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Now that the election is over, decisively, the Village can get back to it's favorite pastime, hyperventilating over the deficit and "fiscal cliff," the hyperbolically termed expiration of a number of tax cuts and scheduled spending cuts at the end of the year. How much so? Check out this chart reproduced by Business Insider.

Chart comparing media mentions of debt ceiling vs. fiscal cliff
As you can see, there's WAY more talk about the Fiscal Cliff than there was at the peak of the debt ceiling!

The debt ceiling standoff really was a threat to plunge the US into the abyss, as a default (which could have happened) would have inflicted untold damage onto the global financial system.

A recession is far less worse, and it's not even guaranteed, and the deadline is far less hard.

"But, but, but, the CBO!" the deficit peacocks will holler. Yes, the CBO does say.
if all of that fiscal tightening occurs, real (inflation-adjusted) gross domestic product (GDP) will drop by 0.5 percent in 2013 (as measured by the change from the fourth quarter of 2012 to the fourth quarter of 2013)—reflecting a decline in the first half of the year and renewed growth at a modest pace later in the year. That contraction of the economy will cause employment to decline and the unemployment rate to rise to 9.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013.
In the fourth quarter of 2013. Not in January of 2013. While Congress "sees rising urgency on the fiscal deal," it's not so urgent that it can't wait until the duly elected new Congress—the representatives the people have chosen to lead them now—are in place in January to deal with it. Take this, from that article:
Senator Olympia J. Snowe, the Maine Republican who will retire at the end of the year, made it clear that she intended to press for a deal to avert the so-called fiscal cliff and get serious on the deficit, lame duck or not.
Olympia Snowe bowed out of this whole governing thing months ago when she chose to retire. She's had her chance and now needs to bow out. Let the new team, the one that Americans have just elected, make these decisions. There's absolutely no disaster ready to strike on Jan. 1, and there wouldn't be if Congress took the next seven weeks off. There will be more than enough time to work out deals in January and February.

And a much stronger hand for President Obama if he means it when he says he wants the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy to expire. The most surefire way to make that happen is to just let them die. Then come back negotiate for the rest with them off the table, and with a stronger Senate.

By they way, this is the mandate that Obama and that Democratic Senate have. They were elected on the idea of protecting Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security and especially on tax fairness. But it's not a mandate if it isn't exercised. Here's their chance.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 11:58 AM PST.

Also republished by The Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  This is way O/T (4+ / 0-)

    but do you know General Petraeus has resigned as head of the CIA because of an extra-marital affair?

    I've been refreshing over and over and this has not yet "BREAKING"?

  •  Just heard Boehner say he rejects any (18+ / 0-)

    solution that raises taxes. Where is that willingness to compromise, orange man? I knew you were lying. We all did.

    What an ass. He is a disgrace to his position and to this nation.

    A little blue dot in a vast sea of red.

    by deha on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 12:04:46 PM PST

    •  Hi, welcome to 2011! (13+ / 0-)

      For Boehner, "compromise" is synonymous with "intransigence." Fuck that noise. Obama must call his bluff. Take the bully pulpit and get the House to toe the line. If they want to shoot the hostages (the middle class, namely), I double dog dare them to.

      "Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell." ~Edward Abbey ////\\\\ "To be a poor man is hard, but to be a poor race in a land of dollars is the very bottom of hardships." ~W.E.B. DuBois

      by rovertheoctopus on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 12:25:46 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Stand by because the Simpson Bowles folks.... (15+ / 0-)

        have been planning their post election assault for some time now and they have already amassed big corporate bucks for the effort which is already underway

        The Campaign to Fix the Debt, founded by Erskine Bowles and former Sen. Alan Simpson, on Thursday will announce a dramatic increase in its drive to mobilize corporate and grass-roots support for Congress to make tough choices on the rising federal debt, including paid advertising and a growing movement in the states.

        The group has raised more than $35 million since July, from corporations, CEOs, foundations and individuals.

        And as I noted in another post a few minutes ago, they've got their friends in the Wall Street treehouse all geared up to scream "FISCAL CLIFF! and we're all going to die"

        They are being aided and abetted by CNBC which last week threw open their studios to a steady parade of supposedly serious business executives, sitting on more cash than ever before, bleating that they just can't invest it because of "uncertainty."  (By the way, did anyone happen to notice that virtually all of that mountain of PAC cash was contributed by folks who were making SO much money these days that the millions they ponied up - most of it wasted as it turned out - were chicken feed in comparison to their total wealth.  If this is some sort of socialist/communist wasteland, how come they are so rich and the market has done so well the last four years?)

        The debt is an artificial construct.  It was created by sharply lowering tax rates, particularly on the rich and by spending for wars and other things without paying for them.  It can be rectified in large part by raising taxes to a level of fairness...on the wealthy who have gotten more than their share.

        Sequestration is an artificial construct....as clearly evidenced by the fact that the GOP pledged they would demand equal cuts from domestic and defense spending if Simpson Bowles didn't pass, and then quickly turned around to claim it was all the Democrats fault and that they were soft on Defense.

        The Democrats need to get a backbone....stick with the President, note that what he is offering IS compromise while their refusal to allow any tax increases goes against the election, polling of voter sentiment and working across the aisle.

