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Old Nov 13, 2012, 11:53 AM   #76
Holdemall
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Originally Posted by DaytonIllini View Post
It's a good post. It goes back to the concept I touted a few months ago that a country needs to have a vision of what we want to look like 20 years from now before it can know what short term decisions to make on various items in the agenda. Right now both parties just jockeye to be in power for the next term so they can stack the court with ideologues and make incremental progress on whatever they believe is going to get them the most votes in the next election.

What do we want energy to look like in 20 years?
What do we want healthcare to look like in 20 years?
What do we want personal liberties to look like in 20 years?
What do we see our nation's role with regard to the world over the next 20 years?

It might be unrealistic to look out 50 years but I think looking out only 50 days is suicidal.
1. More local production, lower consumption of fossil fuels.
2. Everyone covered for everything.
3. The same as now.
4. Much, much smaller. Focus on humanitarian/development aid vs military expenditures.
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Old Nov 13, 2012, 12:13 PM   #77
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The reason why I asked is that the federal budget is actually only (LOL!) 3.8T.
The numbers I quoted are government spending. Federal + State + Local.

Over the past decades there has been a steep shift of costs to the states and a dramatic increase in state and local taxes. That is why the liberal approach of claiming that FEDERAL taxes are at an all time low is true, but deceptive.

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Old Nov 13, 2012, 12:43 PM   #78
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The numbers I quoted are government spending. Federal + State + Local.

Over the past decades there has been a steep shift of costs to the states and a dramatic increase in state and local taxes. That is why the liberal approach of claiming that FEDERAL taxes are at an all time low is true, but deceptive.
When you consider that a large percentage of the federal deficit is state and local aid, it makes you think a little bit.
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Old Nov 15, 2012, 06:50 AM   #79
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Guilty as charged a lot of the time. I don't claim to have all the answers, but I do think we're asking the wrong questions.



Yeah, and I think you're framing it the wrong way. The bolded reflects the underlying baseline assumption that all conservatives make, that any spending is per se irresponsible debt addition and that budget balance is an issue that should override any other priorities. Both of those assumptions are faulty IMO.

As to the first, it's obvious that spending a dollar today to make two tomorrow is something that you should do every time, regardless of your current fiscal deficit, indeed even more so if you're facing a fiscal deficit. Countercyclical investment is the conventional wisdom for all businesses.

And as to the second, and kind of answering your question about what I believe the problem is, I think the long term lack of growth potential in our economy is a far greater priority than the current budget deficit, simply because it is the more likely to lead to financial ruin and societal decay. It's not like I don't understand the need to bring our budget into long-term balance, I just feel like ignoring our problems will ensure that we never get there. Gutting entitlement programs creates more problems than it solves. That, alone, is a temporary fix. As I've said, I am not philosophically opposed to right-sizing some of the big whales in our budget, so long as we are still substantially fulfilling the promise of those programs. But that's the lesser relation to the real, lasting solutions.

As for what I would prioritize, I think it can be summed up by saying I think America ought to be the most business-friendly, innovation-friendly, job-friendly country in the high-wage, high-skill world.

That means having the best educated, most productive workforce in the world, which will require investing a lot more in education than we have, and not just spending money, but rethinking the structure of the system, the calendar, the teaching methods, etc. And it doesn't stop at the school doors either, continuing education is essential in a fast-moving economic world. Education isn't just a kids thing, it's an everybody thing. Tacked onto this is the student debt crisis. Debt stifles innovation, risk-taking, and dynamism. The student loan industrial complex is a hidden tax on start-ups and small, growing businesses.

That means a world-elite 21st century infrastructure. Not just roads and bridges but wi-fi, energy efficiency, intelligent energy grids, better built communities, public transportation, etc. Internet connectivity is the big one. There is an arms race going on that is going to pay big dividends to the winners that no one seems to be paying attention to. And if there's one thing America is good at, it's an arms race.

That means tax policies that are competitive and reward innovation and above all, stateside job creation. Ideally, our tax code shouldn't make choices between business activities (which, oh by the way, it currently does ALL THE TIME), it should allow the marketplace to dictate the efficient allocation of profit and loss. However, to the extent that we can incentivize turning one job into two, I think that's just an overriding public welfare issue that justifies a bit of funny business.

That means lowering per-employee overhead costs, the biggest potential possibility of which is publicly financed health care.

