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  1. #1
    Super Moderator Newmexican's Avatar
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    Obama demands $1.6 trillion tax boost, and an unlimited credit card

    The Republicans should just disengage. These crazy socialists will run this country into the ground and live happily ever after leaving millions in poverty in their wake. JMO

    Obama demands $1.6 trillion tax boost, and an unlimited credit card


    11/30/2012

    President Barack Obama has dramatically upped his demands in the fiscal crisis negotiations: He wants Congress to levy twice as much in extra taxes from Americans as he urged during the election campaign, give up its control over the nation’s debt limit, and fund an immediate $50 billion stimulus for his political priorities.

    In exchange, Obama offered to consider — but not necessarily accept — GOP proposals for cutting $400 billion from Medicare and other programs strongly favored by off-year voters.

    That listening session would take place sometime in 2013, giving the president plenty of time to wrap the unpopular demand around the necks of the GOP legislators before the 2014 midterm elections.

    The surprise package was given to Republican House Speaker John Boehner on Thursday by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.
    Geithner presided over Obama’s four-year spending spree, which has left 23 million Americans unemployed, underemployed or out of the workforce. That spending has been funded by $7 trillion in borrowed funds or government-printed cash, generating additional debt of roughly $75,000 per person.

    The budget package is slated to avoid the economic pain due from the scheduled Jan. 1 imposition of planned budget cuts and tax increases, worth $500 billion during 2013.

    Boehner and other Republicans derided Obama’s wishlist, which was described by the New York Times as ”a detailed proposal … loaded with Democratic priorities and short in detailed spending cuts.”

    The Washington Post described the package as lacking “any concessions to Republicans, most notably on the core issue of where to set tax rates for the wealthiest Americans… [and] it seemed to take Republicans by surprise.”

    “I’m here seriously trying to resolve [the fiscal crisis], and I would hope the White House would get serious as well,” Boehner told reporters Thursday.

    The package is “a step backward,” said the Republican’s minority leader in the Senate, Mitch McConnell.

    Some GOP legislators also complained about Obama’s use of a closed-door negotiation process.

    “Until this fantasy ‘plan’ from a secret meeting is made public and scored by the Congressional Budget Office, it does not exist,” said an evening statement from Sen. Jeff Sessions, the Republican’s ranking chairman on the Senate budget committee.

    “Based on history, we can safely assume that reports that this ‘plan’ saves $4 trillion is a fabrication [and] is a distraction that allows the White House to continue to run out the clock so it can have maximal leverage to force through a bad deal in the last minutes before midnight.”

    If accepted, Obama’s new demand that Congress give up its control over the debt limit would mark a huge loss of Congress’ financial power to the executive branch.

    The debt-limit caps the federal government’s debt, which is now set at $16.4 trillion.

    Annual tax receipts are only enough to fund the government spending for the first nine months of each year, and Obama can’t legally borrow money on the international market once that debt limit is reached in early 2013.

    In 2011, Republicans used their power over the debt limit to squeeze some spending reductions from Obama.

    On Thursday, Boehner said Obama would have to bargain for another increase in the debt limit by curbing spending.

    But Obama’s post-election lunge for more taxes and an even bigger federal government has also cracked the public unity of GOP legislators.

    Sessions and other GOP legislators worry that Obama’s team is posturing in front of the media and voters, while actually delaying and blocking budget talks with Boehner, until the deadline is almost up on Jan. 1.

    By posturing until Jan. 1, Obama can pressure Boehner and other Republicans leaders to rush an last-minute tax-increase through Congress while sidelining other legislators and voters, say GOP legislators, including Sessions.

    It is “only the speaker and the president of the United States who are negotiating,” Sessions complained. “Apparently the [Democratic] majority leader of the Senate is not intimately involved, the [Democratic] chairman of the budget committee is not involved, the [Democratic] chairman of the
    finance committee is not involved. … Certainly Republican leaders are not involved,” he said.

    “Shouldn’t the president of the United States, the only person who represents everybody in the country, lay out his plan, or must that remain a secret too? Will it just be revealed to us on the eve of Christmas or eve of the new calendar year? We will be asked to vote for it, to ratify it like lemmings, I suppose,” he said in a Thursday statement in the Senate.

