HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » Politics 2014 (Forum) » Reminder on fiscal cliff:...

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 07:56 PM

Reminder on fiscal cliff: pundits like Ezra Klein pull stuff out of their rear end for a living

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2012/12/07/the-fiscal-cliff-deal-comes-clearer-a-37-top-tax-rate-and-a-higher-medicare-eligibility-age/

Talk to smart folks in Washington, and here’s what they think will happen: The final tax deal will raise rates a bit, giving Democrats a win, but not all the way back to 39.6 percent, giving Republicans a win. That won’t raise enough revenue on its own, so it will be combined with some policy to cap tax deductions, perhaps at $25,000 or $50,000, with a substantial phase-in and an exemption for charitable contributions.


Folks, this isn't reporting. It's gossipy Broderism if not utter speculation.

Klein does have inside sources, but he's not quoting them here. He's quoting beltway gasbags and influence peddlers.

Also: unemployment insurance extensions and other measures to help the economy are very much on the table. This is not 2011.



10 replies, 1386 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 10 replies Author Time Post
Reply Reminder on fiscal cliff: pundits like Ezra Klein pull stuff out of their rear end for a living (Original post)
geek tragedy Dec 2012 OP
bluestateguy Dec 2012 #1
elleng Dec 2012 #2
geek tragedy Dec 2012 #5
enlightenment Dec 2012 #3
geek tragedy Dec 2012 #4
rocktivity Dec 2012 #6
elleng Dec 2012 #7
democrattotheend Dec 2012 #8
Cha Dec 2012 #9
Cha Dec 2012 #10

Response to geek tragedy (Original post)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 07:57 PM

1. Ezra Pound is an inexperienced kid who has no business at a national newspaper

He pulls all that crap out of his ass with BS anonymous sources.

He ought to be doing the transportation beat for the Wichita Eagle, not musing Georgetown Cocktail Party rumors in the Washington Post.

And yes I call him Ezra Pound.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to geek tragedy (Original post)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 08:02 PM

2. 'here’s what they think will happen' is what he said.

Sorry you don't want to be informed about what 'smart folks in Washington' are thinking. I appreciate Ezra Klein's access and analysis.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to elleng (Reply #2)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 08:08 PM

5. Lots of smart people in Washington--they very rarely agree on anything. nt

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to geek tragedy (Original post)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 08:04 PM

3. Just as a matter of curiosity, how do you know who he's quoting?

Is "smart folks in Washington" code for beltway gasbags and influence peddlers?

Maybe he is pulling it out of his rear (or the gasbags' and influence peddlers') but does that mean it shouldn't be discussed on DU?

It's so hard to figure out when a topic is acceptable, so I'll rely on the people who know stuff like who someone is quoting when they aren't naming names.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to enlightenment (Reply #3)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 08:07 PM

4. Notice that he cited the White House thinking on Medicare age--that's

what he does when he has WH sourcing. He'll talk about White House thinking, etc.

Regarding rates he's talking about the speculation of 'smart people' (they're all smart there, but some of them are still dumbasses) and trying to read Boehner's poker face.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to geek tragedy (Original post)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 09:01 PM

6. Ezra's "smart folks in Washington" are only smart enough

not to allow Ezra to mention their names.

And he's hosting Rachel tonight.


rocktivity

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to rocktivity (Reply #6)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 09:42 PM

7. and doing very well, among other things discussing real numbers,

as he often does. Sounds like some DUers miss his often very complete and factual presentations.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to geek tragedy (Original post)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 01:05 AM

8. That said, I think he's right

Because what he is reporting is what I predicted after reading David Corn's book and from tidbits I have seen here and there about the negotiations. And logically, it just makes sense in terms of being somewhere between what the president wants and what Boehner wants.

In Corn's book, he says that during the 2011 negotiations, McConnell and Boehner were willing to give the president $800 billion in revenue through closing loopholes and deductions (theoretically), in exchange for "fundamental changes" in Medicare. The Republicans wanted an increase in the Medicare eligibility age, rejiggering the cost of living adjustment for Social Security, direct cuts in Medicare and Social Security benefits, higher copays for Medicare, and more. Of those options the president chose the Social Security COLA formula change (after being assured by Lew that it could be done in such a way to avoid cuts for the poorest recipients and possibly even increase their payments) and raising the Medicare age as the least bad options. They believed that the ACA would help ameliorate the negative consequences of raising the Medicare age, and that this change was better than changing the fundamental structure of the program. The rise in the Medicare age was to be phased in gradually.

At the time, it made sense, to a degree. They didn't know who was going to win the election, and it was better to pocket the revenue increase then than wait and take the risk that a Republican president would just cut taxes for the rich and gut Medicare and Social Security. The president was also worried that enough Senate Dems would make a deal to cut taxes for all but the very rich (over $500,000 or $1 million, which would not bring in much revenue). And he said that progressives who care about Social Security and Medicare have an obligation to make them sustainable over the long run, and that it was better for Democrats to do it now than wait until Republicans have control of the government and can do it on their terms. He also said that failure to tackle deficits would threaten spending for programs like Head Start, student loans, infrastructure, etc.

The good news is, now that President Obama has been re-elected he has a stronger hand to play, and now we are likely to get real rate hikes for the top 2% instead of just eliminating deductions that are likely to hurt the middle class. And I hope the president will not agree to raising the Medicare age, but I think he has always been open to it...I don't remember him ever promising not to.

I don't like it, but I think this report is probably accurate. The bottom line is, the Republicans do have leverage, contrary to what some of you think. They control the House, and they can:
- Refuse to raise the debt ceiling unless the president agrees to much more draconian cuts (or cutting the top tax rate)
- Refuse to continue funding emergency unemployment benefits
- Refuse to fund hurricane relief
- Refuse to fund the subsidies that are essential to making the ACA work. The law is premised on subsidies to enable working-class people (who make too much for Medicaid) to buy insurance on the exchanges. If the House Republicans refuse to fund that, the law will be effectively dead before it really goes into effect.

Given all of this, I think we are delusional if we think the president can just do nothing and get everything he wants just because the tax cuts are set to expire. We might win the battle but lose the war, unless they can make a deal now to prevent the debt ceiling from being used for extortion again.

Yes, I think Medicare for all would be a better solution. But I also know from the time I spent in Washington that there is a 0% chance of that happening, and there was a close to 0% chance even when Democrats controlled the House and Senate. What makes the best policy is very rarely what ends up getting passed, due to how entrenched corporate special interests are and the inherent nature of the representational system.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to geek tragedy (Original post)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 02:30 AM

9. We shall see what happens.. in the mean time

"influence peddlers" gonna speculate.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to geek tragedy (Original post)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 08:01 PM

10. Don't know if you've seen this, geek?..

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread