Today, Congressional Republicans pulled out of negotiations to resolve the deficit. And (here’s a shocker) they blamed Democrats. Their reasoning is that Democrats insist on tax increases rather than merely relying on more than $1 trillion in cuts to Medicare and other programs.
“Let me be clear. Tax hikes are off the table,” said House Speaker John Boehner.
So, according to Republicans, even though the major cause of the deficit is the Bush era tax cuts (primarily for the wealthy), the only way to cut the deficit is by cutting spending for Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, Planned Parenthood, Public Broadcasting, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Consumer Protection Agency, the Department of Education, etc. At the same time, Republicans refuse to consider cuts to subsidies for Big Oil and corporate agriculture which they say would be tax hikes. Of course, they also want to repeal the Affordable Care Act and repeal regulations on the financial industry.
So according to Republicans, when it comes to deficit negotiations, everything is on the table. Except anything that Democrats want.
I guess that’s what passes for “bipartisan negotiations” these days.