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Sat Dec 29, 2012, 07:41 PM

Obama in "can't lose" political chess match

Barack Obama has them right where he wants them.

When Obama's Bill reaches the Senate floor, it will be a measure to stop any increases in taxes on people making $250,000 or less. Or, in reality, a tax break for every American on the first $250,000 a year in income. It will also extend unemployment benefits to those people who have gone more than 6 months on the program without being able to find a job.

The Senate Republicans will either have to vote up or down on the proposal, or filibuster the bill. Just think of the headlines " Senate GOP Filibusters Tax cuts for the Middle Class...American families face the fiscal cliff". OH boy, good luck with that one.

Or, as is most likely, the Senate does not filibuster the bill and it passes, by, let's say, 73 to 27. Of course, all 27 are Republicans.

Now, to the House. Speaker Boehner has the choice to not take it up, and face the sole responsibility of the tax increases for the Middle Class, with the House GOP taking all of the blame. Or, Boehner can let the House vote, and one of two things can happen. The House rejects the bill because the House Republicans hold firm to the idea that if the wealthy don't get a tax cut, on one does. Or, more likely, the House votes to approve the bill with about 50 Republicans joining all, or almost all, of the Democrats in approving the bill. Obama signs the bill and is hailed as a political genius. This causes a severe rift in the GOP that could lead to a splintering of the party itself.

That's how I see it and I couldn't admire the President more for putting the fucking assholes in a box of their own making.

Now, please, Mr. President, don't let them out of this dilemma without making them cry "Uncle".

26 replies, 2867 views

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Arrow 26 replies Author Time Post
Reply Obama in "can't lose" political chess match (Original post)
louis c Dec 2012 OP
customerserviceguy Dec 2012 #1
Warren DeMontague Dec 2012 #2
janx Dec 2012 #14
louis c Dec 2012 #4
a2liberal Dec 2012 #8
zentrum Dec 2012 #21
louis c Dec 2012 #24
mark eagledove Dec 2012 #26
patrice Dec 2012 #13
PCIntern Dec 2012 #3
RetroGamer1971 Dec 2012 #5
JDPriestly Dec 2012 #15
pangaia Dec 2012 #20
Cha Dec 2012 #6
Angry Dragon Dec 2012 #7
plethoro Dec 2012 #9
sabrina 1 Dec 2012 #19
Angry Dragon Dec 2012 #23
CranialRectaLoopback Dec 2012 #10
Fumesucker Dec 2012 #11
JDPriestly Dec 2012 #16
pangaia Dec 2012 #22
hfojvt Dec 2012 #12
JDPriestly Dec 2012 #17
hfojvt Dec 2012 #25
patrice Dec 2012 #18

Response to louis c (Original post)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 07:48 PM

1. Your analysis is part of the problem

It's not just some chess game, or chance to humiliate our political enemies. It's way more serious than that.

I compare the current situation to war, where at the start of the war when negotiations have failed, each side thinks it will take less damage than it can inflict on the other side. However, it's always the folks at the bottom who bear the costs of war, on both the winning and the losing side.

There's an old African proverb, "When elephants fight, it is the grass which suffers."

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Response to customerserviceguy (Reply #1)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 07:51 PM

2. Except in this case, the "cost" will be Clinton-era tax rates for everyone- Not the end of the world

Im sorry, but if the choice is between acquiescing to Grover Norquist or expiration of all the Bush tax cuts, I'll take the latter.

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #2)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 10:19 PM

14. Yes. Let it happen. n/t

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Response to customerserviceguy (Reply #1)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 07:57 PM

4. If we played the game to win from the beginning, we'd be well ahead of the curve now

when the Democrats took control of the government in 2009, that's when the Senate rules should have eliminated the filibuster, We'd have single payer health care. A full stimulus and maybe a second. We'd have card check union organizing and the Dems would have taken all of the credit for the sea change in America.

instead, we played the game by their rules and got clobbered in 2010. We heard all the same lines, "they couldn't get it done, even though they controlled the whole government".

I know it's not a game. I represent middle class workers. But in any negotiations, there is leverage and winners and losers. Everyone wants to keep their jobs on Capital Hill. the last time we had the leverage, we squandered it. We got talked out of it by people who couldn't care less about the workers in this country.

