The Fiscal Deal- Good or Bad?

Posted by: DLC

The Fiscal Deal- Good or Bad? - 01/01/13 06:18 AM

I read the Senate Bill and it's not a huge victory... a good one but not huge.
$400,000 individual /$450,000 joint seems a little high for me... I think $300,000 would have been it. But at least the GOP can't whine about small businesses any more !
Another Take

Assuming (big you know what) the House doesn't make drastic changes, what's everyone's feelings ?
well besides sick !! laugh

Posted by: steveg

Re: The Fiscal Deal- Good or Bad? - 01/01/13 06:50 AM

On closer analysis (at layman's pay grade, mind you), I don't know that $250K vs. $400/$450K is such a big gap. I'd be willing to bet that while Obama campaigned on the former, he expected a Republican counter offer of a $1 million (or higher) threshold. So considering that he only came up $150/$200K while Repugnicans had to come down $550/$600K — and they actually swallowed a tax increase of any description — Dems got the better tax deal by a long shot. And the chained CPI for SS is not in the mix either (at least for now).

My biggest disappointment is that the debt ceiling is not covered in this bill, which means another potentially dangerous and internationally embarrassing pissing contest in a couple of months. And there are still all those spending cuts that will have to be revisited soon.

That said, given Boneher's demonstrated lack of leadership, the House could stakeout a big claim on Assclownville and twist the Senate bill into a grotesque joke, or stomp the life out of it altogether. Blech. sick
Posted by: DLC

Re: The Fiscal Deal- Good or Bad? - 01/01/13 07:45 AM

You're right about the difference may not be as big $ wise, but my concern was the # of households affected drops hugely every notch you go up... so those > $1 million you're talking a few 100,000.... my concern was the revenue intake because a very few (like <<1%) will be affected.

They need to come up with a new term for Bonehead.... Assclown, jackass, etc. are all too kind and grossly underestimate his putridness !! wink

Can you help us out Steve !! laugh

Posted by: Mike

Re: The Fiscal Deal- Good or Bad? - 01/01/13 09:14 AM

Robert Reich thinks the Dems could have done better.....

Reich
Posted by: yoyo52

Re: The Fiscal Deal- Good or Bad? - 01/01/13 09:37 AM

What bothers me the most about all this is that no one--besides Krugman now and then--took the opportunity to educate the people about what was going on. A lot of people, maybe most people, still think that the "cliff" was all about the debt. I think people here know better since the "cliff" was a danger because it would have attacked the deficit very directly, and so probably caused another deprecession. It's really why the republicans have won yet once again, AFAIC: they've made the idea of reducing the deficit the single issue that people focus on, and at this point in the economic history of the country, attacking the deficit = reducing the size of government in a pretty destructive way. Remember that reducing the size of government is the rep's # 1 priority now that they can't work on making Obama a one-term president any more. No one (besides Krugman now and then) has made the case that in a recession the size of a deficit by definition has to go up, and that having that happen is the only way to prevent a depression. No one (besides Krugman now and then) has pointed out that the real damage to the deficit was done under Bush, whose deficits ran up close to a trillion a year despite the fact that there was no recession under way--and of course back then, as Cheney used to say, deficits didn't matter.

So sure, the temporary fix is not as terrible as it could have been. But the republicans have won the war.
Posted by: six_of_one

Re: The Fiscal Deal- Good or Bad? - 01/01/13 09:39 AM

A nice summary and recap ...

Seems to be enough to hate for both sides that it's probably a good compromise -- it'll be interesting to see if Boehner can get this passed through the House as-is or wether the Republican House fringe will neuter it into a poison pill (if not just kill it altogether) ...
Posted by: garyW

Re: The Fiscal Deal- Good or Bad? - 01/01/13 10:25 AM

I'm doubtful Mr. Boner can even get this bill passed.

Once his committees add ammendments to repeal of the Affordable Care Act, anti-abortion legislation and to make a Grover Norquist Day a national holiday….

Posted by: garyW

Re: The Fiscal Deal- Good or Bad? - 01/01/13 10:33 AM

Originally Posted By: Mike
Robert Reich thinks the Dems could have done better.....

