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Sunday, December 02, 2012

OTP December 2012 - Pushing G.O.P. to Negotiate, Obama Ends Giving In

Mr. Obama, scarred by failed negotiations in his first term and emboldened by a clear if close election to a second, has emerged as a different kind of negotiator in the past week or two, sticking to the liberal line and frustrating Republicans on the other side of the bargaining table.

Bitter Mouse Posted: December 02, 2012 at 11:15 PM | 6172 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: politics

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   501. spike Posted: December 04, 2012 at 02:15 PM (#4316615)
And what do we make of Roger Ailes' attempt to recruit Petraeus to run for president, with Ailes as campaign manager, Murdoch to finance and Fox as in-house support.... on tape
   502. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 04, 2012 at 02:16 PM (#4316616)
matt

well, this is a country where folks elect their representatives to do waht they ask. and a good many of the congresspeople taking what some percieve as an unreasonable position are doing precisely waht their constituents asked of them

i will not get into a discussion of moral or immoral.

but these folks in congress are acting as they were told to act by their voters.

the downside of having voters play a role in the process
   503. spike Posted: December 04, 2012 at 02:18 PM (#4316618)
If they exist to rubber stamp the majority of their constituents regardless, what function do they serve?
   504. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 04, 2012 at 02:21 PM (#4316619)
spike

they represent the local views of their consituents in the national forum.

the underlying current of tension that has always existed in this country and what makes much of it great but also frustrating comes from the regional differences.

can make things pretty challenging at times.

but as long as everyone accepts the decision outcomes we will muddle through
   505. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: December 04, 2012 at 02:21 PM (#4316620)
no, senator demint is just that, a senator. this is a negotiation between the house and the president.


No one should listen to a word any Senator says until January.
   506. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: December 04, 2012 at 02:21 PM (#4316621)

That's odd as heck. People who vote by definition already consider themselves Americans since its a requirement to be a citizen in order to be able to vote.


I remember reading somewhere -- Nate Silver? -- that when the census asks people about their ethnic origin, most will put German or Irish or Polish or Latino etc. But there is a defined group of citizens that declare their ethnic origin as "American" -- they are white and are found predominantly in Appalachia and upcountry parts of Alabama and Georgia. Does anyone remember that?
   507. Danny Posted: December 04, 2012 at 02:21 PM (#4316622)
It's South Africa before apartheid.

---
It's not as bad as South Africa before apartheid, it's more like pre-civil rights act US South...

These are really bad comparisons. Most Palestinians have no desire to be equal citizens with full rights in Israel. A minority want that, and a minority want to drive the Jews out of the region via war, but the plurality support a two state solution where they would be full citizens of an independent Palestinian state.

That's not to say the current situation is better or worse than the Jim Crow or apartheid comparisons--it's just not really comparable to either.
   508. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: December 04, 2012 at 02:22 PM (#4316625)
If they exist to rubber stamp the majority of their constituents regardless, what function do they serve?


Mostly the House exists just to screw things up.
   509. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 04, 2012 at 02:23 PM (#4316628)
if the president wants a deal, and i am certain he does, he needs to give the non-tea party republicans something that will help them keep their seats in 2014 and beyond

voting for a tax rate increase will live in their voting record forever, get them branded 'traitor' by some party members and something that they will have speak to as long as they are in office.

they need a 'but' as a rebuttal. they need a real 'get'.

that is the president's challenge

can he? will he?

because the president always has to be the bigger person in these discussions
   510. Tilden Katz Posted: December 04, 2012 at 02:23 PM (#4316629)
I love that the GOP is doubling down on the "real American" crap. For the record, poor Hispanics on welfare are better Americans than the old white men who fly the flag of a traitor army outside their homes or use it to decorate their cars.
   511. Tilden Katz Posted: December 04, 2012 at 02:26 PM (#4316632)
I remember reading somewhere -- Nate Silver? -- that when the census asks people about their ethnic origin, most will put German or Irish or Polish or Latino etc. But there is a defined group of citizens that declare their ethnic origin as "American" -- they are white and are found predominantly in Appalachia and upcountry parts of Alabama and Georgia. Does anyone remember that?


Yeah, that was on the original FiveThirtyEight (though I'm sure the original research was done by an academic). Describing oneself as being of "America" origin is a prime indicator that one votes Republican.
   512. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 04, 2012 at 02:26 PM (#4316633)
Liberally speaking (cap L) - I just utterly refuse to negotiate changes to entitlements in a way that forces me to accept the big lie that pretends entitlement spending (and funding) is indistinguishable from discretionary spending and revenue.

If that means going over the cliff, so be it -- it feels weird marching over the edge arm-in-arm with the teapers, but I'll take the near-term economic hit over a furthering of a foundational, ideological trojan any day of the week.


I think this is part hyperbole and part wrong. You have to know where you are in the success cycle. The Liberal state has in large part won, but could use some time to consolidate its victory especially around ACA and in a different way the Supreme Court. Claiming touching entitlments is the same as accepting a big lie is very wrong, and misses the boat.

It is much more harmful to the Liberal state to have more years of economic foundering and the attendent rise of radicalism that comes with economic hardship than almost any ideological trojan. The entitlment changes need to be evaluated from the standpoint of economic and personal harm (or help), the symbolic ideology is not nearly as important (though not irrelevent).

Additionally and perhaps more importantly politicians are elected to govern. Running your car into a ditch to prove a point is a terrible way to govern. I agree that governing means short and long term considerations (bad analogy alert) - sometimes you let the hostage die, but the economy is too big a hostage and too fragile to mess with.

