“At this point,” Rep. James Lankford, R-Okla., told Slate‘s David Weigel after a closed door House Republican conference meeting yesterday morning, “rates are going up for everybody.” Lankford is right. Taxes are scheduled to rise by $4.6 trillion starting January 1st. But that is just one reality that all conservatives should consider when weighing the ‘Plan B’ proposal Speaker John Boehner’s, R-Ohio, unveiled yesterday.
The other reality many conveniently forget to mention is that spending is also set to be cut by $1.2 trillion. Boehner’s Plan B leaves those very real spending cuts untouched. Any deal with Obama would start by undoing the scheduled $1.2 trillion in spending cuts. Already, that is $1.2 trillion in the direction of bloated government. Plus, any deal with Obama would include far greater tax hikes than Plan B would allow, at minimum about $600 billion more. That is a total of $1.8 trillion in bigger government. How could any Republican defend that vote to their conservative constituents? Plus Plan B doesn’t raise the debt limit either. Republicans can then use that to try and restructure the sequester into meaningful entitlement reform later this year.
So conservatives have a stark choice. They can vote for Boehner’s Plan B, thus preserving the $1.2 trillion in spending cuts, and cut America’s tax burden by some $4 trillion, or they can vote against the Boehner plan and allow the full $4.6 trillion tax hike to hit their constituents. There is no possible way a better deal will come out of Boehner’s negotiations with Obama.
On the other hand, if Beohner fails to pass Plan B this week, the conservative negotiating position will be completely compromised. It will be clear no deal with conservatives is possible in the House. The final legislation, whether it is passed before or after January 1st, will then need many Democratic votes assuring it will include far more taxes and far higher spending.
Senate Democrats are already on record voting for a millionaire tax hike similar to Boehner’s Plan B. If the House passes Boehner’s plan, and then goes home for the year, Democrats will have to explain to the American people why they allowed a $4.6 trillion tax hike. There is no better possible outcome for conservatives.
From The Washington Examiner
Examiner Editorial: What America’s trial lawyers want from Santa
Sean Higgins: NLRB finally achieves solidarity
Michael Barone: Washington Examiner editorial gets results
Phil Klein: Is Boehner double counting spending cuts?
Paul Bedard: Poor aren’t safe, face $2,085 Obamacare tax
Joel Gehrke: Court order Obama to rewrite contraception mandate to accommodate religious liberty
In Other News
The Washington Post, Review of Benghazi attack faults ‘grossly’ inadequate security, leadership failures: An independent investigation of the fatal attack on a U.S. diplomatic post in Libya on Sept. 11 found that “grossly” inadequate security and reliance on local militias left U.S. diplomats and other personnel vulnerable, the State Department told Congress on Tuesday.
Politico, Barack Obama to announce guns task force: President Barack Obama will on Wednesday announce the first step on gun control following the Newtown school shootings: an interagency task force, led by Vice President Joe Biden, charged with guiding the administration’s continuing response.
The New York Times, Obama Facing Critical Choice After Shooting: For President Obama, the massacre of schoolchildren in Connecticut has upended standard political calculations and has presented a choice that goes to the heart of his approach to governance, not just on guns but also on issues like climate change, immigration and even taxes.
The Wall Street Journal, Talk of Selling Gun Maker Started Just After Shooting: Within hours of Friday’s shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, executives at Cerberus Capital Management LP were huddled at the company’s New York headquarters to prepare for fallout.
National Review editor Rich Lowry says Boehner’s Plan B ” is probably not such a bad place to fight” and “is probably better ground rather than secret negotiations between Boehner and the president.”
Red State‘s Dan Mclaughlin says Republicans should retreat, not surrender, on the fiscal cliff.
Brett Stephens on Chuck Hagel’s Jewish Problem.
Ezra Klein says the last 24 hours have been rough for the White House.
Jonathan Cohn explain why liberals freaked out over Boehner’s Plan B.
Paul Krugman says Obama last offer is as far as liberals should go to get a deal.