GOP makes fiscal cliff offer: $800B in tax revenue, changes to Social Security and Medicare

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  • CPA Howard Rancho Santa Margarita, CA
    Dec. 4, 2012 3:39 p.m.

    To those who are saying the country has rejected the policy's of the Republican party, then why do the Republicans still control the house and didn't lose any ground in the senate. The American voters have shown they don't like the idea of one party having all of the power.

    Republicans are faced with a catch-22 situation; however, they can escape the situation by giving the President and the Dem's EVERYTHING they want. If it suceeds, the Republican's lose; however, if it throws the country back into a recession, it's the Presidents fault and the Dem's policies don't work.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    Dec. 4, 2012 11:55 a.m.

    To "Way of the Warrior" Medicare and SS have to changed because neither one is solvant. They are eventually going to be empty bank accounts. The other issue is the fact that SS has been used as a national credit card, and when it is empty, that means that the interest rate on deficit spending will be increased, which will make interest payments more expensive. If we are paying more in interest, that means that the federal budget will have to be trimmed to pay for interest.

    To "Just Wondering..." if you want to return to the Clinton era prosperity, you need more than a tax rate change. You will also need to roll back regulations and cut about $500 billion (or more) in spending.

  • Fred44 Salt Lake City, Utah
    Dec. 4, 2012 11:20 a.m.

    Just wondering,

    I didn't know the President had control over the purse strings I thought that was congress. Maybe my copy of the constitution is out of date.

    I am assuming that you think that Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush are the second and third worst presidents next to President Obama because they were in office when the debt was increased the second and third largest amount in history.

  • Californian Santa Ana, CA
    Dec. 4, 2012 11:09 a.m.

    OHBU dicusses "Bush temporary tax cuts." He/she must be young, because those "tax cuts" were actually rescinding a "temporary surtax" imposed on the highest tax brackets by Bill Clinton. The Democrats have no new ideas other than to tax 5% of the people to pay for out of hand deficit spending they want to do to keep their political base satisfied.

  • Riles Midway, UT
    Dec. 4, 2012 11:07 a.m.

    Folks, this is all a dog and pony show. Boehner is not making a stand for fiscal conservatism here. He is simply putting on a show for the masses. Early reports from Mark Levin and others are that Justin Amash and Tim Huelkamp, the most conservative members in the house are being ousted from their House Budget Committee positions (chaired by your so-called "conservative" budget wonk - Paul Ryan) in preparation for a purge of libertarians and constitutionalists within the Republican Party. If this capitulation to tax and spend liberalism continues, the GOP is smoked. This is the type of unprincipled "conservatism" we rail against, but ultimately choose as "the lesser of two evils". Some day y'all will figure it out. Principles matter!

  • rogerdpack Orem, UT
    Dec. 4, 2012 10:50 a.m.

    @Dave: you do remember that the electorate, in the last election, left the house firmly in republican control...

  • Just Wondering... Gilbert, AZ
    Dec. 4, 2012 10:46 a.m.

    As someone who leans conservative, I envision that the tax increases for the top 2% will probably happen.

    It is interesting though that the argument in favor of this plan is that we had such prosperity during the Clinton years when those rates were intact. What isn't mentioned is the higher rates of the middle class too...did that not contribute to the prosperity?

    If we are truly serious about deficit reduction and not passing this debt legacy to our children, then I don't see a problem with going back to higher rates for everyone.

    Many high wage earners probably don't have an issue with paying higher taxes, if the payments go to reducing the deficit. I would have problems paying higher taxes so that Obama can spend even more on unproductive programs and investments. Remember, this group pays most of the taxes that create the federal budget already (50% of the populace pays no fed taxes at all...of COURSE they are all for raising taxes on someone else).

    Remember, this President has added more to the deficit than all other Presidents in history combined...Congress should hold their ground until he makes legitimate committments to spend less.

  • homebrew South Jordan, UT
    Dec. 4, 2012 9:51 a.m.

    Social security is just fine. America owes the trust fund over 5 trillion Dollars. I hope President Obama does nothing, lets the Bush tax cuts expire, and then in the new year, negotiate with the gop to see if they would like to cut taxes for the middle class. Obama holds all the cards. Obama has the nations support. TThe GOP is still living in a dreamstate, McConnel and Bohener are dillusional. The republican party has become a bad joke.

