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Author: jgc123 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 442480  
Subject: Boehner offers... Date: 12/4/2012 2:02 PM
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...zero identifiable revenues and the right complains that he gave away too much:

http://nbcpolitics.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/12/04/15674350-boe...

There is no doubt that conservative Republicans are insane.
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Author: goofnoff Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 414243 of 442480
Subject: Re: Boehner offers... Date: 12/4/2012 2:23 PM
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Virtually no identified spending cuts.


The right wants the US to commit suicide.

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Author: jgc123 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 414244 of 442480
Subject: Re: Boehner offers... Date: 12/4/2012 2:33 PM
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"The right wants the US to commit suicide."

In defense of Boehner, Cantor, McConnell, etc., the Republicans have been winning elections for 30 years by promising tax cuts and paid for by unspecified spending cuts. And they won the house again by promising tax cuts and unspecified spending cuts.

Why should they propose a credible budget when their base doesn't require it?

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Author: sykesix Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 414245 of 442480
Subject: Re: Boehner offers... Date: 12/4/2012 2:51 PM
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Virtually no identified spending cuts.

Obama's proposal offered more spending cuts than Boehner's.

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Author: 1poorguy Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 414248 of 442480
Subject: Re: Boehner offers... Date: 12/4/2012 4:15 PM
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Why should they propose a credible budget when their base doesn't require it?

That is really more damning that it first seems.

I won't say 'insane' (this time...nobody nibbled on my last thread about that anyway). But I will say "stupid". They're a bunch of dim bulbs if they think more tax cuts are going to help anything.

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Author: Umm Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 414251 of 442480
Subject: Re: Boehner offers... Date: 12/4/2012 4:50 PM
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"...zero identifiable revenues and the right complains that he gave away too much"

That is because he gave away an inch. Remember, the party of NO thinks that anything other than their position is unacceptable.

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Author: albaby1 Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 414253 of 442480
Subject: Re: Boehner offers... Date: 12/4/2012 4:57 PM
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That is because he gave away an inch. Remember, the party of NO thinks that anything other than their position is unacceptable.

Far be it from me to be sympathetic to Jim DeMint's position, but I gotta ask this. After several days of President Obama's supporters praising him for not pre-emptively negotiating with himself, and opening with only the things that he really wants (and some more besides), why wouldn't conservatives be upset that Boehner didn't do the same thing? If it's a shrewd hardball negotiating tactic for the President, why is it merely obstinate for Republicans to do the same?

Albaby

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Author: 1poorguy Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 414254 of 442480
Subject: Re: Boehner offers... Date: 12/4/2012 5:06 PM
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If it's a shrewd hardball negotiating tactic for the President, why is it merely obstinate for Republicans to do the same?

Because in about 3 weeks the tax cuts evaporate, and the spending cuts occur. The conservatives have essentially no leverage at all. They need to be a little more eager to negotiate in earnest if they want to get any of their priorities. This offer does not show that, and in fact appears to be extremely cynical (i.e. "we'll work out that $800B in added revenue with the tax committees next year"...yeah, right...and I've got some swamp land here in the Great Sonoran Desert you can buy).

If they had given even a few details I think people would take them more seriously, even if they disagreed with those details. But they didn't.

And then they still tried to sneak in a tax cut for wealthy folks to boot! That's not serious, that's cynical and intransigent. "My way or the highway" with no "highway" option. Business as usual for them. In which case the scheduled expirations and cuts will proceed.

1poorguy (not fearing the cliff at all)

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Author: albaby1 Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 414255 of 442480
Subject: Re: Boehner offers... Date: 12/4/2012 5:17 PM
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Because in about 3 weeks the tax cuts evaporate, and the spending cuts occur. The conservatives have essentially no leverage at all. They need to be a little more eager to negotiate in earnest if they want to get any of their priorities.

They have a fair amount of leverage, in that they control the U.S. House of Representatives. From a political perspective, if the fiscal cliff is intolerable for all parties, then they have a pretty large seat at the table as well.

If they had given even a few details I think people would take them more seriously, even if they disagreed with those details. But they didn't.

I wouldn't have expected any details until there's some general agreement on the broader scope of any deal. The details are what cause members to defect, and you're not going to be able to whip them if the Administration hasn't committed to deal in general.

And then they still tried to sneak in a tax cut for wealthy folks to boot! That's not serious, that's cynical and intransigent. "My way or the highway" with no "highway" option. Business as usual for them. In which case the scheduled expirations and cuts will proceed.

I'm sure that conservatives felt the same way about the Administration asking for control over the debt ceiling. If you support the President, that's a pretty bold move - but if you don't necessarily agree with his policies, that's simply adding in an item that has no chance of passing and is likely to just make future negotiations harder.

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Author: 1poorguy Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 414256 of 442480
Subject: Re: Boehner offers... Date: 12/4/2012 5:31 PM
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They have a fair amount of leverage, in that they control the U.S. House of Representatives. From a political perspective, if the fiscal cliff is intolerable for all parties, then they have a pretty large seat at the table as well.

But that's the point. This "cliff" does much of what the Dems want. They can do nothing and they get their rich-guy tax hikes (or, more precisely, the expiration of the tax cuts). The conservatives are the ones scrambling to make this not happen. They need to be a bit more contrite and flexible than they have been in recent years, or Obama can just ignore them and let it happen.

That's what I meant by no leverage. Imagine if I try to return something to a store after the 30-day policy. The manager might accommodate me, but he doesn't have to. He's in the driver's seat, and I need to be very nice and pleasant or he can just tell me to buzz off.

