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It's the Topic of the day.  But what is it?

Let's ask the geeks ...


The sequester, explained

by Suzy Khimm, blogs/ezra-klein -- Sept 14, 2012

[...]

What is the sequester?

It’s a package of automatic spending cuts that’s part of the Budget Control Act (BCA), which was passed in August 2011. The cuts, which are projected to total $1.2 trillion, are scheduled to begin in 2013 and end in 2021, evenly divided over the nine-year period. The cuts are also evenly split between defense spending — with spending on wars exempt — and discretionary domestic spending, which exempts most spending on entitlements like Social Security and Medicaid, as the Bipartisan Policy Center explains. The total cuts for 2013 will be $109 billion, according to the new White House report.
[...]

Why does everyone hate the sequester so much?

Legislators don’t have any discretion with the across-the-board cuts: They are intended to hit all affected programs equally, though the cuts to individual areas will range from 7.6 percent to 9.6 percent (and 2 percent to Medicare providers). The indiscriminate pain is meant to pressure legislators into making a budget deal to avoid the cuts.
[...]

Who supported the debt-ceiling deal?

Party leaders, the White House and most members of Congress supported the debt-ceiling deal: The BCA passed on a 268-161 vote in the House, with about one-third of House Republicans and half of House Democrats opposing it. It passed in the Senate, 74-26, with six Democratic senators and 19 Republican senators opposing it.

Sounds like it was a Bipartisan Cliff.


But, what's it all mean?



What's it all mean?


If Congress "wants to control" where and how, and how fastly, our Budget is balanced,

-- then it's about time, they DID THEIR DAMN JOBS.


And prove to America, they DO know how to govern.


Including the Raising Revenues part in Article 1 -- Section 8.

It's about DAMN TIME they honored their Oaths to the Constitution and the American People,

-- and shred their Oaths to Grover Norquist.  An Unelected hack has-been.


That dog don't hunt, anymore. Smell the Coffee, GOP.

Your Fantasy Camp is over.



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Comment Preferences

  •  time to speak up Dems (7+ / 0-)

    while the iron's hot ...

    and the Grover rat's are scattering ...


    Hell yes, this is a Mandate!
    by jamess -- Nov 07, 2012


    Isn't it time to fix the Filibuster?
    -- Here's how.

    by jamess on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 05:54:14 AM PST

  •  IMO, it's a manufactured excuse to keep pouring (10+ / 0-)

    money on the Pentagon while stripping it from everywhere else - especially from any program that might actually help someone who needs it. IOWs, I'm right there with you jamess.

    •  They created the Problem (7+ / 0-)

      They need to solve it.

      They need to Raise the Revenues to solve it.


      thanks OPOL.


      Isn't it time to fix the Filibuster?
      -- Here's how.

      by jamess on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 05:59:44 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Please explain how to raise (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        nextstep, VClib

        $728 billion or so in revenue in the next year.  The President's proposal to raise taxes on two-income families over $250,000 raises somewhere around 1/10 of that.

        It would help if the proposal were something that has a snowball's chance in hell of getting through Congress.

        I say this because I think diaries like this are counterproductive.  They lead people to think that all we have to do is "tax the rich" and that solves all the deficit/debt problem.  That argument simply ignores math.  People need to have realistic expectations.  Increased taxes on the rich are only a very small part of any solution.  Any realistic proposal by the President is also going to have to include significant spending cuts, as he himself repeatedly recognized (the "balanced" approach).

        •  I keep thinking back to the Clinton years. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          northsylvania

          How'd they balance the budget back then? I remember it as being a pretty good time economically. I remember paying higher taxes than now, but it seemed just fine because everything seemed to be on a sustainable path. I was making about $50 k at the beginning of the Clinton Administration and $60 or 65 k at the end of it, and I seem to remember my state + federal tax bill as being around $10 to $12 k towards the end.

          If we had just kept going with that (and not gone into Iraq, at least) we would have much less debt now, if not zero debt, and we could actually countenance a legitimate lower revenue rate. Maybe not as low as now, but significantly lower.

          The present situation just seems so insane.

