Saturday, November 06, 2010
Could any single headline more crisply capture the last two years of American political life?
CWCID: Glenn Reynolds.
Ah, the phrase most definitely speaks for itself. Yet another Obama non sequitur!
I use the Latin at my blog as well at times. It adds an international flavor, especially if people who read it actually take the time to find out what it means.
Keep up the great work.
Mike at The Political Commentator
For two years Obama & Co have been operating as if the USA was a British-style parliamentary system, our Constitution notwithstanding. Ironically, had we been such, Obama & Co would have been voted out of power this past Tuesday. But now separation of powers and checks and balances will be back in fashion. Blow me.
There are three possible outcomes.
1) No one gets a tax cut.
2) 99% of America gets a tax cut.
3) 100% of America gets a tax cut.
So your position is Obama's being unreasonable by not giving the Republicans everything they want?
Reply to Blue Texan ... Nice rhetoric, poor analysis.
In the linked article, Obama says that cutting taxes for the top 2% will require us to borrow $700 billion (over ten years, presumably) and hence is fiscally irresponsible. But he conveniently leaves out that cutting them for the other 98% will "cost" $4 billion over ten years.
It ignores the dynamic element that tax rates have on economic activity. Money not taxed is spent (good) or invested (better still). We have over 60 years of USA experience that shows that jacking tax rates doesn't deliver more tax revenue. Instead it skews economic activity -- sometimes profoundly.
Obama either doesn't know from this, or doesn't care -- as it's all about "revenge" and "reparations."
But I'd trade losing the Bush tax cuts on myself if we got into fiscal balance in exchange. (I may be in the minority here for saying that).
But that's not going to happen -- we're so far out of balance that we'd have to jack the personal income tax by as much as 100% to make the numbers work ... unless we cut spending.
This isn't higher math -- I've been doing it on a napkin for over two years. This numerical disconnect is so bad that it's not a Left vs Right Divide ... not unless you want our current system to fail so it can be replaced with Some New New Thing.
There's also a presumption that the top cohort of income defines the "Rich." It really doesn't. The truly rich own shit and don't need to recognize income ... when they do it's capital gains. So all these lefties take aim at the likes of Larry Ellison and instead end up hitting the local opthamologist. By the way ... that's why so many billionaires are Democrats ... "I'm aboard ... pull up the ladder."
I await your response, Blue Texan.
"So your position is Obama's being unreasonable by not giving the Republicans everything they want?"
Blue Texan also utterly missed the point of the post; that Obama demands compromise, but refuses to alter his own position. That's not compromise at all, that's an ultimatum. It's self contradictory and hypocritical, demanding some higher standard of behavior from the opposition that he completely unwilling (unable?) to meet himself.
Rather like speaking one minute about racial unity and civility and the next about how ethnic groups need to strike back against their 'enemies.'
Just a hint of the uphill nature of the level playing field. As Anon notes, the issue is not a tax cut but a tax increase. Yet, the media has wrestled the rhetoric from reason in the interest all the news that fits their agenda. When missile defense becomes star wars, it's a tougher fight to win.
"the issue is not a tax cut but a tax increase."
I don't think that's right actually. To "extend the Bush tax cuts" past 2010 would require amending the tax code and the rates already in place. If nothing is done, these higher rates take effect as scheduled.
Budget agencies key off this. If we "extend the Bush tax cuts", our official budget deficit projections will go up. Put another way, the federal government's budget already assumes higher tax rates are in place -- and already has plans for how to spend it.
We've been playing this same game for years with the Alternative Minimum Tax. A permanent fix would balloon the deficit, so we keep doing short fixes.
Ok. Are we going to allow a large tax increase or prevent it?
Even though the law will automatically increase taxes, calling the result of changing that law a tax cut just doesn't pass the duck test. People haven't had to pay the higher taxes yet, so extending the rates is not going to feel like a tax cut to anyone. Allowing the rates to rise, however, will feel unmistakably like a tax increase. Hence, rhetorical advantage: Democrats and MSM.
