For the Record

The White House’s version of the debt ceiling agreement.

Also, FWIW, someone I know in the moneyed world sent me this from a highly numerically literate type at another MRU on what the actual agreement entails in the here-and-now:

There are no cuts to this years federal budget. For the one that start Oct 2011 there will be a cut of $21 billion. The total budget this year is 3.4 trillion (that includes entitlements). So, if my arithmetic is correct the cut is about 0.6 of 1 percent! If one takes only discretionary spending of $1.3 trillion then the cut is 1.6%. And my guess is that this cut is not to be taken to the actual budget but to the “inflation adjusted budget” which will be up about 3%, so there is probably a net increase planned for the discretionary budget of over 2% and an increase of the entitlement budget of over 5%. So the whole thing is smoke and mirrors. All of the rest of the changes are back loaded to “later” or to “after there is a committee agreement’.. The theatre will continue.

I have not checked these numbers myself — I don’t have the arithmetic sheet from this source, only his conclusion.  But it tracks the CBO analysis (link to the CBO analysis (PDF) at the bottom of that page), and it is being incorporated into green-eye-shade-jaundiced  views of the economy.

 

I might go so far as to say as that Obama fellow may not be quite so dumb as he looks. Doesn’t alter the message problem, nor the inherent danger-and-tragedy of double digit unemployment (viewed from the wider perspective).  But given the hands as dealt, it does not appear that our President is quite the terrible poker player that some of us — myself on occasion certainly included — have believed him to be.

Image:  Edgar Degas, Arlequin danse, c. 1890

174 replies
  1. 1
    chopper says:

    of course it’s smoke and mirrors, at least for now. every time boehner and obama make a deal it ends up being smoke and mirrors. it isn’t necessarily because obama cleans his clock or anything, it’s that the GOP leadership is scared to death of actually coming up with anything specific to cut outside of paltry parts of the budget. they do want to cut SS and medicare, but they want someone else to seriously put the idea on the table first. unfortunately they kinda already did it themselves with their support of the ryan plan. (not that the catfood commission helped obama, but he didn’t stand behind the results like the GOP slobbed over vouchercare).

  2. 2
    MBunge says:

    Just as the conservative group think created an information loop that allowed some truly spectacular mistakes to happen under Bush the Younger, the liberal impulse to always be the smartest guy in the room creates its own feedback loop where you can’t acknowledge Obama’s prowess without damaging your own sense of self-worth.

    Mike

  3. 3
    Cat Lady says:

    I will take any bet that not one of the teatards had a clue as to what was actually in that thing before they voted, and Boehner (redundant?) didn’t either, and neither does one single member of our FAIL press. As I mentioned early this morning on one of the Pelosi threads, I’m waiting to hear that buried in there somewhere is a trigger that denies defense spending to every Republican congressional district when tax revenue drops below X. That’s what I would do if I were in on the bill writing knowing full well that the Idiot Caucus wouldn’t know what it meant even if they were given a crayon drawing of it and had it stapled to their head with a teabag.

  4. 4
    Dexter says:

    Also, the 2012 budget is supposed to be passed with the debt ceiling bill. If true, then Tea Party lost their chance of a government shutdown after September.

  5. 5
    cleek says:

    But given the hands to be dealt, it does not appear that Obama is quite the terrible poker player that some of us have believed him to be.

    your pony spirit is miscalibrated. please report to room 3782 for re-liberalization.

  6. 6
    Trentrunner says:

    Well, the worst thing in all this is the continued legitimacy Obama gives to right-wing ideas:

    Obama: I cut taxes. I reduced the deficit. I was willing to cut Medicare and Social Security. I amped up the war in Afghanistan. Reagan was amazing.

    Fuck.

  7. 7
    cleek says:

    perhaps FPers should be instructed on which words are forbidden, so that we’ll able to quote them freely without ending up in moderationland.

    or, i could write a script that would play a horrible sound every time they type one into the WP post composition box.

  8. 8
    MBunge says:

    “Well, the worst thing of all this is the aid and comfort Obama gives to right-wing ideas.”

    That ship sailed a long time ago when liberals flocked to defend the man who told the whole world “The era of big government is over”.

    Mike

  9. 9
    Maude says:

    OT but the pictures on AP and BBC online of the Wall Street traders with looks of despair on their faces gives me a happy. Jump!

  10. 10
  11. 11
    trollhattan says:

    I’ve lost track of various deadlines. When does the Bush tax cut extension expire (maybe Jan 2012?) and how does this sequence with all these other deadlines/triggers/opportunites for hostage killin’?

  12. 12
    burnspbesq says:

    @Tom L.

    “given the hands to be dealt, it does not appear that Obama is quite the terrible poker player that some of us—myself on occasion certainly included—have believed him to be.”

    Well put.

    On another subject near and dear to all of our hearts, health-care economics, get a load of this:

    http://delong.typepad.com/sdj/.....-idea.html

    When I try to visualize what a $27 billion dead-weight loss looks like, I see something a lot like this.

  13. 13
    Joel says:

    Obama’s a fine poker player, and that matters in the policy outcomes. But the political outcomes are more analogous to football, and we’re about to see whether he’s a good enough quarterback to keep sanity alive in our government.

  14. 14
    burnspbesq says:

    @Tom L.:

    It’s the card game. Try pinochle or bid-whist next time.

  15. 15
    FlipYrWhig says:

    This can’t be. All adjustments are cuts, and all cuts are devastating acts of austerity, red in tooth and claw, and creeping death is descending upon us tomorrow, like a Passover without the clever doorpost-marking. I read it on the internet.

  16. 16
    beltane says:

    @Maude: Are they so unhappy that they will forgo buying $560 pairs of shoes at Nordstroms? That would be a tragedy of epic proportions.

  17. 17
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @cleek: Write one that changes the words to “smurf” when we read the front page.

  18. 18
    burnspbesq says:

    @trollhattan:

    12/31/12.

  19. 19

    Clearly your friend is an Alinsky Lovin’ Obot. Unless he’s a Bush Lovin’ Obot.

    Wait … Lemme check the rule book.

  20. 20
    Emma says:

    @Trentrunner: the worst thing of all this is the legitimacy Obama gives to right-wing ideas.

    Yep. And in the meantime, he keeps managing to pass things like dismantling DADT, extending affordable medical coverage to millions of Americans, financial reform laws, extended benefits to same sex partners of federal employees,rescued the auto industry, appointed the first latina to the Supreme Court, reversed the global gag rule and reinstated aid to international organizations even if they provide abortion services….

    Talks like a Republican. Doesn’t act much like one.

  21. 21
    trollhattan says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Oooh, much later than I thought. Thanks!

  22. 22
    Linnaeus says:

    @MBunge:

    “Well, the worst thing of all this is the aid and comfort Obama gives to right-wing ideas.”

    That ship sailed a long time ago when liberals flocked to defend the man who told the whole world “The era of big government is over”.

    Well, it’s time to turn that ship around. Better late than never.

  23. 23
    Samara Morgan says:

    take that de Bore you fucking glibertarian whorebag.

    thing is, you always want the marks conservatives to be pleased with their butt-reaming.
    keeps them coming back for more.

    letting the teabaggers think they won is part of the masterplan.
    unfortunately it also seems to fool the lower IQ gradient of soi disant liberals.

