Boehner insists on making all current tax rates permanent

posted at 3:35 pm on November 10, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

What a difference a couple of weeks — and a historic “shellacking” in a midterm election — makes.  In October, John Boehner had to answer whether he would accept extensions on only the tax rates for middle- and working-class earners if Democrats insisted on blocking extensions for the top tax bracket rates.  Today, Boehner announced that not only will he insist on extensions of the current tax rates, but that those extensions be made permanent:

“Extending all of the current tax rates and making them permanent will reduce the uncertainty,” said Representative John Boehner, in line take control as House speaker in January, when asked about potential compromise when he meets with Obama next week.

The GOP feels as if they have a wind at their backs on this issue, and the midterm elections certainly seem to corroborate that.  Democrats continue to paint this position as an endorsement of tax cuts, but that message has failed to work.  For one thing, it’s simply false; Republicans are arguing to keep the status quo, not for tax cuts.  Voters are also not enthusiastic about soaking the rich while needing them to invest in growth-producing activities, and most people understand that raising taxes in a recessionary environment is counterproductive, especially for a Congress with no discipline whatsoever on spending.

These positions aren’t new, of course, and the election was fought in large part on the basis of these issues.  What’s new is that Republican leadership has firmed up on the issue of tax rates, and that Democrats may not have a lot of room to maneuver.  They have to address that and pass a budget before December 31st, with a week or more off for Thanksgiving.  Their ability to act in a lame-duck session could be seriously hampered by Republican unity on this point, especially in the Senate, which got more conservative with the addition of Mark Kirk and even Democrat Joe Manchin in West Virginia.  Combine that with all of the Democrats in the Senate looking nervously at their prospects for re-election in 2012, and the GOP has a big advantage heading into the debate.

Boehner also picked up a little easy credibility on accountability and fiscal discipline with his pledge to fly commercial as House Speaker:

There’s been a lot of controversy about the expense of and use of military aircraft to get Speakers of the House around in recent years — especially when Nancy Pelosi asked for an upgrade (and because she’s a she). That is apparently about to end. Presumptive Speaker Boehner just told reporters he’s flown commercial for 20 years and will continue to do so as Speaker.

CBS helpfully tossed this issue out to the electorate with less than a week to go before the election, and it added to the sense of arrogance and entitlement Democrats in Congress had acquired through the ObamaCare and Porkulus debates.  It costs Boehner nothing (except air fare) to differentiate himself from Democrats by flying with the hoi polloi in the friendly, non-military skies, and especially eschewing Pelosi’s Friends & Family Program.

This, of course, poses a big question to Democrats about to put Pelosi back in charge of their House caucus.  Do they really want to put themselves in position to be arguing for a resumption of Air Pelosi and its Friends & Family service as a consequence of voting for Democrats in 2012?


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Looks like somebody plans to walk the walk.

dczombie on November 10, 2010 at 3:37 PM

No compromise. Let them compromise for once.

SouthernGent on November 10, 2010 at 3:38 PM

Pelosi wonders:

But can she still use Air Pelosi as Minority Leader?!?!?!? She was about to make Diamond Preferred Status!!

Ferris on November 10, 2010 at 3:39 PM

Like Rush said….”Winners don’t compromise, losers do!”

search4truth on November 10, 2010 at 3:40 PM

can we cut all rates by a sympathetic 1%. That is, say the marginal rate for whatever is 20%, let’s just make it 19%.
The hell, it’s not relevant anyway to how the gov’t spends but it is relevant to how I spend.

joeindc44 on November 10, 2010 at 3:41 PM

dczombie on November 10, 2010 at 3:37 PM

time will tell…now if we could just dump McConnell and crew…..

red131 on November 10, 2010 at 3:41 PM

”Winners don’t compromise, losers do!”

search4truth on November 10, 2010 at 3:40 PM

Amen. It’s time for some moderation from Obama and the Left. Enough of their extremism.

MeatHeadinCA on November 10, 2010 at 3:41 PM

Good for you Mr. Boehner, now get that momentum going towards repealing Obamacare and a million regulations that are choking the life out of business.

fourdeucer on November 10, 2010 at 3:41 PM

Spankage

44Magnum on November 10, 2010 at 3:42 PM

Boehner knows that the Tea Party stands behind him on these issues, but he also recognizes they haven’t put down their clubs and knives…just in case.

