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Congressional Democrats say they're not afraid of overreaching with President Obama’s tax-and-spending offer to Republicans.

Republicans ripped Obama’s recent proposal of $1.6 trillion in tax hikes combined with $400 billion in spending cuts as a joke, and GOP lawmakers have said the framework could make it harder for House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to get his members to agree to a deal.

But Democrats say the Republican response is little more than faux outrage, and that the White House offer is simply how negotiations are conducted, especially given that Obama comfortably won reelection after campaigning for higher taxes on the wealthy.

And with just a month left until the economy would absorb more than $500 billion in spending cuts and tax increases, Democrats across the political spectrum say they don’t believe the White House offer hurts their leverage or makes it harder to get a deal.

Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), for instance, called that premise “ridiculous,” and said that early offers have “no effect” on whether either side gets too dug in on cliff negotiations.

“What harm comes from him asking for more than he thinks he’s going to be able to get?” said Frank, who did not seek re-election this year.
I'll tell you one thing, if i was still in business and a plant manager was asking a million dollars for a $20,000 machine i wouldn't even make a counter offer. If i was Boehner i'd do like that one tweet said he should do when he recieved Obama's offer, "Eliminate the federal government except for defense". That would be an appropriate response. That's how "helpful" Obama's first offer was.
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