Hanging Tough

Republicans have a major sad that Obama is not crumbling in to their demands:

Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner presented the House speaker, John A. Boehner, a detailed proposal on Thursday to avert the year-end fiscal crisis with $1.6 trillion in tax increases over 10 years, $50 billion in immediate stimulus spending, home mortgage refinancing and a permanent end to Congressional control over statutory borrowing limits.

The proposal, loaded with Democratic priorities and short on detailed spending cuts, met strong Republican resistance. In exchange for locking in the $1.6 trillion in added revenues, President Obama embraced the goal of finding $400 billion in savings from Medicare and other social programs to be worked out next year, with no guarantees.

He did propose some upfront cuts in programs like farm price supports, but did not specify an amount or any details. And senior Republican aides familiar with the offer said those initial spending cuts might be outweighed by spending increases, including at least $50 billion in infrastructure spending, mortgage relief, an extension of unemployment insurance and a deferral of automatic cuts to physician reimbursements under Medicare.

“The Democrats have yet to get serious about real spending cuts,” Mr. Boehner said after the meeting. “No substantive progress has been made in the talks between the White House and the House over the last two weeks.”

He’s just got them by the balls. If we hit the “fiscal cliff” (I fully expect that to be one of the words/phrases of the year), taxes go up for everyone and Dems can repeatedly offer tax cuts for the middle class and let the Republicans explain why they want to tax 95% of Americans to protect Warren Buffet.

The best part of this is that Team Obama, not worried about re-election, is opening on the left side of the debate and making McConnell and Boehner have major agita. Even better, the pressure from Cantor and the teahadists will mandate that Boehner accept no agreement, and some lunatic like DeMint will filibuster any bill that lets the ridiculous Bush tax cuts expire on the ultra-rich, so this will all be on Republicans. And then Obama can sit back and laugh and repeatedly ask why Republicans are raising taxes on everyone in order to spare Paris Hilton the loot to buy a couple eight balls and penicillin shots.

The ball is in your court, Republicans. What is your offer?






128 replies
  1. 1
    Dupe1970 says:

    A thing of beauty is a joy forever…

  2. 2
    Capt. Seaweed says:

    He’s just got them by the balls. If we hit the “fiscal cliff” (I fully expect that to be one of the words/phrases of the year), taxes go up for everyone and Dems can repeatedly offer tax cuts for the middle class and let the Republicans explain why they want to tax 95% of Americans to protect Warren Buffet.

    I want to gay-marry this comment.

  3. 3
    redshirt says:

    If Team Obama doesn’t care about re-election (true of course), then why do you frame it as a political situation? Does this stand off benefit generic Democratic Congressperson in 2014?

  4. 4
    jrg says:

    What’s wrong with Warren Buffet? He’s a decent guy. How about Paris Hilton or something?

  5. 5
    Walker says:

    Elections have consequences. Ah the sweet sounds of throwing it back at them.

  6. 6
    Linda Featheringill says:

    @redshirt:

    Yes, it will help the Dem representatives if they are visibly agitating for all the good stuff: the middle class tax cuts, unemployment, infrastructure, etc.

  7. 7
    piratedan says:

    over at MSN they have a link to Luke Russert’s piece that says the same thing but includes the R spin that Obama’s plan didn’t get a single vote in either the House or the Senate without mentioning that little tidbit that it was never brought before the House or Senate floor for a vote. Gotta love a piece of work that lets a whopper of that size go unexplained… see “it’s not a lie, we’re just not telling the truth either”.

  8. 8
    👽 Martin says:

    Obama isn’t Boehner’s problem, and he knows it. The Senate is Boehner’s problem, and Obama is largely bringing Boehner the deal that Dems in the Senate can pass now.

    But Boehner knows that he’s lost this. He’s mostly just putting up a show now.

  9. 9
    El Cruzado says:

    @jrg: He’s a good example in the fact that he has repeatedly stated that he WANTS to pay more taxes.

  10. 10
    redshirt says:

    @Linda Featheringill: I’m not so sure. Their Republican opponents can scream that they raised taxes, and for once, this will be a true statement. Is our population as a whole ready to vote for people who raised their taxes?

  11. 11
    Smiling Mortician says:

    @redshirt: Have you seen the polling on various fiscal options? The Dems’ plans are hugely popular, while the GOP’s are . . . not. Hanging left and watching the Boehners and McConnells of the world sputter about how it’s no fair that Democrats want to do what the people want them to do is highly political. And delicious.

  12. 12
    Alison says:

    @Capt. Seaweed: Fingers crossed that you might be able to in CA tomorrow :P

    And yeah, I am looking forward to Obama and his team making it crystal fucking clear what a bunch of plutocrat-ass-kissing bastards these guys are. It’ll be totally uncivil, and totally awesome.

  13. 13
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    Nice, but this is not how the media is presenting it. Both sides are responsible, you see. By which they mean one side. Dems.

    Mr. Low Information is going to blame Dems for raising his taxes unless Team Obama gets out in front of this fast.

  14. 14
    redshirt says:

    @Smiling Mortician: Raising taxes on the rich is awesome – most people agree. Raising taxes on folks making 40K a year is not so popular.

  15. 15
    👽 Martin says:

    Whoa:

    Televangelist Pat Robertson challenged the idea that Earth is 6,000 years old this week, saying the man who many credit with conceiving the idea, former Archbishop of Ireland James Ussher, “wasn’t inspired by the Lord when he said that it all took 6,000 years.”

    “You go back in time, you’ve got radiocarbon dating. You got all these things, and you’ve got the carcasses of dinosaurs frozen in time out in the Dakotas,” Robertson said. “They’re out there. So, there was a time when these giant reptiles were on the Earth, and it was before the time of the Bible. So, don’t try and cover it up and make like everything was 6,000 years. That’s not the Bible.”

