Should Republicans put forth Simpson-Bowles for the fiscal cliff?

posted at 7:19 pm on November 30, 2012 by Mary Katharine Ham

My friend Guy Benson and I were talking about this idea the other night, and I liked it when compared to all our other dismal options. It was also the same night we saw “Lincoln,” so I wondered if we were high on celluloid optimism about what’s possible in politics.

But Guy fleshed out the idea in this must-read post today, and I think he’s onto something. You should go over there to read the whole thing, but here’s the gist:

Of the commission’s 18 members, six Democrats and five Republicans endorsed the final document, while the seven ‘no’ votes split four-to-three along Left/Right ideological lines. Paul Ryan was the most prominent opponent of the plan. The eleven-member ‘yes’ camp was ideologically diverse, ranging from Sen. Tom Coburn on the right to Sen. Dick Durbin on the left. Like many conservatives, I continue to harbor significant concerns about various elements of the plan. I’m troubled by some of the tax provisions, especially the revenue cap at 21 percent of GDP (far higher than the historical average of 18 percent). The defense cuts are also worrisome, as is the fact that despite some cuts and tinkering, Medicare — the largest long-term driver of our debt — escapes a desperately needed overhaul. The framework also assumes the retention of Obamacare, which Paul Ryan has cited as a primary cause of his ‘no’ vote. But here is today’s reality: (1) Unhappy tax news is coming, one way or the other. The president is not budging. (2) The fall election guaranteed that Obamacare is here to stay, at least for the foreseeable future. (3) Sequestration’s defense cuts would be even more punishing and abrupt than Simpson/Bowles reductions. (4) Democrats have shown themselves to be totally unserious about any reforms or reductions to entitlements. In short, even if the major players manage to hammer out an eleventh-hour deal before January 1, it’s probably going to reek. It will have been negotiated in secret, and will almost certainly be jammed through in a rushed and unsavory fashion. This is no way to govern.

Simpson-Bowles, for all its faults, was conducted in an open and transparent manner and brought disparate political players into a room to forge a serious compromise. It overhauls and streamlines our byzantine tax code, takes some important first steps on entitlements, and reduces and caps federal spending. On substance, I’d wager that it would be considerably better than anything Obama and Boehner might produce after weeks of behind-closed-doors acrimony with the proverbial gun to their heads. Politically, it paints Democrats into a tough corner. Republicans could make a grand show of reluctantly supporting Simpson-Bowles for the betterment of the country. Ideally, the press conference would be led by Paul Ryan, who might explain why he voted against the plan as a commissioner, but is now willing to set aside some of his strong ideological preferences to move the nation forward. They would remind viewers that the proposal they’re now backing only exists because President Obama specifically and publicly asked for it. Plus, more Democrats than Republicans voted for it, including Harry Reid’s top lieutenant in the Senate. Put simply, Simpson-Bowles represents the very embodiment of bipartisan collaboration and problem solving — precisely the sort of thing “moderates,” the media, and the public are always demanding. It would be exceedingly difficult for Democrats to paint the plan as radical or draconian in light of the commission’s origins and participants. The GOP’s “party of no” problem would also be hugely diminished; after all, they would have just signed on to the president’s commission, with the previously recalcitrant Paul Ryan magnanimously leading the way. It would be fascinating to watch the president and his allies try to denounce and reject the very proposal he called for.

There are things I don’t like about Simpson-Bowles, though I’ve never been a hater. I think the country would have benefited if President Obama had ever shown enough leadership to address some of its recommendations, and said so on “The O’Reilly Factor” in January 2011. Despite its faults, it comes closer to reckoning with our real problems than Obama ever has. There are other plans I would like more than Simpson-Bowles. But here’s the thing. Simpson-Bowles is far more responsible than what President Obama is currently offering and probably far better than a slapped together grand bargain made by Obama and Speaker Boehner behind closed doors as a deadline closes in. It was created in a more transparent process, and though it certainly focuses more on revenues vs. spending than I’d like, it gives Republicans some of the trade-offs they’re hoping for in a deal with Obama— some simplification of the tax code, some entitlement reform, a cap on spending as a percentage of GDP.

It is also a fully formed plan with on-the-record bipartisan support and near-universal acceptance as “reasonable” and “sober” by the media and Beltway types. A lot of that is lip service from folks who felt rather certain the plan would never be seriously considered, but it still makes it hard to frame Republicans as obstinate obstructionists when they offer up the plan of none other than Mssrs. Simpson and Bowles. On the other hand, liberals hate it. Paul Krugman:

So, a public service reminder: Simpson-Bowles is terrible. It mucks around with taxes, but is obsessed with lowering marginal rates despite a complete absence of evidence that this is important. It offers nothing on Medicare that isn’t already in the Affordable Care Act. And it raises the Social Security retirement age because life expectancy has risen — completely ignoring the fact that life expectancy has only gone up for the well-off and well-educated, while stagnating or even declining among the people who need the program most.

Cue the Democratic infighting. The president has been avoiding this plan like the plague since his own commission finished it, but it is still his commission. Rejecting it out of hand to allow liberals to continue living in debt denial might be a move so irresponsible as to make even the press notice. Republicans would demonstrate they know the calculus in Washington has changed, but that doesn’t mean they must make a flagrantly irresponsible deal when a more responsible one is available.

This idea got a good reception in the Greenroom, when I half-expected it to get torched, which seems to me an indicator that all-important conservative constituents might not be as opposed to something like this as Republican leaders might think they are. But have at it in the comments, here. I’m anxious to see what y’all think.

In the end, it does seem a more philosophically palatable way to change the course of a very bad political situation. And, in the end, the part that’s really important— I think it’d genuinely be better for the country if something like Simpson-Bowles were to pass instead of us going over the cliff or adopting some terrible deal. Worth a thought.

Exit question (Allahpundit™): Who foretold this? Why, Ed Morrissey, of course.

And, read this great, comprehensive Allahpundit post for a flashback to reaction as Simpson-Bowles was first announced. Pelosi: “Unacceptable.”

Update: In addition to general concerns about the contents of Simpson-Bowles, I should add the very reasonable worry some have voiced in comments at the Greenroom, which is that if you make Simpson-Bowles your opening offer, it just turns into a worse Simpson-Bowles by the time a deal is final. Yep, worries me too. But I think Republicans would certainly be on much more solid negotiating ground touting this plan and saying they’ve done lots of compromising than where they stand now. Thoughts?

Update: Food for thought for the “let it burn” crowd, of which my id is intermittently a member. Howard Dean is, too, because it gives him everything he wants. Yikes.

