With Speaker John Boehner's Plan B(as in Bad) having gone down in flames last night, now is the time to look back on Boehner's negotiating ability, or more to the point, the lack thereof.
First up we have the Pledge to America Boehner and crew crafted in the 2010 election cycle. In the Pledge, Boehner and the boys promised to cut $100 billion in federal spending in the first year. By the time Boehner had finished his first round of budget cutting negotiations with Harry Reid he had managed to cut a whopping $100 million dollars. Round one for Boehner ends in "#EpicFail."
Boehner's next turn at negotiating to be examined here is the 2011 debt limit battle. In this fight Obama and the Democrats wanted to raise the nation's debt limit without any strings attached, let alone any spending restraints. Boehner on the other hand wanted to have the Dems sign off on the Cut, Cap, and Balance Act which would have cut $100 billion in spending right away, capped federal spending at a percentage of GDP, and required Congress to vote on a balanced budget amendment.
Of course, Obama and his fellow utopian statist Democrats wanted nothing to do with this, so Boehner negotiated the Super Committee deal after having walked away from talks with Obama after the President upped his revenue demands from $800 billion(which Boehner was willing to agree to) to $1.2 trillion. In the super committee deal, 12 members of Congress were supposed to find a little over a trillion dollars in deficit reduction. If they couldn't, then sequestration would kick in, bringing cuts to the military and Medicare. As we all know, the committee couldn't even agree whether the sky was blue, let alone to find any spending cuts. So we got stuck with sequestration.
Which brings us to the fiscal cliff debacle. First Boehner was willing to give Obama $800 billion in new revenue from closing tax loopholes and deductions. Then came Plan B where Boehner was willing to raise tax rates on people who earn more than a million dollars a year while keeping existing rates (which expire January 1st for everyone) the same for people who earn less than that. Now keep in mind that NO Republican led House of Representatives has ever approved raising marginal income tax rates since the 16th Amendment was ratified.
Earlier in the week President Obama balked at this offer from Boehner and last night so did the Republican members of the House (or at least enough of them) causing Boehner to pull Plan B from being voted on at all.
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