1 month before U.S. 'fiscal cliff' - no deal in sight

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  • -1

    sailwind

    Obama’s speech came a day after his administration proposed nearly $1.6 trillion in new tax revenue over 10 years, $600 billion in savings from changes in mandatory spending programs including Medicare,

    Article has its facts wrong and is only flacking for Obama again. There is no 600 billion in savings in what Obama proposed as this article wants you to believe. He proposed this:

    In exchange for locking in the $1.6 trillion in added revenues, President Obama embraced the goal of finding $400 billion in savings from Medicare and other social programs to be worked out next year, **with no guarantees. **

    That's not a serious proposal and is more like a bad joke and would be downright laughable if the issue wasn't so serious.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/30/us/politics/fiscal-talks-in-congress-seem-to-reach-impasse.html

  • 0

    Laguna

    House GOP members still seem slow in coming to terms with what "losing" means. Their proposal - to restrict revenue increases to elimination of tax deductions - is exactly what Romney had proposed and what the American electorate rejected. They say, in effect, "We lost, so our accepting what we had originally proposed is a compromise."

    Sail, it is a "serious" proposal in that it deals with serious numbers. The GOP responds not only with no specifics but also with no numbers. If the GOP would like to be "serious," they have an obligation to specify precisely how much of what they would like to cut and how. The ball is, seriously, in their court. Does the GOP really want to cut Medicare? Romney said that he would keep every cent in the program, promising to “strengthen the plan for the next generation,” perhaps signalling he would cut somehow sometime in the future. Really, Boehner seems to have learned nothing from his candidate's defeat.

    If the GOP would like to cut and reform programs like Medicare, it is their responsibility to provide the details. Please let me know if you have seen any - ANY - GOP proposal likely to be supported by their party that deals with specifics.

  • 0

    gcbel

    House GOP members still seem slow in coming to terms with what "losing" means.

    Yup.

    The GOP responds not only with no specifics but also with no numbers. If the GOP would like to be "serious," they have an obligation to specify precisely how much of what they would like to cut and how.

    and why's that?

    "That's why yesterday, when Obama administration representatives met with Republicans to present Obama's bargaining position, the Republicans refused to say what additional cuts they wanted in Medicare as the price for tax increases. They demanded that the administration itself detail cuts they might be willing to accept. They want to be able to claim that they supported cuts in Medicare proposed by the Democrats."

    Well that isn't going to happen. Democrats have no interest in falling into that trap -- or negotiating with themselves -- even if they were willing to inflict economic pain on ordinary Americans to fix a deficit problem that ordinary people didn't cause in the first place.?

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-creamer/five-reasons-obama-will-rb2218245.html

  • -2

    sailwind

    Sail, it is a "serious" proposal in that it deals with serious numbers. The GOP responds not only with no specifics but also with no numbers.

    It isn't a serious proposal its a joke. It isn't anything of the sort of that "balanced approach" that he campaigned on. It more like Wimpy in the Popeye cartoon but instead Wimpy asking for a hamburger that he'll gladly pay you back Tuesday with he's asking for his tax hike.....I'll gladly promise spending cuts on Tuesday for a Tax Hike today. And speaking of campaigning why he is still out there DOING IT? The campaign is over and he's still out there like he's running for office and demonizing Republicans. Though I guess he knows that if he does this the hack media will cover it and just spew out his talking points without questioning anything he says.

    Also, since you seem to have forgotten, Ryan's budget proposal was the most serious one that has been put there over the past 4 years and it addressed lowering the deficit and it's has been passed twice now by the House. You cannot claim the Republicans have not been serious on budget proposals and tackling entitlement reform, you may not like the way they are going about it, but you cannot deny facts that hey are serious about this.

    And here's question for you. This proposal of Obama's Is supposed to reduce the deficit? By how much?.......I'll save you trouble...... ZERO.

  • 0

    Laguna

    Technically, Sail, it is not a "tax hike," and you know this. It is simply a reversion of tax rates to pre-Bush levels - something Bush ensured when he pushed through his cuts in order to make the 10-year revenue horizon look a lot less than it does now. The GOP then was no more honest or forthright than it is now, and the harvest it is reaping is of deep irony.