Update: Please also read Randall Hoven, who did a good, detailed write-up of this idea earlier this week. I had not seen it until it was mentioned in comments, or I would have linked it above.

As it is, Obama can wash his hands of it, saying even the commission itself did not pass it. But if it passes, Obama must own it. If Republican congressmen Paul Ryan, Jeb Hensarling, and Dave Camp would switch their votes, it would be enough to pass that hot potato to the Democrats. They should say, “the people spoke on November 6″ and that they listened to the voice of the American people telling us all to work together, yadda yadda. Then let the Democrats own what comes after.

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The “people” voted for this president so give them the presidents plan.
Pass the plan little timmie G delivered for the Obama man.
Pass it and give it to Harry to pass in the Senate.
Then with hold funding on any and everything proposed for the next four years. Exclude military pay,military retirement,military medical.

No spending on Navy Bio fuels either.

Delsa on December 1, 2012 at 1:14 AM

GO FOR IT. Everyone email the Boehner Boobs.

AReadyRepub on December 1, 2012 at 1:20 AM

I like it! Better than going over the cliff and keeps blame from being on republicans if we do. It’ll be hard for Obama to kill it….oh, and like Howard Dean he wants to go over the cliff too…no doubt.

FreeManOtis on December 1, 2012 at 1:44 AM

I agree 100% with this article.

William Eaton on December 1, 2012 at 2:25 AM

Would it be naive to suggest the Republicans just this once should do something without seeing it through the lens of their personal re-election? They have already allowed Obama to take the high ground.

Perhaps startling the world by doing the honorable thing might work!

Yes, they may as well pass the SB plan and let Obama twist in the wind! Simpson-Boles IS defensible, and Boehner needs an Inchon Landing to save the day!

PhillupSpace on December 1, 2012 at 4:34 AM

I’ve been saying this since 8am the morning after the election. It is such an obviously strong political move, no wonder the GOP is so late to the table…

Re: 2012 Horse Race Thread
… the 1996 election did. People on opposite sides came together and did what was best for America It has to Bob. I wish they would just grab Simpson-Bowles off the shelf and pass it week one. THAT would show the Country something big. Taxes will now go up on top earners, there is no way GOP House …

by MCasper
07 Nov 2012 08:26 am

MarkCasper on December 1, 2012 at 4:46 AM

Its going to have to be something like Simpson-Bowles at a minimum to have any effect.

Here’s the kicker, it will exclude the baby boomers who will overwhelm SS while cutting the next generations benefits. Thus the next generation will be paying out even more for less.

Frankly, Bush was right, privatize SS!

Lonetown on December 1, 2012 at 6:24 AM

When did it become self evident that Republicans “don’t have the leverage” to enact their agenda? Why conclude Republicans are impotent when they control the House for the next two years? Did everyone forgets that the House is where the Constitution requires all spending bills to originate? Do we just submit to Democrat claims that the American people have spoken, that they have given Obama the political capital to enact his agenda or even a mandate to do so? Why don’t we begin by countering with equal confidence and frequency that each of the 234 House Republicans receive the opposite mandate?

We’re watching both the public and private Republican establishment scramble to save their butts after nothing more than a partial and narrow election loss! Republicans still have the power, right now, to achieve most of what they say they want (deep spending cuts, end of Obamacare, a strong military, etc…), but they don’t have the will to use it or even credibly threaten to use it. Worse, they have convinced you, their base, that they don’t have that power, that they can’t enact your agenda right now. Why can’t you discriminate between “can’t” and “won’t”. Over and over again, why are you so easily fooled into believing that your leaders are powerless? Why are you content to simply mull over what Republicans can do without that power that they simply refuse to use?

A spending solution that avoids both the financial and political cliffs is not complicated. Begin by accepting that the Bush tax cuts will expire, that was already decided in the debt ceiling deal of last year. In January, Obama needs Congress to raise the debt ceiling again, and this is where House Republicans can exercise the power that the voters and the Constitution authorized. Make raising the debt ceiling part of a clean spending bill that mirrors last year’s spending less at least 1%. Set the amount large enough to excite industry and small enough to avoid provoking a revolution. The bill avoids getting bogged down by politics by accepting both the Clinton era tax rates and the existing distribution of federal spending. It’s already the result of political compromise. If the Senate refuses to pass it and the President refuses to sign it, they own the results (a government shutdown, credit rating collapse, currency devaluation, social unrest, etc…) Don’t negotiate on the principle of the House’s power to control all spending like this; it’s how our government was designed, and it’s critical to the republic and its principle of separation of powers. Don’t negotiate adjustments that immediately benefit the agenda of Democrats more than Republicans. This is within Republicans’ reach. Republicans don’t have to drone on about how they “continue to harbor significant concerns” and are “troubled by some of the provisions” with what they find “worrisome” in the freedom crushing legislation that they are about to pass. A 35 seat House majority was just elected to do the opposite, remember? House Republicans have 233 more mandates than Obama’s one to enact their own agenda..

Next year, again, repeat the process with spending reductions just small enough to avoid revolution. If after two years, Republicans can’t sell the results to the public, take the hit and accept minority status. Then be a force for educating the next generation on exactly how the systematic sabotage of liberty and free enterprise collapsed the economy and fundamentally transformed America and the world. If free men can rule themselves, as we believe, liberty will eventually prevail.

elfman on December 1, 2012 at 8:39 AM

Refusing to raise the debt ceiling will not work. Obama would love it. He would then get to decide exactly how the tax receipts flowing into the Treasury get spent, and he gets to do it while blaming the GOP for everything he chooses to starve.

If he funds Obamacare but slashes military spending in GOP districts and the amount of social security getting sent out, it will be the Republicans’ fault for shutting down the government.

That would be catastrophically bad politics for the GOP. Republicans on the margin will quickly capitulate, making it a pointless catastrophe from with the GOP will emerge as both obstructionists and losers.

We have no cards. The People chose unwisely on 11/6.

SB is probably the best strategy, but there is no chance Obama will take it. After SB, the best we will do is to go over the cliff.