Just because the GOP has decided to stop governing does not absolve the Democrats from their responsibility. That doesn't mean you alwyas have to accede to the crazy guy in the red hat, but you can't just refuse to talk to the crazy guy - you have to try to negotiate something and only go over the cliff if that is the best option.
   513. McCoy Posted: December 04, 2012 at 02:27 PM (#4316634)
The Speakership is a position of power, both in the government and in the Party. No politician has ever turned down an opportunity to accrue more power

Governor Cuomo would disagree.
   514. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: December 04, 2012 at 02:27 PM (#4316637)

if the president wants a deal, and i am certain he does, he needs to give the non-tea party republicans something that will help them keep their seats in 2014 and beyond

voting for a tax rate increase will live in their voting record forever, get them branded 'traitor' by some party members and something that they will have speak to as long as they are in office.


They already voted for a tax increase. That's why rates are going up January 1. That's baked into the cake, the question should be negotiation over what happens after the Bush tax cuts expire.
   515. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: December 04, 2012 at 02:28 PM (#4316639)
I see that the way we will get the Hispanics and the other groups, the Asians, as part of the Republican Coalition is to get them first part of the great American Coalition. Make them think of themselves, not make but, persuade them to think of themselves primarily as Americans.
News Flash: Not only do I already think of myself primarily as American, I don't think of myself as anything else. It's not the ethnic minority groups — especially those past the 1st generation born within American borders —who don't accept themselves as Americans, it's the previously established population here who don't accept them as Americans, and it's been thus since the 18th century.
   516. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: December 04, 2012 at 02:29 PM (#4316641)
The primary take away from that WaPo piece linked above is that David Petraeus is a self-obsessed jackass, right? And that he left the military for the CIA because he wanted to be in the "growth industry."

War pigs and all that.
   517. DA Baracus Posted: December 04, 2012 at 02:30 PM (#4316642)
Washington Post-Pew Poll: 53% say GOP House more to blame if agreement not reached. Obama doesn't get 47% of the vote though, 12% say they're both to blame.

Unfortunately they don't list the D/R/I split so it doesn't count because you won't be able to unskew it.
   518. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 04, 2012 at 02:31 PM (#4316644)
bitter

completely agree with your last paragraph above

and for the record the entire party has not refused to govern. there is a subset that is now of the belief that you have to destroy the village to save it.

that is not hyperbole. they mean it.
   519. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 04, 2012 at 02:31 PM (#4316645)
if the president wants a deal, and i am certain he does, he needs to give the non-tea party republicans something that will help them keep their seats in 2014 and beyond

voting for a tax rate increase will live in their voting record forever, get them branded 'traitor' by some party members and something that they will have speak to as long as they are in office.

they need a 'but' as a rebuttal. they need a real 'get'.

that is the president's challenge

can he? will he?

because the president always has to be the bigger person in these discussions


I don't disagree with this, but so far they have not come to him (at least openly) with what that 'get' is. Obama can't be both sides of the negotiation. If they (the GOP) wants something then they actually have to ask for it, and work for it. So far they have not put anything forward that I can tell.

Perhaps you could give me an example of what this get it that still allows both sides to come away with something, because the only thing I have seen from the GOP so far is "accept basically what Romney campaigned on". And that is ridiculous.

As I said before the GOP in the House needs to put their big boy pants on and get to work, or off the cliff we go.
   520. Steve Treder Posted: December 04, 2012 at 02:32 PM (#4316646)
They already voted for a tax increase. That's why rates are going up January 1. That's baked into the cake, the question should be negotiation over what happens after the Bush tax cuts expire.

Big time.
   521. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: December 04, 2012 at 02:32 PM (#4316647)
they are white and are found predominantly in Appalachia and upcountry parts of Alabama and Georgia.


The upcountry parts of Alabama and Georgia *are* Appalachia.
   522. Steve Treder Posted: December 04, 2012 at 02:35 PM (#4316651)
and for the record the entire party has not refused to govern. there is a subset that is now of the belief that you have to destroy the village to save it.

that is not hyperbole. they mean it.


Understood. I trust that you understand how infuriated the rest of us are with the part of the GOP that has meekly allowed, over a long period of years, that toxic subset to become and remain as powerful as they are. Your party is seriously effed up, Harvey.
   523. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: December 04, 2012 at 02:36 PM (#4316654)
that is the president's challenge

can he? will he?

because the president always has to be the bigger person in these discussions


This is spin by a guy that naturally sides with the faction that is trying to leverage from a position of weakness.
   524. zonk Posted: December 04, 2012 at 02:36 PM (#4316655)
if the president wants a deal, and i am certain he does, he needs to give the non-tea party republicans something that will help them keep their seats in 2014 and beyond

voting for a tax rate increase will live in their voting record forever, get them branded 'traitor' by some party members and something that they will have speak to as long as they are in office.

they need a 'but' as a rebuttal. they need a real 'get'.

that is the president's challenge

can he? will he?

because the president always has to be the bigger person in these discussions


Tax rates cannot continue to decline - it's just a mathematical impossibility (at least, when you consider supermajorities do NOT want -- for example -- Medicare cut).

It's the flipside of your 502 -

Present a poll that asks if you want to cut 'spending' generically and lower taxes - you certainly get people (and voters in elections) saying ABSOLUTELY!

But - when you get into specifics... when you frame questions around specific programs, you don't get the same answers.

Revenue as a percent of GDP is at modern day lows. Yes, some of that can be traced back to economic conditions today -- but taxes as a part of income have been on a near straighline decline for 30 years, while the things we institutionally spend on and discretionary spend on increase.

I'm not unsympathetic to Republican congressional concerns... but Democrats have ideological partisans, too - and if they had their druthers, not one single dime would be cut from entitlements or safety net programs (in fact, they'd want those budgets increased).

The President might well have a leading role in that negotiation -- but I just don't see the other side being willing to negotiate here... the supposed 800 billion in 'revenue' based on unspecified 'loophole' closures isn't mathematically possible (much less legislatively possible in the time remaining) unless you're talking about closing various 'loopholes' that are going to squarely land on the backs of middle class taxpayers (be it EIC, child deductions, or mortgage deductions). The numbers simply are not there to come anywhere close to 800 billion on loopholes.

