Free Markets, Free People

“Fiscal Cliff” negotiations with Democrats? Gimme the usual please …

When is the GOP (and the public) going to learn?

How many times have we heard that the only thing standing in the way of a grand bargain to reduce our growing national debt is Republican intransigence on taxes? If Republicans would only agree to dump Grover Norquist, Democrats will agree to cut spending and reform entitlements. Then, we can all join hands and sing Kumbaya as we usher in a new era of compromise and fiscal responsibility.

Except that now that Republicans have agreed to raise taxes, er, revenue, as part of an agreement to avoid the looming fiscal cliff, liberals appear to have decided that there really isn’t a need to cut spending after all.

Yup, in fact they’ve taken entitlement reform “off the table”.

Senate Democratic leaders signaled Tuesday they would not agree to any entitlement reforms before the end of the year that cut spending on Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries.

They also said that any year-end deal to avoid the expiration of tax cuts and implementation of spending cuts — known as the fiscal cliff — must include a provision to raise the debt ceiling, which would otherwise have to be addressed early next year.

The White House and Reid have indicated they will not consider cuts to Social Security, a notable change from 2011, when President Obama said “everything is on the table,” including entitlement programs dear to his party’s base.

In other words, we’re back to “tax the rich”, raise the debt ceiling and spend, spend spend.  Meanwhile, it is left up to the GOP to “compromise” by breaking the tax pledge (led by the Judas goats, Saxby Chambliss and Lindsey Graham) or be forever branded as the intransigent “bad guys” in this.

Meanwhile, low information Americans who, by over 60% approve of taxing the rich, will buy the spin by the press painting the GOP as the cause/reason for the calamity while Democrats “lament” the problem (“but, hey, that’s now the law thanks to Republicans”) and gleefully rub their hands in delight at all the new revenue they’ll have to “redistribute”.

Some things never change, do they?


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59 Responses to “Fiscal Cliff” negotiations with Democrats? Gimme the usual please …

  • After the 6th of November, there was officially and certainly never any other way this was going to go.
    As it stands the Republicans would be lucky to get them to commit to spending cuts that took effect in 2050.
    Seriously, that’s why so many of us are just saying tie the relief valves down, stoke up the fire and jam the throttle as far forward as it will go.   The coming train wreck is going to hurt them before it hurts us, because they’re NOT preparing for it and when it hits they’ll be down to attacking each other’s entitlements to try and keep the scraps going to their rioting constituents.
    I’m beyond caring about people who refuse to see Dale’s (giantass) Kangaroo hoping onto the track.

    • I agree 1000%.  The GOP should hold a presser and announce that they’ll sign whatever Obama gives them. Let the chips fall where they may. Looker is spot-on, the coming disaster will hurt their core clients much more and much faster than it will us. Eff ’em all.

    • I think they may be preparing for it. Some of the alphabet soup agencies have bought huge quantities of ammo.

      Granted Obama voters are clueless and unprepared. But I’m not sure I’d put anything past Holder, and Obama has his twitter “army”: the administration has means to communicaate with its radical followers in a real time manner the right has yet to master.

      Democrats have always had a numerical advantage, but it was always a weak advantage since they also typically lacked the focus, interest, motivation, etc., to show up and vote. The real skill of the Administration has been to use tech and science to overcome this flaw in their base in 2012. It is possible they could use this to mobilize their supporters during a financial meltdown, a sophisticated parallel to Hugo Chavez’s thugs.

      • Until the local exchanges and towers come up short on power, or something ‘breaks’.
        If big ears is planning on using his first world comms grid in a thrid world situation that’s fine with me.
        Ask the folks in New York how their cell phones were working the day after Sandy.

  • So, “balanced approach” was another Obamic term with a very short shelf-life.
    I think the term that Obama really believes in is Cloward-Piven.
    I also think that Harry Reid is one of the most evil sons-of-bitches ever to sit in the Senate, and that is going some considering LBJ was a Senator.
    House leaders, just make a call for presidential leadership today.  Repeat it tomorrow.  Stand fast.

    • The way it is playing out I think you are correct about Obama and Cloward-Piven. See my post just above yours (the one I’m responding to).

