You’d better watch out, you’d better not cry?
Pushing his tax plan at a factory that makes K’NEX building toys, President Barack Obama warned lawmakers on Friday that he was keeping his own “naughty and nice list.”
“Santa delivers everywhere. I’ve been keeping my own naughty and nice list for Washington,” the president told K’NEX employees. “So you should keep your eye on who gets some K’NEX this year. There are going to be some members of Congress who get ’em, and some who don’t.”
In an interview in his Capitol Hill office, Mr. McConnell (R., Ky.) said if the White House agrees to changes such as higher Medicare premiums for the wealthy, an increase in the Medicare eligibility age and a slowing of cost-of-living increases for programs like Social Security, Republicans would agree to include more tax revenue in the deal, though not from higher tax rates.
“Those are the kinds of things that would get Republicans interested in new revenue,” Mr. McConnell said.
Mr. McConnell’s comments represent some of the clearest statements of principle from Republicans on the thorny issue of reining in the ballooning cost of the U.S.’s entitlement programs. They also offer a potential path forward in what have become a heated series of talks. …
Mr. McConnell offered his ideas as examples of the structural changes Republicans are looking for. “The nexus for us is: revenue equals genuine entitlement eligibility changes,” Mr. McConnell said. “Not another study. Not ‘Let’s do it 11 months from now.’ Now.”
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Friday announced Democrats would circulate a discharge petition to force a House vote to extend current tax rates only on annual household income below $250,000. …
Democrats would need the support of more than 20 Republicans to secure the 218 signatures needed to force the bill to the floor.
“We’re calling upon the Republican leadership in the House to bring this legislation to the floor next week,” Pelosi said Friday during a press briefing in the Capitol. “We believe that not doing that would be holding middle-income tax cuts hostage to tax cuts for the rich — tax cuts for the rich which do not create jobs, just increase the deficit, heaping mountains of debt on future generations.
“So to that end — if there’s no announcement of scheduling of the middle-income tax cut,” she added, “then on Tuesday we will be introducing a discharge petition.”
For now, however, Senate and House Republicans are playing it right. They have even got the mainstream media to notice how unreasonable Obama’s non-offer, offer is. …
In their own ways, Sen. Mitch McConnell and House Speaker John Boehner have handled the past couple of days rather expertly. McConnell’s reaction to Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner’s ludicrous proposal — laughter — was exactly right. It is a joke, and rather than railing at specific parts, a guffaw nicely communicates to voter how un-serious the president is at this point.
Likewise Boehner’s more-in-sadness-than-in-anger tone after his call with Obama keeps his party from becoming unhinged and keeps a respectful dialogue with the president. …
The GOP’s message this week to the Dems can be summed up in two words: Grow up. Only after the president has definitively shown that the Democrats prefer the politics of adolescence should the GOP begin passing out parachutes for the group jump over the cliff.
As they say in the NFL, “on further review,” I’ve decided that going over the “fiscal cliff” is a good idea.
And no, it’s not because I want to pay more in taxes. Nor am I a disgruntled Republican longing for revenge for the election. And I didn’t just win the Powerball jackpot, and I didn’t get an early bonus to avoid the coming tax increases.
No, it’s simpler than that: I just don’t want to have to listen to another month of posturing and pandering from politicians and pundits. …
So please, fellows, no more. Americans are a patient people, but we’ve just been through an endless presidential campaign. We did our job. We voted. Not it’s time for you to do yours.
It’s the holidays. All we wanted for Christmas was for you to stop talking and start legislating.