I could go on and on, but I'll spare you the whole book-length version of this. The point is that the issues that we talk about: taxes, immigration, foreign policy, whatever, look very different when grafted onto that rubric as opposed to an "every dollar we spend is per se irresponsible" assumption.

And to circle back, none of this forestalls the possibility of slashing the budget in areas that aren't helping us be competitive. Short-term fiscal health is absolutely and economic competitiveness issue, and all else being equal we should get as close to balance as we can as soon as possible. Frankly, the disproportionate voting power of older people has led us to bend over backwards pandering to them. Of course means-testing Social Security and wringing savings out of Medicare are good ideas. I'd sign those bills today provided that they still fulfill the substance of those programs.

And just to close, I have no idea why this isn't the Republican Party platform. I fit so much more naturally into the Republican camp than the social-justice-first, anti-corporate Democrat one, but for most of my adult life the Republican Party has been too busy cooking up elaborate conspiracy theories, railing against gays and abortion, and bowing to the altar of Grover Norquist to even consider making economic competitiveness arguments. That oughta change, and soon.
It's a good post, and really illustrates my thought process, yet I come to vastly different conclusions on most issues.

For example, getting two dollars for each dollar invested. Yes. Obviously, you do that regardless of your current state. Yet, that is not how we decide where we spend money. Gaining something for your money is far less important than satisfying some special interest group.

Additionally, most of the root problems are not going to be solved by money. On education, I think we agree to a very high degree. But I don't think it requires any additional money. I think increased funding is a lazy way to try and solve a problem. I have been at my most innovative when my money is limited and I'm trying to get money. This is true of many people in many walks of life.

So, I agree. Let's have a discussion about how to improve the country rather than who to take money from and who to give that money to.
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Old Nov 15, 2012, 01:02 PM   #80
illini80
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Originally Posted by Sure Shot View Post
Guilty as charged a lot of the time. I don't claim to have all the answers, but I do think we're asking the wrong questions.



Yeah, and I think you're framing it the wrong way. (1)The bolded reflects the underlying baseline assumption that all conservatives make, that any spending is per se irresponsible debt addition and that budget balance is an issue that should override any other priorities. Both of those assumptions are faulty IMO.

As to the first, it's obvious that spending a dollar today to make two tomorrow is something that you should do every time, regardless of your current fiscal deficit, indeed even more so if you're facing a fiscal deficit. Countercyclical investment is the conventional wisdom for all businesses.

And as to the second, and kind of answering your question about what I believe the problem is, (2)I think the long term lack of growth potential in our economy is a far greater priority than the current budget deficit, simply because it is the more likely to lead to financial ruin and societal decay. It's not like I don't understand the need to bring our budget into long-term balance, I just feel like ignoring our problems will ensure that we never get there. Gutting entitlement programs creates more problems than it solves. That, alone, is a temporary fix. As I've said, I am not philosophically opposed to right-sizing some of the big whales in our budget, so long as we are still substantially fulfilling the promise of those programs. But that's the lesser relation to the real, lasting solutions.

(3)As for what I would prioritize, I think it can be summed up by saying I think America ought to be the most business-friendly, innovation-friendly, job-friendly country in the high-wage, high-skill world.

That means having the best educated, most productive workforce in the world, which will require investing a lot more in education than we have, and not just spending money, but rethinking the structure of the system, the calendar, the teaching methods, etc. And it doesn't stop at the school doors either, continuing education is essential in a fast-moving economic world. Education isn't just a kids thing, it's an everybody thing. Tacked onto this is the student debt crisis. Debt stifles innovation, risk-taking, and dynamism. The student loan industrial complex is a hidden tax on start-ups and small, growing businesses.

That means a world-elite 21st century infrastructure. Not just roads and bridges but wi-fi, energy efficiency, intelligent energy grids, better built communities, public transportation, etc. Internet connectivity is the big one. There is an arms race going on that is going to pay big dividends to the winners that no one seems to be paying attention to. And if there's one thing America is good at, it's an arms race.

That means tax policies that are competitive and reward innovation and above all, stateside job creation. Ideally, our tax code shouldn't make choices between business activities (which, oh by the way, it currently does ALL THE TIME),(4) it should allow the marketplace to dictate the efficient allocation of profit and loss. However, to the extent that we can incentivize turning one job into two, I think that's just an overriding public welfare issue that justifies a bit of funny business.

