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John Boehner
Boehner's refusal to support middle-class tax cuts is the root of the stalemate
John Boehner declares a "stalemate" on the fiscal cliff:
Speaker John Boehner declared an impasse Friday negotiations with the White House over avoiding the fiscal cliff.

“There’s a stalemate,” Boehner said at a news conference. “Let’s not kid ourselves. I’m not trying to make this more difficult. If you’ve watched me over the last three weeks I’ve been very guarded in what I have to say, because I don’t want to make it harder for me or the president or members of both parties to find common ground.”

Okay, so if there's a stalemate, let's take a look at the Boehner/Republican position and compare it with the Obama/Democratic position.

President Obama and Democrats are saying that the most urgent fiscal issue facing the country is the expiration of tax cuts on income under $250,000. They say we should extend those tax cuts now, but let Bush tax cuts on income over $250,000 expire at the end the year. They also say that we should continue to look for ways to reduce the deficit through long-term spending reductions, but that we can't ignore the need for short-term measures to boost the economy—things like unemployment benefits and something to replace the payroll tax cut.

John Boehner and Republicans, meanwhile, say they agree that tax cuts on income below $250,000 should continue. However, they also say that tax cuts on income above $250,000 should continue as well. Moreover, they want to see cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, although they refuse to be specific about what cuts they'd like to see. They also say they want to raise revenue through tax reform, but again refuse to offer details. And they oppose any short-term efforts to boost the economy.

An outsider might look at those positions and say that there really isn't much of a stalemate over taxes, because both sides have the same position on tax rates for 98 percent of the public. The problem is that at least so far, Boehner and Republicans are saying they will only support tax cuts on income below $250,000 in exchange for continuing the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy and for agreeing to cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. As a result, we do have a stalemate over tax cuts, but it's not because Republicans say they disagree with Democrats—instead, it's because Republicans think they can hold those tax cuts hostage.

By taking the tax cuts hostage, Boehner is raising the political stakes in a big way. He's setting up a scenario where he can only win by forcing the White House to cave or by following through on his threat to hold the tax cuts hostage. But if House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi—who says Boehner's stalemate talk is irresponsible—is able to get about 30 House Republicans sign a discharge petition that would bring an extension of middle-class tax cuts up for a vote, Boehner is going to lose. And even if she falls short, next year she's only going need about 20 Republicans to join her, because Democrats gained seats in the House during this year's election. Meanwhile, President Obama will continue rallying public support for an extension of middle-class tax cuts—and he's not shying away from calling out Republican hostage-takers by name.

Maybe John Boehner believes he can turn hostage-taking into a winning political position. If so, it probably wouldn't be the craziest thing he believes. But it's still plenty crazy. The good news for him and Republicans is that President Obama and Congressional Democrats would be happy to let him step back from the abyss and end the stalement. And the best part of the deal is that the only thing he'd have to do is vote for a tax cut. It's amazing he hasn't figured out just how good a deal he's being offered.

Originally posted to The Jed Report on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 12:57 PM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Boehner's not crazy. This kind of worked for him (9+ / 0-)

    before, in 2011.  The real test here is not so much Boehner, but whether Obama is willing to do what it takes to break the hostage-taking dynamic.  And that is to call Boehner's bluff.  I agree that the longer Boehner holds out, the worse the consequences will be for the republicans, but Boehner has experience, and therefore, reason, to believe that Obama may cave.

    Do you really think Geithner won't advise Obama to cave if there is a stock sell-off?

    Hey, Republicans, the whole world is watching.

    by TAH from SLC on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 01:17:35 PM PST

    •  Boehner's handicap is having no ideas (21+ / 0-)

      I agree with your analysis, and indeed, experience would indicate to Boehner that all he has to do is keep saying "no," and let the White House bargain against itself. He famously said he got 98% of what he wanted last time around, so why mess with a winning strategy?

      The problem, of course, is if the other side adopts a different strategy. I roomed with a guy many years ago who played offensive line on his high school football team. They started a drive from inside their own 5 yard line. Hoping to get a little maneuvering room, the quarterback called their basic dive play, Knock Right. Running back takes the ball and runs right. Nothing fancy, but should be good for a couple of yards.

      Well, it went for six or seven yards. Encouraged, the quarterback called for Knock Right again. First down! They ran Knock Right a dozen times or more, right down the field for a touchdown. They couldn't believe the defense wasn't adjusting, and apparently the defense couldn't believe they were running the exact same play over and over.

      Well, Mr. Boehner, the defense has adjusted, and they're ready for Knock Right. Do you have any other plays in your playbook, or are you ready at long last to get back to the job of governing?

