GOP “doomsday” plan: vote “present” on middle-class tax rate extension

posted at 11:21 am on December 3, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

I mentioned last week that Republicans had one option to extricate themselves politically from a collapse of the fiscal-cliff talks, which was to just give Obama a House vote on exactly he wants — and then vote “present” to allow it to pass.  ABC’s Jonathan Karl reports that House Republicans are considering a limited version of that option, focusing only on extending the middle-class tax rates and nothing more:

Republicans are seriously considering a Doomsday Plan if fiscal cliff talks collapse entirely.  It’s quite simple:  House Republicans would allow a vote on extending the Bush middle class tax cuts (the bill passed in August by the Senate) and offer the President nothing more:  no extension of the debt ceiling, nothing on unemployment, nothing on closing loopholes.  Congress would recess for the holidays and the president would face a big battle early in the year over the debt ceiling.

Two senior Republican elected officials tell me this doomsday plan is becoming the most likely scenario.  A top GOP House  leadership aide confirms the plan is under consideration, but says Speaker Boehner has made no decision on whether to pursue it.

Under one variation of this Doomsday Plan, House Republicans would allow a vote on extending only the middle class tax cuts and Republicans, to express disapproval at the failure to extend all tax cuts, would vote “present” on the bill, allowing it to pass entirely on Democratic votes.

By doing this, Republicans avoid taking blame for tax increases on 98 percent of income tax payers.  As one senior Republican in Congress told me, “You don’t take a hostage you aren’t willing to shoot.”  Republicans aren’t willing to kill the middle class tax cuts, even if extending them alone will make it harder to later extend tax cuts on the wealthy.

I’m not sure what a “present” vote gains Republicans if they only hold a vote on the tax rates.  I’d assume that the House GOP wants to get some credit for keeping middle-class tax rates at their current level, as well as for the AMT fix that will keep millions of us from falling into the vise of a program originally intended to do what Warren Buffett urges us to do again — demand more money from the rich.  It seems to me that the House GOP can vote to pass this bill tomorrow without explicitly violating their tax pledge, and still use the debt ceiling for another round of fiscal-cliff negotiations.

Of course, the Senate might not pass such a bill without any other issues addressed in it.  That, however, puts the onus on Harry Reid, who would then be seen as the man holding the middle class hostage to get his wish list passed.  That’s also true if House Democrats surprise the GOP and fail to vote for the bill if Boehner has his caucus vote “present.”    Obama would almost have to sign such a bill if it passed out of Congress, given his own rhetoric about Republican hostage-taking and the middle-class tax rates — but why not have Republicans force that issue by voting in favor of it?

The true doomsday option, other than flying off the fiscal cliff like Thelma and Louise, would be to pass Obama’s latest offer through a House vote where Republicans vote “present.”  The negative impact those policies have on the economy would be completely owned by Obama and Democrats.  That would create a lot of pain and economic damage that could be mitigated by good-faith negotiation between the parties, but if Democrats refuse to engage in such, then the political options are all that remain for the GOP.


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I say give ‘em what they want. They own it.

vcferlita on December 3, 2012 at 11:24 AM

Again.. why no Simpson Bowles?

Illinidiva on December 3, 2012 at 11:25 AM

Let’s do it

Present!

cmsinaz on December 3, 2012 at 11:25 AM

Let. It. Burn.

texgal on December 3, 2012 at 11:26 AM

Don’t be squishy gop

cmsinaz on December 3, 2012 at 11:26 AM

Vote present. Then shout about the spending. Shout about Presidential 4 million dollar vacations in the middle of fiscal cliff negotiations! Shout about forever increasing debt limits! Shout about the wasteful spending and give clear cut examples! Shout it from the house tops until America starts shouting about it too!

JellyToast on December 3, 2012 at 11:26 AM

Voting ‘present’ gives the Republicans cover. We know that Obamas plan will do nothing to help the economy, and may in fact hurt it. If the Republicans allow the Democrats to wholly own that vote, when the economy worsens the blame is all on Obama.

He got his plan. He can’t blame Bush anymore. He can’t try to share the blame with the Republicans (because none of them voted for it). Let it burn, and let him own it.

PetecminMd on December 3, 2012 at 11:26 AM

Again.. why no Simpson Bowles?

Illinidiva on December 3, 2012 at 11:25 AM

You mean the recommendation provided by the committee Obama himself appointed then ignored?

darwin on December 3, 2012 at 11:27 AM

Do it.

darwin on December 3, 2012 at 11:28 AM

My sincere fear is that the Republican “leadership” will head the parade to line up and kiss the a$$e$ of the Marxists across the aisle, then capitulate and give the CDLMPS’s whatever they want.

I haven’t seen any Republican leadership since Mr. Reagan retired. Nor do I expect to.

oldleprechaun on December 3, 2012 at 11:28 AM

It’s reported that the rat-eared wonder is leaving the splendor of 54 Christmas trees at the White House as early as December 16th. I say the House hold the vote the day after the bastard leaves town and highlights the fact that he decided to go off on vacation without putting forward a legitimate plan to avoid the “cliff.”

Voting present, I guess, is something. I’d much rather the GOP does something more along the lines of getting behind Simpson-Bowles. It isn’t a perfect plan but far better than allowing the filthy Democrats to play politics with the nation’s economic future by demaning absurd concessions and then whine that the GOP should go along because their filthy leader just won an election.

