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Sunday, October 23, 2016

Democrats have a message for Republicans as just over 30 days remain before we approach the so-called “fiscal cliff”:

It ain’t 2011 anymore.

In last summer’s debt limit fight, the GOP knew that any damage to the economy would ultimately harm the president’s bid for re-election. Now with that issue settled, the White House and congressional Democrats are sending out a decidedly different tone as they seek to defuse the “austerity bomb” of tax increases and spending cuts.

According The Washington Post‘s Greg Sargent, senior administration officials assured labor and progressive activists Wednesday morning that they believe Democrats still have the leverage in the negotiations. The White House believes tax rates on the rich will go and the meeting’s participants got the sense that the president is even willing to go over the cliff to make sure this happens.

In 2011, the risk of a default destroying any chance of a recovery forced the president to make a deal that included the sequester, which could inflict harmful cuts to educationelderly and state budgets.

“They don’t seem to have the same fear now,” an attendee of the meeting told Sargent. “They intend to get this wrapped up in these negotiations, and don’t intend to have a separate fight. Their position is this needs to be resolved all at once.”

The public is behind the president in both in trusting him as good faith negotiator over the Republicans and believing that the Bush tax breaks for the rich must end as part of any debt deal.

Harry Reid made it clear late Tuesday that he is not pleased by the the Republicans’ stance that no tax rate increases will be part of the deal. He noted there had been “little progress” in the negotiations, which sent the Dow down despite strong indications of a continuing housing recovery.

Wall Street had been optimistic that a deal was “already” done. This was a baffling thing to believe, given House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s inane suggestion that elements of Obamacare that lower the deficit should be cut as part of a deal and hyper-ideologue and losing VP candidate Paul Ryan’s inclusion on the negotiating team.

Republicans may believe that the president doesn’t want to risk a recession at the beginning of his term and will eventually give up on higher tax rates for the rich. But his name will never be on a ballot again.

House Republicans face voters again in less than two years.

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Copyright 2012 The National Memo
  • old_blu

    Stand by your guns President Obama. Fight the good fight.

    • saltyshore

      I could not agree with you more! As much as I want them to solve this I would rather go over the cliff and pay more taxes than let the RICH get another unnecessary tax break!

      • Its all going to be passed onto consumers. You guys have no idea whats coming. Nobody wants to talk about spending cuts.

        • Yeah, just like Papa John threatened the same to customers regarding Obamacare, was suddenly hit by a pissed-off populace who boycotted him in favor of pizza places that didn’t threaten to raise prices and actually insure their employees’ health, and is now desperately backpedaling on his threats.

          If it’s passed on to consumers, we’ll simply go to less greedy corporations, until they are forced to buckle to the will of the people.

          The time of coddling and babying the rich is over.

  • JSquercia

    Paul Ryan REALLY !!!!

  • If the GOP was smart they would make a deal today instead of waiting for the Bush Tax Cuts to expire. There is a lot move involved than just raising the top rate 3.5%. Earned interest, capital gains and alike will hurt their owners more after Jan 1st than if they allow a compromise today. Too bad good old Mitch does not understand numbers or policy. The Democrats are trying to work with the GOPers and they really don’t have to do anything until the new Congress. There is no way the new Congress will not put together a new tax plan providing tax relief to the 98% and leaving the top rate increased. The GOP will have to vote for a tax cut…they claim that is all they believe in as policy. Lets join hands and jump if that is what it takes to get somekind of sanity in the revenue discussion.

  • nobsartist

    39% minimum + 6% medicare and ss on ALL money earned by labor or capital gains FOR ALL INCOME OVER 1 MILLION.