Elections have consequences.

fadetogray on December 1, 2012 at 9:52 AM

I heard Ed talking about this on TEMS yesterday and the more I thought about it the more I liked it’s tactical advantages. The options of either “go along to show how wrong Obama is”, “abstain to show how wrong Obama is and wash our hands of it” and “obstruct everything” all seem nonsensical fantasy. They all send the Republican Party headlong into the Democrat/Media complex meat grinder. Backing S-B goes farther in making the Democrats own the crash than any of the options. It was O’s handpicked commission. They came up with the best (whether you believe it or not) “reasonable compromise”. The question becomes “Mr. Obama, why don’t you want the reasonable compromise?” Then again, the Democrat/Media complex may not even ask that question as they bury the answer in obfuscation. Remember, the crash contains all the hallmarks Obama wants to achieve his ideological vengeance. He wants it, maybe just not so soon.

ironked on December 1, 2012 at 9:57 AM

As much as I hate to accept it, I think there is no way the R’s avoid getting the blame if this goes over the cliff. The MSM is so heavily invested in Obama and Boehner is such an easy target – hell’s bells, I can write the headlines if it happens.

If Ryan can get both Simpson and Bowles to appear (very likely) at a presser before a floor vote (endorsing it) and after it passes (calling on Obama to finally listen to HIS commission) – I think the R’s will have inoculated themselves and turn the table on The One. Even better if he could get a couple of the Dem’s who voted for SB to appear at either presser. We can always modify SB more to Ryan’s liking, if/when the R’s are back in charge.

An old military adage applies: ‘If defeat is inevitable, dictate the terms of your surrender.’ Unfortunately, it applies here.

NeoDawg on December 1, 2012 at 10:12 AM

. . .
Simpson-Bowles is far more responsible than what President Obama is currently offering and probably far better than a slapped together grand bargain made by Obama and Speaker Boehner behind closed doors as a deadline closes in. It was created in a more transparent process, and though it certainly focuses more on revenues vs. spending than I’d like, it gives Republicans some of the trade-offs they’re hoping for in a deal with Obama— some simplification of the tax code, some entitlement reform, a cap on spending as a percentage of GDP.
. . . .

I understand where you’re coming from, MKH. But the trouble with being “responsible” . . . the adult in the room, is that sadly a majority of the American public no longer gives any credence to a magnanimous political gesture. The Republicans in the House likely share the common goal of achieving some measure of nation economic stability, and Simpson/Bowles is at least a plan intended to achieve that end. Whether it would or not may be a different story. But it is a plan.

To be blunt, if the Republicans did what you are suggesting and proffered Simpson/Bowles as an offer of compromise, the President and the media would just treat it as a first step. And he would go straight to his public and demand that the time had come for the Republicans to get serious and offer more.

He’d make some disparaging remarks about how the Republicans had finally taken a few baby steps in the direction of reality, but that current conditions require them to offer much more sacrifice in order to meet the demands of economic fairness.

My point is that he doesn’t want to “settle” anything. To him, the fight’s the thing. He thrives politically on the fight, not on achieving any compromise.

“Fairness” to this guy means a permanent state of pursuing the amorphous demands of “economic justice.” He is a radical and always has been. His political raison d’être is not to pursue a means to an end. Obama has neither an articulable nor an achievable economic goal in mind for the American people. He doesn’t believe in the American Dream, or if he does, he has never made any effort to articulate his version of it. His notion of “Forward” is simply an ever-evolving prescription for promoting permanent economic struggle.

So he encourages his followers to pursue as their motto:

“What’s mine is mine, and what’s yours should be mine. Gimmie!”

Obama falsely claims now to be protecting the middle class, yet he has always engaged in class warfare as a means to pursue political gain in ways that have persistently undermined the real middle class.

He’d have us believe that significant increases in government spending, at a time when our national debt is already an alarming burden on the future, will somehow help to reinvigorate the middle class!

What nation has ever built or reinvigorated a thriving middle class based on a policy of actively promoting out of control governmental spending on entitlement programs?

The thriving middle class of this nation, built and fostered throughout the 20th Century, was primarily a product of a working competition among, and success of, a few generations operating in a private sector environment. Jobs, investments, planning, educational opportunities, pensions . . . these all befell those few generations of Americans who were willing to work hard to earn them. Yes, there were public incentives here and there, some of which encouraged the overall process. But the success of the private sector was the genius of American economic success.

Now a newer version of that promise is being presented by this guy and his acolytes as a matter of right somehow coming to them from the government! Obviously, that ain’t gonna happen! But the relentless pursuit of that is his game, not the achievement. That is what you do when you are a “community organizer.”

Trochilus on December 1, 2012 at 10:17 AM

I totally believe that Republicans should push forth Simpson-Bowles. To be sure, I wish Romney had won and that we had won a Republican senate and that we could pass a much more small-government, pro-free-market plan. But that didn’t happen, and I think it is wise to acknowledge political reality. So, even though S-B isn’t everything I want and nothing I don’t, there’s a lot to like in it, it is much, much better than letting the default fiscal cliff scenario happen, it is much more difficult for Democrats to demagogue against given the nature of its genesis, and because Republicans have not as of yet received it warmly, they will have some credibility showing this to be a compromise. While it is true that Democrats would try to modify it in their favor, a Republican S-B introduction puts them in a position of political strength, and Democrats won’t be as prepared to argue against major alterations of the S-B plan as they would a plan created exclusively by Republicans. Forcing Pres. Obama to argue against his own commission’s proposals would be fun to watch.

In short, with Republicans controlling only the House and with other alternative strategies more likely to be awful for both the country economically and the GOP politically, S-B is right both politically and substantively.

MinnesotaSlinger on December 1, 2012 at 11:39 AM

It is a win-win for the Republicans politically. Best case scenario is that we pass SB, which includes some good tax reform and acknowledgements about the realities about entitlements. Not very good on Medicare, but does do quite a bit to shore up Social Security. Worst case (and the more likely case) is that we go over the cliff, but the Rs can point to championing some serious bi-partisan legislation. In both case, the Rs live to fight another day. The two other options – rolling over and letting Barry have what he wants or obstruction and LIB – are both much, much worse. I emailed my Congressman and Senator Kirk about this this morning and recommend that those of you with R Senators and Congresscritters do the same.

Illinidiva on December 1, 2012 at 1:04 PM

Ryan is a key figure, so far he has not shown his hand. As I recall, he voted against SB on the grounds that it did not deal with Obamascare.

So, Ryan agrees to support SB in return for a (let’s say two years) delay in implementing Obamascare.

This averts the cliff, puts us at least theoretically on a path to reform, and begins the process of repealing Obamascare (which will have to be done gradually thanks to moron voters).

str8tface on December 1, 2012 at 1:15 PM

DUMBARSIAN

A special breed of Animal that disguises the self as a politician in DC. As in, dumb……..being stupid……and Arse as in your —.

