Countering McConnell

I think it’s worth talking more about what a counter-offer to McConnell would look like. The biggest flaw with McConnell is that it would mean Obama would be required to put up $2.5 trillion spending cuts, with no offsetting revenue increases. This gives the GOP what they wanted: deficit reduction entirely through spending cuts and it takes away the fig leaf of revenue raises (coming in large part from the rich & corporations) that the administration and congressional Democrats have sought. To me the natural counter offer from Obama would be to have the freedom to meet the tranched offset requirements through a combination of spending cuts and revenue increases, at a rate which is agreed upon now. While I’m certain that rate would be something I personally find outlandish (anywhere from 3-6:1 spending cuts/revenue increases), it would at least be an opportunity to negotiate and do so in a way that preserves some semblance of victory in terms of achieving the desired split between spending cuts and revenue increases. And as much as I think a 5:1 deal would be different from a 1:0 in optics alone, the reality is with the size of the numbers being tossed around here, getting a few hundred billion back through revenue increases is better than nothing.

I’ll be curious to see what the President’s counter-offer to McConnell looks like, but right now I’d bet that it involves carving out space for him to put in some revenue increases.

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