By Mark Schmitt

How Did ‘Fix the Debt’ Become ‘Protect the Bush Tax Cuts’?

November 28, 2012 11:17 am Category: Memo Pad 97 Comments A+ / A-
How Did ‘Fix the Debt’ Become ‘Protect the Bush Tax Cuts’?

A group devoted to reducing the deficit shouldn’t embrace the irresponsible tax cuts that created most of it.

“Fix the Debt,” as you’ve probably noticed from the Internet ads that are now as ubiquitous as the old Netflix pop-ups, is the newest high-profile effort by Peter G. Peterson and allies to build a public movement for long-term deficit reduction. Fix the Debt appears to be an ambitious public relations and grassroots lobbying effort layered on top of the other major Peterson-funded anti-deficit groups, all of them pushing for a “grand bargain” on taxes and spending, ideally before the “fiscal cliff” (or what I prefer to call the “fiscal reset,” because it’s a chance to start over and reconsider bad choices from the 2000s). These include the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, the Concord Coalition, the Comeback America Initiative (former Peterson Foundation president David Walker’s new project), as well as groups such as the Business-Industry Political Action Committee.

Although Fix the Debt’s co-chairs are Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles, of the failed Simpson-Bowles commission, the organization has no specific deficit reduction plan. Its basic principles are that debt reduction is urgent and that it should be “comprehensive.” “Everything should be on the table” is the closest thing to a motto. That compares favorably to the Republican attitude, circa 2011, that everything should be on the table except taxes. Fix the Debt has enlisted several prominent Democrats in addition to Bowles, notably former Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell.

So far, so good. No doubt the long-term budget gap needs to be narrowed and the ratio of debt to GDP stabilized, and it’s better to chart that path sooner rather than make disruptive changes later. The evidence I see indicates that long-term fiscal stability is primarily a problem of system-wide health cost inflation and historically insufficient revenues — but that just affects my idea of a solution, not the long-term goal.

But there’s one exception: When it comes to taxes, Fix the Debt has a less open-minded position than it seems: Their “core principle” is “comprehensive and pro-growth tax reform, which broadens the base, lowers rates, raises revenues, and reduces the deficit.” That could be okay, too — but everything depends on the baseline. If the Bush tax cuts are allowed to expire on January 2 in accordance with the law, then the next step would surely be to lower some of the rates that would come back into effect, principally for the middle class, and also to “broaden the base,” such as by bringing taxes on capital gains in line with other rates and thus eliminating the “carried interest loophole,” the “hedge fund loophole,” and all the others that play on that unwarranted tax preference. But that doesn’t seem to be what Fix the Debt is thinking about. They seem to hold an unspoken core principle that the grand bargain must be achieved before the fiscal reset on January 2. That, in turn, implies that any deal would “lower rates” from the already very low tax rates of the Bush tax cuts. That’s the essence, for example, of Fix The Debt leader Maya MacGuineas’s Washington Post op-ed last week, which declared as a certainty that “Going over the cliff would be the worst possible outcome.”

It’s also the argument of a paper posted prominently on the website of MacGuineas’s Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, which challenges a study by the congressional Joint Committee on Taxation showing just how difficult it would be to achieve all the goals of lowering tax rates, raising revenues, and reducing the deficit. CRFB claims that the Joint Tax Committee study erred by starting the exercise using the “current law baseline” – that is, assuming that all the Bush tax cuts would expire. From there, letting rates go back up will have already raised a lot of revenue, some loopholes will have already been narrowed (including the preference for investment income), and there will be some limits on deductions for high earners. CRFB insists that comprehensive tax reform is possible if and only if you begin with the “current policy baseline” – that is, assume the Bush tax cuts continue and work from there, or do the deal before the cuts expire. It’s a very complicated argument, but what it comes down to is this: Letting the tax cuts expire by law would actually achieve many of the goals of tax reform, as I wrote in October. But if the tax reform is already half-completed, there’s less room for classic tax reform in a grand bargain.

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How Did ‘Fix the Debt’ Become ‘Protect the Bush Tax Cuts’? Reviewed by on . A group devoted to reducing the deficit shouldn't embrace the irresponsible tax cuts that created most of it. “Fix the Debt,” as you've probably noticed from th A group devoted to reducing the deficit shouldn't embrace the irresponsible tax cuts that created most of it. “Fix the Debt,” as you've probably noticed from th Rating:

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Comments

  • nobsartist

    The same way iraq had those pesky weapons of mass destruction and was a haven for al queda. If you keep letting these felons get away with stealing from America, they will keep doing it.

    There still has been NO investigation into what caused the depression of 2008.

    There is no “fiscal cliff” or “debt crisis”. These are made up to keep the felonious republiCON party relevant. As a matter of fact, these idiots probably still believe in santa claus.

    • SaneJane

      Thanks for you comment, especially the last paragraph. The “Debt” is misnamed and is simply part of the GOP Starve the Beast Strategy. They tried to steal the election through voter suppression, intimidation and fraud. They fostered hate for Latinos, Blacks and the poor and degradation of women. When will they learn that their Southern Strategy is no longer viable and only serves to divide our country? They fed the fires of fear by convincing many that the country is broke and we have to settle for less of everything. By “we” I mean the 98%.

      • http://www.facebook.com/sheila.jaskie Sheila Jaskie

        During the Republican Administration, Cheney said, “Deficits don’t matter”.

        • SaneJane

          Deficits don’t matter and they know that but they need us to believe otherwise.

      • jetfuel4

        Uh…like uh….the country IS broke sunshine.

        • SaneJane

          Please explain how the country is broke. The US is monetarily sovereign and cannot be “broke”. Our debts are in dollars, payable in dollars and we control the dollars. When you deposit your money in the bank this is not considered a “debt” by the bank so why is it that investments in Treasury Instruments is called “debt”? It is the same process. jetfuel4, you are running low on information.

          • Lisztman

            Excuse me, SaneJane. Deficits DO matter. The possibility exists — just as it exists for you, on a mortgage or car loan — that the monies the Treasury has borrowed from, say, China, via T-Bills, could be recalled on a moment’s notice.

            Such a foreclosure by a foreign power is unlikely — it would throw the entire world into havoc. But the point is, that this money is owed to someone, and is necessarily repaid. With interest. Deficits do matter — less for the deficit (borrowing) itself, but more for the interest that accumulates, adding further to the deficit.

            Proper taxation matters. Spending can and will be cut, but there is insufficient “bloat” in the budget (unless you take out $500B or so from the DoD) to repair the deficit. Short- and long-term tax policy MUST be adjusted to fix the deficit. Not as Reagan did, and GWBush did, with fuzzy “projections” of turnaround in 3, or 5, or 10 years, but with mathematics, statistics, basic arithmetic accounting.

            IMO, the best solution is to let ALL the Bush cuts expire. 1/3 per year for the next 3 years. And eliminate any and all favorable tax rates for capital gains. The last decade has proven that they don’t “create jobs” — they make the wealthy wealthier.

