Wow. Talk about obstinate:
House GOP leaders endorsed a debt-reduction plan Monday that would raise tax collections by $800 billion over the next decade, but they refused to budge on higher tax rates for the wealthy, the central issue dividing Republicans and Democrats.
The Republicans’ “middle ground” plan? They agree not to slash taxes for the rich yet again, they agree to go forward with their own nebulous and undefined plan to somehow cut deductions as a way of “taxing” wealthy people, and in exchange, Democrats must agree to $600 billion in cuts to health programs and hiking the eligibility age for Medicare from 67 to 69.
That’s a “middle ground”? “Give us most of what we want anyway”? With this plan, the Democrats get nothing they ask for, and the Republicans get mostly stuff they campaigned on.
They lose a major election that they should have won by wide margins primarily because of the issue of income inequality. The general public widely supports the new tax on income over $250,000, and hates the idea of health care cuts. The president is re-elected despite high unemployment rates and a struggling economy mostly on the strength of this issue, which also leads Republicans to lose the popular vote in all areas, maintaining the House only by gerrymandering.
And still, they think it’s a good idea to crash the economy instead of raising taxes on the wealthy by a measly few percent.
I can only figure that they plan to run down the clock, hoping the Democrats will blink. However, Obama, usually the first to compromise, is actually standing firm on this one.
I am hopeful of the eventual outcome—I believe that Republicans will hold out until just before the end, that Obama will stand firm, and at the last minute the GOP will cave, at least mostly.
The problem is, this game they’re playing will likely damage the nation’s economic standing, just like it did last time.