How long before Grover and Rush make him walk it back…

Bill Kristol told Fox News today the the GOP should throw in the towel on taxes and give President Obama what he wants:

“It won’t kill the country if we raise taxes a little bit on millionaires,” he said on “Fox News Sunday.” “It really won’t, I don’t think. I don’t really understand why Republicans don’t take Obama’s offer.”

“Really? The Republican Party is going to fall on its sword to defend a bunch of millionaires, half of whom voted Democratic and half of whom live in Hollywood and are hostile?” he asked.

I think one of two things will happen: a) the GOP will take Kristol’s advice and make the deal before the end of the year, or b) the GOP will force everybody to go over their “cliff”, the Bush tax cuts for all will expire and then in 2013 new Obama tax cuts for everybody making under $250,000 will be passed and signed into law. The outcome will be the same, but one choice will do even more damage to the GOP brand.

Kristol wants to avoid that, but I suspect his fellow wingnuts will embrace “b”.

How about an open thread…


138 replies
  1. 1
    Mark-NC says:

    I vote for “b”. Ideology before country every time.

  2. 2
    cathyx says:

    He’s pretty wimpy. I’d say 2 days. Rush probably doesn’t work tomorrow.

  3. 3
    Ruckus says:

    I think conservatives will do whatever is the worse choice for the country. If the choices have the same outcome they will take the one that does the most damage to them. It’s just how they roll.

  4. 4
    Baud says:

    It won’t kill the country if we raise taxes a little bit on millionaires

    That’s like telling fundamentalists that it doesn’t matter much whether or not Jesus rose from the dead.

  5. 5
    Handy says:

    I suspect “B”

    It is what they do.

  6. 6
    Howard Beale IV says:

    I was surprise to discover that Allen West told Norquist to go pound sand when he came back stateside to ‘re-sign’ Norquist’s Anti-American pledge.

  7. 7
    Peter says:

    I suspect B will happen but if Republicans were smart they’d choose A. Unlike the Debt Ceiling crisis, this fiscal cliff really is manufactured out of whole cloth. They have absolutely no leverage here.

  8. 8
    srv says:

    Who the fuck is going to pay for their 2014 campaigns if they throw the rich under the bus?

  9. 9
    catclub says:

    I think there could be a lopsided trade of one year of no increase for those making over $250k, in exchange for three years of the payroll taxes and making work pay continuing. Obama still knows who the hostages are.

    I really like the sound of ‘the Obama tax cuts’
    Make em choke on it.

  10. 10
    Schlemizel says:

    @Howard Beale IV:

    Could it have been that his campaign was worried about ‘moderate’ voters & thats why he refused? It hardly seems like the Allen West we all know and laugh at that he would have done so because it was the right thing to do

  11. 11
    BGinCHI says:

    Who is this Bill Kristol and what has he done with Bill Kristol?

  12. 12
    dr. bloor says:

    Well, let’s see. Can the Democrats tamp down their inclination to bargain against themselves, thereby allowing the Republicans the opportunity to claim victory by opting for choice A?

  13. 13
    Steeplejack says:


    [. . .] the Bush tax cuts for all will expire and then in 2013 new Obama tax cuts for everybody making under $250,000 will be passed and signed into law.

    Bonus if it’s framed as “a tax cut for everybody but only on income up to $250,000.”

  14. 14

    I’ll take C. They all expire and the GOP refuses to consider any tax bill that does not have cuts for every bracket while pushing for increases in defense spending and cuts in everything else. Color me cynical.

  15. 15
    blingee says:

    sigh….first of all it’s more like a curb not a cliff…mkay. If you don’t believe me read Kthugs article from I think maybe Friday. The cliff thing is…once again…BS Republican framing.

    At least you got the other part right. All Democrats and Obama have to do is NOTHING. The ball is entirely in the Republicans court and they will LOSE no matter what. Of course Dems and Obama will try negotiate or at least give the appearance. Really that’s all they gotta do. One way or another the Repubs will cave. They have no choice. Even if you assume worst case which is that everyone does nothing, the Bush tax cuts expire and the deficit will go down. I really cannot think of a stronger position for Dems and Obama to be in on this.

    Frankly, I don’t know why people on the left are even talking about it like it’s a fair fight. Republicans have just about the weakest hand possible as far as I can tell and it’s not like this is Obama’s first rodeo dealing with those clowns.

  16. 16
    Chris says:


    It’s what we bastards deserve for choosing a Kenyan Muslim Atheist over their vastly superior selves. James Dobson always said pain was a marvelous purifier when dealing with children, and that’s what we all are next to their brilliant business acumen.

    Man. You know, I would hate to be the girl who gave these guys their first rejection in middle school. Probably got hate mail and dead animals for the rest of her life.

  17. 17
    BGinCHI says:

    It will be amazing if the GOP gives in on higher taxes for the rich and then votes for immigration reform.

    Who will their base be then?