  • The RethugLIARcons act like they have some kind of mandate and therefore can dictate the terms of the fiscal agreement. Those days are over when they can bully their will through Congress and have the Democrats and President capitulate. RethugLIARcons are so loyal to Grover Norquist, large corporations, and the rich. This loyalty, to them, supercedes any shred of loyalty they may allege they have for the American people. To the President and Democratic Congresspeople, stand strong and firm, don’t give in one iota to the RethugLIARcons’ “no tax raise for the rich” demand. Go over the fiscal cliff. According to polls, RethugLIARcons will get blamed for it. Let the Bush tax cuts for the rich expire at the end of the year. Next year, Democrats can introduce legislation to reinstall tax cuts for the 98%. RethugLIARcons who vote against it will be committing “political suicide.”

    • marciano3rd

      Boot out all the ” RethugLIARcons”, as you call them, out of office in 2014!

  • I suspect the Republican leadership is well aware that they are fighting a losing battle, and one that may cost them seats in 2014. They will agree to the tax increases proposed by the President, which exempt 98% of Americans, and 97% of small businesses, from new taxes. The current budget deficits and accumulation of debt can not be reduced without raising revenues and reducing spending.
    Unfortunately, the GOP concurrence on the tax issue is bound to come with a demand for cuts in entitlements. If that happens we, the people, should look at it beyond the usual politics that characterize debate in our country and, instead, consider it a legal matter. Every single American worker pays FICA to fund Social Security and MEDICARE. We do it willingly, knowing that our government has promised us retirement benefits (a pension and healthcare coverage) in exchange for the taxes we pay throughout our professional lives. If the GOP proposes to cut Social Security and MEDICARE benefits they will be proposing BREACH OF CONTRACT, and should be subject to legal action in the form of a class action suit initiated by the American people against elected officials proposing a fraudulent solution to avoid making tough decisions on discretionary spending that affect their donors and their respective constituencies. Let’s start with impeachment and follow up with formal charges and prosecution.

    • montanabill

      You used a key phrase, ‘reducing spending’. Why would any Republican even consider offering to raise taxes on anyone until the President puts some entitlement reform and spending cuts on the table. He has been definite about tax increases, but so far, the word ‘compromise’ is an empty vessel.

      You are also smart enough to understand that a large amount of Social Security is going to people who never contributed to it. If you have monitored your Medicare payments to your healthcare providers, you must realize that the compensation is well below what is required sustain to any kind of patient oriented practice and, thus, it is being supplemented by cash paying and insurance paying patients.

      The GOP has never talked about cutting benefits to those legally entitled to them. That is a Democrat scare tactic. Perhaps the GOP should stop looking at ways to try to save SS and Medicare and simply let those programs run of the cliff under the Democrats. Unfortunately, since they still represent the half of the country that is concerned about having those programs continue for their children, they must continue with their warnings and attempts to save the dying patients in spite of the other half with their heads in the sand.

      • Steve Jacobs

        Montanabill, thank you for your thoughtful and clear-headed response. I’m left-leaning myself (soft-left economically and hard-left socially) , but your raise points that make me interested in learning more about sane right-of-centre positions. From my perspective, Republican tactics in the senate and house have seemed entirely obstructionist — meant only to undermine the legitimacy of the Obama administration and hold the economy and political progress hostage until they are again elected to power. Your apparent clear thinking suggest there might be more to the debate. Political conversations need more of this sort of sanity (instead of name-calling/attacking) from all sides. Can you suggest any intelligent, factual right-of-centre books, forums or media sources where someone like me could use as a counterpoint to my lefty media?

