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Republican Delusion On The Fiscal Cliff

Matt Lewis notes that many Republicans seem to be viewing the fiscal cliff negotiations through rose colored glasses:

Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t see how Republicans have anything but bad options regarding the fiscal cliff. At least, not in the short term.

Even if Republicans negotiate the best bipartisan deal possible (something akin to the Corker plan), anyone who votes for it would be accused of selling out.

This would cause the base to either become demoralized or (more likely) angry — angry enough to primary the “read my lips” traitors. Either way, it’s not a good thing.

On the other hand, if no deal is reached, Republicans will surely be blamed (this is always a safe assumption and a smart default position — for a variety of reasons.)

This hasn’t stopped some conservative pundits from acting as if Republicans hold all the cards. But the notion that Republicans have leverage is silly. It’s the same kind of happy thinking that led some to boldly predict a Romney victory.

Indeed, it hasn’t, and it’s a delusion that I’ve noticed has filtered down to conservative bloggers and activists online and on cable who seem to think that the GOP can somehow beat the President despite the fact that it not only lost the White House, but also lost seats in the House and Senate. Yes, it’s true that the GOP will still control the House in January, but they’ll have a smaller majority than they do now and they’ll only have control over one-half of one branch of Government. The idea that this puts them in a position of any relative power at all is monumentally silly.

Yes, it’s true that any bill that resolves this matter will have to make it through the House, but that still doesn’t give the GOP as much bargaining power as people on the right seem to think. As I’ve noted before, the public supports the President’s position on raising taxes on high income earners, and recent polling indicates that the GOP would get the blame if Congress was unable to reach a deal before December 31st, much as they received most of the blame in the wake of the utterly ridiculous and drawn out debt ceiling negotiations in 2011. This means, as I’ve noted before, that it really ought to be the GOP that has the most incentive to make a deal hear because, potentially, they’ve got the most to lose.

The GOP is coming off an election where they completely misjudged the mood of the public, and paid the price for that at the poling place. Now, they’re stuck in a showdown with a re-elected, and clearly confident, President over issues where they are out of step with the public mood. In the midst of this, they’ve got people like Grover Norquist and Rush Limbaugh telling them to hold the line on taxes and not give an inch to the President. And they’re starting to believe it. The longer they hold on to this delusion, the more likely it is that they’ll find themselves on the losing end up of yet another political argument in a month or so.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Mikey says:

    In the midst of this, they’ve got people like Grover Norquist and Rush Limbaugh telling them to hold the line on taxes and not give an inch to the President.

    Situations like this are why I think things like the Norquist pledge are phenomenally stupid. You sign that, you’ve just eliminated all your flexibility on one whole side of the equation. How do you solve for X when you can’t perform any operations on the other side of the equals sign? It makes no sense, even if you’re someone who prefers to keep tax rates lower.

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  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Moral of the story? Ships without lifeboats are not a good idea.

    I find it a little ironic that the hostage takers have become hostage to their own base. This will not end well.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 36 Thumb down 0

  3. john personna says:

    Combining the first two posts … the new GOP is trapped, believing in bad governance, and that even success is futile.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @john personna: Indeed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  5. Ron Beasley says:

    This is the danger when you create your own “reality.”

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 24 Thumb down 2

  6. JoshB says:

    The GOP really did dig their own grave on this issue. The sequestration wouldn’t even exist if they didn’t cater to their base and demanded unprecedented spending cuts in order to raise the debt ceiling. These tax cuts wouldn’t be expiring if the GOP didn’t use budgetary games to pass the tax cuts in the first place. They built this, and it is going to cause them nothing but brief now that Obama is in such a strong position. Pass the popcorn, please.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 34 Thumb down 3

  7. Markey says:

    I wanna see republicans falling on their swords to protect the über rich from a 3.5% tax hike.

    My kind of political Red Xmas, you betcha..

    :-)

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 25 Thumb down 2

  8. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @JoshB:

    They built this, and it is going to cause them nothing but brief now that Obama is in such a strong position.

    Heaven forfend that it cause them boxer!

    ;-)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  9. Fiona says:

    Unfortunately, the thug element of the Republican Party can take the rest of us over the cliff with them if they decide that under absolutely no circumstances will they allow a small tax increase on the wealthiest Americans. They have no concern for either the economy or reality as long as they don’t sacrifice on “principle.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 2

  10. Spartacus says:

    This situation should be a wake up call to “centrists” and libertarians who think the GOP would be a majority governing party if it just silenced the wacky SoCons. The GOP’s economic positions are more widely held among GOPers and right-leaning independents than are either its SoCon positions or its foreign policy positions, yet it’s the economic positions that have clearly and empirically proven to be the most harmful to the country. The rest of us clearly see this, and the rest of us constitute a clear majority of the country.

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  11. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Fiona:

    Unfortunately, the thug element of the Republican Party can take the rest of us over the cliff with them if they decide that under absolutely no circumstances will they allow a small tax increase on the wealthiest Americans.

    This is not a big deal Fiona. As others have pointed out, if all the Bush tax cuts expire, come the new Congress a bill will be introduced cutting the taxes for 98% of Americans. They will vote for it because to do otherwise is suicide.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 0

  12. JoshB says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Oops! Damn you, autocorrect!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  13. Rick Almeida says:

    To be fair, the Republicans have utterly dominated pretty much every political conversation since at least 1995, so their shock and reluctance to adapt to a new hand is at least understandable.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2

  14. JTMcPhee says:

    Nothing new, but you have to love the way the Narrative forms and spreads, kind of like toenail fungus or scabies:

    First, do I have it right that the whole scary-horror-phrase “fiscal cliff” is just a lot of fake smoke? Anyone know the provenance of the phrase in the first place (there’s way too many google hits for me to figure that out)?

    And do I have it right that no-action does not result in “increased taxes,” that Norquistifraudification, as much as “RESTORED TAX RATES?”

    But of course the Serious-People Beltway participants have to go along with the “fiscal cliff” myth and stuff like calling Social Security and Medicare “entitlement programs” that just HAVE to be “cut” on that “destroy-that-village-in-order-to-save-it” model, and to keep the revenue flowing to the favored few, and to quickly blow right past simple fixes like removing the cap on SS withholding wages, and quickly on to the cheerful fun of negotiating or at least wisely pontificating on the elements of the “politically possible Grand Bargain screw-job”? And mostly ignoring the ongoing folly of wars-of-choice and a self-creating Threat Generator called the MIC?

