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Mitch McConnell
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell laments the tax deal he worked out with Vice President Joe Biden, but says that it was best deal he could get given that President Barack Obama held all the cards:
Earlier this week, I helped negotiate an imperfect solution aimed at avoiding the so-called “fiscal cliff.” If I had my way taxes would not have gone up on anyone, but the unavoidable fact was this if we had sat back and done nothing taxes would have gone up dramatically on every single American, and I simply couldn’t allow that to happen.

By acting, we’ve shielded more than 99% of taxpayers from a massive tax hike that President Obama was all-too willing to impose.

But never fear, dear conservatives, Mr. Turtle is convinced that the good guys hold all the cards for the next battle:
Predictably, the President is already claiming that his tax hike on the “rich” isn’t enough. I have news for him: the moment that he and virtually every elected Democrat in Washington signed off on the terms of the current arrangement, it was the last word on taxes. That debate is over. Now the conversation turns to cutting spending on the government programs that are the real source of the nation’s fiscal imbalance. And the upcoming debate on the debt limit is the perfect time to have that discussion.

We simply cannot increase the nation’s borrowing limit without committing to long overdue reforms to spending programs that are the very cause of our debt.

There's a few problems with McConnell's thinking, but as long as President Obama keeps his word, the biggest one is this:
One last point I want to make. While I will negotiate over many things, I will not have another debate with this Congress over whether or not they should pay the bills that they've already racked up through the laws that they've passed. Let me repeat, we can't not pay bills that we already incurred.
Only time will tell what happens, but McConnell and his crew can't have a debate about torching the United States economy unless President Obama agrees to have it with them. As long as he refuses to negotiate over their threat to sabotage the economy, they can pontificate all they want, but will in the end still face a binary choice: default or no default. Personally, I'm convinced they are bluffing, but even if they aren't, President Obama needs to stand firm: we can't negotiate with economic terrorists.

But beyond the importance of ending government-by-hostage-crisis, McConnell is deeply, fundamentally wrong about debt. First, in the short-term, our deficit and national debt are not a grave economic problem. Interests rates are just about as low as they can go. Our economic problem continues to be demand, and reducing spending will hurt demand.

Second, if our deficit and debt were the biggest problem facing our economy, then the deal McConnell just negotiated was truly an economy-wrecker because it added $4 trillion in debt over the next ten years.

Third, while we do face long-term fiscal challenges, McConnell's approach to dealing with them is counterproductive. Case in point: health care. McConnell says we need to take an axe to health care programs in order to reduce spending. He says:

While most Washington Democrats may want to deny it, the truth is, the only thing we can do to solve the nation’s fiscal problem is to tackle government spending head on — and particularly, spending on health care programs, which appear to take off like a fighter jet on every chart available that details current trends in federal spending.
McConnell's solution is to repeal Obamacare, privatize Medicare, and effectively end Federal controls on Medicaid. But the reality is that his approach would actually lead to skyrocketing health care costs. Despite doomsday predictions from the right, the rate of increase of the cost of the biggest health care program, Medicare, is actually slowing down more quickly than other forms of health care spending—and that comes despite the fact that Obamacare expanded Medicare benefits.

McConnell mentioned charts—he should take a look at this one from Peter Orzag to see what I mean.

Chart shows rate of increase in Medicare costs falling faster than in other areas of health care spending.
The yellow-highlighted line is Medicare. If McConnell had his way, we'd be shifting spending to the other parts of the health care economy—the ones that are getting more expensive more quickly. That wouldn't just increase federal costs, it would also increase costs on individuals and state and local governments. No matter how you look at it, it makes no sense. But as wrong as Mitch McConnell may be on this subject, there's one piece of good news, and it's something Democrats cannot let themselves forget: in November, McConnell's side lost the argument.

Originally posted to The Jed Report on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 07:28 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

    •  kos (14+ / 0-)
      But the fact that he would even consider offering something like a Social Security benefits cut is disappointing, and without the tax rate issue as leverage, Obama will have little to pressure Republicans into making major concessions of their own.

      So this is all fantastic for Republicans. They extract major concessions on the Bush tax rates, and in two months they get to go after government spending in a major way holding the nation's economy hostage, negotiating with a president who has zero history of standing up to this sort of economic terrorism. All of this just months after getting their asses kicked in the election

      Move Single Payer Forward? Join 18,000 Doctors of PNHP and 185,000 member National Nurses United

      by divineorder on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 07:49:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  He just has to keep asking them what cuts they wan (5+ / 0-)

        This may not be as difficult as people think.  The main reason the negotiations with Boehner fell apart is that Boehner, when his bluff was called, really didn't know or couldn't say what cuts he wanted to Medicare.  All Obama has to do is to keep saying, "Congress passes spending bills, not the President.  You detail what cuts you want.".

        They are basically out of ideas except deeply unpopular things like raising the Medicare age and privatizing SS and Medicare, all of which would shift costs to their constituents.  And they want these in order to preserve a bloated defense budget.  The real trap for the  Dems is to get sucked into proposing cuts that are acceptable.  The Dems need to remember the fight against SS privatization in 2005, which Nancy Pelosi led.  The Dems just refused to propose a counter to Bush's privatization scheme and it fell of its own weight.  The same can happen here too.

        Meanwhile Obama should concentrate on ideas for tax reform, closing loopholes that benefit the rich.  And gun violence reduction.  And immigration.  Let the Turtle talk about cutting entitlements all he wants.  It is sure to get lots of support out in the country. And the media to the contrary notwithstanding, I think people are really, really tried of cliffhangers.

        The scientific uncertainty doesn't mean that climate change isn't actually happening.

        by Mimikatz on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 08:40:07 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Climate change not important? (0+ / 0-)

          President said recently he would study it, but did not know if Republicans and Democrats wanted to ?

          Perhaps the President has already  joined those  who are making this NY Resolution?

          350.org
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          SHARE if you're with us: this year, we're fighting climate change with everything we've got.
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          Move Single Payer Forward? Join 18,000 Doctors of PNHP and 185,000 member National Nurses United

          by divineorder on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 09:36:16 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  cuts.... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          recontext, divineorder, Panama Pete

          30% defense
          eliminate oil subsidies
          eliminate farm subsidies
          close corporate tax loopholes

          nets $379 billion a year, $3.79 trillion over the ten year period.

          after this, real tax reform and medical cost reduction, likely another $1.5 to $2.0 trillion over ten years.

          these are done before any discussion of earned benefits.

          there is no reason to consider cutting programs that help individual citizens over rather than protect the wealthy ones.

          mittens=edsel. no matter how much money is spent to promote it, if the product sucks, no one will buy it.

          by wewantthetruth on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 09:46:28 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Kos has been right about the president's risk (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Panama Pete

        aversion since it became apparent.  

        Obama has NEVER really had to "negotiate" with a Republican House about paying the national debt (just as he didn't really over the "cliff") because the House ultimately had no other option.  

        But he did anyway (and almost certainly will again) out of fear of the "unknown" things they could POTENTIALLY inflict.  

        It's been a little like begging a suicidal neighbor, whose been threatening your life for years, to come down off their roof.

        And then giving them your new bike as a reward when they saved themselves.

        Obama has such fear of the "new neighbor" that he'd rather keep the old one alive, rather than be rid of them forever.  That fear is so predictable, it's almost neurotic at this point.  And the Republicans have no qualms about exploiting it.

    •  well (4+ / 0-)

      I still haven't heard why the trillion dollar coin dodge won't work.

      •  Because Obama has publiclly said (4+ / 0-)

        That he won't go for that dodge.  Of course he's said he won't negotiate on the debt ceiling either, so...

      •  While president could invoke 14A, Jay Carney ruled (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sneakers563

        it out on 12/7/12 and on prior occasions.   In all honesty, accordingly, I have no clue as to what the president means at this point.  He either has to negotiate w/ GOP over debt ceiling, he has to invoke the 14A, or he has to mint a trillion $ coin.  He has expressly ruled out the first 2 options, and, if he won't invoke the 14A, I can't see him ordering the coin's minting.

        Some men see things as they are and ask why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not?

        by RFK Lives on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 08:13:28 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think he's trying to intimidate them before (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MPociask

          the negotiations start.  However, I can't see how anyone would take that seriously.  He's repeatedly gone back on promises for what he sees as the good of the country.  He's going to break that rule and let the country default?  I don't buy it, but more importantly, I'm quite sure the Republicans won't buy it, which means he'll either have to accept default or break this promise.

          To believe that markets determine value is to believe that milk comes from plastic bottles. Bromley (1985)

          by sneakers563 on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 08:23:26 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  he has to do nothing (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          TKO333

          threatening to hold debt limit hostage violates the 14th amendment of the Constitution which was written to specifically present this during Reconstruction.

          if they do anything, they have done that to themselves. both parties agree they do not want to default so it's not really a negotiation point. all the GOP has is threats.

          mittens=edsel. no matter how much money is spent to promote it, if the product sucks, no one will buy it.

          by wewantthetruth on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 09:51:41 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Because simply creating an extra trillion dollars (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SoCalSal, AmericanAnt

        in US currency every time bills come due devalues the dollar.  In addition to inflation, in signals to other countries that the US will resort to "dodges" and make no effort to keep its currency stable.  If you want to see the dollar replaced as the global currency, there is no better way.

        The 14th Amendment argument is a much better approach.

        To believe that markets determine value is to believe that milk comes from plastic bottles. Bromley (1985)

        by sneakers563 on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 08:19:05 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  In theory it inflates the dollar, but not lately. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          sneakers563, MPociask

          Currency-dog whining sounds very much like gold-bug whining. WE MUST HAVE A SOUND DOLLAR at all costs. It was bunk in 1886 and it is bunk now. When monetarist theory such as "trickle down" have been tested in the real world and they have failed.

