House Passes Fiscal Cliff Bill

The votes on H.R. 8 are being tallied now. You can watch live here. So far, 7 Dems and 70 Republicans have voted against it. Right now it's at 122 to 75 in favor. They are voting on a motion to agree to the Senate Amendments.

Looks like it will pass. It's been running 50 votes ahead on the ayes. 10 Dems and 100 Republicans have so far have voted no.

Vote's over. It passed easily. Final vote was 257 to 167. 16 Dems voted against it. Here's the roll call vote.

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    A preview of things to come (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by MO Blue on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 02:43:13 AM EST
    Obama and the Dems compromise to the point where they adopt Republican policies that do not please the majority of the population. The legislation is passed with the majority of the Republicans voting no and the majority of Democrats voting yes. The Republicans campaign on voting to save everyone from Democratic policies.

    The taxes for ordinary Americans will go up this year because a temporary reduction in Social Security payroll taxes expired. How many people will only be aware that they are paying more taxes this year. I am willing to bet that we will be hearing non-stop that the Republicans voted against the Democratic tax increases to the middle class.

    Now that the rich have (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by KeysDan on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 09:41:29 AM EST
    taken their big hit, in the next round of the cliff series it will be the turn of the middle class, as newly defined,  to share in the sacrifice.   Chained CPI has been foreordained and it is just a matter of setting the bars on further means-testing of Medicare and additional restrictions on Medicaid.  However, since people of means have been newly set, for tax rate increase purposes, as those above $400,000/$450,000 per year, I assume that means-testing for the social safety net will be set at the same level.
    Armed with this re-assurance, as well as the president's vow not to negotiate over the borrowing limit, we are clearly heading for a balanced deal.  If you think otherwise, you are just the professional left as Robert Gibbs might say, or f.....g  ret....ds, the gilded endearment  Rahm Emanuel reserves for liberal critics

    Most remarkable (none / 0) (#62)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 01:06:28 PM EST

    The Bush tax rates have been made permanent for 98% of tax payers.  

    Yeah...real liberal...that Obama is some socialist (5.00 / 1) (#71)
    by ruffian on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 02:13:43 PM EST
    Bernie Sanders voted for this thing (none / 0) (#77)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 02:35:16 PM EST
    Let's keep some perspective here.

    I do have perspective (5.00 / 1) (#81)
    by ruffian on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 02:41:32 PM EST
    I understand the political position everyone is in. But unless you are calling GWB liberal on tax policy, this is not a liberal tax policy.

    That temporary reduction (5.00 / 6) (#24)
    by sj on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 09:56:06 AM EST
    in FICA was insidiously evil.  A rather brilliant stroke in the continuing efforts to undo the New Deal.

    sooooo true (5.00 / 1) (#72)
    by ruffian on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 02:14:11 PM EST
    Yep yep.... (5.00 / 2) (#63)
    by kdog on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 01:17:32 PM EST
    I haven't seen mines yet since I still get a paper check....but the direct deposit sector of the office check to check brigade is reporting an approx. loss of $20 net compared to last week...I'm thinking it's the SS tax increase aka expired decrease.  

    Seems strange though because this week's check is for work performed in 2012...I'll have to wait for my stub to try and figure it out.  

    Whatever it is, it ain't f8ckin' cool. 20 bucks may not seem like much, but coupled with the rising price of most everything 20 bones can be a very big deal to many struggling workers.  


    Most people will need that $40 bucks a month a lot (5.00 / 1) (#73)
    by ruffian on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 02:15:41 PM EST
    more when they retire. Getting it now is weakening the SS system. Small short term gain for long term disaster.

    Weekly paychecks here... (5.00 / 1) (#82)
    by kdog on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 02:44:55 PM EST
    it's over 80 a month.

    I hear ya, but ya gotta make it to retirement to even worry about how insufficient that check is, or if there will even be a check..or a country!

    For me it's a little less to spread around to local businesses, I'll live....for some co-workers it's keeping their kids in shoes and daycare.  Considering what we spend everyday in Afghanistan it is a slap in the face to all wage earners.


    But were you saying your FICA bill was too (5.00 / 1) (#93)
    by ruffian on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 03:16:58 PM EST
    high 2 years ago before the holiday was enacted?

    I know it is going to hurt people and I am very pro stimulus. I would just much rather have seen the  treasury just cut a $1200 check to every taxpayer.


    I'm always saying... (none / 0) (#100)
    by kdog on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 03:47:48 PM EST
    the bill is too high, for the services rendered anyway.  Not the SS, but certainly the income tax.  Increase funding to SS as much as you want outta that federal income tax collected, I'm all for that sh*t.  We know what spending can be cut to offset it, while making the world a better less violent place in the process (Defense, DEA, DHS, CIA, FBI, my usual tyranny suspects).

    The point is broked*cks have been budgeting themselves on a shoestring based on the rate the past two years...we just got slapped with a 884 dolla tax increase this year.  Unless you have tax powers and control of the printers at the treasury, the sh*t don't grow on trees ruff! A Peter will be robbed to pay Paul.

    I like your idea...we need a stimulus check to offset this.  $800 at least, $ 1200 even better.  


    Here's a good chart (none / 0) (#107)
    by jbindc on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 05:26:22 PM EST
    that illustrates how much everyone's taxes are going up (mostly from the ending of the payroll tax holiday).

    Average:  $1250.


    Those making 200k to 500k are barely taking a hit (none / 0) (#113)
    by Jack203 on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 08:20:00 PM EST
    The Republicans saved them.  There isn't too many of them...but those making that much are living pretty comfortably.  They could have paid a little more.

    I won't like it either - taking a pay cut already (none / 0) (#109)
    by ruffian on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 06:17:08 PM EST
    this year myself....

    I just wish they had come up with a different way to get money into people's pockets. I think we came up with a zillion better ideas just on this blog in the last few years.


    The problem (5.00 / 2) (#110)
    by NYShooter on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 07:39:46 PM EST
    with your "better ideas" is that they would only help the 99%

    The survey says! (none / 0) (#88)
    by kdog on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 03:05:30 PM EST
    Got my weekly bread....my SS went up 17 and change, and NYS Income Tax witholding went up a buck or two.  Cheeky bastards.