That means lowering per-employee overhead costs, the biggest potential possibility of which is publicly financed health care.

I could go on and on, but I'll spare you the whole book-length version of this. The point is that the issues that we talk about: taxes, immigration, foreign policy, whatever, look very different when grafted onto that rubric as opposed to an "every dollar we spend is per se irresponsible" assumption.

And to circle back, none of this forestalls the possibility of slashing the budget in areas that aren't helping us be competitive. Short-term fiscal health is absolutely and economic competitiveness issue, and all else being equal we should get as close to balance as we can as soon as possible. Frankly, the disproportionate voting power of older people has led us to bend over backwards pandering to them. Of course means-testing Social Security and wringing savings out of Medicare are good ideas. I'd sign those bills today provided that they still fulfill the substance of those programs.

And just to close, I have no idea why this isn't the Republican Party platform. I fit so much more naturally into the Republican camp than the social-justice-first, anti-corporate Democrat one, but for most of my adult life the Republican Party has been too busy cooking up elaborate conspiracy theories, railing against gays and abortion, and bowing to the altar of Grover Norquist to even consider making economic competitiveness arguments. That oughta change, and soon.
Sorry I can't always respond in better time frame. This post illustrates what I don't get about you. You make perfectly good points on many things that I agree with, but at the voting booth you seem to throw those principles away.

Anyway, a few things I do disagree with...

Gay marriage and abortion are not the hallmarks of Republican policy. They are fringe issues that are brought to the forefront mostly by those who want use it against the party. Romney had no plans to to outlaw abortion even though he personally opposed it. But boy did they nail him for it.

(1) That is just not true and you surely know it. I don't know anyone who thinks that way. BUT, the fact still remains that every additional dollar spent today is financed forever. I'm absolutely sure you understand the time value of money. The day will come when interest rates rise and our debt will explode in ways we will have no control over. The time to fix this is now.

(2) So how is short term spending (stimulas) fixing the long term growth problem? It isn't. The long term growth issue is much more about tax policy and regulations than it is about re-paving roads and building community centers.

(3) I could not agree more. However, I don't see the Obama adminstration embracing these types of policies at all. Internet connectivity is a great example of how we are throwing money down rat holes instead of intelligently planning infrastructure. I now serve on a rural coop telephone company board and while we build infrastructure, the government "stimulates" others to build over the top of what we just did. Horrible policies at the FCC in many ways.

(4) I...I...think I'm in love.:laugh::
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Old Nov 15, 2012, 01:54 PM   #81
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Sorry I can't always respond in better time frame. This post illustrates what I don't get about you. You make perfectly good points on many things that I agree with, but at the voting booth you seem to throw those principles away.

Anyway, a few things I do disagree with...

(1)Gay marriage and abortion are not the hallmarks of Republican policy. They are fringe issues that are brought to the forefront mostly by those who want use it against the party. Romney had no plans to to outlaw abortion even though he personally opposed it. But boy did they nail him for it.

(2) That is just not true and you surely know it. I don't know anyone who thinks that way. BUT, the fact still remains that every additional dollar spent today is financed forever. I'm absolutely sure you understand the time value of money. The day will come when interest rates rise and our debt will explode in ways we will have no control over. The time to fix this is now.

(3) So how is short term spending (stimulas) fixing the long term growth problem? It isn't. The long term growth issue is much more about tax policy and regulations than it is about re-paving roads and building community centers.

(4) I could not agree more. However, I don't see the Obama adminstration embracing these types of policies at all. Internet connectivity is a great example of how we are throwing money down rat holes instead of intelligently planning infrastructure. I now serve on a rural coop telephone company board and while we build infrastructure, the government "stimulates" others to build over the top of what we just did. Horrible policies at the FCC in many ways.

(5) I...I...think I'm in love.:laugh::

Alright, lets try to go one-by-one (I re-numbered your points):

1. We're all inclined to give the people we vote for the benefit of the doubt. I could sit here and tell you about how the Dems aren't REALLY slaves to the environmental lobby like everyone thinks they are, but no one wants to hear it. In many ways you are what you're perceived to be. For a couple decades now, many very influential people in the conservative movement, though not everybody, have been all about God, guns, no gays, and electric fences across our southern border. To Mitt Romney's credit, that's not the sort of campaign he ran generally, and it seems like the Republicans are making some attempts to move away from that brand. But it takes time, and those forces are still out there and hold a lot of sway. At the end of the day, I just find that stuff more objectionable than Lefty union-loving and tree-hugging.