          The tentative march toward replacement of the U.S. dollar as the world's reserve currency has begun. Sadam Hussein actively pushed for it. The Euro was created to be and, despite its manifold problems, is an increasingly strong contender.  But what really moved the world toward abandoning the U.S. dollar as its reserve currency was the 2011 Debt Ceiling debacle. The world began to realize that there were U.S. "leaders" who would hold the "the full faith and credit" of the United States of America hostage to their own narrow ideology. In 2011 the U.S. Dollar weathered that attack with a minimum of damage, but we are about to consider yet again whether or not to raise the debt ceiling and THAT is the next point of risk. Will ideologues choose yet again to tell the WORLD that the American people, through their government, is considering whether or not to repudiate their existing debt obligations?

          We shall see, but if the right-wing radicals force debate of whether or not we will pay our bills, THAT may well make the abandonment of U.S. Dollar by the world inexorable.

          •  We don't need to have a sound dollar "at all costs (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            AmericanAnt

            but that doesn't mean that devaluing the currency willy-nilly is a good thing, either.

            I agree with almost all of your second paragraph.  If however, you believe that's a problem, then shouldn't the solution seek to avoid that outcome?  Otherwise it's a case of destroying the village in order to save the village.

            To believe that markets determine value is to believe that milk comes from plastic bottles. Bromley (1985)

            by sneakers563 on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 08:55:26 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  because he can't dodge budget bills... (0+ / 0-)

        The federal budget still has to be signed into law, or a continuing resolution issued, by a set date.

        If neither of those happens, the government shuts down.  It's not a debt ceiling issue, it's how the government works.  Or doesn't.

        In the past, the congress has always issued continuing resolutions and then passed a budget largely like its predecessor.

        That is not a guarantee.   If O issues the magic coin to dodge the debt ceiling and default, he is still trapped by the budget.

        And if the house NEVER signs a bill to fully fund agencies like the fda, epa, education, noaa, atf, hud, or a dozen others, they will have to shut down.

        As the crazy man with ridiculous hair says, it's a nuclear option.  

        Does anyone really trust the house with a weapon?

        So they need to solve this at some point, might as well be now.

        •  government shutdown (0+ / 0-)

          is a hit to demand which is a hit to the economy and will throw the country and world into recession.

          D&B issued warning this AM that just the contentious discussion and dragging of feet on the subject could have a negative impact on the US credit rating.

          with then less than two years before midterms when this all hits, it would be political suicide for the GOP to go that route......and they know that. boner will not be able to hold his fragile caucus together over this one.

          mittens=edsel. no matter how much money is spent to promote it, if the product sucks, no one will buy it.

          by wewantthetruth on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 09:57:05 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Can you seriously see the house passing (0+ / 0-)

            A budget bill without huge slashes to spending?  They need to act by the end of March.

            On July 31, 2012, a tentative deal was announced to fund the government from October 2012 through March 2013 through a continuing resolution, with spending rates slightly higher than the FY2012 levels. The deal was reached because Republicans were eager to avoid a prolonged dispute that could threaten a government shutdown just before the upcoming 2012 general elections.[12] The bill, the Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2013, was passed in the House 329–91,[13] passed in the Senate 62–30,[14] and signed by President Obama on September 28, 2012.[15]
            I don't think they care about a shutdown this time, because they know O will cave and negotiate.
  •  So.....Is McConnell speaking for the GOP now? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annieli
    •  he's dim, Jed /nt (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      trumpeter

      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 Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 08:07:27 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  "figher jet" (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SoCalSal, MPociask

      appropriate that he uses the "fighter jet" comparison regarding spending, because anyone who claims to be serious about cutting unnecessary spending better be willing to cut "defense" spending, and big time, first.

      This needs to be hammered home whenever any "very serious person" starts talking about our supposed spending problem.  Otherwise just tell them that they're not serious about spending and they should get bent.
      I think David Brooks at least mentions this, although like all Republicans, it's mostly just lip service before moving on to his real wet dream of screwing the elderly, the poor, the sick, and basically everyone in the lower 98%.
      After all, you're only a "very serious person" when you demand that the lives of those of us living paycheck to paycheck(if you're lucky enough to even have a job) are even more miserable.

  •  It's about private profits not the deficit or debt (19+ / 0-)

    Socialized medicine as practiced in Europe is both better and cheaper than American medicine, but American medicine is much more profitable.

    Extremely wealthy hospital system and cancer center owners are major contributors to the GOP.

    GOP policies serve the interests of the wealthy owners of corporations in the medical and pharma businesses.

    look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

    by FishOutofWater on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 07:36:27 AM PST

  •  Sounds like the Turtle is scared of a primary and (3+ / 0-)

    is trying to kiss up to teabaggers.

    Amazingly stupid of the tea partiers. They've already helped democrats in the last two rounds of senate voting, probably giving them 4-6 seats. Now they seem to be going for a trifecta. It could result in Democrats holding at 55 seats in  2014 (an amazing outcome) and then getting 61 seats in 2016. And they couldn't have done it without the tea partiers.

    Delenda est filibuster!

    by TofG on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 07:36:32 AM PST

  •  Well (8+ / 0-)

    if Obama says he won't get it we can all relax then.

    Oh wait...

  •  The debate over taxes is over? Nope. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TomP, Timothy J, TheLizardKing, cybersaur

    There wasn't even an implication of a principle that we had a grand bargain setting rates for even the short run. We had an agreement to not go over the cliff. That's it.

    One piece of free advice to the GOP: Drop the culture wars, explicitly.

    by Inland on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 07:39:04 AM PST

    •  You think the Republicans are (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      conniptionfit

      going to raise taxes twice?  Why do you think people have been freaking out so much about a lack of leverage now that the rates have changed?  

      The tax rates are done.  Over.  I'll expect another debate on them at about the same time the House takes up the public option.  If anything, the only changes we may see to rates is for them to go down, as an exchange for ending some tax spending.  If we're lucky, that will net increased revenue to the government, and not just be revenue neutral (increased revenue is the "pragmatic" GOP's bargaining position - revenue neutral is what the party base will demand).

      •  You think we will cut earned benefits for nothing? (0+ / 0-)

        No. A bill that only cuts the big 3 and provides no new tax revenue will not pass the Senate.

      •  Yes (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FiredUpInCA

        Boehener offered in the deal making 800 in REVENUE. Not tax rates. So let us see what are those 800 billions in revenue

        We can start by the mortgages, follow by charitable donations, corporate subsidies ad tax exemptions and go on.

        Obama has were to ask for Boehner and Romney gave him plenty

        •  I have no problem raising cap gains rates and (4+ / 0-)

          phasing out mortgage deductions.  In fact I suggested phasing them out over twenty years some thirty years ago, in school.

          One piece of free advice to the GOP: Drop the culture wars, explicitly.

          by Inland on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 08:02:20 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  strongly favor eliminating the MITD (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MPociask

            it is terrible policy

          •  Not the right time to change mortgage deductions (0+ / 0-)

            Full disclosure: I have borrowed a bunch of money from a bank to purchase a house, and thus pay enough interest on an annual basis to be able to itemize from that one deduction alone.

            This is probably not the right time to be looking at reducing or eliminating the mortgage deduction, strictly from an economic viewpoint. Housing has been in a national slump since 2006 and is only barely back to a year-over-year gain in 2012. Reducing the deduction will make housing effectively more expensive to finance, thus reducing the nominal price paid for all houses that are financed. This depression of the price of housing will not help anybody but speculators who can pay cash, and will continue to put downward pressure on the larger economy.

            The time to do this is once the housing market has begun a visible rebound and is better able to handle a gradual reduction in this subsidy.

      •  I don't expect them to want to. (0+ / 0-)

        I expect that any bitching and moaning about the awful, awful deficit caused by spending to be met with a gracious solution of raising taxes.  Or revenues, if they need cover.

        This is a particularly good time for it, since the debt crisis is a future crisis at most, that will be met with future cuts, so future tax increases make as much sense, taking the republicans word that it's the debt that they are really against.

        I expect the things that will compel concessions from the republicans are what compelled them this time: an inability to find a politically viable course they can all agree on.  

        One piece of free advice to the GOP: Drop the culture wars, explicitly.

        by Inland on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 08:00:58 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  taxes are not done (0+ / 0-)

        GOP does not get to call this.

        there will be a push for tax reform which is overdue. people probably don't know that when the limit was raised to $400 some deduction caps were put in place for the wealthy which was done so O could say the 2% are paying more
        taxes.

        there is also room for further changes to capital gains. some sort of increase if companies sit on cash rather than reinvest in business.

        most economists that know their stuff say that when economy stabilizes and growth is sustainable at 3.5% or above there would be room for tax increases.

        mittens=edsel. no matter how much money is spent to promote it, if the product sucks, no one will buy it.

        by wewantthetruth on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 10:04:47 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Democrats on the hill are saying its over. (5+ / 0-)

      Only thing they're talking now is capping deductions...politically impossible for Senate Democrats. Plus, most Dems in the Senate aren't going to let it happen unless it is a part of broad tax reform.

      Meanwhile, expect the drumbeat for cuts to begin...from the ratings agencies.

      •  So, I think that the GOP will demand (3+ / 0-)

        cuts for the top 1% in exchange for a two month extension of the debt limit - or something along those lines - and likely hold up meaningful Sandy relief as well - more hostages.

        and etcetera...

      •  Are these the same democrats that you insisted (0+ / 0-)

        would have coerced better deals today, if we had just gone over the cliff?  Because that looks a little inconsistent to me.   Either they are conceding future fights or they aren't.  I know either way it's Obama's fault, but still....

        Meanwhile, expect the drumbeat for cuts to begin...from the ratings agencies.
        The ratings agencies care about default on the debt owed by the USG.  Not spending cuts.  

        One piece of free advice to the GOP: Drop the culture wars, explicitly.

        by Inland on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 08:08:12 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  You don't read the ratings do you? (4+ / 0-)

          They're all about ability and likelyhood to pay. They don't care about how much is owed. Its ability and likelyhood to pay that matters. In them, they look at future spending, future revenues, and the political system. Yes, they very much care about cuts.

          But yes, according to many Republicans, including McConnell here, going back to the Clinton rates would have caused lasting permanent damage to the Republican Party. The polls indicate this. They believe this.

          The deal that passed was a BETTER deal for Republicans than the deal that was sitting in the House and the President had been demanding for months. The president passed that deal out of the Senate, that deal was campaigned on, that deal was the deal the president won the majority vote on. There was no way he was going to get blamed if Republicans held it up.

