Seemed everyone was content to kick the can down the road to right now, after the election.
Seems the good ol' Congress has 49 days to reach compromise or $500B of automatic tax hikes and spending cuts kick in.
If Obama can engineer a compromise to avert the cliff with the freshly reelected Republican House, he could set the stage for progress on other second-term priorities, including immigration reform, climate change and investments in education and manufacturing. Such a compromise could also infuse fresh energy into an economic recovery that has suffered from uncertainty over the future of federal budget policies.
“Getting a deal on long-term fiscal soundness is paramount to move forward and to see the economy really keep improving,” said Bill Daley, Obama’s former chief of staff. It will also “give confidence that the political system can address a major issue.”
Personally I think that is way too optimistic, but who knows?
The GOP has been happy to find ways for the political system to not address major issues, so why should it be a Dem concern?
In any case, we shall find out to what degree Obama has learned the lesson of the debt ceiling debate.
He has the Senate and the veto power and a House full of GOPers who will probably take the hit for not coming up with a compromise.
Some more food for thought:
Despite the risks to the economy — and the potential disruption to the 2012 tax filing season — Democrats see a clear advantage to going over the cliff. In January, once the Bush tax cuts have expired, Democrats would be free to draft their own plan to cut taxes for the middle class, but not the wealthy, and dare Republicans to reject it.
“If you allow all the tax rates to revert, you’re talking about raising $5 trillion over 10 years,” Van Hollen said. “So Republicans will have to choose: Do they prefer $5 trillion in [new] revenue? Or something in the range of $2 trillion?”
Personally I hope Obama has learned the lesson and lets the GOP squeam after their defeat.
In their zest to say no increase in taxes, they will drown themselves in a sea of taxes, then the GOP will be in the position of needing to ask for tax cuts, instead of being in the position to deny tax increases. That to me seems to be worth taking the plunge.
In the coming days, Democrats say, Obama is likely to launch a concerted public relations campaign in support of his budget plan, continuing his call for a “balanced approach” to debt reduction.
The GOP pushed the country to the brink in the debt ceiling debate and it showed everyone how far they'd go.
Now is the time to see how far the Dems will go to get the GOP to back off a bit.
“I love what John Boehner is saying, but I have a hard time believing Republicans won’t cave,” said GOP tax lobbyist Kenneth J. Kies. To resist Obama, “you have to be prepared to shoot the hostages. You have to be prepared to let it all expire. And it takes a lot of courage to do that.”
Some feel the odds shift to the GOP side in the New Year, but that has its risks:
Many Republicans insist that they will regain leverage in January and February as the Treasury Department runs out of options for managing the nation’s finances without additional borrowing authority.
But after the debt-limit battle of 2011, approval ratings for the GOP Congress went into free fall and many Republicans are not eager to repeat the experience.
“I get a sense there’s still a fairly strong interest in Congress among the conservatives to use the debt ceiling as some kind of leverage,” said Heritage Foundation senior fellow Patrick Louis Knudsen, who was a top aide on the House Budget Committee to Republican vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan (Wis.). “But they are a bit chastened about how that worked — or didn’t work out — last year.”
Grab the popcorn, this should be interesting!