    Greg Sargent (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by MO Blue on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 04:30:54 AM EST
    Fiscal deal leaves central question of Obama presidency unresolved.

    ...It's reasonable to worry that today's outcome, by signaling Obama's over-emphasis on getting a deal for its own sake, will set the stage for a cave later.

    It's on Obama to prove those worries unfounded.  Obama has pledged to win more in new revenues from the rich via tax reform, has vowed not to agree to any deficit reduction that relies only on spending cuts, and continues to insist on a "balanced" approach. Only Obama, however, can ultimately define what he means by "balanced." Liberals must continue to insist that this mean that the sacrifice necessary to reducing the deficit will not borne by the poor or seniors who can't afford it.

    All of which is to say that the major fight at the heart of this whole mess -- over the proper scope and role of the safety net of the 21st century, and who will pay for it -- remains unresolved. Only the outcome of that battle can settle the question of whether today's compromise was a good one for liberals. Obama's legacy on the future of the welfare state -- which will help define his presidency and settle fundamental questions about our approach to governing that will define American life for years to come -- remains yet to be determined.

    From all the political programs (5.00 / 4) (#111)
    by NYShooter on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 07:54:02 PM EST
    I watched over the holidays there was one common theme espoused repeatedly (and frustratingly) by Democratic Leaders....be they politicians, business people, or pundits. And, that is, the depressingly inept use of the Bully Pulpit by Pres. Obama.

    Again, and again, when asked why Obama has such a hard time getting popular programs passed, the answer was that the Public simply doesn't know about them. It's one thing to construct a good policy, it's quite another thing to have the skill to "sell it."

    It seems to me that the only skill Obama has perfected is "selling himself."  


    The campaign rally style of selling (none / 0) (#123)
    by ruffian on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 10:48:04 AM EST
    stuff is not effective for selling policy. These days going directly to the people means going on TV, not to rallies that barely get sound bite coverage on the news. Do the round of Sunday shows and explain the policy.

    I know you're kidding, (5.00 / 2) (#124)
    by NYShooter on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 11:46:27 AM EST
    The President of the United States of America can't get air time....LoL.

    But, you're right; go on the Sunday talk shows where at least two hundred people will tune in.

    Anyway, it must have been just rumors about how FDR got his message out there.....even before there were Sunday talk shows.....or TV's for that matter.


    ha, yeah I guess it does sound crazy. (none / 0) (#126)
    by ruffian on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 02:57:40 PM EST
    But I'm pretty sure FDR would have made a lot better use of TV than Obama has.

    He could try a press conference more (5.00 / 4) (#127)
    by Anne on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 03:24:55 PM EST
    than once or twice a year - that might get some attention, as long as he doesn't do it at 2:00 pm in the middle of the week.  And I don't mean the kind where he has an array of EveryMan and EveryWoman, a couple of cute kids, or people in uniform standing behind him, either.  I mean the kind where he discusses policy with some mastery of the issues, and LEADS on those issues without a lot of apologizing for not being able to give the Republicans what they want.

    Oh, wait - pressers usually mean questions, so maybe that's why he does them so rarely.  

    And, oh, yeah - he could manage to SAY the right things, but then he has that huge hurdle of actually DOING them, or at least showing some effort to do them.

    What was I thinking?

    I think the funniest sound bite I heard was in last night's coverage of the shameful failure to vote on the Sandy relief package.  I don't remember which NY/NJ representative was speaking, as I had my back to the TV, but he said something to the effect of, "I don't know anymore if my colleagues are telling me the truth."  My response was - and this line just writes itself - "hey, now you know how the rest of us feel, pal."


    Maybe he needs Yoda (5.00 / 1) (#128)
    by Zorba on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 07:15:57 PM EST
    to advise him.
    "No. Try not. Do... or do not. There is no try."
    Only the sad thing is, I don't think he's really even trying.  There is "talking the talk," and then there is "walking the walk."  I'd like to see a whole heck of a lot more "walking."

    He doesn't have any (5.00 / 3) (#129)
    by MO Blue on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 07:21:56 PM EST
    comfy shoes. ;-)

    Permanently insuring that more and more (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by MO Blue on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 04:41:31 AM EST
    wealth is sheltered from taxes.

    Although the tax rate will rise from 35 percent to 40 percent, estates worth as much as $5 million -- $10 million for married couples -- will go untaxed. And an inflation adjustment will guarantee that the size of the exemption will grow to $15 million for couples by the end of the decade. link

    43,440 rich people get tax free money (5.00 / 1) (#121)
    by MO Blue on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 06:52:08 AM EST
    this year.

    - Estate tax giveaway costs billions. The estate tax rate will increase slightly to 40 percent this year with a $5 million exemption, but it would have gone to 55 percent with a $1 million exemption in the absence of a deal. As the Atlantic's Matt O'Brien noted, "Only 3,730 households will pay the estate tax next year if the exemption is set at $5 million, versus 47,170 if it's set at $1 million." link

    No wonder our government wants to implement the chained CPI. They need the poor and middle class to support the rich.


    Krugman says (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by kmblue on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 04:50:32 AM EST
    it's likely Obama will cave on the debt ceiling.
    Why not, Obama's caved on everything else.  I couldn't be more disgusted.  He had leverage here, and as usual we got bipartisan bull.  What will he do in 2013 when he has no leverage?

    of couse he's going to cave (none / 0) (#9)
    by Slado on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 08:18:49 AM EST
    That's house democracy works.

    Fact is we spend more money then we take in and their is no end in sight.

    Democrats have a hard time accepting fiscal reality.    Obama is a liberal but he's no dummy.   He'll cut the best deal he can get and move on.

    Just like the republicans just did yesterday even though the crazies would like to pretend their was something else they could have done.


    "That's house Democracy works" (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by Mr Natural on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 08:30:35 AM EST
    Youse from Brooklyn?  ( Just kidding.)

