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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Grover is so over

Is this the year that the Republicans in Congress allow a fair deal to be made on tax increases? Or will they continue to follow the preachings of this fellow, whose era, like Rush Limbaugh's, seems to have come and gone? It's way past time that the Democrats called all of these guys' bluff. If there has to be high drama, let there be high drama, but the majority of Americans think that the taxes that high-income folks pay are too low. Can we do what the voters want on taxes for a change?

Obama had better not sell out on this issue again, the way he did two years ago. All the White House has to do is nothing, in order for the so-called "Bush tax cuts" to disappear come Jan. 1. No more two-year extensions like last time, Mr. President. (They should really be called the "Bush-Obama tax cuts.")

If we had to guess, we'd predict that the lame duck Congress is going to let the nation fall at least part of the way off the "fiscal cliff," but then try to climb back up, retroactively, early in 2013. That will wreak havoc on tax filing season, but honestly, what do the senior Congresspeople care? They answer to no one. The bigger the oddball, the more secure his or her seat.

Comments (31)

I almost feel sorry for Grover Norquist. He reminds me of several people with whom I went to high school, who were so obnoxious and dysfunctional that they had the crap beaten out of them every day in school by the anime club. Most of his push isn't out of legitimate concerns about national finance, but out of a desperate urge to get even with all of the girls who laughed and pointed when he asked them to the prom.

Of all the things in this last election that made me the happiest, and there were plenty to chose from: marriage equality, legalizing marijuana, women elected to Congress in unprecedented numbers, was the fact that Karl Rove and Grover Norquist's time may actually be up. Surely the Koch brothers and all those who poured a cool billion dollars into Republican PACs, will no longer listen to these two men who got exactly 0 (ZERO) candidates elected.

Way to go, America. Hooah!

Giving Obama credit for the two-year extension of the Bush tax cuts is a good idea. Compared to Europe, the US has enjoyed a much better economic recovery, thanks to the relative absence of austerity measures here. It could have been better still, of course, with more and different fiscal actions, but this was the best that could be done with a reluctant Congress.

Kicking the can down the road -- feels so good.

It appears that drinking Kool-Aid has suddenly become popular.

Here's the thing: Aside from some of the spending cuts, the fiscal cliff gives Obama just about everything he wants.

The Republicans sound like desperate police negotiators trying to stop a suicide bomber by saying, "You're going to kill yourself!"

Grover did this buffoon ever become credible?

Grover and Karl were never elected to anything! They must have blackmailed some of the rethugs to get as powerful as they were/(are?).
The Republican Party of Tom McCall, Mark Hatfield, Ike, and Edward Everett Dirkson, and even the likes of Tricky Dick Nixon, and Bob Packwood is absolutely gone. Even the revered Ronald Regan couldn't pass the Teabagger test today.
The Republicans need to return to their fiscally conservative ways and stay out of people's bedrooms, doctor's offices, and disavow themselves from publically supporting all religions. They also need to recognize that their so called "base" of old white men is an unsustainable demographic.

You deserve what is coming.

So do you.

Yes, get the displaced anger out of your system by enacting a fiscally meaningless tax increase that will be charged against (but for the most part not realized) against people you don't like.

Warren Rudman died today. As he would tell you, the issue is balanced budgets, not using the Federal Government as a hate machine. With $16 trillion in debt and trillion dollar Obama deficits as far as the eye can see, if you want to get where this country needs to go via tax increases, the road is through broad based tax increases affecting (and hurting) virtually everyone. We are that far in the hole. There is nothing noble or productive about sticking it to the man.

I "deserve what's coming"? What exactly would that be?

Molly knows.

Grover did this buffoon ever become credible?

It would be a mistake to underestimate Norquist. His power derives from voters and voters' antipathy for tax increases. Ask George H.W. Bush.

Allan L.: "but this was the best that could be done with a reluctant Congress."

Really? You forgot "and with an ineffective President."

Come on. The very idea of the government spending less--why that's completely insane.

It's also insane that money earned from the sweat of your brow is taxed more than money earned from dividends.

an ineffective President

I didn't forget; I don't see it quite the same way, even though a great many obviously do. In his first term, Obama infuriated the right by enacting their own proposals for universal health insurance, and infuriated the left for abandoning the concept of socialized (i.e., Medicare for all) medicine. He infuriated the right on fiscal policy by carrying out the auto industry bailout that Bush started, and proposing legislation (that was enacted) reforming the financial industry, but he infuriated the left as well by accepting weakened reforms as enacted by the congress and by taking advice from the New York financial community (which, in turn, denounced him for not showing them adequate respect). In foreign policy, the right faulted him for apologizing for America, while the left was outraged by drone attacks targeting terrorists, even American citizens. In other words, a little something for everyone, and in the process, quite a bit has actually been accomplished. And all this at a time when his ability to call on reliable Congressional support was limited to seven weeks in 2009, and when the Republicans made no secret of their intention to put up coordinated resistance to anything and everything the President tried to do. So, no, unlike many here, I'm not convinced he has been ineffectual. Since the election results were unambiguously positive for Obama -- even in the House, where democrats got significantly more votes than republicans in the aggregate -- I guess I have some company, and we'll get another chance to evaluate that.