          But the White House was bluffing. They were never going to go over the cliff because they were afraid of it. The way they figure it, if Republicans didn't knuckle under now, there was no way they were going to do it later. Because....well...they never explain it very well. Republicans themselves, however, disagree with the White House's view. They feel they would have folded like a cheap suit and been forced to pass the President's original bill. That's why McConnell is looking at this and thinking he's come out not too shabby considering the HUGE advantage the president had over them.

          Lucky for them, they never had to face the president's wrath because he gave them an out. Nice guy, him.

          •  That's the debt ceiling. And your democrats. (0+ / 0-)

            No ratings agency has ever called into doubt the ability to pay except during the debt ceiling debacle.  

            I'm not really sure when DK became the roost for deficit hawks and spooky stories about bond vigilantes.  About December 28, wasn't it?

            My question is, how are you going to switch gears when the republicans call for spending cuts and you've already conceded that fighthing the debt is the biggest priority?   This isn't just some meme or framing: this is a big ass principle that you just locked yourself into, against all economic sense.

            But the White House was bluffing. They were never going to go over the cliff because they were afraid of it
            They were all afraid of it, for good reason.  Unlike the new DK common wisdom, austerian policies at this time are disasterous.

            I'm still waiting to hear how the democrats on the hill who are unwilling to even discuss taxes in the upcoming battle would have become stronger once we went over the cliff.  It goes against all reason: unlike some republicans who adhere to the austerian nonsense, democrats by and large agree with me and think that sacrificing the economy for the sake of budgeting is backwards.  

            One piece of free advice to the GOP: Drop the culture wars, explicitly.

            by Inland on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 08:28:55 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  You're misreading my point entirely. (6+ / 0-)

              We, especially us front pagers, aren't making this point because we care about the deficit. We do not. We do not at all. The problem for us is that the President does. I mean, if you can find me some statements that he doesn't, then I will rest easy. But he doesn't. He constantly says, and shows by his actions, that he feels the deficit is important and wants to get something done. But he wont do it by himself...he wants the Republicans to do it with him.

              So it isn't us that care about debt and deficits. Trust me...if he came out Bush style and said "deficits don't matter" i'd be saying he's playing this very well! But he doesn't. He says so himself. Unless you think he's lying, in which case I'd need proof. I take him at his word. He says repeatedly he wants to do it. I don't understand why we shouldn't believe him. He's frozen government pay for years. He's, by his own words, put on the table cuts to important Democratic priorities. He's even cut spending by a trillion bucks already!

              So therefore, what we want is for people who care about Democratic priorities (not just the president himself), to have as much leverage as possible against Obama and the Republicans determination to cut things we hold dear. And for us, that means having the maximum amount of revenue means a smaller deficit problem to fix in the first place. Which means less damaging cuts to things we care about. We don't care about Obama personally.

              So in this deal, we're getting $600 billion in revenue...that's great if we knew we were getting $600 billion in cuts. But we aren't. We don't know how much cuts we're getting. And in light of the fact that last year Obama gave away $1 trillion in non entitlement cuts with no revenues at all, we figure we are already $400 billion down. Get it?

              •  Every O statement about deficits is re: future. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Vote4Obamain2012

                Every statement he makes about deficits and spending are cast as matters to think about now for future enactment.

                Which is good economics; just a few years ago, democrats were patting themselves on the back for running surpluses during good times.  

                O, on the other hand, keeps putting spending suggestions, "investment", and tax cuts front and center RIGHT NOW.

                If you've missed that, you've missed the difference between austerian economics and the stuff that's helped the economy immensely.  

                And franly, I'm a little put off about you complaining about non entitlement cuts.  If you were consistent, you would be cheering them as saving entitlements.  Or at least tell us what's so great about the non entitlement spending that was cut, if you aren't a Keynesian; what exactly did we "give away"?  For my position, winding down a war was the best cut one could have.

                And for us, that means having the maximum amount of revenue means a smaller deficit problem to fix in the first place.
                You can't maximize revenue by raising taxes in a recession or economic slowdown.  Obama understands that.  Krugman has on his blog lots of discussion on the portion of the deficit will be cured just by higher revenues caused by economic growth.  I commend them to your reading, along with his bits on bond vigilantes that never show up.

                One piece of free advice to the GOP: Drop the culture wars, explicitly.

                by Inland on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 08:53:16 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  We aren't in good times. (4+ / 0-)

                  These times suck balls. So why are we talking about deficits rather than economic growth?

                  I'll tell you why...because the deficit is what the president wants to talk about.

                  Every statement he makes about deficits and spending are cast as matters to think about now for future enactment.
                  No they aren't. They are matters he talks about in the context of a Grand Bargain that is mainly a recepie of spending cuts and tax increases. I mean...that's what he himself talks about not for some future president to do but for he himself to do. He, very understandably, doesn't want to leave his successor with a big ole box of deficits on his desk, limiting policy options.
                  O, on the other hand, keeps putting spending suggestions, "investment", and tax cuts front and center RIGHT NOW.
                  But these aren't meaningful things which counterbalance the entitlement cuts. For example, he called for $50 billion in infrastructure spending. Now you and I both know that is a pittance. It is pissing in the wind. But at the same time, chained CPI, which he's also called for, is $112 billion! So...umm...its not investment if you're taking out more than you're putting in.

                  Finally, nobody here is doing anything about economic growth, which is, obviously, too slow and too weak. Because if we really wanted to be talking about growth, we wouldn't be talking about tax cuts and deficits as the president is. We'd be talking about serious stimulative measures that would have a real impact. But we aren't. Why? Because we're told we can't afford it. Because of the deficit.

                  •  Because the fed gov is behind every cycle. (0+ / 0-)

                    Do you really think we passed and applied the stimulus in a timely manner?  Don't you wish we had, like some nations do, a standing plan for economic stimulus?

                    It's not too early tI plan. It IS too early for ending stimulus.

                    As for stimulus, if you say nobody is talking about it, why don't you?  Answer: you're committed to austerity right now.  So how can you complain?

                    One piece of free advice to the GOP: Drop the culture wars, explicitly.

                    by Inland on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 10:55:44 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

        •  I believe the latest polls (5+ / 0-)

          have Obama up at around 55% approval and Congressional Republicans at around 12%.

          But hey...with an advantage like that, it only makes perfect sense find a middle ground of compromise.

          •  Boggles my mind too. (3+ / 0-)

            Unless, of course, Obama adheres as rigidly to his committee chairman ideology as a teabagger aheres to theirs.  Ideologues take many forms.  Obama is a corporatist ideologue and no amount of grassroots efforts or soaring approval ratings is going to change that.  

            At least I know why I voted for Obama this time:  Roe v Wade and the 5th vote on the SC.  

            Other than that, I knew I was pissing away my vote if I expected Obama to be any different that he was 4 years ago.  

            •  Remember when George W. Bush forced us to fund (5+ / 0-)

              the Iraq War despite the public being dead set against it and his popularity was at 35%? And he had to deal with TWO houses of the opposite party.

              Yeah. George W. Bush can push through his priorities without any compromise at all despite low popularity and an unpopular position.

              Yet our guy compromises when he has all the advantages in the world. Pretty sad actually.

              •  Both Bush and Obama (3+ / 0-)

                Both Bush and Obama are ideologues in their own way.  That is the problem.  

                Remember how you couldn't pass healthcare via reconciliation?  End result:  When push came to shove, Obamacare was passed via reconciliation.  

                Begs the question:  Why wasn't it done with majorities in both houses of Congress and FOR a better bill?  Why?  Because Obama had given away the store and thought he had cut the perfect deal to please the GOP.  A committee chairman and corporatist ideologue could do no different.  

                By the way, Bush pushed his tax cuts through Congress via reconciliation.  Only Obama didn't have the power.  

                And one more thing:  Since the new line in the sand is the extension of UI benefits, how about Obama find a way to release that money via executive order?  Why?  See above, please.

          •  He has high marks for refusing your advice. (0+ / 0-)

            You're confusing cause and effect.  If Obama had acted like republicans, putting the economy at risk and jettisoning common sense in order to show that he has big balls to complaining partisans, he'd have congress's scores.

             I don't know how you think Obama succeeds by adopting the tactics of the party that has a shelf life of two months by all appearences, just like I don't know why you think the country does better by adopting republican's premises on austerity.

            One piece of free advice to the GOP: Drop the culture wars, explicitly.

            by Inland on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 08:33:25 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Fact is, everyone knows the republicans are at (0+ / 0-)

              fault. That's why their ratings are so low. Obama stands to do nothing but gain from standing up to them. Just like Clinton did when R's shut the government down.

              Check out his ratings next month if he continues to give the R's their victories that everyone except him seems to recognize as fucking over the country.

              Physics is bulls**t. Don't let them fool you. Fire IS magic.

              by Pescadero Bill on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 08:46:42 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Because O made it clear by offering compromises. (0+ / 0-)

                The public knows Rs are at fault because they are: while you can look at O's bargaining and claim it faulty or whatever, nobody can say that he's not trying to avoid the disaster.  

                It would be different if O were, in fact, NOT trying particularly hard to avoid the harm of the cliff, as bbb suggests he should have done.

                One piece of free advice to the GOP: Drop the culture wars, explicitly.

                by Inland on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 08:57:16 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  You people always think this about (5+ / 0-)

              something personal. It isn't. Some of us actually give a shit about the things that are in the platform.

              And yes, I'd rather Obama be at 25% and defending Democratic Priorities than be at 60% giving them away. Because that is how you make lasting changes that matter.

              Because lets face the reality: The Democratic Party, led by a Democratic President just ratified 98% of the tax policy of the most unpopular president in modern times. A man whose tax policies led us to financial and economic ruin. We just chisled that in stone and called it a Democratic win.

              Next thing you know, we will be passing the Heritage Foundation's healthcare plan and calling that a win. Oh wait...

              Sorry.

              Next thing you know, we will be cutting Social Security and Medicare, straight out of the GOP playbook.

              •  Your math is wrong, and more. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                wewantthetruth

                What Obama ratified was the concept that the rich haven't paid enough.  