  18. 18
    jrg says:

    B. ’cause NoBawmmeer!

    Also, because the press is fucking worthless, and the GOP knows it. Did anyone hear Jake Tapper whining during “On the Media” today about how bad the Obama administration treats the press? I swear to God, Bill Clinton should slap in the face with his dick.

  19. 19
    SuperHrefna says:

    Is anyone else unnerved by agreeing with Bill Kristol? It feels very strange. I must have had too much schaden to eat this week.

  20. 20
    BGinCHI says:

    One thing you all are forgetting is that the remake of Red Dawn is about to come out.

    Game. Fucking. Changer.

  21. 21
    The Red Pen says:

    The slut-shaming of Paula Broadwell has begun. Let’s hope they keep this up until 2014.

  22. 22
    Howard Beale IV says:

    15 states have filed secession petitions.

    These citizen generated petitions were filed just days after the 2012 Presidential election. Louisiana was the first State to file a petition a day after the election by a Michael E. from Slidell, Louisiana. Texas was the next State to follow by a Micah H. from Arlington, Texas. The government allows one month from the day the petition is submitted to obtain 25,000 signatures in order for the Obama administration to consider the request. The Texas petition reads as follows: The US continues to suffer economic difficulties stemming from the federal government’s neglect to reform domestic and foreign spending. The citizens of the US suffer from blatant abuses of their rights such as the NDAA, the TSA, etc. Given that the state of Texas maintains a balanced budget and is the 15th largest economy in the world, it is practically feasible for Texas to withdraw from the union, and to do so would protect it’s citizens’ standard of living and re-secure their rights and liberties in accordance with the original ideas and beliefs of our founding fathers which are no longer being reflected by the federal government.
    As of 12:46 am, Sunday, signatures obtained by Louisiana, 7,358; Texas, 3,771; Florida, 636; Georgia, 475; Alabama, 834; North Carolina, 792; Kentucky, 467; Mississippi, 475; Indiana, 449; North Dakota, 162; Montana, 440; Colorado, 324; Oregon, 328; New Jersey, 301 and New York, 169. Many more States are expected to follow.

  23. 23
    Chris says:


    You know there’s an actual conspiracy theory that Hollywood held up the release until after the election in order to sabotage conservative momentum? .

  24. 24
    Schlemizel says:


    I would pay money to see Bill Clinton slap Jake Tapper in the face with Jake Tappers dick. Or really anybody do that to Jake Tapper

  25. 25
    cathyx says:

    I bet that Obama agrees to a grand bargain and cuts social security and medicare in exchange for closing tax loopholes. I hope I’m wrong though.

  26. 26
    aimai says:

    I saw VAn Jones fail to take on Mary Matalin appropriately on wolf blitzer (in a clip). Man, that pissed me off. He had a golden chance to rebut their entire shtick and he didn’t. Aside from that, I think the Republicans also simply can’t help themselves. They just don’t recognize the right of over half the country to self govern.

    Mr. Aimai and I are watching Abe Lincoln, Vampire Hunter and I think its pretty damned good.


  27. 27
    Yutsano says:

    B. But they’ll try to delay the vote so they can make it a budget fight as well.

  28. 28
    BGinCHI says:

    @Howard Beale IV: How do I sign the TX and FL petitions?

  29. 29
    Maude says:

    Has Allen West conceded yet?

  30. 30
    BGinCHI says:

    @Chris: I could not be less surprised.

  31. 31
    dmsilev says:

    See, now we should be worried. Because Bill Kristol Is Always Wrong. It’s one of those laws of nature, like gravity and stuff like that.

  32. 32
    Baud says:

    @Howard Beale IV:

    It’s misleading to say that states have filed those petitions. Those people are wingnuts acting as drama queens.

  33. 33
    redshirt says:

    If the Bush Tax cuts expire, won’t the Republicans be screaming “HE RAISED YOUR TAXES!!!” for the next 1-2 years?

    Are Dems afraid of that?

  34. 34
    BGinCHI says:


    Mr. Aimai and I are watching Abe Lincoln, Vampire Hunter and I think its pretty damned good.

    I never thought I’d read that sentence.

  35. 35
    Mister Harvest says:

    @Howard Beale IV:

    15 states have filed secession petitions. Deranged lunatics in 15 states have started meaningless on-line petitions.


  36. 36
    dmsilev says:

    @Howard Beale IV: Out of morbid curiosity, what is the NDAA? The Non-Disclosure Agreement Association?

  37. 37
    General Stuck says:

    Since Bloody Bill is not elected to anything, I don’t think Grover has much power over him. There has long been grumbling within the GOP congressional caucus about the death grip Norquist has along with other anti tax fanatics. Especially in the senate from people like Chambliss and Coburn, amongst others. I’m not going to predict anything with the nutters doing this or that, but they would be politically suicidal to keep on flogging the no tax meme into the future. Some of them can actually read, and can see the writing on the wall.

