President Obama Rejects John Boehner’s $1 Million Tax Increase (Plan B)

Fiscal Cliff talks appear to have reached a standstill as of Wednesday morning, after President Barack Obama outright rejected Republican House Speaker John Boehner’s “Plan B” offer to raise income taxes on Americans making over $1 million a year in exchange for unspecified spending cuts to be determined at a later date. In a press conference detailing the reasons why, the Obama administration has officially announced that any bill reflecting Boehner’s demands will be vetoed.

Dismay was expressed at Obama’s outright rejection by the Boehner camp on Tuesday as a spokesman accused President Obama of continually changing his administration’s standard to reach a resolution. “After spending months saying we must ask for more from millionaires and billionaires, how can they reject a plan that does exactly that? By once again moving the goal posts, the President is threatening every American family with higher taxes.”

Announcing that it was puzzling that Republicans had yet to accept his offer, Obama urged Republicans to take his deal once again, stating “We have put forward real cuts in spending that are hard to do – in every category,” Obama said. “And by any measure, any traditional calculation, by measures Republicans themselves have used in the past, this would be as large a piece of deficit reduction as we’ve seen in the last 20 years.”

According to White House officials, Obama remains open to continued discussion with Senator Boehner, though the two have not spoken since Monday night when Bohener offered his strategy to avoid the impending cliff as a counteroffer to the White House concession to allow taxes to increase only on households making $400,000 a year or more. And like most officials in Washington this season, President Obama is prepared to postpone his annual Hawaiian vacation indefinitely until the Fiscal Cliff issue is resolved adequately

As pundits have weighed in on Boehner’s “Plan B” offer, reactions of incredulity have raged across both sides of the political spectrum. A recent Politico article notes that Boehner’s plan does nothing to to deal with across-the-board spending cuts–namely the sequester, entitlement spending and a host of expiring provisions. Forbes writer John Tammy, a fiscal conservative, claims that John Boehner “brings new meaning to the ‘Stupid Party’ label,” stating that history shows spending cuts as stimulative and that a tax-hike on only the highest earners with no identifiable cut stands to stem job creation–providing America with a worse situation than falling off the cliff.

With the continued standstill in negotiations, it is abundantly clear that neither Republicans or Democrats care to concede much ground at this point, but there is one issue which commentators from liberal and conservative publications agree upon–in order to avoid the cliff it is absolutely vital that a compromise be reached. Hopefully Boehner and House Republicans can synthesize or agree to a plan that raises taxes on a meaningful percentage of the population and cut spending in an identifiable way before the January 1 deadline, and before the economy falters again.