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Boehner Flinches from the Abyss

So for all of the stress, the House GOP leadership (including Paul Ryan), a minority of Republican Congressmen, and a majority of Democrats
passed the tax deal they were offered by the Senate. The Rich (less than 1% of the population) got tagged with a 4.6% increase (horrors!) and caps were placed on deductions, among other meaningless items.

I suppose it is palatable since we have at least gotten the remainder of Bush’s tax cuts to remain permanent. Even Grover Norquist has twisted this and basically said that since the tax cuts had expired, those Republicans who voted for this deal were voting for a tax cut, not an increase. Interesting contortion.

But then there’s virtually no spending cut in this deal. The increased revenue is not going to make a dent in the deficit. For all the drama, we slapped a few million wealthy people with a small tax raise and refused to address the fact that spending is out of control. It’s a pathetic failure of the entire political establishment.

It is easy to blast Boehner today, but what choice did he have? Yes, I personally believed it would have been best to go over the cliff and let the chips fall where they may. However, I knew that Boehner wouldn’t do that. He didn’t want to take the blame for tax increases on the middle class (it’s going to happen eventually anyway) and it was too tempting to target the unpopular minority that is top earners. Also, he likes grand, useless compromises for some reason.

On the bright side, around 2/3 of the House GOP broke with Boehner on this deal and hence have political cover. Boehner has set himself up beautifully for the inevitable coup and primary challenge that he has coming.

I would say that he was courageous to do this IF I actually believed that the deal means anything. It doesn’t. It’s too little, too late, and still comes across as a major defeat for the GOP. We could have gotten a tax deal as useless as this one weeks ago and not had the brinksmanship that managed to make Obama look like a triumphant, responsible statesman.

Boehner must not be returned as the Speaker of the House, even if means leaving the post vacant. The real fight is going to be over the debt ceiling and Boehner cannot be counted on to do right either by his party or the nation.

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  1. Xetrov says:

    The Rich (less than 1% of the population) got tagged with a 4.6% increase (horrors!)

    Actually, 77% of households will see increased taxes as a result.

    Not to mention it adds almost $4 Trillion to the deficit over a decade. Just another cluster courtesy of the idiots in Washington.

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  2. Thrill says:

    Well, the SS payroll tax cut wasn’t exactly a cut, was it? I thought it was more of a short-term stimulus that’s only been in place for a couple of years.

    Still, if Grover Norquist says the deal is a tax cut, it must be! Clusterfuck it is. We are all so screwed right now.

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  3. West Virginia Rebel says:

    Meanwhile, Chris Christie is upset that John Boehner isn’t returning his calls, and Peter King is having a hissy fit that the Sandy aid bill (which will be passed anyway) wasn’t part of the great Compromise last night…the GOP seems to be in equal parts denial and self-destruct mode right now.

    As for Boehner, I think he survives, but will be mostly a figurehead. Note that do-nothing Harry Reid was apparently sidelined by Joe Biden and Mitch McConnell, as well.
    West Virginia Rebel recently posted..Apocalypse AvertedMy Profile

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  4. Mississippi Yankee says:

    Boehner must not be returned as the Speaker of the House, even if means leaving the post vacant. The real fight is going to be over the debt ceiling and Boehner cannot be counted on to do right either by his party or the nation.

    BUT, But Boehner told Harry Reid to “go f*ck himself”… twice! And he didn’t even cry,(on camera) not once. Hell I had tears in MY eyes at that point, tears of rage, tears of betrayal, tears of disgust.
    And yet I’ve predicted, for weeks, that it was all Kabuki Theater. The fact that the House, on New Years Day (post cliff), gave us the illusion of leadership couldn’t have been more transparent if it had been done in white-faced makeup and in Japanese.
    We truly have the government we deserve.

    According to “multiple sources,” Boehner pointed his finger at Reid and without any other fanfare said, “Go f*** yourself.” When Reid asked him what he was talking about, Boehner simply repeated his curse and moved on.
    Boner’s potty mouth

    Expecting much more Kabuki Theater in the next negotiations too! Prove me wrong…

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