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  •  He doesn't have the stick you think he does. (15+ / 0-)

    It's easy to say that the President should not negotiate, but where is his second-term agenda if the economy tears back into recession, if not outright depression as a result of the sequester? For example, the payroll tax cut, which dropped the employee share of Social Security taxes from 6.2% to 4.2% in 2011 and 2012, is set to expire on December 31. Employees should expect to see the higher rate applied to their first January paycheck. That's hardly going to help ordinary Americans get by, and will help drive a contraction of the economy in 2013 and beyond. I think we should remember that this is not just a fiscal negotiation so much as it is a hostage negotiation. Those people who say, "Go ahead; kill the middle and working class, see if I care," are being quite courageous at the expense of those poor schmucks in the trenches. The House Republicans - nuts as they are (like a lot of hostage-takers - still have a lot of power, the power to screw this economy like nothing you've ever seen. They desperately need to destroy the economic recovery in order to prove for all time to come that Obama is a failure. So, I am not quite so sanguine as some around here that the President has the power that is supposed. He ultimately has to consider the lives of the hostages; his enemies don't.

    For if there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life. - Albert Camus

    by Anne Elk on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 10:48:23 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  So (13+ / 0-)

      you are saying Republicans will now enact the President's second term agenda?

      You really believe that?

      •  I am saying that the President doesn't get (8+ / 0-)

        to dictate the outcome. He actually needs a deal, even a not very good deal, to preserve enough economic growth to even be able to advance any initiatives in the next 4 years. To do what he wants to do, he needs discretionary funds. To get the revenue increases he needs to create that discretionary, he is going to have to agree to cuts as well. Arithmetic matters. The House majority matters. You want the President to just say my way or the highway? It'll be the highway to economic depression and a paralyzed Presidency. Is that what you want?

        For if there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life. - Albert Camus

        by Anne Elk on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 11:01:13 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  President was talking defiict reduction (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          shaharazade, Aspe4, Glenn45, Laconic Lib

          Not sure what "discretionary irevenue" is created by accepting significantly less in tax revenue.

          •  He is still insisting on increased revenue. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Vote4Obamain2012, sethtriggs

            Last time I was in a math class, an smaller increase was still an increase. The basic point that I am making is that the President has a whole heck of a lot more to lose than Republicans do. You think a body with 12% favorable ratings gives a shit about what the public thinks of them? Republicans, particularly House Republicans, feel they have nothing to lose.

            For if there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life. - Albert Camus

            by Anne Elk on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 11:16:17 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  What you seem to be suggesting is austerity (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          flowerfarmer, Glenn45, Laconic Lib

          measures to assure a very modest economic growth and the viability of the president's second term.

          That would be putting the bulk of this deal on the shoulders of the very poor, no?

          Are their no populist petards he can throw that will resonate with the majority of the people to put more and more pressure on the GOP members to assure a more just society based on progressive tax policy that will both reduce the deficit and boost the economy? Is there no fight the president can take to the republicans in the coming months for the sake of the very poor?

          I don't know that much about politics, but it seems to me there were administrations throughout history that were much better at taking the fight to the "enemy" and that the president and his administration are appearing very weak here in contrast.

          Physics is bulls**t. Don't let them fool you. Fire IS magic.

          by Pescadero Bill on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 11:19:56 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  You're completely wrong about this: (10+ / 0-)
      So, I am not quite so sanguine as some around here that the President has the power that is supposed. He ultimately has to consider the lives of the hostages; his enemies don't.
      The Republicans' failure to consider "the lives of the hostages" will set them up for an absolute electoral disaster in 2014 and 2016.  If they continue to insist on cuts to social insurance so that they can have their tax cuts for the richest Americans, that's not going to play in Peoria.  

      No one understands this better than the Republicans themselves.  That's why they're insisting that Obama and the Democrats take responsibility for the unpopular cuts.  Did you see Rubio's tweet upthread?  The one where he notes that the spending cuts the Republicans are insisting on are supported by Barack Obama?  

