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Fri Dec 28, 2012, 09:45 AM

Neither side wants a deal - by Steve Kornacki


Obama thinks he'll make fewer concessions after Jan. 1 with a new Senate. And GOP leaders want to look tough

BY STEVE KORNACKI


Itís unclear whether todayís eleventh hour fiscal cliff summit at the White House represents a good faith effort to broker a deal or if itís just for a show Ė a way for one or both sides to pretend they were doing their best to resolve the impasse right up until the January 1 deadline.

The reality, though, is that itís probably in both partiesí interest for no deal to emerge from todayís session.

Look at this this way. President Obama has made raising tax rates on high-income Americans his bottom-line demand. He campaigned on it and he won, and the scheduled expiration of all of the Bush tax rates on January 1 gives him added leverage. He initially set the tax hike threshold at $250,000, but in his most recent offer to Republicans bumped it up to $400,000 Ė in addition to surrendering on a payroll tax extension, accepting a form of chained-CPI for Social Security (essentially, a benefits reduction), reducing his overall demand for new revenue by $400 billion and agreeing to $400 billion in unspecified healthcare (read: Medicare and Medicaid) savings.

This was enough to unsettle Obamaís base, which wondered if the president was giving away too much relative to his bargaining position, but it wasnít enough to win over Republicans. Presented with Obamaís offer, House Speaker John Boehner thumbed his nose at it and instead proposed a simple extension of the Bush rates for all income under $1,000,000 Ė then watched as his own conference refused to provide him with the votes needed to pass it.

-snip-

http://www.salon.com/2012/12/28/we_might_as_well_go_over_the_cliff/

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Arrow 12 replies Author Time Post
Reply Neither side wants a deal - by Steve Kornacki (Original post)
DonViejo Dec 2012 OP
Atman Dec 2012 #1
flying rabbit Dec 2012 #8
ThePeoplesRepublicUS Dec 2012 #2
DCBob Dec 2012 #3
ThePeoplesRepublicUS Dec 2012 #4
lunatica Dec 2012 #5
Igel Dec 2012 #9
lunatica Dec 2012 #10
backscatter712 Dec 2012 #6
bemildred Dec 2012 #7
Filibuster Harry Dec 2012 #11
polynomial Dec 2012 #12

Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 09:48 AM

1. We have no government.

A group of middle-schoolers could come up with solutions better than these assclowns. Sadly, they have nothing to fear. Even given TOTAL FAILURE at their jobs, they'll go home with lifetime pensions and gold-standard health insurance. Idiocracy.

The only thing standing in the way of progress are these rich douche bags in Washington. If only they were held accountable, the same way they want to hold school teachers accountable. If you don't do your job, you're shitcanned.

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Response to Atman (Reply #1)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 12:15 PM

8. yep. nt

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 09:53 AM

2. Waiting could be a recipe for disaster

But what are the costs of going "over the cliff" what would happen in the weeks that follow between going over and then striking a new deal. I'm talking about familys living pay check to pay check and seniors who depend on their SSI.

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Response to ThePeoplesRepublicUS (Reply #2)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 09:57 AM

3. Thats my question also.

Not sure but if they wait until after Jan 1 then things might be set in motion that cannot be stopped.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)


Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 11:15 AM

5. There's a very simple question that would decide the outcome

Who are the major beneficiaries under the Democratic 'plan' and under the Republican 'plan' and who hurts the most if the other side wins?

It's not physics or rocket science. The answers are very easy to know.

The rich are simply not going to hurt at all no matter what happens. Buying one less yatch, house, jet isn't hurting.

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Response to lunatica (Reply #5)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 12:26 PM

9. "The answers are very easy to know."

No, really, they're not.

On the one side, there's the desire to raise taxes on the 5% of American households that constitute the "1%", extend some tax cuts while instituting other taxes and letting others expire, extend unemployment benefits and avoid making serious spending cuts.

On the other side, there's the desire to not raise taxes on the 1% of American households that, in an non-innumerate world would be called the "5%", while letting other taxes take effect and increase while making a different set of spending cuts, presumably deeper.

On both sides there's the desire to win, or, more precisely, to make sure the other side loses.

But the cost both sides currently seem willing to pay is "going over the fiscal cliff." That cost has been described as a hiccup with no short-term effects that aren't things like temporary stock-market hysteria. It's also been described as financial armageddon.

Oddly, the description goes with the side the speaker's on. If you're (D) you probably think that the price to pay for not getting what you want is the "financial hiccup," but the same price that the (R) are willing to pay is a descent into a veritable Valley of the Sons of Hinnom. If you're (R) you think your reps are just willing to experience a mild case of financial hiccups, while the (D) are willing to have the US's economic engine take a flying leap off a cliff and land in a swamp.

No, the answers aren't easy to know. It depends entirely upon what you take into account, and whose perspective you adopt. Take, for example, the statement that when the FICA tax rises on 1/1/13 it'll affect every single working American. That reflects a certain amount of blindness--none of my coworkers, in orking their cows, pay 1 cent in FICA taxes. My taxes didn't go down in 2011; they won't go up in 2013, at least not because of the expiration of the FICA tax reduction. That's the case for every other tax increase--what Americans do you want to include in "everybody" and which do you want to exclude to make your point (valid)?

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Response to Igel (Reply #9)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 12:36 PM

10. Thanks for the lecture

But it's lost on me. I disagree that raising the taxes on 5% or 1% hurts anybody. But raising them on the rest of us does. And if reducing or cutting SS and Medicare hurts the rich you are welcome to give me another lecture about it which I will disregard.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 11:47 AM

6. I don't want a deal. The GOP won't agree to a fair deal.

So I say we dive over the fiscal speedbump, and use the whole circus to coerce the fuckers.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 11:57 AM

7. Correct.

And neither side wants to look like they don't want a deal. Kabuki theater in spades.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 01:48 PM

11. So if there is no deal when do we protest like Greece? When do the americans stand up in

numbers and surround the capital until a deal is made? There are so many issues to solve: still some 2012 tax issues; 2013 tax issues; tax rates; spending cuts; medicare rates; unemployment benefits; farm subsidies; the debt ceiling again. When have we had enought of this obstructionism? We are being ignored and disrespected by these morons -- the morons who don't want government to work but yet take a paycheck and retirement from the same government. We need to organize. How about an american strike? How about if we, the people, bring the economy to its knees instead of the Rs?

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 02:34 PM

12. For reasons that are economic

That transpired over decades, if I retire now at the age of sixty seven, I will retire into poverty. In previous recessions my pension was wiped out. Two times a company I worked for sized down, one the company flat out lied to me cutting my job. So through the decades it was the economy, by political measure, as the source of problems.

Now especially in this Bush depression, where many do not want to characterize it as such, America is tangled in a knot of war and debit with piling infrastructure deterioration. It is a depression when homes are lost in foreclosure, banks are failing and the government is bailing out huge business concerns like GM, or those insurance companies.

Those of big business can belly up the Federal Reserve widow and collect money for free in times of need. It is alarming to know when millions of Americans who depend on Social Security, Health Care, or unemployment need that help but there yet is caught up in a genuine creepy argument by Republicans to give the help. It is past shameful, or negligence, it is reckless economic homicide. For all time these politicians without limit be prosecuted for that negligence.

President Obama needs a heavy hammer in the Attorney Generalís Office; something on the order of a Jack hammer to line up the perpetrators that obviously lie while doing political preaching before elections then turn on the public. Itís not only unfair to say one thing at pre-election than while in office do the opposite is a breach of the constitution, it fails affirmation. If I did that on the job I would be fired in an instant.

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