    “We [senators] ought to be engaged, [because that] would allow the American people to know what’s happening,” he concluded.

    Read more: Obama demands $1.6 trillion tax boost, and an unlimited credit card | The Daily Caller

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Newmexican's Avatar
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    6/14/2012

    President Obama: The Biggest Government Spender In World History
    Peter Ferrara




    The U.S. has never before had a President who thinks so little of the American people that he imagines he can win re-election running on the opposite of reality. But that is the reality of President Obama today.

    Waving a planted press commentary, Obama recently claimed on the campaign stump, “federal spending since I took office has risen at the slowest pace of any President in almost 60 years.”

    Peggy Noonan aptly summarized in last weekend’s Wall Street Journal the take away by the still holding majority of Americans living in the real world:
    “There is, now, a house-of-cards feel about this administration. It became apparent some weeks ago when the President talked on the stump – where else? – about an essay by a fellow who said spending growth [under Obama] is actually lower than that of previous Presidents. This was startling to a lot of people, who looked into it and found the man had left out most spending from 2009, the first year of Mr. Obama’s Presidency. People sneered: The President was deliberately using a misleading argument to paint a false picture! But you know, why would he go out there waiving an article that could immediately be debunked? Maybe because he thought it was true. That’s more alarming, isn’t it, the idea that he knows so little about the effects of his own economic program that he thinks he really is a low spender.”

    What this shows most importantly is that the recognition is starting to break through to the general public regarding the President’s rhetorical strategy that I’ve have been calling Calculated Deception. The latter is deliberately using a misleading argument to paint a false picture. That has been a central Obama practice not only throughout his entire presidency, but also as the foundation of his 2008 campaign strategy, and actually throughout his whole career.

    Rest assured, Ms. Noonan, that the President is not as nuts as he may seem at times. He knows very well that he is not a careful spender. His whole mission is to transform the U.S. not into a Big Government country, but a Huge Government country, because only a country run by a Huge Government can be satisfactorily controlled by superior, all wise and beneficent individuals like himself. That is why he is at minimum a Swedish socialist, if not worse. Notice, though, how far behind the times he and his weak minded supporters are, as even the Swedes have abandoned Swedish socialism as a failure.

    The analysis by Internet commentator Rex Nutting on which Obama based his claim begins by telling us “What people forget (or never knew) is that the first year of every presidential term starts with a budget approved by the previous administration and Congress.” Not exactly.

    The previous administration, or President, proposes a budget. The previous Congress approves a budget. And what Congress approves can be radically different from what the President proposes.

    As Art Laffer and Steve Moore showed in the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday, President Bush began a spending spree in his term that erased most of the gains in reduced government spending as a percent of GDP achieved by the Republican Congress in the 1990s led by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, in conjunction with President Clinton. But for fiscal year 2009, President Bush in February, 2008 proposed a budget with just a 3% spending increase over the prior year. Fiscal year 2009 ran from October 1, 2008 until September 30, 2009. President Obama’s term began on January 20, 2009.

    Recall, however, that in 2008 Congress was controlled by Democrat majorities, with Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House, and the restless Senator Obama already running for President, just four years removed from his glorious career as a state Senator in the Illinois legislature. As Hans Bader reported on May 26 for the Washington Examiner, the budget approved and implemented by Pelosi, Obama and the rest of the Congressional Democrat majorities provided for a 17.9 percent increase in spending for fiscal 2009!

    Actually, President Obama and the Democrats were even more deeply involved in the fiscal 2009 spending explosion than that. As Bader also reports, “The Democrat Congress [in 2008], confident Obama was going to win in 2008, passed only three of fiscal 2009’s 12 appropriations bills (Defense, Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, and HomelandSecurity). The Democrat Congress passed the rest of them [in 2009], and [President] Obama signed them.” So Obama played a very direct role in the runaway fiscal 2009 spending explosion.