1poorguy

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Author: albaby1 Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 414257 of 442480
Subject: Re: Boehner offers... Date: 12/4/2012 5:41 PM
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But that's the point. This "cliff" does much of what the Dems want. They can do nothing and they get their rich-guy tax hikes (or, more precisely, the expiration of the tax cuts). The conservatives are the ones scrambling to make this not happen. They need to be a bit more contrite and flexible than they have been in recent years, or Obama can just ignore them and let it happen.

But it also does a number of things the Democrats really don't want - to dramatically increase taxes on the middle and lower classes, increase payroll taxes, impose billions of dollars in cuts in non-defense discretionary spending, and undo the "doc fix" for Medicare. Not only do the Democrats have programs that they like that are on the hook for those cuts, but I'm sure that President Obama probably doesn't relish the prospect of that happening during his Administration.

So there's potential for hardball on both sides. That's particularly the case since Boehner has something that the Democrats do not - the ability to pass a bill out of his chamber. The day after the fiscal cliff, the House will almost certainly pass a bill extending all the Bush-era tax cuts. It won't get through the Senate, of course. But Reid cannot pass out a middle-class tax cut bill, since it will get filibustered (and he might not even have 50 Democrats).

Albaby

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Author: goofnoff Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 414260 of 442480
Subject: Re: Boehner offers... Date: 12/4/2012 5:52 PM
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Why should they propose a credible budget when their base doesn't require it?

Albaby and I have been batting this back and forth all day. I thnk that is the missing link in the whole debate.

In defense of Boehner, Cantor, McConnell, etc., the Republicans have been winning elections for 30 years by promising tax cuts and

Something progressives are in denial about.

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Author: WallyLock Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 414261 of 442480
Subject: Re: Boehner offers... Date: 12/4/2012 5:58 PM
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But Reid cannot pass out a middle-class tax cut bill, since it will get filibustered (and he might not even have 50 Democrats).

I think he can move through reconciliation as long as he is revenue neutral. Restore the middle class tax rates, raise the rates on the top 2%, close a few corporate loop-holes and cut some spending. Getting fifty D's will be tough, but it will look more impressive than the house just restoring the old rates.

Wally

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Author: 1poorguy Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 414262 of 442480
Subject: Re: Boehner offers... Date: 12/4/2012 6:04 PM
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I'm sure there are things the Dems don't like. Such is the nature of a bipartisan agreement, which this was when originally passed (and signed). Is the "doc fix" that thing that is supposed to cut fees to docs in Medicare? I heard about that on NPR...it's a disaster and needs to be stopped (if we're talking about the same thing).

But he should be able to continue pounding on this and make it the fault of the "party of NO". Bone-head and co are already trying to spin it, but I don't think anyone is buying it yet. The analysts on NPR sure weren't.

This is bitter medicine, but we need to do it anyway. The tax hikes are trivial, IMO. We were paying those taxes 15 years ago without any problem. It's another invented crisis, IMO. The spending cuts are more worrying, but they can (and undoubtedly will) tweak those later anyway. Alas, probably not the way I'd prefer. But they will.

As for filibuster, aren't they changing the rules this session? I thought I heard that on day 1 they could (and would) change the rule on that (so at least someone has to be talking...a threat isn't enough, someone has to take and keep the floor).

1poorguy

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Author: albaby1 Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 414264 of 442480
Subject: Re: Boehner offers... Date: 12/4/2012 6:11 PM
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I think he can move through reconciliation as long as he is revenue neutral. Restore the middle class tax rates, raise the rates on the top 2%, close a few corporate loop-holes and cut some spending. Getting fifty D's will be tough, but it will look more impressive than the house just restoring the old rates.

He needs a budget resolution before he can use reconciliation, and it's not likely he'll have one in any politically relevant time frame (usually they're adopted in the late spring).

Albaby

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Author: sano Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 414265 of 442480
Subject: Re: Boehner offers... Date: 12/4/2012 6:12 PM
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They can do nothing and they get their rich-guy tax hikes (or, more precisely, the expiration of the tax cuts).

Yup. And then the administration can push for a middle class tax cut, all but daring the republicans to oppose a tax cut for the middle class.

I'm looking forward to this show.

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Author: rmhj Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 414266 of 442480
Subject: Re: Boehner offers... Date: 12/4/2012 6:17 PM
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They can do nothing and they get their rich-guy tax hikes (or, more precisely, the expiration of the tax cuts).

sano: Yup. And then the administration can push for a middle class tax cut, all but daring the republicans to oppose a tax cut for the middle class.

I'm looking forward to this show.


Given that a majority of Republicans believe that taxes on high-income folks should be raised, I think the Republican party may suffer if/when they try to hang onto the "temporary" Bush tax cuts for the top 2% of incomes. Once upon a time, I'm sure they could spin this to "Democrats are raising taxes!"; I'm not so sure that will play any more.

rj

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Author: sykesix Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 414267 of 442480
Subject: Re: Boehner offers... Date: 12/4/2012 6:18 PM
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I'm sure that conservatives felt the same way about the Administration asking for control over the debt ceiling. If you support the President, that's a pretty bold move - but if you don't necessarily agree with his policies, that's simply adding in an item that has no chance of passing and is likely to just make future negotiations harder.

I'm not so sure. There's not much value in control over the debt ceiling, except for an opportunity for political theater. Obama can give it up easily in exchange for something he really wants. Or give up in a show of "good faith."

