Skip to comments.Here's a Hunch: Obama doesn’t want a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff
Posted on 11/18/2012 5:08:01 PM PST by SeekAndFind
Everyone came away from the initial summit meeting between Obama, Boehner and Reid with big smiles and a public air of confidence that Friday's kumbaya moment would lead to The Big Deal. Call me a cynic, but I'm still not buying it. Yesterday, AP touched on a part of this story, tossing out some ideas about how everyone --- particularly Democrats ... might walk away with relatively clean hands if no deal is reached on the fiscal cliff this year. It's all true, but for some of us there's a bit more to the story. The Democrats, for their part, seem to have plenty to gain and not much to lose.
Some Democrats are pushing an unorthodox idea for coping with the "fiscal cliff" Let the government go over, temporarily at least, to give their party more bargaining leverage for changes later on.
The idea has plenty of skeptics, and the White House regards it frostily. But it illustrates the wide range of early negotiating positions being staked out by Republicans and Democrats as lawmakers gathered Tuesday for their first post-election talks on how to avoid the looming package of steep tax hikes and program cuts.
But why would this work for Barack Obama? Because – as we learned the hard way on election day – he can watch the polls with the best of them. And if this train goes off the rails he has reason to believe that he won’t be left holding the bag.
A new poll by Hart Research’s Geoff Garin, conducted for Americans for Tax Fairness a group that wants the Bush-era tax cuts to end for those who earn more than $250,000 found that a majority of voters cited changing the tax system as a key factor in their votes, and that the majority broke for President Barack Obama.
The survey also found that Democrats have changed the landscape on an issue that has eluded them for years taxes. The survey found that most want the Bush-era cuts on top earners to expire, but that Republicans will shoulder blame if all of the Bush cuts, including those on the middle class, expire because a deal can’t be reached.
Basically, this works out to a win-win for Obama. Yes, he could look like the great peacemaker and try to strike some sort of grand bargain with Boehner. And if he did, he would likely get some of what he and the Democratic majority want in exchange for taking a slightly less than maximum raise on taxes for the most wealthy. But why?
If he takes a very hard line and forces the showdown to a collapse in discussions, several potentially positive (for him) results are baked into the cake. He can claim that Republicans refused a “balanced approach” and it’s their fault that everyone’s taxes went up. He then has the Democrats force a vote on a bill to only lower taxes on the middle class and the poor and just dares the GOP to vote against it. (They won’t.) At this point he has the tax / revenue increase he promised without giving up a single thing. Now the negotiations start anew to talk about “spending cuts” but the GOP’s major bargaining chip is gone. Obama gets to put up a far more shallow version of cuts, and if the Republicans don’t like it, they can choose to reject the deal and just let the deficit continue to skyrocket.
What Republican in their right mind could go for this? Perhaps more than we might think.
The Republican Party took the rap for the debt ceiling and is under suspicion for the fiscal cliff. A new Washington Post-Pew Research poll has 53 percent of Americans ready to blame Republicans if America actually goes over the edge and only 29 percent planning to point fingers at President Barack Obama.
Understanding this, thoughtful Republicans are feeling freer to risk the tea partiers wrath and cooperate with Democrats. The teams may disagree on much, but at least theyre now playing in the same ballpark.
How does that work? Fairly simple. Just as I’ve been saying since earlier this year, if you needed congressional action to raise taxes it would never happen. But in this case, to raise tax rates all you need is for Congress to do nothing. And when you need nothing done, there’s no better crack team than Congress. And once the taxes are up, even the GOP reps who have signed the Norquist pledge are free to sign a bill that lowers taxes… even if that doesn’t apply to the wealthy. They get to remain covered on their voting record in their home districts and blame the fallout on the Democrats.
Here’s the part where I reveal my secret strategy of how the GOP can thwart this plan and come out on top.
Hang on… there’s somebody at the door.
A bar chart I saw indicated a larger portion of taxes than cuts. Can those tools in DC ever make real cut in spending?
If the Republicans were smart they’d agree to a deal on the “fiscal cliff” only as part of an overall budget agreement submitted by the White House to Congress for this fiscal year.
Put the onus SQUARE on the White House for this.
I kept refreshing my browser but the writer has not yet come back to finish the article.
Oh well, I think Boehner's got himself stuck between a rock and a hard place.
Obama and his party are preparing for election 2014. Objective = Win control of the House.
That's a shame too. I believe the ONLY reason election 2012 was a no win for republicans was because of VOTER FRAUD. I still think the post 2008 trend would have continued (ie 2010, Wisconsin) in 2014. John Boehner could very well change that trend.
There would probably be less damage to the republican party if Nancy Pelosi had control now. Either way, they're going to get what they want.
I, for one, am getting sick and tired of saying "John Boehner needs to go". We may have to write off any gains in 2014 THANKS to John Boehner.
To avoid blame. If the Republicans don’t manage to avoid blame on this - Oh Boy!
To agree to ANY tax hikes is suicidal, and the GOP-e is no different than the Dem's....they will NOT cut spending in any meaningful way, but will agree that "future cuts" are on the table (more realistically, realistic spending cuts will not happen until we go broke and cannot get anyone to lend more money to the USA, and the Dollar becomes worthless paper).
the first question to ask is,
who wins by doing nothing.
