Compromise

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Jason Kuznicki

Jason Kuznicki is a research fellow at the Cato Institute and contributor of Cato Unbound. He's on twitter as JasonKuznicki. His interests include political theory and history.

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  1. Avatar Koz
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    says:

    The thing is, just yesterday for the first time it seems that there’s a no-taxes cuts-only deal on the table for the GOP to take. Harry Reid wrote it, and apparently the White House has signed off on it.

    A fair number of the conservative punditocracy supports it: James Pethokoukis, Larry Kudlow, Rich Lowry, Keith Hennessey and some others that I’m forgetting. I do too.

    The problem I fear is that the rancor level got so high, it’s difficult to dial it back to any deal on any terms.Report

    • Avatar Jason Kuznicki in reply to Koz
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      says:

      I’d thought it was understood that that plan wasn’t getting through because of opposition from the left.Report

      • Avatar Koz in reply to Jason Kuznicki
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        says:

        No, from my understanding it’s actually worse than you thought. On Sunday, Reid and Boehner had a tentative two-step agreement that President Obama quashed, because it had two steps and the debt limit increase only goes through the end of winter next year. The Monday Reid plan finesses this by counting Afghan/Iraq war savings cuts and adds them to the discretionary cuts and gets to $2.7 T in cuts, which is enough to extend the debt limit through Election Day.

        To the extent that there are substantive issues preventing a deal now, it has to do with time frame more than anything (check out Ezra Klein on this).

        I think the President’s motives are transparently bogus, but if it were up to me I’d let him win that one.Report

        • Avatar Jason Kuznicki in reply to Koz
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          says:

          What do you suppose his actual motives are?Report

          • Avatar Koz in reply to Jason Kuznicki
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            says:

            That he doesn’t want to deal with the issue again till his second term (or ever if he’s not reelected). There’s no substantive reason why that has to be the case and a smaller deal would be easier to do than bigger one. Given that his own Secretary of the Treasury has been banging the drum about how Aug 2 is the end of the world you’d think he wouldn’t be throwing in extraneous dealbreaking crap.Report

            • Avatar Jason Kuznicki in reply to Koz
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              says:

              This isn’t actually coherent as I read it. He wants a smaller deal and wants to throw in extraneous dealbreakers?

              I’m thinking you’ll have to pick one before I understand what you’re getting at.Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to Jason Kuznicki
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                says:

                Sorry if I wasn’t clear before. He doesn’t want the smaller deal. He wants a deal that will last at least through Election Day. His insistence on the big deal is proving to be a dealbreaker because a smaller deal is easier to do.

                It’s also extraneous because the immediate time frame that has to be resolved is Monday. After Monday, whether the new debt limit expires March or December of next year, it’s more or less the same.Report

            • Avatar Jeff in reply to Koz
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              says:

              The two-step should be DOA for any thinking Democrat. If it goes, the Republicans will cut money from everyone who isn’t one of their fat cat friends (even the ones who WANT to pay taxes) now; then they’ll cut even more on the next go-round.

              Why on earth would Obama or Reid agree to that?Report

      • Avatar Mark Thompson in reply to Jason Kuznicki
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        says:

        I’d say it’s not getting through because of opposition on both sides:

        http://thehill.com/blogs/on-the-money/budget/173365-demint-blasts-both-dem-and-gop-debt-plans

        The Tea Party contingent is uninterested in any compromise whatsoever, even if the compromise is 100% spending cuts, just spending cuts that aren’t exactly the cuts they want. Boehner seems interested in compromise, but is unwilling to compromise in a way that will ever be acceptable to enough Democrats to overcome the loss of votes from his own party who are opposed to anything that deviates even a little from their absolutist position. Obama, Pelosi, and Reid appear interested in compromise even if it is a compromise that will be opposed by most of the Dem caucus, but they’re not willing to go the full monty and just adopt the Tea Party plan in toto. And nor should they.

        It’s exceedingly difficult to negotiate a compromise capable of passage when a significant chunk of the House GOP majority will vote no on any bill associated with the word “deal.”Report

        • Avatar Koz in reply to Mark Thompson
          Ignored
          says:

          “I’d say it’s not getting through because of opposition on both sides:”

          Right. ‘Cuz a significant number of Congress are motivated by rancor as much as substance and this is true of both sides. The one unknown is whether Boehner can say, 180 Reps to vote for a deal he signs off on. I think he will.