          Moderation in most things.

          by billmosby on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 06:34:10 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  The Clinton analogy doesn't work (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            EthrDemon, VClib

            First of all, the deficits were not nearly as large as they are now.  So there wasn't as much ground to make up.  If we only had deficits of, say, $500 billion a year instead of $1 - $1.3 trillion, sure you could get to where you needed to go largely through tax increases (although they couldn't just be tax increases on the rich).

            Second, there were also spending cuts.  

            Third, pretty much all economists agree that a significant amount of the increased revenue was due to the "dot.com" boom of the late 1990's.  In the late 1990's, you had economic growth of well about 4% each year.  It would be nice if we had something like the dot.com boom happen again, but I don't see it on the horizon (our annualized growth right now is around 1.3% of GDP and is not projected to be much better in the foreseeable future. No sane person expects 4% any time soon.)  

            And, if you didn't count the Social Security Surplus (remember Gore's "lockbox"?) the budget surpluses of the Clinton years were smaller.  

            FactCheck sums it up this way:

            The Clinton years showed the effects of a large tax increase that Clinton pushed through in his first year, and that Republicans incorrectly claim is the "largest tax increase in history." It fell almost exclusively on upper-income taxpayers. Clinton’s fiscal 1994 budget also contained some spending restraints. An equally if not more powerful influence was the booming economy and huge gains in the stock markets, the so-called dot-com bubble, which brought in hundreds of millions in unanticipated tax revenue from taxes on capital gains and rising salaries.

            Clinton’s large budget surpluses also owe much to the Social Security tax on payrolls. Social Security taxes now bring in more than the cost of current benefits, and the "Social Security surplus" makes the total deficit or surplus figures look better than they would if Social Security wasn’t counted. But even if we remove Social Security from the equation, there was a surplus of $1.9 billion in fiscal 1999 and $86.4 billion in fiscal 2000. So any way you count it, the federal budget was balanced and the deficit was erased, if only for a while.

          •  Ugh. Dems need to learn the basics of national (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            EthrDemon

            accounting.

            We're great at lambasting repubs for hating math, so we have a particular duty to educate ourselves.

            Unless there's a trade surplus, if you balance the budget, then the private sector will go further in debt.

            Which is exactly what happened under Clinton.

            Every dollar is both a public liability and private asset.

            Reduce public liability, you reduce private assets.

            Each balanced budget in American history has been followed by a recession.  Really.  Look it up.

            It's simple, double entry accounting.

          •  Uh... (0+ / 0-)

            The tech bubble was not "a sustainable path"

            Those who support banning cocaine are no better than those who support banning cheeseburgers

            by EthrDemon on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 09:44:24 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Ok, everybody, thanks for the conversation on this (0+ / 0-)

              I wasn't really expecting to reach a conclusion about what should be done now. I support ending the Bush tax cuts because I remember taxes in the 90s as being reasonable and not particularly onerous and whatever else one might think there seems to be a consensus that a lot more revenue is needed.

              Beyond that I don't see what else might work, at least from what I'm reading here.

              I don't even have a feel for whether or not there is even a real fiscal problem or something we can muddle through.

              Moderation in most things.

              by billmosby on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 11:17:29 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  bill - the federal budget has grown 80% (0+ / 0-)

            from 2000 to 2012 while revenues have only grown 20%. To return to Clinton era budget levels we would need to cut the US federal budget by more than 50%. We would however, have a surplus, based on current revenues and 2012 tax rates.

            "let's talk about that"

            by VClib on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 08:05:46 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  ten years of low taxes (3+ / 0-)

          (the lowest in 50-60 years) plus unfunded wars is what got us into the mess.  To say we need to do drastic cutting now to solve what was created over a longer term is an excuse to cut our most vital programs.  The three biggest causes of the increased deficit were the Bush tax cuts which reduced revenues, two unfunded wars which increased costs, and the current economic situation which has reduced revenues.  Increasing revenues is a major portion of the solution.

          The fiscal cliff is a manufactured crisis that was created as a way to impose austerity.  Two of the three causes are solvable and the third will only be exacerbated by austerity.
          Numerous economists have said this is exactly the wrong time for austerity.  