          • http://www.facebook.com/dominick.vila.1 Dominick Vila

            I agree, but let’s not forget that not all the “debt” involves Treasury Bill obligations, plus interest payments. About half of the national debt involves T-Bill purchases and other loans by foreigners, such as China and Saudi Arabia. A large portion of the other half are liabilities associated with the obligations the U.S. government incurred when it accepted FICA contributions in exchange for benefits to contributors. In other words, it is money the Federal government owes to the American people, and since we are the government, it is money we owe to ourselves.
            Raising the tax rate of our highest earners will only raise about $80B a year in additional revenues, not enough to reduce our annual deficits significantly, but a step in the right direction. Raising the capital gains and dividends tax rates will also help, but I doubt the latter will be implemented considering how many middle class Americans participate in 401k plans and benefit from them.
            Our problem is that we need and benefit from most of the programs run by the Federal government, not only socal programs such as SS and MEDICARE, but from our intelligence agencies, border patrol, customs, food and drug inspectors, air traffic controllers, research doctors at the CDC, etc. Our problem is quite simple, we refuse to pay for what we need and consistent with the behavior of the “me” generation we prefer to charge it and let someone else worry about the consequences.

          • jetfuel4

            Obamalogic…..touche’ ma cheri. Probably the dumbest remark I have seen in some time but explains the entire problem with America and Obamamaniacs in general. You’ll find out sunshine…just keep thinking….you’ll find out.

      • tax payer

        So, who stole the election by giving out more hope to the illegals. Who won?

        • SaneJane

          Who tried to steal the election by using the methods I mentioned above? Which is better and which is worse, giving hope or causing fear?

          • Lisztman

            @tax payer: You’re trolling in the wrong pond.
            Your misguided comment (and completely off topic) reeks of sour grapes. Go back to watching Fox. You’ll feel better.

      • http://twitter.com/trevino_sr Jose L. Trevino Sr

        GOPs are doomed–”Dinosaurs”

        The 98% will no longer accept the “status quo.”

        The GOPs are either part of the solution or they are the problem.

        We need a Congressional Investigation into what caused the depression of 2008.

        Senators John McCain and Graham should refocus their efforts on more
        important issues other than “Susan Rice.”

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/PMVMZMDLRQL3TRK5RNOHJVZPHU stoptheinsanity

    Be very careful and watch the language of the RethugLIARcons in Congress. There are a few who seem to be giving in to the idea of raising taxes. That may sound all good and well but when one gets down to the specifics of what they mean by raising taxes on the rich, one is going to find out that the RethugLIARcons only mean closing tax loopholes on them. All RethugLIARcons are still adamant, entrenched, and extemely loyal to the “no new taxes for the rich EVER!!!” They have all signed pledges of loyalty to lobbyist Grover Norquist and his “no new tax for the rich” manifesto. Congressional RethugLIARcons are all bought and paid for by big business, large corporations, and media moguls like Murdoch, Adelson, and Faux News. I strongly believe that President Obama should stand strong and firm in these fiscal cliff negotiations. He was reelected with a mandate. Part of that mandate was to raise taxes on the wealthy. If President Obama capitulates to the RethugLIARcons once again, his presidency will be over. He will be seen as a weak president who is way too willing to compromise with the intransigent RethugLIARcons just for political reasons and to polish up his legacy. Congressional RethugLIARcons will be emboldened and empowered and will continue to oppose the president in anything he tries to do in his second term. The president will lose support among far-left liberals and the RethugLIARcons will stand a good chance of winning the Senate in 2014 and the White House in 2016. The president doesn’t have to run for reelection anymore so, if the RethugLIARcons want to play that game of going over the fiscal cliff, let them do it!!! Polls already show that they will get the majority of the blame for it. Bush tax cuts will be no more and a new plan to reduce taxes on the 98% can be introduced and enacted.

    • manchurian1candidate

      Thank you for this comment, good to see someone who can see clearly through all the bs.

      I have a bad feeling that Obama will capitulate to the Repugs’ demands. The way they see it is: it happened once and will happen again. They view niceness as a sign of weakness.

      Obama needs to learn that the only way to deal with these pigs is to punch them in the snout with a big stick.

      • 1standlastword

        Obama will not “capitulate” He doesn’t have to. His plan is two-fold: To support a policy income equality and stage 2016 for the next Democratic WH.

        It’ s gonna work because “r”epublicans are a miserable odd collection of troglodytes headed fast for political extinction in the way of the dinosaurs!

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/IIAFAK62EMBFOLOX76RKHIW7TA Gilbert

        There you go! Knock’em down, kick’em in the n*ts, stomp them in the *ss!!!

    • http://www.facebook.com/fern.woodfork Fern Woodfork

      I Rather Go Over The Cliff Than To Give In To The GOP/Tea Party American Taliban!!! These Selfish Greedy Bastards Think They Are Mobsters!!! We Will Unite Again In 2014 And Get Rid Of A Lot Of These Wannabe Gangsters!!

      • jiggymama

        Going over the cliff is the best idea for all. This entire country needs an overhaul. Let’s go over the cliff.

    • montanabill

      Since you are so well versed in these matters, suppose the Republicans agree to return the taxes on the top 2% to pre-Bush/Obama cut levels.

      How will it effect the deficit? Will it eliminate the deficit, substantially decrease it, or have virtually no effect?

      Will the debt continue to climb at an astounding pace, or will it be reduced?

      What effect, if any, will that tax increase have on employment?

      How will you personally benefit from that tax increase?

      How will the middle class benefit from that tax increase?

      Obama promised a compromise if the Republicans agreed to that tax increase.
      What has he proposed as his part of the compromise?

      • http://twitter.com/jmprint Mary Martinez

        Who cares. The rich aren’t the only ones that provide job, many small business do and the owners are not rich. Life continues.

        • montanabill

          In other words, you haven’t thought it through.

      • 1standlastword

        $830 bn over the next 10 years is a good start in the right direction

        • montanabill

          That was a complete non-answer. See how far $83 B per year goes when answering the questions.

      • johninPCFL

        According to the article, $4T in cuts proposed as a compromise.

        The debt won’t stop climbing until the teabaggers compromise.

        • Tom_D44

          Come on John, that’s over 10 years. Stop with the spin. $400B in cuts per year when the current yearly deficits have been around $1.25-$1.5T? This will do nothing to stop our rising debt. And if we can’t stop our deficits how will we ever pay off the $16T we already owe?

          • johninPCFL

            Yes. Unless we completely disband the military, completely shut down the federal government (no courts, no FBI, no FAA, etc.) and completely stop paying any medicaid back to the states, the spending won’t balance.

            Or completely stop Medicare and medicaid. Those things are supported by current taxation. Current SS has been paid for by previous contributions. Maybe just reneg on those folks and simply keep the money? That’d reduce the payments by $1.75T per year.