    •  The good news is, Obama is in a stronger position (12+ / 0-)

      now than he was then. Back then, he couldn't have the economic fallout from failure to raise the debt ceiling happen on his watch a year before he was up for re-election. Now he has a lot more leverage, since he doesn't have to run again and polls show people would blame Republicans if they go over the cliff. Sure, the president still doesn't want the economic consequences of sequester on his watch, but he doesn't have a gun to his head now like he did back then.

      •  Yup! And ge KNOWS the difference (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        avsp

        between 2008 and 2012.

        With the tax-hiking proposal President Barack Obama sent to Congress on Thursday, it seems the president is finally heeding a lesson he learned in the first month of his first term. [...]
        Obama [...] sought GOP input from the beginning of the stimulus bill's creation. And he said the Republicans really liked all the nice tax cuts the White House had included in its initial framework.
        "I suppose what I could have done is started off with no tax cuts, knowing that I was going to want some, and then let them take credit for all of them," Obama said. "And maybe that's the lesson I learned."
        HuffPo

        Notice the presidents proposal only calls for $400B in spending cuts while calling for $1.6T in tax increases?

        Take Back Our Country? We Built That? HaHaHa! Barack Obama: 332; Mitt Romney: 206. HaHaHa!

        by ChiTownDenny on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 01:53:00 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Also...he's already DONE a bunch of legislation (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DJDan, rlochow

        his primary need it to just protect the gains he already has.

        ACA, DADT, not going backward on DOMA or START etc

        In 2009-2010, he was trying to make hay with his congressional majorities, which, while substantial, were nothing like what LBJ or FDR had, while the opposition was in complete lockstep.

        He needed a little R support and to hold his whole caucus together, which, remember, wasn't a majority at all without a lot of Blue Dog votes in both houses.

        In 2011 he thought there was one point of agreement with the GOP where he could get some actual legislation done.   Thus the chasing of a grand bargain.   When Bohner couldn't hold his caucus together, Obama said "fuck it" and stopped trying to do deals, instead came back home to his base with some executive orders and the Gay Marriage announcement and economic populism in his stump speeches.

        Obama has no substantive legislation he can do with either the 2010 or 2012 Republican house if they remain in lockstep.   So any threats of being offended by anything he says or offers don't change him from status quo ante....which is they won't deal with him.

        So what he's gonna do, is keep setting traps in an attempt to break some votes free.  Once that has occurred once, there may be other opportunities to do it again (eg, Immigration reform).

        For now the tax expiration is his strongest card, so that is his current lever for trying to break some votes free, especially as his favored outcome requires only the House to vote for it to become law.   So that's what he's doing.

        Should we go over the cliff, I'm sure he has a bunch of other legislation waiting in the wings to harass the R congress.   While implementing Obamacare and hopefully making appointments in the senate post-filibuster-reform.

        •  Can we get DOMA repealed in the next 4 years? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          The BigotBasher, DSPS owl

          I know it might be pie in the sky, but I think Republicans have realized it's no longer a winning issue for them, and there might be enough in the House who are willing to vote for it, especially those who come from states that have legalized gay marriage and have constituents who are adversely affected by DOMA. Maybe they would be motivated by their newfound desire to appear more inclusive and less extreme on social issues.

          The Senate would be tougher but if filibuster reform happens it might be a possibility. At the very least, it would be good to reopen the debate on the issue, even if it doesn't end up getting repealed right away.

    •  I was thinking the same thing. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      avsp, TAH from SLC, PorridgeGun

      His last hostage taking was a grand success in his view. He got 98% of what he wanted.  The only real question here is, do the Democrats "cave" again this time?

      Fuck me! He made it. Will Scarlet

      by dagolfnut on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 01:39:50 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Except the hostage taking was a failure (0+ / 0-)

        Because he couldn't get his own guys to vote for that 98%.  They held out for the last 2% and got nothing for all their efforts except a budget that analysis showed later  was pretty much a zero cut budget (all "cuts" coming out of funds that hadn't been spent in prior periods)...Obama got them on the numbers there even though the budget was theoretically a Hostage Taking victory..

        The 98% of what B wants ship has sailed.   The opportunity will never come again with this president.

    •  Well, except that if Obama does nothing (3+ / 0-)

      all the tax cuts will expire at the end of the year. Two days after the new congress comes in, the Senate passes a bill restoring the middle class tax cuts, and then sits backs and watches while the Republicans in a House argue about voting against a tax cut for 98% of Americans so they can restore the tax cuts for the wealthy (which won't pass the Senate and will be vetoed by Obama).
      See why Obama holds all the cards?

