Earlier today, the Washington Post circulated the White House's opening bid on fiscal cliff negotiations. The Post says it got the plan from Republican aides. Here 'tis:
- Immediate increase in both top marginal rates, as well as capital gains and dividends: +$960 Billion
- Additional taxes: +$600 Billion
- 2009-level estate tax
- AMT and business tax extenders: -$236 Billion
- Payroll tax extension or alternative policy: -$110B
- Bonus depreciation extension
- $50 billion stimulus package in FY13
- Mass refi mortgage proposal
- Deferral of sequester
- Savings from non-entitlement mandatory programs
- Extension of unemployment insurance: $30 billion
- Medicare SGR Patch: $25 Billion
- Increase in the debt limit to avoid requiring Congress to vote to increase
- Tax reform consistent with $1.6 trillion tax increase
- Entitlement policies from President’s FY13 budget that could total $400 billion in savings
So basically, what we're looking at here is the same thing Politico was reporting yesterday: Substantial net increases in federal revenue that start in 2013 with the promise of meager savings ($400 billion) somewhere way down the road. Politico suggested that Obama would make do with "just" $1.2 trillion in tax hikes and that House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) would be happy with a deal that averts the cliff, even if it raising taxes three dollars for every one dollar in spending cuts.
Today, Boehner told the press, "There's a stalemate. Let's not kid ourselves" and that Obama's proposal was not a "serious" offering.
Given Boehner's weak limited government bona fides, thank heavens for small miracles.
All members of Congress should read Reason's special November 2010 issue - so special it was printed in 3D! The issue is chock full of real-life examples of countries (including the United States right after World War II and Canada and New Zealand in the 1990s) that cut spending, right-sized debt-to-GDP ratios, and were rewarded with booming economies.