  24. 24
    cleek says:

    @Tom Levenson:
    just ranting…

    i think, this time, it was the name of a certain card game (as previously noted, oops)

  25. 25
    trollhattan says:

    @cleek:

    I see “thorcar1son” is still on the list, which cracks me up because I know a Thor Car1son. He doesn’t know who he pissed off at WP.

    http://codex.wordpress.org/Spam_Words

  26. 26
    jwb says:

    It seems like it always turns out this way, and we have very little leverage over Obama in any case, since no other Dem can be elected in 2012. That’s why we need to stop worrying about Obama and whatever messaging problem he has or doesn’t have and start working on pressuring Congress. That means attacking Republicans, especially the far right, at every opportunity. At the very least, every time you take a shot at Obama and the Dems, make sure that you take at least two at the Republicans in the same post. (This is something you will note that conservative pundits are very good at: when they criticize Republicans they almost always go out of their way to make sure they also get a couple of good wallops in on the Dems.)

  27. 27
    Jewish Steel says:

    @Trentrunner: So, do you want Obama to concentrate on getting reëlected or should he try to reëducate* a 30yrs+ misinformed electorate? Bear in mind, he has 14 months to do accomplish one feat or the other.

    *diacritical perfecta! what do I win?

  28. 28
    Emma says:

    JWB: Bingo!

  29. 29
    Linnaeus says:

    It seems like it always turns out this way, and we have very little leverage over Obama in any case, since no other Dem can be elected in 2012. That’s why we need to stop worrying about Obama and whatever messaging problem he has or doesn’t have and start working on pressuring Congress. That means attacking Republicans, especially the far right, at every opportunity. At the very least, every time you take a shot at Obama and the Dems, make sure that you take at least two at the Republicans in the same post. (This is something you will note that conservative pundits are very good at: when they criticize Republicans they almost always go out of their way to make sure they also get a couple of good wallops in on the Dems.

    Yeah, it’s not about the president at this point, and trying to replace him with another Democratic candidate would be a disaster anyway. Congress and the states are where it’s at.

  30. 30
    Samara Morgan says:

    @cleek: well…the Forbidden Words can change without warning.
    depending if you get a timeout or not.

  31. 31
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    That’s the second time this has happened just in this year alone. The trend is pretty clear: when negotiating with Obama, go over the fine print with a magnifying glass and don’t leave the room until you’ve read all of it.

    Having said that, as I said yesterday he keeps trading optics for substance but the problem with this is that optics are not just a way to keep score in the who’s-winning-and-who’s-losing game. They are also a symbolic representation of your values. You can’t keep trading the optics away like that indefinitely without eroding the values you stand for. I hope Obama is doing this stuff merely as a temporary measure to get us from now till Jan 2013 when we get a new Congress, because I don’t like the looks of what I think the end-game is going to look like if he keeps this up for another 5 years. We already saw in the Clinton admin what happens when you have a Democrat in the WH who never stands up proudly as a Democrat, and another admin like that is going to ruin us.

  32. 32
    Tom Levenson says:

    @Jewish Steel: The thanks of a grateful nation?

  33. 33
    Martin says:

    I have not checked these numbers myself

    They look about right to me. Remember, when we’re talking about deficit reduction, it’s not in relation to the current budget. Yes, the budget influences the deficit baseline, but not that much. Larger policy issues are what drive the deficit baseline – stuff like PPACA.

    The ratings agencies don’t want to see budget cuts. They want to see a baseline that projects a lower future debt/GDP. So the debate isn’t over what should go in next year’s budget, but what CBO and OMB should use as reasonable forecasts for future revenues and spending. Each budget cycle draws from those policies but also pushes new data to the baseline, moving it up or down, and because GDP is the denominator in all of this, and because that can only be influenced indirectly, that baseline has a bit of a life of its own.

    In terms of what gets spent each year, short of legislation that commits to long-term revenues or expenses (defense contracts, tax reform, entitlements), those decisions are completely independent of what the baseline says.

    In other words, the deficit reduction talk is akin to your long-term retirement plan of what you should have, put away, take out, put your money, etc. Basically we’re just arguing that we should put more into our 401K, take out less, and get higher yields. Will that actually happen? Totally different question and totally different decision making process.

  34. 34
    burnspbesq says:

    @Jewish Steel:

    “*diacritical perfecta! what do I win?”

    A lifetime supply of hyphens! Where would you like them delivered?

  35. 35
    JC says:

    Well, if the numbers end up bearing this out, that’s awesome.

    I’m still wondering what can be done about the fanatics (TP’ers) and the Brooks Brothers Mafia (most of the Rethugs), who’s goal is to sink Obama by any means necessary, and are enabled by the ‘both sides do it’ press, and the entertainment of the ‘fight’.

    Still, 1 trillion over 10 years, is 1 trillion over 10 years. In this case, that’s a shift in revenue going from those that don’t have, to cover the tax breaks and wars that went to the wealthy, over the last 10 years.

  36. 36
    Tony J says:

    @Trentrunner:

    Well, the worst thing in all this is the continued legitimacy Obama gives to right-wing ideas:

    Of your examples, two are things you should – want – him to do, two aren’t true, and one of them he actually campaigned (and won) on.

    So if you’re referencing Daniel Keys Moran’s works with your nym, let me just say, you’re doing it wrong.

  37. 37
    wengler says:

    That 21 million was part of the agreed upon 900+ billion cut over ten years. What you are forgetting is the hack and slash commission that is looking for 1.2 trillion more over ten years.

    Now I would ignore any part of the plan that includes future Congresses, but these cuts are pretty much set for FY2012 and FY2013. 21 billion for FY2012 plus whatever the hack and slash commission recommends, and 42 billion for FY2013 and whatever the hack and slash commission recommends.

    I know you are polishing a turd here, but you need to put the full picture out there.

  38. 38
    Martin says:

    @beltane:

    Are they so unhappy that they will forgo buying $560 pairs of shoes at Nordstroms? That would be a tragedy of epic proportions.

    Actually, they’re now $640 shoes, but nobody noticed.

  39. 39
    aisce says:

    @ trollhattan

    When does the Bush tax cut extension expire (maybe Jan 2012?) and how does this sequence with all these other deadlines/triggers/opportunites for hostage killin’?

    jan. 1, 2013. they will possibly be dealt with after the election, or maybe before. anybody who tells you they know is a liar.

  40. 40
    Jewish Steel says:

    @trollhattan: Ha! So that’s the list.

    I always wondered what happened to my posts about our local shema1e p*ssy cas!no.

  41. 41
    boss bitch says:

    @Trentrunner:

    Reagan was amazing.

    Enough with this Reagan bull shit. Obama once praised his political skills during the primaries and has since used his name to shame the Republicans by pointing out that their idol would work with Democrats to get things done. And that their idol wouldn’t approve of what they currently stand for. If people weren’t so bent on proving that Obama is some stealth Republican, they would see this.

  42. 42
    Maude says:

    @beltane:
    They must feel they deserve at least two pairs.
    I have worked for the Upper Crust and I have nothing nice to say about them.

  43. 43
    Lee says:

    That means attacking Republicans, especially the far right, at every opportunity.

    So say we all.

    I’ve been duking it out with the large number of teatard friends of mine on Facebook. I know I have been defriended at least twice so far after I have pointed out their misconceptions.

  44. 44
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @boss bitch:

    If people weren’t so bent on proving that Obama is some stealth Republican, they would see this.

    And, for that matter, if you’re trying to rally support for your approach among Republicans — not Republican _politicians_, because they have one imperative, which is to deny Obama success, but among Republican _voters_ (and, perhaps, “Reagan Democrats” whose feelings about Obama were tepid in the primaries), you might want to drop a few R-bombs along the way.