THEY are never extinct.

PappyD61 on December 1, 2012 at 1:21 PM

Then let the Democrats own what comes after.

Agreed..Very good point..:)

Dire Straits on December 1, 2012 at 1:33 PM

Ryan is a key figure, so far he has not shown his hand. As I recall, he voted against SB on the grounds that it did not deal with Obamascare.

So, Ryan agrees to support SB in return for a (let’s say two years) delay in implementing Obamascare.

This averts the cliff, puts us at least theoretically on a path to reform, and begins the process of repealing Obamascare (which will have to be done gradually thanks to moron voters).

str8tface on December 1, 2012 at 1:15 PM

I Won isn’t going to go with that. Remember that I Won has a pretty strong hand in this. The Rs have just enough power to be blamed and I Won can hold the tax cuts hostage. Obama voters are stupid enough that they actually think that Barry is offering them an extra 2K in Obama money each year. I Won wants no spend cuts, class warfare tax increases, and unilateral power to raise the debt ceiling. The Rs in general and Ryan specifically are going to have to go for SB no strings attached as their final offer. And even then it is probably just political cover to protect them from the fiscal backlash.

A few other notes..

1. Ryan has tried to stay out of the spotlight in the negotiations in the past and seems like he is trying to do so this time as well because this is a no win for him politically. I actually joked in some of the earlier headline posts that perhaps Ryan should spend the next six months at a remote Tibetan monastery or lost at sea or at the Mayo Clinic ala Jesse Jackson Jr. However, embracing SB and leading vigorous efforts to get it passed would be a good way for him to thread the needle. It would be a compromise on his part and would enhance his bipartisan bonafides, but wouldn’t be fatal in the primaries. Which major 2016 candidates are going to yell at him for embracing the best bad deal? Jeb Bush? Chris Christie? Bobby Jindal? Marco Rubio? The only ones would be sort of fring-y candidates, like a Santorum or a Rand Paul, who won’t be winning the nomination any time soon.

2. The best way to tank Obamacare is on the implementation. The exchanges and other complex mechanisms aren’t ready to go and won’t be ready by 2014. There are going to be lots of low information voters who are going to be shocked when they’re shelling over lots of money each month because right now they think they’re getting free health insurance in 2014. This is the “I told you so” that Rs can campaign on in 2014 and 2016.

Illinidiva on December 1, 2012 at 1:49 PM

Trochilus on December 1, 2012 at 10:17 AM

I could’t agree more. excellent post, btw.

jimver on December 1, 2012 at 2:09 PM

2. The best way to tank Obamacare is on the implementation. The exchanges and other complex mechanisms aren’t ready to go and won’t be ready by 2014. There are going to be lots of low information voters who are going to be shocked when they’re shelling over lots of money each month because right now they think they’re getting free health insurance in 2014. This is the “I told you so” that Rs can campaign on in 2014 and 2016.

Illinidiva on December 1, 2012 at 1:49 PM

Sounds like a plan to me..:)

Dire Straits on December 1, 2012 at 2:14 PM

Refusing to raise the debt ceiling will not work. He would then get to decide exactly how the tax receipts flowing into the Treasury get spent, and he gets to do it while blaming the GOP for everything he chooses to starve.

fadetogray on December 1, 2012 at 9:52 AM

How has House Republicans refusing to excises their constitutional authority for fear of getting blamed been working out so far?

The next debt ceiling bill needs to be integrated with a new spending bill (with one to five percent cuts across the board as I outlined above). If Obama and the Senate refuse to pass it, they would only get credit for how Obama’s spending varies from the House bill. So instead of a small decrease in spending everywhere, he gets credit and blame for whatever programs he chooses to raid to fully fund others, but only until the current spending authorization run out. After that, he can’t spend a dime. Therefore, this has to be done now. Otherwise, the showdown will take part during the run up to the next midterms, with a likely turnover of the House to Democrats who will reverse the Republican spending bill immediately.

elfman on December 1, 2012 at 2:35 PM

I think that your numbers may be off.

The GDP is what, $15.5 Trillion? That means that 10% = 1.55 Trillion. 21% = $3.25 Trillion. The current budget is what, $3.8 Trillion? That will immediately trim $550 Billion off of the budget. That sounds great to me. :) :) :)

Theophile on December 1, 2012 at 12:59 AM

You don’t know your economics history, do you? Every time the federal tax take has approached 20% of GDP, the economy went into a recession until it was clear that, for at least the first few years into a recovered economy, it wouldn’t do so again.

Oh, and if we kept the Bush/Obama tax rates, that would, according to the CBO, equal roughly 18% of a higher GDP next year and tickle 20% in the “out” years.

Steve Eggleston on December 1, 2012 at 2:37 PM

I am sure there are things I do not like in the Simpson Bowles plan, but whatever the Democrats come up with will be worse. Count on it.

Terrye on December 1, 2012 at 3:11 PM

OT: I’m hearing the Secretary of the Navy announced the Ford-Classs CVN-80 will be named Enterprise!

The Big-E will sail again!!!!

Yakko77 on December 1, 2012 at 3:25 PM

=================================================================

ENTITLEMENTS = UNFUNDED PROMISES MADE BY POLITICIANS TO GET REELECTED.

Why do we keep up with this nonsense and call it something benign as ‘entitlements’ and not what it really is and rooted in corruption?

===================================================================

huntingmoose on December 1, 2012 at 3:57 PM

The problem with this plan is that it does not solve anything…it simply slows down the inevitably crash and makes it worse when it does come…It is like burning the bridge over the moat and partying like mad as the barbarians surrounding you have slowed the assault…no new food, no hope of help, no chance of winning but heck, the city is taken tomorrow, not today…

JIMV on December 1, 2012 at 4:11 PM

Obama voters = Piglets

America/Federal Government = Sow

Latch on Teaters.

Watch them do their work.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KiiWO7MakG4

We don’t needs no stinking budget, sssssqqqqqqqueeelllll.

PappyD61 on December 1, 2012 at 4:33 PM

You don’t know your economics history, do you? Every time the federal tax take has approached 20% of GDP, the economy went into a recession until it was clear that, for at least the first few years into a recovered economy, it wouldn’t do so again.

Oh, and if we kept the Bush/Obama tax rates, that would, according to the CBO, equal roughly 18% of a higher GDP next year and tickle 20% in the “out” years.

Steve Eggleston on December 1, 2012 at 2:37 PM

I personally think that everything should be a flat tax of 15% on all earned income and 7% on all capital gains. Period. All constitutional functions of the Federal Government could function with that money.