        And everyone needs to contact their Reps and Senators and tell them we want the President's plan....otherwise....let all the tax rates be restored and start from scratch.

        Free markets would be a great idea, if markets were actually free.

        by dweb8231 on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 12:36:41 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sure, because Chevron always finds money (4+ / 0-)

          to throw into super PACs. Maybe they don't need all those subsidies then? They seem flush enough.

          The problem has rarely been about the substance of the debate so much as the framing. The uncertainty meme is a load of bunk. These executives will always find a way to welch on their promise to be pacified whenever they get something (tax cuts, namely.) But so long as they move the goal posts around ("keep lowering taxes or we'll never hire people to work again!"), there's no floor. Obama has that chance to say "Enough!" and raise the floor. Make them sweat. Put them in their place. Obama can generate leverage on the GOP and force them into defense mode if he sticks to his guns.

          "Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell." ~Edward Abbey ////\\\\ "To be a poor man is hard, but to be a poor race in a land of dollars is the very bottom of hardships." ~W.E.B. DuBois

          by rovertheoctopus on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 12:48:25 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Bowles and Simpson couldn't even manage their own (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Dancing Frog, Hugin, Timothy J

          presidential commission, the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. It failed to come up with recommendations that could be approved even by 14 of its 18 members.

          Every time you hear someone claim that President Obama has declined to act on the report of the Commission, remember that the Commission failed to make any recommendations despite meetings from April 27, 2010 to December 2010. (The Commission got off to a slow start having been appointed in January and proceded to an abrupt finish when Paul Ryan and a group of Republicans walked out on the talks.) Thus, any prescriptions issued by Simpson and/or Bowles are simply the opinions of two gentlemen who are neither economists nor members of Congress. There was no committee report.

          Eliminate tax breaks that stimulate the offshoring of jobs.

          by RJDixon74135 on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 08:12:55 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  We must stop saying "fiscal cliff" (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jjohnjj

          Even saying, "Fiscal cliff" is just feeding the Luntz-tested beast and making it seem like something bad is going to happen on January 1. Calling it a "fiscal reset" instead emphasizes the positive, the end of the Bush tax cuts, and reinforces the point of this article that nothing bad will happen that the next Congress cannot fix.

          Teh stoopidTM, it hurts. Buy smart, union-printed, USA-made, signs, stickers, swag for everyone: DemSign.com. Get your We are the 99% Yard Sign.

          by DemSign on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 03:33:10 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Fiscal cliff includes expenditure cuts. (0+ / 0-)

            And som e of those cuts are in programs which people depend on right then.

            ""Don't worry that the funding for your mammogram was cut. The cut is only temporary, and we'll fund it again when your cancer is stageg 3."

            •  I think this gets lost (0+ / 0-)

              the term fiscal cliff encompasses a lot of things, some of them we don't like (rate decreases on the wealthy), some of them we do like (rate decreases on the low/middle class, AMT patch), some things we probably like (payroll holiday), discretionary spending on domesitc programs. and I believe unemployment extension is in there too.  

              Now is the time we have the most leverage - after all, if nothing happens, their precious tax cuts for the wealthy go poof.  

      •  Are they going to make their goal to (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DemSign, rovertheoctopus

        deny Obama a third term now? They might want to cooperate if they don't want to piss the new big dog off.

        “The real truth of the matter is that a financial element in the large centers has owned the government since the days of Andrew Jackson” -FDR

        by You know me man on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 07:21:59 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Get ready for Auto-flush for people like this. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rovertheoctopus

        They've gone after some of our best people in the past.

        Old Mudcat's candidate didn't beat that prick Cantor, but he didn't have a lot of money.

        It's a shame that we don't start lighting a up a truth squad for their most intransigent members now -- starting at the top. Keep the bastards on their heels worrying about their districts.

        Fear is a great motivator for these people because truth is not on their side.

    •  Well he won't have to raise taxes. (8+ / 0-)

      It'll happen automatically. He does have the opportunity to cut taxes for 98% of Americans. Choice is his.

      I honestly think Boehner could come up with enough GOPers in purple districts to get shit done. He's only concerned with protecting his speakership. BUT, if he lost the speakership we'd get Cantor and he would make no attempt to rangle purple congress critters. Rock and hard place.

      Bottom line is the 75% of House Rs who are not in the Tea Party need to figure out how to not be held hostage by the 25% who are in the Tea Party.

      All the Tea Party got them was a majority in 2010. The Tea Party is going to be their undoing in 2014.

      Ds see human suffering and wonder what they can do to relieve it. Rs see human suffering and wonder how they can profit from it.

      by JTinDC on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 01:01:22 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I have heard from (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ferg, JTinDC, Timothy J

        many economists that there is no clear cliff.
        In spite of a possible down turn in the economy, going over the" cliff" and letting things (tax cuts, pay roll  tax vacation etc)  expire will not be the death of our economy.

        It is time to take a stand and is not based on any crazy lets stick it to them mentality.
        I am sure, no matter the dire predictions, the country of the masses will come out stronger if the president (not the congress) who is the real representative of the common citizen, take a stand,
        Please Mr. President, don't let us down again, We gave you an other chance to be a true leader and our champion.

