“Fiscal cliff” negotiations are akin to a Thelma and Louise trilogy

posted at 1:01 pm on November 16, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

How best to describe the recurring nightmare that has been the debate over budget policy ever since, er, the Democratic Senate stopped producing budgets?  In my column for The Fiscal Times, I struggled to find a cultural analogy for watching the same horror plot over and over again.  I originally thought of the Halloween or Friday the 13th franchises, but those involved actual cuts, and so were disqualified.  Instead, the third round of essentially the same debate in two years, dancing on the edge of a “fiscal cliff,” reminded me of Roadrunner episodes — or if the final scene in Thelma and Louise had been turned into a trilogy.

Just as with every bad horror-movie franchise, the sequels get more complicated and even worse:

Finally, now we have the third installment of the series, where none of the problems have been solved, and where all of them converge.  We still have the question of the Bush-era tax rates, expiring again after the two-year reprieve from 2010. Sequestration has been added to the mix, and we still have no budget from the Senate and yet another trillion-dollar deficit.  On top of that, the credit ratings agencies may re-evaluate US credit downward again if Washington can’t come up with a solution, which will make the borrowing that enables the deficit spending even more costly by driving deficits up faster.

Has our political class learned anything from the first two installments? Not so you’d notice.  While Boehner has offered to return to the so-called “grand bargain” offered in a brief moment of hope in August 2011 that would have added $800 billion in new revenues, Obama has refused to offer a reasonable compromise. He gathered left-leaning business leaders Wednesday to pitch his proposal to demand twice as much in new revenue, while postponing any spending cuts and locking in current tax rates for middle-income earners.

Obama insisted during the campaign that he wants a “balanced” solution to the budget crisis.  How balanced is Obama’s budget?  Jim Pethokoukis at AEI calculated it — and let’s just say that it leans pretty significantly, at best:

During the presidential campaign, Obama insisted that he would be open to a compromise solution to the fiscal cliff, as long as it was “balanced.”  Jim Pethokoukis analyzed the latest proposal from the White House to determine what “balanced” means to President Obama.  “Of the supposed savings, then, $1.6 trillion comes from tax hikes, $577 billion comes from spending cuts, not counting saved interest,” Pethokoukis writes for AEI. “So 73 percent of the savings comes from taxes, 27 percent from spending cuts. That’s $3 of tax hikes for every $1 of spending cuts.”

And even that assumes that Obama will get around to actual cuts.  When it comes to budget cuts, this administration hasn’t exactly been Michael Myers or Jason.  Unfortunately, Obama remains publicly committed to prioritizing “fairness” over both compromise and growth, which precludes the obvious path to a bipartisan solution:

The better way to resolve the fiscal cliff is an approach that solves the main problem of rapidly-increasing spending and producing better revenue through economic growth and tax reform. Both parties want to reform the corporate and personal tax systems to eliminate complexity and provide stability and predictability.  Rather than aim specifically at revenue, start by realizing the bipartisan goal of tax reform, which will boost investor confidence, and then address the spending that drives the deficits.  That will be the only way to have a truly balanced long-term solution and a reliable increase in revenue, one that will keep America on a firm path to solvency.

However, not everyone wants to see an end in this lame-duck session to the fiscal-cliff franchise.  John Aloysius Farrell argues for another round of kick-the-can to gain more breathing room for a comprehensive solution.  Arguing that the debate over Bush-era tax rates are about the means rather than the end — real economic growth that will produce real revenue increases – Farrell suggests postponing everything for another two years:

A two-year delay in planned tax hikes and budget cuts would boost growth by 3 percent in 2013, the CBO estimates, with the creation of as many as 5.8 million jobs.Continuing all the expiring tax cuts would boost GDP by about 1.5 percent in 2013 and result in about 1.8 million new jobs, the CBO says. … Continuing all the tax cuts except for the high-end rates on couples earning more than $250,000 a year would pare that growth to about 1.25 percent and cost the country 200,000 jobs in 2013.

So Democrats may want to be flexible. Republicans might see the wisdom of cutting a quick deal if Obama agrees to keep the high-end tax rates below the Clinton-era top rate of 39.6 percent; or to accept a higher threshold of $500,000 or $1 million. The GOP won’t and shouldn’t “fall on its sword to defend a bunch of millionaires, half of whom voted Democratic and half of whom live in Hollywood,” in the now-famous words of William Kristol, editor of The Weekly Standard.  …

Obama has his legacy to consider. Congress can’t move on to other crucial needs until it gets the country’s finances fixed, said Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., a member of the Gang of Eight senators hoping to lead their colleagues to a bipartisan deal. But once that’s accomplished, success could build upon success. You could “add real velocity,” he said.

