The Republicans are falling over the cliff

HankP's picture

and it's not a fiscal cliff (which is actually more like a gradual downhill stroll) but a political one. As Wags pointed out and linked here, suddenly the GOP is unwilling to actually say what they want to cut as far as entitlements are concerned. They basically want Democrats and the White House to propose both sides of an agreement, then decide whether they're willing to go along with it.


Now why would that be? Why would a party that has run on "entitlement reform" and tax cuts for years suddenly be unwilling to lay out their proposal? Simple, it's political suicide. All those small government conservatives want benefits cut for everyone else, not themselves. They want the Democrats to make the entire proposal so that they can blame every part of it on the Democrats, whether they wind up voting for it or not. Of course, the Democrats will do no such thing.First because they don't want the political fallout, and second because you never negotiate with yourself.


And as I've said before, all complaining about "fiscal cliffs" and the deficit are bulls(*t. The only thing Republicans care about is cutting taxes on the wealthy. They don't really much care about cutting entitlements, it's only another method to cut taxes even further. But with the expiration of the Bush tax cuts (and remember, tax cuts with an expiration date are a Republican idea) they've shown themselves to be too clever by half. They'll enrage their base by agreeing to any tax increases, and they'll enrage everyone else by proposing cuts in entitlements.


If I was a kinder, gentler person I might even feel sorry for them.


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It's a divided party

Bird Dog's picture

Obama is taking advantage while the GOP is still trying to pick up the pieces. Boehner does not have an easy task.

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

Fox on 15th


The Washington Post needs to be shut down. Ezra Klein isn't remotely worth it:


... The article also asserted, with no supporting evidence, that:

"simply canceling the changes [the tax increases and spending cuts scheduled for January 1], however, risks undermining confidence in the nation’s ability to manage its rising debt."


If the paper has evidence for this claim then it should have presented it. The low interest rates on U.S. government debt suggests that the financial markets are not very concerned about the nation's ability to manage its rising debt.


The piece also complains about President Obama's plan to change the structure under which Congress approves the debt ceiling so that it would require a two-thirds vote to prevent the ceiling from being increased. It told readers:


"this change would also deprive Congress of its historic authority over federal borrowing."


Actually Congress would continue to have complete authority over federal borrowing. It can either appropriate less spending or impose more taxes, just as was always the case. The change in rules on the debt ceiling really has more to do with Congress's ability to default on its commitments, since the issue with the debt ceiling is whether the country will pay the bills that Congress has opted to run up. No other country in the world has this sort of restriction on debt.

Catchy, Mrs. Jordan & I just finished watching The Wire,


and what I learned from the experience, other than the fact that this is the only TV show ever created that deserves the adjective "Tolstoyesque" (screw Dickens), is that you have two basic choices. You can have accurate, fearless reporting of authentic human experience based on facts we can all recognize unsullied by politics, or you can have society. You have to pick one, can't have both.

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

Jordan, Point of Order! Point of Order, Sir!


I loved The Wire but to draw any conclusion about general society based on a show set in a place where people pronounce 'Yo!' with 2 syllables is an insult to the rest of us who've learned to pick our knuckles up off the ground.  'We're from Bawdimore, and we're headed downy ewshin, widda case a them Natty Bo's, hon."

Yeah, you can't have any sort of decent society with folks that talk like that.  Grits used to talk a little like that in northern Delaware, but most folks who graduated HS didn't.  In Baltimore it's a source of pride to talk in such a way that priests during confession finally break down and say 'Would you please just STFU.'

I've made fun of NJ and Ohio but that was good clean fun.  I'm not making fun of Baltimore, here.  The city and it's environs are fundamentally broken.

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

Ok, Ok, I've only been there once.


But I think my general principle still holds, even though you might well be right that the phrase "Baltimore society" is insulting to both terms.

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

I'm So Sorry I Don't See the Choice...Accurate or Society?..nt



Exactly! We can have truth & honesty, or


we can have a functioning society. Pick one!

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

A functioning society. n/t

mmghosh's picture


freedom is a fundamental value that does not need to be justified in terms of some other value like efficiency

So Says the Marketer -nt



That's pretty poor marketing

HankP's picture

good marketing would say we can have both, for only the trivial cost of $X per annum in perpetuity.


I blame it all on the Internet



i blame the scotch

I don't think the marketer is trying to move product


just offering a peek behind the curtain.

People Shout Out..."We Love You!!!" Obama Answers...



..."I love you back." I think he means it.


I'm watching him live in PA...he's very Good.


See also the collapse of the train bridge in New Jersey....when he says we need infrastructure rebuilding, it is true.


This may actually work out well.


Best Wishes, Traveller


One of my key memories


Of his term was when someone yelled "we love you! " during his Cairo speech. He smiled and you knew he was throttling back his standard response. Wouldn't have been appropriate during a Major Foreign Policy Address.

"I don't want us to descend into a nation of bloggers." - Steve Jobs

Not a Terrible Opening Offer from Obama


1) $1.6 trillion in tax increases.

2) A new, and larger, stimulus package that would take effect immediately and would fill in for the jobs bill that the Congress refused to pass.

3) An accommodation on home-mortgage financing.

4) A new proposal to eliminate the debt limit, so as to prevent its being the most obvious hostage to be taken every year. (And, as the invaluable Dave Dayen points out, its potential as a vehicle for annual sabotage aside, the statutory debt limit is a dumb idea on its merits, too.)


In return, the president promised some unspecified "savings" in Medicare and some slightly less specific spending cuts. More to the point, he sent Timothy Geithner up to the hill to pitch it. And, while I still wouldn't trust Geithner as far as I can throw the Treasury Building, making him the envoy to the Congress is nothing if not an indication that the entire administration is behind this set of proposals.




Not terrible, not radical either

HankP's picture

despite GOP whining, it's actually a pretty moderate position and one he's been running on throughout his campaign.


I'd like to see the introduction of tax brackets into capital gains, say 15% up to $100K, 25% up to 250K and matching income tax rates above that.



I blame it all on the Internet