"extending the rates is not going to feel like a tax cut to anyone."
"Hence, rhetorical advantage: Democrats and MSM."
If Boehner/McConnell start from the position that they won't agree to anything or combination of things that increases the official deficit for the 2011 budget that's still needs to get done -- they'll either get spending cuts ... or else we'll have the middle class pay higher taxes.
Obama would want to shift blame for that to the Republicans, but he may not get MSM's help anymore. (Think of when Quintus finally does the right thing near the end of Gladiator: "Sheathe your swords!")
Republicans can say that they're FOR tax cuts AND spending cuts ... it's Obama who's saying NO.
The trap is identifying which spending cuts. I'd put the specifics back onto Obama. It's still his and Nancy's lame duck Congress dealing with their unfinished business, isn't it. Obama and Nancy wrote Porkulus together ... they can write anti-Porkulus together, or suffer the consequences. Nancy still wants to be a Big Swinging Dick ... so let her.
Extending Unemployment can be handled the same way.
I am confused... for years I have been hearing from the left that Bush gave tax cutes (or rather, cut tax rates) to the rich.
Bush tax cuts - for the rich.
Yes, I'm certain that was it. So what's this obvious nonsense about extending the "Bush tax cuts for all income brackets?" I await an explanation that does not require me to believe in self serving Democrat and media deceit.
Blue Texan also utterly missed the point of the post; that Obama demands compromise, but refuses to alter his own position. That's not compromise at all, that's an ultimatum.
Yeah, it's an ultimatum, like this is an ultimatum.
Republicans: "We want $1.00 for this egg, which you'll get anyway if you wait a while."
Obama: "I can't do better than 98 cents."
Entire right-wing: OMG OBAMA WONT COMPROMISE!1!!!
Blue Texan is advocating rather than listening and discussing.
First, the sequence of words "...compromise, won't budge..." is the entire point of the post. It's about the headline, irrespective of the content beneath it.
Second, the content is true as it stands. It is not unreasonable for you to take the position that the headline misleads - that if one takes the entirety of the topic into consideration, Obama has already compromised 98%. You would be dead wrong, and that point could be challenged and dismantled, but it also has at least a superficial reasonableness.
Third, your analogy equating the per cent of people getting their tax cut extended with cents out of a dollar is flawed to the point of being misleading. If you actually see the situation as fitting your analogy, then you need to listen. If you know that it is flawed but use it anyway then you are being deceitful.
"First, the sequence of words "...compromise, won't budge..." is the entire point of the post. It's about the headline, irrespective of the content beneath it."
Obama's position is already a compromise position, as outlined above.
He can do nothing and all the Bush tax cuts -- which were great at producing jobs and reducing the deficit, by the way -- expire.
The Republicans need to negotiate, but as John Boehner has already said publicly, "there will be no compromise."
But Obama's the bad guy who's inflexible.
Here is a flash from the past from Blue Texan at Professor Bainbridge blog:
Code Pink? Funny.
Please post quotes by 5 elected Democratic members of the Senate or House praising or defending Code Pin. Or the Weathermen, for that matter.
Bet you can't.
Guess what? Commenters at Professor Bainbridge provided Ten current or present members of Congress, not counting Obama with Billy Boy and Bernadine. In addition, add Charles Rangel to the list.
Go for it , Blue Texan.
Blue Texan is trying to make this a shouting match: "Less filling ... tastes great." But there's no reason to his BS rhetoric.
The Republicans just won HUGELY. But Obama and Blue Texan want to deny its meaning. Obama insists that it doesn't mean that Americans are questioning his programs -- just that he didn't spend enough time teaching us their merits. WTF?
One of Obama's campaign promises was "if you make less than $xxx, I won't raise your taxes ... not a single dime." Divide and conquer. But all Americans are about to get hit with a higher tax bill in just a few weeks, if nothing's done. Who will get the blame? My money's on Obama-Pelosi.
