Skip to main content

President Barack Obama meets with bipartisan House and Senate Leadership in the Cabinet Room of the White House to discuss his upcoming fiscal policy speech, April 13, 2011. Seated with the President from left are: Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill.; Sen. Mitch McC
The Senate fiscal cliff curb deal is done, passed in the wee hours of New Year's Day, 89 to 8. Democrats Thomas R. Carper (DE), Michael Bennet (CO), and Tom Harkin (IA), who said the "White House had given away too much in the compromise," voted no. The deal does give away the leverage President Obama had on tax cuts, doesn't resolve the looming debt ceiling fight, and makes the Bush tax cuts permanent on incomes up to $400,000 for individuals, $450,000 for couples. In return, Obama got an extension of unemployment benefits and five-year extensions of the Earned Income Tax Credit, the Child Tax Credit, and the American Opportunity Tax Credit.

Here's a run-down of what else is there:

  • The tax on capital gains and dividends will be permanently set at 20 percent for those with income above the $450,000/$400,000 threshold. It will remain at 15 percent for everyone else. (Clinton-era rates were 20 percent for capital gains and taxed dividends as ordinary income, with a top rate of 39.6 percent.)
  • The estate tax will be set at 40 percent for those at the $450,000/$400,000 threshold, with a $5 million exemption. That threshold will be indexed to inflation, as a concession to Republicans and some Democrats in rural areas like Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mt.).
  • The sequester will be delayed for two months. Half of the delay will be offset by discretionary cuts, split between defense and non-defense. The other half will be offset by revenue raised by the voluntary transfer of traditional IRAs to Roth IRAs, which would tax retirement savings when they’re moved over. [...]
  • The Alternative Minimum Tax will be permanently patched to avoid raising taxes on the middle-class. [...]
  • Two limits on tax exemptions and deductions for higher-income Americans will be reimposed: Personal Exemption Phaseout (PEP) will be set at $250,000 and the itemized deduction limitation (Pease) kicks in at $300,000.
  • The full package of temporary business tax breaks—benefiting everything from R&D and wind energy to race-car track owners—will be extended for another year.
  • Scheduled cuts to doctors under Medicare would be avoided for a year through spending cuts that haven’t been specified.
The bill also includes a nine-month farm bill extension, cleaning up after another House Republican fiasco resulting from its failure to pass a farm bill. This extension would avert what's been dubbed the "milk cliff," a reversion in price supports for dairy farmers to a 1948 law that could have resulted in milk prices to consumers more than doubling.

What it doesn't do, and what will immediately hit millions of wage earners, is extend or replace the payroll tax cut with an equivalent tax break. That means that all wage earners will see an immediate hit in their paychecks, with a two percent payroll tax increase. That's a two percent tax hike on 98 percent of the nation, a larger increase by percentage of income than many in the top two percent will hit. A reinstatement of the Making Work Pay tax cut that was enacted for a year under the stimulus bill should have been included as a replacement for the payroll tax cut to avoid this hit on the middle class. It wasn't.

That, the fact that the Democrats had to swallow just a two-month delay in the spending cuts mandated by the Budget Control Act—they wanted a delay of a year—and the fact that renegotiating the sequester will coincide with renegotiating the debt ceiling sets up another massive fight. That massive fight will undoubtedly once again threaten Social Security and Medicare benefits because every debt and deficit fight now has to threaten them. For all these reasons, it's a pretty crappy deal for progressives.

The House Republican conference will meet at 1:00 pm ET, and a vote today is possible according the House staff. Having learned his lesson through his "Plan B" debacle, in which he completely failed to lead his caucus, House Speaker John Boehner is making no promises, with leadership saying it would "honor its commitment to consider the Senate agreement," but that "decisions about whether the House will seek to accept or promptly amend the measure will not be made until House members—and the American people—have been able to review the legislation."

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 07:23 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

    •  OMG! A Plutocracy/Dynasty Preservation Bill. (45+ / 0-)

      Obama traded an eternity of tax breaks for the rich for a year of unemployment benefits.  This is a status quo bill.  Preserves income inequality through the disgusting, absolutely disgusting breaks on cap gains and dividends and estate taxes.  THere is nothing here.  My God, I wporked for this, voted for this.  Obama could have simply gone over the cliff and negotiated the defense cuts in trade for unemployment benefits..  Unfucking believeable.

      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 Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 08:05:10 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Unfortunately, I have to agree. (18+ / 0-)

        The Bush Tax cuts were bad for the US.  They gave rise to nearly half of our accrued deficits.   And now they are law FOREVER.  Someone will have to convince me that the restoration of rates to people over $450k a year will significantly change the trajectory of the deficit each year and debt.

        This changes the ability of government to do anything new without having to invoke individual exemptions which we will continue to fight over every 90 days.  They moved the cliff down the road for one year for most of the exemptions put in place during the recession.  They moved sequestration down the road for 90 days.  

        Now what does Obama have to negotiate against the sequestration?  Nothing.  The Republicans will try to remove all cuts to the military and replace them with cuts to social programs.  The only advantage he has is Democratic obstructionism of any changes to sequestration in the Senate.  So we get the sequester 90 days later.  Big f**king deal.   We will be doing this nonsense forever.

        Mitt Romney rides off into the sunset in his Audi.

        by captainlaser on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 08:14:42 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not yet they're not (7+ / 0-)

          I'm still hoping for a meltdown and failure in the house, then we start over with a new congress in a few days.

          If it passes,

          The good (imo):

          -Taxes return to Clinton levels for $400/$450k, higher than I wanted, but I can live with it.  

          -PEP & Pease

          -Permanent AMT patch

          -Doc fix

          -Extension of biz tax breaks and some individual tax credits

          -Extension of unemployment

          The bad:

          -Indexing the top brackets to inflation?  Eff that!

          -The estate tax cut is utter bullshit and permanent, so it will never go up again.

          -Cap gains and dividends need to be taxed as ordinary income at least, heck, there should be even more tax on them.  Why do we tax income we actually WORK for more than passive income on investments?  This makes me seething mad.

          In the end, this isn't the worst of all possible outcomes, but I think we'll ultimately be better off just going off the cliff.  It'll hammer the economy and milk prices short term, but I think the pendulum will swing right back in a little while.  I'll trade short-term pain for better long-term policies...  Unfortunately, politicians on a 2yr election cycle don't think like that...

          I want this to fail in the House.  I still think we'll do better with the next congress...  but I wouldn't bet money against it passing anymore.

          •  Tax rates don't return to Clinton era levels (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            SGWM

            Dividends remain taxed at 20% for people making more than $400/450K.  Considering a lot of the money people who make that much comes from dividends, that is a real shitty outcome.  

      •  "Eternity of tax breaks"? I don't think so. (14+ / 0-)

        And the Senate bill is not "status quo" and it is not "nothing." It raises individual tax rates at the top. It raises capital gains rates. It restores estate taxes, albeit at a $5 million threshold. Is it an ugly compromise? Yes, compromise with today's GOP is, by my definition, too, ugly.

        This bill puts off many serious problems, but do you honestly believe the Senate and House would have voted for the Grand Bargain/Progressive package that your comment suggests you want? You might have been willing to forego middle class tax cuts and the extension of UC benefits, for example, but not a lot of the rest of us.

        With the greatest respect, we can't go to war on everything with everyone who doesn't agree with us.

        2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

        by TRPChicago on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 08:17:30 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Agreed (8+ / 0-)

          While I find it hard to get excited about this compromise, it is far from nothing.  For the first time since 1990, we actually saw Republicans (most of those in the Senate) vote for an income tax increase.  That's still pretty significant.  And getting the rate increase for incomes above $450k is a progressive victory, even if it isn't quite the $250k we wanted.  It's not a bad compromise, though.

          And, assuming that this thing passes the House, the capital gains tax increases are still pretty significant when they are combined with the new taxes on investment income that kick in as a result of the ACA.  In essence, the tax on capital gains will be 18.8% for those earning between 250k and 450k (married rates), and 23.8% above that.  Considering that the rate varied between 20% and 28% under President Clinton, I don't feel bad about this aspect of the deal at all.

          On the other hand, I don't like the fact that this compromise locks in favorable treatment of dividend income -- while that rate will go up to 23.8% (from the current 15%), that is far, far below the 43.4% it would have gone to if nothing had been done.

          And the compromise on the estate tax is also pretty unappealing.

          So...not great, not horrible.  I guess that's generally what compromise means.

          Political Compass: -6.75, -3.08

          by TexasTom on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 08:28:30 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Dividends are the real disgrace (6+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ferg, Noodles, shaharazade, 10xor01, bdop4, TexasTom

            Dividends were historically taxed as ordinary income, a low rate for smallholders and a high rate for the plutocrats who got most of them.  The "theory" behind lowering the rate was "double taxation", that corporations paid 35% tax on income already.  But of course that's merely theoretical; corporations get so many breaks that few pay more than 25%, and many pay closer to zero even though very profitable.

            So the slight boost in dividend taxes compared to Bush rates was a small improvement on a very bad situation.  It may in fact be one of the biggest victories McConnell really wanted, much more important than nominal rates on "earned" income.  The truly wealthy don't earn their money, it's mostly dividends and capital gains.  So a 75% rate on earned money would only tax sports and movie stars, lottery winners, and similar new-money bonanzas. Those who can and should pay more are outside of the bracket system and alas remain there.

            Capital gains on assets held over a year were historically taxed at normal rates after a 50% deduction.  That was also not fixed, though the new rate comes close to that anyway.  That was generous in the old rules and probably overdue for reform, though I'd allow indexing of long-term gains to make up for inflation.

          •  I (5+ / 0-)

            have to go down as cautiously optimistic on this compromise. Cutting it off at 400 and 450k isn't what I hoped for, but inflation has changed past dollar brackets, the former Clinton era circa 1997 250 k cut off is now nearer 400k when adjusted for the cost of living, so that's bearable imo.

            I'm disappointed by the pay roll tax not being included. Last year was terrible for me, if judged solely by income I joined the working poor. My budget is so tight, with so little margin for error, the payroll tax going back up will affect my standard of living. But it also gives me ownership in the benefits, my benefits, that much more. I'm willing to pay for my Social Security and Medicare, I think we have to be willing to do that, even if it hurts a little. And if things get better before I retire I'm willing to chip in a little for other people's benefits too.  

            At some point we're going to have to do something about cap gains, carried interest, dividends. It's mnorally and economically indefensible for those items to come at such a low bracket. But if this passes as is I can stand it.

          •  Can We Please... (5+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            qofdisks, kefauver, sxp151, bdop4, misterwade

            stop saying the Republicans voted for a tax increase?  We've gone over the fiscal cliff.  Taxes have already, automatically, increased.  

            They are voting for a tax decrease.  It's what they naturally do and it keeps it in perspective that they really haven't sacrificed anything....yet.

