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What Does Obama Want in Fiscal Cliff Compromise?

I never cease to be amazed at the audacity and the boldness of the liberals. When the fiscal cliff negotiations started, they were based mainly on raising taxes on the rich. President Obama is clearly still in campaign mode and everywhere he goes, he is declaring the Republicans are holding the middle class hostage, ruining their Christmas, all because they are trying to protect the rich from having to pay their fair share. The basis of any fight over the Bush tax cuts has been that the Republicans are not fond of raising taxes period. They have signaled a willingness to bend that line, but only if they receive spending cuts and entitlement reforms. At least, we knew where we stood, sort of.

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Now, everything is changing. President Obama is adding new conditions to any compromise he agrees to on the fiscal cliff. Remember the fight in Washington earlier this year over the debt ceiling? He wants to eliminate any possibility of that happening again. His solution is for Congress to give him almost complete authority to raise the debt ceiling, at his own discretion. The only way Congress would be able to prevent such an increase is with a two/thirds vote. With the gridlock we have on Capitol Hill, that’s as good as giving Obama a blank check. I would hope the Republicans would see the danger in agreeing to that, but one can never be sure what they will do. They are politicians, after all.

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Besides the authority to raise the debt ceiling, other Democrats are pushing for another increase in long-term unemployment benefits. That’s right, they want increased spending, when we should be focused on cutting spending. I wonder what other liberal goodies they would like to force down the throats of the Republicans?

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Can we really take anything Obama says seriously? Is he going to continue in campaign mode, taking his case to the liberal strongholds, as he wages a war of political rhetoric and public relations? Even with his face to face meeting with John Boehner yesterday, can we really be sure he is negotiating in good faith? I have serious doubts about his good faith negotiations.

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Clearly, there are splits in the Republican Party. More than a few Republicans are saying they are willing to compromise on taxes, if he conditions are right. Concerning the debt ceiling, Senator Bob Corker, R-TN says any increase should be accompanied by a corresponding amount of spending cuts. He also has some other interesting observations.

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(Fox News) Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., became the latest Republican to open the door to tax rate hikes during an interview on “Fox News Sunday.”

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“There is a growing group of folks that are looking at this and realizing that we don’t have a lot of cards as it relates to the tax issue, before year-end. I mean, we have one house, that’s it,” Corker said.

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Corker suggested that Republicans instead focus on extracting entitlement cuts as part of the debt-ceiling negotiations.

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“Republicans know that they have the debt ceiling that’s coming up right around the corner, and the leverage is going to shift, as soon as we get beyond this issue,” Corker said on “Fox News Sunday.” “The leverage is going to shift to our side, where hopefully we’ll do the same thing we did last time.”

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Corker said that if the president wants to raise the debt limit by $2 trillion, Republicans should press for $2 trillion in spending cuts.

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That prospect is sure to infuriate the White House. After the bruising debt-ceiling fight from 2011, Obama recently warned that he will not “play that game” again. “We’ve got to break that habit before it starts,” the president said.

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The president argues that fights over the debt ceiling merely shake global confidence in the country’s ability to pay its bills, and as part of talks over the looming fiscal crisis has called for a de facto permanent increase in the debt limit.

So, President Obama doesn’t want to play that game? He just wants the Republicans to roll over and play dead, giving him everything he wants and taking all the blame when things go south in a hand basket? Personally, I’m not willing to see that happen. To be sure, the Republicans are going to receive the blame, no matter what happens. President Obama and the media will see to that. Since we know that will be the case, I say we stand our ground on principle.

About LD Jackson

LD Jackson has written 2053 posts in this blog.

Founder and author of the political and news commentary blog Political Realities. I have always loved to write, but never have I felt my writing was more important than in this present day. If I have changed one mind or impressed one American about the direction our country is headed, then I will consider my endeavors a success. I take the tag line on this blog very seriously. Above all else, in search of the truth.

2 Pingbacks/Trackbacks

  • The Republicans could have taken the middle class tax jammer away from Obama a long time ago if they had passed a seperate bill to keep the Bush tax cuts for the middle class. I don’t know what to think, Larry. The GOP needs to decide if they stand for something or they stand for nothing.

    • While that may be true, they may be fearful of giving up that bargaining chip.

  • Pssst… (Stage whisper) Obama wants to go over the fiscal cliff.

    The GOP are dupes and they lost, so the smartest thing for them to do would be to stand aside and let him and Hairy Reed implement what they want. We’ll hold a referendum on the results in four years.

    • I have no doubt you are right. Obama cares little about the consequences of the fiscal cliff. If he holds his ground, he can get what he wants, ie. defense cuts and higher taxes, all while blaming Republicans. That’s what he campaigned on and he continues that campaign, even today.

  • Here’s why Obama wants to go over the fiscal cliff: It guts defense, which he and his fellow Social Democrats hate, and it raises taxes. What’s not to like?

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  • Steve Dennis

    Obama is now shooting for the moon and he probably figures by doing so the Republicans will probably agree to his original demands and I think that is likely to happen. Republicans can then say at least they stopped Obama from getting his new demands while Obama can claim he got everything he asked for. And if things go south somehow the Republicans will take the blame so I am with you, they should stand their ground and let the chips fall where they may.

    • I’ll be the first to say a compromise is needed. However, I am not willing for the GOP to be the only party who has to compromise. As it stands right now, that’s what Obama is pushing for. I say we should push back at him, as hard as possible. We need to stand our ground.

  • Let them have it. We come back in two. Nothing else to be done IMO. Boehner played into Obama’s hand last year and we have to live with it.

  • What Republicans should do is this:

    We’ll agree to Clinton-era taxes if you agree to Clinton-era spending.

    Then, walk away.

    • Laurie

      Sounds great, if only we could erase the Bush-era spending. Rather circular, isn’t it?