    Someone is paying attention to demographics and doing their bit for the GOP.

  16. 16
    James K. Polk, Esq. says:

    Good God, I need a cigarette.

  17. 17
    Mandalay says:

    @jrg:

    What’s wrong with Warren Buffet? He’s a decent guy. How about Paris Hilton or something?

    “Wall Street bankers” gets my vote.

  18. 18
    Maude says:

    The financial sector is whining. I hear them in the mornings on Bloomberg radio. Obama is making them unhappy. They are not at all happy about impending regulation.
    The free ride for Wall Street is over.
    Obama is good at backing Republicans into a corner.

  19. 19
    Smiling Mortician says:

    @redshirt: Agreed. But Obama’s proposal doesn’t call for raising taxes on people making $40K a year.

  20. 20
    Marc says:

    and Dems can repeatedly offer tax cuts for the middle class and let the Republicans explain why they want to tax 95% of Americans to protect Warren Buffet Mitt Romney and Donald Trump.

    Fixed.

  21. 21
    Gravenstone says:

    @redshirt: They can whine about the tax rates reverting (“raised taxes!!”), and then the Dems can simply hold up their shiny new tax cut bills and say, “my honorable opponent voted repeatedly against this bill which would save mom and pop $X per year in taxes. All so they can protect their beholden 1%. Why do you think they favor the rich over everyone else? Why do you think they would ever do anything to support YOU?”

  22. 22
    boss bitch says:

    See here. Stop picking on Paris Hilton. If you need a privileged spoiled brat that people hate, see Donald Trump.

  23. 23
    redshirt says:

    @Smiling Mortician: I thought everyone’s taxes go up if the Bush tax cuts expire. I know the Senate passed a bill to lower the taxes of everyone under 250K, but the House won’t pass that.

  24. 24
    efgoldman says:

    @Maude:

    Obama is good at backing Republicans into a corner.

    I think Obama is the best politician of my lifetime, LBJ and Clenis perhaps excepted.
    Nevertheless, the GOBP, in the form of TeaHadis, have pretty much backed themselves into a corner. Obama handed them the paint , to be sure.
    @👽 Martin:

    Obama isn’t Boehner’s problem, and he knows it. The Senate is Boehner’s problem.

    Long before anything gets to the Senate, the TeaHadis in his own caucus are Boehner’s problem. Granny Starver appears to e ready to back the opposition, and Weasel Cantor makes two. If Boehner can’t get just enough GOBP votes to make a majority with Pelosi’s Dems, he’s cooked as speaker. If he does get enough votes, the TeaHadis will cook him as speaker. Either way, I don’t see it getting done in the lame duck session. Orange Satan will want to protect his speakerhood at least until the new session, if he can.

  25. 25
    redshirt says:

    @Gravenstone: It’s too complicated an argument. “Yes, your taxes went up because of the actions of my party, BUT IF the Republicans had voted for this tax cut bill, they would not have!” The “BUT IF” is the complicated part for your average American dumbass.

    Repukes will just be screaming “THEY RAISED YOUR TAXES!”

  26. 26
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    @👽 Martin: This is the showstopper for me:

    If you fight science, you are going to lose your children, and I believe in telling them the way it was,” Robertson concluded.

    Looks like Robertson did some reading on what happened when Catholicism went after Galileo and other scientists. Yeah, they killed or shut the scientists up, but the Church got their clocks cleaned in the end.

  27. 27
    Smiling Mortician says:

    @redshirt: Everyone’s taxes go back up to Clinton levels if we “hit the fiscal cliff” — but right now we’re talking about Obama’s proposal to reach a deal that avoids the “cliff.” There are a couple of lonely GOP voices in the house suggesting that perhaps they might consider Obama’s proposal more seriously. Add those voices to the Republicans who have been shoving Grover Norquist under the bus lately, mix in the public’s overwhelming desire to see top marginal rates increase (but not lower-bracket rates) and there’s at least a chance of something better than catastrophe happening.

  28. 28
    Steeplejack says:

    __

    “The Democrats have yet to get serious about real spending cuts,” Mr. Boehner said after the meeting.

    Good! This is the exact wrong time to be doing “real spending cuts,” from a Keynesian point of view.

  29. 29
    dslak says:

    @redshirt: The Republicans have already convinced a lot of people that Obama raised their taxes during his first term, evidence be damned.

    Despite that belief, enough of those people still preferred Obama over Romney. So Boehner’s got to ask himself “Do I feel lucky?”

  30. 30
    different-church-lady says:

    The wisdom of “kicking the can” down the road is now evident: had Obama pushed harder for it in 2011 the GOP could have spent the entire duration of the campaign screaming “OBAMA RAISED TAXES!!!” He had to take heat from his own side, but now he’s going to get what we all want and they have no leverage on him because the election is done. The unforeseen advantage is that the zeitgeist has changed; nobody but those deep in the bag of nuts is going to complain about taxes going up for the upper brackets — it’s well established the electorate no longer has any interest in listening to that kind of propaganda anymore. If the GOP goes ahead and tries it anyway (and they probably will) it will just put them even further out of step with the times.

  31. 31
    Smiling Mortician says:

    @Steeplejack: And from a populist point of view as well. The polling on cuts to social programs (the GOP’s go-to place for cuts) is worse for Republicans than the polling on keeping Richie Rich’s tax bill low.

  32. 32
    Steeplejack says:

    @redshirt:

    Their Republican opponents can scream that they raised taxes, and for once, this will be a true statement.