                Because the gist of the Bush tax cuts were tax cuts for the rich: Obama didn't ratify 98% OF THE CUTS because MOST OF THE CUTS WENT TO THE RICH.

                He ratified cuts for the ninety eight percent of the people.  Not ninety eight percent of the cuts.

                It's the first tax hike in twenty years that the GOP has agreed to.  He made them agree to a tax hike on the rich.  

                If you think that hiking taxes on the rich is a ratification of the Bush policies, well, then I say, let's have more such ratification!  Let's ratify the fuck out of it!  I'll personally build a statue to George Bush as the founder of progressive taxation, hikes on cap gains taxes, etc.  

                You see, I"m not interested in pouring another ton of cement on the legacy of Bush as the worst president ever.  That's done.  Let's do something worthwhile instead.

                Some of us actually give a shit about the things that are in the platform.
                I'm sure you do.  But I don't see how raising taxes on working men and women get us there.  THAT certainly wasn't in the platform itself, so it has to be a means to a better end.  

                One piece of free advice to the GOP: Drop the culture wars, explicitly.

                by Inland on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 09:08:36 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

  •  Since when does what Obama says mean anything? (5+ / 0-)
    Mr. Turtle cluelessly clamors for debt limit debate that President Obama says he w
    on't get
    •  So your theory is we will agree to cut (0+ / 0-)

      Medicare and Social Security if they agree to raise the debt ceiling. The President said specifically that he messed up last time by negotiating for a new debt ceiling and will not do that again. Since he acknowledged that it was a mistake last time and says he will not make the same mistake again, I believe him.

      •  So you believe he'll let the country default? (0+ / 0-)

        Last time he said the consequences of that were unacceptable.  Now he's ok with it?

        To believe that markets determine value is to believe that milk comes from plastic bottles. Bromley (1985)

        by sneakers563 on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 08:26:03 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes. He said that he made a mistake last (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wewantthetruth

          time by negotiating over the debt ceiling and that he will not make that mistake again. So, it is not simply that he says he won't but that he admitted he made a mistake last time by negotiating over the debt ceiling and that he will not make that mistake again . That is the difference ; that is why I believe that he will not negotiate over the debt ceiling this time or allow it to be any part of the sequester avoidance deal.

          •  OK, just wanted to make sure I understood (0+ / 0-)

            In two months we'll either see 1) the debt ceiling raised independently of any cuts in spending, 2) the President assert that the debt limit is unconstitutional, 3) the President order the minting of a trillion dollar coin, or 4) the country default.  Got it.

            To believe that markets determine value is to believe that milk comes from plastic bottles. Bromley (1985)

            by sneakers563 on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 09:14:56 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  the president does not need to assert (0+ / 0-)

              that the debt limit is unconstitutional.  

              see my comments in post further down line. threatening to default violates the 14th Amendment of the Constitution which was written specifically for this situation during Reconstruction.

              mittens=edsel. no matter how much money is spent to promote it, if the product sucks, no one will buy it.

              by wewantthetruth on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 10:17:50 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Sounds like the same thing to me (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                sneakers563

                I agree that the 14th Amendment option seems like the way to go, but stating that a law violates an amendment is, by definition, stating that the debt limit is unconstitutional.

                Even if you ignore that avenue, how is it that the law capping the debt is more inviolate than the laws that were passed authorizing the spending of the money in the first place? You could ignore the consitutional question and just say "Look - we have incompatible laws at play here, so I'm going to pick the one I like. Feel free to sue in the Supreme Court, which will ignore you."

              •  Huh? (0+ / 0-)

                If he claims that the debt limit violates the 14th Amendment, he's asserting that it's unconstitutional.  

                I happen to think that's correct, by the way, but it will ultimately be decided by the Supreme Court.  

                To believe that markets determine value is to believe that milk comes from plastic bottles. Bromley (1985)

                by sneakers563 on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 11:47:05 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

        •  no one honest is saying default (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          sneakers563

          There's no need for any default because we have taxes to pay interest on the debt and roll it over.

          There's no default in the cards.

          There might be a big government shutdown to cut expenses to match revenue, but not default.

        •  the responsibility to pay the bills ... (0+ / 0-)

          ...lies in Congress. If the country default it will be Congress that will have let it do so.

          threatening default violates the 14th Amendment in the Constitution which was specifically written for this reason during Reconstruction.

          less than 2 years before mid-terms, GOP is not going to risk the hell they would receive.  they think they have all the leverage bu they have little. both sides do not want default so where is there a point to negotiate on this?

          O has made his point. he has to do nothing else. it's in Congress court.

          mittens=edsel. no matter how much money is spent to promote it, if the product sucks, no one will buy it.

          by wewantthetruth on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 10:14:39 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  NO! WE won't agree to it.... Obama WILL!! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        getagrip already

        What he says means absolutely nothing!  Did you not just see what happened two days ago.

        Corporations before people.... it's the American way!

        by Lucy2009 on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 09:05:22 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Scarborough is predicting the demise of the GOP (10+ / 0-)

    keeping the House in 2014 if there is more brinkmanship and strife.

    Americans are getting sick of it.  Scarborough said that even with gerrymandered seats the Dems will win the House in 2014 based upon the Republicans' continued antics.

    Scarborough did predict that the Democrats would take the House & Senate in 2006 based upon Republican dysfunction.  He says that he is seeing it now and if it gets worse (which may happen), Republicans can kiss the House goodbye in 2014 for Seniors will turn against them who will be big voters in the midterms.

    He said this on Morning Joe this morning.

    President Obama, January 9, 2012: "Change is hard, but it is possible. I've Seen it. I've Lived it."

    by Drdemocrat on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 07:41:17 AM PST

    •  I concur with Scarborough's assessment (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TomP, Vote4Obamain2012, Drdemocrat

      As I wrote in the comment right below this one, I see two possible outcomes in the debt ceiling fight: either Obama wins, or Republicans lose in 2014.

      Of course, Dems will have to win very, very big to retake the house: per ThinkProgress by 7.25 points to achieve a bare majority. But their 2006 blowout was an almost 8 point victory, so it's not impossible.

    •  By the way, this is why he is worth keeping around (0+ / 0-)

      Joe Scarborough and Michael Steele are among the voices of reason that will someday guide their party back from the brink and out from the wilderness. We need voices like these; they are invaluable to have, even if we disagree with them on most of the issues.

  •  What we progressives need to do... (5+ / 0-)

    Here's what I would like someone to do; unfortunately I don't have the skills or knowledge to do it myself.

    The whole discussion about cutting the deficit and debt is about cuts to social programs. Well, what about defense, payments to agribusiness, price supports, etc?

    I would love to see some liberal experts (Paul Krugman? others?) propose cuts to other programs and lead with "Here are the cuts we really need to make." As Occupy did when it changed the conversation to the 1%, we need to change the conversation to "Sure, here are the cuts we need: Cut Defense 10%, cut agriculture support payments to any agribusiness making over $200,00, etc."

    Push for what we think is best, rather than just defend Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. The best defense is often a good offense.

    Does anyone on DailyKos or other Netroots blogs have the expertise to do a proposal along these lines, and soon?

    If the right defends defense as we defend social programs, and we get a stalemate with few to no changes, that's fine too!

    •  Krugman has laid this out many times (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TomP, Aspe4, mightymouse, BroadwayBaby1

      In particular to the point you are making he talked about Cantor's hypocrisy on "weaponized Keynesianism" [what a term btw] but he's been all over this stuff.  

      But Krugman's larger point - which bears repeating - is that the convo needs to be changed to, what are we going to be about jobs?  Aka the single biggest thing we could do to address our long-term deficit.  

      IIRC there's someone around here who does have a fairly big megaphone aka Bully Pulpit...

    •  Did you see this? (5+ / 0-)

      Move Single Payer Forward? Join 18,000 Doctors of PNHP and 185,000 member National Nurses United

      by divineorder on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 08:02:43 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  posted earlier/elsewhere (0+ / 0-)

      30% cuts to defense
      elimination of oils subsidies
      elimination on farm subsidies
      closing tax loopholes

      based on 2012 financials nets $3.79 billion annually which is $3.79 trillion over the ten year period.

      add in real tax reform, medical cost savings such as US negotiating drug prices. additional change to corporate capital gains increase in tax in funds not reinvested in business.............. likely another $1.5-2.0 trillion on top of that.

      this needs to be done first and when done, we can look at earned benefits but won't be necessary.

      Additionally, once economy can sustain a growth rate of +3.5& there will be additional room for tax increases if needed plus current number are estimated on less than 3.5% annual growth so there is potentially significant other revenue w/o raising additional taxes.

      GOP goal is to get rid of earned benefits and further line pockets of the 2%.  we should never weaken the 98% to the benefit of the other 2%.

      mittens=edsel. no matter how much money is spent to promote it, if the product sucks, no one will buy it.

      by wewantthetruth on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 10:27:42 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  This conflict will determine (10+ / 0-)

    Obama's presidency and the fate of our democracy.  If economic terrorists can  obtain tribute in this matter, creating minority rule by House Republicans, we have no democracy.

    The Innauguration and SOTU have to address this core principle.

    If we give in to Republican terorism, America will be defeated.    

    Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

    by TomP on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 07:42:47 AM PST

    •  We have met the enemy and it is the GOP nt (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Vote4Obamain2012, TomP, TheLizardKing

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

      by JML9999 on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 07:46:10 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I think it's wrong to say that Obama (4+ / 0-)

      gave up all his leverage in this deal. I thought that myself initially, but he has at least 2 major speeches to give between now and the next "cliff", plus, I'm guessing, another one of the situation specifically, or perhaps a live news conference, plus likely interviews with major media outlets (I'd love to see him go on Fox, right in the belly of the beast). And I don't believe that Repubs are quite as crazy and stupid as they'd like us to believe. If Obama holds firm--a big if, I know--then we can avoid the worst, and maybe even do some good things, like get Medicare to negotiate drug prices and cut some unnecessary defense spending. We'll almost certainly have to give up something, though, and we need to understand that and decide what that might be.

