The Republican response to Democrat deal
admin | On 30, Nov 2012
That was the response of Republican Senator Mitch McConnell, after hearing Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner’s talking points on what the Obama administration was proposing as a deal to avoid the ‘fiscal cliff’. Reuters reports:
The proposal, made by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner to congressional Republican leaders on Capitol Hill, was seen as offering little the Republicans could agree to and was greeted with laughter, the aide said.
“We can’t move any closer to them because they’re not even on our planet,” the aide said. “It was not a serious proposal.”
But it doesn’t seem as if the Democrats were joking. Essentially, Geithner outlined a plan that would do multiple things, except for anything that would sweeten the deal for Republicans.
Much of the proposal consisted of hiking tax revenues up $1.6 trillion, adding another $50 billion dollars in economic stimulus funding, and even giving the President unilateral control over the debt limit, according to the Reuters report. The Weekly Standard also indicated that Obama removed cutting Social Security and food stamp costs from the table. It’s a proposal that Charles Krauthammer says, ”It’s not just a bad deal, this is really an insulting deal,” comparing Geithner’s ‘compromise’ to being more harsh than what Robert E. Lee received in Appomattox during the Southern surrender …although that could be what many call hyperbole.
Real Clear Politics continues:
This idea — there are not only no cuts in this, there’s an increase in spending with a new stimulus. I mean, this is almost unheard of. What do they expect? They obviously expect the Republicans will cave on everything. I think the Republicans ought to simply walk away. The president is the president. He’s the leader. They are demanding that the Republicans explain all the cuts that they want to make.
But, are the Democrats able to get away with such a ‘one-sided’ bargain? Did the past election strengthen President Obama’s mandate enough to force the Republican party into such an insulting position, after winning the populace by just a 3% margin? Perhaps not.
Barack Obama will never face another reelection, which means that he basically has carte blanche to do whatever he wants. Nevertheless, the Democrats are going to face 2014 elections, and the problems that a plummet off the fiscal cliff would spawn could definitely hurt them in a big way.
The question is …will Republicans be seen as the party who blocked a compromise, or will the Democrats be seen as the party that fiddled as Washington burned? Either way, this is no laughing matter.