Now, the stupid fucks have put themselves over a barrel. so much so, that they are dividing their own dwindling ranks.

I know it's not a game. The chess thing is an analogy. Elections and negotiations have consequences.

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Response to louis c (Reply #4)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 10:07 PM

8. There's an assumption in your reasoning

that the Democrats in Congress actually want those things. I see the 60-vote "filibuster" thing as a convenient excuse for the corporatist Dems (which I'd estimate at ~75% of them in DC)...

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Response to a2liberal (Reply #8)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 10:36 PM

21. Exactly right n/t

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Response to a2liberal (Reply #8)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 08:15 AM

24. I'm not that cynical

If I was, I couldn't be a union President.

I think things can change. I think that if we stand up for what we believe in, the Dems will do our bidding.

I was for Dick Gephardt in 1992. Clinton and the DLC won the primaries. Elections have consequences.

This is the only Democracy we have and I participate in it the best I can. We win some, we lose some, we make the best choices we can, we work hard for what we believe in.

That's my philosophy. That's why I'm Union. That's why I'm a Democrat and that's why I post on DU.

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Response to a2liberal (Reply #8)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 01:02 PM

26. I see a different assumption....that we will see"headlines"

that attack Republicans. What we will likely see is : "Obama puts the lazy unemployed ahead of middle class tax cuts!" or something with more hyperbole.

The MSM is owned by plutocrats.

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Response to louis c (Reply #4)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 10:19 PM

13. ++1 It's more like high stakes poker, with many players & a deck with hundreds of cards. This is the

2nd hand. There are several more hands to come, then 2014.

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Response to louis c (Original post)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 07:55 PM

3. Likey! K n r! Nt

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Response to louis c (Original post)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 08:25 PM

5. Willing to take the tax hit.

My wife and I are willing to have higher taxes if everyone is affected from the top to the bottom. It is not the end of the world. I would like to see more tax money brought in to help people in this country who really need it.

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Response to RetroGamer1971 (Reply #5)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 10:24 PM

15. The entire economy would benefit from the slightly higher tax rates especially on capital gains.

Everyone would share in but also benefit from the additional tax revenues.

The only reason to continue the middle class tax cuts is that the middle class has suffered so much during this recession. Middle class and low-income people really need a boost, and continuing the tax cut for them (us) for a time would help boost demand and therefore the health of our economy.

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Response to RetroGamer1971 (Reply #5)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 10:31 PM

20. I understand your generousity and fairness

and willingness to make a 'shared sacrifice." I would normally agree with you.
But the top 1% or 2, or 3 or 10%, whatever, do NOT want "to have higher taxes if everyone is affected from the top to the bottom." And they don't give 2 shits about the rest of us. That is the problem.
So I feel it time that THEY finally pay up, as they did in the 50's 60's and even into the 70's.

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Response to louis c (Original post)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 09:02 PM

6. Thanks louis c.. we shall see

what happens.

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Response to louis c (Original post)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 09:56 PM

7. it does not matter if Obama wins or loses

it only matters if the people win or lose ............

DON'T EVER FORGET THAT

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Response to Angry Dragon (Reply #7)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 10:07 PM

9. Yeah, this is the most important thing. If the least of people

 

lose, then that will not be good. I presume we will know tomorrow what's going to happen, and everyone will have a day to reflect on it. I'm going to be real interested in evaluating the reflections.

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Response to Angry Dragon (Reply #7)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 10:30 PM

19. 'It only matters if the people win or lose'!

Thank you for that. I am not in the least bit interested anymore in which 'team' wins, that doesn't always translate into a win for the people who employ these Representatives. And their actual employers are not too happy with the job they've done over the past number of years.

Thanks for making clear who matters in all of this.

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #19)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 10:40 PM

23. Thank you

It is something that is forgotten in DC

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Response to louis c (Original post)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 10:13 PM

10. We should all take the tax hit.

 

Most people here participated in the tribal chants that freedom wasn't free and the troops should be supported. Well, it is time to pay the jingoistic bills.