A negotiation here needs to the take form of:

OK- we can't accept a complete sunset of the 2001/2003 rates... we'll agree to those rates +1 point... with the WH "saying, no - that won't work... make it +3 points and I'll toss in another 100 billion in spending cuts".... "+3 is too close to the original rates... +2 and you kick in 200 billion".... "+2.5 and 200 billion".
   525. Random Transaction Generator Posted: December 04, 2012 at 02:37 PM (#4316656)
You should in no way attribute the evil of War Z with Day Z.

(And this is coming from someone who hasn't/won't be playing either game.)




Ah okay, thanks for correcting me.


Update: Everything evil we know about War Z seems to have been fabricated entirely by one disgruntled forum mod. He's recently admitted to making all of it up.

So, all those bad things about War Z are not true.

I'm still probably not going to play it.
   526. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 04, 2012 at 02:38 PM (#4316657)
bitter

actually, a good negotiator does try and work both sides of the equation.

steve

i don't think so. however infuriating it may seem you have folks who are absolutely convinced that the government needs to reduce its debt/deficit and operate more efficiently. i completely agree with that sentiment.

now, there are other elements that are batsh8t crazy but the above basic premise is not
   527. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: December 04, 2012 at 02:40 PM (#4316659)
and for the record the entire party has not refused to govern. there is a subset that is now of the belief that you have to destroy the village to save it.


The entire party willfully decided to ride that tiger, chief. There is no functional way to separate the Tea Party from the GOP. They are the same creature. If the old guard GOP is upset that they no longer control their party they should consider that when they started to sell themselves off to the maddness wing back in the day, *we ####### told you so.*
   528. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: December 04, 2012 at 02:41 PM (#4316661)
however infuriating it may seem you have folks who are absolutely convinced that the government needs to reduce its debt/deficit and operate more efficiently. i completely agree with that sentiment.


Why?
   529. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 04, 2012 at 02:41 PM (#4316662)
sam

c'mon. i have negotiated agreements both written and otherwise for fifty years. more even

if you are not looking through the other guy's eyes you are a sh8tty negotiator

the president needs to identify not with a congressperson's principles but with his/her fears.

what is it that they fear? what do they need to not be afraid?

sure a good many are going to call the president a rat b8stard and never do anything. but the president doesn't need all, he needs some
   530. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 04, 2012 at 02:41 PM (#4316663)
well, this is a country where folks elect their representatives to do waht they ask. and a good many of the congresspeople taking what some percieve as an unreasonable position are doing precisely waht their constituents asked of them
Raising taxes and cutting services are both incredibly unpopular. Representatives are not serving the public will via the fiscal cliff. They're serving the will of a relatively small group of elites who are focused on deficit reduction.

EDIT: To be clear, I do think that long-term balance sheet management is a good thing in general. I just think that we shouldn't hold unemployment insurance and the payroll tax holiday hostage in order to get it done. What's immoral, in my opinion, is making working class folks pay the price if the negotiators fail to make a deal on the long-term budget deficit. There's no reason that the burden should fall on them.
   531. McCoy Posted: December 04, 2012 at 02:46 PM (#4316668)
A good negotiator tries to understand the other side and their wants and needs but a good negotiator doesn't negotiate against himself simply for the benefit of the other side.

Like it was said earlier. If you want something then start the process that will lead to it don't stonewall and demand that you get what your losing campaign pledged. That simply isn't realistic.

Now of course the initial plan might simply be a tactic of the GOP to show their base they tried to get the things they pledged to get but the mean old Dems wouldn't do it and so to save the country we compromised. So come out in 2014 and give us a ton of money and vote for us.
   532. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: December 04, 2012 at 02:46 PM (#4316669)
if you are not looking through the other guy's eyes you are a sh8tty negotiator


Sure. Of course. So why do you suggest that the Tea Party / GOP should be rewarded for explicitly refusing to engage the other guy and being intentionally shitty negotiators? Their opening offer, after pretending that they didn't even need to make an offer, was "let's go with the plan that was just soundly and completely voted down in the 2008 general election."

What, precisely, is keeping them from 'looking through the other guy's eyes," Sun Tzu?
   533. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: December 04, 2012 at 02:47 PM (#4316670)
I think the first 6 or so seasons of South Park are actually fairly brilliant. That was before Parker and Stone started using most episodes to make fun of things they don't like (which seems to be pretty much everything). Not as good as the first 6 seasons of, say, The Simpsons, but still excellent. Including the episode "Simpsons Already Did It".

   534. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: December 04, 2012 at 02:47 PM (#4316672)
And Harv, I'm 100% serious with 528. I want a why to your position.
   535. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 04, 2012 at 02:47 PM (#4316673)
actually, a good negotiator does try and work both sides of the equation


the president needs to identify not with a congressperson's principles but with his/her fears


Sure. But at some pointboth sides have to submit proposals they want and begin to compromise. And the House GOP can't even submit an actual proposal - it is all handwaving and generalities. Sure there are exact $ figures, but not where the money is coming from - what deductions change, how are entitlements changed? You can't expect Obama to propose stuff preemptively giving in to the GOP especially in light of how that has worked the last four years.

If the GOP does not want to go over the cliff then they have to do something, it is as simple as that.
   536. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 04, 2012 at 02:47 PM (#4316674)
matt

you are referring to national polls and congresspersons focus on district almost always before 'the public'. i am interpreting the public as the national electorate in your post.

the tea party congresspeople were elected to not vote for a tax rate increase, not compromise with the president and to reduce spending.

the fiscal cliff accomplishes all those things

i know you like to frame me as being out of touch and stupid but it's not going to work

these congressfolks are doing 'precisely' what their constituents want

   537. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 04, 2012 at 02:48 PM (#4316675)
I do think that long-term balance sheet management is a good thing in general. I just think that we shouldn't hold unemployment insurance and the payroll tax holiday hostage in order to get it done. What's immoral, in my opinion, is making working class folks pay the price if the negotiators fail to make a deal on the long-term budget deficit. There's no reason that the burden should fall on them.


