The Deal And How Grover Norquist Has Won


The current funding law expires March 4th and lawmakers are attempting to reach a short-term deal before leadership works out a more permanent resolution. [. . .] On Saturday the House passed a Republican measure to cut federal spending by $61 billion below current levels, which is $100 billion below the president's budget request for 2011 that was never enacted.

[. . .] Schumer said Democrats already agreed to $41 billion in cuts below the president's 2011 budget request which is roughly the same as 2010 levels and are now preparing "an emergency stop-gap measure to keep the government going so there's not a shutdown." "What we're proposing is that for a short time a couple of weeks we continue that $41 billion level while House and Senate negotiators come up somewhere in the middle," he said. "We are saying, 'Negotiate,' and they're saying, 'Do it my way' before any negotiations even begin."

Cut taxes on the rich in December 2010. Then cuts government services to all other Americans in March 2011. Congratulations Grover Norquist! You're the big winner! Now let's see how much you have won . . .

Speaking for me only

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    What Grover wins... (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by smendler on Mon Feb 21, 2011 at 05:24:56 AM EST
    Future historians, when detailing the reasons for the collapse of the American Republic, will point at least one finger squarely at GROVER NORQUIST.

    Bah..Reagan towers above (none / 0) (#3)
    by observed on Mon Feb 21, 2011 at 05:39:19 AM EST
    the rest. He successfully sold conservative insanity to everyone, apparently.

    Reagan raised taxes...a lot. (none / 0) (#9)
    by Buckeye on Mon Feb 21, 2011 at 08:09:12 AM EST
    He cut them big in 1981, and rolled them back year after year until he left.  He also raised payroll taxes.

    BTD is going too far.  Norquist won this battle.  But for Norquist to win the war (by that I mean balancing budget and solving America's pending debt crisis with spending cuts alone), we are going to have to take a big chunk out of Medicare, SS, and defense.  That absolutely will not happen.


    Reagan lowered the taxes (none / 0) (#13)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Feb 21, 2011 at 09:57:51 AM EST
    that everyone understands.

    Here are the FIT tables.


    I do not care what people do or do not (none / 0) (#20)
    by Buckeye on Mon Feb 21, 2011 at 10:57:42 AM EST
    understand.  Federal tax revenues as a percent of GDP were 18.9% in 1980 and 18.1% in 1988.  Not much of a difference.

    Well, you can not care (none / 0) (#38)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Feb 21, 2011 at 04:22:42 PM EST
    and you may quote numbers.

    But people saw their FIT rates go down and the economy recovered.

    Maybe we should try some more of that.


    I do like to quote numbers. (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by Buckeye on Mon Feb 21, 2011 at 06:49:24 PM EST
    I like my arguments, apparently unlike you, to be data driven and supported by facts.  I know they are stubborn things, but facts are facts.  Taxes were not dropped substantially under Reagan, regardless of what you would like to believe otherwise.

    I like my arguments to (none / 0) (#47)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Feb 21, 2011 at 07:05:53 PM EST
    be backed up by links to reputable web sites, which I did.

    And if you think that people don't remember him cutting the FIT then you are wrong.

    BTW - Please note that I never said that he did not raise some taxes. Please be factual.


    You do not understand the point of this (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by Buckeye on Tue Feb 22, 2011 at 06:08:51 AM EST
    thread at all.

    First, I never said I thought people don't remember him cutting taxes (FIT or whatever).  Please read the posts you respond to carefully.  I am saying it does not matter whether or not people remember the offsetting increases.  They still happened.  There are people that remember Obama being a Muslim...does not make it true.

    Second, you like links to reputable web sites?  Okay, how about this one from CNN Money.

    My favorite quote:

    Reagan's behavior might not pass muster with those voters today who insist their Congressmen treat every proposed tax increase as poisonous to the republic.