            "The only hope is to keep the Republicans from shredding the safety net one hostage crisis at a time." - Kentucy DeanDemocrat

            by Senor Frog on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 10:25:42 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  They framed it as a tax increase. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              TexasTom

              Technically, you're right. But this is a major bone that will forever stick in their craw. It's a tacit admission that a progressive tax is a just tax. Over time, Democrats/Liberals/Progressives can build on this to create a truly equitable income tax. That's a huge win, any way you cut it.

              That is not to discount the negatives, including the losss of levrage to fight for more change. But that's a fight we now know we can win, at the ballot box.

              IF. If we don't lose heart, or allow ourselves the luxury of disengaging. If we remember always that this is a war we're in, and don't get too caught up in a single battle's rise or fall. And most importantly, if we can keep finding ways to pass the baton down to a younger generation.

              •  They're Already Reframing It (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Free Jazz at High Noon

                “Not having read it all, I’m not endorsing it. But right now, as explained, it doesn’t violate the pledge,” Norquist said. “We need to go back and at the end of the day make sure that the tax cuts are made permanent for everybody, but that’s a fight for the weeks and months to come. This is progress, making 84 percent of the Bush tax cuts permanent.”
                “If you were a Senator, you’d vote for it?” Blitzer asked.
                “Yes,” Norquist said.

                Read more: http://www.politico.com/...

                "The only hope is to keep the Republicans from shredding the safety net one hostage crisis at a time." - Kentucy DeanDemocrat

                by Senor Frog on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 11:39:02 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Grover is desperate, his influence waning. (0+ / 0-)

                  Grover Norquist is gloating that middle class tax cuts made it? Come on, his only objective was - and is - to beggar government. This Senate bill doesn't do that.

                  But Grover is never gonna admit he has peaked and is on a downward trajectory.

                  2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

                  by TRPChicago on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 01:19:10 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

        •  Middle class tax hikes are necessary (0+ / 0-)

          Most of the actual dollars associated with the Bush tax cuts went to the middle class (there are far more people in that class and relatively few rich people). Raising taxes on only people who make more than $500k or whatever (even $250k) will do little to get us out of the fiscal hole.

          At some point, sooner or later, fiscal responsibility is going to be forced on us and it may be very unpleasant.

          (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
          Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

          by Sparhawk on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 08:29:15 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  No one's saying proceeds from the top rates... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            qofdisks, bdop4

            ... will care for the fiscal hole. The most effective contribution will be a rising economy.

            Let's get the horse before the cart.

            2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

            by TRPChicago on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 09:17:10 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yeah (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              shaharazade

              That's been the mantra since the Bush years. It never really works out (it appeared to work during the Clinton years, but the 'surplus' was only due to a fraudulent financial bubble).

              (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
              Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

              by Sparhawk on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 09:36:19 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  You're pretty hard to please. Debt is ... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                shaharazade

                ... unthinkable, is it?

                2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

                by TRPChicago on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 10:04:51 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Debt is death (0+ / 0-)

                  I consider the budget deficit to be a theft from our children.

                  (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
                  Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

                  by Sparhawk on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 10:40:10 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Why? (0+ / 0-)

                    2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

                    by TRPChicago on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 11:11:42 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Because it eventually must be... (0+ / 0-)

                      ...paid off or defaulted, both scenarios future taxpayers will have to deal with because of our irresponsibility today.

                      Thomas Jefferson opposed the concept of inter generational debts for this reason.

                      (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
                      Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

                      by Sparhawk on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 11:36:31 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  You're discounting the reward (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        TRPChicago

                        We are in the process of building something for the future generations. It is equally wrong to fail to do that when judicious borrowing can give us that opportunity.

                        •  What are we building (0+ / 0-)

                          (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
                          Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

                          by Sparhawk on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 12:31:23 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  A better America for those kids of yours and mine. (0+ / 0-)

                            You must not have been very happy about US debt since about, what, 1980 or 1985?

                            Few businesses can - or do - finance the results of tooling up their innovations and expanding their capabilities out of revenues from their customers. No one I know has ever bought a house without incurring debt.

                            No, I don't think households or businesses are good analogs for government. (I expect libertarians do.) But government has many more responsibilities, most particularly "to promote the general welfare." While that may not be an affirmative grant of legislative power (the notion has scared conservatives for ages), it certainly is an overarching goal.

                            Yes, our current level of debt is bothersome. Is it a tragedy? Nope. Can it be reversed? Yes. Are other priorities more important with a very slow recovery? Definitely.

                            2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

                            by TRPChicago on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 01:15:02 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                  •  You'll condemn generations to a miserable existenc (4+ / 0-)

                    If you think you can pay off the debt through austerity. Only rebooting our economy through investment in our infrastructure and labor force will creating more jobs (i.e., taxpayers) that will in turn generate the revenues to make a serious payment on our debt.

                    We also need to cut waste. The three biggest targets: the MIC, corporate welfare and for-profit healthcare industry. All three have been afforded protection in one form or another. Both parties are to blame for that.

                    •  Infrastructure (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      soros

                      To make what?

                      Infrastructure is a means to an end, not an end in itself. It's a tool. If you already have a road, airport, whatever you don't need a new one.

                      The stuff you make with the infrastructure is the important thing.

                      (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
                      Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

                      by Sparhawk on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 01:09:23 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Your tires are gonna hit the same potholes ... (0+ / 0-)

                        ... as everyone else's. You may not care, but we do.

                        2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

                        by TRPChicago on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 01:20:42 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Fixing potholes (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          soros

                          Isn't the stuff of national economic success. It's the kind of thing you do as necessary.

                          (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
                          Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

                          by Sparhawk on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 01:37:29 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Yes. Have you seen the roads and bridges? (0+ / 0-)

                            Water supply lines and and sewer mains? Waste and water treatment plants? Out of sight, out of mind?

                            "Infrastructure" - essential but unlovely - is typically the last thing politicians, particularly local, county and state politicians want to spend their capital (note word) on. Yet much is dated, in various failing conditions. It's stuff you do before you have to do it ... before the bridge collapses.

                            (See, e.g., the Tappan Zee bridge in the NYC area.)

                            We have a lot of productive and valuable workers waiting for jobs that are lying fallow for want of funding. As for "economic success," that's a fuller employment economy than we've had for several years. America depends on it.

                            2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

                            by TRPChicago on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 04:07:48 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                  •  Debt can be life (0+ / 0-)

                    The ability to borrow turned my life around. That's a cold, hard fact. And while that's on an individual level, it applies on larger levels as well. Managable debt is a result of borrowing to increase your leverage over present circumstances. There's nothing intrinsically wrong with that, and potentially much that is right. Yes, there's risk associated with borrowing, and yes, it needs to be done judiciously. But let's not throw out the baby with the bathwater!

                  •  Conservatives Should Have Thought of That (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Free Jazz at High Noon

                    when they charged two wars and a series of tax cuts on the national credit card, all of which were done at the behest of the 1%. But now it's "our" debt.

              •  "Only due to a fraudulent financial bubble"? (0+ / 0-)

                Well, that's one person's theory, but to this person that's a vast oversimplification. And not a particularly well thought out one at that. Are you seriously suggesting that we are where we are because of the dot comm bubble? Compared to the financial meltdown we've just experienced it barely registers!

                •  I am suggesting... (0+ / 0-)

                  ...that Clinton's "budget surplus" was mainly caused by the dot.com bubble (though to give credit where credit is due, his tax policies were certainly good as well).

                  (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
                  Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

                  by Sparhawk on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 03:02:56 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

        •  Fact check: it lowers estate taxes etc (6+ / 0-)

          including cutting the rate on big dividends almost by half, from 39.6% to 20%.  Unearned income should NOT be taxed at a lower rate than wages.

          The Bush tax cuts have expired, the Clinton rates are current law.

          There's no such thing as a free market!

          by Albanius on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 08:43:32 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Now we can call it the Fiscal CAVE -nt (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Boris49

            There's no such thing as a free market!

            by Albanius on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 08:48:24 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Funny, Obama even campaigned on that (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            DSPS owl

            a little bit. Not nearly as much as he should have, given the traction that statement has with the public:

            Unearned income should NOT be taxed at a lower rate than wages.
            Well, Donald Trump is whining about the deal. Maybe that's a silver (or at least Mylar) lining.

            And God said, "Let there be light"; and with a Big Bang, there was light. And God said "Ow! Ow My eyes!" and in a flash God separated light from darkness. "Whew! Now that's better. Now where was I. Oh yea . . ."

            by Pale Jenova on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 09:43:23 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Here's my question. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          qofdisks

          Would YOU have been happy to get the progressive package that so many here were advocating for?  Or would you have complained that it was "too much" if by some miracle it had gotten passed?
          I suspect that you'd have been thrilled, like so many others here, if a more progressive package had passed.
          So here's my second question: why spend your energy justifying a shit sandwich?  Why waste your energy sneering ot those of us who tried hard to get something better?  Wouldn't your energy have been better spent actually helping and supporting a more progressive package, and directing your energy toward figuring out what we can do better next time.  Because what you're saying here boils down to "Sit down and shut up!  This is the best you'll ever get, and more than you deserve!"

          •  He's not saying sit down and shut up (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            kefauver

            He's just saying that it's a compromise he can live with and people should consider that opinion. No need to put words in people's mouth. It's like me saying you want him to shut up and sit down if he doesn't agree with you. I hope that's not the case.

            He also asked a question that hasn't been answered yet. What bill would progressives be happy with that could pass the Senate and GOP controlled House? Even after the fiscal cliff there's no guarentee of a significantly better deal. I'd bet extended unemployment would die because it hurts the economy in the short term, thus hurting the Dems and Obama.

            Mark Levin (crazy right wing radio host) last night was blasting McConnell and Boehner as weak, disgusting sellouts. Progressives saying the same about the President. If everybody is pissed then maybe it's a good deal.

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

              "If you're going to go down with the ship, make it a submarine." - Wayne Shorter

              by Oliver Tiger on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 10:29:36 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Many People Here Believe Waiting 4 New Congress (0+ / 0-)

              And going over the cliff was the answer.

              Problem with that is millions lose employment insurance, we still have a GOP-controlled House that will not negotiate in good faith, and we risk another recession.

              People are dreaming if they think gaining a dozen more Democrats in the House will allow all of our progressive dreams to come true.

              This site becomes a fantasy land by the day.

              Have you written your Chained CPI/Social Security Betrayal/Obama is a Caver diary today? 100's already have. What are you waiting for?!

              by kefauver on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 10:44:21 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  And who says we GET that "new Congress" in '14? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                kefauver

                We thought we were going to get a new Congress last November, but gerrymandering blew out that possibility, even though Dems got 1 million more votes than GOPhers! Do we all just hold our collective breath until '14? Not a brilliant strategy, to my mind...