Reich


The Drudge/Breitbart world doesn't much like the 41:1 tax to spending cut ratio
link, They see McConnell & Boehner as an epic fail.


Remember, it wasn't long ago during the GOP primary debate when every candidate opposed a $10 cut for every $1 tax.
Posted by: garyW

Re: The Fiscal Deal- Good or Bad? - 01/01/13 12:49 PM

Bernie Sanders supports the Senate's bill.


…. The Donald, not so much. laugh




Eric Cantor looks like he'll rally enough support to defeat Boehner and kill the bill. Then the likely outcome is that a new bill will be drafted by the 113th Congress and bring the limit back to $200K/$250K. Republicans will also oust Boehner and make Cantor the new Speaker.

Oh, the misery.



On the wildly optimistic side of things, did Obama's jedi 3-dimensional chess playing negotiation strategy just stike a direct hit to the GOP Deathstar and fuel their fatal internal implosion ? laugh

Posted by: steveg

Re: The Fiscal Deal- Good or Bad? - 01/01/13 12:59 PM

F*cking Cantor will not support the bill. Now comes the neutering in the Repugnican House. We won't be climbing back up the hill any time soon. They don't care what Obama ran and won on. They have no interest in listening to voters. They only want to suck on the toes of Norquist, the Koch Bros., Sheldon Adelson, the NRA, and the extreme white wing. mad
Posted by: six_of_one

Re: The Fiscal Deal- Good or Bad? - 01/01/13 01:07 PM

Quote:
Eric Cantor looks like he'll ralley enough support to defeat Boehner and kill the bill. Then the likely outcome is that a new bill will be drafted by the 113th Congress and bring the limit back to $200K/$250K. Republicans will also oust Boehner and make Cantor the new Speaker.

Wait, what? What's the reasoning there? If the Republican-led House isn't going to buy a $400k/$450K limit, they're certainly not going to draft a new bill with the old $200K/$250K limit. Or are you taking about the Senate drafting a new bill (in which case it'll be DOA in the House anyways, for the above reason, if it even gets out of the Senate)?

As for the thought of a Speaker Cantor, at least Boehner has a small, tiny, infinitesimal shred of governmental responsibility -- a Cantor-led House would truly be the insane running the asylum (not that they don't already, but that would really strip off whatever veneer of credibility is left. Which, as you point out, may have been the real Dem strategy all along)
Posted by: steveg

Re: The Fiscal Deal- Good or Bad? - 01/01/13 01:20 PM

This defies logic. The House couldn't get it done, so they shoved it on the Senate. The Senate gets it done and now the House says Nope? WTF??? crazy mad
Posted by: steveg

Re: The Fiscal Deal- Good or Bad? - 01/01/13 01:36 PM

The smirk says it all. mad

Posted by: garyW

Re: The Fiscal Deal- Good or Bad? - 01/01/13 01:58 PM

Originally Posted By: six_of_one
Wait, what? What's the reasoning there?


A vote on the current bill raises taxes above $400K/$450K level. There was no other bill to follow this. Senate republicans just voted for a tax hike for the wealthy. The House leadership is saying no to that.

Unlike the bill they have now, in the 113th Congress a new bill for the $200K/$250K limit allows for a vote to CUT taxes only. They can argue all they want about subsequent tax cuts for higher wage earners and spending cut offsets.

It's the unemployment benefits and the debt ceiling that are going to once again be held hostage. But Republicans are going to be feeling a little beat up for jumping the fiscal cliff and lots of people all over the country are going to be damn angry. The GOP may not want the abuse and humiliation to fight these other battles with no political gain.

Posted by: garyW

Re: The Fiscal Deal- Good or Bad? - 01/01/13 02:03 PM

Originally Posted By: steveg
This defies logic. The House couldn't get it done, so they shoved it on the Senate. The Senate gets it done and now the House says Nope? WTF??? crazy mad


Cantor and his GOP extremists just said FU to their Senate colleagues. "You are on record for voting for a tax hike and working with the president ... and I will not." I don't see that ending well.
Posted by: six_of_one

Re: The Fiscal Deal- Good or Bad? - 01/01/13 02:10 PM

Quote:
Unlike the bill on they have now, in the 113th Congress a new bill for the $200K/$250K limit allows for a vote to CUT taxes only. They can argue all they want about subsequent tax cuts for higher wage earners and spending cut offsets.


