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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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   5401. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: December 28, 2012 at 03:44 PM (#4333797)
McConnell? Everything I've read has him hiding in his office because he believes, correctly, Boehner's the one in trouble - so why take on another man's problems with no guarantee of success?
   5402. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: December 28, 2012 at 03:45 PM (#4333798)
you need to do something about that stutter
Weird - after I post, I can't simply reload the page because of that. I have to go to another page and then come back.
   5403. zonk Posted: December 28, 2012 at 03:46 PM (#4333799)
zonk

once the calendar changes the dynamic changes. right now the biggest asset both sides have is fear of the unknown.


I would say Jan 3 is probably more important than Jan 1 -- come the 4th, we'll know (and so will Boehner) whether he keeps his gavel or not... the numbers also change a wee bit - I think making it a foregone conclusion that package that comes from the 113th congress as opposed to the current 112th would ONLY pass with a fairly decent (say... 30-40) House Dem votes. If he couldn't get 218 of 241, he ain't getting 218 of 233.
   5404. Lassus Posted: December 28, 2012 at 03:47 PM (#4333800)
Even assuming all the allegations about Koresh were true, do you really think they merited the deaths of 28 children at the hands of the government? Don't you think you're taking your slut shaming a little far here? Of course the reality is that the evidence against Koresh for child rape/abuse wasn't exactly ironclad stuff anyway.

Is the contention that they killed everyone on purpose and according to plan?

As fuckups go, it was incontrovertable and basically unforgivable, but do you think it was that, or that all the killings were just what they wanted?
   5405. zonk Posted: December 28, 2012 at 03:47 PM (#4333801)
McConnell? Everything I've read has him hiding in his office because he believes, correctly, Boehner's the one in trouble - so why take on another man's problems with no guarantee of success?


He's also up next cycle (2014) and there are plenty of rumblings about a primary challenge...
   5406. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: December 28, 2012 at 03:48 PM (#4333802)
That too, zonk.
   5407. Srul Itza Posted: December 28, 2012 at 03:52 PM (#4333803)
Good question. I can see it running afoul of the Constitution if the change is selectively enacted in a few crucial states - in a national election, it's important all the states play by the same rules.


It already is in force in two states, I thought.

There is nothing in the Constitution that bars that method of selecting Electors.
   5408. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 28, 2012 at 03:52 PM (#4333804)
mcconnell led the fight to get mccain/feingold overturned. the gop owes him a debt beyond counting.

sure someone want to tangle with him in 2014 but that candidate will be buried in opposition cash.
   5409. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: December 28, 2012 at 03:55 PM (#4333806)
Harvey, among your crowd, what's McCain's reputation?

I ask because here in Arizona, he's gone from hero (c. 1999) to very much disliked on grounds of both policy and personality.
   5410. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: December 28, 2012 at 03:57 PM (#4333808)
It already is in force in two states, I thought.
NE and ME? Yeah.
   5411. Srul Itza Posted: December 28, 2012 at 03:58 PM (#4333809)
From the Constitution:

Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.


I looked through the amendments, and did not see any changes. So the manner of appointing electors is up to the States.
   5412. zonk Posted: December 28, 2012 at 03:59 PM (#4333810)
Just to prove that yes - I do read more than my own bubble -

Erick son of Erick has an interesting idea up on RedState -

I suspect if the rest of the Senate and the rest of the House, instead of just the leaders, were to actually legislate we might be surprised with the outcome.

If monkeys can bang out Shakespeare by randomly banging on keyboards, perhaps our legislators can actually legislate competently for once. Random chance might work in America’s favor.

What Harry Reid typically does, and why the GOP so often filibusters, is he limits amendments and then offers up all the amendments so no one else can. It is called “filling the tree.” The GOP did it too when they were in charge. We wouldn’t have so many filibusters if the majority would actually let individual senators offer amendments.

Just do it. Use HR8. Let Congress solve the problem instead of leaders saying stupid crap about each other. If they keep doing the same thing expecting different results, most people would call them crazy. But then that’s what Congress does.


It's too late for that now, I think...

But I could tepidly support this... just to give it a whirl.

The reason it doesn't usually work this way is that it becomes incredibly easy to poison pill a bill, and while Erick doesn't admit as much, a big part of the problem with this approach is that it would inevitably lead to legislation that would cause folks like Erick and the RSers (and to be fair - Markos and DKers) all the more reason and ammunition to go scorched earth on their reps.

EDIT: Oh - one other change... let's not use HR8, let's use S3412 (the Senate 'solution' rather than the House 'solution') as the thing to be put on the floor for amendments :-)
   5413. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 28, 2012 at 04:00 PM (#4333811)
gold star

he's become a very strange and bitter guy.

at minimum you know that if you want someone to attack the president with some amount of perceived street cred the senator is your go to guy. he put out his shingle that if you want someone to go after the president he's your man.
   5414. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 28, 2012 at 04:00 PM (#4333813)
by the way, don't be surprised if a new element comes out of the deal with mcconnel expected to save the day. he's a conniving little b8stard but has the big asset of having his senators in lock step.
I agree with most everything else you've posted on the state of negotiations, but I don't think this is right. The Senate isn't the choke point. If Obama and Boehner reach an agreement, I can't imagine McConnell defeating it in the Senate. Boehner is the difference maker.

I'd compare McConnell to Nancy Pelosi - both are highly skilled parliamentarians and party leaders. But when the House Dems became irrelevant to policy-making after the 2010 midterms, Pelosi couldn't change that. McConnell can't change the underlying institutional structure, either.

Interestingly, Pelosi has actually managed, now that the House is the choke point in negotiations, to make herself important because Boehner can't deliver his whole caucus. her votes are now just as necessary as his.
   5415. CrosbyBird Posted: December 28, 2012 at 04:09 PM (#4333816)
Are we just discounting entirely the whole \"####### 13 year olds" bit?

Was there ever any proof that Koresh or the other Branch Davidians abused children? I'm asking seriously, because to the best of my knowledge there were merely allegations and not hard evidence, but I may be misinformed.

Then again, even if we had video evidence of Koresh violating a 13-year-old, it's pretty clear that the correct response was not "armed raid on the compound." 20 children (13 or under) were killed during the Waco siege.

Let's remember the events leading up to the siege. Koresh was accommodating, offering to let the ATF investigate the weapons in the complex, and the ATF refused. They obtained a warrant based on the idea that the Branch Davidians MIGHT have been altering weapons for illegal automatic fire, even though the investigation revealed only legal guns in the compound. (That there really were modified guns doesn't defend the flimsy evidence used to justify the warrants for search and arrest, and the resulting raid.) The ATF lied about the Branch Davidians operating a meth lab to bolster their legal excuse to search.

