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Yesterday's Most Important Fiscal Cliff News Wasn't The GOP's "Proposal"

04 Dec 2012
Posted by Stan Collender

The offer made yesterday by House Republicans to the White House to avoid the fiscal cliff got all the headlines, but there were two reasons why it wasn't the most important fiscal cliff-related story of the day.

First, it wasn't really a serious offer. In spite of the fact that the letter to the White House says the House GOP wasn't going to respond in kind to what it considered a totally unlikely-to-ever-be-acceptable opening offer from Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner last week, that's exactly what it did. That made it easy for the White House to quickly dismiss it and leave the fiscal cliff negotiations where the were when the day began: not started.

Second, earlier in the day, the House Republican caucus announced that House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) had punished several GOP representatives with tea party connections for not loyally supporting the leadership the past few years by removing them from their committee assignments. This clearly was an attempt by Boehner to consolidate his power, discipline tea party members, and make it more likely that whenever he negotiates a fiscal cliff deal (January still seems more likely than December), it will be more likely to pass the House. That should strengthen his standing with the White House and put him in a better position to negotiate.

Put a helmet on!

It only puts him in a better position to cave. Boehner is currently negotiating at the point of a gun with someone who is willing to drive us off the cliff and blame the passengers for it.

Personally I saw strap on a helmet and lets for for a ride. Then the public might just learn how reckless this administration is.

I Only Believe Credible Threats

Boehner's move has more the stink of desperation to it: decommission the TPers, knowing that they will vote you out as Speaker and take their power back anyway.

I'll believe it is credible if Cantor stays quiet--or, better, affirms it--in the next day or two.

I'm with Stan

The reaction from Republicans to Boehner's plan shows he has a big problem with the nut wing. His plans leave retirees with 2 years of scrabbling for insurance, cuts SS (needlessly), and keeps the ultrarich paying lower taxes than anybody much over the poverty line, and *still* they whine it's "giving away too much". He has to get the nuts under control in the House at least or he can never cut any deal of any kind. That's not to say he will succeed, but he's trying.

Boehner is smart enough to see the outcome of Republican intransigence. If we spend the next two years with the Republicans fighting against middle-class tax cuts and trying to destroy the US government's finances (via the debt limit) they will be wiped out in 2014. They might even go the way of the Whigs.

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