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Fri Nov 30, 2012, 08:59 AM

Obama offers GOP an ambitious, progressive debt-reduction plan

Obama offers GOP an ambitious, progressive debt-reduction plan

By Steve Benen

President Obama had to endure some deeply unpleasant experiences with Congress over the last couple of years, but the result of the incidents taught him valuable lessons. It's clear, especially after last year's debt-ceiling crisis, that the president now knows exactly how to negotiate with reckless, radicalized Republicans.

Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner presented the House speaker, John A. Boehner, a detailed proposal on Thursday to avert the year-end fiscal crisis with $1.6 trillion in tax increases over 10 years, $50 billion in immediate stimulus spending, home mortgage refinancing and a permanent end to Congressional control over statutory borrowing limits.

The proposal, loaded with Democratic priorities and short on detailed spending cuts, met strong Republican resistance. In exchange for locking in the $1.6 trillion in added revenues, President Obama embraced the goal of finding $400 billion in savings from Medicare and other social programs to be worked out next year, with no guarantees.

For years, Obama hoped to strike deals by being conciliatory, starting with opening offers designed to satisfy Republican demands. These efforts repeatedly failed miserably, and only emboldened GOP leaders to demand agreements tilted heavily in their favor.

Fine, the president is now saying. Let's start with an ambitious plan designed to make Democrats happy, and see how that works out...Republicans seemed stunned late yesterday while condemning Obama's offer, as if the president shouldn't have the audacity to present a plan he knows they won't like. But I'd remind GOP lawmakers that everything in Obama's proposal is consistent with his previous budget plans and the policies he presented to the public during the recent national campaign (which he won fairly easily).

Indeed, Obama is acting like a confident, re-elected president who expects congressional Republicans to start moving in his direction, not the other way around. GOP leaders aren't accustomed to this dynamic, but it's probably time they adapt to their new surroundings.

- more -

http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2012/11/30/15568521-obama-offers-gop-an-ambitious-progressive-debt-reduction-plan


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Reply Obama offers GOP an ambitious, progressive debt-reduction plan (Original post)
ProSense Nov 2012 OP
spanone Nov 2012 #1
KharmaTrain Nov 2012 #2
Botany Nov 2012 #3
blackspade Nov 2012 #19
XtopherXtopher Nov 2012 #23
BlueStreak Nov 2012 #25
Doctor_J Nov 2012 #4
bahrbearian Nov 2012 #30
spanone Nov 2012 #5
whathehell Nov 2012 #7
SaveAmerica Nov 2012 #6
mmonk Nov 2012 #8
toby jo Nov 2012 #11
ozone82 Nov 2012 #15
Bluenorthwest Nov 2012 #16
jeff47 Nov 2012 #24
1StrongBlackMan Nov 2012 #9
kenfrequed Nov 2012 #10
leftstreet Nov 2012 #17
Bluenorthwest Nov 2012 #18
leftstreet Nov 2012 #20
blackspade Nov 2012 #21
Hutzpa Nov 2012 #22
ProSense Nov 2012 #31
Tierra_y_Libertad Nov 2012 #33
kenfrequed Nov 2012 #12
Victor_c3 Nov 2012 #13
jeff47 Nov 2012 #26
PoliticalBiker Nov 2012 #14
liberal_at_heart Nov 2012 #27
okwmember Nov 2012 #28
99Forever Nov 2012 #29
ProSense Nov 2012 #32
freshwest Dec 2012 #34

Response to ProSense (Original post)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 09:01 AM

1. k&r...

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 09:12 AM

2. Piss 'Em Off...Make 'Em Sweat...

Remember, it's the 2% that suffers the most if we go "off the cliff". They'll pay more...or shall we say they'll resume paying what they were always supposed to pay. If the dubya cuts weren't meant to be temporary, why didn't he make them permanent when he had majority in both houses in '05 & '06? Thus all good times must come to an end...and reality has settling in.