    "By today's standards, the Gipper would easily qualify for status as a back-stabbing, treacherous RINO [Republican in Name Only]," wrote Tax Analysts contributing editor Martin Sullivan, in an article for Tax Notes in May.

    Another one:

    In 1983, for example, he signed off on Social Security reform legislation that, among other things, accelerated an increase in the payroll tax rate, required that higher-income beneficiaries pay income tax on part of their benefits, and required the self-employed to pay the full payroll tax rate, rather than just the portion normally paid by employees.

    Reagan "taxed the rich!!!!!"

    People on the right have many blind spots with Reagan.  His tax policy is one of them.  Reagan did more than "raise some taxes."  Tax receipts as a % of GDP was essentially the same when he left office than when he arrived.  That is the point of this thread.  How much did Reagan contribute to the present day misalignment between taxes and spending that many on the left blame him for?  I think very little.  Reagan made the tax system more regressive in some areas, and more progressive in others.  But overall, Reagan's tax policies are overrated by both sides.


    The FIT tables ... (none / 0) (#23)
    by Yman on Mon Feb 21, 2011 at 11:12:09 AM EST
    ... are not the sole measure of raising or lowering taxes.  Reagan did indeed cut taxes in '81, then raised taxes (at least) 7 times, including the largest tax increase since WWII and the largest corporate tax increase ever.  He also raised the gasoline tax - one of your favorites.  The wealthy, of course, who had their top rate cut from 70% to 28%, made this trade happily.

    He also raised payroll taxes. (none / 0) (#26)
    by Buckeye on Mon Feb 21, 2011 at 11:39:25 AM EST
    The Greenspan commission also put together by Reagan indexed the cap on SS so it went up with GDP growth.  The goal was to keep 90% of income eligible for the Tax (under the cap).  This did not happen due to the growth in inequality of earnings and that a higher percentage of income earned is capital gains or dividends (do not contribute to payroll taxes).  Raising the cap was a "tax the rich" maneuver that the right now views as a pejorative.

    If Reagan were President know, I bet you he would raise payroll taxes and raise the SS cap.  


    And this is why (none / 0) (#27)
    by NYShooter on Mon Feb 21, 2011 at 12:09:09 PM EST
    the Democrat's campaign slogan should be, "are you better off today than you were before the Republicans cut taxes for the rich?"

    Gasoline taxes are one of my favs??? (none / 0) (#39)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Feb 21, 2011 at 04:24:23 PM EST
    Where in the world did you get that idea????

    Point remains. FIT rates went down. That's what people remember.


    That was sarcasm, Jimmy (none / 0) (#42)
    by Yman on Mon Feb 21, 2011 at 06:02:48 PM EST
    You're the one who's always complaining about the price of gas being too high.

    ... and the fact remains that Reagan raised taxes many times after the initial cut, although it was a great trade for anyone in that 70% bracket.


    What does Reagan raising gasoline (none / 0) (#46)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Feb 21, 2011 at 07:02:57 PM EST
    taxes 25 plus years ago have to with the fact what people remember is that he lowered their FIT.

    And the answer is.... Nothing!


    YOU raised the issue, Jimmy (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by Yman on Mon Feb 21, 2011 at 07:55:22 PM EST
    You seemed to think that he cut taxes 30 years ago was relevant.  I was introducing some facts to your fairytale by pointing out that he repeatedly raised taxes very quickly after the initial cuts.  Suddenly, you think it's irrelevant and old history.

    Big surprise.

    BTW - You're hardly the arbiter of what "people remember".


    No, Yamanny, Buckeye raised the issue (none / 0) (#56)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Feb 21, 2011 at 11:27:56 PM EST
    I merely pointed out that the tax cut that people remember is the FIT cuts because that is the one that people have the most exposure to.

    I haven't changed.

    But why are you still disagreeing? I never said he hadn't raised them.

    And yes, I'm as good an arbiter of what people remember as the rest around here. Perhaps more so since I lived through more of it.

