Beltway: Obama Reluctance To Raise Taxes On Middle Class Impedes Deficit Reduction

Hilarious WaPo story:

President Obama's refusal to raise taxes for the vast majority of Americans [. . .] is making it difficult for him to achieve his goals for reducing the budget deficit, according to administration and congressional sources. [. . .]

"It's a tremendous letdown," said Maya MacGuineas, president of the bipartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. "The purpose of the fiscal commission is to give politicians cover to do hard things, to pull back from the promises they can't stick to and to be a game-changer that promotes the real policies we need to fix the situation. If the White House returns to the stale debate over untenable promises about what they won't do, then they're not even letting the fiscal commission help them."

Ha! Riiiight, OBAMA's reluctance to raise taxes on the middle class is the problem. Republicans are lining up to raise taxes. If The Deal proved anything, it was that, right? Sheesh. Where were these Serious People during The Deal debate?

This is possibly the stupidest article I have ever read. Of course, it represents the highest order of Beltway thinking and will lead to the conclusion that we need massive spending cuts.

Speaking for me only

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    Amazing how pieces of paper... (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Dadler on Fri Jan 14, 2011 at 10:49:11 AM EST
    ...and computer blips can so control our lives. We might as well be enslaved by giant imaginary possums.  The human relationship to money is so absurd and destructive as to be comical if it weren't so pathetic.

    Be generous.  Share. Don't be a selfish prick.  There is the key to the economic health of any people.

    Simple and yet impossible it seems.

    Again, pathetic.

    Raise Taxes (none / 0) (#2)
    by Saul on Fri Jan 14, 2011 at 10:53:45 AM EST
    will IMO only happen in Obama's second term if re elected.  To do it before 2012 would be political suicide. In 2012 he has nothing to loose.  Sometimes increasing taxes is the only option left.  Look what happen yesterday in Illinois  67 percent tax increase in state income tax.  Of course people will complain but in the end if it fixes their economy they will later thank the governor.

    How about not cutting taxes? (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by observed on Fri Jan 14, 2011 at 11:07:18 AM EST
    Oops, that ship sailed.

    Obama knew poltical realty (none / 0) (#6)
    by Saul on Fri Jan 14, 2011 at 11:34:41 AM EST
    that why he went along.  Again he IMO is buying his time to raise taxes if reelected in 2012 when he has nothing to lose.

    Obama "went along" because that (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by observed on Fri Jan 14, 2011 at 11:55:44 AM EST
    was his personal preference. He acted against the wishes of the majority of voters, with respect to the issue of taxing the rich.

    So (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Jan 14, 2011 at 12:07:03 PM EST
    you're saying it's more 11 dimensional chess?

    LOL - regardless of whether or (5.00 / 2) (#11)
    by inclusiveheart on Fri Jan 14, 2011 at 12:25:51 PM EST
    not it is, I think we can safely say that Obama hasn't really mastered the art of 11th Dimensional Chess if we are really to believe that he didn't want much of what has transpired to happen.

    11 Dimensional Chess (5.00 / 3) (#14)
    by jeffinalabama on Fri Jan 14, 2011 at 12:59:08 PM EST
    has turned into one-dimensional checkers with only red pieces on both sides. And it's still a no-win situation.

    I wish Obama had listened to the other (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by jeffinalabama on Fri Jan 14, 2011 at 01:00:21 PM EST
    Reagan, the one that said, "Just say no."

    What if (5.00 / 2) (#15)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Fri Jan 14, 2011 at 01:00:06 PM EST
    What if, when Obama is re-elected in 2012, he moves even further to the right because he has nothing to lose.....judging by his past behavior and the people he surrounds himself with, I think that's more likely.  

    Thing is that massive federal (none / 0) (#4)
    by inclusiveheart on Fri Jan 14, 2011 at 11:15:38 AM EST
    cuts will have their effect on the states - federal funding is largely funneled through the states - forcing the states to either cut services or to raise their taxes - any federal bite at the apple may be derailed or far smaller than it should be if it comes after a wave of states raising their taxes to cover for the lack of federal funding.

    Under this scenario the power goes to the states.  It will be interesting to see how much those local legislators really enjoy having that much power - read responsibility - when the anti-government and anti-tax amongst them face the existential crisis of "to be or not to be".

    The state politicians who rail against the federal government have enjoyed great cover for years as a result of federal dollars being poured into the states...  Their objections have been inconsequential until now.  If that flow is significantly decreased, their "blame the feds" mantra will only work for so long as people start to feel the effects of defunding of basic public services.


    Most states are broke too (none / 0) (#7)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Jan 14, 2011 at 11:48:19 AM EST
    Without federal aid....what now?

    They have to raise taxes or do (none / 0) (#10)
    by inclusiveheart on Fri Jan 14, 2011 at 12:23:23 PM EST
    without - that's my whole point - the state politicians will be on the front lines dealing with a more and more unhappy electorate - and this whole "shut the federal government down" mantra might not end up feeling like quite as an appealing political play as it once did to many of them.

    Yes, people are about to find out (none / 0) (#12)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Jan 14, 2011 at 12:28:55 PM EST
    what having no government is really about.  And in the end it will restore balance and sanity to conversations, but dangers will be experienced and likely people who didn't need to die will end up doing that as needed services are scaled back on all levels.