It’s not the time for a prolonged confrontation, such as the showdown over the debt ceiling in the summer of 2011.

Kicking the pain down the road takes a page not from Conan but from St. Augustine: “Da mihi castitatem et continentiam, sed noli modo.” Give me chastity and continence, but not yet.”

The problem with that analysis is that the extension would be temporary, and short-term.  It would be the same kind of gimmickry that has characterized both Obamanomics for the past four years, and the tax codes themselves for decades.  We might see that kind of growth if investors felt any kind of permanence about the solutions so that they can price risk more rationally over the next three to five years, or we might see a pause in that decline with a much shorter extension, say the first quarter of next year as a deadline, so that the solution doesn’t have to get put into place during an election year.

If we put another two-year extension of this debate in place, we’ll see exactly the kind of decline in investor confidence we’ve seen for the past two years, plus set the table for yet another election-year round of Thelma and Louise-style brinksmanship at the edge of a “fiscal cliff.”  That’s not wise policy.  That’s just Looney Tunes.  We need to finally solve this problem rather than postponing the inevitable.

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“There is no cliff” — Boehner

“Taxes are ok” — Stupid McConnell

“Let the cliff happen” — Ds in congress

I’m with the Ds in congress.

May they go first, heads down, into the abyss.

Stand back and laugh hard.

Schadenfreude on November 16, 2012 at 1:06 PM

Everybody get their 1966 Thunderbird Convertibles lined up and ready.

portlandon on November 16, 2012 at 1:07 PM

Oh- … Ed !

That picture brought me back to my childhood. : )

listens2glenn on November 16, 2012 at 1:09 PM

Viva el fuego.

Curtiss on November 16, 2012 at 1:09 PM

Give the libs everything they want. Let them own it. It’ll be painful, especially for the low-income and young folks who predominately voted for the choom-dog. Last one over the edge can turn out the lights…

RedInMD on November 16, 2012 at 1:10 PM

Obama insisted during the campaign that he wants a “balanced” solution to the budget crisis. How balanced is Obama’s budget?

Obama has lied to us from the beginning. Our course of borrowing is utterly unsustainable, and yet he’s never mentioned this. The height of irresponsibility. Horrible. A disaster as a leader.

Paul-Cincy on November 16, 2012 at 1:11 PM

He gathered left-leaning business leaders Wednesday to pitch his proposal to demand twice as much in new revenue, while postponing any spending cuts and locking in current tax rates for middle-income earners.

Let Obama have it and a little more to boot.

sharrukin on November 16, 2012 at 1:12 PM

This is such pointless Bull Shiite! Everybody knows Boehner’s going to fold like a cheap lawn chair. Why are we wasting time with a column that acts like Boehner has any Testicular Fortitude? He Doesn’t and he will give in to whatever the Traitor-in-chief wants.

http://www.paratisiusa.blogspot.com

God Bless America!

paratisi on November 16, 2012 at 1:12 PM

If you own a business, fire a bunch of millennials.

They brought you the Divider in Chief, twice.

They, the spoiled ones who, like him, never produced anything, need to learn the hard way.

Schadenfreude on November 16, 2012 at 1:12 PM

God Bless America!

paratisi on November 16, 2012 at 1:12 PM

God is punishing America, for good reasons.

Schadenfreude on November 16, 2012 at 1:13 PM

It’s more like Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. You see a cliff, an abyss below, but if you have *faith* you can easily walk across to the promised land of peace, prosperity, and an old white guy (total Republican!) guarding a bunch of gold cups that he is hoarding from the unwashed masses.

Punchenko on November 16, 2012 at 1:13 PM

Maybe it is more like 50 First Dates where every day a brain damaged congress wakes up and has no memory of the last decade.

Lily on November 16, 2012 at 1:14 PM

If you own a business, fire a bunch of millennials.

They brought you the Divider in Chief, twice.

They, the spoiled ones who, like him, never produced anything, need to learn the hard way.

Schadenfreude on November 16, 2012 at 1:12 PM

Pink slips for pinkos! Now be mindful that some millennials did vote for Romney.

Punchenko on November 16, 2012 at 1:15 PM

Let. It. Burn.

JPeterman on November 16, 2012 at 1:16 PM

Pink slips for pinkos! Now be mindful that some millennials did vote for Romney.