      • Seems a pretty inescapable conclusion to reach.  It isn’t like nobody working for Obama is unaware of how to help a faltering private sector.  Clinton could manage it, and some of the Obami are Clinton retreads.
        One cannot look at the unbroken trend of policy by Obama that seems calculated to damage our private sector while concurrently placing more and more demands on our “safety net” and not conclude this is by design.

        • Yeah, I used to just think Big Ears and his coterie were naive fools fumbling through national government.   Not any more.

  • I’m confused, a couple of years ago both Reid and Obama thought sequestration was a good idea?  So did a fair number of Dem reps and senators.
    Now it’s bad?  What made it good 2 or 3 years ago and bad now? Same for the useless media.  When passed sequestration was the height of bipartisanship blah blah blah.  Now its a crisis, blah blah blah.

    Let it happen, let it burn.

    Rebubs, you’re going to lose the PR battle anyway.  Let it burn.  Let reallity set in.  Maybe, maybe opinions will change.  The no conseequences populace must face consequences. Even then it’s quesionable whether political opinons would change.

    • Here’s a good way to take some PR ground…

      “The core of this standoff is the budgetary process in Congress, which has run off the rails for more than three years. Despite the requirements of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 that both chambers produce a budget resolution each year, the Senate under Democratic control has refused to do so since 2009. Instead, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has opted to litigate budget conflicts through high-profile standoffs and crises, rather than through the normal process of budget adoption and conference committees.”
      The Budget Act should be amended to eliminate Congressional pay whenever there is no budget. Pushing this would be good for the GOP. I’m mystified why they haven’t done it. Pass it out of the House and send it to the Senate. Hilarity will ensue.—Glenn Reynolds

      Take the fight to the bastards.

  • Ah, those zany guys over the Washington Post, they’re a laugh a minute.

    • Ace called this one perfectly yesterday….it’s a pro-forma CYA editorial. A fig leaf they can point to when they’ve spent the next 4 years solely hammering the GOP.

      • I’m not sure, but it’s also possible even their cosseted liberal brains realized that calling every white person in the South a racist was overreaching.

        Personally, I’d call that editorial despicable, and brand them as total bigots, but we’d be lucky if they got to “overreaching” in their own minds.

  • Well two things.

    The Republicans had to give on the tax the rich issue to expose the Democrats.

    The Democrats and their mouth pieces in the media have defined the fiscal cliff as reducing over-spending (either tax increases or spending cuts). 

  • In other words, we’re back to “tax the rich”, raise the debt ceiling and spend, spend spend.

    Seems like maybe some are declaring an on-going battle is “over”…

    • I saw Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-Va) on CNN (I think) the other night.
      Warner said that the President hopes to get $1.0 trillion in “savings” from the income and capital gains taxes on the rich.
      Warner went on to say that he thought they needed $1.8 trillion in “savings.”
      Let’s get real here.  When you’re running $1.0 to $1.4 trillion deficits, even adjusting for hopeful growth, they need at least  $8.0 trillion in “savings.”  This “fiscal cliff” really only generates about $4 trillion in “savings,” so I say “over the cliff.”

      • They don’t have a down payment on a down payment.
        These guys remind me of that old stereotypical joke about who the first owners of Cadillac-s are.

      • Warner or Reid can say any loopy thing they want.  Saying that “entitlements are off the table” because Reid said so is pretty loopy, too.
        The thing for the House GOP guys to do is simply say, “We are looking for leadership from the President”.  Then say it again tomorrow and the next day.

        • To what purpose? It won’t break through the filter. We know he won’t lead he never has and never will. And nobody cares dude. The narrative is its the GOP fault and the only way to change that is to fold like a cheap suit and let Obama fail on his own. People may wake up then.

          • The purpose is to set the record.  I don’t expect Obama WILL lead.  I expect SOME will hear the message.
            If the GOP folds without the record, what hope do you have of setting the new narrative?
            Plus, it costs nothing, and sticks it in Obama’s face.  Say it every day.  Say it several times every Sunday.

          • They need some caustic showmanship that looks ugly, to get through the media filter, but say the right things.