The Branch Davidians engaged pretty much entirely in defensive violence, which was completely avoidable. The government behaved monstrously, and this is a shameful event in American history.
   5416. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 28, 2012 at 04:09 PM (#4333817)
matt

there is house passed legislation that could be amended/passed in the senate in minor fashion and then returned to the house. the crux here is not having a senator filibuster which mccconnel can make happen (or not happen)

then sure, it's back to the speaker but if the changes are legitimately minor then it has a chance to get through the house.

   5417. zonk Posted: December 28, 2012 at 04:12 PM (#4333819)
You know what this afternoon's session needs?

Red carpet entries like they do at Award shows...


"Now, here's Mitch McConnell walking the carpet... looking resplendent with his chinless face... Ooohhhh -- and here's Harry Reid, wearing his hound dog face, designed by Old Spice for Men.... Let's see if we get a moment with Nancy Pelosi, radiant in her "Cripes, I've been doing this too long" smile... Following her is John Boehner - tan designed by Columbus' famous LA Tan salon... "
   5418. The Good Face Posted: December 28, 2012 at 04:18 PM (#4333825)
Is the contention that they killed everyone on purpose and according to plan?

As ####### go, it was incontrovertable and basically unforgivable, but do you think it was that, or that all the killings were just what they wanted?


What on earth does that have to do with CB's point? Do you care to make the argument that Koresh's actions merited the force used by the feds? If so, please make it.

To answer your bizarrely irrelevant question, I have no idea what the feds' plan was. It's clear that their actions were, at a minimum, incredibly reckless and represented a willful disregard for the safety and rights of the Davidians. It's typically best to assume incompetence rather than malice, but the sheer level of ineptitude on display in Waco was enough to make one wonder.

Koresh was not some recluse, eternally cloistered in a dark room filled with bottles of his own urine and 13 year old girls for raping; he regularly went into town nearby. If law enforcement had good evidence that he was actually committing crimes, stake him out and pick him up then.
   5419. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: December 28, 2012 at 04:25 PM (#4333827)
McCain: Strange, bitter and a grouch-on-bookers'-speed-dial. Quite a coda to an unorthodox career.
   5420. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 28, 2012 at 04:29 PM (#4333828)
if i were calling the shots

Extend certain tax cuts originally enacted in 2001, 2003, and 2009 for taxpayers with income below $250,000 for households and $200,000 for individuals; extend estate and gift tax provisions enacted in 2010; and index the AMT for inflation

Limit to 15% of the value of a tax deduction, down from a maximum 35% currently for the highest earning taxpayers

Increase to $170,000 the amount of earnings subject to the Social Security payroll tax, and adjust for inflation in future years. The 2011 maximum was $106,800.

Phase out the mortgage-interest deduction over a decade beginning in 2014

Repeal a deduction used by oil companies, filmmakers and manufacturers for producing domestically instead of overseas

defense: Allow the automatic spending cuts from the debt-ceiling deal to go into effect

non-defense: Allow the automatic spending cuts from the debt-ceiling deal to go into effect

Give states a set amount of money to fund long-term care under Medicaid, the state and federal health-care program for poor people

Increase the premiums for Medicare Part B, which covers costs like doctor’s visits, to 35% of spending per person, up from 25%

Require prescription drug makers to pay a rebate to the government on drugs purchased by some people in federal health programs

Change how initial Social Security benefits are calculated to slow payments’ growth

Gradually raise the age at which workers are eligible for full Social Security retirement benefits, to as high as 70, up from a range of 65 to 67

Gradually raise the earliest eligibility age for Social Security to 64, up from 62

Change how Social Security cost-of-living adjustments are calculated to slow payments' growth

Apply an excise tax on high-cost health plans in 2014 instead of 2018, and apply the tax to more plans

Limit highway funding largely to the revenue generated by the 18.4-cent-a-gallon federal gasoline tax

Add a government-run health-care plan to the new insurance marketplaces

Reverse the order of the two-step process to calculate Social Security benefits, which would encourage some people to work longer

Reduce initial disability insurance benefits by 15 percent
   5421. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: December 28, 2012 at 04:31 PM (#4333829)
Phase out the mortgage-interest deduction over a decade beginning in 2014
For second and/or expensive homes, or for everyone?
   5422. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 28, 2012 at 04:31 PM (#4333830)
now that's more taxes than cuts so don't be all pouty

and note that i hammer the sh8t out of my age bracket. social security is pin money for the bulk of folks collecting the checks and anyone who thinks otherwise is ill-advised. seniors are bilking this country using the pity poor me routine and it hacks me off
   5423. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 28, 2012 at 04:31 PM (#4333831)
gold star

everyone
   5424. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 28, 2012 at 04:34 PM (#4333832)
i have looked at the mortgage interest deduction.

it's no good. bad to the bone.

needs to go away
   5425. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 28, 2012 at 04:35 PM (#4333835)
i did not include my desire to eliminate corporate tax rate or capital gains taxes

   5426. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: December 28, 2012 at 04:37 PM (#4333836)
social security is pin money for the bulk of folks collecting the checks

Wow! Is this ever wrong.
   5427. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 28, 2012 at 04:40 PM (#4333838)
and note i didn't really touch medicare save on the edges.

   5428. Misirlou is on hiding to nowhere Posted: December 28, 2012 at 04:44 PM (#4333841)
Increase to $170,000 the amount of earnings subject to the Social Security payroll tax, and adjust for inflation in future years. The 2011 maximum was $106,800.

Phase out the mortgage-interest deduction over a decade beginning in 2014


Those 2 changes alone would have increased my taxes (Federal income and payroll) by 25% last year.
   5429. Morty Causa Posted: December 28, 2012 at 05:04 PM (#4333850)
Social Security: do away with all auxiliary benefits. Increase the amount to be paid in and the amount of work time a person needs in order to be vested in the program, especially when it comes to disability benefits. (Handle all that through public assistance programs. Take the ceiling off taxable limits.

As for those still alibi-ing for the Branch Davidians: They shot the legally authorized process servers. They refused to avail themselves of the legal process. They refused publicly to submit to legally constituted authority for something like two months, all that time threatening violence.
   5430. Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: December 28, 2012 at 05:19 PM (#4333855)
Even assuming all the allegations about Koresh were true, do you really think they merited the deaths of 28 children at the hands of the government? Don't you think you're taking your slut shaming a little far here? Of course the reality is that the evidence against Koresh for child rape/abuse wasn't exactly ironclad stuff anyway.


I am not defending the actions of the ATF in Waco, just noting that "creepy guy" doesn't exactly fully account for a guy that was "married" to multiple 14 year old girls (parental permission in Texas at the time made that "legal" but it's still...more than creepy) and almost certainly was "married" to and sexually active with at least one 13 year old girl.
   5431. Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: December 28, 2012 at 05:21 PM (#4333856)
Good question. I can see it running afoul of the Constitution if the change is selectively enacted in a few crucial states - in a national election, it's important all the states play by the same rules.