          In any case there should be a majority in both chambers for the Reid deal. The issue is dealing with the embarrassment of defectors and getting the leadership to sign off and getting a vote.Report

        • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Mark Thompson
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          says:

          Mark, You say at the beginning

          I’d say it’s not getting through because of opposition on both sides:

          Fair enough: Pelosi and a significant number of House Dems have opposed the deal. But they’re almost irrelevant to determining its actual passage. Reid has signaled support for the deal, as has the White House. That leaves a handful of Dem senators as the only ‘real’ opposition.

          Later, you say It’s exceedingly difficult to negotiate a compromise capable of passage when a significant chunk of the House GOP majority will vote no on any bill associated with the word “deal.”

          That, I think, is the problem. The Teapartiers in the House (not the GOP old-guard!) want it all or nothing at all. The opposition is only on one side, and from one faction on one side, and has been all along.Report

          • Avatar Mark Thompson in reply to Stillwater
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            says:

            To be fair, I was responding to Jason’s suggestion that the Reid plan was hopeless because of opposition from the Dems. My point was just that opposition from the Tea Partiers is at least an equal factor in the Reid plan’s hopelessness, if not more so. Since the Reid plan amounts to more or less a 99% capitulation to the GOP, the fact that the Tea Partiers won’t sign on to it is ridiculous in a way that the Dem opposition is not.

            So basically I fully agree with you here.Report

  2. Avatar J.L. Wall
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    says:

    So is today a good day to invest my money in one of those suspicious-looking Cash-for-Gold places, or just in a few crates of bourbon? (For the record, I’m leaning toward the bourbon.)Report

  3. Avatar E.C. Gach
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    says:

    I share your fears Jason.

    In fact, being young and naive as I am, it only just dawned on me this morning how the possible “calamity” pundits on the left are screaming about might affect me.

    Yes, it would hurt the economy overall, but then I remembered I have a number of variable interest rate college loans. They’re all quite low right now, startingly so actually.

    My assumption is that those would spike over the next couple months after a credit rating downgrade occurs.Report

  4. Avatar DensityDuck
    Ignored
    says:

    You beg the question of whether the Democrat plan is the right one. Which is, in fact, what the whole argument is about.

    “Compromise is what you do when you don’t have the political power to get everything you want…Democrats want a tax increase along with spending cuts. And guess what? They control the Senate and the White House. Not inconsiderable resources, those. They’re going to get a tax increase.”

    So are the Republicans a marginalized minority wandering in the wilderness, or do they have the power to burn the whole house down if they want? Do they have power or don’t they?

    If they’re as much of a threat to the Entire Global Economy then I’d suggest that maybe they have power after all, and that “go along to get along” doesn’t really apply anymore.Report

    • Avatar Jason Kuznicki in reply to DensityDuck
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      says:

      It is a starkly absurd reading of my post to suggest that I think “Republicans a marginalized minority wandering in the wilderness.”

      That’s all I have to say, really.Report

      • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Jason Kuznicki
        Ignored
        says:

        It’s in the second paragraph I quoted, where you say that Democrats control the Senate and the White House and “they’re going to get a tax increase”. Like it’s a done deal, inevitable, like nothing the Republicans think or say or do matters.Report

        • Avatar North in reply to DensityDuck
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          says:

          As a matter of legal fact Density the Dems can get a tax increase no matter what the GOP thinks or says. The Bush taxes are legislated to sunset automatically and unless the Dem Senate and President allow movement on them then taxes go up no matter what the GOP does (assuming that 2012 doesn’t produce a 60 GOP majority in the Senate, a GOP president and GOP house which I dare say is a safe bet).
          One thing I hope comes out of this debt deal clusterfish is that Obama is finally well and truly over his post partisanship kick and is actually ready to play some politics at last.Report

          • Avatar Koz in reply to North
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            says:

            That’s a very good point, and for me at least a good position for the Republicans (and America) to be in. I suspect that when time comes the re-expiration of the Bush tax cuts are at least as likely to be a Demo problem as a GOP problem (like it was last time for that matter).

            I for one am tired of the idea that the Republicans are the valiant defenders of low tax rates while the rest of America rests safely in their homes. If the American people want low taxes, they should pick up the habit of bringing the hammer down on the Demo’s when they try to raise taxes otherwise they can all go up.

