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December 21, 2012
The Death Of Boehner's Plan B- Meh
Let me say I'm not writing this from a Let It Burn perspective, I'm just looking at the actual state of play. Let me also say in looking at it from a GOP perspective, Plan B was probably the best play Boehner had left after screwing things up from the start.
That said nothing but some PR points were lost.
Supporters of Plan B like Gabe correctly point out that killing the bill does nothing to advance the cause of saving all the current tax rates. That's simply not on the table.
But supporters, again like Gabe, are also wrong when they say
Plan B prevents tax hikes for 99.81% of taxpayers, has permanent death tax relief, a permanent AMT fix, and permanent reforms to the marriage penalty.
Well it would have done all of that but only if Senate Democrats passed it and Obama signed it. That's a fanciful notion equal to the one they mock their opponents for.
Why in the world having won the White House and expanded their Senate majority would the Democrats simply cave into what the House GOP passes? This is especially unlikely considering it's not just a clean tax hike on millionaires but includes things they hate like the current death tax rate AND $242 Billion in cuts ABOVE the sequestration cuts.
I'm sure Democrats were just salivating at the chance to pass all that stuff they hate.
But wait! There's LESS!
Not only did Plan B include a ton of things the Democrats hate, it also offered nothing they like such as the payroll tax "holiday" or expansion of tax credits or new spending.
Why it's so obvious they would have jumped at that deal!
Passing it in the House alone was simply a public offer of good faith designed to have something to point to when Obama pushes the country over the cliff.
Now the GOP will take a greater publicity hit because they tried to do something and failed. They'd have been better off doing what the Senate did...nothing. The only difference between Harry Reid and John Boehner is that Reid didn't look like an ineffective jackass in the process of accomplishing nothing.
Speaking of Speaker Boehner, let's remember we have him to thank for a lot of this mess.
We're at this point because of the deal that Boehner and the GOP made in the summer of 2011 to avert hitting the debt ceiling. The $1.2 billion in cuts from sequestration everyone wants to avoid like the plague? That was our PRIZE.
But don't forget that during the debt hike debate and shortly after, Boehner kept talking to Obama about a "grand bargain". As part of that talk he put revenue on the table ($800 billion or so). Obama then demanded more revenue and the talks died.
And remember, the debt deal was supposed to be about SPENDING CUTS to more than offset the debt hike. Obama however pocketed Boehner's willingness to include new revenue as a concession and gave nothing back in return.
So the deal was cut last year setting up the fiscal cliff (the tax extensions, the payroll tax holiday, the death tax cut, and of course the looming sequestration cuts once the "Super Committee" failed). The GOP was betting Mitt Romney or some other Republican would beat Obama. That was....unwise.
Now here we are.
Again, Boehner went first right after the election saying revenues were in play. In exchange for repeating this concession he got....nothing from Obama. Well, he did get a laughable and insulting offer from Obama.
Then Boehner conceded that tax rates not just revenue would have to go up. Again, he got nothing from Obama.
So tired of negotiating with himself, he decided to negotiate with his own conference. And last night he lost that negotiation.
This is the second time Boehner has had to pull a high profile bill from the floor because he badly misread his caucus. Perhaps he shouldn't have decided to pull members from committees two weeks before he desperately needed their votes, huh?
I fell bad for Boehner, he'd be a fine Speaker if the GOP had control of the White House and the Presidency and he just had to make the trains run on time. He is not however cut out to be the lead negotiator for a minority that only controls the House.
Sometimes when playing poker you get into a hand you are doomed to lose but you can do well by minimizing your loss. Good players do this so they can live long enough to get a good hand. Boehner has a nasty habit of finding a way to lose the maximum possible on every hand.
I doubt he will get a challenge but I wonder if he'll resign. This clearly isn't his thing and he's been rebuffed more than once by his own side. Maybe a new voice in the room would help.
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