The proper Dem play here is to get behind a National Popular Vote initiative to counter the "local districts choose" GOP gambit. If the Dems sit on their hands and attempt to simply defend the status quo they'll loose on the optics. They need to be the more liberal option, offering "every vote matters" in contrast to the GOP's "the votes matter but only in the way we've gerryrigged the districting."
   5432. Tripon Posted: December 28, 2012 at 05:29 PM (#4333860)
So it looks like we're going to go over the cliff, at least for a little while. What are we looking at?
   5433. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: December 28, 2012 at 05:34 PM (#4333862)
How could anyone support a system that would award the election to the guy who was soundly defeated in popular vote? Yes the EV is not perfect but the odds of so radical a split are very very low.
   5434. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: December 28, 2012 at 05:35 PM (#4333864)
It's a same guys like JoeK thinks guys like Harvey are RINOs. We could use a lot more Harveys in the GOP.

EDIT: Which is to say, I don't agree with everything he's said today or over the last few weeks, but there's a lot of good stuff in there that I would happy agree to compromise on. Harveys, you remind me of my dad. Are you sure you're not a elfin old Chinese man?
   5435. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: December 28, 2012 at 05:37 PM (#4333865)
Agree with Harveys about the mortgage interest deduction. It is pretty much the most regressive tax break imaginable.
   5436. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: December 28, 2012 at 05:43 PM (#4333868)
We could use a lot more Harveys in the GOP.
Agreed. If the GOP welcomes back people like Harvey, I will consider returning. Until then, no (forgetting) way.
   5437. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: December 28, 2012 at 05:54 PM (#4333871)
McCain: Strange, bitter and a grouch-on-bookers'-speed-dial. Quite a coda to an unorthodox career.


I read that at first as "grouch-on-hookers"

social security is pin money for the bulk of folks collecting the checks and anyone who thinks otherwise is ill-advised. seniors are bilking this country using the pity poor me routine and it hacks me off


For 2/3 of seniors, SS provides the majority of their income. For 1/3 of seniors, it provides 90% or more of their income.
   5438. spike Posted: December 28, 2012 at 06:01 PM (#4333875)
Agree with Harveys about the mortgage interest deduction. It is pretty much the most regressive tax break imaginable.

It's also one of the very few largely available to the middle class, and home ownership drives a number of industries. I could see capping it, but I think it is a very useful thing to leave in for middle income taxpayers.
   5439. zonk Posted: December 28, 2012 at 06:03 PM (#4333876)
There are couple of items in HW's 5420 that I strenuously disagree with, but honestly - if that came to the table as the compromise and I was just a Congressman or Senator - I think I'd vote for it... in fact - I suspect the "public option" bonus might even draw a lot of progressives into grumblingly accepting the SS changes (which is where a big chunk of my disagreement lies).

If a debt ceiling deal were included, I'd certainly sign on.


Ultimately, though -- that's an extremely workable framework.... I do think that I'd ask to drop SS almost entirely (we can keep the CPI calc changes) in exchange for maybe putting cap/corp taxes on the table (tell me how many points you need).

SS, I just don't think, needs to be on the table for this deal to work simply because it's really not a debt driver --- unless we're seriously considering some selective defaults on notes the Trust Fund owns, which probably isn't legal to begin with.
   5440. The Good Face Posted: December 28, 2012 at 06:04 PM (#4333877)
I am not defending the actions of the ATF in Waco, just noting that "creepy guy" doesn't exactly fully account for a guy that was "married" to multiple 14 year old girls (parental permission in Texas at the time made that "legal" but it's still...more than creepy) and almost certainly was "married" to and sexually active with at least one 13 year old girl.


Fair enough. Let's go with "very creepy," or if you prefer, "super freaking creepy". Does that merit the slaughter of all those kids in that compound? Because unless you think it does, you're simply throwing up red herrings in an attempt to distract attention from where blame lies. The degree of Koresh's "creepyness" is not relevant.

As I said before, assume ALL the allegations were true (although we know now that they weren't). Let's pretend Koresh was raping every 13 year old girl in the place. Is the proper response to kill the victims?
   5441. The Chronicles of Reddick Posted: December 28, 2012 at 06:05 PM (#4333878)
I was under the impression that the reason that Social Security was in the shape that it was in today was because Congress has been diverting money from its use for other things and not because seniors were living longer.
   5442. Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: December 28, 2012 at 06:09 PM (#4333883)
As I said before, assume ALL the allegations were true (although we know now that they weren't). Let's pretend Koresh was raping every 13 year old girl in the place. Is the proper response to kill the victims?


I have not defended the ATF's actions or tactics.
   5443. Lassus Posted: December 28, 2012 at 06:15 PM (#4333884)
As I said before, assume ALL the allegations were true (although we know now that they weren't). Let's pretend Koresh was raping every 13 year old girl in the place. Is the proper response to kill the victims?

This is what I was responding to before that you bitched about. If you are flat out asking if killing the victims was the proper response, you're implying that is the PLANNED response, and I'm simply asking if that's what you mean. If their planned response was an armed firebomb takedown that mistakenly, wrongly, and horribly killed the victims I don't see the point in what you're asking because it wasn't the response. The response you're asking about is something that got terribly bent. To me the question "Was the response of killing so many victims really proper" only makes sense if you think that is what they were trying to do, which is why I asked.

If you're asking if the planned response shouldn't have even been ABLE to go that wrong, that seems to be something else. I really don't recall at the moment the full story of how it went so wrong or why.

Anyone from my bubble hive or anyone else feel free to let me know if I'm spouting idiocy.

   5444. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 28, 2012 at 06:21 PM (#4333886)
kind of surprised that folks here who are getting scr8wed by social security are inclined to not touch it.

old people in this country have a great gig. they need to pony up

young people in this country are under the thumb of the elderly. that's not healthy for a society.
   5445. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: December 28, 2012 at 06:25 PM (#4333887)

Even after a harshly panned press conference about the Newtown, Conn., school massacre, 54 percent of Americans still say they have a favorable view of the National Rifle Association.

The new Gallup poll shows numbers in line with the NRA’s averages, suggesting its image remains intact after the shooting. The group hit a low of 42 percent approval in mid-'90s and more recently hit a high of 60 percent in 2005.

Critics called NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre tone deaf after his press conference last week in which he blamed gun violence on the media, video games, and other culprits, but not on guns themselves. He also called for armed guards in all schools.


Link
   5446. The Chronicles of Reddick Posted: December 28, 2012 at 06:25 PM (#4333888)
young people in this country are under the thumb of the elderly. that's not healthy for a society.


It's kinda like how Prop 13 screwed up things for California. It was short term thinking at its finest.
   5447. The Chronicles of Reddick Posted: December 28, 2012 at 06:31 PM (#4333891)
Former Countrywide Exec doesn't know meaning of verified income.


