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Wed Dec 12, 2012, 09:54 PM

The White House Shows its Hand and the Republicans Fold

Yesterday, during the daily White House press briefing, Jay Carney was asked where the administration is on spending cuts.

One of the reporters asked him: “Are you prepared to offer more? Today you have a letter from CEOs urging that spending cuts, entitlement adjustments and so forth be a multiple -- a greater multiple than revenues. Is the White House prepared to do more on that front?”

Jay does a terrific job as the President’s White House Press Secretary. He’s nobody’s fool. The WH Press Corps shouldn’t be too cozy with any administration and it shouldn’t manufacture controversy when there is none. Here’s how he answered the question about spending.

“ The President, unlike any other party to these negotiations, has put forward detailed spending cuts as well as detailed revenue proposals . . . This is the document that contains the specific spending cuts. The Speaker of the House sent us a proposal that was two pages long that included one sentence on revenue. The proposal here includes, I believe, from pages 17 to 45, details on proposed spending cuts by the President -- pages 17 to 45. I recommend them to you.”

What's missing from the written quote is the hint of a sneer that came and went across Carney's face a couple of times as he answered. (The video should stop itself after playing for the first 2:43. If it doesn't, feel free to stop it from continuing for its entire duration, if you wish.)

The document Carney mentioned is posted on the White House website.

The President’s plan offers $ 4 Trillion in deficit reduction over the next 10 years.

• Almost half of it, $1.9 trillion, would come from raising taxes on income over $250,000, including ordinary income, dividends and capital gains. Estate taxes and income from foreign sources would also be affected.
• A reduction in Overseas Contingency Operations would produce the largest spending cut (with an asterisk.)
• A reduction in Medicare and Medicaid spending would be made possible with a comprehensive package of cost control measures that would affect providers, including pharmaceuticals.
• The Budget Control Act’s mandated $1 trillion in spending cuts would remain in place with half, $550 billion coming from defense. The remainder would be totaled by trimming a wide variety of discretionary spending programs.
• Offsetting the deficit reductions measures, there would be $528 billion in additional spending to extend the tax credit for student expenses, the Earned Income Credit, extension of unemployment benefits, extension of the payroll tax reduction, and other breaks targeted to middle and lower income earners.
• Lastly, there is funding for the nation’s transportation infrastructure needs. Most of its funding is carved out of savings in Overseas Contingency Operations, the asterisk above. Instead of neo-con foreign adventures, the US would concentrate on nation-building (or rebuilding) at home. Maintenance and repairs on bridges, funds for light rail and subways in the cities, and high speed rail on the East and West Coast would be funded by moving transportation from the discretionary to the mandatory side of the budget.


http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/12/12/1169301/-The-White-House-Shows-its-Hand-and-the-Republicans-Fold

22 replies, 3881 views

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Arrow 22 replies Author Time Post
Reply The White House Shows its Hand and the Republicans Fold (Original post)
Playinghardball Dec 2012 OP
liberal N proud Dec 2012 #1
DreamGypsy Dec 2012 #2
ProSense Dec 2012 #4
Coyotl Dec 2012 #7
liberal N proud Dec 2012 #17
ProSense Dec 2012 #3
Cha Dec 2012 #5
John2 Dec 2012 #6
Cha Dec 2012 #8
Coyotl Dec 2012 #9
spanone Dec 2012 #10
willhe Dec 2012 #11
Scuba Dec 2012 #16
Flabbergasted Dec 2012 #12
doc03 Dec 2012 #13
pediatricmedic Dec 2012 #14
sanatanadharma Dec 2012 #15
mostlyconfused Dec 2012 #20
pediatricmedic Dec 2012 #21
ProSense Dec 2012 #18
Enrique Dec 2012 #19
ProSense Dec 2012 #22

Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 09:56 PM

1. But...

Where are the details?



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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 10:08 PM

2. Excuse me, Mr. Carney...

...it is NOT the job of the informed pressed to read documents. We merely regurgitate the blather that we have been informed to regurgitate. Are you implying that the press should do research and think????


Numbers on paper aren't easy for Republicans to digest.


Thank you, Daily Kos, for reminding your press colleagues about the nature of their responsibilities.

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Response to DreamGypsy (Reply #2)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 11:14 PM

4. If it's not written

on their hands, it's not worth reading.





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Response to ProSense (Reply #4)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 11:32 PM

7. Good one.



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Response to ProSense (Reply #4)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 06:50 AM

17. Recall



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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 10:19 PM

3. This:

"The Budget Control Act’s mandated $1 trillion in spending cuts would remain in place with half, $550 billion coming from defense."

