Obama’s Fiscal Cliff Offer: Tax And Spend
An unserious proposal from an unserious president
(Politico) Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner’s fiscal cliff proposal to Republicans Thursday was rejected out of hand, but offered a window into President Barack Obama’s priorities in the fast-evolving budget talks.
In the plan, sources said, Geithner proposed a two-step process to ultimately achieve about $1.6 trillion in new revenue. The first step would net $960 billion immediately by allowing the Bush-era tax cuts to expire on top earners along with raising rates on dividends and capital gains.
Another $600 billion would come from overhauling the tax code – presumably next year – reaching the administration’s $1.6 trillion goal.
The administration also pressed for a patch of the alternative minimum tax and the extension of targeted business tax breaks at a cost of $236 billion.
And there were more tax rate increases he offered up. They just kept coming and coming.
He proposed appropriating an additional $25 billion in stimulus spending, above the current baseline, for six years, with $50 billion in fiscal 2013 alone. Along with that, the Treasury secretary called for an extension of expanded funding for unemployment benefits totaling $30 billion, and another $25 billion for the so-called doc fix.
And more spending.
But, what about cuts? Not so much. When all is said and done, there would be $3 in new taxes now for every $1 in cuts sometime in the far future which would never appear. Republicans walked away. Mitch McConnell burst into laughter upon hearing the proposal.
(Daily Caller) Boehner and other Republicans derided Obama’s wishlist, which was described by the New York Times as ”a detailed proposal … loaded with Democratic priorities and short in detailed spending cuts.”
The Washington Post described the package as lacking “any concessions to Republicans, most notably on the core issue of where to set tax rates for the wealthiest Americans… [and] it seemed to take Republicans by surprise.”
It was a ridiculous offer from a president who either fails to understand just how broke the country is or doesn’t care. There was no compromise in the offer. There was no balance. But, fortunately, Obama plans to take a 2 week trip to Hawaii, costing the taxpayers $4 million, right in the middle of the time the cliff is coming.