          If you want to see a budget that actually solves these problems and cuts the deficit, I suggest you take a look at the People's Budget.

          "Growing up is for those who don't have the guts not to. Grow wise, grow loving, grow compassionate, but why grow up?" - Fiddlegirl

          by gulfgal98 on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 06:45:59 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm very familiar with the People's buget (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            billmosby, VClib

            it raises taxes on everyone, not just the rich.  That's probably necessary, but not politically popular.  That makes a significant difference in the revenue you raise.  (Bush tax cuts expiring on the rich is another $70 billion or so next year.  Bush tax cuts expiring on everybody is another $300 billion next year.  Expiration of the Bush tax cuts on families UNDER $250,000 raises much more revenue.)

            It also relies heavily on significant changes to our health care system -- a strong move toward more of a single payer system - that is not going to happen (the President hasn't proposed it, and there's not a majority in either House for it).  Also, if relies heavily on a financial transactions tax, which also is probably not going to happen (if you just enact it in the U.S., you'll move financial transactions overseas).

            But -- much more importantly -- the People's Budget (even if that was what the President backed, which is not what is happening) is completely in accord with my main point:   raising taxes on the rich is only a small part of any overall solution.  The People's Budget reaffirms that raising taxes on the rich alone is not sufficient.

            •  Taxes don't fund fed gov spending. Period. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              gulfgal98

              the US has had a fully fiat monetary system since 1972.

              Gold standard thinking is factually wrong.  Get with the times Dems, including the peopless budget.

            •  Bush tax cuts (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Sandino, jamess

              I have been on record many times in the past that I believe the Bush tax cuts should expire for everyone.  Then if Congress wants to write new legislation to help those in the lower brackets, fine.  Taxes are the price we pay for civilization and you get what you pay for.  Our taxes are the lowest that have been in decades.  

              One of the biggest problems with our tax code is the treatment of unearned income which is taxed at a lower rate than income earned via labor.  This is one of the main contributors to income disparity in this country.  Also the massive corporate loopholes that allows very profitable major corporations to pay no taxes or even get rebates is obscene.

              Just to reiterate, my main point is that the precipitous rise in the deficit did not happen in the last two years.  It was ten years in the making.  To ask the American people to now accept massive cuts in programs across the board to just to lower the deficit at this time is ridiculous.  We all know who will be bearing the brunt of those cuts and it will not be those who are most able to do so.

               

              "Growing up is for those who don't have the guts not to. Grow wise, grow loving, grow compassionate, but why grow up?" - Fiddlegirl

              by gulfgal98 on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 10:27:25 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Taxes should be used to tax away free lunches, (0+ / 0-)

                thus both reducing inequality and rewarding productivity.

                Taxes however, do not fund fed gov spending.  Once people fully understand this, it will be politically impossible to make claims on those least able to afford it.

                We have untaxed FIRE and have increased taxes on labor.  That's our tax problem.

        •  What is the deficit problem exactly? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          One Pissed Off Liberal, katiec

          That their is one? That there is debt?  The deficit panic is itself a fabricated crisis intended to justify further looting of the crumbling social and physical infrastructure.

          •  I'll direct you to a couple of sources to explain. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            VClib

            See here, for example. or here.  

              Some debt is fine.  Too much has bad consequences.  How much is too much is debatable.  

            More significant than the current deficit is the projected future deficit and debt, due largely to what the CBO calls the "unsustainable" growth in Medicare and Medicaid.  there's a summary of articles you can read here.

            •  So no crisis, as I said (3+ / 0-)

              just some possible long term concerns that could be largely addressed by single-payer healthcare or other rationalizations of the health care system. Sometimes you have to invest to fix the economy. The myth of government debt preventing job creators from saving us is yesterday's Romneyganda.

              •  Apparently, the vast majority of elected officials (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                VClib

                on both sides -- including the President -- disagree with you.  

                People who agree with you have a long, long way to go in terms of convincing even Democrats that there's no need to address the long-term deficit/debit situation.  

                •  Sly the way you mix (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  katiec

                  'crisis' and 'long-term'. Make up your mind. Is there a long-term problem with growing medical costs, or a crisis because of the deficit?