    Note as well that President Reagan didn’t just go along with the wild spending binge of the previous Democratic Congress for fiscal year 1981 when he came into office on January 20 of that year. Almost no one remembers now the much vilified at the time 1981 Reagan budget cuts, his first major legislative initiative. Then Democrat Rep. Phil Gramm joined with Ohio Republican Del Latta to push through the Democratic House $31 billion in Reagan proposed budget cuts to the fiscal year 1981 budget, which totaled $681 billion, resulting in a cut of nearly 5% in that budget. Obama could have done the exact same thing when he entered office in January, 2009, even more so with the Congress totally controlled by his own party at the time.

    Reagan then ramped up the spending cuts from there. In nominal terms, non-defense discretionary spending actually declined by 7.1% from 1981 to 1982. But roaring inflation at the time actually masks the true magnitude of the Reagan spending cut achievement. In constant dollars, non-defense discretionary spending declined by 14.4% from 1981 to 1982, and by 16.8% from 1981 to 1983. Moreover, in constant dollars, this non-defense discretionary spending never returned to its 1981 level for the rest of Reagan’s two terms! By 1988, this spending was still down 14.4% from its 1981 level in constant dollars.

    Even with the Reagan defense buildup, which, remember, won the Cold War without firing a shot, total federal spending as a percent of GDP declined from a high of 23.5% of GDP in 1983 to 21.3% in 1988 and 21.2% in 1989. That’s a real reduction in the size of government relative to the economy of 10%, a huge achievement.

    In sharp contrast to Reagan, Obama’s first major legislative initiative was the so-called stimulus, which increased future federal spending by nearly a trillion dollars, the most expensive legislation in history up till that point. We know now, as thinking people knew at the time, that this record shattering spending bill only stimulated government spending, deficits and debt. Contrary to official Democrat Keynesian witchcraft, you don’t promote economic recovery, growth and prosperity by borrowing a trillion dollars out of the economy to spend a trillion dollars back into it.

    But this was just a warm up for Obama’s Swedish socialism. Obama worked with Pelosi’s Democratic Congress to pass an additional, $410 billion, supplemental spending bill for fiscal year 2009, which was too much even for big spending President Bush, who had specifically rejected it in 2008. Next in 2009 came a $40 billion expansion in the SCHIP entitlement program, as if we didn’t already have way more than too much entitlement spending.

    But those were just the preliminaries for the biggest single spending bill in world history, Obamacare, enacted in March, 2010. That legislation is not yet even counted in Obama’s spending record so far because it mostly does not go into effect until 2014. But it is now scored by CBO as increasing federal spending by $1.6 trillion in the first 10 years alone, with trillions more to come in future years.

    After just one year of the Obama spending binge, federal spending had already rocketed to 25.2% of GDP, the highest in American history except for World War II. That compares to 20.8% in 2008, and an average of 19.6% during Bush’s two terms. The average during President Clinton’s two terms was 19.8%, and during the 60-plus years from World War II until 2008 — 19.7%. Obama’s own fiscal 2013 budget released in February projects the average during the entire 4 years of the Obama Administration to come in at 24.4% in just a few months. That budget shows federal spending increasing from $2.983 trillion in 2008 to an all time record $3.796 trillion in 2012, an increase of 27.3%.

    Moreover, before Obama there had never been a deficit anywhere near $1 trillion. The highest previously was $458 billion, or less than half a trillion, in 2008. The federal deficit for the last budget adopted by a Republican controlled Congress was $161 billion for fiscal year 2007. But the budget deficits for Obama’s four years were reported in Obama’s own 2013 budget as $1.413 trillion for 2009, $1.293 trillion for 2010, $1.3 trillion for 2011, and $1.327 trillion for 2012, four years in a row of deficits of $1.3 trillion or more, the highest in world history.

    President Obama’s own 2013 budget shows that as a result federal debt held by the public will double during Obama’s four years as President. That means in just one term President Obama will have increased the national debt as much as all prior Presidents, from George Washington to George Bush, combined.

