cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Dec, 2012 11:01 am
@JPB,
According to some recent polls, 40% still don't believe the fiscal cliff will be harmful.

Quote:
Both sides fall away from fiscal cliff compromise - Video on TODAY ...
video.today.msnbc.msn.com/today/501850643 hours ago – Video on TODAY.com: The fiscal cliff standoff continues, with House ... of washington , as a large majority would blame both sides equally.


JPB
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Dec, 2012 11:03 am
@cicerone imposter,
I'm hearing more and more people say just let it happen and come back on 1/3/13 and get to work on passing a tax cut for 98%.
0 Replies
 
JPB
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Dec, 2012 11:04 am
Cantor reiterates that the House will not adjourn for the year until they solve the #fiscalcliff
0 Replies
 
JPB
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Dec, 2012 11:07 am
Nancy flexes her muscles.

Quote:
At her weekly Capitol press briefing Thursday, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi took her hardest line yet against raising the Medicare eligibility age from 65 to 67 in a deal to avoid a major automatic fiscal contraction next year.

And for the first time in this round of high-stakes budget negotiations between President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner she used her clout with House Democrats — whose votes will be necessary to pass any deal they cut — to warn them off of major benefit cuts.

“As I have said, don’t even think about raising Medicare age,” Pelosi said. “We are not throwing America’s seniors over the cliff to give a tax cuts to the wealthiest people in America.”

Asked in a followup question whether she was worried that Obama’s willingness in 2011 to entertain a higher Medicare age and other cuts to social insurance benefits suggests he might agree to similar cuts today, Pelosi issued a subtle warning to both men.

“The President knows our views shares our values, we respect his leadership,” she said. “And the Speaker may need our votes to go forward.”

In other words, she’ll have a big say over whether any deal they strike can pass the House. TPM
Thomas
 
  2  
Reply Thu 13 Dec, 2012 11:33 am
@JPB,
JPB wrote:
I don't see Grover as a racist if that's what you inferred with the use of the word "uppity". He's an ideologue who wants a balanced budget amendment and the smallest federal footprint possible.

Grover Norquist is an ideologue alright, but he doesn't care about balanced budgets either way. When the Bush administration inherited a balanced budget and unbalanced it with major tax cuts and an unnecessary war, Norquist had no objection to any of that. His balanced-budget rhetoric is just a cover to rein in federal spending on any Americans too poor to pay Norquist for lobbying.
Cycloptichorn
 
  2  
Reply Thu 13 Dec, 2012 11:37 am
Is there anyone who thinks we won't, in fact, be headed over the fiscal cliff at this point? I have a hard time seeing any bill being passed to stop it.

Cycloptichorn
Thomas
 
  2  
Reply Thu 13 Dec, 2012 11:43 am
@Cycloptichorn,
Cycloptichorn wrote:
Is there anyone who thinks we won't, in fact, be headed over the fiscal cliff at this point? I have a hard time seeing any bill being passed to stop it.

I certainly don't. Voting for a top marginal tax rate of 38% is so much easier for Republicans if they can say it's a tax cut rather than a tax increase. Why make it hard for themselves?
spendius
 
  2  
Reply Thu 13 Dec, 2012 11:52 am
@Cycloptichorn,
I think Cyclo that the basic theory is to keep everybody on the edge of their seats quivering with excitement and on tenterhooks so that the main participants can stick their ugly mugs into the nation's living rooms etc more times than is decently permissible for even the most avid of attention seekers.

I expect the debt to be raised by another few trillion and why not? with interest rates at near zero and the markets holding pretty steady.

There is a long holiday coming up for Congress so it is obvious that there's no sweating. Just another binge.

Don't follow leaders watch the Christmas ads.
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Dec, 2012 11:55 am
@Thomas,
Since we all know "fiscal cliff" is not going to happen, I say let the what happens on January 1st happen as "planned."

The rich will pay 39.6% tax rate. That'll blow the GOP standoff as a bonehead stance.



0 Replies
 
JPB
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Dec, 2012 12:34 pm
@Thomas,
Well, whether he cares about a balanced budget or not, he cares about a "strong" (not weak) balanced budget amendment.

In 2011
Quote:
Grover Norquist’s powerful anti-tax group came out forcefully against a balanced-budget amendment being considered by House Republican leadership.