Forget about the article, I would think the guy is guilty by just looking at his mug. Holy smokes!
   5448. Lassus Posted: December 28, 2012 at 06:33 PM (#4333892)
Good Face, as I'm currently watching my cat and I know you have one, allow me to offer this as a clarification to what I'm asking. I'm not comparing my cat to humans/Davidians, I'm talking about the language and inquiry.

You see your cat taking a nice long scratch on the arm of your couch and in an attempt to get her to stop, you go to stomp your foot nearby, to scare her. The cat hears you coming, gets stuck, and just before you get to your stomp, gets a bit confused and starts to run away right in your direction. You mistakenly stomp on her foot, breaking it.

If you were then asked by your GF or anyone else, "Was the proper response to a scratch on the couch breaking the cat's foot?", what would your reply be?
   5449. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 28, 2012 at 06:37 PM (#4333893)
zonk

i didn't hack at head start. didn't hack at education grants. didn't hack at aid to rural hospitals or teaching hospitals.

my big focus was entitlements on the spending side. give me more time and i will carve that area up but good.
   5450. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 28, 2012 at 06:39 PM (#4333895)
and why the h8ll is the govt not negotiating with drug companies on all these cheap drugs being tossed out to seniors?

why the largesse???

and spare me the cr8p about development costs. big pharma companies just acquire small startups to get new stuff. nobody can tell me otherwise. that is my arae of business.
   5451. CrosbyBird Posted: December 28, 2012 at 06:41 PM (#4333896)
As ####### go, it was incontrovertable and basically unforgivable, but do you think it was that, or that all the killings were just what they wanted?

I think it was a very foreseeable consequence that they were willing to take in order to demonstrate government dominance over private citizens. What they wanted was for Koresh to surrender to the authority of the government, and then when he refused, what they wanted was to demonstrate that failing to surrender to the government has very serious consequences.

The error starts long before the first shot is fired. Putting aside for a moment the inherent problem with restricting what consenting individuals do on their private property, Koresh wasn't some hermit that never left the compound. There are quite a few steps between "do nothing" and "show up with a small army and essentially declare war on a small religious cult."

To me the question "Was the response of killing so many victims" only makes sense if you think that is what they were trying to do, which is why I asked.

I think you're deliberately reading that in the most "tinfoil hat crazy" way possible. That's not a very polite way to have a discussion.

If you're asking if the planned response shouldn't have even been ABLE to go that wrong, that seems to be something else. I really don't recall at the moment the full story of how it went so wrong or why.

I can only speak for myself, but I'm not asking. I'm telling. The planned response never should have been one that possibly could lead to that result, and it's not like this was a particularly bizarre and unlikely outcome. If you assault an armed population of religious cultists in possession of a weapons stockpile, you would be remarkably stupid not to expect armed resistance.

Not that this was the plan. The raid was designed to be a surprise attack because of that very likely possibility, and even though they knew that the defenders were aware of the attack, they followed the same plan. You should read up on the sequence of events; from the absurdly incompetent surveillance, to the fraudulent effort to obtain warrants, to the complete lack of awareness that their spy had been discovered, to the lack of patience in the negotiation, to the rigidity in adhering to a failed plan... this was a laundry list of government incompetence. The more I read about this, the angrier I get at the government for the outrageous abuse of power that cost so many lives.

Not that I'm defending Timothy McVeigh, because he was a monster if any human being can be defined as a monster, but the Oklahoma City bombing was in part inspired by the brutality of the government in Waco.
   5452. dlf Posted: December 28, 2012 at 06:42 PM (#4333897)
For 2/3 of seniors, SS provides the majority of their income. For 1/3 of seniors, it provides 90% or more of their income.


You need to look at the balance sheet as well as the cash flow. I see nothing wrong, from a policy perspective, in having seniors use the accumulated capital rather than rely upon government payments to replace inflow that ended upon reaching retirement age. The alternative is allowing the social safety net to serve as a way to allow people to have an estate to pass along to their heirs.

Seniors, on the whole, have the largest share of the nation's net worth. Median net worth by age of the head of household:

<35   $9.3k
35
-44 $42.1k
45
-54 $117.9k
55
-64 $179.4k
65
-74 $206.7k
75
+   $216.8k 


The data is slightly different if you look at mean rather than median. In that case, the greatest net worth is the 55-64 age group, followed closely by 65-74 and then a bit further behind 75+. The net worth of the mean of the 75+ age group is 18% higher than the 45-54 age group.

Data as of 2010 from the Federal Reserve: http://www.federalreserve.gov/pubs/bulletin/2012/pdf/scf12.pdf
   5453. BrianBrianson Posted: December 28, 2012 at 06:48 PM (#4333899)
Damn Harvey, for the most part, I wonder if you haven't joined one of that plethora of Marxist parties we've heard so much about.

Seriously, encouraging older folks to work longer is bad for young people. We (in as much as I'm 30, but let's say we) really want old people to retire, so there's openings. (This may be exacerbated by the fact that I had to emigrate to the UK to find work). That, and I'd like to stick it to people with estate tax (or at least, for estates above a million bucks or something).

But, as I've noted earlier, my politics don't align super-great with parties anyways, so I think you could pick up my vote. (At least if you could lay off the teenage girls who need abortions ;) )
   5454. zonk Posted: December 28, 2012 at 06:50 PM (#4333901)
Sooo.... some of tweet herd is pointing out that it's odd no one is rushing to the microphones to blame anyone else, which some are speculating that we might actually get something.

Reading a ton of tea leaves, most probably bad -

Here's my meaningless prediction - poor John gets another good whacking; Reid takes HR8 to the floor, completely shreds it, sends it back to the House, and it becomes a game of hot potato with both chambers amending and bouncing it back forth until time runs out.

This is where John's hand COULD get really weak... and he needs McConnell to cover him... It sounds like Boehner is promising floor votes - regardless of his own caucus - on anything the Senate can amend from HR8. So - McConnell either gums up the works, or, allows Reid's amendments (which WILL be near shreddings) to get up or down votes. Let's assume that Reid keeps his caucus together... Has McConnell promised to sideline filibustering motions to consider? There's really no reason the Senate GOP should offer amendments - remember, this is Boehner's bill... it ought to be fine as is to Senate GOP, so amendments would (rightly) be Dem amendments. The Senate GOP has three choices:

1)block via procedure (i.e., force anything or some things to get to the 60 vote threshold)... but this would be a pretty naked McConnell maneuver and then he'll start getting the fire Boehner has been getting.

2) Try to pick off a couple Dems and block via true up/down votes... Sounds unlikely, but probably possible on a few things. However, this would be selective blocking.. HR8 still looks virtually nothing like what passed the House.

3) Wash their hands, no filibuster - but vote no on all amendments and no on the final bill - essentially, dumping the mess back in Boehner's lap

I suspect it will be a combo of 2) and 3).

