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U.S. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, November 28, 2012. Boehner voiced optimism that Republicans could broker a deal with the White House to avoid year-end austerity measures, saying on Wedn
Boehner evades a question.
Reporting on Friday's press conference from House Speaker John Boehner in which he said there was no progress (but then insisted he wouldn't allow progress unless there was some official counter-offer from the White House to the bullshit proposal the White House already rejected), Politico says that Boehner might consider a miniscule tax rate hike.
Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) was asked about a top rate of 37 percent—roughly halfway between current rates of 35 percent and 39.6 percent, where rates return to at the end of December—and declined to rule it out.

“There are a lot of things that are possible to put the revenue the president seeks on the table,” Boehner said in a Friday news conference. “But none of it’s going to be possible if the president insists on his position. Insists on my way or the highway. That’s not the way to get to an agreement that I think is important for the American people and very important for our country.”

While it's technically true that Boehner declined to rule out a two percent rate hike, it's also true that he declined to answer the question at all, so there you go. But I suppose ignoring the question is better than a "hell, no."

Asked the same question, Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi questioned whether that small of a hike would make enough of a difference in revenues, but said, “It’s not about the rates. It’s about the money….It’s about getting the money to reduce the deficit, to grow the economy and to unleash that power.” You get that money and grow the economy through revenue, so Democrats really need to game out exactly what a two percent hike would give them, and weigh that against what they might have to give up in return.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 12:16 PM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (14+ / 0-)

    "There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning." —Warren Buffett

    by Joan McCarter on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 12:16:41 PM PST

  •  BREAKING: Boehner turns green after being booted (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    from the GOP leadership.

    Cantor is the new Republican Speaker.

    (Though wouldn't it be a hoot if there were no Speaker at all?)

    Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
    I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
    —Spike Milligan

    by polecat on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 12:19:54 PM PST

  •  As always, Nancy's thinking is clear: (0+ / 0-)

    2% tax rate vs. what we have to give up.

  •  PBO should insist on a tax rate of 72%, then (13+ / 0-)

    negotiate down to an even 40%. Nice, round, number.

    Hope has a hole in it when Republicans come, bringing shackles and sorrow; branding their greed on the backs of the poor. - Wendy Connors

    by Wendys Wink on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 12:49:20 PM PST

    •  THIS!! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Wendys Wink

      Obama's very next offer should be much HIGHER, and in public!  Quit negotiating to save Boner's job, and start negotiating for jobs for the rest of us!!  Once Boner gets that. 39.6% is the absolute best that he can get, he'll take it to salvage what's left of his reputation.  The Republican caucus does not have his back, and the teabaggers are going to throw him under the bus anyway.

  •  I shudder when Boehner speaks of the American (7+ / 0-)

    people and what we want.  He sure as hell doesn't speak for me and never has.  And he sure as hell doesn't have my best interests at heart.

  •  Boehner will catch the same amount of shit (9+ / 0-)

    if he allows a .0000000000002% tax increase or a 20% tax increase, might as well go whole hog.

    •  I concur (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Keep in mind that 277 members of the GOP signed Grover Norquist's pledge to be anti-American.

      My fiscal view is that capital gains was cut from 25% to 15% - and they're not going to touch that. But Boehner is distracting people with half of a ~4% increase.

      •  They have to touch it. The various laws which (0+ / 0-)

        come into effect on January one include four which in the aggregate raise cap gains back to 25 percent, per the NYT a few weeks ago. They go over the cliff, those taxes on their most beloved supporters all go up. Can you imagine the brawl that would result if the deal doesn't deal with them, and Boney and Cantor have to push through and pay for new tax cuts to benefit cap gains holders only?

  •  37% might be acceptable, IF and ONLY IF (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gregabbott, Code Monkey, FiredUpInCA

    the agreement comes with the passage of the McConnell rule, which would prevent the Republicans from being able to repeatedly use the debt ceiling as extortion.

    The downside is, even at 39%, if they don't close any loopholes and deductions, I am afraid it won't raise enough revenue to shrink the deficit, which could be used to justify cuts to earned benefit programs and Medicaid. But if the president does not get the ability to raise the debt ceiling in this round of negotiations, it is virtually certain that they will be able to use the debt ceiling to force cuts in the future.