        • montanabill

          Obstructionism is in the eye of the beholder. Both parties have certainly participated.
          I can’t really suggest many sites because I rarely depend on any of them for information. I peruse sites of both the left and the right to be sure that I’m not missing information that one side or the other doesn’t wish to discuss. The latest example is the Benghazi incident. If I had depended on this site or MSNBC for information, I wouldn’t know that security was botched from the beginning, that the people who died were expecting help, or that the administration knew from the beginning that it wasn’t the response to a video.
          I come by my beliefs from experience. Raised by parents who suffered through the real depression and were very poor for the majority of my childhood. I learned to work for what I wanted at a very early age. I put myself through college. It took eight years and five universities. But I now have graduate degrees. I’ve had a variety of careers, worked for fortune 100 companies and very small start-ups. I’ve started a number of businesses. The early ones didn’t make it, the latter ones did.
          I discovered that starting a business that will succeed means working very long hours, no days off, no vacations. I’ve been laid off, out right fired and even been made obsolete. Each time, I did whatever I had to do to get back on my feet. A lot of those jobs weren’t much fun. Along the way, I’ve recovered from teenage polio. I recognized in my 20’s that I should never depend on SS (there was no Medicare) and made my own plans for my retirement years. My wife has supported me through thick and thin. It became a habit to save for things we wanted rather than to go into debt for them after we learned about debt the hard way.
          I’ve never taken one dime of government assistance, no student loans, no unemployment. Because I achieved my dreams, I donate my SS to veteran relief funds and can fortunately donate substantially to charities. I still own companies and employ quite a few people. We have done well, even in this economy. My companies are either S corps. or LLC, so all taxes on earnings are paid at my personal rate (the highest possible) and contrary to popular belief, the only deductions I get are the Standard Deduction we all get and some for charity.

          You can still achieve the American Dream of succeeding at your chosen profession, but every year, new regulations are piled on top of old regulations that make the climb ever harder. And the pace has accelerated. Soon we will be like Europe, where precious few even attempt it.

          Here are a few of conservative web sites that I review from time to time:
          Heritage Foundation (heritage dot org) and the Cato Institute (cato dot org) and the Media Research Center (mrc dot org). For factual information, nothing beats getting the real data from government and for quick summaries, try Wikipedia.

      • Interesting thoughts considering Romney’s condemnation of President Obama’s alleged plan to destroy MEDICARE and promising to restore the $716B in savings realized by better control of service provider claims. Those savings, and the need to control fraudulent claims, is a step in the right direction.
        Yes, there are a lot of people collecting SSI that should not be eligible to do so. I have no problem with severely handicapped Americans collecting SSI, but I see so much abuse in my little neighborhood on that issue that I can’t help feeling disgusted. I believe SSI eligibility should be subject to a medical panel review rather than a diagnosis from a single doctor.
        MEDICARE service provider claims are outrageous. To their credit, MEDICARE only pays a small portion of what the service providers charge, but since the scam involves claiming the unpaid balance as a loss to avoid paying taxes it remains a fraudulent tactic.
        Social Security is solvent and should remain solvent for years to come by simply raising the contribution cap. MEDICARE is a different matter. Outlays exceed revenues by 17%. Something must be done to bring MEDICARE costs down or the program will eventually go broke. An area to look at is subsidies to pharmaceuticals, and the inability to shop for cheaper RX across state lines.

        • montanabill

          I recently visited a chiropractor well known for his ability to help with sciatica. According to the statement I received from Medicare, the doctor billed $50 for my visit. He spent 10 minutes with me and I had another 20 minutes of machine treatment. Medicare paid $20 and allowed the doctor to charge a $5 copay. So the doctor was paid $25 for my 30 minute visit. I have reviewed the statements on compensation provided to my regular practitioner and while the compensation is slighter higher, the reality is that it is barely enough to allow 3-5 minutes of professional time. Compensation to hospitals is much higher, but it is because they bill for an over abundance of tests, services and get a much higher compensation for medication. It is one reason why many physicians are selling their practices to hospitals.
          Now that Obamacare is kicking in, physicians and practitioners who used to supplement the meager Medicare compensation with higher charges to insurance or cash customers will no longer be able to use insurance to cover for Medicare underpayment. So, we are seeing practices move to cash only leaving us with a two level medical system. Those who can afford to pay cash and get the level of service they want, and those who will increasingly have to rely on over-crowded and rationed service. If a physician cannot move to a cash practice, will not work under hospital management or accept an over-work, under-compensation environment, they will simply move to another profession. They are well enough educated to do it.
          Make no mistake. It is already happening.