      The GOPers aren't stupid.  They're going to blame Obama and the Democrats for all the bad stuff in this deal.  Which is why Obama should say no.  If the Republicans want those cuts to Social Security and other entitlement programs, let them come out and demand them openly.  At that point, and only at that point, if Obama and the Democrats have to accept some regressive crap as part of the deal, then at least there won't be any doubt about who's responsible.  Even if we have to negotiate with the Republican crazies, the Democrats must make the Republicans pay the political price for this hostage taking.

      "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

      by FogCityJohn on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 11:09:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, I am sure that prospect will be (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Beetwasher, sethtriggs

        very comforting to all of the newly unemployed, the people whose kids don't get Headstart, the middle class folks who will now be taking home a smaller paycheck. I can just see them saying, "Cheer up! A Democratic majority in the House is just around the corner. Hey, are you gonna eat that?"

        There are more important issues at stake than who comes out of this looking bad. Real people face real suffering.

        For if there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life. - Albert Camus

        by Anne Elk on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 11:21:02 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  A week or 2 (8+ / 0-)

          would not have been the end of the world.

          But you know this.

          •  Really? Tell That To People Living Week To Week On (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            sethtriggs

            Unemployment. I mean holy fucking shit, what planet do you people live on.

            Two weeks without UI to someone depending upon it to live, literally could be a choice between food, medicine and rent.

            How progressive of you to not give a shit about those people.

            This post is dedicated to myself, without whom, I'd be somebody else. Though I'd still be an asshole. My Music: [http://www.myspace.com/beetwasher]

            by Beetwasher on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 11:31:07 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Really? (6+ / 0-)

              So what else ae you willing to give up for that?

              How progressive of you to fucking lie about what I care about.

              •  You Just Made It Fucking Clear You Don't Give a (0+ / 0-)

                Shit about those people's lives as long as you get your symbolic victory.

                Holy fucking shit, you've lost your goodamned mind. Symbolic victories don't mean shit when peoples ACTUAL FUCKING LIVES ARE STAKE.

                What's it take to drive this point through some people's thick skulls? Obviously no one in your life has UI running out TOMORROW and has to make the tough choices between rent, food and medicine.

                How lucky for you. Happy fucking New Year.

                This post is dedicated to myself, without whom, I'd be somebody else. Though I'd still be an asshole. My Music: [http://www.myspace.com/beetwasher]

                by Beetwasher on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 11:41:21 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Do you really want to argue that the Thugs (3+ / 0-)

                  would refuse to extend UI in return for restoration of a fraction of the Defense cuts required by the sequester?

                  When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill...

                  by PhilJD on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 11:46:23 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Your goddmaned right I would, They Don't Give A (0+ / 0-)

                    Shit about the unemployed and apparently neither do many on this board who are rooting to go over the cliff.

                    This post is dedicated to myself, without whom, I'd be somebody else. Though I'd still be an asshole. My Music: [http://www.myspace.com/beetwasher]

                    by Beetwasher on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 11:48:35 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Oh, I agree, they absolutely don't give a fuck (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      gooderservice

                      about the unemployed. They do however care a whole fucking bunch about things that blow up and kill scary-people-who-hate-our-Freedom.

                      When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill...

                      by PhilJD on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 11:52:34 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  People Losing UI Tomorrow Don't Have The Luxury (0+ / 0-)

                        of waiting to eat until that deal is done. But obviously that means nothing to you.

                        This post is dedicated to myself, without whom, I'd be somebody else. Though I'd still be an asshole. My Music: [http://www.myspace.com/beetwasher]

                        by Beetwasher on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 11:57:12 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  By this logic . . . (7+ / 0-)

                          the Democrats will have to give in to each and every Republican demand in order to get a UI extension.  

                          Is there any Republican demand you think the Democrats can properly refuse, even if it means there's no UI extension?

                          "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

                          by FogCityJohn on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 12:05:00 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Umm, They Do? So We're Cutting SS? (0+ / 0-)

                            Because that was what they were demanding and they aint' getting it.

                            They got nothing except a fig leaf of a rise in the marginal rate to cover their asses (assuming this rumored deal even happens). They got NO CUTS WHATSOEVER. So WTF are you talking about? What demands did they get?

