Obama Issues Threats But Concedes Little In Fiscal Cliff Talks

While I have written much on the GOP's lack of leadership in the fiscal cliff talks, mainly because I want people to get behind them to push them to do the right thing, not what is politically expedient, it must also be pointed out the other side's unwillingness to compromise as they demand that of the Republicans.

The Wall Street Journal reports,

A review of the negotiations, based on interviews with a dozen aides and lawmakers, suggests the problems lay in Mr. Boehner's inability to coax his rank-and-file to support a deal that raises taxes on higher-income Americans. Another factor was what Republicans saw as President Obama's unwillingness to bend when a deal was in sight, jamming the speaker with a deal his party couldn't swallow.

The negotiations offer little evidence November's election brought the president and House Republicans closer together. If anything, the talks poisoned an already distrustful relationship.

The report by Patrick O'Connor and Peter Nicholas went on to read, "Mr. Obama repeatedly lost patience with the speaker as negotiations faltered. In an Oval Office meeting last week, he told Mr. Boehner that if the sides didn't reach agreement, he would use his inaugural address and his State of the Union speech to tell the country the Republicans were at fault."

At one point, according to notes taken by a participant, Mr. Boehner told the president, "I put $800 billion [in tax revenue] on the table. What do I get for that?"

"You get nothing," the president said. "I get that for free."

Guy Benson points out that:

On the White House walking away from the broad outlines of a bipartisan "balanced" deal they tentatively embraced during the debt fight of 2011:

The same sticking points kept rearing up—the White House insisting on more tax revenue than Republicans could stomach, and the Republicans demanding deeper cuts than the White House would accept. During one session in the Capitol with White House's legislative liaison Rob Nabors, Mr. Loper from the Boehner camp asked, referring to a near-deal during last year's debt-ceiling fight: "Can you get back into the zone of where you were in July 2011?" "No," Mr. Nabors replied. "We were probably overextended then, and there's no way we would do it now."

On Obama's nonchalant shrug in the face of serious, specific Republican concessions:

That night, the speaker and Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R., Va.) decided to make the biggest concession so far. As the country the next day digested news of a brutal school shooting in Connecticut, Mr. Boehner called the president and for the first time offered to let tax rates rise—on income above $1 million. The president acknowledged the concession but said Mr. Boehner's plan wasn't raising enough revenue. News broke the next night both about the concession and that the speaker was willing to extend the borrowing limit. On Sunday, the White House sent a plane to fly Mr. Boehner back to Washington for a morning appointment with the president on Monday, the day it now appears the deal fell apart. In that session, the president held firm for $1.2 trillion in additional tax revenue, a second step down from his original offer. Mr. Boehner asked for another $100 billion in spending cuts but couldn't get a commitment. Finally, the speaker said, "Well, you and I can sit here and stare at each other," or he could leave and they would talk later. Back in the Capitol, Mr. Boehner told Mr. Cantor the president wasn't moving. They agreed to call him. On the call, Mr. Boehner restated he needed $1 in spending cuts for every $1 in revenue raised. He dropped a prior demand to increase the Medicare eligibility age. The president told Mr. Boehner that he was willing to make some concessions on taxes and spending, but cautioned that they needed to retain Democratic votes for the bill to pass.

So the issue is that there is nothing the Republicans can offer this man that he is willing to agree to, even though Boehner has pretty much offered him virtually everything he has wanted, including the Pelosi approved "Plan B." Our debt crisis that is occurring at least twice annually now is because there has not been a budget accepted in the past four years. Congress has not stood up and shut things down to get it and the White House and Democrat Controlled Senate haven't budged on the issues to come to a budget that is supposed to be legally-mandated, but then it doesn't seem that our leaders really push for following the Constitution anymore. It looks as if there will be no deal. I don't expect the Republicans to simply shut things down, since that hasn't occurred before, nor do I expect Barack Obama and the Democrats to actually come up with something that works, since they haven't previously. It looks like we are going over the cliff, despite the rhetoric we hear about "ongoing talks."

