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  •  I'm not sure some are saying the bill should have (60+ / 0-)

    defeated, although maybe they are because I have not read all of it.  The best criticism is that we lost leverage, but time will tell on that.  Bad things are coming with the debt ceiling and a government shutdown when Rs refuse to appropriate any money for after March.  Either we will face a second recession or many programs will be gutted.  But there's no way of knowing whether going over the cliff would have helped.  

    Generally the same people are on the same sides here as it has been for years.  

    I don't see this deal as a victory; nor do I see it as the apocolypse.  

    In 2007 and 2008, there was hope for ending the Bush tax cuts (at least up to 250).  There still was hope in 2009 and 2010, but voters defeated 75 Dem reps in November 2010 and kept a R House in 2012.  

    President Obama and many Dems made errors in 2009 and 2010 that allowed the reaction, and it is possible that we look at this era as a lost opportunity.

    In the grand battle over the social welfare state, the winning of which is necessary but not sufficient to reduce the still-growing economic inequality, President Obama and Dems did expand the welfare state (Obamacare, and other smaller programs in 2009 and 2010) and have increased taxes on some of the most wealthy, which is a victory, albeit far from enough.

    How much we lose back in 2013 matters.  Hopefully it will be along the margins.  

    So looking back, I think this presidency (and Dem control of the senate and house in 2009-10) likley will be a net good, but much less than expectations.  

    The argument over Obama will continue on Daily Kos until January 2017, when we will, hopefully, argue regarding the new Dem President.

    The real answer is to take back the House (at least with retaining the welfare state).  The real answer with respect to inequality requries a massive transformation or people's attitudes and minds.  Until the working class of which many argue on behal;f of in in ther name, rejects Republicanism and demand that Democrats actually live up to their rhetoric, until they unionize and fight a class war, inequality is here to stay.  

    Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

    by TomP on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 09:18:28 AM PST

    •  A thoughtful post, Tom. (19+ / 0-)

      and one I pretty much agree with.

      "Compassion is not weakness, and concern for the unfortunate is not socialism." Hubert H. Humphrey

      by Onomastic on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 09:48:51 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  some here are defintely calling for the bill (12+ / 0-)

      to be defeated

      Hell I've already seen the hyperventilation on 'austerity happens now' and worse

      I don't doubt that there are reasonable concerns but they don't seem to be being expressed much

      •  The valid concerns I've read this morning (17+ / 0-)

        Were in regard to the middle class having an increased tax rate. By middle class, I mean those making 40-50K a year, not eligible for the EIC. That's a valid concern. Their taxes didn't seem to go up much though. I am in that bracket myself although our family gets an EIC; still, I'm curious to see if our taxes do go up, although we usually get several K back in refunds. I don't do our taxes -- my husband does -- so I don't know a ton about this.

        I've also read concerns about what will happen in two months. I can share those concerns because who knows? The sequester will, I think, be rough in the same way that this fiscal cliff was contentious.

        The other concerns which I've read that strike me as valid is the shift from 250-400K. It would have been, I feel, a much stronger tax revenue source, and a Progressive one, and not impossible to get BUT it would have required going over the fiscal cliff with all of the things lost there from the EIC, the UI, the farm bill subsidies, Medicare, etc. (House Democrats, in their speeches, itemized out very well). So to do that would have been risky, and it's not just one part of that or another, but the entire thing. I am almost positive this is why Sanders wound up supporting this bill from his statements in the previous days.

        I saw people saying "Go over the cliff" and others saying "Don't go over the cliff," and I didn't know who to believe until I saw the Republicans screaming bloody murder about the whole thing. Then, I partly took my cue from them and basically just decided that the opposite of what they supported was probably sensible.

        This is my understanding of this, at any rate.

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        by mahakali overdrive on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 11:11:38 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  In a DKos context... (4+ / 0-)

          ...I figure reality is somewhere between bobswern and AAMOM, which is a nice big haystack with more than a few needles for anyone who wants to find them.

          •  Aw, I kind of like them both... (7+ / 0-)

            Does that make me evil?

            I think it must.

            I'm not ace at understanding this all. It's pretty complicated. But this is what I gleaned from reading through mainly off-site comments and news stories this morning from some combination of political analysts and those who voted on the legislation, and again, the Republican response is, for me, a pretty big tell.