          • I wish setting the record mattered Rags, but what I keep seeing is they either ignore the record, or they just lie about the record.
            Eventually they re-write the damn record.  Example? – Republicans are the slavery party.
            As long as they have all the bull horns and loud speakers, it doesn’t matter enough that we keep trying to move the crowd in the opposite direction by shouting.
            Every tin-pot banana republican dictator knows three of your first targets are the radio station, the phone exchange, and the television studio.

          • I wish setting the record mattered Rags, but what I keep seeing is they either ignore the record, or they just lie about the record.

            So?  Do you advocate just letting them without resistance?  Like I said, it costs nothing, and SOME will get it.  It has to be done.  It is a COLLATERAL move, to be taken with others.  Like standing pat.  And it that means letting it burn…well, there you go…

          • Okay, you’re right, effectively it costs nothing, and I suppose if there’s no complaining they’ll say “you never complained!”

          • One of my math. professors told me an old Russian proverb; “Repetition is the soul of learning”. I believe that to be true. It is also probably true that the amount of repetition necessary to teach something is inversely proportional to the student’s willingness to learn.

          • Yep.  We DO learn by repetition.
            PLUS, keep in mind that several reliably leftist papers SWITCHED to endorse Romney, so it isn’t like the filter is perfectly efficient.

  • One thing…. It’s cold comfort but at least we do have confirmation- the dems are in fact the monsters we always suspected they were. That counts for something….no more need for even the teeniest shred of doubt. I won’t feel the least bit bad about what comes next.

    • ” the dems are in fact the monsters we always suspected they were.”
      Yeah, and they really didn’t take very long to show it – before the month was out.     As you said, it makes what probably comes next a little easier.

  • “So my number one bit of advice to the congressional Republicans is simple: Back out of of all of this negotiating with Obama. The president is overwhelmingly dominant in the news media. You start setting up the definition of success finding an agreement with Obama, you just gave Obama the ability to say to you, ‘Not good enough,’” Gingrich said.
    The onetime presidential hopeful ridiculed the idea of the fiscal cliff, saying it was a manufactured crisis. (RELATED: Boehner: Democrats ‘yet to get serious about real spending cuts’
    “There is no fiscal cliff. It’s absolute, total, nonsense,” Gingrich said.
    “It is an excuse to panic. It’s a device to get all of us running down the road so we accept whatever Obama wants because otherwise we have failed the fiscal cliff, and how can you be a patriot if you don’t do what the fiscal cliff requires, and the fiscal cliff will appear to us one afternoon, much like the land of Oz, where there will be this person hiding behind the machine who will say, ‘Raise taxes now,’” Gingrich intoned, “and if you don’t raise taxes you’ll have violated the fiscal cliff.”
    “Now, do any of you want to be the person who stands up and destroys America by violating the fiscal cliff? Do you want to go on one of the national networks and explain that you are so reactionary, so out of touch with life, that you don’t care that America is going to die late on Thursday?” Gingrich scoffed.
    He also addressed the recent focus on Grover Norquist and his no-raising taxes pledge, which some Republicans have abandoned in recent weeks, calling it a “distraction.”
    “I give Obama great credit for this. I have never seen anybody better at finding trivial distractions in order to avoid responsibility,” Gingrich said.

    • I’m with Newt. Much ado about (relatively speaking) nothing.  It does rather puzzle me why those who want to cut spending panic at the prospect of actually doing so.

  • Wow, you guys are going over the top bat-s**t crazy.  Democrats are monsters?  Now you know how Democrats felt during the Bush years.  The country is changing.  As for the fiscal cliff, here’s my view:
    You might want to consider the possibility that just as you were wrong about the election (skewed polls, “atmospherics” (chuckle), and things like that, you might be just as wrong about climate change, economics, health care, and what America needs to recover.  Perhaps you’re just wrong!

    • The “fiscal cliff” is just the kind of fiscal restraint that you have been telling was just over the horizon for the past 4 years.
      And President Obama did sign the legislation that put the “fiscal cliff” in our path to the future.  Hey, what could be so bad for Democrats than going back to the tax levels of Bill Clinton ?  And those cuts .. yeah, a great way to transfer blame for the $700 billion in “promised savings” in the ACA that Democrats passed to the Republicans who will actually make good on $400 billion in “actual savings.”