    No, the Democrats will not have voted to raise any taxes. What will have happened is that the “temporary” Bush tax cuts–specifically designed by the Republicans to be temporary–will have finally been allowed to expire. And the Democrats can hit the Republicans over the head with that all day, plus the fact that the Republicans have not offered any specific plan to do anything at all.

  33. 33
    Steeplejack says:

    @redshirt:

    I know the Senate passed a bill to lower the taxes of everyone under 250K, but the House won’t pass that.

    Then that will be on the goddamn Republicans. It doesn’t get more obvious than that. If your hypothetical voter can’t understand that, then there’s no hope of getting through to him at all.

  34. 34
    redshirt says:

    @Steeplejack: You’re correct, but it’s also kind of semantics. And Republicans most Americans don’t do semantics.

  35. 35
    RareSanity says:

    @redshirt:

    I wouldn’t worry about that. The Republicans just spent an entire election cycle trying to blame the economy on Obama, and pushing a platform of lowering taxes and spending cuts…the electorate rejected both.

    Of course we know that the Republican response will be to double down on both, but the majority of the country just ain’t buying it.

  36. 36
    redshirt says:

    @dslak: Great points, as you’re right. No American’s taxes have gone up to date because of Obama and yet I’m sure 98% of registered Republicans would say they have.

    Many of you are looking at this “Fight” from a logical perspective, which is commendable but not necessarily the reality we live in today. Take the following assumptions:

    1. The Republicans will oppose EVERYTHING Obama proposes, even if it aligns with their general “principles” (i.e tax cuts)
    2. The Media will support the Republican point of view on every issue.
    3. Most people aren’t paying very close attention.

    Many of you seem to think this (going off the stupidly so called “Fiscal Cliff”) will benefit Dems as a whole. I am skeptical. Very – given what I’ve witnessed over the last 20 or so years.

  37. 37
    Turgidson says:

    That orange bastard Boehner also wants the Democrats to “go first” in proposing cuts.

    So that the GOP can then campaign on how the Democrats cut Medicare, again, and convince enough blue hairs and morans of it to win a low-turnout midterm again. Then pass a shitload of bills repealing Obamacare and cracking down on sluts using birth control.

    Early indications are that the Democrats won’t be suckered into this. Which is good.

  38. 38
    General Stuck says:

    Mercy Cole, yer gonna get called an Obot for sure with posts like this.

  39. 39
    Roger Moore says:

    The ball is in your court, Republicans. What is your offer?

    Their counter-offer is a giant tax cut for the ultra-rich. They plan on financing it by selling Soylent Blah, which is made out of moochers and looters, who don’t really count as people.

  40. 40
    Suffern ACE says:

    @RareSanity: in case you haven’t noticed, republicans have quite a bit if contempt for democrat voters and believe that they won’t show up in the mid terms when Obama and his charisma aren’t aren’t a draw. That electorate you mention doesn’t concern them much.

  41. 41
    burnspbesq says:

    George W. Bush is the gift that keeps on giving.

    If he hadn’t flinched in 2001, and adopted the tax cuts via the reconciliation process instead of risking a filibuster in the Senate, those cuts would have been permanent, instead of having an expiration date.

  42. 42
    different-church-lady says:

    @redshirt: You seem to have missed a major event that occurred earlier this month.

  43. 43
    Bruce S says:

    Obama’s playing this near-perfect. The funny thing about this “entitlements” brouhaha that has been ginned up is that average Republicans are just a bit more against cuts to Medicare than the average voter. A demographic “old people” thing quite obviously.

    But the table is set for the Democrats to approach constraining health care costs systemically – which has got to be done – apart from this “fiscal cliff” craziness. It’s not an appropriate framework to deal with health-care costs, which are a very complicated and discrete piece of the fiscal debate. Probably Obama should set some target goals for health care costs over the long term, be clear that these aren’t proposed as beneficiary cuts, get buy-in from AARP and let the process of real reform that we very much need become operative in the real world.

    It’s not a solution to treat this the way the “doc fix” has been dealt with – which was creating a fictional budget cut that gets a perennial over-ride. But it looks like – given our stupid politics – that there will have to be some Kabuki on the Medicare front. So far the Dems seem to be putting the right spin on this – I just wish they would be more emphatic in making the point that Medicare is the most cost-effective insurance that actually exists in the USA when they go on my TeeVee. (Howard Dean is on O’Donnell saying the right stuff right now.)

  44. 44
    redshirt says:

    @different-church-lady: I don’t want to see the Senate go R in 2014, as I believe that would lead to the first actual Impeachment.

  45. 45
    RareSanity says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    Do you know how long 2 years is in politics?

    What is happening in December of 2012, is going to be ancient history by November of 2014.

  46. 46
    rikyrah says:

    Go Mr. President.

    GO
    GO
    GO

  47. 47
    David Koch says:

    I miss the old days when the usual suspects would denounce black jimmy carter around the clock.

    it must be sad time at you know where.

  48. 48
    Roger Moore says:

    @redshirt:
    Two points:
    1) Impeachment is equivalent to indictment, and has happened twice already (Andrew Johnson, Bill Clinton)
    2) Conviction in the Senate requires a 2/3 vote, which the Republican aren’t going to get in 2014.

  49. 49
    RareSanity says:

    @redshirt:

    Are you serious?

    It’s been less than a month since the Democrats smoked the GOP in an election. The President hasn’t even been inaugurated yet, the new Congress hasn’t even been seated, and you’re already going emo on impeachment in 2014?

    Relax…

  50. 50
    jwb says:

    @redshirt: Removal requires 2/3 of the Senators to vote in favor of any articles of impeachment.

