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Senate Passes Higher Tax Rates On Rich To Avert ‘Fiscal Cliff’ Crisis

Memo Pad Politics

Senate Passes Higher Tax Rates On Rich To Avert ‘Fiscal Cliff’ Crisis


As the clock struck midnight on January 1, 2013, America technically went over the so-called “fiscal cliff.”

Within hours, the Senate voted 89-8 for a deal negotiated by Vice President Joe Biden that extends the Bush-era tax cuts — which had expired at midnight — on all incomes under $400,000 for single filers and under $450,000 for joint filers, while delaying the sequestration budget cuts for two months until just before America hits the debt limit.

The bill also includes a one-year extension of emergency unemployment insurance, and tax credits that help the poor and green energy development.

The Senate vote puts America out on the “fiscal ledge,” as the House still needs to approve the bill. House Speaker John Boehner is set to meet with his caucus Tuesday at 1 PM EST.

The speaker reportedly feels that he will have a hard time selling the bill. Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-KS), one of the members who helped kill Boehner’s “Plan B” budget proposal, has already said he will oppose the bill.

Despite the fact that Republicans have allowed tax rates on the richest to rise without demanding cuts to Medicare or Social Security — establishing the most progressive tax code in generations — some liberals like Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) are furious that the president is cedeing nearly $200 billion in revenue by raising the threshold of the top tax rate from $250,000, a number he campaigned and won on.

They also believe that the president has allowed Republicans to set up another “hostage situation” in just months.

“Republicans haven’t conceded anything on the debt ceiling,” former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich wrote, “so over the next two months — as the Treasury runs out of tricks to avoid a default — Republicans are likely to do exactly what they did before, which is to hold their votes on raising the debt ceiling hostage to major cuts in programs for the poor and in Medicare and Social Security.”

The president has claimed that he will not let the debt limit be held hostage again, but he hasn’t made it clear if he’d go as far as to invoke the 14th Amendment to avoid a standoff. In a statement Monday, he suggested that more revenue from the richest would have to be part of any deal to reform Medicare. His only leverage to secure a “balanced” deal by March are the defense cuts in the sequestration, which the GOP adamantly opposes — and the popularity of Medicare, which has an approval rating that even the Clintons might envy.


  1. labrown69 January 1, 2013

    “Credit card chat”? Is that a liberal thing? You can’t possibly be broke, you still have checks and credit cards? Earth to National Memo: WE HAVE HIT THE DEBT CEILING! We can not keep borrowing until the service on the debt is higher than our GDP and we are entering an unavoidable period in which $800 TRILLION in gambling markers that are not even good for wiping your a*s with but are called assets for accounting purposes must be cleared from the books of every major bank. I think your “Woo Hoo, happy days are here again” headline is just a tad premature!

    1. Dominick Vila January 1, 2013

      You are right, we should stop borrowing to pay for the things we need and benefit from. We should pay for it, or do without. The debt ceiling was raise 18 times when Reagan was in office, and seven times during the George W. Bush administration. I don’t remember fiscal conservatives voicing concern then, even though much of the borrowing was caused by the need to fund crusades and nation building everywhere but in the USA. Good to see the conservative movement finally woke up after a very, very, long siesta.

      1. spinchange January 1, 2013

        “Reagan proved that deficits don’t matter. We won the mid-term elections, this is our due.” – Vice President Dick Cheney to Treasury Secratry Paul O’Neill who voiced concern over the Bush tax cuts that are now some ten-odd years later, our “Fiscal Cliff”

  2. Dominick Vila January 1, 2013

    We will not fall off the cliff. The Senate reached a compromise, and the House is scheduled to resume negotiations, based on what the Senate agreed upon, at noon today. They will pass the plan drafted by the Senate, perhaps with some minors tweaks, if nothing else because they don’t have an alternative and are too cowardly to say what’s in their minds for fear of losing votes and/or support from their wealthy donors.
    Since today is a Holiday and the markets, financial institutions, and most government departments/agencies are closed none of the scheduled automatic tax increases or spending reductions will take place.
    Our elected officials love drama and are fond of reminding us who has power over our lives. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I plan to remind them who pays their salaries, retirement and all the other benefits they get for their substandard performance in Congress in 2014.

    1. neeceoooo January 1, 2013

      But Dominick, do you think it is a cave?

      1. Dominick Vila January 1, 2013

        Considering the fact that Republicans control the House, compromises such as raising the tax rate increase to those earning over $450K a year was to be expected. At least the “chain CPI” that would have impacted the way Congress calculates the amount of benefit increases for people on Social Security was taken off the table. That would have really upset me. Taking a few dollars from people trying to survive on a $12,000 a year Social Security check in retaliation for Democrats insisting on our highest earners paying 3.6% more in taxes was sickening.
        The compromise reached by the Senate is far from perfect, but it is a step in the right direction. Hopefully things will change after 2014 and real reform in both the tax code, government spending, and public sector investment takes place to strengthen our economy and help us improve our infrastructure so that we can compete effectively against China, India, the EU, Japan, Brazil and other emerging economic superpowers.

        1. TheSkalawag929 January 1, 2013

          The work for the change we are looking for must begin now.
          I hope that the American people are paying attention to current events and taking notes so that when the next election comes we can begin to rectify the damage that is being done across the country by the rudderless fringe driven republican party.

        2. Michael Kollmorgen January 1, 2013

          I don’t see how the average worker in the US can compete against any country where their average wage is 10 times smaller.

          China is the best example of that. And, not only that, they are investing heavily in Robotics, Industrial CNC Machinery which will lower even that cost. They have entire cities there with totally modern technology which puts us to shame.

