House passes fiscal cliff deal

posted at 8:01 am on January 2, 2013 by Mary Katharine Ham

10:45 p.m., 257-167.

House Speaker John A. Boehner (Ohio) and most other top GOP leaders took no public position on the measure and offered no public comment before the 10:45 p.m. vote. Boehner declined even to deliver his usual closing argument, leaving House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) to defend the measure as the “largest tax cut in American history.”

The bill will indeed shield millions of middle-class taxpayers from tax increases set to take effect this month. But it also will let rates rise on wages and investment profits for households pulling in more than $450,000 a year, marking the first time in more than two decades that a broad tax increase has been approved with GOP support.

The measure, which dealt with the tax question while punting sequestration cuts and the debt ceiling, passed with the support of 85 Republicans, including the Speaker who took the unusual measure of casting a vote, and 172 Democrats. Here’s the roll call, with the notable Yes vote of Rep. Paul Ryan and the notable No votes of incoming Sen. Tim Scott and Rep. Eric Cantor. Ryan’s vote will, of course, set up a 2016 primary debate on it that some conservatives believe he’ll never overcome. Color me skeptical that three years from now he won’t be able to defend it well enough to get through the process. Ahem, McCain and Romney.

Earlier in the day, the GOP caucus had entertained the idea of amending the Senate bill, which the Senate claimed it would not touch, thus ending this toxic game of ping-pong with a trip over the cliff as the markets opened today. By the time the GOP caucus met for the second time Tuesday, at 5:15 p.m., the tone in the room was reportedly vastly different than it had been earlier in the day. The Speaker offered to bring the bill to the floor for spending-cut amendments if 218 Republicans were in favor of it, but even conservative votes were backing off late Tuesday:

I’m with Phil Klein on this, that the deal is an objectively horrible one, but a relatively good one, given the options. He writes a helpful Good, Bad, and Ugly of the bill, here. Although I hate the Bad and the Ugly, I think some underestimate the Good of getting most of the Bush tax cuts extended permanently. Democrats never wanted any of them to be permanent, and indeed denied the existence of any Bush tax cuts for anyone other than the rich until two years ago when Obama suddenly discovered these tax cuts for the middle class. As of today, if the bill hadn’t passed, the tax cuts Obama and Democrats denied existed for 10 years would have become the Obama tax cuts. And don’t forget, they want and need taxes to rise on the middle class to pay for the level of government spending they want to perpetuate. I know some are in favor of making that happen to teach the middle class exactly what government costs, but I’m not sure that does anything but undermine the central rationale for voting Republican. In the future, these rates for everyone under $450K are a better baseline for broader tax reform that we would have had if we’d persisted in renegotiating this deal in a new Congress, over the cliff, with a more liberal Congress.

A cautionary note on attacking the deal based on the $4 trillion CBO score, too:

What has been shocking, however, is that I’m seeing a number of conservative critics blasting the deal for increasing deficits by $4 trillion when about 92 percent of that projected increase comes from tax cuts that they support. Brent Bozell, for instance, issued a statement calling the deal a “surrender,” complaining that “not only does this bill fail to make meaningful spending cuts, it actually spends another $4 trillion we don’t have!” Excuse me? For decades, conservatives have been complaining — for good reason — whenever liberals conflate tax cuts and spending. Now, in campaigning against this fiscal cliff deal, they are following the lead of liberals.

Let’s just take a moment to remember why this is so significant. By describing tax cuts as a “cost” and as “spending” as liberals typically do, it suggests that all income is effectively the federal government’s to keep. Anything less than 100 percent taxation is effectively a subsidy if this line of reasoning is followed to its logical conclusion. However, conservatives have always rightly argued that it’s the people who have the right to their own earnings. When Americans pay fewer taxes than they otherwise would, it doesn’t represent a cost — it represents savings.

This deal does increase deficits by nearly $4 trillion, according to the Congressional Budget Office — but more than $3.6 trillion of that amount comes from forgone tax revenue.

All that being said, the deal is indeed a crap sandwich. Looking back, I wonder if it could have been better if House Republicans had voted for Plan B, which raised rates on those making $1 million and up, but I don’t see a scenario where it would have gotten better after today. Do you?

Ed made the unorthodox point that delinking the tax hikes from the spending cuts might be a good thing for Republicans as they go into the next round of debt ceiling negotiations:

The deal did not include any resolution on either the sequester or the debt limit. If there is a silver lining for Republicans, it’s that they have successfully delinked tax rates and spending issues in this fight. The next round of bargaining will deal only with government spending, and House Republicans will have the debt ceiling as a powerful card to play.

It wasn’t an intentional delinking, but more of a delinking dictated by defeat, but it does make Obama’s pitch for a “balanced” approach sound even more dumb the next time around. The GOP must make crystal clear in that discussion that every cent gained by this “fair share” approach Obama harped on for two straight years has already been spent, already gone, out the door. Most of the American people truly do not understand the gravity of the debt problem, which is why Obama can trick them into thinking this is a solution. What we’ve got here is a failure to communicate. The problem is we must rely on Republicans to communicate.

I’ll leave you to watch Krauthammer decry “complete surrender.” He makes an interesting argument for how Republicans could have improved the situation at this late date by putting forth a cleaner version of this bill on day one of the new Congress, staking claim to the tax cuts and eliminating a lot of the pork in the Senate version. Not a bad idea, but I’m not sure I trust Republicans to pull off something so deft, which is really the problem with all of these negotiations, isn’t it?

Krauthammer

Sigh.

Update: The icing on the crap cupcake— it took a total of $3 million to fly Obama from Hawaii and back (yep, he’s going back) to do…exactly nothing. Deficit reduction!


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2 3 6

BRAVO ZULU TO THE REPUBLICANS WHO STOOD UP AND SAID … NO!!

NOW – LET’S FIRE BOEHNER!