    And of course nobody dares mess with the MFers in the oddly faux-named Financial Industry, of which the principal products are bubbles and counterfeiting on a breathtaking scale and millions of little lancets to slice into more of the veins and arteries of the ol’ Body Politic, hastening the bleeding-out that they will escape by flying down to Rio or Bali or Qatar with a plane-load of portable wealth and the account numbers and passwords to still more…

    I guess the rest of us unbeneficed and unwashed just once again have live or die by what the Imperial Court dispenses to us. And like good old Boxer the Animal Farm workhorse, bend our shoulders to the task of creating another pot of Real Wealth for the Imperial Court and the Fuggers and IBG-YBG SOBs to drain and leverage. Until you more-equal Pigs on the Porch call the knacker, to have us render that last full measure of Public Service to you…

    (No doubt this little natter should be good for a knowing snort and sneer or three…)

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  15. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    Obama’s convinced me there is no crisis here. Just look at what he did.

    He put forth a plan that calls for $4 in tax hikes for every $1 in cuts, which will be worked out later. And he demands that Congress surrender to him the power to set the debt ceiling.

    Then he announces that he’s going on vacation to Hawaii 2 weeks before the deadline, not returning until after the New Year.

    These are NOT the actions of someone who thinks there’s a crisis. And if anyone would be in a position to know if there’s a crisis, it’d be him.

    So why don’t the Republicans just sit this one out? Just abstain from any votes on the matter, or even not bother showing up in the Capitol? Why should they be more concerned about the situation than Obama?

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 35

  16. Janiah says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: Good point, except the House should be in session and it should pass a reasonable bill (which I will not define here to avoid the argument) and negotiate in good faith with a Senate conference committee whenever the Senate is r eady.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  17. Whitfield says:

    “Good news for the economy. President Obama is out of town !”
    (Jay Leno)
    Let’s start a fund that people can contribute to: President’s overseas trip fund. Keep him overseas, and the fiscal cliff problem is solved!

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 26

  18. Party of the problem is that a lot of the GOP seems to think that holding The House is a sign of widespread popularity, even though 1) they actually lost 8 seats 2) if you totall all the house votes across the country, the Dems actually got more votes than the Republicans.

    Their control of The House is more a reflection of their redistricting abilities than their actual popularity. But thanks to the Republican media bubble, they’re going to remain blissfully unaware of this danger until the suffer a catastrophic loss.

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  19. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Stormy Dragon: Party of the problem is that a lot of the GOP seems to think that holding The House is a sign of widespread popularity, even though 1) they actually lost 8 seats 2) if you totall all the house votes across the country, the Dems actually got more votes than the Republicans.

    Or, you know, they could actually believe in what they’re saying and not just mouthing whatever the polls tell them that people want to hear. You know, like the Democrats do.

    Interesting feedback loop: say and do what you think the people want, get re-elected over and over. But what happens when what you say and do is actually wrong, and causes more problems?

    Oh, yeah, I remember what then. BLAME BUSH! And find some right-wing boogeyman to work up the hate on. Karl Rove, Grover Norquist, the Koch brothers, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Fox News…

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 30

  20. michael reynolds says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    These are NOT the actions of someone who thinks there’s a crisis. And if anyone would be in a position to know if there’s a crisis, it’d be him.

    They’re the actions of a man holding a full house playing against a slow-witted fellow who needs some time to figure out he’s gonna need to fold.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 47 Thumb down 1

  21. Merit Man says:

    What folks have not realized is that we have already gone over the cliff. If Obama gets his was spending and taxes increase. If Republicans get their w… Well that’s not going to happen because that would entail tax cuts for everyone that pays taxes. Which would encourage spending by consumers rather than what is going on now or what will happen is Obama get’s his $1.6 Trillion in tax hikes with ZERO immediate spending cuts. Either way, we’re already over the cliff. We just haven’t hit the ground yet.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 20

  22. @Jenos Idanian #13:

    In September, the House voted 329 to 91 to pass a continuing resolution to continuing resolution to continue deficit spending for six months. Now those same people are complaining about the debt that’s resulting from the spending they already authorized.

    So no, I don’t think they actually believe what they’re saying. They are, each and every one of them, absolute cowards. Proposing spending cuts would require actually taking a stand on something which they would then have to explain or justify to the voters. Instead, we’ve had two years now of them trying to maneuver other people into having to make the diificult decisions because the Republicans are nearly all pussies that are afraid to do their actual job.

    It’s not suprising they’ve failed to accomplish anything in those two years; they’re all sizzle and no steak.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 32 Thumb down 0

  23. anjin-san says:

    You know, like the Democrats do.

    Yea, maybe we should pay more heed to the reality-based GOP.

    How is President-elect Romeny doing anyway?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 0

  24. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @michael reynolds: Sure, you got a full house — say, fives over threes. And I’m holding King, Jack, Ten, Eight, Six, mixed suits.

    But I’m playing War, not Poker. I win.

    In other words… this isn’t necessarily the game you think it is. It might not even be a game at all.

    How does a full house stack up against a grenade?

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 30

  25. michael reynolds says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    That slow-witted fellow I mentioned? That’d be you.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 44 Thumb down 0

  26. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Stormy Dragon: because the Republicans are nearly all pussies that are afraid to do their actual job.

    Kind of like that arch Republican, Harry Reid, killing any and all budgets for the past few years?

    Kind of like that arch Republican, Barack Obama, going off on vacation for the last two weeks before the last deal expires?

    The bastards…

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 21

  27. anjin-san says:

    How does a full house stack up against a grenade?

    We already know that Republicans would gladly harm the country if they can damage Obama in the process. You are not telling us anything new…

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 31 Thumb down 0

  28. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-san: You can’t get your head out of the game, can you? Like Obama, you’re in perpetual campaign mode.

    Sooner or later, the campaign ends and the real work begins.

    Obama’s run from it for four years. But it’s catching up to him.

    And us.

    BTW, how are things for the people on Staten Island? Obama visited them and made big promises, so everything must be hunky-dory for them, right? He did a heck of a job on their behalf, didn’t he?

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  29. anjin-san says:

    I win.

    Can we get some kind of tracker going to tally all of Jenos’ self-declared victories?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 0

  30. anjin-san says:

    how are things for the people on Staten Island?

    About like you would expect for people who just experienced a once in a lifetime disaster. Of course we know if Romney had bee President, the shattered houses, roads, and utilities would have simply repaired themselves.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  31. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-san: Talk about vast, over-reaching generalizations… can someone please buy this idiot a dictionary so he can look up the term “metaphor?”

    I know what happened. You came across the word “analogy” and got too excited over the first four letters.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 21

  32. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 23

  33. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-san: We already know that Republicans would gladly harm the country if they can damage Obama in the process. You are not telling us anything new…

    If that’s how you read “stop playing games, there’s a real problem here,” then I don’t know what else might bring you around to reality.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 19

  34. anjin-san says:

    @ Jenos

    That’s your comeback? It’s gotta be tough being you…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  35. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-san: It’s gotta be tough being you…

    It’s a dirty job, but Mike Rowe ain’t available…

    Whoops, he is. Oh, crap.