    Slado (5.00 / 4) (#31)
    by Dadler on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 10:23:01 AM EST
    The government CREATES money, it cannot factually EVER go broke, and when you have the greatest imbalance of wealth in the nation's history, if you aren't willing to HEAVILY tax that money away from the wildly rich who have rigged the economy in their favor, then you are pissing into the wind. The government's problem has nothing to do with spending on average, ordinary people. Nothing.

    We are in the process of nothing more than a nationally suicidal case of denial.

    To repeat: nations soveriegn in their own currency cannot go broke. They can only CHOOSE to destroy themselves by forcing their citizens to play a rigged economic game.

    Without remaking the game, bringing in real referees, leveling the playing field, and stigmitizing greed the same way we stigmatize, say, a person or company who would horde tons of food during a famine.

    We need to establish a permanent, overly humane and generous floor that provides work if necessary. Only when that floor is established and codified in law can you then have a fiat economy with no roof that will survive without crash after crash.

    Greed from the top is killing us, nothing more.


    Not true (none / 0) (#64)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 01:19:42 PM EST

    ...nations soveriegn in their own currency cannot go broke.

    They "go broke" by inflating their currency.  Sometimes it is done to the point where the currency has no value.  At one time in Germany a 5 million Mark note was only good for use as wall paper or rolling a cigarette.

    It is worth noting that the $400,000 tax bracket is just about the same inflation adjusted as the $250,000 bracket from the Clinton era.  

    If you are on a fixed pension, bend over and grab your ankles.



    What is the inflation rate? (none / 0) (#90)
    by MKS on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 03:11:16 PM EST
    Where are interest rates?

    Waiting for the zombie apocalypse, I suppose.


    Taken to its extreme (none / 0) (#112)
    by NYShooter on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 08:16:09 PM EST
    Slado is right: "They "go broke" by inflating their currency."

    Even "sovereign currency" countries will "go broke" if they pump the money supply forever. But, what the strict monetarists can't seem to understand is that for a country like the U.S. it's not the money supply that causes inflation. First of all, it's wages, and demand, neither of which is, nor will be, a problem for some time to come.

    But, the most important reason why there's no inflation here, in spite of record "pumping" by the FED, is because our debt is backed by "the full faith and credit" of the United States. And, while we here might make fun of Uncle Sam, the rest of the world takes "our word" as the final, ultimate, collateral for our debt.

    And that, in my opinion, is the reason why the upcoming battle over the Debt Ceiling can be Obama's finest hour, or his final Waterloo.  


    No inflation? (none / 0) (#116)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 10:45:04 PM EST

    Surely you jest.


    I think that even if Obama wanted to hold the line (5.00 / 2) (#10)
    by ruffian on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 08:20:37 AM EST
    he was held back because the weakness of the economy made even many liberals balk at letting middle class tax cuts expire. Without the willingness to go back to Clinton era tax policy for everyone, the leverage of being able to raise taxes without lifting a finger was lost.

    I really wish he would have just let that happen. We are not going to get another chance to raise taxes on anyone.

    Yes, I am an unreformed tax and spend liberal.

    Here's to your honesty (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Slado on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 08:26:49 AM EST
    I'd been in favor of everyone losing.

    Higher taxes and less spending (including defense cuts).

    Until everyone is mad we aren't really solving the problem.


    Not even (5.00 / 4) (#20)
    by lentinel on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 09:06:37 AM EST
    discussed is the unconscionable amount being spent daily on the futile war in Afghanistan. Two hundred and eighty nine million dollars a day.

    And the additional sums being paid to the bizarre Karzai government to permit us to drone away. We give that s.o.b's army a subsidy of four billion dollars annually.

    And thanks to the fear of an even worse republican administration, we feverishly and sometimes gleefully accept this tweedle-dum democratic party as if it were a real alternative.

    I'm just a pinko-leftist-PatrickHenry person.

    As you said, we need everyone to get really mad - really angry - disrupt the smooth operation of the right-wing machine that is controlling ever more aspects of our lives - before we will be able to see daylight again.

    But I don't believe that we will see 1960s-style uprisings any time soon. As some might remember, the last time politicians stood up to the repressive regimes of the 1960s, there was a wave of assassinations.


    I am ok with the part of this deal that (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by ruffian on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 09:55:46 AM EST
    takes the decisions of what to cut out of the tax deal. My preference was to get the most revenue out of the tax deal and then talk about the spending side. I agree that the support for the Afghan army, which is the biggest part of the current defense budget, should be the first thing to get seriously cut.

    I find it hard to believe (none / 0) (#21)
    by CoralGables on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 09:29:54 AM EST
    that, in your quest to always look for the negative, you aren't trashing the Republicans in the House this morning for failing to vote on the Sandy bill that was passed by the Senate.

    You've been left behind by even conservative House member Peter King who has trashed the Republican House this morning.

    "I'm saying right now, anyone from New York or New Jersey who contributes one penny to congressional Republicans is out of their minds. Because what they did last night was put a knife in the back of New Yorkers and New Jerseyans. It was an absolute disgrace."

    That bill was (none / 0) (#25)
    by Wile ECoyote on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 09:56:37 AM EST
    leaden with pork.

    Pork fills (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by sj on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 10:01:37 AM EST
    an empty belly.  What's wrong with that?  Assuming you're not a vegetarian.

    I hope it was kosher (none / 0) (#130)
    by NYShooter on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 09:11:26 PM EST
    Wait a minute! Is it even possible to have Kosher Pork? (or is this the perfect oxymoran?)

    But, hey. If neither Jews, nor Muslims, will eat pork, maybe this can be the beginning of something wonderful. Jews and Muslims, getting together, each spitting at Pork. Just imagine the graphics: visually, spiritually, and symbolically.

    Jews and Muslims, hand in hand, each spitting at The Pigs masquerading as our Congress.

    Peace at Last. And, why not? Would it be any more bizarre than what we're witnessing every day, in real life, as we speak?


    There is no indication in Jeralyn's post (none / 0) (#27)
    by MO Blue on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 10:01:19 AM EST
    that this is an open thread. Discussing the Sandy bill would be off topic.