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

      by kovie on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 07:58:07 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You might be right, but even if he did, (5+ / 0-)

        we are here now and the underlying principle of opposing rule by minority terrorist tactics is even greater than and spending or tax issue.  It's one for the history books.  Like Andrew Jackson standing against nullification or Lincoln against succession.  Normalizing the threat to destroy the economy by failing to pass the debt ceiling increase undermines our entire system of government.

        The Rs, with their control of the House, should be able to force a compromise on some issues because of voting, but to dictate terms of surrender based on threats to the economy cannot be normalized.  

        Even the destruction of the economy is not a price too high to pay for preventing this from becoming business as usual.   In other words, refusing to negotiate with terrorists is worth letting them shoot the hostage because the resulting uproar and destruction of the Republcian party will ensure the tactic is retired.  

        I hope the President means what he says and will not negotiate over the debt ceiling.  

        Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

        by TomP on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 08:03:33 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  There is not a majority in either body of congress (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          TomP, Vote4Obamain2012, Aspe4, J M F

          to not raise the debt ceiling or let the government shut down. Not even close. Boehner has got to get control of his caucus and jettison the Hastert Rule permanently and allow majority Dem/minority Repub votes from now on, at least on the really big stuff like this, on the basis of it being more important to do what's best for the country than what a minority of whining teabaggers who've barely been in the house for 2 years want.

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

          by kovie on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 08:07:40 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  That would be good. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            J M F, Vote4Obamain2012

            Then they likely will do a deal most progressives will not like but which will not gut programs.   The debt ceiling must be out of it.

            Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

            by TomP on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 08:09:48 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  We're not going to get any truly progressive (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              TomP

              legislation so long as Repubs control the house, so this is the best we can probably hope for for now, preventing the worst and maybe sneaking in a few good things here and there. Which ain't nothing.

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

              by kovie on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 08:23:03 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  House Speaker is an Interesting Office (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            kovie

            In theory the speaker could come from the minority party or the House could elect someone who isn't even in Congress. It seems like Boehner behaves more like the repug majority leader.

            "The problem with posting quotes off the Internet is you never know if they're genuine."--Gen. George Washington at the Battle of Gettysburg, February 30, 1908

            by Aspe4 on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 08:22:35 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yep (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Aspe4

              I was just thinking that. The majority leader is Cantor, not Boehner, which is speaker of the entire house, which includes Dems, of whom there will now be around 10 more. Meaning that in theory they only need 20 or so breakaway Repubs to pass or block anything. Of course Dems rarely vote in such unison so we're likely talking 25-30 Repubs, but that's still gettable IMO.

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

              by kovie on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 08:26:15 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  ALL Repubs, not just teabaggers, call this a (0+ / 0-)

            SPENDING problem, not a REVENUE problem.

            That's the entire party's position.

            Dems won Round 1.

            Repubs are using the FC deal's 46:1 ratio as a basis for massive cuts.

            •  Well, it is, in part, a spending problem (0+ / 0-)

              Too much spending on defense, drugs, unnecessary medical procedures, tests and devices, corporate subsidies and tax breaks, etc.

              But it's obviously also a revenue problem.

              Most of all, though, it's a recession problem.

              Hopefully Obama & Dems can make the public realize that.

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

              by kovie on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 11:54:40 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  He got his revenue...46:1 to be exact. (0+ / 0-)

                That's off the table, as McConnell has stated.

                •  He can state whatever he wants (0+ / 0-)

                  He doesn't control congress or the legislative agenda. This is how he operates, like a good trial lawyer, presenting opinion as fact and hoping that we buy it. I hope that Dems aren't stupid enough to fall for his showmanship.

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

                  by kovie on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 12:25:18 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I believe they're going to use the CBO's 46:1 (0+ / 0-)

                    score to keep stating that revenues have been obtained and that only spending must be addressed.

                    Based on previous hostage negotiations, if I were McConnell, I'd do the same.

                    •  Spending does need to be addressed (0+ / 0-)

                      Specifically the ones I cited. Dems can play this purely on the spending side if they like. He's probably right that revenue is off the table for now. Doesn't mean that spending has to be drastically cut, though, or that it shouldn't be painful for his side. You want to chain CPI? Ok, then no more thoroughbred horse farm subsidies for Kentucky (I'm guessing that they exist).

                      You want to take out one of mine? I take out one of yours, Mitch.

                      How does he spin that without looking like an idiot?

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

                      by kovie on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 01:05:16 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Well, it depends on your definition of drastic. (0+ / 0-)

                        The FC deal added 4 trillion to the deficit.

                        So, just starting at 4 trillion wouldn't even be a "cut".

                        We'd have to start with 4 trillion to offset the FC deal, then continue with more cuts to actually achieve a "cut".

                        So, an 8 trillion deal would only reduce the deficit by 4 trillion.

                        That's what's scaring me.

                        •  No (0+ / 0-)

                          That $4T number is bogus, a made-up number based on what the sequester would have cut even though it consisted of drastic and haphazard cuts without rhyme or reason, and thus represents no baseline we need taken seriously. It's a political, not a serious economic baseline. No serious economist is calling for this much in deficit reduction right now, which would be disasterous for the still recovering economy. Just because a bunch of reactionaries are trying to destroy the New Deal under the fake guise of deficit reduction doesn't mean that we should accept their dishonest premises. There is no deficit crisis. We don't need to and should not attempt to address the deficit right now, at least not through spending cuts or tax increases, as opposed to through economic stimulus. Rather, any spending cuts and tax increases and reforms should be pursued on their inherent merits and not on any fiscal basis.

                          Of course, that's the ideal. Politics will make it impossible to avoid some talk of and action towards direct deficit reduction. But nowhere near this silly $4T number, because that can't be done directly without recessionary steps such as huge cuts to entitlement programs AND tax increases on the middle class.

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

                          by kovie on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 03:28:50 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  I agree, but that's not what either party is (0+ / 0-)

                            saying.

                            We just increased the deficit by $4T.

                            So, a reduction in the deficit, which is the stated goal, would have to START at $4T in savings.

                            What's critical is ensuring that revenue is part of that, but the FC deal was 46:1 in revenue, so that makes it VERY difficult to try for a 1:1 deal this time.

                          •  They love to talk about cutting the deficit (0+ / 0-)

                            But when it comes down to doing it, through specific spending cuts or tax increases, they suddenly develop amnesia because of the politics. So I'm not terribly worried that we're at serious risk of such cuts. Not gonna happen. They want to LOOK "serious", not actually BE "serious".

                            And really, focusing on cutting the deficit now is the opposite of serious.

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

                            by kovie on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 03:02:16 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

    •  Can we please stop with this "terrorist" bullshit? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dizzzave

      It's politics.  It's rough and tumble negotiating.

      If it is too much for your sensitive nature, maybe you shouldn't watch.

      It's like those nature shows on TV.  Politics should come with a disclaimer:

      The following political negotiations contain tactics, hyperbole and outright lies that may not be suitable for the faint of heart. Viewer discretion is advised.
      BTW - Have you labeled President Obama a terrorist for the following statement?? :
      I will not have another debate with this Congress over whether or not they should pay the bills that they've already racked up
      Seems like a terrorist ultimatum to me..
      •  I disagree. It is economic terrorism. (7+ / 0-)

        They put a gun to the head of our economy to get their way.  Little different from terroism.  

        I will not normalize such tactics as you do.  

        You attitude enables the Republican tactics, just as tradmed does.

        Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

        by TomP on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 08:07:00 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Who was the "terrorist" in the tax talks then? (0+ / 0-)

          Obama and the Dem Senate had all the cards in that deal..  and they got what they wanted by holding tax hikes for 98% of Americans over the heads of the GOP.

          Please.. show me the difference...

          And.. my attitude enables those tactics??  Really?   I actually think that old rag we call the Constitution enables it.. but, hey.. that's just me.

        •  No, only terrorism is "terrorism." (0+ / 0-)

          That word means something very specific, which includes an intent to literally kill people. It can't validly be coupled with another word to mean something else.

          It's like when people say "food porn." No. Only porn is porn. It's dumb. Stop it.

          And don't even think for a moment that you possibly despise Republicans more than I do.

          TS

          twitter: @Timeslayer_

          by Timeslayer on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 10:31:07 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  It is economic terrorism - that is exactly (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TomP, Egalitare, stevemb

        what it is. I agree with TomP.

      •  threatening default (0+ / 0-)

        violates the 14th Amendment of the Constitution which was written during Reconstruction to prevent just this.

        what would you call elected officials that take deliberate action that is in violation of the Constitution.

        neither side wants default so why exactly is this even a supposed negotiation point?

        mittens=edsel. no matter how much money is spent to promote it, if the product sucks, no one will buy it.

        by wewantthetruth on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 10:33:32 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Just an observation on taxes... (6+ / 0-)

    Both McConnell and Obama wanted the payroll tax holiday to end, and they both seem to be ignoring it as they claim they stopped a massive tax hike from occurring.

    From what I've heard around the watercooler and on social media, though, a lot of Americans are just seeing the news as something like, "Congress acted and your paycheck is getting smaller."  The Republicans I know are of course blaming the President for a tax hike.

    I feel bad for the President, actually.  He passed one of the largest tax cuts of all time, and no one noticed.  Now that it's expiring, he's being pegged as an evil tax raising liberal.  If there's any benefit to this, maybe THIS TIME will let the President realize: it doesn't matter what you do - the Republicans will always, always blame you, they will never work with you, and they are not working in the public interest.  

    •  Well he should have realized that long long ago if (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MPociask, J M F, mightymouse, Aspe4

      He was paying attention  

      If there's any benefit to this, maybe THIS TIME will let the President realize: it doesn't matter what you do - the Republicans will always, always blame you, they will never work with you
      But yeah.
    •  Allowing the PTH to expire was probably a good (5+ / 0-)

      thing, as it restores the intended and proper funding source for entitlement programs and closes the small contribution to the deficit created by it, which prevents anyone claiming that these programs contribute to the deficit and opens up money to pay for other things we need, like stimulus.