          As we did with the Marshall Plan in Europe and Japan after the war, we helped build and modernize their infrastructure up and we left ours decline. This is why in most parts of Europe and Asia (I suspect large areas of S. America as well), they now have Optical Cable in nearly every household, while we are still using Copper.

          Optical Cable is only one among many other areas of our infrastructure we need to revamp and renew.

          The United States is not going to be able to play that game of Catch Up, simply because we are not positioned to do it infrastructurally speaking. And, as long as we don’t invest in our infrastructure, we never will.

          Even if we were to out-manufacture these other countries, how many widgets can you produce before there is a glut in the market and prices drop for said widget?

          1. Dominick Vila January 1, 2013

            That is, indeed, a challenge. The best thing we could do is try to figure out why northern European countries and Japan, which have a very high standard of living, pay salaries comparable to ours, and outstanding benefits can compete effectively with China and other countries and we can’t. Here is an item where we do things differently from our economic peers: the cost of healthcare. Most European countries have various forms of government provided healthcare that lessen the burden of expensive benefits on their corporations, a fact that reduce their operating costs by close to 20% and make their products or services competitive. We insist on corporate provided healthcare and, by so doing, we increase the cost of doing business in the USA.

          2. Michael Kollmorgen January 2, 2013

            Most of the Health Care is taken care of by their governments – government-sponsored Heath Care. They have very strict price controls on all aspects of the “industry”.

            They’ve also managed to “weed out” most of the corruption and profiteering that goes on.

            They do this by placing higher income taxes on everyone that can afford to pay it.

            The average person over there don’t mind paying the higher taxes because they know they are covered from birth to grave with the finest medical care and social programs available.

            They don’t have a lot of lawyers running around either looking for a quick lawsuit either. Also, the public does not go around looking for a fast buck by suing their doctors or government entities.

            But, this is not the only thing that they do over there to help their economies out. Heath Care is a very small part of a much larger national agenda to boost their economies and their overall infrastructures.

            Europe’s Highways are unsurpassed. They build them 3 times thicker than we do here, which allows for much stronger roads, which lead to way less repair and maintenance.

            Also, their rail services are some of the finest in the world and also the fastest.

            In favor of a cleaner environment, people over there use rail and mass transit much more than we do over here. They walk and bike a lot more than we do. In short, they do not have a love affair with the cars as we do.

            There is only one redeeming factor with this in regards to our country. Our country is Huge and our cities are all spread out very far apart. We never really adapted Mass Transit in the US as fully as Europe or Asia has. We did have a very good Mass Transit System, inter-city as well as intra-city. But, we’ve dismantled much of this in favor of the Automobile and Semi-Trailer Traffic. At the same time, this also helped the expansion of Suburbia where major corporate businesses are no longer located “downtown” like they used to be. This leads to Urban Decay and Suburban Blight.

            Largely, the only reason Europe is in trouble now is because over the past 20 years or so, they’ve bought into American-Styled Corporate Capitalistic Models, which has nearly bankrupted their economies, as it has almost done to us – basically Trickle Down Economics.

          3. idamag January 2, 2013

            Michael, China uses prison labor and they don’t get paid. How can an American pay a mortgage, buy food, and pay utilities and compete with that?

          4. Michael Kollmorgen January 2, 2013

            Your point is one of the points I failed to mention.

            Thank you for bring this one up.

            But, there is a bit of misinformation about this. Prison labor is used primarily for public works. It is their way of trying to rehabilitate a criminal.

            I don’t believe they use prison labor in a commercial enterprise. Some of the areas of the country was trying to do just that. But, I heard the Central Chinese Government put a complete stop to that just a few years ago.

            However, the wages Chinese are paid in any commercial enterprise would be comparable to us paying our workers what a prisoner would earn being in our prison system. Prison wages in most prisons are roughly around $1.50 an hour, sometimes more if they are working in one of the various “Prison Industries”.

        3. neeceoooo January 2, 2013

          You are so right, we can take what we are given and run with it. I was hoping that the taxes on the yearly wage were lower than 450000. but it is better than nothing. Again, thanks again for all your wonderful words of advice and the positive attitude.

      2. Dominick Vila January 1, 2013

        BTW, one of the most important aspects of the Senate compromise was the delay in implementation of the 27% reduction in payments to physicians that accept MEDICARE patients. That move, introduced by Republicans as a condition to raise the debt ceiling over a year ago, was designed to starve MEDICARE by encouraging physicians to treat MEDICARE patients.
        There is no question that there is fraud and waste in the system, and the $716B in MEDICARE savings achieved by introducing better control over service provider claims attest to that. The 27% cut was introduced for the specific purpose of destroying MEDICARE, a long term Republican goal pursued, not because that program is not helping seniors, but because of ideological considerations.

        1. manfred January 1, 2013

          That republican proposed voucher system would most likely spawn another black market or a voucher market. They sure like programs prone to scams.

      3. elw January 1, 2013

        My opinion (not that you asked) is no, it is a compromise. We are never suppose to get everything we want; in this case we got the biggest share of our wishes.

    2. Annemb January 1, 2013

      Your entire post is great. I especially like your last paragraph which summarizes Congress in a nutshell. I also agree that we all need to be involved — big time!

      Happy New Year and thanks for your words of truth.

    3. old_blu January 1, 2013

      You are right Dominick I think they don’t dare to change too much on it cuz they will make a lot of voters mad if they do, so they are kinda damned if they do, and damned if they don’t.

      I can tell them right now in 2014 don’t bother sending me any champaign junk mail from the Republicans, it will just be a waste of money.

