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U.S. President Barack Obama hosts a bipartisan meeting with Congressional leaders in the Roosevelt Room of White House to discuss the economy, November 16, 2012. Left of President Obama is Speaker of the House John Boehner.                             REU
Fun times.
President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner met privately at the White House on Sunday to discuss a resolution to the manufactured fiscal cliff curb crisis. Both sides released an identical statement following the discussion: "the lines of communication remain open.”

However, "senior aides" provided the Washington Post with what they say are the "elements of a deal" which are emerging, either as a real possibility, or a trial balloon.

  • Fresh tax revenue, generated in part by raising rates on the wealthy, as Obama wants, and in part by limiting their deductions, as Republicans prefer. The top rate could be held below 39.6 percent, or the definition of the wealthy could be shifted to include those making more than $375,000 or $500,000, rather than $250,000 as Obama has proposed.

    Obama wants $1.6 trillion over the next decade, but many Democrats privately say they would settle for $1.2 trillion. Boehner has offered $800 billion, and Republicans are eager to keep the final tax figure under $1 trillion, noting that a measure to raise taxes on the rich passed by the Senate this summer would generate only $831 billion.

  • Savings from health and retirement programs, a concession from Democrats necessary to sell tax hikes to GOP lawmakers. Obama has proposed $350 billion in health savings over the next decade. Boehner has suggested $600 billion from health programs, and an additional $200 billion from using a stingier measure of inflation, reducing cost-of-living increases for Social Security recipients.
  • Additional savings sufficient to postpone roughly $100 billion in across-the-board agency cuts set to hit in 2013, known as the sequester, and to match a debt-limit increase. The sequester, perhaps paired with an automatic tax hike, could then serve as a new deadline, probably sometime next fall, for wringing additional revenue from the tax code and more savings from entitlement programs.
A possible compromise on whether the top tax rates would revert to Clinton-era levels or somewhere in between started being floated at the end of last week, as did raising the Medicare eligibility age, something that at least Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi has strongly and publicly opposed. Congressional Democrats have also insisted that Social Security be out of the picture entirely, but that reduction in cost-of-living increases, the chained CPI, has never explicitly been yanked off the table.

Of course, there's still the chance to do nothing until the new Congress is seated next year. To step off of the curb and let the tax rates revert. But with Obama and Boehner now conducting private meetings and engaging personally, that seems less and less likely.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 08:15 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

    •  "Senior aides" (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TomP, alice kleeman, Larsstephens

      could be almost anyone -- maybe from the White House, maybe from Boehner's office, or maybe neither.  How much credence should we put on unnamed sources?

      Things work out best for those who make the best of the way things work out.

      by winsock on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 08:37:57 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  All the same drama down to the denials (12+ / 0-)

        An updated version of an old saying

        Fool me 4 years, shame on you. Fool me for more years, shame on me.

        I am not interested in being a fool.

        •  Lack of confidence (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          may lead to the anticipation of betrayal.  I understand that.  But it's not the same thing as claiming that a betrayal has transpired.  No "sell-out" has occurred.  A trial balloon is not a sell-out unless no one shoots it down.  

          Things work out best for those who make the best of the way things work out.

          by winsock on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 09:06:22 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I see. So you subscribe to the theory (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            alice kleeman

            that a guy pointing a gun at you who has previously killed before is not really intending to shot although he has angrily said "I gonna git you"

            I subscribe to the theory that he's likely planning to p ull the trigger since that's been his MO in past.

            You are right - i could be wrong. but I think my chances are closer to being probable than yours.

            •  Where's the gun? (0+ / 0-)

              When I see Obama pointing it at us, I'll be right with you.  It's no more than a concealed weapon at this point.  I could be wrong, too ... we'll soon see.

              Things work out best for those who make the best of the way things work out.

              by winsock on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 09:29:03 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I am not interested in debating you. Sorry. n/t (0+ / 0-)
              •  Gun= SS chained CPI back on the table. (8+ / 0-)

                Gun= raising medicare eligibility age to 67.  

                •  It was never really taken off (0+ / 0-)

                  the table.  IMO, it should be -- taken off the table -- in no uncertain terms.  However, as with other unpopular proposals, it may be advantageous to wait until the other side publicly advocates such things as part of a deal prior to Obama dismissing them.  

                  Things work out best for those who make the best of the way things work out.

                  by winsock on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 10:02:15 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Q is: did Obama learn the right lesson in 2010? (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    winsock, conniptionfit, alice kleeman

                    It's quite possible we wouldn't even be having this debate today if Fighting Obama had led the way in 2010. We wouldn't have to listen to The Orange One bleat his stupid talking points and threaten the debt ceiling again.

                    Have we forgotten how many Dems sat out 2010? Will Obama again be seduced by the totally false allure of Compromise and the Grand Bargain?

                    As the Republicans lead the daily chant, dutifully echoed by the MSM, of the "accepted" need to "reform entitlements", will Obama remember the endless Republican campaign lies about how he tried to destroy Medicare with his $716 billion cut (that wasn't even a cut) -- or will he convince himself that THIS TIME, an increase in the Medicare eligibility age won't be a millstone (justifiably) hung around Democratic necks for the next thirty years?

                    The only entitlement that needs reforming is the inbred belief of the 0.1% that they are entitled to 99.9% of the wealth and 100% of the power.

                    by flitedocnm on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 11:21:43 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Well put. (3+ / 0-)

                      There is some consolation seeing that Obama isn't just shrugging his shoulders and tossing the ball to Congress -- "you guys work it out" -- as he tended to do with Obamacare.   On the other hand, previous one-on-one dealings with Boehner haven't worked out so well, either.

                      Raising the Medicare eligibility age would be disastrous move for Dems ...  long and short-term.  Even more important, it would be a disastrous move for 98% of the country.

                      Things work out best for those who make the best of the way things work out.

                      by winsock on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 11:48:23 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

    •  Much of the site already IS on board. (12+ / 0-)

      It makes no difference at all what the "compromise" turns out to be. A dismaying number of "progressive" Kossacks are predisposed to support any deal at all... so long as it's proposed by the Dems.

      When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill...

      by PhilJD on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 08:57:05 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  There is zero reason for Democrats to (25+ / 0-)

      "compromise" on anything.

      Let the rates rise, then see if Republicans dare hold back a middle class rate cut.   Let it happen.

      A couple week's worth of altered withholding in January isn't going to destroy the entire economy.

      Cutting Social Security or cutting Medicare or even cutting health care spending is WRONG.

      No reason for compromise on the part of Democrats.  Remember Democrats?  The guys who won the election?

      Obama shouldn't give on anything.  Make the orange man cry!

      "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

      by YucatanMan on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 09:03:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not even a couple of weeks. Any policies (8+ / 0-)

        can be made retroactive so its all suffering just on paper rather than in reality. If that is the correct understanding of the istuation - and I believe it is, I just want to underscore how much we are being lied to here.

        •  Oh, I definitely agree. But the withholding will (0+ / 0-)

          take place out of people's pay checks.  That money likely won't come back until people file their taxes the following year.

          Of course, that means the IRS would have to be ready with new rate tables and schedules for payroll managers.  I haven't heard anything about that rolling out...  yet.

          "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

          by YucatanMan on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 09:14:54 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I think if you told people (7+ / 0-)

            2 weeks  delayed until your tax returns versus cutting your Medicare and Social Security, they would be able to handle the two weeks.

            Its just a sham argument. I appreciate what ou are saying, but I just don't buy its the reason.

            •  I'm agreeing with you. I'm just saying, (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Mr Robert, divineorder, bruh1

              if the IRS is ready, which is a big "if," withholding at the higher rates would take place.  It is only a few percentage points, because Bush saved his biggest tax cuts for the richest people.

              I agree with going over the molehill.  There are people making an argument that the increased withholding will send us into inflation.  It won't be that much withholding and the Congress can fix it ASAP with fewer Republicans to oppose the middle class tax cuts (while leaving the over $250k hike in effect).

