An old joke, long attributed to Winston Churchill goes like this. Churchill asked a famous British socialite, “Madam, would you sleep with me for five million pounds?””My goodness, Mr. Churchill. Well, I suppose we would have to discuss terms, of course,” the socialite replied.Churchill then asked, “Would you sleep with me for five pounds?” at which the socialite angrily responded, “Mr. Churchill, what kind of woman do you think I am?”Winston Churchill calmly replied, “Madam, we’ve already established that. Now we are haggling about the price.”That story describes what John Boehner is doing to his own Republican Conference. Boehner wants to establish that the GOP will support tax hikes and decoupling, then he will come back and negotiate the actual deal. When we protest that it’s a tax hike, he will point to this vote and say, “Excuse me?”Most pathetically, too many conservatives in the House of Representatives are signaling exactly just what sort of women they are.I can only guess that the “B” in John Boehner’s plan be stands for bovine excrement. He should be ashamed at the lack of seriousness of his plan.Conservatives in Congress should back away from it.The nation deserves a laugh this week and John Boehner’s Plan B should be the punch line.The spin from Speaker Boehner’s Office on the plan shows you every single reason why this plan is embarrassing and Republicans should be ashamed to support it.The first bullet point is that “Plan B” “does not raise taxes.” Really? How then does that reconcile with the second bullet point that notes, “Plan B” “permanently extends income tax rate cuts for Americans making less than $1 million, which protects 99.81 percent of all taxpayers”?Only among the mendacious cast of clowns in Washington can those two bullet points be reconciled together. John Boehner’s plan does raise taxes. But it only does so on people who earn one million dollars or more. He obfuscates this because taxes are set to automatically go up in January. Therefore, by preventing taxes from going up on 99.81% of Americans and letting a tax increase happen anyway, he can claim his plan “does not raise taxes.”That type of mendacity got us to this point.The most significant thing John Boehner’s plan does is absolutely nothing on spending. Republicans will raise taxes and lie to the American public about it while doing absolutely nothing on entitlements, spending, or anything else. Oh, but John Boehner notes his plan
Does not include anything on the debt limit or other non-tax policy items. Remember, Speaker Boehner’s rule on the debt limit still applies: spending cuts must exceed any debt limit increase.
Excuse me while I go vomit.Lest you forget, the so called “fiscal cliff” is a series of tax increases and spending cuts created by Congress. The spending cuts came from the last time the Republicans raised the debt limit. These are precisely the spending cuts John Boehner and the GOP now want to weasel out of. It is fatuous nonsense for John Boehner to claim “spending cuts must exceed any debt limit increase” when he and his cohorts in the GOP are working right now to get out of the last spending cuts that came about because of the debt ceiling increase in 2011.”But wait!” you might say. “With ‘Plan B’ those spending cuts will go into effect anyway. ‘Plan B’ only deals with the tax side of the fiscal cliff.”On this I will concede that superficially is correct. But I do not believe for a minute that the majority of Republicans or the Democrats would go along with that. In fact, both sides have been loudly saying they do not want the cuts to happen. They will not happen. Spending will continue. The only thing that would convince me otherwise is for John Boehner to come out now and publicly say the spending cuts, as they are, will happen.That, frankly, gets to my bottom line: were John Boehner to offer up this “Plan B” and that be the end of it, I’d be okay. If the spending cuts that are to happen were to go forward as they are from the 2011 debt ceiling increase and all of these bullet points to be as they are permanently, I would say that this is the least bad compromise the GOP could offer up, save face, and go on. If taxes must go up and the Democrats insist they go up on millionaires, well then actually raise taxes on millionaires, not people who make $250,000.00. But it would be absolutely, staggeringly ridiculous to do so without demanding from the other side entitlement reform and spending cuts. Without those, this is preposterous.Sadly, we have seen this game before from the Speaker’s Office. The GOP came back to power in the House in 2011 and promised all sorts of spending cuts. They never happened then they tried to spin their way out of it.Then they raised the debt ceiling and promised all sorts of spending cuts. They had a chance for permanence too on taxes when they could have gotten permanence, but they failed then. It is laughable that they’d tout permanence now when Barack Obama has a better hand, having failed to get permanence when the GOP had a better hand.Now they are trying to weasel their way out of spending cuts and claiming not to be raising taxes on anybody while actually raising taxes.John Boehner says his “Plan B” will be permanent cuts. If the GOP votes for this, it will have caved on its tax pledge in the name of permanence only to see the White House and Senate Democrats block it. But the GOP will have caved on the one thing it has not caved on, making fertile ground for capitulation next time. When “Plan B” goes nowhere, the media, the left, the Democrats, and John Boehner can remind House Republicans they already voted to sell out their values.I’d like to go with John Boehner’s compromise. It is the least of all the bad compromises put forward so far. But John Boehner and the House Republican Leadership have repeated lied to conservatives and the American public over the last two years about their commitment to limited government. Now John Boehner is proposing what amounts to a message vote that will put the GOP on record selling out their values without actually doing anything meaningful.I’m not going to start believing John Boehner and House Republican leaders now, giving them cover to sell out the last position on which they haven’t sold out — tax increases for Americans.