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  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Little_Sticks View Post
    "If you're not with me, you're against me."

    I've found that's what being a Democrat has come to mostly symbolize nowadays. That said, in showing that to be untrue in his case, I'm really glad Obama managed to compromise with the Republicans; I won't take sides on claiming who wasn't willing to compromise because I don't think anyone who seeks to be impartial should or could, but the fact that two sides can come together means future problems can get dealt with and Obama can act like and be a legitimate President. This makes me very happy and seems like a really good thing. I just wish now they would release what they agreed upon exactly, as I can't find it anywhere.

    I find your first statement to be inaccurate, at least incomplete.

    See: Party of No

  2. #12
    LL P. Stewie Beorn's Avatar
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    "The big lie in this whole thing is that we have got the sensible country with the dysfunctional Washington. The reality is we have a country of people who want to bankrupt their children to spend money on themselves, and they will punish any politician who prevents them from doing that. And therefore they will punish Republicans if they– if they cut entitlements. They will punish Democrats if they cut entitlements. So what you saw today was the president shifting the attention from debt reduction to tax cuts, which is the easy thing." - David Brooks
    Take the weakest thing in you
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  3. #13
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    It's not a big deal. The world is much more than numbers. What I mean is that these negotiations, had they gone another way, or this, don't address the issue. America isn't able to concentrate wealth as well as it has been able to in the past. Wealth is flowing out of the country, not number wealth, but wealth itself.

    It's like putting a band aid over a gun shot wound.

    Anyway, it doesn't matter to me personally.

    For all the whining, I know things could be worse.

    I don't know, the nationalism thing is past due. We've been geographically allianced for a long time and it no longer offers as many advantages relative to the alternatives. We'll stop thinking within borders when it is to our advantage not to. That date isn't too far away. I'd be surprised if I died without that happening.

    But who knows?

  4. #14
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Well, Krugman expresses some of my thoughts on this deal.

    Conceder In Chief?

    OK, now for the really bad news. Anyone looking at these negotiations, especially given Obama’s previous behavior, can’t help but reach one main conclusion: whenever the president says that there’s an issue on which he absolutely, positively won’t give ground, you can count on him, you know, giving way — and soon, too. The idea that you should only make promises and threats you intend to make good on doesn’t seem to be one that this particular president can grasp.

    And that means that Republicans will go right from this negotiation into the debt ceiling in the firm belief that Obama can be rolled.

    At that point he can redeem himself by holding firm — but because the Republicans don’t think he will, they will play tough, almost surely forcing him to actually hit the ceiling with all the costs that entails. And look, if I were a Republican I would also be betting that he’ll cave.
    Go to sleep, iguana.


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  5. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    Technically nothing is in yet, but the vote should come sometime this morning.
    Tentative Deal Is Reached to Raise Taxes on the Wealthy

    If this is what happens, I'm really not impressed. It put so many things off. It's going to be another protracted negotiation over every individual piece of policy that will consume the whole year. The Obama administration had all the leverage, why agree to something both so incomplete and so short of what they wanted? Had we gone over the cliff the Republicans would have been putty in Democratic hands on tax rates. I'm so tired of stop gaps and half measures. Those things are going to collapse out from under the USA some day.

    I hope the Democrats are aware that everything from here on out will be even harder to run past the Republicans. There will be less pressure on them and more evidence that Obama ultimately rewards obstruction and threats, even if just a little bit. If anyone cares to point out that a great deal of conservatives already feel like this is a concession, I say that's exactly my point. There will never be any placating these people.
    I agree with that, I think its mainly a reflection of the class composition of their support. The "ugly rich" generally arent satisfied as easily as the underdogs and lower classes.

    In the main I agree with you about the left, its also why the right wing get more support I think, people identify with power and the powerful and whoever appears to be winning because they imagine that by association they're powerful and winning too.

  6. #16
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    From David Brooks at the New York Times:

    Another Fiscal Flop

    Over the course of the 20th century, America built its welfare state. It was, by and large, a great achievement, expanding opportunity and security for millions. Unfortunately, as the population aged and health care costs surged, it became unaffordable.

    Public debt as a percentage of gross domestic product was around 38 percent in 1965. It is around 74 percent now. Debt could approach a ruinous 90 percent of G.D.P. in a decade and a cataclysmic 247 percent of G.D.P. 30 years from now, according to the Congressional Budget Office and JPMorgan.

    By 2025, entitlement spending and debt payments are projected to suck up all federal revenue. Obligations to the elderly are already squeezing programs for the young and the needy. Those obligations will lead to gigantic living standard declines for future generations. According to the International Monetary Fund, meeting America’s long-term obligations will require an immediate and permanent 35 percent increase in all taxes and a 35 percent cut in all benefits.

    So except for a few rabid debt-deniers, almost everybody agrees we have to do something fundamental to preserve these programs. The problem is that politicians have never found a politically possible way to begin. Every time they tried to reduce debt, they ended up borrowing more and making everything worse.