Punchenko on November 16, 2012 at 1:15 PM

They deserve them just slightly less.

I did say “fire a bunch”, not all of them.

Schadenfreude on November 16, 2012 at 1:17 PM

The only solution is collapse and reconstruction. Rebuild from the ground up. New Constitution with clearer limits on federal power that aren’t subject to judicial “interpretation.”

tdarrington on November 16, 2012 at 1:18 PM

Like they said over at Powerline, isn’t allowing the Bush cuts to expire (for everyone) and having actual, real, cuts in spending a balanced approach? How could the Dems even argue about this?

Rufus on November 16, 2012 at 1:19 PM

A two-year delay in planned tax hikes and budget cuts would boost growth by 3 percent in 2013, the CBO estimates, with the creation of as many as 5.8 million jobs.

Total fantasy. In no real world of business, big or small, will a mere 2-year delay cause more hiring.

ugottabekiddingme on November 16, 2012 at 1:19 PM

The Democrats are willing to cut spending. Right. Liars. The Democrats just want to increase taxes on ‘the rich.’ Again, liars. They will talk about keeping the top rate from going up, but they are determined to hit middle class small business people with big one time capital gains. They want to go back to double taxing dividends.

Those are the two tax increases that would be most detrimental to risking capital and creating jobs.

When you see the Democrats pleased with the discussions, you know they figure they are rogering us good and hard.

fadetogray on November 16, 2012 at 1:23 PM

Thelma and Louise? More like Twinkies and Ho-Ho’s…

Khun Joe on November 16, 2012 at 1:23 PM

Thelma and Louise? More like Twinkies and Ho-Ho’s…

Khun Joe on November 16, 2012 at 1:23 PM

Ding-Dongs.

portlandon on November 16, 2012 at 1:25 PM

Congress is fighting increased taxes because it will hurt the economy but if we go over the fiscal cliff, it will likely destroy the economy. The only thing they have is to cave, let some taxes go up. Then let Obama take the credit for putting this country back into recession.

I know this solution sucks, but if Republicans hold out and let us go over the fiscal cliff, then the media will blame everything on them.

maddmatt on November 16, 2012 at 1:26 PM

I know this solution sucks, but if Republicans hold out and let us go over the fiscal cliff, then the media will blame everything on them.

maddmatt on November 16, 2012 at 1:26 PM

So what?

sharrukin on November 16, 2012 at 1:27 PM

The majority of benefits in the Bush tax cuts went to the lower paid workers. Let them expire to give the proletariat a chance to see their new paychecks after higher rates and millions re-added to the pool of tax payers. We can always reinstate them retroactively IF everyone comes to their senses.

If not, then the sooner we let the progressive bubble burst, the less pain there will be in resurrecting our country.

Laurence on November 16, 2012 at 1:27 PM

I’d say that this horror story ends at the Cabin in the Woods.

NeighborhoodCatLady on November 16, 2012 at 1:29 PM

Good thing China is waiting to snap some real estate (military base in the Azores) if we jump the cliff.

http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/332454/red-flag-over-atlantic-gordon-g-chang

At least we’ll have someone looking out for us, and trying to pick up the slack (if we have those automatic defense cuts).

Forward!!!!

PappyD61 on November 16, 2012 at 1:29 PM

one part of mitt’s loss was the utter mendacity of the left and the left.press

Dennis Van Roekel, president of the teachers union that styles itself the National Education Association, told the network: “I brought the message that, number one, it’s important that we let the Bush tax cuts disappear for the wealthiest 2%. As we’re looking for a $1.2 trillion solution, $829 billion takes us a long way there.”

this particular lie was on PBS ‘news’ hour. the 829 billion is over 10 years…the 1.2T is Annually.

the ironies cut deeply. PBS is still seen as an educational thing, not a propaganda arm of Socialists.org…and the NEA we expect to been weak in Math…but to simply lie through your teeth is a bit much

the deeply corrupt self-interested groups have now captured what could be an enduring majority…and the ‘press’ is one of the self-interested groups

lying is the coin of the realm

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324556304578121132809393520.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_MIDDLETopOpinion

r keller on November 16, 2012 at 1:31 PM

Let me add my small voice to the chorus hear calling for letting leaving the cliff right where it is.

Sure, we should go after the real rich for the politics of it. It is long past time we acted more like populists and less like technocrats, and the globalist super rich have clearly shown they are America’s enemies, and that includes the globalist super rich who are nominally American.

