On Fox News Channel’s “Special Report” on Thursday, Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer said President Barack Obama’s latest proposal to avert the fiscal cliff, which calls for $1.6 trillion in tax increases and $50 billion in additional stimulus spending, is an insult to Republicans.
“It’s not just a bad deal — this is really an insulting deal,” Krauthammer said. “What Geithner offered, what you showed on the screen, Robert E. Lee was offered easier terms at Appomattox, and he lost the Civil War. The Democrats won by three percent of the vote, and they did not hold the House. Republicans won the House. So this is not exactly unconditional surrender, but that is what the administration is asking of the Republicans.”
“This idea — there are not only no cuts in this, there’s an increase in spending with a new stimulus,” Krauthammer continued. “I mean, this is almost unheard of. I mean, what do they expect? They obviously expect the Republicans will cave on everything. I think the Republicans ought to simply walk away. The president is the president. He’s the leader. They are demanding that the Republicans explain all the cuts that they want to make.”
Krauthammer said Obama’s fiscal cliff deal mirrored his approach to Republican Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget proposal.
“We had that movie a year and a half ago, where Paul Ryan presented a budget, a serious real budget with real cuts,” he said. “Obama was supposed to give a speech where he would respond with a counter offer. And what did he do? He gave a speech where he had Ryan sitting in the front row. He called the Ryan proposal ‘un-American,’ insulted him, offered nothing, and ran on Mediscare in the next 18 months.”
Krauthammer urged Republicans to take the short-term hit on the fiscal cliff, and said eventually Obama would be held accountable for the consequences.
“And they expect the Republicans are going to do this again?” he continued. “The Republicans are going to walk on this. And I think they have leverage. Yes, for congressional Democrats, it will help them in the future if Republicans absorb the blame, which we’re going have a recession. But Obama is not running again, unlike the congressional Democrats. He’s going to have a recession, 9 percent unemployment, 2 million more unemployed, and a second term that’s going to be a ruin. That is not a good proposition if you are Barack Obama.”