Skip to main content

Hoyer, Boehner, Pelosi, and Obama
President Obama's daily schedule (all times Eastern):
3:00AM: Departs Hawaii en route the White House
11:30AM: Arrives at Joint Base Andrews
11:45AM: Arrives at The White House
Meanwhile, John Boehner is staying on vacation in West Chester, Ohio. He is, however, holding a conference call with members of the Republican conference.
Republican House leaders are holding a "members only" conference call at 2:30 p.m. Thursday as the path is not clear to avoid falling off the fiscal cliff by the Dec. 31 deadline.
So even as President Obama cuts short his Hawaii vacation in the hopes of getting something done on taxes before they go up at the end of the year, John Boehner is keeping his butt firmly planted Ohio, where he's apparently negotiating with ... his fellow Republicans. By telephone.

I can't say I blame Boehner for not wanting to talk with his fellow Republicans face-to-face, especially after they rejected his Plan B. If I were him, I'd definitely want to keep a box of tissues and tumbler filled with scotch at my side, and I certainly wouldn't want any of it caught on camera.

Boehner says he's staying in Ohio until the Senate takes action to extend tax cuts, but the Senate already did that—in July. Boehner, meanwhile, couldn't even get his Plan B to the floor for a vote. So, barring some last minute epiphany on the part of the GOP about the political pummeling they are about to take, taxes for everybody are about to go up—starting at midnight on Monday. Adding to the bad news: unemployment benefits will expire for two million Americans.

Even if House Republicans continue to hold tax cuts and unemployment benefits hostage past their December 31 expiration, the new Congress can always retroactively extend them. If they don't do so quickly, however, the economic fallout will be swift as jobless Americans run out of cash and IRS withholding increases.

In addition to the expiring tax cuts and unemployment benefits, we're also set to hit the statutory debt limit on Monday and the automatic spending cuts contained in the sequester will also become effective. Fortunately, the administration has tools to delay the impacts of the debt limit and sequester cuts for a few weeks or months, but if House Republicans can't even bring themselves to cut taxes and extend jobless aid, the debt limit and sequester cuts will eventually become an issue.

Altogether, if Congress does nothing on taxes, unemployment benefits, or spending cuts, the Congressional Budget Office projects the unemployment rate would rise to 9.1 percent by the end of the year.

As important as it is to avoid that scenario, in the long run it's even more important to end the dynamic where Republicans obtain political leverage by holding the country hostage every six to twelve months. If they had been willing to compromise before the so-called cliff, there probably was a deal worth making. But we can't afford to keep on giving in to their increasingly extreme ransom demands. The hostage-taking must end.

Originally posted to The Jed Report on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 07:09 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site