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Mon Nov 26, 2012, 11:02 AM

OBAMA's Trojan Horse - No, He Won't Cave! - by David Corn

The Myth of the Obama Cave-In
With the "fiscal cliff" looming, the conventional wisdom is that the president capitulated during the last tax-cut fight. Here's what really happen


by David Corn

...................

Obama's aides, though, also knew that by the end of the year there would be some legislation regarding the Bush tax cuts—however that knotty issue was to be resolved—and they came up with a plan to turn this measure into something of a Trojan Horse that could contain (or hide) various stimulative measures. Before the midterm elections, Obama's economic team began compiling a list of possibilities, including a payroll tax cut and various tax credits.

............

Two years later, Obama still does not tell the story of that period well. In response to Yellin's question, he did not take explicit issue with her cave-in characterization:

Well, two years ago, the economy was in a different situation. We were still very much in the early parts of recovering from the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. And ultimately, we came together not only to extend the Bush tax cuts, but also a wide range of policies that were going to be good for the economy at that point—unemployment insurance extensions, payroll tax extension—all of which made a difference, and is part of the reason why what we've seen now is 32 consecutive months of job growth and over 5.5 million jobs created and the unemployment rate coming down.


Yet Obama is right: the current circumstances are different, and after his reelection he is in a better position to do battle on the tax-cut front. He told Yellin:

What I said at the time is what I meant, which is this was a one-time proposition. And what I have told leaders privately as well as publicly is that we cannot afford to extend the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy. What we can do is make sure that middle-class taxes don’t go up.

In a recent White House meeting with labor leaders and progressive activists, Obama signaled he is ready to fight the GOPers—and this time dare the Republicans to block continuing the tax cuts for the middle-class. But no one ought to forget that Obama, a progressive in his policy preferences, remains a pragmatist. What happened two years ago is not an indication that Obama is likely to yield in the new face-off, but that he will be assessing the political dynamics in gridlocked Washington and be willing to bargain hard for a good deal with true benefits.

That's not caving in. It's governing.

much more:
http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/11/obama-fiscal-cliff-budget-deal-bush-tax-cuts?page=2

69 replies, 6546 views

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Reply OBAMA's Trojan Horse - No, He Won't Cave! - by David Corn (Original post)
kpete Nov 2012 OP
1StrongBlackMan Nov 2012 #1
John2 Nov 2012 #11
1StrongBlackMan Nov 2012 #16
Jackpine Radical Nov 2012 #53
patrice Nov 2012 #12
mac56 Nov 2012 #24
ProudProgressiveNow Nov 2012 #28
JNelson6563 Nov 2012 #33
AnotherMcIntosh Nov 2012 #51
JNelson6563 Nov 2012 #59
leftstreet Nov 2012 #2
robinlynne Nov 2012 #4
sabrina 1 Nov 2012 #7
patrice Nov 2012 #14
BlueCaliDem Nov 2012 #19
1StrongBlackMan Nov 2012 #23
leftstreet Nov 2012 #34
1StrongBlackMan Nov 2012 #43
leftstreet Nov 2012 #49
1StrongBlackMan Nov 2012 #57
leftstreet Nov 2012 #64
1StrongBlackMan Nov 2012 #68
BlueCaliDem Nov 2012 #45
leftstreet Nov 2012 #50
BlueCaliDem Nov 2012 #52
1StrongBlackMan Nov 2012 #58
1StrongBlackMan Nov 2012 #20
Jakes Progress Nov 2012 #25
hfojvt Nov 2012 #3
cliffordu Nov 2012 #5
hfojvt Nov 2012 #9
plethoro Nov 2012 #6
bvar22 Nov 2012 #8
pinto Nov 2012 #29
bvar22 Nov 2012 #41
pinto Nov 2012 #44
bvar22 Nov 2012 #47
bvar22 Nov 2012 #48
zipplewrath Nov 2012 #10
Agnosticsherbet Nov 2012 #13
forestpath Nov 2012 #17
joeunderdog Nov 2012 #56
Enrique Nov 2012 #15
John2 Nov 2012 #22
Enrique Nov 2012 #31
grahamhgreen Nov 2012 #18
sabrina 1 Nov 2012 #27
patrice Nov 2012 #36
grahamhgreen Nov 2012 #42
sabrina 1 Nov 2012 #55
kentuck Nov 2012 #21
msongs Nov 2012 #26
patrice Nov 2012 #30
JoePhilly Nov 2012 #32
patrice Nov 2012 #35
Cha Nov 2012 #37
freshwest Nov 2012 #61
bluestate10 Nov 2012 #39
JoePhilly Nov 2012 #46
bluestate10 Nov 2012 #38
Cha Nov 2012 #40
freshwest Nov 2012 #62
Cha Nov 2012 #63
ProSense Nov 2012 #65
Cha Nov 2012 #69
forestpath Nov 2012 #54
freshwest Nov 2012 #60
ProSense Nov 2012 #66
lunatica Nov 2012 #67

Response to kpete (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 11:35 AM

1. This is what many saw ...

and argued, the whole time.

