John Boehner just gave a “press conference” that clocked in at under a minute, where he took no questions and basically said that Democrats could either pass his “Plan B” proposal, which extends Bush-era tax rates on the first $1 million of income and does basically nothing else, or “be responsible for the largest tax increase in American history.”
|By: David Dayen Tuesday December 18, 2012 6:54 am|
The headlines here is that the Obama Administration narrowed the demand they maintained for four years, for tax rates to increase above $250,000, and they would agree to a benefit cut for Social Security and $400 billion in unspecified Medicare cuts, and in exchange they would mostly extend current law on a few fronts (but not all) and get an unspecified amount, no more than $50 billion, in infrastructure spending.
|By: David Dayen Sunday December 16, 2012 11:50 am|
House Speaker John Boehner’s latest offer sheet to the President in the fiscal slope negotiations includes an increase in tax rates on people earning $1 million a year, the first time that the Republican leader has proposed any tax rate hike. The White House, seeking rises on tax rates above $250,000, rejected the offer.
Boehner didn’t solely offer the millionaire’s bracket, he also wants social insurance cuts in exchange.
|By: David Dayen Friday December 14, 2012 8:40 am|
The President and Speaker Boehner met last night about the fiscal slope, but only for less than an hour. Meanwhile, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney blasted Boehner for what he described as “fantasy economics” right before the meeting.
|By: David Dayen Friday December 14, 2012 7:16 am|
A couple months ago, under pressure from Republicans, the Congressional Research Service, basically the think tank of Congress, took down a study on tax rates for the rich and the economy that rebutted a key GOP argument, that tax cuts at the top spurred economic growth. It didn’t matter that the Congressional Budget Office found almost the same thing, Republicans didn’t want in print a study showing no relationship between tax cuts for the rich and growth. That would ruin their whole program.
Yesterday, the CRS republished the work, and while a bit of the language has changed – Republicans reportedly objected to the phrase “tax cuts for the rich” – the conclusion is exactly the same.
|By: Jon Walker Monday December 10, 2012 1:25 pm|
By simply being intransigent, Obama could get much of what he claims to want without giving anything to the Republicans in return. What Obama “gives up” should only be weighed against what he couldn’t have gotten eventually. Things like accepting a tax increase on the wealthy or raising the debt ceiling should not even be counted as a real concession by Republicans because they would be forced to accept those anyway.
|By: Swopa Friday December 7, 2012 8:10 pm|
All this week, DDay has been chronicling for the daytime crowd that how to deal with the infamous fiscal cliff/slope/incline/curb/whatever — which, in the real world, remains quite unresolved — is no longer the hot issue among the Washington, DC insider set.
|By: David Dayen Friday December 7, 2012 9:32 am|
The high-stakes battle over the fiscal slope has detoured into a high-stakes battle over the government’s debt limit. Seeing little hope of forestalling rises top-level tax rates, Republicans have discussed a plan to relent on that and then move directly to a debt limit showdown, where they have the advantage because of the need to have Congress act affirmatively to hike that borrowing capacity.
The President has gathered business leaders to press the case that the debt limit must be extended, and he has said he will simply not negotiate over it. However, the White House did give up significant leverage on this question yesterday, with spokesman Jay Carney saying that the President will not use the 14th Amendment’s language about how the validity of the public debt “shall not be questioned” to essentially supersede the debt limit. Carney said the President does not believe he has the power under the 14th Amendment to ignore the debt limit.
|By: David Dayen Thursday December 6, 2012 9:35 am|
Here’s that discharge petition that Tim Walz put together in an attempt to bring the Senate-passed tax bill to the House floor, the one that extends Bush-era tax rates on the first $250,000 of income. Right now it has the support of 178 Democrats and no Republicans.
It’s a chore figuring out which 13 Democrats don’t support the discharge petition, but it seems like a formality to me. If Heath Shuler and Dan Boren can sign it, pretty much any Democrat can
|By: David Dayen Wednesday December 5, 2012 8:55 am|
We talked about the Republicans’ doomsday plan, where they would pass the extension of the Bush tax cuts on the first $250,000 of income, allow the cut to tax rates above that to expire, and live to fight another day with more leverage. With talks at an impasse, and the President more aggressive specifically on the tax rates issue, this looks to be the emerging reality for the Republicans.