Rep. John Boehner’s (R-OH) proposal to avert the so-called ‘fiscal cliff’ is far from moderate: He refuses to consider taxing millionaires, he wants to raise the payroll tax, and his plan to raise revenue is similar to the detail-free ideas of former presidential candidate Mitt Romney. On top of all that, the namesake of his plan — economics heavyweight Erskine Bowles — rejected the title, saying that the plan wasn’t centrist enough.
But that isn’t stopping some far-right organizations and members of Congress from rejecting the proposal. A few Republicans have come out against the Boehner plan, either as an attempt to try to make the Speaker look moderate when he’s not, or as a way of evincing a personal vendetta. Here are four Republicans calling Boehner’s plan a cave on the fiscal showdown:
Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-KS): The freshman Congressman from Kansas might be harboring some personal feelings against GOP leadership right now: Huelskamp was just taken off of the budget committee for having opposed leadership too many times. He’s speaking out against leadership Republicans, saying they “only give lip service to conservative principles.”
Americans for Prosperity Preisdent Tim Phillips: The point of an advocacy organization is to push their own agenda, and AFP has been vocal about theirs: To stop Democrats from raising any taxes, and to cut back on social safety net spending. Phillips trashed Boehner’s plan in an interview with National Journal, saying “Sadly, this plan leaves conservatives wanting.”
Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC): As a tea party standard-bearer, DeMint may be trying to push Boehner as far to the right as possible by calling out his plan on Twitter. It’s also possible the Senator was feigning outrage, an easy way to paint Boehner as reasonable. “Speaker Boehner’s offer of an $800 billion tax hike will destroy jobs and allow politicians in Washington to spend even more,” he wrote.
The Heritage Foundation: According to National Journal, the advocacy arm of the Heritage Foundation sent its members an email disparaging Boehner’s plan: “Not only are Republican leaders asking their members to go back on their promise not to raise taxes on the American people,” the email reads, “but they appear unwilling to fight for the bold entitlement reforms that won them the House in 2010.”
In fact, there’s no compromise in Boehner’s plan at all, just a vague promise to find a method of increasing revenue. It cuts deeply from social programs while sparing top earners from any additional taxes. Indeed, every potential olive branch extended by Republicans has been nothing more than a bait and switch, signaling to the public that Republicans are willing to play a fair game, but without any actual proposals to go along with the gesture.