It appears that too many Democrats are "one-step thinkers", only capable of seeing the immediate tactic; rather than, a long-term strategy. While President Obama would rather win the war, many can only see the immediate battle.

I wonder ... is President Obama's real problem that (he believes, and with good reason) congressional Democrats cannot be trusted with the battle plans? They have proven time and again that they are all too willing to telegraph (for personal political gain) troop movements, before the pieces are in place.

I guess it is a Democratic core value to reject leadership as a sign of "independent thought." Unfortunately, the modern gop is not similarly handicapped.

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #1)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 12:20 PM

11. This

 

is why I compare President Obama to Lincoln. He is from Illinois, a lawyer and thinks in pragmatic ways. He is accomplishing his Policies in incremental ways. Washington is tough and he is weaving his way through that forest. It is much like playing the game of Chess and now he has the Republicans in checkmate. They are between a rock and a hard place, so much for his lack of intelligence. The Republicans can either make the move to save their Party or destroy it even more with obstruction. This is the position we are at. That was the case with Lincoln , all throughout the Civil War. Lincoln was also in danger of losing office until a major victory. Then he came out with the Emancipation Proclamation. I think President Obama is studying the Lincoln Presidency. And Obama not only has his obstructionists, but he also has his radical abolitionists on the Left.

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Response to John2 (Reply #11)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 12:41 PM

16. I wouldn't say ...

President Obama has the modern gop in Checkmate, as Checkmate is the end of the game ... in politics the game never ends. But I would say, President Obama has the modern gop in Check where the modern gop's only moves are to retreat and checkmate is in site.

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #16)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 08:45 PM

53. Yup, I picked up on that too.

Hardly a checkmate.

Maybe not even a check. But he is in a position to dominate the center game. It remains to be seen how well he will capitalize on his position.

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #1)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 12:23 PM

12. VERY well stated! & Precisely right, there were those here, who when we lost the decision against

extending the Bush Tax Cuts, over a year ago, listened to a somewhat less than happy PO, review the gains of the just recently concluded congressional wrestling match AND he projected the necessity of revisiting the whole tax reform question, INCLUDING LOOPHOLES, I believe he said maybe before, but probably after, elections.

It wasn't long after that the he entered the whole deficit capping fight and budget "negotiations" that at least some of us saw as a holding action. Oh, I have no doubt he would have taken the right stuff had it been offered, but there was no "danger" of that, so he held, while some folks screamed he was obstructionist and others screamed he was going to give away Social Security and Medicare, when, in fact, he was holding out for better conditions for the tax question, budget priorities, and related issues such as The Dream Act and, incidentally, an anti-DOMA cohort which comprises a significant part of the whole social justice movement.

We need to figure out precisely how we are going to FIGHT!!! Congress in order to support PO & back our OWN value issues and priorities.

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #1)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 12:59 PM

24. This.

Well put.

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #1)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 01:28 PM

28. +1 nt

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #1)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 02:08 PM

33. We have our own

tea party types on the left. No gray area, no compromise and if you don't pass the purity test 100% of the time you need to be primaried.

Mirror image of a tea bagger. Many grace the pages of Du, more frequently now that the election is over and it's ok to talk smack about Dems again.

Julie

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Response to JNelson6563 (Reply #33)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 08:23 PM

51. Falsely implying that Democrats with whom you disagree of being disloyal is a McCarthy tactic.

 

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Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Reply #51)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 11:31 PM

59. lolz

How funny it is when those I refer to in a general sort of way, in no way identifying, out themselves. I in no way said what you try to say I did but you do get points for trying.

Rock on friend, rock on.

Julie

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 11:37 AM

2. There is no fiscal cliff

If Obama starts from a position of pretending there is, what difference does it make?

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Response to leftstreet (Reply #2)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 11:59 AM

4. Thank-you.

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Response to leftstreet (Reply #2)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 12:14 PM

7. Exactly. He should reject the term. Call their bluff, then start from

a place people can have confidence in. A truthful place. So far the entire discussion around the Deficit discussion has been deceptive and people do not trust them at all.

People are also sick of the slick, Wall Street invented language. 'Fiscal Cliff'. How about just plain old normal language that is not designed to scare people in order to deceive them?

I love people who use their own words rather than prepared language deliberately invented to convey messages that are not true.

