Speaker Boehner offers up a tax hike for millionaires

posted at 2:01 pm on December 16, 2012 by Jazz Shaw

Let’s all get together now and pretend that nobody saw this one coming. Negotiations over the fiscal cliff haven’t stopped just because the media’s attention has been drawn elsewhere, and it sounds like John Boehner has served up a new offer to the President. And this one includes “the T word.”

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has offered to raise the top tax rate for earners making more than $1 million, a source told the Associated Press.

The development in the fiscal talks comes amid pessimism the Speaker and President Obama can hammer out a deal before Christmas.

That’s different than what Obama has been asking for, but it did include a tax hike. Of course, the Speaker put some price tags on the idea of caving on taxes at any level.

The speaker’s offer would not include extending federal unemployment benefits, and it is unclear how it would address sequestration — the tens of billions in spending cuts scheduled to go into effect for the Pentagon and other federal agencies starting Jan. 2.

And Republicans remain unyielding on agreeing to raise the U.S. debt limit as part of any agreement to avoid the fiscal cliff.

He also asked for a change in how we calculate benefits for entitlement programs, commonly known as “chained CPI.” Such a revision to these calculations are estimated to save tens of billions per year on these programs. So does this mean that it’s time to pop open the champagne and celebrate the end of the stalemate?

The source said Obama has not accepted the offer, according to the Associated Press, which added that Boehner is still seeking more spending cuts than Obama has proposed.

Bottom line… no deal. The clock is running out, assuming it’s not already too late. Even if they came to some sort of deal – even a short term, stop gap measure – the two men would still have to sell the plan to their respective parties, somebody would have to draw up the matching bills, and then herd enough cats into the chambers to actually vote for it. Tomorrow morning will come with only two weeks left to accomplish all of that, and the two sides still don’t even have the basic framework of a deal… just an offer which was immediately turned down by the President.

But even though I’ve been saying for more than a month that Obama has no intention of agreeing to a deal, this is the first time that Boehner came forward with an offer that included more taxes. If his offers become too generous and Obama continues to demure, it will become obvious what sort of game he’s playing. And that could cause some political capital to drain out of the bottom of the pool quickly.

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Comment pages: 1 2

I despise Obummer too. For many reasons, but especially for trying to take medical care away from our disabled child. I can’t think of anything more despicable than removing a disabled child’s health care and condemning that child to a life of serious pain and probably a shortened lifespan as well.

I’m also disgusted by Obummer playing with people’s lives. Thanks to his economic decisions both my husband and I lost our jobs. We get by now on my husband’s meager military retirement and charity from relatives. We routinely have lots of unpaid bills now. My car was totaled in an accident last summer (not my fault) but it was an old car and we cannot even afford to replace it. This would have never happened under the economy of any other president in my lifetime.

sherrimae on December 17, 2012 at 7:04 AM

And no, most urban Democrats don’t want their kids going to city public schools.

bayam on December 16, 2012 at 2:15 PM

Then maybe they should stop putting people in office who continually kill off voucher programs that work.

dominigan on December 17, 2012 at 8:49 AM

Stand firm, Mr. Huelskamp.

cptacek on December 17, 2012 at 11:04 AM

It should also be noted that Boehner is talking to the wrong guy: the budget is properly decided in the House. Pelosi is the correct negotiator for the Democrats.

PersonFromPorlock on December 16, 2012 at 2:55 PM

Shouldn’t he be negotiating with Reid?

cptacek on December 17, 2012 at 11:04 AM

It looks like Obama’s game plan is to destroy the economy and blame the Republicans. I’ll bet that if Bonner agreed to everything Obama is asking for, Obama would still reject the offer immediately.

This is a case where the President wants the Political trophy of destroying the two-party system at ANY cost.

I say that Bonner needs to have a House vote on his latest offer and put the onus on the Senate and the President to come up with something better… if they don’t, then let’s all hold hands and go over the ‘cliff’, singing Kumbaya.

The ‘fiscal cliff’ is a manifestation of political CYA. None of our leaders want to take the lead and actually do the right thing because someone might say something bad about them and not let them play after the enxt election.

Let’s go over the ‘cliff’ and let what happens, happen. At least we’ll know who (our entire government leadership) to blame.

xmanvietnam on December 17, 2012 at 11:53 AM

Comment pages: 1 2