He thinks he can get the Republicans in the House to raise a half-trillion in taxes so as to keep the sequester – which has actually become somewhat popular on the Right – from happening this spring.
President Obama has set the goal that additional deficit-reduction legislation should consist of a balanced or dollar-for-dollar ratio of spending cuts to tax revenues. Schumer’s contribution is to call for a joint budget resolution as the best vehicle to accomplish this target.
The biggest obstacle will be getting House Republicans to sign on to any joint agreement that sets a target for raising taxes.
A Schumer aide acknowledged it will be difficult to get Republicans to agree to a joint budget resolution that calls for tax reform to raise $500 billion to $600 billion in new tax revenues.
“I agree that it’s challenging but it’s not more challenging than the negotiation over replacing the sequester where we’re asking them to swallow $500 to $600 billion in revenues,” the aide said in reference to House Republicans.
Schumer reasons it will be easier to get House Republicans to agree to raise half a trillion dollars in new tax revenue as a part of tax reform than as a straight offset to the sequester of funds from domestic and defense programs.
Strangely enough, The Hill couldn’t seem to find any Republicans who know what in the blue blazes Schumer is talking about…
House Republicans say they have little interest in adopting a joint budget resolution that raises taxes.
“We need to cut out-of-control Washington spending to get our economy growing and creating jobs,” said Michael Steel, spokesman for Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio). “The sooner Washington Democrats face that reality, the sooner we can begin to make progress.”
In the short term, Schumer needs to convince Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray (D-Wash.) to go along with his vision.
Schumer may have a particularly tough time selling the idea to Baucus, who may not be thrilled by the prospect of reforming the tax code within the confines of budget reconciliation rules.
“He is committed to doing comprehensive tax reform but not convinced that reconciliation is the best way to accomplish it,” said a Senate Democratic aide in reference to Baucus.
Two things on this – first, it’s an indication of how pathologically compulsive these people are about reaching into your wallet. Essentially, Schumer is talking about going after the “tax reform” components the Republicans were talking about during the debt limit debate as a means of raising revenues in lieu of raising tax rates, and of course, the president and his band of thieves in the Senate weren’t interested in that. So he got tax hikes instead – and now Schumer is demanding the Republicans cough up the elimination of tax deductions they offered and were rejected.
And second, it’s an indication of how abjectly weak the Democrat leadership thinks Republicans on Capitol Hill are. Because they have to know additional tax increases aren’t going to fly with the House Republicans or their voters, and that to ask for them is a non-starter. Maybe Schumer is right that John Boehner really is that weak; after all, Boehner just passed a “suspension” of the debt limit which creates a hole big enough to drive a truck through and it should be no surprise if once that bill is signed Obama will just borrow $5 trillion from the Fed and have enough money to spend for the rest of his term.
But it’s hard to imagine Boehner, even if he wanted to, could find the votes to raise taxes again rather than impose spending cuts – even those as unpalatable as the sequester. Schumer has to know that. Betting that even this GOP leadership would be that malleable is a long shot, at best.
The offensive thing about this is that Schumer and Obama could find a couple hundred billion dollars in immediate cuts to the federal budget that wouldn’t offend their ideological sensibilities with virtually no trouble. If they dug that money out, they could pose as budget-cutters and fiscal hawks and solid managers, and then they could use those cuts as leverage to get their “tax reform” on the table.
And they won’t do that. These greedy bastards just want more and more and more of your money with absolutely no accountability whatsoever. Schumer’s latest gambit is just more evidence of it. That he thinks getting what he proposes is remotely possible is puzzling.