Obama’s fiscal cliff kabuki continues

| December 7 2012

Speaker Boehner: “White House Has Wasted Another Week” Slow-Walking Economy to Edge of Fiscal Cliff

WASHINGTON, DC – At a press conference today, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) said there is no progress to report on fiscal cliff talks, in light of the White House’s refusal to respond to Republicans’ balanced approach to avert the fiscal cliff, or to offer a plan of their own that can pass both houses of Congress.  Following are Speaker Boehner’s remarks:

“Well this isn’t a progress report, because there’s no progress to report.  When it comes to the fiscal cliff that is threatening our economy and threatening jobs, the White House has wasted another week.

“You know, eight days ago, Secretary Geithner came here to offer a plan that had twice the tax hikes that the president campaigned on.  It had more ‘stimulus’ spending than it had in cuts.  And an…infinite increase in the debt limit, like forever.

“Four days ago, we offered a serious proposal, based on testimony of President Clinton’s former chief of staff.  Since then there has been no counteroffer from the White House.  Instead, reports indicate that the president has adopted ‘a deliberate strategy to slow-walk’ our economy right ‘to the edge of the fiscal cliff.’

“Instead of reforming the tax code and cutting spending, the president wants to raise tax rates.  But even if the president got the tax rate hike that he wanted, understand that we would continue to see trillion dollar deficits for as far as the eye can see.

“Listen, Washington’s got a spending problem, not a revenue problem. 

“If the president doesn’t agree with our proposal, I believe that he’s got an obligation to families and small businesses to offer a plan of his own – a plan that can pass both chambers of the Congress.  We’re ready, and eager, to talk to the president about such a plan.”  

 

Democrats Adopt “Slow-Walk” Strategy for Fiscal Cliff Negotiations, National Journal Reports

For those wondering why an agreement hasn’t been reached to avoid the fiscal cliff, National Journal has the answer — Democrats are intentionally slow-walking negotiations:

“Democrats did not do much on Wednesday, adopting a deliberate strategy to slow-walk Republicans to the edge of the fiscal cliff…” (National Journal, 12/6/12)

While Democrats have used their “slow-walk” strategy to toy with middle class families, small businesses, and our national security, Republicans proactively made several responsible attempts to reach a balanced agreement that averts the fiscal cliff.

The day after the election, Speaker John Boehner made a big concession: Republicans would accept new revenue (a key demand of the president’s) if it came from pro-growth tax reform (such as closing special-interest loopholes and lowering rates) and was accompanied by significant spending cuts.

This is the kind of framework that could win bipartisan support, protect middle class families and small businesses, and pave the way for long-term economic growth.  It’s also broadly supported by 65 percent of the American people whom prefer it to raising tax rates.

It took three weeks for the White House to respond. And when it did, it was an unserious rehash of old budget proposals that couldn’t pass the House or Senate. The proposal was widely panned.

But Republicans quickly countered with a new offer – one that’s been called  “a far-reaching plan to rein in the national debt,” “superior to the offer Obama put on the table last week,” that “aggressively targets the government’s biggest budget problems and refrains from adding costly spending.”

That was Monday. It’s now Thursday. The White House still hasn’t said whether it will respond to the Republican proposal. The president even claimed “the math” doesn’t add up on the GOP plan, even though he called for the same tax reforms just one year ago.

Turns out: all of the bluster is just the Democrats’ “slow walk” strategy at play. And the pattern has been going on for months.

Speaker Boehner delivered a speech in May saying there was no reason to wait until December to act. The House, in fact, had just voted to replace the defense sequester – Senate Democrats never followed suit. The House then passed a bipartisan bill in August that would stop tax rate hikes on middle class taxpayers and small businesses – Senate Democrats did not.

Throughout the summer and into the fall, the president focused on gimmicks and fake fights. While House Republicans passed jobs bill after jobs bill, most just piled up in the Senate. As the fiscal cliff approached, many Democrats talked openly about just driving off and tanking the economy. Just this week, Senate Democratic leaders even blocked a vote on President Obama’s plan …

…now we know why: it’s all part of the Democrats’ slow walk strategy.

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