If Boehner really wants to avoid an increase for top tax rates for the wealthy, he has to put something else that Obama wants on the table, or at least a basket of things that Obama wants. Boehner should have put the debt ceiling issue on the table. He'd be giving up virtually nothing, and might help him get something in return. Obama beat him to the punch, however.

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Author: albaby1 Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 414268 of 442480
Subject: Re: Boehner offers... Date: 12/4/2012 6:19 PM
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I'm sure there are things the Dems don't like. Such is the nature of a bipartisan agreement, which this was when originally passed (and signed). Is the "doc fix" that thing that is supposed to cut fees to docs in Medicare? I heard about that on NPR...it's a disaster and needs to be stopped (if we're talking about the same thing).

Sort of - the "doc fix" is actually the measure that prevents the reimbursement rates from falling. Part of the Clinton-era deal on Medicare was a limit on how fast reimbursement rates could rise, but Congress suspends those limits each year with a "doc fix." The fiscal cliff undoes that, effectively slashing physician compensation.

But he should be able to continue pounding on this and make it the fault of the "party of NO". Bone-head and co are already trying to spin it, but I don't think anyone is buying it yet. The analysts on NPR sure weren't.

Perhaps, but it has to be a sobering thought to realize that the GOP House was re-elected with a close-to-even popular vote despite being hit over and over again with the "Party of No" tag by Democrats, passing the Ryan Budget, and facing a D+6 electorate. Yes, gerrymandering - but the Democrats gained from gerrymandering, too, and a state-by-state proportional allocation of the popular vote would still have given the GOP the House:

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/11/08/1159272/-Dissecting...

So there's a limit to how successful the Democrats will be in inflicting more pain on the GOP House for holding tight to their no-new-taxes position.

As for filibuster, aren't they changing the rules this session? I thought I heard that on day 1 they could (and would) change the rule on that (so at least someone has to be talking...a threat isn't enough, someone has to take and keep the floor).

That's the thought, yes. But Reid might not have the votes to do it, since he needs to persuade his Senators that the Senate rules can be changed by straight majority, rather than two-thirds. Well beyond the actual filibuster, that puts everything in play to the majority party at the beginning of the term - and it might be a bridge too far even for Democratic Senators that agree on the need for filibuster reform.

Albaby

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Author: WallyLock Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 414269 of 442480
Subject: Re: Boehner offers... Date: 12/4/2012 6:19 PM
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He needs a budget resolution before he can use reconciliation, and it's not likely he'll have one in any politically relevant time frame (usually they're adopted in the late spring).

It's not like I have some deep well-spring of sympathy for Senator Reid, but working with the Senate rules must be maddening.

Wally

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Author: albaby1 Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 414270 of 442480
Subject: Re: Boehner offers... Date: 12/4/2012 6:21 PM
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If Boehner really wants to avoid an increase for top tax rates for the wealthy, he has to put something else that Obama wants on the table, or at least a basket of things that Obama wants. Boehner should have put the debt ceiling issue on the table. He'd be giving up virtually nothing, and might help him get something in return. Obama beat him to the punch, however.

Well, that's why conservatives are a little ticked off at him - he did put something on the table that Obama wants, in agreeing to increase overall revenues (though not rates). Conservatives wanted him to just put the conservative 'wish list' on the table for the opening bid, as the President did.

Albaby

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Author: albaby1 Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 414272 of 442480
Subject: Re: Boehner offers... Date: 12/4/2012 6:22 PM
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It's not like I have some deep well-spring of sympathy for Senator Reid, but working with the Senate rules must be maddening.

True, but they are a source of great power for those who can master them - and for the Majority Leader, who gets to decide a number of things parliamentary. No doubt Sen. Reid is grateful for the arcana of procedure when he's 'filling the tree' from time to time....

Albaby

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Author: 1poorguy Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 414273 of 442480
Subject: Re: Boehner offers... Date: 12/4/2012 6:24 PM
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And then the administration can push for a middle class tax cut, all but daring the republicans to oppose a tax cut for the middle class.

Yep. Played correctly this could produce a very favorable mid-term election.

I'm looking forward to this show.

In a strange way, so am I.

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Author: sykesix Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 414274 of 442480
Subject: Re: Boehner offers... Date: 12/4/2012 6:24 PM
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Given that a majority of Republicans believe that taxes on high-income folks should be raised, I think the Republican party may suffer if/when they try to hang onto the "temporary" Bush tax cuts for the top 2% of incomes. Once upon a time, I'm sure they could spin this to "Democrats are raising taxes!"; I'm not so sure that will play any more.

Exactly. The Republicans strategy boils down to this: We'd rather have tax increases for everybody than tax increases for the top 2%.

That's going to be a hard sell.

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Author: 1poorguy Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 414275 of 442480
Subject: Re: Boehner offers... Date: 12/4/2012 6:40 PM
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...but Congress suspends those limits each year with a "doc fix."

Yeah, that was what NPR was talking about a few days ago. It needs to go away, so that's fine.

I won't rehash the House/demographics situation again. When there is serious talk about Texas going blue, I'm not as concerned about the gerrymandered margin this time.

The other poster I think nailed it...let the fiscal event happen, then float a middle-class tax cut package and watch the conservatives squirm. Played properly I don't believe this is going to be a problem for Dems. The "cliff" has, IMO, put most of the cards in their hands.

I do hope those filibuster rules get changed. I often wonder if they are even Constitutional in their current form.

