Quotes of the Day

posted at 10:01 pm on January 3, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

The speaker took the gavel with a nod to his disgruntled members, promising his priority in this new Congress would be to reduce the nation’s rising $16.4 trillion in debt.

The American Dream is in peril so long as its namesake is weighed down by this anchor of debt,” Boehner told the chamber. “Break its hold, and we begin to set our economy free. Jobs will come home. Confidence will come back.”

***

***

Sure, Boehner was moved by the moment. (He is only the 53rd person to hold the job.) But his tears could just have easily reflected his tremendously challenging first two years as speaker and the political perils that await him in the next two.

Boehner’s week epitomized these challenges. He found himself on the outside looking in during the final negotiations — and credit-taking — on the “fiscal cliff” deal. He was pilloried by Northeastern lawmakers, including Republican Reps. Mike Grimm (N.Y.) and Peter King (N.Y.), for refusing to bring up legislation to aid victims of Hurricane Sandy. He narrowly avoided an embarrassing second-ballot vote in his bid for another term as speaker, a fate that had not befallen any speaker since 1923.

Yes, Boehner did win the speakership again. But his power to wrangle his Republican colleagues to support his priorities appears to be at an all-time low, and there is already speculation about when he might decide that enough is enough and step down.

***

It’s hard not to notice the Ron Paul connection to the Boehner resistance: Jones and Amash are two of just three House members who backed Paul’s 2012 presidential campaign.

Thomas Massie of Kentucky, who won a November special election and voted for Amash rather than Boehner, is another Paul acolyte – Paul went so far as to single out Massie and Amash for praise in June when he announced that he was essentially ending his presidential campaign.

***


***

Despite failing to take the speaker’s gavel away from John Boehner, one Republican who rebelled against his party’s leader during Thursday’s election said: “It was important to make a statement.”

“This is a matter of conscience,” Rep. Walter Jones, a North Carolina Republican, said off the House floor on Thursday. “This isn’t a political payback. This is a matter of conscience when you see a country falling apart.

***

People who have watched this whole deal unfold have lost a lot of confidence in Congress in its ability to get anything done in a bipartisan manner. What do you think going forward as we have a new Congress in session now?

“I think that a lot of people have learned a lot of lessons over the last two years. I told Speaker Boehner that him running over to the White House and talking to the president, that’s not the way you’re supposed to legislate. We’re supposed to do the legislation here in the House and Senate, then send it to the President for his signature. Speaker Boehner says he’s not going to do that anymore. He’s not going to go over there. I think that’ll be a good place to start. And I think we need to talk more direct with Congress to Congress, Democrat-Republican, and on the Senate side, and work some things out instead of trying to do everything in such a high noon fashion. We could be a lot more effective if everyone backed down their bluster.”

***

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

***

Boehner then finds himself reelected to the speakership at his own personal low point in the office, a bit of timing that raises a simple yet profound question: Where does he go from here?

We put that very question to a handful of smart Republican strategists — most of whom acknowledged that there is no easy path forward for Boehner now.

“Is he taking a hit right now? Yes,” said Kevin Madden, a former Boehner aide. “But even the members voting ‘no’ on the agreement who also may not publicly support John privately appreciate his effort.” Drawing on Boehner’s time as a high school football player, Madden added: “He’s going to get right back up, get back into the huddle and get his team ready for the next play.”

That next play will almost certainly be the debt ceiling fight, and the stakes are high. ”He had better deliver on spending cuts and entitlement reform come debt ceiling time,” said one senior party strategist granted anonymity to speak candidly.

***

Mr. Obama has also said he will demand equivalent revenue increases for every dollar of spending cuts won by Republicans over the next year. That could be done by further limits on deductions and loopholes for corporations and the rich, including eliminating the carried-interest loophole that lets hedge fund managers declare that their income is a form of capital gains. But it will be a struggle to uphold that pledge, given the maddening nature of his opponents.

In the weeks to come, Republicans will use not just the debt-ceiling threat, but also the $100 billion across-the-board cuts known as the sequester, delayed for two months in this week’s deal, and the potential shutdown of the government when the current spending resolution expires in March. Standing up to brinkmanship will require a level of resolve that the president has yet to fully demonstrate.