    You might also remember that $900 billion worth of spending reductions over a decade were set in place in return for the 2011 increase of the debt ceiling. Combining those with the cuts promised by Obama shows a balanced 1:1 ratio.

    Ryan's budget is certainly still ripe for the table. Let's see if the GOP has the guts to submit it again.

  • -4

    sailwind

    If the GOP would like to be "serious," they have an obligation to specify precisely how much of what they would like to cut and how.

    One more point as to the GOP being "serious" on spending cuts and entitlement reform. Erskine Bowles the prominent Democrat the second half of the Bowles Simpson commission and Clinton's former Chief of Staff whom President Obama appointed and who then promptly ignored their recommendations had this to say.

    Erskine Bowles Praised Paul Ryan, Criticized Obama At 2011 Event

    “I always thought that I was okay with arithmetic. [Paul] can run circles around me, and he is honest, he is straightforward, he is sincere. And the budget that he came forward with is just like Paul Ryan. It is a sensible, straightforward, honest, serious budget and it cut the budget deficit just like we did, by $4 trillion... The President came out with his own plan and the President, as you remember, came out with a budget, and I don’t think anybody took that budget very seriously.

    http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2012/08/in-2011-clip-former-clinton-white-house-chief-of-staff-erskine-bowles-praises-paul-ryan-budget-criticized-president-obama/

  • 3

    lostrune2

    It's just the start of the dance negotiation, so both sides are starting at the farthest positions they'd settle for. Now the Republicans just need to comeback with their counterproposal, then the Democrats with their counter-counterproposal, and so on and so forth. Until they meet somewhere in the middle. (It should be noted that about 2 in 3 Americans supported raising the tax contributions of the top 2% wealthiest, so that's inevitable. As Republican Nebraska Rep. Lee Terry says, "screwed either way.")

  • 1

    Laguna

    Calling the Ryan budget "serious" is quite objective: It attracted exactly zero Democratic support in the House.

    A summary, via Wikipedia:

    The 2013 proposal provides workers currently under the age of 55 (beginning in 2023) a choice of private plans competing alongside the traditional fee for service option on a newly created Medicare Exchange. Medicare would provide a premium payment to either pay for or offset the premium of the plan chosen by the senior. This was based on a plan developed with Democrat Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon. To secure Medicaid benefits, the budget proposed converting the federal share of Medicaid spending into a block grant indexed for inflation and population growth. The 2013 proposal also caps non-defense discretionary federal spending at $1.029 trillion and consolidates the six existing income tax brackets into two.

    Simply, the Ryan budget both privatizes Medicare and hands administration over to the states (good luck if you live in the South!) and also greatly reduces the progressive nature of the Federal Income Tax administration.

    To the rich: Ka-ching! It would have been bucks from heaven for them if they had won the election, but they did not. Why are you still bringing this up? (Remember, McCain promised to bring American troops home from Iraq by 2013; notice how that conversation has disappeared since his defeat.)

  • -1

    WilliB

    Laguna:

    " To the rich: Ka-ching! It would have been bucks from heaven "

    Isn´t it getting tiring repeating these slogans? "The rich" are the only ones who are paying taxes anyway, and no country has ever taxed itself to wealth. Read this very slowly and digest it: The - government - has - no - money. It can only spend the money that it takes from its citizens, and that same money is then invariably missing for investment and wealth creation.

    In the event, there won´t be any fiscal cliff. The democrats will manage to either tax or print themselves to even more pork money and spend it. The end of the ponzi scheme will come when it collapses under its own weight.... no such scheme has ever gone on forever.

  • -7

    ubikwit

    The democrats will manage to either tax or print themselves to even more pork money and spend it. The end of the ponzi scheme will come when it collapses under its own weight.

    Spoken like a true sub-prime pundit!

    If Obama can marshal the republican votes to support his plan, then he needs to stick Ryan and Boehner at the head of the pack and force march them off the fiscal cliff, like any self-respecting commander in chief.

  • 0

    sailwind

    Technically, Sail, it is not a "tax hike," and you know this. It is simply a reversion of tax rates to pre-Bush levels.

    Not true at all. Obama wants to save the same rate we have now on the middle class. A total reversion to pre-tax levels prior to Bush's rates is going to nail everybody especially hard hit will be the middle class.