1poorguy

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Author: jgc123 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 414276 of 442480
Subject: Re: Boehner offers... Date: 12/4/2012 6:41 PM
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S'six: "Exactly. The Republicans strategy boils down to this: We'd rather have tax increases for everybody than tax increases for the top 2%.

That's going to be a hard sell."

Yep. And if conservative Republicans weren't the stupidest people on earth, I would allow myself to have glimmer of hope because Obama is backing them into a corner forcing them to pick the top 2% against everybody else.

But conservative Republicans are the stupidest people on earth.

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Author: 1poorguy Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 414277 of 442480
Subject: Re: Boehner offers... Date: 12/4/2012 6:45 PM
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...he did put something on the table that Obama wants, in agreeing to increase overall revenues (though not rates).

I don't see it. Some vague, unspecified revenues from closing alleged loopholes? Really? Sounds like smoke and mirrors to me. They'll wave their hands about, and then claim to have increased revenues just like they wave their hands and classify reductions in increases as "deficit reduction" (a popular tactic over the past decade or more).

Boehner needs to show he is sincere, or I see no reason for Obama to do anything more than bash him for his insincerity.

1poorguy

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Author: sykesix Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 414279 of 442480
Subject: Re: Boehner offers... Date: 12/4/2012 7:06 PM
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I do hope those filibuster rules get changed. I often wonder if they are even Constitutional in their current form.

Section 5 of the Constitution allows the Senate to create its own rules.

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Author: albaby1 Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 414280 of 442480
Subject: Re: Boehner offers... Date: 12/4/2012 7:11 PM
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I don't see it. Some vague, unspecified revenues from closing alleged loopholes? Really? Sounds like smoke and mirrors to me. They'll wave their hands about, and then claim to have increased revenues just like they wave their hands and classify reductions in increases as "deficit reduction" (a popular tactic over the past decade or more).

But even offering in principle to raise revenues is something that the GOP base is against (much like cuts to Medicaid or Social Security are things that the Democratic base are against). Agreeing in advance that a deal will include revenue increases is a significant concession on the part of the GOP, and one that they're already starting to get pushback on.

The GOP, BTW, regards Obama's suggested spending cuts as exactly that kind of handwaving - reductions off of a future baseline that are simply increasing spending less, rather than actually cutting.

Boehner needs to show he is sincere, or I see no reason for Obama to do anything more than bash him for his insincerity.

Perhaps, but that's what conservatives are saying as well - Obama has to show he is sincere about pursuing a deal, or there's no reason to negotiate with him, either.

Albaby

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Author: JAFO31 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 414281 of 442480
Subject: Re: Boehner offers... Date: 12/4/2012 7:14 PM
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albaby1: "Well, that's why conservatives are a little ticked off at him - he did put something on the table that Obama wants, in agreeing to increase overall revenues (though not rates)."

I think you reaching a conclusion too quickly. If the methodology of increasing those revenues is not spelled out, then I am not sure that puts on the table something that Obama wants. For example, increasing revenue by allowing the FICA tax cut to expire would be a questionable OBama want. And "closing loopholes" - i.e., eliminating the mortgage tax deduction, deductible IRAs for anyone (only Roth IRAs), eliminating the deductibility of 401-k contributions, do not fit my understanding of what Obama wants.

Regards, JAFO

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Author: albaby1 Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 414282 of 442480
Subject: Re: Boehner offers... Date: 12/4/2012 7:22 PM
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I won't rehash the House/demographics situation again. When there is serious talk about Texas going blue, I'm not as concerned about the gerrymandered margin this time.

If there's serious talk of Texas turning blue, I have yet to see it. Texas went to Romney by 57% (compared to 59% for W back in 2000). Obama lost the state by 16 points. The Democratic part in the state is moribund, and no Democrat has been elected to statewide office in 18 years. Texas already has a larger percentage of the population of Latino origin than any state other than New Mexico (it's tied with California), and shows no current signs of turning blue - Rick Perry got nearly 40% of the Latino vote in 2010, which was up from 2006.

Albaby

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Author: albaby1 Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 414283 of 442480
Subject: Re: Boehner offers... Date: 12/4/2012 7:23 PM
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I think you reaching a conclusion too quickly. If the methodology of increasing those revenues is not spelled out, then I am not sure that puts on the table something that Obama wants. For example, increasing revenue by allowing the FICA tax cut to expire would be a questionable OBama want. And "closing loopholes" - i.e., eliminating the mortgage tax deduction, deductible IRAs for anyone (only Roth IRAs), eliminating the deductibility of 401-k contributions, do not fit my understanding of what Obama wants.

But up until now, the GOP has been unwilling to consider any revenue increases. Clearly Obama wants higher tax revenues than not, as a matter of general principles - and the GOP base does not want that. You can't get to specific increases until you get an agreement on the general idea of taxes going up, and that's what was offered.

Albaby

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Author: albaby1 Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 414284 of 442480
Subject: Re: Boehner offers... Date: 12/4/2012 7:25 PM
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Exactly. The Republicans strategy boils down to this: We'd rather have tax increases for everybody than tax increases for the top 2%.

That's going to be a hard sell.


The GOP defense is, "The Democrats strategy boils down to this We'd rather have tax increases for everybody if we can't increase taxes on just the top 2%."

That's not an easy sell, either.

Albaby

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Author: jgc123 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 414286 of 442480
Subject: Re: Boehner offers... Date: 12/4/2012 7:42 PM
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Albaby: "That's not an easy sell, either."'

