Sunday, December 2, 2012

If Boehner Doesn't Like Obama Deal Where's His?

    Boehner was on Fox this Sunday morning complaining about 3 weeks wasted. He's "flabbergasted" by the President's plan and points out there's not that much time left.

    "House Speaker John Boehner has declared himself “flabbergasted” by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner’s fiscal cliff proposal when it was presented to him Wednesday."

     “I was just flabbergasted,” the Ohio Republican said in an interview aired Sunday on “Fox News Sunday. “I looked at him and I said, you can't be serious? Uh, it - I - I've just never seen anything like it. You know, we've got several weeks between Election Day and the end of the year. And, uh -- and three of those weeks have been wasted, with the -- with this nonsense.”

     It's tough to see what he's so flabbergasted over as this was what the election was about. The President was never shy about what he wanted to do-the same can't be said for Mitt Romney. Boehner thinks the proposal to end the debt ceiling is "silliness.":

    "Boehner scoffed not just as Geithner’s cliff proposal, which he said included more new revenue increases than spending cuts, but also the suggestion that Congress would cede its power over the nation’s debt ceiling to the executive branch."

     "Boehner repeated the argument he made to Obama during last month’s White House meeting – first reported by POLITICO – that the next debt ceiling increase is his “leverage” over the fiscal cliff debate".

     “Silliness,” Boehner called the idea that Congress would give up its debt authority. “Congress is never going to give up this power. I've made it clear to the president that every time we get to the debt limit, we need cuts and reforms that are greater than the increase in the debt limit. It's the only way to leverage, uh, the political process to produce more change than what it would have left alone.”

       So Boehner thinks that in the future the debt ceiling should be used to force through things the GOP wants even 6 months or so? Because if that's what he has in mind it's ironic for him to call anything else "silliness" as it's as silly an idea as we've heard.

       The American people think so too, which is why in the aftermath of the last time Boehner played debt ceiling chicken the Republican brand went way down-and it's never really recovered since.

        He claims he's made concessions:

        "House Speaker John Boehner says he’s already made concessions in the fiscal cliff talks – and isn’t in any mood to make more."

         “Listen, nobody wants to go over the cliff,” Boehner told said in an interview aired Sunday on “Fox News Sunday.} “That's why, uh, the day after the election, I tried to speed this process up by making a concession to put revenues on the table.”

          "The Republican congressman from Ohio then said that the White House should remember it must deal with GOP sentiment in the House if it hopes to reach a deal."

          “They won the election,” Boehner said. “They must have forgotten that Republicans continue to hold a majority in the House...The president's idea of a negotiation is roll over and do what I ask.”

          This itself is a pretty silly claim. There's no concession for the GOP to offer to close loopholes as this is what they've been talking about for 2 years. This is what Romney ran on. Boehner imagined that that the losing candidate should set the agenda?

           If he wants a deal done then where is his deal? Whether or not you like Obama's deal, he's made it. There's no secret as to what's in it. If it's not "serious" then Bohner is welcome to offer his more serious proposal.

            What actually may well be happening, however, is political posturing. The GOP knows it will have to cave but wants to save some face and needs to convince the base that it's fighting a tough-though losing-battle.

             The real impasse at this point is that they haven't released their own deal yet. They pointedly won't-as Boehner didn't this morning-tell us what loopholes they have in mind or what entitlements they want cut. While they say Obama's entitlement cuts aren't serious, they don't want to offer their own. They really want him to go first. This will not happen.

              It's all they really have left, though. If they can at least hang some unpopular Medicare cuts on Obama they can salvage something-besides "face." However, the President's team has made it clear that his days of negotiating with himself are over.

              Lindsey Graham did his own posturing this morning on Face the Nation claiming that "I think we're going over the cliff."

             "Sen. Lindsey Graham, blasting President Barack Obama's approach to averting a fiscal crisis, said Sunday the country looks primed to go over the fiscal cliff."

              "I think we're going over the cliff," the South Carolina Republican said on CBS's "Face the Nation," when asked what he made of Obama's initial offer on a fiscal cliff deal.

               "He slammed the proposal, saying it doesn't seriously tackle expensive entitlements."

                "It's pretty clear to me they made a political calculation," Graham said. "This offer doesn't remotely deal with entitlement reform in a way to save Medicare and Medicaid and Social Security from imminent bankruptcy. It raises $1.6 trillion on job creators that will destroy the economy, and there were no spending controls."

                " Graham, who has expressed openness to certain revenue raisers, including limiting deductions, said "I'll only do that if we do entitlement reform."

                 "And the president's plan, when it comes to entitlement reform, is quite frankly a joke," he said. "I don't think they're serious about finding a deal."


                  If Graham wants a deal-where's his plan? It/s not complicated. It's up to the GOP to tell us what they want to do.     

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