  • BYU Papa Cedar Hills, ut
    Dec. 4, 2012 9:39 a.m.

    I voted Republican and when I see an offer like they made I am glad they lost. Why should Seniors lose cost of living allownces in Medicare and Sxocial Security in order for the wealthy to have to pay their share.

  • JWB Kaysville, UT
    Dec. 4, 2012 9:35 a.m.

    The benefit of the Constitution gave House Representatives districts that were same population scale to have a say on budgets for eternity as a representation of how people believed by their choice of who they elected.

    This President wants to usurp that power by using the same type of publicity stunt to thwart the Congress in the House of Representatives. Nancy Pelosi had her chance in 2006 while the economy through her budgeting process helped produce a nightmare they blamed on President Bush. They are the ones that passed easy loans for home owners or should I say banks. Those people lost their homes from her type of loans she required of banks. President Bush should not have signed it but she got it passed along with Harry Reid.

    Then he first thing the Democrat House and Senate did with a Democrat President is take us over the fiscal cliff in 2009-2010 by forcing down all people's throats the Healthcare bill that took us lower because of all the unknowns. We pass it and then read it. There are so many loopholes in that bill that will take our country down. The first is Medicare and then Social Security.

  • Midwest Mom Soldiers Grove, WI
    Dec. 4, 2012 9:15 a.m.

    Once again, those mysterious, unnamed loopholes.

    Here's a stat for you. The state of Texas awards more corporate tax incentives, over $19 billion a year, than any other state, which has blessed Texas with the 3rd highest proportion of jobs that pay below minimum wage and the 11th highest rate of poverty. Across the nation, state governments dole out some $80 billion in incentives to lure companies to their states or encourage companies to remain. In the end, starving the state and local coffers did not serve the state of Michigan, or Janesville, Wisconsin.

    Conservatives who abhor welfare for the poor like to claim that it creates an unhealthy lifestyle of dependency while simultaneously believing that welfare for the wealthy is good for everyone.

    The "Job Creators" are false gods. They accept austere sacrifices of the common man for their benefit, but they do not keep faith with their believers.

    "He that oppresseth the poor to increase his riches, and he that giveth to the rich, shall surely come to want." (Proverbs 22:16)

  • Grundle West Jordan, UT
    Dec. 4, 2012 8:40 a.m.


    At what point do we hold the President responsible for his lack of leadership?

    The comments on this board seem to indicate that the Republicans are in the drivers seat (Y'know...the party that is dead...)

    At what point do we start seeing the Reagan/Clinton type of leadership out of this president?

    At what point are we going to start holding Pres. Obama responsible?

    Before any of you "What about Bush" people start in...A criticism of the current administration does not translate to an approval of the former administration.

    I see so many that give a pass to this president when he continually demonstrates his poor leadership.

  • Itsjstmeagain Merritt Island, Fl
    Dec. 4, 2012 7:11 a.m.

    The insurance companies are very happy with this latest offer. The wealthy 5% will be able to continue their ammasing money and taking it out of circulation. There is really nothing here that Koch brothers would not like.

    I would rather see no deal than a bad deal. What needs to be done is reduce Defense spending, reduce spending in Govt programs like the CDC. A pandemic is usually someone elses problem. There will be no tax cuts but we all will go back to Clinton era taxes when we had huge growth and a surplus. We can fix and tax cuts later after the promise of closing loopholes is done.

  • Cinci Man FT MITCHELL, KY
    Dec. 4, 2012 7:07 a.m.

    John Boehner is fighting this battle with the wrong ammunition. After the 2010 election, he went on a rampage telling the President to listen to the mandate of the people as declared by election results. He now needs to listen to those tapes for his own benefit. He's on the wrong side of this debate, according to most Americans who voted. The GOP plan would appear much more credible if he would insert the tax hikes proposed by the President. But he thinks that shows weakness. Since when does negotiation and compromise translate to weakness? I've been a Republican all my life, but could not be more ashamed of my own party than I have been over the past 12 years. And I see nothing on the horizon that will restore my faith in the political process. Neither side has any intention of doing anything more than padding their own pockets with money. Stalemate and stonewalling does not translate to leadership. Step aside Pelosi and Boehner and let's get this country moving.