Happy Nomad on December 3, 2012 at 11:29 AM

OT: Kate is prego

On topic: Good. We shouldn’t own shiz when it all goes overboard

Sekhmet on December 3, 2012 at 11:30 AM

Vote the middle class tax rate extension now or Obama/MSM will kill them with it later.

Obama wants to go over the “cliff”, gut the military, raise taxes, and then propose a new plan afterward to reduce middle class rates which will include other deal killing provisions for the Republicans.

Republicans will get blamed for the “cliff” and they will get blamed for opposing the restoration of middle class tax cuts.

forest on December 3, 2012 at 11:31 AM

…P R E S E N T…!!!
…that’s the ticket!

KOOLAID2 on December 3, 2012 at 11:31 AM

If you do this, you need to add what Johnson (WI-R) wanted past so that Creditors are paid first in the event of a debt ceiling hit. That will give the republicans more leverage, and it is hard to excuse it.

blakea83 on December 3, 2012 at 11:31 AM

Wonder if boehner will go along with this? Voting present would sound like a good plan to me, let bho/d’s get SOME of the blame? If this would work, I would bet bho would be so mad he would throw something?
L

letget on December 3, 2012 at 11:33 AM

GOP “doomsday” plan: vote “present” on middle-class tax rate extension

The plan only works if the GOP has 1) brains and 2) cojones.

Do the math.

Bruno Strozek on December 3, 2012 at 11:33 AM

What I like about this proposal is they are using the procedures in Congress to enact legislation that is then voted on or negotiated in conference.

These gang of x, secret negotiations have led to nothing but smoke and mirror deals that amount to one thing: more spending.

STL_Vet on December 3, 2012 at 11:34 AM

How quickly many have forgotten that “$500Billion” (think about that, five-hundred-billion-dollars) that Obama siphoned off Medicare.

Lourdes on December 3, 2012 at 11:35 AM

Since the election I have quit the fight. There is no logical reason that Obama should have won if the electorate truly cared about the country. I don’t like banging my head against a wall. I say vote present and let the people get what they voted for. Hopefully these idiots come to their senses before President Hillary becomes a reality.

HawaiiLwyr on December 3, 2012 at 11:36 AM

I, for one, am getting tired of this cr@p! I didn’t vote my politician into office just for him to vote ‘PRESENT’.

I KNOW this was Boehner’s dumb@ss idea – he is hoping voters see this as some ‘passice-aggressive STAND’ against the Liberals that won’t evoke a backlash from Conservative voters. By voting ‘Present’ they can all say they did NOT vote for the Liberal plan. To me that is as much cowardice & ‘politcal gamesmanship for THEIR OWN BENEFIT!

If our representatives are too GUTLESS to stand up & be counted by voting ‘NO’ then they are worthless, not having done what we sent them to Washington for. I want a politician who is more concerned with the NATION rather than Party or SELF 1st, one who will stand up for what he believes & not simply side-step an issue by voting ‘Present’!

easyt65 on December 3, 2012 at 11:38 AM

The true doomsday option, other than flying off the fiscal cliff like Thelma and Louise, would be to pass Obama’s latest offer through a House vote where Republicans vote “present.”

Congress can not give up the debt ceiling. If you give him everything he wants, yes, they own it. But what happens to the country in the meantime? How much further do we fall because of the president and his inability to lead and have a ‘fair and balanced’ approach?

The president has said to pass the tax cuts for 98% of the people and he would sign it immediately. That is what the GOP is offering. If Reid doesn’t go along with that, he is against the president and is seen as being against the 98%. That would be a great ad to run.

If the DEMS get all they want, they will never feel the need to compromise, even though they never have. They wouldn’t even feel the need to put forth an effort…just like now. They do not hold all the cards. If they get all they want, then the GOP will have no cards left.

Patriot Vet on December 3, 2012 at 11:39 AM

Turkey shames Rosa Parks.

Schadenfreude on December 3, 2012 at 11:39 AM

the GOP will betray the USA

Rio Linda Refugee on December 3, 2012 at 11:40 AM

I was all for holding the line on increasing taxes for anyone until I read where something like 7 or 8 of the ten richest communities in the US voted for Obama in the recent election. These are the 2%-ers and if they don’t care enough about their taxes to vote against the greatest tax raiser of all time, Obama, then I no longer have any sympathy for their tax situation.

Going over the fiscal cliff automatically increases taxes for everyone. I don’t believe that the Dems will then come back and offer to cut the taxes for those making less than $250,000. They will instead pocket the new tax revenue and spent all of it and more. So why should we hold middle class tax cuts hostage to the rates of the top 2%? That doesn’t make any sense to me.

And while we are at it, let us also endeavor to cut corporate welfare. Why do the Republicans need to be tarred with the label of defending the rich and the corporations? Let us focus on the middle class going forward – that is where the majority of the votes are.

Old Fritz on December 3, 2012 at 11:40 AM

The GOP has to try to control the message. Nature abhors a vacuum. it is not enough to vote present without telling America why you are voting present.
If they don’t clearly explain why then the Democrat party will create a reason why and use it against them.