Then... I think Boehner loses his gavel - he'll have no choice but to let a very Dem-favored bill come to the House floor and he has three bad choices, two of them very bad:

1) Amend some more -- but now -- the House dysfunction REALLY comes into play... House rules are a lot looser than the Senate, so who the hell knows what comes up and gets passed. This would be where Pelosi's tighter control of her caucus could really pay dividends.

2) Let a bill pass with what would probably be almost wholly Dem supported, with minority GOP support

3) Whip AGAINST it

Choice 3) means his bad few weeks gets even worse.... because he'd probably lose that, too... gavel gone. Choice 2) means he at least gets the 'thanks of the American people', but still loses his gavel next week.... Choice 1) is a wildcard, but he's still stuck what probably ends up being a hated bill... but perhaps McConnell gets him enough cover to allow him a slim chance to keep his gavel.
   5455. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 28, 2012 at 06:51 PM (#4333902)
I agree with maybe 70% of what HW is proposing and am really really against the rest. It is kind of fun actually. I would need to really get the old spreadsheet out to figure out how to truly respond, but as is I'll just say I am positive I like his proposal better than what Obama has been offered (though as I said I really don't like the entitlement side of things he suggests).
   5456. zonk Posted: December 28, 2012 at 06:55 PM (#4333907)
Wow...

Yup - they're screwing Boehner.

They've put it Reid/McConnell's hands and it sounds like no filibuster/procedural blocks. Implicit promises from Boehner to allow House floor vote (obviously, you can't filibuster in the House - you block by not placing bills on the floor).
   5457. zonk Posted: December 28, 2012 at 07:01 PM (#4333909)
Senate will reconvene Sunday 1.

If Reid/McConnell can put something together by then, that gets an up or down.

If not, the 'mini-package' gets an up or down.

Whatever passes - gets a vote in the House.

I'm telling you... Boehner is getting the screwjob here - but he got screwed by his own caucus. I hope the yahoos in his caucus realize that what has transpired since they shot down his fig leaf - they utterly pissed away their leverage.
   5458. Mefisto Posted: December 28, 2012 at 07:07 PM (#4333911)
It's also one of the very few largely available to the middle class, and home ownership drives a number of industries. I could see capping it, but I think it is a very useful thing to leave in for middle income taxpayers.


It's problematic on other grounds as well. It's currently a favorite target of Republicans because it screws people in blue states, relatively speaking. I would be in favor, though, of eliminating the deduction for second homes (if that still exists).

I must win the prize for "most liberal" here, because I strongly disagree with 13 of Harveys' 20 proposals. There's a 21st about which I'm neutral (tax deduction for production in US).
   5459. CrosbyBird Posted: December 28, 2012 at 07:08 PM (#4333912)
It's also one of the very few largely available to the middle class, and home ownership drives a number of industries. I could see capping it, but I think it is a very useful thing to leave in for middle income taxpayers.

It's really, really good for lenders and real estate agents. Part of the value of home ownership is artificially inflated because of the mortgage deduction; if people couldn't rely on it, they'd be willing to borrow less money and therefore would have paid less for their homes. This artificially high market for homes prices poor and many lower-middle-class people out of the market.
   5460. CrosbyBird Posted: December 28, 2012 at 07:13 PM (#4333913)
You see your cat taking a nice long scratch on the arm of your couch and in an attempt to get her to stop, you go to stomp your foot nearby, to scare her. The cat hears you coming, gets stuck, and just before you get to your stomp, gets a bit confused and starts to run away right in your direction. You mistakenly stomp on her foot, breaking it.

The government had a lot longer than a half-second to modify its response.

This would be a more reasonable analogy if your living room were a thousand feet long, you and the cat started on opposite sides of the room, you lifted your leg to stomp, and then stomped anyway once the cat got right under your foot.
   5461. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 28, 2012 at 07:19 PM (#4333914)
They've put it Reid/McConnell's hands and it sounds like no filibuster/procedural blocks.
That can't be right. If there are no filibusters, then it's entirely in Reid's hands and McConnell can pound sand. McConnell is only a party to the bill if he can veto it through the supermajority requirement, and he would never unilaterally disarm like that.

And if the filibuster is in play, then McConnell's in the same position as Boehner, and the Dems have to get through two ###### up caucuses to get a bill through. I guess arguably the "optics" change if the Senate passes a bill, but ultimately I think this is still more about interests and structures then "optics".
   5462. zonk Posted: December 28, 2012 at 07:28 PM (#4333917)
That can't be right. If there are no filibusters, then it's entirely in Reid's hands and McConnell can pound sand. McConnell is only a party to the bill if he can veto it through the supermajority requirement, and he would never unilaterally disarm like that.


I think the Reid/McConnell huddle predicates that -- this is why I hate political reporting, they completely ignore the complexities...

But - remember - the Senate had already passed something... That's S3142 - the bill Boehner says has a "blue slip" problem.

Sooo... I think (and these are my tea leaves) - that Reid/McConnell get one last chance to work out something that won't make Boehner blanch... That gets an up or down (and since McConnell would be part of that negotiation, makes sense).

If not -

Then HR8 essentially gets wholly rewritten (ahem, 'amended') with the guts of S3142 - which, again, already got through the Senate once.

In effect - it's either a compromise that McConnell at least implicitly signs on to, or, it's a bill that has already passed the Senate (just under an 'S' designation, which means Boeher 'blue slips' it).

Hence - McConnell really hasn't given away anything he hasn't already, previously given away.

This is why my tea leaves say they're screwing Boehner...

   5463. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 28, 2012 at 07:40 PM (#4333924)
I still don't see how Boehner is screwed under any of those circumstances, any more than he is today. Right now he can at best lead a minority of his caucus to support a compromise bill or lead a majority of his caucus to defeat a compromise bill. How does the Senate engaging in negotiations change that at all?

Anyway, the people getting screwed by this process are ordinary working Americans. It appears that no matter what, the payroll tax will be hiked and a variety of other bad things will happen. All to solve a "problem" that is obviously not affecting the American economy in the least way, and doesn't project to cause any actual problems for at least another presidential administration, and while we're still in the throes of a four-year labor market crisis. So this all basically sucks.
   5464. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 28, 2012 at 07:44 PM (#4333927)
So this all basically sucks.


In absolute terms, yes. In the short term, yes. But relative to the possible grand bargains bandied about (especially given the bill that died in the house) it is better than the alternatives. In the long term - if things collapse and the GOP gets blamed, it might (but I doubt it) help future things get passed.