    ETA: Also what Roger Moore said.

  51. 51
    Walker says:

    @redshirt:

    You think the Republicans are going to capture 2/3 of the Senate? That is delusional.

  52. 52
    General Stuck says:

    PBO looks and talks so much more relaxed than he did. Putting your last election in the rear view mirror would kinda do that, I suspect. But then the reality of a House full of nihilistic cretins is not far away, with a gas can and matches. They can’t do anything, but do nothing on some vital national business, like the debt ceiling, and away we go again.

  53. 53
    kindness says:

    I’m actually happy with the way it’s all working out. I want bush43’s tax cuts to end. I really wouldn’t mind if they ended for everyone just to shut the deficit shrieker’s up.

    It’d be safer politically anyhow. Then no one actually votes for a tax increase.

    I have to say I still worry a little since in the past this Administration has managed to suck at negotiating.

  54. 54
    David Koch says:

    where are the cranks mocking 11th dimension chess?

  55. 55
    redshirt says:

    Heh. I’ve never been the hair on fire person, yet here I am.

    Consider!

    1. The senate is going to be tough for Dems regardless in 2014. This is the Obama class of 2008 and it’s realistic to expect several of them to get voted out.
    2. The Media is totally in the R pocket, no matter what Dems do. So this “tax hike on the lower/middle class” is going to get pinned to all Democrats.
    3. Many Democrats are still spineless jelly bags. In the face of relentless Fox News “U RAISED MY TAXES!!!” anger, are you so sure Democratic Senators will have the President’s back?

    This argument is getting a bit beyond what I intended. My only point, really, is this “Fiscal Cliff” is no clear slam dunk for the Dems, given the media. So don’t get cocky!

  56. 56
    Felonius Monk says:

    Per Cole:

    He’s just got them by the balls.

    My Daddy used to refer to this type of situation as “Takin’ a shit in their shoe.”

  57. 57
    catclub says:

    @redshirt: “but the House won’t pass that.”

    and as long as that is the case, the ‘you raised taxes’ claim falls flat.

  58. 58
    RareSanity says:

    @redshirt:

    It’s not about getting cocky…

    What it is about right now, is pressing your earned advantage coming off the election, before the country’s ADHD starts to kick in.

  59. 59
    Felonius Monk says:

    @redshirt: You are really starting to sound like a concern troll.

    What would you have the Dems do — cave to repug demands? Bullshit on that — that a loser from the getgo.

  60. 60
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    @redshirt: Repukes will just be screaming “THEY RAISED YOUR TAXES!”

    Unlike, say, what they do now.

    @redshirt:

    1. The Republicans will oppose EVERYTHING Obama proposes, even if it aligns with their general “principles” (i.e tax cuts)

    Unlike, say, what they do now.

    2. The Media will support the Republican point of view on every issue.

    Unlike, say, what they do now.

  61. 61
    Ken says:

    @Turgidson: That orange bastard Boehner also wants the Democrats to “go first” in proposing cuts.

    That’s what Geithner just did. If Boehner wants more cuts than the administration’s plan, the ball’s in his court.

  62. 62
    redshirt says:

    @Felonius Monk: No. I want these Bush tax cuts to expire. Dems should negotiate from a position of strength.

    That said, I’m not sure this is a winning position for 2014, and that’s my insecurity here – are we sure it’s not the Repukes who have the Dems in a corner? Cuz, what can the Dems do? Either they give away X, Y, and Z to Repuke demands, or they don’t, and pay for it electorally in 2014.

  63. 63
    gorram says:

    @Roger Moore:

    2) Conviction in the Senate requires a 2/3 vote, which the Republican aren’t going to get in 2014.

    Which would require the GOP to win every single Senate election in 2014, win two more special elections (and Kerry’s seat in MA doesn’t count since it’s one the ones that would be up for election in 2014!), and have every single GOP Senator vote as they wanted.

    Sure, it’s not impossible, technically, but it would require extraordinary circumstances…

    ETA: This is assuming no Senator who caucus with the Dems would vote for it, which isn’t a terribly unreasonable assumption, I think.

  64. 64
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    How awesome would it be if Fiscal, Cliff won Time’s Person of the Year?

  65. 65
    catclub says:

    Attention whore is tedious.

    it is an interesting point that if the GOP surrender on point 1: the tax for income up to $250k does not go up, then their position becomes much better relative to all the rest.

    Obama wants to keep (i expect) the payroll tax cuts for at least another year. Plus, there may be weak-kneed democrats who do not want to see various sequester DOD cuts. If the up-to-$250k tax goes away, so does their reason to fight for the rest.

  66. 66
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Just to keep a little perspective here, Obama could have done the exact same strategy last time the Bush tax cuts were set to expire. I know you Obots get giddy when he finally does something your progressive betters suggested long ago.

  67. 67
    LD50 says:

    The GOP knows full well that letting Bush Jr’s tax cuts expire will slash the deficit substantially by 2016. And the LAST thing they want is for the Dems to be able to campaign that year as the party who cut the deficit.

  68. 68
    redshirt says:

    @gorram: Joe Manchin is a Democratic Senator from West Virginia. You confident he’s got the President’s back?

  69. 69
    LD50 says:

    It’s so amazing to contrast this to what would have happened if Romney won — the GOP was all set to implement the fucking Paul Ryan budget this winter. Yikes.

  70. 70
    mdblanche says:

    The principal investigator in the next lab over from where I work just got word back she is getting the grant she applied for, but she isn’t celebrating yet. Thanks to the sequester, if we don’t have a resolution by the end of the year her grant gets whacked, possibly out of existence. So if I can ask a serious question of people who think there’s no need to avoid the fiscal cliff, what would you say to her? Why should she support a hardline position on either side that takes us over the fiscal cliff? Why do you consider effectively adopting the Tea Party’s position on research funding an acceptable political tactic?