            Btw, I think it’s fair to say at this point you’ve exaggerated the ability of the Demo’s to preserve the fiscal integrity of American governance, right? Or are you still holding on to that one.Report

            • Avatar North in reply to Koz
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              says:

              As I stated before, Kz ol buddy, I’ll concede that the Dem’s will allow a default or credit downgrade only once it occurs. I’ll also note that you continue to fail to define what point you will concede to being wrong.

              But then, watching the teaparty’s more excitable congresscritters gibber about how a default would be no big deal, maybe you’re not quite as dead certain that the GOP is the one great hope for prosperity and the survival of America today?Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to North
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                says:

                Well, I’ve already written my reservations with the Tea Party’s role in these negotiations in the other post.

                About the business of waiting for default to happen, that’s part of the contention. The point being, the Demo’s are only group, contributing to an omelette created by many chefs. We shouldn’t presume that they can guarantee something that requires more than they can deliver.

                As far as what I’m supposed to be wrong about, I’m forgetting the context.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Koz
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                says:

                The discussion was whether the Democrats would ever permit the nation to have its credit downgraded. I stated they were too centrist and too politically inclined to allow it as long as they have the power to prevent it. I’d note that the Dems’ with their rapid shift to the right and Obama’s endless compromises culminating in Reids latest offering strongly supports my position.
                You asserted the opposite, that the Dems would let the country’s credit rating be downgraded rather than allow cuts in spending or other actions unpalatable to their base or ideology.Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to North
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                says:

                No no no. Part of this is a substantive disagreement between us, but there’s also a semantic misunderstanding on your part which needs to be cleared up, because it’s an important constituent of the frame of mind leading to the substantive mistake imo.

                You wrote, the institutional Democratic party and its inherent bankerness, is a guarantee against the possibility of a credit agency downgrade of US Treasuries (or default on them for that matter).

                My problem with this is that it overstates the commitment of the Demo’s wrt financial responsibility, but more importantly is an attempt to assign agency in places where it doesn’t exist. If it happened that the United States wins the Women’s World Cup, it did not happen because of the commitment of Democrats to fiscal responsibility. In the event, of course, this did not happen so the Demo’s are absolved of blame.

                Similarly, the idea that in our current fiscal environment, the essential banker nature of the Democratic party is a guarantee against credit agency downgrade is almost certainly a bridge too far, no matter who “they” are. Events happen in the economic world, and policymakers only have partial control over them. The more uncertain the environment, the more reliable policy must be to guarantee anything. Demo economic policy has to be substantially different from what it is to guarantee that rating agencies won’t downgrade US Treasury debt.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Koz
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                says:

                Well there’s definitely a fundamental difference there and also a misunderstanding, I agree. I would never assert that just because the Democrats have a lot of bankers that inherent quality would make a downgrade impossible. Anything I’ve written that suggests that is either a miswrite on my part or a misread on yours. The credit ratings aren’t some secret club where as long as you have the right people in the party it becomes impossible. My point is very simply that the Democratic Party has a lot of bankers and neoliberals in it and many of them in very influential positions of power or policy recommendation. My point is also that the Democratic Party has a lot of pragmatic politically minded people in it again in very influential positions of power or policy recommendation. Both of those groups of people know that credit downgrades or other fiscal mismanagement would be a disaster for the country and a disaster for their party. Because of their understanding of these realities I do not believe that they would allow their party to drive the country into a default or rating decrease if they had the power to prevent it. You can read any number of further lefty sites and hear the left wing of the party bemoaning just that pragmatism. In your past (though pleasingly not your most recent) writing you’ve seemed convinced that the Democratic party is some sort of 50’s era collection of collectivist madmen(and women) who would very happily disregard the finances and crash the country into a ditch rather than cut anything from the budget which is where my assertion to the contrary has come from.
                I submit that the current shape of how things have gone on this debt ceiling matter is a powerful data point in favor of my view. Obama didn’t want to get into contractionary fiscal policy because he wants to give the economy as much gas as possible to give himself a better shot at reelection (and fulfill his duty to the country). That is why he pretty much gave the store away to the GOP on the sun setting Bush tax cuts a few months back in return for some additional tax credits and unemployment extensions and it explains all of his behavior since. The GOP forced him and his party to the wall on this debt ceiling issue. A dogmatic leftist party like the one you accuse the Dems of being would, in control of the Senate and Presidency, tell the GOP to go fish themselves when presented with this kind of ultimatum. Now, despite all the weeks of GOP spin we see that Reid, with Obama’s endorsement, has capitulated and offered a deal chock-a-block with spending cuts with not even the modest revenue increases they previously (very reasonably) asked for. This is not the behavior of an ideological liberal party; it’s the behavior of an adult center left party doing what it needs to to prevent a default and it pretty much completely falsifies your assertions about them.
                Meanwhile the party that is the only hope for America’s fiscal fortune appears to be convulsing and tearing itself up inside because one faction actually wants a default if they can’t get a constitutional amendment in 8 days and because another related faction won’t take the deal because it’s a deal with Obama and they don’t want to accept their victory if it’ll in any way make him look good. I mean holy heaving hell on hockey puck what the heck do the Dems have to do?Report