            Or maybe we could recognize that under the previous tax rates and rules, Clinton’s last deficit was $20B. So let’s recap, under Clinton the national debt increased at $20B to $50B per year, but after the GWB tax cuts, that were supposed to pay for themselves by increased economic activity, deficits increased the national debt by (on average) $600B per year, and $1.8T on his last budget year. Seems like the “economic activity” theory should be out the window now, right?

          • Tom_D44

            I get it. We spend too much and we have convinced ourselves as a society, that everything we spend our money on is absolutely necessary in order for us to survive. Do you really believe that to be true OR can you admit that these are promises that were made to us by our government, many of which no longer work and have been continuously mismanaged by these politicians over the years – both republican and democrat? And how do we keep our country’s finances together if we don’t seriously cut spending, can only tax a ridiculously small amount of our way out of this, and continue to rack up enormous debt? This is an unsustainable situation.

            And you can’t use the Clinton model anymore because his surplus was calculated using a social security fund that was flush with cash because it was, at that time, taking in more than it was paying out. That is no longer the case.

            I believe we need to raise taxes and that is inevitable, but any well read person knows that this revenue issue is not a serious part of the solution and is all politics. I also, believe that the goverment has mismanaged our money all this time and will continue to do so as they run around the country making more promises knowing there is no way to pay for it – Obama is still doing this. He is a perpetual campaigner and really doesn’t do much else. So while we should all pay more in taxes and share in the pain of past mistakes by all of our politicians, I believe that we need to do this only to re-teach ourselves what not to do again in the future. But I also believe that raising taxes will hurt the economy since it is not very robust at this time, it will hurt people since they are not making what they used to make, and that the money will likely not be used to pay down the debt as it should be – but rather it will be used for more spending to fulfill campaign promises and try to hold on to power.

            The bottom line is that the debt is unsustainable, and we can not keep going on like this without serious reforms. True equality and fairness will never happen as long as you have all the different kind of people in the world that we have and unless you are headed down the communism path, we need to acknowledge that capitalism has its flaws but through-out history has provided the most prosperity and individual freedom, for all the classes, than any other economic model. Sure it doesn’t provide equality, sure there are haves and have nots, but don’t those same classes exist in communist China – but even to the more extremes?

          • johninPCFL

            If you ‘get it’ you’re the first conservative here who does. The rest continue to yammer about cutting waste and fraud (which I agree is necessary) as the way to close the gap. If you truly ‘get it’ you understand that all the discretionary spending, plus all military spending, plus all medicaid spending combined just barely covers the deficit. Most conservatives apparently can’t (or won’t) do the simple arithmetic.

            The national debt grew under the Clinton presidency. A minor tweak to the retirement age or a change to the medicaid and Medicare eligibility rules, or a few bases closed overseas, could have fixed it then, and turned a budget surplus into a real surplus. The problem is much larger now. The drug benefit, passed for pure political gain, is now a huge driver of the debt. Yes, the SS contribution surplus that was counted as “general revenue” for decades has now turned over. The $2.7T worth of bonds and bills issued can no longer be cashed against tax receipts, but now are cashed with borrowed money.

            Yes, the old people who make up the largest percentage of Romney’s infamous 47% have become accustomed to a meager SS and medical care monthly stipend, and are proud to live “independently”. Most of that was unattainable to previous generations of seniors. They lived with their children until they died, or in “old folks homes” (and I remember them.) Their medical concerns were largely overlooked; they died of “old age” and “natural causes”. Today they die of alzheimer’s and cancer, both of which destroy a lifetime’s accumulation of weath in a few years.

            The teabaggers are universally infused with the “keep your government hands outta my Medicare” mentality. It’s a really good deal for them; they pay for about 60% of the services they get, the taxpayers making up the difference. Seems just a bit hypocritical, though, don’t you think?

            States set medicaid eligibility and the fedgov issues money to them as block grants. The states with the largest medicaid usage rates (the impoversihed and working poor) are red politically, and went for Romney in droves. “Keep the federal gov outta my medicaid”? Seems a bit hypocritical, don’t you think?

            The president proposed $400B in cuts and $160B of tax increases per year. That would have brought the average deficit back down to what was normal throughout the GWB years ($400B to $600B until the last three years when the crash occured.) The GOP laughed and walked out.

        • montanabill

          Get the details on the ‘$4T’ in cuts. I’m trying to point out to you that even if the Republicans give in to returning the top 2% to pre-tax cuts levels, it will have almost NO, NONE, NA-NA effect on the deficit and debt increase! The compromise must involve REAL CUTS not some phantom, in the future cuts.

      • Tom_D44

        Montana, I have asked this very question on multiple threads now that have been on this topic of taxes and not one of these guys had even tried to answer it. They only throw around their nasty little barbs and one liners but have absolutely nothing to say about how little impact this whole “tax the rich” issue will make on the deficit – and more importantly the debt. Let’s face it, we need to balance the budget but even if we get to a deficit neutral budget we still need to find 16trillion to pay back our creditors for what we have already borrowed. I suppose they support the continuous printing of money to pay it off until our dollars are so devalued we will be spending $10,000 to buy a loaf of bread and milk at the store. And anyone who thinks that this can not be a reality in America is either ignorant to history or is being dishonest with themselves.

        • SaneJane

          If the national debt were to reduced to zero the country would be a wasteland. Your understanding of economics for a monetarily sovereign nation is sadly lacking. You obviously come up short on the question of inflation also. Money is created by government spending, spending usually buys something. How does money get into the system? It isn’t just distributed, it is spent for things that have value. This does not create inflation.

        • montanabill

          It always simply reinforces the fact that most Obama supporters listen to the rhetoric, but simply can’t think things through. It also clearly points out the lack of education in basics like history, civics and the sciences. We have moved from the ‘can do’ generations to the ‘do it for me’ generation.

    • 1standlastword

      Obama is “back on the campaign trail with the same old talking points…” these are the words of Mitch (the boss con) McConnel who knows that this is the “gloves off Obama” whose plan is to get buy in on tax cuts for the 98% while letting them expire on the wealthy or get PRIMARIED!

      Or

      Get primaried anyway…I don’t give a phuck…Obama with the gloves off

      I just love it!!!!!

      They loose either way

      If they sign on they loose political clout and if they don’t they loose political clout

      2014 is coming to them like a nightmare and I love it

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/IIAFAK62EMBFOLOX76RKHIW7TA Gilbert

        Yes! It is great to see so many demoralized republicans. they actually wasted over a $ billion trying to buy the election, and got No Return on their money! Their game-plan is obsolete!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_B6RROC4IUESHT322QS5VJVPYRM Lynda

    At this point there is really nobody seriously trying to tackle the debt problem. We are working at the edges of the currect deficit situation, but the long term debt is a non starter. It has only been a couple of weeks since the Ryan/Romney plan was placed in the dust bin of history and folks forget that the GOP plan did virtually nothing about the deficit for several decades. Of course that meant that the long term debt problem was off the table as well. The talking points about ‘fix the debt’ are all hyperbole designed to confuse and coddle the ill informed masses.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rick.desper Rick Desper

    Think of the word “Fix” in “Fix the Debt” to have the secondary meaning of “to keep in place.”

