Friday, December 21, 2012

Boehner's Budget 'Plan B' Collapses

Here's the key bit from the Wall Street Journal's editorial, "Teetering on the Cliff":
The Speaker's miscalculation was that, just as in 2011, he thought he could get into a room with the President and negotiate a grand bargain. His intentions were good but he misjudged the all-or-nothing ideological nature of this Presidency. After the debacle of 2011, Mr. Obama could have treated the negotiations as the art of the bipartisan deal that could set the stage for immigration reform and other second-term achievements. Flush with victory, he could have at least made a gesture on entitlements.

Instead, he has treated the talks as an extension of the election campaign, traveling around the country at rally-style events at which he berates Republicans for not accepting his terms of surrender. Grant gave Lee more at Appomattox.

Plan B was Mr. Boehner's attempt to salvage some political dignity and a policy victory or two in return for conceding on tax rates. The bill wasn't even technically a vote to raise taxes because the rates are set to rise automatically on January 1 if Congress does nothing. The bill also kept the estate tax at 35%, rather than going up to 55% as now scheduled, and it made the tax cuts on lower incomes permanent.

With a narrow deal on taxes, Mr. Boehner figured he could live to fight another day on spending
More at that top link. And a CBS News report, "House votes on Boehner's 'Plan B'."

And at the Los Angeles Times, "Boehner cancels House vote as 'Plan B' falls short of GOP support."