The GOP seems to want to keep avoiding fights. They want to keep avoiding the road through hell but there is no other road to the other side! Expose wasteful government spending by making an issue out of 4 million dollar vacations, golf trips and endless parties while the nation is close to bankruptcy! This is something people can understand! Forget talking about crunching numbers on the medicare budget… expose the left’s hypocrisy in an easy way people understand!

The Democrats are winning because they aren’t fighting against anyone. It’s that simple. It’s no more difficult than that.
It is not that the American people have been bought off. It is not because we’ve become a more socialist accepting country. It is not because we’ve grown fat, lazy and tired. Democrats are winning by default. There is no one else on the playing field and if someone does show up, they’re more interested in just getting along than scoring points, let alone victory.

JellyToast on December 3, 2012 at 11:40 AM

I would remind House Republicans that if you survived in your House district the 2012 Obama turnout you are nearly bulletproof in the 2014 midterms because it means you don’t have enough Obama zombies in your district to defeat you with a billion dollars telling them to do so and by 2016 the zombies of 2012 will be gone or have no memory of what they had for lunch no less a budget battle 4 years ago when they couldn’t defeat you with the Messiah at the top of the ticket. They need to ACT like they won’t pay a penalty. What they WILL pay a penalty for is abandoning the voters who helped them BACK in in 2012. SUcking up to a Beltway media who will cut your throat is stupid and pays NO dividends.

Conan on December 3, 2012 at 11:41 AM

I personally think that this is the only way in which votes should be cast. One issue, One vote. This keeps congress accountable. I would like to see it made a constitutional amendment. Something that limits the size of bills and how many issues may be addressed in one vote.

astonerii on December 3, 2012 at 11:42 AM

I say give ‘em what they want. They own it.

vcferlita on December 3, 2012 at 11:24 AM

.
What Benghazi and F&F lesson have you not learned?

The Democrite socialists will “own” nothing. Nevah.
And they have a Pravda media that will guarantee it.

The Kabuki on display now is quite the opposite. The Republicans will be the party of raising taxes- yes, we’ve all forgotten the “Read my Lips” backlash- and this will go down the same way– if Rs can be forced to raise taxes.

Boehner at least gets that part. Lose-Lose is all thats left.

FlaMurph on December 3, 2012 at 11:43 AM

Again.. why no Simpson Bowles?

Illinidiva on December 3, 2012 at 11:25 AM

Without really think it through I initially wanted to grab this brass ring, but having read it, I am firmly against it. It’s a very shabby reform plan that raises taxes significantly, without significantly curtailing government spending, especially on entitlements.

I think the GOP is better off getting the best they can in terms of spending cuts and entitlement reform leveraging the debt cieling and continuing to stand their ground on tax rate increases. I think they should vote to pass the middle class tax cuts and keep on negotiating on the debt cieling next year. The top rates will go up, but you still have the debt cieling to bargain for a tax reform or spending cuts. I think that’s the best outcome and then leave it to our nominee in 2016 to either cut taxes back down and/or reform taxes and entitlements.

milemarker2020 on December 3, 2012 at 11:44 AM

and if someone does show up,

JellyToast on December 3, 2012 at 11:40 AM

Then the conservatives attack them for not being pure enough or for having the wrong religion or for being a weirdo (as defined by America’s single most dangerous enemy, The Fifth Column Treasonous Media).

SWalker on December 3, 2012 at 11:45 AM

Krauthammer was right. Walk away.

Vote “present” and let them own it all.

Then stand back and watch it burn.

UltimateBob on December 3, 2012 at 11:45 AM

Frankly, who needs Congress anyway.

Obama will rule by fiat.

The Senate will gather and sing his praises.

The House will get all the blame whenever anything or everything goes all to hell.

And the Supreme Court?

After upholding Obamacare?

If the Robert’s Court upholding Obamacare is right, then what the hell is there left to be called wrong?

The House caved in a long time ago, when they didn’t want to “shut down” government or get unfriended on Facebook, and came up with this sequestration nonsense.

Well…

You built it.

You allowed it to happen.

Sorry GOP…not gonna get a dime from me, ever, again.

coldwarrior on December 3, 2012 at 11:45 AM

Now voting on the bridge to no where. Cost 150 million dollars. All in favor, say Aye… All opposed, say Nay… On a vote of 2 in favor and 98 opposed, the bill fails.

astonerii on December 3, 2012 at 11:45 AM

This is silly. Voting present is the same as saying “I’m fine if it passes.” If you are fine with something passing then just vote for it. Have a separate bill at the same time which preserves the rates for the rich too.

Rocks on December 3, 2012 at 11:46 AM

They could certainly vote IN FAVOR of middle class tax cuts. That’s not a tax increase. The “present” vote would best be used for Obama’s “plan” to avoid the rest of the fiscal cliff.

In this GOP plan, they’re basically forcing Democrats to take credit for cutting taxes on the middle class. And we wonder why we have a messaging problem?

hawksruleva on December 3, 2012 at 11:47 AM

Krauthammer was right. Walk away.

Vote “present” and let them own it all.

Then stand back and watch it burn.

UltimateBob on December 3, 2012 at 11:45 AM

With the house, we have the power for what is allowed to come to a vote at all. Limit those votes to purely what is constitutional and let them own it.

I do not support giving them unlimited power just to keep our hand clean.

astonerii on December 3, 2012 at 11:47 AM

Two Party Evil Money Cult.