                "If you're going to go down with the ship, make it a submarine." - Wayne Shorter

                by Oliver Tiger on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 10:53:16 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

        •  There is no eternity in tax rates; they can change (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          BlackClouds, J M F, qofdisks

          It may be a bit of a technicality, but there is no such thing as a permanent tax rate.  No Congress can bind a successor Congress.  The new Congress or a future Congress can change any if these rates or any other aspect of the tax code.  And they may, if they do really try to do tax reform,

          All people mean by saying that this or that tax measure is "permanent" is that unlike the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts, these have no built-in sunset provision.  The unemployment benes and some tax credits are for one year, and the stimulus low-income credits are for five years.  The rest have no sunset.  But they can be changed IF Congress has the will to do so.  A big if, to be sure.  But nothing is locked in forever.  

          In the next fight the GOP will want to end the defense sequester and cut entitlements, and the Dems will want to extend the debt ceiling and get more revenue.  Both sides may look at tax refirm as a way to get things they want.  We are not at the end of any of this.

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

          by Mimikatz on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 09:21:41 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Well said! (0+ / 0-)

          Am I pleased with everything in this? No! To my mind, we should have held the $250,000 limit. Then again, this is what compromise looks like, young'uns! No offense to Tom Harkin, but we can't ridicule people like Richard Mourdock saying "Compromise is when people come around to my way of thinking" and then demand the same standard with a straight face... and merely hollering, "But we're in the right" doesn't make it okay.

          And if you're still pissed, consider this: If Boehner can't get this one through, not only is he dead in the water and out of the Speakership (and maybe out of the House altogether, because he will probably resign), but any non-Red state GOPher who votes against this package is going to be out of a job in 2 years.

          "If you're going to go down with the ship, make it a submarine." - Wayne Shorter

          by Oliver Tiger on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 10:28:17 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Estate taxes at a $5 million threshold. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          qofdisks, Ramoth

          Yes, but that's for individuals.  $10 million exemption for couples.  Way too high IMO.

          The Republicans are defunding, not defending, America.

          by DSPS owl on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 10:33:44 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  The give away (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          splashoil

          This bill will give away all the leverage the progressives will have when in two months the sequester debate will begin. These will be the permanent taxes for the top 1 percent and only five years for the rest of us. We must all take the pain now, so that our children will not have to inherit this problem. The whole income tax process must be looked at. It is time for all of us to let our representatives in congress know what we want our federal taxes to fund.

        •  Immediate Middle Class 2% Hike! (0+ / 0-)

          So thoughtful to ignore the Payroll Tax Holiday.  Won't it sell well at the polls!  The Fecal Cliff:

          Oh well. So much for aggregate demand.

          Again, again, again, one reason why Democrats suck so very badly is that they defend programs when they should be defending households. All that matters to poor schlubs like us is the money in the coffee can in the middle of the kitchen table. If the Democrats take a bill out of that can by cutting Medicare, so we have to pay more for medicine, or they take a bill out by shrinking our take-home pay, it doesn’t matter. Money is fungible! The only thing that matters is how much money there is in the coffee can.

          And if the Democrats wanted to defend households, they’d have a program that looked like this:

          1. NOT ONE PENNY OF CUTS to any social insurance programs

          2. Any cost savings to be returned to beneficiaries as increased services

          3. Reduce the Social Security eligibility age to 60, so young people just forming households can get jobs

          4. Age-neutral benefits, so the shameful and immoral system where benefits get progressively worse the younger you are is abolished. How can we be doing this to our own kids?

          Amen.
      •  just a reminder (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TexasTom, belle1, Jack Hare, Boris49

        taxes are now higher on the wealthy than they were yesterday.

      •  You forget the permanent AMT fix which (4+ / 0-)

        directly effects the middle class. You also need to read the bill more closely to see the tax increases on $250,000 and above come in the deduction cap. Also, it will make more palatable the tax increase if the President goes for raising (or eliminating) the cap on SS.

        What I am most curious about is just how all those decrying this bill believe we could have gotten more with the House firmly in GOP control? They have a super majority over there. Just how do Democrats overcome that with completely Progressive legislation? As it is, the House passing this deal is not a sure thing given we need at least two dozen Republicans to vote for it and most all the Democrats. It is unrealistic to believe public pressure will make a huge difference. Obama won only fifteen districts held by Republicans. That is well short of what is needed in the House for leverage.

        Besides getting the GOP to break their tax pledge, if this bill passes in the House, it also will require Boehner breaking the Hastert rule. This could potentially be exactly what is needed to loosen the GOP reign of terror (along with filibuster reform).

        For Christina's America

        by DWKING on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 08:19:59 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  It's MUCH Worse Than That! (14+ / 0-)

        HERE's the worst part of the bill:

        The tax on capital gains and dividends will be permanently set at 20 percent for those with income above the $450,000/$400,000 threshold. It will remain at 15 percent for everyone else. (Clinton-era rates were 20 percent for capital gains and taxed dividends as ordinary income, with a top rate of 39.6 percent.)
        We don't have a problem with the rich, (the 1%). Our real problem is with the top 10% of the 1% (richest one-tenth of a percent), i.e.the Koch brothers of the world who have skewed all the rules to favor themselves. If some stock speculator or real estate developer makes $10 million, who cares? Those guys are NOT the reason real wages have been going down for working people for 40 years.

        It's the SUPER rich who are creating all the super-pacs and bribing Congress.

        90% of the problems with America are due simply to the efforts of the top 1% of the 1% since 1967 to lower their tax burden and raise taxes for everybody else -- in the most regressive manner they can achieve (ex: state lotteries, Social Security withholding capped at $105k, sales taxes, etc.)

        The 39.5% tax rate on capital gains, plus treating capital gains like ordinary income was BY FAR the most important part of the entire EXPIRING Bush Tax-giveaways for the rich.

        We desperately need to treat capital gains as ordinary income and raise the top rates to at least 50%. Let them howl! The BEST economic times in American history were the 40's and 50's when the top tax rate for multimillionaires was 90%!

        That's also why the Estate Tax raise is so completely unimportant, and the estate tax is the only good part of that horrible, horrible deal. Sure they're giving up some revenue by allowing couples with a NET $10 million in assets to avoid estate tax.

        But, the top 1% of the 1% are the ones we REALLY need to hit with the estate tax, and THEY won't be helped at all by a mere $10 million exemption! That's pocket change to the Walton Family, which is why the super-rich were quietly funding all the right-wing efforts to eliminate the estate tax altogether.

        Because, NOTHING short of total elimination of that tax will help them at all. They have estates between $1 BILLION and several $BILLION, so saving $5 million or $10 million is virtually worthless to them.

        That's also why raising the income tax on individuals earning $400k rather than $250k is also unimportant. That's only exempting some small fish, not the Koch brothers.

        But, its also why capping capital gains tax rates at 20% is BEYOND HORRIBLE!

        Forget the sequester garbage. It's the capital gains tax capitulation that is the problem, because it PERMANENTLY LOCKS IN the never-ending concentration of wealth in the hands of the top 1%!

        •  I for one, welcome our new super-rich overlords (4+ / 0-)

          We can have 99% of the population living in poverty and 1% super rich aristocracy. Who needs that pesky middle class?

        •  Only dividends were going back to regular income (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Eric Blair

          Capital gains in the clinton era was 20%

          Just saying.  I agree that the loss of the dividend revenue is the biggest hit we took in this deal over the status quo, but your statement on capital gains is inaccurate.

          •  We Need HIGHER Capital Gains Tax Rates! (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Albanius, J M F, bdop4

            The income for the top .1% is almost entirely long-term capital gains. That's why treating capital gains as ordinary income is so important.

            Capping total income subject to tax at 39.5% as in the Clinton era is at least a step in the right direction.

            That's the part that's objectionable. The capital gains tax rates were always too low of course, the top marginal rate should be at incomes over $10,000,000 and it should be 90% not 20%! Hell, they could make it $20,000,000 and it wouldn't matter. It would still hit the Koch brothers which is what's important.

            We can NEVER get our democracy back until we take away 90% of their unearned money and redistribute it to the middle class in the form of benefits, infrastructure development and a direct government industrial program designed to produce full employment.

            We can't do any of these things as long as the super-rich can create their billion dollar empires that are immune from taxation.

          •  Sadly raising dividend taxes also hurts the (0+ / 0-)

            Middle class, most of whom who have pensions besides the Social Security have 401k plans.  Sadly the middle class got suckered into define contribution retirement plans and, as planned, now have a stake in the capitalist market.  Who has the balls to propose cutting workers' 401k pensions in order to spite the rich or fatten the US Treasury?  The die was cast back in the 1980's when Reagan Democrats and middle class greed ruled Washington.

            •  401K is taxed as regular income (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              smiley7, shaharazade, bdop4

              If you are a middle class person and have a tax deferred 401K or IRA, it doesn't matter in the least how your fund profit is generated, whether through capitol gains, dividends or whatever. It is all taxed as regular income when you withdraw the money.

              Total BS about the dividend tax hitting middle class people with 401Ks.

              Everything I write is within a margin of error of precisely 100%.

              by Bailey Savings and Loan on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 10:16:54 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  401K Investment Income isn't taxed (0+ / 0-)

              Until you retire or prematurely withdraw it (then you're hit with a big penalty).

              Theoretically, when you are retired, your income is lower and you pay a lower tax rate.

        •  90% of all outstanding stocks & bonds (3+ / 0-)

          are owned by the top ten per cent, along with over 90% of the total wealth.

          Last night, we memorialized many of the policies that led to this untenable inequality. Temporarily staving off the more onerous effects of trickle down economics while making permanent the tools of inequality will be ultimately self-defeating for the vast majority.
           

          "extravagant advantage for the few, ultimately depresses the many." FDR

          by Jim R on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 08:47:44 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  I Wish Everyone... (0+ / 0-)

          Would read and understand what you've just wrote.  I hope you cut and paste it in every related thread because it needs to be heard.

          "The only hope is to keep the Republicans from shredding the safety net one hostage crisis at a time." - Kentucy DeanDemocrat

          by Senor Frog on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 10:44:58 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Wait till Obama gets his hands on Medicare and (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Eric Blair, shaharazade, sxp151, bdop4

        Social Security in 3 months...he will have no bargaining leverage left on taxes and will be "forced" to make major cuts on both, his overriding obsession since day 1 of his presidency.

        Obama couldn't disguise his giddiness  the other day as he managed to dupe the American people and his supporters yet again and is on the verge of FINALLY achieving the overriding objective of his presidency and handing the prize neoliberal plum over to his fellow plutocrats - the remaining shreds of the Social Safety Net. The expression on his face screamed "SUCKERS!! Pulled another fast one on you! Geez, I can't believe you guys keep letting me pull the rug out from under you!"