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #7)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 12:30 PM

14. Agreed, strongly agreed! PO should publicly reject "fiscal cliff" & so should we! nt

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Response to leftstreet (Reply #2)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 12:44 PM

19. It's a tactical marketing decision

to continue to call it a fiscal cliff, and it strengthens President Obama's hand at the bargaining table. Whether we like it or not, there has to be some bargaining since the Republicans still control the House - and if Reid doesn't go through with some strong filibuster reform, they'll control the Senate, too.

Unlike many DUers, your average American isn't all that informed or curious when it comes to politics or governing, so putting something of a fear factor into the narrative to satiate corporate media's need for sensationalizing everything, will put pressure on the Republicans to drop their idiotic push for more tax cuts for the already obscenely wealthy in this country.

President Obama's team and Congressional Democrats have learned a lot about marketing and using the usually pro-GOP media in their favor, and it's clear they're not afraid to use it.

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Response to BlueCaliDem (Reply #19)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 12:53 PM

23. Bingo ...

public perception IS reality, and the public believes that there is a looming fiscal cliff.

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Response to BlueCaliDem (Reply #19)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 02:29 PM

34. Wrong. They deny the truth about marketing

Obama in 2008 (and the Democrats in 2006) swept into office with more political capital than any Prez in our lifetimes. People all over the globe cried with relief at the prospect of Hope and Change.

Obama could have brought all the troops home, instituted single payer healthcare, raised the minimum wage to $20 an hour, and guaranteed Democratic party dominance for decades.

Instead he and the Democrats have been 'bargaining' with, and propping up, a dead political party for no other reason than to advance the agenda of the wealthy elite.

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Response to leftstreet (Reply #34)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 03:42 PM

43. You're kidding, right? Or, are you ...

Obama could have brought all the troops home, instituted single payer healthcare, raised the minimum wage to $20 an hour, and guaranteed Democratic party dominance for decades.


Just ignoring political realities. If nothing else, the resultant ObamaCare product ... that barely passed the House and Senate, even in it's grossly watered down form, belies your wishful thinking.

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #43)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 07:39 PM

49. No Dem will have his political capital again in our lifetimes

Hope and Change will come from the 'right' next time, if at all

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Response to leftstreet (Reply #49)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 11:22 PM

57. Sloganism ...

and Presidential political capital mean very little when Democratic legislators ... you know, the ones Constitutionally charged with writing, introducing and voting on legislation ... seem to have a pathological need to distinguish themselves as "free-thinking", by opposing Presidential leadership.

Why do you think single-payer and the public option were off the table before ObamaCare was introduced to the public?

Let me answer ... BECAUSE THERE WERE NOT ENOUGH DEMOCRATIC VOTES FOR EITHER!

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #57)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 01:30 AM

64. Because Democrats staged healthcare 'town halls'

...which were nothing but a media venue to fake 'opposition' to single payer and the public option, etc

I don't remember any 'town halls' prior to the Wall Street Bailouts, or Afghanistan escalation

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Response to leftstreet (Reply #64)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 09:55 AM

68. Okay ...



But none-the-less, there still remains the fact that there were not enough Democratic votes for anything more than what we got in ObamaCare; but there were Democratic votes for the Wallstreet Bail-outs. The escalation in Afghanistan is an executive decision, Co9nstitutionally ascribed to the CinC; and therefore, wholly unlike any kind of healthcare legislation.

I know we all want what we want; but let's not confuse what we want with what is doable. And what is doable, is less about any President; but more about the amount of Congressional support that the President has ... something that is lacking on the Democratic side of the aisle.

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Response to leftstreet (Reply #34)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 03:52 PM

45. He could have done all those things?? Really?

Obama could have brought all the troops home, instituted single payer healthcare, raised the minimum wage to $20 an hour, and guaranteed Democratic party dominance for decades.


Well, yeah, he could have if he were a dictator. But he isn't, so I'm just going to assume you were j/k when you posted the above.

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Response to BlueCaliDem (Reply #45)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 07:41 PM

50. Yes. Those are the reasons people elected him

Did Bush get his war in Iraq because he was a 'dictator?' Of course not

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Response to leftstreet (Reply #50)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 08:39 PM

52. He got it because of 9/11, and cowed Congress with the political capital

he won afterward. There was NO WAY Congress - or we - would have allowed the war in Iraq otherwise. Richard Clarke was there when it all went down, and he writes about it in his book (excellent book, btw, and worth every penny)

Rumsfeld took advantage of 9-11 to push Iraq agenda

I expected to go back to a round of meetings examining what the next attacks could be, what our vulnerabilities were, what we could do about them in the short term. Instead, I walked into a series of discussions about Iraq. At first I was incredulous that we were talking about something other than getting Al Qaeda. Then I realized with almost a sharp physical pain that Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz were going to try to take advantage of this national tragedy to promote their agenda about Iraq. Since the beginning of the administration, indeed well before, they had been pressing for a war with Iraq.
On the morning of the 12th DOD's focus was already beginning to shift from al Qaeda. CIA was explicit now that al Qaeda was guilty of the attacks, but Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz were not persuaded. It was too sophisticated and complicated an operation, they said, for a terrorist group to have pulled off by itself, without a state sponsor-Iraq must have been helping them.
Source: Against All Enemies, by Richard Clarke, chapter 1

http://www.issues2000.org/Archive/Against_All_Enemies_War_+_Peace.htm

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Response to leftstreet (Reply #50)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 11:26 PM

58. No ...

Bush got the Iraq War because no had 100% gop support and near 85% Democratic support.