Democrats + the always willing RINO’s.

McCain and Graham are the msm useful fools.

McCain and Graham then use the lady RINO’s and a few other of the willing go alongs and there you have it.

In fact there are way to many “cautious” Republicans in the House.

The Speaker is their leader.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on December 3, 2012 at 11:48 AM

Turkey shames Rosa Parks.

Schadenfreude on December 3, 2012 at 11:39 AM

Did you see the “pic of the day” at the link?

Salma Hayek…. Ay freaking caramba!

Oh yeah, I noticed that there was a picture of 0bama at the link too.

UltimateBob on December 3, 2012 at 11:48 AM

I personally think that this is the only way in which votes should be cast. One issue, One vote. This keeps congress accountable. I would like to see it made a constitutional amendment. Something that limits the size of bills and how many issues may be addressed in one vote.

astonerii on December 3, 2012 at 11:42 AM

Agreed.

hawksruleva on December 3, 2012 at 11:48 AM

I am leaning towards letting the tax cuts expire since it seems like equal opportunity pain. I am against giving Obama any more stimulus money, period. Paying back his bundlers is on him, not the taxpayer.

Cindy Munford on December 3, 2012 at 11:49 AM

HawaiiLwyr on December 3, 2012 at 11:36 AM

This.
This is what the American people voted for and they should have it. The Republicans need to just let it go, if that means vote present, vote present.
They have got to highlight Obama’s 4 million dollar vacation on the taxpayer dime and then stfu and let it go over the cliff.
There is a true disconnect in this country and until people feel it, nothing will change.
OT our Scouting for Food program in this community netted 1/3 the usual donation over the weekend. 1/3.
I wonder if the Obama vacation will yield some scraps for the hungry.

ORconservative on December 3, 2012 at 11:49 AM

easyt65 on December 3, 2012 at 11:38 AM

Yeah, good for you. You’re pure and wonderful, and you want the Republicans to stand up and vote no. Then what happens?

With no deal in place, we go over the cliff, which means tax cuts expire, sequestration kicks in, and we go into a nice deep recession. And who gets blamed for that? Not the Democrats. Not Obama. Nope, the Republicans get blamed because they were unreasonable.

At that point, we have n leverage at all, and Obama gets whatever he wants, including tax hikes on the rich, punitive taxes on industries he doesn’t like, more stimulus and deficit spending, and probably free reign to appoint whoever he wants to whatever position he sees fit. Hello Supreme Court Justices Holder and Ayers.

Is that what you want? Because that’s what you’re advocating for right now.

PetecminMd on December 3, 2012 at 11:50 AM

Pass Simpson-Bowles, that has some GOP pain attached, however it really is painful for Obama. How can he walk away from a deal that he asked to be pu together?

PS. It also preserves the the ability to extract further concessions from the request to increase the debt limit.

Tater Salad on December 3, 2012 at 11:52 AM

the AMT fix that will keep millions of us from falling into the vise of a program originally intended to do what Warren Buffett urges us to do again — demand more money from the rich.

This is such a truism of our broken tax system that I’m surprised more Republicans don’t use it as an example. We already HAVE a Buffett Rule: it was the AMT, and look what happened in the end. It became no longer just for the rich, and Congress has to keep passing “fixes” for it, never letting it become active and hurting the middle class, but always having it for some good old-fashioned double-counting when it comes time to lie about the budget. You know, like taking the Doc Fix out of PPACA.

Large, sweeping legislation always has (ostensibly) unintended consequences, and this really should be a high point of discussion for advocates of de-centralizing government. More would get done if they could focus on the few, truly national issues of import, and not have to spend so much time and effort figuring out how to fix all the flaws in their fundamentally-broken big laws.

The Schaef on December 3, 2012 at 11:52 AM

Meanwhile, over half the country is not paying attention and will show up in 2016 to vote for Knama been though he isn’t on the ballot. You people don’t get it. This nation is chock full of ignorant morons who don’t pay attention and get a check to exist. Its over. They won. Vote present on everything and let it burn. We have more guns so when it all falls apart we’ll win.

Kakalak Pundit on December 3, 2012 at 11:53 AM

*Obama even

Kakalak Pundit on December 3, 2012 at 11:53 AM

OT our Scouting for Food program in this community netted 1/3 the usual donation over the weekend. 1/3.
I wonder if the Obama vacation will yield some scraps for the hungry.

ORconservative on December 3, 2012 at 11:49 AM

I’m cutting back donations. Effectively 10% tithe will be it for a while. I have two full weeks of uncompensated Christmas vacation coming up. Happy happy joy joy.

The poor people who voted for Obama, $50,000 and less income, will just have to live off the taxes that as far as my calculations goes this year will be a big fat 0 with an additional $500 rebate above and beyond what I paid.

Let it Burn. Fan the flames and add fuel as required. Make that sucker incinerate at a SHOCKING rate and hope it wakes enough people up for 2014 and 2016.

astonerii on December 3, 2012 at 11:53 AM

darwin. There was a whole thread about this over the weekend. SB as an alternative. Much better than the deal they’re going to get and they can still hold the debt ceiling hostage.

