Norquist Strategy Executed By Obama CoS

Via David Dayen, Obama Chief of Staff Bill Daley echoes Grover Norquist:

The White House acknowledges that more cuts are needed beyond the spending freeze President Obama proposed, chief of staff William Daley said Sunday. Daley, in his first Sunday show appearance since taking office, said that the Obama administration understands that, if it wants to balance the budget, more cutbacks will be necessary beyond the five-year freeze in domestic discretionary spending the president laid out in his State of the Union address.

"It will take a tremendous amount more than that," Daley said on "Face the Nation" when asked if more cuts would be needed beyond the freeze. . . .] We all agree there must be cuts to this government. And again, you're going to see this president lay out a very substantial cut already."

(Emphasis supplied.) Apparently everyone agrees with the Norquist Strategy of cutting taxes and slashing government spending. Reaganomics Lives!

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    And WHO does Obama seek to emulate... (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Dadler on Mon Jan 31, 2011 at 11:16:06 AM EST
    ...for his "transformational" abilities?  Why Ronnie Reagan, of course.  

    And this is the Obama who just abhors partisan politics so much.


    For Obama to parrot righty myths about Cowboy Ronnie, Jaysus, what more do you need to see that this guy, on too many vital matters, is a complete phucking mess.  Inside and out.  His mind seems like it's the world's most refined mush.  

    What a disaster.

    please, let's have another photo op... (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Dadler on Mon Jan 31, 2011 at 11:17:16 AM EST
    ...where Obama is toting that Reagan biography that has been his second Bible apparently.

    Gag me.


    Really (none / 0) (#41)
    by chrisvee on Mon Jan 31, 2011 at 06:00:34 PM EST
    it's vomitatious.

    Haven't you heard? (none / 0) (#7)
    by jbindc on Mon Jan 31, 2011 at 12:13:14 PM EST
    Even Democrats are embracing St. Ronnie

    (at least, according to the American Spectator)


    Well, really, did we think we were (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by Anne on Mon Jan 31, 2011 at 11:29:52 AM EST
    going to get anything but Norquistian dogma from this administration?  

    Aside from it being impossible to cut spending and stimulate a weak economy, how is it not obvious that the more Daley and the rest of the brain trust keep talking about cuts and sacrifice and pain, the tighter Americans will be holding onto their wallets, spending less, decreasing demand, helping continue the downward spiral?

    I can hardly wait for the 11-dimensional chess devotees, and the this-is-all-part-of-moving-the-country-left contingent to provide us with more hilarity as they try to rationalize the Hooverization of America.

    And I had to see, on the op-ed page of my local paper, a piece by Gingrich and Jeb F'ing Bush about what a good idea it would be for states to be allowed to declare bankruptcy so they can get out of their union and other contractual agreements and obligations. From the op-ed:

    Second, as with municipal bankruptcy, a new bankruptcy law would allow states in default or in danger of default to reorganize their finances free from their union contractual obligations. In such a reorganization, a state could propose to terminate some, all or none of its government employee union contracts and establish new compensation rates, work rules, etc. The new law could also allow states an opportunity to reform their bloated, broken and underfunded pension systems for current and future workers. The lucrative pay and benefits packages that government employee unions have received from obliging politicians over the years are perhaps the most significant hurdles for many states trying to restore fiscal health.

    Words really cannot do justice to how sick and angry this is making me feel.

    And how (none / 0) (#28)
    by cal1942 on Mon Jan 31, 2011 at 02:38:31 PM EST
    terribly incorrect the reason they give for the crisis.

    Especially maddening in view of the other (none / 0) (#33)
    by ruffian on Mon Jan 31, 2011 at 03:00:19 PM EST
    thread on walking away from mortgages. The states coming up with their own new bankruptcy law to screw their public employees might just be the trigger those same employees in states like Florida need to decide to ignore their own so-called obligations.

    Reading between the lines of what (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by Anne on Mon Jan 31, 2011 at 12:30:00 PM EST
    is being said - and sometimes just taking the time to read what is right out in the open - it starts to become obvious that we are in for another round of Obama and the Dems "caving" to the GOP when they don't need to.