However, I was just pointing out that a specific limit of 21% GDP would require a shrinking of the current budget closer to where we want it.

Theophile on December 1, 2012 at 4:40 PM

Due to the current financial situation caused by the slowdown in the economy, President Obama has decided to implement a scheme to put workers of 50 years of age and above on early retirement, thus creating jobs and reducing unemployment. This scheme will be known as RAPE (Retire Aged People Early).

Persons selected to be RAPED can apply to President Obama to be considered for the SHAFT program (Special Help After Forced
Termination).

Persons who have been RAPED and SHAFTED will be reviewed under
the SCREW program (System Covering Retired-Early Workers). A person may be RAPED once, SHAFTED twice and SCREWED as many times as President Obama deems appropriate.

Persons who have been RAPED could get AIDS(Additional Income for
Dependents & Spouse) or HERPES (Half Earnings for Retired Personnel Early Severance).

Obviously persons who have AIDS or HERPES will not be SHAFTED or
SCREWED any further by President Obama. Persons who are not RAPED and are staying on will receive as much ‘shiznit’ (Special High Intensity Training) as possible. President Obama has always prided himself on the amount of ‘shiznit’ he gives our citizens.Should you feel that you do not receive enough ‘shiznit’, please bring this to the attention of President Obama, who has been trained to give you all the ‘shiznit’ you can handle.

Sincerely, The Committee for Economic Value of Individual Lives (EVIL)

RasThavas on December 1, 2012 at 5:28 PM

Everyone email the Boehner Boobs.

AReadyRepub on December 1, 2012 at 1:20 AM

How cute. You think they actually care what we voters want.

The Rogue Tomato on December 1, 2012 at 5:45 PM

The weakest point of the gambit is the idea that Obama won’t reject the bill.

I can already see him dropping the facade and asking Senate to pass the SB bill.

“Thanks, suckers. You just got rolled again.”

chimney sweep on December 1, 2012 at 6:04 PM

And Obama calling the bluff is bad.. how exactly? That’s a good thing because SB is much better than the Obama offer as delivered by Turbo Tax Timmy. Which basically includes the class warfare tax cuts, vague, miniscule entitlement cuts, and supreme authority for our god king to raise the debt ceiling when he wants to. Obama never wanted SB which is why he never fought for it. SB is the sort of triangulation move that Clinton would do, so why didn’t Barry do it in 2011 as a counter to Ryan. The Rs are on the ropes now, so why not endorse it now. It would allow them to fight another day.

Illinidiva on December 1, 2012 at 6:20 PM

The weakest point of the gambit is the idea that Obama won’t reject the bill.

I can already see him dropping the facade and asking Senate to pass the SB bill.

“Thanks, suckers. You just got rolled again.”

chimney sweep on December 1, 2012 at 6:04 PM

Have you got a deficit reduction plan that can actually pass as an alternative? SB may not be perfect but it is a move in the right direction rather than a continuance of the current careening path to economic destruction through stagflation and bankruptcy.

KW64 on December 1, 2012 at 6:29 PM

What would be interesting would be for the Republicans to actually put a counter-proposal on the table, S-B or otherwise. As it is, it’s apparent that they have no interest in reaching a negotiated solution or — almost worse — have no idea what they actually want.

urban elitist on December 1, 2012 at 6:43 PM

Umm… Obama’s offer was not serious, so a proper counteroffer would be equally ridiculous like no gov’t spending on domestic programs. As for starting points, there’s this thing called the Ryan budget that gives a good idea what the Rs want. SB for most of us is a political tactic. Barry doesn’t want to limit the deficit; he wants to expand the welfare state until the Greek reckoning comes. Most of his supporters are stupid and they actually think they’re going to get an extra 2k in Obama money out of the deal. Obama will take us over the cliff because he has no desire to limit the welfare state. The Rs are in the same position Barry was in 2010. Time to play the SB card.

Illinidiva on December 1, 2012 at 7:00 PM

Ryan is a key figure, so far he has not shown his hand. As I recall, he voted against SB on the grounds that it did not deal with Obamascare.

So, Ryan agrees to support SB in return for a (let’s say two years) delay in implementing Obamascare.

This averts the cliff, puts us at least theoretically on a path to reform, and begins the process of repealing Obamascare (which will have to be done gradually thanks to moron voters).

str8tface on December 1, 2012 at 1:15 PM

I Won isn’t going to go with that. Remember that I Won has a pretty strong hand in this. The Rs have just enough power to be blamed and I Won can hold the tax cuts hostage. Obama voters are stupid enough that they actually think that Barry is offering them an extra 2K in Obama money each year. I Won wants no spend cuts, class warfare tax increases, and unilateral power to raise the debt ceiling. The Rs in general and Ryan specifically are going to have to go for SB no strings attached as their final offer. And even then it is probably just political cover to protect them from the fiscal backlash.

Yeah.
What I’m trying to do is to LEVERAGE the unpopularity of Obamascare (something Rs were unable to do in 2012 unlike 2010), in order to give us a stronger hand in the tax/spend fight. Repeating the weak hand we now have as you do above is a mindless waste of time.

Simpson Bowles is as popular as Obamascare is unpopular. Put the ball in Obama’s court. Make him defend Obamascare. I actually think a number of Democraps would like to see it delayed for the reasons you mention — the horrific chaos of implementation. And once delayed, it’s gone. Not just the implementation, state exchanges, etc, but the many court cases still out there. It will get to the SC again, and eventually they will correct the 2012 decision.

Ryan is absolutely the person to do this. I don’t know where you get your idea that he wants to avoid leading on this. His career success is based on taking on tough issues with specificity and NOT kicking the can down the road.

str8tface on December 1, 2012 at 7:01 PM

Umm… Obama’s offer was not serious, so a proper counteroffer would be equally ridiculous like no gov’t spending on domestic programs. As for starting points, there’s this thing called the Ryan budget that gives a good idea what the Rs want. SB for most of us is a political tactic. Barry doesn’t want to limit the deficit; he wants to expand the welfare state until the Greek reckoning comes. Most of his supporters are stupid and they actually think they’re going to get an extra 2k in Obama money out of the deal. Obama will take us over the cliff because he has no desire to limit the welfare state. The Rs are in the same position Barry was in 2010. Time to play the SB card.

Illinidiva on December 1, 2012 at 7:00 PM

Then let them put the Ryan plan formally on the table.