        Accomplishments:

        - Permanent extension of the Bush tax cuts - check
        - Privatization of Healthcare - check
        - Putting Social Security and Medicare on the path to privatization in a few months
        - Privatization of education
        - Inequality increasing at a more rapid pace than under GW

        Gilded Age, here to stay!

        The Plutocrats
            United
        Can Never be Defeated!

        "It depends what the meaning of 'is', is"
        Platform of the Neo-Democratic Party
        Speaking out of one side of their mouth for the little guy, their nominal constituency, and the other for the plutocracy, their real constituency.

        by Sanctimonious on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 08:46:11 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  So you voted for Romney then? (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Jack Hare, La Gitane, Oliver Tiger

          Great work. He would have been much more progressive.

          Maybe if President Obama had a better House (and Senate), and maybe if we came out in force in 2010 stopping the Republican redistricting, we wouldn't be in this spot.

          When we stop putting leaders from the past up on pedestals and ignoring their flaws, we can start seeing our present leaders for what they really are.

          by PhillyJeff on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 09:14:02 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I was talking about Obama, not Romney (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Senor Frog, shaharazade

            Nice try at changing the subject.

            "It depends what the meaning of 'is', is"
            Platform of the Neo-Democratic Party
            Speaking out of one side of their mouth for the little guy, their nominal constituency, and the other for the plutocracy, their real constituency.

            by Sanctimonious on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 09:46:21 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Nice job avoiding HIS points (0+ / 0-)

              Where were you in 2010?

              "If you're going to go down with the ship, make it a submarine." - Wayne Shorter

              by Oliver Tiger on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 10:59:28 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Here ya go (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Senor Frog, bdop4

                It was OBAMA, not the Republicans,  who created the Catfood Commission and appointed its 2 co-chairs, Blue Dog Erkine Bowles and 'Social Security is a cow with a thousand tits' Alan Simpson, both on record as wanting to dismantle and/or privatize Social Security

                It was OBAMA who kept resurrecting the far right recommendations of Simpson/Bowles even after the committee disbanded in failure

                After the Catfood Commission failed, it was OBAMA who attempted to resurrect it with the "Grand Bargain" and introduced the notions of extending the Medicare age to 67 and chained CPI to Social Security

                It was OBAMA who said before he was elected in 2008 that he wanted to "reform" Social Security and Medicare, which always means, in the parlance of the neo-Democrat and which has proven true in all his subsequent actions, that he wanted to make major cuts to both programs

                It was OBAMA who created the debt ceiling 'crisis' in the first place by not letting the Bush tax cuts expire - which they would have done all on their own if he had not intervened to prevent it - setting the wheels in motion for his various austerity commissions ala the Shock Doctrine. By making the Bush tax cuts permanent yesterday, he has set the stage for  'starving the beast' and putting in place big cuts in Medicare and SS for the 'debt ceiling' talks in 3 months time

                Ok, I've answered your question and I could easily go on and on (Obama makes it so easy!). Let's see what your defense of the POLICIES of Obama are without resorting to personal attacks (aka "where were you in 2010"), excuses, or rationalizations. Can't do it, can you?

                "It depends what the meaning of 'is', is"
                Platform of the Neo-Democratic Party
                Speaking out of one side of their mouth for the little guy, their nominal constituency, and the other for the plutocracy, their real constituency.

                by Sanctimonious on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 11:36:04 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Ok, You think Obama is horrible (0+ / 0-)

                  Why did you vote for him then? Did you vote for him?

                  And please, don't say "I'm not accepting the lesser of 2 evils."

                  You had 3 choices in 2012 - Obama, Romney, and none of the above.

                  If you voted "Romney" or "none of the above," that's fine, but you need to own up to the fact that "none of the above" had zero chance of being elected and your protest vote increased the likelihood of Romney being elected.

                  If protest votes were likely to "wake up the country" and elect a congress full of Dennis Kucinich's and Bernie Sanders's I give you Bush II's first 4 years and Bush II's second 4 years.

                  Were you comfortable with the hundreds of thousands of brown people and thousands of Americans who had to die and the bankrupting of our country to "wake up America" and give us this president who you apparently think is just as bad as Romney?

                  How many more would you be willing to sacrifice in 2012/2016?

                  When we stop putting leaders from the past up on pedestals and ignoring their flaws, we can start seeing our present leaders for what they really are.

                  by PhillyJeff on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 12:22:50 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Thanks for proving my point (0+ / 0-)

                    "It depends what the meaning of 'is', is"
                    Platform of the Neo-Democratic Party
                    Speaking out of one side of their mouth for the little guy, their nominal constituency, and the other for the plutocracy, their real constituency.

                    by Sanctimonious on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 02:45:50 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  Thanks for proving my point (0+ / 0-)

                    "It depends what the meaning of 'is', is"
                    Platform of the Neo-Democratic Party
                    Speaking out of one side of their mouth for the little guy, their nominal constituency, and the other for the plutocracy, their real constituency.

                    by Sanctimonious on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 02:50:54 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

          •  I dare you (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Senor Frog, shaharazade, sxp151, bdop4

            to discuss this deal (or any other bill Obama has 'fought' for) on its own merits without making excuses for Obama or engaging in personal attacks. Go ahead - see if you can  do it without sounding like a Republican.

            "It depends what the meaning of 'is', is"
            Platform of the Neo-Democratic Party
            Speaking out of one side of their mouth for the little guy, their nominal constituency, and the other for the plutocracy, their real constituency.

            by Sanctimonious on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 10:23:51 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  No need for a Repub to vote for Romney (3+ / 0-)

            Obama has been far more effective at achieving Republican objectives than Romney could have ever hoped for.

            "It depends what the meaning of 'is', is"
            Platform of the Neo-Democratic Party
            Speaking out of one side of their mouth for the little guy, their nominal constituency, and the other for the plutocracy, their real constituency.

            by Sanctimonious on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 10:26:41 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Ditto (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      shaharazade, Rikon Snow

      Harkin votes his convictions!

    •  i so admire your tag line (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Rikon Snow

      since I just finished the H2 Sonata myself, and I believe all of Iain Banks is literally true...in the multiverse anything one can imagine has happened, is happening, or will happen somewhere sometime ;)

  •  Prediction (6+ / 0-)

    There will be a couple of changes that the GOP whackjobs will be able to campaign on then it will go through and the totally predictable 11th hour deal will happen.

    Shot in the dark here but I suspect the current $400k threshold will be raised to $1m

    Suspect that today's script has already been written.

  •  Cap gains and dividends at 20% (11+ / 0-)

    may be a MASSIVE tax cut for the rich*.  Cap Gains are set to go up to 23.8% and Dividends are to go up to 43.4%.  So not only was the threshold at which they are to be taxes at that rate raised but the % itself is lowered on both to 20%.

    * Cap gains are set to go up to 20% PLUS an additional 3.8% as part of Obamacare.  Dividends are set to be taxed as ordinary income PLUS an additional 3.8% as part of Obamacare.  If Obama and the Dems negotiated for both to only go to 20% then the dividend rates will have been cut 23.4% and cap gains cut 3.8%.  A big part of Obamacare was that it would be cost neutral in part due to the 3.8% hike.  If Dems cut that out then they just effectively undercut Obamacare.  

    This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

    by DisNoir36 on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 07:35:32 AM PST

  •  Thanks. There are three things affecting $250 (18+ / 0-)

    income that aren't getting much attention. The first two

    Two limits on tax exemptions and deductions for higher-income Americans will be reimposed: Personal Exemption Phaseout (PEP) will be set at $250,000 and the itemized deduction limitation (Pease) kicks in at $300,000.
    were important parts of the President's 2012 Budget. They increase taxes on income over $250 without raising rates by reducing deductions and capping the limiting the tax benefit of deductions for the wealthy. You can expect more of this moving forward.

    The third provision is the new 3.8% Medicare tax on capital gains and dividends that was in the ACA. That is preserved. It means that the new Capital gains/dividends rate for 2012 goes from 15% to 23.8%.

    Further, affiant sayeth not.

    by Gary Norton on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 07:39:45 AM PST

      •  They should be taxed the same as earned income (16+ / 0-)

        Warren Buffet is still taxed at a lower rate than his secretary.

        Except now the tax cut is permanent and never expires.

        •  It's as permanent as congress wants it to be (7+ / 0-)

          But you are right Cap gains should be taxed as ordinary income.  Our only prayer now is that we somehow get a more progressive president and congress to enact a more progressive tax code.

          This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

          by DisNoir36 on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 07:52:09 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  The fundamental problem (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Jim R, cazcee, Ramoth, shaharazade

            is that the oligarchy has moved the Overton window so much that Obama who is, in many ways, to the right of Richard Nixon is now seen by many as a leftist.  Genuinely progressive candidates are simply not allowed to be considered serious.  The function of the Democratic Party is to consolidate the transferral of wealth that occurs when Republicans are in power.  This budget deal gives the poor and working class a few crumbs off the table, allowing Obama to pretend that he is a friend of working people and forestalling any populist outcry that might lead to a real progressive political party.  Although, like many at this site, I am a prisoner of hope, if I force myself to be objective, my guess is that the stratification of the people of the world into a small percentage of super affluent and the rest of us simply trying to survive will continue unabated until social and ecological problems precipitate a violent, paradigmal change

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

            by Eric Blair on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 08:47:51 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Generational effort (0+ / 0-)

            to realign capital gains taxes with reality, and fairness, will take a long time and a lot of political will.  I'm thinking it won't happen until the greedy old geezers who run our country have passed on to greener pastures.

              It's not realistic to expect it to get done overnight. But it needs to be done.

            Barack Obama for President

            by looty on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 11:43:09 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Agree but, unfortunately that was never (7+ / 0-)

          part of anyone's proposal, except people on the outside like you and me.

          Further, affiant sayeth not.

          by Gary Norton on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 07:57:16 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  There is economic work out there (5+ / 0-)

          that says that raising the cap gains rate beyond a certain limit actually lowers revenue.  That number has been thought to be higher than 15% but lower than 30% - I've heard 25% to 28%.
          Even though from a policy perspective I agree that they should be treated the same, from a revenue raising perspectivee it doesn't usually work that way.

          How could this be, you ask?  Well, the capital gains tax is sort of voluntary in many situations.  If you don't sell an asset, you don't trigger the gain.  For those transactions where a taxpayer is considering whether or not to sell an asset, the capital gains tax is a transaction cost that is figured into the overall economics of whether or not to sell.  When the gains tax gets high enough, it will actually discourage people to sell.  

          For example, rich person needs cash.  He can sell his stock, pay the gains tax, and take his cash.    Alternatively, he can borrow against his stock, play the interest rate to the bank and factor in the effects of having additional loans on his balance sheet, and pay no tax.  When the interest rate on the loan is low and the capital gains tax is high, he may choose to borrow rather than sell, thereby actually reducing tax revenue.