QFT. 1000 times this.
   538. zonk Posted: December 04, 2012 at 02:49 PM (#4316676)
I think this is part hyperbole and part wrong. You have to know where you are in the success cycle. The Liberal state has in large part won, but could use some time to consolidate its victory especially around ACA and in a different way the Supreme Court. Claiming touching entitlments is the same as accepting a big lie is very wrong, and misses the boat.

It is much more harmful to the Liberal state to have more years of economic foundering and the attendent rise of radicalism that comes with economic hardship than almost any ideological trojan. The entitlment changes need to be evaluated from the standpoint of economic and personal harm (or help), the symbolic ideology is not nearly as important (though not irrelevent).

Additionally and perhaps more importantly politicians are elected to govern. Running your car into a ditch to prove a point is a terrible way to govern. I agree that governing means short and long term considerations (bad analogy alert) - sometimes you let the hostage die, but the economy is too big a hostage and too fragile to mess with.

Just because the GOP has decided to stop governing does not absolve the Democrats from their responsibility. That doesn't mean you alwyas have to accede to the crazy guy in the red hat, but you can't just refuse to talk to the crazy guy - you have to try to negotiate something and only go over the cliff if that is the best option.


But here's the thing:

Neither Medicare nor Social Security have a single thing to do with the annual budget deficit nor the national debt generally beyond the fact that Social Security actually finances (via inter-governmental borrowing) the largest part of it.

Changing those programs nor cutting benefits will not change those numbers by a single dime... It will have zero impact on the annual budget deficit and it will have zero impact on the national debt in total.... unless someone is proposing cutting the national debt by specifically ripping up SSTF IOUs - and I haven't heard anyone, even on the farthest reaches of the right suggest that as even an idea up for debate.

Consequently, if we're TRULY talking about the "deficit" and "debt" -- then there are only two things that are on the table:

1) Discretionary spending, which does not include one dime of what SS or Medicare pays

2) Revenue (which does not include payroll taxes)

That's it - pure and simple.

Any attempt to add entitlements into the equation can only be traced to two things -- either a fundamental failure to understand what the deficit and debt actually are, or, an ideological opposition to those programs while using this debate as a smoke screen to obscure that lack of a relation to the deficit/debt.

None of this means I'm unwilling to discuss changes to those programs. I absolutely am - and in fact, I've posted many, many different ideas for where I could see changes to Medicare especially.

However, I am simply not willing to just "pretend" that the deficit and debt have a damn thing to do with entitlements because one party to these negotiations sees tactical advantage in pretending that they do.

It's an unworkable framework for a deal -- it would be as if my realtor insists that we bring in my car dealer to talk about buying a new car at the same time I'm house hunting because "hey, it's all money!"
   539. formerly dp Posted: December 04, 2012 at 02:50 PM (#4316677)
i know you like to frame me as being out of touch and stupid but it's not going to work
When has Matt ever framed you as out of touch and stupid? Playing the victim does not become you, Harv.
   540. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 04, 2012 at 02:51 PM (#4316679)
Harveys-

1) I obviously don't think you're out of touch or stupid. I just disagree with you about the thing we're arguing about.

2) The fiscal cliff was created by both Democrats and Republicans. They both bear a measure of responsibility for it. I'm saying that the entire agreement is immoral, and I'm doing a bit of "pox on both their houses".

3) If you have the data to back up your position that the majority of Congresspeople come from districts significantly out of touch with the national mood on tax and spending issues, I'd be interested to see it. But I really doubt it's the case. Deficit reduction is an elite hobbyhorse, not something that moves regular folks. Taking the livelihoods of regular folks hostage in order to accomplish deficit reduction is wrong.
   541. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 04, 2012 at 02:51 PM (#4316680)
i am not asking the president to negotiate with himself.

lyndon johnson and ronald reagan knew how to listen for what the other side wasn't saying that mattered. to some extent so did president clinton.

it's tough but necessary when the other side is struggling to find a way to make a deal and not look like they got rolled
   542. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 04, 2012 at 02:52 PM (#4316681)
these congressfolks are doing 'precisely' what their constituents want


They want taxes to go up without a vote for them to go up rather than taxes not to go up (for 90+% of them) but with a vote for a tax increase on some?

I know the political pressure blows that way for a bunch of reasons, but polling shows that in fact is not what most people (even in red districts) want.

The cliff means taxes will go up. If that is OK then it is OK, but that is what it means. Voting for versus allowing to happen versus voting present are all just semantics that matter more to pledges and such but not to most folks.
   543. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 04, 2012 at 02:54 PM (#4316683)
matt

ok, i did not write a majority of congressfolks

i was referring to the tea party. i thought that was pretty clear.

the tea party congress members are following the 3 items i listed above. no taxes. no spending. no compromise

   544. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 04, 2012 at 02:55 PM (#4316684)
the tea party congress members are following the 3 items i listed above. no taxes. no spending. no compromise
But the fiscal cliff (1) is a compromise which (2) raises taxes.**

The fiscal cliff is not something that the Tea Party wanted, and it's not something that the left base wanted, and it's not something that most Americans wanted. It's something that was produced greatly out of elite concerns for deficit reduction, and typical elite lack of concern for how their deals might affect the lives of everyone else.

**The payroll tax holiday ending, which is explicitly part of the fiscal cliff deal, will result in an increase in taxes for a huge portion of Americans. On top of that, the fiscal cliff was structured to put the extension of the Bush tax cuts on the negotiating table, leading to a much higher likelihood of their expiring.
   545. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: December 04, 2012 at 02:57 PM (#4316685)
these congressfolks are doing 'precisely' what their constituents want


...

lyndon johnson and ronald reagan knew how to listen for what the other side wasn't saying that mattered. to some extent so did president clinton.


If the TP reps are doing precisely what their constituents want, and if they are never going to be incented to do anything outside of those narrow, reelection criteria goals, then what exactly are they, the "other side," "not saying" that the POTUS should be listening for?

