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Barack Obama
Will Eric Cantor and his fellow House Republicans ever listen? (Jason Reed/Reuters)
 
President Obama reminds House Republicans that if they don't take action, taxes will go up on 160 million Americans ... but will John Boehner's crew listen?
President Obama renewed his call Thursday for the House of Representatives to pass a two-month extension of the cut in Social Security payroll taxes and unemployment insurance benefits which Congress enacted a year ago.

The only reason the impasse continues is because “a faction of House Republicans have refused to support this (two-month) compromise,” Obama said at a press conference Thursday afternoon, where he was surrounded by several Americans the White House had recruited to support Obama.

The president cited some specific people such “Joseph from New Jersey” who would have to sacrifice a pizza night with his children. “This is insurance to ensure that our recovery continues,” he said, adding that the impasse is “exactly why people get so frustrated with Washington.”

For worker making $60,000 a year, a two-month payroll tax cut would mean $200 in additional take-home pay, or about $25 per week.

Earlier today, Mitch McConnell added his voice to those demanding House Republicans take action, so it literally is the whole world versus House GOPers. How long will it take them to figure out they only have one move to make?

(Transcript of remarks are below the fold)

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, everybody. (Applause.) Please have a seat.  Good afternoon to all of you. Merry Christmas. Happy holidays.

We've been doing everything we can over the last few weeks to make sure that 160 million working Americans aren’t hit with a holiday tax increase on January 1st. We’ve also been doing everything we can to make sure that millions of people who are out there looking for work in a very tough environment don’t start losing their unemployment insurance on January 1st.

Now, on Saturday, we reached a bipartisan compromise that would do just that—make sure that people aren’t seeing a tax cut the first of the year; make sure that they still have unemployment insurance the first of the year.  Nearly every Democrat in the Senate voted for that compromise. Nearly every Republican in the Senate voted for that compromise. Democrats and even some Republicans in the House voted for that compromise. I am ready to sign that compromise into law the second it lands on my desk.

So far, the only reason it hasn’t landed on my desk—the only reason–is because a faction of House Republicans have refused to support this compromise.

Now, if you’re a family making about $50,000 a year, this is a tax cut that amounts to about $1,000 a year. That’s about 40 bucks out of every paycheck. It may be that there's some folks in the House who refuse to vote for this compromise because they don’t think that 40 bucks is a lot of money. But anyone who knows what it’s like to stretch a budget knows that at the end of the week, or the end of the month, $40 can make all the difference in the world.

And that’s why we thought we’d bring your voices into this debate. So many of these debates in Washington end up being portrayed as which party is winning, which party is losing. But what we have to remind ourselves of is this is about people. This is about the American people and whether they win. It's not about a contest between politicians.

So on Tuesday, we asked folks to tell us what would it be like to lose $40 out of your paycheck every week. And I have to tell you that the response has been overwhelming.  We haven't seen anything like this before. Over 30,000 people have written in so far—as many as 2,000 every hour. We’re still hearing from folks–and I want to encourage everybody who's been paying attention to this to keep sending your stories to WhiteHouse.gov and share them on Twitter and share them on Facebook.

The responses we’ve gotten so far have come from Americans of all ages and Americans of all backgrounds, from every corner of the country. Some of the folks who responded are on stage with me here today, and they should remind every single member of Congress what’s at stake in this debate. Let me just give you a few samples.  

Joseph from New Jersey talked about how he would have to sacrifice the occasional pizza night with his daughters.  He said—and I'm quoting–“My 16-year-old twins will be out of the house soon. I'll miss this.”

Richard from Rhode Island wrote to tell us that having an extra $40 in his check buys enough heating oil to keep his family warm for three nights. In his words -- I'm quoting -- “If someone doesn't think that 12 gallons of heating oil is important, I invite them to spend three nights in an unheated home. Or you can believe me when I say that it makes a difference.”

Pete from Wisconsin told us about driving more than 200 miles each week to keep his father-in-law company in a nursing home–$40 out of his paycheck would mean he'd only be able to make three trips instead of four.

We heard from a teacher named Claire from here in D.C. who goes to the thrift store every week and uses her own money to buy pencils and books for her fourth grade class. Once in a while she splurges on science or art supplies. Losing $40, she says, would mean she couldn’t do that anymore.

For others, $40 means dinner out with a child who's home for Christmas, a new pair of shoes, a tank of gas, a charitable donation. These are the things at stake for millions of Americans. They matter to people. A lot.

And keep in mind that those are just the individual stories.That doesn’t account for the overall impact that a failure to extend the payroll tax cut and a failure to extend unemployment insurance would have on the economy as a whole. We've seen the economy do better over the last couple of months, but there's still a lot of sources of uncertainty out there -- what's going on in Europe, what's going on around the world.  And so this is insurance to make sure that our recovery continues.  