(MCCONNEL ALSO!!)

HondaV65 on January 2, 2013 at 8:14 AM

Ryan’s vote will, of course, set up a 2016 primary debate on it that some conservatives believe he’ll never overcome. Color me skeptical that three years from now he won’t be able to defend it well enough to get through the process. Ahem, McCain and Romney.

That assumes two things:

- The GOP still exists as a national entity come 2016.
- Next-In-Line™ Rick Santorum doesn’t run.

Steve Eggleston on January 2, 2013 at 8:15 AM

All that being said, the deal is indeed a crap sandwich. Looking back, I wonder if it could have been better if House Republicans had voted for Plan B, which raised rates on those making $1 million and up, but I don’t see a scenario where it would have gotten better after today. Do you?

Remember, Obama moved off of $200K only after Plan B flamed out. We weren’t going to get a better deal.

Related to that, it’s best to think of “permanent” as “2 years, after which Rat supermajorities in both Houses of Congress make $100K the new $200K”.

Steve Eggleston on January 2, 2013 at 8:17 AM

Cowards! Thieves! All those who voted for the so-called deal has, once again, only delayed the Day Of Reckoning! On pox on all those who voted yes!

BigGator5 on January 2, 2013 at 8:17 AM

2013 can’t be over soon enough. *Sigh*

williampeck1958 on January 2, 2013 at 8:20 AM

The distinction of the 2 party system officially has ended at the signing of this deal…Spendocraticans unite!

hillsoftx on January 2, 2013 at 8:20 AM

At least almost nothing is resolved and the Democrats can keep the crises rolling.

Debt ceiling, sequestration, farm bill and extending the endless unemployment compensation are coming right up over the next 4 months. I think I’ll tune out.

forest on January 2, 2013 at 8:21 AM

Going over the cliff would have been a better deal.

Betrayal.

Wino on January 2, 2013 at 8:21 AM

I believe Ryan just wants to stay in the House
It’s not a bad gig and bedides, Romney is now in hiding on Easter Island.

TexasJew on January 2, 2013 at 8:23 AM

Politicians are people who, when they see light at the end of the tunnel, go out and buy some more tunnel. ~John Quinton

Firmworm on January 2, 2013 at 8:24 AM

Didn’t Harry Reid say Plan B had no chance? Why do people keep romanticizing Plan B?

Dongemaharu on January 2, 2013 at 8:25 AM

My congressman voted against the plan. Boehner needs to go!

annoyinglittletwerp on January 2, 2013 at 8:28 AM

All of you are fools. Keep thinking you’re conservatives, keep telling yourself there’s no difference between R and D, while you keep voting for Republicans. Keep mocking those who actually favor liberty and limited government.

You are the problem.

Dante on January 2, 2013 at 8:29 AM

Dante on January 2, 2013 at 8:29 AM

Ron Paul wasn’t a conservative.

annoyinglittletwerp on January 2, 2013 at 8:29 AM

NOW – LET’S FIRE BOEHNER!

(MCCONNEL ALSO!!)

HondaV65 on January 2, 2013 at 8:14 AM

Dittos.

petefrt on January 2, 2013 at 8:30 AM

Now, as soon as a new House is sworn in, pass a budget and deal with the increased debt limit and then tell Obama and Reid, you will ONLY consider raising the debt by using the budget. If the Republican House doesn’t do this, it’s time for a 3rd Party.

bflat879 on January 2, 2013 at 8:31 AM

This deal is done. Now the repubs must use the debt ceiling to do to bo what Jesse Jackson wanted done to him but I think we know who has lost those parts!

tim c on January 2, 2013 at 8:32 AM

What a bunch of cowards the Republican Party has become.

RZuendt on January 2, 2013 at 8:34 AM

Please spare me the Romney and McCain argument. They lost last time I checked. As for me beef with Ryan, it was stupid politics. Why take a controversial vote and get absolutely nothing for it? But hey he can totes post videos on You Tube about saving Medicare and never get the plan passed. As for who is winning the nomination… the unbearable lightness of Marco Rubio.

Illinidiva on January 2, 2013 at 8:35 AM

I’m with Phil Klein on this, that the deal is an objectively horrible one, but a relatively good one, given the options.

The GOP shills have their marching orders.

Dante on January 2, 2013 at 8:37 AM

Kabuki theater Act I is now over.

This whole thing was a farce anyway. It was really a battle about tax rates packaged as a battle over our debt problems.

The real deal is when the debt ceiling becomes an issue in several months. This will be the true test of how many actual conservatives still exist in the GOP. The debt ceiling is the time to hold the line and demand significant entitlement reform and spending cuts or refuse to raise the debt ceiling (de-facto enforcing some sort of spending limits on the federal government).

I suspect we’ll have a repeat of the last time and we’ll kick this can down the road into the abyss.

gwelf on January 2, 2013 at 8:38 AM

Whew….
That was close….

At least we don’t have to raise the debt ceiling now that we have taxed the shiite out of those evil rich..

Oh wait….

Electrongod on January 2, 2013 at 8:38 AM

That assumes two things:

- The GOP still exists as a national entity come 2016.
- Next-In-Line™ Rick Santorum doesn’t run.

Steve Eggleston on January 2, 2013 at 8:15 AM

If Rick Santorum runs, I won’t really care if the GOP exists as a national entity.

Archivarix on January 2, 2013 at 8:38 AM

Ron Paul wasn’t a conservative.

annoyinglittletwerp on January 2, 2013 at 8:29 AM

More of one than you will ever be. Keep marginalizing yourself, statist.

