Two months in, Democrats lament lack of leverage for more tax hikes

posted at 12:01 pm on March 4, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Looks like the Election Night buzz has finally begun to fade for Democrats.  Both Roll Call and Politico have articles in which leading Democrats lament the discovery that the leverage they held on the expiration of the Bush-era tax rates didn’t translate into two years’ worth of arm-twisting.  Let’s start with Barack Obama’s dissipating influence on budgetary matters, laid out on Friday night by Steven Dennis and Daniel Newhauser at Roll Call:

It wasn’t supposed to be like this for the White House and a re-elected president with political capital to spend.

But President Barack Obama is in a position of supplication to Hill Republicans, talking loudly and often about the harm of automatic budget cuts but lacking the leverage to get the GOP to buckle.

Senior administration officials had for months predicted that Republicans would cave on the sequester and agree to more taxes, even after agreeing to $600 billion in tax increases in the New Year’s Eve fiscal-cliff deal.

After all, aides noted, Republicans had caved again and again: on the 2012 payroll tax cut, on tax rate increases for the wealthy and on a debt ceiling extension.

Why not one more GOP rollover? Polls seemed solidly in the president’s favor.

But so far it’s not working out as the West Wing planned.

For one thing, the “cave” in this case came with a deadline.  Had the Republicans not cut a deal on New Year’s Day, taxes would have gone up across the board, a politically untenable position for the House GOP.  That was the real leverage, not the election and not the polls.  The next election is almost two years away, and while the limited retreat from the GOP angered the base, they didn’t have much choice as long as the Democrats were willing to push everyone into higher tax rates as a consequence of the standoff.

Now, however, there are no more sunset provisions in tax policy.  That was the upside for Republicans in that deal.  By making all of the tax rates “permanent” (in other words, no built-in expiration dates), Democrats couldn’t force Republicans to readdress tax rates again.  And with the GOP in charge of the House, they have no other way to get tax hikes, except by making it a budget fight in a conference committee.

That brings us to today’s lament from Harry Reid, as reported by Politico’s Steven Sloan:

Democrats toasted the New Year’s fiscal cliff deal with the belief that they had set a crucial new precedent: Tax hikes would be part of any future deficit reduction package.

Two months later, the champagne buzz is wearing off.

With about $85 billion in spending cuts — and no new revenue — kicking into gear on Friday, it appears that the exuberance expressed by many Democrats at the beginning of the year was misplaced. Efforts to avert the sequester never achieved liftoff, and Democrats are realizing that new tax revenues are off the table for the immediate future. …

Republicans flexed their muscle in the Senate on Thursday, blocking a Democratic measure that would have replaced the sequester through 2013 with a more palatable mix of spending cuts and revenue increases. A competing measure offered by Republicans that would have given Obama wide latitude in implementing the cuts also wasn’t allowed to proceed.

Democratic leaders were left to drag out the same rhetoric they employed in the weeks before the cliff deal, blaming Republicans for another round of Washington gridlock based on an ideological opposition to new taxes. Only this time, it’s not at all clear that the strategy will soon pay dividends.

“We’ve tried everything we can,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) told reporters Thursday. “They will not budge on anything dealing with revenue.”

He’s tried everything he can — except, of course, his job.  The Senate is required by law to produce an annual budget, a task that has gone unfulfilled for almost four years.  Instead, Reid has insisted on budgeting via a series of artificial crises by demanding that House Republicans reach agreements on temporary spending measures designed to keep federal budgets at the free-spending FY2010 baseline, and creating “fiscal cliffs” through obstructionism.  During that period, the House passed budgets every year, and even Obama produced the legally-required budget requests, even if they arrived late four years running.

Democrats are now forced to do their jobs by producing budgets they will have to defend.  No wonder they’re lamenting their plight.


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Tax and spend. Same olde garbage from the racist party of outdated and failed ideas.

tom daschle concerned on March 4, 2013 at 12:05 PM

Ran out of positions they screwed taxpayers in?

Archivarix on March 4, 2013 at 12:05 PM

Never fear – the media will have Harry’s back.

beatcanvas on March 4, 2013 at 12:07 PM

Do you actually think the President and Democrats will be held to anything? They still have the best leverage ever – the fawning press and a free stuff addicted electorate. Combined with Republicans without anchors, Obama can do or say just about anything he damn well pleases. There will always be a crisis he can use to cow the GOP into passivity.

ironked on March 4, 2013 at 12:07 PM

Its going to come to a point with Dem control, that all our earnings will be sent directly to government entities, we all will be issued our BigGovCashCard(ATM)which will be loaded monthly with a carefully calculated sum BigGov determines we cane exist with, after all taxes and fees due have been deducted of course.

