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Thu Dec 27, 2012, 10:39 AM

The Real Fiscal-Cliff Message Starbucks Should Put on Its Coffee Cups


The Real Fiscal-Cliff Message Starbucks Should Put on Its Coffee Cups

Jonathan Cohn
December 26, 2012 | 10:41 pm

Howard Schultz is frustrated. So am I. But Schultz is frustrated that the two parties can’t come to an agreement about fiscal policy. I’m frustrated that Schultz still thinks the two parties are equally to blame for the impasse. And I’m frustrated that Schultz isn’t the only one who thinks that way.

Schultz, as you may know, is the CEO of Starbucks Coffee. He appears to be one of the good guys in corporate America and he treats his employees well, by, among other things, providing even part-timers with health insurance. But he's become obsessed with bipartisanship and the need for more of it. His latest effort in the campaign came on Wednesday, when he instructed baristas all over Washington to write the phrase “come together” on every cup of coffee they sold. He wasn’t thinking about the Beatles song.

It’s the same claim you keep hearing on talk shows—that the parties need to get past their supposedly petty differences and govern responsibly. And if you have read my colleague Noam Scheiber’s piece on Maya MacGuineas, who has been making this argument as long as anybody, you know why it is so misguided. One party, the Democrats, is already acting responsibly. And one party, the Republicans, is not.

In the last few weeks, President Obama has offered major concessions, agreeing provisionally to reductions in Social Security benefits in exchange for tax increases on investments along with more financial support for poor and middle-class families. Either that deal or a more narrowly tailored one, one that addressed only the automatic spending cuts and tax increases that neither party likes, could probably pass Congress tomorrow—if only House Speaker John Boehner was willing to pick up the phone and get help from Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who could almost surely supply enough Democratic votes to get such a bill through the House.


Washington doesn’t need two parties that can "come together." It needs one party to "get it together." Maybe Schultz should put that on a coffee cup.

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Reply The Real Fiscal-Cliff Message Starbucks Should Put on Its Coffee Cups (Original post)
babylonsister Dec 2012 OP
dkf Dec 2012 #1

Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 10:44 AM

1. So TNR is saying the Chained CPI is being offered by Obama?


Can that pass in the Senate? Or is that going to run into the same reality check Boehner got on raising taxes?

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