***

Despite poll numbers showing the majority of Americans now support gay marriage, House Speaker John Boehner sent a strong message today authorizing the continued use of taxpayer funds to defend a federal law that defines marriage as between one man and one woman.

In February 2011, the Obama administration announced it would no longer defend the law, the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in various court challenges across the country. Boehner subsequently announced that the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (BLAG) would take over the defense of the law. BLAG is comprised of five members of the House leadership. The Republican majority tapped superstar lawyer Paul Clement to lead the effort.

Today, House Republicans included DOMA language in the Opening Day Rules package authorizing the continued use of taxpayer funds. …

Michael Steel, a spokesperson for Boehner, said in a statement today: “We continue to believe the constitutionality of the law should be judged by the court, not the president unilaterally–and will provide the resources needed to protect our system of checks and balances.

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Comment pages: 1 6 7 8

haha

I’m so lonely.

Slade73 on January 4, 2013 at 4:50 AM

:) You’ve got free time right in the big quiet. You should get a blog, man. You could be creating in the big quiet and conversing with people at the end of the night shift or the beginning of the day shift — either side. You could be like KJ coming in early and splashing down your take.

Axe on January 4, 2013 at 5:21 AM

Good Morning!

its sad that I don’t have the confidence in this speaker…..he’s like dear leader where he talks big but caves at the end….

cmsinaz on January 4, 2013 at 5:37 AM

ot: lsm just laughing off biden’s atrocious comments….

unstinkingbelievable

cmsinaz on January 4, 2013 at 5:41 AM

Mr. Obama has also said he will demand equivalent revenue increases for every dollar of spending cuts won by Republicans over the next year.

So in effect, there will be no spending cuts…but increased spending and higher taxes.

Think we all knew that already.

Dr. ZhivBlago on January 4, 2013 at 6:02 AM

Mornin’, y’all!

The problem is not that people are taxed too little, the problem is that government spends too much.- Ronald Reagan

My take.

kingsjester on January 4, 2013 at 6:46 AM

kingsjester on January 4, 2013 at 6:46 AM

morning KJ!

very nice take my friend…

cmsinaz on January 4, 2013 at 7:09 AM

cmsinaz on January 4, 2013 at 7:09 AM

Thank you!

I’m probably going to catch it for this one.:)

kingsjester on January 4, 2013 at 7:13 AM

kingsjester on January 4, 2013 at 7:13 AM

we’re here :)

cmsinaz on January 4, 2013 at 7:24 AM

KJ, not at all. As Reagan said it, there is the problem in a nutshell.

tngmv on January 4, 2013 at 7:25 AM

Boehner’s problem (and ours too) is he has no plan. He may know where he’s been, but has no idea where he wants to be and how he’s going to sell it. I honestly don’t see that changing and the fact that he was re-elected indicates to me no one else has a clue there either.

Pass the legislation and then refuse, absolutely refuse to do any last minute deals with the Senate, that’s a good start.

bflat879 on January 4, 2013 at 8:01 AM

from the hill “I know one gentleman was called, a freshman who was called, and said ‘you know what, we know we’ve announced your assignment to committee x, it’s probably gone if you vote your conscience here,” charged Huelskamp, who has frequently criticized Boehner to the press since losing his committee seat.

the weeper is an embarassment and a disgrace.

renalin on January 4, 2013 at 8:02 AM

Looks to me like the typist has a major crush on Schadenfreude. Schadenfreude. you devil. ; )

Bmore on January 4, 2013 at 9:04 AM

The problem is not that people are taxed too little, the problem is that government spends too much.- Ronald Reagan

kingsjester on January 4, 2013 at 6:46 AM

Regean said as he increased spending, taxes, the debt, and deficit.

Dante on January 4, 2013 at 9:12 AM

Regean said as he increased spending, taxes, the debt, and deficit.

Dante on January 4, 2013 at 9:12 AM

Paulian, I lived through Carter. I can unequivocally say that Ronald Regan was the greatest president in my lifetime.

