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Tue Dec 11, 2012, 01:42 PM

To Save His Second Term, Obama Must Go Over the Fiscal Cliff - NewRepublic

To Save His Second Term, Obama Must Go Over the Fiscal Cliff
Noam Scheiber - NewRepublic
December 10, 2012

<snip>

The standard line on Barack Obama’s fiscal-cliff dilemma is that tactical considerations (i.e., how to get the best deal) recommend jumping over the edge, while strategic considerations (i.e., how to have the most successful presidency) recommend striking a deal. When it comes to tactics, after all, there’s no point in compromising with the GOP in order to raise tax rates below their Clinton-era levels, at least not when simply waiting until January 1 will restore them entirely, no concessions required. On the other hand, doing so could trigger a recession that derails Obama’s agenda. As Major Garrett of the National Journal put it a few weeks ago: “President Obama … has no hope of a second-term legacy of immigration reform, tax reform, or climate-change legislation (if he even wants it) if he drives the nation off the cliff. No one will follow Obama back out of the recessionary wilderness.”

There is plenty to be said for this argument—president’s don’t normally find it easier to govern during a recession, of course. But as the fiscal cliff negotiations play out, it’s increasingly proving to be wrong. At this point, both tactical and strategic considerations point toward the necessity of taking the plunge.

Simply put: The biggest threat to Barack Obama’s second-term agenda isn’t the economy. It’s the mania that has yet to loosen its grip on congressional Republicans, even after they lost seats in both houses and watched Obama roll to a comfortable re-election. To see this, look no further than the party’s internal discussions over its own fiscal-cliff positioning. The current debate within the GOP is between those who see that Obama has all the leverage in this particular episode and urge a quick deal on tax rates so the party can regroup for a bigger victory on entitlements, and those who still refuse to budge in any way on tax rates. Which is to say, it’s a debate between the moderately delusional and the utterly, irreconcilably delusional.

The moderately delusional argue that a deal could include raising the top income tax from 35 percent to 37 percent in exchange for certain concessions from Obama, like an agreement in principle on big spending cuts. (Never mind that there’s no reason Obama would accept lower rates than he could achieve simply by waiting till January—already a major concession--while granting the GOP additional concessions.) Then the GOP can make a more serious push on slashing entitlements by holding up a vote on the debt ceiling next year. The truly delusional—which includes members of the party’s congressional wing—respond that even this sweetheart deal for Republicans would entail “capitulat to Obama,” as Sean Hannity thundered the other night to Ann Coulter, who somehow represents what passes for reason within the GOP these days. (“We lost the election, Sean!” Coulter pleaded.)

As a result of all this, two things will almost certainly be true of any deal that gets done before January 1: First...

<snip>

More: http://www.tnr.com/blog/plank/110974/why-obama-must-go-over-the-cliff-save-his-second-term#




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Arrow 27 replies Author Time Post
Reply To Save His Second Term, Obama Must Go Over the Fiscal Cliff - NewRepublic (Original post)
WillyT Dec 2012 OP
The Magistrate Dec 2012 #1
ieoeja Dec 2012 #12
msongs Dec 2012 #2
bunnies Dec 2012 #3
Skink Dec 2012 #4
1StrongBlackMan Dec 2012 #5
Cosmocat Dec 2012 #14
bluestate10 Dec 2012 #6
ieoeja Dec 2012 #9
Coyotl Dec 2012 #24
forestpath Dec 2012 #7
DearAbby Dec 2012 #8
spanone Dec 2012 #10
Xyzse Dec 2012 #11
bemildred Dec 2012 #13
plethoro Dec 2012 #15
WillyT Dec 2012 #16
Skittles Dec 2012 #17
WillyT Dec 2012 #18
Faux pas Dec 2012 #19
kentuck Dec 2012 #20
WillyT Dec 2012 #21
DevonRex Dec 2012 #22
Coyotl Dec 2012 #23
WillyT Dec 2012 #25
jsr Dec 2012 #26
MrYikes Dec 2012 #27

Response to WillyT (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 01:48 PM

1. Mr. Scheiber is Correct, Sir

This has to be done. It is not so much a cliff as a tick-bath....

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Response to The Magistrate (Reply #1)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 04:35 PM

12. Isn't the law providing for automatic cuts unconstitutional?


Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution of the United States of America authorizes Congress in part:

"To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

"To provide and maintain a Navy;"


The Budget Control Act of 2011 enacts defense cuts over a ten year period. It seems to me that either the act violates the "support Armies" clause, or all defense money beginning in FY2014 must be spent on the Navy.

I suppose the Army could be rolled into the Marines!