    But this 2012 election is defined for the voters by the future, not the past. And that future is fully revealed by the stark contrast between President Obama’s spending, deficits and debt projected under his proposed 2013 budget, and the projections under House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s budget, adopted by the Republican House, and endorsed by presumptive Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

    Despite all the controversy in Washington and in the media over Ryan’s budget, what it all adds up to is just to restore federal spending to its long term, postwar, historical average of 20% of GDP. That stable level of federal spending, with some modest variance, prevailed for over 60 years after the end of World War II, until 2009. Ryan’s budget reduces federal spending from an average of 24.4% of GDP during the Obama years to 20.1% after just 3 years, by 2015.

    By contrast, under the budget policies supported by President Obama and Congressional Democrats, federal spending soars to 30% of GDP by 2027, 40% by 2040, 50% by 2060, and 80% by 2080. Obama’s 2013 budget proposes to spend $47 trillion over the next 10 years, the most in world history by far, increasing federal spending by $1.5 trillion above the current CBO baseline. Ryan’s budget proposes to cut that by $6.8 trillion. By 2022, Ryan’s budget would be spending nearly a trillion dollars less per year than President Obama’s budget.

    Ryan proposes tax reform to consolidate the current 6 individual income tax rates, ranging up to 35%, to just two rates of 10% and 25%. His budget would otherwise retain the Bush tax rates of 15% for capital gains and 15% for corporate dividends, and repeal the Alternative Minimum Tax. Ryan also proposes corporate tax reform, closing loopholes and reducing the federal corporate tax rate from 35% to 25%, which is roughly the international average. CBO scores these reforms, even with the rate cuts, as again restoring federal revenues to their long term, postwar, historical average of 18.3% of GDP by 2015.

    Obama’s budget, in sharp contrast, proposes to increase federal taxes by nearly $2 trillion over the next 10 years above the CBO baseline. The budget projects that under Obama’s tax policies federal income tax revenues will double by 2020, federal corporate tax revenues will double by 2017, and federal payroll taxes will double by 2022.

    Next year, under President Obama’s policies, the top tax rates of virtually every major federal tax are already scheduled to increase under current law. That is because the Obamacare tax increases are scheduled to go into effect, and the Bush tax cuts expire, which President Obama proposes refuses to renew for singles making over $200,000 a year, and couples making over $250,000. President Obama is now proposing on top of that the Buffett Rule, which would increase tax rates on capital gains and dividends even further. Counting that, next year the top tax rate for capital gains would increase by 100%, the top tax rate on corporate dividends would increase by 100%, the top two income tax rates would increase by nearly 20%, and the Medicare payroll tax again for singles making over $200,000 and couples making over $250,000 would increase by 62% (under Obamacare).

    This is all on top of the corporate income tax rate, which counting state corporate rates is nearly 40%, the highest in the world now, except for the socialist one party state of Cameroon. Under the Buffett Rule, America’s capital gains tax rate would be the fourth highest in the industrialized world. Based on historical precedent, these tax rate increases are unlikely to raise anywhere near the revenue projected by CBO, meaning even higher future deficits and debt.

    Under Ryan’s budget, even with CBO’s static scoring, the federal deficit in actual nominal dollars would be reduced to $182 billion by 2017, the fifth year of the budget. That compares to $1,327 billion, or $1.327 trillion, today. So in just 5 years, the deficit would be reduced by at least 86%. The deficit under Ryan’s budget would be less than 1% of GDP by 2017, at 0.9%, where it stabilizes for 6 years to the end of the 10 year budget window. Most importantly, given the sharp tax rate cuts in Ryan’s budget, with dynamic scoring the budget would probably be balanced by 2017. That is because in the real world the rate cuts will not lose nearly as much revenue as CBO scores.

    Under President Obama’s budget, his own projections show the deficit never gets anywhere near balance. Indeed, the deficit never gets below or anywhere near the former all time record in 2008. By 2022, his own budget projects the deficit rising over the previous 5 years to $704 billion. But if Obama’s comprehensive tax rate increases throw the country back into recession next year, the deficits will soar much higher for several years, to new all time records.
    Even under CBO’s horse and buggy static scoring, Ryan’s budget does serve to get federal debt under control and avoid any debt crisis, putting federal debt held by the public on a declining path from 77% of GDP in 2013 to 62% by 2022. That debt continues on a sharp decline from there, as the long term effects of Ryan’s structural entitlement reforms phase in. Debt held by the public is reduced to 53% of GDP by 2030, 38% by 2040, and 10% by 2050. That means the national debt is all but paid off by 2050, and would be soon thereafter. In fact, under dynamic scoring it probably would be paid off by then.