I, for one, welcome the care and resources our new overlords will provide.

hawkeye54 on March 4, 2013 at 12:09 PM

After all, aides noted, Republicans had caved again and again: on the 2012 payroll tax cut, on tax rate increases for the wealthy and on a debt ceiling extension.

Why not one more GOP rollover? Polls seemed solidly in the president’s favor.

But so far it’s not working out as the West Wing planned.

It’s rather surprising to those of us on the GOP side, too. Let’s hope the spinal-insertion procedure continues to yield positive results.

Bitter Clinger on March 4, 2013 at 12:09 PM

Tax and spend. Same old garbage from the racist party of outdated and failed ideas.

Actually with them, its “Spend and Tax”, having already committed funds on what they assume they will collect in taxes based on collection projections. Never fails that the projections always fall short of actual collections.

hawkeye54 on March 4, 2013 at 12:12 PM

I am so sick of these 2 phony phrases:

“Balanced approach”

“Revenue enhancements”

The GOP needs to find their balls and call them what they are – TAX INCREASES!!! Americans do understand that phrase.

Jim DeMint is spot on about messaging. The GOP is not savvy with messaging.

karenhasfreedom on March 4, 2013 at 12:13 PM

I, for one, welcome the care and resources our new overlords will provide.

hawkeye54 on March 4, 2013 at 12:09 PM

The same loving care shown by Kim Jong Un. Everybody loves him apparently. Now excuse me while I break out the Euell Gibbons handbook on pine bark salad. Some parts are edible, you know.

Fenris on March 4, 2013 at 12:14 PM

Democrats are now forced to do their jobs by producing budgets they will have to defend. No wonder they’re lamenting their plight.

And the House should refuse to entertain any sort of continuing resolution for the rest of this fiscal year until the Senate finally does its homework and pass a budget by normal order.

Happy Nomad on March 4, 2013 at 12:15 PM

We finally won a small battle with the libs. Can we at least smile for a moment and not bash the R’s in congress.

VegasRick on March 4, 2013 at 12:17 PM

Not to worry. Amnesty will take care of that.

Wigglesworth on March 4, 2013 at 12:18 PM

DENNIS RODMAN 2016!!!!

Why not?

He makes as much sense as 90% of Congress…….and he might be better for the country than Obama!!

PappyD61 on March 4, 2013 at 12:18 PM

The same loving care shown by Kim Jong Un. Everybody loves him apparently. Now excuse me while I break out the Euell Gibbons handbook on pine bark salad. Some parts are edible, you know.

Fenris on March 4, 2013 at 12:14 PM

Euell Gibbons, haven’t heard him mentioned in years. I’ll never forget when the news broadcaster announced his death. With a straight face he mentioned that Gibbons died of natural causes and almost got off camera before he lost it as he realized what he had just said.

I have no confidence that the Senate is going to pass a budget. The question is just where the House GOP wants to go with that when it happens.

Happy Nomad on March 4, 2013 at 12:19 PM

“We’ve tried everything we can” … except a budget.

FY 2013 Revenues: $2.708 Trillion (as projected by the CBO)

FY 2007 Outlays: $2.729 Trillion (as reported by the OMB)

If FY 2013 Outlays had been capped to FY 2007 dollar levels (the last budget passed by a Republican House, Republican Senate, and Republican President), and if the CBO Revenue projections for FY 2013 are correct, then the deficit in FY 2013 would have only been $21 Billion.

($2.708T – $2.729T = Deficit of $0.021T or $21B)

We don’t have a revenue problem.
We have a spending problem.

Democrat majorities sent spending and deficits through the roof.
FY 2013 spending (outlays) is up about 40% from FY 2007.

What exactly have we received in return for that 40% increase in the cost of our government over the last six years?

ITguy on March 4, 2013 at 12:19 PM

Everybody loves him apparently.

If they expect to live or simply exist which most people there attempt to do, apparently.

A shining example for our current WH admin.

hawkeye54 on March 4, 2013 at 12:19 PM

Euell Gibbons, haven’t heard him mentioned in years. I’ll never forget when the news broadcaster announced his death.

I’d most likely never heard of him at all, if it weren’t for his appearance in that cereal commercial. Who says you can’t learn anything useful from TV. :)

hawkeye54 on March 4, 2013 at 12:22 PM

More taxes, from where and how much? If $600 billion more isn’t enough, how much will be and from where will that come?

Revenues for 2012 are expected to be higher than ever before, yet the poor hapless Dems are still running short and demanding yet more?

It’s impossible to have a ‘balanced approach’ when the people running the show are themselves unbalanced.

Liam on March 4, 2013 at 12:22 PM

Ran out of positions they screwed taxpayers in?

Archivarix on March 4, 2013 at 12:05 PM

No, these bastards have a whole political Kama Sutra of ways Congress can screw over the productive.

