Everyone has been to this movie and now it turns out no one has bothered to change the ending. President Obama, after winning a decisive election victory with a specific program on raising taxes on those making $250,000 or more has retreated.
Here’s how the last 24 hours have gone for the White House.
On Monday, they delivered an offer to House Speaker John Boehner that included genuine concessions. They brought their revenue request down from $1.6 trillion to $1.3 trillion. They dropped their demand that the Bush tax rates expire for all income over $250,000 a year, offering a new threshold of $400,000 a year. They brought their debt-ceiling demand down from no more debt ceiling crises ever to no debt ceiling crises for two years. They agreed to some form of chained CPI as a way to cut Social Security benefits.
And the Republican response, just as before.
On Monday night, Boehner rejected their offer, and on Tuesday, Boehner unveiled “Plan B” — a proposal to walk away from the talks, vote on a plan to make the Bush tax rates permanent for all households with income under $1 million, and then go home for the holidays.
So once again the President takes defeat right out of the jaws of victory.