      1. Dominick Vila January 1, 2013

        Happy New Year to you and to all the posters on The National Memo. Special greetings to the editors, whose interesting and provocative articles provide us with unbiased insight into issues important to us all.

      2. David Brown January 1, 2013

        Actually I like it when they send me their junk mail. I have more for the recycler and if it wastes their money, I’m fine with that. Let the losers think they are making a difference. Delusion is their stock in trade. Why deprive them of it? LOL

      3. Dominick Vila January 1, 2013

        I could not believe Rep. Issa when he accused President Obama of being a big spender because the bill passed by the Senate extends unemployment benefits to people who have not been able to find a job, and includes appropriations to help victims of hurricane Sandy. All of this while complaining about the injustice of making multi-millionaires pay and extra 3.6% in taxes. These guys are sick!
        I agree that spending reductions are necessary, but we are not going to come up with spending cuts that do not impact the economy and criticial services in a couple hours after neglecting the issue for a year. The fact that the spending reduction part is being delayed two months is a disappointment, but considering the circumstances it is probably the best we can hope for.
        Hopefully the House will act like mature elected officials. Otherwise, we are going to get stuck with higher taxes and the impact on our credibility is not going to be pretty. The markets will plummet tomorrow, our credit rating may take another hit, consumer confidence will be severely impacted and there is a good chance our economy will go into recession again.
        To make matters worse, a new Congress will be in place in two days, which means that if there is no agreement before then everything will go back to square one.

        1. old_blu January 1, 2013

          You are absolutely right these jack asses are going to let our credit rateing go in the toilet more than they have already, I know we are going to need some cuts but for hell sakes lets get this done first and then work on those, there are a lot of people depending on the fact that these people can do their job, and who knows how long it will take the new Congress to get anything done. They have been sitting on their hands for a year, and they still aren’t getting anything done. And you know they are going to hold us hostage on the debt ceiling too. 2014 can’t come soon enough for me.

          I still think they should have to pay back anything they have been paid for the last year.

          1. Dominick Vila January 1, 2013

            They were too busy making sure President Obama was a one-term president and neglected to do the job they were elected to do. Fern is right, these morons are more dangerous than the Taliban.

      4. joeham1 January 2, 2013

        So..For over 2 year the president has said we need a balanced approach. The deal that was made includes 100’s of Billions in tax increases and also includes up to 4 trillion in added deficit spending.

        How can anyone so stupid like you old blu make the comment you just made? I firmly believe morons like you and the extreme left will succeed in detroying our country!

        Until people like you look at things from both sides our country will be finished soon!

        Why doesn’t the deficit matter to you? Why does the horrible record of Obama get a pass with you? Why do you accept that Obamacare has and will increase the cost of healthcare and decrease the quality?

        1. old_blu January 2, 2013

          Did you just call me names cuz you don’t agree with me, and then ask me some questions?


          1. joeham1 January 2, 2013

            Did you just ask me a question and not answer my questions?

        2. idamag January 2, 2013

          Before you call someone stupid you should make sure you are not even more unlearned. You need to study real websites.

          1. joeham1 January 2, 2013

            Not even more unlearned? What are you talking about? Did you read what I said? Can you talk about that?

    4. Jose T January 1, 2013


    5. mah101 January 1, 2013

      We must rely on the Republicans in the House using the fiscal cliff as cover to demonstrate that they “reduced” taxes after Obama raised them. It’s a sham, and I, for one, don’t plan on letting them get away with it in 2014 or 2016. Nonetheless, I hope that they feel that they can dodge the Norquistian wrath long enough to pass the bill.

      1. Dominick Vila January 1, 2013

        They will probably try to do that, but like all the claims they made during the recent campaign, most people are able to think and reach rational conclusions. Most importantly, most of us believed raising the taxes of families earning over $250K was the right thing to do. The compromise on this specific issue is better than nothing, but it will not have a major impact on deficit reduction.

    6. labrown69 January 1, 2013

      Excuse me Dominick, we have ALREADY gone over the fiscal cliff AND hit the debt ceiling as well.

      Geithner says the government will take a series of accounting measures to avoid defaulting on its debt. On Monday, it suspended the issuance of new debt for two government retirement funds.

      You are typical of the brain dead far left types who PRESUME that anyone who advocates fiscal responsibility is “a conservative”. I voted for Obama, I am pro-choice and I support same sex marriage HOWEVER you have demonstrated your far left colors by expressing the sentiment that it’s OK to bankrupt the nation as long as we blame it on previous administrations. The fact that one may be paranoid does not mean there is nothing to be afraid of and no matter who created our fiscal nightmare, it is up to the current administration to deal with it in a responsible manner.

      I have advocated going over the so called “fiscal cliff”as the only way in which we are going to get military cuts but we are about to clear $800 trillion in gambling markers from the books of banks that Larry Summers advocated breaking up 4 years ago. You are not going to be able to whine about Bush and Clinton forever. These Chickens are coming home to roost soon and it is our job to deal with them, not to pretend they don’t exist and assign blame as if that is a strategy. It is time to ask government to make real spending cuts, not just in our insane military budget but to their own retirement plans and every other aspect of government waste.

      I have some bad news for ya Dominick – Bill Clinton signed Phil Gramm’s deregulation legislation in 99 and then signed the deregulation of derivatives and default swaps in 2000 and that is a big part of why we are in a hole so deep we may never be able to climb out without some version of bankruptcy. As long as fools like you believe the solution is blame the other guy we are screwed!

      1. mah101 January 1, 2013

        labrown, I don’t see anyone here trying to avoid real solutions by “blaming” others. What I do see, thankfully, is an attempt to understand the origins and fundamental basis of the mess we’re in, an attempt to understand its foundations and causes, and to act on the basis of reality rather than hyperbole and ideology.