Dante on January 2, 2013 at 8:39 AM

This deal is done. Now the repubs must use the debt ceiling to do to bo what Jesse Jackson wanted done to him but I think we know who has lost those parts!

tim c on January 2, 2013 at 8:32 AM

Obama says he will not negotiate over the debt ceiling.

esr1951 on January 2, 2013 at 8:39 AM

Please spare me the Romney and McCain argument. They lost last time I checked. As for me beef with Ryan, it was stupid politics. Why take a controversial vote and get absolutely nothing for it? But hey he can totes post videos on You Tube about saving Medicare and never get the plan passed. As for who is winning the nomination… the unbearable lightness of Marco Rubio.

Illinidiva on January 2, 2013 at 8:35 AM

I believe you missed MKH’s point. Lately, one of the prerequisites of getting the GOP nomination is to be 180 degrees out of phase with the base on The Issue Of The Day. In 2008, it was amnesty. In 2012, state-run health care. In 2016, it could well be taxes.

Steve Eggleston on January 2, 2013 at 8:40 AM

The answer was simple, and obvious. No matter what the Republicans agree to, the economy will always be blamed on them. The Republicans don’t want that, but are unable to educate people to reality. So the answer was obvious. Give Obama unilateral power over the economy for two, or four years. Allow him to set taxes wherever he wishes, and spend money in the budget wherever he wants. Then when Obama raises taxes, and the economy tanks, and they try to blame it on the Republicans, just say that we’ve washed our hands of the economy, and gave Obama unilateral, even dictatorial powers over the economy.

But Republicans won’t ever do it. Not because of any sense of responsibility, they haven’t demanded a budget for years either. But because of a fear that Obama will cut off their pet pork projects.

Snake307 on January 2, 2013 at 8:41 AM

The House Ways and Means Committee chairman actually described keeping the same tax rates we’ve had for the past 11 years as “the largest tax cut in American history”? Funny how legislation that raises taxes for some and keeps them the same for others can be described as a “tax cut,” let alone the largest ever.

If they hadn’t already, the Republican establishment has clearly outed themselves as being nothing more than “Democrat Lite” who are not concerned at all with doing anything serious about our debt and deficit problems, nor about slowing the growth of government. They’ve also exposed themselves as frauds and liars.

The question now is whether or not the GOP electorate will do something about it, or continue to accept the “crap sandwiches” they hand us.

Shump on January 2, 2013 at 8:41 AM

The legs under the book in the photo is pretty hilarious, probably the only good thing about this news.

Rode Werk on January 2, 2013 at 8:43 AM

This deal does increase deficits by nearly $4 trillion, according to the Congressional Budget Office — but more than $3.6 trillion of that amount comes from forgone tax revenue.

No. No. No no no no nononononononononono. NO!!

Deficits come from too much spending. Period. None of the deficit come from people not being taxed too much. As long as we let the oppressives talk this way, we’re going to lose the argument. It’s the spending. Period.

PetecminMd on January 2, 2013 at 8:43 AM

Illinidiva on January 2, 2013 at 8:35 AM

Though I will grant it could also be gun control or amnesty again, which would give Rubio a leg up on getting the nomination.

Steve Eggleston on January 2, 2013 at 8:44 AM

crap sammiches and crap cupcakes.

the new normal

ted c on January 2, 2013 at 8:44 AM

Paul Ryan did the responsible thing. No better deal was ever going to be on the table.

You have to deal with the world as it is, not as you wish them to be. “Conservatives” used to understand that.

This is what the small tent gets you. Less leverage.

NoDonkey on January 2, 2013 at 8:45 AM

*thump*

*thump*

*thump*

Nope. It doesnt’ go away when I bang my head against the wall. So, today I’m working on a new political party name…

Too many good names have already been taken. Hmmm… I’m open to suggestions.

*thump*

*thump*

*thump*

Fallon on January 2, 2013 at 8:47 AM

No. No. No no no no nononononononononono. NO!!

Deficits come from too much spending. Period. None of the deficit come from people not being taxed too much. As long as we let the oppressives talk this way, we’re going to lose the argument. It’s the spending. Period.

PetecminMd on January 2, 2013 at 8:43 AM

We lost it a long time ago. As soon as the dems started using the line, “How are we going to pay for these tax cuts?” we lost it.

Dr. Frank Enstine on January 2, 2013 at 8:47 AM

Didn’t Harry Reid say Plan B had no chance?

Dongemaharu on January 2, 2013 at 8:25 AM

Yup.

Why do people keep romanticizing Plan B?

Fish gotta swim, birds gotta fly, CINO squishes gotta squish.

Kent18 on January 2, 2013 at 8:49 AM

This deal does increase deficits by nearly $4 trillion, according to the Congressional Budget Office — but more than $3.6 trillion of that amount comes from forgone tax revenue.

No, it comes from the fact that nobody cut spending. Forgone tax revenue is not a “loss” to the government any more than my failure to steal your wallet is a loss to me.

morganfrost on January 2, 2013 at 8:49 AM

Jim De Mint voted for this on his way over to Heritage?

Fleuries on January 2, 2013 at 8:49 AM

The answer was simple, and obvious. No matter what the Republicans agree to, the economy will always be blamed on them.

Snake307 on January 2, 2013 at 8:41 AM

The Repubs are equally complicit.

Paul Ryan did the responsible thing. No better deal was ever going to be on the table.

You have to deal with the world as it is, not as you wish them to be. “Conservatives” used to understand that.

This is what the small tent gets you. Less leverage.

NoDonkey on January 2, 2013 at 8:45 AM

Party over principle. You are the problem.

Dante on January 2, 2013 at 8:50 AM

And don’t forget, they want and need taxes to rise on the middle class to pay for the level of government spending they want to perpetuate.

Have no doubt that “taxes” will rise on the middle class. As is always the case in this it’s just not a direct increase. As taxes go up for those who are actually in business these new expenses are passed along to everyone else who through higher costs at the cash register.

But it will have absolutely no impact on the government spending largess, which is the real problem.

Our debt is a consequence of over-spending, and at this point a 100% tax on everyone won’t put a dent in it.