The problem isn't that Obama doesn't listen for opportunities to compromise. He does that #### second nature. It's all he ever does. The problem is that the TP caucus is an intransigent, radical bloc who will blow up the nation in order to serve their own private, personal ideological goals. The problem isn't the president. The GOP can either address the TP cancer or it can kill them.
   546. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 04, 2012 at 02:58 PM (#4316687)
However, I am simply not willing to just "pretend" that the deficit and debt have a damn thing to do with entitlements because one party to these negotiations sees tactical advantage in pretending that they do.


Look I agree Social Security is completely irrelevent fiscally, but so what? I mean I want team Blue to stick up for the safety net, I really do, but HW is right the GOP will need something. I am not willing to give away the store, but some reasonable changes to ancillary (to the fiscal cliff) programs is not a completely crazy price to pay to avoid a double dip recession. The economy is not just a thing, it is millions of people and harm to the economy hurts them just like changes to the safety net do.

I am saying this is not a matter of idealism or high minded principles we are willing to die onthe hill for, this is a matter of governence and pragmatic compromise (which to be honest I don't think the GOP will engage in and so off the cliff we will go). In Washinton when making deals the real estate agent, car dealer and dozens of other people are at the table for many deals - that is how it works.
   547. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 04, 2012 at 02:58 PM (#4316688)
dp

sure he does. as one example before the election telling me what the tea party was founded upon and trotting out surveys that show what the tea party has 'become' versus how it got started.

yes, the tea party morphed as others seized upon it for their own purposes. but at it's beginning it was all about cutting spending.

it's disappointing because then folks pile on and the original contention gets lost.

and now his most recent post suggesting that i am claiming that a majority of folks in congress have a desire to go over the cliff. well that's nuts. certainly the democrats do not. nor does a subset of republicans.

but there are republicans who do. and for the reasons i listed.
   548. SteveF Posted: December 04, 2012 at 02:59 PM (#4316690)
Neither Medicare nor Social Security have a single thing to do with the annual budget deficit nor the national debt generally beyond the fact that Social Security actually finances (via inter-governmental borrowing) the largest part of it.


Are you claiming that the 1.45% kicked in by workers/employers (along with premiums paid by beneficiaries) pays for the entirety of the Medicare program?
   549. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 04, 2012 at 02:59 PM (#4316691)
The problem isn't that Obama doesn't listen for opportunities to compromise. He does that #### second nature. It's all he ever does.


I would love for someone to show me a time when Obama refused to compromise. Because seriously he does that all the time (to his credit) and usually gets a better deal than I thought he would.
   550. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 04, 2012 at 03:01 PM (#4316692)
matt

now that the fiscal cliff (boy i hate that phrase already) the tea party is now on board with going over the edge

you can claim the group is senator kerry in that they were against it before they were for it

if the choice is working with the president on a deal that includes taxes going up with a vote that will haunt them forever or just letting something happen they will take the latter.

   551. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: December 04, 2012 at 03:01 PM (#4316693)
the tea party congress members are following the 3 items i listed above. no taxes. no spending. no compromise


Then they can't be negotiated with. Period. If their drop-dead demand is "no compromise" then they're beyond negotiation and any complaint that Obama isn't looking deep into their bloodshot, radical, crazy-person eyes and hearing the things they "don't say" is just bullshit of the highest order.
   552. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 04, 2012 at 03:02 PM (#4316694)
sure he does. as one example before the election telling me what the tea party was founded upon and trotting out surveys that show what the tea party has 'become' versus how it got started.
I'm sorry if you read that as me "framing" you as out of touch. I happen to have opinions on the Tea Party based on my own experience and research which differ from yours. On things like the origin and nature of the Tea Party, I certainly do take into consideration the opinions and experience of people who were more closely involved in it than me. My not agreeing with you isn't a function of a lack of respect.

I disagree with everyone, all the time.
   553. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 04, 2012 at 03:02 PM (#4316696)
i never wrote the president doesn't listen.

i am writing despite having a clearly superior position he needs to keep listening

that is if he wants a deal. which i assume he does
   554. zonk Posted: December 04, 2012 at 03:02 PM (#4316697)
Neither Medicare nor Social Security have a single thing to do with the annual budget deficit nor the national debt generally beyond the fact that Social Security actually finances (via inter-governmental borrowing) the largest part of it.



Are you claiming that the 1.45% kicked in by workers/employers pays for the entirety of the Medicare program?


That plus premiums plus the trust fund (EDIT: plus employer match)-

Yes... The annual budgets are widely available. I defy you to find me a single dime from the discretionary budgets (which is where the general revenue/income tax receipts go) that goes to CMS. Go ahead and look - I'll wait.
   555. ASmitty Posted: December 04, 2012 at 03:03 PM (#4316700)
The economy is not just a thing, it is millions of people and harm to the economy hurts them just like changes to the safety net do.


Who needs an economy? I have this great safety net now!
   556. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 04, 2012 at 03:04 PM (#4316702)
matt

well, i was there at the beginning and began to distance myself as it evolved in the direction beyond focusing on spending. the anti-immigration for one is not my thing, has never been my thing and i think it's bad for the country for about 100 different reasons
   557. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: December 04, 2012 at 03:04 PM (#4316703)
that is if he wants a deal. which i assume he does


You just said the TP caucus' short list of demands was "no compromise." What are we supposed to be listening for? The conn from the mothership whistling in our ear?
   558. Gotham Dave Posted: December 04, 2012 at 03:07 PM (#4316704)
Re: “American” ethnicity: Some people don’t really have any descriptive ethnicity if not “American.” “European” would be the best I could do otherwise, as I’m not more than a quarter any ethnicity. And there’s an increasingly large number of people who can’t even it narrow down that much.

Now, this may be a different phenomenon from people in Appalachia calling themselves “American”. But maybe not; I figure the Scottish and German and English all got pretty good and mixed up there over the years. If you don’t have a defined connection to a particular foreign culture, do you really have an ethnicity?
   559. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: December 04, 2012 at 03:07 PM (#4316706)
Then they can't be negotiated with.