                            I supposed you think we shouldn't negotiatiate at all, ever, and just let everything go to hell and get nothing done. How Republican of you.

                            Yeah. That'll work.

                            This post is dedicated to myself, without whom, I'd be somebody else. Though I'd still be an asshole. My Music: [http://www.myspace.com/beetwasher]

                            by Beetwasher on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 12:07:54 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  This doesn't answer my question. (6+ / 0-)

                            Which was fairly simple:

                            Is there any Republican demand you think the Democrats can properly refuse, even if it means there's no UI extension?
                            What's your answer?

                            As for cutting Social Security, I think it's quite likely we'll get it.  After all, the president himself proposed chained CPI and has said he's willing to carry through.  From his interview on MTP yesterday:

                            David, as you know, one of the proposals we made was something called Chain CPI, which sounds real technical but basically makes an adjustment in terms of how inflation is calculated on Social Security. Highly unpopular among Democrats. Not something supported by AARP. But in pursuit of strengthening Social Security for the long-term I'm willing to make those decisions.

                            "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

                            by FogCityJohn on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 12:13:14 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Your Question Is Stupid (0+ / 0-)

                            Since it's obvious he's refused their demands for cuts to ss among other things and still got what he wanted and got it for a fig leaf of a rise in the marginal tax rate.

                            So what's your point? GOP got nothing. We get more revenue and UI extension.

                            We win. You still bitch and moan impotently.

                            This post is dedicated to myself, without whom, I'd be somebody else. Though I'd still be an asshole. My Music: [http://www.myspace.com/beetwasher]

                            by Beetwasher on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 12:16:23 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  They got nothing? (0+ / 0-)

                            What are you talking about?  It appears that they will get Obama to raise the income level for the Bush tax cut extension from $250 to $450K.  That's something right there.

                            In addition, the Democrats are giving up their one trump card -- the expiration of the Bush tax cuts -- and not getting anything in return on issues like the debt ceiling or the sequesters.  All that's going to happen is that the Republicans are going to turn around and use the debt ceiling to extort more concessions from the Democrats.  And I can't fault them from a purely strategic perspective.  The Democrats have repeatedly shown that they'll cave, so it makes sense for the Republicans to hold out for ever more concessions.

                            You call my question stupid only because you're terrified of answering it.  You're treating getting a UI extension as some sort of moral imperative, and as a result, you can't name a single concession that would be too big to get it.  In other words, you'd give Republicans anything they asked for as long as they agreed to a UI extension.  There's simply no limit to how far the Republicans could push you.  You'd be an even worse negotiator than the Democrats in Washington.

                            "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

                            by FogCityJohn on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 03:59:27 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                •  Who can type fuck more? (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Laconic Lib

                  I can. You can look it up you fucking liar.

                  •  You Are One Cold Hearted Bastard (0+ / 0-)

                    You can take your symbolic victory and feed it those who will lose their UI tomorrow and need food and medicine.

                    Good luck with that, Chester.

                    This post is dedicated to myself, without whom, I'd be somebody else. Though I'd still be an asshole. My Music: [http://www.myspace.com/beetwasher]

                    by Beetwasher on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 11:47:46 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  You (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Glenn45

                      are a fucking liar.

                      See. One more fuck.

                      •  I Say "Fuck" With More Flair (0+ / 0-)

                        You say "Fuck the Unemployed", which really fucking cruel and heartless. If you're ok with that, good for you, Chester!

                        This post is dedicated to myself, without whom, I'd be somebody else. Though I'd still be an asshole. My Music: [http://www.myspace.com/beetwasher]

                        by Beetwasher on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 11:50:35 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  No (0+ / 0-)

                          say "fuck you" you fucking liar.

                          •  Aww, Poor Armando, Can't Take The Cognitive (0+ / 0-)

                            dissonance that his rooting to go over the cliff means he's rooting to fuck unemployed people over right now.

                            That's your problem, Chester, not mine. Sucks for you it hits so close to home that you're losing your shit. Deal with it.