            I like Kovie's take on it down thread, as well as TomP's take here too: it's not ideal (actually, the fiscal cliff was designed to play out like the plot of the Hunger Games to make everyone miserable). It's not even good per se. But it's not something you'd want to see not voted on. Should we have gone over the cliff? I have no idea still... it would have hit some people hard, and I'm not really singing "Viva La Revolution!" from my Lazy Boy in Wine Country when I think we're better off avoiding anything that looks like the French Revolution or involves wingnutty armed militias. Call me a nutter for it if you will. I'll take reasoned, incremental reform any day over torching villages. Then again, whatever happened on the back end of this deal was kind of "le suck."

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            by mahakali overdrive on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 12:09:35 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  OMG EVIL (6+ / 0-)

              I think the last thing my white male suburban yuppie ass could credibly do is call for revolución. I accepted long ago that I'm plenty of people's definition of evil (i.e. apathetic). Hell, I work in marketing, so I might as well be the right hand of Satan.

              TomP had my favorite take on it all so far too, but as you may remember I've learned to chill the fuck out about a great many things, and accepting incremental sausage-making is certainly one aspect of that.

              I absolutely agree that the ongoing pie fight is a turnoff. It's unbelievably boring and makes everyone look stupid—especially when you consider that the mirror image of it is happening on RedState.

              •  Not exactly the mirror image (6+ / 0-)

                I've been reading Redstate pretty often, for the conservative take during the negotiations.

                They have a deep factional divide. But they don't go to personal insult, about their divisions, anywhere near so quickly as we do.

              •  Agreed (4+ / 0-)

                as a white female academic who works for a pittance yet enjoys my $3 brie and daily dolmas, I really have little to complain about (although my stupid duplex doesn't have a yard, and I like to complain bitterly about that; also, my neighbors are running a meth lab and we have snipers in the trees around their house about once a year, so there's that too).

                Marketing is far more evil than Literature. At least you get paid for what you do. I just run around the University teaching multiple low-paying jobs. Admittedly, I love what I do. All of it. Including the part where they don't pay me shit. It frees me up, emotionally. Plus I have summers off. Woohoo, travel-on-a-shoestring!

                You should see the politics on a State college campus sometime. I think that's what's tamed me to deep calm. The negotiations that go on are outright funny. You haven't lived until you've heard a Business Professor argue with an Environmental Studies Professor and a Women and Genders Studies Professor about "priorities" on campus. Heh. And yet, we've got to keep the ball rolling, so sausage-making it is.

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                by mahakali overdrive on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 12:37:31 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I used to work for UCSB HR 10 years ago (3+ / 0-)

                  I actually saw plenty of (and got an earful of) negotiation hilarity, mostly because the employee & labor relations office was in our department. The hilarity was actually pretty bleak more often than not. Sorting through underqualified employment applications with lifer bureaucrats was depressing, too.

                  Come to think of it, I kind of miss being on the academic calendar.

                  •  ROTFLMAO! Indeed! (5+ / 0-)

                    I work within earshot of one of the major financial offices right now. They have after hours meetings and never know/check/care if I'm even in office. They have some amazingly strange discussions. There are all sorts of conferences about five feet from my office, actually, since it's sort of opens out to a free conference room space for admin.

                    Livens it up. I've sat through many a meeting with my door closed thinking, "I really have to pee, but damned if I'm going out there."

                    Your former job sounds like a blast.

                    The academic calendar is truly awesome. Admittedly, I'm more of an actual research scholar than a bureaucrat; thus today, I should be writing. Instead, what am I doing? Hiding from my work, naturally. Sigh. I need to get back to it instead of frittering away on the fiscal cliff issue. My own deadlines are horrific and scary. Yuck! My husband keeps coming downstairs telling me to get over my angst already. Sage advice.

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                    by mahakali overdrive on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 12:58:49 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

        •  but, if I understand what happened correctly, (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mahakali overdrive, FG, fuzzyguy

          the payroll tax goes back up which hurts people with lower incomes the most.
          It's ironic -- originally I was against the cut in payroll taxes because I was worried about it hurting Social Security and Medicare, and now I'm worried about losing the cut in payroll taxes!

          We're not perfect, but they're nuts! -- Barney Frank

          by Tamar on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 11:52:18 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'll let you know when we file (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Tamar

            We're lower income. I certainly am, although we file jointly, but we're still pretty low income. What bracket are you talking about? Do you have a link, perchance?

