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Gopasaur
The Hill:
President Obama and Democrats are trying to back the GOP into a corner over tax hikes just as they did on the payroll tax fight a year ago.

The president and his party are arguing that Republicans should agree to extend the George W. Bush-era tax rates immediately on families earning up to $250,000 a year, and not dig in their heels to prevent rates from rising for higher-income earners. [...]

The GOP is worried, fearing Obama could jam them into a last-minute agreement as the nation approaches what Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has dubbed a “fiscal cliff.” If Congress does nothing, all taxpayers will see higher bills next year.

The thing is, if Republicans are worried about getting backed into a corner, they are worried about getting backed into a corner of their own making. They are the ones who decided to pass tax cuts with expiration dates. They did it back in 2001 and 2003, and they thought they were backing Democrats into a corner—because they thought Democrats would always be afraid of letting the tax cuts expire and getting blamed for higher tax rates. And in 2009 and 2010, the GOP's calculation was right (though it's worth remembering that the president actually won a fair bit of stimulus in return for extending all tax cuts).

But 2012 is not 2010—Republicans who once believed they could extend the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy forever simply by holding middle-class tax cuts hostage are afraid that their bluff is about to be called. And they have reason to be afraid. The economy is stronger today than it was two years ago and President Obama just won an election in which ending the Bush tax cuts for top income earners was a major issue. He's repeatedly vowed to not extend tax cuts on income more than $250,000 and this time congressional Democrats are supporting him.

Senate Democrats have passed legislation extending tax cuts on all income below $250,000 and the president says he'd sign it right away if House Republicans are willing to pass the bill. And when it comes down to it, House Republicans will be willing to pass it—because they know they will be the ones who get blamed if the tax cuts expire. They'll drag out the process as long as they can, hoping to change the political dynamic or win concessions on the spending side, but they really have no leverage. The Bush tax cuts for the wealthy expire at the end of the year and Republicans won't be willing to raise taxes on everyone else as punishment for that. So they are backed into a corner—but it's a corner of their own making.

Originally posted to The Jed Report on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 07:42 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  And Grover Norquist will try to revenge himself (34+ / 0-)

    What form that will take may be interesting. Is he going to primary every Republican who votes to let the Bush tax cuts expire?

    I hope Nancy Pelosi has her shopping list ready. John Boehner is going to come calling, trying to pass this deal with some Democratic votes, and Nancy needs to make the price as high as she possibly can.

    Ideally, Democrats all vote "No" because of [something unpopular cut on spending], and the House GOP winds up owning both the tax cuts AND the unpopular spending cuts.

    Hard to manage that with the MSM in the GOP's back pocket, but Nancy is so much better at this whole party leader business than John it's possible.

    Economics is a social *science*. Can we base future economic decisions on math?

    by blue aardvark on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 07:47:38 AM PST

    •  Another one of those "present" votes? /nt (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blue aardvark, Philpm, Aunt Pat, tb mare

      Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
      I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
      —Spike Milligan

      by polecat on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 07:52:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Poor Grover's Norqbots might turn on their (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Aunt Pat, a2nite, Rolfyboy6, blue aardvark

      creator...

      I believe that in every country the people themselves are more peaceably and liberally inclined than their governments. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt

      by Blue Knight on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 08:31:53 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  i'd say his balls in a jar, (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      a2nite, LOrion, blue aardvark
      I hope Nancy Pelosi has her shopping list ready. John Boehner is going to come calling, trying to pass this deal with some Democratic votes, and Nancy needs to make the price as high as she possibly can.
      but i remain unconvinced that he has any.
      •  HERE is how it was done folks, by OBAMA himself... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        blue aardvark
        Suddenly, the GOP found a strengthened, re-elected President who ran on the promise of raising taxes on the wealthiest, and won. Twice. The real "demographic" the GOP should be worried about isn't just the increasingly ethnically diverse face of America but a the spring of a new American economic patriotism that believes in the common good and in investing in our people by ensuring everyone pay their fair share
        SEE MUCH MORE HERE.

