Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Tax the Rich Pt II

So with President Obama set to speak about the deficit on Wednesday night and recommending rescinding the ruinous Bush tax cuts -- the very cuts that got us deeper into debt doing nothing to stop the Bush economy from cratering, the very cuts that seems to have rescinded the Clinton Era prosperity -- House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) has, predictably, called this return to sensible taxation of income above $250k/year "unacceptable and a non-starter."

I find that particularly amusing in light of the difficulty he appears to be having getting his Party in Congress to go along with the budget deal made this past Friday between Boehner, Harry Reid and the President:
While only 28 Republicans voted against the bridge plan to keep the money flowing until Thursday’s vote, it is highly likely that some of the Republicans who supported that measure were looking to avoid a government shutdown and will vote nay on the bill to finance the government through the rest of the fiscal year.

In a meeting with reporters, the House majority leader, Representative Eric Cantor of Virginia, while saying it was his understanding that the bill had “strong Republican support,” conceded Tuesday that he was not certain the bill would pass without support from Democrats. “Certainly we’ll always ask for them,” he said about Democrats.

Ha, weaklings, needing Dem support. I almost hope it fails -- then the nation sees today's GOP for what they are, psycho extremists or hostage to the same. Now Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) is saying the GOP will let the U.S. debt limit hit the ceiling and risk catastrophic default:

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) suggested Tuesday that Congress will allow the country to hit its debt ceiling, and continue to hold out for dramatic spending cuts while the nation approaches a genuine default.

"I think Treasury has, if I'm not mistaken, has put ... out a notice that there is a window within which we have to act in order to avoid the eventual default of this country on its debt," Cantor told reporters at his weekly Capitol briefing. "And I believe that that outside deadline is early July."

I'm guessing this is just bullshit brinksmanship for the benefit of teabagger votes, but you never know how a game of chicken will resolve itself. Unpleasant surprises have been known to happen once such a game is on. Per Dem strategist John Podesta, the GOP are playing with the type of fire with which they can scorch themselves:

"That that's like playing Russian Roulette with a fully loaded gun. I think that gun's actually pointed at the Republican leadership's head, not so much at the White House," John Podesta told me after a presentation at his think tank, the Center for American Progress. "I think they will find soon enough that if they try the same tactics they used in the 2011 [spending] battle with respect to the debt limit, you're going to see markets react to that in a very, very negative way and there's going to be a lot of pressure on them to get realistic, and at least with respect to the debt limit, to move forward in a more cooperative way."

Bang bang.

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