I'm not sure the cliff is actually something to be feared. Remember, the default cuts include cutting the defense budget. It's a sign of how corrupt Congress is that we'll cut Social Security rather than pare down defense spending.

Once the tax cuts expire, the Dems can introduce a bill that rolls back the tax rates on incomes under $250K. At that point, Republicans can vote against a tax cut, or screw up the nerve to tell Grover to get lost.

Obama and Harry Reid make a compelling case for raising tax rates. But there are so many expenditures begging to be cut by adults. Yet people like the aforementioned POTUS and SML, plus Michael Moore just scream "feed me!!" OK. You break it, you bought it.

Well said, Allan.

The fiscal cliff is more like a curb.
Spending needs to be cut and taxes need to go up.
Hey Molly, inquiring minds want to know? what's coming?
Pay as you go police and fire protection? How about good old fashioned toll roads...on your street? And are we each going to be responsible for supporting our very own soldier or sailor or marine overseas?
And are you willing or able to pay for the Medicare and Medicaid for your neighbor's granny in the nursing home?

The President and Congress do not have the guts or the brains to fix our economy. They lack any understanding of basic math and thanks to the private bankers (Federal Reserve), they have been spending junkies for decades.

This boat is either going to sink or they are just going to make up new rules and start over.

And "new rules" is going to really piss off the rest of the world- enough to bring the empire either into World War III or worse.

"his ability to call on reliable Congressional support was limited to seven weeks in 2009"

Seven weeks about sums up my recollection of this Presidents ability to work with the legislative branch. From a historical perspective, he is ineffectual at it. Perhaps you would blame the Rs? Doesn't really matter. The nation must still be governed regardless of lower house. And it's not about 'calling' on someone for support. It is elbows, threats, consequences, and jawboning in DC.

Allen L makes it sound that O gets a pass since congress is a dysfunctional mess and the lower house is 1/2 full of arseholes and the other half full of thieves. O wanted the job. It includes getting things done with congress. (And also taking criticism from anonymous hacks like me on the internet.)

Effectual, strong politicians can work with a split congress. O has run strong campaigns for election. I look forward to evidence that he is a strong politician when it comes to wielding power in DC. I largely support his agenda as he expressed it on the stump.

Oh well - if we go over the fiscal cliff, if you thought 2008-2009 were bad - you will be in for even bigger surprises. Already major companies are cutting back on staff and costs. Look for higher unemployment and more inflation - just for starters.

Will, what do you make of the fact that Mitch McConnell asserted that stopping Obama from being reelected was more important than any policy goal? Could you please explain how the hell a president is supposed to work with a congress like that?

I appreciate the motivation behind Grover's Pledge - that the Federal Government is already extracting enough from the private sector to fund its essential operations.

The biggest flaw with the Pledge is the giant loophole for "grandchild taxes" (the new taxes needed at some future date to cover prior deficit spending).

A constitutional balanced budget amendment would prevent Republicans from relying on grandchild taxes as a means of complying with the Pledge. It would also incentivize Democrats to really consider spending reductions (the point of diminishing returns for new tax proposals operates as a spending limit).

If the federal government couldn't run deficits, every Congressional election would be about cutting spending vs generating additional tax revenues.

We'd have a really bumpy ride for a while, but eventually we would find an acceptable equilibrium.

zach It's a good question and I don't know the answer. One would think that a President would not be amused and would make it a point to retaliate against a senator who takes a position like that. Something subversive, duplicitous, and down right mean-spirited would seem appropriate and typical to DC.

Minority leaders have been taken out in my lifetime. The last time the Senator was smeared nationally as nothing more than an obstructionist, followed up by relentless and continual media attacks in his home district.

Will our President get down into the trenches, fight for policy, exhaust his political capital, extract a price for defiance, go nuclear against near treasonous Senators? Based on my reading that is what it takes to get something done in a fractious US Congress.

Well...let's see the market is not doing too bad and Nike just announced a 2 for 1 split and a dividend.
So I guess Phil will be able to afford his new 4% tax increase on his capital gains.

If McConnell really wanted to make Obama a one-term president, all he needed to do was make sure Obama got everything Obama wanted.

Let the Bush Tax Cuts expire!

The Government was in good shape prior.

But Bush Tax Cuts and 2 wars to enrich the war machine,
along with 1999 Bank deregulation lead to this.


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