Obama Slow Walks Us Over the Cliff – Part 2
Today’s events in the Fiscal Cliff showdown confirm the premise of my post last night. President Obama is not interested in making a deal now but instead continues in full campaign mode in his persistent attack against Republicans. The timeline of events that follow show us how Obama has performed his slow walk since his re-election.
Nov 6 President Obama wins re-election.
Nov 7 Speaker Boehner announces that the Republican Party is open to limiting deductions for higher income taxpayers as a means to increase revenue.
Nov 8 – 28 The Obama Administration waits 21 days before making their first offer. During this time, Obama travels to Asia; he meets with Middle Class Americans at the White House; he visits a middle class family in Northern Virginia; and he makes 2 campaign style stops at factories in Philadelphia and Detroit. In every public appearance (except in Myanmar), Obama lashes out at Republicans and continues his constant calls for a fair and balanced approach to the Fiscal Cliff negotiations.
Nov 29 Treasury Secretary Geithner delivers the president’s fair and balanced plan to Speaker Boehner and Leader McConnell, calling for $1.6 trillion in tax increases and $400 billion in spending cuts, a 4 to 1 ratio that is dramatically higher than the 2 to 1 ratio Obama promised during his re-election campaign. The Speaker and Leader laugh out loud upon hearing the offer that Obama sent Geithner to deliver.
Dec 3 Speaker Boehner makes a counter-offer 2 days later.
Dec 12 According to a statement by the Speaker, the President dropped his request for new taxes from $1.6 trillion to $1.4 trillion. The president waited 8 days to make the phone call.
Dec 14 Two days later, Speaker Boehner informs the president that he would consider increasing tax rates on income over $1 million.
Dec 17 President Obama meets with Speaker Boehner at the White House and agrees to accept $1.2 trillion in new revenue.
Dec 18 Speaker Boehner realizes he and the President are too far apart, and the Speaker announces he will pursue “Plan B.”
Dec 20 Speaker Boehner pulls the plug on Plan B after realizing House Republicans will not support it either. The Speaker explains that any further negotiations must now be turned over to the senate and the president.
Dec 21 & Dec 28 President Obama makes statements in the White House briefing room, but it appears nothing has transpired between Democrats and Minority Leader McConnell.
Dec 29 (Sat) Senate Republicans make an offer to Harry Reid, but Harry Reid indicates that he has not heard anything back from the White House that would allow him to make a counter-offer. McConnell decides to reach out to Vice President Biden.
Dec 30 (Sun) Instead of negotiating, President Obama appears on Meet the Press and blames Republicans for putting the nation’s shaky economy at risk. Interview was recorded on Saturday.
Dec 31 (Mon) McConnell and Biden are very close to a deal by mid-afternoon, having already agreed to tax increases but still talking about the sequester and spending cuts. Meanwhile, Obama makes a statement at a campaign-style event in the afternoon that infuriates Republicans and jeopardizes support for the pending deal.
John McCain comments on the president’s statement: “I guess I have to wonder – and I think the American people have to wonder – whether the president really wants this issue resolved, or is it to his short-term political benefit to go over the cliff.” (thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/senate/275017)
Senator Corker (R-TN) comments on the the presidents’ statement: “I just listened to the president and my heart is still pounding. I was very disappointed to hear what the president had to say in front of a pep rally. I know the president has fun heckling Congress, but I think he lost a number of votes with this.” (thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/senate/275017)
As I draw this post to a close, the senate is poised to vote before midnight on a compromise deal, but the House will not take up the issue until tomorrow.