            • Avatar North in reply to Koz
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              says:

              Oh and on tax rates the public has already expressed their opinion that they want the federal budget balanced with a combination of cuts, reforms AND tax increases (from their historically low levels). So I doubt that the GOP’d be happy with there tax levels went were it left to the public.Report

              • Avatar Koz in reply to North
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                says:

                I don’t know, I hope they run the same play as last time. We’re not decoupling anything, either they go up for everybody or go up for nobody. Either one is ok by me.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Koz
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                says:

                We’ll see what happens.Report

              • Avatar wardsmith in reply to North
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                says:

                Oh and on tax rates the public has already expressed their opinion

                Which public is that? The voting public, which includes the 50% of the US population who NEVER pay taxes or the taxpaying public who are supporting them and everyone else?

                Fundamentally, I think taxpayers are the ones who should have the strongest say in all this. Our founding fathers made it so only landowners could vote originally mainly to discourage the panem et circenses crowd. Unfortunately that tipping point has already been breached and we will continue to have knife edge elections until the getting handout crowd wins, which inevitably they will. This took down Rome and it will take the US down too, and we won’t last even the 1000 years Rome did.

                Much of the rest of this economic exercise is merely rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to wardsmith
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                says:

                That’s an adorable little trope but utterly false. I mean come on old bean, the poor pay no taxes, really?
                I mean sure there is a bracket in which they don’t pay income taxes but they still pay property taxes, sales taxes, social security taxes, many state taxes and on and on. Also those taxes they do pay take an enormously bigger proportional bite from their income than any of the taxes paid by the wealthy or even middle class.

                I mean even the transients under the overpass shell out taxes when they’re buying their Listerine with panhandling money.Report

    • Avatar St.John McCloskey in reply to DensityDuck
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      says:

      I have to agree with Jason…I’m really not sure what you’re getting at DensityDuck. I think the point of his article is that it’s NOT as simple as does or does not have power. His point is that Republicans DO have the power to hold the world hostage, but Democrats have enough power that they could too. He’s saying they have the power to run the economy into the ground but not enough to get what they want without the Senate or the White House.

      I’m also not sure where Jason begs the question? Could you be a little more clear about that?Report

      • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to St.John McCloskey
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        says:

        “I’m also not sure where Jason begs the question?”

        How about the part where he says ““not raising taxes” also means “wrecking the entire global economy””?Report

        • Avatar St.John McCloskey in reply to DensityDuck
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          says:

          I think that he meant that not compromising with the democrats by refusing to raise taxes (and thereby defaulting) would ruin the economy. He would only be begging the question if he were saying that the act of raising taxes in and of itself would save the economy (which…if I know Jason, he won’t be taking that mindset any time soon)! Jason’s point has nothing to do with taxes, it has to do with compromise. There’s no doubt that not reaching a compromise would be catastrophic. It is debatable whether the Dems will come to the table if tax increases are out of the question, but using that as a premise is NOT begging the question. It is starting with a premise that is not necessarily true, although very likely! (I suppose it’s possible that the Dems will accept a proposal with no tax increases)

          1) if there is no gop concession on taxes, the dems will not come to the table
          2) if both parties do not come to the table, things will be awful
          Therefore
          If there is no gop concession on taxes, then things will be awful.

          No begging the question there!Report

          • Avatar Jason Kuznicki in reply to St.John McCloskey
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            says:

            Just what I meant, and thank you.Report

          • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to St.John McCloskey
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            says:

            “I think that he meant that not compromising with the democrats by refusing to raise taxes (and thereby defaulting) would ruin the economy.”

