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View Diary: Make Boehner own the horrible stuff (215 comments)

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  •  Boehner believes he just won (3+ / 0-)
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    niemann, slinkerwink, Justin93

    And he may be right.  He got the president to substantially move the goalposts toward the right without giving anything more than recognizing reality.  Taxes under current law are going up and there is nothing Boehner or any other Republican can do to stop it without the Democrats passing it in the Senate and the President signing it.  So Boehner's goal is now to manipulate the negotiations to minimize the level of tax increases and get the President to put cuts to entitlements on the table.  

    Chained CPI was just one of a bunch of ideas to cut entitlements.  Now, it's been endorsed by one of the parties -- the Democratic president.  The president has also agreed not to raise tax rates on those between $250k and $400k.  So Boehner has achieved what he needed to.

    The immediate result of the President's offer?  Now Boehner is the one offering take-it-or-leave-it deals.  He'll pass his bill through the house and it will go to the Senate, where it will either die, or be amended and passed back to the House.  Either way, we're going over the cliff.  

    The result:  The next congress begins with everyone's taxes going up.  Withholdings will reflect the restored rates so wage earners will see the difference immediately (but the rich, whose income is more dependent on investments, will not).  The conservative echo chamber and their talking heads will be telling the country that this is all Obama's fault.  It won't fool everyone but I'd bet once people get a few weeks into the new year, the blame numbers will be much more ambiguous.  

    So once we're over the cliff, the Republicans can now come back to the table.  Now, they expect, the middle class will be demanding that their cuts be restored.  They pick up the negotiations right where they are: restore all the cuts up to a million.  Obama won't be back down at $250k -- it will be very difficult for him to move down from $400k.  So in about six weeks, with the President under pressure to have the deal cut before the State of the Union, meeting in the middle means no tax increase on the first $700,000, with at least chained CPI for Social Security.  

    So bottom line is that I disagree with Kos to the extent that he is looking at there being two weeks left before the cliff.  Boehner's game now is to go over the cliff, having reshaped the post-cliff environment in the Republicans' favor by getting Obama to move so far.  

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