  45. 45
    aisce says:

    i can’t believe that people are struggling with this so much. there are two parts to the legislation.

    two.

    the first part is the first trillion that was negotiated by biden and whoever early on. it pretends to cap projected spending growth below inflation. it’s technically deficit reducing, but really it’s just fudging the math. that’s not the point. don’t worry about it.

    the trigger is the point. and we don’t know what it actually is yet. or at least, i haven’t seen a workup. it’s all unspecified.

    i realize this is devastating to the zealots who demand to know immediately who “won” or “lost” so they don’t end up cutting themselves, but the fucking politicians themselves aren’t even sure yet what they’ve gotten themselves into on this one.

  46. 46
    Heliopause says:

    A tiny cut in real dollars when unemployment is high, the economy is depressed, and interest rates are practically zero is de facto an enormous spending cut.

  47. 47
    jwb says:

    @Maude: I love the fact that it seems to have only been the uncertainty over the debt ceiling that was propping up the market—distracting the overlords from realizing the disaster that is unfolding in Europe and hoping, I guess, that we’d end up with something less than the shit sandwich that they’d ordered. I swear the only thing worse than having overlords is having fucking stupid overlords.

  48. 48
    jibeaux says:

    I hope that’s right. I don’t feel like I can do much but wait and see at this point. I don’t have any extra money to go create jobs with. I still have a sinking feeling that the economy and unemployment a year from now will be slightly worse and it’ll be all over but the shoutin’. Not giving up, of course.

  49. 49
    The Moar You Know says:

    Consider raising taxes instead, Pentagon officials say.

    The beast will not be denied. And it can back up that appetite with guns.

  50. 50
    Samara Morgan says:

    @jwb: but if they were unstupid we would be in real trouble.

  51. 51
    JMS says:

    Does anyone know who coined “revenues” as a euphamism for texes? It seems like a fairly recent usage, but maybe I haven’t been paying attention. It’s kind of clever in a way. Revenue is what a business takes in, and the more revenue the better in that context. You know how some people claim government would be better run as a business–well every business wants to raise revenues.

    Oddly enough, “raising revenue” would help with both the need for stimulus spending and the deficit…

  52. 52
    wrb says:

    @MBunge:

    Just as the conservative group think created an information loop that allowed some truly spectacular mistakes to happen under Bush the Younger, the liberal impulse to always be the smartest guy in the room creates its own feedback loop where you can’t acknowledge Obama’s prowess without damaging your own sense of self-worth.

    Damn.

    I hadn’t thought of that but I do believe you are right.

  53. 53
    wrb says:

    @Cat Lady:

    I will take any bet that not one of the teatards had a clue as to what was actually in that thing before they voted, and Boehner (redundant?) didn’t either, and neither does one single member of our FAIL press.

    There sure as fuck were a lot of wailing liberals who didn’t

  54. 54

    @Maude: I didn’t know till now that Stoller’s flickr’s account has the top result for the term “jump you f-ckers!”. See here:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/stoller/2907411559/

  55. 55
    boss bitch says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    And, for that matter, if you’re trying to rally support for your approach among Republicans—not Republican politicians, because they have one imperative, which is to deny Obama success, but among Republican voters (and, perhaps, “Reagan Democrats” whose feelings about Obama were tepid in the primaries), you might want to drop a few R-bombs along the way.

    yes, exactly.

  56. 56
    eemom says:

    sorry, but there is still this:

    Not a penny more from the Nordstrom shopping motherfuckers in Cole’s post earlier.

    No money for stimulus, so no meaningful job creation. The economy won’t get better and can only get worse and probably will.

    Legitimizing the “austerity” bullshit even though it is exactly the opposite of what needs to be done to get us out of this mess.

    The horrible precedent set, the morale boost to the teatards.

    This “take heart, it’s all smoke and mirrors” schtick is just happy clown lipstick on a particularly ugly pig.

  57. 57
    efroh says:

    Not on topic, but worth clicking if you want to see Matt Damon kick Reason TV to the curb.

  58. 58
    efroh says:

    Whoops, sorry about that.

    http://youtu.be/gGlf8J2PGhI

  59. 59
    Jewish Steel says:

    @efroh: Damon is on a roll lately. I think Martin was kidding, but I wonder if he’s not thinking of running for something somewhere down the line.

  60. 60
    Raven (formerly stuckinred) says:

    eemom

    fine, and how are you?

  61. 61
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @JMS:

    Does anyone know who coined “revenues” as a euphamism for texes? It seems like a fairly recent usage

    It’s as least as old as calling the tax-collecting agency the Internal Revenue Service.

  62. 62
    Culture of Truth says:

    Eric Cantor:
    Americans have to “come to grips with the fact that promises have been made that frankly are not going to be kept for many.”

  63. 63
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @eemom:

    No money for stimulus, so no meaningful job creation.

    This wasn’t the Everything Bill. Let’s argue for stimulus and job creation in _other_ bills. In fact, you’d think that panicky corporate overlords would be interested in leaguing with Democrats to create a pincer movement against the draconian Know-Nothing tendencies of the tea party.

  64. 64
    Samara Morgan says:

    @wrb:

    There sure as fuck were a lot of wailing liberals who didn’t

    just those below the IQ gradient (like eemom)….and stealthy glibertarian Obama-concern-trolls like de Bore.

    @Tom Levenson: thank-you for Degas. he has heartspeak for dancers everywhere.

  65. 65
    burnspbesq says:

    Since I can’t seem to get out of moderation, I’ll try again:

    On another subject near and dear to all of our hearts, health-care economics, get a load of this:

    http://delong.typepad.com/sdj/.....-idea.html

    When I try to visualize what a $27 billion dead-weight loss looks like, I see something a lot like this.

  66. 66
    cthulhu says:

    With regard to the trigger, as I can’t see even the likely cooler heads of the “super-Congress” (dumbest name evah!) coming to an agreement, are the 50/50 defense/other cuts simply applied across the board using a percentage or does the Admin retain some flexibility for implementation? If the latter, it definitely doesn’t seem like too bad a deal if you are stuck no matter what with this stupid deficit/debt fixation (definitely put a lot of blame on the media for that one).

  67. 67
    burnspbesq says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    I’ll bet he was smiling when he said that.

  68. 68
    Stillwater says:

    @eemom: Ahhh. So you weighed in after all. I was just gonna ask whether this good news is enough to get eemom back in the boat. Oh well.

    ETA: Also, I think you’re wrong about the Teabaggerboost. Once they see what’s in the deal, they’ll be pissed. So yeah, a political win of sorts, but pretty empty.

  69. 69
    Mike Goetz says:

    Obama to Jack Lew: “Jack, were going to ransom the hostage. Prepare the bundles of newsprint with the fake c-notes on top, load them into the suitcase, and deliver it to John Boehner.”

    Boehner (opening suitcase, crestfallen, pastes on a brave smile): “Look, gang, we got 98% of what we wanted! What? No, you can’t look in the suitcase.”

  70. 70
    tmpg says:

    Maude – August 4, 2011 | 2:27 pm · Link

    OT but the pictures on AP and BBC online of the Wall Street traders with looks of despair on their faces gives me a happy. Jump!

    I’m glad that makes you happy Maude. I’m sure all those working people whose retirement savings are going down the drain are thrilled. I know that I’m thrilled to see my 401K take a shit. Thanks.