  • Noodlekaboodle Millcreek, UT
    Dec. 4, 2012 6:55 a.m.

    So, do we have to pass this to find out whats in the bill?

  • DC Alexandria, VA
    Dec. 4, 2012 6:34 a.m.

    Lots of ridicule on this comment section for the GOP plan. Please tell me what the President's plan is? Other than a tax increase on those making more than $250k a year. Because that's all I've heard about - for the past two years - and that's not a plan.

    While it is valid to argue that Republicans have been acting like spoiled children seated at the table, at least they are at the table - they've already offered a few plans and the Dems have only thrown inconsistent ideas at them.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Dec. 4, 2012 6:14 a.m.

    This is where Romney missed his big opportunity. He should have run on a platform of providing greater services at a lower cost to governments customs - its citizens. I work on this everyday, how to provide more value at less cost. Not always easy, sometimes very hard to get to.

    Any proposition that says that the government will offer less service at a higher cost is dead on arrival in my book. You can gave greater services at greater cost, or lower services at lower cost, or best better services at lower cost - but you can't come to the public with a solution that is to offer lower services at higher cost. That is plainly unacceptable.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    Dec. 4, 2012 4:13 a.m.

    We can continue our useless and costly wars and continue to allow an ever increasing portion of our nations wealth to go to the upper few percent, .... Or we can maintain keep the promise of social security and pay down the debt.

    It's our choice America.

  • Californian Santa Ana, CA
    Dec. 4, 2012 1:46 a.m.

    I'm not sure the Obama narrow victory signalled national unity on his financial proposals. I view his victory as success with special interet groups who voted for immigration reform, gay/civil rights, union support, and environmental issues. He told people during the campaign that Republicans would destroy Medicare and Social Security and many bought it. Yet both parties are proposing cuts to those programs. As he did in 2008, Obama is deferring immigration reform and thus disappointing those who voted for him on that issue. A lot of people got sold.

  • Outsideview Federal Way, WA
    Dec. 3, 2012 11:38 p.m.

    Can someone answer these questions.

    The value of the tax increase on the wealthy is $80 Billion.( some reports stated $100 B)

    What is the value of the other tax increases if they were allowed back on?
    How much will be raised if dividends and interest payments are taxed at 20% instead of 15%?

    What is the make up of the 1.6 Trillion of tax increase Obama is proposing?

  • Outsideview Federal Way, WA
    Dec. 3, 2012 11:35 p.m.

    If the issue has always been about "spending" as Republicans claim, then they should push for cuts in spending and forget about this deceptive claim that they cant accept higher tax rates on the wealthy. The debt, a big portion of it brought on by Republicans (drug benefit, 2 wars, and irresponsible tax cuts in the first place)is big enought that everything needs to be on the table. Good heavens, the country is in crisis financially and they insist the the wealthy cant help. This insistence on not increasing tax rates is just makeing the Democratic stance seem more reasonable.

    Going over the cliff , followed by the Democrates proposing new tax cuts for those below 250,000 , seems to becoming a more likely scenario all of the time.

  • toosmartforyou Farmington, UT
    Dec. 3, 2012 10:59 p.m.

    This whole thing is already decided and ready to vote on as soon as the real deadline gets here and then the true political posturing will begin in earnest. Why pass something now when you get get 3 more weeks of mileage out of it for your own political party...whichever one it happens to be....really, now?

    And to think of the number of these folks that were re-elected------it just boggles the mind.

  • Roland Kayser Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Dec. 3, 2012 10:07 p.m.

    To frugalfly: There is no country in the world in which the top 1% and top 10% get as large a share of the national income.

  • frugalfly PULLMAN, WA
    Dec. 3, 2012 9:32 p.m.

    There is no tax system in the world which derives a larger percent of its revenue from the top 1%, top 10% and top 25% of its populace than the US....

  • 10CC Bountiful, UT
    Dec. 3, 2012 9:15 p.m.

    Obama submitted a proposal that the GOP rejected out of hand. The GOP submits a proposal that is essentially the same thing they proposed in 2011.

    That's OK, each side has put an offer forward. Remember, these proposals are mostly public posturing. There is a choreography being played out.

