Taxes are set to go up by $4.6 trillion on January 1st. That is the law of the land. Yesterday, the official tax scorekeeper of Congress, the Joint Committee on Taxation, released their analysis of Speaker John Boehner’s, R-Ohio, Plan B. According to the JTC, Plan B would cut taxes by $4.1 trillion over ten years.
It should come as no surprise that Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., whose entire political career has been devoted to enlarging the size and scope of the federal government, is whipping hard against Plan B. “I haven’t seen her work a vote this hard since health care” in 2010, one top Democratic aide told Politico. Pelosi is expected to get every member of her Democratic Caucus to vote against the bill.
To address Republican concerns that Plan B does not undo the scheduled $500 billion cuts to Defense spending, Boehner has also scheduled a vote on a bill from House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis. Ryan’s bill not only replaces the Defense spending cuts with other cuts to domestic spending, but also shrinks government even more. “This bill replaces the sequester for one year with responsible spending cuts, that protect our national security, and provides an additional $200 billion in savings over ten years, Majority Whip Eric Cantor spokesman Rory Cooper told Politico. “This is yet another step House Republicans have taken this year to address the real fiscal problem in Washington, which is spending.”
So not only does Plan B cut taxes by $4.1 trillion, but it also now preserves the $1.2 trillion in cuts Republicans fought for last year. And it cuts another $200 billion in spending. “The speaker’s plan is the best we are going to do and I think people recognize that,” Rep. Bob Turner, R-N.Y., told National Review.
If the House passes Plan B, Senate Democrats will then be forced to either amend the bill, thus putting what were previously back room negotiations out into the open, or they will have to own the $4.6 trillion tax hike on the American people. If Plan B fails, then House Republicans will own the tax hike. Why would any conservative want that?
From The Washington Examiner
Examiner Editorial: Boehner’s Plan B is conservatives’ best hope
Philip Klein: How to evaluate ‘fiscal cliff’ proposals
Byron York: Obama, Reid slam brakes on gun control
Tim Carney: Obama nominates ex-drug lobbyist as top HHS lawyer
Charlie Spiering: Three State Department officials resign after Benghazi report
In Other News
The New York Times, Lessons in Politics and Fine Print in Assault Weapons Ban of ’90s: It took five years of legislative slogging to pass a federal assault weapons ban that finally took effect in 1994. But the price of passage was a host of compromises — most painfully for supporters, a sunset provision added late in the legislative wrangling that paved the way for the measure to expire in 2004. A 2004 study by the University of Pennsylvania, financed by the Justice Department, found that the measure, which included a ban on ammunition magazines that could hold more than 10 rounds, had only a limited impact on gun crime.
The Washington Post, Even before Newtown tragedy, NRA was losing Democratic support: Months before the massacre in Newtown, Conn., put the National Rifle Association on the defensive, the powerful gun rights group faced an unexpected problem. One of its most loyal Democratic friends in Congress was leading a rebellion against an NRA effort to hold Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. in contempt of Congress, a cause viewed by Democrats as a political sideshow that had nothing to do with gun rights.
The Wall Street Journal, GM to Buy Back $5.5 Billion in Stock From Treasury: General Motors Co. took its biggest step yet to escape the shadow of bankruptcy and a government bailout, saying it would spend $5.5 billion to buy a chunk of its stock held by the U.S. Treasury, which now plans to unwind itself from the auto maker within the next year or so.
Michael Cannon notes that the IRS cannot enforce the individual mandate in states where the federal government operates the health exchange.
John O’Sullivan honors Robert Bork.
Hans von Spakovsky highlights data from Kansas showing that Voter ID is not the burden critics made it out to be.
Talking Points Memo‘s Josh Marshall compares the Republican Party to Hamas.
Daily Kos‘ Joan McCarter says it is impossible to cut Social Security without harming ‘the most vulnerable.’
Nate Cohn on Why Obama Should Lead From Behind on Gun Control.