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View Diary: Biden gives Republicans one last chance to avoid 'fiscal cliff' (330 comments)

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  •  Most of the GOP (14+ / 0-)

    live in districts where pretty much nobody is earning over $250k a year anyway. The 250-500k earners mostly live in big blue metro areas.

    Of course, when you're being controlled by the Koch brothers, who cares what your constituents think?

    •  The people I know that fit in that blue category (9+ / 0-)

      have no issue paying more.  They know how good they have it.

    •  Actually, Republicans do care about their (3+ / 0-)
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      MPociask, nextstep, splintersawry

      constituents.  Most House Republicans and House Democrats are from districts where the seat is either "safe" Republican or "safe" Democrat.  I'm in New Orleans, and LA-1 is very "safe" Republican and LA-2 is very "safe" Democrat.  That means that, when Republicans stand firm on no new taxes, and cutting spending significantly, they ARE doing exactly what their constituents want them to do.  and that's why both Republicans and Democrats these days are usually far more concerned about a primary challenge from their own party than a general election.

      •  They just don't want (1+ / 0-)
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        someone to be able to make an ad saying "Congressman X raised taxes!!!"

        I don't honestly believe that if you polled the Republican voters of Louisiana, many of whom are probably earning much much less, that this (raising taxes a little bit on 250 vs 500k) is really a top issue for them compared with other things.

        •  It IS an issue the constituents care about. (1+ / 0-)
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          that's the point.  A House member's constituents are not the country as a whole, or the state as a whole, but the district that elects him or her.  That's the way the Constitution set it up.  

          In LA-1, Rep. Scalise promised not to raise taxes, promised to cut spending, promised to block as much of the President's agenda as he could, and that's what got him re-elected by a landslide -- 66%.

          Just like Democrat Cedric Richmond, by promising the exact opposite, got elected with 55% in LA-2.

          If either of them goes against what they promised, then yes, the people who voted to put them in office may well punish them in the next primary.  

          It's just wrong to say that Republicans don't care about what their constituents say.  They do.  It's just that their constituents are very very conservative.

          •  I was being (2+ / 0-)
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            dfarrah, wishingwell

            sarcastic with that line. Should have added a snark tag apparently.

            I am just not buying that most Republican voters in largely rural districts really care about a small tax increase on this tiny slice of the electorate. It's about the ability of an opponent to frame it negatively (that is the part about "doing what you promised"), and demands of their donors, rather than a substantial chunk of their constituents outraged about a small increase on incomes at that level.

            •  How are you not "buying" that? (3+ / 0-)
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              nextstep, dickensgirl, splintersawry

              Scalise promised not to raise taxes on anybody, and he vehemently supported the Ryan budget, and talked over and over and over about spending being the problem, that there was no need to raise taxes on anybody.  I heard the commercials.  (They ran on all the southern Louisiana radio, stations, along with a few TV ads.)  And he robocalled zillions of people with that same message.  

              And he got 66% of the vote in LA-01.

              It's just silly to say that what he ran on is not what his constituents in LA-01 wanted.  

              It's certainly NOT what the people in LA-02 wanted, but that's Cedric Richmond's constituents, and not Steve Scalise's constituents.

              People here have to recognize that there are a significant, significant number of people in this country who SUPPORT the positions the Republicans are taking.  


              •  Because (0+ / 0-)

                Being for a policy in general is not identical to being committed to every single tiny detail of it. Just like pro-life people might be ok with a rape or incest exception. Saying you are against taxes in general doesn't mean people are going to flip over this one small slice. Are they generally opposed, maybe so, but do they really care about this one very narrow group they don't belong to? I just really doubt it.

                •  Then why did LA-01 vote in equal numbers (1+ / 0-)
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                  against the President, when he specifically ran on raising taxes on all income over $250,000?  

                  Should elected officials assume that the voters do, or do not, agree with the positions that those officials ran on?  

                  Should the President assume that those who re-elected him agree with his position on taxes?  If that's the case, they why shouldn't Rep. Scalise and Rep. Richmond both assume the same thing -- one ran against tax increases on anyone, and one ran on tax increases on income over $250,000?  Should they also assume that those who voted for them disagree with their positions?  

                  What you are doing is putting attributing YOUR views to everybody else.  It's comes across as "I'm right, and no sane person could possibly disagree with me.  Those who disagree with me are too stupid to know what they are doing."  

                  The fact is, there is a very significant part of the population that disagrees with Democrats on how the economy grows, and how jobs are created. Krugman and Keynes are not the only school of economic thought.  There are a lot of very smart, very well credentialed economists (Hayek, Friedman) who disagree with Kenyes and Krugman.  And Republicans believe in the views of those economists.

                  Add to that, there is a growing number (it seems to me) of libertarians, who believe that the federal government should stay out of things except for a very few things like Defense, and interstate dealings.  These are the people who buy John Stossel books and vehemently support Ron Paul.  

                  •  The president (0+ / 0-)

                    was not elected solely on this question, and neither was anybody else. They voted against him based on an awful lot of things. It's a fallacy to say because they voted for one person's many positions as a group that they care deeply about this one tiny thing.  I never said anybody was stupid, but I also don't think most voters are as ideological as you are implying.