                •  They either don't understand, or intentionally (0+ / 0-)

                  mislead, regarding the profound difference switching from tge gold standard to a fiat monetary system has on national accounting.

                  As far as the average pol is concerned, it's probably ignorance.

                  But if YOU want to better understand national accounting, listen to Greenspan, Bernanke, Timmy.  They get it far better than the politicians.

                  And no, I don't like any of them.  But they at least have a batter understanding of tge fact that with a fiat system, money is no object, just a unit of account.

                  And because the US is a monetary sovereign and owes all liabilities in it's own unit of account, it can always make good on it's liabilities.

                  Even the stupid bond markets know the difference between Greece a and the US.

                  Dems should too.

                •  And we should listen to them cuz they've done (0+ / 0-)

                  such a fine job over the past 30 years?

                  How has inequality increased so profoundly?  pART of the answer is to be found in keeping tge populace ignorant of just what money is.

          •  Yes, the deficit is an accounting of every dollar (0+ / 0-)

            in the private sector being saved.  That's all it is.

  •  Sounds to me (5+ / 0-)

    ...like Republicans (and their allies in the news and business media) are defensively trying to bludgeon Pres. Obama with this "fiscal cliff" talking point and take the narrative away from their loss. I'd like to see a graph of the use of this term over the last few days. It seems to have exploded on Nov. 7.

    The right wingers on the business channels (i.e., almost every on-air person) have been talking in pious tones about the need "to rise above politics" and effectively, implement a Reaganite agenda.

    Sorry, elections have consequences.

    •  Yes, But the Consequence of 2010 is that the (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      divineorder

      Republicans hold the House and may continue to do so indefinitely.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 06:06:28 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  It only seems to have come front and center (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      divineorder

      because the campaign suddenly and unexpectedly ended (lol). I've been hearing and seeing the fiscal cliff in media of all kinds pretty steadily since before the Budget Control Act came about last year.

      Moderation in most things.

      by billmosby on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 06:13:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  They hate/fear it because it cuts spending (3+ / 0-)

    to programs they like, such as defense and subsidies, to industries and companies in their states and districts, and raises taxes on their constituents and especially their biggest donors. It also fails to cut programs they DO want to cut, like Social Security and Medicare. While the very essence of fiscal conservatism, it's the very opposite of the sort of corrupt back-room dealing they're used to.

    I.e. it's a cliff for THEM and their rich corporate overlords, not for the rest of us.

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 06:00:45 AM PST

    •  If it triggers another recession, (0+ / 0-)

      it might be a cliff for the rest of us though. Or maybe that's just hype, maybe we can't tell from what the media says about it.

      Moderation in most things.

      by billmosby on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 06:17:22 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It won't (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DBunn

        There's no evidence that modestly raising taxes on the rich will hurt the economy. That's just fearmongering by wealthy cheapskates who don't want to pay their fair share of taxes. If anything it could help the economy by lowering the deficit and "restoring confidence" (whatever that means).

        Raising taxes on the middle class, though, along with spending cuts (even to programs that need to be cut, like defense), could hurt the economy, though, but I doubt by as much as these people predict, since it's stretched out over 10 years.

        Hopefully, fear of all this will drive pols to the negotiating table and result in something palatable to all. And, hopefully, this won't affect the recipients of entitlement programs, who have done nothing to deserve it.

        "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

        by kovie on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 06:24:47 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  The fear is two-fold. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DBunn, Joe Bob, nextstep, VClib

        First, the take-home pay of every single working American goes down noticeably on January 1.  That is because in their very first check, both their payroll withholding (Social Security) and their federal income tax withholding goes up significantly.  At the same time, government, and employers that serve government, are going to have to cut back and/or lay off employees.  (Remember the hoopla over whether government contractors needed to start sending those layoff notices now?)  

        Our growth rate is already anemic (somewhere around 1.5% for the year, when over 3% is normal or "average").   Having that two-fold hit happening January 1 is certainly going to slow growth in GDP even more, perhaps putting the country into negative growth or contraction -- i.e., a recession.  That's largely what caused the market selloff yesterday -- a fear that gridlock that voters put in place Tuesday would produce no solution to the fiscal cliff.