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

      by kovie on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 08:04:16 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm sympathetic to that argument (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        J M F, rennert

        I think it's where I am, too, but that's not how the media is reporting the story.  My local headline was "Fiscal cliff deal leaves many angry," and the lead was "Facing smaller paychecks this year"

        •  See that's the problem with "temporary" (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          trumpeter, ferg

          tax cuts and subsidies. Once they're in place, people view them as permanent and try to make them so, past their point of utility and justifiability. I'm guessing that it's how subsidies to big oil and coal are justified.

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

          by kovie on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 08:20:14 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  I agree. It was politically stupid to (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MPociask

          let the payroll tax expire at the same time this fiscal cliff deal was made on rates. The media (especially local news) is conflating the two and all people are hearing is that everyone's taxes are going up. It would have been smarter to extend the payroll tax holiday one more year and separate that expiration from this deal.

          I'm a dyslexic agnostic insomniac. I lie awake at night wondering if there's a dog.

          by rennert on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 08:25:26 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Didn't a lot of Kossaks scream about (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FiredUpInCA

        payroll tax cuts being the slippery slope leading to a privatization of SS and Medicare?  Are the same people now arguing that letting them expire is the slippery slope....?

        Let's start with reality.  Despite the endless doomsaying, SS remains strong, Medicare is stronger, Medicaid is stronger, no cuts to earned benefits have occurred.  We sound like Wayne LaPierre when we start with Doomsday X pronouncements.    "Sure, he hasn't come for your guns(SS) YET!  He was just waiting for his second term.  Now he's for sure right outside your door, in person."

        I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

        by I love OCD on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 08:42:38 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Many wanted the payroll cut break to end (0+ / 0-)

      because it made SS vulnerable to political skulduggery. There were plenty of other places to cut or find revenue without that cut.

      But that's done.  Now we need to gird up and push back on the coming threat

      Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid: Out of the Frying Pan and Into the Fire?

      Move Single Payer Forward? Join 18,000 Doctors of PNHP and 185,000 member National Nurses United

      by divineorder on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 10:12:29 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  This should've been explained as the statement (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MPociask

      leads one to believe that NOTHING changed for the middle-class.

      MOST people don't follow this stuff and had NO idea that their paychecks would immediately be less.

      I'm at work and everyone is asking why their paycheck is less...and going WTF?

  •  We can't allow Republicans to filibuster (3+ / 0-)

    everything, just because they can.

    Without judging the substance of the fiscal cliff deal, I liked the way it went through. Pass something reasonable in the Senate, then let the crazies in the House fall on their swords if they wanna.

    “Americans are fighters. We're tough, resourceful and creative, and if we have the chance to fight on a level playing field, where everyone pays a fair share and everyone has a real shot, then no one - no one - can stop us. ”-- Elizabeth Warren

    by Positronicus on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 07:44:24 AM PST

    •  That's true but Mitch extracted too big a ransom (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mightymouse, Positronicus

      As a price - on the filibuster, we have to call their bluff, if they're going to filibuster popular legislation, make them actually, like, do that.  

      It was one thing for Strom Thurmond to go down and read the phone book or whatever - but now this stuff is televised, my ass a stunt like that could last for very long with the cameras running 24-7 and news cycles to fill.

    •  Govt shut down is scary...can't happen...must (0+ / 0-)

      negotiate to avoid it...imagine the pain.

  •  So now would be a good time to have a disaster (5+ / 0-)

    plan for when the GOP declares the US Government bankrupt. I see no reason that the 113th is any less psychotic than the 112th.

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

    by JML9999 on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 07:45:09 AM PST

  •  Mr. Magoo (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Timothy J

    "Oh Magoo, you've done it again!"

  •  Well, Jed, Obama will cave again on the (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MPociask, penguins4peace, Aspe4, Lucy2009

    debt ceiling raise, just like he did on the $250,000. I don't trust him to hold firm at all.

    •  Obama did not cave on the $250,000 limit. On this (4+ / 0-)

      O'Donnell was correct. Chuck Schumer and other Democrats (esp. in richer states like NY, Cal., and Conn.) wanted a higher #. $400,000-$450,000 was a successful figure.

      Delenda est filibuster!

      by TofG on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 07:49:50 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

        •  too bad his congressional comrades (0+ / 0-)

          did not go along with it...

          during the election both schuler and pelosi are on public record wanting the limit to be $1.0 million.

          you want the same things, you need to need to be on the same page.

          O was not just negotiating with boner, he was negotiating with his side of Congress. it's how it goes and not fair to lay it all on the president.

          not the first time someone campaigned on something. most educated observers are aware these are best case scenarios and I believe he wanted that but in the system we govern in, you can't do it alone.

          mittens=edsel. no matter how much money is spent to promote it, if the product sucks, no one will buy it.

          by wewantthetruth on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 10:46:19 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  It was in the 2012 platform (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AmericanAnt
        To help spur economic growth, President Obama and the Democratic Party cut taxes for every working family—providing $3,600 in tax relief to the typical family over the President's first term in office—and we are committed to extending the middle class tax cuts for the 98 percent of American families who make less than $250,000 a year, and we will not raise taxes on them.
        So now it could be amended to read "President Obama and the Democratic party..... are committed to extending the middle class tax cuts for.... families who make less than $450,000 a year".

        You can say you think it was okay for him to break the vow but saying he didn't campaign on it is false.

      •  DKos primer on How Bills Are Passed (3+ / 0-)

        Although Congress originates, writes and passes all legislation as mandated by the U.S. Constitution, the President is solely and personally responsible for the content of all bills that are disapproved of at Daily Kos and he plays no meaningful role at whatsoever in bills that are approved of, like ending Don't Ask, Don't Tell or the parts of healthcare reform that are supported here.

        The choice of our lifetime: Mitt Romney, It Takes A Pillage or President Barack Obama, Forward Together.

        by FiredUpInCA on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 08:40:03 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Primary the traitors in 2014. n/t (0+ / 0-)

        Corporations before people.... it's the American way!

        by Lucy2009 on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 09:10:55 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  So how will the Caver-In-Chief go? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MPociask, mightymouse

    Will Obama say he won't negotiate then cave as he usually does?  What exactly did Harry Reid burn anyway?  Was it a cave-in from the WH on taxes?  Having voted for Obama twice he scares me.  I think he oversteps the bounds of civility when dealing with the rabble in congress.  He should lay it out and let them make bigger fools of themselves, not keep his supporters dangling as he slides into the consession pit.

  •  When McConnell says "...the truth is..." (5+ / 0-)

    You can be certain that the next utterance will be complete b.s.

    Exhibit A:

    ...the truth is, the only thing we can do to solve the nation’s fiscal problem is to tackle government spending head on — and particularly, spending on health care programs...

    "She was very young,he thought,...she did not understand that to push an inconvenient person over a cliff solves nothing." -1984

    by aggressiveprogressive on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 07:48:31 AM PST

  •  sequester cuts will take place. We will default on (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FiredUpInCA, wewantthetruth

    our debt. The reason is simple: President Obama and the Senate Democrats will not agree to chained CPI cut or raising Medicare eligibility age unless they get major tax revenue. The GOP controlled house will never agree to more higher taxes. The Senate Dems will certainly not agree to those concessions without giving something major in return.

    The President is not going to negotiate over the debt ceiling . So, the GOP will have a choice: either agree to a clean debt ceiling bill or be responsible for the default. They will not agree to a clean debt ceiling bill and the President will not accept anything but a clean debt ceiling bill. So, we will default. A while after we default , Wall Street will pressure House GOP to capitulate. House GOP will be hated by the country . Even with all of the gerrymandering and the concentration of our voters in urban areas , the GOP brand will be so toxic that we will win back the House of Representatives.  

    •  First there will be a rolling shutdown (7+ / 0-)

      of the government before there is default. Republicans are already talking it up.

      That's a good thing for both sides, provided one side doesn't blink. Let's hope they don't because we need this sort of hard catharsis.

      The only way to defeat Republicans is to break them. You can't outfox them. You have to destroy them. That is the only way.

      •  We must default. We have to get a clean (0+ / 0-)

        debt ceiling bill or default. If we negotiate at all about being willing to give up something (no matter how small - no matter what it is) , then the negotiation will have started and we will have lost. If it starts at all , then we have lost. I will lose a lot of my support and belief in the President if he says he is willing to give up some item in exchange for them raising the debt ceiling.

        Right now, I am basing my hope that he will not negotiate for the debt ceiling not simply because he said but because he acknowledged that last time when he negotiated for the raising of the debt ceiling it was a mistake and that he will not make that mistake .

        The President has kept some of his promises and broken others - going against his word. However, so far, to my knowledge he has not admitted he messed up by doing something and then done the same thing all over again .
        The acknowledgment that he messed up by negotiating to raise the debt ceiling and the statement that he will not repeat that statement are what make this time different in my mind.

        •  Well, we wont default. Its not even (4+ / 0-)

          legally possible to default. The president will have to shut down the government and use the incoming revenues to pay interest. Now once that is not enough, then you'll have true default which means "we can't pay interest payments."

          We're a long way away from that kind of outcome.

          But lets hope you're right. Unfortunately, it was us crazy nutcase Obama hating purists who were screaming to the rafters..."do not negotiate over the debt ceiling" and we were told by obama worshippers that we were being stupid and that "he's got this." Just like liberals say a lot of things which prove correct over time. Reality has a liberal bias.

          Well, now he even sees that was stupid so lets hope so. But I think he's bluffing personally.

  •  He's bluffing (3+ / 0-)

    When the first card that you play is your trump card, your ace in the hole card, your do not use except in case of emergency card, then you've basically let everyone know that it's the only card you hold of any value. Which drastically reduces its actual value in the event that you're crazy enough to play it, given the political and economic price of playing it. I see this less as a power play by McConnell than a desperation play. His party got clipped in this deal and he's just trying to salvage his sense of manhood. Has Elaine been cold to him?

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

    by kovie on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 07:48:50 AM PST

  •  Why in the world would I think Obama will keep his (6+ / 0-)

    word on THIS one?  He hasn't even started his second term and he's already violated his primary campaign promise to raise taxes on everyone over $250k.  I'm not necessarily bashing him for his turd of a fiscal cliff deal, I'm simply stating a fact.  Obama always caves in comparison to his tough words.  The upcoming debt limit fight will be no different.  My guess is there will be something in the neighborhood of at minimum a 3:1 ratio (maybe even 5:1) of spending cuts vs. tax increases that comes out of the debt limit hostage fight.