                    •  So is a candidate supposed to pick and chose (1+ / 0-)
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                      which of the positions he/she ran on, and the promises he/she made, to just throw away after the election?  

                      How is Rep. Scalise supposed to know which of the promises he made to get elected should be disregarded because the people didn't really want that?

                      And should Rep. Richmond in LA-02 do the same thing?  

                      That seems to me to be a very bad argument to make.  Someone who runs for an office on a specific platform -- like the President -- has to assume that those who voted for him or her support that platform.  Yes, they may have to compromise, but I think they have to assume that their constituents expect them to push for the positions that they ran on.  Anything else gives all politicians license to, after the get elected, completely ignore promises they made to the voters when they were campaigning.  

                      •  If they want to (0+ / 0-)

                        back themselves into a corner by making absolute promises, that is their problem. But regardless, if they agree to hike it over $500k that is still hiking it. If it's going up somewhere you can't argue there is a principled reason based on their promises to raise it here but not there. He said none. If he votes for any he has already broken that promise.

                        Anyway, your comment is not what I was saying, which was rather that if he does it at 250 instead of 500 I doubt most people will care. How does he know what the line is - I'm gonna say common sense and what he hears from his district. Anyway though, if you are going to be craven enough to run on an unworkable platform when you know the cliff is looming, you will eventually have to face the fact that you may be primaried. The reelection rate of incumbents is huge though so he probably doesn't have to worry too much.

                        •  Scalise may vote for the deal (1+ / 0-)
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                          I don't say that he won't compromise.  But he has to assume that he then needs to explain to his constituents why he had to move somewhat off his position.  He has to assume that this constituents wanted him to stand firm on no new taxes.  Yes, his constituents will care.  Why do you think most Republicans are more afraid of a primary challenge than a general election?  The same would hold true for Scalise.  If he votes for this deal (assuming it happens), he has to be able to explain it, or he risks that voters will vote him out in 2014 for breaking his campaign promise.  

                          Where I disagreed with you is the notion that Republicans don't care about what their constituents think or that they don't reflect what their constituents think.  People like Scalise absolutely reflect what their constituents think -- that's why they are worried about a primary challenge.  

          •  The only thing they want to "conserve" are their (0+ / 0-)

            own $$--screw everyone else.

            It's just that their constituents are very very conservative

            Can we please stop calling greedy extremists "conservatives"?

            If the plutocrats begin the program, we will end it. -- Eugene Debs.

            by livjack on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 08:09:54 AM PST

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          •  Somehow I'm just (4+ / 0-)

            not convinced that even in LA, the people making median and below are going to be concerned about raised taxes on that tiny % that makes 250+.

            The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

            by dfarrah on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 08:22:47 AM PST

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            •  They elected Scalise with 66% (0+ / 0-)

              of the vote, when he promised not to raise taxes on anybody, not even billionaires.  And when he openly and vehemently supported the Ryan budget.  That's LA-01, his constituents.  

              What are you not convinced about?

              •  Who was his opponent and what (0+ / 0-)

                Kind of budget did he or she have?

                If his opponent vowed not to raise taxes, except on millionaires, vowed to make health insurance more affordable, and vowed to bring more good paying jobs to the area, I'd think they'd have a shot. Provided they had the money to get the word out, that is. And to find the dirt on the incumbent, because you know it exists.

                And I suspect most of their opponents didn't.

                •  You are just wrong. (1+ / 0-)
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                  I can assure you that anyone who supported the ACA would lose in LA-01.  Anyone who supported raising taxes would lose in LA-01, regardless of who paid those increased taxes.  I know the voters in LA-01.  Metairie, St. Charles Parish, Tangipahoa Parish, Washington Parish, are all largely middle class.  While there is a small section of Metairie that is very rich, the vast majority of the district is three bedroom, 2 bath, 1500 - 1700 square foot ranch houses built in the 1950's and 1960's that shout "middle class."  

                  Look, the President promised all those things.   Said all those things.  And in those areas, the President lost by the same margin.  It's not like the people didn't KNOW the President's platform.  They affirmatively voted against it.  If you were correct, that the only reason that LA-01 voted 66% for Scalise is that there was no alternative, they why did they also vote in an equal landslide for Romney?  

                  The reality is that there is a significant portion of this country that supports what the Republicans are doing.  It's just silly to pretend that there is not.  

            •  The issue is how they view the economy works (2+ / 0-)
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              coffeetalk, splintersawry

              The left believes higher taxes on the wealthy will not hurt the US economy's growth, employment and wages, while the left believes these higher taxes do not hurt and some believe these higher taxes help the economy.

              Similarly these two groups differ on how government spending impacts the economy.

              The non-wealthy conservatives are not voting against their interests, they are voting for their interests, but they differ with the left on how the economy works.

              The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

              by nextstep on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 09:25:24 AM PST

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              •  ahhh, there are actually studies (0+ / 0-)

                that the trickle down over 30 years has not worked and over the past 40 years, job creation under democratic administrations was about 20 million higher.