    An average middle-class household — making between around $40,000 to $65,000 — would see an almost $2,000 tax hike next year, while those making less than $20,000 a year would see their bill rise by an average of just over $400. Both groups would see their after-tax income drop by around 4 percent.

    http://thehill.com/blogs/on-the-money/domestic-taxes/259505-report-nine-in-10-would-see-tax-increase-from-fiscal-cliff

    Obama wants to raise rates on those making over 250,000 grand a year. He always has. He also has been selling this line of, and I can't really call it anything else, this line of B.S that this tax hike on the rich will somehow bring enough revenue to tackle the deficit and get Govt on a sane financial footing again. It's nothing but populist rhetoric that keeps kicking the can down the road as the U.S sinks further and further down a path to lower living standards, permanent high unemployment, a permanent growing dependency class that will reliably vote Democrat entrenching power more or less to one party as the U.S turns into a sorta of Quasi-Socialist lite version of a hard core Socialist type state. We are quite well, I'm sorry to say on our way to that now mediocre type of a State now.

    I actually wish Obama did pursue in letting all of the Bush Tax cuts expire up and down the entire wage earner spectrum, top to bottom. It will destroy the illusion among so many that they can get all the government they want without paying more in taxes or in so many cases in the lower brackets that are paying next to nothing at all to the federal coffers and it will certainly get people to hold those in Government a hell of lot more accountable for their actions when everybody from the poorest to the richest all have some real "skin in the game" with paying at least something directly to the Federal Government in taxes even if was just ten bucks a month.

    I'd actually recommend to the Republican party that they play long ball, since they going to get vilified and creamed anyway by the Democrats on the tax issue (Media wouldn't have it any other way also). That on taxes, they cave on it and that they cave so hard they even dump Obama's tax plan for the middle class. Let Bush tax rates expire on everyone and then see if the country really wants to keep on the path of 24 percent spending of GDP for the Federal Government year after year since now they are actually getting stuck with the real bill and I mean the real bill up to pay for it.

    The GOP will get clobbered in the 2014 mid-terms for letting the tax pain actually happen, but any Democrats elected in 2014 are also not going to be able to raise taxes as that option from now on will be about as popular as leprosy by then and hopefully spending cuts is what the public is demanding because on top of the 2000 plus tax bill, Obamacare's additional fees and taxes have also now hit the average Americans pocketbook as the provisions of that horrid law are taking affect, 2016 then will be totally ripe for a fiscal conservative dominated landscape whether it be Democrat or Republican led but the country would be prepared to embrace it instead of class warfare populist nonsense that we've had to endure the past years and looks like at least the next 4 if this keeps up.

    Our country is going to have to endure tough times ahead, it is inevitable you cannot keep spending like this and there just isn't enough rich people to tax the hell out of to even come close to paying for it. The bill is going to fall on everyone and the sooner we deal that unpleasant but real fact the better off we will be in the long run of getting the country back on track for a better life for those that follow us.

  • 0

    Laguna

    Isn´t it getting tiring repeating these slogans?

    and then

    The rich" are the only ones who are paying taxes anyway

    Gee, in that case,income taxes for those earning under $250,00 could easily be zeroed without effect on the budget! (-and that is not to mention payroll and sales taxes).

    The time for slogans is indeed over.

  • 0

    Laguna

    A total reversion to pre-tax levels prior to Bush's rates is going to nail everybody especially hard hit will be the middle class.

    Ah- for the middle-class, it is a "reversion" - but:

    this line of B.S that this tax hike on the rich

    • for the rich, it is a "tax hike."

    It will destroy the illusion among so many that they can get all the government they want without paying more in taxes...

    Are you talking about corporations now? - or those lucky enough to have their earnings classified as "capital gains"? - or those who suck at the teat of the Pentagon and its related brethren, all of whom too sacred to be subject to spectivity? Your comment casts a large web, Sail. Those who want more without paying taxes probably, on a dollar basis, ensnare more rich than poor.

  • 0

    sailwind

    Ah- for the middle-class, it is a "reversion" - but:

    I fail to see how you got it's a just a reversion for the middle class when I clearly stated it's a reversion that is going to nail everybody.

    or the rich, it is a "tax hike."