          •  It May Lower Revenue (6+ / 0-)

            But there's no, or very little evidence that lower capital gains taxes increase investment.  Those making that argument have to specify exactly how this happens.  It's a pure giveaway to rich people.

            You may want to take into account the fact that sometimes people don't have a choice of selling or not selling, they must sell.

            If I was a communist, rich men would fear me...And the opposite applies. The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles.

            by stewarjt on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 08:22:18 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  You're right on that (2+ / 0-)

              I think the capital gains improving investment thing is BS...

              and you are right sometimes, they must sell.. or they aren't in control of the decision so that someone else (like a hedge fund or mutual fun manager) is making the decision.

              My point only was that there is a practical reality.. its not a zero sum game, you raise rates, you get revenue.

          •  I will stipulate that there are factors... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Senor Frog

            ...beyond any single nation's control as to what the optimal effective rate might be.

            As long as ""innovative financial engineering havens" exist, that rate is going to appear to be lower than the upper end of any top marginal rate for earned income. I assert that they can make profit if that rate is well above 30% but will always assert it is not "ideal." Their ideal is maximizing their potential and actual profitability, with little regard to the impact and consequences on the other sectors of the economy.

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

            by Egalitare on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 08:42:14 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  You need to think about it as a transaction cost (0+ / 0-)

              If you can accomplish the same goal (such as liquidity or diversification, which is not the same as profit) for a lower transaction cost, wouldn't you do so?  Those are the transactions that you would lose, not the ones where someone is going to sell, one way or another, and the amount of the rate just effects the profit margin.

              •  But it also needs to be seen as a societal cost (0+ / 0-)

                Because the result gained by creating profit and accumulating wealth is done more easily by what I call "innovative financial engineering", the so-called "financial engineers" can define that they and they alone should benefit, and billions of other people are "moochers."

                There's a great deal of mundane existence that doesn't fit into the paradigm of potentially ever increasing profitability that is essential for the Global Rentiers to thrive. The case in point that I always lean upon is sewers. Has anyone yet been able to devise a private sewer system that can project increasing profits into the foreseeable future? No, and it never will happen. Even if some geniuses figure out a way to optimize monetary value of the waste stream, there isn't  enough "there there." But a system must exist in any community of meaningful size because the consequences cannot be contained, no matter how "inconvenient" or "inefficient" it may seem for some destitute people to get "a free ride from being able to urinate and defecate at will."

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

                by Egalitare on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 11:54:01 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Sorry for the delay in responding (0+ / 0-)

                  I think it depends upon what you think the tax code is supposed to do.

                  Personally, I think that the tax code should be about raising revenue and that's about it.  I don't like trying to incentivize behaviour through the tax code - I don't think it's effective or efficient.  I'd rather see us directly attack behaviours we see as harmful - or fund those we see as beneficial - than use a series of tax credits or penalties.  They get lost in the shuffle, aren't transparent or democratic, add to complexity, and its not clear they actually work.

                  Now, I know that to a large degree that boat has sailed and l'm John McCain screaming "Hey, get off my tax lawn" but I can hope.

          •  Good deal for the banks... (0+ / 0-)
      •  Yes and it is really 25% when you add (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TomP, Jack Hare

        in the limitation on deductions. This was in the President's 2012 budget an what tax advisors were telling their clients.

        Further, affiant sayeth not.

        by Gary Norton on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 07:50:15 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Because it's still way too low... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Patango, Gary Norton

        (-2.38, -3.28) Independent thinker

        by TrueBlueDem on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 08:01:22 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Because some wanted more (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TomP, TBone Apollo, kareylou, Gary Norton

        I wanted more.

        But I'll embrace this as better and continue to advocate for more.

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

        by Egalitare on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 08:10:13 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Maybe you can explain (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        shaharazade

        why the romney crowd pays at a 11% rate in 2008, while then rate for CAP GAINS was 15% ? You actually think they will be paying at a 23% rate ? next joke please

    •  I hope you're right (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ender, Gary Norton
      The third provision is the new 3.8% Medicare tax on capital gains and dividends that was in the ACA. That is preserved. It means that the new Capital gains/dividends rate for 2012 goes from 15% to 23.8%.
      But dividends were set to be taxed as ordinary income which means 39.6% PLUS 3.8% or 43.4%.  

      I'm not sure if the 3.8% was preserved or if they just eliminated the increase in dividends and set it at 23.8%, same as cap gains or just set both at 20% AFTER the 3.8% hike.  Either way they gave back a big chunk in dividends.

      This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

      by DisNoir36 on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 07:45:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I want to see the math (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Patango, shaharazade

      I hope a blogger does the math and compares this deal to what would of happened without one. I want to see how much in billions this deal got for the rich and the middle class respectively until then I cannot decide if I like it or not

      We only think nothing goes without saying.

      by Hamtree on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 08:00:57 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Obama's budget? Budget? (0+ / 0-)

      He doesn't have a budget.  His will be DOA.  The house will pass it's budget and you can predict how much the senate will like it.

      No budget is the same as the debt ceiling.  No authority to spend.  

      Do you think they will play nice with a continuing resolution?

      No more Mr. Nice house.  That will be there vengence.

      POTUS has no budget saving what the house decides to pass.  PERIOD.

      •  Budget, Sequester and debt ceiling all land at the (4+ / 0-)

        same time.

        IMHO, that's better than scattering them out.

        Shutting down the govt with Rs to blame goes on the table as a card to be played.

        We were going to have another dogfight in a couple months anyway.  Having the sequester there actually puts us in a stronger position than if it plays out now, because defense hawks have skin in the game.

        •  but in the end... (0+ / 0-)

          They will pass what THEY decide to pass.  It doesn't matter what potus or the senate want.  They will get what the house sends them.

          I don't believe they are worried about a shutdown.  I believe it is there plan, and O will cave as a result.

          Which departments will get shuttered?  HUD?  EPA?  FDA? NOAA? Education?

          Think the house will cry if that happens?

          •  Social security checks (0+ / 0-)

            medicare payments

            defense department contracts

            Obama gets to choose what gets serviced after the debt.  It's a threat he used to some effect last time around, actually.

            •  Threats? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Senor Frog

              This president doesn't make credible threats.

              He also cannot pick and choose which debts to pay and which not to pay.

              The house could easily pass the military/homeland security/ins/etc budget pieces and sit on everything else.  Sure, the senate and pres could refuse to sign those, but at what cost?

              He just won't do it.  He will cave.  And they know it.

  •  Here is the Take Away (10+ / 0-)

    Obama cannot be trusted.  His word means nothing.

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

    by jimgilliamv2 on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 07:42:17 AM PST

  •  Anyone remember this? (2+ / 0-)

    Looks like it's playing out exactly as the President said it would.  It's game time

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 07:44:35 AM PST

  •  Well, in 90 days, its back to August 2011. (12+ / 0-)

    They'll do a brief 30 day extension deal first.

    Then its back to the dog days of 2011.

    Joy.

    •  No. Because (0+ / 0-)

      Obama already has his tax increase on the wealthy. Republicans won't have that hostage to take next time. Their biggest bargaining chip is gone.

      •  the difference is (5+ / 0-)

        that in 2011 Republicans were coming off of a historic landslide and could claim a public mandate.  This time Obama is coming off a decisive victory, plus we gained seats in the House and Senate.  Obama has a stronger hand to play.  He also has leverage from hundreds of billions of defense cuts Republicans don't want.  I find it funny that the biggest objection the critics have to the current deal is their pessimism over a future negotiation.  Let's let it play out and trust the guy who became the first president in over 50 years to win 51% in consecutive elections, the first president to overhaul healthcare, etc.

      •  Not entirely (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        indie17

        The Republicans don't want the sequestration of the military budget at 10%.

        They have to negotiate to get that down.

        And the magnitude of the sequestration now can be reduced by the expected value of the revenue increases.

        Anything to get the sequester cuts down from 10% and 8% for domestic programs will be helpful.   But we do realize that we have to cut spending along with revenue increases, right?   The other 30% of the deficit (besides the Bush tax cuts and debt interest coverage) was defense spending increases.   We have to stay vigilant on that.

        Mitt Romney rides off into the sunset in his Audi.

        by captainlaser on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 08:26:29 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Very true (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Big River Bandido, Eric Blair

      Only now Dems will have fewer bargaining chips.

      Democratic Leaders must be very clear they stand with the working class of our country. Democrats must hold the line in demanding that deficit reduction is done fairly -- not on the backs of the elderly, the sick, children and the poor.

      by Betty Pinson on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 08:24:39 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Eric The Red Says Vote No (10+ / 0-)

    From Redstate.com

    ...Marco Rubio and Rand Paul were defiant. They know what is at stake.

    Now, many of you think this is the best deal we can get. I understand that. But consider this — the White House has designed this solely for purposes of getting the GOP to break their tax pledge. Any way we play the game we lose.

    The only way to even think of winning is to not play this game.

    House Republicans should reject this deal, go over the cliff, and then from any vantage point they will not be voting to raise taxes. They can shift the argument from tax increases and decreases to tax reform.

    They should go over the cliff.

    As a side note, it will be interesting to see if Paul Ryan votes for this plan after Marco Rubio and Rand Paul, but 2016 contenders, voted against it. Like TARP in 2008, this vote will separate the conservatives from the Republicans.

  •  What is interesting is the President's urgent (10+ / 0-)

    need to solve this problem ... he and his team clearly rate the crisis and the need to provide a "bipartisan" solution far more than the facts actually support.  Compromise is a good thing, and some of the things are good for regular folks - but there was a harder bargain to be driven here, and the President voluntarily - indeed rather enthusiastically - went the other way.

    Also, the gap between the tough talk he had at the beginning of this with the frankly how much of the store he gave up relatively is striking ... if you are a GOP operative it is hard not to think you can keep being Lucy pulling back the football.

    We know that many of the spending cuts on the entitlement side are things the President has championed for years - but still this feels like we narrowly averted something which was not really worth the drama.

  •  What is the Senate mechanism... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DRo, Ender

    for having this bill seem to have "originated" in the House--since those revenue bills must originate there? Usually there is a shell bill that originated in the House that the Senate strips and substitutes and sends back. Is that what happened here?
    Joe

    "There is just one way to save yourself, and that's to get together and work and fight for everybody." ---Woody Guthrie (quoted by Jim Hightower in The Progressive Populist April 1, 2012, p3)

    by CitizenJoe on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 07:50:33 AM PST

  •  The sequester cuts are extended for 2 months, but (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    coral, decembersue

    that doesn't include unemployment which gets extended for a year.... right?

    Do we have leverage over the other defense cuts (most of the other sequestration I believe).

    The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy;the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness

    by CTMET on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 07:50:59 AM PST

  •  Grover Norquist would vote for the bill (16+ / 0-)

    Which should make any sane person realize that the Democrats gave away the farm.

    The link.