    On the other hand, it seems really easy to be you. Just pay attention to a tiny fraction of what others say and pretend it’s all they said. A rejected bot program from Media Matters could be you…

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 18

  36. jukeboxgrad says:

    doug:

    In the midst of this, they’ve got people like Grover Norquist and Rush Limbaugh telling them to hold the line on taxes and not give an inch to the President.

    As someone said recently:

    Republicans have been fleeced and exploited and lied to by a conservative entertainment complex

    It’s just more of the same. It has nothing to do with reality, and it has nothing to do with smart strategy for the GOP. It’s all about box office. Grover and Rush are performers, and they will continue to make a nice living even though they are helping the GOP flush itself down the toilet.

    I spend too much time reading comments at places like National Review and Hot Air. Those comments indicate that the base is crazier than ever, and they worship Grover and Rush. And I bet that those folks putting lots of energy into posting comments are also calling their reps to yell at them. So the GOP will not be getting less crazy anytime soon. Probably the opposite is happening, as it shrinks and becomes more purified, purging itself of the sane.

    The core issue is that the party is not being led by people like McConnell and Boehner. It’s being led by people like Grover and Rush. That’s where the power is. The real battle here is not between R and D. It’s between the “conservative entertainment complex,” which cares only about box office, and people like Boehner who care about winning elections.

    Like JoshB said: “Pass the popcorn, please.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  37. Rick Almeida says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Kind of like that arch Republican, Harry Reid, killing any and all budgets for the past few years?

    In reality, the last successful budget was for fiscal year 2011

    Kind of like that arch Republican, Barack Obama, going off on vacation for the last two weeks before the last deal expires?

    If there’s one thing I hate most about living in 2012, it’s our utter inability to communicate over distance.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 23 Thumb down 0

  38. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Rick Almeida: I’m going to assume you’re just ignorant, and not lying. From your own link:

    An original concurrent resolution setting forth the congressional budget for the United States Government for fiscal year 2010

    This was from 2009. Did you intend to reinforce my point? ‘Cuz you did.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 13

  39. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Rick Almeida: Obama’s going to be real involved in those negotiations, and I’m sure the distractions of being on vacation and six time zones away won’t cause any problems.

    Hell, it might actually help. After all, he let the House Democrats write ObamaCare for him…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 14

  40. anjin-san says:

    Just pay attention to a tiny fraction of what others say

    Once you get past yourself, Florack, Jan, and a few of the other slow kids, I pay a lot of attention to what others say. Careful study of ones comments is earned, and yours tend to be a blog version of empty calories – they take up space, but provide little to nothing that actually nourishes a discussion.

    You’ve been told this before, but you clearly still don’t get it. No one takes you seriously because you provide daily evidence that you are not a serious person. Hence your endless string of self- congratulations. You’ve spent your life being dismissed by others, and you need to get reinforcement from somewhere…

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 0

  41. anjin-san says:

    This was from 2009

    The guy who was recently gushing about how Mitt Romney saved a drowning man and linking to a fake Trayvon Martin “thug life” page is now a stickler for facts?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  42. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-san: And it’s so much easier for you to play Lucy Van Pelt, Nickel Psychiatrist, than actually discuss issues.

    You say you read comments carefully, but it sure as hell doesn’t show when you Dowdify them to make your pointless points.

    Here’s my main point: Obama isn’t acting like he takes this situation seriously. He’s acting like the campaign is still going on.

    Oh, and he’s making a power grab by demanding that Congress give up the power to set the debt ceiling and render it unto him.

    Don’t you have a problem with that?

    I thought not.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 14

  43. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-san: So, you only have a problem when I get things wrong, and not when someone trying to “correct” me screws it up?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 11

  44. anjin-san says:

    Obama isn’t acting like he takes this situation seriously. He’s acting like the campaign is still going on.

    I spend time on Fox almost every day. I really don’t need the Cliff’s Notes version from you. Regurgitating right wing boilerplate is not “discussing issues”…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  45. @Jenos Idanian #13:

    I know what happened. You came across the word “analogy” and got too excited over the first four letters.

    Ah, and when Jenos doesn’t get his way, the mask slips and the homophobic bigot comes out.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  46. @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Kind of like that arch Republican, Harry Reid, killing any and all budgets for the past few years?

    Kind of like that arch Republican, Barack Obama, going off on vacation for the last two weeks before the last deal expires?

    Great, so neither side is doing their job. But Harry Reid and Barack Obama don’t claim to be championing limited government, so as a libertarian I don’t look bad when they’re on TV acting like a bunch of four year olds. And as annoying as their failure to passage budget is, they’re not gonna cause my taxes to shoot up in January.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  47. An Interested Party says:

    Republicans in Congress aren’t the only people who are deluded…their supporters around here also seem to share that malady…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  48. Eric the OTB Lurker says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Here’s my main point: Obama isn’t acting like he takes this situation seriously. He’s acting like the campaign is still going on.

    Well, like Michael said above, Obama is acting like someone who’s holding a significantly stronger hand than House Republicans. I’m not sure why that is so difficult for you to understand. I mean, are you really trying to suggest that your opinion of Obama would be so much better if only he would show he cares?

    Please, cracker. You’re talking to educated, non-Fox News watchers here. That dog don’t hunt.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  49. Rick Almeida says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Your claim: “Harry Reid, killing any and all budgets for the past few years”

    Reality: the US had an official budget in place as late as 30 June 2011.

    Please list the budgets that Sen. Reid “killed”.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  50. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: “If that’s how you read “stop playing games, there’s a real problem here,” then I don’t know what else might bring you around to reality”

    Just wondering — which part of Boehner’s suggestion that Obama avoid the “cliff” by implementing the financial plan that Romney ran and got crushed on and by eliminating Obamacare do you consider he equilvalent of “stop playing around, there’s a real problem here”?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  51. Scott says:

    The trouble with this entire conversation is that the deficit is today. To get spending cuts that shrink the deficit today means that Medicare has to be cut today. Social Security payments have to be cut today. Defense has to be cut today. No one will vote for that. That leaves tax increases. Personally, I would go over the so-called cliff. Take the pain now.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  52. michael reynolds says:

    Here’s Jenos: “I hate Obama. Now please discuss the substantive points I’ve made.”

    Jay, you’re a failed blogger hiding behind an asinine pseudonym running around like a caged monkey throwing his scat in the air and imagining all the while that you’re William F. Buckley. You contribute nothing of substance. Every single thing you’ve ever said can be summarized as, “I hate Obama and I hate liberals.”

    So. We get that. You hate Obama and you hate liberals.

    Anything else?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 28 Thumb down 0

  53. al-Ameda says:

    @anjin-san:

    Can we get some kind of tracker going to tally all of Jenos’ self-declared victories?