            …which is begging the question of whether increasing taxes will save the economy.

            Do you understand what “begging the question” actually means?Report

            • Avatar Jason Kuznicki in reply to DensityDuck
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              says:

              I am not asserting that there is a causal relation between increasing taxes and saving the economy.

              I am asserting that there is a causal relation between not defaulting and saving the economy.

              I’m also not explaining myself again.Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Jason Kuznicki
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                says:

                Everything in your post talks about “tax increase”. I guess I’m responding to what you actually wrote and not what you thought you were writing.Report

              • Avatar St.John McCloskey in reply to DensityDuck
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                says:

                Well…it’s not about a tax increase, so much as republicans saying OK to a tax increase 😛Report

              • Avatar Jason Kuznicki in reply to DensityDuck
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                says:

                My meaning was plain enough to the others, who re-explained it to you before I even had the chance.

                Your interpretation requires willful amnesia about current events. It seems uncharitable to say the least.Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Jason Kuznicki
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                says:

                If you’re trying to say “Republican opposition is based solely in intransigence and will lead to a breakdown of the government process”, then it must also be true that “raising taxes will fix all the problems”. Because if it isn’t true that raising taxes will fix all the problems, then it’s no longer inherently true that there’s no principled reason to disagree with the proposed tax increases.

                So. You are indeed begging the question of whether raising taxes will solve the problems, because if you want to claim that Republicans are just being assholes then you can’t allow them to have a valid argument.Report

              • Avatar E.C. Gach in reply to DensityDuck
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                says:

                Or, one might just think that cutting spending is not important ENOUGH to warrent not raising the debt ceiling at this time.

                So I could not think raising taxes are the solution, but still think that whatever spending cuts Republicans want are not at this point worth the damage a non-deal would yield.Report

              • Avatar Jason Kuznicki in reply to DensityDuck
                Ignored
                says:

                In this political context, yes. But it is a gross misrepresentation to say that I favor a tax increase as an ideal solution or as effective in itself.Report

              • Avatar St.John McCloskey in reply to DensityDuck
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                says:

                [Premise] 1) if there is no gop concession on taxes, the dems will not come to the table
                [Premise] 2) if both parties do not come to the table, things will be awful
                Therefore
                [Conclusion]If there is no gop concession on taxes, then things will be awful.

                Perhaps the added tags will help show that there is no begging the question. It’s not assuming that there is no reason not to raise taxes. It’s assuming that IF conscessions on taxes are not made, THEN democrats will not come to the table. Which will lead to bad things. the fact that it’s taxes is irrelevant logically. if the Dems wouldnt come to the table unless the republicans served them tea, then the case would be the same. IF the republicans did not serve tea, THEN the democrats would not come to the table. IF both parties dont come to the table, THEN things will be bad. THEREFORE IF the republicans don’t serve tea, THEN things will be bad.

                Logically speaking it has nothing to do with taxes, it has to do with compromise. Serving tea in and of itself won’t save the economy, but if it’s what needs to happen to save the economy, then it’s what needs to happen, and it should be done! there is no assumption that gop being ok with raising taxes will save the economy EXCEPT that it will bring both parties to the table.

                PS:

                Begging the question (or petitio principii, “assuming the initial point”) is a type of logical fallacy in which the proposition to be proven is assumed implicitly or explicitly in the premise.

                I’ve laid out the premises and conclusion as clearly and plainly as humanly possible. There is no fallacious overlap between the premises and the conclusions.Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to DensityDuck
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                says:

                “But it is a gross misrepresentation to say that I favor a tax increase as an ideal solution or as effective in itself.”

                Well then I guess you’re right, and I didn’t understand what you were writing. I thought that you were trying to discuss whether the Republican resistance to raised taxes was rooted in valid concerns. But what you were actually writing was “boy, those Republicans, what a bunch of assholes, eh?”Report

              • Avatar Jason Kuznicki in reply to DensityDuck
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                says:

                Sigh.Report

            • Avatar St.John McCloskey in reply to DensityDuck
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              says:

              Yes, thank you, I do. Do you? I’ve laid out his argument in such a way that it’s clear that he’s NOT begging the question…Report

            • Avatar St.John McCloskey in reply to DensityDuck
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              says:

              Oh, i think I see what you mean. The confusion is (as far as I can tell) that you think he’s making the case that raising taxes will save the economy, which he’s not.