You're assuming the House will act with reason, which it has demonstrated as late as this afternoon it is disinclined to do. Since they were willing to hold hostage not raising taxes on everyone else for not raising taxes on the 1-2%, I don't really see where they wouldn't also hold hostage cutting taxes for everyone else for cutting takes on that same 1-2% ...

It would be nice to think they actually pay attention to public opinion, but that obviously hasn't had much of an impact so far, so I'm not sure it's reasonable to expect them to suddenly start paying attention moving forward ...

In other news, Senate leaders say they're done for this Congress, so either the House passes the existing bill by Thursday or we get to start all over from scratch. Which, if the House is going to keep acting like spoiled little brats, probably wouldn't be such a bad idea =P
Posted by: garyW

Re: The Fiscal Deal- Good or Bad? - 01/01/13 02:18 PM

Originally Posted By: six_of_one
you're assuming the House will act with reason, which it has demonstrated as late as this afternoon it is disinclined to do.


They will be acting out of survival! All politics is local. Each representative is going to get an earful from their constituents who will demand they vote to give them back their "Bush tax cuts for the middle-class" and their unemployment benefits …. actually it's unemployment insurance that they've already paid for.

Wall Street will not be happy campers either. They can't blame the President for this.

You can bet the President will be using his megaphone to keep the focus of everyone's pain centered on their republican representatives.



Posted by: DLC

Re: The Fiscal Deal- Good or Bad? - 01/01/13 02:18 PM

Hey Steve don't pick on Cantor - he just finished his usual breakfast... a hot bowl of steaming shiitt (explains the grin) wink

Cantor has just deep six-ed the Bill, but most importantly Boehner to become the next Sneaker of the House. Why does he remind me of Goebbels ?? mmmmm confused

Gary - if the House GOP drags this out and causes much pain (which won't be hard - a few days can be disaster)... they'll get their heads handed to them in 2014... with 2 years people WILL remember... many Senators have the luxury of 4 -6 years for people to forget.

Posted by: garyW

Re: The Fiscal Deal- Good or Bad? - 01/01/13 02:22 PM

Why is Cantor their first choice to replace Boehner? Why not their darling Paul Ryan?
Posted by: DLC

Re: The Fiscal Deal- Good or Bad? - 01/01/13 02:34 PM

Ryan - LOST !! shocked

and I think Cantor has been stacking the deck for the past 18 months to throw Bonehead under the bus the first opportunity he got ! THIS is it !! He can emerge as the true TP Speaker with maybe Ryan taking his leadership spot as Majority Leader. I'll bet he has it ALL worked out already ... (the conniving little fokker)

LET the GOP feeding frenzy Begin !!! Bwah-aha-ha ! grin
Posted by: six_of_one

Re: The Fiscal Deal- Good or Bad? - 01/01/13 02:41 PM

Quote:
They will be acting out of survival! All politics is local.

Well, in order for those House members to feel threatened, their constituents would have to first a) feel the pain associated with the tax hikes, and more importantly b) snap out of their psychosis that everything bad that happens to them is all Obama's fault. I'm quite sure those House members would have no problem living with a) as long as they can successfully keep feeding b)'s gaping maw of ignorance, at which they've thus far been very, very successful ...

And unfortunately, I think the President's bully pulpit doesn't really get through much to the folks that elected the Loony Right fringe in the first place ...
Posted by: garyW

Re: The Fiscal Deal- Good or Bad? - 01/01/13 02:55 PM

Nancy Pelosi just tweeted that if the Senate bill (w/o House ammendments) is brought to a vote right now she has enough dem & rep votes to pass it.

Does Boner have the balls to do that? The Speaker needs the minority leader to whip moderate republican votes! laugh Oh, the irony.




