Fiscal cliff deal blocked for now

GOP Rejects Fiscal Cliff Proposal, Obama Goes On Vacation

House Speaker John Boehner rejected President Obama’s “fiscal cliff” deal on Thursday, which would include $1.6 trillion in tax increases, $400 billion in spending cuts and a more permanent increase of the debt ceiling. We’re not sure if the president thought this deal would satisfy Republicans or if he’s just stressed by the prospect of another recession, but there’s also a report that he’s planning on a 21-day, $4 million Hawaii vacation for the next couple weeks.

The Obama Administration described the offer as reducing the deficit by $4 trillion over 10 years, but the GOP says that its tax increases create $600 billion more than what the Democratic-led Senate passed earlier this year when it approved a measure to allow tax increases on top earners.

“We’ve offered a balanced approach to deal with the fiscal cliff: raising revenue in a way that protects jobs while cutting spending,” a congressional aide told The Hill. “But, after two weeks of discussions, the offer the White House made today is completely unbalanced and unreasonable, and amounts to little more than reiterating the president’s budget request — which failed to get a single vote in the House or Senate.”

However, House Budget Committee member and Democratic Representative Chris Van Hollen said that the GOP has yet to produce their own plan. “The Republicans have made some nice, positive noises but they haven’t put a plan on the table,” he said.

“The president has got a budget that he submitted to Congress. It has revenue. It has spending cuts,” he continued. “Speaker Boehner keeps talking about revenues, Speaker Boehner has never put forward a proposal on revenues.”

Still, the GOP aide paints a grim picture. “There were only seven weeks between Election Day and Christmas. The White House has now completely wasted three of them. After weeks of negotiations, they just demanded all of their favorite proposals, with no sign of compromise whatsoever.”

And if all of that is true, a report from The Hawaii Reporter makes things a bit more troubling. Word is, President Obama is planning a 21-day, $4 million vacation from December 17 through January 6. For those of you keeping track, the whole fiscal cliff thing happens on January 2.

Now we’re not saying President Obama shouldn’t take a good, long vacation, even if it is on our dime. But can’t he wait until after the fiscal cliff deal is done? With the GOP rejection, it’s probable that the POTUS will cancel his holiday, but if he thought his initial offering would be enough to satisfy a bipartisan agreement, he was sorely mistaken. Maybe, a little arrogant.