Boehner’s ‘Plan B’ shows Republicans ready to cave

Speaker Boehner offers a new fiscal cliff plan, though it isn't the right path forward. Photo: Nancy Pelosi, John Boehner, President Obama and Harry Reid discuss fiscal cliff -AP

PHOENIX, December 19, 2012 ― Well that didn’t take long. House Speaker John Boehner has thrown the entire Republican Party under the bus with his proposed “Plan B,” that raises taxes on those earning more than $1 million per year.  

Boehner’s office is already spinning that “Plan B” does not raise taxes on Americans in January, but rather extends the ones currently in place. 

Of course, that isn’t true, as it does raise taxes on those making more than $1 million per year, caving on the original promise to not raise taxes on any Americans.   

Even the wording of the Boehner press release is absurd: “Permanently extends income tax rate cuts for Americans making less than $1 million, which protects 99.81 percent of all taxpayers.”

The big conundrum with the whole “fiscal cliff” debacle is the raising of taxes on all Americans in January and the automatic spending cuts. Now with “Plan B,” Boehner can claim that the GOP did want to extend tax cuts for Americans and it was the Democrats who didn’t pass it.  

That really isn’t true at all. Boehner is raising taxes on Americans, they just happen to be a smaller group of Americans. It’s against the Republican Party low-tax platform. 

So where do spending cuts fall into “Plan B”? They don’t, actually, and neither do entitlement reforms. “Plan B” only deals with the tax side of the fiscal cliff, letting the automatic spending cuts that came with the 2011 debt ceiling increase to go into effect.  

However, it is unlikely that “Plan B” will become law. Democrats have shot it down already and conservatives aren’t on board either. As they shouldn’t be. 

“Plan B” shows just how gullible Boehner is. He truly believes that a far-left president, not facing an election, will agree to spending cuts and entitlement reforms next year. (And why isn’t a balanced-budget amendment in all this?) 

He has another thing coming. 

Furthermore, raising taxes on the millionaires in this country will do nothing to reduce our growing $1 trillion budget deficit. (It’s been estimated to generate $500 billion in revenues over a decade.) Even a tax hike on those generating an income of over $250 thousand per year barley scratches our deficit.   

If you truly wanted to raise taxes in an effort to dramatically reduce the budget deficit, it would have to come from the middle class. Neither side is prepared to do this. 

Even so, the biggest drivers of our deficit by far are Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. So far they have been off the negotiation table, despite the fact that they are heading rapidly towards insolvency. 

Raising taxes isn’t going to solve any fiscal problems facing the country; it’s only a short-term proposition to a long-term problem. Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid need to be reevaluated and revamped to make them less costly and more solvent. Boehner needs to adequately convey this to President Obama and only accept fiscal cliff deals that address it. 

Sadly, Boehner’s new plan is the best compromise we’ve seen thus far, though it is hard to conceive Democrats actually agreeing to spending cuts and entitlement reforms. Moreover, it’s hard to believe that Boehner, a Republican, will aggressively push for reining in spending when the new Congress convenes. 

John Boehner came to power in 2011 promising smaller, smarter government and reduced spending. That hasn’t happened at all and the debt has increased $1.8 trillion since Boehner became speaker. It’s time the Republican Party stood up to Obama’s reckless Keynesian economics. 

Boehner caving on taxes will be detrimental to Republicans as many voters have little faith in the current GOP leadership, and caving would likely trigger the loss of all faith. 

“Plan B” is dead on arrival, as it should be. 

Henry D’Andrea is a Conservative opinion columnist at the Communities @ the Washington Times. Feel free to email Mr. D’Andrea at writedandrea@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter (@TheHenry)


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Henry D'Andrea

Henry D'Andrea is a Conservative columnist and commentator. He writes a weekly column at the Washington Times Communities called "The Conscience of a Conservative," which features his commentary on current events and political stories from a conservative perspective. He often writes on foreign policy, domestic and economic issues, the conservative movement, and elections.

 

D’Andrea has been a guest on many radio shows throughout the country since writing columns at the Washington Times Communities. His work has been featured in many publications, including Townhall.com, Commentary Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, The Tea Party Review Magazine, Big Government, Big Journalism, The Gateway Pundit, Instapundit, and many more.

 

Feel free to contact Henry D'Andrea at writedandrea@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter: @TheHenry 

 

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