        How Obama Killed the Norquist Pledge

        Proud to be part of the 21st Century Democratic Majority Party of the 3M's.. Multiracial,Multigender and MiddleClass

        by LOrion on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 09:26:37 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I don't see the need for there to be any spending (6+ / 0-)

      cuts at all attached to this bill coming from the Senate. What is that phrase Republicans like so much? "Give us a straight up or down vote." We can negotiate spending cuts when there's more time for discussion in Congress and (more) input from the American people, if the vote on November 6 wasn't enough.

      Republicans were clearly confused about the will of the American people, thinking we wanted Mitt Romney to be president and that we wanted to preserve the so-called defense budget at all costs. Wrong and wrong.

      “Social Security has nothing to do with balancing a budget or erasing or lowering the deficit.” -- Ronald Reagan, 1984 debate with Walter Mondale

      by RJDixon74135 on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 09:13:24 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  all this grand bargain talk and the history (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RJDixon74135

        of Dem capitulation still has me worried about how the sequestration and bush tax cuts issues will play out.

        i fully agree that nothing should be cut from social programs and that the military should be cut to the bone, but am worried that the Democrats lack the will to get it done.

        moreover, there has long been a similar confusion on the part of the Democractic party as to what the "will of the american people" is.  of course the confusion stems from the difficulty in getting an elected official to take notice of something he is being paid not to notice.

        A standing army is like a standing member. It's an excellent assurance of domestic tranquility, but a dangerous temptation to foreign adventure. Elbridge Gerry - Constitutional Convention (1787)

        by No Exit on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 09:31:14 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  TheBlue Dog Dems Come To The Rescue Of (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          No Exit

          Republicans along with 24/7 David Gregory heading a media PR campaign for the Republicans and then get Obamacare on the table and resurrect the Death Panel meme and this will be all turned around for the Republicans.

          The Republican Party is Simply a Coalition of Greed and Hate

          by kerplunk on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 10:06:51 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  which member of the rotating cast of villains (0+ / 0-)

            will step up to preserve the plutocrats?

            I will never forget this post by Glenn Greenwald back in february 2010;

            This is what the Democratic Party does; it’s who they are.  They’re willing to feign support for anything their voters want just as long as there’s no chance that they can pass it.  They won control of Congress in the 2006 midterm elections by pretending they wanted to compel an end to the Iraq War and Bush surveillance and interrogation abuses because they knew they would not actually do so; and indeed, once they were given the majority, the Democratic-controlled Congress continued to fund the war without conditions, to legalize Bush’s eavesdropping program, and to do nothing to stop Bush’s habeas and interrogation abuses (“Gosh, what can we do?  We just don’t have 60 votes).

            The primary tactic in this game is Villain Rotation.  They always have a handful of Democratic Senators announce that they will be the ones to deviate this time from the ostensible party position and impede success, but the designated Villain constantly shifts, so the Party itself can claim it supports these measures while an always-changing handful of their members invariably prevent it.  One minute, it’s Jay Rockefeller as the Prime Villain leading the way in protecting Bush surveillance programs and demanding telecom immunity; the next minute, it’s Dianne Feinstein and Chuck Schumer joining hands and “breaking with their party” to ensure Michael Mukasey’s confirmation as Attorney General; then it’s Big Bad Joe Lieberman single-handedly blocking Medicare expansion; then it’s Blanche Lincoln and Jim Webb joining with Lindsey Graham to support the de-funding of civilian trials for Terrorists; and now that they can’t blame Lieberman or Ben Nelson any longer on health care (since they don’t need 60 votes), Jay Rockefeller voluntarily returns to the Villain Role, stepping up to put an end to the pretend-movement among Senate Democrats to enact the public option via reconciliation.

            A standing army is like a standing member. It's an excellent assurance of domestic tranquility, but a dangerous temptation to foreign adventure. Elbridge Gerry - Constitutional Convention (1787)

            by No Exit on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 10:19:02 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Bush tax cuts were passed under reconciliation (31+ / 0-)

    and thus had a time limit.  The votes were not there to make the tax cuts permanent because even then some (Democrats) folks said it was a bad idea.

    Obama carefully DID NOT pass healthcare reform that way even though he could.  Why?  So that it would not automatically expire down the road.  A much harder road to travel and as a result he had to cater to Lieberman, et al.

    The future will decide which of these moves was smarter.

    Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
    I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
    —Spike Milligan

    by polecat on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 07:52:10 AM PST

    •  both Bush tax cuts passed in the low 50s (14+ / 0-)

      For the 2003 tax cut, VP Cheney cast the 51st vote.
      Very few Dems voted for either unfunded tax cut while WARNING they would increase the deficit & debt while strapped with 2 unfunded cakewalk wars.

      "Tax cuts for the 1% create jobs." -- Republicans, HAHAHA - in China

      by MartyM on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 08:08:39 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The Passed the Biggest Cuts They Couldn't Balance! (16+ / 0-)

      In 2002 I attended a legal Tax symposium where some of the attorneys who helped draft the Bush tax cuts of 2001 talked about the ideas behind the legislation.

      Congressional rules dictated that any tax cuts be balanced by spending cuts. Only, Republicans had no intention of passing matching spending cuts, because they couldn't get the votes and didn't want to take the political hit for cutting spending.

      Thus, they passed the Tax bill via reconciliation -- always knowing that the tax cuts would expire. But, as one of the women attorneys said "We decided that by 2011 the cuts would be so popular that Congress would just renew them."

      Hence they passed the biggest tax cuts they could get away with -- and decided not to worry about the impact on the deficit. (They blithely assumed that the cuts would "pay for themselves" with massive economic growth -- in accord with trickle-down theory, or else eventually spending would get cut to close the budget gap).

      Well, here we are in 2012, and a DEMOCRATIC President is trying cut spending to core middle class programs like Medicare -- to balance the budget.

      Of course, the INSTANT that Republicans ever get control of the Presidency again, they will blow another giant hole in the deficit -- and demand MORE spending cuts to "balance the budget."

      Tax increases to pay for the tax cuts for the rich are always off the table.

      It's just like Lucy and Charlie Brown and the football! Democrats never learn!

      And now another Democratic President has been mesmerized by all the deficit hysteria ginned up by the "serious people" who keep predicting catastrophe unless we cut Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, student loans, and entitlement spending at every level.

      Because, of course, "we can't afford it."

      It doesn't take a genius to see where this austerity mongering is heading --- just like in Europe, the more they cut, the worse the economy gets. Then that reduces government revenues. Then the Republicans force another tax cut which blows another hole in the deficit.

      And, voila! It's time for another round of austerity.

      Apparently elections have no consequences, because we all just voted AGAINST austerity and cuts to our benefits!

      Yet, all the insiders "agree that shared sacrifice has to be on the table."

      •  While we focus cheerfully on the prospect (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RJDixon74135, No Exit

        of the rich being taxed a bit more, in an amount that might marginally reduce their bloated bank accounts or expenditures on luxuries, the great majority will then be called upon to suffer cuts that will deprive us of necessities.

        As Lamberth Strether put it:
         

        The wealthy may suffer a twinge as they lose a little “self-actualization” at the tippy top of Maslow’s pyramid, but the rest of will suffer real pain at the base: Loss of health, loss of food, loss of resources. Luxuries at the margin are not a fair trade for necessities paid for by social insurance. The sacrifice may be shared, alright, but not equally, because it cannot be.

        Read more at
        http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/...

        The frog jumped/ into the old pond/ plop! (Basho)

        by Wolf10 on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 09:03:58 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  So you are in favor of Big Pharma giveaways (0+ / 0-)

          Since you do not want any cuts to Medicare one must conclude you like the law which prohibits Medicare from negotiating drug prices for its prescriptions.

          •  Your dishonest representation of my comment (0+ / 0-)

            does a disservice to whatever point it is you are trying to make.

            Cutting an unnecessary and deleterious cost that inflates corporate profits should in no way be conflated with a concern about cuts to necessary services.

            The frog jumped/ into the old pond/ plop! (Basho)

            by Wolf10 on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 09:34:35 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  No, I point out the empty nature of your comment (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Wolf10

              You are against all "cuts" because you equate "cuts" with "Cuts to beneficiaries".

              "Cut" means noting more than to reduce the money flowing out. And that's called a Good Thing. One way to do that is to allow MC to negotiate for prices. Not only do beneficiaries not suffer - they benefit from that "cut".

              The debate here on DKos is vastly oversimplified. "Cuts" = bad! Aieeee! The details matter.

