White House reponds to GOP’s counteroffer: Sorry, wrong number, not going there

posted at 6:01 pm on December 3, 2012 by Erika Johnsen

Despite Republicans’ significant concession that they would be amenable to revenue increases if they came via tax-code reform — an honest-to-goodness effort at compromise — President Obama has roundly refused to even consider a plan that doesn’t include tax-rate increases on the wealthy, the only apparent policy rationale being that it’s just that important to him to be a full-on class warrior. It looks like the White House is sticking to that line, even after Speaker Boehner officially released the GOP’s own proposal earlier this afternoon. So much for “negotiation,” via BuzzFeed:

“The Republican letter released today does not meet the test of balance,” Pfeiffer said. “In fact, it actually promises to lower rates for the wealthy and sticks the middle class with the bill. Their plan includes nothing new and provides no details on which deductions they would eliminate, which loopholes they will close or which Medicare savings they would achieve.” …

Pfeiffer continued:

Independent analysts who have looked at plans like this one have concluded that middle class taxes will have to go up to pay for lower rates for millionaires and billionaires. While the President is willing to compromise to get a significant, balanced deal and believes that compromise is readily available to Congress, he is not willing to compromise on the principles of fairness and balance that include asking the wealthiest to pay higher rates. President Obama believes – and the American people agree – that the economy works best when it is grown from the middle out, not from the top down. Until the Republicans in Congress are willing to get serious about asking the wealthiest to pay slightly higher tax rates, we won’t be able to achieve a significant, balanced approach to reduce our deficit our nation needs.

Uh, not balanced? What the heck type of scales are they using? Ohhh, that’s right, the “fairness”/ “my way or the highway” scales. Are they really not going to move from their original demand-for-surrender and walk toward the GOP even a tiny bit? Like Keith Hennessy wrote in today’s WSJ, it’s starting to feel a lot like President Obama just can’t take yes for an answer:

Mr. Obama says reductions in ObamaCare spending are out of the question, and Congress must now agree to at least $50 billion in new stimulus spending next year. The debt limit must be permanently increased without accompanying spending cuts.

By contrast, House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell have offered on behalf of Republicans a significant concession in an attempt to close the negotiating gap. Mr. Boehner and Mr. McConnell propose to accept higher taxes on the rich as long as government spending is cut significantly and incentives to work and invest are not weakened. That way, higher taxes and entitlement-spending cuts would reduce future deficits, not finance even bigger government as the president proposes.

Unfortunately, it appears that President Obama cannot take yes for an answer. Republican leaders have shown him a legislative path to lock in his top policy priority with a strong bipartisan vote. Their proposal splits their own caucus, yet still the president refuses because he thinks he can get even more.

And, of course, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid quickly followed suit with the White House’s statement:

“To protect millionaires, Speaker Boehner’s offer would force middle class families to pay higher taxes. Raising taxes on the middle class is bad policy and flunks the test of balance. To protect the middle class while reducing the deficit, simple math dictates that tax rates must rise on the top two percent of taxpayers next year. The sooner Republicans grasp that reality, the sooner we can avoid the fiscal cliff.

“Democrats are willing to compromise, but any agreement must protect the middle class. We have also been clear that we have no intention of kicking the can down the road. Not only does Speaker Boehner’s proposal delay revenues into 2013, it sets up another destructive fight over the debt ceiling first thing next year.

Simple math, really? Because, as Jen Rubin explains, the Republicans’ plan would do far more in terms of balanced deficit-reduction that the president’s proposal:

A House leadership aide told Right Turn that “the GOP offer includes more deficit reduction than the White House offer last week, which included hundreds of billions in new stimulus’ spending. Our net deficit reduction is $2.2 trillion, but if we were to utilize White House schemes to count (1) previously-enacted Budget Control Act savings, (2) a war savings gimmick, and (3) further interest savings, our proposal would result in $4.6 trillion in deficit reduction savings, much more than theirs.”

So we have the potential for a deal that is somewhere between Bowles’s plan last year and the president’s plan.

That certainly was a quick and hard-line response from the White House — kinda’ like they already knew what they would say, no matter what the Republicans put on the table. If I didn’t know any better, I’d say that…

“I think the president is increasingly showing his hand that he is comfortable going off the cliff,” Barrasso tells THE WEEKLY STANDARD, in response to a question about President Obama’s negotiation strategy. “He’s not involving Republicans in the process. He was playing golf this weekend with Bill Clinton, Ron Kirk, and ex-DNC chair Terry McAuliffe. He’s not seeming to be one to work together. He seems to be lecturing more than listening. And I just think that it’s increasingly clear he’s comfortable going off the cliff.”