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Response to CranialRectaLoopback (Reply #10)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 10:17 PM

11. Welcome to DU!

I hope you enjoy your stay.

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Response to CranialRectaLoopback (Reply #10)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 10:25 PM

16. Another welcome to DU.

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Response to CranialRectaLoopback (Reply #10)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 10:38 PM

22. I understand your generousity and fairness

and willingness to make a 'shared sacrifice." I would normally agree with you.
But the top 1% or 2, or 3 or 10%, whatever, do NOT believe "We should all take the tax hit." They don't want to pay a penny more than they are forced to. And they don't give 2 shits about the rest of us. That is the problem.
So I feel it time that THEY finally pay up, as they did in the 50's 60's and even into the 70's.

(--close copy of my post #20 above-- but the same post applies...)

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Response to louis c (Original post)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 10:18 PM

12. except that, basically

Obama is going to force them to pass 78% of the Bush tax cuts - a $2.6 trillion tax cut over 10 years, and the distribution of this tax cut looks like this

top 1% - $350 billion
top 4% - $340 billion
top 20% - $1.4 trillion (includes the above two groups - 54% of the total)
bottom 40% - $360 billion

So, Obama has put Republicans in a box where he is gonna force them to pass tax cuts that favor the rich.

Brilliant. Three cheers for "middle class tax cuts".

Except it will be worse than that, because the deal will probably extend the tax cuts to $400,000 incomes - in order to gain Republican support in both the Senate and the House.

Which will basically give another $220 billion in tax cuts, mostly to the top 1%.

So when the dust settles, it will be $570 billion for the tax cuts to the top 1% and $360 billion in tax cuts for the bottom 40%.

But it could be more than that, depending on other details which do not get discussed much (meaning they can safely be swept under the rug.

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Response to hfojvt (Reply #12)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 10:27 PM

17. Please explain.

I thought we were returning to the Clinton tax rates and then correcting that to continue the middle class tax cuts.

What have we not been told?

Why do you think this will cut the taxes for the top tax brackets?

Please explain.

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #17)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 12:50 PM

25. because if the deal goes to $400,000

then you and I and Bill Gates will get a tax cut on our first $400,000 in income.

Except there is only one of us who makes even 1/3 of $400,000. Heck, I don't even make 1/10th of that much.

Then there is the matter of dividends. In the good old days before George W. Bush, dividends used to be taxed as ordinary income, meaning that if you were Mitt Romney, for example, you piad taxes on your $4.9 million in income from dividends at the top frigging rate. http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=journals&uid=157743&page=2

If the Bush tax cuts expire, that would happen once again.

However, as I understand these deals, the most current proposal is to tax dividends at the same rate as capital gains, which are taxed at a lower rate than money that has to be worked for as CTJ explains here http://www.ctj.org/pdf/latestfiscalcliff.pdf

Second, there is the proposal - from Obama - to return the estate tax, NOT to where it was in 2000, but to where it was in 2009 - with a bigger exclusion and a lower rate. I am sure the middle class is very concerned about that since so many of us have million dollar estates.

Third, the other proposals that we do not hear about and that even I, tax geek that I am, do not fully understand - PEP, Pease, and the 28 cent limit on deductions.

Because almost nobody knows about those, they can be quietly killed (to benefit the rich who damn well know about them and have accountants and lobbyists to push for their repeal). So I could jump on a soapbox with my hair on fire screaming about the repeal of PEP and Pease and most people would not get upset, they would not pass go or collect $200, and neither would they run to call Congress right fucking now. Instead they would just say "what the fuck is he talking about?"

But they usually say that anyway because of my rambling writing style and heavy use of mathematics.

So I expect that Congress will quietly repeal PEP and Pease in this deal with a wink and a wave to their rich donors and with the rest of us useful idiots cheering on Obama's great victory.

That also may NOT happen, but you know what would guarantee that it did not happen? To NOT make or take a DEAL. Just let the motherfucking Bush tax cuts DIE already and then put a fucking stake through their heart so the evil spawn cannot rise from the dead.

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Response to hfojvt (Reply #12)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 10:28 PM

18. Can I have a link to a primary source please? (not a secondary one, thanks.) nt

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