  71. 71
    dollared says:

    @Linnaeus: This. A thousand times this. The Democrats insult the intelligence of the American voter with their craven rhetoric, and then complain that they are dumb. Where the fuck do you expect them to get the correct information if you won’t give it to them?

  72. 72
    Culture of Truth says:

    @burnspbesq: They say when Bob Dole smiled he looked like a man who had just evicted a widow.

    To mean Cantor looks like a kid who just bragged that he cheated on the SATs.

  73. 73
    jwb says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Interestingly enough, back when ASCAP was authorized by SCOTUS in a 1917 decision to collect revenues for its members, they charged theaters 10 cents a seat to be able to play music written by its membership. This was widely known as a “music tax” and music at the time was marketed as “taxable” or “tax-free.” You hardly ever hear these sorts of fees being called taxes any more.

  74. 74
    dollared says:

    @Culture of Truth: And he’s winning that rhetorical battle!

    Do you know how many young people tell me they’ll never see social security or medicare? That is a massive win for the Republicans.

    And Obama, with his debt shit and austerity talk, really is killing Social Security and Medicare.

  75. 75
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @dollared:

    Do you know how many young people tell me they’ll never see social security or medicare? That is a massive win for the Republicans.

    This meme has been being spread since the Reagan administration.

  76. 76
    dollared says:

    @eemom: Hi Eeemom, it’s a sunny day here in Seattle and you and I are in word for word agreement on a major move by Obama. The singularity must be near!

    For me, the entire success or failure of the Obama presidency comes down to whether or not he ever gets a 20% increase in revenue from the rich. Period. It is all about the money, and so far, on the money, he has always lost the battle. And since that is the only battle that matters, in the long run, he either wins or loses on that point.

  77. 77
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Stillwater: they are already pissed.
    so is douchehat.

    The key problem lies with the enforcement mechanisms, or “triggers,” created to compel the committee members to reach an agreement. While Republicans wouldn’t agree to a tax-hike trigger, they did agree to one that would slash defense spending by up to $600 billion, depending on how far short the committee falls of the deficit-reduction goal. This puts anti-tax Republicans who favor a robust military in a bind.
    __
    Democrats on the committee could insist on raising taxes, and Republicans will either have to give in to their tax demands or accept the deep defense cuts.
    __
    When I posed this clear dilemma to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., as he was leaving the Capitol after Monday’s vote to raise the debt limit, he was dismissive.
    __
    “I think we have a construct here that would force the body and force Congress to implement the savings and cuts that are necessary so that we can continue trying to get the fiscal house in order,” he said.
    __
    Long-time defense hawk Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., told me that, while he had concerns about the possibility of defense cuts, he was confident that the committee would reach a compromise that would prevent the trigger from being pulled. If there were a threat of deep defense cuts, he said, he’d fight them strongly at the time.
    __
    Yet the way the legislation is written, the House and Senate would vote on the committee proposal on an expedited basis by Dec. 23, and, if the recommendations aren’t adopted, it would trigger the cuts.
    __
    Republicans argue that the baseline the committee will be using to measure its deficit reduction would preclude repealing the Bush tax cuts. However, that still allows Democrats to propose a net tax increase by closing all sorts of loopholes without offsetting them with tax cuts elsewhere.

    is eemom dumber than a teabagger?

  78. 78
    dollared says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Yes? What’s your point? Isn’t it the key role of any Democrat to fight that kind of talk?

  79. 79
    Maude says:

    @tmpg:
    You aren’t a trader. I was talking about the Wall Streeters, the ones who did the 2008 meltdown.
    If you have money in the market, it is a risk to have an investment in equities.
    Don’t take it out on me.

  80. 80
    aisce says:

    @ cthulhu

    does the Admin retain some flexibility for implementation?

    in that they can veto the various appropriations bills that will be working within the new spending paradigm?

    yes. it will of course depend upon the makeup and control of congress.

    look, i realize people want concrete answers. but the bill is fucking water. it’s shapeless. it could end up meaning any one of ten million different things for the economy and the role of government.

    the only thing that is known is that the teabaggers got nothing of what they wanted up front. the welfare state survives untouched. but in the meantime, the country is basically inflexible and ungovernable, and politicians are flying blind to the point of possibly accidentally gutting the defense complex by default. and if you genuinely think that’s a democratic goal, or something their stomachs aren’t churning about now that they’ve realized what they’ve done, i have a bridge i’d like to sell you.

  81. 81
    Comrade Scrutinizer says:

    @JMS: Taxes are just one governmental revenue stream. Customs duties, fees, licenses, etc, are also revenue sources. Granted, taxes are probably the largest source of revenue, but “revenue” isn’t a euphemism for “tax”.

  82. 82
    Samara Morgan says:

    hmmm…
    an expedited basis by Dec. 23

    that means O could still let the Bush taxcuts expire if the supers don’t come up with some revenues.

  83. 83
    burnspbesq says:

    @cthulhu:

    If I’m understanding section 102 of the bill correctly, the limit applies at the level of “the security category,” which includes Defense, Homeland Security, Veterans’ Affairs, and the classified money for NSA, etc. Lots of room for discretion.

  84. 84
    burnspbesq says:

    @dollared:

    “And Obama, with his debt shit and austerity talk, really is killing Social Security and Medicare”

    By that logic, Eric Cantor is dead, because I just visualized going upside his head with a baseball bat.

    C’mon. Get a grip.

  85. 85
    dollared says:

    @burnspbesq: keen, analytical response.

  86. 86
    Maude says:

    @jwb:
    True. They were stupid and they took all of with us when their stupidity crashed the economy. They didn’t know what they were doing either.
    @Phil Perspective:
    Thank you so much I bookmarked it.
    When I first saw that page, I felt true joy in my heart.

  87. 87
    Culture of Truth says:

    For me, the entire success or failure of the Obama presidency comes down to whether or not he ever gets a 20% increase in revenue from the rich.

    I disagee, since it puts the money ahead of the purpose the funds are put to. Suppose that money is used to pay for invading Iran – what good is it then? Since borrowing costs could hardly be lower, we don’t have money problem, we have a jobs problem.

  88. 88
    Samara Morgan says:

    @aisce:

    possibly accidentally gutting the defense complex by default

    and i have a bridge FOR YOU if you dont think the defense budget is a bloated necrotizing stinking whale of a cost pig.
    But in December we are gettin KICKED TO THE KERB in Iraq, and 30k troops leave A-stan by next july….
    that is roughly half of this that is going away.

  89. 89
    Stillwater says:

    @Comrade Scrutinizer: There’s the elimination of loopholes as well, which technically could – and will! – be sold as ‘not-a-tax-increase’.

  90. 90
    Three-nineteen says:

    This is interesting:

    Myth: Since we weren’t able to raise revenues right now, we won’t be able to raise revenues in the future.

    Fact: The deal lays out two paths for further reducing our deficit. Both of them include revenues. Option one is for the joint committee to develop a plan that is passed by both Houses of Congress, and signed by President Obama. The President has already said that he will only support a balanced approach involving shared sacrifice. That means raising revenue through steps such as closing loopholes for corporations, reforming our tax code, and asking millionaires and billionaires to pay their fair share in taxes.

    If the joint committee cannot develop a balanced compromise,that brings us to option two for raising revenues: the expiration of the Bush tax cuts. On January 1, 2013, President Obama can use his veto pen to end special tax breaks for high-income Americans if Congress votes to extend them.

    (Note: I don’t know if the blockquote will work. If it doesn’t, everything above this note should be in the blockquote, and FYWP).