        Ah, the American dream...It is yet another myth perpetuated by the top 1% to make the the rest 99%, slave for them, to make their dreams come true.

        by brown american on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 08:17:21 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  The Tea Party Caucus may be only 60-odd... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JTinDC

        ..but the number of GOP critters who cannot afford to be seen as acting counter to TP "principles" is more than double that.

        I maintain that there are probably around 50 Tea Party-immune GOP critters, though that is certainly more than enough votes to pair with Leader Pelosi's votes to, as you say, "get shit done." Boehner would loose his Speaker's Gavel if they did this however, and they know that Speaker Cantor guarantees they loose their majority in 2014, many of them THEIR seats. That's one huge reason the Tea Party "punches well above its weight" when it comes to limiting Boehner's options.

        When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative. --Martin Luther King Jr.

        by Egalitare on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 10:58:37 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  OTOH, (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Egalitare

          within that group of 50 who are Tea Party-immune, one must wonder how many of them are vulnerable to loosing in 2014 if they do not break ranks, at least on some key issues. Perhaps we could use that as leverage. Perhaps once identified, we hammer them with a full blown campaign in their districts so it is made clear that if they do not break ranks, they are guaranteed to lose in 2014,

          The downside of that tho is by twisting their arms to get their act together now we'd possibly be making them less vulnerable in 2014. So it's a question of, is it better for us to let them be assholes for the next two years, accepting nothing will get done, but knowing there will be a pay off in 2014? It's like 2010 and 2012, would we have done as well in 2012 had it not been for the 2010 results laiying bare just how aweful these guys really are?

          Ds see human suffering and wonder what they can do to relieve it. Rs see human suffering and wonder how they can profit from it.

          by JTinDC on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 03:44:25 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  You're right: many of them are endangered... (0+ / 0-)

            ...no matter what they do or what happens.

            Having been close enough to now two redistricting processes to get a sense of intentions and seen the aftermath, I have concluded that the GOP draws maps for the next immediate cycle and trusts that it can impose enough "reality" to maintain the advantage through the rest of the decade. Democrats are somewhat less myopic when they control the process, seeking to draw districts that their incumbents can survive into the middle of the decade.

            That's my limited perspective.

            When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative. --Martin Luther King Jr.

            by Egalitare on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 07:16:27 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Guess what the solution to that problem is (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      brown american

      to do nothing. He has no choice other than to go drink a bottle or two of wine and get a fresh spray tan.

      “The real truth of the matter is that a financial element in the large centers has owned the government since the days of Andrew Jackson” -FDR

      by You know me man on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 07:20:59 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Repubbed to Democratic Wing of the Democratic (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annieli

    Party

  •  For once I wish Obama would listen to Krugman. (15+ / 0-)

    Don't let negotiate with the hostage takers.  Just don't.

    •  Hey, he may listen to his own supporters. We (5+ / 0-)

      need to tell the President, as well as Congress, over and over in massive numbers:  

      We're ecstatic about the election victories, but we want you to know that you must not negotiate with the lame ducks.  LET THE TAX BREAKS FOR THE RICH EXPIRE!  Negotiate from there -- just as Joan says -- when the new Congress comes in in January.

      Democrats have to be the ones to set the agenda and manage events.  Not the Orange Man.

      --------------------- “These are troubling times. Corporation are treated like people. People are treated like things. …And if we ever needed to vote, we sure do need to vote now.” -- Rev. Dr. William J. Barber

      by Fiona West on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 04:17:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I know there are many (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Crabby Abbey

      in the democratic party, the presidents inner circle as well as many here in Daily Kos don't like Krugman.
      But i think he is correct on this.

      Ah, the American dream...It is yet another myth perpetuated by the top 1% to make the the rest 99%, slave for them, to make their dreams come true.

      by brown american on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 08:19:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Mr. President, Raise My Taxes (13+ / 0-)

    Yes!  

    I'm not even in the over $250,000 group, and I'm willing to pay more taxes to cut the deficit and be sure our schools, universities, NASA, and scientific research have enough.  Hey, I'm even willing to pay for a rational level of defense spending.

    But for gawd's sake, please

    1. Raise the ceiling on SS so "high earners" pay on all their income, and include all their bonuses, stock options, stc., they use to hide that income from taxation.

    2. Raise taxes on capital gains.  We in the middle classes don't have any.  Our "investments" are in 401k and IRA type plans and are 100% taxed when we withdraw.  

    Just look at Rmoney.  He lived off dividends and capital gains, then invested the tax he saved in Switzerland, the Caymans, and China.

    Mr. President, bring Mitt's money home!

    •  Let the Bush tax cuts expire (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      StrayCat, Garrett, Timothy J

      for everyone. I have been saying this for a long time.  I am willing to pay more and my income is well below the $250K range.

      We cannot give into any more GOP hostage taking.  That has been their mode of governing and it has to stop.  

      "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 Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 03:05:37 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I would find any tax increase at this time very (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gulfgal98, JanL

        painful.  We're barely half coming out of a severe recession and, as Obama frequently notes, a lot of people are hurting.  