    Boehner and Chris Wallace have this exchange:

    WALLACE: I want to -- I know you're not threatening to default. But do you agree with administration officials and other economists that defaulting on the full faith and credit of the United States would be a financial disaster?

    BOEHNER: That would be a financial disaster not only for our country, but for the worldwide economy. Remember, the American people on Election Day said we want to cut spending and we want to create jobs. You can't create jobs if you default on the federal debt.

    Listen, there has been a spending spree going on in Washington these last couple of years that is beyond control, and if the president is going to ask us to increase the debt limit, then he's going to have to be willing to cut up the credit cards. We've got to work together by listening to the American people and reducing these obligations that we have.

    WALLACE: So, defaulting on the full faith and credit is unacceptable to you?

    BOEHNER: I don't think -- I don't think it's a question that is even on the table.

    So, if the GOP is taking default off the table, acknowledging that they will have to vote to raise the debt ceiling, why would Dems need to give them spending cuts in order to get them to agree to raise the debt limit?

    As David Dayen says in his post (bold is mine):

    Combine this with Bill Daley's suggestion that "everyone agrees" on the need for spending cuts beyond non-security discretionary freezes, and what emerges is a picture of the Obama Administration driving the discussion on spending cuts, and making bargains that they don't really need to make.

    As usual.

    Which brings us right back to what is becoming more and more obvious: this is the policy this president and this administration believe is (1) right and (2) he and they are willing to fight for.  We've seen this on every other major issue that resulted in conservative, warmed-over Republican policy and legislation.

    They may try to frame this as "we have no other choice," but it's no longer believable - to me, anyway - if it ever was, that Dems are unable to put the brakes on the steady march to the right, and "getting things done" and "working together" only make sense if the underlying policies are the right ones, and these aren't.

    If this isn't the policy Dems want, it's time for them to stop talking about it and do something.

    Honestly, if ever there was a president who needed a primary challenger from the left, it has to be this one.

    You just need to back off, missy! (none / 0) (#22)
    by jbindc on Mon Jan 31, 2011 at 01:54:38 PM EST
    So sayeth Rep. Stephen Lynch.

    Liberal groups need to stay out of Democratic primaries if the party is going to retake the House majority, according to a conservative Massachusetts Democrat.

    Rep. Stephen Lynch was one of several Democrats who faced an aggressive primary challenge from the left in 2010. His challenger Mac D'Alessandro, a former top official with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), received almost $300,000 from labor groups for his campaign.

    "There was a lot of money spent against Democrats by Democrats," Lynch told The Ballot Box. "That contributed to the scale of our losses."

    hah (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by CST on Mon Jan 31, 2011 at 02:05:32 PM EST
    that's a terrible example.

    Stephen Lynch won re-election in a landslide, and every other Democrat in MA won too.  The Dems swept the house races.  And I'd bet that if Mac D'Alessandro had won his primary, he would be representative from MA now too.

    In fact, I'd say races like that are exactly where we should be putting our money.


    But...but (none / 0) (#26)
    by jbindc on Mon Jan 31, 2011 at 02:21:22 PM EST
    Lynch survived his primary and was reelected in November, but several House Democrats who were targets of the left lost their reelection bids. For instance, the SEIU encouraged its members in Ohio's 18th district to "skip-a-Space" on their ballots and not vote for Rep. Zack Space because of his opposition to healthcare reform. The two-term Democrat was subsequently defeated by Republican Bob Gibbs.

    Liberal groups also targeted Alabama Democrat Bobby Bright because of his opposition to the healthcare reform bill. The group Blue America PAC spent almost $50,000 against Bright in the general election, according to records compiled by the Sunlight Foundation, a nonprofit watchdog group.

    And in New Hampshire, liberal groups helped Ann McLane Kuster defeat establishment-favorite Katrina Swett in a bruising 2nd district Democratic primary. Kuster went on to lose to Republican Charlie Bass in a tight vote.