So screw them. The GOP, and if not the GOP then conservatives, should be designing a fair tax system that jams the George Soros’s and Warren Buffett’s up good and hard.

No, it does not matter if it would not raise enough money. It is about fairness, people.

fadetogray on November 16, 2012 at 1:31 PM

Like they said over at Powerline, isn’t allowing the Bush cuts to expire (for everyone) and having actual, real, cuts in spending a balanced approach? How could the Dems even argue about this?

Rufus on November 16, 2012 at 1:19 PM

I’m with them on that. While I’m not a fan of the tax increases, I’ll live with them if it means we also get the sequestration spending cuts.

Frankly, I’m not sure why everyone is spun up about the sequestration cuts. They are a drop in the bucket compared to the cuts we actually need in order to balance the annual budget, let alone actually begin decreasing the debt. Is it going to be painful? Of course. Did anyone actually believe that the massive budget cuts this country needs weren’t going to hit the economy rather hard and be pretty damn painful?! It was always going to get painful… and way more painful than the sequestration cuts… before it got better for the long term.

All this talk of not going over the “fiscal cliff” is just more Washington bull-puckey because neither party actually has the testicular fortitude for the real and nessecary spending cuts. Al they are trying to do is avoid having to actualy cut spending. God forbid… it might cost them votes at the next election… Oh, the horror!!

gravityman on November 16, 2012 at 1:32 PM

– and we still have no budget from the Senate and yet another trillion-dollar deficit.

You right-wing nuts need to stop harassing Reid for a budget. He doesn’t need a budget, obviously — he hasn’t needed one for years. He’s got it all in his head. He’s got it covered. Just ask him, he’ll tell you himself.

Also, there is no crisis in Social Security — as he’s already told you. And there is no fiscal cliff — as he’s already told you. And the answer to the crisis and the cliff — if they existed, and they don’t — is growth, like he’s already told you. And growth is stimulated through taxation and regulation.

All this makes perfect sense if you 1. let him think for you about the things that are too complicated for you to understand. Math is too hard for normal people. — and 2. you start believing what you’re told.

He’s gonna change it
And rearrange it
– Obama’s gonna change the world.

^^^Eaten first in monster movie.

Axe on November 16, 2012 at 1:33 PM

Good thing China is waiting to snap some real estate (military base in the Azores) if we jump the cliff.

PappyD61 on November 16, 2012 at 1:29 PM

Will they take California instead, perhaps? If not, let them have the base. Soon, we won’t be able to pay for it anyway. Heck, we won’t be able to pay for our inland bases soon, too.

Archivarix on November 16, 2012 at 1:33 PM

Good thing China is waiting to snap some real estate (military base in the Azores) if we jump the cliff.

PappyD61 on November 16, 2012 at 1:29 PM

If we jump the cliff?

How is it optional at this point?

sharrukin on November 16, 2012 at 1:33 PM

Rinse, repeat, rinse, repeat, rinse, repeat.

Democrats win elections, republican leaders whine and then cave, Conservatives are outraged and swear they will never support the gop again then the Communist leaders of the Democrat party put up a outrageously Progressive nominee, republicans run 6 possible conservatives, they split the primary vote. The RINO/Progressive gop nominee then gets pisses away the election.

Democrats win elections, republican leaders whine and then cave, Conservatives are outraged and swear they will never support the gop again then the Communist leaders of the Democrat party put up a outrageously Progressive nominee, republicans run 6 possible conservatives, they split the primary vote. The RINO/Progressive gop nominee then gets pisses away the election.

Democrats win elections, republican leaders whine and then cave, Conservatives are outraged and swear they will never support the gop again then the Communist leaders of the Democrat party put up a outrageously Progressive nominee, republicans run 6 possible conservatives, they split the primary vote. The RINO/Progressive gop nominee then gets pisses away the election. Democrats win elections, republican leaders whine and then cave, Conservatives are outraged and swear they will never support the gop again then the Communist leaders of the Democrat party put up a outrageously Progressive nominee, republicans run 6 possible conservatives, they split the primary vote. The RINO/Progressive gop nominee then gets pisses away the election.

Rinse, repeat, rinse, repeat, rinse, repeat.

PappyD61 on November 16, 2012 at 1:35 PM

I’d say that this horror story ends at the Cabin in the Woods.