Happy Nomad on March 4, 2013 at 12:24 PM

Correction to my last. That should read, “…Revenues for 2013…”

Liam on March 4, 2013 at 12:24 PM

Keystone Pipe approval for more “REVENUE” (aka working Americans money). This will happen

drivingtheview on March 4, 2013 at 12:24 PM

I am so sick of these 2 phony phrases:

“Balanced approach”

“Revenue enhancements”

karenhasfreedom on March 4, 2013 at 12:13 PM

I would add “Comprehensive Reform”, “Thank you for your service”, and “thats a great question, but first let me say this….”.

I also grow weary of hearing politicians say “the United States of America” where words like “country”, “USA”, and “we” are much more appropriate.

BobMbx on March 4, 2013 at 12:24 PM

We finally won a small battle with the libs. Can we at least smile for a moment and not bash the R’s in congress.

VegasRick on March 4, 2013 at 12:17 PM

Not yet.

They have until March 27 to cave fully on the sequester.

sentinelrules on March 4, 2013 at 12:25 PM

Does “You get nothing. I get that for free” ring a bell?

Christien on March 4, 2013 at 12:25 PM

What exactly have we received in return for that 40% increase in the cost of our government over the last six years?

ITguy on March 4, 2013 at 12:19 PM

ObamaPhones, of course. Pay attention.

BobMbx on March 4, 2013 at 12:26 PM

….an annual budget is required BY LAW – it is not leverage. Having passed no budget in over 4 years, that would mean this Congress/Senate/Administration are CRIMINALS, having broken the law. This is not the 1st time the Obama administration has broken the law, as the list is long and distinguished….from Constitution/War Powers Act over Libya to 3 Counte of Felonious Perjury by the Justice Department head Eric Holder over fast & Furious to Perjury by administration officials over how 20,000 non-union workers were stripped of their pensions during the auto bailout to no budget passed……

If ‘stupidity’ was a crime punishable by a ‘life’ sentence, this entire administration would be going away for a LONG time. Their ‘taxing the rich’ plan and their assertion that we have no spending problem, for example — if we seized every dime made by ‘the rich’ it would not be able to cover the deficit accumulated by this administration in 1 year.

easyt65 on March 4, 2013 at 12:26 PM

It’s impossible to have a ‘balanced approach’ when the people running the show are themselves unbalanced.

Liam on March 4, 2013 at 12:22 PM

And when did taxing the hell out of one group of people constitute a balanced approach? I think “balance” has to include a 20% across-the-board reduction in payments through entitlement programs. Why not ask the parasites who take from society to take just a little bit less as part of a balanced approach to reducing the deficit?

Happy Nomad on March 4, 2013 at 12:28 PM

Jeb Bush also is suggesting tax increases and talks about possible 2016 run:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2013/03/04/jeb-bush-says-tax-increase-could-be-part-of-budget-deal/?print=1

bw222 on March 4, 2013 at 12:28 PM

The Republicans need to start running those ads they’ve been talking about. They need to get their message out loud and clear – Obama wants more taxes.

Read the comments on the liberal sites. Everyone is yapping about the GOP not compromising on the sequester. No one is discussing that Owebama also is not compromising – that he INSISTS on tax increases and will not budge from that position. If Owe can INSIST on tax increases, why the h*ll is it the GOP refusing to compromise by insisting on no tax increases?

I’m merely stunned that the Repubs actually held their ground this time. As Roll Call says, they have every other time.

This Roll Call statement should also be part of the GOP ad, showing that the GOP has compromised over and over to Owebama by rolling over.

katablog.com on March 4, 2013 at 12:28 PM

We finally won a small battle with the libs. Can we at least smile for a moment and not bash the R’s in congress.

VegasRick on March 4, 2013 at 12:17 PM

Not yet.

They have until March 27 to cave fully on the sequester.

sentinelrules on March 4, 2013 at 12:25 PM

Lets be real here. Is there any doubt the funds “cut” by the sequester won’t be restored 100% before the end of this fiscal year?

I put cut in quotes because the government will spend more this year than it did last year. Thats not a cut. At least, it didn’t used to be. Maybe its the new math, where 6 – 4 = 13.5.

BobMbx on March 4, 2013 at 12:29 PM

ObamaPhones, of course. Pay attention.

BobMbx on March 4, 2013 at 12:26 PM

Only if you are one of the Obama-loving parasites. Taxpayers- not so much.

In four years the rat-eared dictator managed to run up $6T of debt. To be sure, he didn’t do it alone but it is clear he is not serious about doing anything about it except try and stick all the blame on the GOP.