    "I think if we had avoided that, we would have saved, maybe, six or eight more seats," said Lynch. "I don't think it would have stopped the overall result, but maybe six or eight seats" could have been held.

    Steve didn't apparently have to like to work for his votes!


    I don't think $500,000 (none / 0) (#37)
    by jeffinalabama on Mon Jan 31, 2011 at 03:35:31 PM EST
    would have made a difference in Bright's campaign. He was cooked when the tea party was still hot water. Alabama went so republican that no sane amount would have made a difference. Besides, his district had been republican for years before he was elected. The only choice was between a bat$hit crazy tea party republican or a conservative anti-abortion health-care-repealing republican.

    I think the district went with the second option because the tea party candidate was too liberal.


    Reading the LAT interview of Axelrod (none / 0) (#23)
    by oculus on Mon Jan 31, 2011 at 01:55:55 PM EST
    leads me to conclude Axelrod and the other prime movers in the admins. view the Pres.'s job as giving terrific speeches.  link

    No kidding (none / 0) (#29)
    by cal1942 on Mon Jan 31, 2011 at 02:47:02 PM EST
    It's been all about showbiz for decades now.

    Obama was showbiz from the start and his gushing followers bought it, hook line and sinker.


    Please (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Jan 31, 2011 at 12:47:20 PM EST
    Obama is now making me physically sick with his ineptness. I think I'm going to have to quit reading you BTD.

    I only wish (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Mon Jan 31, 2011 at 01:12:53 PM EST
    I only wish it was ineptitude.  Then it could be fixed.  This is ideology, pure and simple.  And IMHO, the situation will only get worse when he's re-elected and doesn't have to worry about the left at all.

    It's probably a tribute to just how (5.00 / 2) (#27)
    by Anne on Mon Jan 31, 2011 at 02:30:49 PM EST
    cunning Obama is that he still has people convinced that the reason the traditional Democratic agenda and philosophy can't be implemented is because he's inept; next time you're in the mood, look up "crazy like a fox," and I'm pretty sure there will be a picture of Obama next to it.

    No, this isn't about ineptitude, it's about the crafting of policy in service of several goals, most of which are not serving us at all well.  One is to secure his place among the real power elites - the moneyed class - and another is to fill the gaping hole in his psyche caused by his father's abandonment, by constantly seeking to please those that - like his father - don't want anything to do with him.  

    So, that's Obama's story - what's the excuse of the Dems in Congress who have the power and authority to act independently, but who are, for the most part, just nodding along, making sure they've memorized the lines handed to them by the administration?

    And the answer is, they want to keep their jobs, so they're answering to the higher authority of Corporate America, which wields a much heftier checkbook.

    We are fast becoming a people in service to the ruling class, which may be great for them, but sucks for us.


    Don't forget (none / 0) (#36)
    by mjames on Mon Jan 31, 2011 at 03:10:34 PM EST
    His mother abandoned him too. I'm not a psychologist, but ... .

    You'll (none / 0) (#30)
    by cal1942 on Mon Jan 31, 2011 at 02:52:44 PM EST
    also have to abandon your intelligence and all sensory capabilities to avoid the malady.

    But Reagan presided over a (none / 0) (#3)
    by inclusiveheart on Mon Jan 31, 2011 at 11:25:34 AM EST
    budget/deficit explosion, so if he wants to emulate St. Ronnie, he'd be doing the opposite of what he's proposing.

    What Reagan did was cut taxes (none / 0) (#6)
    by Buckeye on Mon Jan 31, 2011 at 11:54:24 AM EST
    primarily for the wealthy.  Lowering taxes and running huge deficits so that spending will "have" to be cut is the starve the beast Norquist stategy.  

    But he also spent big time. (none / 0) (#39)
    by inclusiveheart on Mon Jan 31, 2011 at 05:42:21 PM EST
    You understand don't you that the GOP assault on our government is a two-pronged effort.  The first is to cut taxes, the second is to make Democrats make cuts to pay for the tax cuts.  Democrats seems to take the bait every time, too.