So it's time for the House to listen to the voices who are up here, the voices all across the country, and reconsider. What’s happening right now is exactly why people just get so frustrated with Washington. This is it; this is exactly why people get so frustrated with Washington. This isn’t a typical Democratic-versus-Republican issue. This is an issue where an overwhelming number of people in both parties agree. How can we not get that done? I mean, has this place become so dysfunctional that even when people agree to things we can't do it? (Applause.) It doesn’t make any sense.

So, enough is enough. The people standing with me today can’t afford any more games. They can’t afford to lose $1,000 because of some ridiculous Washington standoff. The House needs to pass a short-term version of this compromise, and then we should negotiate an agreement as quickly as possible to extend the payroll tax cut and unemployment insurance for the rest of 2012. It's the right thing to do for the economy, and it's, most importantly, the right thing to do for American families all across the country.

This is not just my view. Just a few hours ago, this is exactly what the Republican Leader of the Senate said we should do. Democrats agree with the Republican Leader of the Senate. We should go ahead and get this done. This should not be hard. We all agree it should happen. I believe it's going to happen sooner or later. Why not make it sooner, rather than later? Let’s give the American people—the people who sent us here—the kind of leadership they deserve.  

Thank you, everybody. (Applause.)


 
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Comment Preferences

  •  Clearly we need to sweeten the deal for Boehner (21+ / 0-)

    I suggest that we offer to team up with him to drive Eric Cantor out of Congress.

    Democrats must
    Earn the trust
    Of the 99% --
    That's our intent!

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

    by Seneca Doane on Thu Dec 22, 2011 at 10:45:28 AM PST

  •  I am enjoying the spectacle, and I have to say.. (11+ / 0-)

    ...those House Republicans are really in a pickle!

    By the way, in my opinion, their half sours are the best store bought available anywhere.

    ......

    "So, am I right or what?"

    by itzik shpitzik on Thu Dec 22, 2011 at 10:53:00 AM PST

    •  I'm waiting for the blood to flow...there will be (7+ / 0-)

      blood.

    •  fixed the pickle link (5+ / 0-)

      "So, am I right or what?"

      by itzik shpitzik on Thu Dec 22, 2011 at 10:55:46 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Hate to Point Out the Turd in the Punch-Bowl, But (3+ / 0-)

      what exactly is the plan for allowing S/S taxes to go back to the normal level needed to fund Social Security?

      Especially when:

      President Obama reminds House Republicans that if they don't take action, taxes will go up on 160 million Americans

      Sorry, but I really don't see how Social Security will remain full funded if this "temporary cut" is never allowed to expire.  And how will the cut ever expire if Democrats, never mind GOPers, keep calling the expiration a "tax hike?"

      Think about it.  Every politician who tries to let the S/S tax go back to what it was will be painted as someone who is for "raising taxes on 160 million Americans."  

      This has all the makings of a real disaster.                

             

      •  But what do you know. (snark alert) (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TimmyB
        Sorry, but I really don't see how Social Security will remain full funded if this "temporary cut" is never allowed to expire.  And how will the cut ever expire if Democrats, never mind GOPers, keep calling the expiration a "tax hike?"

        Good question.  No answer.

        Think about it.  Every politician who tries to let the S/S tax go back to what it was will be painted as someone who is for "raising taxes on 160 million Americans."  

        Who needs thinking when you can cut deal with the opposition party when your party controls Congress?  Then have some rationalize it as "that's the best Obama could do given the Republicans"?  What about the Democrats?  Where were they in all this?  

        This has all the makings of a real disaster.  
           

        But let's kick the down the 2 month road and claim victory.

        This disaster in the making is so obvious, it is staggering.  

        Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich: I'm loving it.

        by NyteByrd1954 on Thu Dec 22, 2011 at 12:26:02 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Even While They Lose They Win (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TimmyB

        Given what they did back in the 2010 Tax 'Compromise', this is the only way forward, but it demands a better communications strategy than what we're seeing.  

        The Dems are dumbing it down under the KISS approach but even while the GOP looses the PR war in the short term, they steal a march on us in the long run because we are cementing the GOP "frame" that taxes suck and anyone who raises taxes sucks even worse.

        We're down to fighting over who gets tax cuts.  Not a jobs bill, not tax increases on millionaires and billionaires, but who gets the scraps.   Which is exactly where the trajectory of prior debates was taking us (and why so many of us were disappointed with those debates even apart from the results.)

        Meanwhile the redistribution of base income/wealth from the workers to the 1% speculator class continues - this year estimated to be costing workers $740 Billion.  