Extrafishy on November 10, 2010 at 3:42 PM

I think Boehner should play this music his first day…

Lady Gaga – Poker Face

MeatHeadinCA on November 10, 2010 at 3:42 PM

red131 on November 10, 2010 at 3:41 PM

Yeah, I’m worried about our Senate leadership too. That’s at least less important for the time being. The House is where the important legislation will originate and be worked out. For the next two years anyway, the House will be the more important legislative body.

dczombie on November 10, 2010 at 3:43 PM

(and because she’s a she).

I clicked that link–it’s National Review–& immediately there was a huge fund-raising pop-up with no exit! Nothing to click if I don’t want to give! How irritating. Remind me not to go to NR any more.

itsnotaboutme on November 10, 2010 at 3:45 PM

Liking him more and more each day! Could there actually be sanity and humility in Congress?

txmomof6 on November 10, 2010 at 3:45 PM

OK, so how can Boehner and the GOP work to get this stopped?

US to transfer $150m aid to Palestinians

MeatHeadinCA on November 10, 2010 at 3:45 PM

To paraphrase Lady Thatcher, now is not the time to go all wobbly John. Keep the status quo for everyone.

rbj on November 10, 2010 at 3:45 PM

Why didn’t you include the little nugget about Boehner shutting down Air Pelosi? He’s traveling commercial. Smart move.

lizzie beth on November 10, 2010 at 3:46 PM

kudos Boehner; keep on smacking that beta male around. He’ll cave or implode.

TimTebowSavesAmerica on November 10, 2010 at 3:46 PM

Doh, didn’t fully read what you had written. My bad. But good on Boehner.

lizzie beth on November 10, 2010 at 3:47 PM

If only Mitch McConnell would follow Boehner lead

Kini on November 10, 2010 at 3:47 PM

Extending all of the current tax rates and making them permanent will reduce the uncertainty

Does “all” include the “Death” Tax?

WashJeff on November 10, 2010 at 3:50 PM

No compromise. Let them compromise for once.

SouthernGent on November 10, 2010 at 3:38 PM

Ditto … short, sweet and to the point.

darwin on November 10, 2010 at 3:50 PM

Boehner wants to keep tax rates the same as this year, Dems want to raise them in 51 days. Happy New Year!

txmomof6 on November 10, 2010 at 3:50 PM

dczombie on November 10, 2010 at 3:43 PM

The one who worries me in the house is Eric Cantor. At times he’s too much of a squish.

red131 on November 10, 2010 at 3:50 PM

Commercial flight – permanent tax cuts.

Ok Mr. Boehner – stay the course – you’re doing ok so far.

But we’re watching you – each and every day.

jake-the-goose on November 10, 2010 at 3:50 PM

Again the Air Pelosi thing, like the earmarks, is symbolic in light of the trillions of debt we are piling up. However, that is probably the most important thing he said. Air Pelosi is symptomatic of the arrogance of the ruling class.

mwbri on November 10, 2010 at 3:51 PM

Although I just read somewhere else that those in direct line of succession ~ President, Vice President, Speaker of the House ~ can’t fly commercial for security purposes. True dat? I mean, it DOES make sense.

And I fer sure can’t see Boehner calling up a Gulfstream.

tree hugging sister on November 10, 2010 at 3:52 PM

I think you may be wrong when you said,”It costs Boehner nothing (except air fare) …”.

I could be wrong but I think that the rules for this use were that the Speaker reimbursed the government the equivalent of the commercial rate for the use of the plane. If so, it will truly cost him nothing other than some personal comfort.

OBQuiet on November 10, 2010 at 3:54 PM

Good start.

Now cut spending.

Good Lt on November 10, 2010 at 3:54 PM

Thank you Mr. Boehner….lead by example.

yoda on November 10, 2010 at 3:54 PM

Why didn’t you include the little nugget about Boehner shutting down Air Pelosi? He’s traveling commercial. Smart move.

lizzie beth on November 10, 2010 at 3:46 PM

Erhh.. he did.

Boehner also picked up a little easy credibility on accountability and fiscal discipline with his pledge to fly commercial as House Speaker:

strictnein on November 10, 2010 at 3:55 PM

Nancy Pelosi got a bad rap on taking military jets.

Now – she “may” have abused them – taking flights too often – or flying people she shouldn’t have been flying but …

The SotH is second in line to the Presidency.

You don’t want the SotH taking commercial aircraft.

HondaV65 on November 10, 2010 at 3:57 PM

Scroo the tax rates! I want full flush toilets back and the ban on incandescent light bulbs repealed!