              My argument is that even if there are some higher amounts withheld for a couple of weeks, it won't destroy the world.  In fact, it will heat up the pressure for Republicans to be the ones "compromising" instead of us.  So be it.

              "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

              by YucatanMan on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 10:01:26 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  "inflation" ? I meant "Recession" (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                Shouldn't try to comment and do conference calls at work at the same time.


                "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

                by YucatanMan on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 02:05:01 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

      •  I agree! If we jump head first over the "cliff", (13+ / 0-)

        then we still get more of what we need and want.

        Why the hell are we dealing at all?!?   Didn't we win last month??  Didn't the people tell them in exit polls, in current polls, with our votes, that we wanted the President to stand up and hold firm???

        Why is this happening?

        I just hope and pray, this is bad reporting or nonsense that will never play out.  I can't imagine why there would be a deal when the President has said over and over again, that he will not deal on what the people want.

      •  I just received (9+ / 0-)

        notification from Social Security that my cost of living increase next year will amount to $11 a month.  That would buy two Whoppers at Burger King (if I could afford to eat at Burger King).  Funny.  I know the official inflation rate is close to zero, but that's not what it looks like when I go to the grocery store.  My rent just went from $498 a month to $630 a month.

        The Reptilians think that everybody should feel some pain, get some skin in the game.  So cut that Social Security.  We're just a bunch of whining welfare queens anyway.  I'd like to see any one of them live on what I get each month ($669) from Social Security.  I'll be happy to share some of my pain with them.

        "There are times when even normal men must spit in their hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats." - H.L. Mencken

        by rwgate on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 09:44:40 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Insanity to negotiate away rate increases. (0+ / 0-)

        Rate increases are the toughest things to get and Ds will never be in a stronger position to get them.  Toughest to get because they are so visible and so easy for individuals to calculate the impact on their own situation.  Cuts in deductions like mortgage interest can come later.  Let the rates rise.  THen, and only then,  negotiate spending cuts which will turn out to be a debate on whether to cut oil subsidies or food stamps or 'spending' on mortgage interest deductions for billionaires.  And in the end, tie all deduction not to Cost of Living Increases or CPI, tie them to the minimum wage.  EG, maximum mortgage interest deduction might be 2000 hours X the local minimum wage.  THat will at least give minimum wage increases some political backing which it desperately needs.

        GOP Wars against: Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Immigrants, Mexicans, Blacks, Gays, Women, Unions, Workers, Unemployed, Voters, Elderly, Kids, Poor, Sick, Disabled, Dying, Lovers, Kindness, Rationalism, Science, Sanity, Reality.

        by SGWM on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 10:40:38 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Most of this site is not on board (6+ / 0-)

      but there are a very vocal few that are on board with the sell-out.

    •  LOL! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      "However, "senior aides" provided the Washington Post with what they say are the "elements of a deal" which are emerging, either as a real possibility, or a trial balloon."
      A guy who knows a guy who's cousin knows a woman who knows a guy. I guess we're back to this rumor crap, again.

      Impeach Norquist!

      by kitebro on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 09:27:25 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Leaks and trial balloons (4+ / 0-)

        are an integral part of the information highway in DC. Do you really not see that?

        What's the downside of speaking out now? Laryngitis?

        When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill...

        by PhilJD on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 09:34:44 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Don't debate this kind of denial posts (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          PhilJD, slinkerwink, Timothy J

          It goes no where. They will simply keep denying until they tire you out.

          •  That's right! Only debate those who agree. (0+ / 0-)

            And believe any and all trial balloons, because you
            know they have the infinite gravitas and veracity of
            unnamed sources, no matter how discredited or how
            misleading their 'official' underlying ideologies may be.
            Just wait and see. These 'trial balloons' will morph into
            dystopian unicorns of the apocalypse the minute you turn
            your backs and close your eyes to their true reality.

            Hey, I get that the GOS is basically reactionary,
            and that institutional op-positional-ism is baked
            into the very RNA of the sites .com status by virtue
            of its unalloyed partisan attacks against authority
            of all kinds in its formative years back in the day.
            Remember how righteous it felt to really be against everything?

            The only schadenfreude better than wing nut tears
            is that of the angsty pumastic that were positive the
            POTUS would never be initially elected, or reelected,
            due to his clearly obvious simultaneous betrayal of both the
            proletariat and bourgeoisie, whose backs he shamelessly
            used as stepping stones to serve his true corporate overlords.

            If that had not occurred we could still be united in our
            solidarity against the forces of evil holding us all down.
            We could have avoided all of this if only we had listened to their voices.



      •  That is how trial balloons (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        divineorder, Timothy J

        are deployed. Back channels. Otherwise, it's not a trial balloon, it's a press conference-released policy objective.

        "Lone catch of the moon, the roots of the sigh of an idea there will be the outcome may be why?"--from a spam diary entitled "The Vast World."

        by bryduck on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 09:37:30 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Maybe not a sellout? (0+ / 0-)

      Perhaps it will just be a meeting of the minds with this President, in his bi-partisan way, with Boehner?

    •  Cutting COLA is not cutting SS? Is this a dumbass (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mr Robert, fwdpost

      goddam f**** Obama joke!  I voted for that goddam son of a bitch to protect Social Security not starve old people.  The COLA has already been cut once and I watched as my mother's SS slowly declined relative to her cost of living because of it. THere is no goddam room to cut.  In fact the old cuts should be recinded.  This scheme hasn't worked out.  THeir figuring is that everyone who retires is  going to be dead before they notice that their standard of living has cratered.  In fact this is part of the war on women because it is they who live the longest post retirement and will suffer the most form any other cuts in the SS COLA.  Shame on Obama and all of the Democraps for even considering this idea!

      GOP Wars against: Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Immigrants, Mexicans, Blacks, Gays, Women, Unions, Workers, Unemployed, Voters, Elderly, Kids, Poor, Sick, Disabled, Dying, Lovers, Kindness, Rationalism, Science, Sanity, Reality.

      by SGWM on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 10:29:02 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Sherrod Brown: If Boehner concentrated on getting (17+ / 0-)

    a majority of Dems AND rethugs, instead of a majority of rethugs, this kabuki would be over.....As the Brits would say....'You've got yourself a bit of an own-goal there Boner.'

    •  That's the answer (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      skillet, DefendOurConstitution, bdop4

      but not the one the Republican caucus wants.  They want compromise.

      "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

      by SueDe on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 08:34:48 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Compromise is a dirty word for them. n/t (0+ / 0-)

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

        by DefendOurConstitution on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 09:25:42 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Absolutely. Can we avoid making it one for us? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          divineorder, Rachel2012

          Too many people around here are falling for the old "we just need to wait until January 2" canard. Because, I suppose, Santa Claus is going to bring every GOP lawmaker reason and good faith for Christmas. Republicans have historically had no problem cutting off their noses to spite their faces, and I don't see how that's going to change now. Especially when we're not dealing with a strong a hand as we think we are: the "fiscal cliff" was designed to be as unpalatable to liberals as it was to conservatives, and the stories we're telling ourselves about how the GOP will blink first are functionally identical to what Republicans are telling themselves about the Democrats.

          "Compromise" doesn't mean caving into every one of your opponent's demands, of course. And it's not going to amount to anything if the GOP isn't willing to act in good faith and entertain the idea of true compromise. But they certainly won't get their if Obama and other Democratic leaders don't show a willingness to reciprocate. Will it resolve anything? I have serious doubts, and I wouldn't be any more accepting of a "Boehner gets everything he wants" resolution than anyone else here. But the negative reaction to the idea that negotiations are even taking place is, frankly, horrifying, because it shows the same sort of absurd zealotry that has made the GOP, for all intents and purposes, an enemy of democracy.

          •  Our position will be stronger after the cliff. (9+ / 0-)

            There is absolutely no good reason to deal now. Let all the rates rise, and then offer a true middle class tax cut.

            As  I said yesterday, all we have to do is nothing. And I was worried that we would find that difficult. And here we go. Doing something for the sake of appearing to do something.