2. Oh come on. I can go with you saying the social conservative stuff has been toned down, but hysterical apocalyptic debt rhetoric has taken its place. The fact is that today we are borrowing at what are essentially negative interest rates when you adjust for inflation. That might not continue, and I agree that there is an opening to wring some savings now, but the broader point is about investment. These Republican budget plans would gut all of the investments we're making in ourselves at a time when we need to invest more heavily. Can you imagine what Paul Ryan would say about the Marshall Plan today? Just handing billions over to Europe? But the Marshall Plan paid back hundredfold, it's quite possibly the savviest piece of American policymaking in our history. Cutting now isn't the only way to come out ahead on the back end.

3. It's solving it if it's done right and targets the right places. This isn't the stimulus where we just had to throw a fixed amount of money at a massive hole in the economy. This is having the conversation about what we need to be 21st century competitive, figuring out the most cost-effective way of getting there, and moving money around as necessary. And I disagree with your last sentence there. Think about it in terms of opportunities more so than problems. Our tax and regulatory schemes might be the bigger damper on what we're doing right now, but that can only do so much to help build the growth sectors of the future. Infrastructure and education investments can do much more. We need to do both.

4. Meh, there are going to be blunders. I'm not going to sit here and defend everything Obama does, I'm not even sure if he's the right guy to move us forward on this stuff. I find him more credible than the alternative on this stuff, no more.

5. Hey man, I'm loving what I'm hearing from the Republicans right now on the tax issue. We should wring as much revenue as possible out of getting rid of exemptions and loopholes that incentivize one kind of productive activity over another. Do they have the balls to go after the mortgage interest deduction or the capital gains rate? Lets make good on this "simplify the tax code" rhetoric.
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Old Nov 19, 2012, 01:03 PM   #82
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Obviously we are never going to agree on several of these points, but specifically the "investments" that you speak of I would like to talk about. I like investments. My entire life has been about sacrificing things that would be fun and nice to have now, to invest in things that make my future secure. But without specifics we can't debate this issue. And investing without a specific plan means spending. Education? Sure. What kind of education? A college degree? That means very little now. A degree in computer engineering, now that has value. So unless we can frame the debate specifically, there is nothing to debate.

Regarding capital gains and mortgage interest, I can't say they are the most efficient way to encourage growth because I don't know. But they both encourage "investment" and result in economic growth.
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Old Dec 24, 2012, 04:43 PM   #83
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http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/fisca...7#.UNjX5eS5N2A

Quote:
Reports today shed light on how negotiations fell apart behind closed doors. The Wall Street Journal, citing unnamed sources, reported that when Boehner expressed his opposition to tax rate increases, the president allegedly responded, "You are asking me to accept Mitt Romney's tax plan. Why would I do that?"

The icy exchange continued when, in reference to Boehner's offer to secure $800 billion in revenue by limiting deductions, the speaker reportedly implored the president, "What do I get?"

The president's alleged response: "You get nothing. I get that for free."

The account is perhaps the most thorough and hostile released about the series of unsuccessful talks Obama and Boehner have had in an effort to reach an agreement about the cliff.
Interesting. Obama is playing hard ball assuming he has nothing to lose.
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Old Dec 24, 2012, 10:35 PM   #84
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There is zero chance that we go over the Fiscal Cliff permanently.

(1) AMT revision would murder working class people.
(2) Discretionary spending cuts would be non-targeted and affect every constituency.
(3) End of Obama tax cuts for everyone. People have been getting used to sucking off the government with low tax cuts. They'd lose it if they went back up to Clinton era rates.
(4) Massive cuts in Medicare payments to doctors. No way any doc takes Medicare if those cuts kick in. Automatic death stroke to Medicare if not fixed.
(5) Unemployment insurance disappears for many.

Smart play for the House would be to extend everything including current tax rates for high income earners and cap gains and dividends. Bundle it all up, pass it, and leave for Christmas. Let Senate either take us over the fiscal cliff and own it or pass it and extend the Bush Tax Cuts another 12-24 months. Put some fun stuff in there like aid for the disabled and an increase in education spending so that if the Dems vote against it, they can be crucified publicly for ruining Christmas.
I am reposting this. Boehner has the power to pass an extension of everything with no tax increases. Pass it and leave town and call the president on the way out of town and tell him, "F-You". If he won't sign it, he can enjoy the recession that will immediately follow.

