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View Diary: Raise rates, Medicare age; truce on Obamacare incl. subsidies 65-66 (196 comments)

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  •  Fantasyland talk is far too harsh - you say it is (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    liberte, MBramble, txdoubledd

    certain that some compromise will be needed.

    Sure, that seems sensible.

    Bmeis suggests means testing, a bad idea in my view, but certainly a compromise.

    Sure, the GOP controls the house. Now, as the party holding the White House and Senate, do you want to agree with the GOP's electorally dismissed wish to increase the age at which Medicare kicks in? To do so immediately? (There is not even a glide-path mentioned by the diarist for those near retirement age!)

    An idea that neither candidate offered as an immediate solution to controlling Medicare costs?

    You suggest compromise is inevitable - I agree. So, have the GOP compromise, by accepting the cost controls on Medicare proposed by the winning Presidential candidate. Compromise on other policy proposals if you must, there are plenty of other cuts which could be offered up as exchangeable tokens to the GOP (Pentagon, to name but one) - but not on these central elements of retirement in America.

    I disagree with Bmeis that the Democrats hold all the cards - but we are certainly holding a significantly better hand. We should play that hand as if it is a winner.

    •  Compromise is only compromise (4+ / 0-)

      if both sides give up something and both sides get something.  

      It's a basic, basic principle in politics that in order to make a deal with the opposition, you have to give him SOMETHING that he can claim as a win.  You don't get a compromise deal with only one side being able to claim a win.  There's no incentive for the other side to make that kind of deal.  

      •  Unless you are George Bush (6+ / 0-)

        Then you get what you want and Democrats get nothing in return.

        You do not compromise buy killing the elderly.  

        •  If the President wants a deal (5+ / 0-)

          the difficult part is not what his "win" is going to be.  It's an increase in tax rates -- maybe not on income starting at $250,00, and/or maybe not all the way up to 39.6%, but an increase in rates.  That's a big, big win for the President, and a big loss for the Republicans.

          The difficult part is what is going to be a "comparable win" for the Republicans.  Boehner cannot make a deal unless there's a win that's seen by Republicans to be comparable in significance to the loss they are taking.  He can't keep his caucus in line behind a deal without going back to them with some kind of win.  That's always been the way these political deals work.  

          If the President wants some kind of deal, the most difficult part is what kind of win will he be able to offer to give the Republicans.  I think that's why the idea of the Medicare age is floating around, because that would be a "win" that Boehner could use to get his caucus to vote for this.  Of course, if the President doesn't want a deal at all, he can simply offer the Republicans "it's my way or the highway," and the country will live with the consequences of the so-called "fiscal cliff."  

      •  I think you will find that my comment (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        historys mysteries, tekno2600

        assumes some items given up by the Democrats in Congress.

        My working thesis is that those compromises cannot and should not include cruel and economically damaging policies - such as raising the age for Medicare.

        •  What's the big "win" that Boehner (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          doc2, TheKF1, Neuroptimalian

          can use to get most of his caucus behind voting to raise tax rates?  That's the question.  Boehner has to go to them saying, I know you hate voting to increase tax rates, and you ran promising over and over you wouldn't, but you are going to have break that campaign promise and go against everything you ran on in order to get this."  

          What's the "this" that is significant enough for Republicans to take the big loss on tax rates?

          That's the only way something gets past the House.  

          •  The obvious answer to that conundrum (4+ / 0-)

            is to go past the Jan 1 2013 date.

            Then, all rates will automatically kick up.

            Then, what you have to offer the tanned man is the opportunity to lower rates, on 98% of the populace.

            I really do think that should be sufficient to ameliorate any concerns he shares with his benighted brethren.

            Oh, and this path removes leverage on Medicare, which apparently is now being exerted by the GOP as a bargaining chip. And, apparently being swallowed whole by some as a reasonable compromise.

            Which it isn't.

            •  yes, repubs should introduce their own (3+ / 0-)

              bill after jan insisting on raising the medicare age.  then it doesn't pass, of course.  but we need to have it in black and white for the next election, with all their names signed to it, that this is what they wanted.

            •  I think there are ways to get (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              TheKF1, Neuroptimalian, VClib, nextstep

              something on taxes -- and taxes alone --  without a big Democratic compromise on Medicare or Medicaid. So, the President can probably get that $80 billion a year in new revenues without giving up something big on Medicare and Medicaid. However, I kind of doubt that simply extending income tax rates for income under $250,000 will be enough to stave off the economic downturn predicted by the CBO.

              I don't think there's any way to get a big Democratic win on taxes, AND an increase in the debt ceiling (which is what the President wants) without a big Democratic compromise on Medicare and Medicaid.  

              And that doesn't even begin to address other things like the payroll taxes going back up or unemployment extensions or new infrastructure spending.  

          •  Not getting his ass kicked is his big win. It's (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            S F Hippie

            like Pewee Herman asking Mike Tyson what he get's out of doing what Mike says. He doesn't get his ass beat black and blue and handed back to him. If Boehner doesn't get a deal, tax rates go up and polls say people will blame Republicans. Then Republicans will then wish they had voted on the Senate bill for the middle class tax cuts. Obama gets all of this for free, just by doing nothing.

            What are repugs offering Obi Wan to avert this? First, they say they'll not default on the US debt and downgrade our credit again--a move for which they were wildly unpopular last year and would probably be the end their political careers if they did again. And, two, they'll stop passing meaningless repeal bills for Obamacare.

            I think Obama's better off to double dog daring the Republicans to do both of those things and saying: "Enjoy the higher taxes, rich boys, and see you in the 2014 elections, losers!"

            Just doing my part to piss off right wing nuts, one smart ass comment at a time.

            by tekno2600 on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 05:46:10 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Republicans do get something by agreeing to what (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Democrats are offering - points with voters for being sane.  Agreeing to good policy that actually helps people, even if it violates your ideology, is the path to electoral victories.  Being nutballs who stand in the way of anything that might help most voters is how you lose Presidential elections when the economy is lousy, and lose seats in the House and Senate in a year in which by all forward indicators you should have won seats in both.

        •  That's enough for Democrats, of course. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          doc2, TheKF1, Neuroptimalian

          But that's not the operative question.  In order to get legislation, you have to get past the Republican controlled house -- and most of them just got re-elected absolutely promising not to vote to raise taxes.  If they vote to raise taxes, they are going to pay a heavy political price with the people who just voted them back in office.  So, in order to get their votes, you have to give them a win that they can show to the people who put them in office, NOT to you or to Democrats who did not, and never would, vote for them in the first place.  That's just reality.  

          If you want to take a hard line, a "no compromise, it's my way or the highway" approach, that's fine.  You just have to be realistic and realize that you won't get any legislation past the House.  

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