    37% would be acceptable to me if it comes with the McConnell rule and some stimulus and if capital gains rates rise as scheduled. Most taxpayers making over $250,000 "earn" more money from capital gains than from personal income anyway.

    •  39% rate = $80 Billion - Deficit = $1 Trillion + (0+ / 0-)

      Yeah..  that might fall a bit short there.  Taxing the wealthier at the pre-Bush rates brings in less than $100 Billion per year.

      Obama's danger is if Boehner calls him on this insistence of raising rates on $250k plus earners.   Pelosi is right. It's effin' meaningless as far as revenue goes.  But Obama might be stuck accepting it since he has made this his one and only point of contention.

      •  That is my concern (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Bon Temps

        I read an article yesterday in WSJ that was by a very right wing columnist, but I couldn't help agree with parts of it. It predicted that Obama will win the battle but lose the war, because raising taxes on the rich won't bring in enough revenue to curb the deficit, and Republicans will still be able to use the debt ceiling to extort concessions on entitlement programs. Which is why I am starting to think we are better off with a deal now, even if it includes minor entitlement cuts, than having the GOP cave on the middle class tax cuts but still have the debt ceiling as a weapon.

        •  Nope. That's WSJ claptrap. (0+ / 0-)

          The deficit DOESN'T have to be fixed right now.  Borrow MORE money, build some infrastructure, grant some to states with huge recession driven holes in their budgets, save some teachers jobs, and re-employment will take care of the deficit.  Raise taxes on the rich so they can help rebuild what hey neglected and destroyed over the years.

          •  That's not the point I was making (0+ / 0-)

            The point I was making is, the GOP has leverage because the debt ceiling is due to be raised in February. The president is smart to try to negotiate now when he was more leverage rather than wait until his back is up against the wall.

            •  There is a reason that O has added the needed (0+ / 0-)

              changes in the debt ceiling statutes to the 'not to be in play in making a deal' and this is it. He is determined not to have to do this horror twice in one quarter and then periodically thereafter, as the Rs seek new and additional stuff they want ideologically each time the debt ceiling comes up for a vote, especially as the only precedent for using the debt ceiling for a political or ideological purpose in our history was last year, and he is clear he does not want a repeat of that. How many times can the US credit rating be downgraded?

    •  No no no no - you're falling for the feint! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Boehner is using a feint as part of his long con.

      He has zero intention of offering ANY increase. Note he isn't offering an increase in capital gains rate!

      •  I think cap gains increase automatically (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        unless they agree to change that. It is strange that we have not heard much about negotiations on that point from either side. I am a little worried that by drawing a line in the sand over the rates, the president will end up having to give some on capital gains, which, IMO, would be worse than giving on earned income rates.

  •  Unless I misunderstand your post, (5+ / 0-)

    I think you have it all wrong.

    Democrats really need to game out exactly what a two percent hike would give them, and weigh that against what they might have to give up in return.
    Current law already has the full termination of the Bush tax cuts.  All the way back to the Clinton era rates.  Why should Democrats "give up" anything to accept the GOP proposal for anything less?  

    If anything, ther GOP should be giving up on something else to keep the increase to only 2%.   And I'm not sure accepting something else in place of the tax increase is a good plan, given the Presiden't position in the election, the election results and polls during and after the election.

    He was clearly elected on a platform of rolling back the Bush tax cuts on the wealthy.  All of them, not just some of them.

    •  If they give up the debt ceiling as a weapon (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      litho, Pluto, FiredUpInCA, conniptionfit

      and agree to the president's proposals for stimulus, unemployment insurance extensions and hurricane relief it might be worth it. But only if they let all the capital gains cuts expire and drop their demands for entitlement cuts.

      •  And the sequestered cuts? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        A child of five would understand this. Send someone to fetch a child of five. -- Groucho Marx

        by Pluto on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 02:57:24 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Best opportunity we'll ever have to (0+ / 0-)

          Pare down the defense budget, get rid of useless crap, and move some money around to where it's needed and will do some good.
          There is no stone tablet from on high that prevents congress from putting it all back in a new bill.  

        •  Interesting problem with the sequesters. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Now that the day is so close, all the the governmental bodies have been ordered to come up with the cuts that will be required, so they can be executed if there is no deal and the cliff arrives.

