What if we told you President Obama wants to go off the fiscal cliff?
You might call us conspiracy theorists, but consider this: Tax hikes and defense cuts are in the DNC platform. What happens if we go off the “fiscal cliff”? Tax hikes and defense cuts.
Ron debated this point this morning on Fox News.
See, it’s really not as crazy as it sounds. Take it from Gov. Howard Dean, who said on Bill Maher’s HBO show this weekend that going off the cliff is “actually the best deal progressive Democrats are going to get.”
President Obama agrees. That’s why he’s sent out Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner to do the negotiations. Geithner, who is leaving his post early next year, is the perfect person to take the fall for failed negotiations.
And fail they will.
Right now, polls shows Republicans will be blamed if negotiations fail. In a recent CNN poll, 45 percent of Americans said they’ll blame House Republicans if we go off the “cliff,” compared to just 34 percent who would blame Obama. 77 percent of Americans believe their personal finances are at stake in the fiscal cliff.
If Republicans get blamed–and progressive Democrats get their tax hikes and defense cuts–why would Obama want a deal?
Obama might be afraid of raising taxes on the middle class, but we think he’ll compromise to get these massive defense cuts and tax hikes on job-creators.
Or maybe President Obama is hoping for across-the-board tax hikes. President Obama ran his last two campaigns using blame-game tactics, which worked in the Democrats favor. Exit polls show that only 4 in 10 people blame President Obama for the state of the economy over the last four years, hinting at the fact that the majority of the country still blames Bush for the poor economy.
Failing to negotiate on the fiscal cliff is another Obama-ploy to portray Republicans as the bad guys. Raising taxes on the middle class, and in turn pointing fingers at House Republicans, will give Democrats political leverage in 2014 and 2016 elections.
Which brings us back to Tim Geithner. Geithner isn’t a negotiator at all–he’s simply the decoy. Geithner is heading back to the private sector and has little to lose. It’s President Obama’s attempt to squeak by scratch-free in the last weeks of 2012.
To counter this attempt, Republicans need to refocus their messaging and point fingers right back at the President by exposing their gimmicks. Until they do so, Democrats will always win the battle by winning the blame-game.
That’s why we need to expose the blame-game. Republicans need to ask the President: Why aren’t you involved in these negotiations? Do you really oppose the defense cuts? Doesn’t your base want defense cuts and tax hikes?
If Republicans are still losing the PR battle, they have a nuclear option: Let Them Eat Tax-hikes. Democrats will only hurt the middle class by raising taxes on the “wealthy” job-creators. If Democrats are hell-bent on ruining the economy, let them. But, let them pass these measures by having every Republican vote “present”–let America know this is the Democrats’ agenda.
It’s the nuclear option, but it may be needed. Obama wants to score his political points, and Republicans need to wise-up and fight back.
Ron Meyer is the press secretary and a spokesman for American Majority Action. Celia Bigelow is the Campus Director for the same organization. Learn more atAmericanMajorityAction.org.