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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) speaks to the media after a caucus meeting with Senate Democrats on Capitol Hill in Washington August 1, 2011.
Jonathan Weisman of The New York Times reports a senior Democratic aide in the Senate says any last-minute deal with Republicans to avert the fiscal cliff must include a one-year delay in sequester spending cuts:
Senate Democrats are pushing back hard on a deal that Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Senator Mitch McConnell are closing in on, objecting vociferously to any compromise that suspends automatic across-the-board spending cuts for any time frame short of a year.

A senior Senate Democratic aide said a one-year “pause” in those cuts — known as sequestration — is nonnegotiable. Mr. McConnell of Kentucky, the Senate Republican leader, has suggested a three-month suspension, according to officials knowledgeable about the negotiations.

Remember, the delay in sequester spending cuts is the primary reason Democrats would be wiling to discuss moving off of the $250,000 threshold on tax cuts, so the three-month timeframe Republicans are talking about is a joke. Even one year seems like it's giving away too much: a temporary spending reprieve in exchange for permanent tax concessions. That's especially true when you consider that Republicans claim to oppose at least half of the sequester's spending cuts. (Remember when Paul Ryan denied voting for them during the campaign?)

But even though one year probably is giving away too much, debating whether it is or it isn't will turn out to be a pointless exercise if Biden and McConnell reach a deal only to have House Republicans reject it. From my outsider's perspective, I suspect that House Republicans would be extremely reluctant to agree to any delay in the sequester. The way they justify giving up on the tax cut hostage crisis is to say that they'd rather have a fight over spending over the next couple of months, culminating with the debt limit. But if the sequester is delayed past that point, the only thing they'll be able to fight about is the debt limit, and if President Obama refuses to negotiate with them on the debt limit, they won't have a very interesting fight.

To be clear, I'm not saying that I think House Republicans would win a spending cut battle if the sequester cuts aren't delayed, but I am saying that I think they believe they would win such a battle. Therefore, they won't want to give it up. The implication of that is that House Republicans might actually be more likely to accept a $250,000 threshold for tax increases without a sequester delay than they would be to accept a $500,000 threshold with a sequester delay. (And they'd accept unemployment benefits in both.)

At least from my perspective, if there's a deal, the thing I'll be most interested in evaluating is how much Democrats gave up on the tax cut front and how much they got in return on the spending side. But the fact that they are already at the one-year mark is not a good sign, unless they've also cut back on what they are offering to give up on the tax side.

Hopefully, Democrats remember that their best alternative to a negotiated agreement—their BATNA—is pretty strong: putting a simple bill on the Senate floor to extend tax cuts on all income below $250,000 and simultaneously extend unemployment benefits.

9:49 AM PT: President Obama will be speaking at 1:30 PM ET. According to the White House, "THE PRESIDENT delivers remarks about the fiscal cliff at a White House event with middle class Americans." That doesn't sound like the sort of event at which a deal is announced—rather it sounds like one designed to put pressure on Congress to get something done. We'll cover it live.

9:54 AM PT: And at about the same time as the Obama speech was announced, Senate Republicans say a majority of their caucus will likely support a deal. Unclear whether that means "if there's a deal, a majority will support it" or if it means that "There is a deal, and a majority will support it." I guess the answer to that will determine who President Obama is trying to pressure, unless he's trotting out a bevy of middle class Americans to celebrate a deal, which seems a bit unlikely.

10:00 AM PT: Ezra Klein tweets what he is hearing the deal consists of here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here. Note that according to him, the sequester delay remains "unclear" which is another sign that the sequester is one of the big hangups at this moment. That's reasonable as Democrats basically don't get much of anything out of the deal other than a delay in sequester spending cuts. The fact that it's not clear what that delay would consist of isn't exactly heartwarming news.

10:11 AM PT: More stuff coming out making it seem like a deal is coming together:

Senior officials from both sides now confirm: $400,000 for individuals, $450,000 for families.
@nancycordes via TweetDeck
However, without knowing what will happen with the sequestration spending cuts, it's impossible to say what Democrats would be getting in exchange for moving from $250,000 to $450,000—unless they never really wanted $250,000 in the first place.

Originally posted to The Jed Report on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 09:47 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Sequester delay is meaningless (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ky DEM, KJG52, Timothy J, MPociask, NonnyO

    without debt ceiling match.

    3 months or 1 year do not matter if the debt ceiling is not pushed to the same date.

    •  The debt ceiling is irrelevant ... (0+ / 0-)

      If US Treasury Bonds fall then the Republican's Wall Street paymasters stand to lose trillions of dollars.

      They won't let Republicans jump off that ledge.

      The sequestration is the right deadline to negotiate.

      •  not sure (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MPociask

        We're 2 years away from the next election--and these Rs are crazy tea baggers-- the debt ceiling is the only way for them to starve the "beast."  BTW--dow jones spiked up around 12:30--guess that means something is about to be announced.