    Then the support of extending the tax cuts makes more sense.

  • Mimi2kool

    I think the group is just a front for the GOP. The initial position sounds reasonable and as if they support sharing the pain, but in reality it is about protecting the current status quo for the wealthy. I was getting emails from this group and I told the group to stop sending the emails to me. When the question about why I wanted to stop the emails came up, I expressed that I believed it was nothing more than a front for the Republican party, designed to sucker the working class, middle class, and poor into believing that the group has anything but the interests of the wealthy at heart.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dominick.vila.1 Dominick Vila

    Let’s not forget that when former President George W. Bush was inaugurated in 2000 the Federal government was running a surplus for the first time in decades. That surplus evaporated within one year of the Bush tax cuts being implemented. Suggesting the loss of revenue caused by those irresponsible tax cuts had nothing to do with the resumption of deficit spending is naive, to put it mildly.
    The only way those tax cuts would not have had a negative effect on the budget was for accompanying spending reductions large enough to offset the revenue losses. That did not happen. Not only did Bush and the Republican controlled Congress keep all the programs that were in place, they got us involved in two wars using borrowed money to pay for them. That was a recipe for disaster and the results of that blatant example of fiscal irresponsibility are still being felt.
    Putting our economy and national security in jeopardy to protect the interests of our highest earners is tantamount to high treason. Moreover, suggesting cuts in entitlement benefits as a condition to agree to raise the tax rate for people who do not need our help to enjoy everything money can buy is not only immoral – it may have legal ramifications inasmuch as it means breach of contract.
    The Federal government assumed responsibility to provide retirement and medical services in exchange for the FICA contributions we make throughout our professional lives. The burden of those entitlements appear as a liability in our national debt because it is money our government owes to the contributors that funded those social programs. Trying to compare a legal obligation with discretionary spending such as giving money to countries that don’t need our help, not paying for wars of choice, and giving subsidies to oil companies, pharmaceuticals, and the agri-business while those sectors of our economy are posting record profits is the epitome of cynicism.
    The GOP is not proposing specific spending reductions because after 3.5 years of clamoring for spending reductions, they don’t know what to cut or, more accurately, they don’t want to pay the price that comes along with making unpopular decisions. These hypocrites and cowards deserve the losses they had on 11/6. Hopefully that’s just the beginning of things to come…

  • Eleanore Whitaker

    They don’t mean fix the debt at all…They mean create surpluses that will end up in corporations like always. I want to see an actual dollar figure on the total amount of tax dollars that were handed to corporations last hear. Better yet…go back to the minute Cheney became VP and give us a total dollar figure on how much Halliburton is still making from the debts Cheney created for the rest of us for Iraq.

    You don’t fix debt in a year. Americans don’t want to be in debt but the present method of reducing the deficit according to Republicans is to get rid of programs that we’ve already paid for like SS, Medicare and Medicaid.

    Can Republicans please explain to me how you continue to take payroll tax deductions for these programs when you don’t intend the people paying these taxes to get what they paid for? How isn’t that theft of public funds?

    I can just imagine what would happen if Charles and David Koch poured money into a nice piece of flush stock and then they were told, “sorry, you can’t have the money you invested into that stock.”

    ROI is ROI no matter who is paying the cost. This is what Republicans want Americans to ignore. Sorry…NO can DO.

  • Eleanore Whitaker

    You have to be very very knowledgeable about the ties between the Tea Party teabaggers, Americans for Prosperity (established by 7 Texas billionaires) and Americans for Tax Reform (Norquistian BS for Gimme, Gimme, Gimme…I’m a rich boi.)

    There are a huge number of splinter groups of these 3 groups. So the question we should be asking is this….If 7 Texas billionaires were so hot to start Americans for Prosperity, whose prosperity were they concerned about if not only theirs? This is the same with the 60,000 rich bois who are members of Americans for Tax Reform.

    See the common denominator yet? The equation goes like this: Rich bois + rich bois = rich boi groups hiding under the label “reform”…Guess who they are trying to “reform?” Look in the mirror.

  • docb

    Gop is not interested in fixing the debt or deficit!…those are just luntz scripted meme’s to scare the voter..they caused it…they own it! They just need to protect their 2% which includes themselves! All those lies are being pointed out to them more daily!

    Education is a wonderful thing! Of course, they were counting on not many noticing that they were screwing America. Ooops, that was a fail too!

  • jnsgraphic

    The Bush taxcuts were an incentive to create jobs, instead the rich invested their money elsewhere… now its time they pay their share. Boehner is a thick headed incompetent fool, he is disloyal to the President as well as the majority of most Americans; he will be remembered for taking us over the fiscal cliff and raising taxes on everyone to protect the rich. If Republicans block the tax cut bill, they will be voting against tax cuts; if we go over the go over the ‘fiscal cliff its because the’ “Republicans Are The Problem” and we will all pay for it. Its time for the losing party to compromise and get on with helping ALL Americans, not just the rich!

    • Lisztman

      @jns… I agree. Except that, sadly, Boehner & Co. WON’T be remembered for any negative outcome. Fox & Co. will find a way to spin it to be the fault of “those Liberals” who “refused to compromise” (i.e., do it the GOP way). The yayas who follow Fox will nod their heads.
      It will probably be November 2014 before there is any real referendum on the solution, whatever it turns out to be (unless, of course, they kick the can down the road yet again).
      Personally, I like the Canadian model. It is illegal, in Canada, to tell lies (fabricate material) on any show that purports to be “News”.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/C22AJV5GXSF4QE3YJY5IGBTULU TSB

    The wealthy have been getting the gift that never quits giving for that past ten years. Christmas is over and on with the cliff……. Stop the bleeding. Cover the gash! Follow the money!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jim-Myers/100001512942781 Jim Myers

    The part of the equation that is being ignored by both political parties is this.

    The tax cuts were set to expire because the projected debt in the forward years was so ENORMOUS that the poor slobs, (the 98%), would not stand for the cuts to be enacted in the first place.

    There would have been motions for recall votes, impeachments, and massive rioting in the streets.

    Now that the tax cuts are in place, there is no reason to feel any different about them. If anyone suggests that the budget needs to be balanced on the backs of the poor and middle class, recall votes, impeachments, and massive rioting may well be our only recourse.

    TINKLE DOWN DOES NOT WORK. NEVER DID, NEVER WILL!!!

  • William Deutschlander

    The blatant ignorance of the Republican Cartel is disgusting.

  • 426tt_64

    These jokers, will not fix the National debt. It could however be fixed real fast, by 1ST. bringing in to head up the committee someone like Warren Buffet, then adding 12 of us common folk in place of the do nothing congress. The very first cuts would be the Bush tax/welfare for the wealthy/corporations, and second having all elected and appointed government people present and past take the same cuts in wages, retirements, healthcare, that we the people have been forced to take. After all when you give yourself benefits like they have, that’s an Entitlement.