  •  So basically it boils down to "Magical thinking" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    WattleBreakfast, Hillbilly Dem

    that the current congress won't "kick the can down the road" to the next congress.

    As the Elites Come Together to Rise Above to Find a Third Way to do Rude things to the 99%

    by JML9999 on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 07:52:01 AM PST

    •  The same "magical thinking" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      indie17

      that is being screamed in these comments that the new tax rates are now PERMANENT! FOR ALL TIME!!!

      JESUS could come back on a cloud tomorrow and order them changed and it CANNOT BE DONE because Obama has SOLD OUT THE LEFT and they are PERMANENT. The NEW NORMAL!!!

      And Congress has never, ever, EVER in the history of the Republic changed, raised or lowered the permanent tax rates on incomes, tariffs, goods, services, imports, exports, etc.
      Right? RIGHT?  Bueller?

      Good grief, the hyperventilation around here is causing hallucinations.....

      Shalom.

      "God has given wine to gladden the hearts of people." Psalm 104:15

      by WineRev on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 08:26:27 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Defacto permenent (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ferg, Pale Jenova

        As long as there is a GOP house which thanks to gerrymandering is likely to stay until after the 2020 census.

        As the Elites Come Together to Rise Above to Find a Third Way to do Rude things to the 99%

        by JML9999 on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 08:32:52 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Take slow deep even breaths (0+ / 0-)

        Obama did not "sell us out," he just broke a few (very recent) campaign promises. Much like he did with the public option in the ACA.

        However, Obama did not act alone. He is not the avenging, vindictive angel some would make him out to be. The leadership of the Capitulocratic Party drove him forward, because no matter how strong a hand they hold, a Capitulocrat will always seek out the nearest Republican to surrender to.

        This is not the worst deal in the world. Bad, yes, but better than that craptacular mess in 2010. But the Capitulocrats have set up several additional surrender points in the year ahead. The debt ceiling bullshit, for one.

        So Obama will do what Obama can do. We will make out a hell of a lot better than we would under President Mittens, but we still have plenty of pain points ahead as the Capitulocratic party tries to throw itself under every Republican bus it can find.

        And God said, "Let there be light"; and with a Big Bang, there was light. And God said "Ow! Ow My eyes!" and in a flash God separated light from darkness. "Whew! Now that's better. Now where was I. Oh yea . . ."

        by Pale Jenova on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 09:54:32 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Can someone please explain why if money bills (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DRo, Ender, JML9999

    have to start in the House this one started in the Senate? Isn't this backwards?

    "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

    by eXtina on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 07:52:04 AM PST

  •  And McConnell has already seized the narrative (13+ / 0-)

    that the Republicans have saved 98% of Americans from having their taxes go up by voting for this bill.

    How, exactly, does that always seem to happen?

    If the plutocrats begin the program, we will end it. -- Eugene Debs.

    by livjack on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 07:53:30 AM PST

  •  Carper is a good senator (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ender, Teiresias70, Monitor78

    I'm not really against this deal other than to say that I think a better deal could have been gotten in a week or so.  But I think Tom Carper is an under appreciated Senator.  He's never going to be in the Leadership but he's not afraid to think independently when it matters.

    "Unrestricted immigration is a dangerous thing -- look at what happened to the Iroquois." Garrison Keillor

    by Spider Stumbled on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 07:54:24 AM PST

    •  Snake in the Grassley also voted against it (0+ / 0-)

      I'm still scratching my head over why he would do that?

      Voting nay were Democratic Senators Tom Carper (D-DE), Tom Harkin (D-IA), and Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Republican Senators Mike Lee (R-UT), Richard Shelby (D-AL), Rand Paul (R-KY), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), and Marco Rubio (R-FL).

      •  Possibly the farm bill (4+ / 0-)

        which the House hasn't passed. I read last night that there was an agreement to deal with the dairy portion as part of this... whether in this bill or as a separate piece of legislation I don't know... but it is possible that both Harkin and Grassley are objecting to some problem with the farm bill portion of this mess.

        "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

        by Andrew C White on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 08:08:44 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  DK hated on the payroll tax holiday. (17+ / 0-)

    It's a little late to insist its a good thing.

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

    by Inland on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 07:56:31 AM PST

  •  TPM is reporting the following (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TomP, Julia Grey
    The buy down will be financed with a mix of agreed upon, though still undisclosed, targeted cuts to domestic and defense programs, and with revenues drawn into the Treasury by a measure that will incentivize people with individual retirement accounts not to defer taxation on their retirement savings.
    Anyone know anything more about that? The whole point of IRA's is to convince people to save by deferring taxes so they can gain interest on the whole. So what the fuck will be the point then?

    Also, does this include 401k's which use the same principle or is it limited to official IRA's?

    "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

    by Andrew C White on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 07:58:45 AM PST

    •  I heard Roth IRA changes not 401K (0+ / 0-)

      Nothing concrete that I can quote, though.

      •  Thanks... if you find a good link (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ender

        please let me know. This has the appearance of another way to dig into ordinary people's retirement funds and sounds like a serious problem to me... but without any details it is hard to say.

        "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

        by Andrew C White on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 08:10:32 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  If your IRA has dropped like a compressed wad of (0+ / 0-)

        Wonder Bread, it's a great time to move it to a Roth IRA.

        Otherwise, don't bother, unless you buy something low price/high dividend like the Canadian Oil Sands Ltd. (But consider the not-so-green product.)

        And God said, "Let there be light"; and with a Big Bang, there was light. And God said "Ow! Ow My eyes!" and in a flash God separated light from darkness. "Whew! Now that's better. Now where was I. Oh yea . . ."

        by Pale Jenova on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 09:58:48 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Forcing more retirees to put IRA's & 401K's (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kareylou, The Jester, Senor Frog

      into the Wall Street casinos.

      The whole point of tax deferred IRA's was to allow workers to earn interest on all income, including the portion that is later paid out in taxes.  

      To change that would be wrong, no matter how you look at it. The last thing we should be doing is removing incentives for workers to save and invest retirement funds and instead force them to pull funds out to gamble on the stock market.

      Democratic Leaders must be very clear they stand with the working class of our country. Democrats must hold the line in demanding that deficit reduction is done fairly -- not on the backs of the elderly, the sick, children and the poor.

      by Betty Pinson on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 08:22:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Goddamn those worthless Senate FUCKS (4+ / 0-)

    Only 3 Democrats in the Senate had the class to vote "no"?

    What a worthless piece of shit party we have.  

    Shirley Chisholm was right. Our Republic is in deep trouble.

    by Big River Bandido on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 08:00:32 AM PST

  •  Part of me (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ender, cazcee, Senor Frog

    wants the House to reject the deal. In that it would highlight how insane the GOP is but then another part of me realizes that our shitty media would them equally blame Obama and democrats...

    We only think nothing goes without saying.

    by Hamtree on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 08:04:49 AM PST

  •  Looks like a big win for progressives. (7+ / 0-)

    We got a whole series of tax increases for the wealthy. That's exactly what we want.
    All the hand-wringing about social security and medicare turned out to be a false alarm. Again.

    The sequester would enact big cuts in defense spending, which we want, and Republicans don't. I don't see why that should be seen as a loss for progressives. Obama will go back into negotiations in two months but Republicans have already given Obama his top demand. Their bargaining power will be significantly reduced, and the House will be more Democratic.

    By payroll tax, I think you mean taxes on Social Security and Medicare. In other words, the programs everyone on the blagosphere was screaming that Obama was going to destroy. Obama acted to protect those programs and now you're spinning that into a defeat for progressives. Really?

    I think the left blogosphere needs to check our cynicism before spinning a victory into a narrative of defeat.

    •  the payroll tax does hit lower (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DCDemocrat, CTDemoFarmer, Pale Jenova

      income earners harder, but it might have been difficult to sustain those programs if we continued to shift their cost to the main budget. That tax cut always bothered me for that reason - it was tying those programs, indirectly, to other budgets and blurring the issue of whether social security, in particular, contributes to the deficit. It also bothered me because it went to a lot of people who didn't need it. Only the lowest tier should have ever gotten it to begin with.

      The renewal of the EITC will help, though.

      Long term we need to lower the payroll tax on lower earners and eliminate the cap on high earners, but that is not going to happen with a GOP house.

      •  It's what the left asked for. (5+ / 0-)

        I don't like the regressive nature of those taxes either. It's one reason why I'd like to see major changes to Social Security. We have a safety net for retirees but we tell young people to take on a huge student loan mortgage and survive without healthcare.

        But, left groups and the blogosphere decided that SS and medicare were the things we're most worried about. Obama protected those programs and raised taxes on the rich. DK should be cheering this as a huge win. It's what everyone wanted yesterday before Obama did it.

    •  I agree (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      v2aggie2, mattc129, Willinois

      the problem here is not a loss but that we didn't walk away with as big a win as some of us think we should have. There is a HUGE difference between winning smaller than you want and actually losing.

      This was a win.

      I have several concerns about what comes next and I wish some of the tax rates (cap gains, estate) would have been higher but I am encouraged by the talk from Democratic Senators, Vice President Biden and President Obama that they will not negotiate the debt ceiling again. They have to show it but the unanimity of tough talk is encouraging.

      "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

      by Andrew C White on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 08:55:57 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  This is a far from perfect deal BUT here is what (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Egalitare, TomP, Pale Jenova

    I'm optimistic about.  In terms of Social Secuirty, Medicare and Medicaid I have been greatly impressed by not only this community's call to action in getting everyone to put the pressure on their Senators and Congressmen to lay off the safety net.  Yes it sucks they'll be targeted again but I never believed that that battle was far from over.  We need to keep fighting for the safety net and I believe a lot of Denocrats, especially the ones up for re-election in the Senate won't agree to these cuts.  It's political suicide.  I trust Jeff Merkley, Tom Udall, Tom Harkin, Jeanne Shaheen, Al Franken, Mark Begich, Jay Rockefeller, Chris Coons and even Mary Landrieu and possibly Max Baucus to be "No" votes on earned benefits cuts.  I think Kay Hagan, Mark Udall and Mark Warner will be smart enough to vote no but they might need some extra pressure.  I do like the capital gains tax, the farm bill extension and wind energy tax credit extension.  There are many pieces I like about this deal and these factors will be good economically and politically for Senate Dems up for re-election but I agree I don't like the cap $450k and that the safety net is still not totally out of the clear but I think strengthening the safety net should be a big campaign theme for 2014 and it will allow Senators Harkin and Begich to bring their plans to stengthen Social Security to the big spotlight.

    Funny Stuff at http://www.funnyordie.com/oresmas

    by poopdogcomedy on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 08:12:46 AM PST

    •  Also, I am a little concerned about the debt (0+ / 0-)

      ceiling being raised but the tea party numbers in the House dropped.  Yes it sucks that we still don't have the House but we are ushering in a lot more pragmatic progressives in the House that I am hopeful will apply pressure where pressure is needed.  I don't doubt the next debt ceiling fight could be ugly but the Republicans keep acting like assholes.  It helps us and hurts them.

