Quotes of the day

posted at 8:31 pm on December 8, 2012 by Allahpundit

With 24 days remaining to strike a deal, the two sides remain far apart. House Speaker John Boehner claimed Friday that President Obama’s offers are just “more of the same.” Democrats say Republicans have to give more on taxes before they can reach a serious agreement.

Given this divide, it may seem counterintuitive that lawmakers left themselves just two months to negotiate their way out of the crisis – the two months after Election Day and before the Jan 1 deadline.

But the reality is that lawmakers have been trying to strike this kind of a deal for years, and each time ended up pushing off the very toughest decisions to a future date. The current stand-off is the result of these incremental maneuvers and delayed decisions.

***

The Office of Management and Budget asked civilian and defense agencies this week for detailed what-if lists of what they would cut. But many managers have been quietly preparing worst-case plans for months, having grown painfully familiar with uncertainty after a near-government shutdown last year and a slew of stopgap budgets…

[N]ervous employees say they are in the dark about what might happen, and some are downright cynical.

“They cry wolf every time,” said Mike Granger, a Navy computer programmer at the Patuxent River Naval Air Station. “It always ends up being resolved. So I just ignore it.”

***

The story behind the story is that “tax reform,” as we know it, is dying. During the 1980s, no major piece of legislation better symbolized bipartisan consensus than the Tax Reform Act of 1986, which was regarded by both liberal and conservative experts as the best tax law since World War II. The basic idea was simple: Reduce tax rates and recover lost revenue by ending (or limiting) tax breaks. The struggle between President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner over the “fiscal cliff” indicates that this beneficial consensus has collapsed…

The lower rates and broadened tax base of the 1986 law had explicit goals: to increase economic growth; to reduce the use of taxes to promote some activities and discourage others; to minimize lobbying for tax breaks; and to make the system simpler. With time, the appeal of these goals has faded…

The 1986 law was better than what we have today and, almost certainly, better than what we will have tomorrow. It depended on bipartisan support and White House leadership. There is now little of either.

***

Polling data indicate that the people simply do not understand the parlous state of public finances​—​hence the refusal to brook tax hikes to deal with the deficit, or spending cuts in entitlements, the biggest drivers of the nation’s overdrawn account. Little wonder that, after two years of gridlock between two sides that cannot find common ground, the public obstinately refused to break the tie in 2012.

So long as the public continues to send mixed signals, and indeed appears not to fathom the depth of the problem, the two sides will not come to some kind of long-term agreement. Why should they? Better to kick the can down the road until the next election, in the hope that your side can gain an edge.

That points to a grim near-term future for American politics and policy. The fiscal cliff will not be the last showdown between conservatives and liberals on taxes and spending. Given that both factions occupy critical strongholds in the government​—​the GOP controls the House and a Democrat holds the veto pen​—​we should expect more of the same: gridlock, recriminations, and periodic crises that necessitate last-minute “grand bargains” that, on closer inspection, are not so grand. This state of affairs will continue until the American people finally decide which side’s approach they favor in dealing with the deficit.

***

We can and should do more than just extend middle class tax cuts. I stand ready to work with Republicans on a plan that spurs economic growth, creates jobs and reduces our deficit – a plan that gives both sides some of what they want. I’m willing to find ways to bring down the cost of health care without hurting seniors and other Americans who depend on it. And I’m willing to make more entitlement spending cuts on top of the $1 trillion dollars in cuts I signed into law last year.

But if we’re serious about reducing our deficit while still investing in things like education and research that are important to growing our economy – and if we’re serious about protecting middle-class families – then we’re also going to have to ask the wealthiest Americans to pay higher tax rates. That’s one principle I won’t compromise on.

***


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Comment pages: 1 4 5 6

Use to blare this from my boom box at 3AM every morning in Iraq to get me and the rest of my troops going. Best days of my life..
4Grace on December 9, 2012 at 2:50 AM

You fought in Iraq? Cripes. You think you know some one and then they drop this factoid on you.

SparkPlug on December 9, 2012 at 2:51 AM

The people who don’t want to do a meet up prolly don’t even have a Hugh Hefner robe. Little wonder they shy away from meet ups.

SparkPlug on December 9, 2012 at 2:49 AM

I used to have a really nice bath robe, but that ba$trd Hugh Hefner borrowed it and won’t give it back… ;p

SWalker on December 9, 2012 at 2:54 AM

SWalker on December 9, 2012 at 2:45 AM

Awesome tune..:)

Dire Straits on December 9, 2012 at 2:55 AM

Give this a spin..I’ll think you will like..:)

Dire Straits on December 9, 2012 at 2:46 AM

Nice! All in one place!

Thanks man.

