I won’t bother with the details on the Dims offer other than to say the “fiscal cliff” would be preferable. It contained tax raises certain to throw us into a worse recession, and
almost no phantom spending spending cuts with another scaled back stimulus plan…… oh, and a clause to bypass congressional oversight of the debt ceiling.
They absolutely knew the Repubs wouldn’t go for it. In fact, I would bet many Dims would balk at the provisions in that not all Dems are below the mean in IQ.
So, what did the Repubs do? Well, they counter offered. They want the president to agree to a framework of raising revenue by eliminating tax breaks and loopholes for the wealthy, with limits and reforms on entitlement spending. It was a modest and unspecified proposal, but it did set a framework that they hope they can work within to get some actual negotiations rolling. In other words, they made a serious proposal.
And, this is my objection to this tactic. When dickering with imbeciles who insist on making an offer they know you’re not willing go for, you have to counter with an equally ludicrous proposal.
Let’s say you want to buy a nice used car. You know it “blue books” at $15,000. The car is nice, but not in mint condition. You approach the salesman and he states he can have you in that car for $30,000. What do you do?
A. You accept the offer and impoverish yourself?
B. You laugh at the salesman and say you know the car isn’t worth $15,000 and you won’t pay more than $13,000?
C. You laugh at the salesman and say you would give him $3,000 for the car.
Well, nearly everyone, especially in the concern we’re speaking is willing to give an inch or two in the dickering. If you chose B, then what you’re signaling to the salesman is he’ll get you to buy the car somewhere between his starting offer, $30,000 and your starting offer, $13,000. If you chose C, then you were signaling to the salesman that he needs to get real. And if he can’t make a legit offer, you’re not going to, either.
Sadly, what the Repubs did was pick option B. Even if team Zero agrees to the “framework” we know we’ll end up with more capital extracted from the economy than the Repubs original offer and we will have less spending cuts than what they’re asking.
What they should have countered with was caps on foodstamps and welfare totaling $1.6 trillion over 10 years. But, they didn’t. Now, they’ll have to firmly hold this line while Dems throw up different ways to extract private capital and ghost spending cuts. Experience tells me Repubs won’t have a backbone that firm.
Well, I pretty much knew we were headed over one cliff or another anyway. But, can’t the Repubs, just once, understand the game the Dems are playing before they start playing?