        I think it's a chance that has to be taken.  But once the tax cuts for the rich are off the table -- expired -- then everything possible should be done to push the new House into restoring the tax cuts for the middle class.  Those tax cuts make sense as economic policy in a recession.  And with wages having flat-lined since the 70's, people like me, and the many people economically worse off than me, need them.

        --------------------- “These are troubling times. Corporation are treated like people. People are treated like things. …And if we ever needed to vote, we sure do need to vote now.” -- Rev. Dr. William J. Barber

        by Fiona West on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 04:32:09 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Right, rablrouzer. Most of us paid higher taxes (0+ / 0-)

      under Clinton and survived rather well.  I agree with you on capital gains. And, limit home interest deductions to ONE home, restore the estate tax, and get rid of the "carried interest" BS.  

      Eliminate tax breaks that stimulate the offshoring of jobs.

      by RJDixon74135 on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 08:25:01 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I sent emails to my senators and representative (0+ / 0-)

      Today with pretty much this same message.  Let the Bush tax cuts expire - we couldn't afford them then and we can't afford them now - keep the entitlement programs intact - and invest in America/Americans NOT war.  If we're serious about quality government programs we need to be willing to pay for them.

      We're ALL better off when we're ALL better off!

      by susanWAstate on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 09:57:59 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The mandate (9+ / 0-)
    They were elected on the idea of protecting Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security and especially on tax fairness. But it's not a mandate if it isn't exercised.
    We need to continually remind the President and members of Congress.
  •  Bush tax cuts for the rich (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    maryabein, gulfgal98, StrayCat, Timothy J

    traded for what? That's always the problem.

    If the rethugs were smart - fortunately they haven't been so far - grownup, sensible dems would give them the New Deal on a silver platter in exchange for a few shiny beads and buttons.

    And the Village would give them a parade.



    Those who do not move, do not notice their chains. Rosa Luxemburg

    by chuckvw on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 12:26:45 PM PST

  •  You mean the Fiscal Cliff that is in all reality (13+ / 0-)

    just a bump in the road.

  •  We're getting scammed by fearmongering. (20+ / 0-)

    How come the "fiscal cliff" cuts would hurt the economy so catastrophically, but the "grand bargain" cuts magically would grow the economy? That seems strange, right?

    it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses

    by Addison on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 12:31:34 PM PST

    •  Was discussing this with Pluto yesterday, (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      chuckvw, StrayCat, jazzence, stagemom

      Pluto the Kossack, not the Disney dog or the demoted planet. According to the WaPo, some of our partner nations have urged that we not allow the upper income tax cuts to expire. Wonder which is the tail and which is the dog and who's wagging who, but I find it annoying and suspicious that other nations are sticking their noses into this specific issue.

      Ds see human suffering and wonder what they can do to relieve it. Rs see human suffering and wonder how they can profit from it.

      by JTinDC on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 12:43:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  This is proof (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      stagemom

      If the Republicans REALLY wanted deficit reduction they would LOVE the "fecal cliff". But they don't. This is proof of their real intentions. They want to cut everything except defense spending, which is the one thing that needs the biggest cuts.

      The Democrats create jobs. The Republicans create recessions.

      by Tuba Les on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 08:54:40 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Simple solution: TAXES (6+ / 0-)

    More taxes on the rich, more capital gains, more fees, more revenue.

    We don't need cooperation from the rethugs. All we need is capitulation.

  •  Let Them Die! (Bush Tax Guts) (6+ / 0-)

    Do nothing: we win. They can never have such unfair advantages again for rich against poor.
    Ridicule the cliff smellers. Bunch of Wile E Coyotes.
    Beep Beep. Toll Road. Been in this country long?
    Oh, business. Good. Ante up, we do. Now it's your turn, blanksters.
    We already have less money and can't afford anything.
    But what we really can't afford
                       is you
          and your scofflaw companies and loopholes

    kill that stupid filibuster, too, for the majority rules, senators.

    try that awhile, then see where we are.

    consider these terms: ocean rise, weather re-patterning, storm pathology, drout famine, acceptance of nature

    by renzo capetti on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 01:40:30 PM PST

  •  We can afford to wait =/= We should wait. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    StrayCat, stagemom

    I disagree that this item should be left for the new Congress. The first reason is, this 'cliff' business gives our side leverage to get extra work accomplished. It is because the Bush cuts can simply be ignored to death is why the GOP is under pressure to score a deal. Why throw away leverage? That stuff is hard to come by.

    Trying to get a deal early is akin to a 'free play' in football. The other teams jumps offside, so just throw deep and hope for a TD. This is similar because if we do not get a good deal now, we have the option of waiting until the next Congress is sat.

    The second reason is the new Congress and the next inauguration ceremony will bring with them a new batch of 'political capital'. Why spend that capital fixing what the previous Congress did? Is it not better to use it to address those issues which have not yet been moved off the back-burner? Why re-fight 2011 when we can start in on climate change or a similar big issue?