        And the tax issue is the tail, not the dog (3+ / 0-)

        If the workers share of our economic return was at the level it has averaged since WW II, we'd be averaging an additional $5000 per year in income.

        Frankly, we'd be better off with the $5000 we've been shorted than the $1000 that we're getting from the temporary payroll tax cut, but given the small chance we have for getting the $5000, the $1000 will have to do.

        From the Financial Times:  

        ...
        “We are the 99%”, the slogan of Occupy Wall Street, is a reference to the rising wealth of the top 1 per cent of US income distribution. But an equally valid slogan might be: “We get 58%”.

        That figure is the share of US national income that goes to workers as wages rather than to investors as profits and interest. It has fallen to its lowest level since records began after the second world war and is part of the reason why incomes at the top – which tend to be earned from capital – have risen so much. If wages were at their postwar average share of 63 per cent, workers would earn an extra $740bn this year, about $5,000 per worker, according to FT calculations.

        This so-called labour share has been in gentle decline in most industrial economies, but especially Anglo-Saxon economies, for the last couple of decades. In this recovery, however, something strange and unprecedented is going on.

        “Profit margins are not only very high today but [companies’] behaviour has been very unusual,” said Andrew Smithers, who runs the consultancy Smithers & Co in London. Profit margins and returns on capital are the flip side of the labour share.

        Historically, the labour share tends to rise during recessions as companies hold on to workers and sacrifice profits, then falls back in a recovery. But during the 2008 recession the labour share did the opposite: it fell, and when the recovery began it kept falling.

        “What is absolutely remarkable is that profits in the corporate sector are 25-30 per cent greater than they were before the recession, even though there is substantial unused capacity and high unemployment,” said Lawrence Mishel, president of the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute in Washington.

        ...

        Financial Times
        December 14, 2011 10:47 pm

        Pay gap a $740bn threat to US recovery
        By Robin Harding in Washington

        To see the Financial Times article you may have to register.

        Someone in a very expensive suit is at the front door and says he wants to foreclose on our democracy. Where should I tell him he can put his robosigning pen?

        by Into The Woods on Thu Dec 22, 2011 at 12:31:35 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  House Right Wing has taken EVERYBODY hostage.... (13+ / 0-)

    that includes you Boner.

  •  They're in too deep to give up. (17+ / 0-)

    No way they're going to "cave in to the Kenyan" after all this.

    I think we've reached the "the German people don't deserve to survive" point (pardon the Godwinism).

    Corporations are people, my friend Yeah, well, so's Soylent Green, so I don't find that very comforting. New video: Not Enough (HD)

    by Crashing Vor on Thu Dec 22, 2011 at 10:54:03 AM PST

  •  Loved this part of the speech: (19+ / 0-)
    This isn’t a typical Democratic-versus-Republican issue. This is an issue where an overwhelming number of people in both parties agree. How can we not get that done? I mean, has this place become so dysfunctional that even when people agree to things we can't do it? (Applause.) It doesn’t make any sense.

    It's *Gandhi*, not Ghandi

    by poco on Thu Dec 22, 2011 at 10:54:04 AM PST

  •  McConnell is PO'd that Boehner is... (16+ / 0-)

    ...making him look bad. The Turtle is perfectly capable of doing that on his own.

    Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

    by JeffW on Thu Dec 22, 2011 at 10:54:13 AM PST

  •  The photo is wonderful & says it all! Look at Eric (6+ / 0-)

    Cantor's mouth and at the smile lines at Prez Obama's eyes.

    Whatcha gonna do now, Bone-er?

    As offensive as our adversaries can be, it is always the people on our own side who drive us crazy.

    by Mayfly on Thu Dec 22, 2011 at 10:54:31 AM PST

  •  It sure would have been nice (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mayfly, filby

    if he had called out The Republicans without pointing out that McConnell was being "reasonable". McConnell's not being reasonable; he knows that if The Republicans blow this their chance of taking over The Senate is nill.

    I'm no philosopher, I am no poet, I'm just trying to help you out - Gomez (from the song Hamoa Beach)

    by jhecht on Thu Dec 22, 2011 at 10:55:56 AM PST

  •  More wood to the fire under Boehner's chair (8+ / 0-)

    It is hard to understand where Boehner is coming from.  Ohio is a very working class state.  There are probably suburbs with pretty well off business people and bankers living in them, but the bulk of the voters are Ohioans.  If these people have a fault it is probably that they are too grounded in common sense.  

    Boehner looks like a used car salesman who knows full well he is telling whoppers and knows that we know he is, but is doing it anyway on the off chance he gets away with it.  