Happy Nomad on March 4, 2013 at 12:30 PM

Note well how Democrats use the word “balanced”:

… balanced approach …
… balanced plan …
… balanced way …

When you hear Democrats speak the word “balanced”, it’s always followed by a word like “approach”, “plan”, “way”, etc.

What “balanced” means to them is: Raising Taxes.

You won’t hear a Democrat use the word “balanced” followed by the word “budget”.

ITguy on March 4, 2013 at 12:33 PM

Lets be real here. Is there any doubt the funds “cut” by the sequester won’t be restored 100% before the end of this fiscal year?

BobMbx on March 4, 2013 at 12:29 PM

I’d say that restoring any part of sequestration is an open question. And we’ll have an interesting hint by March 27th when the continuing resolutions expire. Does any further CR use the sequestered level or the pre-sequester level of spending as the baseline.

Happy Nomad on March 4, 2013 at 12:33 PM

5 words: executive order carbon transaction fee.

can_con on March 4, 2013 at 12:33 PM

In four years the rat-eared dictator managed to run up $6T of debt. To be sure, he didn’t do it alone but it is clear he is not serious about doing anything about it except try and stick all the blame on the GOP.

Happy Nomad on March 4, 2013 at 12:30 PM

The way the Dems set this up, they don’t have to do anything except scream “fiscal cliff” and “government shutdown” to get a CR passed. That CR is based on the last budget actually passed back in 2009 which included Porkulus. Its the baseline now, not a temporary injection into favored constituencies.

BobMbx on March 4, 2013 at 12:36 PM

I also grow weary of hearing politicians say “the United States of America” where words like “country”, “USA”, and “we” are much more appropriate.

The late Murray Kempton, a Democrat (and, yes, former Communist) who came to see Republicans as human–he even voted for Dole–once wrote something about loving the awful grandeur of those marching syllables. And would Otter have put it to Greg Marmalard that he wasn’t going to sit there and listen to him badmouth the U.S.A.?

cbenoistd on March 4, 2013 at 12:36 PM

And check the almost-subtle bias in the Sloan article:

Republicans flexed their muscle in the Senate on Thursday, blocking a Democratic measure that would have replaced the sequester through 2013 with a more palatable mix of spending cuts and revenue increases. A competing measure offered by Republicans that would have given Obama wide latitude in implementing the cuts also wasn’t allowed to proceed.

“Flexed their muscle” – no negative connotation there.

“Blocking a Democratic measure” – the old “party of NO” again.

“more palatable” – to whom? And why is it assumed that this is the best option?

“wasn’t allowed to proceed” – by whom? Why is this in the passive voice instead of like the earlier, active voice? Shouldn’t it be “blocked a Republican measure” to give Obama wide latitude? And why did he not mention the veto threat by Obama?

Of course, these are all “dog-whistles”. I guess if I can hear them, I must be the dog.

Jeff Weimer on March 4, 2013 at 12:36 PM

No caving now gop

Senate- budget period

cmsinaz on March 4, 2013 at 12:36 PM

Harry Reid needs to live as the majority of middle-income people do, paycheck to paycheck, to see how tax increases hurt the middle class. It’s up to the people of Nevada to make this a reality.

sadatoni on March 4, 2013 at 12:37 PM

What “balanced” means to them is: Raising Taxes.

ITguy on March 4, 2013 at 12:33 PM

Not necessarily. When the orange one and the GOP leadership go into secret bargaining sessions with the enemy and emerge to announce they’ve caved, it is also called balance. So essentially agreeing to do what Democrats demand instead of standing up for principle is also called balance.

After it came out just what Boehner was willing to agree to during the “grand bargain” before Obama got too greedy, I have no confidence in the current Republican leadership of being the champion of anything other than go-along-to-get-along.

Happy Nomad on March 4, 2013 at 12:38 PM

I keep telling people that the way Boehner played it was not bad for Republicans. It was actually rather brilliant in being able to isolate the three threats (expiration of tax cuts, sequestration, debt ceiling hike) By being able to to make the Bush cuts permanent for 98% of the population and forcing the hikes up to those making more then 400K, he pushed the Democrats back considerably from their campaign positions. He didn’t make a touchdown in one play, but he caused the Democrats to lose considerable yardage on the play.

Republicans didn’t cave on Sequestration. So they held the Democrats on that play at the line of scrimmage.

Do far the House Republicans, being on defense, have held their own.

What we need to do now is stay focused on Democrats and realize that it is the Democrats who are the greatest threat to this country right now. Don’t fall for the infighting that Democrats pretending to be “conservatives” try to stir up in social media and on blog comments. I caught a rather well known far left individual attempting to play that game on Twitter last night. Chiding a Republican about RINOs and such in an attempt to split the Republicans. Cleaning up the Republican Party is a valid task to be undertaken at some point but right now is not the time to divide our house against itself. The primary threat to this country and our children is the Democrats and we can’t lose sight of that fact.