Really? The CBO estimates indicate that absent any tax increases, we would have to drastically cut Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and national defense to balance the budget.

The Republican position at this point is that they will protect the top 2% even if they fail to curtail the deficits, and even if they have to destroy Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and national defense to do it.

The Republicans are being forced to side with the top 2% against the entire nation. If that is not an easy sell for the Democrats, it's only because conservative Republicans really are the stupidest people on earth.

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Subject: Re: Boehner offers... Date: 12/4/2012 7:59 PM
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"Perhaps, but that's what conservatives are saying as well - Obama has to show he is sincere about pursuing a deal, or there's no reason to negotiate with him, either."

There is a reason Republicans have to negotiate with Obama. If they don't, Obama automatically gets his main goal (increasing taxes on the 2%) and the Republicans get absolutely nothing they really want in return.

Furthermore, they then give the President the opportunity to fight for tax cuts for 98% of Americans while they grumble.

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Subject: Re: Boehner offers... Date: 12/4/2012 8:01 PM
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The GOP defense is, "The Democrats strategy boils down to this We'd rather have tax increases for everybody if we can't increase taxes on just the top 2%."

That's not an easy sell, either.


But it is easier. The GOP position is no tax hikes for anybody, the Democrats never made that promise. By not backing down on taxes for the 2%, the GOP are defaulting to tax hikes for everybody, including the 2%. That is a far more difficult pill for the GOP to swallow than the Democrats. While no one likes tax hikes, the Democratic base will be far more forgiving than the Republican base, and of course the Republicans control Congress. So if there is a voter backlash Republican incumbents will be the brunt of it.

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Author: Beridian Big red star, 1000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 414293 of 442480
Subject: Re: Boehner offers... Date: 12/4/2012 8:55 PM
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Let them go Thelma and Louise over the cliff, I am not worried.

Then work on a reasonable middle class tax cut, and for good measure throw in a graduated capital gains tax rate that increases with income. Then watch the republicans squirm and their heads explode as they try to block the legislation. The American public will finally see them for the pigs that they are. There will be no place to hide.

The House of Representatives will be blue in 2014, oh yeah, so will Texas, Texas may take a few more years.

I also am rooting for a change in the filibuster rule, make them stand there up front and use the rule like the framers of the constitution intended.

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Author: rmhj Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 414294 of 442480
Subject: Re: Boehner offers... Date: 12/4/2012 9:58 PM
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albaby: But even offering in principle to raise revenues is something that the GOP base is against (much like cuts to Medicaid or Social Security are things that the Democratic base are against). Agreeing in advance that a deal will include revenue increases is a significant concession on the part of the GOP, and one that they're already starting to get pushback on.

"Oh please oh please don't throw me into that briar patch!"

The GOP would be overjoyed with this -- the "loopholes" they refuse to name, but would probably consider closing are all hugely popular with the under $250k/year crowd, being such basic things as the mortgage interest deduction, the employer exclusion for employee health insurance, employer deductions for employee retirement plans, and taxpayer exemptions for Medicare benefits.

If Obama were to agree to their stand, they'd propose these, turn around, and accuse him of attacking the middle class.

Changing the tax rate on capital gains to match that of income, however, is definitely a non-starter, and has been specifically refused by the GOP.

rj

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Author: albaby1 Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 414295 of 442480
Subject: Re: Boehner offers... Date: 12/4/2012 10:02 PM
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The GOP would be overjoyed with this -- the "loopholes" they refuse to name, but would probably consider closing are all hugely popular with the under $250k/year crowd, being such basic things as the mortgage interest deduction, the employer exclusion for employee health insurance, employer deductions for employee retirement plans, and taxpayer exemptions for Medicare benefits.

If Obama were to agree to their stand, they'd propose these, turn around, and accuse him of attacking the middle class.


How would they do that? This is not a game of Let's Make A Deal, where if the President chooses Box #1 he's stuck with whatever is in the box, no matter what the GOP chooses to put in there later. If they propose unpopular deduction eliminations, then they're the ones proposing unpopular measures - not the President. They don't get to accuse him of attacking the middle class simply by him agreeing that revenues need to be raised. Accepting the GOP's position that revenue needs to be increased is not accepting any specific loophole-closing. In fact, it's not even necessarily accepting the proposition that revenues need to be raised through loopholes rather than rates. But now the GOP is on the hook - and in trouble with their base - for signaling that increased revenues are acceptable.

Albaby

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Author: rmhj Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 414296 of 442480
Subject: Re: Boehner offers... Date: 12/4/2012 10:06 PM
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Beridian: Then work on a reasonable middle class tax cut, and for good measure throw in a graduated capital gains tax rate that increases with income. Then watch the republicans squirm and their heads explode as they try to block the legislation. The American public will finally see them for the pigs that they are. There will be no place to hide.

I don't think this can work this way. Budgets, per the constitution, have to originate in the house.

Traditionally, the White House often proposes a budget, but it's introduced in the house, which is both GOP held and has a 'majority rules' doctrine that make it very difficult to introduce legislation that the majority party doesn't want.

rj

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Author: rmhj Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 414297 of 442480
Subject: Re: Boehner offers... Date: 12/4/2012 10:08 PM
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Albaby: How would they do that? This is not a game of Let's Make A Deal, where if the President chooses Box #1 he's stuck with whatever is in the box, no matter what the GOP chooses to put in there later. If they propose unpopular deduction eliminations, then they're the ones proposing unpopular measures - not the President. They don't get to accuse him of attacking the middle class simply by him agreeing that revenues need to be raised. Accepting the GOP's position that revenue needs to be increased is not accepting any specific loophole-closing. In fact, it's not even necessarily accepting the proposition that revenues need to be raised through loopholes rather than rates. But now the GOP is on the hook - and in trouble with their base - for signaling that increased revenues are acceptable.