      “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

      by skohayes on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 02:04:50 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  So tell B it's ain't gonna fly this time. And tell (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      The BigotBasher

      O that he should stick to his guns.

      www. speaker.gov/contact

      www.whitehouse.gov

      Freedom has two enemies: Those who want to control everyone around them...and those who feel no need to control themselves.

      by Sirenus on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 02:08:09 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  When you fall into the abyss on a Friday afternoon (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    homo neurotic, avsp, skohayes

    there is only one thing you can do if you are Orange - drink yourself silly.  That way, you don't have to try ad do any work over the weekend.

    Ultimately, the only thing that matters with respect to preserving choice is who will be nominating the next Supreme Court Justices.

    by Its the Supreme Court Stupid on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 01:19:01 PM PST

  •  The correct term is Zugwang (23+ / 0-)

    Boehner can't move because any move is bad for him and the Republicans. Any chess player worth his salt would recognize this immediately.

    (from the German) When a player is put at a disadvantage by having to make a move; where any legal move weakens the position. Zugzwang usually occurs in the endgame, and rarely in the middlegame.
  •  The American right is in meltdown mode (25+ / 0-)

    Shows that they hadn't, until now, fully absorbed the meaning of the election.  It's a whole new world.

    Obama kicking them in the nuts on this, instead of playing their stupid ass games like he has in the past, is probably the first time it's really dawned on them that the game is up.  So like a kid who realizes there's nothing he can do to avoid bedtime, the Republicans are in the process of throwing themselves on the ground and crying.

    I mean, just watch Rick Santelli's meltdown this morning on CNBC:

    Except this is unlikely to go down as well as his rant back in 2009 that supposedly gave birth to the Tea Party movevment.  At least that was, nominally, about the fairness of bailing out supposedly irresponsible homeowners.  This time he's throwing a tantrum because the rich are going to have to pay up a little more, which only makes him look like a whiny, petulant little bitch.

    “Th’ noise ye hear is not th’ first gun iv a revolution. It’s on’y th’ people iv the United States batin’ a carpet.” - Mr. Dooley

    by puakev on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 01:28:01 PM PST

  •  Yasser Arafat rejected a 97 per cent solution. (10+ / 0-)

    Yasser Arafat rejected a 97 Per Cent Solution.

    Will Mitch McConnell reject a 98 Per Cent Solution?


    Will John Boehner reject a 98 Per Cent Solution?

    Will Mitch McConnell and John Boehner join the late Yasser Arafat in rejecting a solution that could have improved the lives of 100 per cent of the people he led because he was only offered 97 Per Cent of what he wanted.

    Will Mitch McConnell and John Boehner cause pain for 100 per cent of Americans, damage our economy, hurt the recovery because they only got a tax cut extended for the 98 Per Cent of Americans who most need it, just to keep the gravy train rolling for the 2 Per Cent who don't need their tax cut extended?

    President Obama compromised two years ago, and said he wouldn't compromise again on Tax Cuts for the Rich.  Will the Republican leaders reject help for the whole economy, and a tax cut on the first $250,000 of income for the wealthiest among us, just to extend a tax giveaway for the 2 Per Cent of our popultaion that DOES NOT NEED A TAX CUT?

    Senator McConnell, Speaker Boehner, you lost the election.  Respect the Will of the American People, which was expressed in the election, which reduced Republicans in both the Senate and House, despite the radical gerrymander of the House districts.

    Republicans are like alligators. All mouth and no ears.

    by Ohiodem1 on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 01:31:02 PM PST

    •  But 100% do keep their tax cut (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ohiodem1, highacidity, skohayes, Jim M

      rates only rise on income over $250,000.  Everyone keeps the cut on the first $250,000.

      •  I think I said that. But you are 100 per cent (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        skohayes, bleeding heart, diggerspop

        right.  Not 98 per cent right, 100 per cent right.  I wonder why Mitch McConnell and John Boehner can't figure out that a 98 per cent deal is far better than no deal, which is their other option.  If they take us over the fiscal bump, who do you think will pay the highest political price, Congress with its 18 per cent approval rating or President Barack Obama with his 60 per cent approval rating.  The Congressional approval rating, particularly the Radical Republican Obstructionists may come out of that with a 5 per cent approval rating.  It's up to them.

        Republicans are like alligators. All mouth and no ears.

        by Ohiodem1 on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 02:01:47 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Boehner is crazy--but not like a fox. (13+ / 0-)

    He's crazy like FOX News. And the Republicans have lost Joe Klein--which is really bad news for them. Check out my new post please.