    So if Congress doesn’t pass a deficit reduction plan that includes taxes, Obama is threatening to both veto that plan and veto any tax cut extension.

  91. 91
    burnspbesq says:

    @dollared:

    Not my fault you’ve decided to go into hysterics despite the absence of any reason for doing so.

  92. 92
    Martin says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    Consider raising taxes instead, Pentagon officials say.

    Why do the troops hate the tea party patriots?

  93. 93
    Nied says:

    @Emma:

    Yep. And in the meantime, he keeps managing to pass things like dismantling DADT, extending affordable medical coverage to millions of Americans, financial reform laws, extended benefits to same sex partners of federal employees,rescued the auto industry, appointed the first latina to the Supreme Court, reversed the global gag rule and reinstated aid to international organizations even if they provide abortion services….

    Concrete social and economic reforms? What are they going to do to help to the poor or dispossessed?

    Only liberal framing can save us!

  94. 94
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Culture of Truth: culture of lies?
    we arent going to invade Iran.

  95. 95

    @Culture of Truth:

    Eric Cantor:
    __
    Americans have to “come to grips with the fact that promises have been made that frankly are not going Republicans don’t want to be kept for many.”

    FTFY, Mr. Cantor. If those promises aren’t kept, it’s not because we’re incapable of keeping them as a nation. It’s because our Galtian Overlords don’t want the rest of us to have nice stuff.

  96. 96
    Stillwater says:

    @Samara Morgan: that means O could still let the Bush taxcuts expire if the supers don’t come up with some revenues.

    This is actually a source of huge leverage for the Democrats wrt reaching a favorable deal with the GOP.

  97. 97
    Rick Taylor says:

    I read the site and I wasn’t impressed. Maybe if I believed that Obama was a stealth Republican, I would have been surprised to read how things could have theoretically worse. But when they point out that Republicans backed down on their demand to end Medicare as we know it, my response is, so you’re bragging you didn’t pass something that doesn’t end Medicare as we know it? Uhhhh, kudos for that, I guess.

    More of it is taking credit for things that I wouldn’t take for granted, particularly that the deal will give us leverage with Republicans in negotiations. I hope it’s true, but I’ll believe it when I see it. They point out we still have leverage because the Bush tax cuts will expire, but that has nothing to do with debt ceiling deal, except that we did not bargain it away. Again, kudos I guess.

    Disturbingly they tell the same falsehood again:

    On January 1, 2013, President Obama can use his veto pen to end special tax breaks for high-income Americans if Congress votes to extend them.

    No he cannot. He can use his veto pen to end _all_ of the Bush tax cuts, not just those for high-income Americans, but he doesn’t have a line item veto. I really hope he will veto continuing the Bush tax cuts for all Americans if the Republicans prove to be, as unlikely as it may appear, intransigent, but it doesn’t give me confidence when they’re not even willing to describe that as a possibility.

  98. 98
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Three-nineteen: zactly. the trigger deadline for the supers is Dec. 23.
    that is what Douchebag and the NRO retardicans were bitching about.
    Obama made it possible for the dems to treat defense cuts as revenues in negotiations.

  99. 99
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @burnspbesq:

    I spent the last few years before retiring being the all-around IT guy for a cosmetic surgery practice. About a year after I started with the practice they stopped taking insurance patients. The reason was that every last insurer had different paperwork, different criteria for qualifying a procedure and different reimbursement schedules. The practice had almost as many people dealing with the insurance companies as they had doctors and nurses.
    Most practices are far from having the advantages that this one did (Beverley Hills, cosmetic surgery, wealthy patients) so they can’t just drop insurance patients. Nonetheless, it was surprising to see that the practice managed to survive, reduce its prices for procedures, and even to do well after going cash only.

  100. 100
    Dr. Brian Oblivion says:

    Obama delivers what even smooth talkin’ Ronnie could not.

    Mission accomplished. Well, not in Iraq and Afghanistan apparently. What a whacked out socialist Obama turned out to be. We’ve practically gone commie!

    FAIL.

  101. 101
    dollared says:

    @burnspbesq: Ah, your keen sense of political strategy and the long game in play again. If I have to explain this to you, try this: for the five 20 somethings I was talking to in the checkout line at Safeway last night, if there Republicans cut Medicare or Social Security, they will not penalize the Republicans because Obama told them the debt must be cut and entitlements must be reformed.

    I shouldn’t have to tell an attorney that lack of public confidence in an institution effectively kills it.

  102. 102
    burnspbesq says:

    @Martin:

    “Consider raising taxes instead, Pentagon officials say.”

    Now, if I were young Samara-chan, I would point to this and say, “See? WAI.”

    Come on, kid, do I have to do your job for you?

  103. 103
    Culture of Truth says:

    @Samara Morgan: All right, fine – what if the money from higher taxes on wealth were used by our federal legislators for something other than a progressive cause? Because I can actually imagine that happening.

    I think taxes on the rich should be raised, but it should not be the primary progressive goal in itself. We could use the money, but America is not broke.

  104. 104
    Martin says:

    So if Congress doesn’t pass a deficit reduction plan that includes taxes, Obama is threatening to both veto that plan and veto any tax cut extension.

    Right. Tactically, this is a win for Obama, even if he put no points on the board. He can now hold defense spending, Medicare cost reductions, and tax cut expiration hostage – and play them against each other. He didn’t gain anything to get that, and he may simply not use that and compromise back to the position everyone seems to think we’re already in, but the only thing the left lost is a narrative. What the left gained was removing debt ceiling votes until after the election and the ability to play the bush tax cuts against defense/health care spending.

    It’s impressive that the Mil-Ind Complex is already going after the tax-cutters. These three groups already know that someone is going to lose, and they’re turning on each other, which will force the GOP candidates to take up sides, which will be infinitely entertaining.

  105. 105
    dollared says:

    @Rick Taylor: This. Obama playing defense is not any way for a Democratic agenda to advance or for Obama to get reelected.

  106. 106
    aisce says:

    @ matoko_whatever

    and i have a bridge FOR YOU if you dont think the defense budget is a bloated necrotizing stinking whale of a cost pig.

    what the fuck difference does that make? how many votes do you think there are in the senate for arbitrarily cutting defense spending by what the trigger demands?

    maybe 12? 12 democrats. and maybe rand paul.

    moony eyed liberal idiots aren’t realizing that they’re being played in the same way the teabaggers are.

    the people in charge don’t know what they’re doing. this is all an elaborate scheme to try and force the republicans into raising taxes any way possible. it’s all about november 2012. and it still might not work.

    everybody played brinksmanship and lost. so they punted and will now get a do-over this winter to try again. but republicans won’t raise taxes and democrats won’t blow their advantage on entitlements, so the only thing that will happen is congressional approval will drop to 3% and the economy will still slog and everybody will hate everybody forever.

  107. 107
    Mark S. says:

    @Samara Morgan:

    that means O could still let the Bush taxcuts expire if the supers don’t come up with some revenues.

    Yeah, that might happen, or he could extend them because there’s an election in 2012 and the Republicans will make that their number 1 issue if he doesn’t.

    I cannot guess which scenario is more likely.

  108. 108
    gwangung says:

    @burnspbesq: Well, you can say

    a) at worst, the can is getting kicked down the road.

    b) at best, the can is getting kicked down the road.

    But. If this is a delaying action, any energy that ISN’T spent in organizing and gathering political force to work for a better alternative is wasted energy.

  109. 109
    Emma says:

    @dollared: I shouldn’t have to tell an attorney that lack of public confidence in an institution effectively kills it.