    BTW - I took all the tax savings from commissions I was paid and invested them.


    Actually, you did no such thing (5.00 / 1) (#65)
    by Yman on Tue Feb 22, 2011 at 08:42:40 AM EST
    I merely pointed out that the tax cut that people remember is the FIT cuts because that is the one that people have the most exposure to.

    Initially, all you claimed was he "lowered the taxes that everyone understands".  You later revised it to claim that it was the one that "people remember".  Then you tried to dismiss Reagan's tax increases as old history, despite the fact that they're more recent that his tax cuts that you're praising.

    Either way, the marginal rates are not the only taxes that "people understand" or "remember".  The gas tax is not a difficult concept for most people.  Nor are payroll taxes ... or corporate taxes for that matter.  

    Guess it depends on how well you were educated.


    So I was correct both times. (none / 0) (#69)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Feb 22, 2011 at 10:14:45 AM EST

    Only "both times?" (none / 0) (#72)
    by NYShooter on Tue Feb 22, 2011 at 10:52:55 AM EST
    Like they said about the stunted man-child, Bush 43, "he makes his own reality,"

    You will always be right :)


    Thanks ... (none / 0) (#73)
    by Yman on Tue Feb 22, 2011 at 12:00:41 PM EST
    ... for answering my last question.

    BBTW - It wasn't just gasoline taxes ... (none / 0) (#50)
    by Yman on Mon Feb 21, 2011 at 07:57:18 PM EST
    ... that he raised.  He raised lots of taxes.  I just pointed out the gas tax because it's one of your pet peeves.  :)

    It's not all the Federal marginal rates, PPJ (none / 0) (#51)
    by Harry Saxon on Mon Feb 21, 2011 at 10:44:33 PM EST
    The ATM increased taxes for many more taxpayers than before:

    Another recent critique of Reagan's policies stem from Tax Reform Act of 1986 and its impact on the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT). The tax reform would ostensibly reduce or eliminate tax deductions. This legislation expanded the AMT from a law for untaxed rich investors to one refocused on middle class Americans who had children, owned a home, or lived in high tax states.[42] This parallel tax system hit middle class Americans the hardest by reducing their deductions and effectively raising their taxes. Meanwhile, the highest income earners (with incomes exceeding $1,000,000) were proportionately less affected, thereby shifting the tax burden away from the richest 0.5% to poorer Americans.[43] In 2006, the IRS's National Taxpayer Advocate's report highlighted the AMT as the single most serious problem with the tax code.[44] As of 2007, the AMT brought in more tax revenue than the regular tax which has made it difficult for Congress to reform.[43]

    They keep patching the AMT every year, but it still has yet to be fixed permanently.

    Click or Wiki Me


    Can you link to any complaints (none / 0) (#57)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Feb 21, 2011 at 11:29:29 PM EST
    that I have made about the gasoline tax?

    That sound you just heard (none / 0) (#59)
    by Harry Saxon on Tue Feb 22, 2011 at 04:53:40 AM EST
    was the supersonic boom of the point going right by PPJ's head.

    Sometimes I think the obtuseness ... (none / 0) (#63)
    by Yman on Tue Feb 22, 2011 at 08:34:03 AM EST
    ... is purposeful.  Other times, ...

    ... not so much.


    If PPJ were ever honest with himself (none / 0) (#66)
    by Harry Saxon on Tue Feb 22, 2011 at 08:47:06 AM EST
    that would be a step forward.

    Unfortunately he doesn't have the self-awareness to realize when he comes to a conclusion and cites 'evidence' like the tax tables for the last few decades, thinking that it demonstrates that RR only cut taxes, never raised them, he thinks he proved something.

    Also, notice how there were 50% rates in the Reagan-era tax tables, but not in the recent rates?

    Me neither.