Conservatives, Libertarians, Independents, anyone against a Democrat for any office anywhere in this country right now is my ally, even “RINOs”.

crosspatch on March 4, 2013 at 12:39 PM

I must be rich. My tax burden has gone up considerably this year. It is easy to notice when you receive your pay stub every week. My poor minded union brothers can’t comprehend it.

tom daschle concerned on March 4, 2013 at 12:39 PM

I’d say that restoring any part of sequestration is an open question. And we’ll have an interesting hint by March 27th when the continuing resolutions expire. Does any further CR use the sequestered level or the pre-sequester level of spending as the baseline.

Happy Nomad on March 4, 2013 at 12:33 PM

Check the history of government closures. Never has the Congress failed to restore every penny “lost” to federal employees through a shutdown. Its the first order of business after they agree on a “budget”. The same will happen here.

The CR will be base from which the sequestered funds are taken.

BobMbx on March 4, 2013 at 12:39 PM

The NYT’s rabid Keller is disgusted. Must be frenetic.

Schadenfreude on March 4, 2013 at 12:41 PM

No caving now gop

Senate- budget period

cmsinaz on March 4, 2013 at 12:36 PM

I was really disappointed that Boehner made it sound as if the House GOP was committed to funding a continuing resolution through the end of the fiscal year. I think the opposite strategy should be used. Make it clear now that the House is willing to shut down the entire federal government without a series of things occurring, one of them being a Senate-passed budget. And if Harry Reid balks at doing his job, Boehner should simply tell him to eat his peas and not bother comeing back until he’s done.

Happy Nomad on March 4, 2013 at 12:42 PM

And the House should refuse to entertain any sort of continuing resolution for the rest of this fiscal year until the Senate finally does its homework and pass a budget by normal order.

Happy Nomad on March 4, 2013 at 12:15 PM

Boehner’s already stated that he will be pursing that very remedy, except that he’s already suggesting yet another cr. See, those cushy gov’t jobs are just too much to gamble over a lousy little budget fight. Get rid of all of them.

HiJack on March 4, 2013 at 12:44 PM

No to jeb bush

cmsinaz on March 4, 2013 at 12:45 PM

Check the history of government closures. Never has the Congress failed to restore every penny “lost” to federal employees through a shutdown. Its the first order of business after they agree on a “budget”. The same will happen here.

BobMbx on March 4, 2013 at 12:39 PM

We will see. History is on your side but between the gridlock in DC, the polling showing how much Obama-loving parasites hate government workers, and the grandstanding I would suggest that things are not as certain as you claim.

Happy Nomad on March 4, 2013 at 12:45 PM

Harry Reid needs to live as the majority of middle-income people do, paycheck to paycheck, to see how tax increases hurt the middle class. It’s up to the people of Nevada to make this a reality.

sadatoni on March 4, 2013 at 12:37 PM

The good folks here in Nevada try, it’s just that there are too many moocher lowlifes here now. I have been in NV for over 35 years and have watched my state go from fiercely independent to a suburb of CA. It makes me sick.

VegasRick on March 4, 2013 at 12:45 PM

Happy Nomad on March 4, 2013 at 12:42 PM

I disagree. The electorate has little patience for more brinksmanship – no matter who is at fault. By offering this, Boehner is giving Reid an out – it remains to be seen if he takes it, or lets the Dems own the shutdown. I know, I know – it will be spun in the BSM that the R’s CR is too extreme and therefore it’s their fault, but still. Truth will eventually win out.

Jeff Weimer on March 4, 2013 at 12:46 PM

Me likey happy nomad

cmsinaz on March 4, 2013 at 12:46 PM

Many have noted the Democrats’ use of the word balanced.

When is the GOP going to get some stones and get in front of cameras and cite the studies of the OECD countries showing that deficit reduction has worked for only those countries that had at least a solid mix of spending reduction to tax increases of something like 4 to 1. Obama and Dems want 1 to 1, with the ability to undermine the spending cuts at a moments notice.

If I were a GOP member of Congress, I’d cite three things: nearly $17 trillion in debt; about an annual $1 trillion deficit; and no prospect of improvement without spending cuts that dwarf any proposed tax increases. Tax to me when you’re serious because those are the facts.

BuckeyeSam on March 4, 2013 at 12:48 PM

Boehner’s already stated that he will be pursing that very remedy, except that he’s already suggesting yet another cr. See, those cushy gov’t jobs are just too much to gamble over a lousy little budget fight. Get rid of all of them.

HiJack on March 4, 2013 at 12:44 PM

Realistically, the Senate isn’t going to get a budget passed by normal order in the next three weeks. But lets see if the CR extends for the full fiscal year or if the House only agrees to giving them another month or so.