            How many divisions does OWS have?

            by Diebold Hacker on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 10:06:18 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Republicans are telling themselves the same thing (0+ / 0-)

              The argument that our political position will be stronger on January 2 comes down to the belief that Republicans simply will not take a short-term political hit in service of their long-term agenda. Which is, first of all, unbelievably naive: this is the GOP we're talking about, remember? But, even granting that, we forget that this isn't just a case of "Republicans lose" after the new year. Sequestration is designed to hurt both liberals and conservatives. We take solace in our beliefs that the costs will be worse for our enemies, and that they will have to cave first. By telling ourselves that, we steel ourselves to, in essence, refuse to think about compromise. We just need to wait them out.

              But the thing is, Republicans are telling themselves the exact same thing. And in doing so, they're convincing themselves that they don't need to think about compromise. And so it goes. Meanwhile, even if the "fiscal cliff" isn't as bad as some are making it out to be, it's going to hurt. Especially if we're wrong (and I think we are) and everyone is just as unwilling to work together in three weeks as they are today.

              We are playing chicken with the US economy. The people who are going to be most hurt by this are the people who can least afford it. If the Democratic Party can't at least try to act like the responsible ones here, all they've done is lower themselves to the GOP's level. And the responsible thing is to at least attempt to work towards a compromise. We don't have to (and shouldn't) cave on everything, and we can refuse to surrender on key points. If (as seems likely, given past experience) the GOP won't participate in good faith, well, at lesst we tried, and can reasonably pin the entirety of the blame on them. But if we're not at least willing to work with the party that still controls half of the legislative branch of the government, we're massively overplaying our hand and have no more right to run this country than John Boehner.

              •  I didn't know (0+ / 0-)

                the Koch Brothers commented on this site.

              •  The R's are wrong. (0+ / 0-)

                I don't really care what they are telling themselves. They proved last month that they don't have a very good grasp on reality. I'm sure they think all the polling that shows the people will blame them for the rise in their taxes are just all skewed.

                Dear dems: Do nothing. Is that really so hard?

                How many divisions does OWS have?

                by Diebold Hacker on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 12:23:19 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  It doesn't matter that they're wrong (0+ / 0-)

                  Again, this is the GOP, remember? Being sure of themselves wins over being factually correct every. Freaking. Time. They won't even look at public opinion polls until 2014, and there's absolutely no guarantee they'll listen to them then.

                  So, yes, Republicans are wrong. Absolutely. So what? What matters is that they still wield significant power and authority. They control the House of Representatives, and will do so until 2015 at the earliest. They have a reduced majority, yes. Democrats are undeniably in the stronger position right now. But the sad reality is that if we don't get enough Republicans on board, this doesn't get resolved. Yes, tax rates go back to Clinton era norms, but we also embark on an austerity program that is unprecedented in the civilized world and likely take another hit to our credit rating that hurts our economy and does real damage to working people.

                  That should be enough to emphasize the importance of responsible negotiations. Even if we both anticipate that the GOP will almost certainly refuse to act in good faith, and no acceptable solution will come from that attempt, refusing to try is an abrogation of our civic responsibility. And what makes this stubbornness all the more appalling is that we have apparently learned nothing from 40 years of a hard line neoconservative GOP. People still really think that you can successfully threaten Republicans with their own hypocrisy. Even if they take a short term political hit, they will stand by their ideology every time. Even if it ultimately comes down to posturing, Democrats should not emulate that zealotry.

                  Being willing to talk is never a bad thing. Compromise isn't necessarily a dirty word. And the more we characterize Barack Obama's willingness to meet with John Boehner as a primo facie betrayal of progressive values, as if it means he's agreed to repeal Medicare in its entirety, the more damage we do to actual responsible, let alone progressive, governance.

                  •  Bubba will not like paying higher taxes. (0+ / 0-)

                    And when his taxes go up, he's going to be angry at his R congresscritters. They will feel the heat for this.

                    If you can believe crazy things called facts and reality, the polling indicates that R's will take about twice as much heat as the D's when the curb is stepped off of.

                    Finally, when has this ever been tried?

                    we have apparently learned nothing from 40 years of a hard line neoconservative GOP. People still really think that you can successfully threaten Republicans with their own hypocrisy.
                    The last example I can dredge up is when Clinton beat the crap out of Gingrich.

                    Yes, I think we can indeed threaten the R's and win on this. If they dig in their heels, another 20 or 30 of them can go spend more time with their accountants after the midterms.

                    How many divisions does OWS have?

                    by Diebold Hacker on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 03:25:37 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  It's not about who wins, politically. (0+ / 0-)

                      Republican Congresspeople are going to have a hard time selling their opposition. But they don't even have to think about it until mid 2014, at the earliest, and there are lots of ways to spin it that don't sound nearly as awful to constituents as "the GOP raised taxes." Will it work? Personally, I doubt it, but what you or I think is totally immaterial. Republicans will go with it, or they'll find some other justification for continuing to stonewall. It's a central tenet in GOP ideology, it's going to take a lot to move them on this point, and just sitting back and expecting the threat of opinion polls to do the job for us is ludicrous. If that worked, we wouldn't still get the constant barrage of GOP-filled trial balloons concerning privatizing social security or Medicare. Heck, they'll probably just ignore the polls that don't agree with their preconceptions, as they did up through election night last month.

                      So, yeah, maybe the Democrats "win," politically speaking. Pardon me if I don't leap for joy at that prospect. I'd rather the Democrats win elections than the Republicans, absolutely. But that's not why I vote Democratic in the first place. If the only goal is to one-up the GOP, then, yes, this is a workable strategy. But if the goal is to run the country responsibly (or attempt to as much as is possible in the face of an opposition party that has no interest in doing so), then it's wildly irresponsible. "Trying to solve the problem" trumps "blaming the other guy for not solving the problem" every time.

                      We can quibble over what Obama's position in negotiations should be. There are certain things we should not be willing to trade in search of a resolution. If that means that we don't actually solve something, oh well. In that case, you wind up in the same position, but you at least made an attempt. If you can't score an actual solution, I'm fine with salvaging a political win over your opponent. But that's not what we should be aiming for.

                      •  I would like to break their party. (0+ / 0-)

                        This has that potential. Their party is fracturing, and in the long run, the demographics are slipping out from under them. America would be a better place if the R party was no more.

                        Now, the "sensible", business arm of their party is in direct conflict with the "crazy" arm.

                        So in the sense that this situation could drive an nice big wedge in there, it is all about scoring political points, and winning.

                        I would gladly trade two years of national pain for a marginalized R party.

                        We have the upper hand, and all we have to do is run out the clock. If we talk with Boney while that's happening, fine.

                        How many divisions does OWS have?

                        by Diebold Hacker on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 04:59:39 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Y'know, honestly, I respect that. (0+ / 0-)

                          I'm just not really comfortable with it as a strategy. That's a pretty big gamble to make, and I'm not convinced that we have the right to force Americans through this kind of hardship for political goals. Even if I do agree that the country would be better off, in the end, with the (current) GOP humbled. But I can certainly see the appeal.

      •  The Thugs want--and expect-- (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DeminNewJ, Timothy J, divineorder

        what they always want and expect: capitulation.

        The next time they compromise will be the first time.

        When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill...

        by PhilJD on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 09:37:07 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Boehner is in real trouble ... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      liberte, divineorder

      At this point Boehner doesn't care about the fiscal cliff, or even about Norquist's pledge; his only concern is to see if he can avoid getting deposed as Speaker in January and that doesn't look good. Cantor and others are ready to stab Boehner in the back; it would certainly be funny to see Boehner have the shortest Speakership in the last 50 years (even shorter than Jim Wright who had to resign in shame). Funniest even is that in this case it is Boehner's own Party that will depose him - usually it is the opposing Party. I love when horrible politicians go to war in order to prove that they are crazier than the other guys! Pass the popcorn!