    Jenos reminds me of those isolated Japanese soldiers on remote pacific islands who, when found by American troops, were unaware that the war was over – presumably, they declared victory and went home to Japan.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  54. Whitfield says:

    What exactly would happen if the country goes over the “fiscal cliff” ? I have never heard anyone say what the impact would be and how it would affect me.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  55. superdestroyer says:

    The Republicans are going to be blamed for anything that goes wrong with government in the next four years and the Democrats will be given credit for anything the government succeeds.

    The Rep;ublicans are in a no win situation and should adopt whatever policy will harm the Democrats the most. Since the fiscal cliff means major budget cuts this year, it makes more sense for the Republicans to go for that instead of voting for tax increases today with the promise of spending cuts in the out years.

    The Republicans will be smart to push for as big as budget cuts they can get in FY13 and leave the Democrats to raise taxes in the future.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  56. michael reynolds says:

    @superdestroyer:

    Do you understand that the fiscal cliff means big tax increases right away as well as automatic defense cuts and domestic cuts? And that this may push us into a recession? And that the GOP would end up being blamed for 1) Raising middle class taxes, 2) Cutting middle class programs, 3) Causing a recession?

    And that’s your advice to the GOP? To make themselves even more thoroughly despised, to fragment as the rational few desperately try to distance themselves from their crazy compatriots and lose still more Senate seats and House seats in 2014 and quite possibly cease to be a real political party?

    Are you secretly David Axelrod?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  57. Eric the OTB Lurker says:

    @superdestroyer:

    The Rep;ublicans are in a no win situation and should adopt whatever policy will harm the Democrats the most.

    So, um, does Team Right have any real interest in, y’know, actually governing and doing what is good for America? Or is it about doing what is good for Republicans? What about all that lofty talk by Team Right about patriotism and bipartisanship?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  58. michael reynolds says:

    @Whitfield:
    You haven’t? So, Fox News I assume?

    Basically if we go “off the cliff” the Bush era tax cuts sunset (end) and we revert to the previous tax rates. This means people making over 25k will pay more, and so will people making less. The Obama plan is to keep taxes lower on middle class folks while letting the wealthy tax rates go back to Clinton era rates.

    At the same time there would be indiscriminate, across the board cuts on expenditures. So defense and CIA and Veterans would all be cut, as well as Medicare, Medicaid, etc…. The cuts would be to good and worthwhile programs as well as to programs that should be eliminated.

    For you, personally, assuming you are a middle-class earner it would cost you about 2 grand, give or take, plus cuts to whatever benefits you get.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  59. michael reynolds says:

    25k should be 250k.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  60. superdestroyer says:

    @Eric the OTB Lurker:

    There is not such a thing as “Good for America” no matter how many times the Democrats translate what is good for their core groups as something that is good for everyone. Does it benefit everyone if the government gets bigger. Does it benefit everyone if more people become dependent on the government? Does it benefit everyone if more government money if funneled to the groups that overwhelming for the Democrats? The Democrats do not care about doing what is “good” for the core Republican voters.

    The Republicans should adopt whatever policy that hurts their group the least and harms the Democrats the most. Making spending cuts now will hurt the Democrats the most and hurt the Republicans the least.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 10

  61. michael reynolds says:

    @Whitfield:

    To put it in stark terms, we have this choice right now, either:

    A) We raise taxes on middle class and the rich while cutting all programs including defense.

    Or,

    B) We keep tax cuts for middle class, raise taxes on the rich, and cut programs more moderately.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  62. superdestroyer says:

    @michael reynolds:

    The Republicans are going to be blame for any tax increase no matter what, The Republicans are going to be blamed for any down turn in the economy no matter what.. The Republicans are going to be blame for hurting the middle class no matter what. How ever big spending cuts now hurts the Democrats now whereas tax increases now with no spending cuts in the future help the Democrats the most.

    The Republicans are going to lose no matter what they do, so the only thing they should do is whatever hurts the Democrats the most. Then at least both sides will feel some of the pain.

    The problem with the changes in politics is that the Republicans are never going to benefit from anything they do and the Democrats are never going to be blamed for anything they do. So the Republicans might as well do what has the most benefit in the long run and ever dollar cut from spending helps the Republicans and automatic tax increases with spending helps them the most. .

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 5

  63. michael reynolds says:

    @superdestroyer:

    Genius: old people are the core GOP constituency. They consume the most government services: Social Security and Medicare and VA benefits. So they will be the most hurt.

    So, explain how the GOP screwing some GOP grannie in Florida is going to help the GOP and hurt the Democrats.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  64. michael reynolds says:

    @superdestroyer:

    The Republicans are going to lose no matter what they do, so the only thing they should do is whatever hurts the Democrats the most. Then at least both sides will feel some of the pain.

    And then the race war in which you will be a Field Marshall, right? You’ll finally get to move out of that trailer behind the diner in Amarillo and get your own tank?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  65. Jib says:

    @Whitfield: I will try. First, it is not a cliff, not much happens in the beginning. The only immediate impact will be reinstatement of payroll taxes. Everything else phases in over the course of the year.

    Income tax rates will rise and some tax credits will expire so over the course of the year, depending on how much money you make and HOW you make the money, you taxes will be higher. One of the tax rates is the capital gains tax so if you collect dividends or sell stock, your taxes will be higher on any gains. The AMT will be reset at a lower level so if you make enough money, you could get hit by that.

    Discretionary govt spending will be cut back 10% across the board. SS, Medicare, unemployment, disability, farm subsidies, etc, are NOT discretionary and will NOT be cut.

    If you work for the fed govt, work for a state govt in a department funded in part or all by the fed govt, in defense company, work for a company with a govt contract, then you MAY lose your job with the spending cuts.

    Depending on how much the tax increases hurt consumer spending, you may lose your job in a general recession. Its not clear how big a risk this is.

    The key thing to remember is that very little happens right off the bat. There is plenty of time for tax cuts to be reinstated,and spending to be restored before real damage is done to the economy.

    Bottom line, there will be tax increases and spending cuts no matter what although how much and what and what it means for any of us is impossible to figure out now.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  66. Ben Wolf says:

    @Whitfield:

    What exactly would happen if the country goes over the “fiscal cliff” ? I have never heard anyone say what the impact would be and how it would affect me.

    $600 billion in cuts and tax increases? Consumer spending and investment fall in response, and unemployment rises past 9.5%. The economy would also begin to contract by some time in the third quarter 2013.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  67. superdestroyer says:

    @michael reynolds:

    MR,

    I doubt if one dollar of social security or medicare will be cut. However money will be cut from the defense budget and from domestic spending. That means fewer government employees and fewer contract dollar be awarded to Democratic Party allies. Anything that cuases the federal government to cut back is a long term win for the Republicans.

    There is no way the Republicans win trying to be the second big spending party. GW Bush increased spending and the Democrats became more powerful. Government spending is what keeps the Democratic Party in its dominant position. Anything that cuts domestic spending helps the Republicans and hurts the Democrats. Also, anything that raises taxes on the middle class makes the middle class think about the high level of government spending.

