Most Read: Opinions

direct signup
ThePlumLIneGS whorunsgov plumline
Posted at 03:40 PM ET, 11/18/2011

The latest GOP supercommittee offer [updated]

Lori Montgomery scoops it:

Having concluded that the parties could not agree on a far-reaching plan to raise taxes and restrain social spending, Republican members of the supercommittee worked with House Speaker John A. Boehner to develop with a smaller “Plan B” that would stop far short of the panel’s goal of $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction over the next decade.
Instead, Republicans proposed to achieve $640 billion in savings, primarily through cuts to domestic agency budgets, a pay freeze and bigger pension contributions for federal workers, cuts in farm subsidies and an array of other spending cuts and revenue raisers.
The offer, delivered Thursday to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, included no cuts to the Pentagon and just one small tax increase, focused on owners of corporate jets, failing two key tests for Democratic negotiators.

That “one small tax increase focused on owners of corporate jets” is indeed small. A Dem aide tells me it totaled $3 billion — out of an overall package of $640 billion.

Separately, Lori also has this:

Democratic aides said the proposal would have replaced sharp cuts to defense that are scheduled to take effect in 2013 if the supercommittee fails with cuts that would affect the middle class.

I’ll bring you more details when I get them, but suffice it to say that this doesn’t sound like an offer that was designed for Dems to accept.

UPDATE: GOP aides are flatly denying the above version of events. They say they offered Dems $229 billion in new fees and revenues — though no details are yet available, that’s obviously far more than the $3 billion claimed by Dem aides. The GOP offer would also include $316 billion in cuts, $100 billion of which would come from defense cuts, the GOP aides say.

Also: $98 billion in interest. Total savings: $643 billion.

What’s more, GOP aides flatly deny the Dem claims about the trigger. Rather, they say the deal would reduce the overall $1.2 trillion in triggered by the above amount of savings ($643 billion). That would mean a total of over $500 billion in triggered cuts. GOP aides say those cuts would be divided evenly between defense and non-defense cuts, in keeping with how the trigger was originally designed.

UPDATE II: What do the $229 billion in revenues the GOP offered actually consist of? Brian Beutler reports that aside from the $3 billion from the corporate jet loophole closure, much of the rest is made up of land sales, fees, and frequencies the government can sell to broadcasters, phone companies, and the like. A GOP aide also confirms the same to me.

Dems say this proves they are right to argue that the GOP offer only contains $3 billion in new taxes.

By  |  03:40 PM ET, 11/18/2011

 
Read what others are saying
     

    © 2011 The Washington Post Company