So President Obama submitted his proposal for averting the fiscal curb, which was met with laughter (Sen. McConell), and complaints from Speaker Boehner ("unacceptable", "leaks are not the way to conduct these negotiations").
After Geithner's visit, Republican House Speaker John Boehner publicly lambasted the Obama administration, saying "the White House has to get serious."If there's any doubt that things have changed in Washington after President Obama's resounding victory and reelection, it should be put to rest with today's article by Ezra Klein who points out that:
We’re seeing two things here. One is that the negotiations aren’t going well. When one side begins leaking the other side’s proposals, that’s typically a bad sign. The other is that Republicans are frustrated at the new Obama they’re facing: The Obama who refuses to negotiate with himself.
That’s what you’re really seeing in this “proposal.” Previously, Obama’s pattern had been to offer plans that roughly tracked where he thought the compromise should end up. The White House’s belief was that by being solicitous in their policy proposals, they would win goodwill on the other side, and even if they didn’t, the media would side with them, realizing they’d sought compromise and been rebuffed. They don’t believe that anymore.
No longer are we seeing a President Obama who submits his last proposal first. In talks with Republicans to try and avert the fiscal 'cliff', President Obama asked for the following:
The “plan,” presented to Republican leaders yesterday, consists of $1.6 trillion in tax hikes over 10 years and unspecified spending cuts that “could total” $400 billion over the same period. So estimating liberally, the package consists of at least $4 of tax increases to $1 of spending cutsAs the Examiner said, this is President Obama reminding the GOP that he won the election.
With his opening offer President Obama is essentially pointing out that he won the election. Obama strongly argued for higher tax rates on the rich during the campaign, and his proposal relies most heavily on that idea to avoid the fiscal cliff. Republicans have long been opposed to any tax rate hikes, so it was not surprising to see them quickly reject the offer. The problem for Republicans is that Obama has most the leverage in negotiationsAnd as Ezra concludes, this is the end of President Obama Mr. Nice Guy who believes that the Republicans negotiate in good faith and the MSM will give President Obama credit for actually doing so:
Perhaps the key lesson the White House took from the last couple of years is this: Don’t negotiate with yourself. If Republicans want to cut Medicare, let them propose the cuts. If they want to raise revenue through tax reform, let them identify the deductions. If they want deeper cuts in discretionary spending, let them settle on a number. And, above all, if they don’t like the White House’s preferred policies, let them propose their own. That way, if the White House eventually does give in and agree to some of their demands, Republicans will feel like they got one over on the president. A compromise isn’t measured by what you offer, it’s measured by what the other side feels they made you concede.Sorry Lucy, President Obama isn't falling for your trick of holding the football anymore.