    There a people around here who have been talking like nobody gets hurt from going over the fiscal cliff. That’s just not true, and you’re risking alienating the people who would get hurt.

  71. 71
    LD50 says:

    @redshirt:

    No American’s taxes have gone up to date because of Obama and yet I’m sure 98% of registered Republicans would say they have.

    Hell, you could probably get half of all Republicans to claim that Obama has come and taken their guns away.

  72. 72
    balconesfault says:

    But Paris Hilton is a job creator!

    Oh … you don’t mean that kind of job?

  73. 73
    BillB says:

    No need to worry what happens on Faux News , the election and the next election are determined by folks that NEVER watch it. The voter groups that go OBAMA , and will support the next congress going blue are multi-colored and dominated by women.
    We are watching karl rover and the fox losers fade into the sunset.

  74. 74
    balconesfault says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: The economy was in worse condition back then … and Obama had re-election in mind. Not doing the deal that kept middle class tax cuts in place and extended unemployment benefits clearly could have added a few critical tenths of a point to the unemployment rate.

  75. 75
    feebog says:

    @ Redshirt:

    A year ago Republicans were giddy over the prospect of taking over the senate. It was practically a done deal. Then Olympia Snow announced retirement. And Elizabeth Warren got in the MA race. And Claire McCaskill manuvered that numbskull as her opponent. And Joe Donnelly drew an even worse Republican candidate. And so on. The 2014 map does not really look that bad, depends on what Rockefeller and Johnson do, and Landrieu may have a problem in LA. Other than that, I don’t see a lot of movement. Al Franken will cruise to a victory in MN. What else ya got?

  76. 76
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Felonius Monk:

    @redshirt: You are really starting to sound like a concern troll.

    FTFY. Shorter, too.

  77. 77
    balconesfault says:

    @👽 Martin: Pat Robertson wants to legalize pot too, right?

    Weird old dude.

  78. 78
    General Stuck says:

    @mdblanche:

    So if I can ask a serious question of people who think there’s no need to avoid the fiscal cliff, what would you say to her? Why should she support a hardline position on either side that takes us over the fiscal cliff? Why do you consider effectively adopting the Tea Party’s position on research funding an acceptable political tactic?

    Well, first of all. It is not a cliff, but a slope. Maybe you should watch less cable news. The second part is the republicans have a right to do nothing, which would raise everyones taxes on Jan 1. That is an abrupt change, for sure, at least for the middle class. There are all sorts of pros and cons either way whether it is a good idea to raise taxes right now, in a bad economy, or the need for more revenue should take center stage?

    For me, it is time to ignore the hostage taking and let the natural course of “temporary” tax cuts die a quiet death, if the GOP will not separate out the wealthy. It is not like dems cannot put forth some new tax cuts for the middle class, and constructed in a lib/progressive fashion. You just cannot bow to every whim of a crazy person in your house, for ever. Something has to give, and the republicans have the power to burn it all down. If they want to. There is not much left to do, short of martial law.

  79. 79
    redshirt says:

    @Bobby Thomson: I’ll Obot you any day, straight up.

  80. 80
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    I think anyone who characterizes the lawful expiration of largely frivolous tax cuts and budget cuts specifically designed to occur automatically in a bipartisan budget deal as a “fiscal cliff” should be horsewhipped, particularly if they are signatories on said legislation.

  81. 81
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @balconesfault: Yes, and all the same excuses could be brought to bear now, depending on the desired outcome.

  82. 82
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @feebog:

    Pryor, Begich, and Hagan come to mind. And while I’ll admit that no one thought McCaskill, Donnelly, Heitkamp et al would pull it out, I don’t see any pickup opportunities unless Susan Collins retires or there’s some Republican civil war in Georgia.

    It’s coincidence the way senate classes were assigned, but every southern state except Florida has a Senate race in ’14, and aside from Landrieu and Pryor it’s all Republican incumbents. Whose seats are we picking up? Thad Cochran? McConnell? Lindsey Graham? Jim Inhofe? (God, what a depressing list.)

    I’m not trying to be a doomsayer, but I think ’12 and ’14 are different animals. The Dems had an opening in ’12 and took it. I’m not sure where the opportunity is in ’14.

  83. 83
    Felonius Monk says:

    @redshirt: A lot can happen between now and 2014 elections, but I’d rather the Dems stand tough on these issues. If they do, I think it is less likely that they’ll lose control of the Senate in 2014.

    And what the hell is this “impeachment” shit? Impeachment for what — being black? I’m sure that will fly.

  84. 84
    catclub says:

    @balconesfault: PLus there was an Arms treaty and repeal of DADT, which were not going to happen if the budget did not get taken care of. Completely different situation.

  85. 85
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Spaghetti Lee: 2014 will be a down year for Democrats for the simple fact that a lot of Democrats can’t be bothered to vote if Obama isn’t on the ticket and/or the Vaunted Obama Election Year Ground Game isn’t out there hounding people to the polls. You solve that issue and you will.have a permanent Democratic majority SNAP.

  86. 86
    JustRuss says:

    @mdblanche: I work at a large research university, and all over the news now is how big a hit we’ll take thanks to the fiscal cliff. Some of it’s the usual media fear mongering, but I expect there’s something to it. Still, compared to the Simpson-Bowles alternative, I don’t see another option

  87. 87
    Tonal Crow says:

    Two words, Mr. Boner:

    Meep-meep!

