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As far as I know, there was never any economic justification for the Bush tax cuts to begin with, and even those who advocated them used the fact that they were temporary as a fig leaf for passing them.  That's true of any tax bracket involved, but for the rich it was especially obvious that those cuts were and have continued to be acutely harmful to the economy.  So what the hell is this "fiscal cliff" gibberish Republicans are spouting and Democrats in Washington are going along with in some misguided attempt to use the GOP's hyperbole against it?  

The expiration of those cuts is simply a return to the normal state of fiscal affairs prior to the second takeover of government by radical right-wing extremists under Bush, and doesn't even make a dent in the cuts made by the first right-wing radical takeover under Reagan.  So the GOP's whining about it is just their usual corrupt WATB bullshit, and there is no way in hell that "compromise" with them is called for: No way in hell that people's right to Social Security and Medicare has to be trimmed to pay for the expiration of tax cuts that should never have happened in the first place.  In fact, no way that any budget cuts should attend this change in the fiscal picture.  

We've been cutting and gutting budgets on an almost continuous basis since Ronald Reagan, so there is no "fat" left to trim, period - just the muscle and bone of our economy, and frankly the vultures who were behind both Reagan's and Bush's tax cuts won't be content until they're feasting on our nation's deepest flesh.  So there are some pretty solid lines carved in stone here that should not be crossed: Not one cent of additional budget cuts from here on out, and not one cent of additional tax cuts from here on out.  Time for the pendulum to swing back to sanity and growth, and time for the Republican financial base to start carrying its own weight in this country.

The elimination of the Bush tax cuts - at least for the rich - must simply be the beginning of a general push toward restoration of the fair, progressive tax system that built modern America and made us into the nation that achieved so many of the greatest and hardest things of the 20th century.  We must say "No" to the stagnation, degeneracy, corruption, crime, homelessness, ignorance, moral decay, and ever-eroding expectations and budgets of the economies created by Reaganist and Bushist policies.  Never again must it be acceptable to say "We don't have the money" for schools and healthcare - if something is a good idea justified by objective evidence, then it's a good idea to generate the money by raising taxes rather than just ignoring the need/opportunity the way Republicans do or just engaging in endless borrowing to avoid the controversy of tax issues that way Democrats generally have.  

The wealthiest Americans have been coddled beyond all reason and decency, and virtually nothing asked of them in return over the past few decades.  Now the bill is due, and some of us who aren't wealthy should not balk if we too are asked to pay a little more so long as those at the top are asked to pay a lot more.  Time to end the deranged culture of anti-tax psychosis that Republicans have created in this country on behalf of their owner/masters.  Our roads should be even and well-maintained throughout America, our schools safe and creative places of learning throughout America, our hospitals safe, well-staffed, competently-managed, and providing thorough and timely care throughout America to all people.  That's it.  There's no second opinion on this.  Anyone who doesn't want this or isn't willing to pay taxes for it is simply not American, and should not be allowed to stand in the way of a society they profit from.  

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (34+ / 0-)

    "They fear this man. They know he will see farther than they, and he will bind them with ancient logics." -The stoner guy in The Cabin in the Woods

    by Troubadour on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 09:31:14 PM PST

  •  The justification for the Bush Tax Cuts was to (20+ / 0-)

    kill SS and Medicare.  Everything they did was designed to drive us into debt, the debt would be the excuse to dismantle the programs.

  •  I pretty much agree with you, but (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Troubadour, kurt, Sandino, codairem

    this statement is one with which I might not.

    We've been cutting and gutting budgets on an almost continuous basis since Ronald Reagan, so there is no "fat" left to trim, period - just the muscle and bone of our economy, and frankly the vultures who were behind both Reagan's and Bush's tax cuts won't be content until they're feasting on our nation's deepest flesh.
    I think that if you will look more deeply, except for when the Teanuts took over the House that more and more money was, in general, put everywhere.  I am not trying to argue, just to point out that more money has been spent recently than in the past.

    Oh, as an aside, did I just coin the term "Teanuts"?  Probably not, but I do not recall seeing that spelt out anywhere else.  If I did, I claim the copyright.  If I did not, I yield to her or him that did.

    Look at the DoD budget!  Those are discretionary funds, and just keep going through the roof.  Please do not think that I am picking a fight, because you are much more correct than you are incorrect.

    Warmest regards,

    Doc

    I would rather die from the acute effects of a broken heart than from the chronic effects of an empty heart. Copyright, Dr. David W. Smith, 2011

    by Translator on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 09:43:09 PM PST

    •  Well, I would qualify my original statement (4+ / 0-)

      with the fact that we can always spend less on the damned Pentagon - the most corrupt, inefficient, and unaccountable department of the federal government.  That's one budget I don't mind seeing gutted, so long as the remainder is spent intelligently.  This bloated blob of a military couldn't fight a war against a sophisticated enemy force - it would collapse under its own weight and from the financial hemmorhaging of all the corrupt parasites sucking on its money from the Pentagon.

      "They fear this man. They know he will see farther than they, and he will bind them with ancient logics." -The stoner guy in The Cabin in the Woods

      by Troubadour on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 09:51:18 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I appreciate your perspective! (0+ / 0-)

        We do not always agree, but we DO agree to discuss important topics.  That is a good thing.