I would hope the House be prepared to shut down the entire government if the Senate or rat-eared wonder wants to play more games. Oh! And starting point for the House budget should be the defunding of Obamacare.

Happy Nomad on March 4, 2013 at 12:49 PM

We will see. History is on your side but between the gridlock in DC, the polling showing how much Obama-loving parasites hate government workers, and the grandstanding I would suggest that things are not as certain as you claim.

Happy Nomad on March 4, 2013 at 12:45 PM

How can that polling be correct? I thought a fair number of Obama-loving parasites were government workers. Are they so miserable that they’re loathe themselves?

BuckeyeSam on March 4, 2013 at 12:54 PM

Realistically, the Senate isn’t going to get a budget passed by normal order in the next three weeks.

Happy Nomad on March 4, 2013 at 12:49 PM

So, pass a monthly CR that cuts the yearly budget by 1% for each month the Senate doesn’t pass a budget. I’d prefer cutting by 20% each month, but that’s too unrealistic even for me.

Fenris on March 4, 2013 at 12:56 PM

Going Out Of Business: 16 Signs That The Middle Class Is Running Out Of Money

#9 It is being projected that many of the largest retail chains in America, including Best Buy, will close down hundreds of stores during 2013. The following is a list of projected store closings for 2013:

Best Buy: Forecast store closings: 200 to 250

Sears Holding Corp.: Forecast store closings: Kmart 175 to 225, Sears 100 to 125

J.C. Penney: Forecast store closings: 300 to 350

Office Depot: Forecast store closings: 125 to 150

Barnes & Noble: Forecast store closings: 190 to 240, per company comments

Gamestop: Forecast store closings: 500 to 600

OfficeMax: Forecast store closings: 150 to 175

RadioShack: Forecast store closings: 450 to 550

#ObamanomicsFail

Resist We Much on March 4, 2013 at 12:58 PM

I disagree. The electorate has little patience for more brinksmanship – no matter who is at fault. By offering this, Boehner is giving Reid an out – it remains to be seen if he takes it, or lets the Dems own the shutdown. I know, I know – it will be spun in the BSM that the R’s CR is too extreme and therefore it’s their fault, but still. Truth will eventually win out.

Jeff Weimer on March 4, 2013 at 12:46 PM

I understand what you say about brinksmanship but it doesn’t have to be presented that way at all. The House doesn’t have to engage in brinksmanship, they simply have to do their job and not cave when the Senate ignores its obligations. The House doesn’t have to threaten just inform the Senate that they will not be extending the current continuing resolution without normal order proceedings for the 2014 budget. And the reason is simple. Piecemeal legislation short-term legislation doesn’t lend itself to the kind of spending cuts required for fiscal responsibility, does not allow departments and agencies the time to make cuts in an effective way, and would be bad stewardship since that is against the law.

Happy Nomad on March 4, 2013 at 12:59 PM

As soon as Dems started going after the rich, people should have said to themselves, “Whom will Dems go after next, once it is clear that eating the rich won’t fill their bottomless bellies?”

The obvious answer is, of course, the middle class. Many people hate thinking even one step ahead, however.

Christien on March 4, 2013 at 1:00 PM

So, pass a monthly CR that cuts the yearly budget by 1% for each month the Senate doesn’t pass a budget. I’d prefer cutting by 20% each month, but that’s too unrealistic even for me.

Fenris on March 4, 2013 at 12:56 PM

Personally, I’d be supportive of making them pass a CR on a weekly basis (that’s every four work days in Congressional time). Every Friday, Boeher and the GOP goes in front of the cameras and give a status report of where things stand with the Senate.

Happy Nomad on March 4, 2013 at 1:02 PM

starting point for the House budget should be the defunding of Obamacare.

Happy Nomad on March 4, 2013 at 12:49 PM

I think the starting point should be the FY 2007 budget. Agree to a CR for the remainder of FY 2013 that funds government at the exact same dollar amounts, to the exact same accounts, as we had in FY 2007.

Let the Dems explain why they want a single dime more (let alone 40% more) to fund government in 2013. Why have Dems increased the cost of our federal government by 40%?

Hold the line at FY 2007 spending dollar amounts. Force the Dems to explain why they want more.

Obama promised that Obamacare would not cost one dime, so there is no excuse to fund any part of it.

ITguy on March 4, 2013 at 1:02 PM

What exactly have we received in return for that 40% increase in the cost of our government over the last six years?

ITguy on March 4, 2013 at 12:19 PM

Not a union member I see.

Barnestormer on March 4, 2013 at 1:04 PM

What exactly have we received in return for that 40% increase in the cost of our government over the last six years?