You can take your anarcho-capitalism and go play with it…and your Hot Wheels.

kingsjester on January 4, 2013 at 10:34 AM

Congress could just refuse to take up the issue of increasing the debt ceiling and **KA-BOOM**, the US suddenly has a balanced budget. That’s the ONLY WAY we will get there.

newpine on January 4, 2013 at 10:45 AM

Paulian, I lived through Carter. I can unequivocally say that Ronald Regan was the greatest president in my lifetime.

kingsjester on January 4, 2013 at 10:34 AM

And I lived through Nixon. Whoop de doo for you. I’m sure you think Reagan was the greatest president in your lifetime, however I wasn’t comparing Reagan to other presidents. I pointed out his hypocrisy. Reagan did a lot of talking, but his actions never backed up his rhetoric. Reagan said the problem is that government spends to much, yet he increased taxes, spending, the debt, the deficit, tariffs, and regulations, and increased the federal workforce.

Dante on January 4, 2013 at 10:51 AM

He had better deliver on spending cuts and entitlement reform come debt ceiling time,” said one senior party strategist granted anonymity to speak candidly.

.
THIS….. is the problem.

Speaking candidly – in unison – should be requisite for ALL good Republicans at this point in time, and to stop hiding behind the curtains because they are too skeered.

Has Boehner turned into our Odumbo Messiah? Thats the Demoncrat idol worship style…. not ours

Why does Turtle boy in the Senate get a pass. Where is the counterattack?
Is President Revenge OFF LIMITS now? because of Nov. ?

Pressure must come from many… not a select few -who are easy media targets.

Where’s the outrage?
Is it hiding behind Boehner?

FlaMurph on January 4, 2013 at 11:05 AM

Hot Wheels.

kingsjester on January 4, 2013 at 10:34 AM

Hey! I have one heII of a collection of them. The first 114 ever produced. I still get them every year for my b-day. Just got four new ones. ; )

Bmore on January 4, 2013 at 11:07 AM

Dante on January 4, 2013 at 10:51 AM

.
You LIE and obfuscate. But you’re probably a Democrite/socialist wannabe , and thats just how you Lobamatrolls roll.

Reagan was a “Net” tax cutter looking from an overall, aggregate stand point. Not even Kennedy can say that – although Johnson did follow up his policy- and cut taxes back, until raising them to pay for Vietnam.

Did Reagan raise taxes? Yes – 1982 he passed his (congress’s)largest Tax increases- with the Promise from Tip O’Neils Congress for a 3:1 ratio of spending cuts to tax increases later down the road. It was a fiscally sound-Good deal- AT THAT TIME ….but guess what happened with those Spending cuts that were promised??? you got it- NEVER HAPPENED- So what did Congress do with spending? Bingo. So Reagan was basically lied to, to pass that 1982 Tax increase. Even back then the Demoncrats were a dishonest bunch. Go figure.

Was the military in bad shape when Carter got through with his time? You betcha ! Was spending required to keep up with the Ruskies ? Yep. Do Conservatives feel a strong Military is more important than spending on Hollywood, Electric scooters and Flukes contraception ?
You betcha, again.

Reagan doesn’t have to be your best President- but stop lying.
Reagan was an aggregate TAX CUTTER- and no modern President can claim that achievement. But who could ever be perfect like Hussein Obama.

FlaMurph on January 4, 2013 at 11:45 AM

Hey! I have one heII of a collection of them. The first 114 ever produced. I still get them every year for my b-day. Just got four new ones. ; )

Bmore on January 4, 2013 at 11:07 AM

Still have all of mine too… have the original collectors case jammed full of original Hotwheels.

They’re not in the best of shape…but they were my prized possession as a kid.

Tim_CA on January 4, 2013 at 11:46 AM

Dante on January 4, 2013 at 10:51 AM

You’re an idiot.

Go play with your #OWS pals.

Solaratov on January 4, 2013 at 12:06 PM

Everytime I put on my Together We Thrive™ t-shirt that I got at the democrat rally/memorial for those slaughtered by that democrat campaign worker in Tuscon, I think of you Schad.

Ebery Tyme.

tom daschle concerned on January 4, 2013 at 2:31 AM

Sorry, missed this last night, good one. They are so stupid that if it would hurt we’d need ear plugs of a very high caliber.