          Are there charlatans who scheme to over-bill Medicare? Absolutely.
          Are there charlatans who scheme to over-bill on defense contracts, commerce department contracts, labor department contracts, treasury contracts…in fact, you name the branch of government,…absolutely.

          It appears your solution to all problems is raising the contribution cap or taxes on the wealthy. Well, that is happening because of Obamacare . It is the additional 3.6% tax on high incomes already in place that Obama never talks about when he proposes his 4.5% income tax hike. The result is a nearly 8.1% tax hike on the high earners and small business owners. Sadly, neither will have any noticeable impact.

          • jarheadgene

            Nice…most people I know don’t use Chiropractors at all, because their insurance doesn’t acknowledge Chiropracty as legit. Didn’t know Medicare pays anything for it. Awesome.

          • montanabill

            In most cases I would not go to a chiropractor, but the one I go to has a very long and public, proven record, particularly with sports related problems. Except for an occasional bout with sciatica, I use see regular physician, who now that he takes Medicare, has to be scheduled about 45 days in advance for a 3 minute ‘how are you’. My wife will not put up with that and goes to a cash only physician where her time with the doctor is typically 30 minutes.

    • I keep reading your comments Dom, you sound like someone I like.

  • Lovefacts

    Cantor’s new demand is that Obama Care be put on the table. So much for serious discussions. Same ole, same ole. We can work together to solve this problem, but only if you do everything we demand. God save us, when will the people in these districts vote these clowns out of office?

  • You’ve got this President Obama!!! Stand Your Ground!! As far as the Republicans go, do what’s right for ALL Americans !! We’ve had ENOUGH of your 2% !!! 2014 Elections are right around the corner !!! Be the compromising CONGRESS that you teapartyers said you would be in 2010!!
    “We are going to to what’s best for the Country” – Isn’t that what was said?!?! DO IT !!

  • Mr.President;I wish you would give all of them idiots a bitch slap.

  • 2hheels2

    We are here to support the Democratic party, the Bush tax cuts have never been paid for they continue to add to the deficit. They have added no jobs the message of the Republican party is dead. History is showing that the Republican parties policy have out lived the party. The GOP has lost it’s ever lovin mind and needs to bring sanity back to the party.

    • jarheadgene

      And yet I saw McConnell and two other Senators, just 2 days ago…..whining about “protecting the job creators” and refusal AT ALL cost to raise taxes on 2%.
      The only way to get through to these KNUCKLEHEADS….VOTE them out.
      BYE BYE McCONNELL to you and any uncompromising bastard like you. Look up how much money he has received from big oil…and don’t get me started on Grove Norquist. He is as UNAMERICAN as you can get…..a bribery artist and loudmouth.

  • “House Republicans face voters again in less than a year.????”
    It’s stupid comments like this that give the press a bad (well deserved) name.

  • a80a

    I as a democrat in a red state, I say lets go over the cliff, don,t let the repubicians bluff any longer , let them filibuster for months if they like, in the mean while the voters are watching and preparing for 2014, they just might filibuster them selves out of a job. hang tuff Obama.

  • Keep pushing us Boehner and we’ll vote your uncompromising little a_ _es right out of Congress next term!! Tired of your party sticking up for those that have MORE than enough to live off of. We’re struggling…..Get a clue!!

  • fernturn001

    Bullshit. Plouffe gave the game away on youtube. orange boner no threat- it’s the Prez. He’ll keep giving away the store because that’s what they train you to do at Harvard.

    He’s not spineless- quite the opposite. He’s a Republican. Why else would he hang his hat on Heritage Care as his greatest achievement?

  • ObozoMustGo

    Best Joke of the Year:

    One day in the future, Barack Obama has a heart-attack and dies.

    He immediately goes to hell, where the devil is waiting for him.

    “I don’t know what to do here,” says the devil. “You are on my list, but I have no room for you.

    You definitely have to stay here, so I’ll tell you what I’m going to do. I’ve got a couple of folks here who weren’t quite as bad as you.

