Let’s Go Over The Fiscal Cliff With A Bungee Cord

Some day the debt time bomb will take the US and most of the rest of the world down the rabbit hole called financial collapse. We don’t know when that will happen so why not have a little fun while we wait for our doom. I have never tried bungee jumping, but I’m sure it must be an adrenalin rush like nothing I have ever experienced. At my age, I am not likely to actually do it. But, we could metaphorically do it by going over the fiscal cliff with a suitable bungee cord to save us from hitting bottom.

Yesterday my friend John Galt, at America’s Chronicles, made a cogent defense of John Boehner’s negotiating tactics on the fiscal cliff. His argument went something like this. If the House was to pass Boehner’s Plan B, restoring the Bush tax cuts for everyone except those earning a million dollars per year or more. The Senate and Obama would reject Boehner’s plan and we would go over the fiscal cliff with Obama and the MSM putting the blame on the House Republicans. So, how is that a good thing for the country or the Republicans? Well, this is what I call the bungee cord in Galt’s diabolical plan. When Congress opens for business again in January, the Democrats and Obama will be so full of their victory over the Republicans, they will want to show themselves as the saviors of the tanking economy and so the House Democrats will introduce their bill to return the Bush tax cuts to everyone except those make over $250,000 per year and little or no spending cuts.  Obama then will dare the Republicans not to pass the tax cuts for the middle class. BOING! BOING!  Boehner doesn’t even bring the Democrat’s bill up for a vote. Instead the majority Republican House passes a  bill that lowers middle class taxes even more than the Bush levels and layout some meaningful spending cuts. In this way, Boehner will have flipped Obama’s trap back on Obama and the Democrats. Could they turn down even better tax rates for the middle class to avoid spending cuts?

In my comment to Galt’s post, I told him I liked the scheme very much, if that is really what Boehner was up to. And,  if it was, Boehner needed to mend fences with the conservative Republicans, whom he has alienated and whom he has kept out of the loop, because otherwise they may not support his Plan B. That, of course, is what happened. Boehner had to pull his Plan B bill last night because he didn’t have enough votes to pass it. But, that doesn’t change anything. Galt’s scheme is still in play or, at least it could be.

John Galt did not try to elaborate on what “meaningful spending cuts” might be. So, let’s have some fun with that. Bill Weckesser, writing for American Thinker today, has some interesting ideas on how we could down-size our government.

Conservatives need to turn the table on the debate.  Instead of arguing that entitlements will soon swallow everything else, so let’s cut them, let’s work on cutting all the rest.  House republicans should consider making every cut a tradeoff versus cutting  Social Security/Medicare.  For instance, either downsize the EPA…or cut Social Security/Medicare.  Reduce the Energy department…or reduce Social Security/Medicare.  Scale back the Department of Education…or trim Social Security/Medicare.  The list is endless.   A lot of Americans have more affection for Social Security/Medicare than any government agency.  This could be a stealth way to pursue some healthy de-regulation.  Would this meaningfully reduce the deficit?  Of course not.

But, to paraphrase Reagan, “entitlements are a big enough problem to take care of themselves.”  In the meantime, maybe conservatives can win some other battles.

So, Mr. Speaker, are you up for this? Go mend your fences with the conservatives, tie on that bungee cord good and tight, and let’s do this thing!

Well, now you know what I’m thinking. What are your thoughts?

18 thoughts on “Let’s Go Over The Fiscal Cliff With A Bungee Cord

  1. I know that lot of my conservative friends have been vilifying Boehner. This morning, I note that the mainstream media is doing so.

    My view of Boehner has been different. He may well have hatched a shrewd plan.

  2. Boehner is doing the best he can with an extremely weak hand. His efforts are hampered by the fact that going over the fiscal cliff is a big winner for Obama and the Democrats. Defense gets slashed, taxes get raised and Republicans get blamed. What is there not to love if you’re a progressive?

  3. The discussion should be held in a public forum, namely the House. We need to educate. Boehner is a fool for thinking that he alone can negotiate for a couple of minutes here and there. One has to bring others along to the conclusion if one wants to have support. Negotiations 101. Threatening and taking away key House committees from tea party folks only ramps up the discontent. Time for him to go. I am sick of him. He gave all of a 55 second remark to the press after Obama’s presser.

  4. Jim, thank you for exposing my plan to the wisdom of your audience. You explain it very well; and I’m fascinated by the bungee-cord analogy (perhaps, you should try it – H. Bush is still jumping from airplanes).

    Today’s developments obliged me to post a continuation of my argument yesterday agreeing with Boehner on his intentions behind plan ‘B’, which was unfortunately turned down by what I called, “the Republican Children”. By coincidence, Karl Rove seemed to agree with me in his WSJ piece yesterday, “Boehner Plays a Weak Hand Well”, where he says, “House Speaker John Boehner has emerged as that Washington rarity, the adult in charge” . . . . “Mr. Boehner’s thinking is that preventing increases on more than 99% of taxpayers could help Republicans escape from a battle they cannot win. Better for the GOP to show the President rabid for more taxes and spending, and then to pivot towards a debate about spending”. This thought is encapsulated in all three of my pieces on Boehner and the proper way to handle the President’s plan to trap the GOP and still get his tax increases.

  5. That is very interesting and I like the bungee cord metaphor, if this is what Boehner is actually up to it is brilliant. I am just not sure that is what he is up to, but I would love to be wrong about that.

  6. Very clever thinking… from both John Galt and yourself…
    Lost within the argument over the fiscal cliff there is already a perfectly reasonable spending cuts beginning. We have it right now. It is not THE solution and it doesn’t deal with entitlement reform, but it is a far, far better start than what a final fiscal cliff agreement will likely contain.

    The question for us is… are we gonna keep it? It is, of course – sequestration. It is the first substantive and reasonably fair spending cuts we’ve seen in decades.

  7. I would like to agree with you and believe Boehner is much shrewder than I give him credit for, but that feeling escapes me. Yes, he has a weak hand, but he has done absolutely nothing to strengthen his position. He gives me the impression that he is flailing around in the wind with no coherent strategy. My faith in him is zero.

  8. I hope you and Galt are right. And I sure do like American Thinker’s way of thinking. But unfortunately, I’m with LD on this. Boehner has not proven himself to to be strong leader. The Tea Partiers/conservatives don’t trust his leadership. And to just pile it on, he has an image problem–one that doesn’t earn respect from voters, the media. Why should we care about his image? Because the average Joe on the street–if they even know who he is–immediatly say “Oh, he’s the one that crys”. Boehner has been a huge disappointment so far and his typical Republican wringing-of-hands is hurting the conservative agenda and thus the nation. He won’t win because he’s already labeled a loser.

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