              •  I agree with your clarification on the term "cuts" (0+ / 0-)

                but as to the intended substance of my own comment, however imprecisely expressed, I stand by it. I am opposed to cuts in benefits not to cuts in unwarranted costs.

                The frog jumped/ into the old pond/ plop! (Basho)

                by Wolf10 on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 04:04:56 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

  •  Republicans didn't "decide" on expiration dates (25+ / 0-)

    ...because they wanted them. That was the only way they could do it to avoid the Byrd Rule.

    The sunset provision allowed EGTRRA to sidestep the Byrd Rule, a Senate rule that amends the Congressional Budget Act to allow Senators to block a piece of legislation if it purports a significant increase in the federal deficit beyond ten years. The sunset allowed the bill to stay within the letter of the PAYGO law while removing nearly $700 billion from amounts that would have triggered PAYGO sequestration.
    •  Thanks For The Info (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Aunt Pat, tb mare, Quicklund

      Learned something new today!  I will be sure to be sharing with my Republican friends and acquaintances, who I am sure will not be aware of this fact.  Hell, I'll be sharing with my Dem friends as I'm sure most of them are unaware of the reason for the 10 year sunset provision.

      Poor man wants to be rich. Rich man wants to king. And the king ain't satisifed until he rules everything. B.Springsteen

      by howd on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 08:32:38 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  This is entirely correct (3+ / 0-)

      The CBO scored the bill as opening a giant gaping hole in the budget. So, the only way they could pass the Bush Tax bill of 2001 was to make it "sunset" in 2011.

      One big part was lowering the estate tax for billionaires by stages -- from $1 million up to $3.5 million exemption (husband and wife each get a $3.5 million exemption), then in 2011, the estate tax would be eliminated.

      And if Congress failed to act to renew the cuts, then it would go back to a $1 million exemption (net assets) in 2012. Well after renewal last year, it's set to expire at the end of this year.

      And the billionaires who keep talking about the "need to eliminate the death tax" are demanding extension. They try to fool people into thinking THEY are going to be hit with this tax when they die.

      Well, yes, if you and your wife have total NET assets (after deducting the COST of those assets) of $2,000,000 or more it will tax every dollar OVER $2,000,000 at up to 35%.

      Remind me to weep great crocodile tears for the poor billionaires who can't take their immense unearned wealth with them and want to breed a new class of entitled aristocrats of unsurpassed wealth and privilege -- endlessly perpetuating itself at the top of our society through inherited wealth.

      And they're trying to sell this bucket of swill by pretending this tax hits ordinary "small businesses" and middle class families.

      That's the GOP for you. Lies and deception all the way down to the ground!

    •  I knew the GOP did not WANT the susnset (0+ / 0-)

      But I could not recall what mechanism it was that put that provision into the bill. "Thank G_d it is in there", was my thought at the time.

  •  What's in that legislation? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Philpm, DSPS owl

    I'd like to see a breakdown of what exactly is in that bill mentioned that Senate Dems have passed - is it just extending the below $250,000 tax cuts, or is there anything else or some kind of 'deal' attached to it?

    "And the Tea Party shall be maimed forever, becoming a mere spirit of malice that gnaws itself in the shadows, but can never grow or take shape again. And so a great evil of this world will be removed." - Gandalf

    by Fordmandalay on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 07:57:25 AM PST

    •  Here is the Thomas info (7+ / 0-)

      on S. 3412, which passed on July 25 of this year.

      Ultimately, the only thing that matters with respect to preserving choice is who will be nominating the next Supreme Court Justices.

      by Its the Supreme Court Stupid on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 08:00:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Senate bill not as good as expiration (6+ / 0-)

      The Senate bill S.3412 is a one-year extension of 2001 tax cuts for income <$250k, raises capital gains taxes slightly from 15% to 20%, patches the AMT for 2012 only, and extends some child tax credits.

      Not as good as letting all the 2001 package expire permanently on Dec 31.  Passing S.3412 would be a great move by R's, eliminating a lot of D leverage without giving them much.

      The key for me is that unearned income needs to be taxed at least as much as earned income, for both moral and fiscal reasons.  Unfortunately that's the key point for all the wealthy masters-of-the-universe as well, so the only way to get there (or closer, anyway) is the Dec 31 expiration.

      So I'm in the odd position of rooting for Norquist.