Are you asserting that the GOP has never introduced legislation, and then voted unanimously against it?

rj

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Author: albaby1 Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 414298 of 442480
Subject: Re: Boehner offers... Date: 12/4/2012 10:55 PM
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Are you asserting that the GOP has never introduced legislation, and then voted unanimously against it?

No - but that's not really the scenario at hand. Just because the GOP finally accepts that increased revenue is necessary to address the long term budget situation does to mean that Obama is somehow tricked into agreeing to every conceivable way to increase revenues.

Albaby

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Author: 1poorguy Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 414299 of 442480
Subject: Re: Boehner offers... Date: 12/4/2012 11:32 PM
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Perhaps, but that's what conservatives are saying as well - Obama has to show he is sincere about pursuing a deal, or there's no reason to negotiate with him, either.

Sure there is. Because otherwise Obama lets it happen, and then pops up with the middle-class tax cuts. That would likely be a worse situation for them than giving him some of what he wants NOW and being in a position to at least share credit for middle-class cuts. Otherwise they look like the buffoons and hypocrites that they are.

As others have already ably pointed out, so I won't belabor it further.

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Author: albaby1 Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 414301 of 442480
Subject: Re: Boehner offers... Date: 12/5/2012 7:53 AM
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Sure there is. Because otherwise Obama lets it happen, and then pops up with the middle-class tax cuts. That would likely be a worse situation for them than giving him some of what he wants NOW and being in a position to at least share credit for middle-class cuts. Otherwise they look like the buffoons and hypocrites that they are.

But I think we're talking past each other. Because the GOP is also going to pop up with a tax cut plan - a plan that restores the Bush tax cuts for everyone. They'll pass it through, and it will be sitting on Harry Reid's desk the day after the cliff.

So then it's just a framing exercise. The GOP and the Administration both want, and have taken concrete steps, to pass tax cuts for the middle class. The only difference between the two plans is what happens with the top 2% - Obama doesn't want them extended, the GOP does. So who gets blamed? That's the key question...and I imagine that members of the GOP House that have already all been re-elected despite being pretty open about being against raising the rates on the top 2% are not too scared of the answer.

Albaby

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Author: VUCommodore Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 414303 of 442480
Subject: Re: Boehner offers... Date: 12/5/2012 8:25 AM
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" But Reid cannot pass out a middle-class tax cut bill, since it will get filibustered (and he might not even have 50 Democrats)."

I think the Senate actually already did pass this bill a couple months ago, and it is currently awaiting appearance on the house floor for a vote (which obviously won't happen). McConnell and the GOP decided not to filibuster because of how they thought that would impact some senators' re-election chances.

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Subject: Re: Boehner offers... Date: 12/5/2012 8:29 AM
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I think the Senate actually already did pass this bill a couple months ago, and it is currently awaiting appearance on the house floor for a vote (which obviously won't happen). McConnell and the GOP decided not to filibuster because of how they thought that would impact some senators' re-election chances.

That's my recollection as well - but all pending bills disappear at the end of the Congressional session. When the new Congress convenes, everything starts from scratch, meaning anything that happens after the cliff will require new action.

Albaby

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Author: VUCommodore Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 414305 of 442480
Subject: Re: Boehner offers... Date: 12/5/2012 8:34 AM
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"This is bitter medicine, but we need to do it anyway. The tax hikes are trivial, IMO. We were paying those taxes 15 years ago without any problem. It's another invented crisis, IMO."

1pg, in economics the rate of change matters a great deal. I doubt you'd be able to find any serious expert on economics, business, or financial markets who would agree with your view here. There is near universal consensus that a full fiscal-cliff realization would result in at least a 50% probability of a U.S. recession. Saying that the impact of a tax revenue increase in the amount of ~2.5% of GDP is "trivial" is to economics as anthropogenic climate change denial is to science... technically possibly true but essentially all of the evidence is against it. There is a vast wealth of historical data on countries around the world who have changed their tax policy in efforts to increase revenues, ample data to be able to determine that it results in a meaningful contraction of economic activity essentially no matter what your starting point. The size of that contraction can be anywhere from 0.5 to 1.5 times the size of the revenue increase depending on the details of the policy and underlying economic conditions.

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Author: VUCommodore Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 414306 of 442480
Subject: Re: Boehner offers... Date: 12/5/2012 8:45 AM
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Well, that's why conservatives are a little ticked off at him - he did put something on the table that Obama wants, in agreeing to increase overall revenues (though not rates). Conservatives wanted him to just put the conservative 'wish list' on the table for the opening bid, as the President did.


You are completely correct in this narration.