Cloud meet silver lining I guess.
   5465. Tripon Posted: December 28, 2012 at 07:45 PM (#4333930)
Is this how every deal going to be, going under the wire? When its clear that the economy wants these sorts of congressional deals to be decided much earlier?
   5466. Morty Causa Posted: December 28, 2012 at 07:48 PM (#4333931)
The reading of Waco by some here is distorted, just plain bonkers. First, you do not contest the bona fides of a warrant by shooting the servers of that warrant. There's a legal procedure for doing that. Second, someone who is the subject of a warrant doesn't have the right to have it served his way or not at all. Third, that the process is going to be tough isn't grounds to airily forget about everything.

That thing went on interminably and in public before authorities finally decided something had to be done. Koresh and the BDs got what they wanted, and at every step they pushed it further. That because the authorities finally did something and a horrible outcome resulted doesn't make the authorities are automatically at fault. Koresh could have, and should have, simply submitted. That was not only his legal duty; it was what would have been best for his own crazy folloers. If you push legally constituted authority like that, something bad is likely to eventuate, and unless you had a better reason that some Brave New Worldview at stake, you are the one that is at fault. That's where it started, not with process of service. Koresh and Co. were not owed a duty to have service done like they wanted it to be done, just as they aren't entitled to have society we constituted like they'd like it to be.
   5467. zonk Posted: December 28, 2012 at 07:56 PM (#4333937)
I still don't see how Boehner is screwed under any of those circumstances, any more than he is today. Right now he can at best lead a minority of his caucus to support a compromise bill or lead a majority of his caucus to defeat a compromise bill. How does the Senate engaging in negotiations change that at all?


Because virtually all of the available options mean a breach of the Hastert rule -- in effect, a bill passing (unless he can whip enough opposition within his caucus) with mostly Dem votes.

I think that's death for a GOP speaker (especially with the caucus he has).

Thus far, he's been able to play with a short field -- i.e., just his 241 caucus, with the idea of getting 218 of them "with" him. That sounds over and done... so now - his magic number is probably 121 and I don't think he can get that because the Senate bill is going to be at least relatively Dem friendly, if it isn't an outright recapitulation. Even his allies and friends (and he does have them) have to start really thinking about their own seats.

He's been hiding behind the blue slip - and my guess is that he can't hide anymore... Perhaps McConnell can get him something - just enough to get him over 121 GOP votes... but if not, he's gonna get the original Senate bill that will almost certainly pass the House, but also almost certainly pass with almost the entire Dem caucus and very few (maybe 50? 60?) GOP votes.

The blue sip was basically his final "not my fault" excuse... if the Senate essentially gives him back something called "HR8 as amended" - he can't hide behind a blue slip anymore.
   5468. Lassus Posted: December 28, 2012 at 08:36 PM (#4333960)
This would be a more reasonable analogy if your living room were a thousand feet long, you and the cat started on opposite sides of the room, you lifted your leg to stomp, and then stomped anyway once the cat got right under your foot.

As explicitly stated, it was not an analogy for the event. I was talking about the question being wrong.
   5469. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: December 28, 2012 at 08:38 PM (#4333962)
I hope the yahoos in his caucus realize that what has transpired since they shot down his fig leaf - they utterly pissed away their leverage.
PURITY FOREVAH.
   5470. Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: December 28, 2012 at 08:56 PM (#4333967)
The reading of Waco by some here is distorted, just plain bonkers.


And let's be honest; there's no response to Waco that Clinton's administration could have gone with that would have kept the wingers from winging it up.
   5471. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: December 28, 2012 at 09:00 PM (#4333968)
Speaking of wingers, winging it up:


Hannity sardonically celebrated Obama’s return from his Hawaiian vacation to deal with the impending cliff. Krauthammer admitted he doesn’t “begrudge [Obama] his holiday,” but he does have an issue with how the president has been dealing with the fiscal cliff negotiations. He did, however, give Obama his due credit for a stunning accomplishment amidst the ongoing talks.

“He’s been using this, and I must say with great skill–-and ruthless skill and success–to fracture and basically shatter the Republican opposition… His objective from the very beginning was to break the will of the Republicans in the House, and to create an internal civil war. And he’s done that.”

Krauthammer said Obama has been pushing the GOP since winning reelection to focus on raising tax rates because he knew it would be a sore subject between differing factions of his Republican opposition, and his interest in scoring a partisan political victory outweighs his desire to seriously deal with the national debt.

Hannity wondered if Obama was in more serious danger of tarnishing his legacy than the Republicans. Krauthammer maintained that the GOP had more room to negotiate than they thought, and while initially they may get the blame for the consequences of going over the cliff, in the long run it will be part of Obama’s legacy and “he will be remembered as a failed president.”

Hannity cited this as just the latest example of Obama “clinging to this radical ideology of his,” but wondered if the GOP will just take any deal Obama offers up because “they’re scared to death.” Krauthammer said both sides have mandates of their own, and whether or not Obama likes it, he’s going to need to cave if he wants to avoid going off the cliff, or at least stem its most economically damaging consequences.


Link
   5472. Morty Causa Posted: December 28, 2012 at 09:06 PM (#4333972)
“He’s been using this, and I must say with great skill–-and ruthless skill and success–to fracture and basically shatter the Republican opposition… His objective from the very beginning was to break the will of the Republicans in the House, and to create an internal civil war. And he’s done that.”


Is this supposed to be, gorblimey, not cricket, old sport?
   5473. zonk Posted: December 28, 2012 at 09:28 PM (#4333978)
You know, Krauthammer isn't totally wrong...

Obama HAS played this well, politically.

The big problem with his thesis is that it's all predicated on this fantastical, radical concept that the very idea of raising taxes is somehow a 'radical' agenda.... Never mind that Clinton did it... never mind that Bush I did it... never mind that Reagan did it... Never mind that virtually every President since Wilson has done it for a variety of reasons -- to pay for wars, to pay for various national initiatives...

He HAS forced the Republicans into a day of reckoning - either they face up to the idea that, even if you think spending needs a drastic, across-the-board cut to an extreme degree, taxes of some manner or another WILL HAVE TO RISE.

Sane people accept this. Many of them Republicans, many of them conservative, many of them hating taxes accept this.

The argument should be a matter of "OK - fine... but what spending do we cut? What taxes do we raise? How much do they rise"? Those are perfectly legitimate counterpoints - and worthy of debate, discussion, and yes - compromise.

But that's not where Krauthammer is coming from... He's coming from the nihilistic, snort a mountain of coke then ride the laffer curve roller coaster that plunges forever to eternity with magic fairies delivering revenue at the bottom camp.

....where 'raising taxes' has somehow become this impossible, radical idea that only a cloaked marxist would dare propose.

I'd say he and his ilk are just being spoiled, idiot children who suddenly realize the gig is up -- but that's giving him and his ilk far, far too much credit.

It's a reckoning that needed to happen.
   5474. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: December 28, 2012 at 09:38 PM (#4333979)
Krauthammer said Obama has been pushing the GOP since winning reelection to focus on raising tax rates because he knew it would be a sore subject between differing factions of his Republican opposition, and his interest in scoring a partisan political victory outweighs his desire to seriously deal with the national debt.
This sentence is so full of fail.