        The urgency is that a deal needs to happen in the next 30 days -- or before Congress goes home for Christmas -- in order for it to affect what employers withhold from those January paychecks.  

        Perhaps it is preferable to go through another recession in exchange for what politicians of both sides call "getting our fiscal house in order."  But at least Americans need to go into it with their eyes open.

        •  I tend to think the way you do on this. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          rja

          But as with so many things these days, I also realize we may be getting faulty information.

          At least the weather guys seem to be able to predict major storms accurately, that's something...

          Moderation in most things.

          by billmosby on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 06:36:40 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  two comments (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          billmosby, VClib

          1. From its inception the reduction in Social Security witholding was intended to be a temporary tax holiday. It must, and should, end sometime.

          Of course, this is what always happens once the tax cuts = stimulus bandwagon gets underway. What was sold as temporary or legislated with a 10-year sunset date (the Bush tax cuts) becomes an imperative part of fiscal policy that must continue forever.

          2. I fully expect Congress and the President to kick the can down the road because it's ludicrous to think that a sane solution can be worked out in the next 30 days. There will be some sort of continuing resolution or status quo deal that will maintain a holding pattern until after the inauguration and the next session of Congress starts.

          Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. - Groucho Marx

          by Joe Bob on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 07:57:02 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Depends on which side is more afraid (0+ / 0-)

          of the political consequences of going over this phony "cliff", and which side is better able to play this round of political chicken.

          I'm hoping that the former is Repubs and the latter Dems.

          "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

          by kovie on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 09:03:56 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Their Dog Hunts Just Fine. All They Need to (3+ / 0-)

    accomplish is wreckage, and for that all they need to do is nothing. They stumbled on the election but they hold the House. Their billionaires are untouched, pissed off, and prepared to make their minions toe their effing line.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 06:04:56 AM PST

  •  Action stations, kossacks!!!!! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jamess

    Time to give em a piece of our minds ....

    Move Single Payer Forward? Join 18,000 Doctors of PNHP and 185,000 member National Nurses United

    by divineorder on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 06:05:35 AM PST

  •  And what do you propose? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Farkletoo, DBunn, Joe Bob, VClib

    The general consensus is that the fiscal cliff -- with approximately a $730 billion impact in 2013 -- would slow the already slow growth rate (1.5% a year?) even more, perhaps putting the country back in recession.  That's largely because of the (1) significant impact that most workers are going to see in their first paychecks in mid January (the withholding for both the payroll tax and the federal income taxes are going to go up noticeably, meaning that take home pay for virtually every worker goes down starting January 1) and (2) the layoffs, etc. that are going to come with the significant cuts in federal spending.  Is it ok with you

    So, let's say you propose raising taxes on the rich and raise (depending on which assumptions you make about economic growth) $70 billion in 2012.   That means that you are going to add approximately $650 billion to the federal deficit in 2013.  What else can the President propose that has a chance of getting through both a Republican House and a Democratic Senate?  There is no way -- none, zero, zilch -- that there's going to be a vote to ameliorate $730 billion in deficit reduction in exchange for 1/10 of that.

    People need to get away from the notion that the only thing we have to do is raise taxes on the rich, even if you count a two-income family making $250,000 as rich. Even if the Republicans accept a deal that raises tax revenue largely through reform of the federal income tax system (which is badly needed), what else can the President propose that will get through Congress?  

    That's the big problem as I see it.  As much as the country supposedly hates the gridlock in Washington, that's exactly what the country voted for.  

    •  Nothing rational will get through the house (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Joe Bob

      your speculation is relatively pointless. The whole crisis, as well as the alleged 'cliff' solution is just neo-liberal shock therapy. Panic about the effects on the economy is mostly fear-mongering.  Best call the GOPs bluff, and they bend, or give up the house in the midterms. Some of them still remember Newt's gov't shutdown.