    Remember when some reporter asked George Bush what he would feel about the effects of something he was doing decades from now?  Remember what Bush's response was?  He said something to the effect of "Who cares?  I'll be dead."  In other words, he felt no responsibility for the wreckage.  Bush had no problem pulling out the charge card during his tenure.  The reality is that between the economic collapse and the deficit, the GOP are thrilled to make the Democrats do the post orgy clean up - and to humiliate them by making them use a toothbrush when they should be using a freakin' pressure washer to do the job.


    yes. (none / 0) (#48)
    by Buckeye on Tue Feb 01, 2011 at 01:40:00 PM EST
    You understand don't you that the GOP assault on our government is a two-pronged effort.  The first is to cut taxes, the second is to make Democrats make cuts to pay for the tax cuts.  Democrats seems to take the bait every time, too.

    That was the point of my post.  The Reagan cut taxes and the GOP wants to use deficits as an end around to lower spending because they cannot do it directly.  It is too unpopular.  So they lower taxes, continue proclaiming that the problem with government is too much spending and not that people are not paying enough in taxes, until we are so broke people give up, cry uncle, and agree to spending cuts to "save our economy" from a profligate government.


    This is why I beleive Reagan was (none / 0) (#5)
    by Buckeye on Mon Jan 31, 2011 at 11:45:33 AM EST
    the most transformative President since FDR.  He changed the way Americans think about Government.  What he could not accomplish during his 8 years was done by successive Presidents because of this.  We are fast becoming a nation of a few winners and a whole bunch of losers (financially I mean).

    He was a helluva salesman (none / 0) (#34)
    by ruffian on Mon Jan 31, 2011 at 03:05:57 PM EST
    No one can deny that.

    In my dreams (none / 0) (#8)
    by CST on Mon Jan 31, 2011 at 12:14:41 PM EST
    this is a set-up to cut defense spending.  Although in fairness, those are gov't funded jobs too.

    Senator Pat Toomey (R.PA) (none / 0) (#11)
    by KeysDan on Mon Jan 31, 2011 at 12:28:14 PM EST
    has the answer.  In the event that the debt ceiling is not raised, he plans upon introducing legislation that would make payment on interest and loans to China, Japan and major financial institutions before paying obligations to US citizens.  Large checks would be cut to to foreign countries instead of paying out social security checks and military payrolls.  

    Makes one think of reincarnation (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by sj on Mon Jan 31, 2011 at 01:27:13 PM EST
    Roman Senators are back again.

    I hate these people.


    The Pay China First bill (none / 0) (#40)
    by caseyOR on Mon Jan 31, 2011 at 05:46:53 PM EST
    as it has been dubbed, would require that our foreign creditors step to the front of the line should the debt ceiling not be raised.

    Americans, the old and  the disabled and veterans, please step to the back.

    As is pointed out in this article from the SF Examiner, a default is a default is a default. So this bill will accomplish nothing in terms of protecting the USA's credit rating with the international community. Getting to watch vulnerable Americans gasping for survival would be the only reward for our corporate wh@res in Congress.


    Yes, but isn't it great (none / 0) (#43)
    by KeysDan on Mon Jan 31, 2011 at 07:24:34 PM EST
    to get some fresh views from these new tea party darlings?    Never thought I would miss old Arlen Specter.

    Revision of history (none / 0) (#14)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Mon Jan 31, 2011 at 01:07:46 PM EST
    ...cutting taxes and slashing government spending. Reaganomics Lives!

    Reagan increased both tax revenue and government spending.

    Tax revenue increased (none / 0) (#15)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Jan 31, 2011 at 01:12:10 PM EST
    in spite of the tax cuts, not because of.

    Bill Clinton REALLY increased tax revenues, and thus produced budget surpluses.

    Reagan, and Bush 43 afterwards, exploded the deficit by their tax cuts.


    In spite of or because of (none / 0) (#17)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Mon Jan 31, 2011 at 01:19:35 PM EST
    The fact remains that tax revenue increased, not cut.  The other fact that is overlooked is that the proportion paid by higher incomes increased.  