Do you think President Obama could get anyway near those numbers for anything other than maybe Congressional pay-raises?

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Response to leftstreet (Reply #2)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 12:47 PM

20. The difference is ...

the public believes that there IS a fiscal cliff ... and no amount of claiming to the contrary will matter. So rather than tilt against windmills, the wiser strategy is to leverage the public's perception.

This is the advantage that the modern gop holds over liberals; we are stuck on believing that facts actually matter more than public sentiment. In our world, facts matter, not so much in the public at large, as evidence by any modern gop held position. If facts mattered to the public at large, we would have seen each and every republican being turned out of office, regardless of gerrymandering and voter suppression.

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Response to leftstreet (Reply #2)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 01:14 PM

25. Heretic.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 11:49 AM

3. so caving isn't really caving

and Obama is prepared to fight for tax cuts for the rich (which is what his 78% Bush tax cut plan is)

It's a trojan horse all right - against liberals, not aganst conservatives. Four years after "yes, we can" and we are still stuck with well over 50% of the Bush tax cuts.

Yes, we did - get betrayed.

And this bullshit is coming from Mother Jones? Et tu, Mother Jones?

The only good deal with true benefits is to let all of the goddamn Bush tax cuts expire. Extending them in the name of pragmatism is not governing. It's stabbing the working people of America in the back. Mother Jones should be fighting for the working people, not making excuses for the stabbers.

My subscription to Mother Jones is now on the table.

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Response to hfojvt (Reply #3)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 12:02 PM

5. That'll show 'em.

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Response to cliffordu (Reply #5)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 12:15 PM

9. no, it won't be any more

than any of my farts in a windstorm (to quote Vonnegut from "Jailbird").

But they will send me dozens of letters asking me to re-subscribe. So presumably my subscription does matter to them - at least a little.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 12:09 PM

6. The pre-cave cave, but it being from Mother Jones is unfathomable. I too

 

will be ending my Mother Jones subscription this afternoon when I get home from work. And I am a long-term subscriber.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 12:15 PM

8. I strongly disagree with Corn.

The reduction in FICA contributions ("Payroll Tax" in Republican Speak) was NOT a good idea.
It is proving to be not-so-temporary,
and Social Security is NOW directly connected to The Deficit.

Payroll Tax Holiday Connects Social Security to the Deficit
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=439x1538388

If you are looking for a Trojan Horse,
you can't find a better one than the Trojan Horse in the "Temporary Payroll Tax Holiday".
No Republican Administration could have EVER gotten away with FICA reductions,
and any future Republican Administration (and they WILL come) will be free to raid FICA and call it a "Democratic Stimulus"
now that this ill conceived precedent has been created & endorsed by a Democratic Administration.

Social Security was created with an inviolate, independent funding mechanism for a reason.
The wall between the General Fund and the Social Security Fund has been torn down,
by the Democrats.

As far as the unemployment extension, it didn't help those thousands whose benefits had already expired,
but only helped the few whose benefits were about to expire, and only for a year.
For THIS, the ruinous Bush Tax Cuts for BILLIONAIRES were extended for a full two years.
This is not a good trade when one Does the Math.



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Response to bvar22 (Reply #8)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 01:29 PM

29. MYTHS AND MISINFORMATION ABOUT SOCIAL SECURITY- Part 2

Myths and misstatements of fact frequently circulate on the Internet, in email and on websites, and are repeated in endless loops of misinformation. One common set of such misinformation involves a series of questions about the history of the Social Security system.

Q1. Which political party took Social Security from the independent trust fund and put it into the general fund so that Congress could spend it?

A1: There has never been any change in the way the Social Security program is financed or the way that Social Security payroll taxes are used by the federal government. The Social Security Trust Fund was created in 1939 as part of the Amendments enacted in that year. From its inception, the Trust Fund has always worked the same way. The Social Security Trust Fund has never been "put into the general fund of the government."

