House Speaker John Boehner has done an excellent job leading the Republican side in a budget debate where he has to give in at least a little on taxes, says Republican strategist Karl Rove.
“It's impossible to know how this Washington drama will end, but Speaker Boehner has played a weak hand adroitly,” Rove writes in The Wall Street Journal
“He's been reasonable, even creative, and so far kept his caucus behind him. He will rightly be judged on what he eventually agrees (or doesn't agree) to. But so far he's shown leadership that has been lacking elsewhere in Washington — especially at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.”
Boehner has deftly handled a difficult balancing act between a “president uninterested in compromise” and a GOP House caucus loath to cede him much, Rove says.
He approves of Boehner’s “Plan B" that would increase the tax rate on those with annual income above $1 million to 39.6 percent from 35 percent. The Bush-era tax cuts would become permanent for everyone else, and the Alternative Minimum Tax would be eliminated.
“Mr. Boehner's thinking is that preventing increases on more than 99 percent of taxpayers could help Republicans escape from a battle they cannot win,” Rove writes.
“Better for the GOP to show the president rabid for more taxes and spending, and then to pivot toward a debate about spending.” At that point Republicans will hold the upper hand, because Obama needs their cooperation for a debt limit increase.
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