NeighborhoodCatLady on November 16, 2012 at 1:29 PM

Haven’t seen it, and now I guess I won’t until it shows up on free tv. That simpering nincompoop, Josh Whedon, really teed me off with his ignorant, nasty anti-Romney ad. Sure, he is a brilliant filmmaker, but I won’t be able to look at anything of his ever again without seeing his politically ignorant mug spewing idiocies.

fadetogray on November 16, 2012 at 1:36 PM

After they agree to raise taxes on the “rich” and tinker with dividends and deductions for the middle class will the Bush tax cuts become the Obama tax cuts?

docflash on November 16, 2012 at 1:36 PM

Good thing China is waiting to snap some real estate (military base in the Azores) if we jump the cliff.

PappyD61 on November 16, 2012 at 1:29 PM

Will they take California instead, perhaps? If not, let them have the base. Soon, we won’t be able to pay for it anyway. Heck, we won’t be able to pay for our inland bases soon, too.

Archivarix on November 16, 2012 at 1:33 PM

Good thing China is waiting to snap some real estate (military base in the Azores) if we jump the cliff.

PappyD61 on November 16, 2012 at 1:29 PM

If we jump the cliff?

How is it optional at this point?

sharrukin on November 16, 2012 at 1:33 PM

I’d bet on whatever preserves or grows the power of the politicians in D.C. after we start with that premise everything else will be easy to figure out.

PappyD61 on November 16, 2012 at 1:37 PM

I’d bet on whatever preserves or grows the power of the politicians in D.C. after we start with that premise everything else will be easy to figure out.

PappyD61 on November 16, 2012 at 1:37 PM

In other words they are going to keep on spending because handing out the goodies is what buys votes. They will blame it on each other and the Democrats as usual will win, and the Republicans will grovel and ask for forgiveness.

sharrukin on November 16, 2012 at 1:43 PM

We spend too much on the military. If we would just actually use what we have to kill our enemies, we would be ten times as effective with half the money.

So let’s go off the “cliff.”

Even more, each individual thing the House thinks should be funded should be put in its own bill separate from everything else. If that means they have to produce ten thousand bills, then so be it.

It is the practice of lumping everything in together that gets us idiotic spending like on the NEA year after year after year.

fadetogray on November 16, 2012 at 1:44 PM

No Grand Bargain. What ever deal is struck between Boner and Obama, the economy is doomed to continue it’s path of stagnation. If that happens, we all know which part of the bargain will get the blame, and it won’t be tax increases. We all know that the federal budget must be reduced if America is ever going to get back on track. My fear is that if budget cuts are part of this deal, that the cuts will take the heat for the impending doom, and it will be a long, long time before the masses will have the stomach to reduce the federal budget again.

Let the left have their tax increases without expecting anything in return. Four years from now, when every economic indicator is still in the toilet, the Dems won’t have an answer for why increases tax rates failed to provide any additional revenue to the government coffers, and conservatives will be in a better position to explain to the poor, huddled masses why taking other peoples money is counter productive to creating wealth.

HarryBackside on November 16, 2012 at 1:45 PM

God is punishing America, for good reasons.

Schadenfreude on November 16, 2012 at 1:13 PM

No, God is NOT punishing America, he is simply leaving us to our own devices.

SWalker on November 16, 2012 at 1:48 PM

I’d bet on whatever preserves or grows the power of the politicians in D.C. after we start with that premise everything else will be easy to figure out.

PappyD61 on November 16, 2012 at 1:37 PM

In other words they are going to keep on spending because handing out the goodies is what buys votes. They will blame it on each other and the Democrats as usual will win, and the Republicans will grovel and ask for forgiveness.

sharrukin on November 16, 2012 at 1:43 PM

By George! I think he’s got it!

gravityman on November 16, 2012 at 1:50 PM

It is no secret that the GOP has no courage to stand up for the truth. They won’t fight and will get the blame for everything that goes wrong. They will accept some crumbs of a spending cut and fold on tax raises. They should be screaming non-stop that even if we taxed those making over $250,000 at 100%, that will only be enough to fund the gov’t for 142 days! Let that sink in with the sheeple. Start educating the sheeple on basic economics using dumbed down language and do it repeatedly. Start using the language of the Left against them. Make them be on the defensive. Make the MSM have to cover it. Respond to every inaccuracy that the MSM makes, and name the names of those telling the lies. This is the last chance for the GOP for me. If they don’t scream about seriously cutting the size of gov’t, and that includes eliminating entire departments, I’m done with them, except for the few like Ron Paul who you know who are serious about the Constitution and cutting gov’t. I’ll clear my conscience and vote Libertarian or something else until or if the GOP ever wakes the hell up and quit trying to be liked and scared all the time.

