From Fiscal Abyss, To Cliff, To Deal?

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I hope I’m wrong but I predict the deal will get cut -- if it’s not already. Why else would Boehner allow the House to stay away for the Holiday’s?


[The View From Washington]
 
During
the 2012 campaign President Obama told the electorate that he would
raise taxes on those making over $250K in order to generate much needed
revenues and avoid going over the fiscal cliff. President Obama won
reelection with a convincing margin; some would say a mandate even
though Republicans still control the House.

Here we stand on
Friday, December 28th on the edge of the ledge that is the fiscal cliff;
seemingly no closer to a deal than we were a month ago, or are we?

Last
week House Majority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) threatened America by walking
away from the negotiations and tried to bully President Obama with his
“Plan B” vote.  Boehner said that after Plan B passes the House, “Then,
the president will have a decision to make" and that Obama "can call
on Senate Democrats to pass that bill, or he can be responsible for the
largest tax increase in history.” 

In spite of all of Boehner’s bravado,
the “Plan B” vote failed.  Boehner could not slap enough backs and
twist enough arms within his own caucus. Alas, the Emperor has no
clothes.

In response to his failure, Boehner issued the
following statement saying in part, “Now it is up to the president to work with
Senator Reid on legislation to avert the fiscal cliff.”  Boehner’s
counterpart in the Senate, Minority Leader McConnell (R-KY) has said, “Look: It’s the president’s job to find a solution that can pass
Congress. He’s the only one who can do it" and "This isn’t John Boehner’s
problem to solve.”


Both
Boehner and McConnell’s analysis would be correct except for one minor
detail, the Constitution of the United States. Article 1; Section 7
states, “All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of
Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as
on other Bills.” 

If we move beyond the political rhetoric and focus on
the Constitution it is Boehner’s job to lead his hypocritical, obtuse,
and obstructionist caucus towards the solution that works out best for
the American people. Keep this clause in mind the next time a member of
Congress rants about overspending. Since “All Bills for raising Revenue
shall originate in the House of Representatives,” instead of blaming the
President; Congress should first look at themselves.

We’ve come to the 11th hour.  The last payable week for all claimants receiving federal unemployment benefits will be the week ending Saturday Dec. 29th.,They
will receive their last payment the first week of January.  If a
solution is not agreed to by January 1, 2013 the average combined tax
increase on a family making over $50K per year will be approximately $3,500.

Why
are Republicans holding their ground?  They believe that President
Obama will cave in at the last minute. He said during the 2008 campaign
that he would not sign Health Care Reform legislation that did not
contain the public option; he did. He said during the 2010 mid-term
elections that he would not sign legislation extending the Bush Era tax
cuts; he did. 

During the 2012 DC-Autonomy Bill debate President Obama
threw in the prohibition against the District government using its own
funds to pay for abortions.  President Obama is reported to have said,
to Boehner ““John, I will give you D.C. abortion, but I am not happy about it."
This was referring to language in the budget bill was meant to stop D.C. from
helping women pay for abortions from its own locally raised funds.

In
this current round of fiscal cliff negotiations President Obama has
gone from increasing taxes on income over $250K to increasing taxes on
income over $400K.
Also, President Obama has conceded to make changes to Social Security
that are unnecessary.  According to Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), “The people
of this nation are depending upon us to be true to our word…I don’t know
how many members ran on a promise not to cut Social Security. Now,
without any hard proposal to raise taxes on the rich, some are using
Social Security as a carrot to get a deal. We cannot, and we must not
play with the lives of senior citizens.”

Boehner in his Plan B wants $1M
as the base for higher tax rates.  I hope I’m wrong but I predict the deal
will get cut -- if it’s not already. Why else would Boehner allow the
House to stay away for the Holiday’s? 

The “deal” will look very similar
to Boehner’s failed Plan B with extensions to unemployment benefits,
and unnecessary Social Security cuts thrown in for good measure; leaving
many to ask was this compromise or conspiracy. 
 
Happy New Year!

© 2012 InfoWave
Communications, LLC Dr. Wilmer Leon is a political scientist at Howard
University and host of the nationally broadcast call in talk radio
program “Inside the Issues with Wilmer Leon” on Sirius/XM channel 128. Go to 
http://www.wilmerleon.com/   or   twitter.com/drwleon     or   www.facebook.com

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