Oldnuke on November 10, 2010 at 3:58 PM

The SotH is second in line to the Presidency.

You don’t want the SotH taking commercial aircraft.

HondaV65 on November 10, 2010 at 3:57 PM

Respectfully disagree. There is a line of succession. God forbid something happened where it would be needed, but there are people in place after Speaker and down into the Cabinet. This is not an Royal Family form of government.

txmomof6 on November 10, 2010 at 4:04 PM

Boehner also picked up a little easy credibility on accountability and fiscal discipline with his pledge to fly commercial as House Speaker:

Good for Boehner. And it’s about time that witch jumped back on her broom. Nothing more satisfying than seeing a liberal marxist humbled.

Rovin on November 10, 2010 at 4:05 PM

Speaker-in-waiting Boehner can demand a lot of things, but current law (as approved when both houses of Congress and the White House were controlled by the GOP) says everybody’s taxes will go up come next year, and if he insists on something that he can’t get passed (remember, you need the Senate and the President to pass a new law) it can become pretty bad PR for him, once the Dems start to talk about how they were ready to extend the tax cuts for hard-working middle-class Americans, but couldn’t because the Republicans blocked their efforts in order to give tax cuts to the rich, even as the country is facing soaring Federal deficits.

There’s more than one way to spin this issue, and it can backfire on him. Unless, of course, the Dems screw up their PR once again, which is a distinct possibility.

factoid on November 10, 2010 at 4:05 PM

You don’t want the SotH taking commercial aircraft.

HondaV65 on November 10, 2010 at 3:57 PM

are you kidding me? What could be more secure than flying the friendly skies after a vigorous and invasive pat down and nude body scan by the proffesionals at TSA?

Koa on November 10, 2010 at 4:06 PM

especially when Nancy Pelosi asked for an upgrade

Wasn’t the “upgrade” requested by the House Sergeant at Arms for security purposes, since a larger plane was needed to fly non-stop cross-country to her home district?

Yeah, Pelosi abused the privilege, but let’s not blame her for stuff that wasn’t her doing.

malclave on November 10, 2010 at 4:07 PM

Remind me not to go to NR any more.
itsnotaboutme on November 10, 2010 at 3:45 PM

Same thing happened to me. If you click back to your previous screen, and re-enter NRO, the pop up stays down.

It’s maddening, but not persistent.

marybel on November 10, 2010 at 4:08 PM

Honda: Actually, I want the SotH taking commercial aircraft. No matter who it is.

We’re talking about a line of succession that’s at least twenty people long. We’re not a monarchy that transmits authority by blood. It’s not like if we lose the SotH we can’t replace him or her.

I can understand taking different aircraft than other people in the succession (so that they don’t all get wiped out at once), but there is no reason to say that the SotH (or anyone in the line of succession, VP on down) should avoid flying commercial.

Scott H on November 10, 2010 at 4:08 PM

“Ha! hold my Brain; be still my beating Heart.”

Dems are making it too easy so far, though the catfights are very entertaining. Doubt Pelosi will have time or the support to make a special leaving mess in the lameduck session. The real battles are still ahead.

Fortunata on November 10, 2010 at 4:10 PM

clicked that link–it’s National Review–& immediately there was a huge fund-raising pop-up with no exit! Nothing to click if I don’t want to give! How irritating. Remind me not to go to NR any more.

itsnotaboutme on November 10, 2010 at 3:45 PM

I clicked it and it went directly to the article – no fundraising ad at all. NRO is a worthwhile read and should not be dismissed out of hand.

Ann on November 10, 2010 at 4:10 PM

I clicked that link–it’s National Review–& immediately there was a huge fund-raising pop-up with no exit! Nothing to click if I don’t want to give! How irritating. Remind me not to go to NR any more.

itsnotaboutme on November 10, 2010 at 3:45 PM

There is an exit… a “Close [X]” at the bottom right hand corner of the popup, and it doesn’t look like it’s actually part of the popup, but it does work.

malclave on November 10, 2010 at 4:10 PM

Royal Pelosi Airlines

Hening on November 10, 2010 at 4:11 PM

Boehner just told reporters he’s flown commercial for 20 years and will continue to do so

Nancy got pwned

John the Libertarian on November 10, 2010 at 4:11 PM

Make the current rates permanent? How about more cuts?

modnar on November 10, 2010 at 4:13 PM

Awesome, i am glad to see John’s making smart decisions!