Americans for Tax Reform, Norquist’s nonprofit group which plays a big role in congressional Republican politics, sent Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) a letter Wednesday, saying that “the introduction of a weak balanced-budget amendment — an amendment that does not require a supermajority to raise taxes or instill sufficient spending restraint — will be regarded as an abandonment of this commitment.”



Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1111/67952.html#ixzz2ExTfE4WU
joefromchicago
 
  2  
Reply Thu 13 Dec, 2012 12:36 pm
@JPB,
God bless Nancy Pelosi, one of the few Democrats who is willing to fight for progressive causes left in Washington.
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Dec, 2012 12:51 pm
@joefromchicago,
From Yahoo Finance.
Quote:
As politicians, businessmen and ordinary citizens brace for spending cuts and tax hikes in the new year, a long-term Republican advisor says the U.S. should take the "fiscal cliff" plunge.
"Let the fiscal cliff happen and reduce the deficit very substantially as a consequence,"says Bruce Bartlett, author of The Benefit and Burden: Tax Reform--Why We Need It and What It Will Take. The combination of spending cuts and tax hikes will eventually strengthen the economy he says, citing CBO analysis.
In contrast, Republicans' refusal to raise taxes would hurt the economy in the long run, Bartlett argues.

Bartlett, a former advisor to Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush and Congressman Ron Paul, explains why the GOP tax pledge has harmful consequences for the economy. Government spending will rise over the coming decades as more baby boomers retire. But if tax revenues don't keep pace with spending, the federal government will be forced to increase borrowing, which will increase interest payments on the debt.
According to Bartlett, a GAO report projects that the Republican plan to keep revenues at just under 18% of GDP will cause interest on the debt to surge from 19.2% of the deficit this year to 62% in 2020.
spendius
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Dec, 2012 01:00 pm
@cicerone imposter,
Well--the first $5 trillion was borrowed at much higher interest rates than there are now so borrowing another $5 trillion now is a better deal than it was then.

You do know that negative interests rates are possible? In fact they are with us now due to the inflation rate.
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Dec, 2012 07:00 pm
Boehner said he's not worried about his job. LOL Mr. Green

Here's the reality for Boehner.
Quote:
Boehner, meanwhile, faces increasingly conflicting pressures, from the right to hold firm, from the Republican center to be flexible and from the polls to abandon his position.


He's a classic schizophrenic. Doesn't know which way he's going.
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Dec, 2012 09:45 pm
@cicerone imposter,
From the NYT.
Quote:
With Gap Wide and Time Short, Obama and Boehner Meet


The GOP is not going to negotiate; they will not support any tax increases for the rich.

Remember what happened to GHW Bush when he said "no new taxes?"

Too many extremists in the GOP; they're not known as the No Party for nuttin.

0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Dec, 2012 10:49 pm
@JPB,
He's grandstanding.
0 Replies
 
MontereyJack
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Dec, 2012 11:13 pm
Close to three quarters of Americans say the Bush tax cuts for the rich should be allowed to expire. By about two to one, they blame Republicans for their stonewalling and the fiscal cliff, rather than Obama. The huge majority of Americans on one side. Grover Norquist and his invidious "No new taxes" pledge. If the Republican party wants to continue its losses and hemorraging of people who self-identify as Republicans, they're gonna have to tell Grover to shove off. They're losing just about all the demographics that are growing, and this way it'll just get worse.
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Dec, 2012 11:25 pm
@MontereyJack,
I hope they learn a lesson from this stonewalling; otherwise, they'll continue to be the No Party with no hope of negotiation on anything.

They play party politics at the expense of our country's economy, and harm the majority of Americans for their foolishness.

They will continue to get 30% of the American voters to support these criminals who are supposed to work for our country's best interest.

It's obvious, they don't and won't.
0 Replies
 
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Dec, 2012 11:17 am
Krugman nails it today

Quote:
Op-Ed Columnist
The G.O.P.’s Existential Crisis
By PAUL KRUGMAN
Published: December 13, 2012 569 Comments

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2010/09/16/opinion/Krugman_New/Krugman_New-articleInline.jpg

We are not having a debt crisis.

It’s important to make this point, because I keep seeing articles about the “fiscal cliff” that do, in fact, describe it — often in the headline — as a debt crisis. But it isn’t. The U.S. government is having no trouble borrowing to cover its deficit. In fact, its borrowing costs are near historic lows. And even the confrontation over the debt ceiling that looms a few months from now if we do somehow manage to avoid going over the fiscal cliff isn’t really about debt.

