President Obama has hardened his views on “fiscal cliff” negotiations with congressional Republicans, with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner telling a closed-door session of congressional leaders that Obama is now demanding $50 million in more “stimulus” spending, $1.6 trillion in higher taxes over 10 years, and presidential control over the national debt limit. Any other deal, Geithner counseled, would be vetoed and make inevitable the fiscal cliff's automatic tax increases and spending cuts on January 1.
The neoconservative magazine the Weekly Standard reported that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) laughed out loud when Geithner announced the White House's demands. After the meeting, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) announced that negotiators had made “no substantive progress” in the negotiations. “I’ve got to tell you, I’m disappointed in where we are and what has happened in the last couple of weeks,” Boehner told reporters. “I came here the day after the election and made it clear Republicans would put revenue on the table.... But revenue is only on the table if there are serious spending cuts as part of this agreement. It’s the spending that is out of control.”
Boehner is correct that the White House has proposed no spending cuts to close the $1.1 trillion per year spending gap in the federal budget. Obama would apply none of the tax increases to deficit reduction. Even columnists for the leftist Los Angeles Times have acknowledged that “letting the Bush-era cuts expire for the top 2% would save only about $52 billion a year, which is well short of the $4 trillion in savings over 10 years needed to stabilize the debt.” And that $52 billion is just about the same amount of new “stimulus” spending Obama has demanded in the negotiations.
Click here to read the entire article.