The big money lost a big gamble on Nov. 6. All those billions only won a marginal majority in the House and not much more. The voters have spoken and it was a big "screw you" to the Country clubbers. President Obama knows it and sees it...and more importantly...it looks like Senate and Congressional Democrats do as well. The problem here isn't with Democrats...or the 53% of the electorate...it's with an imploding rushpublican party that is being ripped to shreads over the loss and this subsequent battle.

What is more delicious is if and when Boner reaches a deal it'll surely stoke the circular firing squads in his stupid, inept and corrupt party even further. It's up to him to get this deal done...not on the President and if he fails, his party takes the blame...and it'll be the red states that get hurt with sequestration than blue ones. Boner is the one stuck in the middle...especially if he strikes a deal or comes close to one with the President and then walks away.

The President appears to have learned his lesson...you don't deal with rushpublicans, you have to wait until they beat themselves silly and then push things through after they've exhausted themselves. Boner knows his hand only gets worse after January 1st...

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 09:37 AM

3. Obama is holding all the cards ...... end of story

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Response to Botany (Reply #3)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 11:09 AM

19. +1000

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Response to Botany (Reply #3)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 11:25 AM

23. thanks for the uncontrollable lulz i got from that.

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Response to Botany (Reply #3)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 11:37 AM

25. Not really

The only reason he has any leverage is because the Republicans are doctrinaire mouth-breathers who can't think anything through for themselves.

In reality, the only thing "the cliff" does is:

- Return to the tax rates we had during our greatest period of growth since WWII. It isn't like we're looking to make the top tax rate 80%. it is 3 freaking points and a modest change to cap gains and dividend treatment. It really is not that big a deal -- only in the minds of a Republican.

- Hold down the GROWTH of the Pentagon budget -- an agency that already has twice as much money as it should have. This is hardly a devastating cut. it isn't even a cut a=t all. Only in the mind of a Republican is this a big deal.

- Ending extended unemployment. That doesn't strengthen Obama's hand. The Republicans would put the unemployed in a (for profit) debtor's prison if they could.

- The debt limit. Again, this doesn't favor Obama. That is the favorite hostage of the GOP.

Basically the only things Obama has to deal on are: a) his popularity (which might get you a cup of coffee inside the beltway, and b) the offer to make the bush tax cuts permanent for incomes under $250K.

That really isn't very much in reality. In the minds of a Republican, maybe these are huge things. That is what Obama is counting on. He really doesn't have nearly the hand everybody says he does.

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 09:42 AM

4. Here is a sound bite I would like to go viral

"Our way worked. their attempt to destroy me by destroying the country failed. They need to let that sink in"

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Response to Doctor_J (Reply #4)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 11:58 AM

30. Right On ! I didn't hear that one anywhere on the Newz .

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 09:44 AM

5. ...and mcconnell laughed at it. laugh on.....

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Response to spanone (Reply #5)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 09:54 AM

7. Ah, yes...Joe Scarborough mentioned it this morning, He was livid about what he called an "insult".

of an offer.

Tough shitskies, Repukes...Remember all the REAL insults

you've thrown at our president and the people of this country.

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 09:44 AM

6. Pawn Stars - District of Columbia

Obama is the bald dude behind the counter who has the upper hand and knows exactly where he will stop in the negotiations, Boehner knows he has to meet him there because he's watching his party crumble so he will. Tea party folks will be yelling from across the country "Don't take his offer - walk away, walk away!!"

Heh Heh Heh, loving this episode.

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 09:59 AM

8. Not sure the concept of debt reduction in an economy

with low demand and high unemployment is progressive in nature.

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Response to mmonk (Reply #8)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 10:37 AM

11. Canada did it.

They recently took an economy in a tailspin and retooled it by cutting back spending and raising some taxes. The key to it was a real careful means testing and retesting.