  88. 88
    gelfling545 says:

    @redshirt: Can we just acknowledge that unless we get out the old tarot deck we don’t really know what a winning position in 2014 will look like? How many people in 2010 thought that the President would have the upper hand in 2012? Better just to do the right thing as far as possible & not try to read the omens just yet. Over the last 4 years the GOP accused the President of everything up to &, in some cases including, treason yet he was re-elected comfortably.

  89. 89
    Gian says:

    As far as I can tell the GOP members who still have some notion of reality are trying to make a deal

    the others, not so much. they have the House and all taxes go through that body and therefore they are convinced they have all the power. because they have the power to not do anything – or to pass their own bill.

    I fully expect a house GOP bullshit bill to be proposed in the next couple of weeks, with every tax cut the grover grovelers have ever gotten a Koch email about in it.
    and the middle class ones too.

    when it goes nowhere they will run on it in 2014. I expect the fight between the reality based guys and the nutters to be quite intense. the nutters just don’t get that they lose it all if Jan 1 hits, and they think they can leverage the debt ceiling again.

  90. 90
    LD50 says:

    @Felonius Monk:

    And what the hell is this “impeachment” shit? Impeachment for what—- being black? I’m sure that will fly.

    I suspect they’ll say it’s for Benghazi. But to 73% of the public, it’ll just be more “oh, okay, the GOP always tries to impeach Democratic presidents when they lose elections. Here we go again.” Look at the wonders that did for Newton Leroy Gingrich’s career.

  91. 91
    mdblanche says:

    @General Stuck: I never watch cable news, I just talk with people around my workplace. We somehow seem to have become the hostage that needs to be ignored. We already knew one party wanted to burn us down, and now the other says something has to give. I wonder if voter turnout around here in 2014 will be low or very low.

    @JustRuss: Unless the NIH is getting in on the fear mongering, I know there’s something to it.

  92. 92
    General Stuck says:

    @mdblanche:

    Well, what would you have us do? Ask Barack Obama to resign and let the wingnuts run things? I missed the first part of your comment before, and I do have sympathy for anyone losing their job. If it is the sequester that is affecting you, I do think there will be some adjustments to that from both sides, especially some of the mil cuts, and vital research maybe.

  93. 93
    mclaren says:

    Impeachment for being uppity, that’s what for. Obama has got a chainsaw between the Repubs’ legs, and now he’s revving it.

    I’m gonna think positive on this one. Could be Obama was giving the appearance of being a mealymouthed right-centrist until he got re-elected, then he casts off the center-right rhetoric and rams it to the far-right fanatics hard.

  94. 94
    Brachiator says:

    @redshirt:

    You’re correct, but it’s also kind of semantics. And Republicans most Americans don’t do semantics.

    The public gets it. This is why they voted for Obama instead of for Romney and the Ryan Austerity Express.

    And “Bush Tax Cuts,” like “Fiscal Cliff” is lazy shorthand. Bundled in this little package are tax credits and deductions going back to the Clinton Administration.

    The funny and sad thing is that Obama wants to look for consensus and compromise when he doesn’t have to. He wants to let the Republicans up easy.

    But this shit might end tomorrow if Obama gave a speech that said, “The Republicans want to keep tax cuts for the rich so they can buy six mansions. Then, they want to tell you that your mortgage interest deduction should go away to raise revenues. They want to keep tax cuts for the rich when they sell their stocks, and then tell you that the modest credit you get for paying for daycare for your kids is too extravagant.

    I have in my hand a letter from the acting head of the IRS begging the Congress to resolve this now to make sure that taxpayers won’t see any delays in getting their refunds for 2012. If we don’t take care of this now, 60 million middle class taxpayers may not even be able to file their tax returns until March 2013. And the middle class and working poor will suffer every day that the GOP refuses to accept my fair and balanced proposals. And why is the GOP doing this? So that the richest 1% can continue to get tax breaks that even the GOP leadership agreed was supposed to be temporary.”

    The problem ain’t semantics.

  95. 95
    mdblanche says:

    @General Stuck: I don’t know what to do. Maybe there’s nothing that can be done. But if that’s the case, just don’t be surprised should the Democrats come out of this with some political damage.

  96. 96
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: He did follow this strategy last time. Until Senators who were up for reelection cried and begged him not to put them in a position where taxes had just gone up. And the Senators who did that included Barbara Boxer and Russ Feingold.

  97. 97
    Brachiator says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    Just to keep a little perspective here, Obama could have done the exact same strategy last time the Bush tax cuts were set to expire. I know you Obots get giddy when he finally does something your progressive betters suggested long ago.

    Not true. Not true at all.

    In part, the deal was done to save the extension of unemployment benefits and to get some mild stimulus in the form of the payroll tax cut. No Democrat was willing to say “sorry, you jobless losers, your safety next needs to expire. Yes, you will get fucked, but we need to fuck the rich harder.”

    Self-proclaimed progressives are not anyone’s betters. The worst of you bleat about letting the Bush Tax cuts expire so the rich will pay more, but you are either totally ignorant of, or don’t care about, the expiring tax benefits that might see the working poor ground into the dust if they are not maintained or extended.

  98. 98
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Someone needs to at least ask the next Republican d-bag that frets about the so-called fiscal cliff if Republicans are now FOR government stimulus spending and Keynesian economics after demagoguing it for the last four years.

  99. 99
    Brachiator says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    You solve that issue and you will.have a permanent Democratic majority SNAP.

    You don’t need a permanent Democratic majority. You need to break the back of the Tea Party and conservative Republicans and Democrats. And you need to fucking govern instead of reacting like a goddam political junkie, moaning that you need one more election before you can get off your ass and try to o something.