    Sorry, Jimmy (none / 0) (#62)
    by Yman on Tue Feb 22, 2011 at 08:32:32 AM EST
    But as you've whined about previously, linking to prior comments is against the rules.  But you can check your own comments for recent complaints about how the price of gasoline is too high (psssttt ... can you guess what tax is part of that price of gasoline?)

    Please don't remind PPJ (none / 0) (#64)
    by Harry Saxon on Tue Feb 22, 2011 at 08:41:23 AM EST
    of the rules around here. He never feels they apply unless he feels unfairly targeted by what he terms 'snark' by various commentators around here.

    It is a reasonable conclusion that someone who complains about the price of gasoline would dislike the taxes that add to the current price by more than a small fraction of the retail price.

    If they were honest and straightforward and not trying to blame politicians of a certain side.

    BTW, with Republicans in the House and the price of gas now going up, will PPJ ever cite their inaction in this early part of 2011 towards this problem as a reason to vote for the Democrats in 2012?


    What that means (none / 0) (#67)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Feb 22, 2011 at 10:08:13 AM EST
    is that you have nothing to link to.

    No need to link, Jimmy (none / 0) (#76)
    by Yman on Tue Feb 22, 2011 at 12:11:58 PM EST
    Simple logic.  You whine about the price of gasoline being too high.  Taxes are part of the price of gasoline.  You never actually deny opposing gas tax increases (such as Reagan's).  all of which is tangential to the main point, which is that Reagan increased taxes many times, a fact that you deem irrelevant and ancient history because it doesn't support your argument.

    The truth hurts, huh, Jimmy?


    Sorry, Ymanny (none / 0) (#68)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Feb 22, 2011 at 10:13:07 AM EST
    but you have nothing to link to re gasoline taxes.

    We all know that.

    BTW - You seem to forget that I have called for a national sales tax to pay for a single payer health care system.


    Congrats on that national sales tax (none / 0) (#75)
    by Yman on Tue Feb 22, 2011 at 12:07:21 PM EST
    Which has precisely what to do with the price or taxing of gasoline?

    BTW - Did you notice you never actually denied opposing increases in the gas tax?


    So what did norquist win? (5.00 / 3) (#8)
    by pluege2 on Mon Feb 21, 2011 at 07:58:41 AM EST
    One of the amazing things about the bottomless stupidity of republican/conservatives is that they don't even realize where their rapacious indecency leads. Suppose they got their dream and the government was eliminated tomorrow: no income taxes, no Social Security taxes, no Medicare taxes, no local taxes. All of that eliminated. Everyone took home pure income - no deductions. What republicans don't seem to realize is that their vaunted Social Darwinist race-to-the-bottom Capitalism system would NEVER let them keep what they think would be a windfall to them.

    Capitalism is all about the lowest cost provider. It eliminates waste such as the republican fantasy windfall.

    Capitalism is already paying republicans every cent of disposable income it is willing to pay them.

    So what did norquist win? Eliminating taxes (and hence the government services that they buy) does not allow one extra penny of disposable income to go to average Americans. ALL the money goes into the pockets of the plutocrats as it creates a modern day Feudal system of a few haves and masses of have-nots functioning as de facto indentured servants, among which will be plenty of republicans.

    So, let me get this straight... (5.00 / 3) (#10)
    by Anne on Mon Feb 21, 2011 at 08:34:50 AM EST
    on the one hand, we have the Congressional/Presidential brain trust cranking up a phony crisis (I'm so tired of trying to get people to understand that we aren't "running out of money" and that there is no requirement to pay down the debt or reduce the deficit - especially since doing so does NOT spur the demand that's needed in order to get the economy moving again, so I'm just sticking with "phony" crisis) in order to cut all kinds of funding/spending for things that will hit a significant portion of the population quite hard, except for the rich, whose wallets must, apparently, be protected at all costs - which the rest of us have to pay for - and so are not on the table...and on the other hand, we have the state and local budgets, many of which are required to be balanced, and are projected to be in even worse shape with reduced funding coming from the feds, so once again, the least among us get both the roundhouse right to the jaw AND the sharp stick in the eye.

