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Thread: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-12-03/house-republicans-propose-2-2-trillion-fisca

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    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-12-03/house-republicans-propose-2-2-trillion-fisca

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-1...liff-plan.html



    House Republicans, rejecting President Barack Obama’s demand for higher tax rates, countered with a $2.2 trillion deficit-cutting plan that would trim Medicare and Social Security and cap tax deductions for top earners.

    The proposal, in a letter today to Obama from House Speaker John Boehner and other Republican leaders, seeks $800 billion in tax revenue in the next decade and would slow the growth in Social Security cost-of-living payments. It would reduce entitlement program costs by at least $900 billion, including raising the Medicare eligibility age, and cut $300 billion in discretionary spending.

    The proposal “does not meet the test of balance,” White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer said in a statement. “In fact, it actually promises to lower rates for the wealthy and sticks the middle class with the bill.” He said the plan included “nothing new.”

    Obama and congressional leaders are trying to avert more than $600 billion in tax increases and automatic spending cuts starting in January. The talks reached a stalemate late last week when Republicans rejected Obama’s proposal to raise $1.6 trillion in taxes, including by raising tax rates on the top 2 percent of earners.

    Today’s offer is “absolutely movement,” said Joe Minarik, a budget aide in President Bill Clinton’s administration. “If Republicans accept revenues, Democrats have to move a little bit” on entitlements, he said.

    Social Security

    Still, Minarik said, “Democrats don’t want to touch” Social Security and the Medicare eligibility age. Obama and other Democratic leaders have repeatedly said that Social Security is off the table

    Boehner said the Republican offer tracks a proposal last year by Clinton’s former chief of staff, Erskine Bowles, which would generate revenue by limiting deductions and credits instead of raising tax rates.

    Bowles, though, said in an e-mailed statement that the proposal doesn’t reflect his plan. “Circumstances have changed since then,” he said. “It is up to negotiators to figure out where the middle ground is today.”

    Boehner called today’s Republican plan a “credible plan that deserves serious consideration by the White House.” He described last week’s White House proposal for $1.6 trillion in tax increases as a “la-la land offer.”

    Stocks fell. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index dropped 0.5 percent to 1,409.46 at 4 p.m. in New York. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 59.98 points, or 0.5 percent, to 12,965.60.

    Chained CPI

    Under the proposal, increases in Social Security benefits would be reduced under a new method of calculating cost-of- living increases. The so-called chained consumer price index would also apply to cost of living adjustments for government pensions and to setting income-tax brackets.

    The plan would raise the eligibility age for Medicare recipients, currently 65, although it didn’t specify the size of the increase. That would save $100 billion, according to an excerpt of Bowles’s Nov. 1, 2011, congressional testimony attached to the letter sent to Obama.

    “To protect millionaires, Speaker Boehner’s offer would force middle-class families to pay higher taxes,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat, said in a statement. “Republicans have made an offer, but now it is time for them to get serious about forging a balanced approach.”

    Boehner’s letter said the additional $800 billion would come through “pro-growth tax reform that closes special- interest loopholes and deductions while lowering rates.” He didn’t lay out specific proposals for curbing tax breaks and didn’t offer additional revenue for 2013.

    Dynamic Scoring

    In the past, many Republican calls for additional revenue through a rewrite of the tax code have meant the money would come from higher economic growth spurred by the overhaul. Obama and the Congressional Budget Office won’t accept so-called dynamic scoring.

    Republican aides said the $800 billion would come from conventional scoring, which means there would be a tax increase.

    In a series of network television appearances over the weekend, Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner challenged Republicans to make a counteroffer to the president’s plan. He said there would be no agreement without higher income tax rates on the wealthiest Americans. Boehner said yesterday that the White House was wasting time and that the talks were “nowhere.”

    Obama’s plan would trade $600 billion in spending cuts for $1.6 trillion in tax increases, primarily targeting families with more than $250,000 in annual income.

    Last week, Republicans said they would only consider creating new revenue by ending or limiting some deductions and credits and possibly by capping income-tax deductions for high earners.

    To contact the reporter on this story: James Rowley in Washington at jarowley@bloomberg.net Heidi Przybyla in Wasington at hprzybyla@bloomberg.net

    To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jodi Schneider at jschneider50@bloomberg.net

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    Republicans break from their position and offer 800 Billion in new tax hikes and the Democrats laugh it off. Obama proposes a plan with virtually no spending cuts and then goes out on the campaign train instead of getting serious. Sadly it is clear that this is the same Obama we have seen the past 4 years. He should have grabbed on to the offer and claimed victory.

    Harry "the slime" Reid chimes in with made up some nonesense about raising taxes on the middle class. Thanks America for giving us 4 more years of a clown masquerading as a leader.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chiefst2000 View Post
    Republicans break from their position and offer 800 Billion in new tax hikes and the Democrats laugh it off.
    Which amounts to a Republican blunder, no? I've been very disappointed with Boehner.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Axil View Post
    Which amounts to a Republican blunder, no? I've been very disappointed with Boehner.
    When government is divided the only way to get anything done is by compromise. I am not an advocate of the Obama negotiating strategy of making ridiculous offers and not showing your cards. The Republicans proposed tax reform. They raise taxes on the wealthy through ellimination of loopholes. Fine, I'm not ever an advocate of raising taxes for any reason but if it gets serious spending cuts enacted then another 75 billion in taxes collected isn't the end of the world. They basically went back to the terms of the grand bargain of 2010 and Obama laughed it off. They are so hell bent on getting that rate hike that they are missing the point. Whats the difference if the revenue comes from changing the number that determines the top rate of by changing the equation (tax reform) by which total tax liability is calculated. It is the same thing. The deductions shift is probably a healthier for the economy way of going about it but in the end of the day it doesn't matter that much. We still have a Democrat party unwilling to cut any spending anywhere for any reason.

    Here is an important caveat. The Democrats are using the argument that this plan was vetted in the election and "the numbers don't ad up". The reality is that the plan presented in the election by Romney included a 20% rate deduction. This plan keeps rates the same and reduces total deductions which effect only wealthy taxpayers. The numbers easily add up here and there is plenty of room to get the 75 billion from just wealthier taxpayers. Democrats could grab it and claim victory. If they were serious they would.
    Last edited by chiefst2000; 12-04-2012 at 10:35 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chiefst2000 View Post
    When government is divided the only way to get anything done is by compromise.
    Right, but there are two things to consider before offering a compromise.

    1.) Is compromising better than doing nothing.

    2.) Is your willingness to compromise going be seen as weakness, and used against you.

    Unless you're sure that the answer to one is yes, and two is no, then you have to stand your ground.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Axil View Post
    Unless you're sure that the answer to one is yes, and two is no, then you have to stand your ground.
    The problem is standing their ground is going to result in exactly what they are trying to avoid: higher tax rates.

    The Republicans are in a very tough spot in my opinion. If they stand their ground, Obama will call their bluff, the country will fall off the fiscal cliff, and the Democrat's first order of business in January will be to enact tax cuts for the bottom 98% of citizens. Nobody is going to vote against such a measure, and in the end, we'll have the exact policy that Republicans are trying to avoid.

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    Quote Originally Posted by parafly View Post
    The problem is standing their ground is going to result in exactly what they are trying to avoid: higher tax rates.

    The Republicans are in a very tough spot in my opinion. If they stand their ground, Obama will call their bluff, the country will fall off the fiscal cliff, and the Democrat's first order of business in January will be to enact tax cuts for the bottom 98% of citizens. Nobody is going to vote against such a measure, and in the end, we'll have the exact policy that Republicans are trying to avoid.
    Awesome

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