Fail No. 1: Obama can score a partisan political victory AND seriously deal with the national debt at the same time, Charles. These are not mutually exclusive. In fact, it's going on right now.

Fail No. 2: But what actions are mutually exclusive to Krauthammer? Raising taxes and dealing with the debt. He says so right there.
   5475. tshipman Posted: December 28, 2012 at 09:46 PM (#4333981)
my big focus was entitlements on the spending side. give me more time and i will carve that area up but good.


The big $$ from Harveys cuts come from Medicaid and poor people. He snuck it by most of the readers apparently:

Give states a set amount of money to fund long-term care under Medicaid, the state and federal health-care program for poor people

Gradually raise the age at which workers are eligible for full Social Security retirement benefits, to as high as 70, up from a range of 65 to 67

Gradually raise the earliest eligibility age for Social Security to 64, up from 62

Change how Social Security cost-of-living adjustments are calculated to slow payments' growth


These are all very regressive cuts that hit poor people hardest.

This would not be a good deal for Obama to agree to. I'm just pointing this out because I think people have a hard time understanding that it's quite difficult to cut spending at this point without causing a fair amount of harm to poor people or old people or old, poor people.

You can cut some to Medicare by instituting more means-based tests. I like the revenue raisers in Harveys' proposal, but the cuts are basically non-starters. That deal would fail in the House by huge margins--neither caucus would support it.

***

With no deal done today, I think we're going over the cliff (at least technically). It's pretty much unavoidable. We might get a deal agreed to in principle, and then voted on by Jan 4-5, but that's about it.
   5476. Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: December 28, 2012 at 10:13 PM (#4333986)
I can't believe this group is really that amazed that Charles Krauthammer went on Hannity and drop-fed the catatonic masses more of their self-selected opiate. Sure, it's absurd when viewed from a lens of basic reality and rational thinking, but Krauthammer wasn't there to speak rationally of reality. He was there to tell the Foxies what they wanted to hear, between prepper ads selling them apocalypse bunkers made of 24 carat gold.
   5477. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: December 28, 2012 at 10:19 PM (#4333990)
@5327--Funny how those rotten socialists (well, Bernie Sanders, that rotten socialist, singular) in Congress are always taking away our rights. Except, you know, when they're among the few voting against the Patriot Act, against extensions of the Patriot Act, against extensions of FISA....

http://www.sanders.senate.gov/legislation/issue/?id=a86e4557-d2ed-4159-ab67-75380e07b9cd

Funny how those fascists on the far left, like Sanders and, say, Kucinich, are much more likely than the far right crowd to actually stand up for liberty.

I'll give Rand Paul credit, though. He's one of the very rare righties who gives a damn about civil liberties when it involves more than your right to carry maximum fire power.

let me reiterate that i am not discounting environmental concerns. i completely support ongoing research in this area. but i do not think we need to put everything to a dead stop while the research happens given there is no 'burning platform'.


Eminently sensible. I do want to see great care exercised, in that the potential for real, costly, long-term environment damage (which we as taxpayers will bear) is present; at the same time, failing to frack (should be a song in that) has its own costs, including an increased likelihood of foreign adventuring at some point to ensure the US oil/energy supply, and environmental damage from sources of energy other than fracking. It's not like the energy needed in lieu of fracking doesn't come with its own significant costs; costs of varyng kinds.

but this among other things was why i was dismissive of more govt stimulus. i supported the first stimulus as i am not senator shelby. i just think as with most things in life moderation is the key. we had a flood of cash. now we need to go at this from another direction.


It's reasonable to disagree on this. I'm a Keynesian, and while I'm also a small government liberal (which can make for a difficult balancing act) I do think the time is right (high unemployment, low borrowing costs) for government to go ahead and do its job here, namely to catch up on all the building and maintenance we've let slide.

Now, that's still stimulus - plugging those state-level budget holes most definitely kept a whole host of teachers, firefighters, cops, etc employed - and also went to getting state-needed/run projects done...


True, but... the fact that government employment has actually dropped since Obama took office strongly suggests that the first stimulus was not well-crafted.
   5478. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 28, 2012 at 10:22 PM (#4333992)
tship

courtesy of the budget office these are the billions on each item

medicaid--50 billion
social security age raise--30 billion
eligibility age--30 billion
cost of living--20 billion

the tax increases alone were over 400 billion

taxed the biggest earners

cut defense

took away stuff from corporations.

but your perspective is that the folks over 65 don't have to contribute a d8mn thing?

so in the spirit of shared sacrifice you would expect the group that has the most concentrated wealth as an age demographic to contribute nothing?

this old poor folk thing is getting as tedious as save the children.



   5479. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 28, 2012 at 10:25 PM (#4333994)
i explained earlier why mcconnell had the ability to be a player. i don't know what's confusing about the situation.
   5480. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 28, 2012 at 10:29 PM (#4333995)
folks

employment dropped and has stayed dropped because the economic downturn forced companies to cut costs and learn to live without. they discovered that they had a lot of folks earning paychecks which did not need to be replaced.

american worker productivity and technology made backfilling unnecessary.

the american worker needs to reinvent himself/herself. again. which has happened repeatedly in our nation's history.

this constant cuckooing over the plight of the american worker is also noise to my ears. if you sit and tell folks they have it rought they expect someone to do something versus the worker doing something.

   5481. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 28, 2012 at 10:36 PM (#4333997)
did folks see the article in the atlantic on manufacturing returning to the u.s.? if not good article and validation of my efforts in my little corner of the world to support manufacturing in this country.

the american worker is a great asset. now that the chinese want stuff and wages are going up annually the competitive labor cost edge is diminished making it about the workers skills versus cheapitudeness

   5482. tshipman Posted: December 28, 2012 at 10:39 PM (#4333998)
courtesy of the budget office these are the billions on each item

medicaid--50 billion
social security age raise--30 billion
eligibility age--30 billion
cost of living--20 billion


Are those costs per year or per 10 years? Because it looks like you're comparing per year spending cuts with per 10 year revenue raises.

but your perspective is that the folks over 65 don't have to contribute a d8mn thing?


It's my perspective that rich seniors should contribute, but we should do our best to hold harmless people who have no other source of income.

There is no impending budget crisis. There are no bond vigilantes. The only thing that is urgent is the unemployment rate. So no, I don't think that making everyone share sacrifice is important.

employment dropped and has stayed dropped because the economic downturn forced companies to cut costs and learn to live without. they discovered that they had a lot of folks earning paychecks which did not need to be replaced.

american worker productivity and technology made backfilling unnecessary.


This is fine as an explanation ... except why has there been stagnant wage growth? If companies trimmed the fat and found that they could do just fine, why no growth in wages?