    Obama has them by the short hairs, and it looks like no prisoners will be taken here on out.

  38. 38
    BGinCHI says:

    @dmsilev: Notre Dame Are Assholes, if memory serves.

  39. 39
    Xantar says:

    Needs moar kitty.

    (Did I do that right?)

  40. 40
    SuperHrefna says:

    @dmsilev: Yes, that’s how I’m feeling too. I can’t quite see *how* he is wrong, but he must be wrong somehow, otherwise we need a new General Theory of Kristol. Maybe we need to build a Large Kristol Collider (where we smash him into things at very high speeds) to test this out.

  41. 41
    General Stuck says:


    No. Because they can immediately propose new tax cuts for the middle class and let the rich suck on it. And usurp the wingnuts holy grail of policy, if they don’t go along.

  42. 42
    gelfling545 says:

    “It won’t kill the country if we raise taxes a little bit on millionaires,” he said on “Fox News Sunday.” “It really won’t, I don’t think. I don’t really understand why Republicans don’t take Obama’s offer.”

    This is undoubtedly true, Mr. Kristol, but, if you believe it is, can you tell me what you and your fellow party members have been blithering about the last 4 years?

  43. 43
    dr. bloor says:

    @Howard Beale IV: What a fuckwit. How exactly does he think Texas manages to maintain a balanced budget?

    Let’em go.

  44. 44
    Dennis G. says:

    @blingee: Note the use of quote marks. I don’t even think it is a curb. It is just a manufactured bit of spin…

  45. 45
    Baud says:

    @dr. bloor:

    Let’em go.

    Wouldn’t it be a hoot of Obama issued a letter granting petitions allowing some of the less desirable states to secede?

  46. 46
    redshirt says:

    @General Stuck: Which the Repukes won’t pass.

    And if I’ve learned anything over the past 4 years, no amount of hypocrisy coming from the House is too much. I mean, they play around with defense appropriations and 9/11 responder bills. The media certainly won’t call them on it, and it’s hard to run a campaign on “I wanted to cut your taxes but the Repukes wouldn’t let me”.

    Make no mistake – I hope these tax cuts expire. But I don’t think it’s a clear PR win as some are making out as.

  47. 47
    La Caterina (Mrs. Johannes) says:

    @Xantar: Kitteh!

  48. 48
    PurpleGirl says:

    @Xantar: Yes, you did that correctly… oh, what a cute kitteh!

  49. 49
    Baud says:


    But I don’t think it’s a clear PR win as some are making out as.

    Nothing worth doing is ever a clear PR win. This is about as close as we can ever expect.

  50. 50
    Mr Stagger Lee says:

    @aimai: I can’t wait for the sequel, Teddy Roosevelt Zombie Assassin, and JFK versus the Space Commies :-)

  51. 51
    Suffern ACE says:

    @efgoldman: and because nothing is worth getting your panties in a twist over more than a case of adultery with details we don’t know much about and a third wave feminist response to it that hasn’t been written yet.

  52. 52
    the Conster says:

    Watched a panel of 4 Republicans including Jon Huntsman on CNN be 2 against 2 – Romney’s Latino advisor and Huntsman accusing Gary Bauer and some woman Republican Rep. of being too extreme. Gary Bauer insists that there’s already a pro-abortion party and that they need to work harder to get their conservative message out, because Reagan! Several more mentions of Reagan, and then it was over. The social cons are not.going.away. and the rotting corpse of Ronald Reagan is still their binky.

    Karen Hughes, W’s aide, said that any Republican male politician mentioning rape as being other than a horrible criminal act, and she’ll cut his tongue out herself. The Latino guy said the latinos in the communities he spent time in were all afraid of the Republican party, and Bauer said it was just that lying Obama’s fault because of the ads, and Reagan! I haz a happy, anticipating the internecine warfare between the nutjob media and the political operatives which should be heating up quite nicely any minute now.

  53. 53
    Chris says:

    @Mr Stagger Lee:

    I don’t know how to make links on my smart phone, but YouTube the fake trailer for “FDR: American Badass.” I’ll hazard a guess that the entire Lincoln movie doesn’t have as much win as that video.

  54. 54
    Thoughtful David says:

    I keep trying to imagine how the GOP could possibly moderate, and can’t see a mechanism for it. I somehow can’t see the teabangelists thinking, “We just lost the election because of our ideology. Huh. Well, I guess we’ll just have to change it.” Ain’t going to happen. So what do they do? If the GOP leadership tries to moderate, do they form their own party? Just stop voting?

    About the only thing I can see is GOP moderates bailing and leaving it to the teahadis. But where do they go? Do they become Democrats? I don’t want them in my party–spineless weasels.

  55. 55
    General Stuck says:


    Which the Repukes won’t pass.

    I wouldn’t bet on that as a sure thing. It could well pass the senate, and in the House, it is possible to pass with dem votes.