Since you clearly don;t understand Obama, let me give you a hint: he is far more interested in going down in history as the president who “solved” the deficit than he is in expanding entitlements.

urban elitist on December 1, 2012 at 7:08 PM

Oh honey.. I understand Obama completely. I live in Chicago and can tell you that Obama is a thuggish, dirty Chicago machine guy who used dirty tactics to win a Senate seat and then totally decided he was above politics. He was cynical about Hope! and Change! and only interested in getting elected. When challenged he to resorted to bully tactics as President, such as is little bullying session against Ryan at GWU. Unfortunately, a large portion of America is stupid as witnessed by the Barry supporters on My2K. Yes, you’re totally getting your Obama money.

And I do wish the Rs would call Obama’s bluff but Boehner is pretty dumb. I read the Woodward book and Barry really almost rolled him.

Illinidiva on December 1, 2012 at 7:26 PM

What I don’t understand is why the Republicans are letting Obysmal/Pelosi/Reid act as if they are giving the middle class a 2K gift. That “gift” was what the Bush tax rates, later continued by Obysmal, have allowed lo these many years. In other words, it wasn’t the “rich” alone who enjoyed the Bush tax rates all of this time.

Pelosi agrees with Geithner that preezy should have no limits to the debt ceiling. What part of checks and balances of the legislative body on the executive does that dizzy broad not understand?

onlineanalyst on December 1, 2012 at 7:29 PM

Since you clearly don;t understand Obama, let me give you a hint: he is far more interested in going down in history as the president who “solved” the deficit than he is in expanding entitlements.

urban elitist on December 1, 2012 at 7:08 PM

Seriously?

earlgrey133 on December 1, 2012 at 7:33 PM

Yes.. apparently urban elitist will be the first person gulping down the Koolaid. Sad thing is unlike gumby and the moronic odds weirdo, I think that this one is actually sincere. At least the others were getting a paycheck for their Obama shilling. Still interested how much it pays because I like money and can be annoying.

As for the ridiculous deficit claim… If Obama was serious about the deficit, he’d have done the following.. 1. Not spent trillions on liberal wish fulfillment in the first place, 2. Embraced Simpson Bowles in 2011, or 3. Treated Ryan as a serious player who wants to solve a problem rather than someone who enjoys starving grannies and killing puppies.

Illinidiva on December 1, 2012 at 9:36 PM

No new taxes-period

Bullhead on December 1, 2012 at 11:51 PM

I like Simpson. I think his plan is too modest. Way too much cleavage.

AshleyTKing on December 2, 2012 at 12:56 AM

In an alternate world, where voters actually knew what the issues were and what was actually going on, offering Simpson-Bowles as a counter to Obama would be an awesome strategic move.

Unfortunately, in Reality Land, most voters are too low information (the new PC term for ignorant) to understand what Simpson-Bowles is and what it entails, so it’s a political loser.

Why can’t the GOP make this about something simpler that people can grasp. Obamacare is still tremendously unpopular. Offer to give Obama his tax hike IF it’s tied to a total repeal of Obamacare. When he inevitably balks, tell everyone Obama is holding the economy and your 2K hostage to an invasive health care program the American people don’t want. Make it a mantra just like Dems do with their talking points.

Sure, we’d still go over the cliff – but I doubt the GOP would get the blame.

DRayRaven on December 2, 2012 at 6:23 AM

Make no mistake. Democrats want us to go over the fiscal cliff for 2 reasons. They get to enjoy massive tax increases which they can use to buy more votes with and blame the GOP for it. Its a perfect storm for them. As conservatives we believe tax hikes on the rich would hurt the economy. But the rich apparently do not think so since most of them voted for Obama. Let him have his tax hike on those who make 250K and up.

Dennis D on December 2, 2012 at 7:20 AM

Since you clearly don;t understand Obama, let me give you a hint: he is far more interested in going down in history as the president who “solved” the deficit than he is in expanding entitlements.

urban elitist on December 1, 2012 at 7:08 PM

The degree of wilful ignorance in that statement boggles the mind.

Obama has made his priority clear many times, and it isn’t “going down in history as the president who ‘solved’ the deficit.” His goal is to fundamentally transform America, and he doesn’t mean to transform it by slashing entitlements. Quite the opposite.

You have not been paying attention at all, UE, not even to your own guy.

fadetogray on December 2, 2012 at 8:26 AM

The “people” voted for this president so give them the presidents plan.
Pass the plan little timmie G delivered for the Obama man.
Pass it and give it to Harry to pass in the Senate.
Then with hold funding on any and everything proposed for the next four years. Exclude military pay,military retirement,military medical.

No spending on Navy Bio fuels either.

Delsa on December 1, 2012 at 1:14 AM

Excellent.
My take has been that once free stuff is demonized and those taking it are seen as what they are; freeloaders, bums,moochers, takers not producers, it will slow down.Revise their image.
It will slow down even more if everyone who receives a dime of welfare spending has to work for it!
Hard work is the great equalizer. It’s also hard to demagogue.
ALmost Axel proof.

rodguy911 on December 2, 2012 at 8:34 AM

Here’s the kicker, it will exclude the baby boomers who will overwhelm SS while cutting the next generations benefits. Thus the next generation will be paying out even more for less.

Frankly, Bush was right, privatize SS!

Lonetown on December 1, 2012 at 6:24 AM

Sorry ace but I don’t think of myself as overwhelming
SS.I paid big time for the privilege and am still paying over 10% of my company payroll every month for the privilege of collecting a very few bucks from SS.

rodguy911 on December 2, 2012 at 8:38 AM

Make no mistake. Democrats want us to go over the fiscal cliff for 2 reasons.

Yes, they want us to go over the fiscal cliff. That is why the only deal that can be ‘negotiated’ from them will be something they want even more.

The People want the GOP to try to ‘negotiate a deal’ with their reelected President. So the GOP has to go through the motions of trying. That is the point of offering S-B. Only the very low information voters will not realize it is a far more serious attempt to compromise than anything Obama will offer, and those ignorant clowns will blame the GOP no matter what happens.

fadetogray on December 2, 2012 at 8:38 AM

Here’s a simple idea for the House. Since they’re on the losing end no matter what happens, pass a new bill that gets rid of the term “Bush Tax Cuts” once and for all. Let the rates rise to the Clinton era rates for those earning $1M in income only, the rest are left alone. Take the dems at their word that they want to raise taxes on millionaires. This would force the Dems to vote against in in the Senate to oppose it and justify that $250K is a million dollars.

happi on December 2, 2012 at 9:43 AM

My point is that he doesn’t want to “settle” anything. To him, the fight’s the thing. He thrives politically on the fight, not on achieving any compromise.

