly” or “implication” do you need?

@@

December 18th, 2012
2:27 pm

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama, with his latest fiscal cliff offer, proposes extending the Bush tax cuts for everyone earning less than $400,000 a year, and paying for it by increasing taxes on the middle class and cutting Social Security and Medicare.

Obama’s offer would allow the payroll tax holiday to expire, meaning middle class workers will see smaller paychecks in 2013. Economists have warned that the recovery is too fragile to risk a broad tax hike on workers. It would also gradually reduce Social Security, pension and disability benefits seniors are due to receive, taking a small bite up front, but building up to much larger cuts over time.–Huffington

Had to read that one twice. His base will go ballistic.

Oh well….

Dusty

December 18th, 2012
2:31 pm

Well, how intriguing! Another blogger who finds the need to direct Kyle. That is loco.@ 2:16

What is the motive of loco???Huh??? Yes, the locomotive! Choo on that one for a while.

loco

December 18th, 2012
2:34 pm

Kyle

Thanks for the feedback…

I’m sure you know, just as Obama knows and as the Speaker knows… The numbers being thrown out will not be the final number..

Speaker knows 1M is going to fly and Obama despite the rhetoric knows 250K will not either

I say 500K at the end of the day.

loco

December 18th, 2012
2:37 pm

Dusty

Within the stated rules I will comment and question as I please. As you see Kyle responded.

You are welcome to cry, pout and play drama queen if that makes you feel better about yourself…

Have a tissue

loco

December 18th, 2012
2:39 pm

What is the motive of your whining Dusty?

Huh?