    Cut wages by 50%, healthcare by 100%, all (present/past) pensions by 75%, close the tax payer paid for Gyms, close their Barber shops, and Salons. Give those that make OVER 250 Thousand dollars only, the same deductions that the average family has. Fine everyone that has off shore savings accounts the amount they would pay in income tax per year. Don’t pay the oil companies when they let their refineries, and pipe lines go un-maintained to the point they break down, or break, that is their fault not ours, however when these type things happen, gas at the pump jumps by .25 to .75 per gallon, no more.

    No more ear marksm they don’t help the country, they help only the area the congress men/women live. Eliminate all payments to those that have 1000 of acres of unfarmable land to not farm it. Eliminate the government sponsored insurance in all dangerous areas, like mountains, sea shores, ETC. let them buy it locally. There is more that needs cut, but enough for now.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JMT6C3LHLJDD4RX4NB4KY5ICAE gargray

    They caused the problem and don’t want to fix it. Serioulsy I think the republican party is done, it can not be fixed, mabye name it the Tea Party or the Independance Party, or the Tyannical Tea Evangelical party.

  • JohnRNC

    The “Bush Tax Cuts” are a big part of the core of the debt problem. I agree with a recent comment by Howard Dean, that the “cliff” is more of a “slope” and that it is probably one of the wiser roads to take at this point. I think Obama has the advantage here and should make use of it – that is propose a reasonable alternative and if the GOP balks then down the slope we go and good riddance to the biased & failed policies of George II.

    The media could help out a little more and characterize this thing with less sensationalism.

    • Lisztman

      Short- and long-term tax policy MUST be adjusted to fix the deficit. Not as Reagan did, and GWBush did, with fuzzy “projections” of turnaround in 3, or 5, or 10 years, but with mathematics, statistics, basic arithmetic accounting. The GOP has in the past sworn by, and continues to swear by, “projections”. That, ummm, don’t turn out.

      IMO, the best solution is to let ALL the Bush cuts expire. 1/3 per year for the next 3 years. Ensuring that the “cliff” is indeed a slope. It might soothe Wall St. And eliminate any and all favorable tax rates for capital gains. The last decade has proven that they don’t “create jobs” — they make the wealthy wealthier.

  • 426tt_64

    Let us not forget the way the USA started out making contracts, by hand shake, by giving something for something, by signing a piece of paper. Our Social Security and Medicare are in fact contracts between the USA Government and us.

    When we the citizens of the USA started our working lives, the US Government took money from our checks, and also from the companies that we worked for, every week/month that we worked. They the US Governmnet put that money into an interest bearing account in your and my name, for us to have in our senior years beginning at age 62 for our S.S. and 65 for our Medicare,however we continue to pay each month for this account. These two accounts S.S. & Medicare have nothing to do with the USA’s National Debt. That was caused by congress, past and present, we the people had nothing to do with it.

  • SaneJane

    Not only is “fix the debt” a scam the “debt” itself is a scam. This is a product of GOP’s “Starve the Beast” strategy and it is unfortunate that so many Americans believe it.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_5LCXMWHFPRMEYD4RWN56QE2FF4 Grunge45

    The real reason the Republicans are worried about the fiscal cliff, is because of the military spending reductions that would take place. That would reduce income to so many companies, and get rid of so much military waste, none of which the fat cats can accept.

  • braytjr

    The Two Santa Claus Theory

    When republicans are in power, become Santa Claus.

    Cut taxes for rich and borrow money to pay for services. That way, republicans are Santa Claus twice.

    Oh! Never mention the debt when republicans are in power.

    When democrats are in power, make them shoot Santa.

    Yell, scream and shout about the deficit that republicans created and demand democrats fix the out of control spending.

    Stop if possible, any tax increases on the wealthy to fix the debt problem.

    Push for cuts in social security, medicare, medicaid, food stamps, welfare and other programs that average people enjoy. (See Clinton in welfare reform. See Obama in cutting unemployment benefits down from 99 weeks to 79 weeks.)

    In other words: MAKE the democrats shoot Santa.

    This will ensure republicans get in power.

    It appears Obama and the democrats have decided to quit playing this game.

  • jgist

    This is one of the smartest columns i have read on the fiscal “reset.” “Fix the Debt” is a shill, their slogan is inconsistent with their campaign, and they are not concerned with the unequal distribution of income and wealth. They are fine with things as they are. How can liberals support such an approach?

  • howa4x

    The party is over, the republicans have drunk their kool-aide for 10 yrs, and now it’s time for reality. Their biggest problem is nobody wants to drink the kool-aide anymore with them. 72% now believe taxes should go up for the highest earners, and that number includes a lot of republicans. Their argument for why the rich need more falls flat when confronted with reality. The problem is the 1% never created the amount of new jobs compared to the benefit they got. Middle class wages didn’t rise and were mostly stagnant, compared to the wealthy’s whose rose 256%. They can’t make the argument that we must contain the deficit(that they created by 2 unfunded wars, the tax cuts and unfunded drug program) and keep taxes low for the upper income people. Somebody’s has to pony up some real revenue. So now who pays and how much? That is the real fight. If the republicans were really concerned with the middlecalss they would pass a bill that keeps the tax cut for them, and carve them away from the upper income tax cut. Problem is the republicans like to hold the middle tax cut hostage so they can still lavish benefits on the rich. So the republicans try to turn attention to entitlement reform as the main issue. But who benefits the most from social security and medicare, the middle class or the wealthy? So here they are again trying to take a benefit away from the middle so the upper can have more. Problem is AARP is on to them and is getting the 72 million members aware of this move. If they smell that the republicans are only going to make the seniors sacrifice , there will be hell to pay in the mid terms for them. Smart repubs are already comming out for the middle cut and pushing the rich down the road. This is what has Grover so rilied up. What, the rich can’t be pushed to the back he screams in the guise of the pledge. So the table has be set for the main event. Who gets what now will determine who wins and looses next year.

  • jetfuel4

    Repeal the Bush tax cuts, prescription meds, end the wars and then stop the SS & MC charade.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/GGHNYPK4GNCRYZLXWVZ447WHJM Plznnn

    Spending IS the problem, not raising taxes that will only run the bloated Federal Goverment for 8 days. Obama ignored the solution of more revenue by closing tax-loopholes & refuses to discuss where he will cut Spending. Enough of blame & class-warfare, Obama can easily avoid the fiscal cliff by doing what 65% of Americans agree with, and that is what the GOP already put out there.

    p.s. Where is the equality & fairness of taxing one group of Americans more than another? That is not fairness, that is selfishness & jealously. Was Obama elected to work with Congress to fix this or to continue campaigning?

    • concernedgran

      I believe that the the American people sent a clear message to the Republican party that they blame the Republican Congress for the problems in this country and that the Repbublicans need to work with the President of the United States and not the other way around. I do believe that for as much as the Republicans lost in this election, they may lose even more in 2014 if they don’t try to help solve the problems of this country instead of trying to further their own agenda. If 65% of the American people agreed with what the GOP has already put out there, there would have been a different outcome in the election. It is way past time that the Republicans in Congress stop signing contracts with the likes of Grover Norquist, who by the way has no authority in government other that to buy Republican Congressmen, and time for them to start working for the American people who they are PAID to represent.

