December 4, 2012

"Mindful of the status quo election and past exchanges on these questions..."

"... we recognize it would be counterproductive to publicly or privately propose entitlement reforms that you and the leaders of your party appear unwilling to support in the near term...."


edutcher said...

Give the Demos all they demand.

Until they scream for mercy.

Paco Wové said...

Thank you! What I hear you saying is, essentially, that you want the R.'s to adopt the Mencken Theory of Government - give the people what they voted for, good and hard. I don't know - let me think about that. You're right that the R.'s are going to get the blame for anything bad that comes out of the fiscal debacle. While I trust your judgement and I understand your frustration, let me play Devil's advocate here - presumably all those Republicans were sent to D.C. to do... something, right? "We're just going to give up until THE STUPID ELECTORATE SEES REASON!" seems like a highly risky strategy. What if voters decide a "fuck it" GOP is no better than no GOP? But tell me more - I'm on it! Substantive discussion here at Althouse is always my pleasure. Well done on a good start to the discussion!
By the way - I've got your back. How else can I help you?

Shouting Thomas said...

Another manufactured crisis.


Rusty said...

Seems that way, doesn't it ed.

I don't see any economic growth incentive in that package. Without it they can cut spending all they want but there will be no increase of revenues from economic expansion. So it's just a band aid.
Glad to see cuts on there, but they have to be real not just accounting gimmicks. And they have to be immediate. Not the same old raise taxes now and we'll discus cuts later.
Again. There has to real substantive changes in SS and Medi.. Cut the capital gains tax by half. Get rid of the estate tax altogether...etc..etc.
Growth gets jobs.

Matthew Sablan said...

Negotiating with the administration is like trying to negotiate with a child. They just don't seem to get that compromise requires -both- sides to give a little.

Matthew Sablan said...

“The Republican letter released today does not meet the test of balance,” said Dan Pfeiffer, the communications director.

-- Considering the thing that they are countering, that is laughable or risible, mattering how angry you get over politics. Also: Notice how the papers always want to know more details about Republican plans, but Obama's plan (which is vaguely, get more blood from the stone) is never questioned. How will Obama raise all that money? How will he ensure that each dollar he expects to raise is actually raised? How will he protect lower and middle-class people from being negatively subjected to shrinking the economy by having the government inefficiently manage more of the economy's dollars?

It's almost like the media has an agenda.

Matthew Sablan said...

Frankly, I think Obama has accepted going off the fiscal cliff. He's seen the polls; he knows no matter how much it is his party's fault, he can convince a large enough segment of the population to blame Republicans. He then gets a crisis, automatic cuts to defense (a thing Democrats want without having to actually be held responsible in a vote for it), and he can then twist Republican arms while he dishonestly blames them.

It's win-win for him, so why not do it?

Unknown said...

My thought: go over the "fiscal cliff" and lets see what happens. As I understand it the Bush tax cuts will expire and some cuts, eg for the military will take effect. The Rs will be blamed whatever the do. IMO opinion the Ds are simply setting the stage for the 2014 midterms where they will hope to regain a majority in the house. Let the Obama administration deal with the economy they have created.

cubanbob said...

Paco fuck the Obama voters. All of those deadbeats were quite happy to raise my taxes so they can get more at my expense. Big government and big spending isn't free so let them pay their fair share. Let them pay until they scream.

As for the republicans not only should they let the Bush rates expire they should let the AMT to full bore and raise the ante by taxing non-profits and tax exempts. Eliminate all deductions and credits ( except those by treaty) except for the standard deduction and eliminate the the exempt status of municipal and state bonds. Then twist the knife even more by taxing at the top end all public service retirements(as well as unions) plus the dividend surcharge until they reach the social security age with the sweetener of taxing every dollar above what they would have received if they were getting social security at the top rate. And finally push to have all public sector employees and retirees from Obama on down be subjected to Obamacare with no waivers. It's easy to be a sport with other people's money. Now it's time for the gimeecrats to put their money where their mouth ( and vote) is. If its good enough to jack me up to pay for their benefits it's good enough for them to pay for their benefits.

machine said...

"Is Speaker Boehner really saying that he wants the deal Obama offered before Obama won reelection and when Boehner was holding the full faith and credit of the United States hostage?"


Phil 3:14 said...

Every Boomer, Democrat and Republican, is approaching retirement with its Social Security and Medicare.

