More On The Deficit "Bargaining"

E.J. Dionne notes:

Here is a surefire way to cut $7.1 trillion from the deficit over the next decade. Do nothing. That’s right. If Congress simply fails to act between now and Jan. 1, 2013, the tax cuts passed under President George W. Bush expire, $1.2 trillion in additional budget cuts go through under the terms of last summer’s debt-ceiling deal, and a variety of other tax cuts also go away.

Matt Yglesias writes:

Here’s the thing you should keep in mind about the long-term deficit. Under current law, the Bush tax cuts will expire. [. . .] There is absolutely no need to get even a single Republican to assent to this plan.

Absolutely everything you’ve heard over the past year or month or week about various “bargains” or deals flows from the fact that Democrats have taken this idea off the table.[. . .] This creates a crippling bargaining weakness for the Democrats. The Republican negotiating objective is low taxes, but the Democratic negotiating objective is bipartisan agreement.

(Emphasis supplied.) You don't say?

Matt Yglesias wr[ote in December 2010]:

The deficit is a problem only in the sense that the short-term deficit is currently too small. But this is one reason I’m surprised so many liberals are being so stinty in their praise of the recent tax deal. We’d just all been spending 12 months arguing that contrary to the conventional wisdom, short-term deficits should be smaller. We also spent a lot of time observing that conservative deficit-talk is fraudulent and all they care about is tax cuts for the rich. Then the Obama administration, after a year of fruitless austerity gambits, finally called their bluff. “Fine, you can have your deficit-increasing tax cut extension, but give me some other deficit-increasing stuff that my economists say has a higher multiplier than your tax cuts for the rich.” Now the deal is done, and for all the panels and commissions and all the money Pete Peterson’s spent the parties are coming together to make the deficit bigger.

This is all kinds of wrong.[. . .]

First, Yglesias thinks that progressive objections to the Bush tax cuts are based on concern for the short term deficit. Dead wrong. The concern is that extending the Bush tax cuts will lead to cuts in REAL effective stimulus - government spending. This is the "starve the beast" Norquist strategy. Pete Peterson is not going away. He was just quiet about TAX CUTS. When it comes time to cut spending, Pete Peterson will be back.

Second, over the longer term, The Deal will likely make the Bush tax cuts permanent, which will lead either to unsustainable deficits or, more likely, even deeper cuts in the social safety net.

Yglesias clearly has blinders on regarding this issue.

Blinders now off apparently.

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    Say... (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by Edger on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 11:06:40 AM EST
    It is not Obama's fault that even though he promised transparency there are still some people who are still unable to see through him.

    Obama is not incompetent, nor is he stupid. He has a history of setting very high goals for himself and of achieving the goals he sets out to achieve.

    He made it to President, after all. Incompetent and/or stupid people do not become President.

    If he keeps on getting the kinds of results he keeps on getting, it's because those are the results he was aiming for.

    Everything he's `accomplishing' he's accomplishing on purpose, because it's what he sets out to accomplish.

    On July 07 Doyle McManus published an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times on Team Obama's victory plan, analyzing Senior White House Adviser (the "brains" behind the president's 2008 campaign) David Plouffe's comments at a breakfast Wednesday, July 6, 2011, organized by Bloomberg news.

    McManus reported in that article that Team Obama sees four reasons they expect to win the 2012 election, and Plouffe's first reason seems unbelievably disconnected from reality, unless we assume it is Obama's intention to enable republicans policies and turn the country over to the plutocrats:

    First, Plouffe suggested, Obama has an opportunity to improve his standing among independent voters -- many of whom deserted the Democrats in the 2010 midterm election -- by working with Republicans toward bipartisan deficit-reduction measures.

    And on July 27...

    At a press conference held by members of the House Out of Poverty Caucus Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich), the second most senior member of the U.S. House, was pointed in his criticism of the White House regarding jobs and cuts to Social Security the President put on the table last week.

    "We've got to educate the American people at the same time we educate the President of the United States.  The Republicans, Speaker Boehner or Majority Leader Cantor did not call for Social Security cuts in the budget deal. The President of the United States called for that," Conyers, who has served in the House since 1965, said. "My response to him is to mass thousands of people in front of the White House to protest this," Conyers said strongly.

    --It Is Not Obama's Fault

    Plouffe shows that (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by jeffinalabama on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 01:11:17 PM EST
    he can see the Emperor's new clothes.

    I'm sure (none / 0) (#3)
    by Edger on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 01:18:20 PM EST
    the emperor would be a great guy to have a beer with...

    I want to know (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by cal1942 on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 01:26:49 PM EST
    whose brilliant idea it was that independent voters would cheer cuts to Social Security and Medicare.

    Well, for those misguided Independents (none / 0) (#5)
    by christinep on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 02:30:40 PM EST
    with Libertarian tendencies, the meat-axe to all social & government benefits may be what they profess to want. In no small part, that is the program of the father & son team...R. Paul.

    Really, there are a number of that category of Independents who call for all manner of "independence" and giving them back the ability to make their own choices as to supplementation (e.g., assuming they will have enought $$ to take care of themselves totally in later life) while, apparently, cutting all government, government-sponsored, & government programs that we know today. IMO, such Independents haven't figured out (for the most part) that this hard drive for "independence" & getting all the authorities out of everything would deprive them of a good part of their support as well. It is short-sighted...but, that seems to be where it is.


    Please (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by cal1942 on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 11:43:32 PM EST
    You're making the same miscalculation the Obama team's making OR you're an Obama apologist or shill.

    Independents, the great bulk of independents, are by no means ideological.

    I know many independents and not one of them is ideological.  Anecdotal you may charge but in my experience and judging by past election demographics, independents are usually very confused people who're often not able to connect the dots let alone possess ideological fervor.

    If independents are as you say then tell me why they didn't overwhelmingly support Republicans in the 2006 elections after Bush promoted Social Security privatization.


    Perhaps I was unclear, cal (none / 0) (#7)
    by christinep on Sat Nov 19, 2011 at 12:55:20 PM EST
    My reference to a certain type of Independent is based upon the type--identified by every major pollster over the years--that really identifies with the Repubs. That type of so-called Independent has an attraction to the "rugged individualism" talk, etc....that type of Independent may well be, then (my surmise), attracted to the R. Paul kind of blather.

    My understanding is that it has been estimated that a third of Independents fall into the closer-to-the-Repub side in voting practices. As for another third, that group is genuine swing voter group. As you indicated, many Independents are non-ideological. My perceptions tho--based on knowing a number of self-proclaimed Independents who are truly swing voters--is that these individuals are swayed substantially by one appearing to occupy the middle. Of course, that comment is one that has been debatable for years...no proving, no disproving yet...only the observation that the genuine swing voter group tends to swing as a group in each election cycle.

    BTW, no need to cast me as a shill because I say something with which you do not agree. I have made no secret of my Democratic party affiliation. Still, we can respect each other, I'm sure.