Schadenfreude on January 4, 2013 at 12:09 PM

Looks to me like the typist has a major crush on Schadenfreude. Schadenfreude. you devil. ; )

Bmore on January 4, 2013 at 9:04 AM

Heh, I’ve always been charming and irresistible.

Schadenfreude on January 4, 2013 at 12:10 PM

Is that right? So what am I assuming wrongly then? That you actually wish all the things on people that you’ve been wishing on them for weeks?

Don’t want to be held responsible for the things you’ve been saying? What’s wrong? All I’ve done is basically quite you and all of a sudden I’m “assuming”?

Please, continue Schad, I want to hear this. :)

Genuine on January 4, 2013 at 2:55 AM

I’d gone to read/sleep, dummy.

1. I am fully, 100% accountable for every word I say/write. Otherwise I’d not do it. I’m not a weasely leftard, like your president. I own what I do, say, write, produce and etc.

2. I wish all those things on all who brung Obama. They deserve no less and theirs, whom they destroy, don’t either. I don’t care if they are on the left, in the center, or on the right.

3. You are assuming, you fool, and who have no clue what you’re assuming. I’ll let you guess, dummy.

Schadenfreude on January 4, 2013 at 12:14 PM

You LIE and obfuscate. But you’re probably a Democrite/socialist wannabe , and thats just how you Lobamatrolls roll.

Reagan was a “Net” tax cutter looking from an overall, aggregate stand point. Not even Kennedy can say that – although Johnson did follow up his policy- and cut taxes back, until raising them to pay for Vietnam.

Did Reagan raise taxes? Yes – 1982 he passed his (congress’s)largest Tax increases- with the Promise from Tip O’Neils Congress for a 3:1 ratio of spending cuts to tax increases later down the road. It was a fiscally sound-Good deal- AT THAT TIME ….but guess what happened with those Spending cuts that were promised??? you got it- NEVER HAPPENED- So what did Congress do with spending? Bingo. So Reagan was basically lied to, to pass that 1982 Tax increase. Even back then the Demoncrats were a dishonest bunch. Go figure.

Was the military in bad shape when Carter got through with his time? You betcha ! Was spending required to keep up with the Ruskies ? Yep. Do Conservatives feel a strong Military is more important than spending on Hollywood, Electric scooters and Flukes contraception ?
You betcha, again.

Reagan doesn’t have to be your best President- but stop lying.
Reagan was an aggregate TAX CUTTER- and no modern President can claim that achievement. But who could ever be perfect like Hussein Obama.

FlaMurph on January 4, 2013 at 11:45 AM

For your education:

The Myths of Reaganomics

Tax Cuts. One of the few areas where Reaganomists claim success without embarrassment is taxation. Didn’t the Reagan administration, after all, slash income taxes in 1981, and provide both tax cuts and “fairness” in its highly touted tax reform law of 1986? Hasn’t Ronald Reagan, in the teeth of opposition, heroically held the line against all tax increases?

The answer, unfortunately, is no. In the first place, the famous “tax cut” of 1981 did not cut taxes at all. It’s true that tax rates for higher-income brackets were cut; but for the average person, taxes rose, rather than declined. The reason is that, on the whole, the cut in income tax rates was more than offset by two forms of tax increase. One was “bracket creep,” a term for inflation quietly but effectively raising one into higher tax brackets, so that you pay more and proportionately higher taxes even though the tax rate schedule has officially remained the same. The second source of higher taxes was Social Security taxation, which kept increasing, and which helped taxes go up overall. Not only that, but soon thereafter; when the Social Security System was generally perceived as on the brink of bankruptcy, President Reagan brought in Alan Greenspan, a leading Reaganomist and now Chairman of the Federal Reserve, to save Social Security as head of a bipartisan commission. The “saving,” of course, meant still higher Social Security taxes then and forevermore.