    •  Interesting perspective. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Quicklund, StrayCat, Hugin

      The Republicans are clearly trying to panic the Dems into giving away too much.  I've been feeling that we shouldn't even try for a deal before January because a) that way the death of the tax rates for the rich is guaranteed; and b) the Democrats can't be pushed into giving away too much because of a false calamity hanging over their heads.

      Your point -- why not see what we can get? -- has common sense appeal.  Except I really don't believe the Republicans will agree to any compromise, in the lame duck session, that doesn't include the tax cuts for the rich being extended.  To which we must say no, no, no, no, no.

      --------------------- “These are troubling times. Corporation are treated like people. People are treated like things. …And if we ever needed to vote, we sure do need to vote now.” -- Rev. Dr. William J. Barber

      by Fiona West on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 04:48:26 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for this diary, Joan. An excellent summary (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    crescentdave, stagemom

    of a very important issue.  The tax cuts for the rich are a key part of our debt crisis.  We can't have a sound fiscal basis for government without higher taxes on the upper incomes.  ANd we can't have a vigorous economy with the wealth so unevenly distributed.

    W have to let those tax cuts die.  And we have to avoid being driven by Republican manipulation of the issue.

    --------------------- “These are troubling times. Corporation are treated like people. People are treated like things. …And if we ever needed to vote, we sure do need to vote now.” -- Rev. Dr. William J. Barber

    by Fiona West on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 05:19:05 PM PST

  •  This could be interesting (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JML9999, akmk, stagemom
    Senator Olympia J. Snowe, the Maine Republican who will retire at the end of the year, made it clear that she intended to press for a deal to avert the so-called fiscal cliff and get serious on the deficit, lame duck or not.
    A republican senator, reasonably liberal, retiring because her party is nuts.

    She might just make the case for raising taxes.  She's basically untouchable right now.  That could make life fairly hard for the republicans.

    •  At least from a filibuster perspective nt (0+ / 0-)

      The 1st Amendment gives you the right to say stupid things, the 1st Amendment doesn't guarantee a paycheck to say stupid things.

      by JML9999 on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 07:13:51 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I am so tired of Olympia Snowe... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ferg, Hugin

      and her supposed moderation and liberal tendencies. She could have stood up to her own caucus at any point and not been in serious electoral danger, but she never chose to. It's not as though Maine was going to vote in a Teapartier, even in the Republican primaries, over her. Yet she voted time and time again to sustain the most ridiculous and egregious  filibusters, acted as a fifth columnist on the ACA, and basically helped to screw the very compromise that she now bemoans the lack of at every turn.

      Crocodile tears, the whole thing. Either she didn't have the spine to stand up to her own party even though it likely wouldn't have cost her an election or her entire "moderate" attitude was a fake. Either way, she's not someone we should either trust or depend on even in the lame duck. Snowe is no friend of progressivism nor has she shown the slightest inclination to real compromise, only the kind of compromise that the rest of the recalcitrant Republicans embrace: their way or the highway. It's time we made it clear to the lot of them that their way is only going to have them hitting the highway themselves in short order.

      Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory, tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat. Sun Tzu The Art of War

      by Stwriley on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 08:08:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  exactly (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ferg, Miggles, akmk, CwV, stagemom
    There's absolutely no disaster ready to strike on Jan. 1, and there wouldn't be if Congress took the next seven weeks off. There will be more than enough time to work out deals in January and February.

    yksitoista ulotteinen presidentin shakki. / tappaa kaikki natsit "Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) 政治委员, 政委‽ Warning - some snark above ‽

    by annieli on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 07:04:09 PM PST

  •  Fiscal Bunny slope or something equally benign (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    StrayCat, akmk, CwV, stagemom

    it would help if our side stop using the Cliff term....

    The 1st Amendment gives you the right to say stupid things, the 1st Amendment doesn't guarantee a paycheck to say stupid things.

    by JML9999 on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 07:05:19 PM PST

  •  Yes we do have a mandate (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ferg, StrayCat, Miggles, stagemom
    By they way, this is the mandate that Obama and that Democratic Senate have.
    The American people also gave more votes to Democratic House candidates then Republican House candidates.  So kill that Republican talking point that the "American people voted to keep the Republicans in control of the House".

     

  •  Not fiscal; economic. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    StrayCat, ferg, stagemom

    And as others have stated, not a cliff, but a curb.

    There is no fiscal problem on Jan 1: taxes will go up, spending will go down. Fiscally, this is a good thing.

    Economically, the impact of a tax hike will be painful. But "do nothing" is a pretty good BATNA in this situation. The President will get credit for a significant deficit reduction, and will have ample time to mitigate the economic effects through other measures. He'll have leverage to put these other measures in place because (if he plays this right) the public will blame the Republican House for whatever pain comes from going over the "cliff".

  •  Also see (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stagemom

    “The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.” ~ John Kenneth Galbraith

    by Lefty Coaster on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 07:12:29 PM PST

  •  A storm fueled by climate change just destroyed NY (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    StrayCat, ferg, stagemom

    So of course we're debating entitlement reform.

    We already fell off the climate cliff. What does the CBO have to say about that?

  •  Olympia Snowe wants to have an impact (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stagemom

    before she climbs into the dustbin?