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

      by DefendOurConstitution on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 09:25:06 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  This kabuki is all about (0+ / 0-)

      Saving Boner's job.  Unfortunately, some folks seem to be willing to sacrifice some of the most desperate seniors Heath and well being just so that boner can go back to his caucus and say "See!  I got Obama to kill seniors himself!  Now we get to slam him in our ads for it!"

  •  Three Days this week then that's it for the year (6+ / 0-)

    despite Cantor's ramblings

    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 Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 08:22:36 AM PST

  •  Here it comes. (27+ / 0-)

    Boehner might only get 95 percent of what he wants this time.

    Yeah, I'm jumping the gun.  Yeah, I show little faith in Obama the Negotiator.

    That's because Obama sees himself as a deal-maker, and his deals always suck.  

    The bipartisanship fetishists will love it.  

    Working people?  Us?  The ones who got him re-elected?


    •  Because Obama either: a) is okay with those (5+ / 0-)

      cuts (i.e. he believes they are necessary as well) or b) he doesn't care as much about their consequences as having a deal--any deal.

      I'm guessing it's actually the latter, because he doesn't strike me as having anything at all resembling the soulless evil the former requires, and republicans have in spades.

      In the end it makes little difference to those of us who will be adversely affected, though.

      •  Or maybe it's his way of putting the info out (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mr Robert

        so the rest of us can do the work shooting it down.

        At any rate, it's a sorry proposal and there are better ones for the Democrats to espouse that can be sold to the American people.

      •  Obama is in favor of those cuts (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JustinBinFL, fwdpost

        Read or listen to his speeches carefully.  In the campaign, he never really took those cuts off the table. Oh he had to give us the impression that Romney/Ryan would be very bad for SS, Medicare and Medicaid (and they would have been except for the fact, like Bush, they could never have gotten them passed), but he carefully avoided saying he would never cut SS or Medicare.  Notice how Geithner said this negotiation could be wrapped up in a week if the Rethugs gave in on top tax rates?  That was a signal that if you give us a fig leaf on this, we will cave on entitlements and we can all go home and drink Wall St.-supplied Champagne.  Obama's corporate lords and masters want the cuts so he will "reluctantly" have to "compromise."

        I'm truly sorry Man's dominion Has broken Nature's social union--Robert Burns

        by Eric Blair on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 11:12:03 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  And the media as well (0+ / 0-)

      It's strikes me as very odd given the GOP's attacks on Obama for his supposed $700 billion in cuts to medicare.  Now the GOP demands similar amounts of cuts to medicare, and the media doesn't report this with any context?  WTF?  

      "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

      by Subterranean on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 02:43:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Obama never forced the GOP... (0+ / 0-)

        to publicly list their demands – i.e. what specifically the GOP wants to cut, and in what amounts -- and sell their unpopular agenda to the public.

        That is the problem

        Instead, Obama decided to enter into one-on-one backroom negotiations with Boehner.

        Whatever cuts emerge will fly under the banner of bipartisanship... Until the next election cycle, when the GOP pins the blame on the Democrats.

  •  im not seeing it (18+ / 0-)

    Obama could go over the cliff, and get his desired tax rates.
    So why make all these concessions to the Republicans?

    Obama 2012...going to win it with our support!!!

    by mattinjersey on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 08:24:18 AM PST

    •  Because the cliff is excuse for Democrats do (18+ / 0-)

      what they want to do anyway. "They forced me to do this" wink wink nod nod

      •  If this is the case what does the Democratic Party (16+ / 0-)

        really stand for? And why do progressives support it? Did we not just win the last election? Here is my bottom line: Tax hikes on those making 250,000/year no cuts to Social Security or projected Social Security or Medicare or Medicaid. Period. That is as far as I am willing to go. That is not a starting point for negotiation. Anything less is a sellout. And it is a sellout by Democrats. "Going over the Cliff" happens on January 1st. And it can end by Jan 3rd. So who really cares if we go over "the cliff". The debt ceiling is unconstitutional and should be tested in court. But the only way you get to test it in court is to ignore it and let Congress sue the Executive. I have had enough "bipartisanship" with this crowd for a lifetime. Time to fight for working people and the poor. The rich can take care of themselves without our help.

        •  The Dems have ALWAYS stood for needless caving (7+ / 0-)

          fainting, and generally snatching defeat from the mouth of victory.

          Now it's going to look WORSE because Dems WON the election well - but now we have to STILL PRETEND the GOP are stronger than us????????

          The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

          by xxdr zombiexx on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 08:58:01 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  I guess the problem is that Medicare will run (0+ / 0-)

          out of money as currently implemented so something does have to be done with that at some point (whatever it is). That would be why Democrats like Obama are willing to talk about it.

            •  not according the report produced each (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              year by Medicare


              •  Reality check" (9+ / 0-)

                "A remarkably important and persuasive paper that calls into question the need for “reforming” Medicare has not gotten the attention it warrants. “An Examination of Health-Spending Growth In The United States: Past Trends And Future Prospects” (hat tip nathan) by Glenn Follette and Louise Sheiner looks at the model used by the Congressional Budgetary Office to estimate long term health care cost increases. Bear in mind that this model is THE driver of virtually all forecasts of future budget deficits.

                This paper, although written in typically anodyne economese, is devastating in the range and nature of its criticisms. And the reason this assessment should be taken seriously, independent of the importance of the issues it raises, is that the authors are uniquely qualified to make this critique. Follette is chief of the Fed’s fiscal analysis section. Sheiner, a fellow member of that group, has worked for both the Treasury and the Council of Economic Advisers previously. In other words, the sort of analysis they have made here is the core of what they do on a daily basis.

                The argument made by the opponents of the plans to cut Social Security and Medicare generally take this form: concerns about Social Security are greatly exaggerated. They are based on long-term forecasts, which are notoriously inaccurate in outlying years. The most commonly cited, by the Trustees of the Social Security system, projects the exahustion of the famous trust fund in 2033. As several analysts have observed, if Social Security really has a problem, we’ll know it in plenty of time; there’s no need to do anything immediately.

                By contrast, conventional wisdom is that Medicare does have a long term cost predicament, but the problem is not demographic, but that of the steep rise of health care costs in general.

                The fundamental beef of Follette and Sheiner with the CBO model is that it naively assumes past growth in health care spending as the basis for its long-term projections. The result is that it shows that trees will grow to the sky. One of the things anyone who has build forecasting models will tell you is you come up with assumptions that look reasonable and then sanity check the output (for instance, does your model say in year 10 that your revenues will be 3x what you can produce given your forecast level in plant and investment? If so, you need to make some revisions). The Fed economists point out numerous ways that the model output flies in the face of what amounts to common sense in the world of long term budget forecasting. From the opening of the paper (emphasis ours):"


                "Due to a sharp slowing in the rise of health care costs over the last four years, the assumption that exploding health care costs would lead to unfathomable deficits may no longer be plausible even to people in high level policy positions.

                As we all know, the large budget deficits of the last four years are entirely due to the economic downturn caused by the collapse of the housing bubble. The budget deficit was slightly over 1.0 percent of GDP in 2007 and the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projections showed it remaining low for the near-term future. The origin of the large deficits of the last few years is not a debatable point among serious people, even though talk of “trillion dollar deficits, with a ‘t’” is very good for scaring the children.

                However, the big stick for the deficit hawks was their story of huge deficits in the longer term. They attributed these to the rising cost of “entitlements,” which are known to the rest of us as Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid."


                Unlike this site, there are others who are looking into the details rather than just the latest political sound bite.

          •  Medicare can be handled later, separately, and (10+ / 0-)

            with a different Congressional membership that the current pack of rats.

            There is zero reason for medicare and social security to be involved in this particular show.

            "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

            by YucatanMan on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 09:05:50 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  That is a Lie. This has been covered over and (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            divineorder, fwdpost

            over again during the election and Obama said it is fine and we do not have to cut, nor would he cut, anything in Medicare that would effect the beneficiates.

            This was a promise.