The Expert Knows

HAExpert on November 10, 2010 at 4:14 PM

There’s more than one way to spin this issue, and it can backfire on him. Unless, of course, the Dems screw up their PR once again, which is a distinct possibility.

factoid on November 10, 2010 at 4:05 PM

You forgot the Dems ever faithful media, which might not even get on board with this lunacy—frankly I’d love to see Obama veto this proposal. It would put more than half the nails in his political coffin.

Rovin on November 10, 2010 at 4:14 PM

I thought SoTH was third-in-line. If Boehner flies commercial, I’m joining the TSA.

Fortunata on November 10, 2010 at 4:16 PM

I clicked that link–it’s National Review–& immediately there was a huge fund-raising pop-up with no exit! Nothing to click if I don’t want to give! How irritating. Remind me not to go to NR any more.

itsnotaboutme on November 10, 2010 at 3:45 PM

Huh? Don’t blame NR if you fail to notice “Close” label in the lower-right, just below the pop-up.

Splashman on November 10, 2010 at 4:17 PM

This is great news that I expected..Where are all worry warts about a compromise?..:)

Dire Straits on November 10, 2010 at 4:18 PM

Boehner’s off to a good start. Hopefully the RINO squishes will locate their testicles and follow his lead. But I’m not holding my breath.

Splashman on November 10, 2010 at 4:19 PM

I really do not have a problem with them flying military aircraft . There are security reasons, time efficiencies, etc that really do require it. The military costs are “sunk costs” and would be payed anyway whether anyone flew or not[except for the fuel] The requirement to reimburse at the cost of a commercial flight is fair. Pelosi abused her privelege in many ways. She really thought she was some kind of queen and was entitled to all kinds of goodies.

retiredeagle on November 10, 2010 at 4:19 PM

Can someone give me a link to the final obamacare bill? All I’m getting are the versions from 2009.

csdeven on November 10, 2010 at 4:19 PM

Leads out of the gate!

ronsfi on November 10, 2010 at 4:22 PM

Extraordinarily positive. We need to see this type of Republican leadership and conduct up and down the line.

GaltBlvnAtty on November 10, 2010 at 4:23 PM

For one thing, it’s simply false; Republicans are arguing to keep the status quo, not for tax cuts.

–Isn’t the status quo the termination of the tax cuts on December 31? That’s what the existing law says.

FYI: A presidential commission’s leaders proposed a $3.8 trillion deficit-cutting plan that would trim Social Security and Medicare, reduce income-tax rates and eliminate tax breaks including the mortgage-interest deduction.

The plan would overhaul the federal budget by throwing out hundreds of tax breaks for items such as capital gains and child care. It would raise the gas tax, slash defense spending and bring down health-care costs by clamping down on medical malpractice suits. The Social Security retirement age would be raised to 68 in about 2050 and 69 in about 2075.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-11-10/deficit-reduction-panel-s-plan-would-seek-to-cut-social-security-medicare.html

Jimbo3 on November 10, 2010 at 4:24 PM

Great start. Thanks.

Oh and shutting down Pelosi Air? Priceless…

OmahaConservative on November 10, 2010 at 4:26 PM

Still waiting for Boehner to even mention Congressional pay cuts.

Very becoming blue tint in my face though….

Mr. Grump on November 10, 2010 at 4:29 PM

–Isn’t the status quo the termination of the tax cuts on December 31? That’s what the existing law says.

From the economy’s point of view, it is maintaining the status quo.

Chuck Schick on November 10, 2010 at 4:31 PM

I’d love to see Obama veto this proposal. It would put more than half the nails in his political coffin.

Rovin on November 10, 2010 at 4:14 PM

He’s not going to have to veto anything. Any bill that the Democrats do not agree to will simply die in the Senate.

factoid on November 10, 2010 at 4:31 PM

He’s not going to have to veto anything. Any bill that the Democrats do not agree to will simply die in the Senate.

factoid on November 10, 2010 at 4:31 PM

Don’t worry, you’ll still be blamed for it. We’re going to be able to run the exact Pelosi/Reid/Obama ads that gutted you little parasites last week.

Chuck Schick on November 10, 2010 at 4:34 PM

While I’m sure Boehner will have to compromise some..I’m glad he is not on the Bush tax cuts..We have to get the economy out of a ditch..:)

Dire Straits on November 10, 2010 at 4:36 PM

csdeven on November 10, 2010 at 4:19 PM

Still being written ?? /

As for the officiall 2K+ page thang, sorry I can’t help.

pambi on November 10, 2010 at 4:37 PM

The Pelosi family is worth tens of millions of dollars. She can buy her own damn plane.

sdillard on November 10, 2010 at 4:38 PM

I’d love to see Obama veto this proposal. It would put more than half the nails in his political coffin.