    And no one is explaining how all this austerity is going to increase demand and create jobs.

    They can't, because they know it won't.  

    So, why is this happening?  What possible other outcome can there be at the end of this boneheaded strategy but to gut the government, to have a reason for why we can't afford things like energy assistance for the poor, or nutrition programs for women and children, community development block grants, and on and on.  

    I have yet to hear anyone in the mainstream media take the time to explore this whole issue; instead, this politician or that "expert" provides the media with talking points, and those talking points are dutifully delivered, without so much as a question or challenge.  There is no "other side" presented to explain why this is a manufactured crisis.  Not a one of them probably know the first thing about monetary theory and policy, what our government requires, which constraints are self-imposed and which are not.  Sure, we hear from those who will be affected, after which some somber news anchor delivers the punchline that, "yes, everyone's going to have to sacrifice."

    What has Grover Norquist won?  A front row seat in a luxury suite to witness the entrenchment of the oligarchy, the death of the middle class, the enslavement of much of the population to the service of the wealthy.  Who else got an invite?  The ghosts of Reagan and Hoover, the president, the Speaker of the House, the Senate Minority leader, Alan Simpson and Erksine Bowles, Peter G. Petersen, Paul Ryan, a large contingent of Blue Dog Dems and a whole slew of Republicans.

    Party on!  

    Adults in charge? (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by cal1942 on Mon Feb 21, 2011 at 10:15:16 AM EST
    Republicans don't understand just how childish it is to shut down the government.

    These are the people the media calls serious.  We're being governed and informed by moronic children.

    I remember the Young Republicans (5.00 / 3) (#18)
    by observed on Mon Feb 21, 2011 at 10:37:52 AM EST
    from the 80s---the people who are running the government now. They were stupid, arrogant and ill-informed then, but now they are even worse, because 30 years of sloganeering instead of thinking has left them mentally incapacitated.

    And I suspect (none / 0) (#24)
    by cal1942 on Mon Feb 21, 2011 at 11:37:42 AM EST
    a good many of them are pretty well off as so many of them came from well-to-do families in the first place.

    In other words clueless, with vision that doesn't extend past the end of their noses.


    Come now, Republicans (none / 0) (#35)
    by observed on Mon Feb 21, 2011 at 01:52:09 PM EST
    practice merit-based nepotism, as in "Last name Bush, Kristol? That's good enough!"

    The Democrats had control (none / 0) (#41)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Feb 21, 2011 at 04:33:02 PM EST
    of both houses and didn't pass a budget.


    Could it be that knew they were losing the House and wanted to blame the Repubs?

    The Repubs were elected to cut the budget. If the government gets shut down it will be the fault of Nancy, Harry and Obama for their 2010 failure.


    A little perspective on the lack of a (5.00 / 1) (#53)
    by Harry Saxon on Mon Feb 21, 2011 at 10:58:20 PM EST

    One Washington political analyst believes politics are at the heart of why the House will not pass a budget blueprint.  "If you pass a budget resolution, you are, in effect, ratifying a huge budget deficit," said Norman Ornstein, resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute .  "There's a fear that it would be used against you politically and a fear that you might find a majority (opposed)."  Ornstein said no matter what kind of resolution is eventually passed, "it's a given that no Republican will vote for it."

    Simpson, a member of the House budget committee, agrees.  "Speaker Pelosi simply doesn't want her members to be on the record as supporting what could be the largest federal budget in history, and she doesn't want them to be forced to explain themselves to their constituents before elections this fall."   Simpson said if a budget resolution were passed this year, it would show a deficit of about $1.5 trillion, and expose the effects of what he called "the reckless spending of the last several years, made drastically worse this year by passage of the budget-busting health care bill."