The title of this article says it all. Obama doesn’t want a solution to the “fiscal cliff”. What he really wants is the chaos that results from an economic collapse.
The Republicans need to hang tight and fight tough against any effort to brand them as the cause of an economic collapse. Any tax increases will be hung around their necks like a cursed albatross but no tax increase at this point will save the nation.
The deficit, no matter how much the Democrats try to shift the blame, belongs to BHO2. He brought it on and he alone owns it.
This Republican dominated House of Representatives must continue to try to do the people’s business honorably. If nothing else, it will not be their fault that the economy collapses - this is the Democratic Party’s economy.
BHO2 is following the Cloward-Piven plan to collapse the system, and out of the resulting chaos establish communism. That is why he has armed certain governmental departments.
Get ready for a civil war, folks!
RE: Can those tools in DC ever make real cut in spending?
We don’t even have to cut spending or raise taxes.
There is already a law proposed by then Rep. Connie Mack called the PENNY PLAN. This plan is supported by Senators Rand Paul and Jim DeMint.
H.R. 1848, would cut one-penny-out-of-every dollar actually spent by the federal government from year-to-year for the next six years, from FY 2012-FY 2017. Beginning in FY 2018, there would be a budget cap of 18% of GDP (the average federal revenue as a percentage of GDP over the past 30 years). And by FY 2019 America would finally have a balanced budget that is, assuming revenues naturally increase from the current 14.8% of GDP to 18% of GDP by 2019, after which the budget would be in surplus.
There is an automatic spending cut trigger under Mr. Macks plan one he came up with well before the trigger used in the recently passed national debt ceiling bill. If congress failed to enact a budget implementing the one-percent-actual-spending cut required under Mr. Macks measure, then there would be automatic, across-the-board actual cuts in all federal programs to meet the one percent reduction, and that means all: in defense, Social Security, Medicare, Food Stamps, defense and national security spending, everything.
Mr. Macks plan may seem draconian to some. It would cut the accumulated budget deficits by an estimated $7.5 trillion over ten years more than three times the amount achieved by the debt ceiling deal congress approved last Tuesday.
But it actually has a rather modest impact on reducing our total national debt. It wont be until 8 years from now that the budget will be in balance and the national debt starts getting paid down.
And I guarantee you — No one will starve and Grandma will still get the healthcare she is used to.
RE: the first question to ask is,
who wins by doing nothing.
If Congress and Obama does nothing TAX PAYERS LOSE. The Bush tax cuts EXPIRES in January 2013 and ALL TAXES in ALL TAX BRACKETS GO UP AUTOMATICALLY.
I agree the GOP has screwed this up bad.
By selling out American and siding with foreigners, the GOP picked the wrong side.
Now the GOP is sitting there holding onto minority stakes in a bunch of Chinese companies - and Obama is poised to lead America.
How screwed up is that?
of course. this is the easy way to destroy everyone’s wealth all at once.
I agree. The GOP will be dog meat with its base if they raise taxes and the economy will tank. The GOP should ride this thing right over the cliff and take the heat. They have 2 years to recover from the blame and will be in the drivers seat to force the necessary cuts. I figured out my tax nut at the increased rate and will be thrilled to pay it while I watch all the hypocrites feel the pain.
The author forgets that the Senate will plead for a deal to avoid the cliff. They are beholden to interest groups like defense contractors that won’t like the cuts. The House needs to be on record as agreeable to holding votes on specific legislation while holding firm privately on the key issues (avoiding tax hikes). If the legislation doesn’t come in time, so be it. But my guess is that the Senate will make sure some does and will be willing to give in on some key issues.
Why should the GOP do exactly what the kenyan wants? He wants to drive the bus over the cliff and blame the GOP.
Barry wants all the Bush Tax Cuts to expire so he can ride to the rescue in January with the Obama Tax Cuts plan. He will be free to pick and winners and loses then.
It’s far better for 2014 for the GOP to agree now to the Obama Tax Increase plan on the “rich” and let it crash the economy.
Here’s a Hunch: The private sector is pushed over the fiscal cliff no matter what, it’s the Democrats plan.
Raise taxes, cut the military, cut the deficit. Its win win win for Obama.
Most likely he'll leave our Navy at sea with nowhere to go and no money.
That right there could be a serious error of historic proportions. Think of the US Navy with no funds, and it's dinner time ~ I really don't think tens of thousands of crew members on Aircraft carriers loaded to the gunnals with nukes are going to starve to death just because the President left their hiring agency broke.
That's where the future begins ~ the world's most powerful naval force goes rogue ~ and I really can't predict how that will go down ~ could be rather peaceful.
Many folks imagine the Arabs to have come roaring out of Arabia ripping and snorting and converting by the sword. There was probably some of that, but in the initial military phase they showed up with boxes of gold coin stored up in Petra and bought Byzantine armies and navies ~ they had not been paid in nearly a century!
So, who buys the American navy ~ will it be the wealthy Arab oil sheikhs, or the Chinese? And if the Chinese will it be the Big China Chinese or the Overseas Chinese?.
I'm sure Goobama hasn't thought this through very well ~