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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on January 1, 2013 8:38 PM. The previous post in this blog was Still running for something. The next post in this blog is Oh, the 'dogs dwindle down to a precious few. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Bush tax cuts made permanent, with a few tweaks

The House passed the "fiscal cliff" deal this evening. As well it should -- it's by far a better deal for the Republican side than for the Democratic.

Comments (28)

I'm shocked that there was an up or down vote on it. It'll be interesting to see how this plays into the power dynamic of the House in the next few weeks.

Like the high school screw up, they waited until the day the paper was due before they even started.

So they turned in a HALF page book report (assigned Four MONTHS AGO), two days late and the teacher took it.

That does NOT mean they EVER read the book, did the work, understood the material, or wrote their own book report.

All they did was cut and paste the Cliff Notes.

Grade: D

And there's another assignment due tomorrow.

They'll kick the can down another day tomorrow and the drunken sailor spending continues.

Except sailors spend THEIR OWN money to get drunk.

Congress = doing things we don't know, things we don't understand, and when they come to light, we don't like. Have to say this for Sam: We knew what he was up to, we did not like it, but just like Congress, we could not do anything about it. Bless Hipsters and their bicycles, they rule. Dammit.

Some day the citizenry will wake up and stop voting for the power elite. (aka Democrats and Republicans.)

Really? About $600 billion in new revenue, $30 billion in extended unemployment benefits and five years of stimulus tax credits without giving up any real spending cuts -- that sounds a lot more like what Democrats wanted than what Republicans wanted.

The discussion we need to have is about what Social Security was intended to do -- to get poor people out of hovels and extremely unsafe and unhealthy slums. SS was not intended to pay for lifetime golf vacations and beach condos.
But in prosperous times people began to think of it as a benefit they have paid for to support them in their old age. And with job-related pensions, people could retire in greater luxury.
I get a couple of thousand a month from Social Security. I can't say I don't need it, but if I were single, it would keep me out of poverty. I could afford about $600-700 in rent, more if I tightly limited other expenses, still more if I lived with another pensioner.
And that is about all SS was intended to provide. Medicare is a huge bonus on top of that.
So a needs based SS system, fairly easily accomplished by making more SS income taxable, not only makes sense but will do much to ease the long term deficit. Not paying enough into Social Security now will lead to increased borrowing later, which our economic disaster may justify for now.
But Democrats and the other left should realize there is nothing sacred about Social Security benefits that people don't need to survive.
We should gradually decrease benefits, and keep other safety nets so our children and grandchildren will have secure incomes in their old age that do not break our bank.

$600 billion in new revenue

$120 billion a year of which comes from working-class people via the FICA payroll tax increase.

With dividends on stocks and capital gains taxed at a mere 20%, the top 5% are still making out like total bandits. Even under Reagan, dividends and capital gains were taxed at 28%.

The deal passed today is a lot more like Bush 2004 than like Clinton 1998.

As for spending cuts, few of the bozos currently on either side of the aisle are serious about that. It's not just a Democrat thing -- for example, our obscene military budget is a permanent, bipartisan disgrace.

what Social Security was intended to do

FDR sold it to the public as an insurance annuity, not as welfare. That perception persists. About 20 years ago, kids coming out of school figured out that it was going to turn into welfare eventually. But for people over, say, 40, it's an entitlement. "I'm paying for you, and for George H.W. Bush. Don't tell me when it's my turn that I was too responsible in setting up a private pension on top of it."

Congress took a step toward means-testing when it made Social Security benefits partially taxable for people with substantial other income. That was in 1984, I believe. The income tax collected on the benefits goes into the Social Security "trust fund," and so it's just like a lower benefit.

Social Security is one of things (like balancing a check book & how real estate mortgage payments work) that ought to be taught in high school. That way everyone would know about Flemming vs. Nestor where it was determined that Social Security wasn't some sort of savings account, instead it was a tax & welfare system:

http://www.ssa.gov/history/nestor.html

If outgo does not equal income, the only outcome is disaster. Nothing is more important than getting this right.

And all the while, Obama acts like a spoiled, arrogant, mean kid who nobody in Congress can trust. It won't take long for Obama's heavy hand to be felt among the people who voted for him who understand the hard process of budgeting more than the President does. As Obama's big-government agenda becomes clear his support will die but he will likely proceed with his ideology because he is in love more with his ideas than the people and the country he serves. I can't believe we have to endure 4 more years of this while the Pres throws down threats and insults before he flies off to Hawaii. Obama's demeanor is undignified and is more suited to back alley fist fights than America's White House.

