House Speaker John Boehner just cannot do the right thing. This weekend he apparently broke with his party’s principles again to offer Barack Obama an entire year of not fighting about the debt limit, which would effectively remove all the leverage the GOP had in the “fiscal cliff” talks. He also offered to go along with raising tax rates on those making over $1 million and it looks like Barack Obama has done nothing but reject his offer, laugh at him, pat him on the head and say, “You haven’t caved enough on Republican principles Johnny Boy.” With friends like John Boehner, who needs enemas? (Yes, I meant that word, not the other.)
House Speaker John A. Boehner has offered to push any fight over the federal debt limit off for a year, a concession that would deprive Republicans of leverage in the budget battle but is breathing new life into stalled talks over the year-end “fiscal cliff.”
The offer came Friday, according to people in both parties familiar with the talks, as part of the latest effort by Boehner (R-Ohio) to strike a deal with President Obama to replace more than $500 billion in painful deficit-reduction measures set to take effect in January.
The most recent raising of the debt ceiling was to $16.4 trillion, set by Congress last year. Harry Reid, immediately following the elections, said that he will raise it another $2.4 trillion!
Currently the country is on the brink of crossing that debt threshold.
Boehner seems to be going out on a limb by himself and then sawing it off behind him. He is add odds with many in his own party, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel who actually laughed out loud at Obama’s proposal when Timothy Geithner read it to him.
Speaker John Boehner has proposed allowing tax rates to rise for the wealthiest Americans if President Barack Obama agrees to major entitlement cuts, according to several sources close to the talks. It is the first time Boehner has offered any boost in marginal tax rates for any income group, and it would represent a major concession for the Ohio Republican. Boehner suggested hiking the Bush-era tax rates for top wage earners, including those with annual incomes of $1 million or more annually, beginning Jan. 1, two sources said. Obama and Boehner spoke by phone Friday after a lengthy face-to-face session at the White House on Thursday. The quickening pace of private conversations between the two key players in the fiscal-cliff talks shows progress is being made in the negotiations, although they are not close to a deal yet, sources said. Boehner also wants to use a new method of calculating benefits for entitlement programs known as “chained CPI,” which would slow the growth of Medicare and other federal health programs and save hundreds of billions over the next decade.
The speaker’s offer would not include extending federal unemployment benefits, and it is unclear how it would address sequestration — the tens of billions in spending cuts scheduled to go into effect for the Pentagon and other federal agencies starting Jan. 2. And Republicans remain unyielding on agreeing to raise the U.S. debt limit as part of any agreement to avoid the fiscal cliff. Boehner’s offer on tax rates was a significant move toward Obama’s position. But the proposal, as a whole, still isn’t acceptable to Democrats because of the level of revenue, the changes to entitlement programs that would hit beneficiaries and the absence of an extension for unemployment insurance benefits, according to a source familiar with the talks.
The only way to see this is that John Boehner has no true Republican principles. It’s been only rhetoric coming from his mouth, but apparently that’s not what’s in his heart.