    Let's see, she supports stem cell research, environmental protections and is pro-choice, yet supported the leadership that moved in the opposite direction.

    Just go way, Olympia.

    "I was a big supporter of waterboarding" - Dick Cheney 2/14/10

    by Bob Love on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 07:17:27 PM PST

  •  Unlike Fiscal Cliff It's Not A Drop Dead Deadline (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stagemom

    I think that might be part of the confusion.

    The international credit markets aren't going to take a shit if our tax rates go up - they'll probably say "Good!"

    There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

    by bernardpliers on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 07:19:33 PM PST

  •  Let it. If they want lower deficits (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ferg, CwV, stagemom

    then revenue has to be in play. So the military has to take a haircut too. They put the sequester in play because they thought they'd have a Republican preznit. Too bad, because they don't. Eat it and choke Boehner.

    “The real truth of the matter is that a financial element in the large centers has owned the government since the days of Andrew Jackson” -FDR

    by You know me man on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 07:20:05 PM PST

  •  How galling that they've made such a stupid phrase (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stagemom

    as "fiscal cliff" stick in the common parlance.  It's just the sort of terrifying language the FUD-merchants adore.  It's just so perfect for Fox News headlines for the foreseeable future.

  •  The problem is, will Repubs look at the graph (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stagemom

    and believe it? It's a bubble thing.

    Fuck Big Brother...from now on, WE'RE watching.

    by franklyn on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 07:24:07 PM PST

  •  The "fiscal cliff" may not be so steep after all (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stagemom

    Question Health CareCost Budget Fearmongering:Consumer Revolt Against Drug Prescription Costs Already Underway

    The two Federal Reserve Board authors argue that the assumptions about drug price growth (a big part of the foundation of the "fiscal cliff" may be greatly overblown.  If so, they may have the luxury of resisting the pervading "sense of urgency" growing amongst the dull normals that tend to comprise the ranks of Beltway journalism, and eventually get through to some of them.

    Harry Reid ought to hold fast and let the cuts expire.  I think time is on his side, no matter what other factions think.

  •  Cliff is better messaging than Ceiling (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stagemom

    The Republicans have a winning metaphor here. The phrase 'avoid the fiscal cliff' is just code for the preferred Republican outcome of extending Bush tax cuts and making no cuts to defense spending.

    If the media is asking: "How are we going to avoid the fiscal cliff?" the Republicans win. If the media is asking: "When are we going to pass that middle-class tax cut?" the Democrats win. It's that simple.

  •  Is that Hanging Chad dangling off the Fiscal Cliff (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CwV

    Two guys you do not want to be hit on at the bar by.

    NO. MORE. DEALS. Is that clear enough?

    by Fordmandalay on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 07:27:40 PM PST

  •  The Democrats are in a position of strength. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JanL

    The question is, what do we want more?  The expiration of the top-end tax cuts, or some ponies?

    Selling another 2-year extension to the Republicans for a list of other legislative goals might be an option here.

    The point is, there are a few different ways to play this.

    Art is the handmaid of human good.

    by joe from Lowell on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 07:28:12 PM PST

  •  The President has made his position clear (0+ / 0-)

    The House needs to pass a bill to extend middle class tax cuts right now. We'll deal with everything else on their own merits come January.

    There is absolutely no counterargument to that plan. The economic impact? the CBO just said that high income tax hikes would only marginally effect growth projections, its the middle class hikes that will cause a contraction. The need for a balanced package? We'll get to that, but the lame duck is not the time to put together a comprehensive deal.

    If Republicans are serious about averting the fiscal cliff, they should pass a middle class tax extension. The ball is in their court. It's no one's fault but theirs if they choose to let middle class taxes go up.

  •  I don't remember how many times (0+ / 0-)

    Boehner called on the president to lead on these negotiations -- but a lot. Enough that I thought it sounded like he might be setting a trap.

    When the president came out with his position he did take the lead, saying he'd sign legislation to remove middle-class incomes from the taxation debate, all Boehner needs to do is get it to him. I thought it made the president appear in charge, with a creative solution to one of the roadblocks to negotiating on the other stuff.

    I'm just not sure if that's how Boehner sees it. Was this proposal a surprise, a counter to Boehner's leadership trap or did he know about it from their previous negotiations and was practically asking the president to  box him in like that?

    Don't ask me nothin' about nothin'. I just might tell ya the truth -- B. Dylan

    by ponderer on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 07:32:10 PM PST

    •  Boehner doesn't strike me (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ferg

      as a 12-dimensional-chess kind of negotiator. He's been fairly straightforward in the past in these types of negotiations. His go to strategic gambit is the "my caucus is crazy" ploy, which has the added benefit of being true.

      So to answer your question: Boehner probably knows exactly how he's going to get boxed in on middle class tax cuts, and he probably knows he can't do anything about it. No traps or gambits, those are just the facts. I'm really curious as to what his response is to Obama's plan -- he didn't give one in his press conference this afternoon. I imagine he's formulating one right now, and whatever he decides upon will likely determine how these negotiations will go.

  •  Over the cliff (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lefty Coaster, CwV, kovie

    The fiscal cliff is a drummed up story.  Let the auto-cuts happen and the tax cuts expire!

