Friday, December 28, 2012

Krauthammer: If we go over cliff, GOP has "pretty strong hand"

On Fox News last night, Charles Krauthammer explained why Republicans shouldn't capitulate on any "humiliating" offer from Barack Obama.

"I think the Republicans will surely have a much stronger hand -- assuming we go over the cliff -- assuming Obama stays very hard-line and offers only humiliating conditions and the Republicans resist or do nothing and we go over the cliff.

Then, I think, you're right, the Republicans have a pretty strong hand, because Obama then has to worry about the debt ceiling.

With bravado, he says 'Oh, that's a game I won't play.' He has to play, he's the president."

Today Jonathan Allen has a fairly depressing read on why each side wants to go over the cliff -- it absolves them of any politically onerous compromise and gives them the opportunity to then do popular things once the cliff has wreaked its havoc.

For many Republicans, a cliff dive means blaming President Barack Obama for a big tax hike in the short term and then voting to cut taxes for most Americans next month. That’s an easier sell back home in Republican-heavy districts than a pre-cliff deal that raises taxes on folks making over $250,000 or $400,000, extends unemployment benefits and does little if anything to curb entitlement spending. If they back a bad deal now, they run the risk of facing primary challenges in two years.

For Democrats, the cliff is better than setting a rich man’s cutoff in the million-dollar range — or worse yet, extending the Bush tax cuts for all earners — and slashing Medicare and Social Security to appease Republicans. They, too, see an advantage in negotiating with Republicans who will feel freed from their promise not to vote to raise taxes once the rates have already gone up.

Vid via Mediaite.