ITguy on March 4, 2013 at 12:19 PM

The coolest most awesome Preezy EVER! /

Seriously, when Dems talk about more spending the GOP needs to put on their best adult voice and ask just what the Dems did with the $800B they got in 2008.

Happy Nomad on March 4, 2013 at 1:08 PM

Happy Nomad on March 4, 2013 at 1:02 PM

Weekly would force them to stay in session. I can just imagine the howls of indignation.

Fenris on March 4, 2013 at 1:08 PM

Happy Nomad on March 4, 2013 at 12:59 PM

Doesn’t have to be presented that way, but it will be. See my earlier bias comment.

Jeff Weimer on March 4, 2013 at 1:11 PM

The Senate is required by law to produce an annual budget, a task that has gone unfulfilled for almost four years.

Why has no one filed a lawsuit or no prosecutor brought the law to bear on them? Is there no penalty for breaking the law?

PattyJ on March 4, 2013 at 1:15 PM

Doesn’t have to be presented that way, but it will be. See my earlier bias comment.

Jeff Weimer on March 4, 2013 at 1:11 PM

As long as they are standing on principle and not playing games, let their stenographers in the MSM do their worst. The American taxpayer is slow to anger but at some point they will demand the leeches of society like Sandra Fluke and Obamaphone lady be punished.

Happy Nomad on March 4, 2013 at 1:17 PM

Is there no penalty for breaking the law?

PattyJ on March 4, 2013 at 1:15 PM

The penalty is supposed to be no operating budget (i.e. shutting down the government) but continuing resolutions have pretty much obliterated that concern.

Happy Nomad on March 4, 2013 at 1:19 PM

Happy Nomad on March 4, 2013 at 1:17 PM

Truth will out, but the lie will be halfway around the world before truth gets it’s boots on. To mix metaphors.

Jeff Weimer on March 4, 2013 at 1:20 PM

Why doesn’t the RNC take out a nationwide ad on the sides of milk cartons with a group picture of the US Senate, and the caption “Have You Seen These Children? They were last seen running for election, but disappeared before arriving at budget-making class!”

ps Kill the @#$%^& autoplay ads!! Man, that pisses me off when I am trying to type a comment and all of a sudden sound comes blaring out of nowhere!

drunyan8315 on March 4, 2013 at 1:29 PM

Why doesn’t the RNC take out a nationwide ad on the sides of milk cartons with a group picture of the US Senate, and the caption “Have You Seen These Children? They were last seen running for election, but disappeared before arriving at budget-making class!”

drunyan8315 on March 4, 2013 at 1:29 PM

That would result in Sperling calling up the dairies and telling them they would regret publishing that photo.

Happy Nomad on March 4, 2013 at 1:44 PM

Ok – love the sentiment – but the budget will not be going down until 2016. When the white GOP conservative voter decided to not show up for Romney based upon conviction – again, which is their option – they then ruled out the opportunity to get anything of substance done until this president is gone.

Boehner has actually done a great thing given his leverage – he has Reid blocking for Obama, and we already know about the compliant media. What has he done?

He locked in the Bush cuts for almost everyone. Sorry if you are rich you shouldn’t have given a democrat a dime. No more discussions of the Bush cuts. He has said he will not negotiate with the WH – he will pass a CR/budget bill to find the govt past March and await a conference committee with the Senate. He has said this loudly. He has given his caucus a chance to say hey we passed a bill and can’t even get a Senate bill to negotiate from.

If Obama wants tax hikes – he is going to have to have Reid pass a CR/budget with them in it. Interesting box, no? Why does Reid not want to do that? Because there are Senate elections in 2014.

Can Boehner do anything about the media being the democrat lapdog? Not a thing. So now is all about stopping increased spending. That is pretty much all that can be done.

Zomcon JEM on March 4, 2013 at 1:47 PM

I think the extension of the Bush tax cuts (rates) for people making less than $ 400,000 a year is a huge strategic defeat for the democrats. First of all any tax cut to anyone is against the heart of liberalism and socialism. Second, it is impossible to fund the welfare state by only taxing those who make more than $ 400,000 a year… Now to go back and tax those who make less than $ 400,000 to fund the welfare state is going to be a political suicide…

mnjg on March 4, 2013 at 1:55 PM

“We’ve tried everything we can,”

Oh? How about PASSING A BUDGET! You senile old fool!

GarandFan on March 4, 2013 at 1:57 PM

A budget from the US Senate? I’ll believe it whe I see it…

Until then, I’ll be warming up the tar… somebody get me some feathers for Searchlight Harry…

Khun Joe on March 4, 2013 at 1:58 PM

“We’ve tried everything we can,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) told reporters Thursday. “They will not budge on anything dealing with revenue stealing more money from the producers.”