    I’ll let one of them go, but you have to take their place. I’ll even let YOU decide who leaves.

    “Obama thought that sounded pretty good, so the devil opened the door to the first room.

    In it was Ted Kennedy and a large pool of water. Ted kept diving in, and surfacing, empty handed. Over, and over, and over he dived in and surfaced with nothing. Such was his fate in hell.

    “No,” Obama said. “I don’t think so. I’m not a good swimmer, and I don’t think I could do that all day long.

    “The devil led him to the door of the next room. In it was Al Gore with a sledge-hammer and a room full of rocks. All he did was swing that hammer, time after time after time.

    “No, this is no good; I’ve got this problem with my shoulder. I would be in constant agony if all I could do was break rocks all day,” commented Obama.

    The devil opened a third door. Through it, Obama saw Bill Clinton, lying on the bed, his arms tied over his head, and his legs restrained in a spread-eagle pose. Bent over him was Monica Lewinsky, doing what she does best.

    Obama looked at this in shock and disbelief, and finally said, “Yeah man, I can handle this.”
    “The devil smiled and said………..(This is priceless…)

    “OK, Monica, you’re free to go.”

    Have a nice day!

    • AdamMos

      Oh, look who crawled out from his rock.

      What is it like to be irrelevent now?

      GOP RIP

  • DavidSFA

    Economic growth is not a zero sum gain. those who produce products and services provide jobs to people who want to be successful. More people working means more tax revenue through payroll taxes. Everyone’s standard of living improves when the economy grows.

  • DavidSFA

    Democrats want to tax Americans so they can spend more. Tax and Spend. No thought about the consequences on our childrens’ future. Obamanomics 2.0. not GOP reluctance to sell out their country is the cause for alarm.


    It started with Bush/Cheney and has continued to this day… a pattern of lies, underhanded maneuvers and deceit. Now that the Repubs have tripped over their bottom lip in the last election- it sems as if they would wake up. But I don’t think that enough will to see the error of their ways. THEY THINK THEY ARE RIGHT, AND EVERYONE ELSE IN THE WORLD IS WRONG! I think that is called instiutional INSANITY…

    • jarheadgene

      Love your post Artie….It goes further back than that. Cheney is a NIXON re-tread. And like a re-treaded tire, they have a tendency to blow apart all at once, just like the GOP is now.

  • republicons!

  • Beyond parking their (frequently ill-gotten) gains in such as the Caymans, “Wall Streeters”, many of whom are ethnically-encumbered anyway, appparently believe that “You CAN take it with you”…

  • elw

    I do not understand how the GOP can be so stupid as to demand something that would be so unpopular with the general public. There is not one person out there who does not have a parent, grandparent or other relative that is dependent on Social Security and Medicare, unless they are very, very rich. They are both programs that people have faithfully paid into for years, not something free. To want to cut benefits, take away medical care for a vulnerable group is just plain political suicide; and to counter it with a adamant refusal to agree to raise taxes on the very rich (which most of them are) is just plain crazy. Look you do not have to have a PhD. to know they have selfish motive connected to their stand. I don’t get it; and I personally would be willing to deal with just letting the Bush tax cut expire if that is the only way we can move forward and start working on our real problems. I honestly do not believe that falling off that fiscal cliff is as bad as it is being spun. We need to raise revenue and cut spending and we need to make decisions based on common sense and our values. Letting one segment of society keep tax breaks that were never meant to be permanent does not make sense, and I for one would not want to see older adults (who were made a promise by the government), the disabled and children without health care or food. But those are my thought and values, perhaps we need to once again define who we are as a Country and what is more important to us, people or things. I just thought the November election did that, I guess the GOP doesn’t. Oh, well, I guess we will have to remind them again in the mid-term election and make sure the President has a Democratic House and Senate the last two years of his Presidency.

  • trell8


  • The GOP will give in.

