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"The speaker said he believes 2013 should be the year we begin to solve our debt problem through tax reform and entitlement reform, and proposed that both parties work together to avert the fiscal cliff together in a manner that ensures 2013 is that year," the aide said in an email to HuffPost. "He proposed that both parties commit to working toward a framework for tax and entitlement reform in 2013 that sets revenue and spending levels."
"Since tax and entitlement reform are too complex to complete this year, the speaker noted, our goal for this year, in the coming weeks, is to settle on long-term revenue targets for tax reform as well as targets for savings from our entitlement programs," the aide added. "Once we settle on those targets, the speaker proposed, we can create simple mechanisms, in statute, that would achieve those revenue and spending goals. They would be in place unless or until more thoughtful policies replace them."
The conventional wisdom is that John Boehner has an axe over his head with the expiration of the Bush tax cuts and all manner of spending restraint hanging in the balance. The theory goes that should we go over the cliff, the President would then have all the advantages in the new year. Therefore, Boehner is eager to get an immediate deal that gets plenty of entitlement reform because otherwise President Obama will be able to get everything he wants in a bill that Boehner cannot passing.
If that is the case, why is it Boehner seeks to kick the can down the road? What is he thinking? And why then is President Obama so eager to get a deal before the end of the year? Shouldn't he be stalling for time to get maximum advantage in the new year?
Probably because the conventional wisdom is wrong. It wouldn't be the first time.
The way I see it, President Obama has maximum advantage RIGHT NOW and it will diminish by going over the cliff. That seems a more plausible explanation as to why he is pushing for an immediate comprehensive deal and Boehner wants to wait until next year.