Zero Sum

Charles Krauthammer:

This is why he sent Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner to the Republicans to convey not a negotiating offer but a demand for unconditional surrender. House Speaker John Boehner had made a peace offering of $800 billion in new revenue. Geithner pocketed Boehner’s $800 billion, doubled it to $1.6 trillion, offered risible cuts that in 2013 would actually be exceeded by new stimulus spending and then demanded that Congress turn over to the president all power over the debt ceiling.

Boehner was stunned. Mitch McConnell laughed out loud. In nobler days, they’d have offered Geithner a pistol and an early-morning appointment at Weehawken. Alas, Boehner gave again, coming back a week later with spending-cut suggestions — as demanded by Geithner — only to have them dismissed with a wave of the hand.

What’s going on here? Having taken Boehner’s sword, and then his shirt, Obama sent Geithner to demand Boehner’s trousers. Perhaps this is what Obama means by a balanced approach.

I think that’s right. Obama has no intention of making a deal of any sort. The republicans have to start from that assumption and figure out what they can do with that – without falling into the trap Obama has set for them. Obama wants the Clinton tax rates back – all of them, not just on the rich.

So pass a bill out of the House making all but the top bracket cuts permanent and repealing the AMT. Then watch the fun begin.

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2 Responses to Zero Sum

  1. K T Cat says:

    I love how he wants the debt ceiling done away with. Mind blowing. Spend without limits!

  2. chuck says:

    I don’t understand why Boehner would have expected anything different. What’s wrong with these folks? Haven’t they been paying attention? They are in a war, but they seem to think they are attending collegial meetings aimed at solving the country’s problems rather than discussing total surrender and abdication.

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