Sure they can. Don't raise taxes, and freeze or (gasp!) cut spending. I missed the part wherein those simple things became so "radical."

I don't know how it coincides with the views of the people (royal) you insist on ostrasizing, but it's comical to suggest that the option of reducing government spending shouldn't be on the table in talks about reducing the deficit.
   560. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 04, 2012 at 03:08 PM (#4316707)
sam

i didn't claim it was easy for cr8ssakes

do you want me to tell you fibs?

   561. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: December 04, 2012 at 03:10 PM (#4316709)

i don't think so. however infuriating it may seem you have folks who are absolutely convinced that the government needs to reduce its debt/deficit and operate more efficiently.


When a country is in a liquidity trap, as the U.S. is, cutting spending leads to larger deficits. Look at the UK, or Greece, or any country that has tried austerity.

So giving into Republican demands for spending cuts is exactly the wrong thing to do if one is concerned about the deficit.
   562. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 04, 2012 at 03:11 PM (#4316712)
sam

fundamentally i am opposed to subsidies.

fundamentally i am opposed to sending people money for just 'being'

fundamentally i am opposed to spending money to encourage things that would happen via natural order
   563. ASmitty Posted: December 04, 2012 at 03:13 PM (#4316714)
Re: “American” ethnicity: Some people don’t really have any descriptive ethnicity if not “American.” “European” would be the best I could do otherwise, as I’m not more than a quarter any ethnicity. And there’s an increasingly large number of people who can’t even it narrow down that much.


Same. When people ask my ethinicity I always just sort of look at them blankly. I mean, I guess technically you could say I'm German, but I've never even been to Germany. Nor has anyone in my my family out to about three generations. And God only knows where my ancestors came to the vaguely Germanic area from.

Citizenship-wise, I'm American. I'm white for demographic and discriminatory/anti-discriminatory purposes. I don't really think of myself as having an ethnicity.

   564. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 04, 2012 at 03:14 PM (#4316715)
i have no issue with supporting the sciences. research. even public radio and the arts. to me these are things a government should do as they further acquisition of knowledge

   565. SteveF Posted: December 04, 2012 at 03:18 PM (#4316717)
Go ahead and look - I'll wait.


More than 75% of Supplementary Medical Insurance's (SMI) Trust Fund revenue (the trust fund for Medicare parts B and D) comes from general revenue (i.e. federal income taxes). Or at least it did in 2009.
   566. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 04, 2012 at 03:20 PM (#4316718)
i am a big believer in the space program. me and newt baby. i think the country is abdicating its role as a technological leader by not working in matters concerning our universe more vigorously
   567. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: December 04, 2012 at 03:20 PM (#4316720)
So giving into Republican demands for spending cuts is exactly the wrong thing to do if one is concerned about the deficit.

So is raising taxes, then -- beside the fact that even letting the Bush cuts expire won't put much of a dent in the deficit. The cry for higher taxes has more to do with envy and "fairness" than actually accomplishing anything.
   568. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 04, 2012 at 03:21 PM (#4316721)
i am also ok with a reduction in forces for the service. as an old military guy we need to find the best, train the cr9p out of them, give them the best stuff, the best medical support and let them do their job.

quality of the person is more important than the number of persons
   569. ASmitty Posted: December 04, 2012 at 03:22 PM (#4316722)
So giving into Republican demands for spending cuts is exactly the wrong thing to do if one is concerned about the deficit.


And when, exactly, will the right time be?
   570. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: December 04, 2012 at 03:22 PM (#4316723)
I don't know how it coincides with the views of the people (royal) you insist on ostrasizing, but it's comical to suggest that the option of reducing government spending shouldn't be on the table in talks about reducing the deficit


It's also comical to suggest that spending isn't on the table. Have you even looked at the POTUS/Dems position?
   571. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 04, 2012 at 03:24 PM (#4316724)
i also do believe the payroll tax cut should remain though i strongly oppose extending unemployment benefits any further
   572. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: December 04, 2012 at 03:25 PM (#4316725)
Harv, I accept that you are fundamentally against those things. In fact, I assume you are. That is to say, I assume you take them as articles of faith. I'm asking to to think outside of your faith on the fundamental things and ask "why should this be the case."

I'd prefer to cut subsidies, etc, as well. But not while we're trying to climb out of a liquidity trap. If that's the stimulus necessary to re-prime the economic pump, so be it. There's nothing at stake morally or religiously. It's just a public policy action. The end game should be rebuilding the economy. Stimulus helps in that regard. Even subsidies for people I think should get a haircut and get a real job.
   573. bobm Posted: December 04, 2012 at 03:27 PM (#4316726)
EDIT: To be clear, I do think that long-term balance sheet management is a good thing in general. I just think that we shouldn't hold unemployment insurance and the payroll tax holiday hostage in order to get it done. What's immoral, in my opinion, is making working class folks pay the price if the negotiators fail to make a deal on the long-term budget deficit. There's no reason that the burden should fall on them


Taxes in the US are far more progressive than in most European states with greater social welfare benefits. Increased taxes on the 1% alone are not going to pay for increased/sustained benefits in the US, but that has not stopped politicians from talking out of both sides of their mouths.
   574. zonk Posted: December 04, 2012 at 03:27 PM (#4316729)

More than 75% of Supplementary Medical Insurance's (SMI) Trust Fund revenue (the trust fund for Medicare parts B and D) comes from general revenue (i.e. federal income taxes). Or at least it did in 2009.


Mea culpa - I always forget about Part B (and yes, it's a big oversight on my part)... Supplemental Medicare does have a general revenue components. I could weasel around with the unfunded Part D implications and some of the Part C mess (a big chunk of which ACA already whacked), but I'll just stick with mea culpa....
   575. SteveF Posted: December 04, 2012 at 03:33 PM (#4316735)
I always forget about Part B


I agree with your larger point. You should not discuss Medicare in the current context. Our current budget 'problem' is largely a political one. The long term budget problem is structural and is essentially 100% about Medicare (demographics).