    Ornstein said there have been a few years since the passage of the Budget Act of 1974 that the House and Senate failed to come to terms on a joint budget plan, but each has always at least come up with their own blueprints.   "There have been occasions when the Senate and the House did not agree on budget resolutions," Ornstein said.  "The House has passed a budget resolution (every year), but it's not a congressional budget resolution until you get a concurrent resolution."

    Norman Ornstein is a resident scholar with the American Enterprise Institute

    Ornstein said the lack of a House budget resolution isn't the end of the world. "We used to fund the government perfectly well before the Budget Act, which set in place budget resolutions.  You're still going to have to have money appropriated through a legal process, which means you're going to have to have appropriations bills or continuing resolutions pass both houses of Congress."

    Politics to blame

    Could it be that knew they were losing the House and wanted to blame the Repubs?

    Yes, they could tell of their coming defeat even then.

    The Repubs were elected to cut the budget. If the government gets shut down it will be the fault of Nancy, Harry and Obama for their 2010 failure.

    Yes, just as Clinton got blamed for the shutdown in 1995................

    Another PPJ throwing blame on the "extremist Democrats".

    Why am I not surprised?


    The Republicans were elected (none / 0) (#58)
    by cal1942 on Tue Feb 22, 2011 at 01:50:26 AM EST
    because of the economy.

    Thanks to Obama's negotiating (none / 0) (#1)
    by observed on Mon Feb 21, 2011 at 04:49:55 AM EST
    skill,however, government services,like taxes, will not be cut permanently.

    Cut taxes on the rich in December 2010. (none / 0) (#4)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Mon Feb 21, 2011 at 06:19:26 AM EST

    2010 cuts?  The only significant change in tax rates from 2010 to 2011 was an increase in the estate tax from zero to 35%.  

    Other than that, the rates were almost completely unchanged.  


    That's right (5.00 / 3) (#5)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Feb 21, 2011 at 07:00:16 AM EST
    nobody had the balls to change the path to actual total destruction that George W Bush put us on.  With the Supreme Court he gave us, big money owns everyone.  I hope you Repubs are happy because now you have destroyed what your own currency is worth.  Soon you are going to have YOUR people rioting in the streets like the Middle East, and you won't get voted back into office in any sort of form that resembles what you have turned your own selves into until hell freezes over.  I care that you will hurt so many innocent people on your descent into the lowest putrid bowels of greed and insanity.  People are getting really hurt now, I don't for one minute think that the full story on how we got here is going to remain so unknown to the masses.  I don't care what happens to you in this, and soon a 1,000 Glenn Beck dry erase boards won't be able to hide what you have done or convince anyone that you are innocent of anything.  But please, roll around in your moments of glory while you can still come upon one.  The moments of glory are numbered from this point on and can probably be counted on two hands before total crash and burn.

    And the sad part is (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by NYShooter on Mon Feb 21, 2011 at 12:12:34 PM EST
    we are only at the threshold of the abyss of pain awaiting us.

    More Deceptive Crap (5.00 / 2) (#11)
    by cal1942 on Mon Feb 21, 2011 at 09:40:29 AM EST
    The Estate Tax was lowered.  The exemption  was increased and the top rate was eliminated.

    The Estate Tax hiatus was a one year deal set to expire and return to its original state.  Without the "DEAL" the exemption would go back to what it was, 1 million dollars and two rates, 35 and 55%.

    The Bush cuts were set to expire at the end of the 10 year horizon.

    The "DEAL" extended the tax cuts.

    In effect the "DEAL" lowered taxes.

    Deception, obfuscation and outright lies are the stuff of right-wing politics.


    This whole thread is one prime example (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by ruffian on Mon Feb 21, 2011 at 02:40:25 PM EST
    of how bad The Deal was. The 'Obama Tax Cut' is an 'in effect' sort of cut. If he was hell bent on maintaining some of the same tax rates Obama should have let the tax cuts expire and then enact his own targeted tax cut.

