Cliff Notes: Looking Backward

November 15, 2012

Cliff Notes: Looking Backward

One week after the election, Washington is up to the same old tricks. As we speed closer to the fiscal cliff, the administration’s strategy to avert disaster looks like more of the same. Why should Americans expect anything different this time around?

Same Old Tax Proposal:

Obama tax proposal “isn’t anything new.” “The Obama administration’s target of $1.6 trillion in taxes isn’t anything new. It’s an update of the $1.5 trillion in taxes they’ve been proposing since 2011. A year has passed, which means the same policies — letting the Bush tax cuts expire for income over $250,000 and then limiting some deductions and loopholes for wealthier taxpayers — will now raise $1.6 trillion rather than $1.5 trillion, but there’s nothing new in their goal.” (Ezra Klein, “White House Rejects Boehner’s Tax Deal,” The Washington Post, 11/14/12)

Last winter’s “dead on arrival” tax proposal is “being resurrected.” “That document, which sought about $1.5 trillion in new revenue, was declared ‘dead on arrival’ on Capitol Hill – along with virtually every other legislative proposal – when it landed there last winter during election season. But it is being resurrected by the Obama administration as a framework for negotiations with Republicans to avoid the ‘fiscal cliff’ of steep tax increases and indiscriminate budget cuts set to take effect the beginning of next year.” (Kim Dixon, “Obama’s ‘New Ideas’ Likely Well-Worn Tax Proposals,” Reuters, 11/15/12)

Same Old Cast Of Characters:

Obama is meeting with business and labor leaders this week to discuss the fiscal cliff. “President Barack Obama is lobbying business and labor groups to support his plan to avoid an impending fiscal cliff, telling the two sides he remains committed to requiring the wealthy to pay more in taxes.” (Ken Thomas, “Obama Pressing Business And Labor On Fiscal Cliff,” The Associated Press, 11/14/12)

“Participants include members of the Campaign to Fix the Debt, a group founded by Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles.” “The participants include members of the Campaign to Fix the Debt, a group founded by Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles that has pushed for a long-term plan to fix the nation’s debt and deficits. Simpson, a former Wyoming senator, and Bowles, a former White House chief of staff, served as co-chairs of Obama’s bipartisan National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, which proposed $3 in spending cuts for every $1 in additional revenues.” (Ken Thomas, “Obama Pressing Business And Labor On Fiscal Cliff,” The Associated Press, 11/14/12)

·“Obama never fully embraced the Bowles-Simpson recommendations.” (“Fact Check: Paul Ryan Misleads On Debt Panel’s Spending Cut Plan,”CNN.com, 8/30/12)

“Among the CEOs attending the meeting are General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt, who chairs Obama’s Jobs Council, and American Express CEO Kenneth Chenault and Xerox CEO Ursula Burns, who are members of the council.” (Ken Thomas, “Obama Pressing Business And Labor On Fiscal Cliff,” The Associated Press, 11/14/12)

· In July, Obama was too busy to meet with his Jobs Council. “President Barack Obama has not met with his jobs council for six months because he has too much on his plate, White House press secretary Jay Carney said on Wednesday. ‘There’s no specific reason, except the president has obviously got a lot on his plate,’ Carney said during the daily White House briefing.” (Sabrina Siddiqui, “Obama Too Busy To Meet With Jobs Council, White House Says,” The Huffington Post, 7/18/12)

Same Old Sticking Point:

May 2011: “Taxes Remain Sticking Point In Budget Talks.” (Richard Cowan, “Taxes Remain Sticking Point In Budget Talks,” Reuters, 5/13/11)

November 2012: “Tax Rates Are Main Sticking Point On Reaching ‘Fiscal Cliff’ Deal.” (Andrew Taylor, “Tax Rates Are Main Sticking Point On Reaching ‘Fiscal Cliff’ Deal,” Denver Post, 11/9/12)

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