Most likely this question comes from a confusion between the financing of the Social Security program and the way the Social Security Trust Fund is treated in federal budget accounting. Starting in 1969 (due to action by the Johnson Administration in 1968) the transactions to the Trust Fund were included in what is known as the "unified budget." This means that every function of the federal government is included in a single budget. This is sometimes described by saying that the Social Security Trust Funds are "on-budget." This budget treatment of the Social Security Trust Fund continued until 1990 when the Trust Funds were again taken "off-budget." This means only that they are shown as a separate account in the federal budget. But whether the Trust Funds are "on-budget" or "off-budget" is primarily a question of accounting practices--it has no effect on the actual operations of the Trust Fund itself.

<more at>

http://www.ssa.gov/history/InternetMyths2.html

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Response to pinto (Reply #29)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 03:01 PM

41. It is NO myth...

...that FICA Contributions have been reduced by the Obama Administration under the guise of a "Temporary Payroll tax Holiday".

It is also no myth that Bush-the-Lesser accomplished the exact same stimulus without a Payroll tax Holiday by simply sending everybody a check from the General Fund.

It is also NO myth that the "Temporary Payroll Tax Holiday" contained legislation stipulating that shortfalls due the lowered collection of FICA contributions WILL BE RECOVERED from the General Fund.

"To prevent Social Security from losing tax revenue, Congress mandated that revenues be transferred from the general fund to the Social Security trust funds to make up for the tax reduction. "

http://taxes.about.com/od/payroll/a/Reduced-Social-Security-Withholding-For-2011.htm


It is also no myth that this has never been done before.
The "Payroll Tax Holiday" established a precedent.

Is also no myth that The Republicans could have NEVER accomplished this feat.
It required a Democrat to touch and ground The 3rd Rail.

It is no myth that once a precedent is established,
it is much easier to accomplish the next time.

The above are simple FACTS, not myths.
You can weasel & worm, distort & evade, twist & torture as much as you want to, but you can not deny the above facts.





You will know them by their WORKS,
not by their rhetoric, promises, or excuses.
Solidarity99!
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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Response to bvar22 (Reply #41)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 03:51 PM

44. Ah geez. I didn't "weasel & worm, distort & evade, twist & torture". I simply reposted SSA statement

I think going to the source is always a good practice. We can all make up our own minds on the value, impact or long term results of legislation.

I think petty name calling adds nothing to a conversation. Suggest you direct your outrage elsewhere, not at me. Thanks.

For what it's worth, the Congressional act was designed to be a temporary stimulus. And yes, it was designed to be repaid from the General Fund. From the link you provided -

Updated February 21, 2012

Workers will see less taxes deducted from their paychecks for Social Security. For the years 2011 and 2012, Congress has legislated a temporary payroll tax holiday designed to put more money into the hands of American workers.

Temporary Reduction in the Social Security Tax Rate

For 2011 and 2012, employees will pay 4.2% of their wage earnings for the Social Security tax, instead of the normal 6.2% rate. Employers still pay the full 6.2% rate.

Self-employed persons, who pay both halves of the Social Security tax through the self-employment tax, will pay a combined rate of 10.4% (the employer's 6.2% plus the employee's 4.2% rates).


What Happens to the "Missing" Social Security Funds?

To prevent Social Security from losing tax revenue, Congress mandated that revenues be transferred from the general fund to the Social Security trust funds to make up for the tax reduction. This is provided for in section 601 of the Tax Relief Act, which reads in part, "There are hereby appropriated to the Federal Old-Age and Survivors Trust Fund and the Federal Disability Insurance Trust Fund established under section 201 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 401) amounts equal to the reduction in revenues to the Treasury by reason of the application of subsection (a). Amounts appropriated by the preceding sentence shall be transferred from the general fund at such times and in such manner as to replicate to the extent possible the transfers which would have occurred to such Trust Fund had such amendments not been enacted."

Implementing the Payroll Tax Holiday

The Internal Revenue Service has directed employers to implement the lower 4.2% Social Security tax rate paid by employees no later than January 31, 2011. Additionally, employers are supposed to refund to their employees any excess tax withholding if they were using the old 6.2% rate during January; the IRS has instructed employers to refund the difference no later than March 31, 2011.

Self-employed persons pay their Social Security tax through estimated tax payments. Self-employed workers may utilize the lower Social Security tax rates when calculating their tax payments.

http://taxes.about.com/od/payroll/a/Reduced-Social-Security-Withholding-For-2011.htm

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Response to pinto (Reply #44)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 04:08 PM

47. So then you agree with every fact I stated in the above post.

Thanks for your support and assistance in helping Spread the Word.

The dangerous implications hidden in what was marketed as a Progressive Stimulus Program SHOULD be known and appreciated.

Precedents were established.
Lines that were sacred to the Democratic Party, and guarded BY the Democratic Party for over 60 years WERE crossed,
and they should NOT and DID NOT have to be crossed.