    I don’t know how the PR could be any better for dems on letting all the tax cuts expire, then Obama introducing his new tax cuts for the middle class and dare the republicans to block it. Lowering taxes is one of the few issues left that Republicans are known for.

    And Obama in the WH and Reid as wingman would pin their asses to the barn door, and steal the tax cut mantra right from them if they obstruct, and if they don’t obstruct. I agree that the wingnuts would not likely pass such a bill without tax cuts for the wealthy, but that is because they are insane.

  56. 56
    PreservedKillick says:


    If the Bush Tax cuts expire, won’t the Republicans be screaming “HE RAISED YOUR TAXES” for the next 1-2 years?
    Are Dems afraid of that?

    The Dems *cut* taxes for everybody and the Republicans screamed “THEY RAISED YOUR TAXES” for the next 1-2 years.

    And their base *believed* them.

    What’s the point of fear?

  57. 57
    RSA says:

    For what it’s worth, the Washington Post has a brief piece from 2011 with the names of then-members of Congress (202 in the House) who voted for the Bush tax cuts. I’ve always thought that it should be emphasized that a lot of Republicans currently in Congress voted explicitly for the sunset clause. It’s their plan–they ought to be happy that Democrats are letting it happen.

  58. 58
    PreservedKillick says:


    Obama ought to invite Orange Satan and Yertle the Turtle to a meeting, and play the video over and over on a 90-inch screen.

    Fuck the 90-inch screen, he should just invite them to the oval office, untuck his shirt, take off the tie, kick his feet up on the desk, smoke a great big cigar.

    And tell them to go fuck themselves himself.

    With feeling.

    And a great big shit-eating grin.

  59. 59
    Villago Delenda Est says:


  60. 60
    Coldfire says:

    Boehner clearly needed some breathing room, so Kristol went on the air and took this one for the team. Rush and Grover and the usual clown posse will make the same old noises, but they all know the game. Kristol just carried Boehner’s water, because they all know they can’t possibly win this one and they have to start getting the tea party rubes calmed down before then.

  61. 61
    Linda Featheringill says:

    I completed my move and I’m at least 5 years older than I was 5 days ago. My computer survived but my monitor didn’t. We had dog issues, cat issues, me issues. I survived by my dignity did not.

    Hope and Change? How about more hope and less change? Bah. I know, if you don’t change what you’re doing you won’t improve your situation. But still . . . .

    My first impression this morning was that Philadelphia really knows how to do fog. Nice.

  62. 62
    Howard Beale IV says:

    @BGinCHI: Here be Texas’s petition.

    What’s so hysterical is that, just for the sake of argument, that a new country called the Republic of Texas becomes reality. These poor residents would still have to deal with the US TSA that they piss and moan about in their petition should they decide to travel to the US via air travel.

    Then again, Texas does have hundreds of thousands of millionaires and their return on tax receipts for every dollar sent to the Feds is approximately .70, so of all of these states that cry about how the US impinges their God-ordained freedoms, go for it guys. The US will pull out all military assets out of Texas unless they cough up the new Texas currency to pay for ’em (no way will they get nukes, and no way will they be allowed to use the US dollar-they want to use a gold standard? Go for it! No way will the US should allow the dollar to become a North American version of the disaster that’s the Euro…)

  63. 63
    Felonius Monk says:

    @Maude: Are you kidding? West won’t concede even if someone fires a pistol next to his ear.

  64. 64
    redshirt says:

    @General Stuck: Agreed. That would be best case – tax hike on the rich, tax cut for everyone else.

    How could something pass the House with just Dem votes though?

    I don’t see the Republicans going along to pass “Obama’s Tax Cut”. Too helpful for him and the Democratic party as a whole.

    Which puts them in a bind(er), where they are NOT voting for tax cuts. But then, the media will give them cover and most people know jack shit about what’s going on in Congress, so they’ll spin it the way they usually do: DEMS WANT YOUR MONEY!

  65. 65
    Suffern ACE says:

    I went to see the non vampire Lincoln movie last night. The first impression is that he must have been a very frustrating boss to work for.

  66. 66
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Howard Beale IV:

    Oregon, 328

    Probably scum of the earth Art Robinson diehards.

  67. 67
    redshirt says:

    @PreservedKillick: Great points. But many Dems get all weak kneed with this stuff. And I’m thinking specifically about 2014. If you’re a Dem house member, you don’t want to have to defend a middle class tax hike.

  68. 68
    trollhattan says:

    Are we getting another “water carrier” speech from Rush, ala ’06? I sure hope so.

  69. 69
    West of the Rockies (formerly Frank W.) says:

    Couple a questions… is P.O. still off licking his wounds or has he made an appearance since Tuesday?

    Secondly, has Bachmann said anything vaguely conciliatory after having just barely squeaked out a victory, or has she taken her 92-vote victory as a mandate for more crazy-eyed fanaticism? (I just pulled 92 vote out of the blue — I know she won but not by much….)