          Part of what this means is that they do have incentive to get rid of what they consider as garbage, inefficient pork and the like, which will be a road map for reform no matter what happens. And the Rs will have put themselves in position of having gotten cuts but cuts which they absolutely do not control. Not what they had in mind, since the only cuts they really want are the ideological ones.

      •  restore capital gains to 25%, then deal on 4% (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        earned income increase.

        The billionaires don't give a squat about 35-39.6%!  That's chickencrap.

        The billionaires who hire McConnell, Cantor and Boehner, and pay Norquist to blackmail 277 members of congress make their money from capital gains, not earned income.

        •  That's my point (0+ / 0-)

          Which is why I care more about raising capital gains taxes than the top income rate.

          •  May I assume that you support the idea of getting (0+ / 0-)

            rid of the 'carried interest' loophole which permits converting earned income into capital gains, which eliminates payroll taxes and much of all income tax on the recipients of such carried interest conversions, and puts the recipients in the same position as to regular income tax as the rest of us? The Romney loophole, now a grossly public problem. Never say Romney did nothing to help our cause along.

    •  The "cliff" throws us into a recession (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      or very close to it.

      People at the poverty level will start paying taxes again if we revert to pre-Bush rates.  1/2 child credits.. child care credits go away.  Payroll taxes raise 2%.

      But revenue will sure start rolling in!

      Middle class people will be in the streets if we let the cliff hit.  And trying to get the GOP to shoulder all the blame will be a tad difficult.

  •  No Deal! (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fly, PorridgeGun, Dallasdoc, kck, Bon Temps

    Go over the cliff, it's the way we win.

    Maybe someone can answer this, if we go over the cliff and have substantial new revenues from the expired tax cuts, plus the sequester savings, why would we need to raise the debt ceiling?

    "Lets show the rascals what Citizens United really means."

    by smiley7 on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 01:26:58 PM PST

    •  Revenues from tax changes collectible next year. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Bills to be paid and with payment restricted by having hit the debt ceiling become a problem the day the debt ceiling is hit. This year.

      •  cool, thanks you, a cash flow (0+ / 0-)


        So defer payment to the military for as many months as necessary or as Bush did, take war spending off the books, problem solved

        "Lets show the rascals what Citizens United really means."

        by smiley7 on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 03:40:50 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  War spending ain't off the books for all of those (0+ / 0-)

          businessmen doing DOD work who want to be paid on delivery and who are R constituents, and all the states which depend on the salaries of military on bases they worked hard to get placed there, being spent locally. And I'm not sure there's any more SS money in the trust fund to steal and hide the expenditures.

    •  I'd give up a bit of this if we (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      litho, vzfk3s, mndan

      used a tax on wall street transactions as a substitute.

      "Force is as pitiless to the man who possesses it, or thinks he does, as it is to its victims; the second it crushes, the first it intoxicates.” Simone Weil

      by chuco35 on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 02:41:37 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    • fact if I had my way... (0+ / 0-)

      the Bush tax cuts would be expunged from history, and the money would have to be given back. But I'll settle for them not existing anymore going forward.

      I want the Clinton rates back for everybody. I'll grudgingly settle for keeping them for the 98%,

      "It's almost as if we're watching Mitt Romney on Safari in his own country." -- Jonathan Capeheart

      by JackND on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 03:07:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Let's go off the cliff. (4+ / 0-)

    Start fresh the new year.

    The GOP isn't going to negotiate in good faith as usual.

    Also, I can kill you with my brain.

    by Puffin on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 02:46:01 PM PST

  •  If the deal is 37% and a rise in Medicare (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mike RinRI, Code Monkey

    eligibility - this is a truly awful deal.  I do not regret reelecting Obama, not in the least - but for this to be the lame duck move - if it is true would be truly horrific.  You'd be better off just letting the cuts expire.

    •  Yeah, apparently that's being floated around. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Fuck that noise. Sideways. With extreme prejudice.

      Code Monkey like freedom / Code Monkey like peace and justice too
      Code Monkey very nerdy man / With big warm fuzzy bleeding heart
      Code Monkey like you!