    You can not lower something (none / 0) (#14)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Feb 21, 2011 at 10:00:24 AM EST
    when when the "lowering" results in the same amount.

    Sunset jim (none / 0) (#16)
    by cal1942 on Mon Feb 21, 2011 at 10:19:38 AM EST
    The cuts were supposed to be temporary making the pre-Bush rates normal.

    The DEAL lowered the normal rates.

    And you well know why those cuts were set to expire in 10 years.


    Sorry but taxes never went up... (none / 0) (#17)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Feb 21, 2011 at 10:29:45 AM EST
    .....so I just can't believe that Obama lowered them.

    He agreed to extending the previously lowered levels.


    If you worked for me, (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by Buckeye on Mon Feb 21, 2011 at 11:10:15 AM EST
    and one year during your employment review, I said, "I cannot raise your salary 3% this year like we normally do, our company has a pay freeze in place this year due to a bad economy.  But hang in there, stay with us, and I will raise your salary next year by 6% and get you caught up."  Next year review comes and I tell you I am extending your current salary another year.  Sure, I did not "cut" your salary by definition, but that is essentially what I did.  You would walk out of that meeting pissed at me because you are making 6% less than you were supposed to.  The fact that I did not cut your pay would not matter to you.

    Obama did not cut from existing rates, but he kept tax cuts from sunsetting which is the same thing.


    Oh please, stop the parsing. (none / 0) (#40)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Feb 21, 2011 at 04:26:55 PM EST
    He agreed, after some arm twisting, to extend the Bush tax cuts.

    What are you talking about? (none / 0) (#44)
    by Buckeye on Mon Feb 21, 2011 at 06:47:14 PM EST
    Parsing?  The tax cuts were due to sunset.  Obama, whether his arm was twisted or not, did not let that happen.

    Yes they were due (none / 0) (#48)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Feb 21, 2011 at 07:08:40 PM EST
    to sunset.

    They never did sunset.

    They were never raised.

    Obama extended the Bush tax cuts.

    Before you can lower something it must be at a higher level than the new lower level.


    By extending them (none / 0) (#52)
    by Harry Saxon on Mon Feb 21, 2011 at 10:46:02 PM EST
    they were lowered compared to what would've happened if Obama had taken no action whatsoever.

    True (none / 0) (#55)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Feb 21, 2011 at 11:11:35 PM EST
    Obama extended the Bush tax cuts.

    But nothing was lowered because nothing was raised.


    Again, PPJ (none / 0) (#60)
    by Harry Saxon on Tue Feb 22, 2011 at 04:56:16 AM EST
    they were scheduled to go up, and they didn't, so they are lower than if Obama did nothing.

    If "ifs and buts were candy and nuts (none / 0) (#70)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Feb 22, 2011 at 10:19:01 AM EST
    we'd all have a merry christmas."

    Obama extended. He didn't lower.


    "It's the hit dog that barks." (none / 0) (#71)
    by Harry Saxon on Tue Feb 22, 2011 at 10:52:22 AM EST
    "Buts" and "nuts" (none / 0) (#74)
    by Yman on Tue Feb 22, 2011 at 12:02:56 PM EST
    The best part is, ...

    ... the irony was completely unintentional.


    That's the point,AAA (none / 0) (#7)
    by Harry Saxon on Mon Feb 21, 2011 at 07:47:17 AM EST
    They would've gone up if Obama hadn't agreed to the deal to let they stay down for 2 years along with extending the Bush taxcuts for the rest of us poor folks.

    You really don't know what you're talking about, do you?


    Harry (none / 0) (#12)
    by cal1942 on Mon Feb 21, 2011 at 09:54:24 AM EST
    He knows exactly what he's talking about in this situation.

    He hopes everyone has a short memory and forgets that the Bush cuts were set to expire, that those cuts were a grand deception.  The 10 year horizon was intended to hide the devastating loss of revenue that would radically increase the national debt if those cuts were continued after the sunset date.