        Apres Bush, le deluge.

        by melvynny on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 10:26:00 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I agree and yet ... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          melvynny

          The house tea-baggers are a minority even within their party.

          Wall Street just needs to buy 30 R votes in the house to sign up for a Discharge Petition from Pelosi. And none of these need to be tea-baggers ... just country club republicans from northeastern states.

          I think our side massively over-rates the power of wall St when it is arrayed against us, and massively under-rates it when it is allied with us.

          •  hope (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            NonnyO, Bronxist

            Hope you're right--about 15 years ago, I talked to once moderate Ben Gilman--my NY congressman.  I asked why he was following Newt's insane contract--his answer was--it was the only way he could keep his committee chair.  That is insane--but probably very common--give up ideals so that you can seem to have power.

            Apres Bush, le deluge.

            by melvynny on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 10:43:17 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Tell that to Obama (0+ / 0-)

        Cuz sequestration should have the same dynamic.

        •  It has a different dynamic ... (0+ / 0-)

          Agreed, but there is a difference.

          Sequestration is being sucked into a swamp ... Reneging on debt is taking a shot in the face ... Somehow people are more terrified of the latter more.

  •  Why is that a concession? (5+ / 0-)

    I guess I haven't been following this very closely, but why are Dems seeking a pause in sequestration at all?  Spending cuts to the military and to medical providers (not beneficiaries) seems good to me.  I know it'll have an economic impact, but we need to do it sometime.

    In the meantime, the most leverage to be had is to go over the cliff, then hold repeated votes on reinstating the tax rates for those under $250k.  They might even be able to pass that standalone.

    contraposition.org - thoughts on energy, the environment, and society.

    by barath on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 09:55:02 AM PST

    •  They'll Cut Everything But (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MPociask

      Unfortunately, the Dems are identical to the Repubs on this issue.  There is no way D's will allow cuts to the military.  Sad as that is.

    •  Education for example ... (0+ / 0-)

      From what I understand, it will possibly trigger a recession, which means more job losses and revenue losses.

      It would also force a lot of hard choices and cuts to regular programs.For instance, education  ....

      Under sequestration, education funding will be subject to cuts ranging from 9.1% (in 2013) to 5.5% (in 2021) according to the Center on Budget & Policy Priorities. The reduction in FY 2013 would by $4.1 billion. These cuts would be distributed across the various education programs based on current funding levels.
      Trying to avoid these cuts is a sign of maturity.

       "Bring it on ..." is a nice pose for armchair cowboys with no real world expertise.

      •  Don't worry, it's just a "fiscal curb" (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Vote4Obamain2012

        There's no real harm is stepping off.

        /snark

      •  Real world expertise (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DSPS owl, NonnyO

        Washington is the real world?

        That's not a good argument.

        •  I work for a tech company ... (0+ / 0-)

          We went through layoffs inspite of profits in 2012. If we cant meet revenue/profit targets then we'll layoff again.  And this is not greedy CEOs vs the Peons either.

          If the cuts happen in force (i.e., no agreement by March/April) then we'll definitely lose billions in defense contracts -- and no, we're not selling guns or battleships, just the millions of IT components that go along with it. Next, we'll also lose revenue in the Enterprise sector as other companies, e.g. Boeing, Lockheed, Hughes, Caterpillar and others cut back. We'll also lose revenue in the State and Local Govt sector as people lose jobs and states cancel contracts. We'll lose some more in the Education sector as there will be cuts there. And companies that sell stuff to us will lay off ... and so on.

          This is true whether I talk about Cisco, IBM, HP, Dell, Microsoft, Juniper, Hughes, Siemens, GE or a host of other tech companies -- if we're selling less stuff, then we need fewer people to make, market and sell stuff.

          I don't know whether Washington DC is in the "real world" or not ... But the CEO of every company that makes "stuff" is praying not to have a recession.

          And anyone whose salary comes in because other people spend money would also be wise to do the same.

  •  Time for... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Scott Wooledge

    Barack to take the GOP to the woodshed, with a national audience.  

  •  My latest guess is (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ky DEM, hester, chrississippi, NonnyO

    Harry Reid, on the Senate floor, with the $250,000 offer and a McConnell filibuster, with a side order of Boehner crying.

    I'm pretty tired of being told what I care about.

    by hulibow on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 09:56:38 AM PST

  •  Who knows? (9+ / 0-)

    None of the last week in DC has made any sense at all.

  •  Will any of these middle-class Americans (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Timothy J

    be seniors who would be affected by the Chained CPI?

  •  It's all a joke. (9+ / 0-)

    Nothing ever gets done - kick everything down the road Democrats.   And you wonder why the GOP is salivating at the opportunity to use the Debt Ceiling hostage again - Pres Obama will talk tough at first, but will always end up folding like a cheap suit.  

    Either he's a terrible negotiator, or it's all kabuki and he's getting what he really wants while being able to point at those meanie Republicans when the Dem base asks WTF?

