When Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner presented President Barack Obama’s opening offer on solving the dilemma of the fiscal cliff, Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell reportedly burst into laughter, finding the proposal absurd.
McConnell told The Weekly Standard that he “burst into laughter” at the outlined plan. The Senate Republican leader said he meant no offense, and that laughing was just his candid reaction to the proposal. He criticized President Obama’s opening play as severely one-sided and ridiculous for its hefty spending and taxation increases, while being slim on a bipartisan promise of spending cuts and entitlement reforms demanded by the GOP.
Republicans also said that the offer was virtually unchanged from a previous plan put forth by President Obama himself.
The AP reports some specifics on the plan presented:
“GOP aides say Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner presented an offer calling for $1.6 trillion in new tax revenue over the coming decade, extending the 2 percentage point payroll tax deduction or something comparable to it and $50 billion in stimulus spending on infrastructure projects.
“The White House plan calls for $960 billion over the coming decade by increasing tax rates and taxes on investment income on upper-bracket earners and $600 billion in additional taxes. Republicans view the offer as a step backward with the fiscal cliff – an economy-rattling set of automatic spending cuts and tax increases – looming at years’ end.”
As stated above, this new plan presents a whopping $600 billion in additional taxes over what was already approved by the Senate. The GOP also criticizes the massive tax increases, arguing that the new revenues will only cover 1% of projected spending. Also curiously absent are promised closed tax loopholes and other various recommendations made by minor voices in both parties.