Look, Dire. Evidence that there are other people in the world with taste! Need to keep the fence electrified anyway though. :)

Axe on December 9, 2012 at 2:57 AM

4Grace on December 9, 2012 at 2:50 AM

I missed that..I need to start reading the comments..:)

Dire Straits on December 9, 2012 at 2:57 AM

Axe on December 9, 2012 at 2:57 AM

I hear you..:)

Dire Straits on December 9, 2012 at 2:58 AM

SWalker on December 9, 2012 at 2:54 AM

That cheap SOB. He prolly got jealous and tried to pimp your ride to get some action from the babes you threw overboard. Poor basterd chumming for scraps with a Hugh Hefner bath robe that wasn’t even his.

SparkPlug on December 9, 2012 at 2:58 AM

Bitter clingers.

SparkPlug on December 9, 2012 at 2:49 AM

Now, now. Don’t begrudge the bitter clingers. We’re just striving toward the better clingers–those shiny red, clingy HH bathrobes.

4Grace on December 9, 2012 at 2:58 AM

Well, since Dire still refuses to fund mine and Axe’s next record, I guess the only thing to do is go to bed and let Dire think about it some more… ;p

SWalker on December 9, 2012 at 2:58 AM

Well, since Dire still refuses to fund mine and Axe’s next record, I guess the only thing to do is go to bed and let Dire think about it some more… ;p

SWalker on December 9, 2012 at 2:58 AM

lol — perfect plan. Night SWalker.

Axe on December 9, 2012 at 3:00 AM

Look, Dire. Evidence that there are other people in the world with taste! Need to keep the fence electrified anyway though. :)

Axe on December 9, 2012 at 2:57 AM

hahah. Good one.

SparkPlug on December 9, 2012 at 3:00 AM

SWalker on December 9, 2012 at 2:58 AM

lol — perfect plan. Night SWalker.

Axe on December 9, 2012 at 3:00 AM

You know, if you hadn’t record that silly Chinese Democracy he would already have us in the studio… right… ;p

SWalker on December 9, 2012 at 3:02 AM

You fought in Iraq? Cripes. You think you know some one and then they drop this factoid on you.

SparkPlug on December 9, 2012 at 2:51 AM

See? Stick around long enough and you find out all sorts of things.

Actually, I thought that was pretty cool. Didn’t paste his name (obviously), but I think it was sgt something.

4Grace on December 9, 2012 at 3:03 AM

SWalker on December 9, 2012 at 2:58 AM

Lolz. I’m sure that’s all Dire needs. Just let him sleep on it one more night.

Night, SWalker!

4Grace on December 9, 2012 at 3:07 AM

I’m out, too.

Goodnight, Dire, Axe, Spark and anyone else still out there!

4Grace on December 9, 2012 at 3:08 AM

4Grace on December 9, 2012 at 3:08 AM

Enjoyed it..Later..:)

Dire Straits on December 9, 2012 at 3:13 AM

SWalker on December 9, 2012 at 2:58 AM

Enjoyed it..Later..:)

Dire Straits on December 9, 2012 at 3:14 AM

Goodnight, Dire, Axe, Spark and anyone else still out there!

4Grace on December 9, 2012 at 3:08 AM

I just had to delete a comment I wrote you because it started “After eating the sandwich, but before the fridge run, I just wanted to say — ”

But I forgot to post it, and now I’m all ready back from my fridge run.

Hm. Might should have read it first. Wonder what it said?

Since I’m talking to your ever distancing butt anyway, and it can’t hear me, I should probably stop talking now.

NIGHT GRACE’S DISTANT BUTT!

Axe on December 9, 2012 at 3:15 AM

We Built This City, Mr. President.

Heh:

Uploaded by Chuck Norris.

I know is is Journey on the pictures so dont post any comments for that please!

Axe on December 9, 2012 at 3:20 AM

SparkPlug on December 9, 2012 at 3:00 AM

Good to see you..:)

Dire Straits on December 9, 2012 at 3:22 AM

You know, if you hadn’t record that silly Chinese Democracy he would already have us in the studio… right… ;p

SWalker on December 9, 2012 at 3:02 AM

:) “Beth.”

Axe on December 9, 2012 at 3:22 AM

Green Onions

Axe on December 9, 2012 at 3:28 AM

Take The Money And Run

Axe on December 9, 2012 at 3:32 AM

Dire Straits on December 9, 2012 at 3:22 AM

Ditto.

BTW, You should fund SWalker and Axe. They could go on tour and make a kings ransom and after taxes you have enough to buy a ham sammich thanks to the Libs redistributing your money.

SparkPlug on December 9, 2012 at 3:37 AM

Ain’t No Sunshine

Axe on December 9, 2012 at 3:38 AM

Dire will come up with the financing and ill be the manager guy. SparkPlug records will go international with The Axe to Grind Tour 2013.

The guitars will have an axe blade on them and they can chop stuff and the fans with go wild.

Axe can swing on a rope across the stage as flaming torches and fire works go off at my command.