    The NRA is the Gun Manufacturer Lobby. Nothing more. Their pontification about the second amendment is nothing more than their ad jingle. They're the domestic version of the Military Industrial Complex.

    by Jacoby Jonze on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 09:57:26 AM PST

  •  They are wimpy can- kickers. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MPociask

    When I was a kid, we kicked the can as far as we possibly could.
    They should kick it way, way, way, way, way, way, way, way, way, way, way, way down the road.

    You can't make this stuff up.

    by David54 on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 09:59:32 AM PST

  •  I still only care about Defense Cuts (5+ / 0-)

    When we will get real about our military industrial complex?

    We inflated the defense ballon after 9/11 and nobody cares.

    The symbol for the Republican party shouldn't be an elephant -- it should be a unicorn.

    by Deadicated Marxist on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 10:00:05 AM PST

  •  Ugh. (6+ / 0-)

    I had a feeling this would ultimately transpire in more can-kicking.

    The GOP lost the elections on their message of austerity for the masses. But, they'll get another round and another, and another...

    "The marriage fight is over when we say it's over, and it's over when we win."—Dan Savage

    by Scott Wooledge on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 10:00:38 AM PST

  •  Even a 1 year "pause" is a deal for the GOP (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MPociask

    As you said, Jed.. a temporary pause in sequestration in exchange for permanent tax rate legislation?

    I would actually prefer to see the 3 month pause and have the new Congress work on a real compromise budget.  That'll never happen though!

  •  With Any Luck (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Timothy J

    Some US Senator like Harkin will put a hold on any bullshit cavein deal and send the bill back, pronto.

    Abolish The Filibuster Now!

    by Ky DEM on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 10:01:19 AM PST

  •  A majority of Sen GOP supporting a deal... (7+ / 0-)

    means it was a BRUTAL deal for Dems.  Would a GOP President ever cut a deal given the leverage the Pres currently has now where the majority of Congressional Dems would support it?

    Never.  

    A farce.  A total damn farce.  

    The NRA is the Gun Manufacturer Lobby. Nothing more. Their pontification about the second amendment is nothing more than their ad jingle. They're the domestic version of the Military Industrial Complex.

    by Jacoby Jonze on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 10:02:07 AM PST

  •  Obama will probably announce that he will (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jfern, MPociask, NonnyO

    sign anything that Boehner and McConnell agree to.  Tax increases for the rich; extension of unemployment benefits; saving social security and Medicare?  None of that matters to Obama.  He's so rich and privileged now he has no clue what it's like to be an average American.  He just wants a deal, on any terms, just so he can say there's a deal.

  •  My view of a "one-year pause": Kick the can, kick (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annieli

    the can, kick the can, kick the can, kick the can, kick the can
    (to a total of 535). I don't include the president.

    "A young man who wishes to remain a sound Atheist cannot be too careful of his reading. There are traps everywhere ". C. S. Lewis

    by TofG on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 10:02:25 AM PST

  •  If nothing else, I'm glad these bastards are going (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annieli, Time Waits for no Woman

    to have a sucky New Year's Eve.....

    •  Yeah right - big NYE party at WH! (0+ / 0-)

      Pres Obama and Boehner and McConnell all dancing Gangnam Style together as the ball drops.  

      The NRA is the Gun Manufacturer Lobby. Nothing more. Their pontification about the second amendment is nothing more than their ad jingle. They're the domestic version of the Military Industrial Complex.

      by Jacoby Jonze on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 10:15:38 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  It is perhaps a sign (3+ / 0-)

    Of just how much bullshit and time this has taken, and the absurdity of the republicans...but when did a possible shut-down of the government, screwing with entitlements, and making the rich pay sane taxes get SO FUCKING BORING.

    I know, this is important, I need to pay attention.  But at this point I would be more than happy to walk over the fiscal curb just to end the constant discussions of it.

    I think my nerve endings are just overstimulated, they just aren't reacting to outrage as they should.

    "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

    by Empty Vessel on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 10:05:15 AM PST

  •  What is gained by kicking the can? (5+ / 0-)

    Nothing is done, the GOP is rewarded for it's nihilistic obstruction and the Obama agenda is stalled for another year.  They're RUNNING OUT THE CLOCK ON YOUR DAMNED PRESIDENCY!  

    The GOP want to kick this can down again and again until they have the leverage.  Either they'll use the debt ceiling or agree to have it booted until after the 2014 midterm when the Dems will get shellacked again and then they come back saying "America has spoken, they've chosen are agenda"  after refusing to give on any damn thing given the Dems supposed mandate now off the 2012 elections.  