    These guys are not insane enough to *not* get a deal hammered out.

    Keep working, boys.

  • Fred44 Salt Lake City, Utah
    Dec. 3, 2012 8:14 p.m.

    The republicans laughed at the Presidents plan and said it wasn't serious and yet their "tax increase" would only come from the closing of unnamed loopholes, and could only be achieved with dynamic scoring, "a conservative approach in which economic growth would have accounted for much of the revenue". So in other words no real tax increase just projected economic growth.

    Which side is not proposing serious deficit reduction? The republicans can't seem to understand why they lost the election for president and lost seats in the house and senate. This was an election should have been all about the economy. The republicans should have won the White House and picked up seats in both chambers, but they didn't because moderate Americans reject their policies.

    The President has the upper hand in this argument because the majority of the country is ok with increasing taxes on the wealthiest 2%. The republicans if they continue this path are going to get slaughtered in the midterm elections as well.

  • Hank Pym SLC, UT
    Dec. 3, 2012 7:42 p.m.

    re: DVD 3:58 p.m. Dec. 3, 2012

    That makes too much sense it'll never happen.

    We have yet to hear what cunning plan the Senate Republicans have. I'll bet it as priceless as a MasterCard commercial.

    My money is on they find a way to delay this 2 yrs. Then, the GOP has an "issue" for the midterm elections.

  • Way of the Warrior ANACORTES, WA
    Dec. 3, 2012 7:37 p.m.

    I don't understand why Republicans insist the cuts have to come from Medicare and Social Security, the two programs American WORKERS pay into!? Wake up GOP and propose cuts to things like foreign aid for petesake!

  • Guam_Bomb BARRIGADA, GU
    Dec. 3, 2012 7:18 p.m.

    SS and Medicare entitlements are a huge part of deficit reduction. Especially with Boomers starting to retire en masse. The boomers should have fixed SS and Medicare while they were in office but it's been left to subsequent generations.

    The retirement age needs to gradually move up to 68 - 69 as well as the minimum age moving up from 61 or whatever it is to 65. Phase it in over the next decade to give people time to adjust retirement plans.

    We need to look at other places, (this one's gonna make people mad) Adjust government pensions (raise minimum retirement ages and increase length of service requirements), including military retirement, and move government retirees out of the extremely expensive insurance plans that they have now to a standard government run plan.Again, phasing it in over time to give current employees the chance to make appropriate plans. Scale back Military spending and of course its time to reform welfare again (corporate and personal).

    But none of this is gonna happen because of the "ME" culture we live in.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Dec. 3, 2012 6:24 p.m.

    Boehner's offer:

    "Pro-growth tax reform that closes special interest loopholes and deductions, while LOWERING rates."

    Revenue generally increases just due to inflation and population increases.
    So, Magician Boehner thinks he can increase revenue (above expected revenue?) by lowering rates and closing loopholes.
    And, of course, offers no details.

    The voters are no longer buying the trickle-down tax cuts for the rich, no matter how many ways the GOP tries to package it.

  • OHBU Columbus, OH
    Dec. 3, 2012 6:13 p.m.

    It's amazing to watch the GOP do a song and a dance, contorting every which way possible to avoid letting the taxes on the very wealthiest Americans return to levels before the TEMPORARY Bush tax cuts were put in place. This already cost them the election. Why are they holding onto that one little thing so hard? Could it be, that there is a small, but powerful group of people behind the scenes pulling all of their strings? And that those people are the very ones that stand to lose money should the TEMPORARY tax cuts expire on them?

  • Moderate Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 3, 2012 6:08 p.m.

    Offered the same package in 2011. Didn't even bother to think of anything new.

  • louie Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Dec. 3, 2012 5:46 p.m.

    No tax hikes on the rich and pretending the SSN reforms have anything to do with our fiscal deficits is not only a lie but deceitful.

  • A1994 Centerville, UT
    Dec. 3, 2012 5:29 p.m.


    You DO realize that the president has no intention of ever cutting the deficit, right? How can you be so trusting of someone who so badly broke his promise to cut the deficit in half? And when taxes are raised on 'the rich' do you think it's money that's going to spent well? If so, what in our history would lead you to believe that?