      Funny Stuff at http://www.funnyordie.com/oresmas

      by poopdogcomedy on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 08:25:54 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Obama actually beat them last time they (0+ / 0-)

        threw the debt ceiling tantrum. Up close to the line, the stock market dropped and everyone called it the "Tea Party Downgrade."

        And God said, "Let there be light"; and with a Big Bang, there was light. And God said "Ow! Ow My eyes!" and in a flash God separated light from darkness. "Whew! Now that's better. Now where was I. Oh yea . . ."

        by Pale Jenova on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 10:01:21 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Doesn't seem to (0+ / 0-)

        help us at all. I guess if you disconnect the political gamesmanship as in, the Repugs are worse so we should all sacrifice for the wealth creators and eat our peas, it still only  helps the oligarchical collectivists. The Dems won cause otherwise we would get vagina probes and have to work in Alabama /China as slave labor. How in the fuck is that winning or even Democratic?

        I know what the Republicans are but what about the Democrat's? There is more to winning then beating teh ultimate evil. 'We the people' have still lost to the point where it matters little which party is implementing this anti-democratic global nightmare the new and improved  Dems call the inevitable way forward. Fuck that it's regressive to the point of feudalism. All this haggling  does nothing to remove the vampire squid on humanities face. Goldman Sachs still rules the world unimpeded in their looting and pillaging and our government does not represent it's citizens or their common good.    

        So we win people say yes I'll vote for the lesser evil but it does nothing to help or counteract 'the fierce urgency of now' the one that just keeps getting fiercer. Unless you are obscenely rich how do any of this haggling over the degrees of economic inequity involved in destroying our economy and democracy. It's a mockery of the two party system and it's wrecked our system of checks and balances not to mention the basic principles we were founded on. It's cart before the horse politics that makes all of us losers.

        'I'm taking back my country and the vehicle I'm using is the Democratic party'  Howard Dean circa 2003-04.

        A political party is a means to an end and the Democratic party's 'end' does doesn't represent or fight for anything worth supporting.          

  •  and so we surrender to th hostage takers yet again (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    misterwade

    and so begin yet another round of hostage-taking.

    Meanwhile, we'll get to hear all the progressives tell us that the world would end if we don't surrender to the hostage-takers, so shut up and quit belly-aching.

    (sigh)

    I'm tired of this movie.

  •  I Give Up (3+ / 0-)

    Just when I start thinking that MAYBE the Democrats have learned their lesson and are going to start being REAL Democrats, they cave in yet again.  Thomas R. Carper (DE), Michael Bennet (CO), and Tom Harkin (IA) were the ones who, in my opinion, were the REAL Democrats in this little caper

    Apparently Obama hasn't learned his lesson either, because he is going to face yet another huge fight in only a couple of months -- but this one will be of his own volition.

    I guess that some people simply love the feeling of banging their heads against the wall.

  •  Shockingly poor political strategy (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    teacherjon, PorridgeGun, misterwade

    I can't believe the WH shifted the blame for this deal to the Senate, where many Dems are up for re-election.

    The WH had nothing to lose politically by taking responsibility for the deal they engineered, but, as usual, they chose to foist blame onto Dems in the Senate and House.

    2014 is just around the corner.

    Can someone explain the Obama Admin's rationale for this?

    Democratic Leaders must be very clear they stand with the working class of our country. Democrats must hold the line in demanding that deficit reduction is done fairly -- not on the backs of the elderly, the sick, children and the poor.

    by Betty Pinson on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 08:18:00 AM PST

  •  Tom Cole of Oklahoma is on NPR (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eric Blair

    crowing about what a great deal this is for Republicans!

  •  The House will kill this (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DefendOurConstitution

    They should take cover from the New Year and assert this is "a restoration of most tax cuts."

    But I think they will scuttle this deal and we start from scratch on Jan 3.

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

    by Egalitare on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 08:18:17 AM PST

  •  Re (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Julia Grey
    What it doesn't do, and what will immediately hit millions of wage earners, is extend or replace the payroll tax cut with an equivalent tax break. That means that all wage earners will see an immediate hit in their paychecks, with a two percent payroll tax increase. That's a two percent tax hike on 98 percent of the nation, a larger increase by percentage of income than many in the top two percent will hit. A reinstatement of the Making Work Pay tax cut that was enacted for a year under the stimulus bill should have been included as a replacement for the payroll tax cut to avoid this hit on the middle class. It wasn't.
    Is it really a 'tax hike' when the cut should never have been made to begin with? I can't think of a good public policy reason for that SS cut: I mean, do you like SS and want to pay for it, or not?

    (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
    Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

    by Sparhawk on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 08:22:51 AM PST

  •  I don't understand this (0+ / 0-)

    As far as I can tell, this is the very increase in middle class taxes that was supposed to be the main agreement.

    Someone please educate me. The Social Security tax is going up 2%. Is there some other tax on middle class people that is not going up? Isn't think 2% the thing that we needed to head off?

  •  $400,000 (7+ / 0-)

    since with this deal the Senate seems to be saying that $400,000 is the top limit for middle class income, maybe they'll move to increase the cap on SSDI to $400,000, thus actually insuring sustainability for the program for the next generation or two.

    ??!!

    Nah.  

    But a girl can dream, can't she?

    Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

    by a gilas girl on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 08:24:47 AM PST

  •  Obama. Worst. Negotiator. Ever. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ender, The Jester, misterwade
  •  got what he could. and maybe the House ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    indie17

    will trash this deal anyway and then all the rates go up.

    In these parts there are too many who feel a Presidential victory trumps a House majority. It doesn't. I thought Obama botched HCR. This was what he could get. Unemployment extension is big, some of the tax credits are big, some revenue to keep the kabuki going.

    If we want progressive policies, a new New Deal, we have to sell it to the county House district by House district. That's how it works. It's trench warfare until 2014.

    If you didn't like the news today, go out and make some of your own.

    by jgnyc on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 08:27:53 AM PST

  •  IRA tax (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    indie17, Senor Frog

    As a tax preparer, you used to be able to rollover your traditional IRA which gets a deduction every year you contribute, to a Roth IRA, which has no deduction up front, but the gains made in the IRA are not taxed when you take them out.  The rollover used to be Tax-free, it sounds like you have to pay the full tax when you rollover now.  That certainly makes traditional IRAs less attractive and therefore fewer people will be taking that deduction on an annual basis.  Seems to be a revenue raiser

    AMT fix is also big for middle class Americans, that is one nasty surprise

    You're either for spying on American citizens or you are not.

    by CVDem on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 08:28:14 AM PST

  •  Dear Obama a repeat of 2010 will happen in 2014 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pithy Cherub

    if you keep this shit up

    Bumper sticker seen on I-95; "Stop Socialism" my response: "Don't like socialism? GET OFF the Interstate highway!"

    by Clytemnestra on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 08:28:47 AM PST

  •  Happy New Year! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KayCeSF, indie17, doroma

        Today I'm just going to remember that, after the first debate, I was lying awake at night envisioning America under President Romney, and wondering how long it would be before America would elect a Democrat again. I'll admit that now.
         President Obama chose to compromise more than he would have had to, in order to avoid going over the cliff and triggering at the very least a market crash and at the worst global economic distress. He already went through that at the beginning of his first term and ended up spending all his presidential time and energy, as well as all that stimulus money, dealing with it. He chose not to take the risk. I'm choosing not to second guess him. He did get some good stuff.
         I'm going to start now to write, email, lobby, and otherwise pressure all my representatives for the next two months. Let's make this next round as good as possible. Happy New Year!

    To keep our faces turned toward change, and behave as free spirits in the presence of fate--that is strength undefeatable. (Helen Keller)

    by kareylou on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 08:32:46 AM PST

    •  "I'm choosing not to second guess him." (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Senor Frog, Bailey2001, kareylou

      That, in a nutshell, sums up the problem with the Democrats.

      "It depends what the meaning of 'is', is"
      Platform of the Neo-Democratic Party
      Speaking out of one side of their mouth for the little guy, their nominal constituency, and the other for the plutocracy, their real constituency.

      by Sanctimonious on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 09:03:16 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  love your user name. (0+ / 0-)

        I just see reality for what it is. President Obama is waaay to the right of me and if I expect him to do what I would do I am going to be perpetually disappointed.

        To keep our faces turned toward change, and behave as free spirits in the presence of fate--that is strength undefeatable. (Helen Keller)

        by kareylou on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 02:07:49 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Credits are a big deal also (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    indie17

    The child tax credit and education credits are a big deal to continue.  At the 10% tax rate, the $1000 child tax credit is a deduction of $ 10000

    Also, it is my belief that since the 3.8% is a surtax, it would be added into the tax bill, not included in the 20% capital gains

    You're either for spying on American citizens or you are not.

    by CVDem on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 08:35:17 AM PST

  •  More bad actors than a Rifftrax marathon (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cazcee

    My Fiscal Cliff Notes on last night's Senate vote. Even those of us who've been critical of the president have to give him and Biden some props on their back room dick-twisting.

    JP
    http://welcomebacktopottersville.blogspot.com

    Defending bad taste and liberalism since 2005.

    by jurassicpork on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 08:42:57 AM PST

  •  The only workable outcome (0+ / 0-)

    Get rid of the sequester.  

    Don't delay it two months.  Don't delay it a year.  Get rid of it.  Its purpose was to incentivize a deficit reduction agreement between two parties that disagree about the fundamentals upon which there has to be agreement before there can be reasonable deficit reduction.  

    The idea that we needed some sort of deficit reduction even with a divided legislative authority, neither party holding the trifecta, was based on the notion that we were in a crisis, that deficit reduction had to happen before the next election.  Normally, the way forward on any issue the parties disagree on, is that they contest the next election over that issue, and the winner of the trifecta gets to advance their take on that issue.

    If no one wins the trifecta in the next election, neither side gets to advance, we keep the status quo.  Not that the failure of either party to win the trifecta is a completely indecisive outcome.  At the very least it means, and means quite clearly, that the electorate was decisively unconvinced that the issue in question, in this case deficit reduction, was at all a crisis.  Either because the Rs did not push deficit reduction during the campaign (in which case they don't think it's important), or the voters did not hand them the trifecta (in which case they don't think we're in a fiscal crisis) -- either way we got a decisive answer on deficit reduction -- that it can wait at least until after the next election.

    If the legislative authority elected in 2014 wants deficit reduction, we'll get it then.  We don't need a sequester time bomb forcing them to action, because they will have been elected to do deficit reduction.  If there is no election result that produces a Congress and president that wants deficit reduction, and doesn't need any coercion from a sequester to get it, then the electorate doesn't want deficit reduction.  Ditto for 2016, 2018, 2020, and on and on into the future.  That's democracy.