    The NRA is the Gun Manufacturer Lobby. Nothing more. Their pontification about the second amendment is nothing more than their ad jingle. They're the domestic version of the Military Industrial Complex.

    by Jacoby Jonze on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 10:06:30 AM PST

  •  Just one of them........ (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annieli



    Vets On FLOTUS and SLOTUS, "Best - Ever": "We haven't had this kind of visibility from the White House—ever." Joyce Raezer - Dec. 30, 2011

    by jimstaro on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 10:07:28 AM PST

  •  another round of blood sausage (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JML9999, a2nite
    Laws are like sausages. It's better not to see them being made.
    Otto von Bismarck
    German Prussian politician (1815 - 1898)

    yksitoista ulotteinen presidentin shakki. / tappaa kaikki natsit "Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) 政治委员, 政委‽ Warning - some snark above ‽

    by annieli on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 10:07:36 AM PST

    •  "Je weniger die Leute darüber wissen, wie Würste (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      chrississippi, demimondian

      Gesetze gemacht werden, desto besser schlafen sie nachts." (The less the people know about how sausages and laws are made, the better they sleep in the night.)

      Laws, like sausages, cease to inspire respect in proportion as we know how they are made.
      Though similar remarks are often attributed to Bismarck, this is the earliest known quote regarding laws and sausages, and is attributed to John Godfrey Saxe University Chronicle. University of Michigan (27 March 1869) books.google and "Quote... Misquote" by Fred R. Shapiro in The New York Times (21 July 2008); according to Shapiro's research, such remarks only began to be attributed to Bismarck in the 1930s.

      yksitoista ulotteinen presidentin shakki. / tappaa kaikki natsit "Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) 政治委员, 政委‽ Warning - some snark above ‽

      by annieli on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 10:18:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  House Republicans will reject any deal... (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JCPOK, a2nite, Dancing Frog, MPociask, Matt Z

    that includes tax increases of any amount on anybody.

    Their line in the sand is ZERO tax increases for any income, even million and above.

    Any deal that includes tax increases will fail without Democratic support.  Boehner would have to turn to Dems to pass it and that would be his death knell as House Speaker.

    There will be no deal.

    Tax and Spend I can understand. I can even understand Borrow and Spend. But Borrow and give Billionaires tax cuts? That I have a problem with.

    by LiberalCanuck on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 10:08:50 AM PST

    •  I hope so (8+ / 0-)

      Better deal on the other side of the cliff.

      •  I hope so too (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MPociask

        But I have been dreading that the $400K would find its way into these negotiation because Congress doesnt like to pay its fair share or something like that. It seems that the joke is on the Progressives. Sigh! A nightmare seems to be unfolding in front of our very eyes.
        I get the sense that President had decided a while ago that he is willing to throw the Progressives under the bus: there was a glimmer of hope last week.
        I am hoping against hope that the Democrats dont do a deal. No deal is better than a bad deal: and we can pass new legislature in 2013 with the intransigents in the Republican party voting with their tail between their legs. My only hope is that Joe Biden does the right thing and stands up for the middle class.  Well, that is all there is to this debate i guess.

        We should ask the Congress to scale back their pay to $250K if they pass this deal so that they can pay their fair share of taxes.

        •  Please don't use the term "under the bus" again... (0+ / 0-)

          It is the most overused term since 2008 and it is time to kill it.

          If you mean, the President has determined he can get a deal without progressive support, please say that instead of "under the bus".

          Thanks.

          Tax and Spend I can understand. I can even understand Borrow and Spend. But Borrow and give Billionaires tax cuts? That I have a problem with.

          by LiberalCanuck on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 10:24:31 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Hmm, no I think I'll keep using it (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            dservgun

            since I'm more interested in the effect of the deals on people's lives (including mine) than I am in politics as a chess game amongst wealthy privileged guys sitting in white buildings 12 mi south of me.

            I'm not averse to analyzing the chess game, but the reason I come to this site is so that I can assess how the game is going to affect ordinary people like myself. If I think we're being thrown under the bus as the result of a deal, I'll say so.

            No offense intended.

            if necessary for years; if necessary, alone

            by SouthernLiberalinMD on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 12:09:11 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  I hope so too-but what if Boehner gets UC to bring (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mr Robert

        it up - then noone in his caucus has to actually VOTE for it...

        [UC = unanimous consent, just FTR]

      •  Pretty sad (0+ / 0-)

        that we have to root for Republicans to not agree to the shitty deals that Democrats agree to.

        "Victory means exit strategy, and it's important for the president to explain to us what the exit strategy is." - George W Bush

        by jfern on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 10:26:54 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  My head hurts (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hulibow
  •  So the bad deal is in in the Senate (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Timothy J

    But what does Boehner say?

  •  Why missing out on Grand Bargain was very bad (0+ / 0-)

    This constant kicking of the can is not good.  I would have taken a not ideal "Grand Bargain" in 2011.

    What this means is that this Congress and Obama will forever be stuck on deficit, deficit, deficit.

    When do we move on to immigration, guns, climate control, education reform and infrastructure spending?

    Oh, we don't, because of "deficit, deficit, deficit".

    This is why I think a deal should be done NOW and so that Obama can move on to other critical issues.

    •  That is the GOP plan - stall Dem agenda for 4 more (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JML9999, Timothy J

      years.  