Let’s be honest folks, we’re not broke, we’re bankrupt.

Thanks Obama. Heck of a job.

Lawrence on January 2, 2013 at 8:51 AM

The people complaining about the lack of spending cuts reveal there complete and utter idiocy. The spending cliff still exists, it was only delayed. Senate Democrats will give in on preventing defense budget cuts and the House bill will gut discretionary spending. Senate Democrats have no interest in maintaining domestic spending levels outside of Obama Care. YOU WON. Get it through your thick skulls. YOU WON!

libfreeordie on January 2, 2013 at 8:51 AM

This deal does increase deficits by nearly $4 trillion, according to the Congressional Budget Office — but more than $3.6 trillion of that amount comes from forgone tax revenue.

No. No. No no no no nononononononononono. NO!!

Deficits come from too much spending. Period. None of the deficit come from people not being taxed too much. As long as we let the oppressives talk this way, we’re going to lose the argument. It’s the spending. Period.

PetecminMd on January 2, 2013 at 8:43 AM

That’s EXACTLY the point Phil was making and I was echoing. People like Bozell and conservatives mad about the deal shouldn’t be using the CBO $4 trillion number to skewer it because it actually loses rhetorical ground for conservatism.

Mary Katharine Ham on January 2, 2013 at 8:52 AM

Fallon on January 2, 2013 at 8:47 AM

Mornin’, Lady!

annoyinglittletwerp on January 2, 2013 at 8:52 AM

And on the news today it was all Democrat talking points -
A win for Obama!
Republicans raise taxes after 20 years!
Taxes raised on the 2% of the wealthy
Obama gives Middle class gets a tax cut!
Stock markets rally!
Obama says this is the start of the beginning of the right way to reduce the deficit
(oh but social security rates are going up for everyone… oh and Obama said he wants to reduce medicare spending)

Awesome job Republican leadership.

Awesome.

Skywise on January 2, 2013 at 8:52 AM

As long as we let the oppressives talk this way, we’re going to lose the argument. It’s the spending. Period.

PetecminMd on January 2, 2013 at 8:43 AM

Yup.

There was a time Republicans (as opposed to conservatives) genuinely understood, and consistently argued, this, as well.

The last one to do so won a presidential election, 49 states to 1.

Kent18 on January 2, 2013 at 8:53 AM

I love that picture.

Forget Boehner, look at those legs. And the guy in the 2nd row giving her the eye.

Nice.

PappyD61 on January 2, 2013 at 8:53 AM

If the Republican House doesn’t do ________________________, it’s time for a 3rd Party.

It’s long past time.

PappyD61 on January 2, 2013 at 8:56 AM

I want to know, after being a GOP presidential candidate and fashioning himself as the “straight-talking” fiscal candidate,

Why didn’t Ron Paul vote?

He owed the country, if he’s such a guru, to tell us where he stands.

This underlines something I have always disliked about him – how he always tries to stand aside of the issue as the “above-it-all” “sage,” but doesn’t like being pinned down.

Not trying to start a flame war, but Ron Paul owed America a vote, upor down, so as to provide some guidance.

Is there any statement out there from him? Is he ill? Or did he decide to end his career on a squishy note?

cane_loader on January 2, 2013 at 8:56 AM

Oh yeah:

Buck Foehner in the 21st Century.

Boehner needs to go. I am both calling and writing my congressman to demand it.

cane_loader on January 2, 2013 at 8:56 AM

Jim De Mint voted for this on his way over to Heritage?

Fleuries on January 2, 2013 at 8:49 AM

Republicans Not Voting

DeMint, S.C.; Kirk, Ill.

Nope. He was a non-vote. Easy enough to search and find out, why the attempt to besmirch DeMint?

Fallon on January 2, 2013 at 8:57 AM

Mornin’, Lady!

annoyinglittletwerp on January 2, 2013 at 8:52 AM

Back atcha, Twerp. Hugs from the People’s Republic of Illinois.

Fallon on January 2, 2013 at 8:58 AM

Never again!

Never again.

Is this what we elect every two or six years?

If an employee was this deficient in all aspects of the job, would we wait time after time hoping they’d get it right, while they drain our coffers, anger and enrage fellow employees and customers as well, and demand that we never fire them because they are the best we got?

This fiscal fiasco fostered by these freaks was the most unnecessary legislation we’ve seen in decades.

It never should have even been considered.

How many times do we have to listen to so-called “conservatives” tell us that soon, real soon, maybe, they’ll be able to craft legislation that will solve all of our needs?

A simple budget, that’d be nice.

We can solve our own damn needs, if government would get the hell out of the way.

Just propose to the public what is necessary for the federal government to finance, under the Constitution, and show us how they propose to get the funds. Offer it for a vote.

But, this, this stuff, trillions in authorized spending without so much as a shadow budget?

Carlo Ponzi was a rank amateur compared to the thieves we’ve elected.

The GOP will not get a dime, from me, ever.

No member of the present Congress will get a dime, nor a vote, from me ever.

Seems we are too eager to offer the rapist a cigarette when they are through with us.

It has to stop.

And, we, the People, are the only ones who can stop it.

coldwarrior on January 2, 2013 at 9:00 AM

To Bill Kristol, Speaker Boehner, etc.:

How in the cotton-pickin’ world, do you Vichy Republicans think that “reaching across the aisle” and going along with this “Tax and Spend Some More” piece of garbage stopgap measure will accomplish anything, except embolden an ego-maniacal president to further tax America into a full-blown Depression?

kingsjester on January 2, 2013 at 9:00 AM

Back atcha, Twerp. Hugs from the People’s Republic of Illinois.

Fallon on January 2, 2013 at 8:58 AM

I’ve got a cold-which thanks to Zicam is going to be mild-so no hugs. *waves from arctic west Texas.*

annoyinglittletwerp on January 2, 2013 at 9:01 AM

Party over principle. You are the problem.