Posted by: garyW

Re: The Fiscal Deal- Good or Bad? - 01/01/13 03:02 PM

Rep. James Clyburn, (D- S.C.):

"Well, I say that then we wait for the new Congress to come in on Thursday. We'll have better numbers, more members on our side," said Clyburn. "Then we offer a new bill that they will like even less. They didn't like the 450 (thousand dollar in household income) floor on the tax increase? Let's see how much they like it when we push it back down to 250 (thousand)!"


laugh
Posted by: six_of_one

Re: The Fiscal Deal- Good or Bad? - 01/01/13 03:03 PM

Quote:
Does Boner have the balls to do that?

Yeah, just saw that tweet -- a lifeline to the Speaker? Would an up-or-down "yes" vote bolster the more "moderate" part of the majority, potentially saving Boehner's job? Would such a vote be enough to cow the TP faction and put Cantor back in his place? Would it also mean more behind-the-scenes cooperation between Pelosi and the Speaker?

And what about ... Naomi???

As depressing as all of this is, it's also really good political theater ;-)

[popcorn]



Posted by: garyW

Re: The Fiscal Deal- Good or Bad? - 01/01/13 03:05 PM


Today is one of those days why I love politics.

frustrating as it is, the game is it. smile
Posted by: steveg

Re: The Fiscal Deal- Good or Bad? - 01/01/13 03:14 PM

On a broader note, as long as it's under Repugnican control, I suggest we refer to the lower chamber as the House of Reprehensitives. Members won't have to alter their title abbreviation, and — at least for a certain group — it's ever so much more descriptive than "Representative".

I'm just sayin'... grin
Posted by: yoyo52

Re: The Fiscal Deal- Good or Bad? - 01/01/13 03:18 PM

So if this bill passes, what leverage do the democrats have when it comes to the debt ceiling? The republicans will turn that little impending discussion into an all-out assault on spending, and the democrats will have nothing at all for defending domestic spending.
Posted by: steveg

Re: The Fiscal Deal- Good or Bad? - 01/01/13 03:22 PM

I don't think it matters what kind of bill might pass. The Repugnicans are drooling over another debt ceiling game of chicken.
Posted by: garyW

Re: The Fiscal Deal- Good or Bad? - 01/01/13 03:37 PM

Asshat Sen. LindseyJohnGrahamMcCain said that they'll bring that fight to the Senate, dammit!
Posted by: garyW

Re: The Fiscal Deal- Good or Bad? - 01/01/13 05:13 PM

The House will vote tonight on the "clean" Senate bill.

In other words, Eric Cantor's powerplay results in Eric Cantor deemed powerless. Where's FoxNews and Hannity, O'Reilly, & Gretchen to save the Teaparty tonight??!! Damn, it's late New Year's Day and everyone's watching football!
Posted by: six_of_one

Re: The Fiscal Deal- Good or Bad? - 01/01/13 05:32 PM

I'm watching CNN's coverage -- I went to see what MSNBC's was like and they have a taped Ed Show recapping the "Working Class Heroes of 2012" ... not really impressive coverage of actual breaking news =P
Posted by: garyW

Re: The Fiscal Deal- Good or Bad? - 01/01/13 05:51 PM

I've got the HuffPo Live blog open on my desktop ...
Posted by: steveg

Re: The Fiscal Deal- Good or Bad? - 01/01/13 06:31 PM

I'd been watching the Twilight Zone Marathon off and on and thought, when I just flipped to CNN and saw Grover Norquist trying to convince Wolf Blitzer that the House vote is a Repugnican victory, that I was still watching TZ! laugh
Posted by: DLC

Re: The Fiscal Deal- Good or Bad? - 01/01/13 06:37 PM

It is - "The Monsters are Due on Maple Street" wink
Posted by: yoyo52

Re: The Fiscal Deal- Good or Bad? - 01/01/13 07:23 PM

Here's the first paragraph of a NY Times article:

Just a few years ago, the tax deal pushed through the Senate in the early hours on Tuesday would have been a Republican fiscal fantasy, a sweeping bill that locks in virtually all of the Bush-era tax cuts, exempts almost all estates from taxation, and enshrines the former president’s credo that dividends and capital gains should be taxed gently.