    • I was wrong about the ultimate result.  But I got RIGHT the “atmospherics” and a lot else besides.  Obama won.  He won with you and Snookie voting for him.  Yea, you…
      And Dirty Filthy Harry Reid IS a monster…if by monster you mean a corrupt, lying, hate-twisted character assassin who cynically reverses positions at the drop of a hat, and for whom power is the ONLY consideration.
      Come to think of it, so too are Crazy Nanny Pelosi, Alan Greyson, etc., etc., monsters.  You are just a moron.

    • See, but we know, for a fact, we’re NOT wrong about climate change, and we’re not wrong about the continued spending, and we’re not wrong about what the Obamacare system is going to do to health care in the country.
      You’re just a naive idiot Scott, it’s pretty much that simple. You wander around spouting ‘co-exist’ and declaring that Obama ‘has’ to cut spending, which you spouted through the first three years of his administration.  YOU yourself spouted it, indicating you understood that spending was out of control.  There has been NO spending cut, there hasn’t even been a budget.
      You were completely wrong about Libya, and Egypt, and Syria, and Iran and the whole Arab Spring.
      You spouted bi-partisanship, all along, and now your answer is “Now you know how Democrats felt during the Bush years”, which is a polite way of telling us to go f* ourselves, we’re going to get whatever the Democrats deem appropriate and bi-partisanship be damned.
      I said you were a naive idiot above, that was wrong.
      You’re not an idiot you’re a tremendous hypocrite.
      And what are you doing here, saving us?

      • Now you know how Democrats felt during the Bush years

        I found that one of Erp’s more bizzaro declarations…and, brother, that is goin’ some…!!!
        WTF does he mean?  Deemocrats were frothing delusional BS about McChimpyHilterBOOOOOOOoooosh’s awful, terrible, really bad acts and thoughts.  I don’t know how that feels.  Not a bit.
        Now that Pres. Not Optimal is DOING what Deemocrats fantasized about Bush doing, we have cricket music from our TeleScreens.  Now that Obama is DOING MUCH WORSE than that for which he called Bush “unpatriotic”, that is DoubleGood.
        So, no, I have no idea of how Deemocrats felt during the Bush years.  I live in Realityville.

      See if you can figure out how that applies to you.

      • Since I am not ABOUT to give him any traffic, maybe you could tell me how he is treating Obama’s “balanced approach” of demanding higher taxes…and going to campaign rallies?  I mean, even Erp has to choke on that.  Right….???

        • I scanned –  usual long winded creamy analysis la la la, with a couple shakes of the patented coverass salt shaker.
          He hasn’t dealt with the plan to raise taxes now, cut spending much much much later, or the Senate plan to change the long standing rules on filibuster, or…  so he certainly won’t observe that this is the same plan we’ve been hearing since Obama came into office.
          Well, you know, he didn’t deal with the hard stuff, he stuck with the patented Democratic talking points, safer, easier, wiser, watch and learn, he’s optimistic.
          It’s still rah rah rah, Obama, that scamp, ‘must’ do thus and such or we might have to make a frowney face and those batsh**t crazy Republicans need to get leaders who will compromise.

          • Wonder if he noticed the Obamic Decline continues apace…

            It is symptomatic of the national condition of the United States that the worst humiliation ever suffered by it as a nation, and by a US president personally, passed almost without comment last week. I refer to the November 20 announcement at a summit meeting in Phnom Penh that 15 Asian nations, comprising half the world’s population, would form a Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership excluding the United States.

            He must be SOOOO proud…!!!

          • No, he probably thinks that’s good, it’s a sign we have accepted our place as a second rate nation, the same way Great Britain ultimately surrendered their empire.

    • Here Scott – this looks like a guy willing to compromise right?  That’s what the words UNILATERAL AUTHORITY mean, right?   Professor Tool.
      “The Obama administration’s opening bid on Thursday in negotiations to avert a year-end fiscal crunch included a demand for new stimulus spending and authority to unilaterally raise the U.S. borrowing ceiling…”

    • Thats pretty funny when you consider that (1) most of us here thought Bush was a pretty bad president, and (2) Obama has pursued all of Bush’s bad policies but taken them a lot further.