Fixed it…

mnjg on March 4, 2013 at 1:58 PM

I also think that it was important to get the payroll tax holiday ended. That just smacked of get something for nothing. Yeah – I know the lockbox is an accouting gimmick, but the notion that we should cut taxes ostensibly directed to a program that is on the brink of bankruptcy is kind of stupid – I am praying that one day we can get that money into people’s hands and out of the govts. Most everyone would do much better.

I do think that the GOP should agree to some “tax hikes” – particularly special carve outs for hollywood and communication giants – just announce you are beginning to evaluate some things that are just too rich to continue until you can get a full blown tax policy overhaul, which you know the current occupant in the WH is unable to consider.

I would also look to reconsider the definition of not-for-profit and government lobbying to cut of funds to Greenpeace, WWF, Sierra Club, AARP, etc. These are political action groups lobbying for benefits – not providing social services to our needy.

Zomcon JEM on March 4, 2013 at 2:26 PM

We need to defund the left pressure groups – which is funded by the govt either directly or indirectly. You can mask the direct attack by going after the policy and talking about fairness and stopping insider influence trading. That it happens to defund your political opponents is immaterial and never stated.

Couch it within “tax reform” and forcing people and organizations to pay their fair share.

Zomcon JEM on March 4, 2013 at 2:31 PM

I would also look to reconsider the definition of not-for-profit and government lobbying to cut of funds to Greenpeace, WWF, Sierra Club, AARP, etc. These are political action groups lobbying for benefits – not providing social services to our needy.

Zomcon JEM on March 4, 2013 at 2:26 PM

The WWF is lobbying for benefits? But your point is well taken. If the Dems are serious about a balanced approach, I see nothing wrong with limiting the definition of deduction eligible non-profits. I’d also like to see an elimination of tax loopholes that allow the parasites that support Obama but pay no taxes get a “refund” simply because they are breeders.

Happy Nomad on March 4, 2013 at 2:34 PM

Harry Reid needs to live as the majority of middle-income people do, paycheck to paycheck, to see how tax increases hurt the middle class. It’s up to the people of Nevada to make this a reality.

sadatoni on March 4, 2013 at 12:37 PM

That’s one bet I wouldn’t even think about taking in Vegas. The only thing stopping Harry Reid in Nevada is a well-deserved dirt nap.

Polish Rifle on March 4, 2013 at 2:51 PM

The NYT’s rabid Keller is disgusted. Must be frenetic.

Schadenfreude on March 4, 2013 at 12:41 PM

lol, the very first comment that came up when I opened the link claimed that Keller is a Rethuglican.

Bill Keller is little more than a spokesperson for his vengeful elitist 1% allies and their Republican flunkies in Congress.

Mr. Keller, some of us remember you were among the cheerleaders for the invasion of Iraq, in 2002 and 2003.

(Translated: “Sequester is All Bush’s Fault!”)

This seems to me a shallow, partisan hackjob that I could read in a conservative source, if I wanted to do that. I look to the NYT for an informed viewpoint, not a mud-slinging contest. If blame were apportioned like mud, Obama would still be wearing a recognizably white good-guy hat.

Keller sold us the Iraq war, now get your Serious argument that the sequester impasse is the President’s fault.

Mr. Keller: I admire your generally balanced view of “fault.” However, Obama is not at fault on sequester

Bill Keller knows better, but his op-ed today is just another example of how he ran the NY Times into the ground as its executive editor.

Poor minds “think” alike!

Del Dolemonte on March 4, 2013 at 3:49 PM

Happy – yes, for it’s membership and political desires. I did use the word benefits pretty loosely of course.

Why are we subsidizing our political opponents?

Zomcon JEM on March 4, 2013 at 4:05 PM

Del – amazing there are that many ignorant people out there.

Zomcon JEM on March 4, 2013 at 4:06 PM

There are so many essential questions that are never asked. I read the Politico piece this morning. One democrat after another vowing that “the fight isn’t over.” The fight for what?

Ostensibly, this discussion -the sequester, tax hikes, etc- began in the context of “We need to control our deficits” and yet, no on is talking about that any longer. They simply want to end the sequester so they can get back to spending more. So my question would be: Why the talk of deficits in the first place if you have no plan to address them? Followed by: Do deficits matter? And: At what point does our annual and long-term deficits tip us over a cliff from which we cannot recover?

The democrats offered a plan to end the sequester that would have added $7-1/2B to the debt. They’d get their $85 back, and add another $7. Essentially, a $92B swing in the wrong direction. Why didn’t Politico ask this of Van Hollen and the other dolts interviewed for the piece? And why doesn’t anyone care?

I suspect it’s already too late.

BKeyser on March 4, 2013 at 4:27 PM

He’s tried everything he can — except, of course, his job.

Oh, don’t be so demanding….

tom on March 4, 2013 at 5:24 PM