However, on the topic of negotiation theory, it is generally best not to lead with your "wish list", but with your maximum defensible outcome. Defensible is the key word. If you see a used car listed on craigslist for $10,000 and your opening bid is $0, because who doesn't like a free car, you are going to find it very difficult to negotiate with the seller. The seller has no incentive to respond to your offer, because without a reasonable justification of why your offer is a reasonable one, the seller rightly perceives that he's negotiating against himself. A conservative wish list would be analogous to the $0 bid for a car, because of several factors: the presidential election result, democratic shift in the house voting electorate, polls indicating GOP would receive more blame for a cliff dive, and a no-negotiation policy outcome that would be more antithetical to GOP desired outcomes than Democrat desired outcomes. The GOP, in other words, has incentives that make it probable that they are the party more rationally committed to there being an agreed outcome of negotiations rather than a stalemate. Those incentives are transparent to both sides of the negotiation. This is why Obama is wise to give his "wish list", while the GOP is wise to frame their opening offer more in terms of the best outcome that anyone in the GOP thought was plausible. Making that opening bid plausible and defensible is the only thing that shrinks the "motivation gap" between Republican and Democratic negotiators.

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Author: Beridian Big red star, 1000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 414307 of 442480
Subject: Re: Boehner offers... Date: 12/5/2012 8:50 AM
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<<<<Then work on a reasonable middle class tax cut, and for good measure throw in a graduated capital gains tax rate that increases with income. Then watch the republicans squirm and their heads explode as they try to block the legislation. The American public will finally see them for the pigs that they are. There will be no place to hide.>>>>

I don't think this can work this way. Budgets, per the constitution, have to originate in the house.

Traditionally, the White House often proposes a budget, but it's introduced in the house, which is both GOP held and has a 'majority rules' doctrine that make it very difficult to introduce legislation that the majority party doesn't want.


Fine. Then have a democrat try to introduce the bill in the House and when it is refused plaster the fact all over the media, ideally get President Obama to address the nation and talk about how the House will not even permit debate on a middle class tax cut.

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Author: albaby1 Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 414309 of 442480
Subject: Re: Boehner offers... Date: 12/5/2012 9:30 AM
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A conservative wish list would be analogous to the $0 bid for a car, because of several factors: the presidential election result, democratic shift in the house voting electorate, polls indicating GOP would receive more blame for a cliff dive, and a no-negotiation policy outcome that would be more antithetical to GOP desired outcomes than Democrat desired outcomes. The GOP, in other words, has incentives that make it probable that they are the party more rationally committed to there being an agreed outcome of negotiations rather than a stalemate. Those incentives are transparent to both sides of the negotiation. This is why Obama is wise to give his "wish list", while the GOP is wise to frame their opening offer more in terms of the best outcome that anyone in the GOP thought was plausible.

Interesting reasoning - and I don't disagree with your analysis, only the premises. I believe that it underestimates the degree to which the stalemate is more antithetical to Democratic desired outcomes, making a wishlist initial offer problematic for the Democrats as well. After all, half of the budget cuts in sequestration come from non-defense discretionary spending, and going over the fiscal cliff has a non-trivial chance of prompting a recession during the Administration's second term. Moreover, a stalemate over the fiscal cliff is likely to preclude the President from having any domestic legislative accomplishments in his second term - a time when the Democrats hold the Presidency and a sizable majority in the Senate (as these things go).

Moreover, I think your premises overestimate the GOP's concerns about going over the cliff - or at least, the GOP House. For most (if not nearly all) of them, their opposition to tax increases for the wealthy is well known to their constituents, and indeed was a campaign promise for many. Yet they won re-election against a heavily democratic electorate that is not likely to turnout that way in 2014 (Obama was unable to turn his GOTV into successful House turnout in 2010).

These incentives are transparent to both sides of the negotiation - which is probably why the GOP leadership was so dismissive of the President's first offer. Indeed, the Democratic wish list is also analogous to the $0 bid for the car, since the Democrats want a deal also.

Albaby

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Author: 1poorguy Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 414312 of 442480
Subject: Re: Boehner offers... Date: 12/5/2012 10:41 AM
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I believe that it underestimates the degree to which the stalemate is more antithetical to Democratic desired outcomes...

I think this is the crux of our disagreement (as well as your disagreement with the other poster). You (evidently) believe the downside for the Dems is comparable to that for the Reps. I know I certainly disagree with that. As the Commodore pointed out, the Reps will take the brunt of the blame for the fiscal cliff (if we go over it). They are perceived as the "party of NO" that caters to the extremely wealthy. Going over that cliff to protect the tax levels of the super-rich will not play well among most of the populace. And Obama and the Dems can (and hopefully will) make it even worse on them.

As Beridian said, get the lower 98% tax cut submitted first thing after the cliff-dive, and let the GOP ignore and/or kill it, and then howl through every media source from FOX to Twitter about it. "They only care about the wealthy, that's why they won't give you your tax cut!" (And a skilled spin-ster would do a much better job with that sentiment than I just did.)

Also, while I do not have data (does anyone?) I am highly skeptical that the 'cliff' will be more than a short-term blip. Markets (and people and business) tend to anticipate things. Everyone knows it is coming. It won't be a shock (unlike a sudden coup in some OPEC nation, for example). Heck, I read that Costco is going to do a special dividend this month so shareholders can avoid any increased tax on it next year.

It's not a surprise, and I really doubt the effects will be long-lived or catastrophic. In my non-expert opinion, if we go into a recession then we probably are going into it anyway. This seems possible because there are still a lot of supply-siders controlling the purse strings, when (as we have seen since Dubya and Tarp) what we need is some Keynesians. But we don't have them. We have people determined to follow the Greek austerity model (and see how well that's worked out for Greece!).

