Republican House Speaker John Boehner and President Obama at the White House on November 16, 2012
Everyone seemingly has an idea about what the GOP controlled House should do to avert America going over the “Fiscal Cliff.””
But, what the House Republicans can do is really quite simple and is outlined by my friend, Pat Buchanan, in his piece for Real Clear Politics.
Pass an extension of the Social Security payroll tax cut and block its automatic rise from 4.2 percent of wages to 6.2 percent. To raise that tax now and scoop off the discretionary income of most of America’s families in this anemic economy makes no sense economically or politically.
The House should then vote to extend the Bush tax cuts for another year, with a pledge to do tax reform — lowering tax rates in return for culling, cutting or capping deductions for the well-to-do in the new year.
Then let Harry Reid work his will. If the Senate votes to let Social Security taxes rise, let Harry and his party explain this to the middle class that gets hammered in January. If the Senate votes to let the Bush tax cuts lapse for those over $200,000, decide in the caucus whether to negotiate — or to go home for Christmas and New Year’s.
As for the automatic sequester that would impose $100 billion in cuts next year, half in defense, do nothing. Let it take effect. The budget has to be cut, and while these cuts are heavy on defense, the depth and mixture can be adjusted in the new year.
There you have it.
The House is back in session today and they should get busy. Pass the extensions and let Harry Reid and Senate Democrats work their magic or not.
Let the President’s surrogates, including Warren Buffett, go on all of the tall shows touting how increasing the taxes on the rich is the savior of the nation. Of course, everyone knows there is not enough money there.
The House will have passed the Bush Tax Cuts and the Senate Democrats can simply negotiate what they will accept as a top rate roll back. Say, $500,000 for couples.
The GOP will not lose any sleep about increasing taxes on the rich, but in return the Democrats must agree to curbing the spending side.
Let the President and Harry Reid lead instead of bloviate.
Simple, isn’t it?