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Hoyer, Boehner, Pelosi, and Obama
One of these people flopped a 2 and 7, off-suit, and is all-in...

So the newest beltway scuttlebutt is that the top marginal rates will be raised to only 37%, as opposed to the 39.6% Clinton era rate they're mandated by law to return to.

Ezra Klein:

Talk to smart folks in Washington, and here's what they think will happen: The final tax deal will raise rates a bit, giving Democrats a win, but not all the way back to 39.6 percent, giving Republicans a win. That won'€™t raise enough revenue on its own, so it will be combined with some policy to cap tax deductions, perhaps at $25,000 or $50,000, with a substantial phase-in and an exemption for charitable contributions

The harder question is what Republicans will get on the spending side of the deal. But even that's not such a mystery. There will be a variety of nips and tucks to Medicare, including more cost-sharing and decreases in provider payments, and the headline Democratic concession is likely to be that the Medicare eligibility age rises from 65 to 67.

So this is the trial balloon compromise. Except that's a 2.6% cut for the rich, at a time when additional spending is needed. At a time when the alternative to tax hikes for the rich is to cut Medicare, Medicaid, and funding for other programs that benefit the nation. Tax cuts for the top 2% at the cost of a ridiculous two year Medicare eligibility age increase (!!!) at a time when Medicare-for-all should be the push.

I hope Obama has the good sense to overcome the "grand bargainitude" inherent in such a tax cut for the rich, and will just note the GOP's weakness and move on. Clinton era rates are what was agreed upon -- when the tax cuts were first passed under President George W. Bush and then again when the deal was struck a couple years ago. It's not complicated. The tax cuts were legally mandated to sunset, and where those affected can afford it (the top 2%) they should do so.

The GOP needs to explain why they're against the fiscal cliff in the first place, since they're the big deficit hawks, they're the ones in love with Simpson-Bowles (which the fiscal cliff partially mirrors!). Will a single one of the deficit hawks note that the so-called "fiscal cliff" will accomplish their supposed aims better than any of the competing "plans", and thus make ridiculously hypocritical their objections or fearmongering? Any deficit hawk or deficit-uber-alles politician whining about the "fiscal cliff" needs to write a 500 word essay on why they hate something they claim to be existentially for -- massive deficit reduction via any means.

The GOP is scrambling, incoherent, and pegged for derision on this issue by Americans. Now's not the time for a 2.6% tax cut for the rich, President Obama.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (14+ / 0-)

    it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses

    by Addison on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 04:12:34 PM PST

  •  If I Recall Correctly There's Much More Revenue (9+ / 0-)

    from the tax increase than from things like raising Medicare age.

    Neither rate is anywhere near what top rates need to be; the lower, the worse.

    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 Dec 07, 2012 at 04:18:02 PM PST

    •  But you notice just how often the Rs switch the (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PhilJD

      tradeoff of taxes for spending cuts, into tax tradeoff for cuts specifically in entitlements and apparently nothing else.

      I would have thought that a sensible Medicare change was to allow Medicare the same freedom as other plans get to literally bargain with suppliers for the prices of drugs and other matters, a liberty it in particular does not have now. Talk about something that would drop the cost of Medicare Part D and also bring more consistency and therefore good economics to government procurement.

       Also adjusting the SS and Medicare COLA formula to apply to the actual costs that the seniors affected by it incur, rather than the strange compromise of figuring senior needs based upon the Thirties couple with children, something seniors generally do not have in what remains of their families and omitting the place that medical care and drug pricing and taxes and housing have on seniors with very limited incomes.

  •  Indeed, McConnel filibustering himself yesterday.. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lostinamerica, PhilJD

    ...is precisely as you say:

    The GOP is scrambling, incoherent, and pegged for derision

    Let all Bush tax cuts expire and , bring on the Sequestration cuts to defense.

    by kck on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 04:30:04 PM PST

  •  What a Sick and I do mean Sick Joke (7+ / 0-)

    So Republicans get to keep all but a teeny rate increase on a teeny percentage of the richest people in this country and in return Democrats take away healthcare from people 65 to 67.

    What a deal!! Oh whoa can I campaign for that.  Whoopeeeee!!!!

    Of course this obscene compromise and concession to the Koch Brothers, Trumps, Gates, Buffetts, Romney's, etc. would make it essential that for the greater good of bond traders Medicare must be cut even more than if they don't make this devil's bargain.

