The Republicans' "Doomsday" Fiscal Cliff Plan Sounds Brilliant

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Dec. 3 2012 9:43 AM

The Republicans' "Doomsday" Fiscal Cliff Plan Sounds Brilliant

Really, it does. Jon Karl gets crisp details of a punt-plan I've been hearing a little about.

House Republicans would allow a vote on extending the Bush middle class tax cuts (the bill passed in August by the Senate) and offer the president nothing more – no extension of the debt ceiling, nothing on unemployment, nothing on closing loopholes. Congress would recess for the holidays and the president would face a big battle early in the year over the debt ceiling.

The beauty part of this: Democrats themselves have been laying some of the cement. On Thursday, Nancy Pelosi and her Democratic leaders held a mostly pointless press conference on the Hill to reiterate that the Republicans were really nasty. "We could give the American people a Christmas gift," said Pelosi, if the House pushed through the middle-class-only* tax extension that the Democratic Senate passed this summer. It sounded like fantasy, because revenue bills have to originate in the House, and why would Republicans adapt a bill passed by the people who keep blocking their budgets? Ah -- but what if Republicans shrugged, said "okay, enough already," and gave up fighting this incredibly popular tax hike in order to fight on higher ground?

Imagine you're pushing on a door with all your might, because someone's blocking it. You throw your shoulder against the door, again and again, hitting a solid surface. Then you throw in again, but your adversary has backed away from the door. You tumble through the threshold at high speed and lose your footing. That's sort of the Republican aspiration here.

*Yes, it's a marginal tax rate cut, not "for the middle class," but let's not get bogged down in accuracies.

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics



The Democrats’ War at Home

How can the president’s party defend itself from the president’s foreign policy blunders?

Congress’ Public Shaming of the Secret Service Was Political Grandstanding at Its Best

Michigan’s Tradition of Football “Toughness” Needs to Go—Starting With Coach Hoke

A Plentiful, Renewable Resource That America Keeps Overlooking

Animal manure.

Windows 8 Was So Bad That Microsoft Will Skip Straight to Windows 10


Cringing. Ducking. Mumbling.

How GOP candidates react whenever someone brings up reproductive rights or gay marriage.

Building a Better Workplace

You Deserve a Pre-cation

The smartest job perk you’ve never heard of.

Hasbro Is Cracking Down on Scrabble Players Who Turn Its Official Word List Into Popular Apps

Florida State’s New President Is Underqualified and Mistrusted. He Just Might Save the University.

  News & Politics
Sept. 30 2014 9:33 PM Political Theater With a Purpose Darrell Issa’s public shaming of the head of the Secret Service was congressional grandstanding at its best.
Sept. 30 2014 7:02 PM At Long Last, eBay Sets PayPal Free
Sept. 30 2014 7:35 PM Who Owns Scrabble’s Word List? Hasbro says the list of playable words belongs to the company. Players beg to differ.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 30 2014 12:34 PM Parents, Get Your Teenage Daughters the IUD
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Sept. 30 2014 3:21 PM Meet Jordan Weissmann Five questions with Slate’s senior business and economics correspondent.
Brow Beat
Sept. 30 2014 8:54 PM Bette Davis Talks Gender Roles in a Delightful, Animated Interview From 1963
Future Tense
Sept. 30 2014 7:00 PM There’s Going to Be a Live-Action Tetris Movie for Some Reason
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 30 2014 11:51 PM Should You Freeze Your Eggs? An egg freezing party is not a great place to find answers to this or other questions.
Sports Nut
Sept. 30 2014 5:54 PM Goodbye, Tough Guy It’s time for Michigan to fire its toughness-obsessed coach, Brady Hoke.