Illinidiva on December 3, 2012 at 11:54 AM

Schadenfreude on December 3, 2012 at 11:39 AM

Wasn’t it Allahpundit who said that The Won believes that there is nothing that can’t be fixed with a picture of himself? More evidence. Maybe all our problems will be solved when that inflated ego bursts. Can’t wait.

Cindy Munford on December 3, 2012 at 11:54 AM

I’m not understanding exactly how this is a “doomsday” option. Doomsday for who? The Left *wants* tax hikes. So the fallback plan is to threaten the Left with allowing tax hikes to pass?

As for who “owns” it, that’s been clear to anyone paying attention. Thing is, Nov 8 proved that the majority of people aren’t paying attention. When it comes time to assign blame for the fiscal apocalypse, people will just cherry pick soundbites to rationalize their already-held beliefs that they should get free stuff.

JohnTant on December 3, 2012 at 11:55 AM

We have more guns so when it all falls apart we’ll win.

Kakalak Pundit on December 3, 2012 at 11:53 AM

Obama’s DHS has purchased over 1.4 billion rounds of ammunition. That is enough to keep a shooting war at the level of Iraq going for 20 years straight. That is about 5 rounds for every man, woman and child in the nation. They have been buying bullet resistant vests at an alarming rate. Have drones in America. Can see through walls. Have the power that coordination grants. Can shut off the internet and twitter if they want. Have plans drawn up and bids made for internment camps. Have purchased bullet resistant road block kiosks in large quantities.

You seriously think you are going to win a battle of the guns with them?

astonerii on December 3, 2012 at 11:59 AM

Let the Dems own it, let the voters own it, let the media own it.

We need to UNSPINNABLY let them own this. THEY crapped in the canteen.

But when it comes to the debt ceiling, we need them to pay in blood for every $$. The EPA, Trial Lawyers, NRLB/unions, they all need to lose a pound of flesh to get any raising of the limit.

Spartacus on December 3, 2012 at 11:59 AM

ahhh people, I like to point out if they vote present, this gives the dems the ability to claim that the republicans dont care for the middle class for the present vote….

watertown on December 3, 2012 at 11:59 AM

I fully expect that Boehner will get performance anxiety and go flaccid.

Again.

CorporatePiggy on December 3, 2012 at 12:00 PM

It doesn’t matter because the repubs will be blamed no matter what. Let it burn.
I will not give to any charity but the Salvation Army this season. They use 100% of the donations for their clients. The rest can call Obama. My family comes first. The next year will be bad and we will be ready.

megthered on December 3, 2012 at 12:02 PM

A present vote for the barely present President. Perfect.

Dasher on December 3, 2012 at 12:02 PM

Obama’s DHS has purchased over 1.4 billion rounds of ammunition. That is enough to keep a shooting war at the level of Iraq going for 20 years straight. That is about 5 rounds for every man, woman and child in the nation. They have been buying bullet resistant vests at an alarming rate. Have drones in America. Can see through walls. Have the power that coordination grants. Can shut off the internet and twitter if they want. Have plans drawn up and bids made for internment camps. Have purchased bullet resistant road block kiosks in large quantities.

You seriously think you are going to win a battle of the guns with them?

astonerii on December 3, 2012 at 11:59 AM

If it comes to it, my body will be found resting on a pile of warm brass.

tom daschle concerned on December 3, 2012 at 12:02 PM

How…unexpected.

MelonCollie on December 3, 2012 at 12:03 PM

The R’s own the house right? All funding must start in the house right? Pass only bills the fund the essential services of the federal government and nothing else until the D’s make consessions on entitlements. That’s not to hard now was it?

D-fusit on December 3, 2012 at 12:03 PM

Again…what is the reason that these “negotiations” are not televised in view of the public? They are, in effect, signing our names to a financial contract that THE PEOPLE have to pay. We have aright to see what is going into that sausage and how it’s being cooked. You know…for our safety. If a big gulp is hazardous to society’s health, how about a force fed crap sandwich?

Mimzey on December 3, 2012 at 12:03 PM

If it comes to it, my body will be found resting on a pile of warm brass.

tom daschle concerned on December 3, 2012 at 12:02 PM

Sure you will. Just like all the other rightwingers who keep threatening pitchforks & torches.

MelonCollie on December 3, 2012 at 12:04 PM

Time for Republicans to think strategically.

Pass the extensions (all of them, including continuation of existing treatment of capital gains, dividends, etc) while allowing the rates on the top brackets to increase. The GOP is likely to lose this in any case, since all rates will revert to the higher levels at the end of the year, and the GOP should vote in favor (not just present) to take the personal income tax issue off the table – and extend the “temporary” payroll tax cut as well. Don’t allow the Democrats to appropriate the role of defending the middle class from tax increases.

Hold the issue of tax preferences to be dealt with in a comprehensive tax reform (the goal being to eliminate all tax preferences and reduce rates accordingly) in early 2013, and move the discussion to the spending, which is the key issue in any case and where Democrats are more vulnerable in any case.

And, enough with special committees, secret negotiations, etc. Do it in regular order, with hearings, legislation and conference committees open to the public. And keep it simple, one issue per bill – no jumbos or omnibus legislation.

Upstreamer on December 3, 2012 at 12:06 PM

If it comes to it, my body will be found resting on a pile of warm brass.

tom daschle concerned on December 3, 2012 at 12:02 PM

I was just trying to say that we will not likely win that battle if it comes to it.