            I'm about as adept talking taxes as I am riding giraffes, just to let you know. I'm more fluent in Latin. Literally.

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            by mahakali overdrive on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 12:12:36 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'm no great shakes at tax stuff either, even (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              mahakali overdrive

              though I'm a numbers person. Here's something I found on this:

              Americans may be breathing a deep sigh of relief that Congress resolved the so-called fiscal cliff crisis for the time being – until they see their next pay stubs. That’s because payroll taxes will increase on most workers after Congress decided not to reverse an expiration of a payroll tax cut – a development that was largely expected. Payroll taxes rose to 6.2% under the deal, from 4.2% last year.

              The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center estimates that 77% of Americans will see higher taxes because of the elimination of the payroll tax cut, meaning $115 billion less in disposable income.

              http://www.latimes.com/...
              So you've been paying 4.2% of your wages but that will go up to 6.2% -- which is what it was until a couple of years ago. Flat percentages like that always hurt people at the lower income end more than people at the upper end.

              We're not perfect, but they're nuts! -- Barney Frank

              by Tamar on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 12:22:27 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Yep, looks like what it was before (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                fuzzyguy, Tamar

                I guess. It doesn't look too bad to me. We make under 50K per year (don't get me started -- this is with two doctoral degrees and two full-time jobs thanks to the State of California's horrific hiring rates since we're technically both State workers). We also get an EIC for a dependent. Normally, we get a refund. My personal wages are so nominal that they are helpful to pay for the kitty litter and such. However, I've been applying for better jobs and hope to have something a little more reasonable than the slap in the face that I have at present. But teaching is a rough gig.

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                by mahakali overdrive on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 12:29:44 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  The only people who ended up making big money (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  mahakali overdrive

                  who were in my doctoral program were the ones who went to work for Blue Cross/Blue Shield. I worked for the federal government and then took a pay cut to work for a non-profit -- a children's advocacy organization. One of the best decisions I ever made. So I never made a whole hell of a lot either but was happy in my work.
                  My husband does better monetarily because he has an M.D., not a doctorate! But we could be much better off financially if he had accepted the offer he got from a profit-making mental health facility. Instead, his 2 jobs over the last 30 years have been with clinics. But that's what he loves and we have enough to be comfortable, so we're not griping. (the only time I regretted this was when our very disabled son was alive and the treatment for his needs was enormously expensive. We went into debt even though we both worked and had 2 different health insurance companies "covering" his care).
                  One of the things I find galling about your situation and to a lesser extent ours is the way people with much less education get higher paying jobs for moving money around. My niece's first major boyfriend came out of college and got a job in a financial firm and he was making $15,000 more per year than I was with a Ph.D. and a decade of experience. I know a lot of those people lost their jobs when the financial system crashed, but there were plenty left in that system making much more than they deserve.

                  We're not perfect, but they're nuts! -- Barney Frank

                  by Tamar on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 01:08:56 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

          •  It does go back up. However, the cut was supposed (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mahakali overdrive

            to be temporary and its extension was never seriously proposed by either side.

        •  now see those are things I would welcome reading (0+ / 0-)

          too bad it's more hair on fire then analysis such as yours

    •  some were and i even referred to (9+ / 0-)

      kill the bill as an example of this fight we've had before.

      -You want to change the system, run for office.

      by Deep Texan on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 10:02:47 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  but honestly (13+ / 0-)

        i thought republicans would kill the bill.

        i am still amazed they voted for it!  Paul Ryan voted for it!

        and they got very little out of the deal.

        -You want to change the system, run for office.

        by Deep Texan on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 10:09:05 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The sequestration package (4+ / 0-)

          has also been cut by 50%, equally divided between the parts.

           I am wondering if both sides have concluded, that it will be impossible to strike a deal with the teaparty component in the house. So maybe the sequester minus the real hurtfull stuff is the grand bargain.

          •  Have you read any of the Republicans' (4+ / 0-)

            statements who passed the bill? I am curious about their logic. There were some who voted "Yes."

            I couldn't follow why.

            Mind you, there were far, far less Democrats who voted "No," and almost all were Blue Dogs. So maybe it was moderates who opposed it? Still not sure why that would be. Then again, I'm not well acquainted with Centrist ideology, to be honest.

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            by mahakali overdrive on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 11:13:44 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  The blue dog no votes not aligning (6+ / 0-)

              with the relatively moderate Republicans, and aligning with the Republican conservative wing instead, makes for a vote that is very difficult to parse out in ideological terms.