    He ought to go back to selling used cars.

    hope that the idiots who have no constructive and creative solutions but only look to tear down will not win the day.

    by Stuart Heady on Thu Dec 22, 2011 at 10:56:33 AM PST

  •  Gonna Take a Stab at Theory Here (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell, M E C

    I'm beginning to wonder, though it doesn't seem to have been working until this, that the cantor and probably a few others are actually, or have been, going after the boehner all along and that's what he's been missing while stuck in the talkin meme's in explaining.

    CCR:"If you're a torturer, be careful in your travel plans. It's a slow process for accountability, but we keep going."

    by jimstaro on Thu Dec 22, 2011 at 10:57:00 AM PST

  •  It's insane (7+ / 0-)

    The House GOP has the opportunity to cut taxes and starve SS all in one fell swoop. Ordinarily they'd be dreaming about such an opportunity but their hatred of Obama has completely blinded them.

    •  Rp, you are so right. As when my husband was (0+ / 0-)

      explaining boxing to me, and he said, "The key thing is to always keep your head (i.e., keep cool, use your reason.) The guy who just lashes out always looses."

      As offensive as our adversaries can be, it is always the people on our own side who drive us crazy.

      by Mayfly on Thu Dec 22, 2011 at 11:13:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  You are less than correct (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jeff Simpson, Matt Z

      Social Security funding will remain unchanged. Lost revenue from the tax cut will be made up from the treasury.

      Keep Christian mythology out of science class!

      by cybersaur on Thu Dec 22, 2011 at 01:20:11 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Eric Cantor--such a prune-faced little pipsqueak (9+ / 0-)

    Ugh.

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Thu Dec 22, 2011 at 10:59:12 AM PST

  •  And on conservative blogs across the country... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dixiedemocrat, Mayfly, wishingwell, Matt Z

    ...you can bet that commenters are condemning the plight of Joseph, Richard, Pete, and Claire for not planning, saving, or whatever.

    It never fails that when the poor, unemployed, or unfortunate are cited, the hate from the right is heaped on shoulders of the victims.

    "Self-respect is the keystone of democracy"

    by neverontheright on Thu Dec 22, 2011 at 10:59:58 AM PST

    •  If Joseph and Mary had planned ahead they wouldn't (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      OrangeMike, FindingMyVoice, Matt Z

      be sleeping in that stable.  And if their son had behaved himself and not ticked off the authorities, he wouldn't have gotten the death penalty.  Clearly, if you are ill-housed or mistreated, it is your own damn fault.  

      As offensive as our adversaries can be, it is always the people on our own side who drive us crazy.

      by Mayfly on Thu Dec 22, 2011 at 11:18:37 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Interactive #40Dollars White house Map (10+ / 0-)

    The overwhelming response from around the country to the White House #40dollars campaign has been interactively mapped:

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/...

    "What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them." -- Pres. Obama (1/20/2009)

    by zizi on Thu Dec 22, 2011 at 11:00:18 AM PST

  •  It is a shame that this is what Congress fights (7+ / 0-)

    over. Says a lot about the state of our Congress.

    "Either you taste, feel and smell the intoxication of freedom and revolt or sink into the miasma of despair and apathy. Either you are a rebel or a slave." -- Chris Hedges

    by pot on Thu Dec 22, 2011 at 11:00:20 AM PST

  •  As a side note... (8+ / 0-)

    Who wants to bet that when Fox News airs excerpts, this:

    THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, everybody. (Applause.) Please have a seat.  Good afternoon to all of you. Merry Christmas. Happy holidays.

    Will turn into this:

    THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, everybody. (Applause.) Please have a seat.  Good afternoon to all of you. Happy holidays.

    Political Compass: -6.75, -3.08

    by TexasTom on Thu Dec 22, 2011 at 11:00:29 AM PST

  •  GOP Killing 400,000 Jobs, Cutting GDP Growth 1/2% (6+ / 0-)

    which given that expected growth is in the 2% range (on the optimistic end of projections), that's taking around 1/4 of the growth away for next year. (Wonder how much that alone will add to the deficit.)  

    And that's 400,000 less jobs at the same time the GOP wants to cut back on unemployment.  

    Kicking. Us. When. We're.  Down.

    All so they can play Political Poker.  


    But next year, Washington is increasing some taxes and reducing spending as temporary measures enacted during the worst of the recession expire. That will damp growth by a percentage point or more next year, forecasters say. Provisions like a tax write-off to help businesses pay for equipment are winding down or ending.

    Most worrying is the prospect that Congress will drop aid for the long-term jobless and allow payroll taxes to rise to 6.2 percent from the current level of 4.2 percent, amounting to a $1,000 tax increase on the average wage earner. Macroeconomic Advisers, a prominent forecaster, estimates that the expiration of the two provisions could cost the economy 400,000 jobs and cut growth by half a percentage point next year.

