December 18 2012

Speaker Boehner to the Rescue?

Charlotte Hays

Speaker of the House John Boehner just held a press conference in which he put forth a “backup plan” to rescue the vast majority of Americans from the pain of income tax hikes.

Boehner’s “Plan B” is being put forward as it becomes increasingly obvious that President Obama is willing to stand pat with his demands, come hell or high taxes for ordinary Americans.

The Boehner proposal—which is being billed as a “Plan B” if negotiations continue to fail—does raise taxes on those making more than a million a year. It also calls for tax and entitlement reform next year.

Although it does include tax hikes on the rich, it is almost certain that Boehner’s plan could pass in the House. Boehner said he will continue to negotiate with President Obama.

Fox News reports:   

The move could be a failsafe option, in case Boehner is unable to secure the votes to pass any future deal struck with the White House. But it also could be used to spur Obama to compromise a bit more. …

In terms of logistics, the House is tentatively planning to take up the "Plan B" proposal later this week, as early as Thursday. They would do it by amending a bill previously passed by the Senate that tracked more with Obama's original offer. 

Then, the House would send the bill back to the Senate -- where it would likely sit as a potential last resort in case Obama and Boehner cannot strike a deal. 

Pressed Tuesday on what terms he's looking for in talks with Obama, Boehner said a plan that cuts $1 trillion from the budget and raises $1 trillion in revenue would be "balanced."

Buzzfeed is knocking Boehner's proposal as a capitulation because it apparently mirrors something Rep. Nancy Pelosi said earlier on the Charlie Rose Show:

A month earlier on The Charlie Rose Show Pelosi went further, noting Democratic opposition to the $250,000 mark.

“In our caucus, there is a school of thought that says let’s get rid of all the tax cuts," she said. "I say, let’s begin by getting rid of tax cuts for people making more than a million dollars a year. I’m not even saying $250,000. The president’s saying $250,000. A million and above. Who can argue with that?”

Boehner's backup plan would not deal with the mandatory spending cuts resultant from the failure of the super committee, while he is still negotiating with Obama for a more comprehensive solution that addresses spending.

This is possibly a valid point and perhaps I am blinded by my distinct reluctance to pony up an additional $2,000 or so to my federal tax bill. It is unfair that we are being held hostage in these negotiations.

Boehner said at the press conference (via The Corner):

So at the same time that we’re going to continue to talk to the president, we’re going to also move Plan B. I think we all know that every income tax filer in America is going to pay a higher rate come January 1st unless Congress acts. So I believe it’s important that we protect as many American taxpayers as we can. And our Plan B, would protect American taxpayers who make a million dollars or less and have all of their current rates extended.

Best related headline of the day:

“Fiscal Cliff” standoff threatens to delay another presidential family vacation

The mind reels!

Why not go one better and cancel the Hawaii vacation, expected to cost the taxpayer around $4 million? I hear Camp David is quite nice this time of year.

Well, that was fast: Senator Reid has rejected Speaker Boehner's plan.

 

 

 

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