      •  Unearned income (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        judyms9

        Taxes on capital gains, dividends and interest -- indeed, the slight marginal tax rate increase on earned income > $250k is rather insignificant.  I'm not sure why there is so much focus on this.  It's the tax increases on unearned income (along with the new ACA surtax) that really matters.

        Things work out best for those who make the best of the way things work out.

        by winsock on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 08:50:19 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah. The main downside we face is (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        No Exit

        that the reduced capital gains rate (20%) is "permanent" in statute and was then temporarily overridden by the Bush tax cuts, so expiration alone doesn't take us back far enough in time. The "Clinton rates" were an easy political argument for Obama to make during the campaign as they pass the 30-second soundbite test. I haven't seen any political will to go above and beyond the Clinton rates.

        (-2.38, -3.28) Independent thinker

        by TrueBlueDem on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 08:51:23 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I LOVE the ssmell of scared shitless (8+ / 0-)

    Republicans in the morning!

    Ultimately, the only thing that matters with respect to preserving choice is who will be nominating the next Supreme Court Justices.

    by Its the Supreme Court Stupid on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 07:57:57 AM PST

  •  McTurtle: Why is the president going out on the (11+ / 0-)

    road selling his plan?.....Why isn't he here negotiating with us?....The election is over...stop politicking.....lol

    •  I just read somewhere that the GOP now plans to (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      judyms9, tb mare, skillet

      take it on the road too. I wonder if that means they'll try to hold a ridiculous number of town hall meetings that didn't go particularly well for them during the payroll tax cut fight.

    •  Who is He Talking To? (0+ / 0-)

      It sure as hell isn't the people who just re-elected him! It's the business leaders who spent millions for Mitt Romney!

      Obama to meet executives, go to Pennsylvania for fiscal push
      (Reuters) - President Barack Obama will launch a multipronged push this week to garner support for his proposals to solve U.S. fiscal problems, meeting with business executives at the White House and visiting a small business in Pennsylvania to press his case.

      Gaining the support of the business community is a key part of Obama's strategy. Reinforcing that, the White House released an analysis by its National Economic Council that said millions of small-business owners would suffer if the middle class taxes went up next year.

    •  This is what gives me the most hope (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      No Exit

      Going on the road right now is exactly what PBO should do... it will make them howl.  He's communicating two things: He's letting Boehner, Cantor and McConnell know that he is willing to go off the fiscal cliff, and second, he's letting them know that he will gladly hang the consequences around their necks like a millstone .  

      They aren't dealing with the quiet negotiator of 2008 and past is not always prologue.  Problem is, they have only one strategy - obstruct.  The President has several.  So now they are confronting 2008 all over again, but this time the Pres holds the cards and he is using different tactics entirely.  They should be scared.

      “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

      by ivorybill on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 08:54:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  i hope your right... (0+ / 0-)

        A standing army is like a standing member. It's an excellent assurance of domestic tranquility, but a dangerous temptation to foreign adventure. Elbridge Gerry - Constitutional Convention (1787)

        by No Exit on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 09:39:15 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  er, Jed (0+ / 0-)


    President Obama did not win an election two years ago.  He won an election 4 years ago.

    "Kossacks are held to a higher standard. Like Hebrew National hot dogs." - blueaardvark

    by louisev on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 08:00:23 AM PST

  •  Republican success depends on Democratic (13+ / 0-)

    spinelessness. Remember why we elected you, Democrats.

    •  Exactly. This is why Boehner keeps throwing (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jck

      everything into the bargaining pot, hoping to cast fear in all directions so some of it will stick.  BTTWall, Dems.  Do not look back, as the GOP will be gainin' on you.
      We need a victory for the middle class here, not bipartisanship because the GOP has not represented the middle class in decades.  Weak kneed Dems--Hoyer, et al--must get that Pelosi talkin-to.

      Building a better America with activism, cooperation, ingenuity and snacks.

      by judyms9 on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 09:05:23 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Ron Brownstein posed a rather interesting question (19+ / 0-)

    to one the intransigent House republicans this morning on CNN. He asked what leverage specifically did he believe they held that would stop the president from just allowing the Bush tax rates to expire and getting what he wanted while giving them nothing. The gentleman looked dumbfounded as if the mere suggestion that House republicans would throw a tantrum and stomp their feet should be enough incentive for the president to give in to their hostage taking.