They transformed a 32 billion deficit into a 2.5 bill surplus. All this between '95 & '98. After this they got a full decade of surplus budgets with "debt, tax and poverty rates all falling as growth, investment and employment rose".

This is by Brian Crowley from Pittsburgh Post Gazette a few weeks ago - was going to do an op but never got around to it. Maybe somebody can find it and post? It's a great piece. "Canada's fiscal success story".

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Response to toby jo (Reply #11)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 10:50 AM

16. If 1995 is 'recently' then I bet much of the language in the post is as accurate at

that. Recently, by which I mean nearly 2 decades ago, I was a young man.

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Response to toby jo (Reply #11)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 11:36 AM

24. You can do that kind of thing in certain situations

You can do that kind of thing when you have lots of exports and the rest of the world is doing very well. Like 1995-1998 when the US economy was massively booming and sucking down Canadian natural resources like crazy.

You can't do that when the rest of the world is doing terrible, because other nations aren't buying as much. And you can't do that when you don't have tons of exports, like the US.

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 10:24 AM

9. And DUers ...

will read these paragraphs ...

Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner presented the House speaker, John A. Boehner, a detailed proposal on Thursday to avert the year-end fiscal crisis with $1.6 trillion in tax increases over 10 years, $50 billion in immediate stimulus spending, home mortgage refinancing and a permanent end to Congressional control over statutory borrowing limits.

The proposal, loaded with Democratic priorities and short on detailed spending cuts, met strong Republican resistance. In exchange for locking in the $1.6 trillion in added revenues, President Obama embraced the goal of finding $400 billion in savings from Medicare and other social programs to be worked out next year, with no guarantees.


And see exactly one segment of one sentence:

President Obama embraced the goal of finding $400 billion in savings from Medicare and other social programs


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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #9)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 10:30 AM

10. This might be a problem

But I think he is gambling on increased revenue through taxation and an economic turn around to both hit at the same time. If the savings in healthcare come about then the turn around could put is in a position where we start getting budget surpluses that we can start to pay down the debt with.

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #9)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 10:53 AM

17. And they'd be correct to pounce on it

Did this Administration embrace the goal of finding $400 billion in savings in the DOD budget?

I didn't think so

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #9)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 10:59 AM

18. The fact that no one else did post that, but you posted it as if others had speaks

volumes in the laguage of Straw. You type it, say others did when they did not, then you post 'head pounding on wall' about your own damn post.
If such arguments really chap your hide and you really do see them, why not wait until someone actually writes such a thing instead of leaping in to provide your own fictional account of what you say others say?
I find the characterization tactic to be intellectually flimsy and morally absent.

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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #18)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 11:10 AM

20. They need to get their talking points out there

It's how they do it

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #9)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 11:13 AM

21. As a critic of Obama, this is what I read:

President Obama embraced the goal of finding $400 billion in savings from Medicare and other social programs to be worked out next year, with no guarantees.


So yes, even us DUers that are critical do actually read the entire sentence.
No need for you to bash your brains out.

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #9)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 11:24 AM

22. I see nothing wrong with those paragraphs

unless you're trying to create a faux outrage.

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #9)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 01:46 PM

31. Mitt tried that.

He tried to claim the more than $700 billion in savings were cuts to benefits.

Mitt was projecting, and Mitt lost!

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #9)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 03:59 PM

33. Durn DU'ers always looking for the fine print.

Tsk. Tsk.

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 10:40 AM

12. It makes sense.

He has more progressives in the house and senate and the blue dogs are falling off to numbers of political irrelevence. Besides, the president has seen how useless it is running negotiations using blue dog positions as starting points.