Decoski on November 16, 2012 at 1:50 PM

The majority of benefits in the Bush tax cuts went to the lower paid workers. Let them expire to give the proletariat a chance to see their new paychecks after higher rates and millions re-added to the pool of tax payers. We can always reinstate them retroactively IF everyone comes to their senses.

If not, then the sooner we let the progressive bubble burst, the less pain there will be in resurrecting our country.

Laurence on November 16, 2012 at 1:27 PM

So what do they get exactly, do they get money back from the govt in the form of tax credits? To me this is surreal….why do people get money back from the govt in this country is beyond me…especially people who don’t pay anything in taxes anyways…

jimver on November 16, 2012 at 1:51 PM

We need to finally solve this problem rather than postponing the inevitable.

That would require that the nation have a leader.

We don’t.

GarandFan on November 16, 2012 at 1:51 PM

If you review transcripts of the 2012 campaign speeches and debates, you will find that when Mitt Romney used the word “balanced” it was almost always followed by, or in reference to, the word “budget”.

But when Barack Obama used/uses the word “balanced” it is almost always followed by “approach” or “way”, and Obama is not talking about a balanced budget at all. Obama is, rather, talking about “balancing” so-called spending cuts(*) with tax increases.

(*) Obama’s so-called spending cuts would not be cuts at all because he immediately turns around and talks of “investing” the money (from those so-called cuts) into other areas. He doesn’t want to cut overall spending, he just wants to redistribute the spending from some areas to other areas.

ITguy on November 16, 2012 at 1:51 PM

better to go over the 20ft cliff now, in a few years it’ll be a 50ft cliff…

LET IT BURN

burserker on November 16, 2012 at 1:52 PM

I’m beginning to sound like a broken record, but the Republicans need to put a sound proposal on the table and then let the Democrats do what they want. I still say they shouldn’t allow the Democrats to do what they’ve been doing for 2 years, throw a big bill out there with a couple of days to do and just jam it down their throats, they need to come up with sound solutions and they do have the House majority.

The bottom line is, if we go off the fiscal cliff, the Democrats have to own it so keep good notes at what Patty Murray and the rest of the duplicitous Democrats are saying because, when it doesn’t work out, they’ll be Obamaing the Republicans.

bflat879 on November 16, 2012 at 1:53 PM

I know this solution sucks, but if Republicans hold out and let us go over the fiscal cliff, then the media will blame everything on them.

maddmatt on November 16, 2012 at 1:26 PM

The Repubs should just say OK to whatever the Dems want.
They could just vote ‘present’.
Or go on a nice vacation while any voting is going on.

Let the Dems own the inevitable collapse.
And don’t worry, there are plenty of lamp posts out there.

justltl on November 16, 2012 at 1:54 PM

No, God is NOT punishing America, he is simply leaving us to our own devices.

SWalker on November 16, 2012 at 1:48 PM

Exactly.

chemman on November 16, 2012 at 2:00 PM

except for the few like Ron Paul who you know who are serious about the Constitution and cutting gov’t. I’ll clear my conscience and vote Libertarian or something else until or if the GOP ever wakes the hell up and quit trying to be liked and scared all the time.

Decoski on November 16, 2012 at 1:50 PM

Give me a list of bills he actually proposed to cut government. Show me where he turned down pork appropriations for his district. He talks good but I have not been convinced he walks what he talks.

chemman on November 16, 2012 at 2:04 PM

Jump!

Othniel on November 16, 2012 at 2:04 PM

Skewed voter turnout and the budget.

I don’t now about this idea. I prefer ID.

If you got the benefits possible for some groups for voting, would you make it to the booth?

I have been encouraged by my econ guy to write to my congressman and ask for tax credits for people who have an income for voting.

If the deserving poor can get $10,000 in annual medical care free, the workers should get something for pulling that lever as it must be awfully difficult.

IlikedAUH2O on November 16, 2012 at 2:05 PM

justltl on November 16, 2012 at 1:54 PM

That’s fine, but the Repubs need to explain why and do it angrily, with passion. Explain free market, basic economics using dumbed down language, ridicule and use the words of the Left against them and then warn what will happen to the economy when it is done their way. Then step out of the way and let it burn. Afterwards, if there is a GOP still left, shout out “we told you so!” and demolish any MSM talking points as they happen, naming out names of those reporters telling the lies. Remind people that all the blame is squarely on the Democrats; that we got out of the way and told you this would happen and why. Tell them exactly when and what the Repubs said and did. Give the MSM and the Democrats no wiggle room. Offer solutions (reminding the sheeple of basic economics using dumbed down language).

