The latest round of fiscal cliff offers have been traded between Speaker of the House John Boehner, and President Obama; sadly, neither of them are acceptable solutions. As expected, the President has decided that there is no point in attempting to make the Republicans negotiate with him. He, instead, has opted for crafting truly appalling plans on his own accord.
Obama’s latest proposal is now only calling for $1.2 trillion in new revenue over the next ten years. Down from $1.6 trillion, initially, and from $1.4 trillion after that. The reduction in revenue is mainly because President Obama has decided to wimp out when it comes to raising top tax rates. Now, the proposal is that only earners making more than $400,000 a year will face a tax increase, as opposed to his previous position that taxes would rise for all those making more than $250,000 a year.
The President is also offering to make some truly horrific changes to entitlement programs, such as adopting a new measure of inflation for Social Security benefits, dubbed “Chained CPI.” Chained CPI is a particularly egregious proposal that could reduce benefits as much as five percent to the average recipient, and will, unfortunately, hit the neediest of recipients the hardest. Even worse, it doesn’t appear that Republicans are offering anything for it — President Obama seems to have actually surrendered this concession on his own free will.
The President’s offer includes some $800 billion in spending cuts and savings, the vast majority of which come from Medicare, Medicaid, and, as mentioned, Social Security. These cuts are incredibly unbalanced, with the President only requesting a scant $150 billion in defense cuts over the next decade, despite war machine waste being by far the costliest expenditure.
The President has made unbelievable capitulations to the Republicans, while getting nearly nothing in return. And, of course, the final deal only stands to be much, much worse than this proposal, as the Republicans will continue to move the goal post, and force Obama to keep offering concessions with little to no reciprocation by the GOP.
It would appear the President has learned nothing of negotiating with the Republicans. At this point, Obama stands to get an exceedingly toxic deal, despite winning an election mere weeks ago. It is clear that regardless of what the final deal looks like, conservatives will like it much more than progressives — the President has already seen to that.