SWalker will play the guitar

SparkPlug on December 9, 2012 at 3:45 AM

SparkPlug on December 9, 2012 at 3:45 AM

LOL

Axe on December 9, 2012 at 3:48 AM

Troubled Child

Axe on December 9, 2012 at 3:49 AM

Axe on December 9, 2012 at 3:20 AM

This is a much better effort..:)

Dire Straits on December 9, 2012 at 3:49 AM

This is a much better effort..:)

Dire Straits on December 9, 2012 at 3:49 AM

Really!

Let me try to push Styx off Kilroy, then:

Blue Collar Man

Axe on December 9, 2012 at 4:00 AM

Full circle: Kickstart My Heart

Axe on December 9, 2012 at 4:05 AM

Axe on December 9, 2012 at 4:00 AM

We are close..But this is my choice..:)

Dire Straits on December 9, 2012 at 4:07 AM

Take Me Home Tonight — by just some regular guy.

(I’ve got plans for this one later — Bookmarked :)

Axe on December 9, 2012 at 4:17 AM

We are close..But this is my choice..:)

Dire Straits on December 9, 2012 at 4:07 AM

O yeah! But — how about this one?

Axe on December 9, 2012 at 4:19 AM

O yeah! But — how about this one?

Axe on December 9, 2012 at 4:19 AM

*One day he might be Kelly’s favorite. :)

Axe on December 9, 2012 at 4:21 AM

Pink Martini – Je Ne Veux Pas Travailler

For Jack.

Axe on December 9, 2012 at 4:28 AM

*poof*

Axe on December 9, 2012 at 4:29 AM

The current stand-off is the result of these incremental maneuvers and delayed decisions.

AKA – Government

Slade73 on December 9, 2012 at 4:49 AM

Axe on December 9, 2012 at 4:19 AM

Excellent tune..:)

Dire Straits on December 9, 2012 at 6:01 AM

Boehner should treat this just as seriously as Obama has… who has already been out golfing at least once, if not twice or more during all of this.

Put the House into pro forma sessions until the next Congress is sworn in.

Tell the Nation that the House will take this matter seriously as soon as the President does.

Mind you the House has already said it would tango, by putting together the President’s campaign proposals into a package and having the President reject them. So that has to be seen as the best the House will offer… the President can contact the House at any time while its pro forma. And get some flunky for most of it until he is ready to climb down off his platform.

A deal is a deal.

Don’t make it possible for the President to call an emergency session by keeping the House in pro forma session.

Everyone gets vacation time.

The President can decide if he really wants a deal or just wants to pontificate and golf. My bet is the latter. Just keep on pointing out who it is that DOESN’T want a deal.

ajacksonian on December 9, 2012 at 6:27 AM

Just keep on pointing out who it is that DOESN’T want a deal.

ajacksonian on December 9, 2012 at 6:27 AM

yes, cause that way only 59% will blame Pubs rather than 60.

we are officially a nation of idiots

Slade73 on December 9, 2012 at 6:33 AM

so obama, boehner, mcconell and justice rogers are standing on the first tee, and obama says……jump.

renalin on December 9, 2012 at 7:12 AM

stop playing the blame game Pubs, you’re gonna lose. You always lose. You’re stupid.

Slade73 on December 9, 2012 at 7:14 AM

CAVE is the word…
the only scenario i see coming down the pike….

boehner will raise taxes up to 37% with the PROMISE of spending cuts after the new year….

idiots…

he won’t get get all GOP to vote for that, he’ll have to beg Nancy to bring in her buddies…

cmsinaz on December 9, 2012 at 7:28 AM

Boehner shouldn’t even be at the negotiating table.

the only table he’s fit for is beer pong

Slade73 on December 9, 2012 at 7:31 AM

why do we elevate alcoholics like Boehner to Speaker, but lock up harmless pot heads?

Slade73 on December 9, 2012 at 7:44 AM

Slade73 on December 9, 2012 at 7:31 AM

heh

the squishy gop unite once again

cmsinaz on December 9, 2012 at 7:59 AM

May I nominate Maxine Waters and Alcee Hastings to the list? Also why does our prezzy hate rich people? Is he not prezzy of all Americans? He must want to start with the rich to raise the tax rates, then gradually add more and more of his precious middle class. When do the poor get their tax rates raised and their loop holes closed? Maybe when Mooch gets elected. Gahhhhhhh!

Kissmygrits on December 9, 2012 at 8:54 AM

I can’t stand Harry Reid. But the GOP needs its own Harry. A guy who doesn’t care about playing by the rules, who has both sleeves full of dirty tricks, a schemer, a player. That’s what it will take to win this battle…playing by the Dem rules.

scalleywag on December 9, 2012 at 9:58 AM

stop playing the blame game Pubs, you’re gonna lose. You always lose. You’re stupid.

Slade73 on December 9, 2012 at 7:14 AM

Yep. That’s the way to win people to your viewpoint.

Perhaps it’s you who is stupid.

Solaratov on December 9, 2012 at 12:50 PM

Slade73 on December 9, 2012 at 7:44 AM

How do you know that Speaker Boehner has a drinking problem?

Cindy Munford on December 9, 2012 at 6:29 PM

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