  70. 70
    Baud says:


    But many Dems get all weak kneed with this stuff.

    If that were true, the Dems would have permanently extended the tax cuts well before now.

  71. 71
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Hmmm…one of my comments is in moderation. I’m thinking that because I put it in all caps, it triggered the Taco filter.

  72. 72
    PreservedKillick says:


    If you’re a Dem house member, you don’t want to have to defend a middle class tax hike.

    Might as well be hung for a sheep as for a lamb.

    They could drop taxes to zero and the republicans would hang them for raising taxes, just *because*.

    Do agree that the average Dem congress critter is in desperate, if not near terminal, need of a spinal column.

  73. 73
    Chris says:

    @Thoughtful David:

    How many moderates are left? After almost fifty years of purges and sharp turns to the right, hasn’t anyone who was going to leave already left?

  74. 74
    Felonius Monk says:

    @West of the Rockies (formerly Frank W.): Are you kidding? Crazy Lady would consider a one vote win to be a mandate for even more of the Crazy>

  75. 75
    burnspbesq says:


    Out of morbid curiosity, what is the NDAA? The Non-Disclosure Agreement Association?

    National Defense Authorization Act of 2011, the cause of much emoprog wailing and gnashing of teeth after they convinced themselves, in the face of the plain language of the statute, that it authorized the Eebil Obama to inefinitely detain anyone for any reason or for no reason.

  76. 76
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @dr. bloor: I went and read it, being a Texan. It’s one of those “anyone can file a petition for secession” kind of things. It’s not from the state government. Good Hair may like to talk big, but he’d never actually do it.

  77. 77
    JustAnotherBob says:

    @Howard Beale IV:
    Louisiana 7358 out of 4,574,836 have signed the petition.

    That’s 0.16%.

    I suspect a higher percentage of Louisianians named Bubba had intimate relationships with Bud longneck bottles in the last 48 hours.

  78. 78
    redshirt says:

    @PreservedKillick: Heh. True. Makes me realize how complicated things must be to try and plan, from the Democratic side. On the one hand, you have to make legitimate plans with contingencies and timelines and the like, AS IF you were dealing with rational actors. On the other hand, you know you’re dealing with fanatics who lie shamelessly and have most of the media in their pocket to cover for them. A narrow needle to thread sometimes.

  79. 79
    Suffern ACE says:

    @PreservedKillick: they voted for a completely unjustified cola adjustment for seniors and were slaughtered by seniors and have progressives concerned that dems don’t support social security. I say they should just do what’s best and move on. There are other puppies that we can get republicans to kick.

  80. 80
    Poopyman says:

    @efgoldman: I hear Romney cancelled his credit card.

  81. 81
    burnspbesq says:

    Here’s your chance to bankrupt a pundit. And it’s for a good cause.

  82. 82
    General Stuck says:


    How could something pass the House with just Dem votes though?

    Not just dem votes. Boehner would have to round up enough wingers to get a majority over the tea tards and other crazies in the GOP led House.

    It is not at all likely this would happen again, but something like it did with the original debt ceiling deal House vote. It would not be a dangerous vote for republicans to approve of any tax cut, but they aren’t operating anything like normal. More like scorched earth anti Obama and anti liberal fanaticism is what motivates them these days. It is possible though to pass such a tax cut next year.

  83. 83
    imonlylurking says:

    @Baud: swap them for DC and Puerto Rico. Win win!

  84. 84
    Faux News says:

    @Mark-NC: I second that!

  85. 85
    Roger Moore says:


    If the Bush Tax cuts expire, won’t the Republicans be screaming “HE RAISED YOUR TAXES” for the next 1-2 years?

    So? The Republicans were perfectly happy to say that Obama had raised people’s taxes even though he hadn’t. There’s every reason to believe that the Republicans will accuse the Democrats of raising taxes no matter what the the “facts” and “evidence” say about the matter. And if it isn’t raising taxes, it’s going to be some other lie. The Democrats need to stop worrying about how the Republicans can use what they’re doing as a campaign issue and start worrying about governing well, because people are going to pay a lot more attention to their economic situation than to what a bunch of politicians say about it.

  86. 86
    catclub says:

    @redshirt: agreed. Obama never got credit for cutting taxes over the past 4 years. Why should it start now.

    But I still want him to let them expire, so the new tax cuts to replace the Bush tax cuts will be the Obama tax cuts.

  87. 87
    Roger Moore says:


    (Did I do that right?)

    Other than using Instagram, yes.

  88. 88
    JustAnotherBob says:

    @Thoughtful David: I’m guessing there will be serious discussion about going stealth.

    Get some minority and women candidates out front. Cut the tongues out of anyone who mentions rape, cutting taxes or anything else important. Talk kitties and free turkeys for Thanksgiving.

    Go Romney v.71 – the Moderate Candidate before 2013 and hope they can sneak through.