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Response to pinto (Reply #44)


Response to kpete (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 12:16 PM

10. Same facts, different characterization

At the end of the day, the article presents nothing new that hasn't been discussed before. Obama caved/capitulated/negotiated on the tax cuts for the rich, to get a bunch of things he wanted that the GOP didn't really care all that much about. Fundamental to all of the points of view will be basically predictions of would/could have been and what actually was needed/effective.

Obama's economic team believes that tax cuts are more important to economic stimulus than most of his critics. The payroll tax and the middle class tax cuts are presented as stimulus, but most data suggests it is some of the weakest stimulus the government can create. Many would argue that letting all the Bush cuts expire, and then either spending the revenue, or creating new targeted tax cuts, would/could have been vastly more effective. And he traded 2 years of tax cuts for 1 year of unemployment extensions, which are actually more effective stimulus than tax cuts for anyone.

And at the end of the day this story won't be over until sometime next year when we see what he finally gets for his 2 year extension, and what he gives away this time to get what he wants. Those that trust him are optimistic. Those that don't are suspicious. They both have a basis for their views.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 12:28 PM

13. If Republicans get away with the deductions lie,

that just limiting deductions will solve the problem, and obama signs legislation that keeps the 2010 Obama tax cuts for the wealthy, then he caved.

It is not pragmatic to negotiate away critical pieces of the social safety net and allow the wealthy to continue to reap the benefits. It will not solve the deficit. Limiting deductions will not substantially raise revenue.

Any bill that maintains the Tax Cuts for the Wealthy is a cave.

David Corn is just wrong.

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Response to Agnosticsherbet (Reply #13)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 12:41 PM

17. +1

 

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Response to Agnosticsherbet (Reply #13)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 09:16 PM

56. Yup. Sounds like spin to me.

Americans want the tax cut to the wealthy not just as a means to balance the budget but as a referendum on the preferential treatment given to the Haves over the Have Nots.

They are mad as hell and they're not gonna take it anymore. Time for the rich to pay their share. Period.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 12:30 PM

15. there is good reason to think he will NOT cave this time (on tax cuts)

for one thing, he is not saying anything that suggests he might cave. He actually unequivocally promised a veto, which he didn't do last time, despite many peoples' insistence that he did.

In fact, the behavior of the GOP and the conservative Dems suggests that they expect Obama not to cave this time.

On the other hand, just as he signalled last time that he was going to extend the tax cuts, I am seeing signals that intends to cut Medicare this time around.

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Response to Enrique (Reply #15)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 12:52 PM

22. I don't

 

believe he will cut medicare period but reform it. I'm pretty sure that you can find more waste in the system to control costs. I think that is the reforms, that he is talking about. As far as changing the age limits, the sides that want it, will not win it. The reason they want even talk about it in an election, they know they want win it. And if they do such a thing, they will see a revolt in this country because it will affect people's lives. Furthermore, it is not good overall Policy. It could also affect people's Health, specially the old and children's healthcare. Children, especially with medicaid. Pulling the safetynet from these Demographics will push more people into poverty. Even if President Obama has any notion of doing this (which I doubt) will ruin his legacy for decades. He will essentially give Wall Street and the Republicans what they have been trying to do for decades.

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Response to John2 (Reply #22)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 01:48 PM

31. they are openly talking about the Medicare eligibility age

non-RW Democrats are behind it, Obama was open to it in last year's negotiations. DUers have argued for it. Liberal pundits like Michael Tomasky have urged liberals not to make a stink about it. Other liberals like David Corn ignore the issue.

Bottom line, imo, it's not as unthinkable as you seem to think. I think it comes down to who steps up to oppose it. Harry Reid maybe? I hope so.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 12:42 PM

18. It's a 'fiscal bluff', R's are terrified to cut the bloated war budget....

There should be no deal at all.

Then we should try to pass middle class tax cuts and other fixes as separate bills and let the R's obstruct, thereby giving us the 2014 election. No brainier.

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Response to grahamhgreen (Reply #18)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 01:26 PM

27. 'Fiscal Bluff'. I like that better. It is more honest.

Nothing should be decided regarding SS and Medicare during the Lame Duck Congress. The people elected new representatives and the new Congress has reduced the majority Republicans hold.

Democrats will be in a much better situation in January to deal with these important issues. Why the rush?

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #27)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 02:39 PM

36. Agreed. This Congress needs to keep their phuking mitts off of Social Security AND Medicare! nt

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #27)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 03:07 PM

42. I like "Bluff" because a bluff is not only a cliff, but a deception, and it resembles

"cliff" as almost a homonym.

Although what we are really talking about is "Budget Control", which is the actual name of the legislation and puts it in terms the R's cannot defend going back on.