    That is when it hit me that they really are clueless.

    It's the Central Limit Theorem, Stupid!

    by smartdemmg on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 08:03:20 AM PST

    •  It's the debt limit. (9+ / 0-)

      They will try to default, but I think Obama may do the constiutional option.  In addition, new tax revenue will help.

      I'm glad Barack Obama is our President.

      by TomP on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 08:14:14 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Their biggest ally is Obama! (0+ / 0-)

      He's constantly whipping up the deficit hysteria by saying "we can't afford to allow the tax cuts to expire" instead of saying.

      "Nothing will happen in January. The new Congress can come back and enact retro-active tax cuts and deal with the budget deficit. We don't need to do anything between now and then. If Republicans want to pass the middle class tax cuts in December I stand ready to sign them; if not, then we can come back and negotiate in good faith next January without all the hysteria."

      That is EXACTLY what Obama would say IF he really wanted to win -- let the tax cuts expire and then force the Republicans to make all the concessions.

      And if they want to tank the economy over tax cuts for the top 1% then he could go around the Country attacking them and calling on the people and business leaders to force them to back down.

      Doing this now is just negotiating from a position of weakness! And it shows a willingness to capitulate in favor of his "Grand Bargain" of "shared sacrifice" where the top 1% pay a few percent more in taxes, while the rest of us get screwed out of Medicare!
  •  They painted themselves into a corner and (11+ / 0-)

    now claim they were kidnapped, bound and gagged and dropped there by helicopter.

    We have only just begun and none too soon.

    by global citizen on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 08:03:21 AM PST

  •  Just tax me. (13+ / 0-)

    Let all the rates expire. Period.

    Pardon our dust. Sig line under renovation.

    by Crashing Vor on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 08:12:10 AM PST

    •  Hear Hear! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      maryabein, Crashing Vor

      For most people, that increase will be relatively minimal. For wage earners under $250K, approximately 2% out of their check. If it spurs the economy back into the groove, that 2% will be made up. Particularly in re: Healthcare costs.
      Coupled with spending cuts, it will mean that the Feds have enough money to fund the various stimuli and recovery issues.
      One of the most urgent sequestration cuts that must be promptly restored is to Unemployment. That should be at the top of the next Congress' agenda on Jan3.
      But most of the rest of the cuts can be reviewed and either restored or sustained at leisure.
      The 10% cut in the Pentagon's budget, f'rinstance, The Administration and the Pentagon have identified 5% cuts that they were OK with, before the sequestration. They now can negotiate the other 5%. If they bargain half of that away, it's still a 7.5% cut in the Pentagon, an unprecedented action!
      The interesting fights will be over what gets restored (rather than what gets cut), who backs what and how much.
      And it looks like the Dems will hold all the good cards!
      So Yeah, let the fiscal bluff come and go, we'll pay a bit more but we'll live in a better country.

      If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

      by CwV on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 08:52:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm actually OK with that too (3+ / 0-)

      Although restoring higher tax levels on those earning less than $100,000 probably would not be great for the economy.  That should come later.  But... I'd rather see all taxes go up than continue the current inequitable system.

      “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

      by ivorybill on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 08:56:00 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  good example (5+ / 0-)

    because the payroll tax hike was when obama finally played hardball. and the republicans flinched. as they will any time he plays hardball. because he's a popular president. and they're the republicans.

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

    by Laurence Lewis on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 08:27:17 AM PST

  •  Separate the two levels of taxes (8+ / 0-)

    If, as seems likely, the GOP digs in its heels and refuses to extend tax cuts for those below $250,000 a year unless the tax cuts continue on those with higher incomes, the Democrats need to refuse to meet this hostage situation with capitulation. Let the tax cuts expire for everyone.  Then, bring back a bill creating tax cuts for the middle class.  Let the GOP then do a roll call vote on voting for higher taxes. The last thing they want to do is that.  Meanwhile, the tax cuts for the rich are gone.  It shouldn't take long to restore tax cuts for those who aren't so rich.

  •  We'll fuck this up. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    WheninRome

    10 years of following politics in minute detail has instilled a deep faith in our party's ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory in the nick of time. We'll Lieberman/Nelson this into a abhorrent camel of a deal before this is over.

