Tag Archives: John Boehner

GOP’s counter-offer in Fiscal Cliff Talks puts Obama in difficult position

After the ridiculous proposal put forth by the Obama administration concerning the so-called fiscal cliff, the Republicans returned fire with a proposal of their own.

In it, will be a proposed $800 billion in additional revenue – about half of what the president wants – and more substantive reforms to entitlement spending, although the GOP was careful not to go after any of the left’s sacred calves.

Democrats have been very clear that they would not sign any fiscal cliff policy that doesn’t increase rates on top earners, but there’s no clear evidence to support why that would be any different than other kinds of revenue outside of the fact that the left wants to punish success.

In the plan is also about $1.2 trillion in cuts including deeper cuts to Medicare than the president proposed and a change to how Social Security is calculated.

As the Business Insider points out, the plan is a legitimate compromise because the tax loop holes would disproportionately affect the wealthiest Americans, but also would give the GOP bigger cuts.

Not only is it a good sign for the negotiations given that the Republicans seemed to have backed off a more hard-line approach, or at least the appearance of one, but this plan will make it much harder for President Obama to stand firm on his insistence on raising taxes.

John Boehner and the Republicans have met President Obama exactly halfway on new revenues and the tax reform will impact top earners just like the Democrats want. The cuts to Medicare aren’t new, in fact, they’re part of the plan the White House has already outlined, the GOP just wants bigger cuts.

By approaching this from a more bi-partisan prospective – the framework is based on Democrat Erksine Bowles’ plan – Boehner has changed the playing field for the discussion.

The GOP has made it clear that they will not negotiate from the absurd position the Obama administration has taken to begin these discussions. By offering a legitimate counter to the president’s plan, Obama and the Democrats must now choose between looking like intransigent tax mongers or agreeing to change the game plan to the Republican framework.

But by giving the Republican framework a basis in a plan put forward by a Democrat, the latter is not quite as bitter a pill to swallow.

This is a rare moment, particularly in recent memory for the GOP, that the strategy and the policy are equally laudable. Hopefully it means a deal gets done, regardless of who gets to take the credit.

There is a chance, though, that it could backfire and incense the President along with his Democratic allies. Feeling cornered, the President could hold firm to his demands and allow a deal to go by the wayside until the sequester hits and politicians grow desperate allowing him to swoop in and appear the great bargainer.

For that to happen though, he’ll have to risk appearing uncompromising to start, something he’s accused the GOP of being for years. It seems more likely this will incite a brokered agreement that allows the left to cheer new revenues thanks to more tax revenue from the rich and the right to applaud austerity and entitlement reforms.

It’s a rare chance to have a political win-win.

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Republicans in the House face uphill battle against media, Democrats

As media power burgeons in the political realm, Republicans struggle to keep up with the liberal-media and the agenda-setting in which they engage.

It was obvious to see from the start what would happen with this Payroll Tax Cut debate.

The Republican-controlled House passed a payroll tax extension last week. Didn’t know that? I wouldn’t be surprised, since the media and apparently Democratic leaders didn’t either.

Democrats in the Senate said the House plan would never pass, despite the fact that it had a full year paid for and included important provisions to prevent doctors from getting shortchanged from government medical welfare.

You may remember Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s response to the House bill.

“The bill passed by House Republicans tonight is a pointless partisan exercise. The bill is dead on arrival in the Senate. It was dead before it got to the Senate.”

Dead on arrival. That’s a solid political discussion, don’t you think?

Now, the Senate passes a two month stop-gap, supposedly to negotiate a longer-term deal. Because the last time we had negotiations like this, they went so well.

The headline in the New York Times yesterday, when Republicans in the House stood firm, was interesting.

“House Republicans Reject Payroll Tax Cut Deal.”

Funny, shouldn’t that headline read “Senate Fails To Pass Long-Term Tax Cut”?

But because the Democrats have the sitting President, he sets the agenda. His word is taken above John Boehner’s and to some degree there’s good reason: Barack Obama is the President, Boehner isn’t.

On the other hand, just because the Senate bill had bi-partisan support doesn’t mean it was a good bill (Do I need to remind you about this recent millionaires on food stamp nonsense?)

Just because a bill can pass doesn’t mean it ought to pass.

Republicans, of course, come out looking like the petulant ones, despite the fact that they passed a bill first and it was flatly rejected by the Senate without discussion.