      The NRA is the Gun Manufacturer Lobby. Nothing more. Their pontification about the second amendment is nothing more than their ad jingle. They're the domestic version of the Military Industrial Complex.

      by Jacoby Jonze on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 10:16:42 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Those are not separate issues (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mr Robert

      You are disappointed that so much time is spent on the deficit, and not on things like infrastructure spending. The Republicans are focused on a grand deficit bargain because they know if they lock in low spending and low revenues, we can never take any action on infrastructure, because there will be no money.  

      A grand bargain deal is a win for Republican policy on many, many issues.  They just disguise it as caring about the budget.  It was either negligence, recklessness, or plain conspiracy to ever engage in a debate on the debt on the Republican's terms.  

  •  So essentially they will have to repeat (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MPociask

    This in a year but they protect the wealthiest 1-2 % from having their tax rates return to Clinton era levels.
    Sounds like a big fat giveaway to the wealthy again...
    I am ready to jump over the cliff and scream loudly holding republicans responsible for all the pain and suffering they cause.

    Just like when people blamed republican for shutting down govt. during Clinton.

    Let it happen at this point and see what happens.

    The Plutocratic States of America, the best government the top 1% and corporations can buy. We are the 99%-OWS.

    by emal on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 10:12:59 AM PST

    •  Um, $250k to $400k isn't wealthy (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Beetwasher

      It's far more than most, but we're talking about very little revenue here.

      •  We're talking (9+ / 0-)

        a lot of revenue.

        Ezra says this deal only gets 600 billion, as opposed to PResident's opening offer of 1.6 Triliion.

        •  Well, what did they give up $200B for? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Beetwasher

          That's the question.

          But it's foolish to pick $250,000 as your hill to die on when the answer is $400,000.

          •  $250k was the opening bid, not the goal. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            emal

            $100k to $200k = 11.3% of taxpayers
            $200k to $300k = 3.5% of taxpayers

            There's a difference between the two brackets.

            50% of taxpayers who earn between $100K-$200K pay the majority of their income tax as payroll taxes (source).

            That percentage ranges from 60% to 80% in the lower brackets, in the $200K-$300K range it drops dramatically to 8%.

            This is the lowest bracket of highly compensated professionals who earn income as fees or corporate draws, partners who share year-end profits, CEO bonuses, and individuals who have substantial unearned (investment) income.

            Have you noticed?
            Politicians who promise LESS government
            only deliver BAD government.

            by jjohnjj on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 10:30:54 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Not responsive (0+ / 0-)

            I'm not sure I have a problem with the 400k if it is tied to real positives.

            I think you can get more real positives on the other side of the cliff.

            But my poiint was this is real money.

            You can't pretend it is not.

            And your 2300B number is worng.

            The difference was a trillion.

          •  How did those poor poor wealthy people (0+ / 0-)

            Ever struggle to survive when their rates were at Clinton Era levels.

            Sorry no sympathy from me. I am wiling to have my rates go up by jumping over this cliff and yes it will be tighter for my family who makes less that that, but fer chris sakes I am not willing to protect those who can afford it any longer.

            Since when is 400,000 considered middle class?

            What happened to, I will veto any tax cuts for those over 250,000?

            Line is drawn for me in the sand. I am done giving tax breaks to those who those making that kind of money any longer.

            The Plutocratic States of America, the best government the top 1% and corporations can buy. We are the 99%-OWS.

            by emal on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 10:43:07 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Well...when you're supporting a family (0+ / 0-)

        on less than 100K a year, it looks wealthy enough to be taxed at Clinton levels.

        We're all talking like Clinton tax levels are 60-80% or something. It's worth remembering that they're only, what is it, 39%?

        if necessary for years; if necessary, alone

        by SouthernLiberalinMD on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 12:14:16 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Hilarious! So, Republicans win? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hulibow, Timothy J, mwm341

    Continuous obstruction continues.

    The only crazier admission of incompetency for a Congress than the sequester legislation is to legislate a delay in sequestration. I suppose The Fiscal Cliff is working so well for them they're building a virtual tent city on the cliff.

    No deal is better so I choose to have faith in Boehner to fail at passing anything.

  •  Blocking Sequestration is "can kicking" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Timothy J

    The house GOP will love that....

    As the Elites Come Together to Rise Above to Find a Third Way to do Rude things to the 99%

    by JML9999 on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 10:13:55 AM PST

  •  I find this exhausting (0+ / 0-)

    but I can't turn away. I don't want a deal - I want the President to stand up to the manipulative assholes that the Republican party has become. I don't want to hear the 'I made a deal for the good of the country' announcement - doing delay deals again and again is horrible for our country. It's time to stop the insanity - but I have a sinking feeling that kick the can is about to be announced. I hate being disappointed so hope I am wrong.

    I'm pretty tired of being told what I care about.

    by hulibow on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 10:15:12 AM PST

  •  In reality, does the GOP really want huge cuts? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MPociask

    Wouldn't the reality of those cuts make their supporters realize that it's too much and give them a blessing to make them less onerous? Many of their constituents wouldn't like to see the results of earned benefit (entitlement) cuts once they are implemented and grandma and grandpa need some help from them because of lower benefits? Or when they suddenly have to work two more years until they're nearly 70?