              •  Agreed... it's a strange one (5+ / 0-)

                I can't quite get a read on it (this whole process has been like that in many instances).

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                by mahakali overdrive on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 11:41:55 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  If you equate Blue Doggery not with centrism (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Garrett

                but with finger-in-the-air opportunism and contrarianism, it starts to make more sense. Simpson, Bowles, and Petersen has a sad about the deal, so in order to be the Fiscally Conservative, Independent Democrats they love to portray themselves as, they had to be against it.

                IOW, it makes more sense in political than ideological terms.

                Code Monkey like freedom / Code Monkey like peace and justice too
                Code Monkey very nerdy man / With big warm fuzzy bleeding heart
                Code Monkey like you!

                Formerly known as Jyrinx.

                by Code Monkey on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 03:02:30 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  The voteview blog (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Code Monkey, amsterdam

                  looks at this vote, trying to parse out the fractures.

                  They say:

                  1. Democrats who voted Nay were widely ideologically dispersed between moderate “Blue Dog” Democrats ... and liberal Democrats.
                  2. There is more structure in the split among House Republicans on the vote. More conservative members with lower second dimension scores were more likely to vote Nay than their less conservative counterparts with higher second dimension scores.
                  3. But the angle of the cutting line does support a pattern that in important votes in the 112th Congress, the second dimension has represented an establishment vs. anti- establishment divide.
                  •  That's it! (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Garrett, Code Monkey

                    I just wrote a reply to MO, that it reminds me of the downward spiral of an anti-estabishment party within the parliamentary system in my country after a sudden rise in popularity. Once the popularity decreases, establishment parties work together to get rid of them.

                    I think Rubio and Cantor are betting on the wrong side.

                    •  Was about to ask which country that is :-) (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      amsterdam

                      I sometimes wonder about systems with Parliaments that award at-large seats to parties that win enough votes but no regular seats. (I wanna say New Zealand does this?) On paper, that should help keep multiple parties viable, no?

                      Code Monkey like freedom / Code Monkey like peace and justice too
                      Code Monkey very nerdy man / With big warm fuzzy bleeding heart
                      Code Monkey like you!

                      Formerly known as Jyrinx.

                      by Code Monkey on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 04:43:53 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I think all parliamentary systems (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Code Monkey

                        are different. In the Netherlands we have proportional representation. Within our system we have multiple parties. It is impossible for one party to gain the majority. Currently we have eleven parties in parliament, 5 of them with 5 or less seats. Some of these parties are stable.

                        We have a fundamentalist Christian party that always has 2 or 3 seats for example.

                        Sometimes smaller parties merge, sometimes a faction splits off.

                        We had Pim Fortuyn with his anti-muslim, anti-establishment populisme suddenly become very popular in 2002. He was assassinated days before the election. His party of crackpots won so many seats during that election, that they had to be included in the coalition.
                        That government fell within months. After that the party got smaller and hasn't been represented in parliament since 2006.

                        Geert Wilders has taken over some of Fortuyn's supporters, got big a couple of years ago, and now seems to be on his downward spiral.

            •  No, I haven't (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              mahakali overdrive

              They may have known they had the votes. So maybe the blue dogs got a pass.

              I would take a look at the constituency. Low income, high unemployment areas perhaps.

              People get hit with higher taxes or no unemployment check, they tend to lose their convictions. Obama and the Democrats did a good job identifying the Republicans as the ones to blame.

                   

            •  I've been thinking MO (0+ / 0-)

              It reminds me of a repeating cycle within our parliamentary system.

              It begins with a rightwing populist xenophobic politician who starts kicking  against politics as usual. The politician gains a following, starts a new party and suddenly wins a significant number of seats in parliament.  

              Suddenly you have a party of crackpots and criminals with no experience with government. The right wing parties start taking over some of the talking points, in order to stop the  loss of voters.

              Once the crackpot party has some power, that party begins to fall apart. Internal strive, scandals and other embarrasing stuff. At that point left and right are usually very willing to cooperate together and push them over the edge.

              Sounds familiar?

        •  They got plenty. They got a tax policy that's (6+ / 0-)

          very much a conservative one. One that will leave the government struggling to come up with the revenue it needs to continue programs that benefit the poor and middle class.

