I mentioned Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner’s meeting with Mitch McConnell in my last post, but this bombshell deserves a post of its own. Geithner met with McConnell to talk about the fiscal cliff. He proposed $1.6 trillion in tax hikes (even though the tax increase on the rich they want doesn’t come close to that), $50 billion in additional stimulus spending (because there’s nothing like getting out of debt by spending more money), putting off spending cuts and giving President Obama the ability to increase the debt limit without input from Congress.
In the maiden bargaining session, Geithner, the president’s lead negotiator, proposed raising tax revenues by $1.6 trillion, congressional aides confirmed. That figure is in line with what Obama has said is necessary to achieve long-term deficit reduction of $4 trillion over 10 years.
The administration also sought at least $50 billion in new economic stimulus spending.
Obama’s negotiators also sought the ability to raise the nation’s borrowing limit unilaterally. Currently, Congress must approve an increase in the debt ceiling, and it was an impasse over that issue that brought the country perilously close to default in 2011.
The administration’s proposal would put off across-the-board spending cuts for a year.
No wonder McConnell burst out laughing. This is so absurd, what else is there to do?
But tomorrow we’ll hear President Obama at some rally or press conference swearing that he’s offered a balanced plan and the media will act like the Republicans are acting like spoiled children.