    In exchange for smaller spending cutbacks and any tax forgiveness they would have to go along with Democrats who can say,"Oh you want no tax increases for less than 400k a year? Then we want hands off social security. Oh and that base closure you are trying to avoid? Perhaps you'll support a plan that closes offshore tax havens and a plan that will raise taxes on the top 1% by another 2% next year?"

    Some of that could come our way as threats as well, but the more people get to see the results of draconian spending the more some tea-bagger idiots would realize that they got what they asked for. Things which they asked for not understanding what they were. Or that they also rely on all kinds of government security nets they are currently oblivious to after swallowing neocon BS sandwiches for the last two decades.

  •  3 Months or a year? Hmmmm. (0+ / 0-)

    Would it be better to have another of these GOP created hostage negotiations sour the public further on the GOP in 3 months or just 10-11 months prior to the 2014 election. Decisions, decisions.

  •  Once again, the lesson here: (6+ / 0-)

    Republican craziness will always be rewarded by Democratic capitulation.  At some point, you have to wonder just which side is really crazy.  But the Dems sure talked a good game for awhile there!  We have that.  

    The 1 percent doesn’t vote against their self-interest. Why should the 99 percent? -- Joan Vennochi

    by Martin Gale on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 10:18:33 AM PST

  •  Sing it with me: BATNAAAAAA!!!!! Baba baba baba (0+ / 0-)

    baba, baba baba baba baba, BATNAAAAAAAAAAA!!!

  •  i'm going to rent "mad max" and watch it over and (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annieli, TJ

    over again tonight since that's going to be my future

    Coming Attraction: "Tea Party II - now with more stupid!"

    by memofromturner on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 10:20:20 AM PST

  •  Let Them Drown (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ferg, chrississippi, MPociask, Gamblndan

    For the life of me, I can't understand why the Dems keep offering up lifelines to the Republicans. Dems don't need to raise the tax cuts beyond 250K, don't need to offer up SS or Medicare as sacrificial lambs.  Go over the cliff and come back with Obama tax cuts for middle class only.   The D's really don't know how to play the game. Am I missing something?

    •  There is a possibility that the baggers wouldn't (0+ / 0-)

      pass a middle tax cut afterwards and then we are all presuming that the public would blame them for it....but really who knows with a fickle low info voter pop??

      I didn't think 2010 would happen either over ACA....yet the crazies came out with torches over BS and Death panel and they actually succeeded.  We don't know for sure what would happen.

      I personally think we should go over the cliff, especially if they offer up SS in any way but  I also know it wouldn't necessarily be a win win for our side.  We just don't know how the public will react with no unemployment benefits, taxes going up, food skyrocketing, military being laid off etc.  

    •  It's possible that what you may be missing (0+ / 0-)

      is that Obama and most of the Dems want to cut earned benefits and preserve the Bush tax cuts, but they don't want to completely blow their image of being a party that cares about the people.

      But that's my most cynical assessment of the situation. I'm hoping for better.

      if necessary for years; if necessary, alone

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 12:23:34 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Not even a good movie (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chrississippi, MPociask

    Add it to the list of worst films of the year.

    On the last day of the year? For real? This is a measure of just how far in the bubble these idiots are. They have been breathing in their own toxic fumes for too long.

    I'd love to just completely ignore them and go on as if they didn't exist but their incompetence forces the need to pay attention, lest their slow implosion suck me in.

    Slap happy is a platform.

    by averageyoungman on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 10:21:37 AM PST

  •  Tedious unwarranted speculation, no solid ... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hulibow, MPociask

    information; the choices seem to be:  "sold again," "over the cliff", "bad deal," or "no deal," this is all ridiculous blather. We know nothing, there has been no official announcement of anything and we are stuck ruminating on the cud of rumor, innuendo, leaks and misinformation.

    Obama is a prisoner of the process by choice, he refuses to do what is needed and stand up for the supposed Democratic coalition: the disappearing middle class, the working class, the poor, the sick, the aged and the young. Social Security cuts? Austerity, tax "tweaks," minimal tax increases bought with major social program cuts, this is a Democratic Party solution to fiscal problems in America?

    Democrats just convincingly won a national election and the Republican House is driving both the narrative and the policy. Brilliantly snatching defeat from the jaws of victory the Democrats again abandon the moral high ground to jump into the abyss of "centrist pragmatism." Stop it, just stop it, stop engaging in an insane process and put the pressure on these inane Republican "Mayberry Machiavelli's." Go public, expose the ridiculous political chicanery of these fools and publicly pillory them - there is no other way to deal with the insanely cynical bullies running the Republican Party.

    "Intelligence is quickness in seeing things as they are..." George Santayana

    by KJG52 on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 10:21:53 AM PST

  •  No way Boehner gets the votes. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chrississippi, Vote4Obamain2012

    This is an exercise in CYA.