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I haven’t watched Fox News since election night. The “alphabet” channels aren’t allowed on my TV, nor any Sunday shows of course.
That’s my little contribution:-) Easier than I thot. Have more time to do constructive projects, like reading and blogging, LOL
Oh, and watching Christmas movies too!

bluefox on December 3, 2012 at 8:21 PM

Ditto. I was going to give up HA also, but couldn’t go completely cold turkey because there are too many good folks here.

txmomof6 on December 3, 2012 at 8:57 PM

I have been shocked at the opinions of people about her and the reasoning for the depths of their dislike (hate was the actual word) isn’t even rational. The media should be very proud of themselves, I’m not sure they have every done a more complete job.

Cindy Munford on December 3, 2012 at 7:40 PM

It has been baffling and makes me incredibly sad about the future. When she’s come up in conversation it’s usually the media BS that comes up and I very patiently have to spend the time to rebut. It usually ends with “check it out yourself, the media lies, think about why they’re lying”. I’ve had to do that with a number of media constructs, not just Palin.

The media perfected their methodology with her and unfortunately and unforgivingly the GOP didn’t fight back. Now we’re seeing them control every narrative.

kim roy on December 3, 2012 at 8:58 PM

The IRS will be delivering the message at no cost to the GOP.

txmomof6 on December 3, 2012 at 8:53 PM

I hear you..:)

Dire Straits on December 3, 2012 at 8:59 PM

4 more years of this crap. This is truly depressing.

LeftCoastRight on December 3, 2012 at 9:04 PM

Does the timeframe 1861-1865 ring a bell? Hmmmmmm?

El Salsero on December 3, 2012 at 8:48 PM

I don’t know, what do you think. http://thewildernessofmirrors.wordpress.com/

L.I.B (Let it burn) Burn baby Burn…

SWalker on December 3, 2012 at 9:08 PM

I haven’t watched Fox News since election night. The “alphabet” channels aren’t allowed on my TV, nor any Sunday shows of course.
That’s my little contribution:-) Easier than I thot. Have more time to do constructive projects, like reading and blogging, LOL
Oh, and watching Christmas movies too!

bluefox on December 3, 2012 at 8:21 PM

Me too. It’s not really hard and if you want to watch stuff there are ways to do it for free. It just takes a bit of reading to do it right. Consider you are helping the socialist cause of spreading the wealth.

With the internet now there’s absolutely no reason for people to patronize the alphabets or give their $$ to DBs. It just takes a little bit of effort, not much really.

That way it leaves more money to spend on vetted people. It’s important to support the good guys.

kim roy on December 3, 2012 at 9:09 PM

The house should pass the following this week:

1. extension of middle class tax rates bill
2. extension of wealthy tax rates bill
3. simpson-bowles bill
4. 2013 budget

5.collect all bills that have passed the house but not been brought up in the senate, wrap into one giant bill entitled “the jobs bills that Harry Reid refused to bring up for votes ensuring continued long term unemployment bill”

Then recess and announce that there will be no more continuing resolutions.

can_con on December 3, 2012 at 9:19 PM

The GOP should smack Obama over the head with {{{GASP}}} a “Balanced Budget,” then, walk away!

byteshredder on December 3, 2012 at 9:43 PM

That way it leaves more money to spend on vetted people. It’s important to support the good guys.

kim roy on December 3, 2012 at 9:09 PM

I never did watch the alphabet channels except once in a while on a Sunday show. Now I don’t watch any. Same old lies over and over, a waste of time.

You’re right about other ways to get info. The web and talk radio is where I get most of my info.

I told someone a few years ago that one thing the 2008 election did was reveal how much corruption there was in D.C. More than I thot!!

bluefox on December 3, 2012 at 10:01 PM

We have also been clear that we have no intention of kicking the can down the road. -Reid

And the response to that vacuous statement is “Where is the Senate’s budget? It’s been kicked far out of sight.”

onlineanalyst on December 3, 2012 at 10:05 PM

Now consider that B. Obama has lived his entire life in a fact free zone. That being the case once confronted by facts and people willing to back up said facts he may react in a very uncivil manner.

“Shut the f’up”. Would seem the panic response a thug like this will use.

“You talking to U.S.?” should be the instant response.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on December 3, 2012 at 10:11 PM

Harry Reid, useful tool.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on December 3, 2012 at 10:12 PM

You ever hear of a little country called the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics?