    Did Dubya get his tax cuts via a Republican majority in both houses of Congress? Or did he say “Give me what I want?” and expect people to fall in line?

  100. 100
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @FlipYrWhig: And there can be the same pleas today, depending on the desired outcome. Very little has changed, including the possible damage from appearing to have raised taxes . Likewise, last time around the same awesomest ever 11 dimensional chess political upside was there for the taking.

  101. 101
    Groucho48 says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    The last time, Rs had Ds over a barrel because they were holding the debt limit thing hostage and it was a lame duck Congress that was going to be flooded with Tea Partiers in a month. So, Obama traded extending the tax breaks in exchange for unemployment extensions and a few other things. Was probably about as good a deal as could be gotten, considering the circumstances.

    This time, Obama has Rs over a barrel. If nothing is done, all the tax cuts expire and sequestration will make a LOT of military spending go *poof*. And this is a lame duck Congress which will be moving slightly to the left when the new Congress comes in.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the Rs had Boehner fall on his sword, take responsibility for making a deal with Obama, and step down from the Speakership in the new Congress. In return, he’ll get a ton of wing nut welfare and a platinum golf pass, good for week ends of golf at any country club in the U.S.

  102. 102
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Brachiator: I don’t accept your overwrought characterization of the working poor being “ground into dust” any more than I buy into the fiscal cliff nonsense. I think we could prolly do without the hype.

  103. 103
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: We’re talking about a lot of different moments of negotiation on this thread, but the big difference between the 2010 one (when The Bush Tax Cuts were going to expire) and this one is that in 2010 an election was coming up, and in 2012 an election just happened. It’s possible that risk-averse Senate Democrats learned their lesson. We shall see.

  104. 104
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Brachiator: I don’t see any way to get Obama on the ballot every two years so your solution will have to work.

  105. 105
    Michael says:

    Going over the fiscal cliff and never coming back would be disastrous. But going over the fiscal cliff and then passing a middle class tax cut and shoring up the spending 3 weeks later will have basically zero negative impact on most peoples lives. Their take home pay will drop very marginally for 1 or 2 paychecks and that’s it. That adds up if it’s permanent, sure. But it’s a nonissue if it’s for less than a month.

    And once we go over the “cliff”, the Seate will pass Obama’s plan and then Reid and Obama will go out every single day and say, we passed this middle class tax cut and extension of unemployment benefits etc etc, ad the ONLY impediment is Republicans in the House.

    You really think the GOP will hang themselves like that for 2 years? And that the DEMS will pay a price for it?

    There are 2 types of people scared of the fiscal cliff: people who don’t understand it, or people who understand it and stand to lose once Dems gain such a strong bargaining position. Don’t let yourself be trolled by other group

  106. 106
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @FlipYrWhig: I’d argue the point further but I am typing on a freaking phone so we’ll have to agree to let you be wrong. ;)

  107. 107
    trollhattan says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    Fiscal Cliff Clavin, MOTY!

  108. 108
    amk says:

    @👽 Martin: Whoa indeed. Hopefully we have seen the peak wingnut in Nov 2012 and will start the new year with some sanity ?

  109. 109
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: I still have my 2006 vintage flip-style cellphone. To send a text I practically have to turn a crank.

  110. 110
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Me too. Until a week ago. Now I’m hip, go to Starbucks and hang out at the Genius Bar. I even set up a Twitter account. They have an app for that ya know.

  111. 111
    Brachiator says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    I don’t accept your overwrought characterization of the working poor being “ground into dust” any more than I buy into the fiscal cliff nonsense. I think we could prolly do without the hype.

    This is because the only thing you know is some broad category called “Bush Tax Cuts.” google expiring 2011 tax provisions and expiring 2012 tax provisions.

    If absolutely nothing were done and all the tax provisions were allowed to expire, the working poor would see deep reductions in the Earned Income Credit, the Additional Child Tax Credit and the Child and Dependent Care Credit. Education credits, which help both the working poor and the middle class would evaporate. The Democrats have already agreed to make it harder for working immigrants to claim the child tax credit for 2012. Not 2013, 2012.

    Both the head of the fed and the IRS commissioner have warned Congress about the bad shit that will happen if the don’t act. What, exactly, do you know that they don’t.

    This is old news that has been circulating on every tax and accounting site for months. The sad thing is that there are a lot of so-called progressives who are McCardle level stupid when it comes to understanding the tax code and the impact of this stupid wrangling on real people.

    And worst of all, I have said before and say again, there are too many self-styled progressives who claim to want to protect the poor, but who leave them out to dry because of their well intentioned ignorance and misplaced focus on Beltway bullshit.

    Oh yeah, if Congress does absolutely nothing, saps with home foreclosures will get the shit kicked out of them because of the expiration of the Mortgage Relief Act. Can they send you their tax bill?

    But let’s make this even more real. Would you accept a compromise that kept some substantial tax breaks for the rich in order to retain tax breaks for the working poor? A very shitty deal. But would you take it, if it came down to that?

  112. 112
    Brachiator says:

    @Michael:

    Going over the fiscal cliff and never coming back would be disastrous. But going over the fiscal cliff and then passing a middle class tax cut and shoring up the spending 3 weeks later will have basically zero negative impact on most peoples lives. Their take home pay will drop very marginally for 1 or 2 paychecks and that’s it. That adds up if it’s permanent, sure. But it’s a nonissue if it’s for less than a month.

    You have a partial point if the delay is only one month.

    You also have to factor in the possibility that 2012 tax filing would be delayed until as late as March 2013 for up to 60 million people if the Congress does not pass some compromise tax legislation by the end of this year.

    Only thing is, not even Nate Silver would guarantee that a deal will be done by the end of January.

