As Mitch McConnell laughed at Tim Geithner’s opening bid on resolving the fiscal cliff, some reporters could be heard applauding in the background. The Daily Caller collected a few tweets from journalists in the wake of Obama’s 4:1 tax-hikes-now-to-spending-cuts-way-in-the-future offer:
Washington political reporters on Thursday tweeted defenses of the White House’s opening proposal in the fiscal cliff negotiations with House Republicans.
The proposal, described by The New York Times as “loaded with Democratic priorities and short on detailed spending cuts,” included $1.6 trillion in tax increases over the next decade in exchange for $400 billion in savings from entitlement programs, including Medicare.
Say, remember when the media kept asking Republican presidential candidates during the primaries if they would accept a deal with a 10:1 ratio of spending cuts to tax hikes? What’s the same media saying these days about Obama’s 4:1 ratio in the other direction, which includes no specifics on the cuts?
President Obama, having won re-election, is asking for passage of the policies he campaigned on.
— Zachary Goldfarb (@Goldfarb) November 29, 2012
Everyone on Twitter is flabbergasted, but there's nothing really new in Geithner's proposal.
— Brian Beutler (@brianbeutler) November 29, 2012
Yes, that was the reason Republicans refused to take that hypothetical seriously in 2011, too. There’s nothing new in the same demands that Democrats have made on what is supposed to be an effort to fix the deficit.
Investors Business Daily looks to two liberal newspapers to show that Obama’s credibility on negotiations is wearing thin:
Even the liberal press is exposing Obama’s disingenuousness. The New York Times noted on Wednesday that Obama “has barely discussed how he would pare back federal spending, focusing instead on the aspect of his plan that plays to his liberal base.”
The Los Angeles Times on Thursday observed Obama “hasn’t said anything publicly about his targets for entitlement savings or cuts in discretionary spending. Instead, he’s tacitly stuck with the proposals in his fiscal 2013 budget, which Congress has already rejected.”
Obama touts what he calls a “balanced approach” in which Republicans raise tax rates, and he promised during the campaign this year to “cut 2-1/2 dollars” in spending “for every dollar in increased revenue.”
But now, with signs that Republicans will agree to increase taxes, the L.A. Times reports that “Democrats seem to have become more entrenched in their resistance to the other half of Obama’s formula.”
Republicans should hold Obama to that formula — in fact, they should publicly commit to guaranteeing $1.6 trillion in guaranteed revenue when Obama commits to guaranteeing $4 trillion in specific cuts (and not savings from reduced war spending, a trick the White House continues to use), which matches his pledge of a 5:2 ratio favoring spending reductions. Obama’s off by a factor of 10, but then again, math was never his strong suit.
Michael Ramirez puts Obama’s offer in clear perspective:
Also, be sure to check out Ramirez’ terrific collection of his works: Everyone Has the Right to My Opinion, which covers the entire breadth of Ramirez’ career, and it gives fascinating look at political history. Read my review here, and watch my interviews with Ramirez here and here. And don’t forget to check out the entire Investors.com site, which has now incorporated all of the former IBD Editorials, while individual investors still exist.