        We will get better solutions by understanding that the origins or our financial situation – while complex – proximally stem from fighting two undfunded wars, unfunded Medicare Part D, and deregulation. If we act on the other oft-stated and ideologically-based cause – Obama is spending us into oblivion – then our solutions are likely to rather poorly address the real problem.

        There is a difference between “blame” and “understanding”

        1. labrown69 January 1, 2013

          I have never said “Obama is spending us into oblivion” and while some of the bailouts were of questionable wisdom, we were in uncharted waters and Obama walked into a snake pit such as no other president in modern times has inherited. I understand this but this is much bigger than Bush tax cuts and/or unfunded wars.

          Obama has allowed the banks to run rough shod over the American public for 4 years, his Justice Dept settlement with the states is a disgrace. The fact that this administration allowed banks who violated TILA , blackballed appraisers who would not falsify data and forged documents (they call in robo-signing but we already have a word for that and it’s called forgery) in order to steal millions of homes they had no claim to under existing law from Americans, even allowing one guy to do a year in prison for exaggerating on a home loan application while letting Angelo Mozilo and others like him off the hook is a travesty and it is indicative of his entire posture toward finance.

          Our banks have plundered and destroyed the entire world’s economy and this administration appears to have no motivation to repatriate roughly $8 trillion bucks that was stolen from the American economy.

          Now that we have eliminated the social threat of a Romney presidency bringing all the fruit cakes that populate the GOP with it, it is time to get real about our own representation because it is grossly inadequate. As the brilliant Dylan Radigan said, “I don’t want to choose between Republicans who want to burn the place to the ground and Democrats who want to kick the can down the road for 4 more years”.

      2. Rvn_sgt6768 January 1, 2013

        Yo are an idiot period. You will never convince me you either are pro-choice or that you voted for President Obama. Not with the rest of what you have written here and your attack on Dominic. You are a T-bagger through and through. You litany exposes you.If you would check the record you would see Government spending have decreased all 4 years of the Obama first term Presidency sliding from $1.8+ trillion to just over $1.2 trillion currently. We have 600,000+ less Federal workers which has for the first time ever slowed or stopped a recessions recovery. We have always increased Federal spending in all previous recoveries which ended them sooner. You think we can cut our way to recovery and that simply is not true. Just ask Greece and many of the other EU nations as they now have 20+% unemployment thanks to their austerity programs. You blame Clinton for signing deregulation which is true in that he did sign such legislation but he did not create the derivatives nor did he create the default swaps used to crash our economy. The banking system did and they will continue to keep us (US) on the edge of another crash as long as they are able to convince the GOP that regulations are the problem not that they like to gamble with our lives. You think incorrectly that we can spend the same amount of dollars to service a country of 312 million as we did in 1980 with 264 million. It is not possible and that does not even take into account the inflation of that cost in those years but simply the number of people. You are in favor of just cutting or eliminating those programs which is the reason government exists. Your party (the GOP) has been trying to cut or eliminate them ever since they came into being and for SS that is over 100 years now. Real answers to our problems do not stop at just assigning blame but addressing real solutions to real problems. The deficit is not a real problem but a manufactured one by T-baggers. Most of the debit we owe to OURSELVES by the borrowing of funds from SS which has a $2.4 Trillion surplus and is solvent for the next 12 years with NO changes. Why are we even looking to make changes in it now? So we can, like the Post Office, make it impossible to exist in the future thus finally accomplishing what the GOP has tried to do for 100 years. Everything you advocate for Medicare and Medicaid and all other helpful programs to millions of Americans are fair game for the “solutions” you propose.

        1. labrown69 January 1, 2013

          Yes, of course, anyone who does not march in lockstep with the extreme left couldn’t possibly have supported this president, be the pro-choice father of two daughters or support my LGBT brothers and sisters in their quest for marriage equality however the fact that you believe that, demonstrates precisely who you are.

      3. latebloomingrandma January 1, 2013

        Disagree with Dominic on substance as you wish, but by calling him “typical of the far left brain dead types”—Huh??? Your post just lost a good bit of credibility, by labelling the most persuasive and reasoned poster on this site as brain dead. Sheesh! If you got something to say, keep it real, dude.

        1. labrown69 January 1, 2013

          When he says “we will not fall of the cliff” I don’t know exactly how to respond because we fell off at midnight. Happy New Year. I find this site to be off the charts to the left and it is not just typical but stereotypical of those who post here to call me a “tea bagger” and refuse to believe that I take other libertarian positions on social issues if I suggest that the opposition might have even the slightest bit of credence to their arguments. The entire mind set of being 100% right or 100% wrong is one held by the far left and the far right and neither are correct. The notion that there really is no problem and that the debt crisis is a figment of some tea baggers imagination is insanity. I am liberal but I am not married to any particular ideology. I support going back to the original idea of returning to Clinton era tax rates for those earning more than 250K, not 400K and the notion of Republicans defending the rich and the military is absurd but that does not mean we don’t also need to cut spending somewhere and I see that over and over again on this most partisan of far left sites.

          1. Dominick Vila January 3, 2013

            January 1st was a Holiday. Our markets, financial institutions and most government departments and agencies were closed. Even though we, technically, fell off the cliff in practical terms there was no damage done other than to our credibility.

          2. labrown69 January 3, 2013

            “Only our credibility”? Well why didn’t ya tell me? When you’re the United States of America, who needs “credibility”?

            When I speak, I try and avoid hyperbole and speak to facts and “fact” is they did not avoid the so called “fiscal cliff”, a description of a “deadline” to avoid “sequestration” that was not met whether it was a holiday or not. They had months which were not “a holiday” in which to negotiate previous to the weekend, so to suggest “oh, that doesn’t count because ‘it was a holiday’ is childish.

