Republicans are reportedly “considering a Doomsday Plan if fiscal cliff talks collapse entirely.” What is this Doomsday Plan? A plan involving tremendous stupidity, apparently:
House Republicans would allow a vote on extending the Bush middle class tax cuts (the bill passed in August by the Senate) and offer the President nothing more: no extension of the debt ceiling, nothing on unemployment, nothing on closing loopholes. Congress would recess for the holidays and the president would face a big battle early in the year over the debt ceiling.
The fiscal cliff would be averted for the moment, but the tax rates would increase on those earning more than $250,000. Meanwhile, the next debt ceiling hike would be scheduled for the last week of December.
This would not earn Republicans their stripes, however. While ABC News declares that this plan would allow Republicans to avoid looking as though they’re holding the middle class “hostage,” in President Obama’s words, the GOP will have to fight exactly the same battle in January, with the same predictable results: Obama suggesting that meanie Republicans will cut Grandma’s social security if they don’t extend the debt ceiling. Meanwhile, the media will credit Obama with a victory, and Republicans with caving on tax hikes. That didn’t work out well for George H.W. Bush in 1992.
Until Republicans learn to explain to the American people why our debt is so dangerous – our $86.8 trillion outstanding debt will swamp the nation and leave our children impoverished unless we do something now – Obama will keep demagoguing the issue. And kicking the can down the road by giving Obama a big win on taxes is a mistake. It gives Obama even less incentive to bargain in the future.