    Sad thing is, if Obama had the necessary brass (thank you Bill!) he'd invoke the 14th and raise the debt limit without Congress, look them in the eye, tell them to go fuck themselves and that debt limit will never be a hostage again.

  •  Obama has ALREADY caved on negotiating (5+ / 0-)

    Over the debt ceiling.  Weren't we paying attention?  As part of the fiscal cliff negotiations he tried to get a permanent extension of the debt ceiling.  When that didn't work, he asked for a 2 year extension of the debt ceiling.  He settled for NO extension of the debt ceiling.
    Ant conversation about whether he wil hold firmly to his statement that he won't negotiate the debt ceiling is already moot.  He already threw himself under the bus.

    •  asdf (0+ / 0-)

      Medicare and Social Security if they agree to raise the debt ceiling. The President said specifically that he messed up last time by negotiating for a new debt ceiling and will not do that again. Since he acknowledged that it was a mistake last time and says he will not make the same mistake again, I believe him.

  •  Poor Mitch (0+ / 0-)

    "Fascism is attracting the dregs of humanity- people with a slovenly biography - sadists, mental freaks, traitors." - ILYA EHRENBURG

    by durrati on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 07:51:11 AM PST

  •  I will not have another debate with THIS Congress (6+ / 0-)

    THAT congress is history (bad history at that) and Obama's quote is thus meaningless.

    Out of my cold dead hands

    by bluelaser2 on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 07:53:40 AM PST

  •  Prez Obama doesn't need to be part of the debate, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    J M F, AmericanAnt

    quite frankly.

    Boehner has signaled he is done dealing directly with the White House.  He has indicated he will follow the normal legislative process.

    If that holds true, this will all be fought out in Congress.  And, the President will get his chance to vote yea or nay when it's all over.

    Whether or not that will happen is anyone's guess.  But, it will be interesting to see how the dynamics work out.

    As it is, neither the White House nor Boehner have proved to be very effective (or shrewd) negotiators these past few years.

  •  Wondering what Obama's strategy is... (0+ / 0-)

    Given the upcoming deadlines concurrent with the debt ceiling, I can't figure a way that the debt limit is not inextricably tied to upcoming negotiations. I'm optimistic about our outcomes but don't see how this pledge not to negotiate over the debt ceiling works in practice.

    Of course, a massive PR campaign coupled with a rallying of CEOs for support would put Rs in a rather untenable position if their warpath leads to government shutdowns, furloughs and recession. More poison for an already toxic brand, but like LaTourette said these guys are a bunch of chuckleheads begging to be martyred.

    If Obama does this right - and I believe he will - there are two possible outcomes: either he wins, or the Republicans lose (in 2014... and beyond).

  •  Why? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    andersr, penguins4peace

    Why the gratuitous insult to turtles, who are noble and useful members of the animal kingdom? Comparing them to McConnell seems like a calculated slur on them.

    The Bush Family: 0 for 4 in Wisconsin

    by Korkenzieher on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 07:56:52 AM PST

  •  its not SPENDING on healthcare that's the (5+ / 0-)

    Problem.  It's the COSTS of healthcare.  We spend a lot on Medicare,not because of some internal problem with Medicare, but because healthcare costs OUTSIDE  of the Medicare program keep going up.  Cutting spending inside the program is a logically useless action, because the costs OUTSIDE of the program will keep going up, and will eat whatever "savings" are generated by reducing spending inside the program.

  •  Will He or Won't He? (4+ / 0-)

    "As long as he refuses to negotiate over their threat to sabotage the economy, they can pontificate all they want, but will in the end still face a binary choice: default or no default."

    "but as long as President Obama keeps his word...."

    And THAT is the rub.  WILL he keep his word?  I'm afraid that he has a murky record here.

    For someone who has been billed as an FDR scholar, I am stunned that he knows so little about, or has learned so little from, Franklin Roosevelt.  FDR didn't lead the country out of the miasma of the Great Depression  by seeking opportunities to cave in to the Republicans; he did it by deciding that on some issues he needed to stand pat and be resolute.

    Obama could well start channeling Martin Luther:  "Here I stand.  I can do no other.  God help me, Amen!"  I know that I would develop a far greater respect for him if he would adopt Luther's stance and philosophy.

    Someone said it well:  "It's time for Obama to man up." Frankly, in my opinion, it is WAY past time!

    •  what does he have to do to man up? (0+ / 0-)

      Maybe an actual measuring of dick size?  That appears to be the major issue when large groups of males convene.  

      Maybe women need to run the entire country.  We seem less concerned about manliness, more interested in who's going to be hurt if we don't prove how tough we are.  Most of this conversation seems to be focused on testosterone issues.  Defaulting on our debts isn't a fucking circle jerk, it's a worldwide economic meltdown that makes The Great Depression look like a picnic.  Platinum coins?  Executive power grabs?  

      How about smart politics?  'You can't refuse to pay the bills you racked up' is the only leverage he needs.

      I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

      by I love OCD on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 09:04:02 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  "You can't raise taxes on 100% of America" (0+ / 0-)

        was huge leverage...he negotiated anyway.

        •  really, that's the only way to see this? (0+ / 0-)

          Because Republicans are capable of exploding bombs if they're not hurting gated communities.  They'd LOVE to have tax cuts and the debt ceiling be the same fight.  Where exactly is their leverage now?  Obama has 2 major speeches coming up, and I'm betting there will be charts and graphs delineating Republican's share of the national debt.  Also a lot of talk about job creation by Dems vs Reps, and when is our economy strongest, and has a Republican ever created a surplus.  It's hardball time and Obama is widely thought to be a gifted hardball player, outside the blogosphere.  We're invested in denigrating him because he's not the bully we wanted, the guy who'd hurt those meanies after 8 years of BS Bush.  

          I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

          by I love OCD on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 12:51:25 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  McConnell continues to generate propaganda. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FiredUpInCA

    It continues to take my breath away every time these people lie so easily.

  •  The issuer of a currency does not "borrow" its (3+ / 0-)

    own currency.
    Imagine a milk cow borrowing milk from the bull.

    The only reason this farce "works" is because a lot of people are unclear about cause and effect.

    We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

    by hannah on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 08:01:18 AM PST

  •  ummm... (6+ / 0-)

    Didn't we just see the president back down on his $250,000 line in the sand? Kos is right: he has zero history of standing up to economic terrorism.

    Count me as someone who would have preferred the cliff, and who does not expect anything good to come from "Debt Ceiling 2: Electric Boogaloo"

    •  LOL. Tipped. I Agree w/ Your Whole Comment (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      newpioneer, AmericanAnt

      but especially tipped for :

      "Debt Ceiling 2: Electric Boogaloo"
      The Federal Government needs to hold break dancing contests to raise revenue. :-)

      "The problem with posting quotes off the Internet is you never know if they're genuine."--Gen. George Washington at the Battle of Gettysburg, February 30, 1908

      by Aspe4 on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 08:37:14 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  McConnell's usually frank political assesments (6+ / 0-)

    always interest me. If you look back, McTurtle is refreshingly frank about his political strategies.

    The problem I see here is that I find im starting to think the White House is bluffling on negotiating the debt ceiling. I mean, they bluffed big time about the cliff. That's been revealed.

    I don't see how they sit and negotiate over the sequester and broad based tax reform of some sort when the debt ceiling problems are happening at the same time. Especially now that they've gone and blown a $4 trillion dollar hole in the budget in the form of yet another tax cut.

  •  So despite (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Inland, FiredUpInCA

    Matt Yglesias, Greg Sargent, Ezra Klein and Krugman saying that the WH did not do bad at all in this negotiations we have here the never ending carrousel of Obama makes Mammoth Cave little, Obama is the worst negotiator ever and beyond any known galaxy, Obama can't fill the wholes in a box of cheerios, Obama wanted to give entitlements away but Eric Cantor saved us, Obama's word is worth less than a post in a blog ....

    I think the stage is being set for fracking and that's what Obama is going to do. He is going to ask for revenues and seems pretty adamant on not giving much over the debt ceiling. The Republicans would have to name the cuts publicly.

    •  Not so fast (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      schnecke21
      If Obama stands his ground in that confrontation, this deal won’t look bad in retrospect. If he doesn’t, yesterday will be seen as the day he began throwing away his presidency and the hopes of everyone who supported him.
      That's the end of Krugman's post about it. Not quite the picture you painted, sorry.

      Why Mitch McConnell would possibly imagine that Obama might not stick to his vow about not giving them anything for holding the debt ceiling rise approval hostage I can't imagine, after all Obama "seemed pretty adamant" that 250K was the absolute limit and he stuck with that, right?

      We don't know yet, but I'd save the high praise for at least six weeks. Hold onto your hat, we could end up miles from here.

    •  People here are bullshitting: the new "activism" (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Iberian, FiredUpInCA, wewantthetruth

      is saying things that are manifestly untrue in order to give Obama incentive to do something.

      It was true during the ACA debate, and since.  Our resident messaging geniuses and "activists" (armando distinguishing between activists and people who actually do something, like organizing or thinking or planning or winning elections) have no tools in the box except complaint and turning the volume up to eleven.

      What's really bizarre is that the "activists" adhere to the teaparty model of political action: constant carping, constant crying of betrayal and stabs in the back, and refusal to accept anything but surrender from opponents...who are just about everybody.   That virus killed its host party in two years.  

      One piece of free advice to the GOP: Drop the culture wars, explicitly.

      by Inland on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 08:18:21 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Wanna bet? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sk7326
    Mr. Turtle cluelessly clamors for debt limit debate that President Obama says he won't get
    I'll bet not only will Obama debate the debt limit, he'll find a few things to sweeten the deal for the GOP.  

    I love betting on a sure thing.  

  •  So Turtle-Man (0+ / 0-)

    is trying to define the discussion again, eh?