        I agree that the US should not have to be the police force for the planet.  Let some of the other up and coming places take their real, and important, places to keep the seas free.  We, and I mean you and me, have done that way too long.

        Warmest regards,

        Doc

        I would rather die from the acute effects of a broken heart than from the chronic effects of an empty heart. Copyright, Dr. David W. Smith, 2011

        by Translator on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 09:58:01 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't agree on the seas. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Translator, trumpeter

          At least, not while the preeminent "up and comer" is a brutal authoritarian police state, and all runners-up are way behind it.  Our legitimate role in the world for the coming decades is not to police it, and not to try to build nations on the ashes of chaos, but simply to prevent any undemocratic power from obtaining a dominating position over humanity.  That means China doesn't get free reign.  But to counter it effectively, a lot of our military-industrial complex has to be broken down and rebuilt from the ground up - to a much lower absolute funding level, and with far more capable, less corrupt leadership, part of which has to be the de-Talibanization of the Academies.

          "They fear this man. They know he will see farther than they, and he will bind them with ancient logics." -The stoner guy in The Cabin in the Woods

          by Troubadour on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 10:05:47 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I call your hand and raise it! (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Troubadour

            LOL!  China HAS to belly up to the bar of civilized nations or be relegated to nothingness.  I would rather folks with our beliefs be the police, but in reality China is important.  I do not think that China is good or well wishing, but WE, the US, HAVE to make China realize that unless that country does its duty serious ramifications will result.

            Warmest regards,

            Doc

            I would rather die from the acute effects of a broken heart than from the chronic effects of an empty heart. Copyright, Dr. David W. Smith, 2011

            by Translator on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 10:10:26 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Yes (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        trumpeter, Calamity Jean, Troubadour
        all the corrupt parasites sucking on its money
        And anyone that has studied history KNOWS this is what crushes empires.

        "Til you're so fucking crazy you can't follow their rules" John Lennon - Working Class Hero

        by Horace Boothroyd III on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 12:27:35 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Thank You (6+ / 0-)

    Obama should still try to get a better deal if he can, but I doubt very much the Republican House is going to give him anything better than to just let this happen.

    1. 36% of the "fiscal cliff"  this year comes from the expiration of the Bush tax cuts, which have been harming the economy anyway.

    2. 20% comes from the expiration of Obama's payroll tax cut and extension of unempolyment benefits.  These are things which have helped working families, but were always intended to be temporary.

    3. Only 11% of it comes from the automatic spending cuts, and half of those come from defense, which really needs to be cut anyway.  

    4.  Altogether, the spending cuts in 2013 amount to just over 4 tenths of a percent of GDP.  The spending cuts alone won't be that harmful to growth.  And the tax increases will be less harmful than many analysts seem to think (and they might even help).

    5.  Allowing it to occur prevents the Republicans from again holding the economy hostage over a debt ceiling increase early in 2013.

    So it's not all good; we certainly could still use to keep some of that spending and the payroll tax cuts.  But it's more good than bad, and the economy would take a small short term hit end of this year, but then would be in stronger shape going forward.  

    •  Yours is a very interesting (0+ / 0-)

      examination, and you seem to be correct.  What we do I can not say, but I think that we all can agree that some serious consideration needs to be made insofar as the budget is concerned.  There will be screaming and bloodletting at all turns, but it has to be done, and I am not talking about Grandma being starved.

      Warmest regards,

      Doc

      I would rather die from the acute effects of a broken heart than from the chronic effects of an empty heart. Copyright, Dr. David W. Smith, 2011

      by Translator on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 10:03:34 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The trick is...... (0+ / 0-)

        since it will cause a short term hit, neither side is going to want to say they actually wanted this deal.  So I doubt you will see Democrats getting too enthusiastic about it.  But it probably is the best we will get.

        So go ahead and blame the Republicans, and then push for more stimulus, another payroll tax holiday, and/or a middle class tax cut on top of it. And when the screaming comes, we might even have a better chance of getting those things.  

  •  Bite the bullet? (7+ / 0-)

    Perhaps let it all happen, and then ask Congress for a middle class tax cut with a live national TV address, and a large advertising campaign to get people to call their Congressmember to demand a middle class tax cut.

    Mr. President, you have to play hardball now because the chances are we're stuck with this House for the next four years, and part of the key is to show them who's boss and keep the non-gerrymandered statewide electorates sufficiently revved up to keep the Senate intact in 2014.  

  •  Hear hear! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dickensgirl, Troubadour

    I was furious last time the tax cuts were extended, but the unemployment benefits that were held hostage were even more important.

    We just won a vitally important election.  This is not the time to sell out the American people.  We need to hold Republican feet to the fire on eliminating certain loopholes - namely the preferential treatment of capital gains and the estate tax!