1poorguy

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Subject: Re: Boehner offers... Date: 12/5/2012 11:05 AM
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A bit of serendipity...a post on PA links to an article that says the same thing I just said (more or less)! A possible recession after the cliff, followed by a recovery before the year is out. And that, evidently, is from the CBO!

I say again, let's go over that cliff and do it in such a way that we land on top of the conservative morons (preferably with our elbows). Played properly, I really think we could beat the tar out of them and improve the outlook for 2014.

http://boards.fool.com/more-persons-willing-to-take-the-plun...

Not really, says the Congressional Budget Office. In fact, if we let these tax rates expire, the debt would rise but the increases would be reduced by more than $7 trillion, or 70%, over the next 10 years. This reduction in the deficit would happen so fast, the CBO writes, that the gross domestic product could slow in the first six months of 2013 to 0.5% — probably causing a recession — before catching its breath in the second half of the year and starting to return to a respectable 2.4% growth.

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Author: DufusGoneSplat Big red star, 1000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 414315 of 442480
Subject: Re: Boehner offers... Date: 12/5/2012 11:32 AM
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Exactly. The Republicans strategy boils down to this: We'd rather have tax increases for everybody than tax increases for the top 2%.

That's going to be a hard sell.


Wouldn't tax increases for everybody impose a disproportionate liability on the rich just as the Bush tax cuts disproportionately benefited the rich?

The GOP will never go for that.

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Author: n8larson Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Ticker Guide Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 414318 of 442480
Subject: Re: Boehner offers... Date: 12/5/2012 12:03 PM
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Wouldn't tax increases for everybody impose a disproportionate liability on the rich just as the Bush tax cuts disproportionately benefited the rich?

This is a time-honored disagreement in how to look at what constitutes "fairness" in taxes. Is it fair when everyone pays the same rate, or when everyone pays the same amount? Example:

Say the tax rate is 20%.
M.C. Taxpayer makes $50k a year, and therefore pays $10k in taxes.
Her brother, Richard Taxpayer, makes $500k a year, and therefore pays $100k in taxes. WOW! he says... of all the taxes being paid, I'm paying 92% of them! That's not fair, because we each had the same opportunity! We should pay the same amount! My tax rate should be lowered! After all, look at all the jobs I supposedly created!

Letting the tax cuts expire DOES affect the rich disproportionately, if you take the perspective that the wealthy are paying most of the taxes. HOWEVER: If you look at the proportion of PAIN it causes, you have to look at how much of their income actually gets spent. MC probably spends most if not all of the $50k, so an increase in her tax rate reduces what she can spend, hurting the economy. Richard (who goes by the nickname "Rich", by the way), however, can manage to squeak by spending $200k of the $400k he gets to keep. Increasing the tax rate for everyone to 25% in the example above means MUCH more pain for MC than for Rich.

Hope that helps a little.

-n8

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Author: DufusGoneSplat Big red star, 1000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 414320 of 442480
Subject: Re: Boehner offers... Date: 12/5/2012 12:46 PM
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Letting the tax cuts expire DOES affect the rich disproportionately ...
Hope that helps a little.

-n8


I have to apologize. My question was meant as rhetorical - thus the closing comment The GOP will never go for that. Of course, given my limited participation on this board, I can understand the misunderstanding.

FWIW, I always disagreed with the Bush tax cuts.

And to supplement your explanation, letting the Bush tax cuts expire also adversely impact "the rich" at all brackets. When the 10% tax bracket goes to 15%, "the rich" pay that additional 5% on that bracket of tax - as they will pay on every bracket increase. Of course, this is in addition to the resuming the 39.6% top bracket.

Sorry for the misunderstanding, but thanks for the response!

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Subject: Re: Boehner offers... Date: 12/5/2012 12:52 PM
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Moreover, I think your premises overestimate the GOP's concerns about going over the cliff - or at least, the GOP House. For most (if not nearly all) of them, their opposition to tax increases for the wealthy is well known to their constituents, and indeed was a campaign promise for many. Yet they won re-election against a heavily democratic electorate that is not likely to turnout that way in 2014 (Obama was unable to turn his GOTV into successful House turnout in 2010).

These incentives are transparent to both sides of the negotiation - which is probably why the GOP leadership was so dismissive of the President's first offer. Indeed, the Democratic wish list is also analogous to the $0 bid for the car, since the Democrats want a deal also


That nails it.

Progressives remain in denial about the electoral strength of the right. A strength whose genesis I talk about all the time.

I think the government very well represents the differences in the electorate's view of how the nation should be run, and those differences are profound. Moreover neither side wants their representatives to compromise. In fact the Republicans hate Obama so much that they voted down a treaty originally signed by George Bush, and supported by all the veterans groups, and the Republican establishment merely because Obama supported it.

We've been here before historically. The electorate won't change until the pain of not changing is so intense (depression, civil war) that we are compelled to change. Or the boys in Washington may figure out a way to just kick the can down the road. I hope not.

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Author: rmhj Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 414323 of 442480
Subject: Re: Boehner offers... Date: 12/5/2012 1:22 PM
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rmhj: Traditionally, the White House often proposes a budget, but it's introduced in the house, which is both GOP held and has a 'majority rules' doctrine that make it very difficult to introduce legislation that the majority party doesn't want.

Beridian: Fine. Then have a democrat try to introduce the bill in the House and when it is refused plaster the fact all over the media, ideally get President Obama to address the nation and talk about how the House will not even permit debate on a middle class tax cut.

That is in fact what seems to be happening: Nancy Pelosi has been working to do this.

rj

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