Trochilus on December 1, 2012 at 10:17 AM

This. People need to get over this notion that Obama wants to negotiate and compromise. He has never negotiated anything in his life and compromise is not his nature. He is a wannabee populist dictator. Nor is compromise in the nature of the power behind the throne, the women who dominate him — the Mooch, Jarret, and Rice.

He is a radical socialist zealot and his “fun” proposal was dead serious, representing what he really wants. He will not compromise on raising tax rates on the “wealthy” and extending the tax cuts for everyone else, no matter what. Nothing but complete surrender on this will satisfy the egomaniac, and if he gets this he will spike the ball, strut, make further insane demands, and taunt right through the next election cycle.

Republicans need to come to terms with what they are dealing with. You can only fight effectively if you know your enemy.

farsighted on December 2, 2012 at 9:45 AM

We’ll still go over the cliff, but this will at least cover Republicans politically. At the very worst, they can use SB and bipartisan when yelled at for saying no to the President.

Illinidiva on December 2, 2012 at 10:09 AM

Why don’t the repubs just offer up something as ridiculous as Obamas proposal and work from there?

Obama wants something like 800 bil..that is what he wants..he starts “negotiating” with wanting complete power over the debt ceiling..and a couple trill in spending and blah blah blah.

In the end, he will get just that +…..but make it seem like the dems gave something.
This is the same tactic they always use and the repubs keep falling for it and saying “Thats the best deal we could get out of them”.
The “best deal” just being everything they originally wanted +.

Its the “Door in The Face” tactic of persuasion.

Will they fall for it again? If they do, they are part of the BS machine. No one could fall for that tactic so many times and plead ignorance of it.

Mimzey on December 2, 2012 at 11:14 AM

Take whatever excuse for a budget Obama has sent around lately… strip out everything except the name and substitute in everything that S-B put forth on. Vote on that and pass it in the House and send it to the Senate.

There they have the lovely irony of having a budget with Obama’s name on it, with what his hand-picked commission outlined getting the stamp of approval from the House and Reid having to figure out just how he wants to stop something that will have the delicious irony of the President vetoing his own budget under his name with everything in it from the people he picked for recommendations…

As Reid do you help to pass it, and hand that noxious cocktail to the President and say: ‘Here you wanted it, you got it.’

Or do you try and kill it to save Obama having to veto something with his name on it, and yet show that the Senate isn’t serious about a budget? Even the non-scheduling of it (and the great irony of Republicans wanting the ‘President’s Budget’ brought up for a vote is lovely) becomes a black mark to add to his other black marks in his being unable to bring something up that the House passed with the President’s name on it.

Yes it bears no resemblance to what Obama sent?

So?

Obamacare got the old bait/gut/switch deal and no Democrats raised a furor enough to stop it. Point out that what is being done is no more underhanded than what they have already done and claimed to love as a process… and just vote on it or not…

That would be a great way to kill time, put pressure on, and yet have the almost guaranteed assurance that it will get nowhere, the Democrats will seem intransigent and the Republicans can say: ‘OK, the last deal was a one-time debt limit raise in exchange of one more year of the Bush-Obama tax cuts, and you got that, so now you can hand over a balanced budget. We fall on our sword on taxes, you fall on yours for cutting spending… a deal is a deal… we tried to be nice and give you a way out.’

ajacksonian on December 2, 2012 at 11:41 AM

ajacksonian on December 2, 2012 at 11:41 AM

Great tactic, and accurate.
Will the repubs have the nuts to do it?
Not a chance.
When the next opportunity for the dems to do the same thing again comes up, will they have the nuts to do it? You betcha!

Mimzey on December 2, 2012 at 11:55 AM

Great tactic, and accurate.
Will the repubs have the nuts to do it?
Not a chance.
When the next opportunity for the dems to do the same thing again comes up, will they have the nuts to do it? You betcha!

Mimzey on December 2, 2012 at 11:55 AM

Of course they won’t do it.

We don’t have a semi-intelligent, semi-awake party in the US.

We have the fruits in the Republican Party.

The nuts in the Democratic Party.

And a bunch of loose screws elsewhere.

It makes for a great asylum, but the inmates should not be running it.

ajacksonian on December 2, 2012 at 12:07 PM

Simpson is a disgusting human being, more interested in getting attention than anything else.

clearbluesky on December 2, 2012 at 1:00 PM

Ryan is absolutely the person to do this. I don’t know where you get your idea that he wants to avoid leading on this. His career success is based on taking on tough issues with specificity and NOT kicking the can down the road.

str8tface on December 1, 2012 at 7:01 PM

It’s fairly clear that Ryan wants to be President. This debt deal situation really hurts that whole prospect. Either Ryan folds and helps Boehner sell an awful deal to the R caucus or he tanks the deal and pulls the country over the cliff. Option 1 he looks weak and gets hammered for caving in the primaries. Option 2 the Ds finally get traction to the Ryan is an evil granny killer meme they’ve been shopping for two years now. Just sitting back and letting Boehner take the blame is much more desirable. Simpson Bowles could be a win for him because it is a better deal than the one that the WH is pushing and it makes him look reasonable and bi-partisan.

Illinidiva on December 2, 2012 at 1:02 PM

Since you clearly don’t understand Obama, let me give you a hint: he is far more interested in going down in history as the president who “solved” the deficit than he is in expanding entitlements.

urban elitist on December 1, 2012 at 7:08 PM

HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA! HA HA HA HA HA! ha ha ha ha ha ha. HAAAA HAAAA HAAAA HAAAA!!!!!

Thanks, elitist. I was feeling kind of down and needed a good laugh.

Burke on December 2, 2012 at 1:38 PM

Just sitting back and letting Boehner take the blame is much more desirable. Simpson Bowles could be a win for him because it is a better deal than the one that the WH is pushing and it makes him look reasonable and bi-partisan.

So this is your strategery for Paul Ryan’s Presidential run?

1. Vote Present on the biggest issue of the day. Because that’s what people want in a President — total lack of leadership. Right?

2. Even dumber yet — what universe do you live in where Democraps and their media shills are going to praise Ryan for committing the mother of all flip-flops? Ryan was a MEMBER of SB, he helped write the report, he ended up voting against it. Now he’s for it because um.

str8tface on December 2, 2012 at 1:44 PM

1. Vote Present on the biggest issue of the day. Because that’s what people want in a President — total lack of leadership. Right?

