Can GOP Win Fiscal Cliff Battle?
The short answer, in my opinion, is a short, “No.”
If you are watching the news, negotiations appear to be between Boehner and the conservative wing of the Republican Party; not between the House and the President. And for good reason. When congress participated in the last round of budget negotiations it was anticipated that the broad cuts included in within the budget would never happen; that the dynamics of congress would change. Boehner knew that without enough strength the House could only stall the wishes of the far left president. So he accepted and convinced House Republicans to accept seemingly absurd cuts to the DoD and across the board tax increases,etc., kicking the can down the road in hopes of a stronger senate and/or new president.
These cuts, even then, seemed outrageous and fiscal conservatives across the country complained bitterly that the speaker caved. Did he? Maybe. Was there any other option? Probably not with this redistribution president.
So, here we are today. President Obama reelected, the Senate still firmly in the hands of the Democrats and the House without any bargaining chips. Can Republicans win? Will Obama agree to any compromise? It doesn’t appear so.
As Rick Santorum explained in an interview with Greta Van Susteren, “the reason I think he’s saying no, and I think he will say no to just about anything the Republicans put forward, is because the fallback position is better for him than any deal that the Republicans are going to put forward.
And the fallback position is a tax increase on everybody and back to where — pre-bush tax cuts, and he can then have his big increases in taxes, and then at the same time blame Republicans for taxes going up on lower-income people. That’s a win for him.”
If the president sees the bottom line as a win for him, then why negotiate? So it makes sense that the only negotiations we are seeing is within the Republican House as they decide how much of the bitter pill they’ll have to swallow. At this point it appears no matter what the Republicans agree to they will be blamed for all that happens. If taxes go up on everyone Republicans will be blamed. If small businesses and higher income people are hit with taxes and limit their growth/spending Republicans will be blamed.
We can cry about Boehner’s actions again but why? He controls only 1/3 of the parties needed to enact legislation. Conservatives lost the election and socialistic theology won. We can complain. Or we can start working to change the dynamics. There’s an election in two years.