John Boehner seems to think that he's got some leverage right now when it comes to the Bush tax cuts expiring, or that's at least the face he's putting on in public. If they want to keep any of them in place, he'd better get to the negotiating table, because President Obama is holding all of the cards right now, and simply has to do nothing to allow them to expire -- Republicans To Obama On Taxes: Let’s Compromise By Not Raising Taxes:
President Obama ran on raising taxes and won. House Republicans ran on not raising taxes, and got to keep their majority. So now the GOP is offering a familiar sounding compromise: let’s not raise taxes.
More specifically, Obama’s re-election, and the looming expiration of the Bush tax cuts, have made House Republicans’ prime imperative to preserve the current tax rates on high earners, which Obama campaigned and won on returning to Clinton era levels.
It’s a big ask, given the results of the election, and Obama’s long-standing pledge to veto legislation that extends all of the Bush tax cuts, even temporarily. Thus, their hopes rest on a vague suggestion that they’ll concede higher revenues in a future tax reform agreement with Obama, so long as he drops his demands for higher tax rates and agrees to cut entitlement spending.
This sounds familiar because it’s broadly speaking the same deficit cutting deal Republicans spent most of this past Congress pursuing — one that raises little, if any revenue, let alone revenue from high earners. And early signs indicate that Democrats won’t bite.
“Because the American people expect us to find common ground, we are willing to accept some additional revenues, via tax reform,” House Speaker John Boehner said in the Capitol Wednesday — his first major address since Tuesday’s election. “But the American people also expect us to solve the problem. And for that reason, in order to garner Republican support for new revenues, the president must be willing to reduce spending and shore up the entitlement programs that are the primary drivers of our debt.”
As a model, Boehner cited a revenue neutral 1986 tax reform initiative spearheaded by President Reagan and Speaker Tip O’Neil. Top Democrats, including Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), have loudly rejected that framework, arguing that it raises too little revenue to address medium-term fiscal imbalances, and lets wealthy people off the hook for drawing down budget deficits. Read on...