    • Lisztman

      Sorry, Sir. 65% of Americans do NOT agree with what the GOP “already put out there”. Did you learn no lessons in November? The GOP failed not only to reclaim the White House, they also lost 2 seats in the Senate and 7 in the House.

      Note that the GOP is more than willing to cut my forthcoming Social Security check to which I have contributed for 40+ years. But somehow the DoD is a sacred cow. Somehow the oil companies still need subsidies to spur the search for new fossil fuels.

      You need a reality check, sir. As does the Republican side of the aisles in Washington. The alternative is to brace for further losses in 2014. The average American has “had it” with the non-working GOP model.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jim-Myers/100001512942781 Jim Myers

      Replying to Plznnn -

      Let’s see.

      First, a secretary working for a Billionaire pays social security taxes, (about 15%, including the employer portion), on 100% of her income.

      The Billionaire pays social security taxes on a very small portion of his or her income.

      So, equality and fairness would logically dictate that the Billionaire should pay the social security taxes on 100% of his or her income.

      Then there are the Medicare taxes…

  • bstockinger

    The Bush tax cuts should NEVER have passed. In fact, if you are going to fight 2 wars, taxes should have been raised. If we had to tax people for every stupid war, police action, etc, that stupid politicians get us into, I doubt that we would get involved in so many messes.

  • http://www.facebook.com/sheila.jaskie Sheila Jaskie

    Folks, we are talking about “taxable income” OVER $250,000. You could gross $350,000 income and still have a $250,000 taxable income. Everyone receives tax cuts for the first $250,000. That’s enough!

    To detail how current tax rate schedules are calculated:
    Under the existing tax code, the first $17,400 of “taxable income” for a couple filing jointly is taxed at 10%. Above that level, up to $70,700 taxable income is taxed at 15%. Taxable Income between $70,701 and $142,700 is taxed at 25%. Taxable incomes up to $217,450 are taxed at 28 percent. The next bracket, 33 percent, ends at $388,350 for couples. The top 35% bracket hits taxable incomes only above $388,350. Congress can change these rates from year to year.

    On a tax return there is “Gross Income”, “Total Income”, “Adjusted Gross Income (AGI)” and “Taxable Income”. All of these income take you down to a “Taxable Income” so the tax rate can be applied. Many news stations and articles are saying the tax is on AGI (adjusted gross income) or on total income and etc. but the tax is actually on “taxable income”. Look at your tax return. The tax is calculated on the “taxable income” line. Since the invention of Turbo Tax and other tax software, people (including some tax people) are losing their skill for calculating tax.

    The Dems tax proposal would be tax cuts on the first $250,000 of “Taxable Income” (less than gross income). The 39.6% tax rate would only apply to any “taxable income” OVER $250,000.

  • http://www.facebook.com/sheila.jaskie Sheila Jaskie

    After WWII, the top tax rate was 91% and people did not mind paying for the war. That was back when we paid for wars.

  • http://www.facebook.com/sheila.jaskie Sheila Jaskie

    Rich people usually don’t work for wages and most don’t pay the 35% current top rate. Rich people make money off their wealth, interest, capital gains and dividends. Bush reduced the dividends and capital gains to 15%. Let’s tax all income the same. As a added argument, in some other countries, unearned income is considered extra income and taxed at a higher rate.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jim-Myers/100001512942781 Jim Myers

      Are you trying to give Boehner a heart attack?

  • http://www.facebook.com/sheila.jaskie Sheila Jaskie

    The Dems want to go back to Clinton’s 39.6% top rate and that rate left us with a surplus and 23 million jobs.

  • nobsartist

    Dems should be demanding a “windfall profits” tax on all earnings of over 250,000 retro-active for the last 10 years. They should be demanding medicare and ss tax on ALL earnings and going back to the same tax rates that we had following WW2.

    The Dems had better adopt the approach that what republiCONs want is not relevant and that they intend to go around every road block instead of caving in like they have the last 4 years.

    Take Guantanamo for example. republiCONs put in the defense budget that no money could be used to move the prisoners held there. Simple solution. Use US Marshalls to go over and remove the prisoners to our penal system and then shut the base down because now there are no more prisoners.

  • TheOldNorthChurch

    Scapegoating the problems we have on any single group will not fix our financial problems.

    The fundamentals are seriously in need of repair. Anyone wanting to have a a financially sound government and economy realizes that we can not continue this charade. Here are a few examples; We passed Medicare Part D and did not fund it, We allowed Social Security payments to be made and raise well beyond any amount ever paid in by participants, We fought two Wars and didn’t pay for them, We have passed a Nation Health Care Plan and it is totally underfunded, We increased Federal Government Spending over inflation and population grow by well over $15 Trillion dollars and have no conceivable way of even collecting this much.

    It is time for the Bush Tax Rates to expire on all of us. It is time to cut Federal Budgets by a ratio that brings us to balance, it is time to restructure all of our Government activities. All of us will pay and no one can be left out of the equation.

    No one will like it and all will benefit. Totalitarianism does not work and enslaves all. Crony Capitalism does not work and enslaves all. It is time to go back to the principals of Freedom, Liberty, and Responsibility. responsibility by individuals and their responsibility to improve their own families and communities.

    It is time for a recommencement to what made this country great.

  • elw

    I say let the tax cuts expire. Get rid of the issue. Once the 2% marginal rates are back to the Clinton levels begin the negotiations. The Republicans have no interest in compromising, they still think they won because they got the majority of the White male vote.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/HJIWONQOW4EAYMCA4QH2DDJMBU MARK

    Is there any research that has been done to show whether or not signing the Norquist Mandate is in conflict with the congressional oath and as such,illegal?

  • ObozoMustGo

    Mark Schmitt, useful idiot du jour, steps up to the plate with the most nonsensical garbage to be placed on The Memo since the some idiot that tried to say deficits don’t matter.

    Witness this statement:

    “Although Fix the Debt’s co-chairs are Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles, of the failed Simpson-Bowles commission,…”

    Uhhh, hello, stupid, it only failed because it was completely ignored by Obozo and the DemonRATS. That’s why it failed, you morons!

    While I agree that the Bush tax cuts, WHICH OBOZO TOOK OWNERSHIP OF WHEN HE RENEWED THEM IN 2010, were an ill-advised law, we have very different reasons for that, I am sure. The leftist freaks on here seem to think that a lower rate from 39% to 35% was such a catastrophe, but in truth, it’s a drop in the bucket. The real problem with Obozo’s approved tax rates we have now is that it shrunk the tax base. Prior to Bush passing the law, only about 38% of Americans paid no federal income tax. Following the law, that number grew to about 44%. Under Obozo, the number n0 longer paying federal income taxes in America is now at 47%. The problem is not the rates. The problem is a smaller and smaller tax base and fewer and fewer people being held responsible to pay for our government.

