|Yes once again the Republicans are refusing to do the will of the American people. Their proposal does not raise taxes on the wealthy and indeed actually lowers them once again. Instead it seeks to raise the Medicare age and cut benefits for those on Social Security:
The Bowles plan, which would gradually increase the Medicare eligibility age from 65-67, and implement a less generous formula for calculating cost of living adjustments in Social Security, is the most specific proposal the GOP has offered, and resembles, in many ways, the framework Obama and Boehner nearly agreed to in debt limit negotiations last summer.
Bowles called for $800 billion in new revenue, without resorting to using "dynamic scoring," but not specifically from raising tax rates. He proposed raising the Medicare eligibility age, and changing government tax and spending formulas to use so-called chained CPI, reducing benefits in programs like Social Security and raising tax revenues over time by hastening workers ascent into higher tax brackets as they climb the income ladder. He proposed $300 billion in further cuts to discretionary spending, $600 billion in cuts to health care programs, and $300 billion in other mandatory spending programs, but did not spell out entirely how the cuts should be designed.
The GOP's offer provides no further specificity about those cuts either. It is silent on how to raise $800 billion in revenue, other than to call for closing loopholes and lowering marginal rates. It says nothing about when the higher taxes would kick in.
Democrats were quick to pounce on this "offer" for what it is and vowed to vote on middle-class tax cuts with or without Republicans:
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) slammed the GOP counter-offer to avoid the fiscal cliff as an "assault" on middle class Americans and the elderly, claiming it "only makes matters worse."
"The Republican proposal is another assault on the middle class, seniors, and our future. The American people made clear that they want us to work together on a balanced approach; yet, in the Republican plan, any alleged resemblance to an offer seeking balance and fairness is nonexistent. It only makes matters worse.
"The Republican plan talks about seeking middle ground, yet reiterates their party's commitment to put millionaires ahead of the middle class and Medicare. Republicans are simply digging in their heels by refusing to ask the wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share and actually calling for lower tax rates.
"Instead of wasting the public's time, House Republicans should allow a vote on the Senate-passed middle income tax cuts to strengthen middle class families, spur growth in our economy, provide certainty to small businesses, and create jobs. Democrats are filing a discharge petition, to force a vote on extending the middle income tax cut, on Tuesday at noon. There's no time to waste."
In other words this Republican "offer" is nothing but an insult to 98% of Americans. They simply do not care about you, your family or anyone else but the very wealthy. They have let it be known in no uncertain terms that they will not accept anything less than balancing the budget on the backs of working Americans, seniors and children.
This failed, selfish vision is what got us to this point to begin with.