    In stark contrast, on our current course, under President Obama’s budget policies, federal debt held by the public rockets to 140% of GDP by 2030, 220%by 2040, and 320% by 2050, on its way to over 700% by 2080. That would undoubtedly create a Grecian style sovereign debt crisis for America before that point.
    So which course will you choose America?

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/peterferrara/2012/06/14/president-obama-the-biggest-government-spender-in-world-history/



  3. #3
    Super Moderator Newmexican's Avatar
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    Obama Fiscal-Cliff Posture Unserious And Dishonest



    Posted 11/29/2012 05:44 PM ET

    Fiscal Cliff: President Obama is undeniably a shrewd tactician, so long as his tactics remain unscrutinized. Right now his approach to negotiations is as unbalanced as it is dishonest.

    Some presidents honorably seek great bipartisan accomplishments, hoping what they compromise away won't go too far. The 1986 tax reform act was a perfect example.

    Simplifying the U.S. tax system's 15 brackets into two marginal rates, the top one dropping to 28%, was an astonishing achievement by Ronald Reagan that many were sure was impossible. Most remarkably, prominent Democrats supported it.
    Among Reagan's major giveaways were appeasing Democrats' class warfare tenets by agreeing to tax capital gains at the same rate as personal income; plus the 33% "bubble" rate some in the 28% range had to pay.

    This kind of honest bargaining is not what Barack Obama is currently up to. He and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid are simultaneously trying to wreck the Republican Party politically by destroying its credibility as an enemy of high taxation.

    As Americans For Tax Reform President Grover Norquist points out on today's front page, they're also trying "get Republican fingerprints on the tax hikes they need to transform America into a European welfare state" that will eventually require a value-added tax or massive energy tax paid for by the middle class.

    Even the liberal press is exposing Obama's disingenuousness. The New York Times noted on Wednesday that Obama "has barely discussed how he would pare back federal spending, focusing instead on the aspect of his plan that plays to his liberal base."

    The Los Angeles Times on Thursday observed Obama "hasn't said anything publicly about his targets for entitlement savings or cuts in discretionary spending. Instead, he's tacitly stuck with the proposals in his fiscal 2013 budget, which Congress has already rejected."

    Obama touts what he calls a "balanced approach" in which Republicans raise tax rates, and he promised during the campaign this year to "cut 2-1/2 dollars" in spending "for every dollar in increased revenue."

    But now, with signs that Republicans will agree to increase taxes, the L.A. Times reports that "Democrats seem to have become more entrenched in their resistance to the other half of Obama's formula."

    Extending the "middle class" part of the Bush tax cuts averts only a third of the coming tax increases, as the Brookings/Urban Institute's Tax Policy Center warns, and those at the middle and even lower incomes would still pay some of what's left. Hitting the top 2% also generates little more than $50 billion a year out of the $4 trillion over the decade needed to tackle the debt.

    It's time for the president's bad faith to be exposed: There is nothing "balanced" about not being serious.

    Read More At IBD: President Obama's Fiscal-Cliff Posture Unserious And Dishonest - Investors.com

  4. #4
    Super Moderator Newmexican's Avatar
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    The Republicans should try laughing in their faces publicly more often. JMO
    Sen. McConnell Laughed Out Loud at Obama’s $1.6 Trillion Tax Hike ‘Offer’


    November 29, 2012 - 3:54 pm

    Well, here at least is a sign of sanity in the Republican leadership.

    Mitch McConnell, the Senate Republican leader, says he “burst into laughter” Thursday when Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner outlined the administration proposal for averting the fiscal cliff. He wasn’t trying to embarrass Geithner, McConnell says, only responding candidly to his one-sided plan, explicit on tax increases, vague on spending cuts.