SWalker on December 3, 2012 at 7:44 PM

Sure I did. I LIVED there. As opposed to you and anyone here on HA.

I am asking again, since you are so delusional on this point: Name one country that came back from going Marxist.

riddick on December 3, 2012 at 10:13 PM

riddick,

joke…..

Cuba, only it has taken them 70 years so far and all’s they have gained is a parts system for 1950′s GMC, Ford and Crysler parts.

That and they get to pray the way Fidel wants them to.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on December 3, 2012 at 10:16 PM

Well, Well,Well,

Wilderness of Minor’s who you to talk?

blog building going on or what?

APACHEWHOKNOWS on December 3, 2012 at 10:19 PM

riddick,

joke…..

Cuba, only it has taken them 70 years so far and all’s they have gained is a parts system for 1950′s GMC, Ford and Crysler parts.

That and they get to pray the way Fidel wants them to.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on December 3, 2012 at 10:16 PM

Yeah, I know, a joke.

Once a country goes “I get chit for free” it never comes back. Have no idea what is so difficult to understand when FACTS stare one in the face. I find it not only problematic, but strangely so, that supposed conservatives keep missing a number of very historic and in your face FACTS.

All this “L.I.B” is more than idiotic, people obviously have no idea of real world. And too few of us online to make it clear.

House MUST shut down the government. NOW. And only open agencies that are truly required. NOTHING MORE THAN THAT. NOTHING.

Everything else is going beyond the point of no return. Unlike all here I lived in USSR, there is NO COMING BACK once you go past that point.

riddick on December 3, 2012 at 10:26 PM

Can’t we put together a BS tax policy think tank to gin up a phony analysis like the one Obama keeps flogging?

rockmom on December 3, 2012 at 10:50 PM

Can’t we put together a BS tax policy think tank to gin up a phony analysis like the one Obama keeps flogging?

rockmom on December 3, 2012 at 10:50 PM

More delusional thoughts.

Do you really think free loaders care?

riddick on December 3, 2012 at 10:57 PM

Shut down ObamaPhone, ObamaCare, and whatever else makes the country sick. SHUT IT DOWN.

The only way out of it. Stop funding all of these Marxist ideas. TODAY.

House can do it. its their Constitutional ability and duty. Stop paying for Azzhole’s vacations, we have no money for that.

STOP PAYMENTS.

NOW.

riddick on December 3, 2012 at 11:01 PM

I predicted this yesterday as soon as the news broke of the GOP’s counter-offer, that Obama would never go along with it.

As I said yesterday, Obama will NOT compromise at all with the GOP because he has no need to – It is a ‘Win-Win’ situation for Obama: Either 1) the GOP goes along with what he wants (massive taxes, more spending, no spending cuts, & the elimination of the debt ceiling) & he wins big OR 2) Obama holds out – the Bush-Obama Tax cuts end, taxes go up for everyone, & Obama continues to spend like a drunken sailor anyway!

easyt65 on December 4, 2012 at 8:03 AM

We’ve certainly had a plethora of “tax the rich” at all costs quotes from Democrats today.

If that’s what stands in the way of a “deal” it won’t play well with the majority of Americans.

The citizens who want a “deal” are looking for a balanced approach. They will know that when they see it. This indeed has all the elements.

Democrats will lose support with their insistence on a “tax the rich”, which is really an attack on productive people. Folks have had enough of the attacks and Mr. Obama is dangerously close to overplaying his hand. This will be especially true when Republicans start to focus on the amount of additional tax collected from the “rich” which is tiny compared to the overall spending- which is the main problem.

Right now; advantage Republicans and the Democrats response is weak.

Hold firm gentlemen.

Marcus Traianus on December 4, 2012 at 8:37 AM

White House reponds to GOP’s counteroffer: Sorry, wrong number, not going there

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The White House is not going to accept anything the House proposes.

-30-

It’s time to roll up the sleeves and get to work. Glenn Reynolds suggestions in his USA Today piece yesterday are decent starting points that could be implemented quickly:

1. Pass Simpson-Bowles;
2. Institute a 50% to 91% tax on the increases in incomes former government officials (higher ups) realize during their first 5 years after leaving their posts; and
3. Bring back the 20% excise “war debt” tax on movie tickets and apply it to all entertainment products.

“Indeed.” “Read the whole thing.”