No, what we’re having is a political crisis, born of the fact that one of our two great political parties has reached the end of a 30-year road. The modern Republican Party’s grand, radical agenda lies in ruins — but the party doesn’t know how to deal with that failure, and it retains enough power to do immense damage as it strikes out in frustration.

Before I talk about that reality, a word about the current state of budget “negotiations.”

Why the scare quotes? Because these aren’t normal negotiations in which each side presents specific proposals, and horse-trading proceeds until the two sides converge. By all accounts, Republicans have, so far, offered almost no specifics. They claim that they’re willing to raise $800 billion in revenue by closing loopholes, but they refuse to specify which loopholes they would close; they are demanding large cuts in spending, but the specific cuts they have been willing to lay out wouldn’t come close to delivering the savings they demand.

It’s a very peculiar situation. In effect, Republicans are saying to President Obama, “Come up with something that will make us happy.” He is, understandably, not willing to play that game. And so the talks are stuck.

Why won’t the Republicans get specific? Because they don’t know how. The truth is that, when it comes to spending, they’ve been faking it all along — not just in this election, but for decades. Which brings me to the nature of the current G.O.P. crisis.

Since the 1970s, the Republican Party has fallen increasingly under the influence of radical ideologues, whose goal is nothing less than the elimination of the welfare state — that is, the whole legacy of the New Deal and the Great Society. From the beginning, however, these ideologues have had a big problem: The programs they want to kill are very popular. Americans may nod their heads when you attack big government in the abstract, but they strongly support Social Security, Medicare, and even Medicaid. So what’s a radical to do?

The answer, for a long time, has involved two strategies. One is “starve the beast,” the idea of using tax cuts to reduce government revenue, then using the resulting lack of funds to force cuts in popular social programs. Whenever you see some Republican politician piously denouncing federal red ink, always remember that, for decades, the G.O.P. has seen budget deficits as a feature, not a bug.

Arguably more important in conservative thinking, however, was the notion that the G.O.P. could exploit other sources of strength — white resentment, working-class dislike of social change, tough talk on national security — to build overwhelming political dominance, at which point the dismantling of the welfare state could proceed freely. Just eight years ago, Grover Norquist, the antitax activist, looked forward cheerfully to the days when Democrats would be politically neutered: “Any farmer will tell you that certain animals run around and are unpleasant, but when they’ve been fixed, then they are happy and sedate.”

O.K., you see the problem: Democrats didn’t go along with the program, and refused to give up. Worse, from the Republican point of view, all of their party’s sources of strength have turned into weaknesses. Democratic dominance among Hispanics has overshadowed Republican dominance among southern whites; women’s rights have trumped the politics of abortion and antigay sentiment; and guess who finally did get Osama bin Laden.

And look at where we are now in terms of the welfare state: far from killing it, Republicans now have to watch as Mr. Obama implements the biggest expansion of social insurance since the creation of Medicare.

So Republicans have suffered more than an election defeat, they’ve seen the collapse of a decades-long project. And with their grandiose goals now out of reach, they literally have no idea what they want — hence their inability to make specific demands.

It’s a dangerous situation. The G.O.P. is lost and rudderless, bitter and angry, but it still controls the House and, therefore, retains the ability to do a lot of harm, as it lashes out in the death throes of the conservative dream.

Our best hope is that business interests will use their influence to limit the damage. But the odds are that the next few years will be very, very ugly.


Cycloptichorn
JPB
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Dec, 2012 11:26 am
@Cycloptichorn,
I agree, other than he does nothing to explain why burgeoning debt isn't a problem. Borrowing money to pay one's debts is a clear indication of a problem (maybe not crisis) in my book.

Quote:
And with their grandiose goals now out of reach, they literally have no idea what they want — hence their inability to make specific demands.

It’s a dangerous situation. The G.O.P. is lost and rudderless, bitter and angry, but it still controls the House and, therefore, retains the ability to do a lot of harm, as it lashes out in the death throes of the conservative dream.

Our best hope is that business interests will use their influence to limit the damage. But the odds are that the next few years will be very, very ugly.


I also disagree that they have no idea what they want; at least those who are sitting in Washington. I know exactly what they want. They want to keep their jobs and not have to return to whatever it was that represented life in whatever town they came from before Washington DC became "home".

Grover is a piece of work, ain't he?
 

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