Boehner’s Counter-Offer: How About the Ryan Budget? Bowles-Simpson? Help Me Out Here!

By: Monday December 3, 2012 4:12 pm

John Boehner delivered a letter to the White House today about the fiscal slope, and I just find it to be weird. He starts off by calling the events of November 6 a “status quo election” where the American people expect a “fair middle ground” on fiscal issues (the fact that House Democrats got more votes than House Republicans, and could have taken the chamber but for factors like gerrymandering, didn’t enter into this). He then says that Republicans “presented (the White House) with a balanced framework of spending cuts and new tax revenue. Nobody has seen this and the White House has repeatedly said that Republicans have not presented them with anything specific.

Then, Boehner laments the terrible partisanship of the Geithner proposal, which he frames in ways favorable to the Republican position.

Then there’s this curious line: “If we were to take your Administration’s proposal at face value, then we would counter with the House-passed Budget resolution.”


Republican “Doomsday Plan” Allows Tax Increase, Uses Debt Limit For Future Leverage

By: Monday December 3, 2012 8:07 am

Republicans may vote “present” on the bill en masse, so they don’t take ownership of a tax increase

Fiscal Slope: Time to Go to Conference on Taxes?

By: Saturday December 1, 2012 11:27 am

The advantages of going to conference committee include the fact that the finished product returning becomes non-amendable (though it can still be filibustered in the Senate). You can fast-track the conference report onto the floor without going through the committee process. And most important to me, you can provide some transparency in these negotiations that has been lacking. Conference committees are often pro forma processes, with the real work going on behind the scenes, but members of the conference committee still have to vote on any changes, in public view.

A conference committee will at least create a forum for the debate in public rather than in cloistered back rooms.

Pelosi Threatens Discharge Petition to Force Tax Bill to House Floor

By: Friday November 30, 2012 2:04 pm

Since returning to the control of Republicans, the House has returned to the “Hastert rule,” (named for the former House Speaker, Denny Hastert) where only legislation that has a majority of votes among the majority, rather than a majority of votes overall, will get a vote on the floor. The Senate’s tax bill, which extends the Bush-era tax rates only on the first $250,000 of income, fits into this sweet spot. It probably has enough votes to pass but not enough to capture a majority of Republicans. Therefore, John Boehner rejects bringing it to the floor.

“Framework” of Deficit Deal Means Different Things to Both Sides

By: Monday November 19, 2012 12:50 pm

Today everyone is supposed to be optimistic about avoiding the fiscal slope. Considering the potential consequences of that avoidance, I’m not sure “optimistic” is the right word.

Most Voters Would Blame GOP if All Bush Tax Cuts Expire

By: Friday November 16, 2012 11:19 am

In the fight over the Bush tax cuts President Obama appears to have the political upper hand. According to a new poll for the Americans for Tax Fairness, Obama’s position on the Bush tax cuts is more popular, and if a deal is not reached on the Bush tax cuts most voters will blame the Republicans.

Grand Bargain Gambit Also Seeks to Make Others Pay for the Sins of Elites

By: Thursday November 15, 2012 10:48 am

The President’s meeting with CEOs played out just as expected, as they offered support for any kind of a deal that averted the fiscal slope and a flood of austerity in 2013. Obviously they have a very particular perspective, grounded in cuts to their own corporate tax rates while the elderly and poor bear the costs of debt reduction.

Meanwhile, the White House is already playing a game of inches with the Bush-era tax rates.

Reminder: Executive Branch Can Delay Impact of Most Fiscal Slope Items

By: Wednesday November 14, 2012 8:30 am

I just want to add on to what Dean Baker says here. It’s not just that the people trying to hype the fiscal cliff as a scary, terrifying prospect shouldn’t be trusted given their track record. It’s that the short-term impact, say one month, of expiring measures really does approach zero.

Obama’s Opening Bid: His FY2013 Budget Request

By: Wednesday November 14, 2012 6:46 am

The White House released to the Washington Postwhat amounts to an opening bid for fiscal slope/grand bargain talks. It turns out that this is actually just what was in the President’s proposed 2013 budget. But since it does add up to $4 trillion over 10 years, and since everyone’s getting serious about negotiations, we can take a closer look at it.

Leaked Woodward Memo Offers Road Map on Grand Bargain

By: Monday November 12, 2012 1:00 pm

Bob Woodward leaked the deal memo from the proposed 2011 grand bargain, which didn’t happen for a number of reasons, none of them being Barack Obama’s reticence to cut a deal.

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