Exactly. The republicans have won the war. We're skirmishing at the borders.
Posted by: yoyo52

Re: The Fiscal Deal- Good or Bad? - 01/01/13 07:40 PM

On the strategic error of the deal, here is an article from The New Republic. I agree completely with this, by the way. Obama has in effect given the republicans a victory.
Posted by: steveg

Re: The Fiscal Deal- Good or Bad? - 01/02/13 03:55 AM

Quote:
Obama has in effect given the republicans a victory.
But if true, only a short term victory. One that will probably be reversed over the next two Congressional election cycles.

An interesting article — much of which I agree with or at least cede credibility to — but, IMHO, based on the present left/right balance and the still formidable but loosening Tea Party grip. I saw no mention of 2014 (except in one reader's comment) or 2016. And I don't think you can lay down a broad hypothesis without taking those two benchmarks into consideration.

If only we had a crystal ball, eh? Better still, if only I had Krystal Ball! Hubba hubba! blush

Posted by: six_of_one

Re: The Fiscal Deal- Good or Bad? - 01/02/13 08:04 AM

Quote:
Obama has in effect given the republicans a victory.

Which is better: Suffering potentially damaging impacts to the economy and to millions of citizens in the name of scoring a political "victory," or working with what you have in order to prevent such impacts? I submit it's the job of the President to follow the latter course ...

Part of the problem with having to deal with a legislative contingent that completely jettisons any concept of governmental responsibility is that the other side often has to fall on their swords to responsibly do their jobs and protect citizens from the fallout of such intransigence.

In some circles, this is called "caving." But the alternative would be to essentially join hands with that irresponsible faction and let things start falling apart, just so you could blame them for the fallout ... And I think we'd all agree that any President who intentionally allowed markets to crash, the economy to tank, and millions of citizens to suffer -- even for "just a few weeks" -- just so his political opponents would get the blame, would be grossly (if not criminally) negligent.

So I think that all the rhetoric about "caving" and "giving the Republicans a victory" is just a way of trying to deal with the fact that when dealing with children, adults often have to act like adults and don't have the luxury of behaving like stubborn little brats too ...
Posted by: yoyo52

Re: The Fiscal Deal- Good or Bad? - 01/02/13 08:20 AM

The victory I mean is not solely the concessions that were part of this deal. I'll stipulate that it's ok in effect to do away with the "death tax," as they call it, and to concede that people who make 300 or 400 thousand per year are struggling middle-class folks, and to accept that instead of applying payroll taxes to all incomes, it's fine to raise them back to the pre-holiday rate for incomes under the liminal figure. So stipulated (not that I agree with any of it, but just to set aside those points). And of course I accept without objection of any kind that not coming to an agreement would have screwed those who are already screwed beyond measure. So yes, coming to an agreement was a practical necessity for "adults" who "don't have the luxury of behaving like stubborn little brats."

What's left, however, is the idea that what ails the economy is the deficit, and that the deficit is a result of government's intoxication with spending for the sake of spending, and that therefore the cure for what ails the economy is cutting government spending. Cut government spending now, and the result will be disastrous for those same people who are already screwed beyond measure.

We'll see what happens as March impends. It does not look pretty, however.
Posted by: garyW

Re: The Fiscal Deal- Good or Bad? - 01/02/13 09:20 AM

From Ezra Klein:
(Source: Reuters)

— Tax rates will permanently rise to Clinton-era levels for families with income above $450,000 and individuals above $400,000. All income below the threshold will permanently be taxed at Bush-era rates.

— The tax on capital gains and dividends will be permanently set at 20 percent for those with income above the $450,000/$400,000 threshold. It will remain at 15 percent for everyone else. (Clinton-era rates were 20 percent for capital gains and taxed dividends as ordinary income, with a top rate of 39.6 percent.)

— The estate tax will be set at 40 percent with a $5 million exemption. That threshold will be indexed to inflation, as a concession to Republicans and some Democrats in rural areas like Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mt.).

— The sequester will be delayed for two months. Half of the delay will be offset by discretionary cuts, split between defense and non-defense. The other half will be offset by revenue raised by the voluntary transfer of traditional IRAs to Roth IRAs, which would tax retirement savings when they’re moved over.

— The pay freeze on members of Congress, which Obama had lifted earlier this year, will be re-imposed.

