2001 - President Bush, salivating at a huge budget surplus, decides to reward his richest buddies and supporters with mind-bogglingly large tax cut. Because of the lack of support, the tax cuts were temporary, with a specific date of expiration.
2010 - Against his better judgment, the advice of sober, sane and rational economists, and against the will of the majority of the people, President Obama extends the Bush tax cuts for two more years.
2013 - The tax cuts for people earning more than $450,000 a year expire. The Bush/Obama tax cuts for everyone else are made "permanent."
FROM THE CHURCH OF INEFFABLE STUPIDITY:
Talking heads and TV prognosticators all bemoaned how the Obama Administration had dealt themselves into a corner. By making the tax cuts for incomes under $450,000 "permanent," Obama would not be able to raise revenues ever again.This meme has made its way into cable TV, the national press, and through many self-proclaimed experts that pollute the airways with their mindless drivel.
After spending hours of nursing a scotch back to health and a modicum of research, I found two possible sources of this ridiculous meme, people who seemed to promote this idea initially after the deal was done.
First, and foremost, Grover Norquist pushed this idea, claiming that the possibility of any revenue increasing move (translation - tax hikes) was dead as of the passage of the fiscal cliff legislation. More on Grover below.
The second source for this drivel appears to be Luke Russert, a talentless, smug, and woefully inadequate talking head and the penultimate example of how certain apples not only fall far from the tree, but continue to roll into the recycling bin.
When Russert first made this point, I did my very best to ignore it. After all, little Luke has been so miserably, so perfectly, and so consistently wrong about his pet political theories and predictions, that I figured everyone else in the universe would ignore this baffling bit of baseless blather.
Instead of dying an early death, seasoned with appropriate amounts of scorn and derision in an appropriately rude homily, other talking heads took his (and Grover's) ineffably stupid idea up and began discussing it as though it were fact.
The best paraphrasing of Russert's idea is:
Now that Obama has accepted a bad deal on tax cuts, making the current tax structure permanent, Obama can never again seek new revenues from any new taxes. The only way Obama can find new funding is through cutting spending elsewhere.Excuse me, but was Luke Russert homeschooled by an absentee parent? Has Little Luke ever even glanced at the Constitution of the United States? Here is the actual language of Article One, Section Seven:
All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.Tell me, little Luke, WHERE the HELL does it say that Congress can no longer raise revenue as it sees fit, simply because there is no expiration date contained in the current Fiscal Cliff Legislation?
Answer: It doesn't.
Congress has never set aside, given up, changed the constitution, or permanently changed the way it does business. If Congress wanted to raise revenue by taxing overpaid, mostly worthless, functionally illiterate, smug, and moronic sons of dead TV news personalities at a 50% rate, it could do so. If Congress wanted to legalize marijuana, and add a surtax of $1 per joint, it could do so. (and not only would many people rejoice, but Congress would solve all financial difficulties we currently have.) If Congress wanted to tax Orange Skin Dye #8, in a backhanded effort to remove Boehner from office, it could do so.
In one minor way, Little Luke is correct. The tax policy currently passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama is PERMANENT. Until Congress changes its mind.*
(*Changing the House of Representative's mind would require that this collection of TeaBuggered dingbats initially find a working mind, but once that happens, passing any law to raise more revenues, including changing and increasing tax rates, could be accomplished by a simple vote)
- - -
Take Grover Norquist. Please.
Why this lunatic is allowed anywhere near a TV camera continues to confuse me greatly. Claiming that the tax increase on those making more than $450,000 was a victory for him is bad enough. But claiming that Congress is forever incapable of changing, increasing, enhancing, expanding, extending, jacking up, supplementing, or augmenting any part of the revenue structure of this country shows such ineffable ignorance, such raving lunacy, that I find myself shocked.
I have a theory about Grover, who has been baying at the moon like a rabid dog for decades. A libertarian since birth, his most famous quote was, "When I became 21, I decided that nobody learned anything about politics after the age of 21."
In the case of this 56 year old, this appears to be true.
Other doozies from Grover include:
I read murder mysteries. I exercise 40 minutes a day. I watch videotapes while I exercise. I listen to audiotapes when I am in my car. And I try to stay in three different centuries.and the ever popular:
Our goal is to shrink government to the size where we can drown it in a bathtub.He probably should have stuck with murder mysteries.
Grover seemed to score a huge victory back in 2010. By 2009, in great part, due to fear mongering, devious politics, and the investment of millions by the likes of Koch, et al., (along with the questionable aid of Dick Armey) Tea Buggerers began organizing. Local movements were energized, while the Democrats slept, or wept, depending on how they viewed the outlandish hostility in Town Hall meetings.