Of course, that's not simply a 'who pays' question. It's also a demographics/cost control question. (Give us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses between the ages of 14 and 26...)
   576. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: December 04, 2012 at 03:34 PM (#4316736)
The long term budget problem is structural and is essentially 100% about Medicare (demographics).


Old people, Harvey. OLD PEOPLE!
   577. zonk Posted: December 04, 2012 at 03:35 PM (#4316737)
i also do believe the payroll tax cut should remain though i strongly oppose extending unemployment benefits any further


Now see - here I disagree (on the payroll tax cut) for the same reasons previously stated.... if we're including the 'payroll tax cut' in the negotiations, then we're talking about more than just debt/deficit... we're talking about two additional things: stimulus and entitlements.

...and I still wind up back at the same point - it's not possible at the current time to talk about those things in this context when I'm wholly convinced that the folks who want them on the table, want them on the table because they've got a 80/50 year long ideological opposition to them existing as a thing to begin with.

Absent an acknowledgement that those programs are fundamentally around to stay, and fundamentally not going to be voucherized, intentionally weakened for purposes of undermining, privatized, etc -- no dice.

Marco Rubio and Paul Ryan can wheel out their grandmas all they like -- but every ounce of reason I have knows damn well that they consider such government sponsored programs mistakes and something to be gotten rid off or somehow transferred to the 'private marketplace'.

EDIT: to be clear - I'm saying the payroll tax cut sunsets in the current 'fiscal cliff' negotiations... I accept that as given.
   578. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: December 04, 2012 at 03:35 PM (#4316738)
And when, exactly, will the right time be?


You cut spending programs during boom times, not recessions or tepid recoveries. Keynes 101.
   579. Shredder Posted: December 04, 2012 at 03:36 PM (#4316740)
And when, exactly, will the right time be?
When the economy is humming on its own. When the economy is doing fine, you pull back government and sock those additional net revenues away for a time when the economy isn't doing so well, at which point it makes sense for the government to spend money in an effort to boost the economy.
   580. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: December 04, 2012 at 03:36 PM (#4316741)

Taxes in the US are far more progressive than in most European states with greater social welfare benefits.


That's a function of having less income inequality, so it gets causation a bit backwards. In terms of top income tax rates, top rates in the UK are 50%, in Sweden 57%, in Germany 45%, in France 75%, in Italy 43%, in Austria 50%, etc. etc.
   581. Eddo Posted: December 04, 2012 at 03:36 PM (#4316742)
By definition, if someone's principle is "don't compromise", they cannot be negotiated with.
   582. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: December 04, 2012 at 03:40 PM (#4316746)
Moreover, if a person were really concerned above the deficit above all else, then the fiscal cliff would be a godsend. Massive reductions in spending and increases in taxes. Deficit scolds should love it. But they don't. Why? Because they don't really care about the deficit, they just want lower taxes.
   583. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 04, 2012 at 03:40 PM (#4316748)
sam

for all the griping i can think of worse things than medicare

but social security has morphed far beyond its original intent and needs to be attacked in a serious way

zonk

i am struggling to understand why anyone would oppose keeping the payroll tax cut. that's your stimulus right there.
   584. ASmitty Posted: December 04, 2012 at 03:41 PM (#4316749)
You cut spending programs during boom times, not recessions or tepid recoveries. Keynes 101.


But do you think that will actually happen? Because I don't.

Besides, if spending programs make bad economies good, wouldn't they make good economies great? And great economies greater? And greater economies greatest? Why stop the money?

Keynsian economic policies allegedly represented the solution to unemployment. And yet, even though they've been orthodox for years, here we are. Maybe time for Economics 101 instead Keynes 101.
   585. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 04, 2012 at 03:43 PM (#4316752)
Sure they can. Don't raise taxes, and freeze or (gasp!) cut spending. I missed the part wherein those simple things became so "radical."


Negotiating GOP style. Give the GOP what it wants, Democrats get nothing, call it negotiation.
   586. Tripon Posted: December 04, 2012 at 03:43 PM (#4316754)

i am struggling to understand why anyone would oppose keeping the payroll tax cut. that's your stimulus right there.


Just an observation(and means nothing at all), but every time the payroll tax is announced, there's a gas price spike that eats into almost or all of the benefit of the cut in taxes.

Relying on the payroll tax cut to be a stimulus is not going to help much.
   587. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 04, 2012 at 03:46 PM (#4316755)
but social security has morphed far beyond its original intent and needs to be attacked in a serious way


Disagree.

i am struggling to understand why anyone would oppose keeping the payroll tax cut


Well I am in favor of extending it, but I am also in favor of extending unemployment benefits. When unemployment benefits run out that will be an anti-stimulus right there. Combine with taxes being raised (including payroll), and spending cuts all over the place and that is a bad deal.
   588. spike Posted: December 04, 2012 at 03:47 PM (#4316757)
Given that FreedomWorks is crumbling, and purging conservatives from The House Budget committee does not augur well for any kind of last stand from Tea Party Congressmen. They are fixin' to get rolled.
   589. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: December 04, 2012 at 03:48 PM (#4316758)
But do you think that will actually happen? Because I don't.


It happened under Clinton. I am absolutely certain that had the 2007-8 collapse not been systemic to the financial industry (and thus the long, slow, flat-bottomed U-curve "recovery" Obama would have done it as well.

DLC Democrats are Keynesians.
   590. McCoy Posted: December 04, 2012 at 03:49 PM (#4316759)
Besides, if spending programs make bad economies good, wouldn't they make good economies great? And great economies greater? And greater economies greatest? Why stop the money?