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Dec. 3, 2012 4:59 p.m.

    Re: "If there was one thing that the election made clear . . . ."

    That one thing would be that Americans are very happy with a divided, do-nothing Congress, and we don't want deranged liberals to have their way with us or the Nation.

    Every one of the House Republicans was up for re-election last month, and America returned a majority of Republicans to the "people's chamber." They need to represent the people that voted them into office, and turn back attempts to convert us into a Greek-style eurosocialist wreck.

    We need to embrace the "cliff." It's not much of a cliff, but it's all we've got.

    It amounts to very little in tax increases for most of us. For those who do feel a bite, it's about time they recognized the pain they inflict when they advocate or acquiesce in soaking the "rich." And the cuts will provide a genuine stimulus to the economy, not the phony sugar rush of bloated government bailouts.

  • bricha lehi, ut
    Dec. 3, 2012 4:53 p.m.

    The thing that I find crazy, is the if the republicans come up with just as much money through closing loopholes as the president wants in raised taxes, he wouldn't sign since it isn't "raising" the taxes on the rich. What a bunch of phooey, both sides need to stop playing politics and fix the problem!!

  • dave4197 Redding, CA
    Dec. 3, 2012 4:48 p.m.

    John B, read the election results. Again. Your position lost. 2.8%? difference more or less? Your position lost. In the national election, the best poll, the only poll that counts. So, John B, take your marbles and go play somewhere else. For those over 250k earners, pay up, pay a bigger share, in the national election your are called out for your unfair share of paying in the past.
    Politically, John B, you should throw in the towel on this cliff hanger idea of protecting the 2% top earners. Give it up. Then go ahead and debate with the Dem's on spending cuts, tax loophole changes, tax deduction changes, spending cuts from defense to medicare and social security.
    But the debate on tax rates for the high earners ended in November. And you, John B, don't really have a horse in this race. Go read the story about the emperor's new clothes. Again.

  • Tolstoy salt lake, UT
    Dec. 3, 2012 4:29 p.m.

    Roland is right we have heard this song and dance before with no results. they need to detail what "loopholes and deductions are specifically be closed or changed and thoes changes need to be a part of the bill not something left to be settled later.

  • Roland Kayser Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Dec. 3, 2012 4:22 p.m.

    It's easy to propose revenue increases and spending cuts when you don't give any specifics. It's entirely meaningless. Tell us specifically what deductions you will eliminate and what programs you will cut. The we can decide it that's what we want.

  • Tolstoy salt lake, UT
    Dec. 3, 2012 3:58 p.m.

    nice to see both sides at least making proposals now if they could just drop the "la la" childish rhetoric and finish the deal that would be nice, four years late but nice.

  • DVD Taylorsville, 00
    Dec. 3, 2012 3:58 p.m.

    A compromise on Social Security and Medicare should involve a slow raising of the eligible age by a couple of years, slowly, over 10 or 15 years. That would lessen the shock, but also act to preserve the programs.

    To the vote! What do the polls say!

  • FT salt lake city, UT
    Dec. 3, 2012 3:53 p.m.

    It's ironic that neither offer seriously addresses the long term deficit. The civics lesson playing out in front of us is another example of why we need term limits and one Presidental term of 6 years. This is not that difficult. Increasee revenue via tax increases, cut spending via entitlement benefits and defense. Problem solved within 10 years!

  • Fitz Murray, UT
    Dec. 3, 2012 3:43 p.m.

    To airnaut & Dave D, please note that if you look at the presidential popular vote, the difference between the two is 2.8%. To say that the GOP party is dead or that there was some type of mandate that came out of this election is absurd.

  • Dave D Pocatello, ID
    Dec. 3, 2012 2:30 p.m.

    If there was one thing that the election made clear, wasn't it that the majority of Americans support tax increases on the wealthy and the president's health care plan? Romney seemed to oppose those two things the most and lost. Why do republicans insist on doing this?

  • CCJones Lehi, Ut
    Dec. 3, 2012 2:24 p.m.

    I pray to God that Speaker Boehner stands his ground and doesn't let Obama bankrupt this great country.

  • airnaut Everett, 00
    Dec. 3, 2012 1:44 p.m.

    R.I.P. - GOP