                Additional recent studies have validate that higher taxes on the wealthy does not hurt the economy.

                these are not "beliefs", they are published facts.

                as to non-wealthy constituents not voting against their interests, they are most definitely voting against their own financial best interests.....sucked in by faux outrage on social issues, fed by the right wing propaganda machine, sorry but when I engage these people in discussion, all I ever here are talking points.......brainwashed.

                mittens=edsel. no matter how much money is spent to promote it, if the product sucks, no one will buy it.

                by wewantthetruth on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 09:40:09 AM PST

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                •  Every Democratic Presidency after FDR has CUT (2+ / 0-)
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                  coffeetalk, splintersawry

                  Federal Income taxes on investors (Pres Obama not known as his time in office has not ended.).  This defines cut as a lower tax rate on the max capital gain tax at the end of his term than at the start.  

                  All of the tax increases on investors during this time have been under Republican Presidents.

                  This is a fact that Democrats and Republicans don't raise as it conflicts with how they present themselves.

                  How do you resolve this fact with your comment that lower tax rates on investors don't improve the economy, while also asserting that the Economy performs better under Democratic Presidents?

                  The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

                  by nextstep on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 10:48:35 AM PST

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          •  you mean brainwashed (0+ / 0-)

            who tells the constituents what they should care about? Sheep, too lazy to find out the facts for themselves and listen to whatever they told.

            oh, they will go to church on sunday and be all christian but here is not a lot of christian behavior coming from those on the right.

            I see the 'what would jesus do' bumper stickers and I think to myself, well right now he is bending his head and has tears in his eyes.

            are there people abusing the system? sure but I know a lot of white people that do it (I am white by the way) and I know others than complain about friends or relative that do that but would never turn them in...then they complain about those who take advantage of the system.

            and don't get me started on corporate want to talk about abusing the system.

            I have lived all over the country and my observation is there are not a lot of free thinkers on the right side of the equation........all I hear is talking points.

            mittens=edsel. no matter how much money is spent to promote it, if the product sucks, no one will buy it.

            by wewantthetruth on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 09:33:43 AM PST

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            •  So the people are too stupid to be trusted with (0+ / 0-)

              the vote?  We should operate a government on the basis that the vote of the people does not really reflect the will of the people, because they are too stupid to know what they are voting for?  

              That's the logical result of your comment.  

              •  great job of jumping to conclusions (0+ / 0-)

                that do not exist.

                where did I say these people are stupid so we should operate a government on the basis of the people does not reflect the will of the people becase they are too stupid??

                These people have been lied to, over years and years, the whole Southern Strategy the flames of poor white people to the point of outrage so they ignore the fact that they have been hurt financially.

                That does not make those people stupid, it makes them used.  I know lots of them...good people, but when they cannot see the forest for the trees.....

                Congress has a 12% approval rating, worst Congress in history and greater majority what changes in Congress,,,until it comes to their own individual congress know those that rail against TARP but then want their faces in the pictures when the checks get cut.

                I disagreed with your comment that constituents vote for what they point is that a great job is done telling people what they want (or don't want) and many people do not do the deep dive to find facts....for a lot of reasons.

       did you get I think people are stupid out of all of that.

                mittens=edsel. no matter how much money is spent to promote it, if the product sucks, no one will buy it.

                by wewantthetruth on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 09:49:25 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  No voter can be "used" unless he/she (1+ / 0-)
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                  is a sheep with no mind of his own. That's how I get "stupid" out of that.

                  It is up to the candidates to tell the people what they will do if elected.  It's not like anybody living in this country did not KNOW what BOTH sides thought.  It's not like anybody in this country did not KNOW that Democrats think Republican candidates are lying (and vice-versa).  Every single voter in this country has access to the views and arguments of both sides.  To say that they voted one way because they were "lied to" and "used" assumes that they do not have the mental ability  to look at what both sides are telling them and make a intelligent decision.  

                  They CHOOSE to believe economic views of people like Hayek and Friedman rather than Keynes.  They CHOOSE to hold those social views they hold.  It's not like they don't know Democratic views are out there.   People who watch Fox News day after day know that the Democrats disagree with everything they are hearing on Fox News.  People who watch Fox News know what Democrats think -- they DISAGREE with what Democrats think.

                  Here's the point -- Why do they choose to keep the views they do, or choose to continue to watch Fox News, when they know there are alternatives out there, and they know Democrats believe that Fox News lies?  It must either be (1) that they've made a decision to do that, in which case they are rational people of normal intelligence who disagree with Democratic views, or (2) the are too stupid to realize that the Republicans are lying to them and the Democrats are telling the truth.  

                  And the view that they are "lied to" and "used" is a bit arrogant, actually.  It's not like Democrats have access to some secret cache of information that's only available to you if you prove that you are a registered Democrat.  All voters have access to the same information.  It's kind of arrogant -- and off-putting, really -- for Democrats to saw, we have access to the same information, but we can recognize the truth when we see it, but other people can't.  

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