Data Visualizations

Josh Marshall

There’s no way to understand the jousting and positioning over the ‘fiscal cliff’ without understanding the following facts: Both President Obama and congressional Republicans are moving right along to the edge of the cliff. Both say they’re ready to go over the edge. Only President Obama is gliding along in a hot air balloon and John Boehner and co. are on foot. So the repercussions over going over the edge are quite different. And both sides know it.

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/2012/11/data_visualizations.php




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Response to ProSense (Reply #3)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 11:26 PM

5. I like Josh's analogy.. thanks for

highlighting it, Pro Sense~

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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 11:28 PM

6. That is very

 

detailed, so where is the Republican Plan so we can compare? The White house should present this plan to every major newspaper in the country, so the TV pundits can stop perpetuating their lies. This definately makes a dent in the Deficit. The press just doesn't like what the spending cuts are, instead they want it to come from Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. It reveals who they are in bed with. That is why they keep focusing on those programs. And as far as I'm concerned, this is a better plan than Simpson\Bowles.

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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 11:33 PM

8. So glad we have Jay up there answering the

Jackals' goPlutocratic questions..

thanks Play~

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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 11:34 PM

9. Here's a new concept guys, try reading!

Something we high IQ Dems do every day!

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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 11:34 PM

10. we know where the media stands.....

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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 11:38 PM

11. Who gives a flying phuck what ceos say?

It should piss everyone off that ceos think they control the government. WTF does entitlements have to do with their bottom lines?

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Response to willhe (Reply #11)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 05:08 AM

16. +1,000

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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 11:42 PM

12. This would be an incredible deal, but how did the republicans fold...

They won't accept this plan.

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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 11:57 PM

13. Something I disagreed with from the start and still do is the

payroll tax cut. I thought that was going away on Jan 1 st.

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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 12:01 AM

14. This doesn't seem like enough

We would still be running a deficit of about $1 Trillion a year even with this plan.

This years deficit will be about $1.3 Trillion. It looks like annual deficits will stay in the $1 Trillion plus range for at least the next ten years.

This is a good start, but we need a lot more.

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Response to pediatricmedic (Reply #14)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 12:30 AM

15. The rich must play fair or they will be eaten by the starving masses

"This is a good start, but we need a lot more."

Yes, raise tax rates higher (Eisenhower rates) on one million dollars and more earners; institute a stock trade tax; remove the cap on FICA taxes; increase capitol gains taxes so money is invested and not taken as personal wealth in offshore accounts; eliminate corporate welfare subsidies; negotiate lower medicare/ medicade drug prices; cut defense spending; there is a lot that can be done, starting with NEVER vote for any republican because identifying with that party is prima facie evidence of incompetence as a member of society.

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Response to sanatanadharma (Reply #15)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 11:24 AM

20. A lot of good, and specific suggestions, let's work the numbers

> "raise tax rates higher (Eisenhower rates) on one million dollars and more earners"
Apply a 91% rate on taxable income (excluding capital gains) above $1 million: $140.1 billion
Calculated from 2009 tax return data.
Source: http://www.irs.gov/uac/SOI-Tax-Stats---Individual-Statistical-Tables-by-Size-of-Adjusted-Gross-Income

> "institute a stock trade tax"
Apply a 0.025% tax on trades: $38.9 billion
Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/07/wall-street-transaction-tax-revenue_n_1080493.html

> "remove the cap on FICA taxes"
Apply the 4.2% rate on all taxable income: $50 billion
Calculated from 2009 tax return data.
Source: http://www.irs.gov/uac/SOI-Tax-Stats---Individual-Statistical-Tables-by-Size-of-Adjusted-Gross-Income

> "increase capitol gains taxes so money is invested and not taken as personal wealth in offshore accounts"
Tough to figure. A couple different sources state that capital gains represent 7% of personal income taxes collected, but the IRS doesn't break it out. If we go with that 7%, then increase the tax rate from 15% to Obama’s suggested 23.8%: $35.6 billion
Calculated from 209 tax return data, based on that 7% estimate
Sources:
http://www.irs.gov/uac/SOI-Tax-Stats---Individual-Statistical-Tables-by-Size-of-Adjusted-Gross-Income
http://wiki.fool.com/What_Percent_of_IRS_Revenue_Comes_From_the_Capital_Gains_Tax%3F
http://www.factcheck.org/2008/06/breakdown-of-government-revenue/

> "eliminate corporate welfare subsidies"
As calculated by CATO and reported on Huffington: $100 billion
A couple of notes on this one...First, CATO is a conservative outlet, but since Huffington reported it I assume they checked the numbers, Second, this includes subsidies to worthwhile ventures like green energy companies, so we may not want to eliminate it all
Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/matthew-lynch-edd/welfare-and-corporate-america_b_1827680.html

> "negotiate lower medicare/ medicade drug prices"
Saves $156 billion over 10 years: $15.6 billion
Source: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2012/12/03/how-obama-would-cut-medicare-spending-in-a-deficit-deal/

> "cut defense spending"
The defense budget last year was about $700 billion of the $3.8 trillion total budget. To pick a random, but very aggressive* number, let’s cut defense by 25%: $175 billion

* I say this is aggressive because I’m talking about an actual decrease in spending, not just reducing the rate of growth in the baseline budgeting they do in Washington. Most politicians are lying to us when they say they are cutting spending. There are automatic increases every year due to their baseline budgeting. So if a budget line item was going to grow at 8%, but they grow it only at 5%, they’ll say they've cut spending, when they really have not.

