According to Ed Henry of Fox News, the “fiscal cliff” deal passed by the Senate served its ultimate goal for President Obama. An official close to the negotiations said: “The President fulfilled a major campaign promise,” referring to raising taxes on the rich. The official added that the president “broke the Republicans’ backs on a 20-year pledge” not to raise tax rates.
“It is one of the most consequential policy achievements of the last couple decades,” the official said.
Senate Democrats overwhelmingly supported the deal, largely negotiated by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) and Vice President Joe Biden, and were pleased that President Obama won far more than he relinquished by obtaining $620 billion in tax increases and only $15 billion, net, in spending cuts. As Breitbart News reported, the fact that the deal was passed in the Senate after the midnight deadline means Senate Democrats actually achieved a “tax cut” for all income categories below $450,000.
According to the report, President Obama would not go beyond $450,000 for the tax increase threshold, and also did not want to pay for the extension of unemployment benefits for one year.
The official’s account of the White House’s actual goal suggests that the president has used the American people during an economically challenging time in order to score political points. This news is likely to weaken the already tenuous status of this deal in the House, where it is still being reviewed.
Conservative Republicans who have been supported by the Tea Party are likely to balk at tax increases and the lack of significant spending cuts, as well as the apparent manipulation of the American people. In addition, the potential promise of the Tea Party to primary those representatives who cave to the deal will be yet another factor of the final outcome.