          •  Even if that were true, there are a thousand (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            divineorder, Mr Robert, Timothy J

            more progressive ways to approach the issue than to raise the eligibility age.

        •  You were voting between a Conservative party (7+ / 0-)

          and a Reactionary party.

          "Progressives" support it because most of them are either chicken shit, not really progressive (just conservatives who see conservative  in the US defined by reactionary right of the GOP), or any number of other reasons that really doesn't help any of us.

          You are preaching to the choir, and, in fact, I would go further:

          The above mostly misses the point that the Democratic Party has mostly been a right wing party.

          The entire point of this to be perfectly clear is to underscore that no one should be under any delusion that the Democrats are a right wing party.

          Its one of the reason that I do not believe they will be able to capitalize on the demographic shifts. The newer demographics are a shift to the left (or an ideological shift); not just a partisan shift. THat's why you got people like Rahm Emmanuel and Cuomo acting as they are acting. They know the hand writing on the wall is against them demographically so they want to rig the situation to maintain the status quo that allows them to cut entitlements etc.

          The battle over the next few decades will be in both partys. Not just the GOP if there is going to even be a battle. Which I am not so certain there will be.

          •  Particularly because the demographics who (5+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            bruh1, Bailey2001, akmk, divineorder, Mr Robert

            elected Obama are from constituencies which have not yet accumulated wealth.  They don't have the surplus to cover extra years without Medicare or Social Security and still fund their retirement years.

            We hold the $500K crowd harmless and raise the Medicare eligibility age?  

            How many of those folks waiting in the long lines make $500K?  How many can afford health insurance at 65?  

        •  Or what? You won't vote for them last month? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Period. That is as far as I am willing to go.

          How many divisions does OWS have?

          by Diebold Hacker on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 10:24:45 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I did vote for them last month. (0+ / 0-)

            But that does not mean they can count on my loyality in 14. And if they fuck it up again I will not accept blame from you or anyone else. No more free rides. Democrats need to earn my vote from now on. And if Democrats lose in 14 it will because they failed to deliver. Not because I complained.

            PS your signature line is originally from Stalin. When asked about the power of the Roman Catholic Church he famously replied "How many divisions does the Pope have?". Notice that Catholicism is still here and communism is not. So much for needing divisions.

            •  Of course. (0+ / 0-)
              I did vote for them last month.
              Me too.
              But that does not mean they can count on my loyality in 14.
              Me either.
              And if Democrats lose in 14 it will because they failed to deliver.
              They will likely fail, and they will likely lose seats in the off election.
              PS your signature line is originally from Stalin.
              That's the joke.

              How many divisions does OWS have?

              by Diebold Hacker on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 12:16:39 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Good joke. (0+ / 0-)

                But what do we as progressives do if we get sold down the river? We are the only ones looking out for the poor and the working class and the powerless. If Democrats turn their backs on those folks they turn their backs on us. For me politics is a way to policy, not the other way around.

      •  Now we're getting to the issue! (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        divineorder, Mr Robert, Timothy J

        Yes, the D party has shown again and again that they would prefer to be "forced" to make the hard decisions that the progressive wing of their party hate.

        Oopsie! We passed R-lite legislation. Again. Isn't that adorable?

        How many divisions does OWS have?

        by Diebold Hacker on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 10:22:15 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Because there are other parts to this (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      skyounkin, divineorder

      Such as rise in the payroll tax, rise in middle-class taxes that are recession-inducing and should be avoided.  Also, I'm not sure that the tax increases alone are enough to avoid the sequester.

      That said, the GOP lost the election and don't deserve a victory here.  Only the most minimal concessions possible to get the 30 or so GOPsters needed.  They have already banked the Obamacare Medicare savings in the new Ryan budget.  Don't they count as the needed Medicare savings?  After all, the B-S Commission recommended seeing how the Obamacare reforms did in saving money and then doing more down the road if necessary.

      The scientific uncertainty doesn't mean that climate change isn't actually happening.

      by Mimikatz on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 08:55:41 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Their description of (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    J M F

    a deal basically tells us nothing besides reiterating the positions of Obama and Boehner. For example, for healthcare all they say is Obama is asking for X and Boehner is asking for Y. OK..thanks.

  •  an historic victory over the "forces of evil" is (11+ / 0-)

    within the democrats' in to these republican thugs when no such thing is necessary would be the last straw for a lot of people who believe that we need to reject the "trickle down/austerity" sandwich we've had rammed down our throats for years now

    Coming Attraction: "Tea Party II - now with more stupid!"

    by memofromturner on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 08:25:05 AM PST

  •  And the inevitable process in which the Dems (14+ / 0-)

    cave into the Republicans has begun.

  •  The media have a tendency (13+ / 0-)

    to push GOP positions disguise as trial balloons. WaPo's Lori Montgomery is the go-to person for anti-safety net spin. Here's a Media Matters report from 2011.

    Progressive Leaders Respond To Misleading Wash. Post Report On Social Security

    Of course, anonymous "senior aides" make the current article the official version, right?

    Dean Baker on the current WaPo article:

    Can Anyone Tame the Washington Post's Deficit Hysteria?

    That seems unlikely as it ran another shrill front page piece warning about the need to "tame" the national debt. Newspapers would ordinarily use a a word like "reduce" in their news session, saving phrases like "tame the national debt" for the opinion pages.

    The piece is also highly misleading by insisting there is an urgency to arriving at a deal before the end of the year. There is no obvious reason that it is important to have a deal by December 31 rather than the first or second week in January. While the Post includes the comments from politicians who say a deal is "vital" and even asserts this as a fact in the headline to the jump page, it excludes the views of members of Congress who think it would be perfectly reasonable to allow the deadline to pass and put together a deal with the new Congress.

    It is worth noting in this context that President Obama's bargaining position would be substantially improved after January 1. For this reason it is understandable that Republicans and people who want to see large cuts to Social Security and Medicare would want to force a deal before the end of the year.

  •  And cue in 3...2...1...SELL OUT!!! LOL... (5+ / 0-)

    I am surprised at how often this site resembles RedState.

    They complain about the exact same things only from the other side of the coin.  There Boehner is the sellout, who sucks at negotiating and ignores his "base" that "got him elected".

    It is to laugh.

    Well Abraham Lincoln said it best; when you are reviled equally by both sides, you know you must be doing it right.

    Tax and Spend I can understand. I can even understand Borrow and Spend. But Borrow and give Billionaires tax cuts? That I have a problem with.

    by LiberalCanuck on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 08:28:55 AM PST

    •  So, if the two choices are (5+ / 0-)

      Rob and stab but leave in coma with a chance of waking up versus Rob and stab but certain death, we should count the former as a win  because both approaches are equally considered not considered good choices?

    •  They've learned something you haven't (8+ / 0-)

      Shoot down a trial balloon fast and hard before you get stuck with it.

    •  But a sellout is a sellout. And Redstate is right (9+ / 0-)

      to call out Boehner when he deviates from his party line. But there is a big difference. You make a false equivalency. You seem to imply that both sides (left and right) are equally unreasonable. But we on the left has policy on our side. Our policies are pro-worker pro-poor pro-environment pro-equality pro-progress. And the right opposes all efforts at progress except to make the rich richer.

      We get to complain because we are on the right side of policy. Unless of course you do not believe policy matters. That this is just a big game that has no impact on people's lives. We are talking about taking money away from the less fortunate and giving it to the wealthy. Are you OK with that? Are you OK with raising the Medicare eligibility requirement so that a 66 year old might go without health c are insurance?

      Lincoln was fighting a civil war and trying to keep the country together. We do not face that situation. And if we did a large number of us would be happy to see the malcontents go.

      I am a Social Security reciepant who eats meet less than once a week. i survive on peanut butter and oatmeal. It is not to laugh

      •  Eating and SS (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cstark, Mr Robert, Timothy J

        Have you tried to get food stamps? Or go to a food pantry? Hope you eat a couple bananas and apples too. It's important to get some produce in your diet. I volunteer at a food co-op, and drive their leftover perishables to a food pantry once a week. The produce is still good at that point. I'm on SS too. I do have some freelance writing jobs that bring in extra money, but it's a tight budget.