No compromise at all.

Yet Jay Carney, White House Press Secretary, has the audacity to sit at his podium and pop off about Republican resistance.

No, this is Senate resistance to the House. The House has passed bill after bill and the Senate just sits on them.

Obama rails against Congressional indifference, when in reality, it’s his own party’s reluctance to accept any offers from the House that have handcuffed policy making in this country over the last three years.

It’s easier, not to mention more politically beneficial, to both Obama and the Democrats to blame Republicans for the lack of progress on these talks, but the House passed a bill.

They passed a good bill, cutting taxes, and they paid for it without raising fees on you and me.

Yet, somehow, people think the Republicans don’t want to extend the tax cut because they don’t want to approve the Senate measure.

This is where the media comes in. When the media frames the issue the way the President presents it (blindly so), people tend to understand it that way.

Given the malleable wasteland of the liberal mind, I can understand how easy it would be for a simple headline to manipulate one’s view of a topic.

It’s what the Republicans face when trying to galvanize support of their own. People who already have an ounce of common sense already know what the Republicans are doing makes sense.

Everyone else just regurgitates what they read in the New York Times or hear on MSNBC.

Then again, if they were smart enough to think for themselves, they probably wouldn’t be Democrats.

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The surrender of the Democratic Party

The petulance continues for liberals across the country.

It’s not surprising that with their stranglehold on the majority fading and a Democratic president faltering that the party of naivete and condescension is throwing a temper tantrum.

The Democratic-controlled Senate hasn’t passed a budget basically since Obama the Savior took office. They haven’t passed a single piece of job-growth legislation except for the billion dollar waste that was the stimulus.

While Tea Party Republicans were made to seem like the “terrorists” in the debt ceiling negotiations, it was Democrats who failed to identify the runaway freight train that is spending in this country.

They refused to make cuts, refused to make sacrifices and simply accused Republicans of being in the pocket of the rich.

Now, the Democrats in the Senate, even when they agree with Republicans on a payroll tax cut extensions, want to kick the can further down the road by simply extending government funding for two months and basically saying, “We’ll deal with it later.”

Apparently, the Democrats have somewhere exciting to go for Christmas.

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), said today that the House will not pass this sham of a bill (ok, “sham” was my word, not his).

The irony of the Democratic plan is the two-month, $33 billion extension is paid for by a fee on people using Fannie and Freddie, a set of bodies who helped create the housing crisis. The Democrats blame Republican de-regulation, when in reality, federal subsidies and Fanny/Freddie created opportunities for people to get loans who had no business getting loans for houses.

These are people the banks knew couldn’t pay them back.

Democrats failing to understand economics isn’t a shock (I feel like the BMO-Harris commercials about the need for financial literacy shouldn’t just be targeted to parents with children, but rather all liberals.)

The substance of the House-passed payroll tax bill makes infinitely more sense, but the Democrats are pouting because they didn’t think of it.

Freezing federal wages, creating jobs, making the rich pay for for Medicare, accountability in welfare, we couldn’t do any of that.

Let’s just go on vacation for a while and we can deal with it when we come back…or never. We’ll just blame the Republicans and Tea Partiers because people seem not to like them anyway.

That’s the lens through which all liberals seem to think.

It’s shocking how insulated liberals, and not just the ones in Congress, are. When it comes to ideological discussions, liberals have this condescending tone as if to say “You idiot, how could you possibly believe that?” even when their argument is based on myth and fault logic.

But ideology is changing in this country. People are seeing through the empty rhetoric of liberal megalomaniacs like Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi.

People are identifying with the Republican party again because they realized that blind adherence to hope wasn’t the solution to our problems.

Furthermore, the liberal platform of “let someone else deal with it later,” is losing steam among its constituents. People are pissed off in this country, and the only party offering solutions, real solutions, to our problems are Republicans, particularly those in the House.

Democrats have given up trying to attack Republican policies, because people support them. They’ve resorted to attacks of partisanship, and frankly, to outright lying to the gullible liberal mainstream.

I had a family member at a holiday party say this weekend, “How could anyone be a Republican when you look at this field of Republican candidates.”

No, the field certainly doesn’t have any Winston Churchills or Ronald Reagans, but any of them has to be better than a socialist, elitist and out of touch soon-to-be-former President who has been an unmitigated disaster.