                            This post is dedicated to myself, without whom, I'd be somebody else. Though I'd still be an asshole. My Music: [http://www.myspace.com/beetwasher]

                            by Beetwasher on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 11:56:04 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  The fact (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Glenn45

                            that you are an idiot, as your comment demonstrates, does not offend me.

                            The fact that you are lying about me does.

                            But I've wasted your time here.

                            Go be an idiot with other people.

                          •  LOL! Man, You Sure ARe Losing Your Shit (0+ / 0-)

                            That's for sure. Thankfully Obama DOES care about the unemployed and IS trying to do something for them, despite your impotent sniping from the peanut gallery.

                            Have fun with your rage-on! Happy New Year! (((hugs))) ROFL!

                            This post is dedicated to myself, without whom, I'd be somebody else. Though I'd still be an asshole. My Music: [http://www.myspace.com/beetwasher]

                            by Beetwasher on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 12:03:36 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                •  I think that's a bit harsh, Beetwasher. (0+ / 0-)

                  It doesn't help anyone if you engage in hyperbolic and abusive language. I often disagree with Armando, but he has earned my respect over the years. Please restrain yourself.

                  For if there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life. - Albert Camus

                  by Anne Elk on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 12:45:19 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  People Are Way Too Glib About The Very Real (0+ / 0-)

                    Repercussions.  That's disrespectful in my book.

                    Easy to dismiss the people losing UI when you don't have to deal.with the real.world consequences of the fallout.

                    This post is dedicated to myself, without whom, I'd be somebody else. Though I'd still be an asshole. My Music: [http://www.myspace.com/beetwasher]

                    by Beetwasher on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 03:07:11 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I hear you, but there is a way to talk to people (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Beetwasher

                      here without going over the top. I know it's frustrating and often annoying, but you cannot seriously believe that Armando doesn't care about the unemployed! I think that he, like a number of others, gets overly focused on the narrow political struggle. The President has to think about things like extending benefits, and that means giving some ground. That's often forgotten.

                      For if there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life. - Albert Camus

                      by Anne Elk on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 04:03:21 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

        •  Ah, so give in to the hostage takers. (8+ / 0-)

          Because we can always stand up to them next time.

          Of course, there will be real people facing real suffering if the Democrats accede to the Republicans' demands.  But I guess maybe we can just put off thinking about those folks for a while.

          "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

          by FogCityJohn on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 11:25:23 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Look, you do the best you can with the (0+ / 0-)

            situation you are faced with, not a situation that you wish were in effect but one that actually exists. As I keep saying, the President actually has to negotiate with these nihilistic assholes (should I be saying "fuck" now?), and it's not easy. Maybe he should have sought the advice of people here, but either way he has to get a deal, probably a not very good one or twiddle his thumbs for the next 4 years. Just my opinion. I could be wrong.

            For if there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life. - Albert Camus

            by Anne Elk on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 12:43:10 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  The reality of political life in the dawn of the (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        flowerfarmer, Glenn45, sxp151

        21st century.

        Obama wanted his term(s) to be remembered for bringing the country together (via bipartisanship in Congress), and instead it will be remembered for the bitter divide.

        If only he had understood what he was getting into from the beginning, and had a cut-throat approach to politics, he could have assured the destruction of the GOP for at least a decade allowing him Congressional support throughout.

        Alas...

        Physics is bulls**t. Don't let them fool you. Fire IS magic.

        by Pescadero Bill on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 11:28:04 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The bitter divide isn't Obama's fault. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Laconic Lib, Senor Frog, sxp151

          His failure to recognize that he can't possibly bridge it is.  

          Anyone who's been paying attention to the (d)evolution of the Republican Party for the last few decades would have realized that there was no hope of getting them to cooperate.  If that wasn't painfully apparent when Obama took office, it should have become so in the first year of his first term.  

          I don't fault the president for the bitter divisions in American politics.  What I do fault him for is his refusal to admit the existence of those divisions and act accordingly.

          "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

          by FogCityJohn on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 12:08:49 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  There will always be more hostages (4+ / 0-)

      as long as the Dems keep proving to the Thugs that crime pays.

      When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill...

      by PhilJD on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 11:41:23 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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