    Alternative rock with something to say: http://www.myspace.com/globalshakedown

    by khyber900 on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 10:22:13 AM PST

    •  He may just put it up for a vote (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      schnecke21

      on the house floor as the only viable move, and it would pass with dems and a minority of repubs.

    •  I hope you're right. (0+ / 0-)

      Then we can all admit that we're going to have to have a showdown over the debt limit, which is where this is all really going to be decided.

      I want Obama to announce that he's unwilling to sign anything other than a clean debt limit bill. If the House can't come up with one---if they're actually willing to let the nation default---he'll go 14th amendment on their asses.

      The GOP has got to own their craziness. We've been coddling these nihilist fuckers for too long. I want them crushed in 2014.

  •  Let's be honest, Boehner will get to 218 (0+ / 0-)

    Republicans can't be stupid enough to reject their winning hand. Right?

    •  And then he'll come to the mic (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MPociask

      and say "I got 98% of what I wanted" even if it's not true, the media will say Boehner won and Obama caved.

      I'm pretty tired of being told what I care about.

      by hulibow on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 10:25:12 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Not when he'll get more than enough Dem votes... (0+ / 0-)

      He'll have his far right vote against it so he can keep the idea going that the GOP House is craaaaaazzzzzyyyy!!  And you have to give in to them or they'll nuke the economy.  

      The NRA is the Gun Manufacturer Lobby. Nothing more. Their pontification about the second amendment is nothing more than their ad jingle. They're the domestic version of the Military Industrial Complex.

      by Jacoby Jonze on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 10:26:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I dunno (0+ / 0-)

      You think they think they can't wring a little more out?

      You think they are rational?

      These are open questions in my mind.

    •  Sure they can. They've done it before. (0+ / 0-)

      No tax increases, remember?

      Depends on how many actual Norquist true believers there are, how many Dems would come across to support Boehner, etc.

      if necessary for years; if necessary, alone

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 12:24:47 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  paws and can to be kicked (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JML9999

    yksitoista ulotteinen presidentin shakki. / tappaa kaikki natsit "Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) 政治委员, 政委‽ Warning - some snark above ‽

    by annieli on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 10:23:42 AM PST

  •  Obama is a freaking idiot! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MPociask, Mr Robert

    All this talk about how brilliant he is, and this guy would pay full price for a used car!

    What the hell are we even getting for this deal.

    The rates go up from 250 to 400K

    No cuts in the sequestration for either side...

    No Military cuts...If we dont cut this now, we will never get defense cuts!!

    No lifting of the Debt ceiling so we have to relive this crap all over agin in a few months with no negotiating power at all. They will rape entitlements and not give it a second thought!!

    Obama negotiates out of fear instead of just telling them to fuck off.  He never realizes when he has all the power.

    Let the rates go up for everyone and then he has all the power later.  What the hell is anyone around him thinking unless they are all on the same side, and not ours...

    I will be furious if this deal goes through and we dont get shit out of it after winning the fucking election!!

    •  There were never going to be military cuts. (0+ / 0-)

      That was just Dems taking Republican pork barrel spending hostage.

      I sympathize with the hope that it would go through anyway, but it was never really meant to.

    •  Again I ask where is the second part (0+ / 0-)

      of a plan that needs to come with defense cuts.  I see progressives all over this site cavalierly say slash the military.   Okay I agree with that as long as there is a second part to that proposal which is AND replace 70-80% of that spending with infrastructure  spending.  

      If you don't push for the second part of that in any slash the military proposal what you are doing cutting millions of solid middle class jobs.  That also means, if done right, any slashing of the military budget is not going to be the savings people think it will be because those monies will be directed elsewhere.  

      I just want people to think about what slashing the military without tying those cuts to increasing infrastructure spending means.     We should NEVER propose slash the military without saying AND increase infrastructure spending in the very same sentence.  

  •  THIS NEW RAW DEAL WON'T PASS THE HOUSE (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MPociask

    Instead of negotiating another deal, Dems should pressure house to pass what's already there. And pass the Jobs Bill, Milk Bill extension and Sandy relief while they're at it.

  •  Taxes are never (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MPociask

    permanent. Any deal can be changed.  Last I looked, the constitution is the only thing that comes close to permanent and even it can be amended.

  •  That will do wonders for the deficit! (0+ / 0-)

    Yeah, let's let the Pentagon go on shoveling money off of the back of a flatbed truck for another year.

    "The test of our progress is not whether we add to the abundance of those who have much. It is whether we provide enough to those who have little. " --Franklin D. Roosevelt

    by jg6544 on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 10:26:11 AM PST

  •  In 2009 the Greek national debt (0+ / 0-)

    reached 127% of Greek GDP.

    We are now at about 120% of GDP and at the current deficit spending rate will probably pass through the 127% mark in about a year.

    On a per capita basis, we already have more national debt than the Greeks do I believe.

    It is now time to talk tough to American admirals and generals, hospital adminstrators, doctors, the higher-income folks and the gas pump users.

