Fiscal Cliff: New Chapter, Same Story
With the offer, Boehner has extended his hand and now it’s time for the President to take a step forward. Boehner’s proposal is predicated on the Democrats offering more cuts to entitlements. To date, Democrats have offered about $400 billion in spending cuts over 10 years, and none of the changes reflect the fundamental reform that Republicans want to see in the healthcare system.
Boehner has also increased his total revenue figure to $1 trillion, another huge step toward the middle ground. The President is calling for $1.4 trillion in revenue hikes, but many think this number is too high, and doesn’t seem obtainable under the new proposed tax hike scheme.
The President is unlikely to approve of Boehner’s proposal in its current form, but the concession is a strong step forward for all parties involved. Now that Republicans have put revenue figures on the table, Democrats will be expected to put entitlement figures on the table. Once there, policymakers can begin real negotiations instead of political sparring.