Because you get booms and busts. Bubbles. By regulating government spending and taxes you are to a degree regulating your economy. So your lows aren't as low as they could be nor are they high as they could be. That is the trade off to avoid massive unemeployment, riots, revolutions, and civil wars.
   591. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 04, 2012 at 03:49 PM (#4316760)
bitter

there is stuff in the short term and stuff in the long term

somebody is going to have to take a hit. i would prefer it be everyone over the age of 50 because that is where most of the wealth is concentrated but unfortunately you cannot construct anything so clean as to make that happen.

and you are now conflating an individual item (payroll tax cut) with the overall fiscal cliff plan

i was merely speaking to that specific item. not stating that keep that and let everything else happen.
   592. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: December 04, 2012 at 03:50 PM (#4316762)
Keynsian economic policies allegedly represented the solution to unemployment. And yet, even though they've been orthodox for years, here we are. Maybe time for Economics 101 instead Keynes 101.


Keynes 101 is Economics 101. It's simply the best theoretical framework we have. It's not perfect, but it's so far above and beyond any other option it's not even close.
   593. bobm Posted: December 04, 2012 at 03:50 PM (#4316763)
That's a function of having less income inequality, so it gets causation a bit backwards. In terms of top income tax rates, top rates in the UK are 50%, in Sweden 57%, in Germany 45%, in France 75%, in Italy 43%, in Austria 50%, etc. etc.


You are forgetting VAT, sales taxes, and gasoline taxes, all consumption taxes that are regressive and prevalent in Europe.
   594. Tripon Posted: December 04, 2012 at 03:51 PM (#4316765)
I never understood the need of a VAT. It seems to be a tax on taxes to me.
   595. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: December 04, 2012 at 03:52 PM (#4316766)

Josh Bivens and Andrew Fieldhouse of the Economic Policy Institute estimate that the employment impact of rescinding the payroll tax holiday will be larger than the impact of letting all the Bush tax cuts expire. Jan Hatzius, chief economist at Goldman Sachs, says ending the holiday would shave 0.6 percentage points off 2013 GDP growth, effectively canceling out the benefits of QE3. And that’s no coincidence. The Bush tax cuts are mainly about conservative long-term growth strategy (incentivizing the job creators) with a hefty dose of middle-class income boosting through tax credits and deductions thrown in to make the medicine more palatable. The payroll tax holiday, by contrast, was actually designed to be an economic stimulus measure.

And that’s why nobody’s talking about. The term “stimulus” became a dirty word long ago. Now with the election in the bag, the White House seems to care more about the odds of bolstering Obama’s legacy with a grand bargain on the long-term fiscal picture than with addressing the short-term jobs crisis. But the fact remains that this is an economy in need of stimulus. The inflation-adjusted yield on 20-year Treasury bonds is below zero, meaning it’s cheaper to finance federal spending with debt than with taxes. The unemployment rate, meanwhile, is still sky-high at 7.9 percent. Under the circumstances we ought to be talking about cutting the payroll tax more deeply. The cost to American society of people spending extra months in unemployment, losing motivation and self-esteem rather than earning income and building skills, is very high, while the cost to the American taxpayer of borrowing money is extremely low. If this expiration were happening on its own, it seems overwhelmingly likely that intelligent people in both parties would see that clearly. But the coincidence that the holiday ends at the same time as the Bush tax cuts has left the issue languishing in obscurity. Unless that changes in the next couple of months, we’re going to wake up in the new year with a much weaker labor market to go along with our hangovers.


Yglesias on the payroll tax.
   596. Graham & the 15-win "ARod Vortex of suck" Posted: December 04, 2012 at 03:57 PM (#4316771)
While people are talking tax rates, are most people here in favor of lower corporate income tax rates? I know that both Obama and Romney were in favor of reducing the current top rate. Ireland's top rate is very low (12.5%), but something around the Dutch (25%) or French (33.33%) rate could be a nice starting point.
   597. ASmitty Posted: December 04, 2012 at 03:57 PM (#4316772)
That is the trade off to avoid massive unemeployment, riots, revolutions, and civil wars.


So...what's going on right now?

Keynes 101 is Economics 101. It's simply the best theoretical framework we have. It's not perfect, but it's so far above and beyond any other option it's not even close.


Maybe it shouldn't be. Keynes promised "full employment" and the end of the business cycle. His theories have been orthodox for decades, and yet we have high unemployment and a boom or bust economy. The solution, however, is always "well maybe try more Keynsianism?"

It's become so orthodox nobody even thinks particularly critically about it anymore. When the press asked Bernanke how QE3 would help Main St., Bernanke said it would help by drving up housing values so people felt more comfortable spending money. In other words, QE3 will create another housing bubble and that's just what the doctor ordered.

The answer is always spending. I find that extremely suspicious.
   598. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: December 04, 2012 at 03:58 PM (#4316773)
It's self-evidently absurd to raise payroll taxes in this environment.
   599. Shredder Posted: December 04, 2012 at 03:59 PM (#4316774)
Besides, if spending programs make bad economies good, wouldn't they make good economies great? And great economies greater? And greater economies greatest? Why stop the money?
Would giving Alex Rodriguez more money increase his demand for goods and services? Probably not. When demand is strong, you don't need to put more money into the economy to increase demand. The multiplier effect is reduced, and government spending isn't as effective. If you give a dollar to a person with no money, he's probably going to spend that dollar. If you give a dollar to a person with a crapload of money, he probably won't spend it. When the economy is strong, there are a lot more people with a crapload of money. Furthermore, stuff the government likes to spend money one costs a lot more when the economy is strong, so again, government spending isn't nearly as effective in a strong economy. Do you think it's more expensive to build a road when the hiring pool for construction companies is deep (poor economy), or when it's shallow (strong economy)?
Keynsian economic policies allegedly represented the solution to unemployment. And yet, even though they've been orthodox for years, here we are.
I'm pretty sure Keynes would tell you that we've never really tried what he suggested, and that, for example, the stimulus passed four years ago was WAY too small.
   600. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 04, 2012 at 04:00 PM (#4316775)
dickgroat

absolutely. the corporate tax rate is a silly concept.

for the record i am also in favor of phasing out the mortgage interest rate deduction over 10-15 years.
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