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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 01:49 PM

2. will obama successfully resist his urges to appease republicans even though he WON? stay tuned nt

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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 01:49 PM

3. Makes sense to me! knr

Great read.

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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 01:52 PM

4. I have way more confidence in next years senate.

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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 02:10 PM

5. Good OP; but ...

But the real key here is the political upshot of going over the cliff: Republicans will see in defeat that it’s not Obama who has somehow pulled one over on their leadership or simply played his hand better. Instead, they will see that they have been completely repudiated by the public in a way that even the election didn’t impress on them. It will, in other words, be as close as you get in politics to a total victory for one side.


I think the OP gives the electorate too much credit. I also, think the OP gives the gop too much credit, as well. Nothing will speak to them because they are only talking to each other.

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #5)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 04:50 PM

14. Best way of saying it!

"they are only talking to each other."

Simple and spot on.

It does not matter what the President does. He can completely capitulate to whatever they want to the extreme, just let them tell him what they want and give it to them or he can go completely hardline. It won't matter, they will still be complete and total jackasses.

They MIGHT do immigration reform, because enough people in power in the party have decided that they THINK they can codify the hispanic vote by doing it. But, past that, the republican controlled house will do absolutely NOTHING with this president regardless of what he does.

So, the play is simple.

Let the tax cuts expire.

Let it all go into early January when the pressure will be too great on the House to not come back with something the Senate will pass and the President will pen.

Then, let them caterwall on the debt ceiling while making a VERY public stand that you will not give in to them on ANYTHING in relation to it and let the country take another bond hit until they cave.

They will ball around like they do, but after those two things the country will have decide if it wants the republicans running the House in two years.

Only play here.

Unfortunately, I do think the President will deal with Boehner and we get a less positive outcome than forcing them to deal in early January, and they STILL will ball around and use how mean he was to them as their excuse for not doing anything with him.

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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 03:21 PM

6. There should be no extension of the Bush tax cuts. That has to end. I favor going over the cliff,

allowing tax rates to go up for everyone, allow automatic cuts in spending to kick in, then negotiate.

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Response to bluestate10 (Reply #6)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 04:21 PM

9. Automatic cuts have nothing to do with the tax holiday.


Automatic cuts are there if they do not pass a budget. A "Continuing Appropriations Resolution" is already in place to keep the gov't going through March. It is essentially a half-year copy of the FY2012 budget adjusted for inflation.

The tax holiday is an entity unto itself and due to expire Jan 1st

There would still be three more months to pass a budget before the automatic cuts kick in.

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Response to bluestate10 (Reply #6)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 11:27 PM

24. Everything you said EXCEPT negotiate.

Let it all go into effect, then tell them how it is going to be.

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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 03:39 PM

7. K&R

 

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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 03:40 PM

8. No, To the threat to our National Security

holding her hostage to benefit the very few.

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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 04:23 PM

10. i agree...no compromise. we won. there would not be a thought of compromise had romney won

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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 04:33 PM

11. I sure hope so...

Thing is, out of a lot of people I talk to, they don't seem to be worried about the Fiscal Cliff.

As for me, I rather talk about sequestration with the preface that the tax structure will change next year and we will have more revenue. As such, how do you soften that blow?

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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 04:37 PM

13. "and make sure Republicans get the blame for it."

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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 04:53 PM

15. This is a brilliant piece. We have to go over the cliff regardless because it

 

is the only way we can bury the Republicans for good.

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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 06:27 PM

16. Kick !!!


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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 07:12 PM

17. BRING IT ON

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Response to Skittles (Reply #17)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 07:30 PM

18. You Said It Sister !!!











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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 09:23 PM

19. Totally agree!

Now is not the time to wuss out. Stand proud and firm BO.

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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 10:02 PM

20. kick

for the liberals

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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 10:49 PM

21. Last Kick From Me...

:hi

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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 11:23 PM

22. Well...

I'm not afraid of the cliff. There are a lot of advantages to it. I think the headline is OTT and I think the article deserved better than that.

Also, if we get everything we want this term we have to take it. Can't go off the cliff to make a political point. Doubt that'll happen, although the GOP evidently knows they're in a really bad position here. At least the ones whose brains haven't been sucked out their ears already.

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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 11:24 PM

23. Take the big capital gains tax jump. No other way to get it.

Legislate after the cliff, but take the gains first.

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Response to Coyotl (Reply #23)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 10:11 AM

25. Great Point !!!


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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 10:14 AM

26. Great article.

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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 10:50 AM

27. and since we need to cut defense a little

we should just close Fort Benning in Georgia. They want a smaller government after all.

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