It appears that the irresistible force of increasing taxes on the rich from the White House has met the unmovable object of GOP refusal to consider rate increases — a fact confirmed by appearances on the Sunday shows of both Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Speaker Boehner:
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner echoed President Obama on Sunday, saying there won’t be a fiscal cliff deal with Republicans without higher taxes on the wealthy.
“There’s not going to be an agreement without rates going up,” Geithner said on CNN’s State of the Union, one of a series of talk show appearances he made on Sunday.
Geithner noted that Obama is offering the debt reduction deal he campaigned on, including an elimination of the George W. Bush tax cuts for Americans who make more than $250,000 a year.
Republicans say they will agree to more government revenues through elimination of tax loopholes, but not through an increase in tax rates they say will slow the economy.
Both parties face the prospect next year of the so-called “fiscal cliff,” a series of tax hikes and budget cuts that affect all Americans in the absence of a debt reduction agreement.
House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, told Fox News Sunday that “the White House has spent three weeks (since the election) doing basically nothing,” and that its pending offer emphasizes tax hikes while lacking specifics about spending cuts.
Obama and his team “won the election,” Boehner said, but “they must have forgotten that Republicans continue to hold a majority in the House.”
Lucy is out there urging Charlie Brown to try and kick that ball, promising she won’t pull it away just as he’s ready to boot it as she has done umpteen times over the last couple of decades.
In the cartoon, you know Mr. Brown is going to go for it. He wants to believe Lucy. He is desperate to believe her. He continuously rationalizes his decision — a decision for which he is always sorry.
Can the GOP break the disappearing ball cycle of trickery and hold fast on tax rate increases? Don’t bet on it. If Charlie Brown ever walked away from Lucy without trying to kick the ball, his friends would chastise him for not trusting the poor, sweet girl. They would blame him for the failure of the team. They would punish him when the time came for another game by not picking him for either side.
Since Mr. Brown doesn’t want that scenario coming true, he will once again, but reluctantly, run up to the ball being held by Lucy and prepare to kick it.
What do you suppose the chances are of Lucy not pulling the ball away this time?