But Republicans also know they have a problem: many liberal Democrats are more than willing to return to the Clinton-era tax code, and to allow across-the-board spending cuts to take effect, which disproportionately affect the military, rather than compromise too much with Republicans after the strong Democratic showing in the elections.Seems pretty clear they'll give on that, then be assholes over the debt ceiling.
“It’s a terrible position because by default, Democrats get what they want,” said Representative James Lankford, Republican of Oklahoma, who admitted his party is boxed in.
In Washington, debate over the “fiscal cliff” is cloaked in apocalyptic warnings of soaring tax rates and a crashing economy. On Wall Street, the tone is different: All will be fine.But... but... hmm... Wall Street seems as worked up as most Americans about this non-issue.
The stock market has been little changed in the past three weeks, with few wild swings. That comes despite the Jan. 1 deadline when tax hikes and spending cuts are to go into effect unless politicians reach a deal to avert them.
Conservatives on Tuesday took aim at House Speaker John Boehner's deficit-reduction proposal in the fiscal cliff talks, a dispute that was aggravated by Mr. Boehner's decision to remove some conservatives from prized committees.Greg Sargent:
Rep. Jim Jordan (R., Ohio), who heads the Republican Study Committee, an influential group of conservatives, criticized the $800 billion in new tax revenue included in Mr. Boehner's proposal to the White House. "The bad news is that it is a tax increase, and I am not going to vote for a tax increase because it hurts economic growth," Mr. Jordan said.
Sen. Jim DeMint (R., S.C.), another conservative leader, said the proposal "will destroy American jobs." Rep. Austin Scott (R., Ga.), president of the 2010 class of House Republicans, added that "I would rather see something that drove [the debt] down further."
Mr. Boehner offered his proposal Monday, and President Barack Obama quickly rejected it in part because it does not include tax-rate increases on high-income earners. Tuesday's conservative protests came as Mr. Obama reiterated his insistence that these rates must go up.
What all this really means is that we're back in Mitt Romney territory. Romney, unlike today's House Republicans, did not propose to raise new revenue through eliminating loopholes, and only proposed that for offsetting the cost of his tax cuts. But Romney's approach is similar to the one in the new GOP plan, in that neither explains how the numbers can be made to work.That won't stop ignorant pundits like Dana Milbank from insisting Mitt Romney (who no one can stand in either party) should have some kind of role (even though his "plans" were little more than pandering that didn't add up.) If you're going to suggest outside help, you're better off looking to Paul Krugman or someone else that actually knows what they are talking about.
This again underscores how unshakable the GOP refusal to raise tax rates on the rich remains. Rather than acquiesce on that front, Republicans are proposing an approach that would require a staggering array of mathematical gymnastics in order to avoid it. In other words, until we're given more detail, this new plan has a lot in common with the same old magical thinking.
Young people are not exactly renowned for their judgment.Carl Hiassan:
We are, after all, talking about an age group that has to be told it is a bad idea to text while doing 70. Or drink alcohol ’til it spews from your nostrils. Or wear a T-shirt and flip-flops to interview for the office job.
So no, judgment is not their forte. Yet even they have enough sense to steer clear of the gun dorm.
You haven’t heard about the gun dorm? Well, back in August, the University of Colorado announced it was segregating students with concealed carry permits in dorms of their own on its campuses in Boulder and Colorado Springs. This, after the state Supreme Court upheld a lower court ruling that struck down the school’s ban on people bringing guns on campus. So now, a student 21 years or older who has a permit may be armed in the dorm or even in class, though not, for some reason, at a school event requiring a ticket.
Jill Kelley, the mystery vixen in the David Petraeus scandal, is now flanked by a high-profile Washington attorney and a professional “crisis manager.”Lawrence Downes:
This can only mean that she wants her own reality show, a book deal or both.
Former Senator Bob Dole, 89 years old and in a wheelchair, went onto to the floor of the Senate today to urge his former colleagues to ratify the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons With Disabilities. Mr. Dole, a disabled veteran, has been one of the leading voices urging ratification of the treaty, which seeks to bring the world closer to the high standard set by the Americans with Disabilities Act, the landmark civil-rights law enacted under President George H.W. Bush.
One by one, according to Roll Call, the senators approached Mr. Dole to pat his shoulder or clasp his hand, making gestures of respect for the man who was for many years the Republican majority leader.
Then he was wheeled away, and all but a handful of the Republicans bailed out on him. The treaty failed. It needed a two-thirds vote to pass, or 67 votes, and fell six short.