The Hill Pundits Blog 12/19/2012
By Peter Fenn – 12/19/12 12:33 PM ETPlan B is Plan Nowhere


Speaker Boehner’s “Plan B” is clearly a tactic, not a serious proposal, and it is going nowhere.

It reminds me of the Bruce Springsteen song “Radio Nowhere” — “I was trying to find my way home/ But all I heard was a drone/ Bouncing off a satellite … This is Radio Nowhere/ Is there anybody alive out there?”

Really, we are so very close to an agreement, why put out a “Plan Nowhere” that is not a serious proposal? In fact, it would make the problems worse if it were to be adopted, which it won’t.

Why would he do this?

Possibly, because the Speaker needs to needle the Democrats and please his base by indicating that he is fighting for them. Or maybe it does open the door further to negotiating with President Obama on the income level. The president has moved from $250,00 to $400,000; maybe the Speaker simply wants him to go higher.
Let’s look at Plan B and see what it would do.

First, it raises only $300 billion from high-income households. Millionaires still get an average annual tax cut of $50,000.

Second, it would raise taxes by an average of $1,000 on 25 million working families with children and students. Plan B would not continue the American Opportunity Tax Credit or the Child Tax Credit.

Third, it continues the sequestration that results in cuts to defense, unemployment insurance, Medicare, Head Start, education funding, nutrition and research and development.

It also does something that the Speaker and the Republicans keep harping on: It really kicks the can down the road.

Hopefully, this is not viewed as a last-ditch offer but rather a tactic to get back to serious bargaining and to do a deal before the end of the year.

We are close to a real compromise; let’s not blow it down the stretch.