  •  Fine, Boner. Lets just go over the cliff, see if (6+ / 0-)

    I care.  Idiot.  The Rep's devotion to the upper 1% is beyond belief.  This is truly a no brainer, but i guess I should not be shocked given that Reps in the House have repeatedly demonstrated they have no brains.  Its like Boner is the Scarecrow from the Wizard of Oz.

  •  oh please (8+ / 0-)
    " I’m not trying to make this more difficult. "
    nope. you're succeeding in making it more difficult.

    so enjoy your rare success, such as it is, mr. speaker. because this one's going to come back and bite you square on the ass.

    "everybody's got something to hide except for me and my monkey." -john lennon

    by homo neurotic on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 01:36:19 PM PST

    •  According to Freud (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      homo neurotic

      in his essay "Negation," unconscious or unwanted truth often bubbles up in discourse in the form of a grammatical negation. According to this analysis, Boehner is really admitting, "I am trying to make this more difficult." Or at the least he is asking, "Am I trying to make this more difficult?"

      The famous political analogy would be Nixon's "I am not a crook."

  •  I like this new President Obama, the one who (11+ / 0-)

    has stepped more fully into power, and who no longer has one cautious eye on his own reelection.  The upside of term limits: with long-term political survival off the table, what do you want to stand for, what do you want to try for, what do you want to accomplish?  

    I really like 2nd Term Obama so far.  

    •  This Is Not Surprising, I Think 1st Term Obama (4+ / 0-)

      Played it perfectly in order to do the things he needs to do as second term Obama.

      His conciliatory posturing in Term one was necessary tactical manipulation of public perception and framing.

      Now he can play tough guy and who could blame him? And his frames about holding middle class tax cuts hostage, after being repeated for the last couple of years, are really ingrained into the consciousness.

      Now comes barnstorming and bullypulpit.

      All part of a well executed long term plan than can now be realized since he's been re-elected; a reelection that hinged on his personality and trustworthiness, traits fortified by his conciliatory and cooperative tone.

      There's a freight train headed the Repubs way with an O on it's side, and they are woefully unprepared for it because they are now USED to first term Obama. It's the ultimate rope a dope/bait and switch.  Now Obama plays tough guy and these idiots have no idea what's hitting them or what to expect.

      It's delectable. Masterful. And I'm going to love every minute of it.  We could be on the verge of a generational political realignment if we all play our cards correctly.

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

      by Beetwasher on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 01:47:06 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sorry to disagree. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        avsp, Wolf10, PorridgeGun

        1st term Obama was hopelessly enamored of bipartisanship.  Truly naive.  I can't see as eleventy dimensional artful pre planning . . . He was in a much stronger position in 2008 an today and fumbled.  

        I still hope and believe in him.  But that doesn't mean I not afraid that he might fumble again.

        Hope that doesn't sound too harsh.

        "Let's see what fresh fuckwittery these dolts can contrive to torment themselves with this time." -- Iain Banks, The Hydrogen Sonata

        by Rikon Snow on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 01:52:21 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  LOL! Umm, You're Nuts If You Think The POTUS Is (0+ / 0-)

          in any way, shape or form naive, on any level.

          You don't become POTUS if you're some naive, podunk.  Obama is one of the most genius and gifted politicians of our time, that's why he wins. If the leader of the free world isn't playing chess and thinking multiple moves ahead, then no one is.

          I guess you think he just got lucky that things turned out the way they did?

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

          by Beetwasher on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 01:55:44 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  He was in a much stronger position (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Rikon Snow, Beetwasher

          as far as Congress, but still didn't have 60 votes in the Senate until June when Franken was seated, and then only for about 9 weeks total over the next two years.
          He had to negotiate with Republicans to get health care passed, to get DADT repealed, to get extensions to unemployment, to get the stimulus passed. He traded those last items for extending the Bush tax cuts for everyone in 2010.
          Now, if he sits back and does nothing, all the tax cuts expire, and when the new Congress comes back, the Senate passes a bill restoring the tax cut for the middle class. Let the Republican led House vote against a tax cut for 98% of the people. I'd like to see that.

          “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

          by skohayes on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 03:10:47 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Shame the filibuster rules weren't changed in '08 (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            skohayes

            If they had been, how much more could have been gotten through Congress? A Pelosi House AND a filibuster-proof Senate? Dude!

            •  Reid hadn't been burned too badly in 2008, (0+ / 0-)

              he still believed the Republicans would be cooperative. As he says now, though, he's learned his lesson.

