Republicans in Congress must be prepared to jump off the fiscal cliff if that’s what it takes to make President Barack Obama abandon his idea of ending tax cuts for the wealthy, conservative interest groups say.
House Speaker John Boehner and other GOP leaders have acted too much out of fear of the automatic spending cuts and tax increases that will begin Jan. 1 if Congress and the president don’t reach a deal before then, leaders of the groups say, according to The Hill
Republicans have the upper hand, because if the fiscal cliff talks fail and a recession ensues, Obama will be the one to take the blame, the groups say.
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“I think Obama is very mindful of his legacy and is horrified of going over the cliff,” Andy Roth, vice president of government affairs at the Club for Growth, told The Hill. “Going over the cliff might be a signal that needs to be sent to the president that he needs to play ball.”
Plenty of others agree. “I think it is certainly better to go over the fiscal cliff than to have the Republican party deny the American people to have one party that stands for lower taxes and another party that doesn’t,” Michael Needham, CEO of Heritage Action, said last week.
Meanwhile, Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., said on "Fox News Sunday" that Obama actually wants to leap off the cliff for political purposes. "I think he sees a political victory at the bottom of the cliff," the chairman of the Republican Senate Policy Committee said. "He gets all this additional tax revenue for new programs; he gets to cut the military, which Democrats have been calling for for years; and he gets to blame Republicans for it."
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