Though he has rejected House Speaker John Boehner’s offer, which included higher tax rates on millionaires and raising the debt ceiling, President Barack Obama made a counter-offer yesterday showing some movement in “fiscal cliff” talks:
The Associated Press is reporting that President Barack Obama has made a new budget offer to House Speaker, including a significant shift from a previous sticking point in their negotiations to avert the so-called fiscal cliff.
Obama’s latest counteroffer raises the threshold for tax increases up to incomes above $400,000. That’s an increase from previous demands dating all the way back to the presidential campaign, in which Obama had called for taxes on incomes above $250,000 to return to Clinton-era rates.
Reuters reported on Twitter that Obama’s plan includes $1.2 trillion in increased revenue and $1.22 trillion in reduced spending. Boehner’s office, however, pegged the numbers at $1.3 trillion in new revenue and only $930 billion in spending cuts.
Is there some movement in talks on the so-called “fiscal cliff?” It remains unclear right now, but House Speaker John Boehner made a pretty big concession on Saturday that may provide a path to a deal. According to Politico, Boehner is willing to raise tax rates on anyone earning over $1 million in exchange for significant entitlement cuts:
Speaker John Boehner has proposed allowing tax rates to rise for the wealthiest Americans if President Barack Obama agrees to major entitlement cuts, according to several sources close to the talks.
It is the first time Boehner has offered any boost in marginal tax rates for any income group, and it would represent a major concession for the Ohio Republican. Boehner suggested hiking the Bush-era tax rates for top wage earners, including those with annual incomes of $1 million or more annually, beginning Jan. 1, two sources said.
Obama and Boehner spoke by phone Friday after a lengthy face-to-face session at the White House on Thursday. The quickening pace of private conversations between the two key players in the fiscal-cliff talks shows progress is being made in the negotiations, although they are not close to a deal yet, sources said.
Boehner also wants to use a new method of calculating benefits for entitlement programs known as “chained CPI,” which would slow the growth of Medicare and other federal health programs and save hundreds of billions over the next decade.
Our rulers in Washington DC are fighting over the so-called “fiscal cliff” which means that at the end of the year a bunch of “spending cuts” and tax increases will take effect causing all sorts of calamities. Our wonderful representatives in Congress and our brilliant President/Messiah, Barack Obama are trying to work out a “balanced” deal to make everything alright. The “balanced” deal appears to be we raise taxes today, especially on the evil “rich”, and that we cut spending in a few years (ie. never). No one on Capitol Hill dares to suggest that instead of asking American taxpayers to pay more taxes that we actually, you know cut spending. The fiscal cliff debate is actually America’s time for choosing of whether or not we will be a country that values freedom and liberty or we will be a country subservient to the state.
Both parties proposals’ are generally the same. Higher taxes, no real spending cuts, and no real entitlement reform. The only differences are the numbers and who benefits and who loses. There is no real choice for those of us who believe in liberty and freedom. The Republican Party, which is supposed to be the party of limited government, is now actively purging fiscal conservatives from important committee positions. What are those of us who believe in liberty supposed to do?
President Barack Obama and Democrats, as well as a handfull of Republicans, are completely fixated on the raising taxes on top-income earners as part of any “fiscal cliff” deal that is eventually worked out.
The insistence is troubling because the issue at hand isn’t taxes. Sure, the recession and subsequent slow recovery has caused tax revenues to dip, but that is to be expected of any economic downturn. What has led to our current situation is Washington’s addiction to spending.
We hear President Obama and his apologists talk about Clinton-era tax rates, as if that were some sort of “holy grail.” However, Peter Suderman explains that if we’re going to get Clinton-era taxes, we should get Clinton-era spending as well:
Most of us can agree that the Clinton years, which saw growing median incomes as well as tiny deficits and steady economic growth, were economic good times, and we’d all like to see that sort of economic performance repeated. If that’s the case, then why should we limit ourselves to just replicating one tiny fragment of Clinton-era governance—higher tax rates on a fairly small number of earners? Why not replicate other aspects of Clinton’s policy mix as well?
Probably because that would entail mentioning something that Obama’s frequent invocations of the Clinton years always ignore: that Clinton’s spending levels were far, far lower than they have been for the last four years—or than President Obama has called for them to be in the years to come.
That’s true no matter how you measure it.
The debate over the so-called “fiscal cliff” is still the talk of the media in Washington. However, House Speaker John Boehner told reporters this morning that he couldn’t progress report on the talks with the White House because there had been, well, no progress:
Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) accused the White House Friday of trying to “slow-walk” the fiscal-cliff negotiations.
Boehner said there was “no progress” in the talks just three weeks before tax hikes and spending cuts are set to kick in and expressed frustration that President Obama hasn’t made a counteroffer to the GOP’s proposal of $800 billion in new tax revenue as part of a $2.2 trillion deficit-reduction plan.
“This isn’t a progress report, because there’s no progress to report,” Boehner said in a brief press conference at the Capitol.
He said the White House had “wasted another week” by not responding to House Republicans.
Writing earlier this week at National Review, Michael Tanner explained that there really isn’t much of a difference in the plans offered by the White House and House Republicans. The only real sticking point is, since Republicans have ceded so much ground already, by how much will they raise taxes.