    I don't know that we can (5.00 / 2) (#13)
    by inclusiveheart on Fri Jan 14, 2011 at 12:57:05 PM EST
    count on a restoration of sanity and balance, necessarily.  I don't mean to be really negative, but the chances that it will send us into a tailspin that even our touted "American exceptionalism" can't save us from, are still very much alive.  We aren't the practical, hard working and innovative nation of people that we once were, imo.  All we as Americans really have to know how to do anymore is to drive to the nearest Wal-Mart to either sell or buy the vast assortment of Chinese goods that they have to offer...  We are "consumers" - our job is to "consume" - discouraged from actually making anything for so many years now - it will be hard to come back and figure it out when and if people return to the ideas of sanity and balance.

    Remember that kid in the book "Into the Woods" who decided to sell everything he owned and live off the land in Alaska?  I think most Americans are as unprepared for the hard work of rebuilding that we face - and as romantic about living the hard life as he was about going into that wilderness with basically no skills, experience or education - not to mention adequate supplies.


    I wonder (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Jan 14, 2011 at 01:12:45 PM EST
    My opinion reflects what we go through in this subdivision that once upon a time tried to become a gated community.  It was before we moved here when it was first built, and there was some kind of legal fight with the city because they tried to close to traffic and they couldn't but the fight broke in a strange way, you can't gate the roads shut but the police will not enter the subdivision unless called.  So we don't have any regular patroling of our neighborhood and it is a more affluent neighborhood with a lot of acerage and trees around houses and they get broken into all the time (except for mine with the big dogs that live here).

    It is very well known that the police can't patrol this neighborhood and the streets are open to common traffic, so the kids are always parked at the tennis courts or at the boat docks getting stoned or sparking...which I sort of think is okay too now that I have been exposed to Southern Cop mentality :)

    But the houses around here get robbed all the time because of the knowledge that we don't have any patrols.  Based on that, without adequate law enforcement I would think it is only a matter of time before crime becomes a more noticeable and serious problem.

    And if the health department had to scale back here I don't know what the heck would happen.  I have come to understand that they provide A TON of basic healthcare services to the poor and uninsured here....a crazy amount.  They have been plugging a huge gaping hole in the safety net and if they had to scale back I don't know what the poor and uninsured of Coffee County are going to do.


    Well, look back at what happened (5.00 / 2) (#18)
    by inclusiveheart on Fri Jan 14, 2011 at 01:32:56 PM EST
    to New York City in the 70s and to some degree other major urban centers.  Except this time, there won't be a lot of places to flee to that will be in much better shape.  It is going to be a bumpy ride for a lot of people - everyone - the more folks that are falling into poverty - the more crime will rise and if there aren't any police around to stop it - we will all be at greater risk - even if we have managed to stay financially stable by comparison.

    Except (none / 0) (#19)
    by jbindc on Fri Jan 14, 2011 at 02:54:41 PM EST
    (And counterintuitively),Most of those same "anti tax" crowd WANT the states to have more power.

    Yes, "more power" (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by Zorba on Fri Jan 14, 2011 at 02:58:29 PM EST
    as opposed to the federal government.  It goes back to the "states' rights" meme.  That doesn't mean, though, that they want to pay more state taxes, any more than they want to pay more federal taxes.  Where they think the money for state services will be coming from, I have no idea.  Maybe the lotteries.  ;-)  

    We could all (none / 0) (#21)
    by jbindc on Fri Jan 14, 2011 at 03:21:08 PM EST
    divert the same amount we are paying in federal tax to the state we are domiciled in, thereby giving the states more money, and voila! federal taxes are cut.

    To quote Lewis Black, "It's an il-LUUUUUUUU-sion!"


    I guess (none / 0) (#22)
    by jbindc on Fri Jan 14, 2011 at 03:21:43 PM EST
    the people who live in states with no income tax will see the biggest increase in state coffers!

    Everybody (none / 0) (#23)
    by Zorba on Fri Jan 14, 2011 at 03:53:53 PM EST
    wants something for nothing.  "Don't cut my programs!  Cut somebody else's!  But I don't want to pay for my programs!  Let somebody else pay!"

    Millions of Americans pay no (none / 0) (#5)
    by observed on Fri Jan 14, 2011 at 11:20:22 AM EST
    income tax at all, even though they work full-time or more. This is an outrageous injustice.
    Surely, Obama will see the virtue of making these "lucky duckies" pay their fair share!
    [This comment paid for by the ed. page of the WSJ]

    is ms. maya a mind reader? (none / 0) (#24)
    by cpinva on Fri Jan 14, 2011 at 08:57:29 PM EST
    "The purpose of the fiscal commission is to give politicians cover to do hard things, to pull back from the promises they can't stick to and to be a game-changer that promotes the real policies we need to fix the situation."

    i don't recall this being announced as the purpose of the commission, so how does she "know" this? if it was a secret reason, is she subject to treason charges, for publicing it?

    what i think its purpose is, is to (surprisingly) assert that only cuts to programs affecting the poor and middle class will be acceptable and necessary to reduce the deficit, to give cover to obama and the republican house.

    that's mere speculation on my part. i have no idea what their actual purpose is. but then, unlike ms. maya, i can't read minds.