    The best way to create more fiscal conservatives is to raise taxes on everyone. That is why the Democrats want to limit tax increases to as small as group as possible while increasing entitlement spending to as big a group as possible.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  68. Ben Wolf says:

    @michael reynolds:

    So, explain how the GOP screwing some GOP grannie in Florida is going to help the GOP and hurt the Democrats.

    You’re talking to someone who advocates shrinking the economy as a win for Republicans. Good luck.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  69. michael reynolds says:

    @superdestroyer:

    I doubt if one dollar of social security or medicare will be cut.

    How so?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  70. michael reynolds says:

    @Ben Wolf:

    We need better trolls. Maybe a recruitment effort of some sort?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  71. anjin-san says:

    Anything that cuts domestic spending helps the Republicans

    Republicans like government spending just as much as Democrats do. They just don’t like paying the bills.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  72. Jib says:

    @michael reynolds: SS and medicare will not be cut if we go off the cliff. They are not discretionary spending. The repubs want to cut them as part of the renegotiated package so they can use the money for defense spending and lower taxes on the rich.

    I really think we are better off if we go off the cliff and then add the middle class cuts back in and adjust some of the spending cuts in the New Year and leave entitlements out of it. So enjoy your vacation Mr President, you earned it and we will have plenty to do when you get back.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  73. Laurence Bachmann says:

    @michael reynolds: Don’t count your chickens just yet. Other then the Affordable Health Care Act, which was saved by Harry Reid ramming a bill through a lame duck Congress, when have Obama or the Dems won anything in a negotiation? They walk into every conference room resigned to giving up half and end up giving an additional half as well. They have the backbone of jellyfish and Obama’s stupid hands off approach to talks is infuriating–why seek executive power if you are reluctant to wield it.

    We may be on the right side of most issues but we are a buch of pussies when it comes to promoting our agenda. Good things like marriage equality often happen despite Democrats,not because of them, as we wait for our leader to “evolve” and “lead”. Being better than Mitt Romney is hardly cause for celebration.

    I hope I am wrong but experience tells me Decorats can hold all the cards and still f@$k up the hand.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  74. superdestroyer says:

    @anjin-san:

    Any Republican that wants to increase spending is a Republican who wants to be irrelevant. There is one big spending, big government party in the U.S. and any voter who wants a bigger government and more spending will vote for them.

    The Republicans need to find voters who are interest in keeping more money in their own pocket instead of letting the Democrats give it to the most powerful blocks in that party.

    One of the best examples of long term stupidity of GW Bush was his belief that the Republicans should be the second big government party.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  75. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Ben Wolf:

    You’re talking to someone who advocates shrinking the economy as a win for Republicans. Good luck.

    Good luck with that.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  76. Scott O says:

    @superdestroyer:

    There is one big spending, big government party in the U.S.

    Meet reality.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  77. Whitfield says:

    @michael reynolds: Thanks for the reply. I used to watch Fox and MSNBC a lot, but those news channels have grown old and tired for me. I now stick to NOVA, Discover (Myth Busters), History Channel, and WWE on Monday night.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  78. Tillman says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Interesting feedback loop: say and do what you think the people want, get re-elected over and over.

    I know! It’s like we live in a representative democracy or something…

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 0

  79. Tillman says:

    How can anyone claim that removing the debt ceiling is somehow a power play by the executive? How?! Congress sets the debt ceiling, Congress sets the budget, and Congress sets the tax rates. It’s frickin’ arithmetic! You mean to tell me our elected representatives are so stupid that they need a statute to remind them when their math is bad?

    At least the Tsar appears to be from some alternate timeline, and doesn’t make any pretension to being native to our own. Jenos, I don’t know, must’ve read Sein und Zeit too many times.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  80. @Whitfield:

    History Channel

    Whenever I turn on the History Channel now, the pain in my head makes me cry.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  81. Barry says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: “How does a full house stack up against a grenade? ”

    Keep telling yourself that.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  82. Pharoah Narim says:

    Im thinking the “Fiscal Cliff’ is a “Good Cop (Dem)/ Bad Cop (Repubs) job to make some tough choices and maintain plausible deniabilty too their constituencies. Each side gets to blame the other for Tax increases and Spending cuts. While they may end up walking back the intensity of those increases and cuts–its going to happen. Unfortunately, we don’t have politicians with enough sense to know we could grow our way our of this mess with an idling down of “Free Trade” policies and increasing blue collar manufacturing. But then again–who expects a bunch of Harvard Poly Sci/JDs could actually get the bottom of an issue and–get this–SOLVE IT.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  83. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Tillman: How can anyone claim that removing the debt ceiling is somehow a power play by the executive? How?! Congress sets the debt ceiling, Congress sets the budget, and Congress sets the tax rates. It’s frickin’ arithmetic! You mean to tell me our elected representatives are so stupid that they need a statute to remind them when their math is bad?

    Here’s how Geithner put forward the plan: Congress changes the rules. Currently, Congress sets the debt ceiling, and it can only be exceeded with the approval of Congress. Geithner wants the president to be able to unilaterally exceed the debt ceiling, and Congress must pass a resolution to deny it. However, the president can veto that resolution, so it would, in practice, take a 2/3 supermajority from both Houses to rein in the president.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 5

  84. jukeboxgrad says:

    Geithner wants the president to be able to unilaterally exceed the debt ceiling

    Except it’s not “unilaterally.” Congress controls spending. If the president is exceeding the debt ceiling, it’s to pay bills incurred by Congress. What was pathetic about the 2011 debt ceiling battle is that Congress essentially told Obama to not pay for obligations that had already been approved by Congress. There’s a word for this: deadbeat.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  85. Unsympathetic says:

    Here’s a novel idea, Jenos: If you don’t like “The Fiscal Cliff,” then tell your representatives to propose a budget.

    Obama was right to put a better version of his budget out there as a starting point — Republican economics have been completely rejected. Of course, the only Republican response is whining and complaining — because that’s the only thing Republicans are capable of doing.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  86. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jenos Idiotian #13: Facepalm!

    Currently, Congress sets the debt ceiling, and it can only be exceeded with the approval of Congress. Geithner wants the president to be able to unilaterally exceed the debt ceiling,

    This has to be the single most stupid thing I have read all year. Jenos, you even beat yourself.

    Shaking head… Jenos, go back and read your revered Constitution, and this time apply reasoning to the words contained within it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  87. C. Clavin says:

    You can learn everything you need to know about the Republican Party by reading Indiana Jones #13′s comments. Delusional? His/her delusions have delusions.