    Of course the wealthiest paid (none / 0) (#19)
    by Radix on Mon Jan 31, 2011 at 01:36:07 PM EST
    a higher percentage, because their percentage of total wealth increased.

    Since when did the US (none / 0) (#21)
    by me only on Mon Jan 31, 2011 at 01:48:53 PM EST
    federal government institute a wealth tax?

    It didn't, simple math. (none / 0) (#24)
    by Radix on Mon Jan 31, 2011 at 01:57:08 PM EST
    Since the wealthiest Americans saw their incomes go up, while everyone else, either remained the same, or went down, their percentage of taxes collected went up.

    Huh! (none / 0) (#31)
    by cal1942 on Mon Jan 31, 2011 at 02:54:52 PM EST
    Reagan reduced percentages on the wealthy.  When  he left office the top marginal rate was a paltry 28%.

    Increase Much more (none / 0) (#20)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Jan 31, 2011 at 01:40:15 PM EST
    when Clinton raise taxes.

    Facts are stubborn things.


    Facts are stubborn things. (none / 0) (#42)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Mon Jan 31, 2011 at 06:25:51 PM EST
    No doubt about that.  However, whatever Clinton did or did not do in no way changes the fact that tax revenue was increased rather than cut during the Reagan administration.

    Likewise, federal spending was increased rather than cut during the Reagan administration.


    Of COURSE revenue increased (none / 0) (#44)
    by Yman on Mon Jan 31, 2011 at 08:11:20 PM EST
    After cutting taxes, Reagan raised taxes at least 7 times, including the largest increase since WWII and the largest corporate tax increase ever, all while stoking the economy with lots of government spending financed by debt.

    Why wouldn't revenue increase?


    Tax revenue (none / 0) (#45)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Mon Jan 31, 2011 at 08:29:23 PM EST
    was higher in every year of the Reagan administration than any year that came before.  

    "After cutting taxes"

    Is that so?  In which year of the Reagan administration was tax revenue cut?


    He cut "taxes" ... (none / 0) (#47)
    by Yman on Tue Feb 01, 2011 at 09:15:42 AM EST
    ... not tax revenue.  My point was that the wingers always love to cite Reagan's tenure as an example of how lower taxes=higher revenues.  While Reagan did cut taxes (particularly for the wealthy), he also then greatly increased taxes.  Couple that with an economy primed by large govt. spending (financed by debt), and it's little surprise that tax revenues increased.

    The phrase "cutting taxes" (none / 0) (#49)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Tue Feb 01, 2011 at 10:38:20 PM EST

    The phrase "cutting taxes" is ambiguous.  In can mean cutting tax rates or narrowing the tax base or it can mean cutting tax revenue.

    If the context is in relation to cutting spending, then it is reasonable to read "cutting taxes" as cutting tax revenue as spending and revenue are directly related in the resulting deficit or surplus.  


    Reagan increased taxes ... (none / 0) (#38)
    by Yman on Mon Jan 31, 2011 at 05:17:07 PM EST
    ... and rapidly accelerated deficit spending (which, of course, stimulated economic activity and increased revenues).

    After his 1981 cuts, he raised taxes in 1982 (the largest increase since WWII), then raised them again (gasoline tax) in 1983, then again in 1984 (mainly by closing business loopholes).  He raised them four times between 192 and 1984, then followed it up with the largest corporate tax increase in history in 1986.  In fact, he raised taxes at least 7 times.



    That's (none / 0) (#32)
    by cal1942 on Mon Jan 31, 2011 at 02:58:51 PM EST
    the 'Change' Obama was talking about.

    Changing the thrust of the Democratic Party to embrace Grover's plan.

    This time, William Daley (none / 0) (#35)
    by KeysDan on Mon Jan 31, 2011 at 03:07:59 PM EST
    stayed horizontal, but the rest of us fainted.

    this cannot be a surprise to those of you who (none / 0) (#46)
    by Bornagaindem on Tue Feb 01, 2011 at 08:34:43 AM EST
    supported the big O can it?