Dante on January 2, 2013 at 8:50 AM

You’re not conservative either, Dingbat. You’re an anarcho-capitalist and I’m not going to take advice on conservatism from someone who isn’t one.

gryphon202 on January 2, 2013 at 9:02 AM

I posted it last night and I’ll post it again this morning.

I don’t care what you think about the GOP, the Democrat Party, the rat-eared wonder or anything else. Not even Ron Paul supporters can argue that what we saw yesterday was the way the legislative process is supposed to work.

Happy Nomad on January 2, 2013 at 9:02 AM

Jim De Mint voted for this on his way over to Heritage?

Fleuries on January 2, 2013 at 8:49 AM

No – DeMint didn’t vote at all.

Steve Eggleston on January 2, 2013 at 9:02 AM

gryphon202 on January 2, 2013 at 9:02 AM

Bullseye.

kingsjester on January 2, 2013 at 9:03 AM

Didn’t Harry Reid say Plan B had no chance?

Dongemaharu on January 2, 2013 at 8:25 AM

Yup.

Why do people keep romanticizing Plan B?

Fish gotta swim, birds gotta fly, CINO squishes gotta squish.

Kent18 on January 2, 2013 at 8:49 AM

It’s not about romanticizing. It’s about taking a crappy hand and playing it as well as you can. Passing Plan B and dropping it in the Senate’s lap might have gotten you a better deal than blowing it up, weakening your hand, and then waiting for the Senate to act in your stead. Conservatives in the caucus were openly regretting they had blown up that deal when they saw the one put before them yesterday. But I’m open to other ideas. The problem is the only one I’ve heard is “Go cliff-diving!” which doesn’t tell me how the GOP overcomes giving progressives exactly what they want—tax hikes on everyone— and letting them blame it on conservatives. At least make them get the blame for that and let’s not take it on ourselves in our ideological martyrdom. How does anyone’s plan, in these comments, prevent: Bush tax cuts–>Obama tax cuts?

In the end, we have to stop fighting on these increasingly dumb cliffs. I like the idea of maybe tying the regular budget process to the debt ceiling and forcing Democrats to engage in the normal, lawful process they’ve been ignoring for three years. But it seems neither the regular process nor real urgency nor false urgency has ever brought us closer to entitlement reforms and real fiscal sanity, so I do not know what the answer is.

Mary Katharine Ham on January 2, 2013 at 9:03 AM

Looking back, I wonder if it could have been better if House Republicans had voted for Plan B, which raised rates on those making $1 million and up, but I don’t see a scenario where it would have gotten better after today. Do you?

Of course it would have been better! For the life of me I cannot understand what “principled” Republicans were thinking by opposing this. BO had threatened to veto it – we had him in the corner, threatening a veto which would have made him responsible for raising taxes on the very middle class he’s shamelessly trying to take credit for.

A cautionary note on attacking the deal based on the $4 trillion CBO score, too:

It’s a stupid thing to do for all the reasons cited AND it uses static versus dynamic predictions about “revenue”- which ignores the suffocating impact of high taxes on economic growth. Next up, Dems will demand higher corporate tax rates (exempting “green energy” magicians) which will make us less competitive with other countries, further exacerbating the debt and deficits.

Buy Danish on January 2, 2013 at 9:03 AM

*waves from arctic west Texas.*

annoyinglittletwerp on January 2, 2013 at 9:01 AM

West Texas, like in Tom Green County Texas?

coldwarrior on January 2, 2013 at 9:03 AM

The people complaining about the lack of spending cuts reveal there complete and utter idiocy. The spending cliff still exists, it was only delayed. Senate Democrats will give in on preventing defense budget cuts and the House bill will gut discretionary spending. Senate Democrats have no interest in maintaining domestic spending levels outside of Obama Care. YOU WON. Get it through your thick skulls. YOU WON!

libfreeordie on January 2, 2013 at 8:51 AM

You really think that Democrats are going to go along with any significant amount of spending cuts and entitlement reform?

It’s hard enough to get the GOP to do that.

What we’re going to see is a repeat of the last debt ceiling battle – there will be some token “cuts” with will only be cuts to budgetary increases and not actual cuts and there will be some jiggering to increase “revenue”. The GOP may even have enough defectors to support the Democrats to further raise taxes on “the rich” that Obama says he wants. In the end it will be business as usual – yearly trillion dollar deficits with entitlements on track to explode it further and eventually implode.

gwelf on January 2, 2013 at 9:04 AM

You’re an anarcho-capitalist and I’m not going to take advice on conservatism from someone who isn’t one.

gryphon202 on January 2, 2013 at 9:02 AM

Ever notice how many non-conservatives are quick to lecture conservatives what they should be doing? And Dante is worse than most because his views on foreign policy are flat-out crazy. No rational human being would support a policy of non-intervention bordering on isolationism.

Happy Nomad on January 2, 2013 at 9:05 AM

I love the pic for this post on the front page. The pair of stockinged legs poking out of the alcove sort of makes you wonder…..

GWB on January 2, 2013 at 9:06 AM

How in the cotton-pickin’ world, do you Vichy Republicans think that “reaching across the aisle” and going along with this “Tax and Spend Some More” piece of garbage stopgap measure will accomplish anything, except embolden an ego-maniacal president to further tax America into a full-blown Depression?

kingsjester on January 2, 2013 at 9:00 AM

“[Mitt Romney] is only the latest in a long series of presidential candidates backed by a Republican establishment that seems convinced that ad hoc “moderation” is where it’s at — no matter how many of their ad hoc moderates get beaten by even vulnerable, unknown, or discredited Democrats.”

Read the whole thing.

Vichy “moderates,” a la Boehner and the GOP establishment, ARE the problem. Period. End of sentence. End of paragraph.