Since the tax cut of 1981 that was not really a cut, furthermore, taxes have gone up every single year since, with the approval of the Reagan administration. But to save the president’s rhetorical sensibilities, they weren’t called tax increases. Instead, ingenious labels were attached to them; raising of “fees,” “plugging loopholes” (and surely everyone wants loopholes plugged), “tightening IRS enforcement,” and even revenue enhancements.” I am sure that all good Reaganomists slept soundly at night knowing that even though government revenue was being “enhanced,” the president had held the line against tax increases.

“Reagan’s foreign economic policy has been the exact opposite of its proclaimed devotion to free trade and free markets.”
The highly ballyhooed Tax “Reform” Act of 1986 was supposed to be economically healthy as well as “fair”; supposedly “revenue neutral,” it was to bring us (a) simplicity, helping the public while making the lives of tax accountants and lawyers miserable; and (b) income tax cuts, especially in the higher income brackets and in everyone’s marginal tax rates (that is, income tax rates on additional money you may earn); and offset only by plugging those infamous loopholes. The reality, of course, was very different, In the first place, the administration has succeeded in making the tax laws so complicated that even the IRS admittedly doesn’t understand it, and tax accountants and lawyers will be kept puzzled and happy for years to come.

Secondly, while indeed income tax rates were cut in the higher brackets, many of the loophole plugs meant huge tax increases for people in the upper as well as middle income brackets. The point of the income tax, and particularly the marginal rate cuts, was the supply-sider objective of lowering taxes to stimulate savings and investment. But a National Bureau study by Hausman and Poterba on the Tax Reform Act shows that over 40% of the nation’s taxpayers suffered a marginal tax increase (or at best, the same rate as before) and, of the majority that did enjoy marginal tax cuts, only 11% got reductions of 10% or more. In short, most of the tax reductions were negligible. Not only that; the Tax Reform Act, these authors reckoned, would lower savings and investment overall because of the huge increases in taxes on business and on capital gains. Moreover savings were also hurt by the tax law’s removal of tax deductibility on contributions to IRAs.

Not only were taxes increased, but business costs were greatly raised by making business expense meals only 80% deductible, which means a great expenditure of business time and energy keeping and shuffling records. And not only were taxes raised by eliminating tax shelters in real estate, but the law’s claims to “fairness” were made grotesque by the retroactive nature of many of the tax increases. Thus, the abolition of tax shelter deductibility was made retroactive, imposing huge penalties after the fact. This is ex post facto legislation outlawed by the Constitution, which prohibits making actions retroactively criminal for a time period when they were perfectly legal. A friend of mine, for example, sold his business about eight years ago; to avoid capital gains taxes, he incorporated his business in the American Virgin Islands, which the federal government had made exempt from capital gains taxes in order to stimulate Virgin Islands development. Now, eight years later, this tax exemption for the Virgin Islands has been removed (a “loophole” plugged!) but the IRS now expects my friend to pay full retroactive capital gains taxes plus interest on this eight-year old sale. Let’s hear it for the “fairness” of the tax reform law!

But the bottom line on the tax question: is what happened in the Reagan era to government tax revenues overall? Did the amount of taxes extracted from the American people by the federal government go up or down during the Reagan years? The facts are that federal tax receipts were $517 billion in the last Carter year of 1980. In 1986, revenues totaled $769 billion, an increase of 49%. Whatever that is, that doesn’t look like a tax cut. But how about taxes as a percentage of the national product? There, we can concede that on a percentage criterion, overall taxes fell very slightly, remaining about even with the last year of Carter. Taxes fell from 18.9% of the GNP to 18.3%, or for a better gauge, taxes as percentage of net private product fell from 27.2% to 26.6%. A large absolute increase in taxes, coupled with keeping taxes as a percentage of national product about even, is scarcely cause for tossing one’s hat in the air about a whopping reduction in taxes during the Reagan years.

In recent months, moreover; the Reagan administration has been more receptive to loophole plugging, fees, and revenues than ever before. To quote from the Tax Watch column in the New York Times (October 13, 1987): “President Reagan has repeatedly warned Congress of his opposition to any new taxes, but some White House aides have been trying to figure out a way of endorsing a tax bill that could be called something else.”