The White House insists that they’re not budging on increased taxes rates for higher-income earners. Boehner says that Obama, because of his unwillingness to compromise, wants to go over the fiscal cliff.
Conservatives are increasingly unhappy with House Speaker John Boehner. Within days of the presidential election, Boehner had once again signaled a willingness to raise tax revenues. To make matters worse, House leadership punished fiscally conservative members of the GOP caucus by removing them from key committee assignments.
The reaction from conservatives has been one of anger, and understandbly so. They’re concerned about Boehner’s leadership in the “fiscal cliff” debate, worried that House Republicans are ready and willing to sellout their principles to cut a deal. Some conservatives are even going as far as calling for him to be ousted. American Majority Action (AMA), a conservative group which launched the #FireBoehner hashtag on Twitter, is asking House Republicans to replace to Boehner:
The president and CEO of conservative group American Majority Action (AMA) is demanding Republicans band together to fire House Speaker John Boehner.
“Speaker Boehner has been an abysmal failure as speaker, and his latest purge is the nail in the coffin for conservatives,” AMA’s Ned Ryun said in a statement. “Boehner has never won a negation battle with the White House or Senate—and he’s been nothing short of an embarrassing spokesman for the Conservative Movement. It’s time for him to go.”
Last night, Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA) appeared on CNN to discuss the debate in Congress on the “fiscal cliff” and taxes. McClintock, who was elected to the House in 2008, put President Obama’s tax hike proposal in a different context, explaining that it would hurt the middle class if taxes on higher-income earners, many of which file as S-Corps or sole proprietors.
If taxes on business owners is raised, fewer jobs will be available in an already struggling economy. McClintock explains that anywhere from 200,000 to 700,000 will be lost, depending on the estimate. This makes the debate, not about class warfare, as the White House wants, but rather, as McClintock says, a “battle for the middle class.” McClintock notes that raising taxes on the top-2%, it would have an “enormous impact…on small business job creators.”
As noted yesterday, House Republicans have laid out their counter-proposal to the White House as negotiations continue on the so-called “fiscal cliff.” While GOP leadership seems pretty darn impressed with their plan to raise taxes by $800 billion, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) has come out strongly against it:
The comments from DeMint, co-founder of the Senate’s anti- tax Tea Party caucus, represent a strong indictment of Boehner’s plan from a fellow Republican lawmaker and highlight a divide within the party. Boehner yesterday proposed a $2.2 trillion deficit-cutting proposal that seeks $800 billion in revenue in the next decade from an overhaul of the tax code that would curb some breaks.
“Speaker Boehner’s $800 billion tax hike will destroy American jobs and allow politicians in Washington to spend even more, while not reducing our $16 trillion debt by a single penny,” DeMint said in a statement. “Republicans must oppose tax increases and insist on real spending reductions that shrink the size of government and allow Americans to keep more of their hard-earned money.”
If you’ve followed the “fiscal cliff” debate, then you know that it has kicked up a debate over taxes that Republicans should win. But rather than make the case for less taxes and for entitlement reform, House Speaker John Boehner has shown a willingness to raise tax revenues, though he refuses to support raising tax rates.
But the prospect of Republicans backing increased tax revenues has caused a substantial rift with fiscal conservatives in Congress, many of whom feel that the GOP is risking economic growth and job creation by taking more money of the economy:
In order to get one with President Barack Obama — who has refused to cut a deal until Republicans agree to increase tax rates on the wealthy — the GOP may have to go even further on taxes, a prospect that could prompt a full-scale party rebellion.
“That’s a big gulp,” Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) said of the $800 billion in new taxes, which did not include a tax rate increase. “As long as we’re not talking about rates, there may be a way to accomplish it.”
Asked about the concerns from conservatives, Kyl said: “They are right it would hurt job creation. Absolutely right. Well, that’s the question — what is the least, worst alternative? And I don’t know what the answer to that question is at this point.”
Last week, the White House made their initial offer on the so-called “fiscal cliff,” asking congressional Republicans for $1.6 trillion in tax hikes coupled with a $400 billion in spending cuts over 10 years. Republicans leaders, who have been open to the idea of raising tax revenue, dismissed the unrealistic proposal out-of-hand, rightly explaining that the White House gave them something that would never pass Congress.
Yesterday, Republicans made their pitch to resolve the “fiscal cliff,” making a counter-offer that that cuts spending, reforms entitlements, and raises $800 billion in new tax revenue:
House Republican leaders on Monday made a counteroffer to President Obama in the “fiscal cliff” negotiations that would cut $2.2 trillion from the deficit with a combination of spending cuts, entitlement reforms and $800 billion in new tax revenue.
Republican officials said their 10-year plan contained more deficit reduction than the offer the White House presented last week while standing firm against Obama’s demand to increase tax rates on the wealthy.
The White House quickly panned the offer, saying it contained “nothing new” and did not “meet the test of balance.”
The Republican offer came in the form of a three-page letter to the White House signed by House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and four other senior Republicans, including Rep. Paul Ryan (Wis.), the party’s just-defeated vice presidential nominee.