Kent18 on January 2, 2013 at 9:06 AM

It’s not about romanticizing. It’s about taking a crappy hand and playing it as well as you can. Passing Plan B and dropping it in the Senate’s lap might have gotten you a better deal than blowing it up, weakening your hand, and then waiting for the Senate to act in your stead. Conservatives in the caucus were openly regretting they had blown up that deal when they saw the one put before them yesterday. But I’m open to other ideas. The problem is the only one I’ve heard is “Go cliff-diving!” which doesn’t tell me how the GOP overcomes giving progressives exactly what they want—tax hikes on everyone— and letting them blame it on conservatives. At least make them get the blame for that and let’s not take it on ourselves in our ideological martyrdom. How does anyone’s plan, in these comments, prevent: Bush tax cuts–>Obama tax cuts?

In the end, we have to stop fighting on these increasingly dumb cliffs. I like the idea of maybe tying the regular budget process to the debt ceiling and forcing Democrats to engage in the normal, lawful process they’ve been ignoring for three years. But it seems neither the regular process nor real urgency nor false urgency has ever brought us closer to entitlement reforms and real fiscal sanity, so I do not know what the answer is.

Mary Katharine Ham on January 2, 2013 at 9:03 AM

I think that’s one of the bigger “wins” out of this. The Democrats won’t be turning the Bush “irresponsible and unpaid for” tax cuts into the Obama “protecting the middle class” tax cuts.

gwelf on January 2, 2013 at 9:07 AM

Begrudgingly watched Morning Joe and enjoyed it immensely. The lefties have been pushing for this win for years and got it. So the now smuggly sit there and boast about adding 4 trillion to the debt. Its on the Dems and MCConnel that this deal was banged out.

I am saddened to see everyone write off the Republicans after this loss. In my opinion if this deal went thru in early 2012 Obama would have had nothing to run on. It would have removed the class warfare that handed him a second term.

I urge people to see if we can get a big deal at the debt ceiling deadline before pulling the rip cord. Republicans should produce a bill in the house that handles the debt with ALL the cost cutting pieces that the Dems in the Senate and the president have floated for months. And they should include some revenue.

Then you use the next 2 months to crush the Democrats for inaction. Its the only way as Boehner is not up to the task of pulling stuff out at the last minute.

Bensonofben on January 2, 2013 at 9:08 AM

In the end, we have to stop fighting on these increasingly dumb cliffs. I like the idea of maybe tying the regular budget process to the debt ceiling and forcing Democrats to engage in the normal, lawful process they’ve been ignoring for three years. But it seems neither the regular process nor real urgency nor false urgency has ever brought us closer to entitlement reforms and real fiscal sanity, so I do not know what the answer is.

Mary Katharine Ham on January 2, 2013 at 9:03 AM

In the end, we have to stop fighting these public battles within the GOP caucus. John Boehner was running around like a dog chasing his tail while the rat-eared wonder and his party just sat there and laughed at him.

IMO, Boehner has to go. If for no other reason than to change up the game, keep the left guessing, and get somebody who shows some leadership instead of acting like the President’s lapdog in Congress.

Happy Nomad on January 2, 2013 at 9:09 AM

In the end, we have to stop fighting on these increasingly dumb cliffs. I like the idea of maybe tying the regular budget process to the debt ceiling and forcing Democrats to engage in the normal, lawful process they’ve been ignoring for three years. But it seems neither the regular process nor real urgency nor false urgency has ever brought us closer to entitlement reforms and real fiscal sanity, so I do not know what the answer is.

Mary Katharine Ham on January 2, 2013 at 9:03 AM

You have identified the overarching problem – even worse, if possible, then the insane bipartisan spending orgy that is about to crush the US economy: The utterly broken budget process.

The Dems MUST be forced back into some semblance of the normal budget process followed in America for generations:

House proposes a bill – Senate and House work in committee – it goes back to House for fixes, etc…..

The most immmediate crisis is the unwillingness of Harry Reid to allow a budget, which is a violation of the law, by the way.

This is Soviet-style 5-year planning at its finest.

GOP should be screaming this from the rooftops.

cane_loader on January 2, 2013 at 9:09 AM

the House bill will gut discretionary spending. Senate Democrats have no interest in maintaining domestic spending levels outside of Obama Care.

libfreeordie on January 2, 2013 at 8:51 AM

Heh.

Heh-heh-heh.

BWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha — !!!!!

… oh, wait, though. You were actually serious, weren’t you…?

Kent18 on January 2, 2013 at 9:10 AM

“[Mitt Romney] is only the latest in a long series of presidential candidates backed by a Republican establishment that seems convinced that ad hoc “moderation” is where it’s at — no matter how many of their ad hoc moderates get beaten by even vulnerable, unknown, or discredited Democrats.”

Read the whole thing.

Vichy “moderates,” a la Boehner and the GOP establishment, ARE the problem. Period. End of sentence. End of paragraph.

Kent18 on January 2, 2013 at 9:06 AM

No – the GOP is not the core problem. Generally speaking the American voters are the core problem. We can blame stupid, corrupt, unprincipled politicians all day long but at the end of the day it’s the people who are at fault.

gwelf on January 2, 2013 at 9:10 AM

Crooks.

Dr. ZhivBlago on January 2, 2013 at 9:10 AM

No – the GOP is not the core problem. Generally speaking the American voters are the core problem. We can blame stupid, corrupt, unprincipled politicians all day long but at the end of the day it’s the people who are at fault.

gwelf on January 2, 2013 at 9:10 AM

I would beg to differ, my friend. Voters who think they’ll get a damn thing different out of the GOP are indeed the problem, but there would be no problem without the gutless wonders of Ye Grande Olde Party.

gryphon202 on January 2, 2013 at 9:14 AM

American voters are the core problem.

gwelf on January 2, 2013 at 9:10 AM

The rarefied, technical term for any political party that eventually resorts to blaming the electorate — rather than its own repeated inability to effectively communicate with said electorate — is: L-O-S-E-R-S.