              “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

              by skohayes on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 03:08:54 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  I don't buy the 11 dim chess in this case (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Wolf10, skohayes, rlochow

        What I see is a POTUS who plays the hands he's given and learns from experience.

        Conciliatory Obama was trying to get legislation through congress.  Conciliatory Obama did in fact get a lot done, but he let health care get away from him (there was no reason to chase Snow's vote for 6 months in that stupid committee, for example), and he misjudged the 2010 House's level of crazy in the debt ceiling bargaining.

        Once there was no more legislating to be done, Populist Partisan Obama could be unleashed.  It started right after the debt ceiling crap was over, and has been given a lot of energy by having the election vindicate the policies he wants to pursue.

        But...if all Obama does this term is protect his 2009-2010 legislation and appoint a bunch of good people to the bench and to agencies, he'll still have a legacy to be proud of.

        I think what is going on now is he's looking forward to 2014, trying to do whatever he can to get a shot at control of the House and Senate for his last 2 years, which would enable another huge bunch of legislative policy.    As he doesn't NEED a single piece of legislation to pass, but any that DOES pass will be a win for Dems, he can take a lot of chances he could not have taken in 2009-2010.

        If he can keep his base energized by fighting the good fight in the next 2 years, what is likely is a few good things will happen and at worst we'll hold the line in the Midterms, at best maybe get lucky and get slim majorities in both houses.

  •  If Boehner fails, could he lose his Speakership? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    avsp

    If so, a few of the 30 Republicans Nancy Pelosi needs might be motivated to jump ship to not only help the country, but to see Boehner cry one more time.

  •  Unless (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    avsp

    there's some serious carnage during the holidays (a likely bet from Syria, Israel/Gaza/Egypt etc) to bury the budget negotiations, then this whole hostage-taking will certainly stand out like a sore thumb against a young 1st Family hanging Xmas ornaments up in the White House.

    Who's fighting a war against Christmas now?!

    Citizen #6 on Moon Base Callista

    by Mike E on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 01:37:21 PM PST

  •  "I’ve been very guarded in what I have to say" (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JML9999, avsp, rhauenstein

    Really?

    Then when I read that Boehner had said he won't agree to rates increases on the wealthy (but some other magical revenue increase instead), and demands entitlement cuts be part of the deal, and the debt ceiling not be part of the deal, he was being "very guarded"

    Dear Speaker, please let your guard down why don't ya.

  •  Boehner LIVES in an abyss (0+ / 0-)

    The man is an ignorant half-breed. Half Basset Hound. Half man.

  •  Both sides have the same position on tax rates (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    highacidity, FiredUpInCA, avsp, skohayes

    for 100% of the people since 100% of the taxpayers get the lower rate.  It's the 2% who would have to pay more on the amount above $250K that Boehner's fighting for.

    You said it correctly, but I like pointing out EVERYONE gets to keep lower taxes if they pass the bill for lower taxes for amounts under $250K.  It's not like how Fox is selling it that the upper 2% is going to have to pay higher rates on all of their income.

    NPR had something last night or the night before with the numbers saying that it's only about 7% of small business owners (and they categorized small business as income up to 10 million dollars instead of having 50 or fewer employees) would be subject to the increased tax rate.

    It's not that much, folks, and they're the ones who used to pay it and can pay it again.  They don't create jobs with it, and they would create jobs if they get profit, whether or not that profit is taxed at an extra 3%.

    •  Yep (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ColoTim
      Both sides have the same position on tax rates for 100% of the people since 100% of the taxpayers get the lower rate.  It's the 2% who would have to pay more on the amount above $250K that Boehner's fighting for.
      The President wants a universal tax cut on the first $250,000 for every American who pays Federal taxes. The Republicans want a universal tax cut on the first $250,000 for every American who pays Federal taxes.

      So why isn't this done already?

      Because contrary to his claims, Boehner is making this harder on every American taxpayer but particularly the middle-class, who are not getting a unique tax break just for them like the top 2% are receiving.

      The choice of our lifetime: Mitt Romney, It Takes A Pillage or President Barack Obama, Forward Together.

      by FiredUpInCA on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 02:12:31 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •   Yeah, but to the rich, lower rates under 250k (0+ / 0-)

      is chicken feed.

      In the very worst case, with 100% of income below 250k being increased by 5% (that would be all capital gains, and not considering any tiering for minimum deductions etc), we're only talking 12,500

      For most of the wealthy, the amount saved is less than Romney's infamous $10,000 bet during the primary.