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Old Dec 25, 2012, 11:07 AM   #85
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I am reposting this. Boehner has the power to pass an extension of everything with no tax increases. Pass it and leave town and call the president on the way out of town and tell him, "F-You". If he won't sign it, he can enjoy the recession that will immediately follow.
It'll never get to Obama. The Senate won't pass that bill.
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Old Dec 25, 2012, 11:15 AM   #86
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It'll never get to Obama. The Senate won't pass that bill.
They don't need to. Obama would be blamed.

"We passed everything. We extended the AMT. We prevented the biggest tax increase in American history. We chose to fund our troops. We extended unemployment benefits. We saved Medicare. The President decided to allow aid to the elderly and the poor to be cut, taxes to be raised on everyone, needed supplies for our soldiers to be cut. All because he doesn't understand the concept of compromise. Unfortunately he decided to willingly take us into the Obama Recession. The Mayans were wrong that the world would end on Dec 21. Unfortunately what we saw end that day was 200+ years of common sense and compromise in the White House."

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Old Dec 25, 2012, 11:38 AM   #87
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They don't need to. Obama would be blamed.

"We passed everything. We extended the AMT. We prevented the biggest tax increase in American history. We chose to fund our troops. We extended unemployment benefits. We saved Medicare. The President decided to allow aid to the elderly and the poor to be cut, taxes to be raised on everyone, needed supplies for our soldiers to be cut. All because he doesn't understand the concept of compromise. Unfortunately he decided to willingly take us into the Obama Recession. The Mayans were wrong that the world would end on Dec 21. Unfortunately what we saw end that day was 200+ years of common sense and compromise in the White House."
For sure, Obama will be blamed by conservatives (what's new). However, the majority of Americans are going to blame the Repubs, specifically the House. The Senate passed a bill this summer that continues the Bush income tax cuts for 98%+. There will be a lot of noise if we go over the "cliff," but the majority is going to see this for what it is.

I don't think this obstructionism is going to help the Republican party. FWIW, I think the odds of a party fracture are 50/50.
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Old Dec 25, 2012, 12:29 PM   #88
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For sure, Obama will be blamed by conservatives (what's new). However, the majority of Americans are going to blame the Repubs, specifically the House. The Senate passed a bill this summer that continues the Bush income tax cuts for 98%+. There will be a lot of noise if we go over the "cliff," but the majority is going to see this for what it is.

I don't think this obstructionism is going to help the Republican party. FWIW, I think the odds of a party fracture are 50/50.
Zero chance of a party fracture. Tax bills cannot originate in the Senate. They have to come from the House.

The simple fact is that give people the following choices:

(1) Raise taxes on the rich and keep your low tax rate.
(2) Keep everyone's tax rate the same.
(3) Raise everyone's tax rate.

95% of America will choose 1 or 2. Give them the choice of 2 vs. 3 and 95% of America will choose 2.

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Old Dec 25, 2012, 12:33 PM   #89
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The other thing to keep in mind is that Republicans in the House were just reelected. Nobody that voted for Obama is going to be voting for them because they compromised. Those people that voted Republican in the House elections are expecting them to stay true to why they were elected. If they turn into Democrats, they will be voted out in two years. If they stay Republican there is an excellent chance they will be reelected.

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Old Dec 25, 2012, 12:48 PM   #90
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The other thing to keep in mind is that Republicans in the House were just reelected. Nobody that voted for Obama is going to be voting for them because they compromised. Those people that voted Republican in the House elections are expecting them to stay true to why they were elected. If they turn into Democrats, they will be voted out in two years. If they stay Republican there is an excellent chance they will be reelected.
Minus 7 members they had last term, plus some of the most extreme Teapublicans are gone. 2014 will be a crucial year for the tea Party if they plan to stay relevant.
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Old Dec 25, 2012, 12:53 PM   #91
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I guess we'll see.

WRT the party: now that the ideological cleansing is virtually complete (i.e., moderate Repubs are basically extinct (e.g., Lugar)), perhaps the party will exist in it's current form. The orange man (not Crean) is probably gonna be jettisoned soon.

WRT the cliff: I think your read on public sentiment is incorrect. Again, we'll see.

