Friday, December 21, 2012

Plan B wasn't going to save us from the fiscal cliff anyway

A lot of Republicans, especially those who were in the tank for Romney since the beginning of the primaries, have been accusing conservatives for forcing us over the cliff because of their opposition to the Boehner plan to increase taxes on millionaires.  Guess what, Plan B wasn't going to save us from anything at all.  Note the key fact that the Republicans don't have control of the Senate so Democratic agreement would be necessary to get Plan B passed and as we saw in the House, Democrats were in no hurry to vote for it.  90% of the Republican caucus was for Plan B, so it wouldn't have taken much Democratic support to get it to passage but clearly there was no Democratic support for passage.  The whole plan by the White House was to get Republicans to vote for some sort of tax increase, in violation of their pledge, and then take us over the fiscal cliff anyway and blaming Republicans for it.  And the Republicans were walking right into that trap.  It wouldn't matter if we only said we were going to increase taxes on people making $10 million a year or more, for the next 2 years we would only hear about how 90% of House Republicans violated their pledge and couldn't be trusted.  This would help to widdle off both conservative and independent support from Republican candidates, possibly giving the House back to the Democrats.

Don't believe me?  Don't think just raising taxes on the rich is a big deal?  Well it is.  It's been 20 years since George H. W. Bush's violation of his "read my lips, no new taxes" pledge and people still remember it.  What they don't seem to remember is what exactly got increased.  It was mainly an increase in the top tax bracket from 28-31% and then some increased sin and excise taxes on stuff like luxury yachts, airplanes and furs.  This cost George H.W. Bush re-election and breaking the pledge would have cost the Republicans the House.

Some have pointed out that Grover Norquist has indicated that he wouldn't consider Plan B a tax increase.  Guess what, voters view the no tax pledge to be with them, not with Grover Norquist, who they don't know from Adam.  Fighting 2 years worth of negative attack ads with "Grover said it was okay" just wouldn't fly.

So today we are set to go over the cliff, just like we were yesterday.  Obama has shown no desire to make any sort of deal and it seems that he wants to go over the cliff.  Let him, let's see how happy he is going over the cliff when he sees his legacy going down the tubes with a double dip recession.  He will be much more willing to deal at that point.

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