        •  100% of my Soc Sec goes to food and a small amount (3+ / 0-)

          of fuel for my vehicle.

          The rest comes out of meager savings.  COLA should be increased, not reduced, for those at the lowest end of the scale, that is anyone receiving less than $1000/mo.

        •  I do not qualify for food stamps. My wife's (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          company offers fresh produce at the store for employees. I do get fresh veg and fruit. I used to volunteer in Illinois at a social service agency that had a food pantry. I taught computer classes for families that we gave free computers to. My wife is working a 70 hour work week and we have a kid in college. Thank goodness she got academic scholarships along with financial aid. We consider ourselves lucky compared to many here in Florida. We have a small but nice place to live, a reliable car and job security. My kid did not have to go over her head in debt for college. We have good health care that is employer provided at a union company.

          What bothers me is the lack of concern for people who really are struggling. I do not need much. I am in my mid 50s and am completely disabled. If I had to depend on the government more I would be really screwed. I go without but there are people who are really hurting. We donate to charity, food banks, toys for tots, Goodwill, habitat for humanity and we are happy to do so. We feel like we get back more than we give. But it is not enough. We need policies that help people and restore dignity. Long term unemployment and filing for benefits and charity strips away dignity from individuals. This is so wrong and so immoral. When I taught computer classes, sometimes with the help of an intrepter because I do not speak Spanish I would always tell my students and the kids they b rough along how happy I was to see them. And to thank them for coming.

          My kid who speaks Spanish worked as a teen attorney for a year. She represented kids who got into trouble for minor crimes like shop lifting. And she would meet with the kid and the kids parents. And the kids parents would be so ashamed of the situation they were in. So my kid would tell them everything was going to OK that this was a learning opportunity for the kid. But a large number of her fellow teen attorneys looked down their noses at the kids in trouble and had a superior attitude to the kids they were supposed to be helping. Needless to say my kid lasted only a year and swore off the idea of going to law school.

          Thank you for your concern and sage advice. I appreciate knowing that others care. But I am OK and fighting for those who are not OK.

    •  If Lincoln really said that, it wasn't his finest (4+ / 0-)


      It's an asinine world view.

      Sometimes, one side is right and one side is wrong.

      All the Villager worship of the ever-rightward-creeping "center" won't change that.

      When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill...

      by PhilJD on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 09:56:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  John Bohner: Throw him out of the bar (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    karmsy, DefendOurConstitution, akmk

    He just reminds me of driving home with a drunk
    at the wheel. We could go over the fiscal curb thru his sheer bad judgement. Just when things are starting to  look up economically.
    Worst. Speaker. Ever.

  •  Boehner's thought bubble: (7+ / 0-)

    "I think I should stop using the 5-wood on the 12th at Stag Lake. Seems like I never get good placement on the edge of the fairway. Maybe if I got one of those nice 3-irons from the commercial, I'll get a better angle on the chip shot."

    In that picture, he looks like his mind is anywhere but in that meeting room.

  •  Obama is being the Nice Guy (TM) (5+ / 0-)

    President, and trying to butter up enemies, who can't be buttered-up, by coming to the table with them in 2012 over tax hikes that would occur in any case.

    When debt-ceiling negotiations roll around in 2013, it'll be just as if he'd let them go over the cliff like Humty-Dumty, losing any semblance of face.

    You'll see.

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

    by karmsy on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 08:37:13 AM PST

  •  Hope Not Real (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xxdr zombiexx, Timothy J

    If this is real, Obama is a horrible negotiator. I'd say, go over the Cliff and veto all Republican nonsense.

    P.S. Somebody please remind Obama, he can't run for reelection and he doesn't have to make Republicans like him.

    PBO is doing a competent job, but he needs to be more liberal.

    by jimgilliamv2 on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 08:40:01 AM PST

  •  Why does John Boehner ... (4+ / 0-)

    ALWAYS look like he's passing a kidney stone?

    I truly believe there is something seriously wrong with that man.

  •  Love the photo. (5+ / 0-)

    Shows the extensive notes that the President needed to bring to the meeting.   I zoomed in and it says

    John, just put the Senate bill up for a vote and move on.

    Mitt Romney rides off into the sunset in his Audi.

    by captainlaser on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 08:42:46 AM PST

  •  America's Capitalist values (11+ / 0-)

    the Rich MUST be coddled, the POOR MUST pay for everything and take it up the ass in order to do so.

    Nothing else is possible.


    Tax the rich, leave the poor alone. The rich have ALL the godammned fucking money.

    I swear this is the stupidest of all artificial crises.

    And I am pissed that Obama uses the 'cliff' frame when we KNOW this is simpleminded bullshit.

    Can't we crush the repubs??? Can't we negate their framing? Can't we stop them at what they are good at? Do we have to go through this fucking kabuki posturing and unmitigated false bullshit to get shit done? Really?


    The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

    by xxdr zombiexx on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 08:44:13 AM PST

  •  Wait, (15+ / 0-)

    Looks to me as if "Savings from health and retirement programs ..." means social security and medicare cuts.


    And are we now engaging in newspeak here?

  •  If the deficit really mattered (16+ / 0-)

    they wouldn't be asking only the most token tax increase on the very wealthy.  If the deficit really mattered, they'd at least increase taxes on the top 10% or top 20% or top 30% of incomes or heck if this was truly a crisis everyone could be asked to kick in another 1% in taxes.  If the deficit really mattered.

    Instead, this is all a big scam to DEFAULT on Social Security and Medicare.

    •  top 10 % is ~ 150,000 / YR (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      80 % of Success is Just Showing Up !

      by Churchill on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 08:50:23 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  it's a plan to screw us out of SS and Medicare (7+ / 0-)

      and make us pay for Bush's wars.

      We're supposed to get screwed. It's just how its supposed to be.

      We're supposed to take it with a smile. Don't get angry. Don't think of revenge. Make notes, vote in 2014 and 2016, tolerating the suckitude the entire time.

      Remember, being a victim is a good thing, complaining about it or thinking of revenge is bad.

      Let's just give away all our money and dress in rags because this is what the powerful want for us and we'd be bad people if we showed disdain.

      [/bitter sarcasm]

      The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

      by xxdr zombiexx on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 08:55:08 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I would agree we should be raising taxes (0+ / 0-)

      across the board (or at least except for the poor and perhaps pushed out a couple years for the middle class).
      But the Democrats have embraced lower taxes as a theme - the President ran on this in '08.

      •  Well that makes the Democratic Party redundant (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Bailey2001, PhilJD, Mr Robert

        Republicans do fine at the lower taxes thing.  Heck, Bush didn't even cut Medicare.  Why do we need a Democratic Party? So I can have Hillary the Iraq Hawk in 2016?  Republicans can do the hawk thing without us too.  

        I mean the very last possible thing I would do intentionally is walk into the polls and vote to cut Medicare.  I put up with the abuses of civil liberties, the continuation of the pointless wars, the general incompetence that seems to pervade government at the federal level these days (I don't blame the workers, heck the DEMOCRATS got rid of their COLAs), but they still have computers that can process Social Security and Medicare and for that they have been of some use.  Without that?  Why bother!

  •  Time will tell. No doubt various (6+ / 0-)

    people will get enraged over this, and the next rumor, and then the next, but I have no idea if this rimour will happen.  If there is a deal, by definition there will be things we do not like in it.  And I have no doubt that any deal wil be condemned as a sell out by some.  But the content of the deal matters.  

    I prefer to put an end to debt ceiling hostage taking once and for all.  If we let it become normalized, it will undermine our system of government.  Rs half one half of the legislative branch, yet use hostages to dominate outcomes.    

    I think we need the Rs to default Ameirca to end this once and for all, just as Clinton did with the government closing.  But there will be a big economic cost to that.

    Ending R control of the House is the most important thing we can do for 2014.