            I personally saw the “sequestration” as the only way they were going to get cuts to the military budget, so the fact that government did not accommodate the deadline is at worst, a mixed blessing but my initial comment was factual, to say that “we will not fall off the cliff” after we already have, is fanciful and to say “no damage was done other than to our credibility” when we are facing another credit downgrade and we the richest and most powerful country in the world, is slightly disingenuous and downright confused. How can you battle the bad guys if your own side is not honest?

            “Other than that Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play”?

    7. manfred January 1, 2013

      you sure hit it on the nail. Reminding them won’t do much good since it is the money from their lobbyists that does the talking! The only way is to defy them and vote them out permanently, signed Norquist pledges and all! One of the victims here is the IRA. If you have the money in a traditional account you still pay the higher tax, and with a Roth you are still limited by the cap. Have a great year!

    8. dalnb January 1, 2013

      We need to change – “are fond of reminding us who has power over our lives” in the minds of elected officials. We need to make it very clear to them that if they fail to do their job and they fail to live up to the promises they made to us when they were elected they will be removed from office: not at the next election but NOW – AND – they should not be able to collect their $61,000. a year retirement when they only serve 16 months in office.

    9. onedonewong January 1, 2013

      No alternative?? the House passed bills have been languishing in the Senate for 6 months as old Harry refuses to bring them up for a vote

  3. MrStoneheep January 1, 2013

    Amen, labrown. Where’s the cuts in spending?

    1. Lynda January 1, 2013

      The deal was not about spending cuts. It was designed to settle the tax debate on the wealthy. The cuts in spending is forthcoming due to the two month delay in the auto cuts. We can be sure that nothing will get done until the last day of that period as well.

      1. MrStoneheep January 1, 2013

        I’m warmed by your certainty of spending cuts “coming”. Recent past history
        demonstrates otherwise. FWIW: to YOU, maybe it was only about taxing the wealthy, but to many it should have been about both. Sadly, I agree it will be the very end.

  4. spinchange January 1, 2013

    I left an apologetic comment on this site yesterday that I now regret, entirely for this reason:

    “Taxes will go up on middle-class Americans in 2013 regardless, as there is no extension of the payroll tax cuts from 2010 and 2011 in the deal.”

    If one subscribes to the Keynesian view of economics, as Democrats claim to, this is just totally defies reasoning. That Obama and the party won the election, yet didn’t protect the working class/working poor -OR- hold fast to what they campaigned on RE: the 250K line in the sand is really, really dumb and shows ZERO leadership.

    I was very hopeful and willing to see them concede much on the precondition that they were going to protect people who are already paycheck-to-paycheck. They didn’t. Watching them pat themselves on the back for this deal makes me embarrassed, sick and just disillusioned with whole system.

    Jonathan Chait was right right. He and his party are “tight-weak.” You can’t “lead from behind” as the President of the United States of America.

    1. charleo1 January 1, 2013

      You are aware, that if there is no deal to be had, the poor, and Middle Class will be hurt?
      Much more than the wealthy. Perhaps you and Mr. Chait would be happier if Mitt Romney
      was leading the charge to end unemployment benefits, child care credits, or nutrition
      programs, like school lunches for poor kids? While capital gain, estate, and corporation
      taxes were slashed to the bone? There are far too many within the Congressional House
      now, that would never support a bill that avoids sequester, without all of cuts to the safety
      net I just mentioned, and more. With the $250,000 number, there could not possibly be
      enough Republican support to get anything passed. The fact is, President Obama already
      has received plenty of unprincipled sanctimonious, demagoguery from the Right about leading from behind. He hardly needs his own Party starting to parrot the T-Party ideologues.

      1. spinchange January 1, 2013

        The poor and working class are still going to get hurt. Most of what we secured is temporary and most everything we gave away is permanent. And no, I would just be happy if my President, our President, whom I happen to like and normally feel proud of and want to continue be proud of in the future, would stand-up and LEAD.

        He won the election! Democrats won more seats in both houses!

        Why, please tell me, why, are we negotiating from a position of complete weakness and capitulating on lines in the sand? Why did he casually mention to David Gregory on Meet the Press that he was open to Chained CPI just not his party? Where was Reid’s plan B? Why was the administration sending emissaries at the 11th hour and not personally whipping it’s own and cajoling and trading favors with the opposition? I’ll tell you why, The President doesn’t really do retail politics or use the power of his office like others before him. He’s above the fray. He “leads from behind.” If we continue to blame a couple of knuckle-heads in safe Republican districts that don’t represent any of our national interests at all, we are all totally screwed. You don’t give in to bullies when the nation and country has just shown it is behind you. As it is, we’ve technically gone over the cliff anyway just with bad deal that weakens our hand later.

  5. nobsartist January 1, 2013

    Another “half assed” deal. Just like our failed “affordable health care” plan will turn out to be.

    By the way, when are we going to allow medicare to negotiate prescription prices? Or are we just going to ignore that bush created problem also?

    The more I see washington in action, the more I see both party’s being the same.

    Soulless, clueless.

    1. Rvn_sgt6768 January 1, 2013

      Old GOP trick is to come back the next year and start “defunding” any advances in entitlements passed by any Democrat. They put new restrictions in or add things that eventually make the law basically unworkable:example is what they did to the Post Office in 2006 with their “pre-funding” for 75 year rule. What gets bandied about now is this same 75 year phrase in relation to SS. Listen to Congress talking about needing to made changes now so it will be “solvent” for the next 75 years. See what these changes actually will do to the program in the next so many years.

