The Fiscal Cliff Deal: The Grand Debacle
posted by Mike McClellan
at 3 January, 9:24 AM 0
Two summers ago, President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner were deep in discussions over a Grand Bargain, an historic deal that would’ve changed government — and government spending — in extraordinary ways.
And then? Boehner walked away.
Why? Obama demanded more revenue as a part of the deal, in other words, higher taxes or more closed loopholes on the wealthiest.
Here’s the final part of the negotiations (you can read a full article detailing what Obama offered to cut here):
“Obama offered to put Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid cuts on the table in exchange for a tax hike of roughly $100 billion per year over 10 years. Meanwhile, government spending would be cut by roughly three times that amount.”
So a one-trillion dollar tax hike combined with a $3 trillion spending cut over ten years.
Now, a year and a half later?
Obama got most of his tax hike, $600 billion worth.
And spending cuts? Oh, $12 billion. For January and February of this year. As to other cuts? Who knows. They — “they” being the Administration and Congress — say they’ll meet to consider how to deal with the now-delayed sequestration over the next two months, just in time for debating the debt ceiling.
In other words?
A year and a half ago, Republicans had a deal that gave them most of what they wanted in spending cuts. But their anti-tax absolutism killed any hopes.
And now they signed off on tax increases but no spending cuts.
Who’s running that party, Groucho, Harpo, Chico or Chancy Gardiner?