    The pretend Debt Ceiling crisis Republicans manufactured before held back the economic recovery and cost tax-payers billions in extra spending. So much for fiscal canservatives. Now by refusing to adress an easily addressable situation they threaten far more of the same. This Republican Clown Posse is like Dr. Evil…they Gerry-meandered themselves into power…but now they have no clue what to do with the power. It’s like they are a huge coection of Jenoses…sitting in his/her mothers basement in his/her onesy, eating Cheetos and typing nonsense on a keyboard. But being productive? Not so much.
    And I’m still willing to bet anyone $20 that Indiana Jones #13 is part of the 47%.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  88. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @C. Clavin: I paid over $4K in taxes for 2011. Care for an e-mail to PayPal that twenty bucks?

    And if the proposal Geithner put forward seems stupid, take it up with Turbo Tax Tim, who probably paid less in taxes than I did those years he was cheating on them.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4

  89. superdestroyer says:

    @Scott O:

    As the Republicans have tried to become the second big spending, big government party, the Republicans have become much less relevant to politics. If voters want high taxes, high entitlements, a massive government, then they will vote for the Democrats especially at the local and state level. The Republicans will never be able to outcompete the Democrats in the promise of more government jobs, more government entitlements, and more government goodies.

    The only question for politics is what happens when more than 50% of the voters want high taxes on others and high level of benefits for themselves. The only answer is you get a one party state like currently exist in places like the District of Columiba, Chicago, Mass., or California.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  90. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    I paid over $4K in taxes for 2011. Care for an e-mail to PayPal that twenty bucks?

    You paid 4 thousand dollars in taxes and yet you consider yourself to be part of the solution??

    Question for you: what percentage of gross does that represent?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  91. Rafer Janders says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    I paid over $4K in taxes for 2011.

    That’s all you paid in taxes? Only $4,000? That’s nothing. Jesus, I pay that much out of one paycheck.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  92. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @superdestroyer:

    The Republicans will never be able to outcompete the Democrats in the promise of more government jobs, more government entitlements, and more government goodies.

    It’s not that. The public mostly wants a workable solution that makes sense and will by necessity have to be a compromise.

    Republicans seem to have completely missed the message of the recent election and are going down the same sort of “if we present this thisly, and that thusly, and remain on message, well the public will blame the Democrats and we’ll get to run the kool kids klub.”

    It doesn’t work that way. Democrats, for a variety of reasons, are much better at that sort of Machiavellian PR battle, and they’ll beat the GOP at that game every time.

    Which begs the question of why the GOP insists on continuing to play it. There is no path for them here, other than cutting a deal and doing it quickly, that doesn’t lead to them being blamed for the consequences of failing to address this.

    The alternative is the country slipping back into a recession that would peak, IMO, right during the run up to the 2014 midterms. A recession that the GOP would be blamed for and which the Dems would gleefully use to decimate them at the polls.

    There is no value for the GOP in swinging at the dirt here. The right answer is to move on. Cut the deal and move on.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  93. john personna says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    (If the guy is old and retired, lifecycle analysis might be kinder.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  94. john personna says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    It doesn’t work that way. Democrats, for a variety of reasons, are much better at that sort of Machiavellian PR battle, and they’ll beat the GOP at that game every time.

    In the depths of the GWB reign this was reversed though. History can turn.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  95. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @john personna:

    Eh, maybe. I see what the GOP did under Bush largely as beating the Dems at their own game. Medicare Part D. Handing out stimulus checks (lest anybody forget that people got “go spend this check, please” bennies from the Treasury for several years under Bush II.

    Nobody worries much about blame when the economy is expanding. It becomes thin ice when people perceive the economy to be in trouble and start looking for someone to blame. In this game, the GOP lose this round if they don’t wise up.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  96. Brummagem Joe says:

    Welcome dose of realism Doug. It’s really hard to believe that Boehner, McConnell don’t understand their predicament but I could be wrong. The rank and file and the chatterers have no idea of the degree of exposure Republicans are faced with. In Negotiating 101 terms Obama has put a modestly low ball offer on the table, but only modestly lowball given he fought and won the election on the issue……Boehner is currently engaged in the walkaway……But the monkey is still on his back……..Monkey’s generally get heavier the longer you carry them……short version Boehner is *******……The Republicans are going to have to concede 95% of what the Democrats want……it’s that simple. And when they do all hell is going to break out in the GOP.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  97. Brummagem Joe says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    4K in taxes……are you serious……I’m retired and I pay far more than that in taxes……what a laugh.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  98. anjin-san says:

    I paid over $4K in taxes for 2011.

    In other words, you are paying peanuts – and whining about it pretty much non stop.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  99. C. Clavin says:

    $4K in taxes???? Your a taker, not a maker.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  100. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    @C. Clavin: I paid over $4K in taxes for 2011. Care for an e-mail to PayPal that twenty bucks?

    So you’re part of the 47%?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  101. Pharoah Narim says:

    Somebody in this thread is a dad blamed freeloader. Its probably the grown a@@ man talking about paying 4K in taxes. I’d laugh if I weren’t so tired from carrying him.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  102. wr says:

    @Pharoah Narim: Hey, do you know how many Slurpees Jay has to make in a year for his big payday?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  103. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    Yes, I paid 4.2K in income taxes last year. Average tax rate of 13.63%. Marginal rate of 15%. Annual income of just over 40K. Standard deduction, one exemption, single. All taken right off my 2011 1040 summary.

    That’s one nice thing of doing your taxes online. The returns are right on my system, as PDFs. And I can just log in and access them at any time I want to.

    Tell you what, Cliffie — just take that $20 and send it to Sarah Palin’s PAC. I know it’ll hurt you more than giving it to me.

    But guess what, dipshits? I’m not arguing that I’m paying too much in taxes. I’m arguing that we all are. I understand a lot of you are selfish bastards and only think in terms of how things affect you personally. There’s nothing wrong with that — as long as you acknowledge it, and don’t automatically think everyone else does the same thing.

    But back to my original point, setting aside the distractions from my fan club — someone, anyone, please make the argument that Obama’s taking this situation seriously. ‘Cuz it’s clear as hell that he isn’t.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4

  104. C. Clavin says:

    @ Indiana Jones….
    You spend all your time bitching about entitlements and the 47% and the takers…then try to pin The label of acting selfishly on anyone else??? You are truly nuts. The entire argument from Obama and the rest of us here in the political center is that we need to act as a collective. I would agree that you making $40K a year and Romney making that much in a day and paying the same tax rate is ridiculous. But based on your comments I don’t think you are capable of understanding what is really going on around you…you seem very confused.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  105. C. Clavin says:

    Also your numbers point to about $30K in income…not $40K.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  106. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @C. Clavin: Sounds like I shouldn’t have used TurboTax. I figured if they were good enough for the Secretary of the Treasury, they’d be good for me.