    I hope I'm wrong but I'd be willing to wager on intrade that I'm right if that were still allowed.

    "Buying Horizon Milk to support organic farming is like purchasing an English muffin in an effort to prop up the British economy." -Windowdog

    by Windowdog on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 08:31:12 AM PST

    •  Obama won't fuck this up. (0+ / 0-)

      He learned tough lessons in his first term.  He won't forget them.  He's already going to the people on this.

      CNN has called it: Luke Skywalker vs. the Death Star is a tie!

      by GOPGO2H3LL on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 08:55:13 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  this time feels different (0+ / 0-)

      There were various reasons for Obama to negotiate last time and also not to be too transparent on his motives.  But I recall remembering in 2010 that this sets up tax increases as an issue in 2012 that favors us.  I think that the President is going to pull shut the trap he set for them in 2010.  I am more worried about some sort of a compromise on entitlements that ends up conceding too much than I am that Obama loses this fight on taxing the wealthy.  The trap is closing and the election results were the last nail.  

      My prediction:  The GOP caves on tax increases for >250,000 and on immigration reform, but not much else.  

      “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

      by ivorybill on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 08:59:23 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Are you emailing, calling, petitioning them? (0+ / 0-)

      And also making your voice heard by those against it? Half the problem is that not enough citizens follow up and put pressure on pols. If you are, then good, pass this message on to friends and neighbors and encourage them to do likewise. Politics is a contact sport.

  •  The advantage has always been with the Dems (3+ / 0-)

    on this issue. The only question is whether they're smart enough to know it and tough and principled enough to exploit it, or whether they'll cave once again and let the Repubs play them for the weak-kneed and unprincipled fools they've been so many times in the past, and allow them to tack on unnecessary entitlement cuts to a bill that should only address tax rates (and thus cancel the sequester).

    In exchange for extending the Bush tax cuts for income under $250k (including for people making over $250k) but letting them expire for income over $250k, Repubs should get...nothing, except the gratitude of a popular president just reelected with a mandate, and a willingness to talk about how they can actually strengthen entitlement programs next year without cutting benefits in any way.

    Oh, and avoiding the wrath of the voting public. That's worth something, I think.

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

    by kovie on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 08:49:08 AM PST

    •  Obama knows this. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tb mare

      He'll go over the cliff if he has to.  He's a proud man and he's not gonna take shit from these assholes ever again.

      Also, for those who get all bent out of shape at the mere mention of "entitlement reform," take a breath and try to consider that said "reform" might actually improve the programs.  I thought we fucking believed in evolution around here.

      CNN has called it: Luke Skywalker vs. the Death Star is a tie!

      by GOPGO2H3LL on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 08:53:06 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Democrats should carry a copy (0+ / 0-)

    of Warren Buffet's NY Times op-ed from yesterday and shove it in the face of any GOP puke who pulls that class warfare bullshit.

    CNN has called it: Luke Skywalker vs. the Death Star is a tie!

    by GOPGO2H3LL on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 08:50:53 AM PST

  •  i actually kind of hope grover norquist attempts (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    trueblueliberal

    to hold GOP balls to the fire, and the GOP flinches (ever had your ball hair singed?), and gives in to him. that would seal their doom for the next couple of decades, a prospect that everyone should look forward to. the house would go dem in 2014, the senate would increase dem majority, and woody woodpecker could run as the dem candidate for president in 2016, and beat anyone the GOP nominates. in fairness to woody, he's saner than most republicans, so it wouldn't be a fair fight.

  •  Creative memory (0+ / 0-)

    The Republicans could not have passed tax cuts over Democratic objections.

    The Democrats had a Senate majority in 2001, and 49 seats in 2003.  You've seen what Republicans have done with smaller majorities.

    A temporary tax cut was all they could manage.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 08:57:32 AM PST

  •  About that payroll tax cut... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    maryabein, WheninRome

    ...that David Corn and the WH are citing as a big portion of the stimulus "won" in 2010: isn't that the reduction of funding toward Social Security?