  6. CRAIG H January 1, 2013

    I thought the law said this type of legislation had to originate in the House.

    1. charleo1 January 1, 2013

      Obviously, the Founders did not envision the election of people who care more about
      purity, and power leveraged through threat, than they care for the Country, or democracy itself. Think about this. Given the behavior of the T-Party since they came to power in
      201o, how ii is, any of them are left in government to rampage on for another two years?

    2. Lynda January 1, 2013

      It does have to come from the house, but this is just a procedural process that actually has been done before. They just copy of the paperwork from the Senate, issue a HR number to it and vote. Simple if they have the sense to do so.

  7. FiftysRN January 1, 2013

    If I understand the pay roll tax, it is what funds Social Security! I was so disappointed and angered when the employers were allowed to stop contributing because to me, that was a way to starve Social Security so that it could run out sooner or considered to be less healthy and possibly “need” to be handed over to Wall Street to increase the totals in the stock market. Yeah right! It was no different than the 401K employee benefit employers used to match that was the employee’s retirement fund. The principle was the same. That tax cut in a way compromises our retirement fund! I am glad that the pay roll tax cut was not extended, but give them time. Before this is over, I fear we will see Medicare and Social Security ( which are NOT Social programs since the money for them, came from my pay checks separate from the Fed tax) compromised in some way. Whoever touches it in any way other than opening up Medicare to all Americans, needs to lose their jobs in 2014.

    1. spinchange January 1, 2013

      Employers were never allowed to stop contributing. It works like this: the employer pays in 6.2% and historically the employee has matched that for a total of 12.4% This is on a wage base that goes up a little every year but is capped at about $112,000.

      For the last couple of years, employees -the workers- have had their share lowered to 4.2%. (to stimulate the economy, let people who don’t make that much keep a little bit more of their paycheck). The employer’s share was never reduced!

      There are lots and lots of ways to pay for and restructure social security and medicare (medicare, btw is only 1.45% from both employer and employee is a more expensive program long-term) One very simple way would be to raise or do away with the “cap” on the 112,000 wage base.

      The important thing to remember is that even though these programs are separate “line items” on our payroll deductions, it all goes to the same general treasury fund and congress spends the money that way.

      There is no “trust fund” — it’s an accounting trick. I agree these programs need to be shored-up and structurally reformed, but right now? Would it have really killed democrats to extend the “holiday” for the working poor while the economy is still weak? I don’t think so. It’s a matter of priorities. Raising this rate brings in more cash than even the big bad sequestration cuts. I don’t know about you, but I care more about our take home pay and how that effects the economy than some defense budget crap, protecting the estate tax (no “family farms” have ever been lost to this) and other line items and junk most of us don’t have a clue about or are really effected by.

      1. Mary Martinez January 1, 2013

        Thank you for explaining, I was about to. Really sucks, that this was cut was made. Especially when the cost of living is soooo low.

    2. MrStoneheep January 1, 2013

      The employers never were allowed to stop their “contribution” of 6.2% of the gross paqyroll right up to the exemption cutoff, which I believe was $112,000.00 in 2012. The only “forgiveness” was to the employees, and even this made little sense, other than seeking votes, with the FDIC in it’s present state.

      1. spinchange January 1, 2013

        If you believe that more money in the hands of every wage earner in the US is a good thing for our economy, it makes complete sense.

        Conflating the FDIC (bank deposit insurance – which is set to go back down, btw) with FICA withholding/Entitlement programs isn’t helpful.

      2. Doctor T January 1, 2013

        I am thinking that employers consider the amounts they “contribute” on behalf of their employees for taxes when they establish their salary schedules. Something tells me they can call a duck “a duck” but it walks like a chicken. Same goes for “matching contributions” to retirement. They want you to “think” they are giving you a benefit, but it is all to be considered in the bottom line.

        Happy New Year!

        1. idamag January 2, 2013

          The SS payroll tax, to the employer, is not an added burden. He considers it part of our wages.

    3. Rvn_sgt6768 January 1, 2013

      Exactly. We need to not only return to the 6.2% but to not cap that rate at any amount of earned income. We need to eliminate how we divide income into earned and un-earned. Income is income period and should be subject to the same rates and rules. To give a rich person a special low rate that does nothing except make them richer makes no sense whatsoever. Neither does where you park your money whether here in the US or in some overseas back. You LIVE here bottom line, end of story.

  8. Michael Mitchell January 1, 2013

    Tit for tat this for that will go on forever and It bodes ill for the elderly, disabled, and underpaid poor.

  9. Coloradobookie January 1, 2013

    Once again the “news” media’s fear mongering of the fiscal cliff has Americans panicking. Didn’t we vote in these law makers to promote the people’s adgenda? The American people spoke loud and clear.We voted for Pres. Obama. That means we voted for his adgenda. Boehner needs to fall in step and follow what the people of America want, not just his fractured GOP minorities are asking for.

  10. bstockinger January 1, 2013

    Don’t feel like much was accomplished with this. We still have to deal with the debt ceiling, how do pay for future federal debt, reform the tax system, fix the economy so all of us have an equal chance to participate, and fix the education system so all of our children and grandchildren can compete in the future.

    1. idamag January 2, 2013

      bst, you want your children and grandchildren to have a democracy to grow up in.

  11. Linda Nordlund January 1, 2013

    How dare any of them get a raise. Quit cutting into our programs and take away from your own perks

    1. Lynda January 1, 2013

      Their $900 dollar a year raise has been cancelled. It is part of the so-called deal.

  12. mah101 January 1, 2013

    Quote: “But for now, if the House GOP doesn’t get in the way, any self-inflicted economic damage has been delayed.”