In 2010, a large of GOP candidates for the House had signed on to Grover's no tax increase pledge. When many of these functional idiots were actually elected, there was a notable change in the new congress. Moving from a barely functioning object of scorn and disgust, the House became totally, irrationally, and disgustingly inept and unworkable. For those who forgot those horrible times, here are the self-proclaimed TeaBuggered class of 2011:
Sandy Adams, FloridaWhat a joy to review this list and see just how many of these unflushed turds have their resumes out, looking for a real job.
Rodney Alexander, Louisiana
Michele Bachmann, Minnesota, Chairmoron of the TeaBuggered Class of 2011.
Roscoe Bartlett, Maryland
Joe Barton, Texas
Gus Bilirakis, Florida
Rob Bishop, Utah
Diane Black, Tennessee
Michael C. Burgess, Texas
Paul Broun, Georgia
Dan Burton, Indiana
John Carter, Texas
Bill Cassidy, Louisiana
Howard Coble, North Carolina
Mike Coffman, Colorado
Ander Crenshaw, Florida
John Culberson, Texas
Jeff Duncan, South Carolina
Blake Farenthold, Texas
Stephen Fincher, Tennessee
John Fleming, Louisiana
Trent Franks, Arizona
Phil Gingrey, Georgia
Louie Gohmert, Texas
Vicky Hartzler, Missouri
Wally Herger, California
Tim Huelskamp, Kansas
Lynn Jenkins, Kansas
Steve King, Iowa
Doug Lamborn, Colorado
Jeff Landry, Louisiana
Blaine Luetkemeyer, Missouri
Kenny Marchant, Texas
Tom McClintock, California
David McKinley, West Virginia
Gary Miller, California
Mick Mulvaney, South Carolina
Randy Neugebauer, Texas
Rich Nugent, Florida
Steven Palazzo, Mississippi
Steve Pearce, New Mexico
Mike Pence, Indiana (now Indiana's idiotic governator)
Ted Poe, Texas
Tom Price, Georgia
Denny Rehberg, Montana
Phil Roe, Tennessee
Dennis Ross, Florida
Ed Royce, California
Steve Scalise, Louisiana
Tim Scott, South Carolina
Pete Sessions, Texas
Adrian Smith, Nebraska
Lamar Smith, Texas
Cliff Stearns, Florida
Tim Walberg, Michigan
Joe Walsh, Illinois
Allen West, Florida
Lynn Westmoreland, Georgia
Joe Wilson, South Carolina
Grover's crew effectively destroyed Congress, which had never been an example of efficiency and effectiveness. Partisanshit grew exponentially, and out of self-preservation, rather than any rational decision making, the Democrats in Congress had to grow a spine. This unexpected event resulted in huge Democratic gains in the House, a larger majority in the Senate, and the re-election of the President by a far larger margin than Grover and his supporters ever thought possible. In fact, Grover kept predicting victory in the House, a Republican presidency, and a Republican, TeaBuggered Senate.
Grover made several statements in advance of the 2012 elections. He brazenly predicted that no tax increases would ever occur. Government social programs would disappear eventually, and the Military would remain the sole federal entity protecting our "freedoms." Even after the 2012 election returns became known, Grover was out there, quietly threatening any GOPer who might stray off of his favorite obsession - tax cuts, more tax cuts, followed by even more tax cuts.
Just this morning, Grover was on TV, claiming that not only were there no tax increases, but tax cuts. In effect, Obama was following Grover's advice. And, Obama would lose even more when his troops fought him on the debt ceiling.
Pat Toomey, and several other TeaBuggered congressmen and senators quickly fell into line, and began to threaten the destruction of the USA's full faith and credit - in essence, they declared war on America - through economic blackmail.
Grover has to proclaim victory, despite his utter loss in 2012. He has no choice. His side lost so badly that no dental surgeon would dare try reinstalling the teeth that were just kicked out. If Grover acknowledges, even slightly, that TeaBuggery lost, then his stranglehold over government is dead and gone.
He knows it. He feels it in his bones. He had his big chance in 2010, and just two years later, America told him to go fuck himself. But once he admits it publicly he is dead. Once other TeaBuggered congresscritters and Senatwhores realize just how badly they lost, they will stray from the reservation. The number of times Grover appears on TV will soon be identical to Sarah Palin. Because he will have about the same number of demented, unread, uneducated, auto-lobotomized followers as she.
Grover's obsession with cutting taxes is just that - an illogical, irrational, and unfounded belief in libertarianism of the worst sort. In Grover's own words, "Obsessions turn people off."