    Indeed (none / 0) (#29)
    by CoralGables on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 10:17:52 AM EST
    I've lost track of the threads. But still related as the GOP didn't want to pass a spending bill after voting to raise taxes in the fiscal cliff deal. They saw it as bad optics for their Tea Party base that would be offended by money being funneled to (gasp) New York and New Jersey.

    The (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by lentinel on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 08:49:07 AM EST
    key for me is the "even if" part of what you wrote regarding Obama's willingness to "hold the line". The simple fact before me is that he has no willingness to do so. And we knew this going into the last quasi-election.

    You would think that Democrats might harken back to the successful economy during the Clinton administration and would be eager to emulate it. But no. Those days are gone. That Democratic party, already weakened with respect to social consciousness, bears only a shadowy resemblance to the Democratic party of today. And Obama is no Clinton when it comes to at least giving a convincing impression of populism.

    What I would be interested in doing, as we go down the bleak path of the next four years, is marking each step in terms of how much worse it would have been to have elected Romney.


    That is why I put in the 'even if' (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by ruffian on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 09:58:02 AM EST
    I have no idea what his personal thoughts are on the subject. He always limits his vision by what he feels can be achieved politically.

    Totally agree (none / 0) (#14)
    by vicndabx on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 08:32:23 AM EST
    Short term stability in the face of a bad economy was the most pressing issue.

    These "laws" that "lock in" spending and revenue targets can be changed at anytime by any subsequent Congress.  Nothing is forever written in stone unless...most of the people are for it.


    I'd like to believe (none / 0) (#17)
    by Socraticsilence on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 08:53:56 AM EST
    that Senate Dems would've held strong but let's be honest Obama got a decent deal that would have probably disappeared once the Senate started caving.

    Krell or Klingon? (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by Mr Natural on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 08:31:05 AM EST

    Capital Gains Taxes (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by Socraticsilence on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 08:55:52 AM EST
    Are going up for the first time in memory, the truly rich which will pay a higher effective rate than at any time since Clinton's first term (possibly Reagan's first- given the normalization of dividends--treating them like income).

    Does your memory not go back to 1986? (none / 0) (#65)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 01:25:16 PM EST
    It took ten years and a bit of inflation before capital gains tax revenue equaled what it was the year before the rate increase.

    So (5.00 / 0) (#102)
    by Socraticsilence on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 04:00:55 PM EST
    the fact that the market and the banking industry suffered multiple crises both economic and self-induced (S&L) has nothing to do with the drop in revenue? It was all due to a raise of the rates?

    There are always ups and downs (none / 0) (#117)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 10:54:12 PM EST

    But 1986 to 1996 was not all bad by any stretch.

    I'm just thankful (5.00 / 2) (#74)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 02:17:35 PM EST
    that I'm learning to play the ukulele. When the dems and repubs bankrupt me and I'm living on the street, I'll have a way to make a living.

    Better stake out your corner early... (5.00 / 3) (#76)
    by Anne on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 02:34:56 PM EST
    I have a feeling there's going to be a lot of competition.

    Well, unless the Department of Homeland Security declares activity of this type to be a form of domestic terrorism.


    Eight Corporate Subsidies in the Fiscal Cliff Bill (5.00 / 3) (#114)
    by Mr Natural on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 09:12:46 PM EST
    Egregious, to say the least (5.00 / 1) (#115)
    by shoephone on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 09:19:36 PM EST
    And thus ends six weeks of ... (none / 0) (#1)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 01:11:13 AM EST
    ... bad political kabuki. Robert Cruikshank has an interesting post over at Calitics, discussing what California can teach the rest of the country about how to deal with obstruction by GOP right-wing extremists.

    What's unfolding politically in the Golden State under Jerry Brown's second go-round as governor has been fascinating to watch. What was once a predominantly Red State when I was growing up there has since turned decidedly Blue. The Republicans who've heretofore been retarding the scene have been almost thoroughly marginalized politically, and as a result, the political hostage taking has for now ended, and the state appears to have finally turned the corner in dealing decisively with its incessant budget woes with the recent approval of Prop. 30 by state voters.

    How Democrats and progressives managed to accomplish that certainly bears some study and discussion.


    Is the Right still claiming (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by nycstray on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 03:11:35 AM EST
    we are like Greece (or whatever failing country they were comparing us to)? I'll be the first one to pop the bubbly cork when we finish turning it around. It will be doubly sweet since the Right has been trashing us so much. Now, if we could only do something about our $$$ going to Red States . . . or at least make them own it ;)

    SITE VIOLATION - SPAM (none / 0) (#4)
    by MO Blue on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 02:43:55 AM EST

    Moody's: payroll tax increase dings GDP (none / 0) (#15)
    by Mr Natural on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 08:41:00 AM EST
    by 0.6%.  1%-er tax increase by only .15%.

    So is it the case that the (none / 0) (#32)
    by ruffian on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 10:23:42 AM EST
    payroll tax holiday goosed the GDP by .6%? Seems hard to believe.

    Medicare Doc Fix Extended in Fiscal Cliff Bill (none / 0) (#19)
    by vicndabx on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 09:01:20 AM EST
    Krugman (none / 0) (#30)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 10:22:32 AM EST
    "And on the principle of the thing, you could say that Democrats held their ground on the essentials -- no cuts in benefits -- while Republicans have just voted for a tax increase for the first time in decades.

    So why the bad taste in progressives' mouths? It has less to do with where Obama ended up than with how he got there. He kept drawing lines in the sand, then erasing them and retreating to a new position. And his evident desire to have a deal before hitting the essentially innocuous fiscal cliff bodes very badly for the confrontation looming in a few weeks over the debt ceiling.

    If Obama stands his ground in that confrontation, this deal won't look bad in retrospect. If he doesn't, yesterday will be seen as the day he began throwing away his presidency and the hopes of everyone who supported him."

    Krugman is somewhat off in his accessment (5.00 / 2) (#33)
    by MO Blue on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 10:34:54 AM EST
    ... The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 was not passed until January 1st of 2013. By that point taxes on everyone had already reverted back to their Clinton-era levels. Relative to current law this new law was a massive tax cut for everyone, including the rich. While the GOP ended up agreeing to cutting taxes on the rich by a slightly smaller amount than they initially wanted, Republicans still technically only voted for a massive tax cut. This is why Grover Norquist admits the deal was not technically a violation of the anti-tax pledge.