              He’s making the case that IF raising taxes will save the economy (indirectly, through allowing for a compromise), THEN the gop should make that happen.

              I hope this is where the confusion lay?Report

  5. Avatar BSK
    Ignored
    says:

    My plan…

    Everyone gets their taxes raised by X% and every single thing gets funding cut by Y%. Raise the dept ceiling, but make it contingent on those two conditions. We all had a role in making this situation so we all have to pay the piper.Report

  6. Avatar Robert Cheeks
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    says:

    I’m impressed the GOP under a suddenly stiff-backed Speaker is holding the line on meaningful, real, spending cuts…first time in my life! If they don’t get around $5 trillion in real cuts the US gummint’s credit rating goes in the shitter. The commie-Dems don’t appear either interested or willing to participate in these necessary reductions in spending. Barry seems confused.Report

    • Avatar Rufus F. in reply to Robert Cheeks
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      says:

      Wouldn’t it be easier and narrow the risks to just take Nancy Pelosi hostange and threaten to shoot her in the head if they don’t get what they want? I mean, since what they’re doing now is so noble, but could put the economy in the shitter.Report

    • Avatar North in reply to Robert Cheeks
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      says:

      Actually Bob so long as the debt limit is increased the credit rating will be fine. Though goodness knows some cuts and tax increases would help seal that deal.Report

      • Avatar Robert Cheeks in reply to North
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        says:

        Rufus, and DD, all this violence talk, this gun and shootin’ talk, is going to get you a verbal reprimand from the powers that be.
        Northie, I heard the bond rating people wanted a direction change, in spending that is, and weren’t so concerned about debt ceiling, but you’re my econ go-to guy. Also, Rushbo is bringing it to our attention that the baseline is messed up because of Barry’s ‘stimulus’ plan and his exploding gummint spending..again, what-a-I-know.Report

        • Avatar North in reply to Robert Cheeks
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          says:

          The bond peeps care about only two things; the debt limit and the trajectory of federal solvency. The former can be assured simply by raising the debt ceiling. The latter can be assured through spending cuts, tax increases or (the publically preferred) a combination of both.
          So long as the traders see the country paying its bills the credit rating won’t change.Report

          • Avatar Robert Cheeks in reply to North
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            says:

            No snark intended but how does one support the idea of giving this administration more tax dollars, given their proclivities to spend recklessly? Barry’s shown no interest in reducing the debt, in fact he seems determined to financially break the nation.
            The commie-dems are like fiscal alcoholics..give ’em money and they’ll make/find a ‘program’ to spend it on.
            BTW, I may be asking you to put together a committee for Canadian’s to hep feed America!Report

            • Avatar Jason Kuznicki in reply to Robert Cheeks
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              says:

              Ask the Republicans. They were quite content to let GWB borrow money by the forkful. I’m sure they can figure out how it’s done.Report

            • Avatar North in reply to Robert Cheeks
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              says:

              Bob, no snark intended back but considering how much of Obama’s spending consisted of A) putting onto the books the various expenses that Bush the immensely lesser had kept off of them (little thinks like all the costs of both wars for instance!) and B) things that were fallouts from Bush policies I don’t think that the arrows dig quite as deeply as GOP spinmeisters would prefer. Recall if you will that more than half the public still hold Bush more accountable than Obama for many of the problems he is wrestling with which suggests the public does have at least some political memory.

              Now Obama has been no great spending cutter and believe me I’m none to fond of his political choices on that matter but the bank busting that this country has endured, such as it is, is a bipartisan albatross.Report

            • Avatar E.C. Gach in reply to Robert Cheeks
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              says:

              If only Obama would stop appropriating money to spend on his reckless Kenyan socialism…oh wait, that’s Congress!Report

  7. Avatar Rick Warren
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    says:

    Which public is that? The voting public, which includes the 50% of the US population who NEVER pay taxes or the taxpaying public who are supporting them and everyone else?

    Sadly, No!

    http://motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2011/07/51-zombie-lie

    Bottom line: Poor people pay less in taxes than rich people, as they should, but it’s very far from zero. The midpoint of that first quintile [i.e. the lowest 20% of income earners] is about $11,000, and even a household earning that little pays about $1,400 in taxes. The household in the second quintile, earning a munificent $30,000 per year, pays $7,000 in taxes.Report

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