    How and when Congress acts will also have an important, if impossible to quantify, impact on consumer and business confidence, economists say. Households and companies uncertain about their income, unclear about their tax rates and lacking confidence in their government might hold off on major financial purchases and tighten their purse strings.

    http://www.nytimes.com/...

    Someone in a very expensive suit is at the front door and says he wants to foreclose on our democracy. Where should I tell him he can put his robosigning pen?

    by Into The Woods on Thu Dec 22, 2011 at 11:02:06 AM PST

  •  I wish Obama had stayed away. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lostinamerica, jhecht

    To my way of thinking, as long as the Republicans are publicly tearing each other apart Obama ought to stay out of the way and let it happen.  Don't get involved.  But I guess that's just one more opinion, so who knows.

  •  Wish the President had asked for a clean bill (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chuckvw, lostinamerica

    It might have resonated with people who usually don't pay any attention to the goings on in DC.

    WTF does a pipeline have to do with tax policies, Mr. Boehner?

    •  The pipeline is what this is all about (1+ / 0-)

      It's another village dem "our hands were tied" moment...

      If only donkeys could have elephant balls... Occupy!

      by chuckvw on Thu Dec 22, 2011 at 11:08:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The expedited pipeline review (9+ / 0-)

      could be a blessing in disguise. The State Department said that if they are forced to make a determination within 60 days, they will have to say no because they won't be able to complete their studies.

      •  And this is why Boehner CANNOT accept the (5+ / 0-)

        Senate bill.  He knows it kills the pipeline.

        Why else would he suffer through all this horrific PR for days on end?  He wants a committee in order to get a do-over and remedy the Keystone debacle.

        This whole thing is about Keystone and nothing else.  All these pundits talking about him not being in control of his caucus are wrong.  HE is leading this because he needs a do-over.  He could care less about the tax holiday.   The House bill was DESIGNED to fail; the REPUBLICANS prevented it from being brought up in the Senate.  

        •  It also helps the No New Taxes, Ever Crowd (2+ / 0-)

          And when it comes time to extend the temporary holiday tax cuts for the wealthy, we're going to be seeing a lot of quotes and video of Democrats from this debate.

          They need to be explaining why tax cuts for the middle class (who return that money immediately back into the economy) are good right now (to support and expand the economy when demand and purchasing power are what is lacking - so it can add jobs) but not necessarily for the 1% (who already have $trillions of dollars sitting on the sideline) and wouldn't spend anywhere near the % of any increase in disposable income than the middle class will.  

          Condense that down to a 10 word sentence and then repeat the living hell out of it.  

          Then maybe we would not be setting the stage for our next defeat.  

          Someone in a very expensive suit is at the front door and says he wants to foreclose on our democracy. Where should I tell him he can put his robosigning pen?

          by Into The Woods on Thu Dec 22, 2011 at 12:42:05 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Which is why House GOP Hates It. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mayfly, DianeNYS, Matt Z

        They wanted an expedited "YES, WE APPROVE."  

        They wanted to legislate around the administrative process to grant a specific approval for this project.

        I'm sure the GOP also hates the fact that the 2-month bill is structured so the rich can't pocket the entire payroll tax cut for the year in the first 2 months.  They hate missing out on any windfall that can add to general disparity in income or wealth.

        That's what Boehner was talking about with his weeping about "payroll companies".

        Which gives us a hint that the GOP may propose elimination of that protection against windfalls for the wealthy as part of the final deal.  

        Someone in a very expensive suit is at the front door and says he wants to foreclose on our democracy. Where should I tell him he can put his robosigning pen?

        by Into The Woods on Thu Dec 22, 2011 at 11:24:29 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  he has asked (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wishingwell, Mayfly, Jeff Simpson, Matt Z

      his request was denied.  He can ask republicans for anything and THIS is the kind of crap he gets.  

      •  He didn't ask today, (0+ / 0-)

        ..when 160 million plus working and unemployed Americans were paying close attention. Hell, he could've gone all populist on them and asked people to call their Gooper congress-critters and demand they pass a clean bill.

        Then again - I don't know DC optics from a Shakespearean tragedy, but I can recognize Kabuki when I see it.

  •  Non-political observation: there are some serious (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a gilas girl, FindingMyVoice, Matt Z

    .... ears in that pic.

    "So, am I right or what?"

    by itzik shpitzik on Thu Dec 22, 2011 at 11:03:22 AM PST

  •  Ha! Love the photo! It looks like Obama just (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    filby, wishingwell, Mayfly, kitebro, Matt Z

    made a joke about Cantor's mother.

    Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!

    by bigtimecynic on Thu Dec 22, 2011 at 11:04:31 AM PST

  •  So...... (0+ / 0-)

    If this is good for 2 months, why isn't it good for 12 months?

    It's just hard to understand.

    - If you don't like gay marriage, blame straight people. They're the ones who keep having gay babies.

    by r2did2 on Thu Dec 22, 2011 at 11:04:53 AM PST

    •  KEYSTONE (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FindingMyVoice, Mayfly, DianeNYS, Matt Z

      This fight is not about 2 versus 12 months.  The Senate bill kills Keystone (because State Department says they cannot issue a permit in 60 days).

      Everything else is a smoke screen.  Does anyone really believe Republicans care this much about 12 months?

      Democrats should stop talking about 2 months/12 months.  Republicans want to paint themselves as looking out for the middle class by giving a longer/larger tax holiday.  If the House really wanted a 12 month holiday, they would have structured their bill so it could pass the Senate.  

      •  Keystone is your subject line (0+ / 0-)

        So, what you've posted is not really the issue...it's actually the Keystone pipeline issue...that truly it?

        Well...it's not bad for the environment and it's not all about what you read negative about it on various websites.  It's up to us, as citizens, to sort out the truth and the benefits vs. the negatives.

        I sense that you're someone that just thinks that if there's anyone...anywhere...that says it's not good for the "environment", that makes it a done deal without actually looking at the truth.

        Sad that we have progressed to this.

        - If you don't like gay marriage, blame straight people. They're the ones who keep having gay babies.

        by r2did2 on Thu Dec 22, 2011 at 12:26:55 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  The picture is priceless (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell, Mayfly, Matt Z

    "Rick Perry talks a lot and he's not very bright. And that's a combination I like in Republicans." --- James Carville

    by LaurenMonica on Thu Dec 22, 2011 at 11:05:15 AM PST

  •  Video of Pres. Obama's speech (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell, DianeNYS, Matt Z

    "What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them." -- Pres. Obama (1/20/2009)

    by zizi on Thu Dec 22, 2011 at 11:06:21 AM PST

  •  I don't get this "tax cut? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    conniptionfit

    Why is Obama proposing a tax cut that weakens Social Security and it's future ability to pay out benefits?

    Seriously, if Obama wants to propose a real working/middle tax cut, he should propose an income tax cut for those making less than $106,800.  That figure, by the way, is the income limit for FICA.  

    Can't Obama muster up enough enthusiasm for that?  Or is that a stretch too far for this White House?  

    This entire "tax cut" and the Kabuki theater surrounding it is ridiculous.  Democrats ought to be ashamed to support a charade that does not to help the working/middle class in the long run.  

    Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich: I'm loving it.

    by NyteByrd1954 on Thu Dec 22, 2011 at 11:08:25 AM PST

  •  Thaanks for the transcript Jed. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    live1, wishingwell, FindingMyVoice, Matt Z

    Happy Holidays to you.

    I'm from the Elizabeth Warren and Darcy Burner Wing of the Democratic Party!

    by TomP on Thu Dec 22, 2011 at 11:09:19 AM PST

  •  It's sad that somebody making $60K (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    r2did2

    can't spare $25 a week to help save social institutions that have served this country well.

    Just goes to show that massive selfishness have become a completely bipartisan trait!!

    •  Bullshit! (5+ / 0-)

      Working families making $60,000 a year are not selfish.  

      I'm from the Elizabeth Warren and Darcy Burner Wing of the Democratic Party!

      by TomP on Thu Dec 22, 2011 at 11:18:12 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, they are (0+ / 0-)

        when they get their meagre gains by

        1) in the here and now kicking the 45 million Americans making under $20 K in the teeth

        and in the longer term

        2) undermining the stabilty of SS

      •  Did Roadbed Guy say "somebody"? (0+ / 0-)

        I think "somebody" means one person.

        Lose the spin...thanks.

        - If you don't like gay marriage, blame straight people. They're the ones who keep having gay babies.

        by r2did2 on Thu Dec 22, 2011 at 11:23:52 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  You've lost me (0+ / 0-)

          can you be more explicit at what you are getting at?

          Personally, I make slightly more than that, and in theory I  am happy to get an extra $30 or 40 a week (although, quite frankly, I didn't really notice when the gravy train started rolling in last January . .. ).

          OTOH, to me, keeping society going on a equitable basis is just a tad more important than a weekly meal at Chili's.

          But, I guess that's just me.

    •  Good point but there are a lot of people whose (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Roadbed Guy, Into The Woods

      spouse is unemployed and they live in an area with a high cost of living where 60k a year is not all that much.

      Now I live in an area where 60k a year is a lot. A friend of mine earns but he said if he were to move to a large urban or expensive suburban area, he would not make it..it would be peanuts.