  89. 89
    Baud says:


    Obama never got credit for cutting taxes over the past 4 years.

    You do realize he won the election last week. I get that the media sucks, but some people do find a way to learn the truth.

  90. 90
    GregB says:

    There is so much money to be made telling wingnuts they are the wind beneath America’s wings that I don’t see any of these radio and tv assholes changing their stripes.

    The GOP is going to become in so many ways like the WWF/E that Vince McMahon and his wife loser Linda have cultivated.

    I recommend we all work on our Southern accents and start calling in to talk radio advising them to stand strong against the RINO’s because victory will be just around the corner if they stand strong on their far right wing agenda.

    Wolverines! Reagan! Benghazi! Tax cuts! Galt!

  91. 91
    Fluke bucket says:

    @General Stuck: “Obama has them by the short hairs, and it looks like no prisoners will be taken here on out.”

    And even Aunt Millie knows it

  92. 92
    burnspbesq says:

    I’m not sure that Dan Larison is The Principled Conservative We’re Looking For, but he makes an awful lot of sense an awful lot of the time.


  93. 93
    different-church-lady says:

    Could someone help me make heads or tails out of the following:

    Deficits are a necessary GOOD, NOT evil.
    All dollars are created by the government. Every dollar in existence.
    When a dollar is created it’s recorded in a ledger as a public liability, a deficit.
    That deficit is now a private asset. A dollar in your pocket.
    No deficit would mean no dollars in your pocket. It’s simple math, double entry accounting.
    No deficit, no dollars in the private sector. Period.

    I mean, either that’s the craziest thing I’ve ever read, or there’s something really counter-intuitive about economics that I’m unaware of.

  94. 94
    Raven says:

    @Fluke bucket: Fuckin A, once you have em by the short hairs their hearts and minds will follow.”

  95. 95
    gf120581 says:

    @efgoldman: And they’re not done yet. Expect to see teabagger challenges to a whole bunch of Republicans in 2012. Susan Collins and Lindsey Graham are probably at the top of the list (and it may well drive Collins to make like Olympia Snowe and throw in the towel), but even Mitch McConnell may face a challenge.

    There is no limit to the suicidal instincts of the teabaggers. You’d think the Indiana Senate race, where they literally took a safe seat and handed it to the Democrats on a silver platter, might cause them to stop and reflect, but I doubt it. They’re probably just proud they took out Dick Lugar and saying, “Better a Democrat than a traitor.”

  96. 96
    catclub says:

    @Howard Beale IV: “No way will the US should allow the dollar to become a North American version of the disaster that’s the Euro”

    The Euro is only a disaster for national governments that do not control the printing thereof. Such is not the case for US and the dollar. Republic of Tejass and the dollar, not so much.

  97. 97
    Groucho48 says:

    @The Red Pen:

    From your link:

    The inherent selfishness of feminism — its meaning as the expression of the power-oriented ambitions of a self-interested elite — is what needs to be examined.

    I thought selfishness was a virtue for the right. I mean, substitute capitalism for feminism and this would be a fairly uncontroversial left wing talking point that would be mocked endlessly by the right as proof the left hates job creators.

  98. 98
    catclub says:

    @Fluke bucket: There still are prisoners/hostages. Obama will want the payroll tax cut and the making work pay tax cuts extended. To get that, he will have to negotiate also.

  99. 99
    General Stuck says:

    @Fluke bucket:

    That she does :)

  100. 100
    Suffern ACE says:

    I know about crosshairs, but are the short hairs sideburns or someplace I don’t want to think about in reference to our septuagenarian senators.

  101. 101
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    Actually, I’ve seen a couple wingnuts posit the idea that the GOP should put forth heavy-duty “wealth” taxes on millionaires/billionaires: A tax not on income or even dividends, but on net worth over a certain threshold.

    1) They push this as “sticking it to the liberal Hollywood elite” and whatnot. Which is rather funny, as it’s an idea only liberals would go for.

    2) One wingnut was asked about a tax already in place that does this–the estate tax. The wingnut said we need to do away with the estate tax. Uh-huh.

  102. 102
    The prophet Nostradumbass says:

    @efgoldman: it has made an appearance since the election, but has since been banned again, I think. I hesitate to type the name it used, or my comment may end up in the spam filter.

  103. 103
    Raven says:

    @Suffern ACE: You are kidding, right?

  104. 104
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Bubblegum Tate: so as long as we don’t tax inheritance, we can go after art collections and taxes on the value of a stock portfolio?

  105. 105
    NonyNony says:


    If you’re a Dem house member, you don’t want to have to defend a middle class tax hike.

    Bah. The Republican controlled legislature in a ton of states have gerrymandered districts so badly that it would take something major to get the Demo ousted. Look at Ohio for example – the 4 Dems we just sent to DC this year are the 4 Dems we’ll send back again in 2014, unless they do something so stupid they get their asses primaried. And then we’ll be sending a different Dem.