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

    by TomP on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 08:49:16 AM PST

    •  We won't like it because it will (6+ / 0-)

      SUCK FOR US.

      We're the one's getting sold out, here. Not Obama. He'll be just fine. We, the little, mooching 99%ers will get the big appendage up the out chute.

      The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

      by xxdr zombiexx on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 08:51:43 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  What a great crystal ball you have. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pamelabrown, ratcityreprobate, lcj98

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

        by TomP on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 08:54:53 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'll overlook your sarcasm (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          slinkerwink, PhilJD, Mr Robert

          I suppose you see this going well, the prez not caving and the repubs allowed to simply go over the non-cliff?

          I'd love that but there is a little matter of Democrat behavior: which is endless compromisies and neeless caving.

          Sure we won the election - shows dems CAN win, but now we're back to actually having to consider caving over a NON-ISSUE?

          pardon my negativity about the dem batting average.

          These motherfuckers are playing games with people's lives.

          The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

          by xxdr zombiexx on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 09:00:50 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  He can't see your words through the rose (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            xxdr zombiexx


          •  I don't know how it will go. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Jerry056, CrissieP

            I do know this is the Democratic Party, and not the Democratic Socialist Party.  In my view, seeing the Democratic Party for what it is shows a batting aveerage that is about what I would expect.  

            You assume "caving" as if this were the Democratic Socialist Party.  I assume Democrats will be Democrats, which means some support for a welfare state in a capitaistic framework.  If the working class in America has more class consciousness, the center-left party might be more left and there might not be a reactionairy House of Representatives.

            The taxes can go up and sequester happen.  Rs likely will vote for a middle class tax cut, or we might face another recession.  The real issue is the debt ceiling, in my view.  

            I disagree with the assumption that left Democrats control both houses of the legislature and they always "cave."

            Obama is far better than Romney (thank God he won), but we still have the R House.  

            I have been very happy with Obama and the Dems negotiating posture so far.  But I also know there is not complete power on all issues for Dems.

            What if there is a UE extension?  Is that worth giving up something for?   To me it depends on what the something is, I guess.

            From January 1, 2009, through November 2010, there was no "caving" on deficit reduction.  We had a 800B stimulus.  

            In November 2010, the people elcted a R House, kicking out 70 Dem reps.  Obama negotiated in the lame duck session (while he still had Dem house and senate) to get a second stimulus, a stimulus that may wll have re-elected him.  I did not like it all at the time, but maybe it was right.  

            Then in 2011, the Rs put a gun to the nation's head with the debt ceiling and they will do it over and over.   I think that needs to end.

            So far I am okay with the negotiations and I just will not jump to conclusions based on this rumor.  Politico said no progress, so there even are conflicting rumors.

            I think it is complicated and I think Obama generally has working people's interests at heart.  Obama is about as far left as the American people have chosen to be.

            In the end, the people re-elected a Republican House.   People will pay for that decision, unfortunately.  

            The question tome is how much we can achieve in spite of that.


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

            by TomP on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 09:20:56 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Obama can now afford to be LESS of a priss (4+ / 0-)

              and he can lean on the repubs. He's got a mandate. He's got public polling behind him.

              I am disgusted by the political gameplaying when I am scrambling to find a second job amd Obama wants to play chicken with the future rather than being the bully he can be right now.

              I find it needless and harrowing so yeah, I assume it will go for the worse so I am less sickened by it when it happens. If it doesn't happen, I'm ok anyway.

              But the batting average and historical conduct makes me really nervous.

              The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

              by xxdr zombiexx on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 09:33:32 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  Looking back 4 years, and using that as a (0+ / 0-)

          predictive model, which is more likely to happen?

          Obama strongly championing the middle class and the poor, or caving in to corporate interests?

          NOW SHOWING
          Progressive Candidate Obama (now - Nov 6, 2012)
          Bipartisan Obama returns (Nov 7, 2012)

          by The Dead Man on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 09:56:48 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  There is no reason for a deal....none! We have (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PhilJD, PorridgeGun, bdop4, Mr Robert

      all the aces, kings and queens.  No reason for a explanation will change that fact!

    •  Why do we need MORE Democrats to sell us out? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      coffejoe, Mr Robert

      They seem to be able to sell us out quite well as it is.  If I thought that they gave a tinker's dam I might agree with you but how much push back are we hearing from any of them?  Are they howling?  Nope, most are either invisible or issuing careful centrist bafflegab weasel spin.  

      Last time I saw a Senator of mine she was worrying about hockey.  

      •  Yes, no doubt in 2014 (0+ / 0-)

        Americans will vote into power the Socialist Party.  

        I'm fine if you want to build the Green party or another option, but for now, electing Dems does matter.  In people's actual lives.

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

        by TomP on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 09:23:02 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I am not asking for more social programs (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Mr Robert

          or increases in benefits.  

          All I have advocated for is the continued full support of the signature Democratic programs Social Security and Medicare.

          Polls show up to 70% of Americans agree with me.  

          If you are representative of today's Democratic Party and you consider Social Security and Medicare insupportable socialist programs then you are correct.  I am indeed in the wrong party.  But I did not leave the party.  The party left me.

    •  The very best "deal" out there (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TJ, ferg, Willa Rogers, Mr Robert

      is to go over the fucking "cliff."

      That's a "bitter pill" progressives can embrace. Yes, sequestration requires some painful cuts to social programs, but in return we get a roll-back of the Obama-Bush tax cuts and defense cuts that will otherwise be impossible to achieve.

      That's what real compromise looks like.

      When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill...

      by PhilJD on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 10:09:21 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  was DoD cuts (9.5% for 2013) mentioned? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    80 % of Success is Just Showing Up !

    by Churchill on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 08:49:41 AM PST

  •  anything less than the Clinton rate... (8+ / 0-)

    for over $250K is totally unsatisfactory...

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

    by JackND on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 08:50:00 AM PST

  •  Why is there no talk of Defense cuts? (9+ / 0-)

    Talk about a bloated department. Big, expensive weapons systems that the military will never use. An overabundance of generals, and a too-big Defense Dept. overall.

    If seniors have to pay more in premiums, then so should military families. They pay next to nothing in TRICARE premiums.

    Yes, the tax system needs some overhauling, but that won't be done under the gun.

    •  Not to mention the housing allowances, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      coffejoe, Mr Robert

      commissary benefits and, in states like Florida, generous property tax breaks.

      Our (active) military (even the enlisteds, with relatively scant benefits in comparison to officers) are riding high in terms of the benefits they receive. Veterans get the shaft, unfortunately (although not as badly as some might have us believe).

    •  Alien invasion on 12.12.12 (0+ / 0-)

      You'll be glad the Army has all those toys!  The predictions can't be wrong.

      Progressive Candidate Obama (now - Nov 6, 2012)
      Bipartisan Obama returns (Nov 7, 2012)

      by The Dead Man on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 09:52:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  looks like boehner (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    is about to cry in the picture, the orange man sulks again.

  •  The only thing that should have been said at (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    YucatanMan, PorridgeGun, Mr Robert

    these "private meetings" is:

    "NO DEAL....unless you agree with what I have proposed.  It is what the people want, I won, your side lost, we will get what we want anyway if you choose to not listen.....Deal or No decision!"

    There is absolutely no reason at all, to be negotiating anything.  No reason at all!  

    It is not needed economically, politically and the people have said NO.

    It this happens I will be sooooo mad, and soooo disappointed and sooooo unforgiving.

  •  Only offer should be to soften sequester cuts (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    YucatanMan, kbroers, Mr Robert

    No entitlement cuts, no compromise on taxes.

    (-2.38, -3.28) Independent thinker

    by TrueBlueDem on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 08:55:15 AM PST

  •  Why to I have such little faith? (6+ / 0-)

    I think we get sold out.  Simple.

  •  "Sell tax hikes to GOP lawmakers?" WTH? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    YucatanMan, slinkerwink, Mr Robert

    Why is this necessary again?  Good God.

