White House boosts criticism of GOP’s ‘Plan B’

Neil Munro White House Correspondent
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The White House’s press secretary Thursday continued the administration’s jeremiad against the GOP’s “Plan B” plan to avoid scheduled tax increases, slamming it for aiding wealthy Americans.

The plan is “rewarding millionaires and billionaires with a big old tax cut and sticking it to 25 million working families,” Jay Carney told reporters Dec. 20, despite the fact that it would allow rates to rise on income above $1 million.

The plan is “pointless and futile,” Carney insisted, because it will be blocked by Senate Democrats and by President Barack Obama.

GOP leaders plan to pass their Plan B proposal Thursday, and send it to the Senate.

If if were signed by the president, it would avert the economic damage that would be caused by the “fiscal cliff” tax increase, scheduled for Jan. 1.

The bill effectively raises taxes on the wealthiest one percent of investors and employers, marking a compromise between the GOP’s opposition to tax-rate increases and Democratic demands for tax increases on the top two percent.

The president’s offer, Carney said, would reduce the deficit by $4 trillion over 10 years, and preserve tax cuts — set by George W. Bush in 2001 — for 98 percent of people.

However, the $4 trillion figure is questionable, because it includes roughly $1 trillion in spending cuts established in 2011 by a face-off between the GOP and the president.

Under the president’s offer, the federal government would borrow roughly $7 trillion more by 2022, increasing the national debt to roughly $23 trillion.

Carney’s complaints about the GOP’s plan were echoed by Democratic partisans and allied groups, and they echoed the president’s extensive complaints Dec. 19.

“There’s been a lot of posturing up on Capitol Hill,” Obama told reporters at a White House press-conference. The GOP’s Plan B “defies logic” and hurts middle-class Americans, he said.

“At some point, you are hurting people in order to give another advantage to folks who don’t need help,” he said.

Obama also suggested that the GOP’s opposition to his offer is powered by personal animus to him.

“They will be able to claim that they have worked with me over the last two years to reduce the deficit more than any other deficit reduction package; that we will have stabilized it for 10 years,” he said. “That is a significant achievement for them. They should be proud of it. But they keep on finding ways to say no as opposed to finding ways to say yes.”

“And I don’t know how much of that just has to do with, you know, it is very hard for them to say yes to me,” he said.

The GOP’s Plan B does not include a large increase in the federal government’s credit-limit. That’s sought by the president, partly to avoid another budget-class prior to the 2014 mid-term elections.

“I will not negotiate around the debt ceiling,” Obama insisted Dec. 19. “We’re not going to play the same game that we saw in 2011, which was hugely destructive, hurt our economy. … We’re not going to do that,” he claimed.

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