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Response to grahamhgreen (Reply #42)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 09:16 PM

55. Yes, it is a great play on the word 'cliff', lol! Related geographically, but

tells people we are being deceived again. Cliff = scary! Bluff = deception or 'who do you think you are kidding!

Congratulations if you came up with it, it is simple but brilliant. I hope you don't mind if I use it!

I love it!

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 12:49 PM

21. We had better think long and hard on this subject...

and try to be as pragmatic as we say the President is. No time for hugs and kisses.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 01:14 PM

26. the "white flag" has already been waved before negotiations have started. snooze nt

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 01:38 PM

30. FIGHT Congress!!! -> contact info:

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 02:01 PM

32. Obama could not let them expire last time because that would have rasied takes on those

making under 250k. And that's 98% of the US.

As a candidate, he promised not raise taxes on those under 250k, and if he had, it would have been his "read my lips moment". The media would have run clips of Obama making that promise side by side with clips of Bush #1 saying "read my lips, no new taxes". Those clips would have run in an endless loop on the "liberal media".

And Obama would have become a 1 term President for sure.

So Obama DELAYED his promise to end the Bush tax cuts for those above 250k. He had made that promise as a candidate in 2008. By putting the expiration at the end of this year, Obama effectively ensured that win or lose in the 2012 election, he would be the one to make the decision on those tax cuts.

Now, he can let them all expire, which BREAKS his promise to the 98% under 250k, but doing so no longer hurts him. He can't run again anyway ... AND ... its more likely that the GOP will be the ones blamed for the "fiscal cliff".

He could make a deal before the end of the year, but I think it would have to be a pretty sweet deal.

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Response to JoePhilly (Reply #32)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 02:32 PM

35. My case for letting the Bush Tax Cuts end, it ALL depends upon what we get for it:

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Response to JoePhilly (Reply #32)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 02:42 PM

37. Of course, that's what happened. Thanks JoePhilly That's exactly what would

have happened, too.

As a candidate, he promised not raise taxes on those under 250k, and if he had, it would have been his "read my lips moment". The media would have run clips of Obama making that promise side by side with clips of Bush #1 saying "read my lips, no new taxes". Those clips would have run in an endless loop on the "liberal media".


The President knew what he was doing. Thank you, David Corn, who along with, James Carter IV, helped Exposed mitt47%!

Pres Obama has to work with an obstructionist congress that got in 2010.. When Dems didn't get out and vote in numbers. We can't let that happen again.

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Response to Cha (Reply #37)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 11:50 PM

61. +1,000 to what you said.

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Response to JoePhilly (Reply #32)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 02:52 PM

39. Actually Joe. In the last election, the President said that he would let ALL taxes increase

if republicans attempted to protect the rich by holding the 98% hostage. 51% of voters heard and agree with the President. I am ok wit paying more taxes so that the rich are forced to pay their fair share. I understood what the President said on the campaign trail and I fully support whatever action he has to take now.

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Response to bluestate10 (Reply #39)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 03:57 PM

46. Yup ... I was describing the promises he made in 2008 ...

After 2008, there was a possibility that he could have kept both promises in his first term, but to do so, he needed the congressional Dems to show some spine. They didn't. And many of them got creamed in the 2010 election.

And you are correct, as a 2012 candidate, Obama said he would not extend the cuts for those over 250k. And the majority agrees. They either don't know that their taxes might go up, or they too know that the GOP has to reinstate them. I think the latter is the case.

I think this was part of his long term plan.

Back in 2010 when he had to decide what to do with the Bush tax cuts, the media was figuring out how to attack him regardless of what he did. If he extended them, they had one attack. If he let them expire, they had the attack I described ("read my lips"). The pundits, left and right, took turns complaining about what he would do on both counts.

It was during that period I determined that no matter what he did they would hammer him.

But, when he did the extension, and I saw where the next extension was, I saw how smart he was. The 98% were not willing, at that time in 2010, to give up their cuts, just to get the cuts on the high end to expire. The polling was clear on this.

I got as much as he could for the extension, and then placed the next extension into a time frame in which he held all the cards.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 02:46 PM

38. I favor Warren Buffet's plan.

His plan calls for taxes to be something like 19% of GDP and short-term spending to be 21%. I would like to see the opposite of taxes being 2% more than spending. Buffet calls for a minimum tax of 30% on earnings of 1 million and a minimum tax of 35% of earnings of 5 million or more. Buffet would raise the minimum salary that is protected from tax increases to $400,000-$500,000 from $250,000, I agree with the increase, but there should be a waiver option that a taxpayer wanting to pay the higher rate for earnings between $250,000 and $400,000 can file to pay the higher rate, with the understanding that the money won't be returned as a tax return. An earner would have to include the waiver declaration as part of the filing for the past year's tax return and the declaration would be good until the next tax filing, with the requirement that the declaration be filed by the annual tax deadline date - with no extensions.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 02:56 PM