    If so, are we really so eager to say that reducing input into SS so families can spend it immediately, thus endangering SS in the longer term, is "stimulus?"  By that reasoning the Republican wet-dream of reducing SS and Medicare altogether to put those revenues back in the hands of taxpayers immediately would also be even greater stimulus.  Why are we so comfy with this argument?  And why do you use it to say we've backed Republicans into a corner?

    What am I misunderstanding here?

  •  The longer the GOP waits the more Dems can demand (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GOPGO2H3LL, a2nite

    Indeed, we are not in a corner. If they are waiting for concessions I hope Senate Dems have a harsher follow up bill ready should this one fail. Back I the day when I had to live off of proceeds from weekly swap meets, I learned that especially unreasonable potential customers made the deal or walked away when after pointless haggling I started RAISING the price. In those special cases I'd start walking the price up and hold it. Those who only wanted something for next to nothing walked off. Those who really wanted the item gave in and I made some additional profit off their unreasonable demands. It was a win-win for me. Of course, for good repeat customers sometimes I was happy to take a loss on an item.

    How I wish in the same way we had adults in the GOP to where, once in a while, we could cut them an extra special deal for being a loyal opposition who we knew had the best interests of the country in mind. Unfortunately, Neocons have demonstrated they are nothing but an enemy against fairness and compromise.

  •  Desperately needed diary (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GOPGO2H3LL, a2nite

    The GOP might have built this corner, but PBO drew up the blueprints. The situation we are in is a result of the time "Obama caved in to the GOP" during teh credit-rating crisis. That's how the Obama critics described it back then.

    But it turns out the detail wonks were correct. The "cave in" was nothing of the sort. It gave the GOP a poison pill they could not swallow (automatic cuts to defense) and now they are backed up into a lame duck corner needing to negotiate. Score one foot shot off by the GOP, the other by the Democrats.

    DKos can benefit greatly from this diary. The majority opinion seems to be to blow off two months and wait for the 113th Congress. What causes people to think this is opaque to me. We have the GOP under leverage, right now. This is leverage we've worked years, literal years to arrive at. And now people are saying,  "Flush that all down the toilet! Don't try to cash in that leverage. Just toss it out"??? That's dumbfounding.

    So thanks for the diary pointing out how the GOP is under pressure, right now. How the Democrats hold the leverage advantage, right now. There is too much work to be done to waste two months. We have worked too hard and waited too long to arrive at this position to just throw it all away.

    And if we do not get the deal we want from the lame duck 112th, Plan B is not lost. We go on to the 113th Congress. But it is criminal to not try to squeeze some good out of the 112th.

  •  Good (0+ / 0-)

    (R's) take those tired memes and shove 'em, Denise Velez Oliver, 11/7/2012.

    by a2nite on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 09:26:05 AM PST

  •  Damn right (0+ / 0-)

    Pass the tax cuts for under 250K now OR let them all expire and pass it later.  Either way, we are NOT extending tax cuts to the >250K.  They can pay more on money over 250K.  After all, they are still seeing a nice tax break on money up to 250K.

    "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Rianne Eisler

    by noofsh on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 09:41:26 AM PST

  •  Never happen (0+ / 0-)

    The GOPers will block this will their dying breath. If they capitulate and agree to let the marginal tax rate go up for the $250,001+ earners, they will lose 95% of their political funding.

    The Golden Rule isn't so golden if you don't polish it with every soul you meet. (-6.5,-4.1)

    by minidriver on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 09:44:59 AM PST

  •  Let the tax cuts expire!!!!!! (0+ / 0-)

    The Republicans have shown that they will not bargain in good faith, so let these cuts go 'bye-bye' and then negotiate a new deal if needed.

    We still have a social AND physical infrastructure that desperately needs attention and money. We (us) need to invest in the country, not drown it. So Grover, you can go fuck off!

    Only the weak & defeated are called to account for their crimes.

    by rreabold on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 10:24:57 AM PST

  •  Yes. And then they'll kick the cuts down the road. (0+ / 0-)

    Then they'll open the champaigne bottles, all at government expense, and say, "What a good boy am I."

    GOP Wars against: Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Immigrants, Mexicans, Blacks, Gays, Women, Unions, Workers, Unemployed, Voters, Elderly, Kids, Poor, Sick, Disabled, Dying, Lovers, Kindness, Rationalism, Science, Sanity, Reality.

    by SGWM on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 11:08:09 AM PST

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