Fiscal Cliff

The Fiscal Cliff – Something for Nothing?

Speaker Boehner and President Obama at the White HouseHouse GOP Speaker Boehner and President Obama earlier this month meeting on the Fiscal Cliff

What is the best deal Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell can achieve over the next 24 hours to avoid the Fiscal Cliff?

Byron York says whatever the deal, it will end badly for the GOP.

Under the most likely scenario, Republicans will get nothing — nothing — in return for giving in on tax rates for the highest-income Americans.  No spending cuts, at least no serious spending cuts beyond what are already included in sequestration, would be part of the deal done on Sunday or Monday, if that is indeed what happens. . . .

[T]he bottom line is that the fiscal cliff fight will not end happily for Republicans.  They will have given in on what was an article of faith — that taxes should not be raised on anybody, poor or rich — in return for essentially nothing.

But, what York does not clearly explain and Ramesh Ponnuru does over at National Review does is one LARGE failure of the Republicans.

They LOST the election in 2012 and are essentially boxed into a NO WIN scenario.

The reason we’re not going to get spending cuts beyond those already scheduled in return for tax increases smaller than those already scheduled is that current law doesn’t force larger spending cuts and does force larger tax increases.

What would Republicans get out of a deal? A reduction in scheduled tax increases; the avoidance of a fight with Obama that would be structured in a way that lets him get to Republicans’ right on middle-class taxes and posture as the biggest tax-cutter since Reagan; and that’s about it.

Republicans had two ways of avoiding this scenario. They could have passed smaller tax cuts in 2001 and 2003 but not given them expiration dates. Or they could have done better in the last few elections. At this point it’s hard to see what strategy would undo the effects on the budget from that mistake and that failure.

The House GOP can go along with whatever McConnell-Reid’s deal is or go over the Fiscal Cliff. Remember everyone will have higher tax rates if we go over the Cliff, including the AMT.

At this point, extending the Bush tax rates for everyone, except for those over $400K is probably the only choice.

When Bill Kristol announced a similar strategy a few weeks ago, everyone on the RIGHT cried sell out.

Now, it appears to be the only game in town.

So, the House GOP should accept the deal or be willing to go over the Cliff and endure the wrath of outraged American taxpayers when their first 2013 paycheck is much smaller.