I think my pal Jen Rubin is correct, Speaker Boehner and the House GOP have put President Obama and the Dems “in a box” with the Boehner Plan B to avoid a fiscal cliff. Rubin:
The White House is acting like it had no “plan B” in the “fiscal cliff” fight. Ever since House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said he would put to a vote a measure to extend all current tax rates except those for households making more than $1 million, the president and his advisers have been apoplectic. How dare he offer something Senate Democrats once approved! Protect all but millionaires?! The Democrats’ ire is as intense as it is nonsensical, and Republicans are openly mocking the White House. … At any rate, the House will pass its bills and send them to the Senate. Poor Senate Dems will actually have to vote on something. This should be interesting to see what they come up with.
Political analyst Chris Krueger of the Washington Research Group neatly outlines the state of play:
The strategy is twofold: inoculate House Republicans for blame in a cliff dive on January 1 AND increase leverage in the negotiations. By passing Plan B, Boehner displays a strength of force by showing he has the support of his rank-and-file.
Furthermore, by taking the middle class tax hike threat off the table, the GOP can retake the negotiating high ground, dig new trenches, and apply maximum leverage on the debt ceiling and demand big spending cuts and entitlement reforms (so the theory goes.)
Good heavens, Obama’s second term mandate isn’t even making it to Obama’s second term. It is fading by the moment as the GOP makes huge concessions on taxes, while Obama dithers on spending cuts. And remember, it’s spending not tax revenue that is the main problem. Obama’s lack of skill as a negotiator is again becoming evident. Here is a great piece by Wall Street economist Robert Brusca:
Obama says: ”It is very hard for them to say yes to me,” the president told a news conference. “At some point, you know, they’ve got to take me out of it.”
Question: who is being narcisistic about what here? This is a really crazy statement from a newly re-elected President who outpolled 23 past presidential elections in his popular vote margin of victory and lagged behind 26 then claimed he had a mandate.
Huh? That’s a middle of the pack mandate? Under his Mandate the Republicans ( who were returned to control of the House) were obliged to roll over and raise tax rates right on HIS formula.
While there was to be horse trading because it was a bargaining session, the President demanded hikes in tax rates. The fiscal cliff only needs about $608 billion in savings but the President insisted on $1.2 trillion in revenues from taxes and he claimed that could not be gotten from closing loop holes.
Then he took Social Security off the table. Then he insisted that a ‘pass’ on the Debt Ceiling be included in this deal.
What did he offer to the Republicans for all of these demands? BUPKIS! BUPKIS!
So when they stick stupid demands back in his face he takes it personal (see quote above) This man does not know how to negotiate and we know from the past four years he does not show very good leadership as he left the medical care negotiations to Pelosi and Reid.
So now he is stepping up and this is his idea of bargaining? I am SHOCKED by such an infantile approach. I hope we negotiate using better tactics with foreign countries.