    This is not just hair splitting, but has very important long term tactical implications. If Obama actually got Republicans to agree to a real tax increase it could signal a new ability to reach broader deals in the future which actually contain additional revenue. Instead Democrats simply exploited a one-time strange quirk in the law to claim a vote for a massive tax cut was a vote by Republicans to raise taxes on the rich.

    This was only a one-time leverage point that has now been used up, not a sign of a new Republican willingness to accept tax increases. link

    I understand the distinction (none / 0) (#34)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 10:37:54 AM EST
    being made there, but I don't think it will matter in the big scheme of things.  

    The GOP ranks were broken, taxes were increased, and it was done without cutting entitlements.

    We can speculate greatly about what will happen in the future, but for the time being, I think you can fairly say that a battle was won.  


    Once again we disagree (5.00 / 4) (#35)
    by MO Blue on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 10:45:45 AM EST
    The battle was not won. Merely postponed for two months and moved to a playing field that gives the Republicans tactical advantage.

    What tactical advantage? (none / 0) (#44)
    by vicndabx on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 11:20:44 AM EST
    All the president and dems have to do is say no to whatever the GOP proposes if its unreasonable.  I understand the fears about caving, but none of the supposed "caves" that were to happen previously have actually been enacted into law.  There have been some proposals no doubt, but these, IMO, have been effective at avoiding the "extreme" label that has, in the past, killed that which we would save.

    Who looks worse?  Those that don't agree to "cuts" vs. those that don't agree to a Debt Ceiling increase?  The president?  Dems?  Methinks not.  All this talk about the GOP having leverage seems to me to be just that, talk of the losing side trying save face.


    According to you (5.00 / 3) (#50)
    by MO Blue on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 12:16:38 PM EST
    All the president and dems have to do is say no to whatever the GOP proposes if its unreasonable.

    Well the issue regarding that statement is that the president and many of the Dems do not believe that cutting the social insurance programs is unreasonable. They are more than willing to do so as part of a Grand Bargain. To quote Anne:

    And over and over again, Barack Obama and his loyal cheerleaders in the Congress continue to talk about cuts to entitlements, and the use of chained CPI: these are going to be the bargaining chips in the next crisis - the debt limit - and both sides know it.

    If you could provide me with a current link where President Obama states that he categorically refuses to cut the safety net programs (including implementing the chained CPI) as part of a Grand Bargain, your point would have more validity. I can and have provided numerous quotes from the president saying that he is still pursuing a Grand Bargain and is willing to make those "tought decision" to cut what he chooses to describe as entitlement programs.

    All this talk about the GOP having more leverage when the sequester and the debt ceiling must be addressed is not just the talk of "talk of the losing side trying save face." If you like, I can provide links to several prominent Democratic people who are stating the same thing.

    Who will look worse if the Dems compromise on cutting the social insurance programs and then once the compromise is reached they pass the legislation with the majority of Republicans voting "no" and the majority of the Dems vote "yes."


    I do not believe that it is possible (2.00 / 1) (#51)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 12:24:55 PM EST
    For there to be zero changes to SS and other entitlement programs for a number of reasons.

    I do not think that what you are demanding is practically feasible.


    So, what reasons? (5.00 / 4) (#55)
    by Anne on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 12:40:03 PM EST
    Seriously, I would like to know why you think it isn't possible to make zero changes.

    That being said, there are things that should be changed - raising the cap on wages subject to the payroll tax, for example, and allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices, for another.

    But the changes I assume you are referring to are those that will reduce benefits - and I'd really like to know why you think that's inevitable - and reasonable.


    Because (1.75 / 4) (#80)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 02:40:47 PM EST
    1. We will not have a raise of the debt limit without some modification.

    2. A majority of the country believes that material changes to SS, for example, are necessary and that majority will not understand a compromise that does not attempt to address those problems.

    When did the majority become 36% (5.00 / 3) (#89)
    by MO Blue on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 03:06:30 PM EST
    ABG's opinion:

    A majority of the country believes that material changes to SS, for example, are necessary and that majority will not understand a compromise that does not attempt to address those problems.

    Dec, 2012 Poll data:

    In order to strike a budget deal that avoids the so-called "fiscal cliff", would you accept changing the way Social Security benefits are calculated so that benefits increase at a slower rate than they do now or is this something you would find unacceptable? Do you feel that way strongly or somewhat?

    Accept 36%
    Unacceptable 60%

    Your #2 is false (5.00 / 2) (#91)
    by shoephone on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 03:12:39 PM EST
    I posted this Washington Post/ABC poll two weeks ago on this site, especially for you. It was taken Dec. 13-16, 2012, so it's very recent, alot more recent than the poll you post below.  Please read question #17 again and then tell me the poll is wrong and that your link below -- which is from the summer and not recent -- is right.

    And while the poll I cite is specific to the fiscal cliff deal, it is clear that Americans do NOT want cuts to Social Security, Medicare or  Medicaid.

    -Cutting Spending on Medicaid? 68% opposed.
    -Raising the eligibility age for Medicare? 60% opposed
    -Changing the way SS benefits are calculated (Chained CPI) so that benefits slow? 60% opposed

    Incidentally, when asked if taxes should be raised on those making $250,000+ a year, 74% were in favor.

    It couldn't be any more clear, and yet, you persist.


    Are you kidding? Those are your (none / 0) (#85)
    by Anne on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 02:50:41 PM EST
    "reasons?"  That's the best you can come up with?

    You'd have been better off just leaving it at "because."


    Raising the cap would easily take care of it (none / 0) (#58)
    by shoephone on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 12:49:32 PM EST
    but that would require DINOs to show spine. And it wouldn't support the current memes--that everything has to be on the table, that everyone has to "share the burden."

    Raising the income cap is straightforward and would produce real result for SS funding. Therefore, it not acceptable as policy by either Republicans or neo-liberals.