I no longer think we can count on the military to reign in the Federal Government. They have been headed towards liberal at the higher ranks for a long time now.

astonerii on December 3, 2012 at 12:06 PM

Obama’s DHS has purchased over 1.4 billion rounds of ammunition. That is enough to keep a shooting war at the level of Iraq going for 20 years straight. That is about 5 rounds for every man, woman and child in the nation. They have been buying bullet resistant vests at an alarming rate. Have drones in America. Can see through walls. Have the power that coordination grants. Can shut off the internet and twitter if they want. Have plans drawn up and bids made for internment camps. Have purchased bullet resistant road block kiosks in large quantities.

You seriously think you are going to win a battle of the guns with them?

astonerii on December 3, 2012 at 11:59 AM

About the 1.4 billion rounds of ammo, do you think some ammo manufacturer(s) had that just laying around waiting for some buyer? I believe that they sent out a bid request, not an actual purchase. But I could be wrong.

D-fusit on December 3, 2012 at 12:07 PM

If it comes to it, my body will be found resting on a pile of warm brass.

tom daschle concerned on December 3, 2012 at 12:02 PM

With absolutely NO disrespect intended, it is very easy to make that statement from the safety and security of the internet. If as so many here propose, we are indeed ready, willing and able to L.I.B (Let it burn) Burn baby Burn… then we damned well sure need to have a conversation on exactly what “Let it Burn” means, and exactly what the most likely consequences of letting it burn are going to be.

I am not saying that we shouldn’t let it burn, but we damned well better know what it is we are likely setting in motion when we do let it burn.

SWalker on December 3, 2012 at 12:08 PM

Sure you will. Just like all the other rightwingers who keep threatening pitchforks & torches.

MelonCollie on December 3, 2012 at 12:04 PM

Thank you external conscience!

tom daschle concerned on December 3, 2012 at 12:08 PM

JellyToast on December 3, 2012 at 11:40 AM

good point

cmsinaz on December 3, 2012 at 12:08 PM

seriously…is the debt ceiling a better hostage?

#GOPscrewed

Can.I.be.in.the.middle on December 3, 2012 at 12:09 PM

I am so sick of the GOP elephant cowering before the Democrat mouse.

Give Obama a deadline of December 10 to offer a line item budget plan with the $4 trillion in cuts he promised.

If he does not offer the plan, enact a bill making the Bush rates permanent and eliminating the AMT, the adjourn until the next Congress.

If Obama wants to shoot the hostage, let him reimpose the Clinton tax rates and own the ensuing deeper depression.

The GOP districts are not going to blame their members.

Bart DePalma on December 3, 2012 at 12:10 PM

watertown on December 3, 2012 at 11:59 AM

they would have said it anyways with the lsm helping them along

cmsinaz on December 3, 2012 at 12:11 PM

<blockquote>seriously…is the debt ceiling a better hostage?

#GOPscrewed GOD I LOVE DEBASING THE CURRENCY AND IMPENDING DEFAULT! #DEMOCRAT GENIUS

Can.I.be.in.the.middle on December 3, 2012 at 12:09 PM

tom daschle concerned on December 3, 2012 at 12:11 PM

The negative impact those policies have on the economy would be completely owned by Obama and Democrats.

.
Sorry Ed and others but THIS. WILL. NEVER. HAPPEN.
.
It is NEVER the libs fault.
.
Detroit collapased, do you see the libs being run out of town?
What about those bankrupt cities in CA?
Has anyone seen a government social program shut down because it didn’t work? Or was ineffective? Or even harmful?
.
The libs don’t claim anything will work, just that they mean well.
And the media lets them get away with it.
Is Jessie Jackson heckled by the media everywhere he goes for his out of wedlock child? Or Bill Clinton?
What about the militudes of failures of Carter, have you seen any pointed questions directed at him?
Kweisi Mfume managed to almost bankrupt the NAACP and was still elected to Congress.
The only Federal judge impeached by the Senate in recent memory is currently in Congress.
.
Pres Obama may create this mess, but he will not own it.
.
Not unless we make him. If we can.

LincolntheHun on December 3, 2012 at 12:11 PM

Pass Simpson-Bowles, that has some GOP pain attached, however it really is painful for Obama. How can he walk away from a deal that he asked to be pu together?

PS. It also preserves the the ability to extract further concessions from the request to increase the debt limit.

Tater Salad on December 3, 2012 at 11:52 AM

Why is Simpson Bowles preferable to just “going over the cliff,” again? It raises taxes by just as much without specifically going after income tax rates (gas tax was one of the taxes I remember they wanted to raise), but doesn’t cut any spending except sort of defense.

Go over the cliff. We are past the point of being able to fix the finances of our federal government. We have never been able to raise above 20% of GDP in taxes, no matter where rates were… 17-18% is the historic norm. We’re spending 25% of GDP, which will only grow as the boomers retire, o-care kicks in, food stamp rolls keep growing, etc.

We currently spend close to 100% of our revenue that comes in on SS, Medicare / Medicaid & interest. Everything beyond that is borrowed / inflated (printed) money. We WILL default on the debt going forward, so why not just let it keep racking up? And all the while we can laugh that Obamas revenue projections from raising taxes never come to fruition.

Or we can make this a slow painful process that drags on for generations.

