Obama rejects GOP fiscal cliff plan
Saying it offered "nothing new," Obama advisor Dan Pfieffer rejected the Republican's counter offer for fiscal cliff negotiations this throwing the ball back in the White House's court.
White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer rejected Speaker of the House John Boehner's counter-proposal to avert the fiscal cliff in a statement to reporters Monday afternoon.
"The Republican letter released today does not meet the test of balance," Pfeiffer said. "In fact, it actually promises to lower rates for the wealthy and sticks the middle class with the bill. Their plan includes nothing new and provides no details on which deductions they would eliminate, which loopholes they will close or which Medicare savings they would achieve."
President Barack Obama has pledged to oppose any agreement that does not raise tax rates on the top two percent of wage-earners.
Independent analysts who have looked at plans like this one have concluded that middle class taxes will have to go up to pay for lower rates for millionaires and billionaires. While the President is willing to compromise to get a significant, balanced deal and believes that compromise is readily available to Congress, he is not willing to compromise on the principles of fairness and balance that include asking the wealthiest to pay higher rates. President Obama believes - and the American people agree - that the economy works best when it is grown from the middle out, not from the top down. Until the Republicans in Congress are willing to get serious about asking the wealthiest to pay slightly higher tax rates, we won't be able to achieve a significant, balanced approach to reduce our deficit our nation needs.
White House officials had said there woud be no further negotiations until Republicans presented their own proposal, which they did earlier Monday. But from Pfeiffer's call to "get serious," it doesn't appear that the exchange has moved negotiations forward.
Neither side appears ready to put many of its cards on the table. Eventually, the GOP will probably outline specific proposals to raise revenue (they propose $800 billion over 10 years in the eliminations of unspecified deductions) and the White House will get more specific about budget cuts,
If we're lucky it will all come together sometime in mid-January. If not, the recriminations will last all the way to the election of 2014.