For those wondering why an agreement hasn’t been reached to avoid the fiscal cliff, National Journal has the answer -- Democrats are intentionally slow-walking negotiations:
“Democrats did not do much on Wednesday, adopting a deliberate strategy to slow-walk Republicans to the edge of the fiscal cliff…” (National Journal, 12/6/12)
While Democrats have used their “slow-walk” strategy to toy with middle class families, small businesses, and our national security, Republicans proactively made several responsible attempts to reach a balanced agreement that averts the fiscal cliff.
The day after the election, Speaker John Boehner made a big concession: Republicans would accept new revenue (a key demand of the president’s) if it came from pro-growth tax reform (such as closing special-interest loopholes and lowering rates) and was accompanied by significant spending cuts.
This is the kind of framework that could win bipartisan support, protect middle class families and small businesses, and pave the way for long-term economic growth. It’s also broadly supported by 65 percent of the American people whom prefer it to raising tax rates.
But Republicans quickly countered with a new offer – one that’s been called “a far-reaching plan to rein in the national debt,” “superior to the offer Obama put on the table last week,” that “aggressively targets the government's biggest budget problems and refrains from adding costly spending.”
That was Monday. It’s now Thursday. The White House still hasn’t said whether it will respond to the Republican proposal. The president even claimed “the math” doesn’t add up on the GOP plan, even though he called for the same tax reforms just one year ago.
Turns out: all of the bluster is just the Democrats’ “slow walk” strategy at play. And the pattern has been going on for months.
Speaker Boehner delivered a speech in May saying there was no reason to wait until December to act. The House, in fact, had just voted to replace the defense sequester – Senate Democrats never followed suit. The House then passed a bipartisan bill in August that would stop tax rate hikes on middle class taxpayers and small businesses – Senate Democrats did not.
Throughout the summer and into the fall, the president focused on gimmicks and fake fights. While House Republicans passed jobs bill after jobs bill, most just piled up in the Senate. As the fiscal cliff approached, many Democrats talked openly about just driving off and tanking the economy. Just this week, Senate Democratic leaders even blocked a vote on President Obama’s plan …
…now we know why: it’s all part of the Democrats’ slow walk strategy.