    To believe that markets determine value is to believe that milk comes from plastic bottles. Bromley (1985)

    by sneakers563 on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 08:56:19 AM PST

    •  Right. "Sell" the republicans Nothing. Then (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TJ, ferg, sneakers563

      when the deadline arrives, taxes go up.  Problem solved.  If they want to be "sold" something, then they could be sold on lowering taxes for the lower income levels.

      The GOP lost the election.  If Obama hands them a win, he's a fool. (or a corporate / wall street shill)

      "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

      by YucatanMan on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 09:13:05 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Because Republicans control the House (0+ / 0-)

      Any spending/tax bill will start there.

      •  If the GOP House leadership refuse (0+ / 0-)

        to bring a stand-alone bill cutting middle-class taxes to a vote early in 2013, the Dems can use that as a political WMD for the next decade. If professional politicians can't effectively use a devastating weapon like that would be, they're in the wrong line of work.

        When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill...

        by PhilJD on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 10:59:41 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Actually, I'd be surprised (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chrississippi, Mr Robert

    if there WAS a deal due to the fact that Boehner's  re election for speaker will kick off in the new congress.  National Review already saying Tim Price, conservative from GA, is making noices about challenging the boner.

    •  Exactly. The Orange One has next to no sway (0+ / 0-)

      over the parade of GOPer freaks in the House. There's no chance in hell that Boehner makes a deal with Obama that he can sell to his teabagger caucus.

      There's little reason to trust the Administration on these negotiations, but I do begin to sense that they know we're going over the curb no matter what happens, so they're cooling their jets until the faux crisis forces GOPers to figure it out.

      Obama met with Boehner because that's the visual the Administration wants. But I'm pretty sure they realize that not doing anything right now puts themselves and the country in a better bargaining position.

      •  I fear Boehner is smarter than that (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I would bet the plan is to get any deal passed in the House with all of the Democrats and minimal Republicans voting for it.  Then the Democrats own it.

        •  So Democrats would own "saving the country"? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          I mean, "saving the country" is how the media is portraying the problem ... The last thing the GOP mandarins wants is for Democrats to own that.

          However, the teabaggers in the House don't give a shit, so they'll kill any plan just to watch it die. I don't know how Boehner makes lemonade from that ...


          •  The Village will see "saving the country" (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            JackND, PorridgeGun

            Everybody else will see SS and Medicare cuts.  Voted for by the Dems.

            •  What Democrats do... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Mr Robert

              in this battle and the debt ceiling that follows will determine if I open my checkbook in 2014 or not.

              I voted for Obama in 2012 but didn't donate a cent to him because he extended the Bush tax cuts...if they screw up  here they'll have my vote in 2014 but nothing more.

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

              by JackND on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 10:32:42 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  errr...that would be Tom Price (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pamelabrown, Mr Robert

      my teabagger rep. I do agree that the GOP crazy caucus will probably save us from a bad deal. At this point, going over the cliff is the best outcome. They are salivating for another debt celing fight---the cliff/curb will neuter this plan of attack.

      After Jan 1, the prez can simply demand that there is no deal unless the debt ceiling is raised and a CR is passed through end of 2013. Direct the senate to pass a debt ceiling bill, >{{provided we've fix the fillibuster}}}, then sit back and let boner deal with his crazy caucus. taxes going up on everyone will buy us a few mos until we get a deal.

  •  Let's just fall off the curb (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kbroers, JackND, Mr Robert

    and see if anyone will give us another pint.  

    For God's sake, what is this impetus Democrats have to grab defeat from the jaws of victory?

  •  Is there ever a GOOD picture of Boehner?! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Corporations are driven by the bottom line, not by concerns for health, safety or the environment. This is why we need government regulations.

    by the dogs sockpuppet on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 09:04:52 AM PST

  •  How about no touching Soc. Sec. and Medicare (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mr Robert

    until all the money that's owed SS is paid back in full, and all the Medicare fraud is uncovered and removed?

  •  I doubt Boehner can sell this to his caucus (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jerry056, Mr Robert

    There's a huge obstacle to this whole idea of raising rates to 37%: in order to do that before the rates go up will require Republicans to explicitly vote for a tax increase; the other two options (going off the curb or voting to just extend middle class rates) do not require a vote specifically to raise tax rates. Since I don't think Boehner will accept a deal that a majority of his caucus won't support, I can't see this compromise on rates actually going anywhere. If he is willing to pass a bill with mostly Democratic votes, than it may happen but that would be considered treason by the Tea Party. I still put my money on no deal before next month.

    Let's not let 2014 be anything like 2010. Republicans only win when we stay home!

    by Tim D M on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 09:20:38 AM PST

  •  I just called my re, Jackie Speier (0+ / 0-)

    And Nancy Pelosi and suggested that it would be preferable to fall off the curb than to kill some old people, poor people and disabled people to satisfy the Rethuglican's amour propre.

    48forEastAfrica - Donate to Oxfam> "It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness." Edna St.V. Millay

    by slouching on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 09:27:02 AM PST

  •  ... (0+ / 0-)

    I just love all of the "pres is incompetent" talk...  

    The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing online commenters that they have anything to say.-- B.F.

    by lcj98 on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 09:28:57 AM PST

  •  On a completely superficial note... (0+ / 0-)

    Doesn't Boehner look like he is trying very hard to be a big boy and not cry?  The picture says so much.

    "Since when did obeying corporate power become patriotic." Going the Distance

    by Going the Distance on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 09:30:36 AM PST

  •  Kill the sick and the old. Great bipartisanship! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kbroers, Mr Robert

    Progressive Candidate Obama (now - Nov 6, 2012)
    Bipartisan Obama returns (Nov 7, 2012)

    by The Dead Man on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 09:51:40 AM PST

  •  Sigh. (0+ / 0-)

    Comments are depressing and tedious on this diary - except for those which advocate action. Is there a specific person/email/phone to which we can express our opposition to any sort of slicing of the social safety net in this fiscal cliffhanger of a negotiation? (rather than our own reps, I mean)

    Please stop telling me Obama has learned nothing or really is just an idiot so psychologically crippled that he'll piss away SS and Medicare benefits just to get an insane party on board. I cannot bear to believe this is true.

  •  Liked it better when Obama met with people (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PorridgeGun, Willa Rogers, Mr Robert

    other than Boehner.

    Hurting the most vulnerable is no compromise.

    Sen. Begich proposal to raise the SS payroll tax cap while changing the formula for COLA to actually keep up with inflation while also examining changes to increase the formula for the lowest end recipients makes much more sense.

    As for Medicare, the only thing the Democrats should support is lowering the age eligibility requirement because there are lots of folks out there under 65 that are hoping they can hang on until age 65 and that is a risky gamble.

    Incrementally lowering Medicare age eligibility by say five years every year is a sound path to universal, single-payer.  Anything in the opposite direction should be absolutely avoided.

  •  Boehner is sending a signal in the photo! (0+ / 0-)

    he's wearing (gasp)

    a DailyKOS necktie!

    can it be?!?!?!?!?

    "I want us to live up to her expectations. I want our democracy to be as good as she (Christina Taylor-Greene) imagined it." President Obama

    by guavaboy on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 10:27:10 AM PST

  •  Doyle McManus just said on the radio (0+ / 0-)

    that Social security is not likely to be touched.

  •  To quote: Savings from health and retirement ... (0+ / 0-)

    Now this statment may indicate one of two things.  The Post is using feel good euphemisms for "cut", "slash".  I hope so.  The Post seems to have a neo-con world view on many areas.

    Otherwise, this is the language that the adminstration is feeding the Post, and that is not good at all.   The press will repeat and minic much of the phraseology what authority tells it.   Obama will transform cuts to savings for the masses.

  •  I just hope that the Republicans save (0+ / 0-)

    us from whatever "grand bargain" Obama and Boehner might be cooking up for us because I'm convinced that going over the cliff is the best deal we're going to get.

    The only trouble with retirement is...I never get a day off!

    by Mr Robert on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 11:35:49 AM PST

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