      Formerly known as Jyrinx.

      by Code Monkey on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 03:01:09 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I think this could happen (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sk7326, Esjaydee

      I really don't see our newly empowered Democratic leadership actually holding out for the protection of Medicare, I haven't felt that they have the will to do it for a long time and I see signs of weakening already.
      Ezra currently has a post where this seems like the most likely "compromise".  I hope he's wrong and that I'm wrong but I don't think so.  My fervent hope is that any attempt to play with Medicare or Social Security will inspire the same fervent level of outrage that the bailout of the banks did.
      Any Democrat who would support a deal like this should resign in disgrace from the party.

    •  Awful deal, awfully stupid, and regressive. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Sequestration is much cheaper for the middle class.

      I'd much rather pay $2000 more a year in taxes by letting all of the Bush tax cuts expire that pay an addition $25,000 more for 2 extra years of my Individual health care policy (with a non profit HMO!).

      Obama would have produced a draw for the poor, a discount for the rich, and a huge financial loss for the middle class.

      Let all Bush tax cuts expire and , bring on the Sequestration cuts to defense.

      by kck on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 03:15:40 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  As of Nov 6th 2012, for all our politicians... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      It is our way or the highway in 2014 and again in 2016.

      Anyone voting against the middle class becomes a target for replacement, does anyone agree?  Or, do we fall back and just snark about the red state retards and their ilk and allow them to hand us our collective asses again?

  •  By this point... (0+ / 0-)

    if I were Boehner (dear God, that's sickening), knowing I was being held hostage by an extreme faction in my own party, I'd be working with the less loony faction in the party and shutting out the loonies as sort of a F you.

    If he cooperated, he'd be Public Enemy #2 of the conservatives (Obama's always #1), but I think the casual watchers of politics would see his work getting a deal as right for America and be sympathetic.  (Not me of course.  Boehner could come down with dysentery and I wouldn't be sympathetic.)

  •  FWIS, David Brooks on NPR tonight (0+ / 0-)

    thinks Obama and Boehner are close to a big deal, one that might even take the debt ceiling off the table, and one element of it would be a rate hike in the neighborhood of 37%.

    Of course, trusting anything that comes out of Brooks's mouth is always a dangerous proposition, but he may just have sources in the GOP caucus feeding him information...

    Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free
    ¡Boycott Arizona!

    by litho on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 02:51:26 PM PST

    •  The damned debt ceiling was never ON the table (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mightymouse, Russycle

      Until these vicious scumsuckers in the GOP all discovered they could float any damned destructive thing and the media would swallow it whole.

      So now, something Saint Reagan did without fuss or bother 18 times is a bargaining chip for us to get skewered on Medicare and SS?

      And a two-percent 'hike' on people who can find that much in their couch cushions?

      Fuck this.  Come on, Mr. President: you won the damned election.  Recognize these assholes for what they are.

  •  I think Bohner is talking about 2 percent (0+ / 0-)

    ...across the board at all levels of income. That is just unacceptable. We need to keep that money in hands at the bottom who will spend it and stimulate the economy.

    (Oh, and by the way -- fuck the fucking deficit.)

    The real issue here has nothing to do with sequestered cuts or tax hikes. The only thing that matters to the real players is getting that debt limit bullshit put to bed. If that goes south, the nation will tilt. Guaranteed.

    (Oh, and by the way -- you folks calling for going over the cliff? Your driveways don't go all the way to the street. Seriously.)

    A child of five would understand this. Send someone to fetch a child of five. -- Groucho Marx

    by Pluto on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 02:56:07 PM PST

  •  counter offer? why? (0+ / 0-)

    Why exactly does Obama need to give a counter offer?  I don't understand the logic.  The Republican proposal was a counter offer to Obama's initial plan.  Are they pretending that his initial proposal never happened?  Plus, the Republican proposal had almost no specifics - so are they really just trying to get Obama to fill in all the blanks for them?

    •  O's positiion is that there are so many hiatuses (0+ / 0-)

      in the Boehner plan, a description of the monetary value of cuts he wants but nothing whatever about the content of those cuts, that no response is possible. And that if B needs time to fill in the blanks, the down payment is the item Nancy is trying to get discharged from B's custody.

  •  The picture of Boner (0+ / 0-)

    was taken just after he slurpped up a mouthful of yesterday's Chik-fil-A grease.

  •  If I were Obama I'd counter with (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FiredUpInCA, mightymouse, Esjaydee

    Reeducation through hard labor for the rich.

  •  98% of what he wanted! (0+ / 0-)

    Remember, the "fiscal cliff" represents what Speaker Boehner termed "98% of what he wanted" in the debt ceiling negotiations. Get ready to jump!