    What an ENORMOUS win for Republicans keeping almost totally all of the Bush tax cuts and in return for keeping almost totally all of the Bush tax cuts which have deprived the government of the revenue needed to avoid huge deficits, in return for this itty, bitty, teeny, tiny tax increase on the very richest Americans, Medicare will be gutted.

  •  Maximum wage (0+ / 0-)

    When will we finally put a maximum wage in place?  No one, no one, needs more than $250k per year.  Enact it and watch the money move to all people.

  •  Not optimistic (6+ / 0-)
    I hope Obama has the good sense to overcome the "grand bargainitude" inherent in such a tax cut for the rich, and will just note the GOP's weakness and move on.
    I know where my money is on that one - past is prologue and all that.
  •  Who won the election? I forget. (4+ / 0-)

       And apparently so have the Democrats.

       The Grand Sellout. Did we expect anything else?

    "Le ciel est bleu, l'enfer est rouge."

    by Buzzer on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 05:06:34 PM PST

  •  Where Ezra Klein got it? A week ago, ppl here were (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pistolSO, ORDem, v2aggie2, OIL GUY

    setting their hair on fire over a Politico report that later was revealed to be false.

    "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 Dec 07, 2012 at 05:27:11 PM PST

  •  If this is a trial balloon (8+ / 0-)

    it needs to be blown out of the sky.  With a bazooka.  

    “Th’ noise ye hear is not th’ first gun iv a revolution. It’s on’y th’ people iv the United States batin’ a carpet.” - Mr. Dooley

    by puakev on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 05:59:50 PM PST

  •  If the debt ceiling isn't in a deal, Obama (0+ / 0-)

    won't take it.    Medicare Eligibility age needs to be taken off the table.  Regarding the rest, I can live with 38% marginal rate, a cap on mortgage interest deductions(and we should get rid of the charitable deduction for churches.   No more megachurches getting tax breaks) and minor ACA-style cost savings to Medicare.

  •  If that's the deal, and (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pistolSO

    social security is off the table and it comes with an increase in the debt ceiling, I'd go ahead and take that. Not an excellent deal, of course. But I don't think any of us expected Obama to do the best possible thing (go over the cliff). So, all things considered, i'd go ahead and pocket that deal, call it "grand bargain lite" give it a seal of approval and quickly move on to immigration.

    What Democrats really need to get done right away is immigration. We wouldn't be here if it wasn't for our young latino voters so I'm pretty anxious to get a deal for them.

    •  Mostly agree with you. (0+ / 0-)

      Obviously, Obama should not take any deal that doesn't include the debt ceiling.   Medicare Eligibility Age should be off the table or very slowly raised if it must be raised to get some real stimulus in a a deal(something like it taking 5 years for it to go from 65 to 66 or even slower).

      Immigration should be one of Obama's top priorities staring in January.   However, the issue covers much more than Latinos and it needs to deal with the underlying issues and there needs to be a real path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants and renewing visas should be easier to do.

      •  We just need a headline. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pistolSO, OIL GUY

        Nobody cares about the deficit. We just need a headline that says 'deficit...check.'

        I'm not terribly worried about raising the age on Medicare provided it is structured correctly and phased in slowly. Not because people are living longer or any of that crap, but because it is actually a pretty tiny cut out of Medicare. If all other benefits are off the table and the rest hits providers, I'd say that's an acceptable deal.

        But if we get a big immigration deal done, it will be a capstone for Obama's domestic policy. All he needs to do then is get a big, final transportation/infrastructure bill and he can move on to foreign policy for the finish.

        •  huh? (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          StonyB, ORDem, PhilJD, dharmafarmer

          Throwing seniors betwwen 65 and 67 off medicare is not a "tiny cut." It's a "tiny cut" only in the sense that it saves no money.

          It's a huge benefit cut that saves no money.

          •  That's not how its going to work. You know this. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            pistolSO, OIL GUY

            They aren't going to say "Hey you guy of 65...get off Medicare!"

            Instead they're going to say "hey you guy of 55...instead of getting Medicare at 65, you'll get it at 65 and three months."

            "Hey you guy of 50...instead of 65, you'll get it at 65 and six months."

            So on and so forth.

            Not that big a deal in all seriousness. Especially considering it will still be an intact program with no cost shifted privitization.