      •  Yeah, I know a kid who just graduated (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mayfly, wishingwell

        last spring and got a $85K job on Wall Street (yeah, they apparently still exist) and is constantly bitching and moaning how that's a poverty level wage for Manhattan.

        I'm still not fully convinced of that, but I do understand that no where in the country does $60K get one a completely satisfying lifestyle if one has a family to support.

        For example, I personally like stopping at 7-11 to buy a big ass coffee each morning (it's convenient!).  But recently they raised the price from $1.59 to $1.85 (and they say there's no inflation!!!).  That's cut me back to about 3 a week . . . yeah, it's a small sacrifice but I get the point.

        But still, I'd be happy to buy zero 7-11 coffee's each week if SS is saved . . .

  •  I like the politics...I hate the policy and (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mayfly, NyteByrd1954, Into The Woods

    strategy...

    Democrats are going to hear their voices talking about the impact of a tax increase every time they try to raise this tax back to its original level and end the bush tax cuts...

    This is a disaster in waiting long term, but a short term big time political win....

    Pretty sad that we are at this point....because of a rash decision last December...

    "But once John Boehner is sworn in as Speaker, then he’s going to have responsibilities to govern. You can’t just stand on the sidelines and be a bomb thrower." - President Obama, 12-07-2010

    by justmy2 on Thu Dec 22, 2011 at 11:16:43 AM PST

    •  The best possible outcome (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Into The Woods, Matt Z

      would be to let them blow it up and take the blame.  I understand that we are so fucked up that we can't do stimulus right, but that is a pretty poor excuse.  The problem is that it isn't just the payroll tax cut.  It is unemployment extension and the Medicare doc fix.  It really is FUBAR at this point.  The only hope is that when the economy recovers the climate will make it easier to reinstate the tax perhaps in conjunction with raising the cap to bring some long term stability to the program.

      •  Given that the 2% is currently be funded (0+ / 0-)

        by progressive tax unlimited by income cap and capital gains taxes paid primarily by the wealthy (albiet mostly at a paltry 15%) it does set the stage for that shift to apply it to all levels of wages  (which was done for the Medicare portion many years ago)  and maybe even all types of income.

        Now that would get us into at least 5th or 6th dimmensional chess.  

        Someone in a very expensive suit is at the front door and says he wants to foreclose on our democracy. Where should I tell him he can put his robosigning pen?

        by Into The Woods on Thu Dec 22, 2011 at 12:47:45 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Payroll tax cut issue (0+ / 0-)

    a. Boehner wants to keep his job in 2012 and beyond and the only way he keeps his job is kowtowing to Tea Party element in his caucus.
    b. Most people will blame Pres. Obama for slowdown in economy as a result of payroll tax increase.
    c. This is all part of "sabotage" plan of hurting economy to hurt Obama.  It has been going on since Jan 20, 2009 and it has been working nicely.

  •  So Boner's demand is that the Senate (3+ / 0-)

    Come back to DC and re negotiate the bill he already agreed to put up for a vote? Over Christmas? How much would it cost taxpayers to round up all the Senate, and fly them back, so that they can cool their heels in DC while Boner attempts to get his caucus under control?
    They're gone dude.  You lost.  You look like a peckerhead!

  •  Obama begs Republicans (3+ / 0-)

    to vote for a Republican type of economic proposal that they'd be all in favor of if only Obama hadn't beaten them to the punch.

    "I wish I could tell you, in the midst of all of this, that President Obama was waging the kind of fight against these draconian Republican proposals that the American people would like to see. He is not." -- Senator Bernie Sanders

    by Sagebrush Bob on Thu Dec 22, 2011 at 11:19:46 AM PST

    •  and expects Dems to be mad at (0+ / 0-)

      Republicans for not helping Dems pass Republican policies...

    •  It's clearly Obama's fault - if Obama had not (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TofG, Patate, Matt Z

      said that he was OK with the compromise that Boehner and McConnell struck then Boehner would have been OK, but Obama had to ruin it by saying it was OK!

      Then they came for me - and by that time there was nobody left to speak up.

      by DefendOurConstitution on Thu Dec 22, 2011 at 12:23:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  So I'm supposed to cheer for this? (0+ / 0-)

        Sorry no dice.

        It's highly questionable if the offsets that are supposed to replace the revenue being lost by this "temporary" payroll tax holiday are sufficient. Even in the unlikely event that they are enough to make up for the shortfall, it sets a bad precedent by turning an insurance/entitlement program into a welfare program which will make it all that much easier to destroy it.

        And of course, in the end, the Republicans support this. It's a policy that Republicans would have proposed themselves if President Obama hadn't beaten them to the punch.

