Yesterday Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner presented Republican leaders on Capitol Hill with President Obama’s plan to avoid the fiscal cliff. The Geithner proposal asked for:
1. An immediate $1 trillion tax hike through higher top marginal income tax rates as well as higher taxes on both capital gains and dividends.
2. An agreement to raise $600 billion more in taxes later this year by limiting tax deductions for top earners.
3. $50 billion in new infrastructure stimulus spending.
4. Another “emergency” extension of unemployment benefits.
5. An extension of either the payroll tax cut or the reinstatement of Obama’s stimulus Making Work Pay tax credit.
6. A mortgage refinancing program.
7. Billions in new spending to prevent cuts to Medicare reimbursement payments for doctors.
8. An infinite debt limit hike.
Upon hearing Geithner’s wish list, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., reportedly “burst into laughter.” He should have patted Geithner on the head and offered him a candy cane instead.
The offer Obama gave to Republicans yesterday should cure any conservative of the fantasy that Obama is an honest partner in either the fiscal cliff talks or the larger and long-term fight to reduce the deficit. Yesterday’s offer proves that Obama will never agree to any significant and meaningful entitlement or tax reform.
The best Republicans can do now is just go back home to their constituents and wait till the Obama administration grows up.
From The Washington Examiner
Examiner Editorial: If Medicare age is raised, the young will pay more
Phil Klein: If GOP continues to ignore health care, U.S. will end up with single payer
Byron York: Will Republicans go back to the future with Jeb Bush?
Tim Carney: Obama gives 83% of export loan guarantees to Boeing
In Other News
The Wall Street Journal, Recession Big Factor as Birthrate Falls: A steep decline in births among immigrant women hard hit by the recent recession is the driving force behind the record low U.S. birthrate, according to the Pew Research Center.
The New York Times, U.N. Assembly, in Blow to U.S., Elevates Status of Palestine: More than 130 countries voted on Thursday to upgrade Palestine to a nonmember observer state of the United Nations, a triumph for Palestinian diplomacy and a sharp rebuke to the United States and Israel.
The Washington Post, Mexico’s crime wave has left about 25,000 missing, government documents show: Mexico’s attorney general has compiled a list showing that more than 25,000 adults and children have gone missing in Mexico in the past six years, according to unpublished government documents.
The Los Angeles Times, Small union is causing big problems for ports: The small band of strikers that has effectively shut down the nation’s busiest shipping complex forced two huge cargo ships to head for other ports Thursday and kept at least three others away, hobbling an economic powerhouse in Southern California. The disruption is costing an estimated $1 billion a day at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, on which some 600,000 truckers, dockworkers, trading companies and others depend for their livelihoods.
Rush Limbaugh urges Republicans to just walk away.
The Weekly Standard’s Jeffrey Anderson asks, “Are Republicans Learning the Wrong Lessons?”
National Review‘s Robert Costa posts the slides Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, is using to try and convince House Republicans to accept
Buzzfeed explains why Obama isn’t using his email list to push for a fiscal cliff deal.
Talking Points Memo‘s Benjy Sarlin reports that progressives are increasingly confident that Obama won’t cave on fiscal cliff deal.
Think Progress on Why Powerball Is A Terrible Way For States To Raise Money.