I think a much better explanation is the demand side explanation. A sudden demand drop explains everything. Not some things, but everything.

   5483. Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: December 28, 2012 at 10:47 PM (#4334001)
but your perspective is that the folks over 65 don't have to contribute a d8mn thing?


I'm with Harvey. Excepting my mom I say we march the lot of them up the damned mountain without parkas.
   5484. Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: December 28, 2012 at 10:49 PM (#4334002)
This is fine as an explanation ... except why has there been stagnant wage growth? If companies trimmed the fat and found that they could do just fine, why no growth in wages?


Because the newly unemployed would snap up any job that comes available if a resource demanded wage increases, at the non-increased cost.
   5485. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 28, 2012 at 10:49 PM (#4334003)
tship

all the figures courtesy of the congressional budget office and there is nothing stating that there is a timeframe difference.

as for wage growth there is no broad based competition for the american worker. folks can term it exploitation but it's the flip side of when workers were moving from job to job and getting 20 percent and greater raises with each move

companies are not motivated to provide raises as there is no market pressure to do so.


   5486. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 28, 2012 at 10:55 PM (#4334005)
here's the crazy thing. here are the things my brethren want to enact but which are chump change so why bother:

limit patients ability to sue for malpractice
reduce federal payements to hospitals that teach
end higher medicare payments to rural hospitals
extend waiting period for disability insurance to 12 months from 5 months
eliminate federal grants for wastewater and drinking water
increase the share of rent that low income tenants pay in federally subsidized housing
restrict pell grants to fewer students
eliminate grant programs for elementary and secondary education
eliminate funding for national community service programs

do i need to continue? i got more

i could get every one of these programs but get what, 50 billion?

stick it to the old people or stick it to the kids. well, as an old person i am saying very clearly we had our bite at the apple

   5487. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 28, 2012 at 10:59 PM (#4334006)
the advocacy on behalf of folks who had a lifetime to build for their later years just baffles me

it's look out for folks who had jobs and families and instead of leveraging that into a means of coping with their later years they have their hand out boo hooing about how the mean old govt shouldn't be touching their social security checks which they have been cashing for possibly half as long as they actually worked.

give me a break
   5488. tshipman Posted: December 28, 2012 at 11:04 PM (#4334010)
Because the newly unemployed would snap up any job that comes available if a resource demanded wage increases, at the non-increased cost.


But Harveys' explanation was that those people were unemployable. So if businesses cut all the people who were unemployable, the remaining people should see wage growth--absent a demand problem.

as for wage growth there is no broad based competition for the american worker. folks can term it exploitation but it's the flip side of when workers were moving from job to job and getting 20 percent and greater raises with each move


Again, for this to make sense, there has to be a demand gap.
   5489. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 28, 2012 at 11:10 PM (#4334012)
tship

i did not write that these folks unemployable. i stated that companies made do with less. the worker needs to transition the skill set to a company/industry where the demand exists

it is also true that workers are less willing to move. there is a need in the energy sector in nebraska and north dakota but companies are struggling to get workers in that part of the country.

once upon a time folks would rush to where the work was located

now there is a belief in quality of life or some such.

   5490. Misirlou is on hiding to nowhere Posted: December 28, 2012 at 11:24 PM (#4334017)
eliminate federal grants for wastewater and drinking water


Well, you yourself called infrastructure spending ######## or some such.
   5491. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 28, 2012 at 11:28 PM (#4334018)
misir

hey, i will toss that into the pot. but i was looking to get serious money. that's like 4 billion. that's nothing

that and it's bad pr. not worth the hassle

oh, and won't someone think of the old people. can't have them drinking nasty water

whatever
   5492. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: December 28, 2012 at 11:30 PM (#4334019)
Reduce initial disability insurance benefits by 15 percent


Which program is this?

Social Security: do away with all auxiliary benefits. Increase the amount to be paid in and the amount of work time a person needs in order to be vested in the program, especially when it comes to disability benefits.


It sounds like you're talking about the transition someone makes, should they become disabled, from SSI (which is means tested) to SSDI (which is not), which occurs in most cases once someone has worked something like 25 quarters (though iirc from helping a friend through the hoops, it was variable and also painfully complex) and paid into SS during those quarters.

What would you change it to?


edit: "Agree with Harveys about the mortgage interest deduction. It is pretty much the most regressive tax break imaginable."

Could it not be re-written to benefit only first time homebuyers and on the first $250,000 of the home's value?

It makes sense to incentivize first time ownership, to give people who otherwise could not build real equity a shot at doing so.
   5493. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 28, 2012 at 11:31 PM (#4334020)
jack

the first passage is mine and that refers to social security

the second passage is not mine and hence no answer
   5494. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 28, 2012 at 11:38 PM (#4334021)
i ran the social security stuff past the mrs who has decades of bleeding heartism on this crowd and she frowned but didn't dismiss it out of hand

so why is social security some sacred ground for folks 40 years from eligibility?

if i were you i would be agitating for death panels
   5495. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 28, 2012 at 11:41 PM (#4334023)
jack

you can write tax law, as with any law, any way you like

but you won't find an economist worth his/her salt who supports the mortgage interest deduction. nor any tax person. everyone agrees it's just a big fat handout to a small segment of the taxpaying population

there is no large scale economic benefit. there isn't.

it....................is......................dumb
   5496. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 28, 2012 at 11:44 PM (#4334025)
oh, forgot ag subsidies as something i would ditch. i couldn't find a number on the cob info but i am sure it's hefty enough.

so add that to the pot

see, i am a farmer and i am sticking it to farmers

i am old and sticking it to the old people

i am invested in oil companies and sticking it to the oil companies

   5497. Misirlou is on hiding to nowhere Posted: December 28, 2012 at 11:44 PM (#4334026)
i ran the social security stuff past the mrs who has decades of bleeding heartism on this crowd and she frowned but didn't dismiss it out of hand

so why is social security some sacred ground for folks 40 years from eligibility?


How young do you think we are? I'm about a dozen years from collecting benefits. Look, I once had plans to never give SS a thought. But first big salary cuts to save the pension (and thus less money to set aside for later), and then the pension going bye bye means that it is starting to look like a real piece of the retirement income basket.
   5498. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 28, 2012 at 11:48 PM (#4334030)
misir

the general sense is that this crowd was a bunch of 35 year old nerdy white dudes as a rule of thumb

give or take of course

   5499. GregD Posted: December 28, 2012 at 11:50 PM (#4334031)
the general sense is that this crowd was a bunch of 35 year old nerdy white dudes as a rule of thumb
That is the kind of stereotyping I deplore. When I started reading BTF I was a 34-year-old nerdy white dude. now I'm a 41 year nerdy white dude. Respect!
   5500. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 28, 2012 at 11:55 PM (#4334033)
gregd

my sincerest apologies
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