In total we've addressed $555 billion with the above strategies. There could be some debate about the impact they'll have on investments. A good chunk of the capital gains income is earned by those in that $1+ million income bracket. Raising their top rate to 91% will leave them with much less capital to invest.

That said, $555 billion is no small amount, but it's only about half of last year's deficit, and less than half of this year's projected deficit. How do we get the other $500-600 billion?

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Response to mostlyconfused (Reply #20)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 10:47 PM

21. Very good on the numbers, the last bit has to come from cuts on other programs.

Social Security is still pretty much self contained as it is and won't be a problem for another 15 or 20 years. No cuts are are needed there. When cuts are needed, they will be structured as lower payments based on funds available after the trust fund is exhausted.

Nobody wants to touch Medicare or Medicaid.

All that really leaves are the non-defense discretionary spending departments to cut, which Obama promised to freeze but didn't. Funding for these departments was about $660 billion for FY 2010. All the various departments are funded through this portion and would be cut. This includes the EPA, Education, Health and Human Services, among the many other departments.

I have heard some say to cut defense completely, which would be very bad for the US and world. History and the corporate greed everyone hates show that human nature is sometimes rather nasty. Most people are fairly good, but they are not the ones that lust for power and obtain the leadership positions. The dollar and our economy rests on the shoulders of those who put on a uniform and protect our freedom. It is tied to our military might and ability to maintain freedom of trade across the world. Even the countries that don't like us benefit from this.

At this point, I think most people are living in a fairy tale land. We have to make a lot of hard cuts to programs and increase taxes to balance the budget. It is not going to be fun or easy, but it has to be done one way or another.

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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 08:57 AM

18. DeMint feeling dejected

DeMint On Tax Hikes In Fiscal Cliff Deal: Obama Will ‘Get His Wish’

Outgoing Sen. Jim DeMint said Thursday President Obama will "get his wish" to raise taxes as part of a deal to avert the fiscal cliff.

"We're going to be raising taxes," DeMint told "CBS This Morning."

DeMint added that Obama's tax proposal is a "political trophy," not a "solution."

http://livewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/entry/demint-on-tax-hikes-in-fiscal-cliff-deal

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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 09:08 AM

19. the reporters are supposed to ask questions

people, including me, want to know what Obama intends in the negotiations. If there is a problem with the questions Carney was asked, I am not seeing it.

And I missed the part where the Republicans "fold".

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Response to Enrique (Reply #19)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 01:54 PM

22. Yeah, they're really good at asking questions.

Krugman has a really good commentary on Republicans:

The G.O.P.’s Existential Crisis
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/14/opinion/krugman-the-gops-existential-crisis.html

<...>

It’s a very peculiar situation. In effect, Republicans are saying to President Obama, “Come up with something that will make us happy.” He is, understandably, not willing to play that game. And so the talks are stuck.

<...>

Since the 1970s, the Republican Party has fallen increasingly under the influence of radical ideologues, whose goal is nothing less than the elimination of the welfare state — that is, the whole legacy of the New Deal and the Great Society. From the beginning, however, these ideologues have had a big problem: The programs they want to kill are very popular. Americans may nod their heads when you attack big government in the abstract, but they strongly support Social Security, Medicare, and even Medicaid. So what’s a radical to do?

The answer, for a long time, has involved two strategies. One is “starve the beast,” the idea of using tax cuts to reduce government revenue, then using the resulting lack of funds to force cuts in popular social programs...Arguably more important in conservative thinking, however, was the notion that the G.O.P. could exploit other sources of strength — white resentment, working-class dislike of social change, tough talk on national security — to build overwhelming political dominance, at which point the dismantling of the welfare state could proceed freely. Just eight years ago, Grover Norquist, the antitax activist, looked forward cheerfully to the days when Democrats would be politically neutered: “Any farmer will tell you that certain animals run around and are unpleasant, but when they’ve been fixed, then they are happy and sedate.”

O.K., you see the problem: Democrats didn’t go along with the program, and refused to give up. Worse, from the Republican point of view, all of their party’s sources of strength have turned into weaknesses. Democratic dominance among Hispanics has overshadowed Republican dominance among southern whites; women’s rights have trumped the politics of abortion and antigay sentiment; and guess who finally did get Osama bin Laden.

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