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View Diary: Public ready to blame Republicans if fiscal cliff talks fail (132 comments)

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  •  It's like an M.C. Escher drawing (10+ / 0-)

    I have talked with people submerged in the Fox hyperbole. They are at once convinced that debt is out of control while believing the "fiscal cliff" is an immediate path towards austerity and deep recession. It just reminds me why they have become political invalids: everything is just one day away from disaster, and there are no counterfactuals or shades of gray to pin reality somewhere in between. They want to fight the deficit while insisting that the remedies shouldn't be done, because it will cause a recession. Meanwhile, the deficit has been dropping while the economy has been growing.

    My take: it's not a "cliff" and the President has a huge advantage to wait until after the new year. As the top marginal rate lifts back up (and of course, so would all other Bush tax cuts, and the spending cuts begin), Obama gets his victory, but then forces the GOP into defense mode and force them into a more likely scenario to approve a clean bill with middle class tax cuts (say, a return to current levels.) Fiscal cliff becomes yet another paper tiger. The kabuki theater will carry on until after the 113th Congress is sworn in, then I suspect things move a bit more quickly. Then we can get on with the inevitable debt ceiling kabuki.

    The GOP could just very easily, very simply go forth with extending middle class tax cuts now to seem like they are not shooting the hostages. Then they remove Obama's trump card. But, they are willing to shoot the hostages. They are mindbogglingly stupid.

    "Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell." ~Edward Abbey ////\\\\ "To be a poor man is hard, but to be a poor race in a land of dollars is the very bottom of hardships." ~W.E.B. DuBois

    by rovertheoctopus on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 12:03:41 PM PST

    •  I don't think you understand how hard (1+ / 0-)
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      on middle class families this will be.

      Not only do tax rates go up, but credits for dependent children get cut in half.  Child care credits go away.  Do you have any idea how much a family making $50k will have to pay extra in withholding each month so they don't have a big tax debt at the end of the year?

      And don't forget the temporary withholding holiday expires as well.. an extra 2% will start coming out of the checks of the people who can least afford it - in addition to the higher withholding I mentioned above.

      •  It's Congress that doesn't understand (1+ / 0-)
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        Or, more accurately, it's that they're totally insouciant about it. I already get the impacts of the tax cuts expiration. I am a middle-income earner and I fully anticipate my federal tax witholdings to go up next year. At least for a short period.

        But again, Congress is solely responsible for changing course. The Senate has already passed a stand-alone bill that would extend those cuts to households making less than $250,000 and keeping those credits you mention:

        So, if the GOP-led House is refusing to take it up without sleazily splicing it to a top marginal tax rate cut, it's their own doing, and it's their tonedeaf attempt to project the image that they are politically powerful. So what should Obama do, then? Just have his tail between his legs and support extend tax cuts all across the board, kicking the can down the road indefinitely? Alienating a politically popular move to raise the top marginal rate? Even when most Americans are prepared to exert blame on the GOP? It would be a devastating move against Obama and progressives, and he would have no credibility in the future to fend off the recalcitrant GOP. Second term: effectively over before starting. Or, he could put them in their place now, and see it through that future "negotiations" leave the GOP in a weakened state. The multiplier political effects of making one choice or another, good or bad, are profound from here on forth.

        Keep this in focus, because Congress is the government body ultimately responsible for crafting the legislation we desire. It's the House's move.

        "Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell." ~Edward Abbey ////\\\\ "To be a poor man is hard, but to be a poor race in a land of dollars is the very bottom of hardships." ~W.E.B. DuBois

        by rovertheoctopus on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 02:36:37 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

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