Skip to main content

President Obama concessions on inflation adjustments to Social Security, and reduced tax revenues are not enough for House Speaker John Boehner who is holding the President's feet to the fire by announcing his latest back-up "Plan B" to bring a House vote on a tax cut for but those earning over $1 million a year, as reported by Lisa Macaro.

WASHINGTON -- House Speaker John A. Boehner has launched "Plan B" in budget talks, announcing Tuesday that he will bring for a vote his proposal to extend expiring tax breaks for all but the wealthiest Americans who earn more than $1 million a year. ...

The Ohio Republican's decision, shared behind closed doors during a morning meeting of rank-and-file lawmakers, is an abrupt shift after he and Obama substantially narrowed their differences in the latest round of talks. ...

"We have to stop whatever tax rate increases we can," the speaker was expected to tell his troops. "In the absence of an alternative, as of this morning, a modified Plan B is the plan. At the same time we're moving on Plan B, we're leaving the door wide open for something better."

Boehner is still negotiating with President Obama so this offer is apparently intended to pressure President Obama into to "sweetening his new offer of yesterday" which is already raising opposition from Democrats based on reports it includes $130 billion in spending reductions from modifications that will reduce the cost-of-living adjustments to Social Security.  

Press secretary Jay Carney has already dismissed Boehner's Plan B, saying it can not pass the Senate, so therefore will not protect middle class families. Carney also said President Obama will not accept a deal that shifts the burden for additional revenue to the middle class, instead of the wealthiest.

I wish he would say the same thing about having our bloated military spending carry the burden of government spending reductions instead of asking the elderly, poor, and sick to shoulder these cuts with the chained CPI for Social Security, especially for such a relatively small amount as $130 billion over ten years, -- $13 billion a year in defense cuts would not even be noticed, compared to the symbolic value of having the GOP set up Obama and the Democrats as having symbolically betrayed the elderly, poor, and sick. But, the chained CPI will continue to compound for the rest of the century, becoming quite substantial in out years.  

Carney added that Obama "is not willing to accept a deal that doesn’t ask enough of the very wealthiest in taxes and instead shifts the burden to the middle class and seniors."

We Democrats need to map out our "Plan B," or Best Alternative To a Negotiated Agreement, aka BATNA. Howard Dean has been suggesting for some time now that the automatic  sequestration cuts combined an intense campaign to force Republican to cave on the the Senate tax cut extension for those earning less than $250,000.  Since even the President's latest proposal apparently already gives up an extension of the Social Security Payroll tax holiday, we could add an equivalent amount of "stimulus" by proposing a reduction of the middle class tax rates even further than the Bush tax cuts, and make up the lost revenues by adding the 28% cap on deductions.  

This would require a stand off on the debt-ceiling as well, but it looks like we may do better by adopting the same "carrot-and-stick" negotiating strategy as Boehner is doing. Only in such an adversarial stand-off will we have a chance of creating so much political theatre and pressure from constituents that we might get 25 House GOP to break ranks and vote with us on the middle class tax cuts.  

This is the line of thinking Speaker Boehner is trying to preempt with this Plan B proposal - so he can neutralized this threat by saying to middle tax voters that it is the Democrats who are causing your taxes to go up, not the Republicans.

It may be time to pull these negotiating out of the "darkened smoked filled rooms" and bring them out into the open, with transparency, and full public debate. A development of a "hardball" Democratic Plan B, BATNA may help.    

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MKinTN, Hey338Too, tardis10, tekno2600

    The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

    by HoundDog on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 09:41:02 AM PST

  •  Plan B is the discharge petition to bring the (0+ / 0-)

    Senate bill that already extended tax cuts for anyone making under $250k to the House floor. It would pass.

    Just doing my part to piss off right wing nuts, one smart ass comment at a time.

    by tekno2600 on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 10:03:48 AM PST

    •  You mean our Democratic Plan B. Boehner's plan (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pistolSO

      B is to propose tax cuts on anyone making less than $1 million.

      But, our Plan B still needs to flesh out how to deal with the Doctor's Fix, debt-ceiling, unemployment benefits extensions, and the end of the Social Security Payroll tax holiday

      The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

      by HoundDog on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 11:07:42 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes. You were saying we needed a plan B. If (0+ / 0-)

        Obama doesn't get a deal, and I don't think he will (which is probably a good thing), we need to move forward with a politically popular alternative, like the discharge petition and the other things you mention.

        Just doing my part to piss off right wing nuts, one smart ass comment at a time.

        by tekno2600 on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 11:12:25 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site