Congressional Democrats want to extend a middle-class tax cut; congressional Republicans insist they'll allow everyone's taxes to go up unless Dems also accept a tax cut for the wealthy. As of yesterday, Democrats said they will not cave to the GOP's demands.
The reaction from Congress' most powerful Republican struck me as rather hilarious.
Republicans accused Democrats of playing politics with the economy, after the No. 4 Senate Democrat warned that her party would let $600 billion in tax hikes and spending cuts take effect in January unless the GOP agrees to raise taxes on the wealthy.
"Has it come to this, that Democrats are willing to hurt jobs and tank our economy for the sake of a small business tax hike that would also have disastrous consequences?" House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) said in a statement, noting that economists say going over the "fiscal cliff" would plunge the nation back into recession.
Oh really. Is this how Republicans really intend to play this game?
Last year, for the first time in American history, Boehner and literally every GOP lawmaker on Capitol Hill, held the full faith and credit of the United States hostage as part of an easily-avoidable debt-ceiling crisis. Republicans made a series of non-negotiable demands, and said they would crash the economy, on purpose, unless Democrats paid the ransom.
Indeed, the crisis itself did significant damage, not just to the integrity of the nation and our reputation around the world, but directly to the economy itself. Ezra Klein posted the above chart the other day, showing the obvious impact on the job market when Republicans instigated this crisis, but the fiasco also took a severe toll on consumer confidence.
And now Boehner, one of the ringleaders of the hostage crisis, wants to accuse Democrats of playing politics with the economy? He's warning of "disastrous consequences"? Has the Speaker completely forgotten 2011?