    Geithner suggested $1.6 trillion in tax increases, McConnell says, but showed “minimal or no interest” in spending cuts. When congressional leaders went to the White House three days after the election, Obama talked of possible curbs on the explosive growth of food stamps and Social Security disability payments. But since Geithner didn’t mention them, those reductions appear to be off the table now, McConnell says.

    Obama also wants an unlimited debt ceiling, or to be more accurate, no debt ceiling at all. Couple that with a future of no budgets and a president who knows he has hacked Congress into irrelevance by using Harry Reid as an adjunct of his West Wing, and you have a president who is offering a “deal” one would offer to a totally defeated and decimated foe.

    The congressional Republicans don’t have a lot of leverage, but they’re not totally defeated and decimated. They do control the House and most governorships. The 2014 map favors a GOP takeover in the Senate. Obama did not win the kind of mandate that he is asserting.

    If Obama keeps this up, we will go over the cliff. It will be his fault, but the media will not hold him to account.

    This game is about destroying what’s left of the checks on Obama’s power, and destroying the Republican party at the same time. There’s no other way to explain why he would have Geithner offer such a one-sided, unserious deal. He doesn’t want a deal, and he isn’t bluffing. The president wants to wreck the US economy so that he will have the chance to fundamentally transform it.

    McConnell et al have to finally figure out what they’re dealing with and go on offense against him. If they don’t, he’ll either squeeze them into making a deal that their base will hate, or he will roll us over the cliff while they take all of the blame. Win or die.

    The PJ Tatler » Sen. McConnell Laughed Out Loud at Obama’s $1.6 Trillion Tax Hike ‘Offer’

  5. #5
    Super Moderator Newmexican's Avatar
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    We remember Patty Murray, she had all of those illegals out canvasing and working her campaign for her in 2010. I wonder if they voted also.......

    Patty Murray, President Obama gold medal fiscal cliff divers

    NOVEMBER 26, 2012

    BY: GARY GROSS

    Based on
    this article,(SEE BELOW) it's looking like irresponsible progressives want to steer the U.S. economy off the fiscal cliff:
    Here’s what these progressives fear: an agreement that keeps lower tax rates for the wealthy, hits the social safety net with unpalatable cuts and leaves Pentagon spending unscathed. In other words, they’d rather walk the country off the cliff than watch President Barack Obama cave on long-held liberal priorities.

    “If the Republicans can’t see their way to significant additional revenues targeted toward the people who are best off and targeted toward passive income and other things like that, then we’re better off going over the cliff and readdressing this with a better Congress in January,” Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) said. “And we would have plenty of time to fix it.”
    It's clear that the Democrats want to play the hardest game of hardball with the fiscal cliff. They're betting that the Democrat-compliant media will lie about who's to blame for the recession that will happen if sequestration takes effect. It isn't a stretch to think that Democrats might've given us a glimpse of their 2014 campaign strategy.

    Here's reality. The Democrats' tax increase, coupled with still-outrageous DC spending and without significant entitlement reform, will tank the U.S. economy for the rest of President Obama's term in office.

    President Obama's love of job-killing regulations on energy, the financial industry and the medical industry have the economy on unsettled footing to start with. Add to that a major tax increase and you're staring at an economic disaster. Couple those things with out-of-control spending and you've got Greece on steroids.

    Rep. DeFazio isn't the only Democrat to think taking the U.S. economy off an economic cliff is great stategy:
    If tax rates snap back to the higher levels from the 1990s and painful budget cuts start to hit the Pentagon, these Democrats, led by Washington Sen. Patty Murray, believe they would wield more leverage over the GOP
    It's exceptionally telling that, faced with the prospect of the U.S. economy tanking, Patty Murray is thinking in terms of political leverage, not hurting families.

    It's impossible to understate this: Sen. Murray is a disgusting politician. Families have been hurt by policies she voted for. Now, rather than trying to redeem herself for her mistakes, Sen. Murray wants to send the U.S. economy deeper into the tank.