EconomicNeocon on December 4, 2012 at 11:05 AM

The Democrats can not afford to let the economy go over the cliff. No matter what they say or do, they would be the major big time looser. Their whole electoral power base is based on the house of cards, the the welfare state. “Keep them on the dole, keep them Voting Democrat”. This is the single most basic premise of the Democratic Party. Going back to the Boss Tweed days of Tammany Hall, Through Richard J. Daley’s Chicago to Obama’s Hope and Change. My premise is that if the Demarcates let the government go over the cliff it would be for Obama to take absolute power and complete his revolution. I believe that the Well-off and those out side the ½ tank perimeter (APACHYWHOKNOWS) will prevail those on the dole will not stand a chance. Before that happens they will be the one to revolt again the unsustainable and false promise made to them by the Democrats.
The Democrats will go as far as they can but they will not cross that line that would separate them from their base support , those on the Government dole, the takers.

jpcpt03 on December 4, 2012 at 11:26 AM

Quick addition to my last post. “Being on the Government Dole” doesn’t mean those in need. As Civilized Human Beings (not necessarily the Governments) we do have that obligation. We do not have that obligation for those who’s dependance has been manufactured by themselves or the Democratic Party. “Being on The Government Dole” dose include those who’s wealth depends on their Government Position and or Government “SPECIAL” contracts. Nancy Polisky, Harry Read, and Susan Rice come to mine.

jpcpt03 on December 4, 2012 at 11:56 AM

That way it leaves more money to spend on vetted people. It’s important to support the good guys.

kim roy on December 3, 2012 at 9:09 PM

I never did watch the alphabet channels except once in a while on a Sunday show. Now I don’t watch any. Same old lies over and over, a waste of time.

You’re right about other ways to get info. The web and talk radio is where I get most of my info.

I told someone a few years ago that one thing the 2008 election did was reveal how much corruption there was in D.C. More than I thot!!

bluefox on December 3, 2012 at 10:01 PM

I only use TV for movies for years, that’s because it so happens that both my wife and I are movies buffs, otherwise we’d have cancelled our cable subscription long time ago. Between HBO, Netflix and Amazon Prime, and occasionally the History (not History II though with their endless ancient astronauts cra*), Discovery and Nat Geo channels, I wouldn’t even know where the news channels or any other channels are on my regional channel line up. I am inclined to give up HBO too, too much commercial Hollywood idiocy and leftist bias, and only now and then a really good movie. Netflix and Amazon Prime should do, plus they’re good when when we’re on the go too, we both travel quite a bit work-wise and leisure. As for the news analyses, the internet is way better, if you include online subscriptions to WSJ…And now it looks like the British Telegraph app on my iPad requires subscription too, but it’s worth it…

jimver on December 4, 2012 at 1:15 PM

The Democrats can not afford to let the economy go over the cliff. No matter what they say or do, they would be the major big time looser. Their whole electoral power base is based on the house of cards, the the welfare state. “Keep them on the dole, keep them Voting Democrat”. This is the single most basic premise of the Democratic Party. Going back to the Boss Tweed days of Tammany Hall, Through Richard J. Daley’s Chicago to Obama’s Hope and Change. My premise is that if the Demarcates let the government go over the cliff it would be for Obama to take absolute power and complete his revolution. I believe that the Well-off and those out side the ½ tank perimeter (APACHYWHOKNOWS) will prevail those on the dole will not stand a chance. Before that happens they will be the one to revolt again the unsustainable and false promise made to them by the Democrats.
The Democrats will go as far as they can but they will not cross that line that would separate them from their base support , those on the Government dole, the takers.

jpcpt03 on December 4, 2012 at 11:26 AM

Completely agree with your analysis. And of course the Cems will be perceived as the losers in this whole thing, Obamao owns it, the Dems have control of the presidency and the Senate, this is what people will remember if we go over the fiscal clliff. The half nation of takers wanted a father figure in Dear Leader and they got it, now they look up to him to sort the fiscall cliff mess out, if the whole thing fails, he will take the blame in their minds no doubt about it. Rest assure that the hordes of moochers care more about the freebies that they stand to lose than about media’s trying to put the blame on the Reps for this. Really, those whose analyses indicated that Obamao actually wants to go over the fiscal cliff or that if we do, it puts the Dems at an advantage, are on serious crack. What the heck do the Reps stand to lose, they don’t control the Presidency or the Senate, so there’s not much for them to lose really…The Dems on the other hand, have everything to lose…Obongo is just bluffing, as usual…so that he can cram one of his lousy plans at the last minute, obamacre style…arrrgh, when are these people goi to get his disgusting commie game…

jimver on December 4, 2012 at 1:30 PM

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