  •  IMDB entry. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ferg, CwV, chuckvw

    Dr. Fiscalcliff or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Agreement.

    Let it happen. Let it happen and then reinstate the middle class tax cuts, which both sides will rush toward. And then let them fix what went wrong with the fiscal cliff budget cuts. But do it afterwards, not out of some misguided social benefit hostage situation.

    it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses

    by Addison on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 07:39:22 PM PST

  •  Every time any says "we can't leave this debt to (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CwV, kovie, Hugin, chuckvw, JanL

    our children and grandchildren," I promise to counter with, "we can't STEAL Social Security and Medicare from our children and grandchildren."

    Eliminate tax breaks that stimulate the offshoring of jobs.

    by RJDixon74135 on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 07:39:52 PM PST

  •  Sequestion will be devastating (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chuckvw

    I'm a 36 year old federal contractor.   When sequestration hits, I will most likely lose my job.     Me and tens of thousands of other people like me will be on the street, all fighting for the few jobs that will be out there.

    At my company of 2700 federal contractors, there are weekly meetings held to prepare for the inevitable firings.   These meetings occur not just in my company, but in every federal contracting company.  

    This may be acceptable to you.   And I understand that.

    Please do not insinuate that letting sequestration hit will not have devastating effects on a massive number of people.   Please do not be flippant about it, or pretend it's all hype.  It is not.   Ask anyone in this business, and they will tell - it's not hype, and it's not a joke.

    •  It's a matter of trading off something painful (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      chuckvw

      in the near term for something even more painful in the long term. But even if you lose your job, and of course I hope you don't, I doubt the stalemate will last more than a few months. Someone will blink and contracts will be restored. Even Obama's not going to suddenly cancel programs he wants to eliminate to save money. They'll be gradually phased out, hopefully in ways that allow people to find new jobs and retrain. But we can't let the rich get away with paying too low taxes or gut Social Security and Medicare to get a quick deal.

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

      by kovie on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 08:36:24 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's not that simple (0+ / 0-)

        The world of government contracting is not nearly as straightforward as you paint it to be.   This isn't an automobile factory shutting down for a few weeks/months and when it turns back on everyone goes back to work.  

        This is chaos.

        Jobs are not going to be held for most people, and contracts are not going to "paused" and then started back up on magic day.

        This is 50,000 to 100,000 people losing their job within a very short period of time, many of them sharing the same markets.

        I understand what you're saying about trading something painful now to avoid something more painful later.   But it's absurd for those who will feel none of the pain to diminish it.

        If you want sequestration, you need to OWN the fact that you're putting hard-working people out of jobs.   Don't back down, don't pretend that's not how it is.  OWN it, unlike this article does.

        •  Ok, I now "OWN" it, whatever that means (0+ / 0-)

          I'm not in favor of whittling down Social Security or Medicare to save several hundred thousand federal contract jobs, many of which are in defense and likely unnecessary, and I don't appreciate being held hostage with such guilt. And yes, if my job was on the line here I'd still say the same thing.

          We could shut down half the NSA and cancel half of all defense contracts and it wouldn't impact national security in the slightest. A huge portion of the defense budget is corporate welfare and congressional pork. If someone built a career in industries built on government waste and political grease, I'm sorry for them but they need to find another career. We need to spend money on things we need, not on things that line CEO's pockets.

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

          by kovie on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 09:35:15 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  I don't believe sequestration is one of (0+ / 0-)

      the Ten Commandments, although the Villagers would have it thus. I know we are supposed to believe that a stupid, ad hoc arrangement made by a small group of congresspeople and the president is carved in stone, but it really is just a stupid, ad hoc arrangement.

      How magnificent, how sumptuous are the emperor's new clothes!



      Those who do not move, do not notice their chains. Rosa Luxemburg

      by chuckvw on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 08:38:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  o has the hammer (0+ / 0-)

    he had better use it this time and not revert to be the prime negotiator of his first term, we had your back now you MUST have ours.

  •  If it's a cliff, we're at the bottom, not the top (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chuckvw

    At the bottom of a cliff, you can run into a wall, but you can't do a "Thelma and Louise."  

    We're all pretty strange one way or another; some of us just hide it better. "Normal" is a dryer setting.

    by david78209 on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 08:12:34 PM PST

  •  If? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dancing Frog
    There's absolutely no disaster ready to strike on Jan. 1, and there wouldn't be if Congress took the next seven weeks off.
    Try, "There won't be after Congress wastes the next seven weeks posturing and filibustering."

    We're all pretty strange one way or another; some of us just hide it better. "Normal" is a dryer setting.

    by david78209 on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 08:15:52 PM PST

  •  totally agree; sadly President Obama does not (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chuckvw
  •  Watching the talking heads (0+ / 0-)

    on PBS, CNN, etc., I gather that Village wisdom dictates that the dems must now demonstrate what they are willing to give up, because they... well, because they won...

    There is no mandate, because only rethugs get a mandate from winning elections. The sad thing is that accommodating, grownup, sensible Democrats may prefer to view things this way, too.