    Early to rise and early to bed Makes a man healthy, wealthy, and dead. --Not Benjamin Franklin

    by Boundegar on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 02:55:46 AM PST

  •  excellent point (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Troubadour
  •  Lincoln pointed out that (4+ / 0-)

    labor is superior to capital, without the former, the latter doesn't exist. Boundergar is correct, no more preferential treatment of capital gains and dividends and a reasonable estate tax would greatly help the fiscal imbalance and also, help rebalance the scales between the one percent and everyone else.

  •  back when they sent out Charlie Bass to shill for (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JamieG from Md, codairem, Troubadour

    the original tax cuts in the Spring of 2001, the Bush economy was in a nose-dive, in fact "tanking" was the word of the day. So Bush went on teevee and said we would be exercising "Military Keynesianism," which I took to mean, 'Hey, we're going to war somewhere, to fix the economy!' Didn't know yet that we had set our sights on our old friend from Reagan's days, S. Hussein.
          I did know that I couldn't see why anyone would CUT taxes in such a suffering economy, unless they figured it was going to crash and burn anyway, and that either way, they would profit from war, and/or suck the treasury dry, at the very same time!

    For some reason we in NH accidentally let Charlie B. back in a while ago, but I think people have opened up their eyes during this election, since he was "soundly defeated" and he and the rest of the boys club can all go away now. The rest of us can assert ourselves and say- Who needs tax cuts when you can have tax increases on the well-off, if enough people vote for them.

    The secret is, guys- ya gotta frame it right and speak their language:

    Q: When is an increase not an "increase"?

    A: When it's a "raise"!

    Alrighty everyone, repeat after me:
      TAX RAISES FOR THE RICH!  Yeah, that's the ticket!

  •  I think you are overly optimistic about expiration (0+ / 0-)

    of Bush tax cuts no the wealthy.

    I am not convinced that they will all expire.  I think based on the comments made from Friday's meeting, some type of general deal was struck.  

    I think that the deal they struck was to agree to increase taxes up to a top rate less than it was under Bill Clinton and to make this new top rate permanent.  This would give the democrats a tax increase and would allow the republicans to say that they made some of the Bush tax cuts permanent.  

    I haven't really seen analysis of this but when I heard a media statement that this was possible it make sense to me that this is where they are going.  

    It is in the President's nature to like compromise and I am not sure he has the stomach to go over the cliff.

  •  May a steal this sentance, and use (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, Troubadour
    The wealthiest Americans have been coddled beyond all reason and decency, and virtually nothing asked of them in return over the past few decades.
    it in letters to the President, my Congressman, and Senators?  Pretty please?  It's so perfect!  

    Renewable energy brings national global security.     

    by Calamity Jean on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 09:30:46 AM PST

  •  YOU ARE WRONG (0+ / 0-)
    As far as I know, there was never any economic justification for the Bush tax cuts to begin with
    The economic justification was sector analysis. The federal budget was in surplus, the current accounts were in deficit, both of which force the private into deficit. The private sector was being decimated by debt which had grown to levels even higher than in the lead up to the great depression. We needed to expand deficits to at least accommodate the 4.5% of gdp in our current account deficit.

    Why is there so little understanding of the basic understanding of macroeconomic flows? These ideas are wrong and dangerous. Learn how the monetary system really works and you will triple your outrage at how we are being so thoroughly fucked, and by the very same people we just elected.

    •  Oh please. (0+ / 0-)

      That doesn't make any sense.  If surpluses cause problems, then spend the damn money - it's not like there weren't uses for it after decades of budget cuts since Reagan, and it's not like taxes weren't low enough.  This is the federal marginal income tax rate picture in 1955 compared to today (brackets don't perfectly align, but close enough):

      1955 vs. 2012 Marginal Income Tax Rates (2)

      Twenty-four brackets vs. six, with a minimum of 20% and a maximum of 91% in 1955.  There's no excuse for this when we've been slashing and burning budgets on both the federal and state level for decades.

      "They fear this man. They know he will see farther than they, and he will bind them with ancient logics." -The stoner guy in The Cabin in the Woods

      by Troubadour on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 11:28:35 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Oh please yourself . . . (0+ / 0-)

        In 1955 everything about the monetary system was different. It was called the gold standard and it meant that our monetary system was constrained. It meant that dollars were a demand on the treasury gold reserves. That hasn't been the case since 1971 when Nixon closed the gold window. We stupidly still act like it's the case because (1) we are poorly educated in economics, (2) it enhances financial instability and it's attendant opportunity for elites to reap enormous profits and (3) we have been misled and betrayed by our elected officials of all political stripes, including Mr. Obama for whom I nevertheless cast my vote.  

        Nice chart but it has nothing to do with the issue I brought up. No argument that savings are an apt target for taxation, certainly more so than consumption or VAT schemes, but not because tax are required for spending. That is simply not true. And when taxes are in excess of spending it means we the people get poorer.

        Here is a diagram and the basic math describing monetary flows. You should incorporate this into your thoughts on the economy and what you believe constitutes sound fiscal and monetary policy.

  •  A NEW FISCAL ACTIVIST VIDEO (0+ / 0-)

    If we want to win this fiscal thing, the following video might help.  A lot of people are confused about deficits and the debt. Here is a serious cartoon animation that gives some clear and useful information.  Put it on blast:
    http://www.youtube.com/...

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