Here we go again.
From the AFL-CIO:
Statement by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka On Speaker Boehner’s Proposal
December 18, 2012
“Republicans are once again demanding benefit cuts to pay for tax cuts”
Republicans are once again demanding benefit cuts to pay for tax cuts, and threatening to harm the economy unless they get their way. House Speaker John Boehner’s recent “Plan B” proposal would extend tax cuts for people earning between $250,000 and $1 million, at a cost of $400 billion. At the same time, Republicans are demanding to cut Social Security COLAs through the so-called “Chained CPI.” We call on Congress to reject House Speaker Boehner’s proposal to extend tax cuts for people earning up to $1 million and support President Obama’s demand for at least $1.2 trillion in additional tax revenues. We further call on Congress to reject Republican hostage-taking and reject any cuts to Social Security, Medicaid, or Medicare benefits, regardless of who proposes them.
Via Ezra Klein:
“….This fight is not going to be won by the president taking a step towards Boehner, Boehner taking a step toward the president, the president taking a step toward Boehner, Boehner taking a step toward the president and so forth until they meet in the middle,” says Damon Silvers, policy director at the AFL-CIO. “That hasn’t worked before. Boehner doesn’t take the steps. It will be won by the president clearly siding with the American people on tax fairness and preserving the safety net from benefit cuts.”
They also feel that the White House is weakening their hand if the negotiations fall apart and the president needs to win a battle for public support. “They ought to be in a position where they say to Boehner, ‘You’re the guy demanding benefit cuts and you’re using them to fund tax cuts on the rich,'” Silvers says. Cutting Social Security’s cost-of-living adjustment by chaining CPI, he says, “muddies that position. It shouldn’t be muddied. It should be clear.”
Worse, the pushback from congressional Democrats over chained CPI is stronger than the administration expected – note the outspoken opposition from Sen. Dick Durbin, an Obama ally who’s often considered a barometer for pragmatic liberals….
A rough twenty-four hours for the White House? Giving the republicans the key to the store, backing up their truck to the loading dock for them, opening the door, loading the truck for them, and waving as they drive away with everything will make it a really rough four years for the White House.
Negotiating with political hostage takers isn’t supposed to be about handing them the club you beat them with in the last election.