    •  This comment right on point (0+ / 0-)

      Thanks for weighing in.  I have mixed feelings about Ezra.  I am a quant and I respect other quants, but there have times when I checked Wonkblog's sources and they misinterpreted them or relied on someone's misinterpretation of the source.  I think this is the case with this diary's cited blog.  Your comment more accurately assesses the fiscal cliff than the Khimm blog which grossly understates the impact.  

      I oppose a grand bargain on multiple grounds.  It would move us to the right when the country needs to move to the left.  I doubt that a reasonable bargain can be reached with the Republicans.  I am highly skeptical that we need to change social security/ medicare/ medicaid.  I am highly concerned that the grand bargain will also push us into recession.  

      One the other hand, the Congressional Budget Office predicts a recession from the impact of the fiscal cliff.  Dr. Paul Krugman probably agrees. The voters had doubts about President Obama's handling of the economy but they voted for him anyway because they understood that he would do a better job than Romney and the Republicans.  Is a recession to be the reward for this support, either from the fiscal cliff or a grand bargain?  Democrats will be killed in 2014.

      Back in 2010 everyone was more worried about the sustainability of deficits than the recession.  Only Dr. Krugman seemed to be arguing for more stimulus.  No one else seem to be willing to learn from the mistakes of the great depression.  Events have now proven this approach to be wrong.  Now the IMF and even the rating agencies are backing away from austerity.  Yesterday the chickens came home to roost to the biggest austerity booster of them all, Germany.  That is why pundits are pulling a Romney flip-flop and reversing their position.  The issue needs to be addressed again. I don't say reach across the aisle, though: instead President Obama needs to take it on the road and continue to reach out to America.  But we need to kick this can down the road until the economy is stronger.  I would love to raise taxes on the top 2% but I just don't think this is realistic at this point in time.

      Coffeetalk, I wrote a diary here with one approach for doing that.  I would appreciate your thoughts on it.  Also what's your source for the 730, it appears somewhat higher than the numbers I saw (Bloomberg)? I would like to use it for a diary I am writing that will include a survey expanding on my thoughts here and in my other diary.  

      Dedicated to recapturing the American Dream by changing the framework of the debate to focus on: Growth, Efficiency, Community, Sustainability and Economic Fairness. Improve constantly and drive out fear - Dr. W. Edwards Deming

      by Paradigm Change on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 08:12:21 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Cliff me, bartender. (4+ / 0-)

    I mean it. Cutting defense means that much to me. I don't mind the exemption for actual wars because we only have one of those and we're soon to have none.

    You know, I sometimes think if I could see, I'd be kicking a lot of ass. -Stevie Wonder at the Glastonbury Festival, 2010

    by Rich in PA on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 06:16:27 AM PST

  •  Can we start calling it the Grover Norquist cliff? (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    divineorder, DBunn, Sandino, rja, jamess

    It's easier to fix a problem when you can describe it precisely.

    Perhaps one day the Fourth Estate will take their jobs seriously. Or not..

    by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 06:38:28 AM PST

  •  Fiscal Cliffhanger Cocktail (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    johanus, Sandino, jamess

    1 shot bitterness
    1 shot fear
    Dash of greed

    Shake well with ice and strain real hard

    Serve in  a cracked pot garnished with a sprig of gridlock

  •  K.I.S.S. version? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jamess

    Can anybody give me the shortest, clearest sound bites to spread?

    I'm thinking that the Republicans aim to do two things:

    Move money and power UP and to the RIGHT

    Kill the New Deal by running up deficits and military spending and then saying" Ooops! Nothing left for social spending!"

    P.S. Is there a web link for following news about this issue. I mean, news for activists who want to contact the media and the legislators?

    •  Just like inches, there's always more dollars when (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jamess

      you have a fiat money.  Fiat money is not an object, it's a unit of account.  Can't run out of them.

    •  Shock Doctrine: (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      katiec, jamess

      Cause a crisis then use it to make changes that would be impossible by democratic means.
      The deficit panic is a bogus excuse to cut programs the GOP always tries to cut. The dollar is strong and investors love US debt enough to keep the interest rates low. It is time to let the government invest in nation building at home, while money is cheap and workers need jobs. Investment like this brings in more than it costs over the long term and thus helps the long-term deficit.

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