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 10:43 AM

13. I say this in every thread that I reply to regarding "fiscal cliff"

You don't even see anyone even mentioning cutting our military spending! Cut it!! We don't need to spend $712 billion a year when the second most spending country in the world (China) spent $142 billion on their military last year. In 2004 that number was right around 480 billion, if I recall. why and how did it surge to $712 billion under a nobel peace prize winning president? Our military spending needs to be cut and it needs to be cut hard.

http://www.zerohedge.com/article/charting-60-years-defense-spending-and-why-mean-reversion-will-cost-millions-jobs

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Response to Victor_c3 (Reply #13)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 11:39 AM

26. 2004 isn't a good comparison

The wars were not in the budget. That $480 Billion did not include Iraq and Afghanistan. The $712 billion figure does include Afghanistan.

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 10:43 AM

14. On MoJo this morning...

Joe Scatterbrain was upset that the President would put forth such a non-starter as a basis for discussion

Interesting that he would say that given all the non-starting proposals that have come from his camp.

It's ok for his republicrat cronies to spew non-starting crap and when the President comes out with something that neither side gets all they want, he cries foul?? Typical GOP crybaby babbling.

SHUT UP JOE!

Damn insignificant coward

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 11:43 AM

27. he really disappointed me when he didn't lead health care negotiations with single payer

He never even mentioned single payer. Maybe, just maybe he has learned his lesson. We shall see.

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 11:56 AM

28. I think Ezra Klein wrote basically the same thing

in an article at the Washington Post. I think he said the president has stopped negotiating with himself.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2012/11/29/obama-to-gop-i-wont-negotiate-with-myself/

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 11:56 AM

29. We'll see what happens.

Eyeing recent history, I'm skeptical and will remain so until proved wrong. (Which I sincerely hope happens.)

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 03:52 PM

32. Problem for Republicans:

No, Dems don't need to compromise up front

By Greg Sargent

Yesterday, Republicans reacted with outrage when the White House offered an opening bid loaded with Democratic priorities -- $1.6 trillion in new tax revenues, an extension of unemployment insurance, and more stimulus spending. Though Dems offered $400 billion in Medicare cuts, what angered Republicans was that Dems didn't suggest greater spending cuts -- they didn't volunteer big concessions up front -- leading Republicans to dismiss the offer as "unserious."

The basic problem for Republicans here is that Democrats don't have to offer big concessions up front. This is true because of basic common sense -- if Republicans say no deal is possible without "serious" spending cuts, they need to tell us what spending cuts they consider "serious," or the talks can't go anywhere. (It's striking that some pundits are ignoring this basic reality and playing along with GOP claims.) But it's also true because of the uniqueness of this set of negotiations -- specifically, if we do nothing, Democrats will get their way. All the tax cuts will expire, and Dems can come back and push a new tax cut just for the middle class -- a circumstance that will only increase the Dems' leverage further.

This has created a fundamentally unbalanced situation. If we do nothing, the fate of the tax rates for the middle class will automatically become "decoupled" from the fate of tax rates for the rich. Dems want that to happen. Republicans, by contrast, want the fate of the two sets of tax rates to remain bound together as one. This has created an awkward situation that some conservatives will cop to and others won't. Some, like GOP Rep. Tom Cole and a growing number of Republicans, willingly admit that the current situation is lost and that Dems have much of the leverage here. Others are in denial about this -- as Matt Lewis writes, conservatives who think Republicans have the leverage are guilty of "the same kind of happy thinking that led some to boldly predict a Romney victory."

Worse for Republicans, Obama has a simple way to exacerbate the fundamental imbalance of the situation. He can continue to call on Republicans to extend just the middle class tax cuts, since everyone agrees on extending those -- and claim we can resolve the point of disagreement over the tax rates on the rich later. This forces Republicans to say No to this (because they need the two to remain tied together), further unmasking just how a high priority they place on keeping taxes low on the rich -- they are willing to create uncertainty for millions of middle class families to achieve it.

- more -

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/post/no-dems-dont-need-to-compromise-up-front/2012/11/30/7b06096a-3b1e-11e2-9258-ac7c78d5c680_blog.html

Dear Republicans, you have no leverage. You lost!

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 07:25 PM

34. I really like this one. Thanks ProSense.

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