40. Matthew Iglesias calls it a "Triumph" ..

So Obama secured a deal that extended the middle-class tax cuts (which he and the GOP agreed on), extended UI benefits, created a stimulative payroll tax holiday, cleared the legislative decks for "don't ask, don't tell" repeal and the passage of the New START arms-control treaty, and in exchange he gave up nothing of any real substance. Republicans got two more years' worth of high-end tax cuts at a time when deficit reduction wouldn't have helped the economy, and House GOP opposition would have prevented any new revenue from being spent. Whatever formal leverage he had two years ago still exists today, except now he gets to play that leverage from a somewhat stronger economic and political context. It's totally solid legislative dealmaking and not any kind of cave-in or surrender.


http://www.slate.com/blogs/moneybox/2012/11/26/lame_duck_2010_tax_deal_obama_s_secret_triumph.html

Thanks kpete

h/t the obama diary

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Response to Cha (Reply #40)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 11:52 PM

62. Thanks for that one.

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Response to freshwest (Reply #62)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 12:12 AM

63. Sure! :)

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Response to Cha (Reply #40)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 06:39 AM

65. It was, but not

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Response to ProSense (Reply #65)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 03:45 PM

69. I saw the stupid last night

and promptly trashed it.

thanks for the link, though, Pro.. Really good to see FACTS FlOWN BACK at...


"John Conyers and Dennis Kucinich also voted for in 2012. Are they DLC?" Freaking Crickets..?

David Corn is into FACTS.


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Response to kpete (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 08:47 PM

54. Geez....are they ALL IN ON IT?!?! I am still stunned after seeing a clip of David Plouffe on

 

Ed's who tonight talking about a "grand bargain" with "entitlements" on the chopping block.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 11:41 PM

60. K & R

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 06:46 AM

66. Democrats have been putting up a united front.

Patty Murray: If GOP Refuses All Tax Hikes, We’ll Let Them Go Up And Start Over
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10021791837

SPINE! President Obama Will Let ALL the Bush Tax Cuts Expire......if he doesn't get what he wants.
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10021775710

I'm not going to do that!!!!
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10021786489

Pelosi and Reid Have OBAMA's BACK: No Social Security Cuts & Taxes MUST Be RAISED On The RICH
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10021843971

Democratic Senator Introduces Bill To Lift Social Security’s Tax Cap, Extend Solvency For Decades
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10021834952

Do Not Cut Social Security

September 20, 2012

A major bloc of 29 senators took a strong stand today against any cuts to Social Security as part of a deficit reduction deal. "We will oppose including Social Security cuts for future or current beneficiaries in any deficit reduction package," the senators said in a letter circulated by Sen. Bernie Sanders, the founder of the Senate Defending Social Security Caucus. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Sen. Charles Schumer, the Senate's No. 3 leader, signed the letter. So did Sens. Mark Begich, Sheldon Whitehouse and Al Franken, who joined Sanders at a Capitol news conference.

Social Security has not contributed to the deficit or to the national debt, the senators said. The program that benefits more than 50 million retirees, widows, widowers, orphans and disabled Americans has a $2.7 trillion surplus and, according to actuaries, will be able to pay every benefit owed to every eligible recipient for the next 21 years.

"Contrary to some claims, Social Security is not the cause of our nation's deficit problem. Not only does the program operate independently, but it is prohibited from borrowing," the letter said. "Even though Social Security operates in a fiscally responsible manner, some still advocate deep benefit cuts and seem convinced that Social Security hands out lavish welfare checks. But Social Security is not welfare. Seniors earned their benefits by working and paying into the system," the letter added.

Social Security has not contributed to deficits because it has a dedicated funding stream. Workers and employers each pay half of a 12.4 percent payroll tax on the first $110,100 of a worker's wages. The tax rate for employees was reduced to 4.2 percent in 2011 and 2012, but is scheduled to return to 6.2 percent in January.

To read the letter, click here »

http://www.sanders.senate.gov/newsroom/news/?id=066FB085-5798-4E6C-ABA2-85549D84DFA6


Other signatories:

Sens. Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii), Tim Johnson (D-S.D.), John D. Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.), Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii), Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Carl Levin (D-Mich.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.)

This doesn't include Elizabeth Warren and other new Senators.

A mandate on ending tax cuts for the rich
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10021792535

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 07:02 AM

67. I think the only difference between getting to his intended goal now or later is

the length of time he's forced to spend getting there. He's still going to get his goal, but with the unprecedented obstruction of the kind he's been facing it'll just take a little longer. That's probably because he's actually thinking about the country first rather than the usual minute by minute political gotchas that the GOP is wallowing in.

He probably already has plans about what he's going to do after 2016.

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