          What they got is a government closer to fitting in that bath tub they refer to with such homicidal affection.

          Bottom line, they successfully moved the country even further right-ward.

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

          by Pescadero Bill on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 10:55:04 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  we can't get stimulus from the republicans (7+ / 0-)

            so tax cuts are the only thing left.

            if we controlled the house then i would have supported ending all bush tax cuts.

            new bills to reinstate some tax cuts, stimulus, budget and energy policies would have been the argument to make then.

            but that's not  the reality we live in. the reality we live in is our country has had a balanced budget only once since since the 60's.  we spend money we don't have every year.

            and that's fine.  why? because our currency is the defacto reserve currency of the world and our assets dwarf our debts.  we can keep borrowing for 20 more years and still be fine.

            -You want to change the system, run for office.

            by Deep Texan on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 11:36:11 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well, there's creative and gutsy brinkmanship (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              joanneleon

              with the express purpose of destroying the GOP.

              But that would take guts democrats don't have and some short-term pain democrats aren't willing to endure.

              Simply put, we could have gone over the so-called cliff and both blamed in on republicans and put them very much on the defensive.

              And as an example of how they manage to dig their own graves (that democrats manage to pull them out of time and again) we have the latest Sandy Relief political debacle. It clearly defines their party and politics as being heartless and anti everything most of the people of this nation see as American national compassion.

              Everything the GOP stands on politically flies in the face of what most people in this country see as responsible government. How is it the Democratic Party hasn't gone for their political throat already?

              Something's amiss in DC. And I'll leave it at that. If people can't figure it out, they're not looking deeply enough and realistically enough at the motivations of our political class.

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

              by Pescadero Bill on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 12:07:12 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  Great comment, thanks. n/t (5+ / 0-)

      It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

      by karmsy on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 10:33:34 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  As always ... (7+ / 0-)

      thoughtful, progressive and balanced Tom.

      The real answer is to take back the House (at least with retaining the welfare state).
      True, but that does not look likely till 2016 at least due to excessive gerrymandering.

      There are 4 years in the meantime that don't have to be wasted. The welfare state has a lot of Republican friends, especially in relation to Disaster spending, R&D spending, IT spending, Defense spending, and so on. We could split the R coalition which is looking more frayed each day.

      This will take some tact and compromise, but then we can get several "baby stimulus" bills in the here and now, without giving on social programs -- it makes for better politics and better economics.

    •  Very much how I see this (12+ / 0-)

      Thanks for articulating this, TomP.

      Boy, I see a lot of really intense bluster here today which, if I didn't know the history of this site, I would read as apocalyptic. But nah, I don't think it is; I think it's just more of the old argument, same stuff from same people with same style of speech. I think it's a turn-off sadly. If ever I knew that a certain form of rhetoric were ineffective, I'd know it from being here for so many years and seeing that it's hard to piece through when people are reacting vs. overreacting.

      I don't think it's a shit sandwich. I think it's like a slightly warm PB&J which sat in the car a bit long. I'm not a fairy princess and every little pea doesn't make me shriek out loud, period. We take our lumps, stand firm, and that's a better way. I'm not saying we ought to say nothing. I think sensible voices need make strong statements. Hyperbole is hard to listen to day in and day out. It distracts from the issue and makes it hard to know who to trust.

      Click the ♥ to join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news & views written from a black pov - everyone is welcome.

      by mahakali overdrive on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 11:03:13 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Unfortunately, because the Republicans (3+ / 0-)

      so successfully gerrymandered districts through their big wins in 2010, we're not going to take back the house for quite some time. We progressives are going to have to work with a band of loonies on the right for the forseeable future because of it.

      "Mit der Dummheit kämpfen Götter selbst vergebens," -Friedrich Schiller "Against Stupidity, the Gods themselves contend in Vain"

      by pengiep on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 11:29:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I just can hardly imagine, Tom, that we would (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TomP

      not have done better by waiting to reopen negotiations until Jan. 4  We left a lot on the table -- and I think that "decoupling" will be far less permanent than "income between $250K and $400K is off limits."

      We paid for hostages, that's what we achieved.  The results are predictable.

      Plaintiffs' Employment Law Attorney (harassment, discrimination, retaliation, whistleblowing, wage & hour, &c.) in North Orange County, CA.

      "I love this goddamn country, and we're going to take it back."
      -- Saul Alinsky

      by Seneca Doane on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 12:52:53 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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