Kent18 on January 2, 2013 at 9:15 AM

Paul Ryan did the responsible thing. No better deal was ever going to be on the table.

You have to deal with the world as it is, not as you wish them to be. “Conservatives” used to understand that.

This is what the small tent gets you. Less leverage.

NoDonkey on January 2, 2013 at 8:45 AM

It was a politically stupid thing to do. I’m of the mind that this needed to pass, but it passed easily. Ryan could have voted against it and it still would have passed. Ryan has certain things that he wants to do like save the U.S. from fiscal collapse. I’m not sure exactly how he expects to do these things if he isn’t President (or at least a really influential VP). That’s the whole reason why he agreed to be Romney’s running mate or so I thought. He thought that he could use his influence in the Romney administration to pass his Medicare plan. The vote got him absolutely nothing in terms of his long term goals of making the U.S. fiscally sound… Unless he really is that naive that he thinks Barry is totally going to play ball with him on Medicare now rather than continuing to demagogue him or that presumptive 2016 nominee, Marco Rubio, who probably has a “nuanced” answer to Team Edward vs. Team Jacob, is going to make Medicare reform his top priority.

But please.. if you think that Ryan totally accrued any lasting political benefits from that vote, then I’m all ears.

Illinidiva on January 2, 2013 at 9:15 AM

So much for a Happy New Year.Obama spits in the face of America again,waves bye bye on AF1 on his golfing trip.Definitely a sad day indeed.Kiss your a** goodbye Boner, we need Bachman or Gohmert as speaker.

jeffinsjvca on January 2, 2013 at 9:16 AM

The economy is going to be badly hurt by increasing taxes on the job creators, those who make more than $ 400,000 a year… In fact most small size businesses and many middle size businesses file under S-Corp i.e. their business revenue is considered their income and will be taxed under income tax. Now a business owner who makes a $ million a year in income would be taxed an extra $ 27,000 a year by going back to the Clinton era rate of 39.5% for each dollar he earns above $ 400,000. This business owner is simply not going to accept $ 27,000 a year loss in income and he will either fire one of his employees or cut the benefit to his employees or increase the fees of service/product on the customers or all of the above… For certain he is not going to hire any new employee… This is business 101 and economics 101…

Politically it is going to be very bad for Obama and the democrats, they are just too stupid to realize it now…

mnjg on January 2, 2013 at 9:16 AM

…so I do not know what the answer is.
Mary Katharine Ham on January 2, 2013 at 9:03 AM

Reagan Conservatism. GOP reach-across-th-aisle Moderatism certainly has not worked.

kingsjester on January 2, 2013 at 9:16 AM

Too many good names have already been taken. Hmmm… I’m open to suggestions.

*thump*

*thump*

*thump*

Fallon on January 2, 2013 at 8:47 AM

How about the Fallon Party, as in fall on your sword? Take one for the nation. Sacrifice yourself for the people, as if anybody gives a rat’s a$$ about the nation or the people anymore.

The GOP is going to face the same issue when it comes to raising the debt ceiling as they did last night. Namely, that they will be blamed for the consequences of not raising the ceiling and will cave so they can be re-elected in 2014. Same ol’, same ol’.

It’s all getting old. Whatever happened to just doing the right thing and to hell with the office that you hold? Replace ‘em all. NOW! Don’t fret about the libs retaining their office. Just don’t keep our people in place if they are going to betray what we stand for. Screw ‘em!

HiJack on January 2, 2013 at 9:17 AM

Illinidiva on January 2, 2013 at 9:15 AM

Who give a damn about 2016 right now? Stop analyzing what is going to happen so far in the future when you do not even know what is going to happen today…

mnjg on January 2, 2013 at 9:18 AM

I would beg to differ, my friend. Voters who think they’ll get a damn thing different out of the GOP are indeed the problem, but there would be no problem without the gutless wonders of Ye Grande Olde Party.

gryphon202 on January 2, 2013 at 9:14 AM

I’m not saying the GOP isn’t a problem. I’m saying the larger problem is what the majority of the people want from their government and the relationship they want to have with it. The GOP are often gutless wonders because they’re afraid of upsetting these people.

If do agree that if the GOP were more determined and principled and savvy at political maneuvering and messaging then they’d be a lot more successful in convincing people to support them and they’d be able to get away with actually pushing real fixes to our problems.

gwelf on January 2, 2013 at 9:19 AM

Permanent tax cut, you have to be kidding? There is no way this tax cut remains untouched, it isn’t possible given our national debt.

Panther on January 2, 2013 at 9:19 AM

Reagan Conservatism. GOP reach-across-th-aisle Moderatism certainly has not worked.

kingsjester on January 2, 2013 at 9:16 AM

Reagan conservative is dead dead dead dead dead DEAD! It was shot squarely through the head when George H.W. Bush took over.

gryphon202 on January 2, 2013 at 9:20 AM

The GOP will betray you

True_King on January 2, 2013 at 9:21 AM

Unless he really is that naive that he thinks Barry is totally going to play ball with him on Medicare now rather than continuing to demagogue him or that presumptive 2016 nominee, Marco Rubio, who probably has a “nuanced” answer to Team Edward vs. Team Jacob, is going to make Medicare reform his top priority.

But please.. if you think that Ryan totally accrued any lasting political benefits from that vote, then I’m all ears.

Illinidiva on January 2, 2013 at 9:15 AM

If anybody in the GOP is still deluded with the idea that you can work with these people and that the rat-eared wonder will be an honest broker………. They need mental help. The healing will only start when Charlie Brown stops asking Lucy to hold the football.