    In the end, most of this debate is really nothing more than a distraction anyway. Our problem is NOT a revenue problem. It’s a spending problem, you dopes! Unfortunately, you leftist freaks think you’re entitled to the earnings of other people for your ever growing socialist schemes. You call people that want to keep their own earnings greedy, yet you who demand more and more of the earnings of other people are somehow not greedy. Now that’s leftist freak logic, isn’t it?

    Have a nice day!

    As William Voegeli put it in Never Enough: America’s Limitless Welfare State, “Liberals don’t want the government to grow indefinitely. They just want it to be bigger than it is right now. The corollary of this stance is liberals’ refusal even to entertain questions on the dimensions of a welfare state that is exactly the right size.”

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jim-Myers/100001512942781 Jim Myers

      Replying to ObozoMustGo -

      HOWEVER, WELFARE FOR THE WEALTHY MUST LIVE ON FOREVER.

      Wake up. Your Bush/Cheney clones lost.

      Have a nice day!

  • kdisg

    UN-AMERICAN is the name I use to describe the “NEW” republican party. They have a hate list of americans that gets longer by the day. Woman, Gays, Seniors, the Disabled, minorities,middle class, the poor and regular, hard working, family raising, Tax paying (and not only14% like Romney) and I never made 20 mil in a year americans. Why they decided now to expand there hate is simple they HATE a african american sitting in the white house and to top it all off, harvard law school grad, summa and law review recipient. Just check the voting record of the gop sinvce Obama took office and you see Mitch McCVonnel in front of HIS audiance telling them to make sure the goal for 2008 through 2012 is voting NO to everything OBAMA “that needs to be our goal to make him a one term president. Never taking into consideration what WE pay them for to do the countries work. They were sure they made Obama look abd bnut we all watched Obama send policy after policy and no negotation, they just voted NO to jobs for americans, help for students in college lons etc and many others, american received NOTHING from them which was as bad as BUSH working to get us into wars that were FAKE reasons and killed 4000+ of our kids. VOTE THEM ALL OUT NEXT TIME. Lets not forget what they did to the american people by not working with the president in the middle of the worst recession since the great depression and it was there policie that put us in the situation.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/ES2UMKTR4CDLPP22JNGQN3Z7SE Jackmack

    I had a feeling that the Republican Congress was not going to change they are going back to their old ways that why the Republican party are a all losers

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_F7PEOIWPE27D6VSCGLX2JRFLNI tuco_bad

    Bush tax cuts were simply a bonus for the wealthy for getting him elected in 2000,

  • ExRadioGuy15

    I dunno how many times I have to write this on several different platforms of the Internet before people begin to “get it”…I’ll try anyway…
    The Republican Party truly represents three groups of “people” (note the quote marks): fetuses, angry rich old white men and big corporations…that’s it…if you don’t fall into one of those categories, the GOP doesn’t give a sh!t about you…it’s the truth, deal with it, people…
    The GOP have eight cornerstones which explains everything they do…in most cases, more than one of the cornerstones is involved: bigotry, hypocrisy, elitism, fascism, greed, corruption, incompetence and arrogance. I have yet to find a GOP action that is supported by all eight, but, if any political party can pull that off, it’d be the Republicans…
    When you hear and/or see a Republican speak, all you hear is GOP BS, hypocrisy, talking points, deflections and distortions…very rarely, if ever, do you hear the GOP speak the TRUTH! :( smh
    Around 1970, GOP Conservatives and captains of industry got together and planned a financial overthrow of the government…it’s called “Starve the Beast”…in this case, the federal government is “The Beast”…the idea was to cut federal taxes to practically nil or nil and reduce the size of government so that it can be “drowned in a bathtub”, according to Emperor Palpatine (Grover Norquist). This is why the GOP are so anti-tax…not that they give a sh!t about people’s taxes (except for the rich), but to reduce the size of government. Once the government is practically abolished, the big corporations take over the former functions of government, at a high price to the poor and middle class. I call this the Fascist Corporate Plutarchy. Remember that a “plutarchy” is a combination of a plutocracy, where the rich rule, and an oligarchy, where a very small group of people, mostly not politicians, make all of the governmental decisions. And, that follows because the corporations are running the government. Have you noticed that the GOP are supporting the privatization of every government function? Social Security…Medicare…even the Postal Service! That’s part of the “Starve the Beast” philosophy and the FCP.
    Luckily, enough people figured this out and didn’t vote the Godfather of Vampire Capitalism, Mittens the Liar Rmoney, into the White House. A Mittens administration and GOP supermajorities in both Houses of Congress would have resulted in an FCP in less than a year.
    It is with a mixture of exasperation and relief that I’ve begun to see that people are catching on to Vampire Capitalism. People incorrectly call it “Vulture Capitalism”. Remember that vultures pick clean dead carrion (carcasses); vampires suck the blood out of people…vampire capitalists suck the lifeblood out of companies before shutting them down, selling it to other vampire capitalists or shipping the jobs overseas for cheaper labor. This is what happened to Hostess, by the way. Ever since Continental Baking Company sold Hostess to its first group of vampire capitalists, the company has went downhill. Hopefully, the company is sold to a group of venture capitalists, not vampire capitalists. There are more than 100 potential suitors for Hostess…

    • tobewan

      Interesting! And America has stopped the GOP this time, temporarily.
      America needs to STOP d GOP permanently.

  • RodgerMitchell

    “No doubt the long-term budget gap needs to be narrowed and the ratio of debt to GDP stabilized . . .

    Totally, 100% wrong. But, I’ve grown weary of explaining why reducing the deficit takes dollars out of the economy, causes recessions, increases unemployment, reduces Social Security and Medicare, and generally screws the middle class and the poor.

  • cynic

    It always was. Fix the debt was only they way to get the votes to win the White House and Senate to make them cuts permanent. The numbers of Republicans that cared enough about the debt to do anything but talk about it (and the only when it is a Democratic president) is are damned few.

  • http://twitter.com/trevino_sr Jose L. Trevino Sr

    Reference Figure 1: Were Former George W. Bush and Dick Cheney smart enough to the understand the graph?

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/43ZQGGZPH4XAL3T4CNK5A2DTYE Bill

      Bush anounced before congress and the american people that the Iraq war would be fully paid for from the sale of their oil reserves. Hows that action coming along. How many billions do the New York banks hold from sale of Iraqi oil. Seems I read that china stepped in and got the oil, Iraqis stole most of our bilions in rehab and retrain and still doing so., used to be big time news, not anymore, happens all the time. So, i think our governmnt should go after the iraqi and american thieves and confisticate their stolen goods, and return all of our expenditures to the GAO.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jim-Myers/100001512942781 Jim Myers

    All those in favor of “TINKLE DOWN” economics raise your hand.