    He's obfuscating.  A right-wing tradition.


    They would've gone up if (none / 0) (#25)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Mon Feb 21, 2011 at 11:37:44 AM EST

    They would've gone up if...

    That is the nub isn't it.  "Not going up" is not a "cut."  

    Some would say, that if rates stayed the same for ten years there would be ten cuts in tax rates.  That is just silly.  Likewise if you drive your car in a straight line, calling it a swerve to the passenger side because you did not swerve to the driver side is equally nutso.


    Semantics (none / 0) (#28)
    by Yman on Mon Feb 21, 2011 at 12:11:38 PM EST
    If your agreement with your employer calls for you to receive a pay increase every year, but your employer says your pay will stay the same this year, it's not "silly" to call it a "cut" - it's accurate.

    RE:AAA (none / 0) (#30)
    by Harry Saxon on Mon Feb 21, 2011 at 12:18:14 PM EST
    This is your brain on Fox News.

    Any questions?


    Could you imagine their reaction ... (none / 0) (#33)
    by Yman on Mon Feb 21, 2011 at 12:38:29 PM EST
    ... if tax rates were scheduled to decrease and Obama extended them at a higher rate than the scheduled decrease?

    There's no way they would call that a tax increase ...



    Fox News should be (none / 0) (#54)
    by Harry Saxon on Mon Feb 21, 2011 at 11:03:31 PM EST
    classified under the FDA rules as a schedule I mind-altering drug with no therapeutic use whatsoever.  

    If your agreement with your employer (none / 0) (#34)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Mon Feb 21, 2011 at 01:51:21 PM EST

    If its contractual, perhaps so.  However, comparing a contractual obligation to tax rates, which the government can change at its whim is a bit of a stretch.

    No one has a reasonable expectation of what the tax rate will be next year.  For that matter they might be changed for this tax year, although that is unlikely.


    It's not "at it's whim" (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by Yman on Mon Feb 21, 2011 at 06:11:37 PM EST
    The government can change tax rates by enacting laws, which is precisely what Obama agreed to in "The Deal".

    "No one has a reasonable expectation of what the tax rate will be next year.  For that matter they might be changed for this tax year, although that is unlikely."

    So if a Democratic President were to extend tax rates at a higher rate rather than a scheduled decrease, the wingers would not lose their minds over such a tax increase.



    Armando is back at Orange (none / 0) (#6)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Feb 21, 2011 at 07:06:30 AM EST
    Someone needs to tell since he isn't :)

    See last open thread. (none / 0) (#19)
    by oculus on Mon Feb 21, 2011 at 10:55:45 AM EST
    I thought there would be more of (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Feb 21, 2011 at 12:21:42 PM EST
    a formal announcement :)  But it's all good.  No reason to rile anyone up.  All that crap that went down though, and then factions formed and demonstrated without a doubt that "Armando" was NOT a Democratic guerilla element that would blow us all up. Other people really have designed and participated in guerilla blogging since then and have been tolerated.  That just pisses me off even more because those people were never about and have never been about promoting factual debate....just distortions that lead to horrible policy support :)

    And I heard some things from some other bloggers too about how "Armando" was a dangerous bad thing and they fed all that crap too.  That wasn't secondhand either, came right out of their mouths right in front of my face.  And I never ratted any of them out because what is the use, but if I had it would have been exactly what they deserve.  I feel better now.  I've had my vent.  I can now move on :)


    Trying to read between the lines. (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by oculus on Mon Feb 21, 2011 at 12:26:16 PM EST
    Have my theories and I'll bet you do too!

    It is sad to see our great (none / 0) (#21)
    by my opinion on Mon Feb 21, 2011 at 11:02:52 AM EST
    nation beginning the race to the bottom death spiral.  

    The Deal and The Damage Done (none / 0) (#37)
    by ruffian on Mon Feb 21, 2011 at 02:51:01 PM EST
    this thread needs some Neil Young.