    As far as the actual numbers… 40,XXX adjusted gross, 30,XXX taxable (after deductions), 4,2XX tax paid. I was looking at gross before deductions (which I consider “real income,” as it was what I got), and you’re talking taxable for tax rates. So maybe they did get it right — your number matches my taxable, not gross.

    And since you’re acknowledging that I did pay taxes, does that mean you will pay off your bet? I told you how you can pay it off. I’ll even just take your word for it.

    You know, you and the others are far more interested in discussing my personal circumstances than I EVER have been. I try to look at the big picture, and don’t take into account how things might affect me. Because they usually won’t — in most cases, I’m a rounding error.

    So, do you wanna talk more about my finances and other personal information, or how Obama isn’t acting like he’s taking this whole fiscal cliff thing seriously at all? And his power grab over the debt ceiling?

    I hope it isn’t the former, ‘cuz I’m tired of being everyone’s darling and main focus.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  107. anjin-san says:

    @ Jenos

    But guess what, dipshits? I’m not arguing that I’m paying too much in taxes. I’m arguing that we all are. I understand a lot of you are selfish bastards and only think in terms of how things affect you personally.

    Every time I think you can’t get any stupider…

    My quarterlies are quite a bit higher than your yearly tax bill. Yet I am willing to pay more – because, as a nation, we need to pay our bills, including the ones that Bush ran up while today’s so called fiscal conservatives cheered at the top of their lungs.

    I am willing to pay more because I have a nice life and I would like to help those who have been less fortunate than I have. Yes, every April I have a few wistful thoughts about how I could be buying a new Porsche, or putting a down payment on the place up the coast my wife wants. Then I write the check, sans whining.

    How exactly is that an indication of how I only think of myself? If you want to cry about taxes, go for it. But you don’t get to decide for me, or anyone else that taxes are too high.

    Bottom line is that taxes are at a historic low, and it is harming our country. Grow a brain.

    That’s one nice thing of doing your taxes online. The returns are right on my system, as PDFs. And I can just log in and access them at any time I want to.

    Tell you what, Cliffie

    Someone who does not use a CPA to do their taxes should use caution when referring to anyone else as “Cliffie”…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  108. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-san: My quarterlies are quite a bit higher than your yearly tax bill. Yet I am willing to pay more – because, as a nation, we need to pay our bills, including the ones that Bush ran up while today’s so called fiscal conservatives cheered at the top of their lungs.

    I am willing to pay more because I have a nice life and I would like to help those who have been less fortunate than I have. Yes, every April I have a few wistful thoughts about how I could be buying a new Porsche, or putting a down payment on the place up the coast my wife wants. Then I write the check, sans whining.

    If you’re willing to pay more, then why the hell aren’t you? Why do you demand that everyone else do the same before you do what you say you’d do willingly?

    You’ve got an interesting definition of “willing” — “I’ll do it if you make me, and everyone else do it, too.” Kind of like how the left likes to put their tax proposals as “asking” the wealthy to pay more. If you’re “asking,” then they’re free to say no, right? And what will happen if they hear you “asking” and say no?

    Your quarterlies are higher than my annual tax burden? Good for you. I’d like to see you keep more of your money, so you can allot it how you like. If you wanna dump it down the black hole that is the federal government, I gave you that link above.

    Come on, sport. Literally put your money where your mouth is.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 12

  109. anjin-san says:

    If you’re willing to pay more, then why the hell aren’t you?

    You really don’t get that you are not being clever here, just trying and failing… do you?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  110. C. Clavin says:

    Indiana Jones #13…
    I kicked $20 to my favorite charity…not that quitter from Alaska.
    You’ve now held 3 different positions on this post.
    You are totally incoherent.
    Seek professional help.
    You probably qualify for Medicaid.
    You’re already a taker…so a little more won’t hurt the rest of us.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  111. Pharoah Narim says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    Name one thing of consequence that ever was accomplished in the manner you are suggesting- with millions of individuals making individual choices in their own self interest.

    Goodness, I’d hate to be in the same fox hole with you. If we had to go on offense you’d opine how everyone should be free to get out of the fox hole at their own time and choosing. Blah Blah Blah.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  112. C. Clavin says:

    @ Anjin-San….
    He/she isn’t trying to be clever…he/she is just repeating what he/she heard someone else say.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  113. anjin-san says:

    The bottom line is Jenos is a typical “fiscal conservative” – he wants all the benefits of living in an advanced, stable society – he just does not want to pay for them.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  114. MBunge says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: “Literally put your money where your mouth is.”

    Anyone remember what Jenos’ position was on the Iraq war and other such GOP-led military misadventures? ‘Cause I’m thinking liberals will be more than happy to pay more in taxes if it means that conservatives have to put their own asses on the line the next time they want America to get its war on.

    Mike

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  115. jukeboxgrad says:

    jenos:

    If you’re willing to pay more, then why the hell aren’t you?

    “Why the hell aren’t you” responding to what was already said the last time you brought up this stupid argument? And why the hell are you pretending that your stupid question hasn’t already been answered?

    One of your most adorable qualities is the way you repeat the same crap over and over again in new threads, ignoring what was already said about your crap in the last thread.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  116. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-san: So, anjin, you are “willing” to pay higher taxes, as long as “willing” is defined as “if you threaten to put me in jail if I don’t, I’ll pay it.”

    If that’s how you define it, I want credit for being “willing” to not rob banks and setting annoying people on fire. Hey, can i have a Nobel Peace Prize, too?

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  117. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @C. Clavin: So, that’s your sense of honor as a gambler? I won the wager (as you tacitly acknowledged), but you get to choose what to do with MY winnings? You could have at least asked me for an apolitical charity of my choosing, but instead you decided that you knew better how to spend my winnings than I would. Well, at least you’re consistent to your liberal beliefs.

    Let me show you my shocked face.

    And yeah, I’m repeating things. Because no one seems to hear them the first time. Like how Obama obviously doesn’t take this fiscal cliff thing seriously.

    Oh, and my position on the Iraq War? That it’s over. And that it’s irrelevant to the current fiscal situation. There’s a bit of a difference between the “past” and the “future.”

    Look it up.

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  118. Rob in CT says:

    There is nothing wrong with paying $4k in taxes, and paying more does not make you morally superior. It means you have a higher taxable income.

    I know a bunch of you are having fun by applying “Conservative” arguments (maker/taker, etc) to Jenos, but in the end it’s not helpful. Jenos doesn’t pay lots of taxes, because Jenos doesn’t make much money. That is as it should be. It also means that Jenos falls into the “deluded” not the “short-sighted self-interest” category. He believes the “supply-side” stuff about how if we just keep taxes on “job creators” low, decent jobs will trickle down for the masses. That this theory has been tested and found wanting doesn’t seem to matter.

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  119. Rob in CT says:

    But I do have to chuckle (sadly) at the similarity between Jenos’ effective tax rate and Mitt Romney’s effective tax rate (that we know of, which is likely close to if not the high point).

