Republicans are feigning shock that Obama is proposing to implement the very same policies that Americans voted for in November. In the Weekly Republican Address, U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Ranking Member of the Senate Finance Committee, demagogues the so-called “fiscal cliff” and falsely claims that the Obama administration proposal to raise taxes on the rich (slightly, by allowing the Bush tax cuts on the top bracket to expire) is “a classic bait and switch.”
President Obama ran for re-election explicitly on the proposal he is advocating now. Much of President Obama’s current proposal appeared in his 20-page plan, released back in October. Polls indicate 60 percent of Americans support Obama’s tax plan.
Senator Hatch says the answer is to cut Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, lower tax rates for the rich, and achieve “comprehensive tax reform,” whatever that is. Where is the Republican plan? We’re still waiting.
Oh, and by the way there is no such thing as a “death tax.” This term is the creation of Republican pollster Frank Luntz. It’s actually called the estate tax, and only applies to inherited wealth of more than $5 million (which is taxed at a 35 percent rate). Estates pass automatically without taxes to a spouse.
Paul Krugman predicts the next two years will be “one long Republican tantrum.” “Republicans are signaling that they don’t intend to make any specific proposals, they’re just going to yell and stamp their feet until Obama soothes them somehow.”
Steve Benen explains why the GOP has no proposal: “Under the rules Boehner and McConnell drew up last year, Republicans are supposed to tell the president, “Make us happy,” and Obama is supposed to keep offering conservative ideas in the hopes of guessing what they’ll find satisfactory.”