Decoski on November 16, 2012 at 2:08 PM

“Fiscal cliff” negotiations are akin to a Thelma and Louise trilogy

Forward!

ITguy on November 16, 2012 at 2:09 PM

Give me a list of bills he actually proposed to cut government. Show me where he turned down pork appropriations for his district. He talks good but I have not been convinced he walks what he talks.

chemman on November 16, 2012 at 2:04

From the web. I trusted the guy on his budget remarks and got killed on facts like these:

For FY 2011, Rep. Paul submitted requests for 41 earmarks worth $157,093,544. The previous year, he submitted 54 earmarks totaling a whopping $398,460,640, including $2.5 million for a redevelopment project in Baytown, Texas.

IlikedAUH2O on November 16, 2012 at 2:10 PM

If we put another two-year extension of this debate in place, we’ll see exactly the kind of decline in investor confidence we’ve seen for the past two years, plus set the table for yet another election-year round of Thelma and Louise-style brinksmanship at the edge of a “fiscal cliff.” That’s not wise policy. That’s just Looney Tunes. We need to finally solve this problem rather than postponing the inevitable.

We’re talking about President Marvin Martian and Senator Wile E. Coyote driving things on the far side., Unfortunately, we’re running a bit short on Bugs Bunny types.

Steve Eggleston on November 16, 2012 at 2:11 PM

This is so simple.

Raise taxes on people earning over $1M dollars – on their dividend and capital gains to 35%, and on their income to 50%.

Straight and simple – hell GOP, the rich doesn’t think much of you anyway – what have you to lose.

Now you know that this will hurt the economy, but who has been screaming tax the rich, tax the rich!

Just do it. The economy will tank, and you eliminate the biggest prize the dems use to argue.

Zomcon JEM on November 16, 2012 at 2:12 PM

Not to mention Wall Street will learn really quick what happens when you lay down with fleas.

Zomcon JEM on November 16, 2012 at 2:13 PM

I’m so sick and tired of the term “fiscal cliff”; as if it is some surprise, precipitous drop.

We have seen this coming for years and have done nothing about it.

It’s been a long, downward slope. Not a cliff.

blatantblue on November 16, 2012 at 2:17 PM

I’m so sick and tired of the term “fiscal cliff”; as if it is some surprise, precipitous drop.

We have seen this coming for years and have done nothing about it.

It’s been a long, downward slope. Not a cliff.

blatantblue on November 16, 2012 at 2:17 PM

The direction may be downhill, but the bottom is about to drop out

Steve Eggleston on November 16, 2012 at 2:19 PM

Why does everyone keep referring to the edge of the outhouse’s hole as a “fiscal cliff”?

Archivarix on November 16, 2012 at 2:22 PM

Steve Eggleston on November 16, 2012 at 2:19 PM

It denotes this idea that it’s something we couldn’t help.

It’s dumb that we play into this linguistic canard.

blatantblue on November 16, 2012 at 2:24 PM

It denotes this idea that it’s something we couldn’t help.

It’s dumb that we play into this linguistic canard.

blatantblue on November 16, 2012 at 2:24 PM

Would you prefer “fiscal iceberg”, with Messrs. Martian and Coyote saying, “Ramming speed!”? Cliffs are eminently avoidable; the fact we’re not avoiding this one speaks to the incompetence in DC.

Steve Eggleston on November 16, 2012 at 2:28 PM

The ‘fiscal cliff’ was brought to you by… the debt limit ceiling.

A one-time raise in the debt ceiling in exchange for sequestration and all these lovely taxes!

OK, the Democrats want it, let them have it.

Obama wanted it, he can have it.

Then it is up to Obama to produce a budget that stays under the debt ceiling.

A deal is a deal, after all.

ajacksonian on November 16, 2012 at 2:28 PM

I’m so sick and tired of the term “fiscal cliff”; as if it is some surprise, precipitous drop.

We have seen this coming for years and have done nothing about it.

It’s been a long, downward slope. Not a cliff.

blatantblue on November 16, 2012 at 2:17 PM

I’m expecting more of an “earthshattering KABOOM!”

