Now that John Boehner’s “Plan B” has fallen through, it’s a real concern whether we’ll be able to avoid going over the fiscal cliff at the end of this year. Last Saturday, the President and his family arrived in Hawaii for a Christmas vacation, and the President stated that he would return this week to work out the details of a deal.
But with nearly everyone, Boehner included, departing Washington for the holidays, it remains uncertain what will actually transpire this week.
Should we go over the fiscal cliff, broad tax increases activate on January 1, with heavy spending cuts following in their wake. The impasse is mainly due to the President insisting that current tax rates for the middle-class (i.e., those with incomes below $250,000) be extended, and that they should be raised on those making more than that.
Republicans, however, are completely adamant that those tax hikes should not occur. So the Senate is opposed to a Republican bill extending tax cuts for everyone, while the House opposes the President’s and the Senate’s proposals.
The “Plan B” in question would have extended current rates for all except those earning more than $1 million. But the proposal did not gather enough Republican support and subsequently fell through.
What’s worse is that as people departed for the holidays, few missed a chance to take a shot at the opposition. All in all, hardly good Christmas cheer.
In any event, Speaker Boehner needs to ensure his own party doesn’t stomp all over his work, and both parties need to work together for a brief period in order to develop a plan that can avert the fiscal cliff.
Things are so bad that many Republicans are critical of their own party—particularly focusing on the ideological diehards who resist tax increases no matter what.
From Fox News:
“It’s the same 40 chuckleheads that screwed this place up,” Rep. Steve LaTourette, R-Ohio, said, referencing the conservative lawmakers who were opposed to raising tax rates at any level. “(Boehner’s) done everything to make nice to them.”