    It is a tax hike on the rich, Obama's plan is not for restoring Tax levels to pre-Bush levels. It's only to restore them on those making over 250,000 grand a year. Raising that groups taxes from what they are paying now......is hiking them up. If you want to make the case that the past 12 years or so they should have been paying at the higher rate no problem, but going from a lower rate to higher rate at least in everything that I've ever been taught is called a rise or a "hike".

  • -1

    edbardoe

    Obama's election by the parasite class guarantees at least 4 more years of decline for the US, which is exactly what he desires. The "fiscal cliff" is actually the likely only way to reverse the decline, so must be avoided at all costs. The "plan" is to make things bad enough to justify a "President for life status" for our new dictator.

  • -5

    ubikwit

    Face it, the negotiations that led to the agreement for these cuts and tax increases to take effect was a politically viable mechanism to employ, and now it is time to pay the piper, as the saying goes.

    The upper strata of American society is delusional and corrupt, but the political system has the capacity to facilitate the redress of that problem by the people through elections and other mechanisms such as this.

    The partisan divide in the USA is a manufactured divide that parallels the bipolar stratification into have's and have-not's as opposed to different income groups based on different levels of empirical achievement and contribution to economic production and society.

    Commander in Chief Obama will have to exercise presidential authority on the domestic front and force march the pathetic pseudo-republicans off the fiscal cliff, and let the people pick up the pieces.

    Hopefully that will bring about a reduced amount of defense (i.e., offense) spending, which is an important part of the equation for reducing the current state in which America attempts to focus solely on projecting power through the military.

  • -5

    ubikwit

    Moderator, my first comment

    If Obama can marshal the republican votes to support his plan

    should read If Obama can't marshal the republican votes to support his plan

  • 0

    Bartholomew Harte

    'Surfs Up!",,,"Cliff Diving",,,,Ohhh,,"Fiscal Cliff," Well I'll send America a postcard from Hawaii & hide the booze from Biden! A People divided cannot survive,Mr Commander in Chief,I guess you Can Fool Most of the People Most of the Time!

  • -1

    skipbeat

    You can not hike tax cuts and not cut (reduce) spending to balance the budget. The USA is $16 trillion in debt. The government is spending money that they don't have. The country is in the poor house.

    Sooner or later everyone across the board is going to feel the pinch. The govenment can not prevent something that is inevitable since they are not acting in the best interest of the country.

  • -2

    YuriOtani

    everything will be fine, will just have to pay more taxes

  • -2

    HerveEisa

    The "fiscal cliff" is a farce. It's a two-party agreement signed by Mr Obama. But the reality is the cliff is already in the rear-view mirror. what's ahead is far worse.

  • 3

    SuperLib

    sailwind: Obama wants to raise rates on those making over 250,000 grand a year. He always has. He also has been selling this line of, and I can't really call it anything else, this line of B.S that this tax hike on the rich will somehow bring enough revenue to tackle the deficit and get Govt on a sane financial footing again.

    Letting the temporary tax cuts expire isn't presented as a savior to the debt. It's just a no-brainer to add them in. The top percentages of the US are increasing their control of the wealth each year while paying historically low taxes. To protect this small class of people is just beyond absurd. The Republicans have made it a platform which is why it's the center of the debate. I applaud the Republicans who are finally waking up and starting to turn their backs on absurd/silly/reckless policies designed by some guy named Nordquist. It's about time they realize they've signed away their ability to govern.

    I also find it interesting that some people are more than happy to reduce spending and eliminate services for the lower class, elderly, and working poor, which is in effect a reduction of their purchasing power in some cases, which has the same effect of a tax. That's all fine and well, but letting tax cuts expire on high earners is off the table. Absurd. The Republican narrative is that these people are "moochers." They are turning them into the faceless enemy who is dragging everyone down at a time when the top couldn't be making more and the bottom couldn't be making less. Again....historically low taxes, increased wealth by the top, insane wealth by corporations....and for some reason they sky is falling because the social programs are bringing down the "job creators." Right.

  • 0

    globalwatcher

    Amazing to read some who are still fighting for the 2%. Hope they are in the 2% themselves.

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