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Boehner Toughens Up

House Speaker John Boehner this morning told his Republican caucus that he will take up “Plan B,” under which the House will simply pass its own legislation to increase tax rates for those earning more than $1 million and leave it at Harry Reid’s doorstep in the Senate.

The bill could move by the end of the week. But it’s mainly a tough negotiating ploy, an effort to get President Obama to agree to a higher threshold for tax rate increases. Obama, who had said those making over 250,000 per year should see their tax rates go up, is now at $400,000. Boehner wants more.

Obama also has agreed to new spending cuts and a new way to calculate cost of living increases that will reduce entitlement spending. But Boehner is using the prospect of a passing a simple tax cut bill – which will leave dramatic “fiscal cliff” spending cuts in place – in order t0 up the pressure on Obama.

The move suggests Boehner and the GOP leadership understand that they have more leverage in the negotiations than they’ve given themselves credit for, since a trip over the fiscal cliff will potentially cause a new recession and ruin Obama’s second term plans.

Reid and the White House have already rejected the “Plan B” bill. But they know the measure will tell public that Republicans at least tried to do something.

That’s why negotiations are continuing, and the two sides continue to move closer to a deal.

9 Responses to Boehner Toughens Up

  1. Already been on the phone with the office of my so-called “conservative Republican” representative, Lamar Smith. He is one who signed the ATR no tax pledge. His staffer was very noncommittal about whether Rep Smith would vote to raise taxes. My guess is Boehner already has his sheep lined up to raise taxes. The Republican party is a shell of what they used to be. I’m done with them…

  2. All a big kabuki dance. What about us? Are we not Taxed Enough Already? Cutting inflation adjustments on SS recipients? That’s entitlement spending? Have you been to the grocery store lately and tried to buy a decent cut of meat? Oh, that’s right, inflation is negligible….what a bunch of BS!

    I agree with Susan; both parties are useless…just one more than the other. I’m done with the do-nothing Republicans as well.

  3. As policy, this sucks; as politics, it’s brilliant.

    Boehner is likely going to get Plan B past the House. However, since it doesn’t give Obama the store, I doubt Harry Reid picks it up in the Senate. At that point, we go over the cliff, the economy tanks, and the GOP can then honestly say that they gave everything they possibly could short of the underwear on their persons. At that point, the Democrats own the downturn, lock, stock, and barrel.

    Boehner has been around the block enough times, and has seen Obama at work long enough, to know how much he can give without Obama accepting it. And so that’s what he’s giving–the theory being that once Reid pigeonholes it, or Obama vetoes it, the public will then (correctly) blame the Democrats.

    If Boehner can’t reach a good-faith compromise, then at least let the House demonstrate the Democrats’ bad faith, and thereby stick them with the blame for the coming recession.

  4. This still assumes that the media will report it. The ticker this morning said “Obama offers yet another compromise” The story will be “the white house tried to meet halfway, and the repubs pushed through an unworkable bill anyways, tying up the senate and forcing us over the cliff.”