    Uh? People have been whining about social security and medicare since the 1970s (I arrived in the US in 1970 but I was busy doing all the stuff teenage immigrants do, like, surviving, so I don’t have an exact time and date when I first heard it). They also have, to my own knowledge, whined about the Department of Education, and DEFINITELY about Justice, Defense…

    Using that criteria, the whole US government should have cratered decades ago.

  110. 110
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @dollared:

    What’s your point? Isn’t it the key role of any Democrat to fight that kind of talk?

    You’re verging on laying it at Obama’s feet. That’s not where it belongs. IIRC Bob Somerby at Daily Howler has chronicled for years the widespread expectation that Social Security “won’t be there for me.” Also, the fact that nothing has happened to Social Security and in fact the program was expressly taken off the table for both rounds of cutting built into this plan _should_, IMHO play some role in this discussion of who’s killing what.

  111. 111
    dollared says:

    @Martin: Agree that this is the best view of what could happen. But what gives us confidence that he’ll do it? His offer to drastically cut top rates? His private promises to cut Social Security and Medicare? His deliberate undersizing of the stimulus? His preemptive giveaways in health care reform? Or his concessions on financial reform? Or his failure to take aggressive action to get his nonimees appointed?

    I live in hope….

  112. 112
    burnspbesq says:

    @gwangung:

    “But. If this is a delaying action, any energy that ISN’T spent in organizing and gathering political force to work for a better alternative is wasted energy.”

    Exactly. Time to Get Some Shit Done.

  113. 113
    FormerSwingVoter says:

    A quick question: why is there so much of a big deal being made about Republican’s insistence on no new revenues from the Super-Committee?

    Like, the trigger involves a trillion dollars in defense cuts and the expiration of the Bush tax cuts, right? So the Republicans are really not going to make a deal when those are the consequences?

    Please, Mr. McConnell, please don’t throw me in that thar briar patch!

  114. 114
    dollared says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Good points, and well taken. I live in hope.

  115. 115
    Danny says:

    @JMS:

    Does anyone know who coined “revenues” as a euphamism for texes? It seems like a fairly recent usage, but maybe I haven’t been paying attention. It’s kind of clever in a way.

    The Obama admin?

  116. 116
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Mark S.: he doesn’t have to do ANYTHING until after the election.
    he can stall until the eleventh hour.
    that is the real beauty of the bill– Obama had turned doing nothing (which congress does all the time anyways) into Advantage Dems!

  117. 117
    Danny says:

    @dollared:

    His private promises to cut Social Security and Medicare?

    Don’t you find it at all troublesome that you treat any unsourced rumour that reflects badly on the president as received truth? Do you ever reflect on your habit of consistently assuming bad faith?

  118. 118
    japa21 says:

    @FlipYrWhig: True, my son, who is now 35, was telling me that back when he was a freshman in college.

  119. 119
    wrb says:

    @aisce:

    what the fuck difference does that make? how many votes do you think there are in the senate for arbitrarily cutting defense spending by what the trigger demands?

    My understanding is that they don’t need any votes. If they can’t agree on a plan that Obama doesn’t veto, the cuts happen without a further vote

  120. 120
    Triassic Sands says:

    @jwb:

    …and we have very little leverage over Obama in any case, since no other Dem can be elected in 2012.

    Perhaps, but Obama isn’t worried about another Democrat, his concern is with being replaced by a Republican. Therefore, if Democrats want “leverage over Obama” they simply have to do things that threaten his re-election. Even a losing primary challenger would probably damage his general election chances. So, a genuine threat of a primary challenge would create pressure that Obama can only ignore at his own peril.

    I’m not arguing that this is what Democrats should do, only that if enough Democrats (of whatever stripe) wanted to have leverage over the president, it’s there, as it always is, at least theoretically, for any elective office. Right now, it looks like the dissatisfaction with Obama is not wide enough to threaten him. But leverage isn’t something that sits in a jar waiting for people to grab a handful at their leisure. It has to be created by action.

    Also, the leverage that the Democratic base has is likely to increase if, late in the game, Obama’s campaign is suffering from a lack of enthusiasm and volunteers. It will be interesting to see how all this unfolds. My expectation is that most Democrats are so repulsed by Republicans that they will vote for Obama no matter what he does. But will they volunteer and donate to the same degree they did in 2008?

  121. 121
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @aisce:

    This Congress has demonstrated that there’s no such thing as settled legislation. As soon as the commission suggests that so much as a dollar be cut from defense outraged pols will be beating their breasts about everything from Pearl Harbor to 9/11 and the commission will be directed to either make the cuts elsewhere or not all.

  122. 122
    Uncle Clarence Thomas says:

    .
    .
    I for one cannot believe that President Obama actually said, “Please, Mr. McConnell, just don’t hurt me” during the historic debt ceiling surrenderings.

    I cannot believe it, and I will not believe it. Ever. Period. End of story.
    .
    .

  123. 123
    burnspbesq says:

    I am dying to see the Teahadists’ response to the Pentagon asking for tax increases in lieu of defense spending cuts. I’m betting on some screed about how horrible it is for the officer corps to stick their noses into domestic politics where they don’t belong.

  124. 124
    Nied says:

    @Mark S.:

    Yeah, that might happen, or he could extend them because there’s an election in 2012 and the Republicans will make that their number 1 issue if he doesn’t.
    I cannot guess which scenario is more likely.

    Why on earth would Obama extend the Bush tax cuts before the election? His position is incredibly popular and he knows it, hell the only reason he extended them last time was because he was able to use them as a bargaining chip to gain repeal of DADT, ratification of New START, and $450 billion worth of new stimulus passed. I fail to see why he would take a winning issue off the table right before the elections unless he got way more than those three in exchange.

  125. 125
    Mark S. says:

    @Samara Morgan:

    You think Congress wouldn’t pass tax cuts right before an election? You know the House is going to do it.

  126. 126
    burnspbesq says:

    @Triassic Sands:

    “But will they volunteer and donate to the same degree they did in 2008?”

    I can only speak for myself.

    You bet your ass I will.

    In the words of an old Southside Johnny song, this time it’s for real.

  127. 127
    wrb says:

    @Stillwater:

    This is actually a source of huge leverage for the Democrats wrt reaching a favorable deal with the GOP.

    I’d like to see it used to extract some serious job creation. It is the only lever big enough to do so.

    At current borrowing rates I’d rather the rich keep their money for a couple more years if the result saves the lives of the less rich.

  128. 128
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @Nied:

    Why on earth would Obama extend the Bush tax cuts before the election?

    Because the Republicans will threaten to hurt a lot of people by fucking over something like S-CHIP, school lunches, another UI extension, or whatever else they can hold hostage.

  129. 129
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Samara Morgan: And if we include “Defense + Homeland Security + State” as defense, like someone initially claimed, that $600 billion comes out of a budget estimate of almost 10 trillion for those items over ten years.

  130. 130
    Mark S. says:

    @Nied:

    Why on earth would Obama extend the Bush tax cuts before the election?

    Because he doesn’t want four months of Perry or Romney saying “Obama’s going to raise your taxes!”

  131. 131
    Nied says:

    @Triassic Sands:

    Do you know what gives you more leverage than a primary challenge or threats of withholding support?

    Enough members of congress who agree with you.

    Maybe we should work on getting both elected next time, so Obama can compromise with them instead of Teabaggers.