In addition to closing loopholes, the White House is nudging Congress to expand the usual definition of a “user fee,” not a tax because it is supposed to be a fee for those who use a government service, say national parks or waterways. But apparently the Reagan administration is now expanding the definition of “user fee” to include excise taxes, on the assumption, apparently, that every time we purchase a product or service we must pay government for its permission. Thus, the Reagan administration has proposed not, of course, as a tax increase, but as an alleged “user fee,” a higher excise tax on every international airline or ship ticket, a tax on all coal producers, and a tax on gasoline and on highway charges for buses. The administration is also willing to support, as an alleged user fee rather than a tax, a requirement that employers, such as restaurants, start paying the Social Security tax on tips received by waiters and other service personnel.

In the wake of the stock market crash, President Reagan is now willing to give us a post-crash present of: higher taxes that will openly be called higher taxes. On Tuesday morning, the White House declared: “We’re going to hold to our guns. The president has given us marching orders: no tax increase.” By Tuesday afternoon, however, the marching orders had apparently evaporated, and the president said that he was “willing to look at” tax-increase proposals. To greet a looming recession with a tax increase is a wonderful way to bring that recession into reality. Once again, President Reagan is following the path blazed by Herbert Hoover in the Great Depression of raising taxes to try to combat a deficit.

Dante on January 4, 2013 at 12:15 PM

and who you have no clue

Schadenfreude on January 4, 2013 at 12:17 PM

lol

do you have an inferiority complex? You’re worth talking to.

Slade73 on January 4, 2013 at 4:44 AM

Thanks, and nope, I don’t have an inferiority complex – I just knew I was getting ready to sign off for the night! :)

Anti-Control on January 4, 2013 at 12:35 PM

Dante on January 4, 2013 at 12:15 PM

.
You’re over anal-yzing and cherry picking. Comparing Pre-WWII Hoover Admin with Reagan years, 50 years later. Makes sense.

Aggregately- Reagan was a Net Tax Cutter who worked with a deceptive and dishonest Democrat Party Controlled Congress – as best he could. All the liberal parsing/spin cannot change that.

And do more research on Black Monday ’87. You’ll be amazed.

FlaMurph on January 4, 2013 at 12:59 PM

Lew!!!

Bmore on January 4, 2013 at 1:04 PM

Tim_CA on January 4, 2013 at 11:46 AM

Pretty good site right here.

Bmore on January 4, 2013 at 1:07 PM

You’re over anal-yzing and cherry picking. Comparing Pre-WWII Hoover Admin with Reagan years, 50 years later. Makes sense.

Aggregately- Reagan was a Net Tax Cutter who worked with a deceptive and dishonest Democrat Party Controlled Congress – as best he could. All the liberal parsing/spin cannot change that.

And do more research on Black Monday ’87. You’ll be amazed.

FlaMurph on January 4, 2013 at 12:59 PM

The record shows that Reagan was not a “net tax cutter,” a false claim that you continue cling to.

Reagan, not Congress, had the power of the veto pen. Refute anything in Rothbard’s article with facts rather than your hero worship.

Try it.

Dante on January 4, 2013 at 1:22 PM

Reagan, not Congress, had the power of the veto pen. Refute anything in Rothbard’s article with facts rather than your hero worship.

Try it.

Dante on January 4, 2013 at 1:22 PM

.
Regan – Net Tax Cutter.
Do YOUR own research, stop regurgitating the opinons of those of fringe European socialists dressed in wolves clothing.

FlaMurph on January 4, 2013 at 1:59 PM

Regan – Net Tax Cutter.
Do YOUR own research, stop regurgitating the opinons of those of fringe European socialists dressed in wolves clothing.

FlaMurph on January 4, 2013 at 1:59 PM

You are willfully ignorant. Good day.

Dante on January 4, 2013 at 2:02 PM

Lew!!!!!

Bmore on January 4, 2013 at 3:48 PM

Dante on January 4, 2013 at 2:02 PM

Ron Paul dines on humans.

tom daschle concerned on January 4, 2013 at 4:41 PM

Well. Cliff was pretty much porked and went over the cliff. Debt limit? No chance the Feds will come close to balancing the non-existant budget. So, let’s just party like it’s 1999!

Who is John Galt on January 5, 2013 at 2:00 AM

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