        Cutting taxes is ALWAYS the Republican "solution" to fixing the economy. The stimulative impact on the economy of these tax cuts is far short of what we need and what we would get with government created jobs. Also, unless something has changed from yesterday, this Senate deal that everyone seems to now be fine with will shorten the length of unemployment payments by half. If that holds up, I'd argue that whatever benefit comes from the Social Security payroll tax cuts will pale in comparison to the negative effects of throwing people off of unemployment.

        Bernie Sanders was right when he fought against it from the start. Now we actually have progressives fighting for what Republicans would have fought for had the President not beaten them to the punch. Progressives need to stop carrying water for Republicans.

        "I wish I could tell you, in the midst of all of this, that President Obama was waging the kind of fight against these draconian Republican proposals that the American people would like to see. He is not." -- Senator Bernie Sanders

        by Sagebrush Bob on Thu Dec 22, 2011 at 06:14:50 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  A Lession in voting (4+ / 0-)

    This situation is a direct result of an experiment in voting that has gone wrong. I am 52 years old and have never seen anything close to the divisiveness we currently have in Washington. When the Tea Party led a Republican tidal wave in 2010, we began the slow burn to complete and utter stalemate. Those who voted for Tea Party candidates and/or far right politicians surely could not have foreseen the disaster those votes would become. We now have a Congress that does not care about the citizens of this country....just winning the next election and the power that comes from that victory. In my humble opinion the future does not look very good at all, because there are very few representatives actively representing their constituents. The far right has demonized the unemployed for being unwilling to look for work and/or being drug addicts; demonized the poor for not paying their fair share and/or being shiftless leeches; and demonized the left for being socialist, communists or fascist. All of these positions prove what really matters to them.....profits and power. When the citizens finally wake up to the sad reality that they voted for people who don't care about them and certainly don't represent their interests; they will learn the lesson of supporting extreme charlatans. The Tea Party will fade away and common sense people with compassion and integrity will replace them; then we can move toward solving the problems the Republicans have created.

    •  You forgot to mention the number of Dems (0+ / 0-)

      who have been complicit with all this, who have been so chickenshit as to let them get away with this shit for 30 years.  

      This "Trickle Down" thing has turned out to be somebody pissing on my leg and tellin' me it's rainin'.

      by swtexas on Thu Dec 22, 2011 at 12:31:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  We're seeing Extreme Campaign Rhetoric (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Matt Z

      (that had a strong surface appeal to many in 2010) turned into principles of governance and policy by the GOP Congress.

      To the surprise of many in the public (and in the GOP), the detailed reality of their ideology does not sell with the public nearly as well as their extreme, but very general campaign rhetoric.

      It's the curse of actually being in power.  

      You have to produce, not just propagandize.  

      Someone in a very expensive suit is at the front door and says he wants to foreclose on our democracy. Where should I tell him he can put his robosigning pen?

      by Into The Woods on Thu Dec 22, 2011 at 12:53:26 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Just me? (5+ / 0-)

    How does Boehner think he wins this? With the prez all over the place...with real people standing by him? Boehner would rue the day he ever heard of the Teahadists..

    "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross." Sinclair Lewis, 1935 --Talk of foresight--

    by tuma on Thu Dec 22, 2011 at 11:34:19 AM PST

    •  How? the Dems will cave. (0+ / 0-)

      That's how.  They've done it before, and mark my words, they'll do it again.

      Bohner knows full well, all he has to do is let it go down to the wire, and the Dems will cave, and sign on to the 1 year version - poison pills and all.  Oh there will be the show negotiations in which one or two of the more objectionable pieces will be removed, but in the end, that's what Boehner et al. are counting on.

      Just like last year when there was "no way in hell" the Bush tax cuts were going to be extended - especially for the rich... until the were.

  •  Like someone said yesterday on DailyKos: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DefendOurConstitution

    Obama, just leave town. go to Hawaii and be with the family. Get out of the fucking sandbox!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    This "Trickle Down" thing has turned out to be somebody pissing on my leg and tellin' me it's rainin'.

    by swtexas on Thu Dec 22, 2011 at 11:58:46 AM PST

  •  " GOP Payroll Tax Cut Demands! " (a new cartoon ) (0+ / 0-)

      With the payroll tax cut being held for hostage by the GOP, and the demands not getting much media attention beyond the one year, two month comparison, I thought this was an important topic for a cartoon to share some of the vile details of their demands. This GOP could care less about people and the environment! More truth and toons at my site
    Cheers
    www.whatnowtoons.com
    Left of center independent political cartoons since 2003

    www.whatnowtoons.com Left of center political cartoons

    by what now toons on Thu Dec 22, 2011 at 12:23:13 PM PST

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