      Compared to their wealth, that's less than a single nice meal out would cost a 50K income family

  •  there is a Senate bill awaiting attention... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    avsp, RichM

    anything other than taking it up is, contrary to Boner's bleats, "trying to make things more difficult".

    "It's almost as if we're watching Mitt Romney on Safari in his own country." -- Jonathan Capeheart

    by JackND on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 01:42:36 PM PST

  •  Laughing to gain an upper hand in a conversation (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stevenaxelrod, avsp, CKindaSprings63

    is a corporate ploy widely ignored by seasoned professionals but can be intimidating to neophytes.

    Timothy Geithner  is no neophyte it was a embarrassing desperate move on Mitch McConnell's part......

    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 30, 2012 at 01:43:01 PM PST

  •  Boehner (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    snideelf, avsp

    is desperate and trying to hold on to the tiny shred of power he thinks he has.

    Buh-by asshole.

    The GOP is Agent Nelson Van Alden.

    by jackandjill on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 01:43:51 PM PST

  •  I think a lot of it's theater. (5+ / 0-)

    If they don't fight tooth and nail against any tax increases they'll pay a price at the ballot box because the Tea party wing would rather kiss a pig than compromise, on anything.

    That's probably why DeMint, Ryan and Cantor, at least as far as I know, are staying out of the fray for now. It seems to be a McConnel and Boehner show.

    "The human eye is a wonderful device. With a little effort, it can fail to see even the most glaring injustice." Richard K. Morgan

    by sceptical observer on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 01:45:48 PM PST

  •  These are Speaker Boehner's own words: (6+ / 0-)
    "...the president or members of both parties to find common ground.”
    Tax cuts for the 98% IS common ground. Probably unanimous on both sides, John. So you HAVE precisely the common ground with the President that you pretend to want.

    How does a Republican hear that and not listen to it? Their own Speaker is contradicting his own words, his own objective. Pass the common ground, John, then let's work on the uncommon ground.

    skipping over damaged area

    by Says Who on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 01:46:32 PM PST

    •  Well, he meant the congressional caucuses. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      skohayes

      Outside of Congress, majorities of republicans want what Obama is demanding.  But those republicans aren't beholden to a few superich contributors.  What Obama has to do, Boner says, is get the permission of a couple hundred people who are in effect paid to oppose him.

      One piece of free advice to the GOP: Drop the culture wars, explicitly.

      by Inland on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 02:23:38 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Flipping 20 votes, just like Lincoln (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    avsp

    I love that movie.

  •  This quote explains it all (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RichM, avsp
    I’m not trying to make this more difficult. If you’ve watched me over the last three weeks I've been very guarded in what I have to say, because I don’t want to make it harder for me or the president or members of both parties to find common ground.”
    Oooohhh ok, so you're not making it harder for everyone, you're just an asshole. Ok. I get it now.

    Follow me on Twitter! @guileofthegods

    by Guile Of The Gods on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 01:48:07 PM PST

  •  "Stalemate": Thus serious negotiations begin (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    avsp

    I wouldn't expect any sort of agreement to happen until New Year's eve or day.

    I have never been able to figure out if Fox is the propaganda arm of the Republican party or is the Republican Party the political subsidiary of Fox.

    by Dave from Oregon on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 01:51:11 PM PST

  •  Boehner owns the fiscal grift (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RichM, avsp

    He claimed it represented 98% of what Republicans wanted. Maybe the president should keep reminding him of this.

    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 Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 01:52:12 PM PST

  •  Fine. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RichM, keikekaze, skohayes

    Let all the tax cuts expire.

    Fine.

    Have at it, Repukes.

    "The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed." ~ Steven Biko

    by Marjmar on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 01:54:05 PM PST

  •  Hmm.... (0+ / 0-)

    Does the losing side forget they lost? They have no leverage. If it was sides are in a war over land, the loser doesn't get to tell the winner what to do with the land.

  •  Ideology over country, Ideology over sanity (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CKindaSprings63

    Is the privilege of continuing to be able to suck Grover Norquist's dick really worth that much to you, Boehner?

     

    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 richardak on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 02:11:25 PM PST

  •  what do you mean step into the abyss, he IS the (0+ / 0-)

    abyss. There just to scared of Norquist. He is the almighty to the Repugs.

  •  Now that the "Cream Of The Corp Reps" (0+ / 0-)

    have risen to the top-to be exposed, undeniably for what they are, who they work for-and with more eyes on them than ever before...it makes the 2014 mid-terms so easy..