    An increase in taxes (none / 0) (#66)
    by vicndabx on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 01:25:24 PM EST
    vis a vis a payroll tax increase - would be a decrease in benefits for some, i.e. less take home pay.  The increase would hit everyone - particularly lower income workers who don't qualify for offsets.  Not saying it shouldn't be an option, but further payroll tax increases on top of those that just took effect may not be politically feasible.

    Negotiating drug prices is not a bad idea either, but consider that is is only about 10% of Medicare's budget now.  Don't know how much savings that will provide, but I agree every little bit would help.


    Raising the cap on wages subject (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by MO Blue on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 01:40:21 PM EST
    to the payroll tax as Anne suggested would not result in an increase that would hit everyone - particularly lower income workers who don't qualify for offsets. Lower income workers already are taxed on their entire salary for both SS and Medicare.

    Federal social insurance taxes are imposed on employers[15] and employees,[16] ordinarily consisting of a tax of 6.2% of wages up to an annual wage maximum ($110,100 in 2012) for Social Security and a tax of 1.45% of all wages for Medicare.

    Was referring on an AARP interpretation (none / 0) (#69)
    by vicndabx on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 02:04:21 PM EST
    Of a 2010 Trustee Report:

    Boosting Medicare payroll taxes by 0.66 percent for all workers would make Medicare self-sustaining for the next 75 years, the report said.


    Assumption is we are talking apples and oranges.  Incorrectly interpreted Anne's meaning.  Thanks.


    Uh...no. It's called a "cap" because (none / 0) (#70)
    by Anne on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 02:07:13 PM EST
    the tax stops being collected on the dollars over the current cap - so what the cap really does is give raises to those fortunate enough to make more than $113,700.  

    I don't see anything fair about that, do you?  

    As for negotiating drug prices, if people are going to hoot and holler about increasing costs in the Medicare program, I sure as hell expect them not to turn their noses up at a 10% savings that would not reduce benefits.


    Smart alec reply (none / 0) (#75)
    by vicndabx on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 02:29:01 PM EST
    not needed.  I noted the misread of your post in my reply to MO Blue.  :-)

    Incidentally, I do agree that it is a simple if not politically expedient solution.


    Here we go again........ (5.00 / 3) (#119)
    by NYShooter on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 03:27:03 AM EST
    ".....I do agree that it is a simple if not politically expedient solution."

    And, why is that? Why is it that the Republicans could convince millions of voters to pay almost twice as much for drugs than necessary? Maybe it's because they didn't sit around, wringing their hands, and peeing their pants about what's "politically expedient."  If Obama is the Greatest Candidate Evah, as so many gleefully remind us about how he took on the Greatest Political Machine Evah (The Clintons) how is it he can't convince the public that paying half as much for drugs is a good thing?

    I'm sorry for being a wise ass here, but it just really angers me when Obama apologists  submit so meekly to the devastation caused by the other Party.

    I really don't think all those starry eyed Obama voters realized they were voting for a mute President.

    For reference, see my post above about "The Bully Pulpit.

    The Department of Veterans Affairs, which is allowed to negotiate drug prices and establish a formulary, has been estimated to pay between 40% and 58% less for drugs, on average, than Medicare Part D.

    Does the public know this? Why Not?


    Why Not? (5.00 / 2) (#120)
    by MO Blue on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 05:59:27 AM EST
    Because Obama made a back room deal with Pharma  not to negotiate drugs.

    PhRMA, the lobby entity for the industry's heavy hitters, reached a secret deal with the White House and the Senate Finance Committee in June. As detailed in a memo first published by The Huffington Post, the Obama administration agreed to oppose congressional efforts to use government leverage to bargain for lower drug prices. The White House also agreed not to shift some drugs from Medicare Part B to Medicare Part D, which would have cost the industry billions in reduced reimbursements. All this in exchange for $80 billion over ten years to help push for reform. link

    Obama apologists chose to ignore what his actions and would rather cry that the big bad Republicans make it impossible for him to do anything.


    Yes, I know, MO (5.00 / 1) (#125)
    by NYShooter on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 12:00:34 PM EST
    But, let me ask a question out loud here: What if an enterprising, up 'n coming Senator/Rep/Gov made just this issue his campaign centerpiece?

    "Seniors, YOU are being screwed by your Government! You are paying twice as much for drugs as you should be, and twice as much as anybody else in the world.....WHY?" (Example, example, example)

    You could even make "why" a campaign slogan.

    Why are democrats afraid of mounting a Primary challenge against republicans masquerading as  democrats?

    You only need to look at the R's to know that it works.


    I was referring the inevitable spin on taxes (none / 0) (#122)
    by vicndabx on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 08:32:22 AM EST
    being "raised" as potentially not politically expedient, not lowering drug prices.

    Although I will say, big pharma would probably pass on higher costs to the non-Medicare population.


    Didn't see yours until I posted mine... (none / 0) (#78)
    by Anne on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 02:35:46 PM EST
    sorry for the snark.



    We agree that Obama will push through (5.00 / 2) (#56)
    by MO Blue on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 12:47:32 PM EST
    benefit cuts to SS, Medicare, Medicaid and other domestic programs.

    What I and the majority of Americans, regardless of political affiliation, want is not feasible because President Obama has chosen to adopt the conversation position (and rhetoric) previously held mainly by Republican politicians and is bound and determined to cut those programs.  


    What Americans want (2.00 / 2) (#84)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 02:48:09 PM EST
    "Please tell me which of the following statements comes closest to your opinion about the Social Security program. The Social Security program has no serious problems, certainly none that require changing the current system. Social Security has minor problems that can be fixed with minor changes to the current system. Social Security's problems are serious and can be fixed only with major changes to the current system. Social Security's problems are so bad that the system should be replaced."

    Poll results:


    It is important to remember that although many here are convinced there is no issue with entitlements, that is not what most people believe.  And that belief matters.


    You do realize that that poll was (5.00 / 2) (#87)
    by Anne on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 02:58:51 PM EST
    conducted in September of 2011, don't you?