  132. 132
    Lol says:

    @121: Of the House will. Every Dem in the Hose will vote to cut taxes. And then the bill will languish in a Senate committee until after the election. The Senate will never vote on it and Obama wont have to touch it.

  133. 133
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @Mark S.: @Mark S.:

    That also, too. Americans have convinced themselves that they can have all of the benefits of a fully funded government without fully funding the government.

  134. 134
    Karmakin says:

    It’s not that Obama is a bad poker player. It’s that they’re playing poker when they need to be playing bridge (as in building them. Not metaphorical bridges. Real bridges. That create jobs.)

    And no, it’s not Obama’s fault.

  135. 135
    Karmakin says:

    Oooooh. I think I hit another moderation word, for a certain popular card game.

  136. 136
    les says:

    @dollared:

    Now, that’s funny.

  137. 137
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Mark S.: but all O has to do is stall….say its in committee, and gladhand the teabaggers.
    until Nov 7.

  138. 138
    OzoneR says:

    @Triassic Sands:

    but Obama isn’t worried about another Democrat, his concern is with being replaced by a Republican. Therefore, if Democrats want “leverage over Obama” they simply have to do things that threaten his re-election.

    Obama’s probably less threatened by the prospect of a Republican president than you are, which makes your threats irrelevant.

  139. 139
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Lol: this.
    absolutely.

  140. 140
    buermann says:

    “The total budget this year is 3.4 trillion”

    Um, 3.4 trillion was 2010. Hi! Welcome to fiscal year 2011, where federal outlays are $3.82 trillion. There’s only 3 months of it left so don’t get too used to it.

    I think I can stop there, your moneyed friend is wrong.

  141. 141
    Martin says:

    Because he doesn’t want four months of Perry or Romney saying “Obama’s going to raise your taxes!”

    Obama has already stated in an address to the nation he wants to do that. Clearly he’s not afraid to have that message out there.

  142. 142
    Nied says:

    @Mark S.:

    Because he doesn’t want four months of Perry or Romney saying “Obama’s going to raise your taxes!”

    Hell he’d welcome it! I don’t know if you noticed but some two thirds of the country wanted higher taxes during the debt limit debate, and Obama mentioned it to the press every chance he got. If the Republicans want to turn the election into a fight over the Bush tax cuts, that’s a fight he wins easy.

  143. 143
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Suffern ACE: untrue. they have to make up the second tranche for the debt ceiling.
    in a way, Obama just made defense and healthcare providers and the bush taxcuts into hostages.
    :)

  144. 144
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @Karmakin:

    Pen!snochle?

  145. 145
    agrippa says:

    Obama is nowhere near as dumb as those with OBS want to think that he is.

  146. 146
    Lee Hartmann says:

    http://d-squareddigest.blogspo.....thing.html

    Read the above, Tom. And then: even if Obama is not the worst politician, and means well, and is not “dumb”, etc., here are the two problems that I see:

    1) by making up the catfood commission all on his lonesome, with those idiots Simpson and Bowles, he bought into the deficit reduction meme, the one that will weigh most heavily on those who can least afford it; that makes it very, very hard for him to “pivot” to jobs, even rhetorically;

    2) by tying the debt ceiling bill unnecessarily to the idea of deficit reduction, he doubled down on the stupid, stupid deficit reduction idea right now (see d-squared above), and in the process guaranteed that we will have another hostage taking event, which will either lead to another capitulation, however partial, or a government shutdown – the teatards think hostage taking works – it seemed to – so why stop now? which…

    3) actually makes his re-election less secure, not because of liberal dismay, but because, you know, the economy sucks and it is likely to continue to suck right up to the election.

    Retaining Geithner, Bernanke etc. doesn’t look like such a good idea now, does it? For a smart guy, he seems not to understand the nature of the situation he found/finds himself in.

    I don’t need to demonize Obama or think he is worse than the alternatives to conclude that we are screwed.

  147. 147
    aisce says:

    @ wrb

    My understanding is that they don’t need any votes. If they can’t agree on a plan that Obama doesn’t veto, the cuts happen without a further vote

    and my point is that the gun is pointed at their own heads. it’s a mexican standoff where everybody is reduced to putting themselves hostage.

    december will be just like now. they’ll find some way of wriggling out of doing anything that even resembles productive or impactful work, in any way. it’s complete dysfunction. all anybody wants, all anybody has plans to do, is to get their opponent to tear themselves apart in time for 2012. nothing more. this has nothing to do with cutting spending.

  148. 148
    Sister Machine Gun of Quiet Harmony says:

    The tax cuts are set to expire AFTER the election, not before.

  149. 149

    Apropos of nothing:

    We went to the Norton Simon Museum of Art in Pasadena a couple weeks ago and I’d forgotten what an extensive Degas collection they have there. Literally dozens of his fruity little ballerinas, I mean after a while it was overkill. “Arabesque Over the Right Leg, Left Arm in Front,” “Arabesque Over the Right Leg, Left Arm in Line.” I mean Jesus after a while it’s like, dude? You really have more to say about these girls?

  150. 150
    Martin says:

    @Stillwater:

    There’s the elimination of loopholes as well, which technically could – and will! – be sold as ‘not-a-tax-increase’.

    Better than that. Not only is it not-a-tax-increase, it’s a spending cut because they’re viewing deductions as revenues received and immediately spent back out to the same individual.

    That’s a bit like claiming the $.50 you saved on Huggies as ‘income’. Be careful about claims of spending cuts, because they might actually be revenues. I’d feel better about the whole scheme if they actually accounted for it that way – with all ‘potential’ tax revenues added up and then big line items for ‘mortgage deduction’ etc. It’d make the whole tax policy a fuckload clearer to everyone, and show that we have more government ‘spending’ on subsidizing mortgages than on Social Security and Defense.

  151. 151
    OzoneR says:

    @Lee Hartmann:

    he bought into the deficit reduction meme, the one that will weigh most heavily on those who can least afford it; that makes it very, very hard for him to “pivot” to jobs

    why do you keep insisting people think the two are mutually exclusive?

  152. 152
    Tom Levenson says:

    @Lee Hartmann: Don’t disagree w. the hon. D-square. But given the existence of a House of Representatives attempting to defund the entire govt., it is notable that the deal wasn’t worse. I’m not trying to say it’s a good one (see the Barney Frank post I just put up), but I am saying that Obama did better than I realized at first.

    Now, as Frank says, it’s down to the what happens with Catfood 2 — and here we have a chance and a duty to weigh in.

  153. 153
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @Nied:

    I don’t know if you noticed but some two thirds of the country wanted higher taxes during the debt limit debate, and Obama mentioned it to the press every chance he got.

    I disagree. Two-thirds of the country wanted someone other than themselves to pay higher taxes. That could be anyone from the “deadbeats” who don’t make enough money to pay taxes to the obscenely wealthy. The atmosphere for increasing revenues has been so poisoned that even closing loopholes is decried as a “tax increase.” The Republicans were willing to go on a suicide run over the debt ceiling. Raising taxes will have them detonating explosive vests.

  154. 154
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @OzoneR: Yeah, I don’t get this either. It’s not that hard to say, “Now that we have agreed to a plan that results in the biggest deficit reductions in history [or whatever], let us invest in the job-creating measures that America needs right now.” I’m trying to spread the meme that the deal should be treated as _rebuilding our credit score_. We’re showing that we’re responsible borrowers and a good credit risk, and now there’s no good reason to deny us that business loan.

  155. 155
    buermann says:

    @Martin: “we have more government ‘spending’ on subsidizing mortgages than on Social Security and Defense.”