    So Congress and President Obama set up the “fiscal cliff,” an artificial disaster scenario that would force them to do the right thing. Obviously, the fiscal cliff negotiations were not going to lead toward the deep structural reforms that will eventually be needed. But they could have begun the reform process.

    They could have shown the world that the two parties can work together to avert the eventual calamity. They could have produced a balanced program that would have combined spending cuts and targeted tax increases. They could have reduced Medicare spending on the rich to free up more money for young families.

    President Obama and Speaker John Boehner both earnestly wanted to achieve these things. But the deal we are heading toward is discouraging. Yes, the deal does raise $600 billion in revenue over 10 years from a tiny sliver of the population (compared with the $8 trillion in new debt likely to be accrued over that time).

    But the proposal is not a balance of taxes and spending cuts. It doesn’t involve a single hard decision. It does little to control spending. It abandons all of the entitlement reform ideas that have been thrown around. It locks in low tax rates on families making less than around $450,000; it is simply impossible to avert catastrophe unless tax increases go below that line.

    Far from laying the groundwork for future cooperation, it sentences the country to another few years of budget trench warfare. There will be a fight over drastic spending cuts known as sequestration, then over the debt limit and on and on.

    The White House envisions a series of stages bringing us closer to fiscal sustainability. I hope that’s right. But if Congress couldn’t make a single tough decision under these circumstances, why should we think it’ll make any further down the road? More likely, there will just be more squabbling and brinkmanship, more posturing and punting, which would not only poison future budget talks but also prospects for immigration reform, tax reform, gun control and many other projects.

    Whom should we blame for this? Again, we should not blame Obama and Boehner. In their different ways, they and a number of other people in the Congress are trying to find a politically palatable way to deal with these hard issues. They got what conditions allowed.

    Ultimately, we should blame the American voters. The average Medicare couple pays $109,000 into the program and gets $343,000 in benefits out, according to the Urban Institute. This is $234,000 in free money. Many voters have decided they like spending a lot on themselves and pushing costs onto their children and grandchildren. They have decided they like borrowing up to $1 trillion a year for tax credits, disability payments, defense contracts and the rest. They have found that the original Keynesian rationale for these deficits provides a perfect cover for permanent deficit-living. They have made it clear that they will destroy any politician who tries to stop them from cost-shifting in this way.

    Most members of Congress are responding efficiently to the popular will. A large number of reactionary Democrats reject any measure to touch Medicare or other entitlement programs. A large number of impotent Republicans talk about reducing the debt, but are incapable of forging a deal that balances tax increases with spending cuts.

    The events of the past few weeks demonstrate that these political pressures overwhelm the few realists looking for a more ambitious bargain. The country either doesn’t know or doesn’t care about the burdens we are placing on our children. No coalition of leaders has successfully confronted the voters, and made them heedful of the ruin they are bringing upon the nation.

  7. #17
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    Compromise means both sides get some of what they want and some of what they don't.

    Democrats have argued that they have given ground on taxes so the Republicans should acquiesce to their demands.

    The problem is that in actuality, Democrats are just asking for less of what they wanted to begin with as opposed to being forced to include anything in the deal they actively don't want.

    Republicans put up $800 billion in new revenues and those are exactly what they don't want. We then moved to $1 trillion before things fell apart.

    We couldn't even get them to come to the table on chained CPI.

    Also, Democrats have wisely limited the negotiations (in an election year) to things the voters will actively support, while decrying anything they wouldn't (but which would do much more to heal the systemic fiscal issues we face) as unfair.

    The only thing they fought for was raising taxes on the rich (which has fairly broad public support) even though that wont really do anything to reduce the debt.

    Whereas, most of the things proposed on the right revolve around reducing spending (often popular programs) that while politically risky is much more effective at actually reducing the debt.

    God himself would have trouble coming up with a situation more naturally advantageous to the left than that.

  8. #18
    royal member Rasofy's Avatar
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    I think the political cost of cutting the spending is way too big for politicians to handle. And that's why they prefer playing hot potato.

    History won't be kind to them, but they have more immediate concerns, reelections included.

  9. #19
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    Welp, there it is:

    http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/ticket/s...-politics.html

    Obama can sign or not at this point.

    Quote Originally Posted by cafe View Post
    I swear we couldn't get much sillier if we had Rush Limbaugh vs John Stewart as the House, Bill O'Reilly vs Stephen Colbert as the Senate, and some random news anchor as President. It's like we're running a reality TV show instead of a country.
    At least on a reality show, everyone is hawt.

    Boehner, despite his lavish tan, just doesn't do much for me.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Welp, there it is:

    http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/ticket/s...-politics.html

    Obama can sign or not at this point.



    At least on a reality show, everyone is hawt.

    Boehner, despite his lavish tan, just doesn't do much for me.
    Apparently we also get $1 in spending cuts for every $10 dollars in tax increases, according to the CBO. Who also said we can look forward to $3.93 trillion in additional debt over the next ten years.

    Yipee...

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