    Strange. Less than half of you favored those, tired, old lies.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1715161191 Chris Tompkins

    Iraq for Sale, maybe Bush’s cronies that raped the taxpayer in the unfunded wars, should contribute their winnings to spend down the debt. Two unfunded wars, unpaid for tax cuts mostly going to the rich with token cuts to the middle class, unfunded Medicare drug plan that was a give away to pharma with no negotiation of costs and to insurance companies. Bush’s historical depression that was hidden until he was almost out of office. The housing crisis con by the banks. Now is the time to pay the piper for the raping of the middle class by these traidors to America. America is not their piggy bank at taxpayer expense.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/43ZQGGZPH4XAL3T4CNK5A2DTYE Bill

      We all agree with you Chris, but I have never seen or heard of any of the American or Iraqi theiving bad boys being concerned that our governmnet will come after them for restitution of stolen funds. How about the Iraqi oil sales that Pres. Bush told congress and the american people would pay for the war. I dont even hear or see any concern from the repub or dem representatives about any of this. Maybe their party of no which stops our government is mearly a humungus coverup to hide the billions of dollars lost, stole or “misplaced”. Who is the big beneficiaries of this shadowy world of stolen billions. PS. now china has the oil and didnt cost them a dime or a front line grunt.

  • http://www.facebook.com/RoughAcres Rough Acres

    In my cooperative, when we had an expense larger than what we could afford (new roof, for example) operationally, we did something called AN ASSESSMENT.

    Shareholders paid according to their ‘size’ of the pie.

    So I now formally request the President of the United States to make AN ASSESSMENT of the UberRich (anyone with a net worth of $1 billion or more), from 10% up to 75% of their net worth.

    A one-time event, to pay down our deficit – not a tax rate increase. No need to bother Grover or Boehner or McConnell.

    AN ASSESSMENT.

    Works for me ; )

  • onedonewong

    And Barak’s solution to the debt?? Raise taxes and add new spending programs. i realize that barak isn’t very bright but even in Africa they learn how to count cows…if only he had paid attention in the cattle corral with Shaka

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/W47EPFNKKVMMLR4VV2QEFWOBAY Janet

    Note to President Obama

    Stay strong. Don’t let them wear you down. We are behind you!

  • Tom_D44

    You are wasting your breath with Jane. We have had this conversation with her before, many times, regarding this whole notion of our monitarily sovereign status. SaneJane is not so sane. She apparently has never heard that the continuous printing of money devalues our own currency and causes a burden on every one of us when our investments become worthless. And she apparently doesn’t believe in hyperinflation which results from the rapid devaluation of paper money by all this printing. She also doesn’t think that is would piss off our creditors if they thought, for some reason, we were intentionally printing this money to pay off our loans with worthless dollars. She also has apparently never heard that the way to stop inflation is by raising interest rates which is obviously not good for all of us who need these loans to build businesses, buy houses, cars, and college educations for our kids and whatever else we finance. I don’ tknow where she was in the 80′s when interest rates were 18-22% on mortgages. She also assumes that the other super-powers in the world would never consider trading in another currency and dumping our dollars which would crush our economy literally overnight. Nor would they ever consider calling in our debt. Nope, she see’s the world through some wierd set of hallucinogenic glasses because anyone who has read and understands history knows that all of these scenarios are possible and should be well respected. Hey Jane, ever heard of the Weimar Republic. Google it and learn a little about the history of printing money.

  • Tom_D44

    Amazingly well put.

  • Tom_D44

    Sheila, think for a minute about what you just wrote. Rich people are not bound and tied to this country – or to any country for that matter. Currently they are all moving out of France at the detriment to that country’s economy. If they are going to have their wealth sit around and make more wealth, there is absolutely nothing that will stop them from parking their wealth in another country who endorses policies that are more friendly to “rich” people. Rather than despising them for being successful, why not understand and accept that there will always be the “haves” and the “have nots” and that you can not and will never change that. And in order to keep our own country rich we need the money invested here and not elsewhere. America needs to compete in the world economy for these businesses and for this money. And the more expensive and hostile we make ourselves, the more we push those opportunities, and associated growth and jobs to other places. You can not force companies or wealth to invest in the US.

  • Tom_D44

    Hey Chris, I should remind you that there were 82 democrats that voted for the Iraq war. To be fair we should point out all of the crooks – don’t you think?

  • Tom_D44

    So Rodger, how is the continuous spending beyond your means in any way sustainable?

  • ridemybroom

    when you have a group of racist in Congress…any wonder how we get to point A to point B ?

  • joceandre

    Obama needs to put his pants on and deal with those guys . He is no longer running for office. Now it’s time to go to congress and senate and kick ass. Show them who is the boss that’s why we elected him for.

  • tobewan

    According to Mark’s article, there is NO FISCAL CLIFF, rather it’s a catch phrase by the republicon party to scare the American public and to use against our President. The “ECONOMY” that would be HURT by allowing the Bush Tax Cuts to expire pertains strictly to their (the 1-2%) ability to continue to rake in the millions and billions in profits – profits that come primarily from hard-laboring vast middle-class and poor of America. They seem to care less about Americans and America’s government, America’s fiscal state, and America’s sustainability, short or long-range, but care mainly for how well America can line their pockets, increase their profits, and live in a fashion well beyond the average American’s ability and hopes. Over decades, far back as Reagan, have watched how the republicons con the American public with words and claims, making white appear black and black appear white. This past election and the past four years have brought out in the forefront just how treacherous, tricky, and down-right cut-throat the republicon party and their supporters can be. When they squawk about how dire things would be for America, it’s THEIR pocket-book they are worried about, NOT YOURS.
    Allowing the Bush Tax Cuts to expire, IS NOT RAISING TAXES! It’s simply restoring the amount taxes they should have been paying every year, and by rights, they should be made to pay reto-actively all the millions and billions that the giant corporations have gained in the process. They can afford to pay, and it would fittingly undo the bad choice Bush made.
    Restoring retro-actively what America LOST, would effectively make sure they never pull that stunt again.
    Was it Lincoln that said, America would fail from within? From its beginning it has been fraught with conflict, the rich against the poor, the capitalists against labor, and the HAVES against the HAVE-NOTS. America has, alas, a self-defeating system, but it’s not just here, it has become world-wide. Corruption is rampant in a world-wide, global economy. All nations having been brought together in ONE ECONOMY.
    Global, in filfillment of prophecy – which is a pre-knowning of what would result in end-times, where mankind would bring about their own undoing. And, like it or not, there is NO ESCAPING the conflict. The Rich are destined to ‘hang on for dear life’ to their riches and their life-style. The prevalence of communication helps to and is exposing the tenacious battle between “haves and have-nots.” The “haves” believe their money will SAVE them, but the “have-nots” are far greater in number, and it is THEY whom the HAVES must depend on.
    The ultimate solution is needing to depend upon a higher order of intelligence, and it WILL eventually come to that, yea, IT IS coming to that, as we are currently in a transition period from the man’s OLD and unworkable ways into a new, better, and righteous kingdom.
    The Lord’s Prayer – OUR prayer – is for that kingdom to come.

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