    Agree with the rest of the comment, but even the highest estimate I’ve seen (http://www.pewtrusts.org/our_w.....5899361402) is $300 some billion in mortgage subsidies in 2010, half of either social security (~$700B) or defense (~$700B).

  156. 156
    Heliopause says:

    The very first sentence of the White House piece is hilarious:

    “The budget compromise removes the cloud of uncertainty over the economy”

  157. 157
    Jamey: Bike Commuter of the Gods says:

    So the Right only THINK they won. And the markets only THINK they dropped nearly 600 points today.

    Got it. Thanks for clearing this up.

  158. 158
    Triassic Sands says:

    From the White House:

    …the President has made clear that the committee must pursue a balanced approach where reforms to programs like Medicaid, Social Security or Medicare would only be acceptable if coupled with higher revenues from the most fortunate.

    Sorry, but that troubles me. The president insists that people on Medicaid, who have no surplus of anything, will have to sacrifice right along with our wealthiest citizens who won’t even feel the changes. That is not a “balanced” approach.

    Because Medicaid is a joint state-federal program it is especially vulnerable, as are the recipients of Medicaid. If they agree to cut doctor and hospital payments for Medicaid patients, that won’t hurt doctors and hospitals in the same way it will hurt Medicaid recipients. It will simply mean that more and more doctors and hospitals will refuse to treat Medicaid patients. So, the net effect of lowering payments will be to strip many Medicaid patients of health coverage altogether. They’ll have a card saying they’re covered, but they won’t have anyone who will treat them. Meanwhile, at worst, the wealthiest Americans will have to cut back from the hoped for 85 foot yacht to a pathetic 80 footer. Wow, some balance.

    Any cuts to Medicaid will probably severely endanger the PPACA implementation. Tens of millions of Americans were going to achieve coverage by being made eligible for Medicaid. So, any changes in eligibility will wreck the promise of that coverage.

    I don’t understand why politicians have such a difficult time understanding that people on Medicaid don’t have anything to give up. That’s how you qualify for Medicaid — you don’t have any resources. Admittedly, it’s one of the ironies of our system — if you have a little bit, you don’t get any health coverage (unless it’s provided by your employer) until you’ve lost everything, at which time you become eligible for Medicaid. That isn’t fair to people with a little, but the answer isn’t to take coverage away from the truly poor. The answer is to cover everyone — in one system, with no distinctions made for age or income. Then, when it comes time to discuss cuts, every single American has a stake and the poor are not isolated.

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  160. 160
    moops says:

    @tmpg:

    why is your whole 401K in the stock market ? didn’t all the people here in BJ predict this would happen ?

  161. 161
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Jamey: Bike Commuter of the Gods:
    There are some seriously scary financial system worries about the Euro Zone. (The ECB is weirdly paranoid from an American point of view about inflation, and delusional about the effects of austerity. IMO.)

  162. 162
    Scott P. says:

    For me, the entire success or failure of the Obama presidency comes down to whether or not he ever gets a 20% increase in revenue from the rich. Period. It is all about the money, and so far, on the money, he has always lost the battle. And since that is the only battle that matters, in the long run, he either wins or loses on that point.

    As long as you don’t put your eggs in one basket…

  163. 163
    Danny says:

    @Triassic Sands:

    But it commits to nothing really except saying that there must be revenue in the deal. Doesnt mean the president’s on the record supporting whatever the committee comes up with as long as there’s revenue in there. And it doesnt mean that the democrats on the committee will go along with benefit cuts to Medicaid and Medicare recipients.

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    grandpajohn says:

    @burnspbesq:

    “given the hands to be dealt, it does not appear that Obama is quite the terrible poker player that some of us—myself on occasion certainly included—have believed him to be.”

    Well put.

    Really, my only question is how many fucking times does he have to prove this ability? Some of us here realized this quite some time ago, you know along about the time he rolled Mccain the press and the know it all pundits in a landslide to be elected president. I mean that did sort of hint that he had some ability to know how the game was played.
    edit; this is actually a reply to the original statement, I wound up using your paste of it to paste myself, so the reply is not intended to be pointed at you since I consider you to be one of the ones who has already realized his ability.

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    Three-nineteen says:

    @Danny: Yep. He says “reforms” to Medicaid, not “cuts”. Reform can mean a lot of things. Obama just “reformed” Medicare twice in two years, seemingly without any cuts in care to individuals (I say seemingly because some people are saying the newest cuts to providers will also cut care and I don’t know enough to refute them although I don’t think it’s true).

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    Bender says:

    Duh. The Tea Partiers knew this last week.

    If one takes only discretionary spending of $1.3 trillion then the cut is 1.6%. And my guess is that this cut is not to be taken to the actual budget but to the “inflation adjusted budget” which will be up about 3%, so there is probably a net increase planned for the discretionary budget of over 2% and an increase of the entitlement budget of over 5%. So the whole thing is smoke and mirrors.

    Ball-Juicers: AUSTERITYYYY!!

  167. 167
    Uncle Clarence Thomas says:

    .
    .
    Fortunately, President Obama is only giving Republicans the illusion that he’s their loser lickspittle. Damn, in addition to everything else, the man is a Master Illusionist, First Class as all here appreciate. Everybody salute! Now clap! Also too, Happy Birthday, Mr. President!
    .
    .

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    A Humble Lurker says:

    Here’s the thing about Obama: the man is subtle. If you want to know exactly what he’s actually doing you have to go over the policies he pushes for with a fine tooth comb. There is where the good and the bad truly are.

    Point out that bad and that good, but for God’s sake, take more than a cursory glance at what Obama is doing before you do so. He does not lay all his cards out on the table nice and pretty for everyone to see. If you think you can figure out Obama expecting that he does, you won’t get anywhere.

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    Samara Morgan says:

    @A Humble Lurker: hes not just subtle….hes subversive.
    @Lee Hartmann: only if you are dumber than a teabagger.

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    Mnemosyne says:

    @dollared:

    I’m guessing that you’re well under 30 yourself if you had never heard before the claim that Social Security and Medicare will not be around when you retire.

    I’ve been hearing it since at least 1988, and yet somehow it’s Obama’s fault that the meme is out there?

    ETA: George W Bush said that the bonds to Social Security are “just pieces of paper” that don’t have to be honored and it’s Obama’s fault that people don’t think Social Security is rock solid?

    Perspective. You need it. Badly.

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    bart says:

    I find it hilarious that so many commenting here did not know this was how the bill was structured until now.

    You can call the tea party stupid but they understood the cuts were way on the back end and THAT is why they were not happy when it passed.

    Many of you were calling them selfish pigs because “they got everything they wanted, but still aren’t happy”

    48 hours later you finally catch up and know what they already knew. But of course, you assume the tea party still doesn’t know what’s in the bill because that fits your construct.

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    Samara Morgan says:

    @bart: lol
    all the teabaggers i’ve read are whining because the cuts didnt go deep enough.
    Team Reaver basically wanted to crash the economy so they could reign over the chaos.
    but the conservative elite got scammed royally.
    they couldn’t get out of in front of the curve to demagogue it.

    No enterprise is more likely to succeed than one concealed from the enemy until it is ripe for execution.
    Niccolo Machiavelli

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    DougW says:

    @cleek: HEEHEE!

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    bob h says:

    “For the one that start Oct 2011 there will be a cut of $21 billion.”

    Has this budget been set? Does this mean there will not be a hostage psychodrama this Fall?

Comments are closed.