Timin203 on December 3, 2012 at 12:12 PM

You seriously think you are going to win a battle of the guns with them?

astonerii on December 3, 2012 at 11:59 AM

I believe that was the exact same logic that Benedict Arnold employed when he betrayed George Washington and the American Revolution.

SWalker on December 3, 2012 at 12:13 PM

The problem with this scenario is that the MSM will spin it into:

“Republicans don’t care about America — vote “present” on fiscal cliff!!!”,

or

“GOP votes “present” in an effort to appease rich donors!!!”,

or some other equally ridiculous notion to be spread far and wide, and pounded into the mushy heads of the misinformed electorate.

hillbillyjim on December 3, 2012 at 12:13 PM

“The negative impact those policies have on the economy would be completely owned by Obama and Democrats.”

Hopefully the pain falls principally on the Obama voters.
They voted for free ice creams; give it to them.

graywolf on December 3, 2012 at 12:14 PM

Obama’s DHS has purchased over 1.4 billion rounds of ammunition. That is enough to keep a shooting war at the level of Iraq going for 20 years straight. That is about 5 rounds for every man, woman and child in the nation. They have been buying bullet resistant vests at an alarming rate. Have drones in America. Can see through walls. Have the power that coordination grants. Can shut off the internet and twitter if they want. Have plans drawn up and bids made for internment camps. Have purchased bullet resistant road block kiosks in large quantities.

You seriously think you are going to win a battle of the guns with them?

astonerii on December 3, 2012 at 11:59 AM

20 Years? There are 300 million guns in private hands in the US. Let’s be conservative and say there 100 rounds of ammo available for each one. That’s 30 billion. Learn to add. 1.4 billion rounds would not last long in an actual shooting war. What was said was “if it falls apart”, not an organized war.

Rocks on December 3, 2012 at 12:14 PM

Krauthammer was right. Walk away.

Vote “present” and let them own it all.

Then stand back and watch it burn.

UltimateBob on December 3, 2012 at 11:45 AM

You guys have obviously absolutely no notion of history. Sadly.

Communists “own” it for almost 100 years now in Russia. Decades of “owning” it in China, North Korea and Cuba.

Tell me, you geniuses, how that “let them own it” has played out for those people. Why don’t you ask them how that “let them own it” EVER changed anything.

GOP should vote clearly against raised taxes and more spending. Only way out of this.

riddick on December 3, 2012 at 12:14 PM

If it comes to it, my body will be found resting on a pile of warm brass.

tom daschle concerned on December 3, 2012 at 12:02 PM

Inferior insurgent/guerrilla forces have won or stalemated against far superior regular forces on many occasions throughout history. So the answer to your question is: Possible and highly probably. Let’s hope the country is not confronted with that scenario.

rplat on December 3, 2012 at 12:14 PM

The Republicans have 234 seats in the House, so the Dems have 201. If 34 Republicans don’t show up for a vote, can’t the Dems pass a bill with a vote of 201-200? Why not try that before voting yes, or present?

fastphil101 on December 3, 2012 at 12:15 PM

My sincere fear is that the Republican “leadership” will head the parade to line up and kiss the a$$e$ of the Marxists across the aisle, then capitulate and give the CDLMPS’s whatever they want.

I haven’t seen any Republican leadership since Mr. Reagan retired. Nor do I expect to.

oldleprechaun on December 3, 2012 at 11:28 AM

Sadly, THIS is what will happen. We have seen these spineless RINOs cave so many times and this will be no different.

Alabama Infidel on December 3, 2012 at 12:15 PM

I fully expect that Boehner will get performance anxiety and go flaccid.

Again.

CorporatePiggy on December 3, 2012 at 12:00 PM

Wait for Boehner to start counting the war savings as cuts. What a crock. Money we never had budgeted is now counted as savings and reallocated. I think I’m going to reallocate the savings from the BMW I’m not going to buy so I can purchase a Mercedes I don’t have the money for. Bank should be OK with that.

STL_Vet on December 3, 2012 at 12:16 PM

well voting present on anything remotely controversial seems to be not only acceptable, but can get you a ticket to the Oval Office…

thurman on December 3, 2012 at 12:16 PM

Obama’s DHS has purchased over 1.4 billion rounds of ammunition.

astonerii on December 3, 2012 at 11:59 AM

That was Social Security dept. Learn reading comprehension.

Besides, as someone already corrected you above, you really have no idea how well armed the citizens are. And getting better armed daily, store shelves empty out the minute they are re-stocked.

riddick on December 3, 2012 at 12:17 PM

I, for one, am getting tired of this cr@p! I didn’t vote my politician into office just for him to vote ‘PRESENT’.

easyt65 on December 3, 2012 at 11:38 AM

Neither did I, but I don’t want our politicians’ names attached to some horse-sh*t deal either, which is all we’re going to get after voters went full retard last month. Vote Present it is.

The Count on December 3, 2012 at 12:17 PM

I am not saying that we shouldn’t let it burn, but we damned well better know what it is we are likely setting in motion when we do let it burn.

SWalker on December 3, 2012 at 12:08 PM

No one knows what will happen, but it’s not like ANY of us are actively “letting it burn,” it’s just what is inevitable… instead of stressing about it, just let it happen. If I, or most of the other LIB-types, thought there as … you know, an option involved, we might not be content to sit back and watch the federal government eat itself alive. Unfortunately, there is nothing we can do to avoid it.