    Lots of states are in that boat because of 2010 and the massive fuck-up the state-level Democratic parties presided over then. So that’s created a whole bunch of safe Democratic seats where the Democrats have strong incentive to not piss off Democratic voters who will primary them, instead of Democratic seats where the Democrat is in a 50/50 district and has to worry about losing to a Republican. That means that the Dems won’t have a majority any time soon, but it ALSO means that the Dems who are there are pretty damn safe. Because the Republicans did it that way on purpose.

    (It also means that in 2 years, because of demographics, some of those safe Republican seats should be a bit swingier. It’s the Republicans who will need to be worrying about playing defense or losing a Dem – as well as worrying about getting primaried by teabaggers. It’s a new ball game because of redistricting, and hopefully the Dems in the House figure out how to play it.)

  106. 106
    catclub says:

    @burnspbesq: Someone else was noting that if a pundit from the ‘left’ said the things about poverty that David Frum is saying, such a pundit would not get invited back.

  107. 107
    Chris says:

    @Bubblegum Tate:

    Liberals rat fucking, you think?

  108. 108
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Raven: not really. I’ve never heard the phrase before. Sorry.

  109. 109
    lacp says:

    @different-church-lady: It’s not entirely counter-intuitive. This is the clearest explanation I’ve seen:

  110. 110
  111. 111
    The Other Chuck says:

    @different-church-lady: It’s nonsense, complete misunderstanding of monetary policy. There is a bit of truth to “no *inflation*, no money” in modern monetary systems (money is created out of lending, and no one lends unless they get more back), but the money supply is at best orthogonal to government spending.

  112. 112
    General Stuck says:

    Nobody is really THAT opposed to tax cuts. Especially their own.

  113. 113
    different-church-lady says:

    @The Other Chuck: I’m thinking the statement is a mashup of misunderstandings about fiat currency, accounting ledgers and what a budget deficit is rather than an ledger sheet deficit.

    Apparently at least 3 people at the GOS were impressed enough with this gobbeldy-gook to rec it.

    I mean, surely the idea that there’s no private money without a budget deficit is complete nonsense, yes?

  114. 114
    Howard Beale IV says:

    @dmsilev: National Defense Authorization Act.

    Section 1021 and 1022 are rather problematic.

  115. 115
    different-church-lady says:

    @lacp: Helpful link, but I’m not sure that article and the nonsense I quoted are talking about the same things.

    For example:

    Deficits add to the net disposable income of individuals, to the extent that government disbursements that constitute income to recipients exceed that abstracted from disposable income in taxes, fees, and other charges.

    That makes perfect sense. The quote I was asking about, however, seemed to be attempting to claim that private money did not exist unless it was claimed as a federal budget deficit. Clearly this must be nonsense, because then there would be no money at times of budget surplus.

  116. 116
    Roger Moore says:

    @The Other Chuck:
    And there’s definitely some truth to the same general idea when expressed about trade deficits and the use of the dollar in international commerce. The only way to increase the supply of dollars outside the USA is for us to export dollars. If the dollar remains the de facto world reserve currency, increasing international trade more or less inevitably requires the US to run a current accounts deficit.

  117. 117
    Poopyman says:

    @Raven: Now now. Consider this as a teachable moment.

  118. 118
    priscianusjr says:


    es, that’s how I’m feeling too. I can’t quite see how he is wrong, but he must be wrong somehow, otherwise we need a new General Theory of Kristol.

    Maybe he’s right but for the wrong reasons.

  119. 119
    Faux News says:

    @Howard Beale IV: We should round the signers up and charge them with sedition. Too bad there are no FEMA camps to inter them in.

  120. 120
    FormerSwingVoter says:

    @efgoldman: I have a special Serious Face that I save just to wear when commenting on this blog. I wish people could see it and see how Serious I am.

  121. 121
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    so as long as we don’t tax inheritance, we can go after art collections and taxes on the value of a stock portfolio?

    Yeah, that was the gist of it.


    Definitely not ratfucking. Or if they are, they’re really playing the long con–the “tax wealth–but no estate tax!” guy’s been a wingnut blogger since about 2002.

  122. 122

    @The Other Chuck:


    I’ve noticed this word popping up all over the place. There has to be a book, an academic’s remarks, or something like that to account for it.

    Can you tell me what it means in the context you are using it? I checked definitions and I’m not getting it.

  123. 123
    Davis X. Machina says:


    Re Maine: Collins is fireproof. The GOP already split up here and the nuts lost. Tea is off the menu. Snowe

    Raye, the mustard magnate, was by national standards a sane candidate. He kept it close against Mike Michaud, and there’s been little “If only we nominated a loony, we could have grabbed that seat” chat.

    The state House flipped, both Houses, with the real damage done among first-term Teahadis. The price of extremism is real, the corpses visible.

    Governor Landslide LePage has already been repudiated in print by a not-inconsiderable number of his own Republicans.

    I think Collins runs without credible primary opposition.