    Those who do not move, do not notice their chains. Rosa Luxemburg

    by chuckvw on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 08:31:12 PM PST

  •  I have a solution for the fiscal cliff crisis! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chuckvw, Chitownliberal7

    We can haz hang gliderz?

    Photobucket

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

    by kovie on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 08:31:33 PM PST

  •  someone here said today, why is the fiscal cliff (0+ / 0-)

    bad but the grand bargain good?

    Community Organizer trumps Private Equity Manager

    by stagemom on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 10:12:22 PM PST

  •  I'm afraid we should all save our breath (0+ / 0-)

    The very fact that the Democrats have willingly complied with using the term "fiscal cliff" is proof enough that they WILL cave.

    The very best option for US would be to pass this deadline and then fix it.  
    (no irreversible damage is done on Jan 1, probably not even for two months).
    However, by allowing the Republicans and other vested interests to paint Jan 1 as an immediate and terrible catastrophe they've given themselves an excuse to cave in and gifted the opposition the chance to demonize Democrats for irresponsibly forcing us off a "cliff"
    (even though tea party terrified GOP "leaders" will be doing the forcing by offering NOTHING).
    And, Yes, logically the charge could be leveled both ways, but no-one in their right mind who's watched the right-wing and MSM over the last decade believes that the Republicans would be held to the same standard as the Dems.)

    IF the Dems WANTED to win this fight for US, they WOULD have downplayed the deadline.  Every mention of the phrase "fiscal cliff" would have been countered.
    Instead, Dems and MOST of the Left leaning media have willingly gone along with embedding this term in the public consciousness.  The Dems know that the tax hikes and defense cuts are far more terrifying to Republican backers. (and that the middle class tax cuts would be re-instated lickety-split, and retro-actively, early in 2013 anyway).  If the Republicans believed the Dems were gonna go "over the cliff" they'd cave in a nanosecond in the Lame Duck Session.  

    Basically, by deliberately surrendering the narrative on this to the catastrophe mongers the Democrats have signaled their intent to surrender before the first hand was ever played.
    Just prepared to be badly disappointed for Christmas my friends.  Should be easy, Barack (and nearly every other Dem) has given us enough practice already.

    I just wish one good senator (Like Bernie Sanders) could force us over by blocking progress but alas,...
    it seems that only the GOP have the power to block all senate activity with filibusters and secret holds.
    Funny That eh!

  •  Both the deficit and "fiscal cliff" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jjohnjj

    are lies spread by crooks who want to steal the people's money.  The deficit is a lie that says the rich can't be taxed to pay back the social security funds they looted from the people's treasury in order to keep taxes on the rich low.  And the "fiscal cliff" is just a hyperbolic version of the deficit lie.

  •  Tax fairness if fine, but I'll believe it when I (0+ / 0-)

    see it.

    I really don't believe that the fat-cat Democrats in Congress are any more likely to deliver tax fairness than the fat-cat Republicans in Congress.

    Maybe some little dollop to say "See that, middle class? We care about you!".

    I will be shocked if most of us -- especially married people with families -- don't see our taxes go up significantly

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 01:57:40 AM PST

  •  I took this Google Trends snapshot yesterday (0+ / 0-)

    For the term "fiscal cliff":

    The morning of their hangover, Nov. 7, was te moment for the GOP and its media stenographers to try to maintain control of the narrative with this device.

  •  I'm not sure how the election (0+ / 0-)

    was a "mandate" to protect social security since Obama said that his position on social security and Romney's were similar.

  •  Read your OMB quotation (0+ / 0-)
    if all of that fiscal tightening occurs, real (inflation-adjusted) gross domestic product (GDP) will drop by 0.5 percent in 2013 (as measured by the change from the fourth quarter of 2012 to the fourth quarter of 2013)—reflecting a decline in the first half of the year and renewed growth at a modest pace later in the year. That contraction of the economy will cause employment to decline and the unemployment rate to rise to 9.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013.
    Bolding mine.

    The idea that we don't have to worry about it early in the year because it will be "only" 0.5% over the year is malarkey. They say that the drop will occur early in the year. (And, for that matter, a drop of 0.5% is  not mere. Staying constant when we're at this level is a disaster.)

  •  More and better democrats - Sandy refugees (0+ / 0-)

    There are a whole lot of progressive democrats in the Occupy Sandy Relief effort, who may not call themselves progressive democrats (YET!). When we support them now, they may join us later.

    They are serving people who's lives just fell off an economic cliff. We can't let them learn that government, per se, is the problem.

    Red Cross sends a truckload of blankets to Occupy Sandy – NYTimes
    http://www.dailykos.com/...

    Occupy Sandy Relief started their main hub in the Rockaways with a solar powered generator from Greenpeace.  Before long, the National Guard was relying on OccupySandy to distribute food and water.  The slow motion Red Cross sent a truckload of blankets on Thursday night, 10 full days after the storm. But hey, late is better than not at all.

    Occupy Sandy's direct action, with their motto of "Solidarity, Not Charity" and their ability to organize boots on the ground, is breaking down walls that have been used to divide us. This is community organizing. It is apolitical and non-religious. Greenpeace, NY National Guard, and the Red Cross are now supporting Occupy Sandy along with a long list of local organizations.

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