Food for thought: http://www.thedailybeast.com/article...a-new-gop.html (stomach the site, read the article).
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Old Dec 25, 2012, 12:59 PM   #92
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One more thought...

Under the no worse off principle, I suppose the GOP has little left to lose. But big business, particularly the defense industry, is going to go freakin' bananas when their pipeline is disrupted.
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Old Dec 25, 2012, 02:00 PM   #93
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The other thing to keep in mind is that Republicans in the House were just reelected. Nobody that voted for Obama is going to be voting for them because they compromised. Those people that voted Republican in the House elections are expecting them to stay true to why they were elected. If they turn into Democrats, they will be voted out in two years. If they stay Republican there is an excellent chance they will be reelected.
Boehner's job is pretty thankless right now.
His plan was shot down by the people of his own party - something that gives a bit of leverage to the dems (and Obama) during the negotiations.

As Obama has stated before, he is open to some cuts in SS and Medicare, but my guess is that he wants this demand to specifically come from the Republicans (so that they can be blamed later by his party). He has laid specific proposals for tax increase for the so called wealthy.

Up till now, the Reps have been clamoring for spending cuts, but have been a bit sketchy on the specifics, because cutting SS and Medicare will give the dems enough 'ammunition' to legitimize the "party of the rich" tag that they have been ascribing to the Reps.
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Old Dec 25, 2012, 07:59 PM   #94
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Minus 7 members they had last term, plus some of the most extreme Teapublicans are gone. 2014 will be a crucial year for the tea Party if they plan to stay relevant.
You may be right but I think it was the most moderate of Republicans that got wiped out this term. Ditto the Democrats that lost their jobs. But the Tea Party isn't a party. It is a libertarian movement that was hijacked by social conservatives.

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Old Dec 25, 2012, 08:01 PM   #95
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I guess we'll see.

WRT the party: now that the ideological cleansing is virtually complete (i.e., moderate Repubs are basically extinct (e.g., Lugar)), perhaps the party will exist in it's current form. The orange man (not Crean) is probably gonna be jettisoned soon.

WRT the cliff: I think your read on public sentiment is incorrect. Again, we'll see.

Food for thought: http://www.thedailybeast.com/article...a-new-gop.html (stomach the site, read the article).
So you would accept a tax increase so that I will get one too? Am I hearing that correctly? My guess is that the middle class (say up to 300K) will do a lot more whining about a tax increase than the rich will.

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Old Dec 25, 2012, 08:07 PM   #96
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One more thought...

Under the no worse off principle, I suppose the GOP has little left to lose. But big business, particularly the defense industry, is going to go freakin' bananas when their pipeline is disrupted.
Totally agree. The question is who goes crazier? The defense industry or the welfare moms who see their welfare slashed? How will an 8% cut in unemployment insurance, pell grants, student loans (I hope you guys have it figured out for tuition next year), aid to states (teachers, get ready to get laid off), federal prisons (ready to let the convicts run loose?), NASA (goodbye engineers), DEA and FBI (bye bye coppers), FAA (sure we can cancel some flights to allow for the deep cuts), FDA (salmonella anyone?), SEC (I am sure Wall Street will behave itself).

You see the sequester is a suicide pact. Both sides think the other will flinch. In the end though we ALL lose. You know what is protected? Social Security and Medicaid. And Medicare only gets a 2% whack. So the Geezers are ok but the rest of us are screwed.

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Old Dec 25, 2012, 08:10 PM   #97
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Boehner's job is pretty thankless right now.
His plan was shot down by the people of his own party - something that gives a bit of leverage to the dems (and Obama) during the negotiations.

As Obama has stated before, he is open to some cuts in SS and Medicare, but my guess is that he wants this demand to specifically come from the Republicans (so that they can be blamed later by his party). He has laid specific proposals for tax increase for the so called wealthy.

Up till now, the Reps have been clamoring for spending cuts, but have been a bit sketchy on the specifics, because cutting SS and Medicare will give the dems enough 'ammunition' to legitimize the "party of the rich" tag that they have been ascribing to the Reps.
You understand it exactly. The problem of course is that the rest of us are going to go berserk unless they put the burden of cuts on the elderly. It is generational warfare that is being waged. Most young people are too dumb to realize that defending Medicare and Social Security means massive cuts to things that matter to the young. When they cannot go to college anymore or they cannot get their foodstamps or their baby mom cannot get her WIC anymore, they might see this differently.