  •  not nearly good enough... (0+ / 0-)

    "It's almost as if we're watching Mitt Romney on Safari in his own country." -- Jonathan Capeheart

    by JackND on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 03:02:01 PM PST

  •  37% PLUS a deduction cap of about $50K (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    should just about get to the same point as 39.6%.  Just score it and find the cap number that equates.  

    For the life of me I do not understand all the haggling of how we get to an "effective" tax rate.  If it is raising the rate or capping deductions, it doesn't matter as long as the revenue target is hit.

    More important, from my perspective, is raising capital gains.  

  •  It's kabuki. There is no deal. Boehner posturing (0+ / 0-)

    so he can try to paint PBO as the bad guy when we go over the cliff.

  •  Hypocrite alert Hypocrite alert.... (0+ / 0-)

    "if the President insists on his my way or no way" ummmmmm where would we have learned this Mr. Boner???!!!!!

  •  Hopefully the Republublicans reject a deal... (0+ / 0-) all tax cuts expire and sequestration triggers hit. It's a better more strategic deal setting the stage for Democratic leverage in 2013.

    The middle class can afford losing the Bush tax cuts far more than delaying Medicare.  

    Let all Bush tax cuts expire and , bring on the Sequestration cuts to defense.

    by kck on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 03:24:36 PM PST

  •  Yawn (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    maryabein, mightymouse, limpidglass

    No big deal, two major American cities wrecked by climate change in 6 years, but hey, deficits! tax rates!

    America's priorities are literally insane. $60 billion to clean up after Sandy, and these clean ups are only becoming more frequent and more expensive.

    Hey here's an idea. Want to save money? Stop allowing major American cities to drown or burn. Multiple $60 billion by the number of coastal cities in America, and that's how much money I just saved you.

  •  These rat will do the samething in January even if (0+ / 0-)

    they got 37% instead of 39 1/2%. Let it expire and returned to 39 1/2%. They have proven over and over again they are liars and can't be trusted. But Obama can go for an even lower tax rate for the 98%.

  •  Will the real Boehner pleas stand up? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I think it's the guy on the right, hehe.

    Just getting a handle on the knobs and dials.... Hey, don't touch that!

    by Old Lefty on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 03:31:21 PM PST

  •  Boehner like deduction limits because (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    they would hit the middle class, but the Romney type families would still pay super low taxes.

    Brand new favorite RSS feed of Daily Kos Radio Podcasts
    Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

    by We Won on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 03:32:16 PM PST

  •  No negotiation with these obvious 2% hos. Their 2% (0+ / 0-)

    Pimps is all they are concerned about. Even ahead of the country's well being.

  •  The meaning of "hike"? (0+ / 0-)

    When did "hike" stop meaning "a large increase" and start meaning "any increase at all, no matter how negligible"?

    This smacks of one of those re-branding things the GOP does so well - like "Death Tax" - but I didn't notice when this kicked in.

  •  Hidden forest- capital gains! not earned income (0+ / 0-)

    Too few people see that capital gains needs to rise back to 20% ,not current 15%.  I'd actually like to see 28% because that was rate during Clinton and we had tremendous desire for higher risk, higher return investments in innovation - not financial capitalism.

    The earned income stepup is 35- 39.6%  But rates for people lower down will go up "the 10 percent tax bracket will go away and will be replaced by 15 percent. The 15 percent bracket will remain unchanged, the 25 percent bracket will move to 28 percent, the 28 percent bracket will move to 31 percent, the 33 percent bracket will move to 36 percent, and the 35 percent bracket will move to 39.6 percent." source.

    Billionaires don't have earned income! They have capital gains income. That's why Boehner is conning people about the earned income top limit to deceive the gullible.

    If Bush Era Tax cuts go away, the maximum tax rate on dividends will increase to 39.6 percent from 15 percent while the long-term capital gains tax rate will increase to 20 percent from 15 percent. source.

  •  Just go over the cliff!!! (0+ / 0-)

    For fuck's sake!  Any bargain the Republicans give is going to be worse than just accepting the negatives of the sequester, and taxes going up on all!

  •  Not gonna happen, they'd have to vote to (0+ / 0-)

    increase taxes instead of just letting the default 39.6 rate come in January.

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