    And before you run off to find me a more recent poll, let me just say that polls are affected by what people are seeing and hearing from their representatives and the media.  Keep scaring people, keep telling them there's a crisis, and soon they start to believe it, and become willing to accept so-called solutions that are against their own interests.

    Go look at the polling from the period prior to the Iraq war for an example of how a constant single-message drumbeat affects public opinion.

    I do not know why I waste my time with you.


    Thanks for pointing out it was from 2011 (none / 0) (#92)
    by shoephone on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 03:15:22 PM EST
    I read it as September, 2012. Still not recent though. The December 2012 Washington Post/ABC poll I linked to is the most recent one.

    Do the polls matter (2.00 / 1) (#94)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 03:18:06 PM EST
    If 75% of the country valued a balanced deal with tax increases and cuts to entitlements, would it even matter to those who believe any modifications are unacceptable?

    You still have not explained why (5.00 / 4) (#97)
    by Anne on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 03:35:10 PM EST
    "entitlements" have to be on the table. Social Security is not part of the budget, and contributes nothing to the deficit; it is not in crisis.  If costs are going up in Medicare and Medicaid, it isn't because too many people are getting too high a benefit, it's because provider and drug costs are going up.  In what world does it make sense to penalize the person who needs the service or the medication by covering less of the cost?

    If 75% of the TL community thought you should dress up in a cape, a jockstrap and your favorite running shoes and stand in Atlanta's busiest intersection and sing three verses of Daydream Believer, would you do that?  Would 75% be a large enough majority to get you to do it?  

    I'm guessing it wouldn't, but the way you rely on public opinion to determine whether a policy makes sense or is even necessary makes me wonder.


    Mental visuals (5.00 / 1) (#103)
    by shoephone on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 04:04:38 PM EST
    I now find myself wanting ABG to explain why SS needs to be cut in order to solve the deficit issue--while wearing a cape, a jock strap, and new running shoes. I need to go get some coffee in me.

    "cuts to entitlements" (5.00 / 3) (#101)
    by jondee on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 03:52:14 PM EST
    has been hawked to the public the way Andrew Card talked about marketing the Iraq invasion. And we know how well that turned out.

    If pols thought the entitlement-reliant could hurt them politically, cuts to entitlements would never even be brought up.

    And btw, "entitlements" is a bullshit p.r firm-generated term. The insinuation is supposed to be that these are spoiled, lazy people.



    you brought it up (5.00 / 3) (#104)
    by TeresaInPa on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 04:05:33 PM EST
      Nice sideways arabesque, but you are still accountable for what you say.  If polls don't matter why bring one up?
    Do you believe "entitlements" should be cut?

    How many polls do you want me to (5.00 / 3) (#99)
    by MO Blue on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 03:43:48 PM EST
    post from Sep. 2011 through Dec.2012 that state the majority of Americans do not approve of cutting benefits for SS, Medicare and Medicaid?

    Sep 22 - Oct 4 2011

    Jan. 14 - 16, 2012

    Dec 2012

    Changes that voters oppose and changes that the support:

    Voters strongly oppose cutting Social Security benefits with 71% opposed to means-testing and 67% opposed to raising the retirement age

    64% strongly oppose cutting Medicare benefits for future retirees and 59% oppose cutting payments to Medicare providers want voters support two Social Security and Medicare reforms by overwhelming margins:

    Our poll also shows Americans support two Medicare and Social Security reforms by wide margins:

    On Social Security, voters across party lines support lifting the cap on wages above the current level of $110,100. We know from focus groups that voters see this cap as an unfair loophole that they did not even know existed. Sixty-five (65) percent of voters favor gradually lifting this cap for both employees and employers, including 75 percent of Democrats, 63 percent of Independents, and 54 percent of Republicans.

    On Medicare, overwhelming bi-partisan majorities support allowing Medicare to negotiate with drug companies to bring down the cost of prescription drugs. Eighty-six (86) percent of voters favor this, including 77 percent who strongly favor it. By party, 91 percent of Democrats favor allowing Medicare to negotiate with drug companies (81 percent strongly favor), as do 85 percent of Independents (75 percent strongly favor), and 81 percent of Republicans (75 percent strongly favor).

    Of course you don't (none / 0) (#105)
    by Yman on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 04:37:15 PM EST
    That's one of the biggest advantages to setting the bar so low.

    that's right (5.00 / 1) (#96)
    by kmblue on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 03:28:59 PM EST
    Obama doesn't hold his ground (never has) so get ready for the "throwing his presidency away" part.

    Understood (none / 0) (#36)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 10:49:57 AM EST
    I wish I could persuade those who see no upside in what just happened to have reasonable expectations of what can be accomplished.

    If you believe that a reasonable and achievable goal is that there are no material changes to Medicaid, Medicare, etc.  we may as well just say now that you will see whatever results as a failure.

    I'll just go ahead and concede that now.  But I don't think that is a fair or realistic expectation.

    Of (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by lentinel on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 11:00:48 AM EST
    course they will be "changes" to entitlements.
    Of course it is unreasonable - beyond reason - to expect otherwise from this crop of duds.
    Obama ran on that during the campaign.
    Romney ran on that during the campaign.

    I thought we weren't supposed to call them (1.00 / 2) (#39)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 11:06:41 AM EST

    I haven't since that got attacked a few weeks back.  Can we get on the same page with that?


    Very troll like behavior this message (3.67 / 3) (#40)
    by sj on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 11:11:21 AM EST
    deliberately designed to taunt for no reason and to derail any sort of meaningful conversation.  

    Moreover it is a deliberately dishonest representation of how many posters have discussed the word.


    No (1.00 / 1) (#42)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 11:18:16 AM EST
    When I called them entitlements I was pounced on.  I would like to use the word because it is much easier than writing out all of the various programs.

    You should stop trying so hard to find issues where none exist, and more importantly, who made you Sheriff Marty McTrollfinder anyway.

    Can I use the word to describe the programs or not?  That simple.  Yes or no will work and we can move on from the kindergarten stuff.


    I (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by lentinel on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 11:39:41 AM EST
    can fully appreciate why you would want to shift the conversation from how we are being screwed by this crop of politicians to a discussion about vocabulary and yourself as victim being pounced upon by unruly leftists.

