John Boehner's Two-Part Counteroffer on the "Fiscal Cliff"

A blog about business and economics.
Dec. 3 2012 3:25 PM

John Boehner's Two-Part Counteroffer on the "Fiscal Cliff"

John Boehner is out with his counteroffer to Obama's opening bid on the so-called fiscal cliff, and it's a bit of a confusing document. He leads with a bunch of stuff about the Ryan budget that the House already passed and the various reforms that "are, in our view, absolutely essential to addressing the true drivers of our debt," but that's actually not Boehner's proposal. After rehearsing the case for the Ryan budget, he offers a different plan based on what he says Erskine Bowles has proposed.

The plan is:

— $800 billion "through pro-growth tax reform that closes special-interest loopholes and deductions while lowering rates."
— $900 billion in mandatory spending cuts that don't necessarily involve huge structural reforms.
— $300 billion in discretionary spending cuts over and above what was enacted in the Budget Control Act.

Basically Boehner is looking to put a proposal on the table that's less far-reaching than the Ryan budget without backing off the House GOP's support for said budget. Now a huge problem here is, as ever, on the tax side. You could raise almost $800 billion by capping deductions at $50,000 a year, and the vast majority of that money would come from rich people, but it would be inconsistent with Obama's pledge to raise money exclusively from rich people. But that doesn't include lowering rates. The way Simpson-Bowles managed to get to rate-lowering, revenue-raising tax policy was by first assuming the expiration of the Bush tax cuts for the rich and then doing base-broadening reform.

I'd be very interested to see what kind of proposal Boehner has in mind that would meet his criteria.


The Juice

Ford’s Big Gamble

It’s completely transforming America’s best-selling vehicle.

Should the United States Grant Asylum to Victims of Domestic Violence?

The Apple Watch Will Make Everyone Around You Just a Little Worse Off

This Was the First Object Ever Designed

Don’t Expect Adrian Peterson to Go to Prison

In much of America, beating your kids is perfectly legal. 


How the Apple Watch Will Annoy Us

A glowing screen attached to someone else’s wrist is shinier than all but the blingiest jewels.


A Little Bit Softer Now, a Little Bit Softer Now …

The sad, gradual decline of the fade-out in popular music.

Is Everyone Going to Declare Independence if Scotland Does It? 

I Tried to Write an Honest Profile of One of Bollywood’s Biggest Stars. It Didn’t Go Well.

Trending News Channel
Sept. 12 2014 11:26 AM Identical Twins Aren’t Really Identical
  News & Politics
Sept. 12 2014 7:24 PM Come and Take It Libertarians fight for people whose property was seized by the police.
Sept. 12 2014 5:54 PM Olive Garden Has Been Committing a Culinary Crime Against Humanity
Sept. 12 2014 3:32 PM Yes, Those Straight Guys Who Wed for Rugby Tickets Are Mocking Marriage. What’s New?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 12 2014 4:05 PM Life as an NFL Wife: “He's the Star. Keep Him Happy.”
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Sept. 12 2014 5:55 PM “Do You Know What Porn Is?” Conversations with Dahlia Lithwick’s 11-year-old son.
Brow Beat
Sept. 14 2014 7:10 PM Watch Michael Winslow Perform Every Part of “Whole Lotta Love” With Just His Voice
Future Tense
Sept. 12 2014 3:53 PM We Need to Pass Legislation on Artificial Intelligence Early and Often
  Health & Science
New Scientist
Sept. 14 2014 8:38 AM Scientific Misconduct Should Be a Crime It’s as bad as fraud or theft, only potentially more dangerous.
Sports Nut
Sept. 12 2014 4:36 PM “There’s No Tolerance for That” Pete Carroll and Jim Harbaugh say they don’t abide domestic abuse. So why do the Seahawks and 49ers have a combined six players accused of violence against women?