Blue Texan didn't address my substantive points above. We can't tax our way out of our current predicament -- the top 5% don't show enough gross income on their 1044s. Do the math -- it's not that hard. What say you to that, Blue Texan? If you duck me again it's a tell that you're not a serious person.
Fuck compromise. The recent election is a mandate to undo everything Obama & Co have done to the extent legally possible. I'd fund a 2011 tax cut by stopping all payments out of Stimulus for openers ... e.g., No high speed rail lines ... no Turtle Trails for Pelosi's district. It's a start.
You really have got to enjoy the pure, crystalline stupidity of saying that Obama is extending an olive branch to the Republicans by offering to "keep" the Bush tax cuts to the "middle class".
47% of Americans DONT PAY ANY TAXES!
Blue Texan...would you please go out NOW and tattoo that on your nose!
It will cost Obama essentially nothing to fiddle with a couple of percentage points in the marginal tax rates of a class of taxpayoers that contribute virtually NOTHING to the US Treasury.
The LIONS SHARE of US TAX INCOME is from the rich. The top 5%. The one's who "don't pay their fair share". The one's who pay most of the burden, but still only get one vote per man.
They are also the one's who, dollar for dollar, stimulate the economy far more than what Obama calls "the middle class", who will likely not use the money to invest or hire.
So, BT, it isn't a metter of Obama offering comprimise on that ONE PERCENT. From a simple mathematical perspective, the asic question is:
ARE WE GOING TO GIVE A TAX BREAK OR NOT?
Leave out the top one percent...and you are simply not giving a tax break....period.
For heaven's sake...put down the cool aid and do the math!
"Obama's position is already a compromise position, as outlined above."
/ˈkɒmprəˌmaɪz/ [kom-pruh-mahyz] –noun
1. a settlement of differences by mutual concessions; an agreement reached by adjustment of conflicting or opposing claims, principles, etc., by reciprocal modification of demands.
Obama's position isn't the product of negotiation. It was chosen simply because he thinks it'll benefit him best. He simply declared this position and commanded the Republicans to come to him. By virtue of being his original position, it's NOT a compromise. And the mere fact that it's not the most extreme position available doesn't make it one, either.
"47% of Americans don't pay any taxes." Now that's a bullcrap statement and you know it. Almost every American pays taxes. There are payroll taxes, there are sales taxes, local and county taxes, property taxes, federal and state income tax, and capital gains taxes to name a few. You mean to tell me that 47% percent pay none of those taxes? Bullcrap. Get your facts from a reliable source.
You poor poor republicant boobs. You saw your own congresscritters call Obama "socialist," "communist," "fascist," "un-American," "Muslim," and all sorts of nonsense before he was even elected to office. Think about the republicants like Demint and OConnell who have stated they wanted to break Obama right from the start. Are those the words of a minority party who want to work with the majority party to solve our nation's biggest problems? And now you wonder why Obama sometimes played hardball with congressional republicants.
Take a look at health care reform act. Find how many aspects of the act were actually items that republicants previously supported as reform measures. Also look at all the truly progressive stuff the Democrats left out of HCRA- single-payer, public option to name two things. Some of the most liberal aspects were not even put on the table by Democrats.
When have republicants ever actually bargained in good faith? Their stated agenda was to oppose Obama on everything and to make health care reform his "Waterloo." Remember how Obama and Nancy Pelosi from the beginning stated they weren't going to investigate Bush's presidency and the conduct of the Iraq war, torture, etc.? Did they honor this promise? Damned right they did. And how will they be repaid? Darrell Issa has already stated he is going to initiate one investigation after another.
Wake the hell up and stop talking out of your backsides. You voted for the same clowns who got us into this economic mess and now you expect that "fiscal conservatism" is going to get us out? LOL. There's no such thing as fiscal conservatism- unless you mean republicant presidents running huge deficits each year and jacking up the national debt while giving small tax breaks to the proles and giant breaks to the oligarchs.