    It's apparent that Sen. Murray's first priority is pushing her partisan agenda. It's apparent that she doesn't put a high priority on improving the lives of hard-working Americans. Here's a question Sen. Murray won't answer:
    Why isn't doing the right thing her first priority?

    She's a despicable politician for playing partisan games with people's lives.

    Patty Murray, President Obama gold medal fiscal cliff divers - Minneapolis Conservative | Examiner.com

    Fiscal cliff: Will they jump?
    By: Seung Min Kim
    November 25, 2012 11:17 PM EST
    Call them the cliff jumpers.
    A growing bloc of emboldened liberals say they’re not afraid to watch defense spending get gouged and taxes go up on every American if a budget deal doesn’t satisfy their priorities.
    (PHOTOS: Fiscal cliff's key players)


    Here’s what these progressives fear: an agreement that keeps lower tax rates for the wealthy, hits the social safety net with unpalatable cuts and leaves Pentagon spending unscathed. In other words, they’d rather walk the country off the cliff than watch President Barack Obama cave on long-held liberal priorities.


    “If the Republicans can’t see their way to significant additional revenues targeted toward the people who are best off and targeted toward passive income and other things like that, then we’re better off going over the cliff and readdressing this with a better Congress in January,” Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) said. “And we would have plenty of time to fix it.”
    (Also on POLITICO: Full coverage of the fiscal cliff)


    Bolstering the Democrats’ strategy is the belief that the “fiscal cliff” is actually shaped more like a “slope” where the economic effects will be felt gradually, not immediately. That theory gives Congress some time at the beginning of 2013 to set tax rates and configure budget cuts in a different political environment and with a new class of lawmakers.


    But underlying the tough talk is also a sense of liberal angst — the left feels like it was burned by the last extension of the Bush tax rates and didn’t get much of what it wanted in the 2011 debt-limit deal.


    (Also on POLITICO: Supercommittee cautiously optimistic)


    If tax rates snap back to the higher levels from the 1990s and painful budget cuts start to hit the Pentagon, these Democrats — led by Washington Sen. Patty Murray — believe they would wield more leverage over the GOP to enact a budget compromise on their terms. And with a January deal, Republicans would technically avoid violating the no-new-taxes pledge that most of them have signed because they would then be voting to cut taxes.


    Republicans would most likely bear most of the public blame if policymakers deadlock. The Pew Research Center found that 53 percent of Americans would fault GOP lawmakers if Washington fails to avert the fiscal cliff; only 29 percent would point the finger at Obama.
    “This is very, very important that we hang in there to essentially get the revenue component,” said Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.). “I favor an agreement before Jan. 1, but I’m skeptical that our leadership may be able to reach one. If it’s necessary to wait to get a good deal, let’s do that.”

    Murray declared in a speech this summer that she would push budget negotiations into 2013 if Republicans don’t cave on taxes for the rich. The fourth-ranking Senate Democrat repeated the threat in a Nov. 11 interview on “This Week.”


    “If the Republicans will not agree with that, we will reach a point at the end of this year where all the tax cuts expire, and we’ll start over next year,” Murray said. “And whatever we do will be a tax cut for whatever package we put together. That may be the way to get past this.”


    The fiscal cliff is a $503 billion mix of tax increases and spending cuts that experts predict will shock the economy in 2013 unless Washington devises a solution to avert it before the end of the year. The cliff includes not only the Bush-era tax cuts and the automatic budget cuts known as the “sequester” but also the payroll tax cut, jobless benefits and reimbursement rates for doctors who serve Medicare patients.


    The White House wants to end the Bush-era tax rates on income above $250,000, but Republicans say all rates should be extended because doing otherwise would harm the economy.


    The brunt of the cliff could be delayed, however.


    For instance, the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service could wait to adjust withholding tax tables, which determine how much money is taken out of paychecks. Tax rates could also be fixed retroactively. And the spending cuts to defense and domestic programs may be phased in over time rather than crashing down all at once at the beginning of January.


    The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, one of the earliest espousers of the fiscal slope theory, said in April that entering 2013 without a budget deal would “not produce an economic calamity” as long as lawmakers reach an agreement within the first few weeks of the new year.