Therefore every Boomer shares responsibility for this mess.

Matthew Sablan said...

Machine: The quote from TPM that you provided is ignorant of how this is actually working. No one is holding anything hostage; the House has passed several budgets and plans. The only person holding anything hostage in this scenario is Harry Reid in the Senate who refuses to move certain things forward.

Matthew Sablan said...

Also, Bohener's offer is one that actually compromises and offers to give a little get a little. It is an actual offer, as opposed to Obama's demand for the essential abdication of the legislative branch of the U.S. government's responsibilities to the Executive Branch. Frankly, as it is, for at least 50 years (if not more), the executive branch has had way too much say when it comes to budgeting. This is a House matter, which the Senate should promptly be following-up on after receiving the bill. Not the current system of the president masquerading as a legislator.

Matthew Sablan said...

"The only person holding anything hostage in this scenario is Harry Reid in the Senate who refuses to move certain things forward."

-- And even then, that's merely co-opting TPM's word choice to show how silly it is.

cubanbob said...

Phil when you rely on the WaPo you are bound to be misinformed. You do understand that every small business owner ( think sub chapter S) not only pays his or her's full FICA tax like a self-employed individual but also pays the employer portion of the employee's FICA with no imputed benefit to the owner. If one manages to have a business survive for more than twenty years and employ a couple of employees you will never get back what you paid in and will soon enough be means tested as well for your 'entitlement '.

Tax the crap out of the public sector retirees. They never contributed towards their pensions and unlike social security beneficiaries they collect ten years more on average.

EDH said...

"I got news for you pal. They're gonna nail us no matter what we do...

so we might as well have a good time...."

Fr Martin Fox said...

I don't see why the Republicans are so worried, if indeed they are. All the stories about their terrible dilemma are simply wrong.

Most (if not all) the coverage says that the GOP has a problem if the tax rates go up. But that's not true. The GOP has a problem only if they help those tax rates go up.

So here's what you do:

1. Do what they're doing now; make an effort to work something out; but don't give in on principles. Whatever you do, don't endorse any tax increases.

2. If that fails--as it probably will--then pass a simple tax bill, making all the rates permanent. Maybe do this right after Christmas. Send it to the Senate. Let them do what they like with it. If they pass it, let the President do what he likes with it.

3. Pass a separate appropriations bill, just for Defense--to avoid any disruptions to national security (since that's what will be harped on). Keep it simple: "must pass." This could be done earlier, except it'll get bogged down. If Obama vetoes this bill, then it's on him.

4. If the tax bill bogs down, then they can either before--or after--the deadline, try the Tom Cole approach: present separate tax bills, one the Dems say they'll vote for, and then present a bill making the higher rates permanent. (This is Rep. Tom Cole's idea.)

I actually think this will be a tough vote for a lot of Democratic Senators. It might even pass the Senate, forcing Obama to veto it.

In any case, the Republicans will all be able to vote against it; as a result, they will not be responsible for the tax increase.

While there's more urgency before the rates expire, it's better to get the record votes in the new Congress.

Once Obama gets his tax increase, then what? If the GOP follows my advice (ha!), it will be 100% Obama's tax increase. Now he will have to come out and say what he wouldn't say thus far: that his plans for big spending won't be fixed by this narrow tax increase. He'll either have to call for more taxes, or else finally propose some spending restraint.

The Obama tax increase won't fix the deficit; so by that measure, it'll fail. If it hurts the economy, which it probably will, that's also 100% on Obama. And of course, on the Democrats running in 2014 and 2016.

And what about spending? They have another debt-ceiling vote coming up. Go back to offering salami-slices for each incremental increase. "We'll increase the limit by $1 trillion dollars in exchange for abolishing the National Knucklehair Administration," etc.

In all this, how does the GOP get hurt by any of this? Even their foot-dragging was a matter of preventing *any* tax increase; that they ultimately failed won't hurt them.

The only "problem" the GOP will have is that the Tea Party folks will be up in arms; but that's not a bug, it's a feature. That's what the GOP needs, either to get some backbone, or else to get some new people. Additionally, the Tea Party helps Boehner "negotiate": he can say, "I'd like to help you, Mr. President, but I can't get that through the House. Simple as that."

deborah said...

Chait's pre-election take on the fiscal cliff is pretty interesting, starting on page 3: