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U.S. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) pauses during remarks to the American Conservative Union's annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington, February 9, 2012.  REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS)
"The speaker said he believes 2013 should be the year we begin to solve our debt problem through tax reform and entitlement reform, and proposed that both parties work together to avert the fiscal cliff together in a manner that ensures 2013 is that year," the aide said in an email to HuffPost. "He proposed that both parties commit to working toward a framework for tax and entitlement reform in 2013 that sets revenue and spending levels."

"Since tax and entitlement reform are too complex to complete this year, the speaker noted, our goal for this year, in the coming weeks, is to settle on long-term revenue targets for tax reform as well as targets for savings from our entitlement programs," the aide added. "Once we settle on those targets, the speaker proposed, we can create simple mechanisms, in statute, that would achieve those revenue and spending goals. They would be in place unless or until more thoughtful policies replace them."

The conventional wisdom is that John Boehner has an axe over his head with the expiration of the Bush tax cuts and all manner of spending restraint hanging in the balance. The theory goes that should we go over the cliff, the President would then have all the advantages in the new year. Therefore, Boehner is eager to get an immediate deal that gets plenty of entitlement reform because otherwise President Obama will be able to get everything he wants in a bill that Boehner cannot passing.

If that is the case, why is it Boehner seeks to kick the can down the road? What is he thinking? And why then is President Obama so eager to get a deal before the end of the year? Shouldn't he be stalling for time to get maximum advantage in the new year?

Probably because the conventional wisdom is wrong. It wouldn't be the first time.

The way I see it, President Obama has maximum advantage RIGHT NOW and it will diminish by going over the cliff. That seems a more plausible explanation as to why he is pushing for an immediate comprehensive deal and Boehner wants to wait until next year.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Boehner's More Moderate Than His Teabaggers (9+ / 0-)

    from everything I've seen. He's offered compromises a number of times that his right flank has forced him to walk back.

    In 2013 he'll have a slightly weaker house and a weaker Senate. I wonder if he thinks he has a chance of getting more cooperation from the House next year?

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Fri Nov 16, 2012 at 06:27:57 PM PST

  •  nope.he just can't cut it.shame he's still/elected (0+ / 0-)

    consider these terms: ocean rise, weather re-patterning, storm pathology, drout famine, acceptance of nature

    by renzo capetti on Fri Nov 16, 2012 at 06:32:18 PM PST

  •  i disagree (24+ / 0-)

    going over the cliff forces a realistic approach. as krugman has been pointing out, we don't immediately go into recession. but the pressure builds. and the public has to pick sides between a once again popular president and a deeply unpopular republican congress. and the president then holds all the cards. particularly if he wants to change the entire narrative.

    The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

    by Laurence Lewis on Fri Nov 16, 2012 at 06:32:59 PM PST

    •  As I hightlighted in my post this afternoon (6+ / 0-)

      here, the voters will blame the Republicans if the Bush Tax cuts go away.  

      So another question  , besides the one about Boehner, is  why would Obama go for a deal now?

      Move Single Payer Forward? Join 18,000 Doctors of PNHP and 185,000 member National Nurses United

      by divineorder on Fri Nov 16, 2012 at 06:52:41 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Well, consider this: (8+ / 0-)

      Assume we go over the cliff. Taxes go up on everyone. The pressure builds. So, the GOP passes a full tax cut extension with entitlement reform coupled with a debt ceiling extension.

      We've seen this movie before. The public was agaist the GOP the last time this happened. They weathered it and returned to a majority. None of it cost them anything except a few members around the edges. The districts are so gerrymandered they really don't need to please anybody except their party activists.

      I'm thinking Boehner wants more time so he can use the debt ceiling crap all over again. And why not? They did it before and they're still here.

      •  i disagree (8+ / 0-)

        the teabaggers don't get it, but boehner does- they got their asses handed to them. a year ago they had a flat economy, high unemployment, a president with approval ratings barely above the horizon, a senate map that had them regaining control, and a freshly gerrymandered house that was locked in. they got pummeled across the board, and only that gerrymandering saved their one area of control, and they still lost some high profle and long serving members. and gerrymandering gets diluted, every year. this was a very winnable election and boehner knows they blew it.

        the gop isn't organized enough to put together and pass a comprehensive program. meanwhile, obama lets the bush tax cuts expire and then forces the gop to accept or vote against the obama middle class tax cuts. the dems stand their ground, and the gop gets blamed for everything. boehner is scared.

        The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

        by Laurence Lewis on Fri Nov 16, 2012 at 07:40:33 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  If you're a GOP congressman from a red district, (4+ / 0-)

          I really don't see how you could see things getting any worse than they were this past year. And guess what, Obama won and you're still here. You voted for the Ryan Budget, almost sent the country into bankruptcy, and withstood a big DCCC money advantage with a winning incumbent president of the opposing party at the top of the ticket. And guess what? You're still here.

          So what I'm saying is, what have you to gain by cooperating with Obama? The national party had its problems and you're still here. Why should you give a shit Mitt Romney got beat? You voted to end Medicare and you're still here.

          So while I think ultimately Boehner is going to have to agree to something, I can totally understand why he would figure cutting a deal now is a lot worse than cutting a deal later. Because really...what can Obama offer him? Not much. How can Obama hurt him? He can't really. But who can? The crazy House GOP that really doesn't have to give a shit about the national GOP condition.

          •  boehner wants his job and his majority (4+ / 0-)

            that's why he's scared. the deep red district republicans may be delusional, but he's not. he doesn't want to cooperate, but he knows how last year cost him, and he knows how vulnerable his party is going forward. and he can't cooperate because then he loses his speakership. he may lose it either way, by losing his majority or by losing the support of his caucus. he's on the horns of a classic dilemma.

            IF obama stands his ground, obama hurts boehner either way. the longer this goes on, the more the pressure builds, and the more the gop will pay the cost. boehner sees that, and wants a way out, but the teabaggers won't give him a way out. if obama stands his ground, the gop will be eating itself alive by spring.

            The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

            by Laurence Lewis on Fri Nov 16, 2012 at 08:03:43 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Outside spending neutralized some DCCC . . . (0+ / 0-)

            advantages.  I don't know what the official final tally is, but as of mid-October the GOP had over a $1 million edge.  In the context of a national election that's not a huge advantage, but it probably helped.

            I think part of the argument for Boehner's stalling is that he thinks the GOP will be in a stronger position in 2014.  The mid-terms have some built in advantages for the GOP (gerrymandering, and older, more reliable mid-term voters).  So undoubtedly, he thinks a later negotiation will be on more favorable terrain.  Also there's an outside chance that the GOP could recapture the Senate, which would give it additional leverage.

            The worst possible outcome would be to see the GOP standing in the way of a deal, which might actually undermine those built-in mid-term advantages.  

            •  Im still standing by my (0+ / 0-)

              position that there is no political cost to obstructionism.

              May have noticed it was never an issue in the campaign. Why? Because people don't give a shit about process. They care about policy and personality and ideology. And rightly so. But not process.

              •  Unfortunately Obama didn't campaign like Truman (0+ / 0-)

                against the "Do-nothing Congress" so there is no empirical test.  The gerrymanders and dark money helped them, but our side did not do enough to hold them accountable for the extremist Ryan budget and the default hostage taking.  

                Last fall, Obama said "Pass this jobs bill right now!" often enough so that we political types all remember it.  If he had relentlessly reminded the voters of that throughout the campaign, we might now be discussing the strategic options of incoming Speaker Pelosi.

                There's no such thing as a free market!

                by Albanius on Fri Nov 16, 2012 at 11:56:23 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  Agree about process, up to a point . . . (0+ / 0-)

                if the GOP refuses to pass the existing extension of the Bush tax cuts for those below $250K there is no cost, unless people are aware that the legislation exists and that it wasn't put into law because the GOP House refused to move on the measure before the end of the year.

                There are limits on the process side of the issue, but outside pressure can work.  The president using his bully pulpit can work.  This stuff matters in terms of framing.  I don't think in 2009-2010 that the public was aware of the extent of GOP obstruction.  This is part of the way that a narrative gets built.

      •  Taxing capital gains would be entitlement reform (0+ / 0-)

        I love BBB's astute analysis almost always, but our side should not call the hard won economic rights of the 99% "entitlements", with the connotation of unearned aristocratic privilege.

        The plutocrats feel entitled to the lion's share of productivity gains, which the whole society built.  We should be going after their entitlements - offshore tax shelters,  carried interest, cleaning up their pollution, etc. ad naus.

        Means testing or age limiting Social Security, or privatizing Medicare, or turning Medicaid into a declining block grant would not be reforms, but ripoffs.

        There's no such thing as a free market!

        by Albanius on Fri Nov 16, 2012 at 11:41:49 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  that's a big "if," Laurence (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      chuckvw, Laurence Lewis, slinkerwink

      I agree the Dems can win if they play like that, but will they?

      An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

      by mightymouse on Fri Nov 16, 2012 at 08:06:46 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Maybe I misunderstood, (0+ / 0-)

    but I read that to be Boehner asking for the negotiating and agreeing on stuff to happen this year, but for the policy changes to not start until next year.  That's not the same thing as moving the negotiations to a time when he thinks he will have more leverage if that's what he thinks having fewer caucus members, already expired tax breaks, ramped up pressure from tax payers, and a chance to vote against a tax cut translates to.

    Picture a bright blue ball just spinnin' spinnin' free. It's dizzy with possibility.

    by lockewasright on Fri Nov 16, 2012 at 06:34:00 PM PST

  •  Two reasons (5+ / 0-)

    Boehner wants to get re-elected speaker, and probably figures he can't if he shoves a deal down Teabagger throats.

    More importantly, the deadline the fiscal cliff provides creates a big speedbump to Republican plans to stall and filibuster and bury Democratic reform attempts.  After the new Congress is seated, there's no real deadline Republicans can't use to their advantage, theoretically.  After their brinksmanship in the 112th, they probably still think that worked for them.

    Thinking that way, Boehner would have to be gambling that Obama wouldn't carry through on his threat to barnstorm the country, turning up the heat on House Republicans.  That's the effective move for Obama, of course, so Boehner might just be counting on Obama settling back into the White House to play the inside game, like he did in his first term.  Hopefully Obama has learned better by now.

    Citizens United defeated by citizens, united.

    by Dallasdoc on Fri Nov 16, 2012 at 06:36:23 PM PST

    •  that's all it is (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jabney

      Its just an attempt to call the presidents bluff, with a transparent attempt to shift the blame for it.

      It won't work because potus is not bluffing and his narrative is stronger.

      So I think you or right. Boehner is just playing to his caucus and only really wants to keep the speakership. He thinks the potus would prefer to deal with him instead of cantor. He's wrong.

  •  Boehner is tired of TBaggers I heard (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    phonegery, divineorder, jabney

    "Rick Perry talks a lot and he's not very bright. And that's a combination I like in Republicans." --- James Carville

    by LaurenMonica on Fri Nov 16, 2012 at 06:38:46 PM PST

  •  Reid aide: "not going to be any extension" (11+ / 0-)
    Boehner Pushes Obama To Relocate Fiscal Cliff Farther Down The Road

    Democrats don't seem likely to bite on Boehner's suggestion. Reid, for one, pledged that negotiators are not going "to wait until the last day of December" to get a deal done. And when asked specifically about the speaker's proposal for a delay and a second trigger to enable broader tax reform, a top Senate Democratic aide offered the following rejection: "That’s not going to happen. There's not going to be any extension of the top two rates, short-term or otherwise."

    Added another Senate Democratic aide, who, like the other, spoke anonymously not to get ahead of the lawmakers: "Trick me once, shame on you. Trick me twice, shame on me. We've seen this before. It was called the super committee," referring to the failed bipartisan effort to replace the sequester.

  •  Not going to make the mistake of listening to you (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jj32, brooklynbadboy

    again.

    Today:

    The way I see it, President Obama has maximum advantage RIGHT NOW and it will diminish by going over the cliff.
    Oct. 19:
    And despite the silly CNN poll, the overall trend is Florida moving in Romney's direction but Obama's ahead. He probably wont be by election day.
    What's a front-pager like you doing in a reality-based community like this?

    "There were questions that Governor Romney wanted to address to make sure people understood that he's not a felon" - Ed Gillespie (Romney supporter)

    by itswhatson on Fri Nov 16, 2012 at 06:41:22 PM PST

  •  can kicking (3+ / 0-)

    The president wants things resolved now partially for consumer confidence. Will the middle class tax cuts remain and will the top cuts go? They think if things are up in the air it could affect the holiday shopping season.

    The republicans want to kick it down the road so they don't have to do any work. They always want to put decisions off. Now they have asked about leaving the tax cuts in place for the top percentages, and seeing what revenue they can gain without the cuts. They would have an "extension" on the cuts and if they did not find enough revenue LATER, then they would relook at the cuts. Another sequester deal.

    Something like this.

    I just watched Geithner and Sen. Rob Portman on Bloomberg with one eye and one ear.

  •  Two words: Debt Ceiling. They're the robber (9+ / 0-)

    who walks in with a vest of explosives and his thumb on the detonator saying "Gimme everything or else I kill everyone"

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Fri Nov 16, 2012 at 06:49:46 PM PST

  •  Boehner Stl have the votes to make a big deal. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mightymouse, NotGeorgeWill

    I wonder if he is still being held to a majority of a majority criteria  in order to get his caucus on board with a deal. As far as I can tell. The 50% +1 vote in that caucus couldn't give a damn about who won the election and recognize any deal as surrender. All he is doing is stalling for as long as he can and hoping the president gets the blame when things fall apart.

    Truth is He probably barely has the votes to increase any taxes at all. This is going to get ugly.

    " we could go all day with the issues "

    by East Village Blue on Fri Nov 16, 2012 at 07:03:26 PM PST

    •  He doesn't need them (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      slinkerwink

      In steps minority leader Pelosi with nearly all the votes he needs, so long as he can kick in another 20 or so. And surely there are at least 20 Repubs who don't want to be the next Lundgen or West.

      "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

      by kovie on Fri Nov 16, 2012 at 07:24:57 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  you think? they are very well organized. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        slinkerwink, East Village Blue

        they do that, they will get primaried.

        yes, that is what the Dems should be doing, trying to peel off 20 votes, but you wonder how successful that will be.

        An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

        by mightymouse on Fri Nov 16, 2012 at 08:12:19 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  They don't do that, they will lose in the general (0+ / 0-)

          Even I don't believe that most of these Repubs are that stupid and crazy. I reject the silly myth of the GOP coalition that will not break and the Repub who will not abandon their "principles" no matter how crazy. The modern GOP didn't reinvent politics or human nature. They just played it very well. Till now.

          I think that Obama's finally figured out how this works, and that he's been the GOP's stooge for nearly 4 years. Apologies for the sexist throwback reference but he's got to be able to look Michelle in the eye and explain to the girls one day why we let those awful people run right over him. A man's got to be a man eventually.

          Those 20 are absolutely gettable. Just takes the right getter.

          "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

          by kovie on Fri Nov 16, 2012 at 09:42:22 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  any deal needs 50% republicans (0+ / 0-)

        To even come to a vote. That is the way they played it in the debt ceiling fight.  If Boehner allows this to get passed with only 15% republican support he loses his job. Gerrymandering, incumbency, and dark money means that the middle of the republican party can stay on the other side of crazy and not worry about consequence. My take anyway.

        " we could go all day with the issues "

        by East Village Blue on Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 07:27:20 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Easy (7+ / 0-)

    2014 positioning.

    If he kicks the can down the road until 2014, it's mid-term time, and in Boehner's World™, he feels he can set up Dem failure in order for the GOP to retain the House, and gum up the works until the 2016 presidential cycle.

    "Mitt who? That's an odd name. Like an oven mitt, you mean? Oh, yeah, I've got one of those. Used it at the Atlas Society BBQ last summer when I was flipping ribs."

    by Richard Cranium on Fri Nov 16, 2012 at 07:10:50 PM PST

  •  My 2 sequestered cents. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OLinda, mightymouse

    I agree 100% that this is just another can-kicking. The motives? I don't know. Self-preservation, scheming, or both? If I had to hazard a guess, I think it boils down to the simple idea that he thinks he can avoid a showdown on the Bush tax cuts for the top 2% in the short term via this method. He knows either the GOP or his Speakership won't survive that battle.

    it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses

    by Addison on Fri Nov 16, 2012 at 07:11:29 PM PST

  •  Why kick the can? (0+ / 0-)

    If you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes the truth. / If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. / If you repeat a lie often enough, people will believe it. / If you repeat a lie long enough, it becomes truth. / If you repeat a lie many times, people are bound to start believing it.
    Misattributed to Joseph Goebbels

  •  I don't know if Obama gains or not (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gooserock, gfv6800, jabney, slinkerwink

    by letting us fall off this horrific precipice from which we can never ever recover, but I think that he thinks that he gains by appearing to be eager to not let us go over it and willing to make "tough choices" to avoid it. The only question then is whether this is just for show, or whether he's serious about wanting to cut a deal this year, and if it's the latter, how much he's willing to negotiate away to get it.

    Personally, I think that he could care less whether a deal is cut pre or post-cliff, so long as it's the best deal possible. And I think, and I think that he thinks, that the way to get the best deal is to seem eager to cut a deal pre-cliff, and willing to offer a lot to get one, without actually offering a lot, such that Repubs have to choose between a deal they don't like now or an even worse deal they'll hate post-cliff, when they'll be the ones blamed.

    If they're smart they'll take what he offers now, but since they're not smart, as we all know, they'll probably reject it, only to come back at the 11th hour, or a week or two into our post-cliff national nightmare, trying to cut a worse deal for them. Every time Obama can get them to back off, the deal gets worse for them the next time around. This is what you do with a party of delusional idiots who don't realize what a bad hand they're holding. Keep getting them to make worse and worse bets, then make them fold, and collect the pot.

    Obama has to stand firm. Offer them something because the public and pundits expect it, but not enough for them to agree to it, putting the blame on them when each round fails. Played right, Obama might well end up getting them to agree to lower the retirement age to 12. Ok, I'm being greedy. 16 and not a year older!

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Fri Nov 16, 2012 at 07:20:06 PM PST

    •  Yeah. That's how I read things intially. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mightymouse

      For example, you see some House progressives being pretty open about going over the cliff. I get the play. But I suppose what kind of sends me into WTF? mode is that the president and pelosi and reid are insisting on a deal before Christmas and using the threat of ruining Christmas to get it.

      I'm starting to think that perhaps the president wants to avoid any of this getting entangled with the debt ceiling. Maybe because Boehner knows the President wont be in the mood to negotiate over the debt ceiling again, giving Boehner the opportunity to get on the strong side of his caucus.

      So if the president is betting Boehner wants to use the debt ceiling to negotiate entitlement and tax policy, why wouldn't the president want to get tax and entitlement policy out of the way now in order to have a quiet ceiling vote?

  •  Here's the thing, GOP looks ready to cave on taxes (3+ / 0-)

    I saw on the Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, a clip of Rush Limbaugh basically saying that he knows that his taxes are going to go up.

    If Obama keeps up the pressure on the GOP and lays down the hammer on them, we can get the deal that we want and we don't touch earned benefits.

  •  Anybody else think it's odd (3+ / 0-)

    that while Boehner said

    ...he believes 2013 should be the year we begin to solve our debt problem through tax reform and entitlement reform, and proposed that both parties work together to avert the fiscal cliff together in a manner that ensures 2013 is that year
    and the Democrats said
    That’s not going to happen. There's not going to be any extension of the top two rates, short-term or otherwise.
    the WH Press Secretary characterized the meeting thusly:
    The President and the leadership had a constructive meeting and agreed to do everything possible to find a solution that averts the so-called “fiscal cliff,” and to work together to find a balanced approach to reduce our deficit that includes both revenues and cuts in spending and encourages our long-term economic and job growth.  Both sides agreed that while there may be differences in our preferred approaches, we will continue a constructive process to find a solution and come to a conclusion as soon as possible.
  •  why will the GOP do anything? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jabney, slinkerwink

    they might be perfectly happy to let the tax hikes and sequester cuts go into effect, kill the economy, and blame it all on Obama.

    An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

    by mightymouse on Fri Nov 16, 2012 at 08:05:34 PM PST

    •  Polls right now indicate . . . (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mightymouse, wewantthetruth

      that the public sees the GOP as the most likely obstacle to a deal.  e.g. there was either a Washington Post or Pew poll a few days ago.

      Also, the period immediately after the election is when the president's approval is likely to be at its highest.  The GOP is angling for time so that it can make a deal later.  The goal is to get a temporary measure so that they don't get blamed, attention shifts, then when things return, the political dynamic may shift and they may have more leverage.  That's the gamble.

  •  It's simple... the debt ceiling (0+ / 0-)

    He's trying to push this into the debt ceiling where he thinks he'll have more leverage.

  •  practically speaking, it makes sense (0+ / 0-)

    from their perspective, a debt deal will be a complicated take and give dance. they want both entitlement and tax reform, and might be willing to give up the bush tax cuts for the ultra rich for it.

    now, they have, like, 3 weeks before congress breaks for the holidays. to do entitlement reform, tax reform, even without the negotiation, would probably take longer. this plus the dance of negotiation they expect to do will add to the timeline.

    of course, this won't happen in the real world. the pres will give them nothing, and they will like it.

    •  President has already signaled . . . (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      slinkerwink

      that he is willing to negotiate on Medicare, Social Security and high end tax increases.  The sense that I get from reading between the lines is that if he can get more revenue on high income earners, he might be willing to make some deals on the middle-class retiree benefits.

      He has said that the taxes on upper income earners need to go up, but that can take different forms beyond the expiration of the Bush tax cut.  I know some Dems campaigned on an increase above $500K and/or a millionaires taxes.  Medicare there's been some talk about increasing the age eligibility, and limiting benefits based on income.  Social Security there's the talk of changing the inflation formula, so that payouts are less generous in future years.

      Dems in Congress have put down brighter red lines -- especially with respect to changes to Medicare and Social Security.  No idea how this plays out.  I don't think Boehner has a ton of leverage with his caucus, but business lobbies will probably have some impact.  

      •  i wasn't clear, my fault (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        NotGeorgeWill

        the president will never give them what they want. the president (and allied dems in congress) will never give up entitlements. rightfully, they will insist on tax increases and defense cuts only. the repubs have no say in the matter unless they want to take the country "over the cliff"

        that aside, if we hypothetically got a grand compromise, it would involve a ton on technical work. altering entitlement outlays and tax "reform" would involve hundreds, perhaps thousands of man hours by really smart people getting all the details straight. i can't see how its physically possible to get it all done before congress breaks for the year. there is only so much work that can be done by so many people.

      •  Chris Van Hollen (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        NotGeorgeWill

        said this evening no benefit cuts to medicare or social security but reforms to strengthen it.

        O has said he will look at everything which he has to say and should do but he continues to say that he will not sign anything that extends bush tax cuts for the upper 2%, in fact he was very emphatic about that in his presser yesterday.

        mittens=edsel. no matter how much money is spent to promote it, if the product sucks, no one will buy it.

        by wewantthetruth on Fri Nov 16, 2012 at 09:36:08 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Open question what Van Hollen means . . . (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wewantthetruth

          clearly no benefit cuts for current beneficiaries, but I'll be curious to see what is in the offing for future years.  The reality is that there are ways of making Medicare more sustainable without slashing benefits, but the GOP has shown no interest in pursuing these options (e.g. more aggressive price negotiation in Medicare Part D could save tens of billions of dollars).  

          One thing that I haven't heard mentioned is the impact on immigration reform on the health of the social safety net programs.  If you have more people working on the books and paying into social security and Medicare -- effectively legalizing millions of younger workers too -- would have the effect of balancing out some of the demographic trends where the population is getting older.  I'm not sure how much of an impact this would have on the health of these programs, but this is a potential benefit of immigration reform.  The big problem is that the GOP doesn't really show much interest in constructive solutions.  Not sure how the Dems will navigate these issues.  They have some leverage now.  We'll see.

  •  John Boehner is betting--probably correctly-- (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NotGeorgeWill

    that the President will ultimately fold again and sign a full extension of the Bush tax cuts.

    And if he's wrong, he levels the playing field and gets to argue that the President's bogus mandate made him pig-headed and ruined the economy.

    At least, that's what he thinks. I personally believe he would lose the debate if we go "over the cliff."

    Ok, so I read the polls.

    by andgarden on Fri Nov 16, 2012 at 08:55:00 PM PST

    •  why would you "probably correctly"? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NotGeorgeWill

      O should never have extended them the first time but was held hostage as he had no leverage. he has all the leverage now and no longer has to worry about being re-elected. he shows some spine and is looking for his presidency to be historical in nature.....I would not be betting against O.

      this is a different time. past is in the past.

      12 new House GOP members did not sign norquist's pledge and another dozen reneged on it.  can easily see House having enough votes to do what O wants to get done on this.

      senate already passed a bill........House votes for it, O would sign it.

      let the tax cits expire on 12/31 and let the new Congress handle it. Boner knows the best deal he will get is the one on the table.

      mittens=edsel. no matter how much money is spent to promote it, if the product sucks, no one will buy it.

      by wewantthetruth on Fri Nov 16, 2012 at 09:42:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  You are correct (0+ / 0-)

    Plus it is sort of like a free Hail Mary when the defense jumps off-sides. If we can get a deal on this in 2012 we don't have to spend time wrestling with it in 2013. The SotH of course knows this so is trying to wriggle out of a lame duck deal. More delay and obstruction.

  •  He has more than one axe over his head (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MBramble

    right now.  

    If he compromises and solves this non-crisis that he and his pals created, he will not be able to convince the house teabagger members to go along with it.  He will lose his gavel to Canter.

    If he doesn't, and the Bush tax breaks expire, he loses corporate backing, without which he cannot survive politically.

    Kicking the can down the road seems like the best solution for him.


    The religious fanatics didn't buy the republican party because it was virtuous, they bought it because it was for sale

    by nupstateny on Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 06:11:03 AM PST

  •  Boehner is smart enough (0+ / 0-)

    To understand that since Republicans lost the election their "time bomb" strategy to force cuts to social benefits and taxes for the wealthy has back-fired and left Obama holding more cards.

    Given the situation, his best play is to delay the deadline with nominal concessions.

    What about my Daughter's future?

    by koNko on Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 08:11:49 AM PST

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