    • I wish I shared your hope. They already showed in last year’s babyish refusal to pay for the debt already voted for by congress, that they don’t care if the global economy goes down the tubes. They showed that they won’t vote for any sensible clean energy for climate policies, which affects our civilization for the next ten thousand years.

      There is clearly nothing that matters to them, just their own re election.

  • Obama should offer to cut Social Security in this manner- Cut from the program EVERY dollar that adds to the budget deficit . ZERO.

  • S-3

    I don’t care what they do or say: The GOP and any corporation too craven to stand up to them needs to be evicted and silenced from America – for good and for the greater good!

  • I am so G-damned tired of republican crap that harms the American peoples’ chances for prosperity.Just how much more of a gop inspired rip off do we have to see before we line them all up against a wall in front of machine guns?

  • onedonewong

    Raise the tax on the top 2% and where will that money go??? Knowing the dems as the public does 65% say they will use it for new give aways

  • eek4ever

    With an increase in quality of life and life expectancy, should come an increase in the retirement age. Push the retirement age for SS a couple of years, increase the overall labor force, reduce worker hours, tada!

    • ralphkr

      I remember a few decades ago when a number of entities, both public and private, agreed to aid in cutting the unemployment rate by offering early retirement to employees and even sweetening the deal by not only giving them full benefits up to 10 years early but paying them bonuses and thereby opening up positions for current employee promotion and leaving entry level vacancies available to new employees.

      You have bought into the fable that overall life expectancy has increased without considering that it has only increased marginally for the lower middle class and less than 2 years for those who have been struggling to get into middle class earners (in case you missed it, those 2 groups make up the majority of the work force) and these are the people most dependent upon SS. The higher the earning group you consider the more their lifespan has increased with the greatest increase appear in the top 10% on the income graph and those people retire whenever they wish and are not really a factor in the unemployment picture. What is needed is for the bottom 60% of the income group to increase their income, perhaps even up to a survivable wage, since this is the group that is most apt to spend any extra money and that is what drives an economy.

      For some inexplicable reason the Republicans (a supposedly business oriented party) are unable to understand that people can not spend money that they do not have and that any retail establishment that has no customers shall not need to restock their full stock rooms which means that distributors have no business, and then the manufacturers shall have to shut down since the distributors do not need to buy stock, and then we have a deep recession or even a depression.

      Your suggestion that the work force should be forced to take a later retirement (which shall do nothing to increase the overall work force but shall shut out new, younger, prospective employees) and reduce worker hours (which shall increase the number of workers) shall not help the economy because it merely results in more workers sharing the same amount a money. For example, if you are now paying 100 workers 40 hours a week and cut their hours to under 30 hours (which shall save the company by not needing give them health and retirement benefits) you shall now have 134 workers but they shall each be drawing 25% less per week (ignoring the fact that most businesses pay less to new employees than to seasoned employees) so more people shall have jobs but they shall each have less money to spend and most likely shall reduce their income to the point where they shall be on food stamps which means it shall not aid in combating a recession. TaDa! indeed.

  • Ron

    First the Republicans drive us into a ditch… and now they will drive us over a cliff !

  • jarheadgene

    Well, so far they haven’t been as bad as Romania’s Ceausescu ….but further elections are starting to look pretty dim for Mr. McConnell, Mr. Boehner, Mr. Cantor and Mr. RYAN.

  • jarheadgene

    Well….HELL YES…..after all I’m still waiting for my Obamaphone. What do you think I voted for. Not because The GOP is full of Corruption, Scandal, Greed, Bigotry or Misogynists. And not because Romney and Ryan are 100% liars…..I just want a new phone.

  • jarheadgene

    Not a very nice joke…I understand it is just a joke…probably plays well while singing songs around the burning cross campfire. Just before the Scary stories start like the one about President Obama WHIPPING Romney’s A$$ in a general election by well over 100 electoral votes. Yes, even while being extremely outspent and voter suppression being utilized in 13 states. Enough to give any “Hooded” camper nightmares.