      • Scott Erb embraced Obama engaging in the very activities for which he excoriated Bush.  Previously, he was an anti-war pacifist.  Libya came along and he learned to stop worrying and love the smart bomb.

    • You might want to consider the possibility that just as you were wrong about the election (skewed polls, ‘atmospherics’ (chuckle), and things like that, you might be just as wrong about climate change, economics, health care, and what America needs to recover.

      I was right about the election and was fairly close on the EC vote.  Romney was a horrible candidate who failed to inspire the base to show up and vote.  Shifting demographics mean that there are too many voters who want “free” stuff for a fiscal conservative to win, so Republicans are forced to offer up contortionists like Romney.  Their cowardice and lack of principles are a recipe for continued failure.  Meanwhile, the “tea party” types will continue to frag the worst of the RINOs, putting the GOP in an increasingly intractable position.

      But don’t celebrate too much.  Now you guys get to own the failures.  All of them.  There will be no one else to blame for the inevitable failures of your grand schemes of central planning, economically suicidal environmental restrictions, more “free” stuff for the proles, more invasions of privacy, increasingly secretive and powerful shadow government programs, predator drone warfare coupled with muddled apologist foreign policies, and all the other idiocies you support.
      Not only did I not fall for the Morris/Rove ploy (I saw it before), I’m also smart enough to see through the “climate change” hysteria, which is far more nuanced than a simple “for” or “against” proposition the way you and other propagandists portray it.  Notice you use the word “change” instead of “warming”.  That’s the classic bait-and-switch fallacy.  Do you even know what a logarithmic function is?  Do you know why that’s relevant to greenhouse gasses?  How about positive and negative feedbacks?  Bonus question: in nearly all complex natural systems scientists have observed, what sort of feedback inevitably dominates?  Face it, in discussions on global warming, your social “science” background is a liability.  You simply lack the intelligence to understand the arguments any deeper than political slogans.  But as a propagandist, you don’t need to.  You just need to fool the voters enough to get your people in positions of power, which you’ve done.  You’ll continue to act in ignorance of the science and focus on the politics.  Once the government passes enough of the laws and regulations you support, it will be too late.  The fools who believed your hot air will be stuck paying extremely high rates for gasoline, utilities, and overall consumer prices.  There will be no way to vote their way to an “undo”.
      I’ll be sure to remind them that people like you are responsible.

  • BWaaaahahahahahaha!
    My time forecast was off, but here he is (chuckle)!
    ” Perhaps you’re just wrong!”
    And perhaps not. 2+2 still equals 4, no matter who wins an election.

  • A line from Ann Althouse I just have to spread, off topic or not;
    “It’s late autumn in the Arab spring.”

    • Using his own logic, since Erb was so clearly, utterly wrong about the Arab spring, does that mean he’s wrong about global warming, health care, and what not?


  • You’re a monster too Scott….you know exactly what you advocate and why

  • The voters are the problem. Who knows what the hell they want the GOP to do.
    The GOP needed to have their own series of tax hikes ready to reveal…like 50% of trial lawyers’s earnings, hollywood tax hikes to pay off war debt like Truman, no tax free status for bonds, so rich trust funds pay taxes…taxes on government officials who move to the private sector, etc.
    All of those hurt the Dems or are good for the country, and how could anyone argue against them?
    That puts the Dems on the defensive. Norquist wouldn’t like it and it would be good PR so we can’t do that.

  • I just stumbled upon an article from October by Maggy Selim Kamal Aldine (“Islamaphobia: The Backlash That Isn’t“) in which the odious Erb actually accuses a formerly Muslim woman of being a fraud for daring to criticize his propaganda.
    Erb is the backwoods, lower-IQ version of Noam Chomsky.

    • Refreshing read actually, thank you Elliot  😀

    • Oh, and it’s entertaining to note for those in the know…and informative for those uninformed about Dr Erb,
      our brave self righteous hypocritical, Professor deleted her comment, and his reply, from that comment stream.

      • Down the memory hole.

        • Alas for him, not this time.

          • He has reinforced his usual self-parody with his original article and the handling of the dissenting commenter.  It is such a cliché for a liberal professor to demonize political opponents with preposterous straw arguments, attack dissenters with wild accusations, then hide the embarrassing details from view.