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View Diary: President Obama's Opening Move: Raise $1.6 Trillion In New Tax Revenue From The Wealthy (222 comments)

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  •  I posted a comment on this on another diary... (9+ / 0-)

    it got ZERO recs and one rebuff.   So here it goes again...

    I hope not, but in the President's "off the record" interview with the Des Moines Register, he reiterated that he would be pursuing much the same "Grand Bargain" that he offered Boehner and the Republicans during his last term.  After the White House was pressured into publicly releasing that interview, it became very obvious why the President wanted it "off the record."


    It will probably be messy. It won’t be pleasant. But I am absolutely confident that we can get what is the equivalent of the grand bargain that essentially I’ve been offering to the Republicans for a very long time, which is $2.50 worth of cuts for every dollar in spending, and work to reduce the costs of our health care programs.

        And we can easily meet -- “easily” is the wrong word -- we can credibly meet the target that the Bowles-Simpson Commission established of $4 trillion in deficit reduction...

    The very issues that concerned many Democrats, myself included, are still going to be part of the Grand Bargain II, and it will not be a grand bargain for many in the middle and lower classes.  In the original Grand Bargain, the President offered to put Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid on the table. Of those three, the only one that has been getting much defense from Dems in Congress is Social Security.  That is because Social Security has not contributed one red cent to the deficit.  But it now appears that everything else is going to be fair game in Grand Bargain II.

    "Growing up is for those who don't have the guts not to. Grow wise, grow loving, grow compassionate, but why grow up?" - Fiddlegirl

    by gulfgal98 on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 05:30:19 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  Amazing that this (5+ / 0-)

      is ignored.

      The bitter truth of deep inequality has been disguised by an era of cheap imported goods and the anyone-can-make-it celebrity myth - Polly Toynbee

      by fladem on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 05:46:05 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thank you for the info (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gulfgal98, Dallasdoc, Nulwee, Lujane

        We don't always see eye to eye, but this is really helpful and provides clarity.

        Not so amazing that its getting ignored. Its to be expected. Just not used to finding o ut so soon how the spin is occuring.

      •  It worries the hell out of me. I don't know what (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gulfgal98, Nulwee, fladem, Lujane

        will actually be proposed, or how much time there will be for the public to react or oppose damage to SS, Medicare or Medicaid.  

        I'm "ignoring" it because I don't know what to do, other than write the White House and my congresscritters and say don't you DARE build a "bargain" by cutting the core of the thin safety net we have left.

        --------------------- “These are troubling times. Corporation are treated like people. People are treated like things. …And if we ever needed to vote, we sure do need to vote now.” -- Rev. Dr. William J. Barber

        by Fiona West on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 06:22:48 PM PST

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    •  To take a step back (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Nulwee, Lujane, SoCalSal, gulfgal98

      Assume that:
      He gets $1.6  Trillion in revenue
      He gets another $ 1 Trillion in savings from Afghanistan
      And another $400 Billion in Defense

      So he needs another $1 Trillion in savings, BUT
      lets say he wants another $300 Billion in infrastructure and another $200 Billion for Education.

      The Keynesian must argue that the taxes and spending cuts are backloaded, and the infrastructure spending is front loaded.

      That means he needs to find another 1.5 Trillion.

      Now it is worth noting that Simpson Bowles saved 3.8 Trillion, of which about $800 Billion came from taxes - so Obama is getting 2X in deficit reduction than was proposed in Simpson/Bowles.  Simpson Bowles proposed a 1% reduction id discretionary spending over a number of years.  I personally think you could get all of this out of defense - but Simpson Bowles was 50-50.  Here again, timing matters: when would these cuts start.  It is insanity to start them with a fragile economy.

      What is tougher to read is where this takes us on entitlements.  Simpson Bowles increases social security taxes and the retirement age by one year (among other changes).  Some have said this guts social security - which is absurd - but that doesn't make it close to right either.  Simpson Bowles also put in some progressivity (including a minimum benefit). Simpson Bowles is an ugly word here: but some of the social security ideas it had aren't terrible.  And some really were (like the CPI adjustment).