            This takes it off the table for at least the duration of this President's term.

            •  no shit, sherlock (6+ / 0-)

              Because current seniors aren't stupid enough to think that losing 2 years of eligibility, 15% of benefits, is "not a big deal." Only future seniors are that stupid.

              You're saying a 15% cut in eligibility is "not a big deal" (if life expectancy is 80 years.)

              If it's "not a big deal", why not 5 years? Say the 30-year-olds are only eligible for Medicare at age 70? Is that still "not a big deal?" 75? 80?

              But, hey, it's "still intact." It would only be a 15% benefit cut.

              •  Well, on the inverse (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                OIL GUY

                you can let the program go brankrupt by doing nothing. Or you can cut it seriously. Or you can hit the providers. Social Security is solvent. Medicare is not.

                If it's "not a big deal", why not 5 years? Say the 30-year-olds are only eligible for Medicare at age 70? Is that still "not a big deal?" 75? 80?
                That's a logic fallacy called slippery slope.  Because obviously it leads to "If you're a toddler, why not make it 130!" which nobody is actually proposing.
            •  BBB is correct (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              OIL GUY

              I also hope that if the economy is in great shape in four years or so and Democrats have the trifecta going into 2017, then the Medicare Eligibility Age can be made to go the other way through a buy-in or just outright lowering it and offsetting any potential costs with a wealth surtax.

              I still want the Medicare Eligibility Age off the table but if Obama is able to get real stimulus and avoid a potential recession by avoiding the sequester, and this ends the "cut earned benefits" nonsense and all we have to do is a very slow Medicare Eligibility Age raise that we could conceivably reverse in the near future, then it is an acceptable deal.   Let's remember that the tax cuts are the least stimulative part of the fiscal slope and the spending cuts are more dangerous(and should be avoided if we can).

              •  If the economy has some robust growth, what will (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                pistolSO, OIL GUY

                probably happen is some future Democrat will create a expansion benefit under ObamaCare. Like, you get to buy into ObamaCare at a discounted rate if you put your Medicare off an extra year. So, me...I buy three future years of ObamaCare at today's rate so that when I get to be 65 I get Medicare at the normal 65 age.

                That raises us enough money to get us through until after all the boomers die. Once they're all dead were in the clear.

            •  Agreed (0+ / 0-)

              If there is a raise to eligibility age it will be over the course of several years.

              The full retirement age for Social Security hits 67 in 2022, it started the move from 65 in the year 2000.  

              If Medicare went the same route, it would start the move probably around 2017 (affecting people who are now 50 years old) and it wouldn't actually hit 67 until 2039.  

              Even if it went at a faster pace, let's say over 11 years, it doesn't hit 67 until 2029.

              If this removes this issue from the President's desk and he gets immediate tax hikes and some stimulus, and removal of Congressional approval of debt ceiling hikes, it isn't such a bad deal.

              And the biggest reason for that, legislation can always be changed, and truthfully, long before the Medicare age ever hits 67, we'll see single payer anyway.

              •  The other obvious benefit is (0+ / 0-)

                that the President can, quite rightly, point out that it was Republicans who insisted on cutting medicare. It won't be as easy for them to demagogue this issue like they did in 2012 by attacking Obama for 'cutting' Medicare by 716 billion.

                Here's my take on it - the revolution will not be blogged, it has to be slogged. - Deoliver47

                by OIL GUY on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 09:06:03 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  The other factor in this mix is HCA. (0+ / 0-)

              As HCA kicks in, it will provide access to affordable care for those whose Medicare eligibility is deferred. I don't love the idea, but if it is phased in slowly, it might become a moot point.

              Ezra Klein made the point that these age increases are less harmful to the economy than cutting current government spending. This would not be anti-stimulative in any way.

              Here's my take on it - the revolution will not be blogged, it has to be slogged. - Deoliver47

              by OIL GUY on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 08:59:00 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  Now, the bad part about it is that it does (0+ / 0-)

            raise the potential for a rise in the retirement age for social security, which is most definitely a major benefit cut. A benefit cut that isn't necessary since Social Security is solvent.

        •  Totally unacceptable!!!! (0+ / 0-)

          How'd you like to be a migrant farm laborer and have to wait 2 more years for Medicare?!!! How would youike to have cancer at 60?!!!!!  Nothing the party could do would be worse.