  124. 124
    lacp says:

    @different-church-lady: Yes, that sure sounds like nonsense to me, too.

  125. 125
    PurpleGirl says:

    @efgoldman: P.O. has been back since Tuesday and using the nym You Know Who.

  126. 126
    Julia Grey says:

    Did anyone hear Jake Tapper whining during “On the Media” today about how bad the Obama administration treats the press?

    Jeemuss Cridmas.

    Fking Jake Tapper is ALWAYS complaining about not being “‘treated properly” by the people he’s covering.

    He first came to my attention in Salon whining about being left behind by the Gore press plane because he happened to be a little late, and made the incident into an example of how Gore and “his people” were just rude, thoughtless assholes and that made Gore unqualified to be president.

    Then there was Obama treating him with contempt by lying to his face about not smoking when O reeked of cigarettes! That was the measure of Obama, see. You just couldn’t trust him, he was morally unfit, because he actually dared to lie to the great Jake Tapper.

    And now this shit.


  127. 127
    Jay in Oregon says:

    @Howard Beale IV:

    Keith Olbermann actually covered it pretty well:

  128. 128
    delphi_ote says:

    @BGinCHI: Rich whites and maybe Latinos and moderates. Who else will their base have to vote for?

  129. 129
    turbo says:


    It’s not nonsense; it’s just an explanation of how our monetary system works.

    U.S. dollars are issued as a debt. When the Fed prints money, it has to buy reserves equal to the amount of money it prints. The Fed buys these reserves mainly in the form of U.S. Treasuries, which, as you know, are debt.

    I know it sounds strange, but it is the truth and exploring that strangeness can lead to some clarity about what government spending really means.

    Let me give you one example, a reverse example, actually. Do you know what happens when you pay your Federal income taxes in cash? The IRS shreds the money. The IRS doesn’t deposit your cash. It simply destroys the money, removes it from circulation.

    In actuality, the same thing happens when the IRS processes the check you send them topay your taxes. They don’t deposit your money. They cancel it as one would cancel any debt. They remove your money from circulation.

    To put it another way, Federal Income taxes do not finance the government. Federal income taxes establish the value of the dollar andcontrol inflation.

    If you are now asking yourself, why should I pay taxes, then? the answer is, you shouldn’t.

    Only the top 1% should pay federal income taxes–as was the case when the federal income tax was first introduced. The goals of establishing a value for the dollar and controlling inflation can be met by taxing only the richest 1%. Plus, that sort of taxation would reduce the importance of income made from economic rent.

    That’s a lot to swallow, but there it is. Look up modern monetary theory for a fuller treatment.

  130. 130
    Mnemosyne says:


    IIRC, he showed up with the shocking news — must credit Drudge! — that Congressional Republicans are going to obstruct the government from getting anything done.

    I don’t think he ever got around to explaining how this new! improved! obstruction will be different than what they’ve been doing since 2010.

  131. 131
    Starlit says:

    @Linda Featheringill: Congrats on your move! These things are often “growth” experiences. I trust the felines are adjusting, or at least have picked a cabinet to hide in.

    I do think my home town improves on longer acquaintance. If you eat beef, introduce yourself to a pizza steak from just about anyplace, or go the full Monty and get one from Pat’s Steaks while standing where Sylvester Stallone stood.

    Things will get better soon!

  132. 132
    different-church-lady says:

    @turbo: But none of that is the same as a budget deficit.

  133. 133
    presquevu says:

    Defense Dept. budget should be funded by those with the most to defend.

    A tax structure that encourages accumulated wealth to participate in activity that grows the economy or else be whittled away by taxation seems like an obvious strategy.

  134. 134
    Alex S. says:

    Late to the thread, somebody probably already said it, but Kristol just cares about a military capable of striking Iran. So, of course, he wants to avoid the sequestration. That makes him a little more honest than those wanna-be budget hawks of the debt-ceiling fight whose real concern was class war from the top-down.

  135. 135
    Ben Grimm says:

    Could we maybe fund a primary challenger for Collins? Through Act Blue or something? I’m completely serious – that might be, dollar for dollar, the best value in the senate for 2014.

  136. 136
    redshirt says:

    @Davis X. Machina: It was a great election!

  137. 137
    graves007 says:

    A scorpion and a frog meet on the bank of a stream and the
    scorpion asks the frog to carry him across on its back. The
    frog asks, “How do I know you won’t sting me?” The scorpion
    says, “Because if I do, I will die too.”

    The frog is satisfied, and they set out, but in midstream,
    the scorpion stings the frog. The frog feels the onset of
    paralysis and starts to sink, knowing they both will drown,
    but has just enough time to gasp “Why?”

    Replies the scorpion: “Its my nature…”

  138. 138
    turbo says:


    It is if you know where budget deficits come. from–or that the national debt comes from budget deficits.

    You do realize the connection between the federal budget deficit and the national debt, right?

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