    But I have a ques--seriously: Is there Any way, we the people can Sue the GOP Obstructionists in the Sen/House for Failing to fulfill the duties assigned to them under their oath to serve?
    They are Intentionally and without good cause obstructing the mandates of their job duties to Help the economy and the American people.

    The actions they Are taking can only be described as willfulful and wantonly negligent behavior in order to destruct the function of our government imo.
    Or am I wrong?

  •  The Bush tax cuts on ALL incomes should expire. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PorridgeGun

    They were never that big on genuinely middle-class incomes anyway.  People making $100,000 a year and up can afford to pay a few extra bucks in the national interest.  

    Civilization costs money.  France's democracy collapsed in the early 20th century for exactly the same reason that ours is teetering now:  People--especially rich people--simply refused to pay taxes.  And got away with it.

    "Americans are a wonderful people: They will always do the right thing--after exhausting every other possible alternative."--Winston Churchill

    by keikekaze on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 02:20:46 PM PST

  •  Election losers gotta play by big kid's rules (0+ / 0-)

    Meaning ytou don't get to make up any rules when and where you want

    Slaps Boehner with a wet haddock.

    Don't let millionaires steal Social Security.
    I said, "Don't let millionaires steal Social Security!"

    by Leo in NJ on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 02:21:05 PM PST

  •  Boehner and the gang is doing what they usually (0+ / 0-)

    do: obstruction.

    They aren't going to compromise one bit--no matter what they say.  They are just as determined in the upcoming term to create gridlock so that the American people remain unserved and in dire poverty.

    "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." --Benjamin Franklin

    by politicalceci on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 02:21:48 PM PST

  •  Message for Boehner: Resign you goof! (0+ / 0-)

    You can't handle the truth!

  •  Not sure why but.... (0+ / 0-)

    ....looking at any picture of Boehner is like chewing on tinfoil while scratching a blackboard with my fingernails.
    I realize it's a shallow reaction on my part but cannot help it.The smug appearance of this guy makes me wretch.

  •  If Boehner's smart... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PorridgeGun, rlochow

    ...he'll get in front of extending the middle class tax cuts and take the win.  There's no outcome this year or in the next in which the top rate don't rise to pre-2001 levels.

    Yet what I see borders on political malpractice.  If he passes the middle class tax cut alone, he preserves his two most powerful levers for manipulating policy: the debt ceiling and sequester.  Yet we're going through all this kabuki over negotiations that leads either to the GOP's capitulation, a gallop over the fiscal cliff,, or Pelosi passing the extension and taking the credit.  Are these guys even trying to win?

  •  We're not going over any cliffs. (0+ / 0-)

    As someone said this morning on NPR.  the last week of December there will be a deal to kick the can down the road, my guess 6 months or so.  And then in 6 months?  Same deal  Can, road, meet my foot.

  •  My two cents... (0+ / 0-)

    First off, I love that taxes are the topic of discussion across the nation today and I’m going to give a shameless plug for my personal favorite proposal for our tax code, The FairTax.

    Now that I’ve taken care of that, I concur that a stalemate is the last thing our country needs right now. We’ve been doing that for far too long already. I understand the both sides want to keep taxes on incomes under $250k down. Love that, it means my taxes might not go up. Also understand that while a tax increase on people making over $250k a year is a tax increase on a relatively small portion of the population, it Is a very large chunk of change.  In 2009 the people earning over $250k were somewhere around the top 5% of the income earning population. They earned about 29.5% of the income in the United States and they paid roughly 64% of the tax burden. (Derived from the CBO’s publication here) So before you reply with a rant about how “the rich need to pay their fair share”, let those numbers sink in. Also keep in mind that the people like most of our politicians including the President and his friend Warren Buffett pay the majority of their taxes at the wonderful capital gains tax which is 15%. It will also go up if this “fiscal cliff” isn’t avoided if I’m not mistaken.

    Ok, now that we’ve proven that the top income earners are in fact paying their fair share, or even if you are a socialist that thinks they should have to pay more so that people who didn’t earn that money can still spend it, let’s look at the impact raising their taxes will be. We can argue different economic theories all day long, Keynesian versus laissez-faire or capitalism versus socialism; I doubt anyonewants to get into that particular debate here and certainly not with me. My concern is this: Even if you assume that the income pool over $250k that you’re taxing remains un-changed, most of those people are in positions to simply pass that expense off to others. Whether it be business owners who raise their prices, or individuals who decide they can’t afford to get their expensive cars detailed twice a month and switch to once a month, it’s going to effect the middle class.

