Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
I have frequently been a critic of President Obama's negotiation tactics over the past four years. For a Harvard trained lawyer, I was most unimpressed. Obama was far too concerned about that "post partisan" conciliator image he tried to foster during the 2008 campaign. His opening negotiating bids always tried to meet the Tea-Publicans half-way in the mistaken belief that this would encourage them to be reasonable and conciliatory and to negotiate in good faith. Instead, it only emboldened them to demand even more, conciliation was a sign of weakness to them.
Obama either did not understand or did not want to accept that Tea-Publicans are an insurrection who want to destroy the government and who have taken this country hostage. Tea-Publicans believe in win at all costs, even if it means killing the hostage, as they almost did last year with a default on the U.S. debt (they settled for wounding the hostage with a downgrade in our credit rating). "Good faith" simply does not exist.
Obama's trial by fire over the past four years has chastened him and informed his views on the danger posed by these Tea-Publican insurrectionists. Obama's reelection has reinvigorated him. Freed from not having to run for office again, he is now free to be bold and aggressive -- the Obama that liberals and progressives have waited for. The days of preemptive concessions and negotiating from a defensive crouch are over.
The Washington Post reports today, Obama makes fresh demands on ‘fiscal cliff’:
President Obama offered Republicans a detailed plan Thursday for averting the year-end “fiscal cliff” that calls for $1.6 trillion in new taxes, $50 billion in fresh spending on the economy and an effective end to congressional control over the size of the national debt.
The proposal, delivered to the Capitol by Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner, mirrors previous White House deficit-reduction plans and satisfies Democrats’ demands that negotiations begin on terms dictated by the newly-reelected president.
The offer lacks any concessions to Republicans, most notably on the core issue of where to set tax rates for the wealthiest Americans. After two weeks of talks between the White House and aides to House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio), it seemed to take Republicans by surprise.
Meet the new Obama 2.0, crybaby. "I won the election. The voters gave me a mandate. It's my way now, biotch!"
Boehner quickly rejected the proposal and was trying late Thursday to decide how to respond, aides said. After meeting with Geithner for about 45 minutes Thursday morning, the speaker announced his frustration with a negotiation process in which nearly three weeks have lapsed since the election with “no substantive progress.”
“I’m disappointed in where we are, and disappointed in what’s happened over the last couple weeks,” Boehner told reporters. “Going over the fiscal cliff is serious business. And I’m here seriously trying to resolve it. And I would hope the White House would get serious as well.”
This is intended for consumption by the Tea-Publican base who live in the hermetically sealed bubble of the conservative media complex. In reality, this is all Kabuki theater -- the Weeper of the House wants to go off the cliff as badly as congressional Democrats do because it is the only way to reset tax policies and for Tea-Publicans not to have to take a vote to raise taxes on the top two percent, their political base.
After January 1, they can vote for the package of "Obama middle class tax cuts" and stick to their pledge to their lord and master, Grover Norquist, never to vote for a tax increase. Taxes will go up on the top two percent because of the big, bad mean Democrats -- something we are certain to hear in the 2014 midterm elections. It is the politically expedient easy way out for cowardly Tea-Publicans who are afraid of a primary challenge from their wingnut fringe.
I am confident that a compromise agreement will have been agreed upon by January 1, but not announced until after January 1. The vote will come early in January. The package will be retroactive, limiting any economic consequences. All this gloom and doom "fiscal cliff" austerity crisis nonsense is political posturing and fear mongering.
Democratic leaders, meanwhile, were triumphant after receiving similar briefings from Geithner and White House legislative liaison Rob Nabors. Top Democrats have for months insisted that an Obama victory would entitle them to demand far more in new taxes than Republicans have been willing to consider, to seek new measures to boost economic growth, and to avoid major cuts to entitlement programs, such as Social Security and Medicare.
“Democrats are on the same page,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.). “The president has made his proposal; we need a proposal from them.”
Although the White House offer seemed to startle Republicans, it contains little that would be unfamiliar to anyone following the president’s recent public statements. The exception was his proposal on the federal debt limit. GOP aides said Obama is seeking to permanently enact procedures that were temporarily adopted in the summer of 2011 that allow the White House to unilaterally increase the debt ceiling unless two-thirds of lawmakers disapprove.
That process, initially proposed by McConnell, was not intended to become permanent. By trying to make it so, Obama is seeking to avoid another damaging battle over the debt ceiling that would again risk a national default.
* * *
Obama’s proposal, as outlined by Republicans, would purportedly trim the debt by about $4 trillion over the next decade, in part through spending cuts already in force and savings from ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Also included are $1.6 trillion in taxes and about $400 billion in savings from changes to federal health and entitlement programs.
With regard to taxes, the White House wants about $1 trillion in new revenue from the year-end expiration of the George W. Bush-era tax cuts on income over $250,000. Obama also is demanding that dividends be taxed as normal income and that the estate tax be raised to 45 percent and expanded to cover estates worth as little as $3.5 million — policies for which the Democratic Senate was unable to win approval earlier this year.
The rest of the tax increases and the entitlement savings would come next year, through congressional revisions to the tax code and retirement programs.
The White House proposal would delay automatic cuts at federal agencies for one year while funding other Democratic priorities, including $50 billion for a new infrastructure bank and additional benefits for unemployed workers.
The plan also calls for extending the payroll tax cut, or adopting a similar tax break for working families, in addition to extending income tax cuts for the vast majority of taxpayers.
“Right now, the only thing preventing us from reaching a deal that averts the fiscal cliff and avoids a tax hike on 98 percent of Americans is the refusal of congressional Republicans to ask the very wealthiest individuals to pay higher tax rates,” White House spokeswoman Amy Brundage said.
"The only thing preventing us from reaching a deal" are radical ideological extremists holding this country hostage who are beholden to a failed and entirely disproved and discredited economic theory, faith based supply-side "trickle down" GOP economics, and who are rejecting the will of the American people reflected in their vote on election day. It is the wealthy elite plutocrats who believe they are entitled versus everyone else. It is time to bring an end the new Gilded Age, and to restore the American middle class.