    •  It's a ridiculous proposal, and (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ferg, StonyB, ORDem, condorcet, PhilJD

      it's disturbing that anyone would try to sell this as a rational.

      Krugman:

      I Hope This Isn’t True

      Ezra Klein says that the shape of a fiscal cliff deal is clear: only a 37 percent rate on top incomes, and a rise in the Medicare eligibility age.

      I’m going to cross my fingers and hope that this is just a case of creeping Broderism, that it’s a VSP fantasy about how we’re going to resolve this in a bipartisan way. Because if Obama really does make this deal, there will be hell to pay.

      First, raising the Medicare age is terrible policy. It would be terrible policy even if the Affordable Care Act were going to be there in full force for 65 and 66 year olds, because it would cost the public $2 for every dollar in federal funds saved. And in case you haven’t noticed, Republican governors are still fighting the ACA tooth and nail; if they block the Medicaid expansion, as some will, lower-income seniors will just be pitched into the abyss.

      Second, why on earth would Obama be selling Medicare away to raise top tax rates when he gets a big rate rise on January 1 just by doing nothing? And no, vague promises about closing loopholes won’t do it...So this looks crazy to me; it looks like a deal that makes no sense either substantively or in terms of the actual bargaining strength of the parties....If anyone in the White House is seriously thinking along these lines, please stop it right now.

      http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/...

      I'll go with "VSP fantasy."

      Klein:

      That’s not a policy I like much, but New York magazine’s Jonathan Chait accurately conveys the White House thinking here: They see it as having “weirdly disproportionate symbolic power,” as it’s not a huge (or smart) cut to Medicare benefits, and most of the pain will be blunted by the Affordable Care Act. But Republicans and self-styled deficit hawks see it as a big win. And Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who staunchly opposes raising the retirement age, has stopped well short of ruling it out.

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/...

      Klein is basically selling Chait's idiotic idea:

      Chait's rationalization is very bizarre. He's positioning this ridiculous proposal as a counter to Republican attacks on ACA:

      What’s more, raising the Medicare retirement age would help strengthen the fight to preserve the Affordable Care Act. Republicans may be coming to grips with their lack of leverage over the Bush tax cuts, but their jihad against universal health insurance lives on. Having narrowly lost their wildly tendentious legal argument for striking down health care, they are devising newer and even more implausible ones. Republican governors continue to turn down federal funding to cover their poorest uninsured citizens and refuse to set up private insurance exchanges.

      http://nymag.com/...

      Shorter Chait: Raise Medicare to strengthen ACA because Republicans lost the legal argument and the election, but they're going to keep trying?

      Republican Governors are going to do what?

      Christie Vetoes Bill That Would Establish Obamacare Exchange
      http://livewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/...

      Greg Sargent has a better read on Republicans' position:

      John Boehner nervously eyes the clock
      http://www.washingtonpost.com/...

      G.O.P. Balks at White House Plan on Fiscal Crisis  
      http://www.nytimes.com/...

      Boehner's has three choices:

      1) Accept the President's proposal with "dividends to be taxed as ordinary income" and the "estate tax to be levied at 45 percent on inheritances over $3.5 million."

      2) Pass the Senate bill, "which currently taxes inheritances over $5 million at 35 percent," but excludes Obama's dividend proposal.

      3) Go over the cliff when "the estate tax is scheduled to rise to 55 percent beginning with inheritances exceeding $1 million."

      In each case, the tax cuts for the rich end.

      More Krugman:

      It’s Health Care Costs, Stupid
      http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/...

      Raising the Medicare age does nothing to control costs. It simply pushes people off Medicare.

      The goal isn't to move Medicare recipients to the ACA, it's to strengthen health care reform to make it more in line with Medicare.

      •  I'm pretty sure the president isn't listening to (0+ / 0-)

        Krugman. So, anything he says is academic.

        But he is correct on one point: raising the medicare elegibility age doesn't cut very much money out of medicare. Which is exactly why we should take this deal now and get this whole thing out of the discussion.

        Why wont the president wait through Jan. 1st? Mainly because he wants to get this entire discussion out of the way and who can blame him? Nobody gives a shit about the deficit yet here we are having to deal with it. So if he can get a grand bargain out of the way and start the new year fresh, he will. I don't blame him one bit.

        Now I don't think he's giving away too much. Nothing like the god awful disaster he floated last year. This year hes being tough and so i think we will get a pretty good deal out of that.

