Democrats Subverting Budget Negotiations by Offering Concessions

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It's a bipartisan committee! How could it possibly fail? Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Last August, President Obama and House Republicans reached a fair compromise in which Obama agreed to accept a $1.2 trillion deficit reduction plan consisting entirely of spending cuts, in return for which Republicans agreed not to precipitate global financial calamity by failing to lift the debt ceiling. That deal also set up a “super-committee,” in which the two parties would have to agree on more deficit reduction or else trigger more automatic spending cuts.

Now Democrats on the committee have made an offer to cut spending by an additional $1.5–2 trillion dollars, alongside $1 trillion in higher tax revenue. Republicans, in keeping with their anti-tax dogma, naturally turned it down. Their argument is that Democrats are subverting the negotiations by making reasonable offers which the Republicans will naturally refuse, therefore making Republicans appear unreasonable. Therefore Democrats are jerks.

You don’t believe me that this is the actual Republican argument, do you? Seriously, it is.

Here’s a quote from CNN:

One top Republican aide described the Democratic offer as "outrageously absurd" and a "non-starter," and a sign the super committee may ultimately fail.


Here’s the New York Times:

A Republican Congressional aide said the Democrats’ proposal was not serious. “I do not know why anyone would believe that Republicans would ever agree to more than $1 trillion in taxes,” said the aide, speaking on condition of anonymity, in keeping with restrictions imposed by the co-chairmen of the panel. “It is ridiculous, nothing more than political posturing.”


Here’s The Hill:

Republicans instantly rejected the offer. Aides dismissed the plan as unserious and said the inclusion of tax increases and stimulus spending shows it is merely a political ploy meant to paint the GOP as intransigent.


You paint the other party as intransigent by making highly reasonable offers that they’ll turn down because they’re completely intransigent. What a devious ploy!

Obviously, the only way to defeat a sneaky move like that is to become even more intransigent.