    It’s almost enough to make you wonder about makers and takers. ;)

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  120. john personna says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    I dug this data (pdf) up for 2009. It is tax paid in dollars by income quintile:

    Lowest Quintile: $200
    Second Quintile: $2,900
    Middle Quintile: $7,200
    Fourth Quintile: $14,100
    Highest Quintile: $51,900

    So $4K is not unusual. I guess the real problem for Jenos though, his rhetoric vs his data, is that he wants lower earners to pay more. He thinks the problem is in the 47%. He IS in the 47%

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  121. MBunge says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: “Oh, and my position on the Iraq War? That it’s over.”

    Everybody else gets it, but just for you, the principle you’re advancing is that if people want X, they should do X themselves rather than relying on society to collectively do X. I used the Iraq War, but there’s plenty of other examples to choose from. Just about everybody except maybe hermits living in the woods with no electricity, water or sewer service wants government to do something for them instead of doing it themselves. You want police to patrol your neighborhood to prevent crime? Government. Fire rescue to save you in an emergency? Government. Road crews to make sure you can drive over passable thoroughfares? Government.

    Do you want to patrol your own neighborhood? Save yourself when you’re trapped in a burning building? Fix those potholes along your way to work by yourself? Unless you’re willing to take on all the jobs and responsibilities of civilization yourself, you must both accept and acknowledge the necessity and morality or collective action. That doesn’t mean you have to agree, for example, that tax rates should go up. It does mean you have to give up childish “If it’s so important, why don’t YOU do it” nonsense.

    Mike

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  122. Brummagem Joe says:

    @Rob in CT:

    Not helpful perhaps (whatever that means) but a source of much innocent amusement surely. But not as amusing as the fact that Jenos who assuming he is single has a income probably below the national median and believes he shares any community of interest with either Romney or the Republican party in general.

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  123. Brummagem Joe says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Actually Jenos Iraq is not irrelevant to current economic situation because we’re still paying interest on the debt incurred to pay for it and much more important we’re going to saddled for generations with the legacy costs of the war (pensions, healthcare etc etc.). There was much press comment a couple of weeks ago about a bionic arm that has been provided to a war veteran that cost 100k who do you think paid for that?

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  124. anjin-san says:

    So, anjin, you are “willing” to pay higher taxes

    Your continuing to harp on this debunked point does not make it any less moronic.

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  125. anjin-san says:

    paying more does not make you morally superior

    I don’t think anyone believes that it does. I do think it means people who pay more have more common interestes and experience with the elites that guys like Jenos and bithead have a fantasy commonality with.

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  126. mantis says:

    @Jay Tea’s stupid sockpuppet with a lame Star Wars name Jenos Idanian #13:

    Like how Obama obviously doesn’t take this fiscal cliff thing seriously.

    I see why you are confused. Obama doesn’t take Republicans seriously. And why should he? They are a joke.

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  127. C. Clavin says:

    @ Rob….
    It’s not just Jenoses delusions of commonality that is funny. He/she thinks we should all pay lower taxes (lower than historic lows) but supported Romney…who was going to raise his/her taxes…and hates Obama…who actually lowered his/her taxes.

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  128. Rob in CT says:

    Ah, but that’s just it: he’s a believer. He’s making a very similar argument to the one we often make (that our position is not grounded in narrow self interest), just reversed. In this telling, he courageously offers to pay more (or take benefit cuts, I suppose) while the job creators pay less, and the result is a rising tide that lifts all boats. This is all wrong, but it presses the same buttons as the “I’m a rich liberal who advocates higher taxes on me and those like me” argument.

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  129. Mikey says:

    The Hill has a brief item up saying the Republicans have sent the White House a counter-offer based on a framework originally presented to the “supercommittee” last year by Erskine Bowles. It includes spending cuts, entitlement reforms, and $800 billion in new tax revenue.

    No details in the article on any of this, so take it for what it’s worth.

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  130. MBunge says:

    @Mikey: “$800 billion in new tax revenue.”

    Initial reports are that such revenue would be raised through closing various loopholes and ending tax breaks, but the math says the only way to raise that much money would require going after stuff like the home mortgage deduction and charitable giving deductions.

    In other words, never gonna happen.

    Mike

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  131. Brummagem Joe says:

    @Mikey:

    Er…… Bowles has already disowned it…..it’s the usual vague Republican bs re-packaged although attempting to make cuts in SS which Republicans swore to defend during the election. The WH has already told Boehner what he can do with it.

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  132. Barry says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: “Oh, and my position on the Iraq War? That it’s over. And that it’s irrelevant to the current fiscal situation. There’s a bit of a difference between the “past” and the “future.” ”

    It’s not over, and won’t be for decades, in terms of the effects.

    The reason that people ask is that it’s a good predictor – if you supported the Iraq War, your judgement is wrong on any other issue until proven correct.

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  133. josie says:

    @Mikey: Just look across the Pond. One year of the “ideas” of higher taxes for the “Rich” has caused reduced taxe revenue and 2/3 of the “Wealthy” to leave that country. They already pay 80% of the tax burden now. How about all these people who pay no tax, benefit from EIC, start paying their own way. Btw, $250,000 a year is not wealthy to small business owners. The majority of that goes out for business costs and fees. If a company isn’t making close to that, they aren’t successful in terms of doing business and should close their doors.

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  134. Justinian says:

    Just some information for those interested enough in this issue to be on this blog. I have followed the debt for years and years.

    * The Federal Debt is now 160 hundred thousand million dollars.

    * The Federal Government goes further into debt by between 2 and 3 thousand million dollars each day. To put the number in perspective, the federal government falls further into debt each day than a thousand workers earn in their entire lives.

    * Between 1 and 2 thousand million dollars of purchasing power leaves the country each day due to the trade deficit. (If you wonder why people don’t have money in this country as they used to, it is because the money is now elsewhere.)

    * Approximately 5 thousand million dollars of debt falls due and must be rolled over each day. And the day that debt cannot be rolled over is the day the Federal Government goes insolvent.

    The “fiscal cliff” made so much of inside the Beltway is very little when compared with these figures. Indeed, these figures show a government in a state of sustained, free fall.

    The country went over the real fiscal cliff years ago when the federal government went into a state of budgetary profligacy starting with Reagan, continuing through two Bushes and now an Obama. The only question left is when we go splat when we hit the bottom.

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  135. Mikey says:

    @josie: I’m aware of the British experience with the 50% top marginal rate, but I am not sure it can apply to the U. S. because our citizens can’t avoid taxation here by leaving the country.

    If my father were still alive I’d have to tell him you think he should have closed the business he owned for over 30 years because you don’t think he made enough money and he wasn’t successful. Maybe I’ll tell my brother who owns it now, he’ll have a laugh, he won’t close the doors though.

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