  113. 113
    priscianusjr says:

    @redshirt:

    If Team Obama doesn’t care about re-election (true of course), then why do you frame it as a political situation?

    Maybe because there’s more to politics than just elections.

    However, yes of course, what about the re-elections, or not, of all these a-hole republican representatives and senators?

  114. 114
    priscianusjr says:

    @redshirt:

    I know the Senate passed a bill to lower the taxes of everyone under 250K, but the House won’t pass that.

    Correction: the REPUBLICANS in the House won’t pass that. Until they do, because the entire 99% will be on their ass every day until then. And that’s just the whole point. Get it now?

    And by the way, I don’t think the Senate has done what you say they did yet either.

  115. 115
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Brachiator: I’m optimistic all the good stuff can be put back into place and if not, more tax revenue is a good thing. People want shit, it has to be paid for. It doesn’t get easier to help the working poor if the debt continues to skyrocket. It actually gets harder. We’ve been on a ridiculous tax cutting tear for way too long and we all know everyone’s taxes have to go up to get the debt and deficit under control without painful cuts to important shit. It isn’t possible to do on the backs of the wealthy alone. If paying for important government shit is characterized as “grounding into dust” the working poor, we have already lost. We have met the enemy and they are us. If that makes us progressives cold hearted or whatever, so be it. But the alternative looks like a republican jonesing for the almighty tax cut and all the magical goodness it brings.

  116. 116
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    And I’m done now Biscuithead. If you wanna carry on further with me, pick a civilized hour.

  117. 117
    Brother Shotgun of Sweet Reason says:

    @mclaren:

    giving the appearance of being a mealymouthed right-centrist until he got re-elected

    IMHO he had to demonstrate to the voters that the Republicans were the problem, and the only way to do that was to be as accomodating as possible and get repeatedly shot down. So being a “mealymouthed right-centrist” was a key part in getting re-elected and cutting the legs out from under the opposition.

    Frustrating as hell to watch, but if that was the strategy, it appeared to have worked.

    There’s probably a non-Obot explanation, too. :-)

  118. 118
    priscianusjr says:

    @redshirt:

    – are we sure it’s not the Repukes who have the Dems in a corner? Cuz, what can the Dems do? Either they give away X, Y, and Z to Repuke demands, or they don’t, and pay for it electorally in 2014.

    You know, I’m beginning to think that perhaps you don’t understand politics very well. You wouldn’t be the first one.

    Hint: Its the Dems, not the GOP, that have the leverage. And they, unlike you, know that.

  119. 119
    Brother Shotgun of Sweet Reason says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    They have an app for that ya know

    An app? I think I have two. I can both send AND receive phone calls.

  120. 120
    Groucho48 says:

    @redshirt:

    Well, you see. Many of us think we should do this not just because of politics but because we think it is good for the country. If we are right, we will be seeing signs of it well before the 2014 elections.

    Especially if we can save entitlements. And, Obamacare will be fully operational starting in 2014. Plus the extended Medicaid.

    The right wing wave crested in 2010, with the Tea Party reaching its peak. That was the right’s fear-mongering last big thrust.

    “The Sea of Wingnuttery
    Was once, too, at the full, and round earth’s shore
    Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furled.
    But now I only hear
    Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar,
    Retreating, to the breath
    Of the night-wind, down the vast edges drear
    And naked shingles of the world. ”

    The Bush recession and tragic mishandling of two wars killed the right. It was able to rally around the horror of the Kenyan Usurper in the White House, but, people have now known Obama and family for 4 years and they haven’t forgotten what the right has done to this country. And, the social fear-mongery isn’t working all that well, either.

    This election, for the right, was like not quite reaching Moscow was for Napoleon (and Hitler). They both still had plenty of fight and we can’t ease up. But…now we have the momentum. The right is no longer our biggest problem. The MSM, the Village, concern trolls and appeasers in general are the problem.

    “Come senators, Congressmen
    Please heed the call
    Don’t block at the doorway
    Don’t block up the hall

    For he that gets hurt
    Will be he who has stalled”

    It’s morning in America, once again.

  121. 121
    ruemara says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: And this is why you are a fuckhead. From the poor to you, go fuck yourself.

  122. 122
    gene108 says:

    @burnspbesq:

    If he hadn’t flinched in 2001, and adopted the tax cuts via the reconciliation process instead of risking a filibuster in the Senate, those cuts would have been permanent, instead of having an expiration date.

    The first round of tax cuts were sold as a recession fighting stimulus measure and were considered temporary anyway.

    The second round that made the truly deep cuts passed the Senate with Cheney casting the tie breaking vote.

    The tax cuts wouldn’t have survived a filibuster to become permanent. They barely passed as it was.

  123. 123
    Alex S. says:

    I think I just discovered a secret business rule: The first offer during negotiations is always a threat.

  124. 124
    different-church-lady says:

    @redshirt: You’re still not getting me: “THEY RAISED YOUR TAXES!” bullshit might have worked before, say, the Fall Meltdown of the GOP brand. Today nobody accepts their BS at face value. They’ve got a long rebuilding process before they can pull of that kind of stunt again.

  125. 125
    different-church-lady says:

    @redshirt:

    and that’s my insecurity here – are we sure it’s not the Repukes who have the Dems in a corner?

    Pro fretter is pro.

  126. 126
    redshirt says:

    Some of you are hilarious.

    You still think we live in a world of “logic” and “reason”.

    Also, if someone brings up a contradictory point, they’re a concern troll, or stupid. Hilarious.

  127. 127
    different-church-lady says:

    @redshirt: Pro fretter is all-pro.

  128. 128
    xian says:

    @jrg: George Soros!

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