Happy Nomad on January 2, 2013 at 9:22 AM

The rarefied, technical term for any political party that eventually resorts to blaming the electorate — rather than its own repeated inability to effectively communicate with said electorate — is: L-O-S-E-R-S.

Kent18 on January 2, 2013 at 9:15 AM

For one thing I’m not the political party. I’m not even a registered Republican.

I agree completely that the GOP needs to communicate a lot better but at some point (I’d say primarily) it’s incumbent upon supposedly free born citizens to notice and care that state and federal governments are looting the future to bribe the present.

gwelf on January 2, 2013 at 9:22 AM

Permanent tax cut, you have to be kidding? There is no way this tax cut remains untouched, it isn’t possible given our national debt.

Panther on January 2, 2013 at 9:19 AM

Absolutely, positively. There is no such thing as a permanent tax cut. A permanent tax, yes, but not a permanent tax cut. No way, no how, and people are dreaming if they really believe it to be so.

HiJack on January 2, 2013 at 9:22 AM

The positive of the tax cuts being permanent isn’t any more certain that the sequester was for Jan 1, 2013, or that a budget is needed every year.

The rules are fluid. We need some judicial oversight?

tomg51 on January 2, 2013 at 9:23 AM

The GOP will betray you

True_King on January 2, 2013 at 9:21 AM

Getting a little old, King. The GOP has betrayed us. The GOP will continue to betray us. OLD NEWS.

gryphon202 on January 2, 2013 at 9:23 AM

Getting a little old, King. The GOP has betrayed us. The GOP will continue to betray us. OLD NEWS.

gryphon202 on January 2, 2013 at 9:23 AM

Comment of the Day™

Steve Eggleston on January 2, 2013 at 9:24 AM

Who give a damn about 2016 right now? Stop analyzing what is going to happen so far in the future when you do not even know what is going to happen today…

mnjg on January 2, 2013 at 9:18 AM

2016 might seem far off but between now and then there is a mid-term election in 2014. The GOP had better start strategizing just how they are going to get low-information voters (previously call stupid greedy morons) from demanding more free stuff.

Happy Nomad on January 2, 2013 at 9:24 AM

Politically it is going to be very bad for Obama and the democrats, they are just too stupid to realize it now…

mnjg on January 2, 2013 at 9:16 AM

You really don’t understand do you? Brush up on the tactics and methods of Marxism.

There will be no consequence.

True_King on January 2, 2013 at 9:24 AM

GOP reach-across-th-aisle Moderatism certainly has not worked.

kingsjester on January 2, 2013 at 9:16 AM

Indeed. To hear Team Vichy whinny and lecture, one might genuinely be excused for believing that we were heading into the second term of a McCain administration, while simultaneously (it’s all done with mirrors, folks!) ramping up for the triumphal inaugural celebration of Mitten’s first one.

Never has so maladroit and ineffectual a political contingent mewled and hectored so noisily and incessantly on the topic of something (i.e., w-i-n-n-i-n-g) they know so demonstrably little about.

Kent18 on January 2, 2013 at 9:25 AM


No – the GOP is not the core problem. Generally speaking the American voters are the core problem. We can blame stupid, corrupt, unprincipled politicians all day long but at the end of the day it’s the people who are at fault.

If the GOP base–the ‘people’ of the GOP, the voters of the GOP–had had their way the incompetent progressive turned faux-conservative Willard Romney would never have been the GOP nominee, as evidenced by how every other candidate would experience a not-Romney surge of support as primary voters searched desperately for a not-Romney of any consequence only the party establishment had failed in its primary function of selecting competitive candidates for elective office.

The rift between a fat, content, corrupt, and ineffective GOP establishment and a radicalized center in the form of the Tea Party and other libertarian formations is precisely our problem. Until we liquidate the party cadres by means of rebellion or slow attrition, our primary struggle is going to be with ourselves. Put differently, we cannot oppose an Obama with a Romney, a Boehner or a McConnell, as these are leaders conditioned by the experiences of a different era. Well, Romney would have been a disaster in any era. Imagine a “numbers guy” who can’t read a f*****g poll.

casuist on January 2, 2013 at 9:25 AM

The GOP had better start strategizing just how they are going to get low-information voters (previously call stupid greedy morons) from demanding more free stuff.

Happy Nomad on January 2, 2013 at 9:24 AM

Good luck with that. The folks that are smart enough to know better than to expect free stuff are going to be smart enough not to trust the GOP.

gryphon202 on January 2, 2013 at 9:25 AM

One crap sandwich, coming right up.

Physics Geek on January 2, 2013 at 9:26 AM

The GOP will betray you

True_King on January 2, 2013 at 9:21 AM

When was the last time our beloved GOP didn’t betray us? When was the last time the GOP actually stood for limited government?

By the way, 2013 marks the 100th anniversary of the passage of the Income Tax Amendment and the establishment of the Federal Reserve System. Where was the GOP then?

I make my point.

HiJack on January 2, 2013 at 9:26 AM

This negotiation was lost some 15 months ago when Boehner and McConnell punted on the debt ceiling and set this whole process in motion… McConnell got the better deal than could be expected, because Barry didn’t want a deal, and the debt ceiling, our only leverage, didn’t get put into a ‘grand bargin’ solving this artificial crisis.

Hopefully someone challenges Boehner tomorrow for the gavel, because we need someone ready and willing to shut down the government when Turbo Tax Timmy runs debt capacity in 2 months.

phreshone on January 2, 2013 at 9:27 AM

Dante on January 2, 2013 at 8:29 AM

That horse has gotten a tad too ripe.

katy the mean old lady on January 2, 2013 at 9:27 AM

… but I’m not sure I don’t trust Republicans to pull off something so deft, which is really the problem with all of these negotiations, isn’t it?

FIFM

And to answer your question, that’s a big 10-4 …

ShainS on January 2, 2013 at 9:28 AM

Comment pages: 1 2 3 6