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Old Dec 25, 2012, 09:06 PM   #98
Joel Goodson
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So you would accept a tax increase so that I will get one too? Am I hearing that correctly? My guess is that the middle class (say up to 300K) will do a lot more whining about a tax increase than the rich will.
Well, sure, because a tax increase will be a lot more painful for middle class types than the wealthy and uber-wealthy.

Eventually, there will be a compromise, but, unfortunately, probably only after a tsunamai of discontent. While the Repubs have been braying about cost reductions (and, yes, I agree that this is a key issue), they haven't advanced anything specific because they know they're gonna get hammered. So, it's more brinksmanship...ugh.

WRT your questions, I believe in a progressive income tax and that high income earners should pay a higher rate than they're paying now. I also believe the latest Obama proposal of 400K (vs. 250K) bracket threshold is fair. As is $1M+ bracket.

No one wants a tax increase, but the government can't get to where it needs to go on the expense side alone. So, who can best take it in the shorts? The highest earners, no-brainer. I wish I was fortunate enough to be in one of those brackets.

Numerous studies have show the gap between the wealthy and the middle class has widened over the past 15 or so years. I honestly don't think this is a good thing. And, no, I'm not advocating socialism.
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Old Dec 25, 2012, 11:14 PM   #99
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Well, sure, because a tax increase will be a lot more painful for middle class types than the wealthy and uber-wealthy.

Eventually, there will be a compromise, but, unfortunately, probably only after a tsunamai of discontent. While the Repubs have been braying about cost reductions (and, yes, I agree that this is a key issue), they haven't advanced anything specific because they know they're gonna get hammered. So, it's more brinksmanship...ugh.

WRT your questions, I believe in a progressive income tax and that high income earners should pay a higher rate than they're paying now. I also believe the latest Obama proposal of 400K (vs. 250K) bracket threshold is fair. As is $1M+ bracket.

No one wants a tax increase, but the government can't get to where it needs to go on the expense side alone. So, who can best take it in the shorts? The highest earners, no-brainer. I wish I was fortunate enough to be in one of those brackets.

Numerous studies have show the gap between the wealthy and the middle class has widened over the past 15 or so years. I honestly don't think this is a good thing. And, no, I'm not advocating socialism.
A couple thoughts.

(1) There will be a compromise because there has to be. To let it all unfold as it would without a compromise is suicidal for the country. Right now I don't think either side believes that.

(2) There has to be cost reductions. If we tax everyone over $250K at 100% we'd still have a $600B deficit assuming people worked with that kind of a tax (and nobody would).

(3) I am curious why you think a progressive income tax is fair. Why is my time worth less than yours? Why should I work 20+ hours a week for the common good but half of our nation should not contribute even an hour a week? Surely a FAIR system would have everyone contribute an equal amount of their time to the common good. A fair system of taxation would tax everyone at 20% or 30% or 50%. Any other system by its very nature is UNFAIR.

(4) Since taxing the rich does not get us to a solution to our debt problems, why is it an answer? The simple fact is that it is propaganda. If you want to solve our debt problems you should be looking at a solution that encompasses all Americans. If we were to go to war, we would make everyone pitch in. Right now, I pitch in to the tune of about 50% of my work. How many of you can say the same thing?

(5) Finally, you have listened to the nonsense about income disparity. It is a lie. Oh sure it is true when you measure it by $$ and cents but not by living standard. Tell me, what do I have that you lack? We eat similar foods, we live in similar homes, we have similar entertainment, we have similar education. Does Dwayne Wade TRULY live better than you do?

In the 30's people were starving. They were homeless. They had no healthcare. No retirement. The rich had all of those things and more. For the most part this simply isn't true anymore. People live longer and better than they ever have in history.

The living standard gap has closed in this country and has closed world wide at a remarkable pace this century.

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Old Dec 26, 2012, 08:02 AM   #100
Joel Goodson
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Minus 7 members they had last term, plus some of the most extreme Teapublicans are gone. 2014 will be a crucial year for the tea Party if they plan to stay relevant.
Here's an excellent article on the inner machinations of a major Tea Party group: http://www.washingtonpost.com/politi...wpmk=MK0000203

Behind the curtain, yet another B-I-G money player (e.g. Kochs, Adelson) pulling the strings.
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