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Doomsday Option? - Bring It On!

Posted on the 04 December 2012 by Jobsanger
Doomsday Option? - Bring It On! Well, the congressional Republicans finally came up with something they called a "plan". But it was nothing more than Mitt Romney's nebulous old tax plan combined with the same old cuts the GOP Congress tried to pass last year. There was nothing new about it, and it had far too many generalities to be considered a real plan. Here's what they proposed:
* Keep all of the Bush tax cuts, including those for the top 2%.
* Increase revenues by closing loopholes and eliminating deductions. Of course, they still won't specify what loopholes will be closed or what deductions will be eliminated (saying that would be decided by the Republican-controlled House next year).
* Raise the age to qualify for Medicare from 65 to 67.
* Cut another $300 billion from "mandatory" programs (benefit cuts to Medicare and Social Security).
* Cut another $300 billion from agency budgets (except for the military budget).
Calling this a plan is more than ridiculous. It is nothing more than the same old Republican effort to cut taxes for the richest Americans -- and pay for it by raising taxes on the middle class and cutting programs that help the poor, unemployed, children, and the elderly. It is mean-spirited, hard-hearted, and won't reduce the budget -- but it will put more money in the pockets of the only group that doesn't need it (rich people).
Fortunately, the White House did exactly what they should have done with this "plan". They tossed it in the trash saying:
The Republican letter released today does not meet the test of balance. In fact, it actually promises to lower rates for the wealthy and sticks the middle class with the bill. Their plan includes nothing new and provides no details on which deductions they would eliminate, which loopholes they will close or which Medicare savings they would achieve. Independent analysts who have looked at plans like this one have concluded that middle class taxes will have to go up to pay for lower rates for millionaires and billionaires. “
Basically, the Republicans wanted the president and other Democrats to just surrender and give in to all the Republican demands -- the same taxes and cuts that voters soundly rejected in the recent election. While doing nothing (and allowing all the Bush tax cuts to disappear and across-the-board cuts to spending to happen) would somewhat hurt ordinary Americans, it would not hurt them nearly as much as the GOP "plan" would.
The Republicans now claim that since the president won't negotiate (surrender), they are now considering a "doomsday option". That option has two basic parts:
* First, allow a vote on the Senate plan to keep the Bush tax cuts for the bottom 98% (but not the top 2%). Instead of voting against the plan, they threaten to vote "present" to highlight their displeasure over the tax cuts not being continued for the richest 2% -- which means the tax cuts for the 98% would be passed with only Democratic votes. Then they would do nothing else this year.
* When the new Congress convenes next year, they would oppose and obstruct the Democrats on everything -- including raising the debt ceiling.
If that's really what they want to do, I say bring it on. It would not only show the people of America that it's the Democrats alone who gave them a continuing tax cut, but would once again expose the GOP as being the party of the rich. As for the debt ceiling obstruction, didn't we just have that fight last year? And didn't the Republicans come out on the short end of that stick? I can't believe they would want to make that same mistake again, but if they do it will just further tarnish the Republican brand.
Note in the chart above, from a recent Gallup Poll, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives is not viewed as being honest by the American people. Only 10% say House members are honest, and the only group scoring lower than that were car salesmen. They already have very little respect, and they could force that even lower by obstructing instead of compromising on improving the economy.
Right now the Republicans have an edge in keeping control of the House in the 2014 elections (thanks to their brilliant gerrymandering after the 2010 census). But if they continue to vote against most Americans and obstruct economic improvement (and job creation) just to give the rich even more money, even that gerrymandering might not be able to save them. They have the votes in the House to initiate their "doomsday option" if they really want to, but they need to understand they will only be hurting themselves.

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