        •  Atrios for HUD Secretary, though! (0+ / 0-)

          it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses

          by Addison on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 07:15:10 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  I don't understand the rationale (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ORDem, lostinamerica, PhilJD

          You said nobody gives a shit about the deficit so the President should make a bad deal and move on.

          Krugman also thinks it's a crazy proposal.

          I’m going to cross my fingers and hope that this is just a case of creeping Broderism, that it’s a VSP fantasy about how we’re going to resolve this in a bipartisan way. Because if Obama really does make this deal, there will be hell to pay...Second, why on earth would Obama be selling Medicare away to raise top tax rates when he gets a big rate rise on January 1 just by doing nothing? And no, vague promises about closing loopholes won’t do it...So this looks crazy to me; it looks like a deal that makes no sense either substantively or in terms of the actual bargaining strength of the parties.

          http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/...

          •  Well, you and i both know (0+ / 0-)

            Krugman is about as relevant to this discussion as you and I.

            But on the merits, it isn't crazy. It is doable. Krugman lives in a world where you just go over the cliff, then the President carries on a protracted battle with the GOP until the debt ceiling.

            But the president himself doesn't want to waste his inaugural speech and state of the union on the budget deficit...and issue nobody cares about. He'd rather do something really big and important. Like immigration.

            So basically the president is going to say fuck Krugman, as usual, and do what is in his political best interest. And in my view, that is a wise choice in this instance.

            Like I said, if he gets a debt ceiling fiasco out the way, social security comes out untouched, and medicare and medicaid are mainly provider cuts and a rise in eligablility, and there is some out years on defense (2015 and 2016), that's a deal I'd bank and move on.

            Nobody wants to spend an entire year of policy on this shit. Do you?

            •  Here is the administration's known position (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              ORDem, PhilJD

              Obama Administration Ready to Go Over Fiscal Cliff
              http://politicalwire.com/...

              Statement from White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer

              The Republican letter released today does not meet the test of balance. In fact, it actually promises to lower rates for the wealthy and sticks the middle class with the bill. Their plan includes nothing new and provides no details on which deductions they would eliminate, which loopholes they will close or which Medicare savings they would achieve. Independent analysts who have looked at plans like this one have concluded that middle class taxes will have to go up to pay for lower rates for millionaires and billionaires.  While the President is willing to compromise to get a significant, balanced deal and believes that compromise is readily available to Congress, he is not willing to compromise on the principles of fairness and balance that include asking the wealthiest to pay higher rates. President Obama believes – and the American people agree – that the economy works best when it is grown from the middle out, not from the top down. Until the Republicans in Congress are willing to get serious about asking the wealthiest to pay slightly higher tax rates, we won’t be able to achieve a significant, balanced approach to reduce our deficit our nation needs.

              http://www.whitehouse.gov/...

            •  Hate to break it to you BBB, but Krugman is quite (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              condorcet, PhilJD, dharmafarmer

              a bit more relevant to this discussion than you are.

              As great as a site as this is, Krugman's real estate is a little more high profile and he has a lot of credibility as his track record has been very impressive.

              And BTW raising the medicare eligibility age would be a killer for the Dems in 2014 and 2016.

    •  Immigration is for 2013... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      brooklynbadboy, StonyB, PhilJD

      ...that said, I'm for your POV.

      I was very hopeful that the AZ and Alabama laws would lead to a deal in 2012, because the GOP would actually want to win the 2012 presidential election and so would head off that demographic apocalypse. To the point of being happy that those laws passed, because immigration reform couldn't possibly be avoided! Wrong of me. Very.

      As far as the "grand bargain", we have the cards, we should play them. Obama should know that. And no one on the side of most economists (amazingly, economists are on the same side as progressives) should settle now for anything less than what we want. Polls are on our side, economics are on our side. I'd prefer not to "deal" when it's, yet again, both in the policy and political interests to just do what's right. Media coverage should not be the determining factor, as they've been so wrong about both voting behavior and economic results.

      I love reading your opinions, though, thanks so much for commenting.

      it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses

      by Addison on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 07:14:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  We Democrats could have dealt with this (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Addison, snowman3

        ourselves when we had the majority to do it. THAT was when we had all the cards. Fact is, Obama and Reid fucked up by not playing hardball with the GOP from day one. We warned them. They didn't listen. Now they've finally gotten the hint somewhat. But we're going to have to drink bitters. We lost the House. Face it.