Rovin on November 10, 2010 at 4:14 PM
He’s not going to have to veto anything. Any bill that the Democrats do not agree to will simply die in the Senate.

factoid on November 10, 2010 at 4:31 PM

There is no proposal, so the automatic tax hikes will go into effect if no bill is proposed. The Dems still have all the votes they need to pass whatever they want. The burden is on them.

txmomof6 on November 10, 2010 at 4:40 PM

Apparently, this isn’t Nohn Boehner’s first rodeo.

JohnGalt23 on November 10, 2010 at 4:41 PM

There is no proposal, so the automatic tax hikes will go into effect if no bill is proposed. The Dems still have all the votes they need to pass whatever they want. The burden is on them.

txmomof6 on November 10, 2010 at 4:40 PM

No one can pass anything without the other party. Unless these clowns start compromising with each other, this is going to be the biggest do-nothing Congress of all times. So the Dems can write a bill that says, keep the tax cuts for everyone but those making more than $250k, or even $500k, in the spirit of compromise. Then either Boehner agrees or the Dems can say “Hey, the GOP Congress and Pres. Bush screwed up the law back in 2001 because they wanted the deficit numbers to look good. We tried to fix it so your taxes wouldn’t go up, but we have deadlock because Boehner won’t compromise, because he insists on giving a tax cut to millionaires.” Now, whether they’re good enough to play that right remains to be seen.

factoid on November 10, 2010 at 4:51 PM

Boehner also picked up a little easy credibility on accountability and fiscal discipline with his pledge to fly commercial as House Speaker:

I’m going to the Army-Navy game this year. Boehner lives in the district immediately to the north of mine. I’m taking a nonstop US Airways flight out of Dayton, which has to be 15-20 minutes closer to his home than it is to mine. The destination in DC is Reagan National.

The point: my round-trip fare is a little under $230. Kick it up for first class, but it has to be a marked improvement over Air Pelosi.

BuckeyeSam on November 10, 2010 at 5:02 PM

the hoi polloi

is redundant.

GISAP on November 10, 2010 at 5:10 PM

this is going to be the biggest do-nothing Congress of all times.

factoid on November 10, 2010 at 4:51 PM

Can we please get that in writing?

Chuck Schick on November 10, 2010 at 5:36 PM

Killing ObamaCare, killing Card Check, killing Cap & Trade and making the tax cuts permanent would go a long way to reducing uncertainty for business planning. And the economy would actually start to recover.

GarandFan on November 10, 2010 at 5:51 PM

Good riddance to Queen Pelosi.

I’d love to see a breakdown of how many times she’s used the military planes, where she went, who went with her, and how much those trips cost. I know of at least two times she taken the military plane to visit family.

LASue on November 10, 2010 at 5:53 PM

Chuck Schick on November 10, 2010 at 5:36 PM

Really; ‘do nothing’ is immeasurably better than what the Jackass has been doing.

slickwillie2001 on November 10, 2010 at 6:18 PM

A nice place to start putting in the ceiling.

Once Congress convenes let eveyone know you would like to chop an additional 1% of for every month of stalling… that would be 24% if it doesn’t get done.

Or, contrarily, offer to cut 5% off of the entire budget every month and keep sending that forward. Remember it will be the Democrats stopping government when a fine austerity budget is offered… and each time it is refused there is less offered the next time.

Combine them in a whiplash affair and propose a massively scaled back government with lower taxes because, obviously, no one can manage it at its current size. They keep refusing the budget so it MUST be TOO BIG TO MANAGE.

KISS

ajacksonian on November 10, 2010 at 6:46 PM

I have a lil tiny widdle crush on John Boehner….

ladyingray on November 10, 2010 at 7:16 PM

That was some easy points by Boehner flying commercial; it would be stupid if he didn’t make that change. The only possible reason is to secure the line of succession, but it seems that HRH, Nancy Pelosi, was using military assets because she was over-entitled and tone death, not because of security concerns.

Illinidiva on November 10, 2010 at 8:34 PM

Let’s start from a position that “all laws over 1 page long are repealed”….and “compromise” (but only a little) from there!

landlines on November 11, 2010 at 1:01 PM