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The Lessons from Plan B
By Joshua Withrow on December 21, 2012
If President Obama and Senator Reid were actually negotiating in good faith, then one could argue that Speaker Boehner's Plan B was an acceptable, if unpalatable, compromise. After all, it permanently extended the current tax rates for very nearly all Americans, eliminating the annual game of chicken in Congress over whether our taxes will automatically increase.
But the President and Senator Reid made very clear that they are not interested in compromise, and that Boehner's offer was dead on arrival in the Senate because it did not raise taxes on enough people. This is not a negotiation on President Obama's part - it is holding all Americans' incomes hostage and demanding higher income earners as the ransom.
The choice being laid out by the President is a false choice between raising taxes on everyone or just on a few. There is another choice, which FreedomWorks has endorsed all along: extend the current tax rates for everybody. Once we've backed away from the fiscal cliff, we can have a real debate about how to collect revenue and curb spending through real reforms.
The fiscal conservatives in the House agreed. Led by a younger core of freshmen, they lobbied Speaker Boehner to stand his ground, to negotiate from a position of strength. Instead, the Republican leadership did not even allow any votes on amendments to Plan B, and subjected dissenters to intense pressure to just follow the party line.
They did not.
The ball is now in President Obama's court, and if he is a responsible leader he will propose a solution to the fiscal cliff that extends current tax rates, like he did in 2010.
But the heartening message from the failure of Plan B is this - the hard work of so many grassroots activists all over the country is paying off. Thanks to the strong core of solid limited-government conservatives in the House, leadership can no longer easily lure Republicans down the road of bigger government.