    We’re doomed

  13. Johnny Thomas January 1, 2013

    The GOP screwed us try again that won’t help enough to make a difference at all .If don’t form a club and hire our own lawyers to keep up and stand up to the GOP they will continue to ruin this country even more and make it for the rich and famous and we will be digging ditches to eat at a low minimum wage the same as other countries do ..

  14. Jose T January 1, 2013


    We owe a great deal of gratitute to Former President George W. Bush, Vice President
    “Dick” Cheney and Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld–Thank you-Thank you!

    1. MrStoneheep January 1, 2013

      MMMmm…. When does it become OUR economy and our budget, which we have not seen for how many years now? How about we stop looking for causes and start looking for cures, like maybe both, increase taxes AND cutting spending? Forget “who”, there’s plenty of blame for all, Dems OR Repubs. Let’s start to look for the cure and forget the cause. Folks, the horse left the barn, so what’s the great importance TODAY of ‘who’ being more important than finding the cure? Can we not do both?
      And if we’re true Democrats and think so much of Bill Clinton, tell me what is wrong if the entire populace goes back to HIS tax tables. As I recall, we did OK during those times, we did, however begin the creation of the housing problems then. So wha?.That’s in the past, and yes, we have the history to learn from so as to not repeat, but aren’t we doing the same thing again by not returning to ALL of the Clinton era taxation? Tax the wealty, but tax ALL that are earning income and cut some of the outlandish spending, starting with the military.

  15. Anna Drake January 1, 2013

    Happy New Year to you Dominick – as always you put it the best. As the 2014 approaches in 12 months we will have a better picture of what is a head. I still feel that Biden/Obama sold us out on certain things and will continue to do so. In 2 months Repukes will hold the entire world a hostage as world economy depends on our dollar strengh. If each country decides to trade in their own currency WE ARE FINISHED. As long as a US Dollar is a trading tool and strong and we get our sh t together we might be back to our good old days – even Clinton’s early years. LOL Just don’t forget – McConnel and Repukes one goal was to deny Obama second term now that this did not work they PURE agenda is to deny him to full fill his campaign promises and will do anything, even engage Biden to do their bidding and it worked. Watch more promises will be broken and finally SS and Medicare , Obamacare and all the credits that temporarily extended will be on the chopping block in 2 mos and Bonehead and others will be whistling again while weak spine Demorats will be again tricked. Going over the so called cliff would not affect the poor that much about 20 bucks a week if you make 45K. That’s 4 packs of cigarettes to give up. It would be worth it.
    Now we will be back to square one in 2 months. What a deal.LOL
    I guess the pushed for the 400K because it would affect their paycheck – they earn less than that, so it was hitting their pockets more than yours. Do your math and see how much 2% difference is your paycheck vs their paycheck. With all the deductions and credits they will still pay less than you. They all RICH, richer than you and they will not bite their nose to spite the face – People do that to themselves by voting the useless and liars into office and buying their BS – both Parties. They all self serve on our dime. We need TERM LIMITS -6 yrs and UR OUT not a life time career. Some are so old that they can’t even talk or think. It become a nursing home for some on our dime.

    1. idamag January 2, 2013

      Anna, we do need term limits. that way special interests have less time to own our legislator. The drawback, is that in this state, we might end up with tea party. Although, our elected officials fall in line when the godfather speaks.

  16. robert January 1, 2013

    Like the old saying goes, “Something is better than nothing. If you have no money and is given a penny, you’re a penny richer than you were the moment before.” The Republican/Tea Bags went to the presipice to save the 1% they represent, but threw those beneath them under the bus. Granted, we will all pay taxes, and its expected due to the shape our country is in, but to continue the tax breaks for the 1% as if they are above contributing to their own nation is repugnant to everything America stands for. They should want to automatically contribute to the economic strength of their country the way the rest of us are contributing with our sweat and blood, but for them to continually resist or evade contributing to their country is criminal in so many ways. As a people, we should stop glorifying and upholding them as though they are special and stop trying to emulate them. Wealth is nothing in comparison to peace of mind. Remember: it would be easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to see the kingdom of heaven. Why did Christ say that? He meant that for one to stay wealthy, he has to practice deceit, corruption, and even murder to protect his riches to stay wealthy. King Midas passed away on a mountain of gold and was weighed down in regret, fear, and greed and was entrapped in a spiritual hell that he died in. Nobody envy them for the wealth that they have created, inherited, or stolen, but when pressed to contribute for the good of America, they ask “Am I my brother’s keeper?” we should all respond “Yes you are your brother’s keeper!”

    1. Mary Martinez January 1, 2013

      Spoken like a true, Christian, Thank God.

    2. rabrock46 January 1, 2013

      This is a wonderfully expressed, truly thoughtful observation, Robert. Thank you for sharing this thought provoking, meaningful post with all of us.

    3. Michael Kollmorgen January 2, 2013

      This is what Christianity is supposed to stand for.