        But I'm more concerned with immigration for the long haul. That's how we cement this huge Latino community. The same way Reagan cemented the Cuban community in Florida.

        We do that and we're going to be in excellent shape in Texas in 2020.

    •  Wouldn't be here betraying seniors? (0+ / 0-)

      The people injured the very most by this deal are the working poor - those who do manual labor only to be deprived of Medicare at 65.

  •  I am going to start sending messages (0+ / 0-)

    to those in the house who still feel they must fall to their knees at the word of their Almighty Poopey Head ...

    Women are 51% of the population yet are represented in congress by barely 17%! Until our representation reflects the population, we risk sliding backwards .....

    by 51percent on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 06:31:50 PM PST

  •  More ‘consensus-building’ n/t. (0+ / 0-)
  •  2010 was only two short years ago. (5+ / 0-)

    Did President Obama learn any lessons about dampening the enthusiasm of his base heading into a mid-term election?

    Raising the eligibility age of Medicare is a horrible idea, for several reasons.

    - It forces 65 and 66 year-olds into the private insurance market.  This increases insurance premiums for everyone, as the insurance companies will look to recoup the additional expenditures of covering more older, at-risk participants.  Businesses who offer health insurance to their employees will also have to absorb and/or pass on this additional expense.

    - It places an increased burden on the middle and lower classes, who need Medicare much more than the wealthy.  That's a not insignificant percentage of Americans who will have to pay money towards private insurance instead of putting that money back into the economy.  They also are much more likely to work at jobs that require physical labor, so while an extra two years might not seem like a big deal in the abstract, it's a huge deal if you have to bust your ass for two more years because you can't afford to retire without Medicare.

    - It DOESN'T SAVE MONEY.  If you haven't seen it, check out Ezra Klein's analysis on tonight's Rachel Maddow show.  While Ezra argues that the political optics might make this worth pursuing on some level, it doesn't actually produce any real savings.  It's a hollow pursuit.

    - It's a slap in the face to the Democratic base.  Who worked their asses off to help President Obama get re-elected.  Who might be sufficiently pissed to sit on their hands instead of working just as hard over the next two years.

    - We just won an election, I'm pretty sure of that.  Do you think if the Republicans had won they would be willing to increase taxes on the wealthy in order to extract two years of Medicare eligibility?  No way.  They're in a corner, grasping at straws, and looking for any trophy they can cling to.  There's no reason to hand them one.

    - Every poll shows Americans as a whole are STRONGLY against raising the Medicare age, period.  President Obama will lose a ton of political capital if he concedes on this point.

    I will be very pissed off if this ends up happening.  I'm sure I will be far from the only one.

         

    332 - 206. Not a mandate, my ass.

    by StonyB on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 07:50:54 PM PST

  •  Medicare is the main issue (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ORDem, condorcet

    The program isn't solvent, even in the short term.  There's no realistic possiblity of getting it to solvency if it maintains its current framework of benefits, regardless of a tax increase here or there.  I work in healthcare, and it has become a generally accepted understanding that Medicare payments to providers will need to start to go down in the near future, regardless of politics.  Just math.

    The solution isn't raising the eligbility age, it's changing the system to spend less money.  There are a few changes in the wings already, but Medicare is mostly a program that pays more when people are sicker and more medical services are performed on them.  The system needs to change to reward keeping people healthy, not treating them when they're sick.

  •  Not sure i but this, they'd have to vote to raise (0+ / 0-)

    taxes to do this, if they plan on doing it before January 1st and we know most GOPers won't be willing to do that, it's probably what some 'smart people in Washington' want and is conceivable but i don't see it being likely.

  •  Well, with re-election out of the way (0+ / 0-)

    dems have little to no control over what Obama does now, and Obama has little to no excuse for the things he does either.  This is what the left was told all those 1st term capitulations were buying.  Whatever comes next the left will have no one to blame but themselves.

  •  making 'unearned' income subject to.. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ORDem

    medicare, SS and 37% rate is MUCH MORE important than what the top rate might be.  $11 trillion in income reported by IRS--45% is unearned.  THAT is where the action really is, not a 35, 37, or 39% top rate.

    My best guess was a reflection that did not look back, an image lost in every mirror.

    by Zacapoet on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 09:09:14 AM PST

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