The Republican with voting and leadership power who should be lunching at the White House to make peace with the nation’s newly reelected president in order to avoid tax hikes on 98 percent of Americans isn’t. But the recently defeated Republican presidential nominee who has no vote and tops a list of least influential people in the nation will break bread Thursday with his former arch political rival, President Barack Obama.
Boehner bays for tax deal
Long-standing Congressman John Boehner (R-OH), who was has been speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives for two years following the 2010 takeover by Tea Party movement officials and is widely expected to retain that position, which puts him second in line to the presidency should Barack Obama and his successor Vice President Joe Biden be unable to fulfill their constitutional duties, told news sources Thursday there had been “no substantive progress” in fiscal-cliff negotiations in the two weeks since congressional leaders met with President Obama.
“Despite claims that the president supports a balanced approach, the Democrats have yet to get serious about real spending cuts,” Boehner said, according to The Hill. “Secondly, no substantive progress has been made in the talks between the White House and the House in the last two weeks.”
Three weeks after the 2012 race for the White House, election results show President Obama has increased his margin of victory over speaker Boehner’s candidate and political party, 50.9 to 47.4 percent. Seemingly in denial of the defeat he and his party sustained on Nov. 6—which included net losses for House GOP candidates compared to net gains for Democrats that put them at 201 votes or 17 votes shy of 218 votes needed to pass a bill—Mr. Boehner is rehashing the talking points he, his party and presidential ticket have stood by for two years.
“Listen, this is not a game,” speaker Boehner said at a press conference in Washington today. “Jobs are on the line. The American economy is on the line, and this is a moment for adult leadership.”
Meanwhile, former Gov. Mitt Romney, who along with his GOP running mate, Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan, lost the election by more than four-million votes and the Electoral College vote by 126 points [332-206] arrived for lunch at the White House on Thursday, representing their first encounter since the presidential election.
For the richest man ever to run for president in America, critics may argue that Gentleman’s Quarterly is as irrelevant as Mitt Romney, the person they picked to top their list of The Least Influential People of 2012.
Mr. Romney, who GQ said embodied “every black stand-up comedian’s impression of a white person,” was immediately cast to the curb by Republicans great and small, who backed him during the election but who abandoned him when he and ticket mate Ryan crashed and burned.
While Republican leaders like House Speaker Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell continue where they left off to trip-up President Obama on any movement forward, the White House isn’t leaving its campaign behind as it did following his historic win in 2008, when a confluence of votes Mitt Romney labeled the 47 percent who are dependent on government largess like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid showed up to send John McCain and Sarah Palin packing.
Ready to wage a fight with Mr. Boehner and Mr. McConnell and their party faithful over tax rates, in anticipation of the so-called fiscal cliff, made possible solely by the intransigence of Republican senators and representatives in raising the debt ceiling to pass up on already agreed upon expenditures, the White House issued a report Thursday called The Middle-Class Tax Cut’s Impact on Consumer Spending and Retailers.
The report, assembled by The National Economic Council & The Council of Economic Advisers, called upon Congress to act now to avoid middle-class earners from paying more starting as soon as next year. “Now we face a deadline that requires action on jobs, taxes and deficits by the end of the year. If Congress fails to act, every American family’s taxes will automatically go up – including the 98 percent of Americans who make less than $250,000 a year and the 97 percent of small businesses that earn less than $250,000 a year. A typical middle-class family of four would see its taxes rise by $2,200,” according to the report.
Through the long presidential election season, President Obama said he is committed to growing the economy from the middle out by ensuring a strong, secure, and thriving middle-class. While the President reiterated his commitment to work with Congress to reduce the nation’s deficit in a balanced and responsible way, he made pointed remarks to Mr. Boehner and Mr. McConnell, among others: “There is no reason to hold the middle-class families … hostage while we debate tax cuts for the highest income earners.”
The stakes for Buckeyes
For Ohio, the most important battleground state of the 2012 election, the report lays out what’s at stake if high earners like Mr. Romney and others are not asked to pay a penny more than they are now. A median-income Ohio family of four (earning $72,800) could see its income taxes rise by $2,200. Ninety-nine percent of Ohio families who make less than $250,000 a year would not see an income tax increase under the President’s plan.
The bulk of economic activity comes from American families buying basic necessities like clothing and healthcare; durable goods like cars and furniture; and the food and gifts that millions will enjoy over the holiday season, it said. The retail industry employs 14.8 million Americans – including 563,300 in Ohio – and has been a key part of the recovery. In the 40 months since the recession ended in June 2009, the retail industry alone has been responsible for more than 9 percent of overall employment growth and has added 438,000 jobs in the past 32 months.
Over the course of 2012, American consumers are on pace to spend around $5 trillion on retail sales, and with the start of the holiday shopping season, which accounts for close to one fifth of industry sales nationwide, retailers can’t afford the threat of tax increases on middle-class families. “This sharp rise in middle-class taxes and the resulting decline in consumption could slow the growth of real GDP by 1.7 percentage points in Ohio,” the report noted, adding this, “Faced with these tax hikes, the CEA estimates that consumers in Ohio could spend nearly $7.6 billion less than they otherwise would have in 2013 just because of higher taxes. Consumers nationwide would likely spend nearly $200 billion less than they otherwise would have in 2013.”
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