George W. Bush didn’t speak for most conservatives on civic issues like government size and spending.

But no one agrees with Barack Obama on just about anything.

The better question is how could anyone be a Democrat with a President like Barack Obama in office?

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The Intransigence of a failing party

The tenacity and leadership of Republicans in the House of Representatives have reduced Democrats in Congress to a metaphoric pile of rubble (and partisanship).

With a failing president and an economy that has regressed rather than progressed under the Democrats’ watch, there’s really nothing left to do but attack Republicans for their partisanship and intransigence.

The irony, of course, is that the Republicans in the House have passed bill after bill to try and balance the budget, close tax loopholes, create jobs and make government more efficient.

This, while Democrats have put their hands over their ears, closed their eyes and stomped in a circle as if to say “We can’t hear you.”

Every bill the House Republicans pass, the Democrat-controlled Senate kills, but passes no legislation in its place.

We can use this payroll tax plan as a cornerstone example.

For liberals’ sake, I’ll even take the New York Times article covering the Republican plan.

As background, the Republicans and Democrats in Congress agree the payroll tax  – a reduction in the percent of Social Security an employee pays – ought to be extended, but they disagree on how to pay for it.

The Republican plan that recently passed the House would freeze pay for federal employees through 2013,  cut $20 billion from ObamaCare and increase Medicare premiums on the rich (you’d think the Democrats could support this) in an effort to make sure payments to doctors aren’t cut.

The bill would also require the approval of the Keystone Pipeline, a plan to create 20-25,000 jobs, as well as mandate drug testing for applicants of jobless benefits. It would also require most people receiving benefits to search for work and to pursue education credentials if they did not have high school diplomas.

To recap: the Republican plan cuts taxes (which everyone agrees on), increases Medicare premiums for the rich (which Democrats should want), creates jobs, creates accountability in entitlements, and cuts spending on a ghastly federal health care plan.

There’s a reason Democrats can’t attack the substantive part of the bill: it’s a really good bill.

The only problem is it’s not the Democrats’.

Here are the responses from Democrats in the article (remember this is the liberal New York Times).

“The bill passed by House Republicans tonight is a pointless partisan exercise. The bill is dead on arrival in the Senate. It was dead before it got to the Senate.”

– Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (R) Nevada

Ok, what’s in the bill you don’t like?

 “(The bill is) loaded up with goodies to mollify the extreme right wing that is in charge of this House.”

– Rep. Jim McGovern, (D) Massachusetts

Anyone else? Specifics?

“This is a partisan bill sticking a finger in the eye of those who disagree with the policies included, simply for the purpose of energizing a small political base in their party”

– Rep. Steny Hoyer (D) Maryland

Hoyer added that Republicans “included things that clearly are unacceptable to the president,” and that  “(Republicans) know this is not going to pass the Senate.”

Certainly the Senate Majority leader had something substantive to argue over right?

“I am very disappointed in what the speaker has done to his payroll tax proposal to get Tea Party votes. Speaker Boehner had to add ideological candy coating to his bill to get rebellious rank-and-file Republicans on board.”

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (R) Nevada

Republicans, on the other hand, took a much different approach to defend their bill.

“The Senate majority leader now says he’s willing to hold up a bipartisan bill to fund our troops, border security and other federal responsibilities, rather than let the president decide if this pipeline project should move forward,”

– Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R) Kentycky

In all, Democrats were quoted directly at least eight times in the story and not once did they mention any specific problem with the Republican plan outside of the fact that Republicans put it together.

Mr. Hoyer even directly referenced the fact that our soon-to-be-former President wouldn’t be on board with such a bill. Really? After three years of free-fall, his judgment is the one we’re going to use?

This is where the political discussion is in this country: Republicans are trying to legislate, trying to change government and create accountability. They’re bringing ideas to the table and passing laws.

It’s happening across the country at the local, state and federal levels.

Democrats, in some sort of misguided effort toward achieving “justice,” are fighting tooth and nail to repeal those laws, fight for the status quo, and block Republican efforts at every turn.

Yet, somehow, the Republican party, Tea Party members specifically, have been characterized as “terrorists” for their insistence in maintaining their integrity and ideals by holding up bad legislation.

But then again, think of any argument you’ve ever had with a liberal. You offer facts, they offer insults and illogical anecdotes.

We can’t be surprised when our political discussions among legislators take on the same tone.

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