Wow, a bad case of Obama Derangement Syndrome.

Obama is a wimp. A strong liberal President would take Boehner and the other GOP spray tan toupees (and fakers like Wyden) out to the woodshed and show them who's boss. Shut the government down for a week or two, if necessary, and put the blame on the tighty righties. Instead he talks trash while lobbing nerf balls.

Oversized federal government is the product of both parties, my friend. Try cutting spending on nuclear bombs and see what happens.

" It won't take long for Obama's heavy hand to be felt among the people who voted for him who understand the hard process of budgeting more than the President does. As Obama's big-government agenda becomes clear his support will die ... "

I wouldn't bet the farm on that.

I wouldn't bet a nickel on that.

In general, the art of government consists of taking as much money as possible from one party of the citizens to give to the other.
-Voltaire (1764)

Interesting to note how the Oregon delegation voted -- Walden and Bonamici for; everyone else (Blu, Schra, DeF) against.

I am having a great time here in the Couv reading the comments on the Columbian website from the ubiquitous Clark County Teas. Seems while they were so busy screaming at each other in their echo chambers, the Speaker, the Senate Minority Leader... and their own Repub Congresswoman... left them in the dust of defeat. But, it is a new day and a new year. I am confident they will have more opportunities to be cornered, outwitted, "worked" by their "friends" and outvoted again. :-)

Jack: ODS my eye. And as for the military, the best way to strengthen this country's defense is to strengthen the economy. And you can't do that when you're giving all your money to the Chinese. If debt equalled strength, the PDX debt clock you keep at the top of your site would be a success meter instead of a measure of doom.

No, my bitterness comes from listening to what you so aptly call trash talk coming from the leader of the "free" world. (At this point, one has to redefine that "free" thing). No kidding the man is a wimp. But he is an ill-mannered, rash and imperial wimp - the worst kind. He does no credit to the country with his juvenile sniping and cynical gamesmanship, and he does great harm by continuing to divide us along party lines. His party, of course, is populated by "the elderly, students and the middle class". (He didn't include babies and puppies because they don't vote.) That leaves only the well-heeled to be Republicans (and maybe those who abuse puppy dogs too.) Sad. Sad that there is no bipartisan bone in his body and that his empathy for the common man is only an act.

As one of the Sunday news pundits said, the House does not trust Obama like they did past administrations, and the president has not made any overtures to make friends and earn trust in Congress which would make negotiations possible. And as one news person pointed out last night, Obama has taken only one step toward higher taxes, the next will be eliminating tax deductions, and all with increased spending and no meaningful spending cuts in sight. His goal is larger government and higher taxes, no matter how destructive to our future. Not ODs - just reality of the needless misery we have yet to see.

Really. There were spending cuts? Real, actual, tangible, spending cuts? It is to laugh. Manaiacally.

Wow is that what people actually think? An rash imperial wimp? Oh the irony.

An imperial wimp from Chicago.

Anyone else notice that Obama tried to at least partially shield federal workers from this 2% hike by giving them all a 1% raise by executive fiat?

The House smacked that down earlier in the afternoon before voting on the tax package, and it's likely to pass the Senate as well, where one Democrat was quoted as saying it was "the worst idea ever."

So how would you feel if a bunch of fools who could not count votes forced you to give up your vacation in Hawaii?

"Like the high school screw up"

Not quite - The high school can get rid of the screw-up.

"Oversized federal government is the product of both parties, my friend. Try cutting spending on nuclear bombs and see what happens."

All for it, but we can't even pull ourselves out of the swamp that is Afghanistan after 4 years of Obama.

ODS -- there's no cure.

The Republicans got the better end of the deal because Obama is just beginning to understand what it means to be a lame duck.

Other meanings for ODS are:

Ods: interj. 1. A corruption of God's; - formerly used in oaths and ejaculatory phrases.

Ozone Depletion Substance (too much hot air?)

Operation Defensive Shield (military term used here for Susan Rice's performance per Obama's instructions)

But Obama Derangement Syndrome works just fine if you like. It explains the Commander-in-Chief's low-brow fits of pique when he is giving a speech and forgets where he is and thinks he is doing street-level organizing, whipping up the emotions of the masses.

low-brow fits of pique

Somebody needs to get back on their meds.


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Charles Larson - The Portland Murders
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William H. Colby - Long Goodbye
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Phil Stanford - Portland Confidential
Rick Moody - Garden State
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David Sedaris - Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
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