      A summary of Simpson Bowles is here:

      The bitter truth of deep inequality has been disguised by an era of cheap imported goods and the anyone-can-make-it celebrity myth - Polly Toynbee

      by fladem on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 08:19:24 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Waitasec... (0+ / 0-)

        If Simpson Bowles cuts were 50-50, then why have all of the Republicans been claiming Obama ignored Simpson Bowles while at the same time screaming that we don't dare allow the sequester, which is ... 50-50 cuts?

        •  Because the Republicans (0+ / 0-)

          haven't read Simpson Bowles.  But then very few in my experience actually have.

          Remember, though, the President is asking for 2X the tax increases that were in Simpson Bowles.

          The bitter truth of deep inequality has been disguised by an era of cheap imported goods and the anyone-can-make-it celebrity myth - Polly Toynbee

          by fladem on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 05:33:51 AM PST

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      •  The so-called "Simpson Bowles" approach to SS (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        smiley7, gulfgal98

        looks pretty bad to me. He's a snip from an analysis posted yesterday on Huffpo by Eric Laursen, author of 'The People's Pension: The Struggle to Defend Social Security Since Reagan'

        As for Social Security, Simpson-Bowles would reduce the program's costs long-term by raising the retirement age in step with increases in longevity, switching to a stingier formula to calculate benefits, and cutting benefits outright for higher-income earners. To achieve those savings, Simpson-Bowles would cut deeply into the benefits that middle-income Americans rely on.

        Brookings Institute budget expert Henry Aaron has calculated that raising the Social Security retirement age as Bowles and Simpson propose would, alone, cut lifetime benefits by 6.7 percent for every additional year added. According to Social Security's chief actuary, their plan would reduce Social Security by a hefty 22 percent for a middle-class worker earning an average $43,084 annually. By 2080, Social Security would replace only 28 percent of that person's pre-retirement earnings, versus 49 percent under current rules. Simply put, hard-pressed working people can't afford this. While seniors certainly are better off than they were 40 or even 30 years ago, they are not a coterie of "greedy geezers" soaking up excessive benefits, as Senator Simpson has often portrayed them.

        What's not widely understood amidst the talk of cutting Social Security is that it's already been cut. Legislation in 1983 gradually raised the age for claiming full retirement benefits from 65 to 67, amounting to an average 13 percent reduction in lifetime benefits for anyone born after 1960. A little less than 10 percent live below the poverty line, and another 35 percent have household income less than twice that level. Nearly two out of three seniors get more than half their income from Social Security. The average monthly payment to retirees was only $1,176 in 2010.

        Social Security kept some 21 million people out of poverty last year, according to the Social Security Administration. Even modest cuts in benefits could push these people into hardship or worse, because for many of them -- and for many workers approaching retirement -- Social Security and Medicare are the only reliable sources of retirement income support they have left. Employer-based pensions are disappearing. Trillions of dollars of home equity vanished with the collapse of the housing bubble. Health care costs, including for long-term and nursing home care, continue to mount. And the student debt burden is affecting even workers in their fifties.

        Nope, not good at all.

        Eliminate tax breaks that stimulate the offshoring of jobs.

        by RJDixon74135 on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 04:54:21 AM PST

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        •  There are two changes (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          that are good:
          a minimum benefit that would increase faster than inflation
          a progressivity calulation that would have those below the 50% median see their benefits rise faster than those above it.

          There is also a proposed change that would allow those who weee less healthy to collect benefits before 67.

          In my experience most people have not read the recommendations.  I mentioned most of what is in your quote in my original comment.

          I am not for Simpson Bowles - I am just saying not every idea in it is terrible.

          The bitter truth of deep inequality has been disguised by an era of cheap imported goods and the anyone-can-make-it celebrity myth - Polly Toynbee

          by fladem on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 05:32:36 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

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