My guess? inflation, worldwide economic contraction, re-organization of world power to a more regional situation (china in asia, tukey/iran/egypt/whoever wins that shooting war in the ME, us in the americas), and losing our status as reserve currency.

It’ll suck, but basically a lot of people will have to take a haircut on t-bonds (namely the federal reserve) and on entitlements (namely means-tested entitlements, i think SS is here to stay)… just like going through bankruptcy court.

“Liquidation” may or may not happen eventually, but I don’t think it will in the short term. Could be wrong I guess.

Timin203 on December 3, 2012 at 12:18 PM

You seriously think you are going to win a battle of the guns with them?
astonerii on December 3, 2012 at 11:59 AM

Maybe not but it would certainly be ugly.

The Oathkeeperss seem pretty sincere, as do other groups…

CorporatePiggy on December 3, 2012 at 12:18 PM

It sounds like a decent plan, actually considering where they stand power-wise. It won’t prevent a recession, but the Democrats don’t know how or don’t want to prevent one. Them not signing the extention is pretty much a death warrant.

We’ll go off the Fiscal Cliff, Sequestration will go into effect and major cuts in areas that aren’t responsible for the vast majority of our debt will go into effect. If only we could get entitlement reform.

Maybe, just maybe, the Republicans will use the Debt ceiling to get that?

I dunno, do I have this right?

DeathtotheSwiss on December 3, 2012 at 12:19 PM

1. SB is much better on taxes because SB targets deductions which distorts behavior while lowering rates. One big example is the mortgage deduction.

2. SB addresses the reality of entitlements. It is actually good on Social Security.

3. It is a proactive political ploy to put the Ds on the defensive.

The Rs can keep the debt ceiling and force the issue later in the year as part of the deal.

Illinidiva on December 3, 2012 at 12:20 PM

While the US is going down the tube, people are going to get tax increases with bhocare and possible Bush tax rates gone, bho is out telling citizens WE NEED TO DO OUR ‘fair share’ and just live with it?

NOW we see that the wh has 54, YES 54 Christmas trees! That is almost 50% more than last year! Boy bho/mo are sure thinking about all out debt now aren’t they?

http://news.investors.com/politics-andrew-malcolm/120312-635425-fiscal-cliff-talks-stall-as-obama-white-house-erects-its-own-tree-grove.htm?ven=rss
L

letget on December 3, 2012 at 12:21 PM

Why stand in front of a speeding train and yell ‘Stop’?
Vote present. Let ‘em run with this economy. RIght of the cliff.

orangemtl on December 3, 2012 at 12:21 PM

I believe that was the exact same logic that Benedict Arnold employed when he betrayed George Washington and the American Revolution.

SWalker on December 3, 2012 at 12:13 PM

British ‘tactics’ consisted of marching in big obvious lines, while wearing uniforms that made them literally a walking bullseye. Their weapon was a single-shot rifle that took a minute to reload, and so heinously inaccurate they had to fire in massed volleys. Air power was so nonexistent that using hot air balloons as observers hadn’t been tried yet.

The opposition you’ll face has NONE of those disadvantages.

MelonCollie on December 3, 2012 at 12:22 PM

SWalker on December 3, 2012 at 12:08 PM

No one knows what will happen, but it’s not like ANY of us are actively “letting it burn,” it’s just what is inevitable… instead of stressing about it, just let it happen. If I, or most of the other LIB-types, thought there as … you know, an option involved, we might not be content to sit back and watch the federal government eat itself alive. Unfortunately, there is nothing we can do to avoid it.

My guess? inflation, worldwide economic contraction, re-organization of world power to a more regional situation (china in asia, tukey/iran/egypt/whoever wins that shooting war in the ME, us in the americas), and losing our status as reserve currency.

It’ll suck, but basically a lot of people will have to take a haircut on t-bonds (namely the federal reserve) and on entitlements (namely means-tested entitlements, i think SS is here to stay)… just like going through bankruptcy court.

“Liquidation” may or may not happen eventually, but I don’t think it will in the short term. Could be wrong I guess.

Timin203 on December 3, 2012 at 12:18 PM

And that my friend, is that absolutely best-case scenario. What if we do not end up with the best-case scenario, what if we end up with the 1905 Russian Revolution scenario instead?

SWalker on December 3, 2012 at 12:22 PM

The “true” doomsday option is the only logical choice…

PatriotRider on December 3, 2012 at 12:22 PM

We’re going off the so called “fiscal cliff” no matter what happens. Too bad so few can understand the numbers. There is no “fiscal cliff” coming, we’re been on it for a few years now. Enacting anything but tax and spending CUTS will just keep us on the same road, maybe at a slower pace.

TAX and SPENDING CUTS is the only way to go. Anything save for this two pronged combo is getting us burned. With no way out. Ask Russia how their 100 year old “let it burn” worked out for them.

riddick on December 3, 2012 at 12:24 PM

You seriously think you are going to win a battle of the guns with them?

astonerii on December 3, 2012 at 11:59 AM

Win? no. But we can make it as difficult as possible for them.

Ever wish you had an Iron Man suit? Wouldn’t it be great to fly in and “clean things up” in DC?

UltimateBob on December 3, 2012 at 12:25 PM

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