Thu Jan 3, 2013, 11:50 AM
flpoljunkie (25,980 posts)
McConnell's posturing when he says the fiscal cliff deal 'the last word on taxes'
Last edited Thu Jan 3, 2013, 12:38 PM - Edit history (1)
Mitch, tell us, the American people, how you would 'reform' our entitlement programs--what benefits you propose to cut from Medicare and Social Security--which should not even be on the table, as it is easily fixed by lifting the cap and not part of the federal budget. Surely, you will not propose turning Medicare in to a voucher program--or to use the R's latest euphemism--'premium support.'
First, Republicans make a big show of being unreasonable, but they’re not nearly as crazy as the tea party would have you believe. In the end, they weren’t even willing to go over the fiscal cliff. The debt ceiling would do far more damage to the economy than the fiscal cliff, and Republicans would receive far more of the blame. Many thought President Obama actually wanted to go over the fiscal cliff in order to raise taxes, and so it was possible Republicans could’ve portrayed the breakdown in negotiations as a Democratic strategy. No one thinks that the White House wants to breach the debt ceiling, and so Republicans will take all the blame.
Second, there’s no evidence yet that the Republicans will even be able to name their price on the debt ceiling. House Speaker John Boehner has his dollar-for-dollar principle, which implies more than a trillion dollars in cuts to raise the debt ceiling through 2014. But Republicans haven’t named anywhere near a trillion dollars of further cuts in any of the fiscal cliff negotiations. They’ve been afraid to take direct aim at Social Security and Medicare, and while they can call for deep cuts to Medicaid, everyone knows that’s a nonstarter for the White House in the age of Obamacare. Meanwhile, domestic discretionary spending has already been cut to the bone, and Republicans want to increase defense spending. So what’s their demand going to be, exactly? Will they force America into default on behalf of spending cuts they can’t name?
Third, a consequence of the 2012 presidential election, in which Mitt Romney argued for capping deductions and exclusions to pay for his tax cuts, and of the early fiscal cliff negotiations, in which Boehner argued for raising revenue through tax reform, is that Republican policy elites, in my experience, really don’t hate revenue-raising tax reform all that much. Raising any revenues is a bit of a problem for them as it permits the growth of government, but it’s really raising tax rates where they’ve talked themselves into hardline opposition. So they may be willing to strike a deal on this.
Fourth, I don’t think the White House has a shred of credibility when they say they won’t negotiate over the debt ceiling. They may not call what they’re about to do negotiating over the debt ceiling, but that’ll be what they’re doing. That said, I’m quite convinced that they don’t intend to be held hostage over the debt ceiling. As a former constitutional law professor, the president sees himself as a steward of the executive branch and is deeply hostile to setting the precedent that congressional minorities can hold presidents hostage through the debt ceiling. At some point in the coming talks, Boehner or McConnell or both are going to realize that the White House really, seriously will not accept a bargain in which what they “got” was an increase in the debt limit, and so they’re going to have to decide at that point whether to crash the global economy.
3 replies, 666 views
McConnell's posturing when he says the fiscal cliff deal 'the last word on taxes' (Original post)
Response to flpoljunkie (Original post)
Thu Jan 3, 2013, 12:53 PM
Cosmocat (5,864 posts)
1. Two things
1) I do get the sense that BO is going to dig his heels in on the debt ceiling.
2) Democrats as a whole have to dig their heels in and make the GOP come out publicly with whatever cuts they believe need to be made SPECIFICALLY. The asshats want to scream about the defict and debt, they want to say they are the party willing to make the TOUGH decisions, but then they want to ball around and make the President tell everyone what is going to get cut so they can say he is the reason it is getting cut. ENOUGH OF THIS SHIT. IF they are so serious, step up and say what they think should be cut and then sell it.
Response to Cosmocat (Reply #1)
Thu Jan 3, 2013, 01:09 PM
flpoljunkie (25,980 posts)
2. Obama needs to explain to the American people the debt solution lies with controlling Medicare costs
And, the Republican party wants to shift the burden of the costs to Medicare recipients--rather than control health care costs.
Response to flpoljunkie (Reply #2)
Thu Jan 3, 2013, 01:16 PM
flpoljunkie (25,980 posts)
3. And, that "you can't 'fix the debt' without fixing the economy
You can't "fix the debt" without fixing the economy
The furious debates and painfully exacted deals on cuts and taxes will be washed away if the economy goes back into recession. More workers will be thrown out of work. More families will lose their homes. More children will go hungry. Tax revenues will fall; spending will soar on unemployment and food stamps and other supports for those thrown out of work.
Despite the Bush tax cuts, two unfunded wars and the unfunded prescription drug company rip-off program, the annual deficit was less than 2 percent of GDP in 2007 and the accumulated national debt was under 40 percent of GDP. Then Wall Street's excesses blew up the economy, exploding the housing bubble, and created a recession with mass unemployment, driving us into trillion dollar deficits that will end up more than doubling the debt burden.
If the economy is fixed, deficits and the debt burden will decline. The best and necessary deficit reduction program is to put people to work. In fact, even the modest growth we've witnessed since 2009 has reduced the deficit by about 25% percent relative to the size of the economy, declining faster than anytime since the demobilization after World War II. Jobs and growth are essential to any deficit reduction agenda. The worst thing we can do is to endanger growth.