Dems 'Just Not That Into' Fiscal Cliff
Embarrassingly, we've all been there. With something of a crush, we try to get the attention of that one special person. We send letters or, in this day, texts. We talk to friends of friends. We make outlandish public displays of our interest. Eventually, we think, they will see the true nature of our entreaties and finally agree to go out with us. Who knew the GOP were such teenagers?
The ink was barely dry on the election results, and GOP Leadership were tripping over themselves to offer up tax increases to jump start negotiations on the "fiscal cliff." For the past several weeks, the GOP have paraded from camera to camera offering to raise taxes if the Dems would just go ahead and put spending cuts and entitlement reform on the table. They seemed to think their offer of higher taxes would finally break through and get the Democrats to offer up some real negotiations.
But, the Dems just aren't that into negotiations on this. If we go over the cliff, the Dems get immediate tax hikes across the board--the only way to really raise revenue--and significant cuts to defense programs. There are possible cuts to entitlements, but they are very minor. Certainly something the Dems can live with, given everything else they get.
And, yet, the GOP, bless their hearts, still think they can cajole the Dems into negotiating. On Tuesday, Speaker John Boehner took the rather extraordinary step of going to the House floor and basically imploring the Democrats to please offer up some spending cuts so they could negotiate. It was rather sad, reminiscent of some character in a John Hughes film.
Within an hour or so, Sen. Harry Reid responded that the Dems wouldn't be offering up any spending cuts and stated that we probably wouldn't have any kind of deal until after Christmas. Which means we probably won't have a deal at all unless Speaker Boehner decides to just go ahead and caucus with the Democrats.
The GOP made an epic miscalculation that the Dems were actually interested in negotiating a solution to the "fiscal cliff." No Democrat has offered up any proposal to cut spending. I'm not even talking about specifics. They haven't even talked generally about spending cuts they could accept. They give lip service to the need for a balanced approach and then move quickly to discuss specific tax hikes.
Boehner's speech on the floor Tuesday felt like Jon Cusack with a boom-box, trying to get the cute girl's attention. But, not even Peter Gabriel can save this scene. The Dems just aren't that into it. The GOP needs to understand this. The Dems will never go on a date with you.
Adjourn tomorrow. At some point in our teens we realized that special someone just wasn't into us, and we walked away. And our life unfolded from there. It always ended up being for the best.
Follow me on twitter