Marco Rubio isn’t going to be leading on anything. The rest of the possible contenders are governors or not in political office anymore. This is a huge issue for Ryan because he is the only potential future President connected to the fiscal cliff talks. The whole situation is a no-win for him, just like it is a no win for the Rs. There is no way that the Rs are able to get a good deal out of this the way things are currently stacked, so the best thing for Ryan to do is get out of dodge and let Boehner take the blame. The only way that we get long-term fiscal reforms is if Ryan gets out of this trap unscathed and lives to fight another day. He’s wiggled out of these sorts of traps before.. debt ceiling debate and the fiscal cliff commission.

SB actually is an interesting idea because it allows Ryan to lead on his issue, but provides him with alot of cover if it is played right. Same deal with how it helps on the macro level with the R party.

2. Even dumber yet — what universe do you live in where Democraps and their media shills are going to praise Ryan for committing the mother of all flip-flops? Ryan was a MEMBER of SB, he helped write the report, he ended up voting against it. Now he’s for it because um.

Actually as Guy Benson said, the fact that Ryan voted against it actually helps with this strategy. This is a compromise move. Ryan and the Rs are being magnanimous and putting forward an idea that they were initially against. I see this as triangulation, not a “flip-flop.” A flip-flop is when a politician changes his position on an issue like abortion for political gain. Triangulation would be Clinton embracing welfare reform as a compromise with Republicans. Of course, triangulating can be a great political strategy, but it is mainly a negotiating tactic.

Illinidiva on December 2, 2012 at 2:14 PM

MKH, you make a point that Howard Dean favors driving off the fiscal cliff because libs “get what they want”.
True, they do get the huge defense cuts and do raise the taxes on the eeeeevvvvviiiiilllll, dreaded, stinking, filthy 2% “rich”.
BUT, alomost EVERYONE’S taxes will be hiked one way or the other.
The left has tried to sell their welfare statism as no-cost to the vaunted middle class.
Of course that is false because big government costs really big money.
And the lefties can not get it all from the aforementioned “rich”.
So the middle class gets buy in on the COST of big govenment.
The problem is that the Republicans need to use this moment to pound it into the ground that it is the PRESIDENT that agreed to this whole scam in the begining and that it is HIS fault taxes will go up. And when it does keep making that point and EDUCATE those people willing to listen that big government costs big money and that the middle class has to pay too. See what happens then.

righty64 on December 2, 2012 at 3:29 PM

Maybe the US House should adjourn for the year.

Dasher on December 2, 2012 at 4:56 PM

SB actually is an interesting idea because it allows Ryan to lead on his issue, but provides him with alot of cover if it is played right. Same deal with how it helps on the macro level with the R party.

2. Even dumber yet — what universe do you live in where Democraps and their media shills are going to praise Ryan for committing the mother of all flip-flops? Ryan was a MEMBER of SB, he helped write the report, he ended up voting against it. Now he’s for it because um.

Actually as Guy Benson said, the fact that Ryan voted against it actually helps with this strategy. This is a compromise move. Ryan and the Rs are being magnanimous and putting forward an idea that they were initially against. I see this as triangulation, not a “flip-flop.” A flip-flop is when a politician changes his position on an issue like abortion for political gain. Triangulation would be Clinton embracing welfare reform as a compromise with Republicans. Of course, triangulating can be a great political strategy, but it is mainly a negotiating tactic.

1. You are confusing leadership with negotiation. Leadership is what Ryan does. Negotiation is what Boehner does.

2. Your strategery is to avoid taking a position, unless it is a position which will be praised by Democraps for being bipartisan, reasonable, etc. In other words, white flag.

3. Democraps triangulate, Republicans flip-flop.

str8tface on December 2, 2012 at 5:18 PM

OBAMA ACTS LIKE NAPOLEON: The President’s offer is not a serious one, if compromise were what he was seeking. It betrays his real purpose: to drive the Republicans and the nation over the fiscal cliff. In a move Napoleon would have approved, he is attempting to turn his narrow victory in November into decisive victory in January.

Mutnodjmet on December 2, 2012 at 5:23 PM

1. You are confusing leadership with negotiation. Leadership is what Ryan does. Negotiation is what Boehner does.

Well I’d hope that Ryan would learn to compromise and negotiate if he’d like to be President. That is a huge part of the job. If he is dead set on his position, then he should really just stay Budget Chairman and forget up 2016.

2. Your strategery is to avoid taking a position, unless it is a position which will be praised by Democraps for being bipartisan, reasonable, etc. In other words, white flag.

Actually, the Ds secretly hate Simpson Bowles. It involves entitlement reforms and spending cuts and the extra revenue is due to changes in the tax code, not jacking up the rates on the wealthy. However, MSM has elevated the SB commission so much that they cannot just turn on it and cover their allies. They’ll have to admit it is reasonable.

3. Democraps triangulate, Republicans flip-flop.

John Kerry, the French looking Senator from MA who by the way served in Vietnam, did a lot of flip flopping. The Bush campaign made a huge deal out of that.

Illinidiva on December 2, 2012 at 6:50 PM

The House GOP should just bring Simpson/Bowles to the floor for a vote; up or down, do or die.
If it passes, just watch a lot of Senators start to squirm – on both sides of the aisle.

Another Drew on December 2, 2012 at 8:12 PM

To be blunt, if the Republicans did what you are suggesting and proffered Simpson/Bowles as an offer of compromise, the President and the media would just treat it as a first step. And he would go straight to his public and demand that the time had come for the Republicans to get serious and offer more.

Trochilus on December 1, 2012 at 10:17 AM

Correct

But the success of the private sector was the genius of American economic success.

Now a newer version of that promise is being presented by this guy and his acolytes as a matter of right somehow coming to them from the government! Obviously, that ain’t gonna happen! But the relentless pursuit of that is his game, not the achievement. That is what you do when you are a “community organizer.”

Trochilus on December 1, 2012 at 10:17 AM

Precisely

IMHO, even if the GOP was going to go for SB, they should not make it an offer. They should pass it, in the House they control and not bother negotiating. IF they make an offer of SB, it is going to be changed into Son of SB by the WH and the MSM and then the GOP will be forced on the defensive before they even pass a bill.

The Senate long ago gave up discourse. For the GOP to talk SB, they have to set it in stone first. The Senate serves the WH, and the WH will work to destroy the talking point of the enemy. That is what this nation has become.

If the House passed SB, they should insist it be unchanged in the Senate, since the bill was(supposedly) created in a long ago bipartisan world.

entagor on December 3, 2012 at 11:06 AM

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