    With the bad taste of recent budget deals still lingering in their mouths, liberals have particular reason to be concerned. Obama infuriated progressives in 2010 when he struck a deal with Republicans to extend all Bush-era tax rates for two more years, and last year’s agreement to raise the debt ceiling contained no new revenues, angering them again.


    But this time, Democrats believe voters handed them a clear directive on taxes. Obama centered his campaign on ending tax breaks for the rich and was reelected, while Democrats strengthened the party’s majority in the Senate and boosted its numbers in the House.


    Liberals on Capitol Hill are already drawing their line. For instance, West Virginia Sen. Jay Rockefeller and Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin have circulated a letter urging Obama to shield entitlement programs from benefit cuts and demand $1 in revenue for every $1 in spending cuts.


    “The worry is that Democrats will continue the failed strategy of the past, which is refusing to fight,” said Adam Green, co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee. “To do so after the huge mandate of 2012 is absurd.”



    But that tough stance has led Republicans to claim Democrats are all too eager to trigger a recession. With a poster of a scene from the 1991 film “Thelma and Louise” behind him, Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch said in a floor speech this summer that — much like the movie’s title characters — Democrats were planning to drive the economy straight over the edge to get tax increases.


    “Rather than stop the country from going over the fiscal cliff and preventing the expiration of the 2001 and 2003 tax relief, they are prepared to Thelma and Louise the American economy right over the cliff,” said Hatch, the top Republican on the Finance Committee. “That is an astonishing admission.”

    And other Democrats aren’t so keen on pushing the showdown past 2012. When asked whether he could let the year-end deadline lapse without a deal under any circumstances, Michigan Rep. Sander Levin, the House’s top Democratic tax-writer, said: “It’s such a bad idea that we ought to do it now.”


    “As long as people on the left and the right believe that there’s not going to be any consequences of the intransigent positions, this is not going to be resolved,” said Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.), former chairman of the Ways and Means Committee.
    Some Democrats off Capitol Hill are also skeptically eyeing the strategy.


    “Markets are going to go into an absolute tailspin, and I don’t think we want to risk that, especially with leadership right now trying to find a deal,” said Gabriel Horwitz, director of the economic program for Third Way, a centrist think tank. “I think the market reaction is going to happen immediately.”


    Top negotiators won’t explicitly endorse the tip-off-the-cliff method. The White House has repeatedly said an agreement must be reached, though it has drawn its own hard line: Obama will veto any bill that keeps the Bush-era tax rates for the highest earners. When asked about Murray’s tactic in July, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) told reporters: “Patty Murray knows what she’s talking about.”


    “I don’t think it’s my role to go to the table with a threat,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said in an interview with ABC. “I think it’s my role to go to the table with some ideas, to be receptive to what we can come to agreement on.”


    But rank-and-file Democrats calling for a so-called balanced deal are getting ready for that alternative.
    “If there’s a better opportunity to deal with that in January,” said Arizona Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.), “then that last option is something that Democrats need to prepare for.”

    Fiscal cliff: Will they jump? - POLITICO.com Print View

  6. #6
    Senior Member oldguy's Avatar
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    "Fundamental change" he has told people his plans from the beginning,redistribution and I believe that is world wide bringing the USA down to third world status. Why would anyone wish to do so, IMO I believe we have a very angry man in office stems from birth and his views on white Christian Americans, the people he associated with,his loss of parents,etc. Some can rise above all that and become better others simply carry that hate and angry into old age, luckily most of that type never reach the office of the most powerful person in the world.
    However the most scary for me is people who voted for him,they are the most frightening, the question is why.
    I'm old with many opinions few solutions.

  7. #7
    Senior Member vistalad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldguy View Post
    However the most scary for me is people who voted for him, they are the most frightening, the question is why.
    The answer is that these people only pay attention to his speeches. 'Bama is the world's greatest speechifyer. Says what he knows large numbers of people want to hear. And since he's an ignoramus who's only concerned about getting what he wants, he has no qualms about what he's doing.

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