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Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Republicans Fiscal Cliff Counteroffer Turns The Tide In Negotiations

By Susan Duclos

With John Boehner's counteroffer to Barack Obama in the fiscal cliff negotiations, the tide has turned and as Business Insider phrases it "And It's Not In Obama's Favor." The piece goes on to state the Boehner counteroffer "helps the GOP regain some bipartisan high ground, while making The White House look like the side with the preposterous wish list."

By obtaining support for a balanced plan from  Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Paul Ryan who is part of the Committee on the Budget, Kevin McCarthy, Majority Whip, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Republican Conference Chairman, Dave Camp, Chairman, Committee on Ways and Means  and  Fred Upton, Committee on Energy & Commerce, Boehner has shown his ability to negotiate with the far right segment of the Republican Party, something Barack Obama has not shown his ability to do with the far left liberal portion of the Democratic party.

Ben White over at Politico shows the shift Boehner's offer has caused in the optics of the negotiating process:

Despite the theatrical hyperventilation from the White House, the GOP offer is actually less fanciful than the original administration request, which included phony savings (the war wind-downs), a gratuitous fork-in-the-eye (unlimited debt ceiling authority) and some new stimulus (just to make GOP blood boil and warm liberal hearts). Now the GOP has laid down its own marker which does in fact reflect a significant shift on revenues (enough to make hard right groups squawk), even if not in the manner or amount the White House wants.

Boehners offer includes $800 billion in new revenue, not by raising taxes but "generated through pro-growth tax reform that closes special-interest loopholes and deductions while lowering rates," according to his letter.

Despite Obama's claims to the contrary in saying loopholes and deductions cannot generate that revenue, thanks to the keen eye of Jim Pethokoukis , the White House has already admitted, on the White House website, that "Limiting the cap to those with incomes over $250,000 leaves only $800 billion in revenue." (H/T Hot Air)

Via Reason:

Obama’s opener was basically a request to pass the White House budget plan with essentially no compromises. It wasn't a real proposal so much as a show of force made at least partially in hopes of getting Republicans to fold quickly. Today’s GOP counteroffer, on the other hand, is designed to make Republicans look like they’re willing to make substantive concessions in order to get to some kind of deal.

Quote of the Day comes from Josh Barro over at Bloomberg, in a piece headlined "The White House's Fiscal Cliff Irresponsibility."

But if that senior official isn't bluffing -- if the White House really is willing to risk an austerity crisis unless it gets its way on an unrelated policy matter -- then the Obama Administration is as irresponsible as it often accuses Republicans of being.

Obama overplayed his hand, he assumed that if he presented his first offer which had no balance whatsoever, that Republicans would give a knee jerk response of a counteroffer that also had no balance and the Obama could capitalize on polling showing the public would blame the GOP if we fly over the fiscal cliff, then he could say "see they are unreasonable and won't negotiate!"

Republicans instead made a counteroffer with far more "balance" than Obama's original proposal had, now Obama is being seen as the side of the negotiations that is providing no balance and no willingness to compromise.

PS- A stroke of optical genius.

Outspoken conservative Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) voiced opposition to House Republican leadership’s most recent offer on the fiscal cliff, decrying it as “Speaker Boehner’s $800 billion tax hike.”

 Hardcore conservative DeMint, believes John Boehner is compromising too much.

Subtle message to the public: See, Boehner is willing to fight the far right side of the party to avert a crisis.... is Obama will to fight the far left liberals to avert the fiscal cliff?

Who is putting ideology ahead of country?