    I would suggest a 50% defense budget cut, 10% cuts to all Medicare service payment amounts, patented drugs to be sold to Medicare/Medicaid at the lowest profitable rates in the world, a bump-up of all but the lowest tax income rates by a quarter (i.e. 28% -> 35%,  33% -> 41.25%, etc.), and a per gallon fuel tax increase by the New York per gallon crude oil price sending gas to about $5.60/gallon.

    About $1 trillion ($12,000/year/average family of four) in spending cuts and tax increases are needed to bring the budget into balance.

    We are overspending/undertaxing at the national level by an average of about $3,000/year/American.

  •  Thank you Caver in Chief (0+ / 0-)

    Well it looks like we got sold down the river yet again.  Anyone want to chip in to get Obama a set of balls that work?

  •  Some sort of announcement @1:30 nt (0+ / 0-)

    As the Elites Come Together to Rise Above to Find a Third Way to do Rude things to the 99%

    by JML9999 on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 10:26:43 AM PST

  •  Prospects for passage. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jerry056

    My guess is that the final agreement delays sequestration until at least June 2014.  If so, the bill passes the Senate with 70+ votes.  If sequestration is only 1 year, it squeaks by 55 votes as liberal Dems peel off.  If sequestration is less than 1 year, it fails.

    As for the House, this deal has 0% chance of passing this year under all circumstances.  I guess I could have just said that from the start.  

    Trust-Fund Kids of America Unite... save the Bush tax cuts!

    by JCPOK on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 10:27:10 AM PST

  •  underwater mortgage relief (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mr Robert

    The bill that makes me not owe taxes on the principal the bank writes off if I default is about to expire. I don't see this being re-upped. Are we gonna be blown off as expendable? Thanks a lot Democrats for not even looking in this direction.

    In the wilderness, the one-eyed pig is king. - H.S. Thompson

    by whataboutthosesheep on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 10:28:41 AM PST

  •  Short - Dems to sell out again and call it Victory (0+ / 0-)

    Because Beltway centrists (i.e. rich assholes) and pundits with a lot more hair than brains (Yes thats you, David Gregory) will nod and give polite kudos all round on TV and the oped pages for how 'everyone came together in the middle'. And royally fucked the country over.

  •  Per Erza: $650b in rev, UI extension, and no cuts (8+ / 0-)

    Has anyone read his tweets and write up on the proposed deal? The revenue would be around $650b, which is about 90% of what it would have been in 10 years of the Reid 250k bill passed earlier this year. Plus we get UI extended, wind and other stimulus tax credits extended, and no spending cuts of note.
    Lets be honest: to get more revenue, we were going to have to givr up significant spending cuts. I would rather take no cuts and have less revenue than the other way around.

    Does it sound perfect? No. But it doesn't sound terrible, or even bad.

  •  We might also end the practice (0+ / 0-)

    of tax depreciation for real property.

  •  No news taxes for income under 1/2 million is (0+ / 0-)

    worthless. That wont even begin to close the budget gap and will allow Repubs to stand pat on their fave talking point- "We cant afford a safety net any more, so fuck you losers.'
    Obama should have proposed to raise the rate on income over 100K at the outset. That would have made a real difference and at worst would have been a much better place to negotiate from.

  •  The deal will pass (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Phil S 33

    I will be very surprised if there isn't a deal and if that deal is blocked in the House. It will pass with 99% of D votes and 30% of Rs.
    Whatever the deal is though if the House Rs ask to change even a single coma the WH needs to throw the table and the chips to the floor and say see you on the other side Harry go for the filibuster of the 250K

    •  It will be like the Debt Ceiling bill in Aug 2011 (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Iberian

      On that one, Boehner held together 3/4ths of Republicans and Democrats split in half so it passed by 100 votes.

      This time it should be closer as Republicans defect due to the tax increases, but it should be enough to pass still.

  •  Middle class hostages to drape the podium... (0+ / 0-)
  •  Pushes once again the "balanced approach" for (0+ / 0-)

    whatever future cuts are looked at.....

  •  Who do I call (0+ / 0-)

    give me a number. My congresspeople are all RWNJ.

    I'm pretty tired of being told what I care about.

    by hulibow on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 10:58:49 AM PST

  •  Total meltdown of congress (0+ / 0-)

    As predicted, the house GOP is eating itself.  There will be no deal.

    I am amused at the last ditch proposals being tossed around:  90 day delay?  What, to get a few more dems into the House?  The republican caucus is fragmented.   Awesome to behold given their past party discipline. There will be a new speaker soon.

    I fantasize about a voter backlash against incumbents were in back to back elections the voters purge them from office regardless of party.  Start making some new rules and traditions in the congress.   Break the strangle hold the oligarchs have on American democracy.  But it is just a happy place I go to.

  •  yes! please! (0+ / 0-)

    let's keep having the ceiling and cliff drama every 6-12 months.  meanwhile China is eating our lunch.

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