    OK (none / 0) (#46)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 11:42:28 AM EST
    I'll just use the word entitlements then.  Easy enough.

    Terrific. (5.00 / 2) (#48)
    by lentinel on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 11:49:24 AM EST
    Entitlements are about to be cut.

    You're OK with that because for you that is a reasonable expectation.

    That about sum it up?


    If the legislation that passed were (5.00 / 4) (#41)
    by Anne on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 11:11:35 AM EST
    the end of it, we might be able to celebrate there being no cuts to the social insurance programs, but what you don't seem to be able to see - blinders, perhaps? - is that they're not finished yet.  This isn't the end of it.  

    And over and over again, Barack Obama and his loyal cheerleaders in the Congress continue to talk about cuts to entitlements, and the use of chained CPI: these are going to be the bargaining chips in the next crisis - the debt limit - and both sides know it.

    When wealthy people's estates can be indexed over the next 7 years so that the current $5 million exemption will rise to $7.5 million, why do Social Security recipients' payments have to be indexed in a way that will lower their benefits?  Why do rich people get to sacrifice luxuries while average-to-poor people have to sacrifice necessities?  Why are the least among us being asked to sacrifice at all?

    I don't know why I am taking the time to weigh in here - it won't matter to you, because all you care about is the politics - the policy is irrelevant.


    I understand (none / 0) (#43)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 11:20:39 AM EST
    that this is not the end.  I understand that cuts to  [insert correct word for programs sometimes known as entitlements here] are also likely.

    We do not have to frame every discussion as someone being blind or ignorant or what have you.

    I am as capable of grasping the state of play as you are.  Our differences are in expectations for a reasonable outcome.  

    I respect the fact that you understand what is happening.  I ask that you assume the same of me.


    Not quite. (5.00 / 4) (#47)
    by lentinel on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 11:47:47 AM EST
    You answered Anne saying,

    I am as capable of grasping the state of play as you  are.
    No. You're not.
    Your agenda trumps your ability to acknowledge reality.

    Our differences are in expectations for a reasonable outcome.
    No. The outcome is known. You consider it reasonable. Others, myself included, consider it a sellout, a travesty and a triumph of right wing ideology.

    JMO, but some seem to argue in favor... (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by Cashmere on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 12:15:42 PM EST
    of anything Obama is for (e.g., this bill).  These same individuals will also be for whatever Obama is "for" when entitlements are cut a few months from now.

    And there are those (none / 0) (#52)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 12:26:01 PM EST
    who will argue against anything that Obama is for.

    One note: Obama's treatment of the marijuana laws is atrocious.  I am against him 100% on that.


    oh come on (5.00 / 1) (#106)
    by TeresaInPa on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 05:18:08 PM EST
    not even I will argue with anything Obama is for.  So really, it is impossible to find a person like that here.

    Hey. (none / 0) (#59)
    by lentinel on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 12:53:59 PM EST
    I read that Obama is not going to have his justice department waste time and resources going after the Colorado law.

    Naturally, I think that is a good thing.

    You got a problem with it?


    I did not know that (none / 0) (#61)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 01:01:59 PM EST
    I assumed he was still going after CO users.  That is good news.  Well remove one more of my gripes with Obama from the list if that is right.

    And, (5.00 / 2) (#68)
    by lentinel on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 01:45:15 PM EST
    credit me with praising the guy for this example of his seeing which way the wind is blowing.

    lentinel (2.00 / 1) (#53)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 12:28:00 PM EST
    Right back at you.  How can someone who can find no upside in anything Obama does accuse anyone of blind support?

    I am providing a counter position.  If you disagree with that position, feel free to go after the position.  The rest of it is nonsense, and tired nonsense at that.


    The issue (5.00 / 2) (#60)
    by lentinel on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 12:59:08 PM EST
    is whether the general expectation that the poor and middle classes are about to be screwed.

    The issue is not whether you consider yourself pounced upon, or whether you consider that I find too little about Obama's tenure in office to be worthy of praise. Those are not the issues.

    From what I have gathered from your posts, you think the screwing conforms with your idea of reasonable expectations.

    I can agree with that to the extent that, given Obama's pronouncements on that subject during the campaign, one would reasonably expect that he will go along with screwing the poor and the middle class.


    Johnny (none / 0) (#57)
    by lentinel on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 12:49:06 PM EST
    one note.

    You agree (5.00 / 2) (#54)
    by MO Blue on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 12:37:51 PM EST
    ...that cuts to  [insert correct word for programs sometimes known as entitlements here] are also likely.

    Do you also agree with this:

    The senior White House adviser repeated Obama's opposition to extending the Bush tax cuts on those earning more than $250,000 a year, but expressed openness to a tax reform deal that could potentially lower what the wealthy pay.

    "What we also want to do is engage in a process of tax reform that would ultimately produce lower rates, even potentially for the wealthiest," he said.

    Plouffe added that while the White House wants to engage in comprehensive tax reform, they know they must also "carefully" address the "chief drivers of our deficit": Medicare and Medicaid.

    here is a straight forward question (none / 0) (#98)
    by TeresaInPa on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 03:38:43 PM EST
    do you believe that there should be cuts to medicare, medicaid and social security?  If so, why?
    Well, I guess that was two questions.

    Isn't (none / 0) (#37)
    by lentinel on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 10:57:16 AM EST
    it quaint the way our beloved representatives say, "yea" and "nay" instead of "yes" and "no"? Sometimes they yell, "aye" and "nay".

    Nay, nay Nanette.

    It does make then sound more like the braying (5.00 / 1) (#79)
    by ruffian on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 02:40:26 PM EST
    a**es they are, so I approve.

    you can't say a**es? (none / 0) (#83)
    by fishcamp on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 02:46:52 PM EST
    It's in the Bible fer cryin' out loud...

    I always forget what Jeralyn's restrictions are (none / 0) (#95)
    by ruffian on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 03:19:06 PM EST
    because she is a legal blog...so I err on the side of caution!

    no you can't write it out (none / 0) (#118)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 01:32:15 AM EST
    without asterisks.