Speaker the House John Boehner just held a press conference where he said that this evening his caucus would pass a bill that will raise taxes on those making one million dollars or more but no spending cuts. He called that Plan B, and he said that he was well aware that it's dead-on arrival when it reaches the Senate. He said the Republicans had done their part now it's the Senate Democrats and the president to do theirs, or they will be blamed to for our country going over the fiscal cliff. Who's he listening to? Is it the same posters who told them that Romney was going to win by a landslide?
The GOP's latest plan would retain the tax rates on dividends, capital gains, and the Estate Tax but would have an Alternative Minimum Tax patch. It's basically the Bush tax cuts except for those people who make more than a million dollars a year. They're not asking for tax cuts right now, because they are going to wait so they can use the debt ceiling as a bargaining chip. That won't work because they will take the full blame if we go over the financial cliff. Honestly, it's better going over the fiscal cliff than to accept Plan B.
The GOP legislators live in their own bubble thinking that their views are shared by the masses. They are in denial. According to the latest CNN poll “Fifty-three percent of people, including 22 percent of Republicans, said the GOP's views and policies have pushed them beyond the mainstream. The number is up dramatically from previous years. In 2010, fewer than 40 percent thought the party was too extreme.
Democrats were considered to be a "generally mainstream" party by 57 percent in the new poll.
"That's due in part to the fact that the Republican brand is not doing all that well," said <http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2012/12/20/cnn-poll-are-gop-policies-too-extreme/?cid=sf_twitter> Keating Holland, CNN's polling director.
Americans also say that they have far more confidence in President Barack Obama than in congressional Republicans, and that Republicans should compromise more in finding bipartisan solutions.
The president ran for two years on the threshold of where people were assured that their taxes would not go up was set at $250,000. Recently, he said that he would consider raising that amount to $400,000 if more revenues were included, and the debt ceiling would be extended to two years. The president even considered calculating the Social Security cost of living adjustments in a different way which mean recipients would see a cut in their benefits. The president is catching a lot of flak from his more liberal base, but Nancy Pelosi is still is supporting him and recently said that she could bring enough votes to broker a deal.
Some conservative Republican locals believe their own press clippings. For instance, Raymond Smith said that conservatives wanted smaller government and low taxes whereas Democrats wanted socialism. Where have we heard that before? I am enclosing some charts Raymond, and his ilk will never look at nor do they want to. They probably even skip over the articles in the right-wing blogs like Towhall where John C. Goodman wrote, “So who is to blame for this state of affairs? Lyndon Johnson, of course, gave us Medicare, Medicaid and the rest of the Great Society. But when Johnson left office, these programs were relatively small. The main expansion came under Republican presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. Not only, that, the expansions were largely the result of executive orders! That is, they didn't have to happen.
The growth of the entitlement state moderated somewhat under presidents Carter, Reagan, and George H.W. Bush. Because of welfare reform under Bill Clinton, there was actually the prospect of some contraction. But during the presidency of George W. Bush, Republicans pushed for a new drug benefit under Medicare with a huge unfunded liability - greater in fact than the unfunded liability under Social Security.”
The Treasury Department and the president have a lot of power at their disposal to keep the costs of going over the fiscal cliff at a minimum so it might be best to call the GOP's bluff. They obviously didn't hear the voices of the elections nor do they care what the polls say, so they may only be one alternative.