— The 2009 expansion of tax breaks for low-income Americans: the Earned Income Tax Credit, the Child Tax Credit, and the American Opportunity Tax Credit will be extended for five years.

— The Alternative Minimum Tax will be permanently patched to avoid raising taxes on the middle-class.

— The deal will not address the debt-ceiling, and the payroll tax holiday will be allowed to expire.

— Two limits on tax exemptions and deductions for higher-income Americans will be reimposed: Personal Exemption Phaseout (PEP) and the itemized deduction limitation (Pease) kicks in at will be set at $250,000 for singles and $300,000 for families.

—The full package of temporary business tax breaks — benefiting everything from R&D and wind energy to race-car track owners — will be extended for another year.

— Scheduled cuts to doctors under Medicare would be avoided for a year through spending cuts that haven’t been specified.

— Federal unemployment insurance will be extended for another year, benefiting those unemployed for longer than 26 weeks. This $30 billion provision won’t be offset.

— A nine-month farm bill fix will be attached to the deal, Sen. Debbie Stabenow told reporters, averting the newly dubbed milk cliff.

*Correction: An earlier version of this post said that the PEP threshold would reinstated at $250,000 and Pease would be at $300,000. For both it’s $250,000 for singles and $300,000 for families. The estate tax also applies to all filers, not just those above the $450,000/$400,000 threshold.
Posted by: six_of_one

Re: The Fiscal Deal- Good or Bad? - 01/02/13 09:31 AM

Quote:
What's left, however, is the idea that what ails the economy is the deficit, and that the deficit is a result of government's intoxication with spending for the sake of spending, and that therefore the cure for what ails the economy is cutting government spending.

As you say, we'll have to see. Although the only people who really believe the above are the ones who already did anyways -- I'd find it hard to believe the circus we endured the past few weeks actually changed minds, hence the reason the battles ahead are going to still be battles and not capitulations (except to the partisan bases on both sides who see any concessions as totally caving to the other side) ...

What I don't really see is where this all gets us to really solving anything. We just had a round where we raised revenue -- probably as much as we're likely to get with this and the next bunch in Congress. The next round will be where they deal with the sequestration and what cuts will happen (too many for some folks, not enough for others) and that will probably be all the cuts we can get out of this upcoming Congress. Then we'll go through the debt-ceiling hostage-taking stupidity, which I'm thinking is where the White House goes nuclear and unilaterally raises the ceiling and the whole thing goes to the Supremes ...

But none of that will be enough revenue or cuts to really get us on the right path. Ideally, we'd really sit down and figure out tax reform and entitlement reform and decide how much of a military we really need -- but I'm thinking hyper-partisanship will kill any really meaningful dialogue and we'll just spend the next couple years playing brinksmanship until that simply becomes sop ... in a fantasy world, the 2014 elections throw-out a lot of the rabid ideologues and restores capability back to the Congress, but I'm not holding my breath.

What really needed to happen, to be honest, was for us to actually go over the cliff, have everyone's taxes raised, and the draconian cuts to programs to have occurred -- in a more perfect world, how this would have happened and in what time frame would have been managed to ease the resultant and necessary pain this country will eventually need to endure to correct our course. But political reality and the economy dictated that wasn't going to happen, so now I'm not really sure what is the way forward ...
Posted by: garyW

Re: The Fiscal Deal- Good or Bad? - 01/02/13 09:48 AM

Originally Posted By: six_of_one

What really needed to happen, to be honest, was for us to actually go over the cliff, have everyone's taxes raised, and the draconian cuts to programs to have occurred -- in a more perfect world, how this would have happened and in what time frame would have been managed to ease the resultant and necessary pain this country will eventually need to endure to correct our course. But political reality and the economy dictated that wasn't going to happen, so now I'm not really sure what is the way forward ...


Agree 100%

That political reality was this:

Posted by: six_of_one

Re: The Fiscal Deal- Good or Bad? - 01/02/13 09:53 AM

Yeah, just saw that in your other post -- pretty depressing =P
Posted by: DLC

Re: The Fiscal Deal- Good or Bad? - 01/02/13 10:26 AM

Damm - can't believe they were that close... Obama #3 and Bonehead #2.
WHAT a shame !!! mad