Lily on November 16, 2012 at 2:41 PM

Decoski on November 16, 2012 at 2:08 PM

Well said!
I agree.

justltl on November 16, 2012 at 2:45 PM

to pitch his proposal to demand twice as much in new revenue, while postponing any spending cuts …

We’ve played this game before. Many times. They did it with Reagan, no cuts ever came. They did it with Bush I, cost him the election over his “no new taxes” pledge and the promised cuts never came. With the dems, it’s always “Tax increases now, spending cuts later”. Later never comes. If Boehner had a pair and some intelligence, he’d see this and both refuse to deal in this manner and be very vocal regarding why. Boehner has neither testicular fortitude nor great intellect, so I fear we are not going to be negotiating from a position of strength.

AZfederalist on November 16, 2012 at 2:56 PM

This is so simple.

Raise taxes on people earning over $1M dollars – on their dividend and capital gains to 35%, and on their income to 50%.

Straight and simple – hell GOP, the rich doesn’t think much of you anyway – what have you to lose.

Now you know that this will hurt the economy, but who has been screaming tax the rich, tax the rich!

Just do it. The economy will tank, and you eliminate the biggest prize the dems use to argue.

Zomcon JEM on November 16, 2012 at 2:12 PM

This. Exactly. The globalist super rich are not the proper consituency of American conservatives, and they have no problem screwing us, so we should be throwing them to their own Democrat dogs.

Our natural constituents are the small entrepreneurs who are the real job creators, and our natural constituents are the workers those job creators hire. They are the ones we should be fighting to protect, not the actual rich who just want to pull up the ladder so others cannot compete with them and take away their wealth.

fadetogray on November 16, 2012 at 2:56 PM

Spending cuts should all be in the form of closed bureaus and laid off workers. Any other spending cuts are phony ‘cuts’ that are just temporary and made to get conservatives to agree to tax increases.

fadetogray on November 16, 2012 at 2:59 PM

Maybe it is more like 50 First Dates where every day a brain damaged congress wakes up and has no memory of the last several decades.

Lily on November 16, 2012 at 1:14 PM

FIFY. Otherwise, +100.

GWB on November 16, 2012 at 3:01 PM

Thelma and Louise Groundhog Day

bandarlog on November 16, 2012 at 3:08 PM

I am leaving it as I found it. Take over. It’s yours.

Ellis Wyatt’s note, left when he finally understood.

LegendHasIt on November 16, 2012 at 3:17 PM

Everybody get their 1966 Thunderbird Convertibles lined up and ready.

portlandon on November 16, 2012 at 1:07 PM

Can’t we keep the car and just throw Gina Davis and Susan Sarandon over the cliff?

I know, I know… Stay classy, lol.

Fallon on November 16, 2012 at 3:32 PM

Ellis Wyatt’s note, left when he finally understood.

LegendHasIt on November 16, 2012 at 3:17 PM

If only more people would read that book.

gravityman on November 16, 2012 at 3:35 PM

I’m so sick and tired of the term “fiscal cliff”; as if it is some surprise, precipitous drop.

We have seen this coming for years and have done nothing about it.

It’s been a long, downward slope. Not a cliff.

blatantblue on November 16, 2012 at 2:17 PM

If your characterization of the metaphor is right, I still think it’s a fiscal cliff. A whole lot of people are going to pedal air for a moment while gravity catches up with them, and their drop will be unexpected, sudden and precipitous.

Now opening a market on who will be blamed for it. Low window fees! And opening odds are even. :)

Axe on November 16, 2012 at 3:38 PM

Now opening a market on who will be blamed for it. Low window fees! And opening odds are even. :)

Axe on November 16, 2012 at 3:38 PM

Oh, there will be no doubt. The MSM and the democrat party (but I repeat myself) will promptly place the blame for this disaster on the obstructionist Republicans in the House. Said Republicans, in addition to the fact that the MSM won’t provide coverage for them, lacking testicular fortitude will grovel and apologize and be defeated in 2014. The democrat dream. Actually probably the Republican elite dream as well because then they can be rid of those pesky Tea Party representatives and can get their own squishes elected in 2016 when they mistakenly think they can take back the House from Pelosi.

Why do you think Pelosi is sticking around?

AZfederalist on November 16, 2012 at 4:08 PM

If only more people would read that book.

gravityman on November 16, 2012 at 3:35 PM

The hour is very late.

Schadenfreude on November 16, 2012 at 4:21 PM

L.I.B.

xplodeit on November 16, 2012 at 7:58 PM