Ostensibly, what we’re all meant to be working toward in preparation for the fiscal cliff is a “balanced approach” (which also happens to be fundamentally trivial, but I digress) at which emphatic Democrats keep telling us we’ll arrive through bipartisan negotiations and compromise. But, it’s a little odd that the Democrats keep pulling things off the table as absotively, posilutely non-negotiable; Republicans, meanwhile, have made significant concessions, first with revenue increases via capping deductions, and now with Speaker Boehner’s floated Plan-B possibility that would actually concede some tax-rate increases on the highest earners.
The Democratic response to this gesture? Rabble rabble rabble! How dare the GOP even suggest such a thing:
The White House and congressional Democrats swiftly panned Speaker John A. Boehner’s plan to push legislation in the House that would let tax rates rise only for millionaires, the Ohio Republican’s “plan B” to avert the fiscal cliff.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney issued a statement saying the president remains willing to work with Republicans to reach a bipartisan solution to the fiscal cliff and he is “hopeful” they will.
The president, however, “is not willing to accept a deal that doesn’t ask enough of the very wealthiest in taxes and instead shifts the burden to the middle class and seniors,” Carney said. “The Speaker’s ‘Plan B’ approach doesn’t meet this test because it can’t pass the Senate and therefore will not protect middle class families, and does little to address our fiscal challenges with zero spending cuts.”
Uhm, is the new benchmark for fiscal-cliff proposals their ability to pass the Senate, and then the false equivalency of things that can pass the Senate with things that necessarily protect the middle class? Because, news flash: Nothing anybody has proposed could get through both chambers of Congress and the presidency at the moment. Reminder: Even President Obama’s original proposal would not have made it through the Senate and would definitely not protect the middle class.
But, of course, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid concurs, saying in a statement that the Senate bill is the only Plan B that can work because the Speaker’s idea “will not protect middle-class families because it cannot pass both Houses of Congress,” or something:
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) told reporters Tuesday that Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has effectively walked away from fiscal cliff negotiations. …
“Today, House Republicans have threatened to abandon serious negotiations,” Reid said. “Boehner’s proposal will not pass the Senate.”
Reid said the Senate Democratic caucus is unified in opposition to Boehner’s so-called Plan B.
House Democratic Whip Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said his own leader, Nancy Pelosi, engaged in a “political ploy” earlier this year when she endorsed raising tax rates on those making more than $1 million. …
“I don’t think it works, the math doesn’t work,” Hoyer said. “It’s a political ploy to give his members an opportunity to respond to the public that thinks all the Republicans is doing is protecting the wealthy.”
Hoyer said Democrats are being encouraged to vote against Boehner’s plan.
All this “compromise” is enough to make your head spin, isn’t it?