    Whether you’re a Keynesian or a laissez-faire person, we all agree that people have to spend money in order for the economy to grow and while a tax cut on the middle class gives the middle class a little money in their respective pockets, a tax cut on the wealthy gives them a lot of money in their pocket. Where a tax cut for the middle class is going to help make sure the middle class can still afford to have food on the table for their families, a tax cut on the rich is going to make sure that the single mom who’s waiting tables will still earn the tips she needs to feed her kids, as well as making sure the kitchen staff at that restaurant are getting the hours they need to feed their families. Yes the wealthy can afford to take the tax hit and keep on ticking, and most of them probably wouldn’t notice much. Either way the middle class is going to take a hit. Whether you like it or not, the fact is that you can try to use the government to confiscate wealthy people’s money all day long in the end they will always find a way to make sure it impacts them as little as possible. The better approach is to help teach people how to become those wealthy people. I listened to a very interesting podcast from The Cato Institute today. It was the podcast for November 19th 2012 and I encourage you to be open minded and take the 18 minutes to listen to it here. It discusses how to fix the income disparity in America, and what, in their opinion, we should really be concerned with.

    As for cutting Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and all the other social programs the Republicans drool over. The sad truth is that they treat these social programs like Democrats treat the defense budget and they are all right to an extent and for all the wrong reasons. We do need these social programs and we do need a defense budget. There is bloat, corruption, and extreme in-efficiency in all branches of government and it’s ridiculous. We don’t need bigger government, we need more efficient government. Imagine what we could do with all of the wasted money in the military, or the stolen or misappropriated funds of the social programs. We don’t need to cut benefits; we need to cut the people that are receiving benefits that don’t need them. That will get you back to budget surpluses. We don’t need government run healthcare, we just need to open the insurance markets up nationwide so that people in California can take advantage of Oklahoma’s cheaper insurance. Make those insurance companies compete for business, they’ve gotten lazy.

    I truly believe if we could get rid of the corrupt politicians and get some truly passionate, patriotic citizens into the government and let them start weeding through the mess, we’d have a much more efficient and unified government. Politics has a way of dividing America and if anyone would just take a minute and stop and actually listen to what the other side is saying, we’d probably all be able to agree on the fiscal side of things. And hey, if we could agree on the money, that would just leave the social issues like gay marriage and abortion which, let’s face it, the damned Republicans are wrong and will die before they come around.

  •  So here is what is going to happen John. (0+ / 0-)

    The tax cuts will expire. All of them. You will be responsible, well you and your party. So what?  Yes it will pinch the middle class, but they will know who to blame. You. Payroll tax is back on.
    Now there is no reason to bargain with you at all. You and your party pare playing the part of Nero fiddling while Rome burns. Things did not work out for Nero after that as I recall. Keep on trying to get the message out there. Keep trying to reframe it.  Keep trying to sell the same tired old lies. How did that work out for you in this election past? Hmm??? What are you going to do in 2014 when the house flips?What you you poseurs going to do? Go to QVC and ask for jobs as pitch men?

  •  OK, I have an idea (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PorridgeGun

    How about we increase the tax rates for all the Senators? That would probably get their attention. And I'm sure they can afford it.

    I know, I know. It's not a totally serious idea, but it would make me feel better.

    "Facts change, but my opinion never does." ~Stephen Colbert

    by Liberaljentaps on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 04:30:29 PM PST

  •  If the Democrats do nothing (0+ / 0-)

    they get a massive tax increase. There will also be huge cuts to the military. Win-win. Of course, there will be cuts to human service funding, too, but they can negotiate some of that back in when the GOP panics over military cuts. What Democrat doesn't want huge tax increases and lower defense spending?  Of course, we will most likely go into a recession, but all the more reason to spend money on unemployment insurance and infrastructure. Obama et.al. hold all of the cards right now. The idea that there is going to be a 'negotiation' in the next three weeks is laughable.

    •  What huge tax increases? (0+ / 0-)

      When you look at the reality, it just puts us back to Clinton era taxes.  The people who will pay the most are those who get thrown into the AMT.  I say fine.  If it happens to me, I'll pay it.  Fuck it, if everyone thinks the deficit is so damn important then this is how we close it in 10 years.

      "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Rianne Eisler

      by noofsh on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 06:03:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  fine then all the bush tax cuts will expire (0+ / 0-)

    and Republicans will face the wrath of the American people.  They think they are unbeatable in the House.  I don't buy that.  Given the right circumstances we could flip the House by 2014.

    "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Rianne Eisler

    by noofsh on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 06:01:57 AM PST

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