    I think it's time to disillusion him, and keep talking about the stuff he wants to be 'over'.

    I am not religious, and did NOT say I enjoyed sects.

    by trumpeter on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 08:18:37 AM PST

  •  No fuckin way Medicare survives the way it is. (0+ / 0-)

    I have 2 parents who are on Medicare and the amount of money Medicare allows them to spend is unsustainable.

    "It's no measure of health being well adjusted to a profoundly sick society"

    by buckshot face on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 08:18:53 AM PST

  •  Mr Chin Eater is totally right on his bet ... (0+ / 0-)

    for the President, a bipartisan compromise is the goal - not a tool to a good outcome, but the outcome itself.  We saw how quickly he raced from a hard line first offer on the fiscal hiccup to "everything is on the table, i'm even offering a teaspoon of social security".  This is how he has rolled for four years - the idea that he won't be ever so maleable again is silly.

  •  Joe Biden's role (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Vote4Obamain2012, FiredUpInCA

    in the fiscal cliff negotiations was to convince the Democratic caucuses in the Senate and in the House that there will be no negotiations over the debt ceiling. It appears as though he succeeded in convincing them, and they voted to pass H.R. 8 according to that assurance.  IMO, this in turn has increased public awareness that negotiating over the debt ceiling must not happen, unified Democratic legislators' resolve that it must not happen, and lended PBO another layer of support that it must not happen.  We will hear it again in the inaugural address and in the SotU.  I dare to be optimistic.

  •  Dead Beat McConnell (0+ / 0-)

    I thought we got rid of Dead Beat Joe Walsh.  Now we have another set of Dead Beats to deal with -- led by Mitch McConnell and the rest of the idiot Republicans?  We need to start referring to McConnell as the Dead Beat Senator.

  •  Pres Obama is playing semantics here... (0+ / 0-)

    He will not negotiate over the debt ceiling, but will negotiate over the sequester cuts.  Notice how Reid and Senate Dems were unwilling to give on kicking the can down the road a short term, but Biden did it no problem?  And it's a two month delay, while the debt ceiling will hit in early March.  So the sequester cuts deadline will be March 1st, days before any debt ceiling, so any and all negotiating ( and capitulation) will be done over sequester cuts deal making, and with that deal out of the way the Pres will get his clean debt ceiling raise a week or so later.  

    Presto.  Obama can claim he stayed firm on not negotiating over debt ceiling raise, while still negotiating away entitlement cuts out the wazoo.  

    President Obama would have been a Republican in the 1980's.

    by Jacoby Jonze on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 08:33:45 AM PST

    •  not semantics (0+ / 0-)

      two completely different things

      debt limit is money already spent by congress that US is liable for.

      sequestor is cutting future spending.

      mittens=edsel. no matter how much money is spent to promote it, if the product sucks, no one will buy it.

      by wewantthetruth on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 10:52:03 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  He's making grand claim that he will not negotiate (0+ / 0-)

        over debt ceiling because he'll do all the required by GOP caving over the sequester deal is my point.  

        So he'll agree to draconian cuts to social programs to stave off sequester cuts as the official story, but in reality he'll be cutting a backroom deal where all the caving he does on sequester deal is for a clean Debt Ceiling raise the week later.  

        President Obama would have been a Republican in the 1980's.

        by Jacoby Jonze on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 10:56:52 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Something being missed (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wewantthetruth, MBishop1

    Leverage remains in being seen to defend popular programs. Sure, the president will negotiate eventually but this starting point is far better than offering even minor cuts iat the outset in exchange for the debt ceiling. The advantage for Democrats in all this is that the electorate wanted increased taxes for the rich and they don't want their entitlements to be slashed. Whatever happens in the next deal (there will be stuff progressives really hate) the key politically will be to make Republicans own it. I see plenty opportunity in this fight.

    "What do you mean "conspiracy"? Does that mean it's someone's imaginings and that the actual polls hovered right around the result?" - petral

    by conspiracy on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 08:36:36 AM PST

    •  i'm with you (0+ / 0-)

      just because mcconnell and GOP say it's "done" does not make it so.

      by time vote comes around, O ha Inaugural Address and State of Union addresses.

      he opens the year at close to 55% favorable and that should go up a little w/o the two addresses.

      the polls pretty heavily favor not touching earned benefits and less than two years prior to midterms, the GOP would be committing political suicide to go after anything on earned benefits.

      now that boner had broken the hastert rule and with a slightly different Congress this may all work out differently.

      quite frankly, I don't see the GOP having the leverage that they think that they do.

      mittens=edsel. no matter how much money is spent to promote it, if the product sucks, no one will buy it.

      by wewantthetruth on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 10:56:18 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Still holding out hope? (0+ / 0-)

    Hope that Obama will do what he says he will do?  Not me.  He's made it clear that he wants a grand bargain which will include cuts to SS and Medicare.  He'll negotiate alright, but he'll get around his promise not to by saying that he's actually negotiating the sequestration which, coincidentally, comes up at the exact same time as the debt ceiling debate.  Obama's just using lawyerly obfuscation of his intent to deal away the New DEal for a raw deal.

    It's not caving or capitulation...it's what Obama really, really wants.

  •  Obama can just change his mind and go (0+ / 0-)

    "Constitutional" using the 14th amendment.

    The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned.
    How awesome would that be?

    Do you really think the GOP would want to take him to court to ensure the US doesn't pay its bills?

    The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy;the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness

    by CTMET on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 09:00:55 AM PST

  •  McConnell is wrongheaded and Obama will cave. n/t (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tuffie, getagrip already

    Corporations before people.... it's the American way!

    by Lucy2009 on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 09:03:22 AM PST

  •  The GOP doesn't care about default (0+ / 0-)

    The party is insane.  Obama is all too sane.  He will cave quickly and deeply and tell us he hasn't.

    Why do we believe otherwise?

    When has he not caved?

    And in his defense, given the fact the Republicans are nihilistic lunatics, what choice does he have?

    •  The nihilistic lunatics just caved 2 days ago. (0+ / 0-)

      Their overlords won't allow them to default, same as the last time this came up.

      There's a track record and it's always the same.

      So, blinking and offerering concessions isn't necessary.

  •  But don't they hold all the cards in next round? (0+ / 0-)

    I don't want it to be true, but it seems like Obama has no leverage to stop the spending cuts.

    The bill to stop the "fiscal cliff" agreed on taxes and to delay spending cuts for two months.  In two months, the spending WILL be cut without a new agreement.  But why should the Republicans make a new agreement?  If they refuse to stop the spending cuts, what can Obama and the Democrats do about it?

  •  The key words are ... (0+ / 0-)

    "as long as President Obama keeps his word". Just like he kept his word on protecting incomes under $250,000, er, $450,000. What's an 80% difference among friends?

    A waist is a terrible thing to mind.

    by edg on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 09:45:12 AM PST

    •  dedcutions were lowered (0+ / 0-)

      for the wealthy so revenue stream is same.

      people need to look at the details rather than just read what other people post.

      mittens=edsel. no matter how much money is spent to promote it, if the product sucks, no one will buy it.

      by wewantthetruth on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 10:58:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Here is the REAL cliff... (0+ / 0-)
    On July 31, 2012, a tentative deal was announced to fund the government from October 2012 through March 2013 through a continuing resolution, with spending rates slightly higher than the FY2012 levels. The deal was reached because Republicans were eager to avoid a prolonged dispute that could threaten a government shutdown just before the upcoming 2012 general elections.[12] The bill, the Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2013, was passed in the House 329–91,[13] passed in the Senate 62–30,[14] and signed by President Obama on September 28, 2012.[15]
    Two months brings us to March 1 more or less for the debt ceiling.  The continuing resolution expires the end of March.

    "It's the budget stupid" should be on everyone's mind.  The house can simply not vote to extend funding and there isn't a thing the dems can do to get around it.

    O will negotiate a lot of cuts at that point.  This isn't the debt ceiling, it's funding for day-to-day operations.  He may also be forced into tax cuts.

    The tax issue isn't over either.

  •  Is campaigning to raise the eligibility age (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    splintersawry

    for SS and Medicare, both popular programs, likely to wear well with a public increasingly tired of such psychodramas? It's not a winning strategy.

  •  The fiscal cliff deal was a moderate (0+ / 0-)

    victory for the President.  I dislike his negotiating style as I believe he confused Congress and the American people by tying the grand bargain with the middle class tax rates issue, and I think he offered too many concessions far too early in the process.

    However, the end result is actually not bad, and in fact gives the Democrats much of what we wanted.  In that sense I agree with Krugman.

    On the debt ceiling issue McConnell has far less leverage than he thinks.  Obama got what he wanted on unemployment insurance extensions, tax rates and investments.  He doesn't need to negotiate on any of those things.   Obama and the country can afford to hold out for a long while as the current fiscal year is funded through October.

    The markets and the business interests who backed the GOP in 2011 won't be quite so supportive this time.  The business community has accepted the election results and wants to move on.

     

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

    by khyber900 on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 10:44:20 AM PST

  •  Mr. Turtle? (0+ / 0-)

    I think he looks more like a plucked turkey.

  •  With THIS Congress (0+ / 0-)

    "While I will negotiate over many things, I will not have another debate with this Congress over whether or not they should pay the bills that they've already racked up through the laws that they've passed."

    Weasel words. Of course he's not going to have another debate with THAT Congress because the Congress he was speaking about was the 112th Congress, not the 113th (the one he will be dealing with for the next two years). He will be more than happy to debate with the 113th Congress whether or not they should pay the bills they've already racked up.

  •  Obama says no, means bug me till it's yes. (0+ / 0-)

    My very much ex of many years ago had this habit.  Her default answer was NO to virtually anything.  When her son, my stepson, asked anything the immediate answer was no but what she really meant was give me time to say yes.  He quickly realized that when his mother said no it didn't mean no it meant yes but later.  On the other hand I would say I'll think about it and then it was yes or no and no meant no.  Well of course you can see the parenting problem this created and went a long way toward why my ex is ex.  

    A bad idea isn't responsible for those who believe it. ---Stephen Cannell

    by YellerDog on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 10:52:59 PM PST

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