    The Rs didn't fight the 2012 election over deficit reduction, and they didn't accept the 2011 deficit reduction spending cuts offered by our side, because they don't actually want deficit reduction.  Neither party wants deficit reduction, neither, and they are both quite correct in this belief, think that current deficit levels are at all problematic.  Hallelujah!  Bipartisan agreement!  Get rid of the sequester to accomplish the unanimous will of the both parties and the electorate.

    Get rid of the fake debt ceiling.

    The actual ceiling on USA debt is whatever borrowing is necessary to meet all the legal obligations incurred by the legislative authority, period.  All three elements of the trifecta approved the current spending obligations, and we once again have bipartisan unanimity, Hallellujah!

    To avoid clouding this happy picture, we stop passing these fake debt ceilings.  They started out as the means Congress took to stay informed of our total debt picture back a centyury ago before we had the all the analytic and reporting apparatus for keeping track of our fiscal position that we have today.  Debt ceilings are no longer needed in that role.  Get rid of them.

    That's the only workable outcome in a democratic system, that we just get rid of the sequester and the debt ceiling.  We can get there relatively quickly if our president and our Senate announce that they will simply ignore the sequester and debt ceiling we have now, and refuse to pass any fresh ones.  Sure, there would be crisis and drama and calls for smelling salts if our side did that.  But there wil be drama and crisis no matter when we reach that inevitable end game, and the longer we put it off, the more likely the crisis will jump the rails of normal politics and turn violent.

    The states must be abolished.

    by gtomkins on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 09:14:58 AM PST

  •  Save SS, Kill Corporate Welfare! (0+ / 0-)

    Oil and gas companies, which are raking in record profits, certainly don't need $4 billion a year in subsidies, and even the oil company CEOs admit they don't need it!

    Why are cuts to Social Security and Medicare even being discussed while literally billions in corporate welfare are constantly spilling out of the Treasury?

    White House petition to end corporate welfare here: http://wh.gov/...

  •  LOL and gnash teeth. That's our president! (0+ / 0-)

    What a tough negotiator.  Just not as good at it as Mitch McConnell.  Kee-rist.

    In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act--Orwell

    by jhannon on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 09:22:04 AM PST

  •  waiting to hear more about (0+ / 0-)

    9 month extension of the Farm Bill included in this deal - good for child nutrition programs, SNAP, and milk prices for now.

  •  The Deal (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    theunreasonableHUman

    There is an unfortunate tendency for the media and most all of us to focus on the politics of the moment--  the last-minute deal making, the political theater, the bluffing and bluster.  But there isn't enough focus on the bonehead policy making that got us into this mess in the first place.  The terrible unfunded wars, the unnecessary and inappropriate tax breaks of the Bush era, the loopholes, the corporate welfare scams, and all the rest of it.  And in that respect, many Democrats have blood on their hands along with the Republicans.  

    How can we have a third party when we don't even have a second party?

    by Eagleye on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 09:25:20 AM PST

  •  Here I am, rooting for the Tea Party to .... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    misterwade

    ... HOLD THE LINE.

    Yes, I hope the fanatic idiots can keep being themselves long enough to scuttle this horrible "deal".

    Mr President, door number 4 has a steaming pile of dog shit behind it, DO NOT choose door number 4.

    Hit TiVO and watch a few episodes of "Let's Make a Deal" before you try again on the negotiate'n, emm'kay.

    Here's a clue, Mr Potter's not selling, he's buying. And why? Because we're scared and he isn't. I beg you not to do this thing, if only to keep Mr Potter from owning everything in this town.

    So, please Tea Party wacko brothers and sisters...

    HOLD THE LINE!!!

    Read Your Lips, No New Taxes.

  •  It sucks that only House Republicans can save us.. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    misterwade

    from Obama's weakness.

  •  I myself am.............. (0+ / 0-)

    keeping an eye on the Rethugs in the house.

    If any of the House TeaBag Caucus vote for this; it is a terrible deal.

    If the all rest of the Rethugs, less the baggers, vote for it; our “side” still gave away too much, it is a bad deal but an improvement.

    If it passes the house with the votes of the majority of the Dems and a few Rethugs; it is probably the best compromise that could be passed under the circumstances.

    Frankly, my guess it that it cannot muster enough votes to pass.

    The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation--HDT

    by cazcee on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 09:39:05 AM PST

  •  Thanks for Tax the Rich Lite (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Senor Frog

    Now  the 1% can say that they gave the 99% their Xmas bonus.

  •  This deal sucks (0+ / 0-)

    but make no mistake. Bad things will happen without this deal.

    Milk prices will double. (This is not very important economically but whichever party gets the blame will be in deep shit)

    Without the doc fix lots of doctors will stop accepting patients w/ medicaid and lots of poor people will be sicker

    Unemployment insurance will stop for a lot of people. Hurting struggling families and the economy

    Taxes go up on everyone.

    If this deal goes south people who don't usually get involved in politics are going to start yelling and screaming. This will probably be good for democrats politically since most polls show people blaming the GOP but policy wise it is terrible for the economy and most americans

    That quote about GDP by Robert Kennedy

    by erichiro on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 09:42:41 AM PST

  •  F*ck this (0+ / 0-)

    I'm done with the Democratic Party.  It lacks courage and conviction.

  •  Stepping Backward (0+ / 0-)

    Democrats in the House should turn this down. Why should the Democratic Party give up all the leverage it needs?

    We need to insist an increase to the minimum wage be included to offset the hit on workers. And that increase should be increased to the degree that there are any further cuts to social spending.

    The Republicans got what they wanted. We need to put up a proposal that gets what we want. What we want is more income. That means more jobs and higher wages.

    Now that they have this deal, what are they going to do on the income side? Are they going to address the deficit that matters, the trade deficit?

    We have a narrow window of opportunity to put the real problems on the table and our proposals for solving them. Now that politicians have thrown their little tantrum they ought to get back to work on solving some national problems. You know, the stuff we supposedly pay them for.

  •  Remind Me Again Why They're Cutting Taxes (0+ / 0-)

    What I don't understand about this deal is why they are cutting taxes. Taxes are not too high. Incomes are too low. If you're having problems paying your taxes then you need more income.

    There's no excuse to preserve any of these tax cuts. They are a key reason we have a federal deficit, beyond the fundamental reason (because we have national policy of holding down wages and shipping production jobs overseas, which is the source of the problem).

    We need to ask why there is no effort here to get jobs back. There's a real problem here that needs to be fixed. That is an economic problem, and this purported deal does nothing to change that structural problem. It just sets us up to repeat this debacle over and over.

    We have to go back to work and elect a new President. I want to see an actual liberal on the ticket for 2016. By then the damage will be so extensive that only a massive liberal program to fix the economy will pull us back from being strictly second-class.

  •  The discontent and cynicism on the left (4+ / 0-)

    is a gift to the Republican Party.  Despite the fact that marginal rates were raised for the first time in nearly a generation, the left is weeping bitter tears and accusing the Democratic Party of betrayal.  And the progressives are wet with moral rectitude and self righteousness.  The Republicans love it.  

  •  Only in Washington ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shaharazade

    Can a bill this bad be called a win for taxpayers

    This bill is so bad, it's not even worth trying to put lipstick on this pig

    Too bad RG3 can't rescue us from this

  •  so, what are the numbers? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jack Hare

    What does each part of the compromise look like in real dollar value over the next year?  For example, how much more money will come in from the new estate tax, how much will be spent on unemployment insurance, etc, etc.  I have a feeling that when real dollar values are applied to each aspect of this package, we will have a much clearer picture of what really happened last night.

  •  for once I'm praying for the Rethugs (0+ / 0-)

    to do their usual nihilist thing...and save us from a very bad deal.  Let taxes rise!  I can afford it!  A few less glasses of sake won't do anyone any harm...or I could stop tipping well over 20% (trying to do my bit against income inequality)...not to be cynical, but O is maybe showing his true Wall Street colors right now?  No prosecutions of banksters, ever?  You really have to do a Madoff to get punished for financial crimes...in a just world BOA and Goldman would be at least heavily fined.
    Meanwhile one might think the non-financial business sector might just wake up to the fact that they as well as the public are being victimized by finance ;)

    •  You may get your wish: (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      misterwade, richardvjohnson

      "My recommendation would be not to take a package put together by a bunch of sleep-deprived octogenarians on New Year's Eve," said Representative Steve LaTourette, a moderate Republican from Ohio who is a close ally of House Speaker John Boehner.

      Rarrraw.  Cat fight between House and Senate Republicans?

      "The only hope is to keep the Republicans from shredding the safety net one hostage crisis at a time." - Kentucy DeanDemocrat

      by Senor Frog on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 11:51:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Glad you can afford it (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Apost8, richardvjohnson

      I can't.  I'm glad there's a deal that preserves my income tax rates because I've got a family and we need the income.

      Barack Obama for President

      by looty on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 11:54:06 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  but the Rethugs may make the deal not happen (0+ / 0-)

        however, don't despair...the new Congress will definitely come up with something better.  And unless you have a higher income than I do, this deal is bad for you...it doesn't extend the payroll tax cuts. which in terms of net income pretty much wipes out the end of the Bush cuts under $250K.  Better the cliff...and I must say, I'm happy to pay higher taxes for the schools for the children I don't have and road repairs for the roads driven not by me but by idiots trying to kill me at every opportunity...That's because education isn't just for people with children but for the future of all of us...

  •  just a question (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Julia Grey, misterwade

    how come Clinton era tax rates were massively higher than what is proposed here and still the economy did not nosedive then, just the opposite actually?

    We don't inherit the world from the past. We borrow it from the future.

    by minorityusa on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 10:54:52 AM PST

  •  Perfect diary. All the important info (0+ / 0-)

    plus succinct analysis. Total thanks.

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

    by Bob Love on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 11:04:40 AM PST

  •  My opinion (0+ / 0-)

    Fair deal. I am not happy with it but it's a fair deal.
    Shutting down the government and blaming the R's is a big chip.
    Anyway the House will reject the deal!

  •  Left a message with Congressman McDermott (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    misterwade

    asking him to vote no. FYI -- his voice mail box in DC is full, so call the Seattle number to leave a message (even if you disagree with me!).

    Taken on its own this compromise is reasonable. Unfortunately it hands all the leverage now to the Republicans, who can get much of what they want by doing nothing. All they need is to convince Democrats (many of whom will fully support the idea) to stop the defense cuts in exchange for raising the debt limit. Does anyone here think that won't happen?

    No, in order to prevent cuts to important programs Democrats will have to give up something -- and we all know what that will include.

    Take the sequester cuts and all the tax increases, then bargain from there and the Democrats have a stronger hand. The GOP caucus will be screaming for a return of the Bush tax rates and that's where our leverage will come from.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site