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  • One Way Follower

    Like a second grade sissy, who goes around bullying everybody on the playground, O-bum-a wouldn't be himself, if he didn't demand to have his own way!!
    And, like I've said (for the past four years -- too bad so many idiots listened to the lies, spewed by this idiot and not to what I said -- Obama's administration is so immature - just like the leader - that he demands to have his own way, NO MATTER WHAT!!
    So, you idiots, who think he's the messiah, can forget about the rights Americans have enjoyed for 235 years -- he's in control now and, just like a cheat, who went to the U.S. Senate from Georgia and then declared that she would vote as she pleased..constituents be damed, Obama will do what he thinks will please his rogue handlers (he man doesn't have the brains to cause the problems he's caused in the past four years!!) and think nothing of the American people!
    However, this, along with the new RIGHTS (sinful as they may be), granted to homosexuals, to the ERA and, to just about every other unGodly group, out there, is just more proof that the return of the REAL Messiah (the Son of God, if you will) in nearer than ever and Americans - along with all other humans had better know their Lord or they'll miss being with Him, forever!

  • America SeaBee

    obama is bullying America and congress is allowing it.

  • A. Levy

    Guess what? The Marxist-in-Chief has no intention of conceding anything. And, when the nation is brought to it's knees financially, he will have complied with his mentors Cloward and Pivan. That will also give him the opportunity to introduce "emergency powers", bypassing congress, the law, the people, and the courts, all things he has become quite comfortable doing. He's very lucky he rules a nation of weak, gullible, and mindless fools.

  • J J

    The GOP may have no leadership but the leadership of the country is so arrogant and head-strong that he will lead us over that cliff blaming everyone else. I still haven't seen any compromises coming from the Democrat side of the aisle - nothing but arrogance, stubbornness, narcissistic behaviors. Yes, Obama won the election, barely, but if he really looked at why he won, it isn't because the American people want his policies and direction, it's because they don't want their entitlements taken away - many of them have said so on TV when asked. They don't want their food stamps taken away, they don't want their unemployment taken away, they don't want their Medicare/Medicaid taken away. If they were the right kind of American citizen they would be asking, "Where are the jobs?" but they have become lazy and don't care.

    As for the cliff, I am joining the ones who think Obama wants to go over the cliff - he will get everything he wants - cuts in military spending, anger at the Republicans, etc. I am very afraid for America.

  • ConfusedAmericanCitizen

    Did we expect anything more? What were we expecting? He would handle it himself, wants to, but he isn't able to quite yet. Give him time though and he'll be able to 'dictate' more efficiently....

  • Wolf-Talker-1

    Now is the time for the House and Senate to roll over and go belly up and give the Great Black Father what he wants, he'll get it one way or the other!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Lynda-Deming/100001302481307 Lynda Deming

    Where is the fiscal cliff?
    Spending $4 MILLION on a Hawaiian get away does not sound like we have any
    fiscal problems at all. Now he will add another million flying back separately to do what should have been done before he left on his 20th or so vacation.

    What about the "inauguration" extravaganza? Will he forego that expense as a show of good faith while slowing the drive over the cliff? After all, we are still at war AND we have a huge fiscal crisis hovering over us. Should the expensive “inauguration” not be cancelled?

    I remember well the calls for President Bush to cancel his 2nd inauguration because we were at war, even though the economy was humming along. Hypocrites all.

    • ConfusedAmericanCitizen

      It was estimated at $4Mil. But, because he had to come back and 'deal' with this pesky congress thing, it's now going to cost tax payers towards $10Mil. because of the necessary travel. But, .......apparently Congress can't do it without the great obama words and threats.....

  • jerry1944

    If they dont cut spending we are going over anyways. So if we are going lets get her done. So we can get the fixing started. I c lots small companys i talk to saying if taxes go up they may as well go out of busnees are they will have to raise there pricees so much they mite as well be out. I think if they raise taxes then most every thing will go up in price but wages No Tax hicks and Cut spending. But i dont see the gop sticking up for there principles but i do see me changeing partyts

  • retiredmillwright

    What Obama is saying is he won the election and don’t
    anybody dare give him any lip, he will do everything the socialist way now. Put
    your back into doing what he says, your rights are gone, you citizens have a
    real pharaoh now.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=516859771 John Sweet

    What the hell does it matter? Obviously these topics require a budget to matter one bit. And since the Obama administration seems to prefer working with out one all these talks are moot.

  • jvb1980808

    This is because Obama is such a COMPROMISING man. He's budged not one inch. But all he has to say is HE DID and liberals swallow the drivel like it's cherry flavored kool aid.

  • Don

    Valery Jarrett is running the show and making the decisions and Obama is carrying out valery Jarrett's orders.

    • A. Levy

      Don, you are one of the few people smart enough to see that. The "Iranian-born" Jarrett is in fact, the real president.