Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner’s opening bid to Speaker John Boehner, a demand for $1.6 trillion in new taxes, was not meant as a serious offer. It was an ultimatum couched in an insult. Translation:“We won the election. We have the whip hand.
Not only are you going to sign on to higher tax rates and higher tax revenues, we are going to rub your Tea Party noses in your coming capitulation.”That Boehner did not throw the offer back in Geithner’s face and tell him, “Give me a call, Tim, when you’re serious,” suggests that the speaker feels he is holding a losing hand.
He wants a deal where the GOP agrees to higher revenues and the White House agrees to cuts in future entitlement outlays. But the Obamaites are looking to dictate terms. They want a triumph. If that means casting Boehner as the Neville Chamberlain of the GOP, so be it.
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