  17. clarenceswinney January 1, 2013

    Bless Hil
    As of today, 18 former admirals, generals, and senior defense officials are supporting Hillary. In a conference call with reporters on March 2, 2008, Brigadier General John Watkins, Jr, stated:
    “As I think about the challenges facing the nation and having been in uniform for almost thirty years, worked with a number of presidents to include the last four, I can’t think of a single person – those generals included – who is better qualified to walk into the Oval Office than Hillary Clinton.
    “I don’t make that statement very lightly. She is more qualified, in my view, than her husband Bill was when he entered the office.”
    General Wesley Clark said, “She has done her homework on national security and I know from my personal discussions with her and with many other friends that go in and brief her in her role in the Senate Armed Services Committee.”
    “She knows the facts, she knows the details, plus she has the big picture,” he stated. “She is a strategic thinker but she has the building blocks of the strategy in her personal knowledge.”
    “In this world that we face today,” says Admiral William Owens, “experience will be really at a premium, especially at the level of the Commander-in-Chief.” He explained that:
    “There’s not time to learn. The phone rings and you have to be ready. You have to ready with intuition, with experience and with skills.”
    He pointed out that, “this world will have the complexities that perhaps we’ve never before seen,” and “we need people with great judgment.”
    Admiral Owens says he thinks Hillary “brings the best of talent, intuition and experience to handle these unknown threats in the future.”
    According to Lieutenant General Frederick Vollrath, “we absolutely have to have a leader with the proven experience.”
    “America, in the area of national defense, must be successful and Senator Clinton has that experience to create change, to understand the risk, and to get the job done,” he said.
    On a personal note, Major General Paul Eaton said, “I have a Special Forces Captain son and a Sergeant Paratrooper both in Afghanistan and I find Senator Clinton the perfect choice to be their Commander-in-Chief and to display the loyalty to command our armed forces and to rebuild them after the conflicts in which we are engaged right now.”
    Lieutenant General Claudia Kennnedy stated: “I think she’ll rebuild relationships with other countries that have been suffering for the last seven or eight years; those relationships have really been strained beyond anything I would have anticipated.”
    The above testimonials provide enough evidence of her qualifications on military matters for this untrained military mind. Hillary, along with her top foreign policy advisor, former President Bill Clinton, offer the best hope for getting our soldiers out of the killing fields in Iraq in the shortest amount of time possible.
    The former President is admired all over the world. He is a natural-born diplomat and we also need him to help repair the damage done to our relationships with world leaders.
    As far as the economy, the country was in dire straights when the first President Clinton took office after the first Bush left and the economy was in great shape when the second Bush stepped in
    Hillary’s experience gained during the first Clinton Administration is verifiable. The country went from a deficit of $290 billion in 1992, to an expected surplus of more than $250 billion for 2001. Eight years earlier, the Congressional Budget Office had projected a $513 billion deficit in 2001. In 2000, the surplus was the largest in US history at over $200 billion.
    Economic growth averaged 4% per year, compared to an average 2.8% during the Reagan-Bush presidencies. Inflation was the lowest since the 1960s, averaging 2.5%.
    More than 20 million jobs were created and American workers saw double-digit earning growth, and the bottom 20% had the largest increase at more than 16%. Unemployment dropped to the lowest level in 30 years, from close to 7% in 1993, to 4% in November 2000. The country’s poverty rates were the lowest in 30 years.
    The homeownership rate topped 67% in the third quarter of 2000, the highest rate on record.
    With all that said, on February 4, 2008, USA Today warned that the “next president will inherit a deficit of about $400 billion, and maybe more,” which means the second Clinton Administration will take office faced the same financial disaster as the first time around.
    In fact, the country is now worse off then when the first Bush left. According to Department of Labor Statistics released on January 16, 2008, real weekly earnings increased only 0.9 percent nationally in 2007, but food purchased at the grocery store was 4.2% higher than in 2006. This increase was the highest percentage year-over-year increase since 1990. The price of bread rose 7.4%, eggs 29.2%, and milk increased 13.1%.
    The data shows college tuition and expenses increased by 6.2% in 2007, the cost of attending a technical or trade school was up 4%, and the fees for child care and nursery school increased 4.3%.
    Health insurance costs rose 10.1% in 2007, medical care increased 5.8%, and the price of medical-care services rose 5.3%. In August 2007, the US Census Bureau reported that the number of Americans without health insurance rose to 15.8% of the population in 2006, or 47 million people.
    On December 30, 2007, a report by Sam Zuckerman in the San Francisco Chronicle called 2007, “the year that the greatest housing boom of the post-war era turned into the greatest housing bust,” and explained:
    “It started with a rising tide of foreclosures among subprime borrowers – those who took out loans with loose documentation requirements or little money down. By the summer, losses among subprime lenders spread to big banks around the world that had invested in securities based on subprime mortgages.”
    “The result was one of the most severe lending lockdowns of recent decades,” according to the report in the Chronicle. “Banks stopped making loans, and when they resumed, they tightened requirements and jacked up rates for all kinds of customers, including other banks.”
    “As credit dried up,” Mr Zuckerman notes, “home price stopped rising and then lurched downward, while the number of sales plummeted.”
    When introducing former President Clinton for a campaign speech supporting his wife, at a Kirtland, Ohio high school, on March 1, 2008, Ohio’s Lt Governor Lee Fisher, summed up the best reason for sending Hillary to the White House in the following concise statement quoted in the Toledo Blade:
    “Bill and Hillary Clinton for eight years set this nation on a new course and we have now the best chance we have since then, not only to take that course and set it right again, but to take it to new heights.”

    1. jstsyn January 1, 2013

      Bravo. Thank you for your post.

  18. elw January 1, 2013

    I was not that worried about going over the cliff, but think the bill past in the Senate was a win for both sides. I wish I had the confidence that the House will pass it with little change as Dominick Vila does (one of my favorite posters), but I do agree the bill has put the House Republicans in very uncomfortable political place.

    I cannot believe it is 2013 already, wish you all a happy New Year, especially our President who has managed to come out of another one of the Republican traps a winner.

  19. TheOldNorthChurch January 1, 2013

    We have already fallen. This is a good example of the intelligence of our elected officials, they think you can fall off a cliff when you are in the bottom of the canyon.

    Do the Math.

    If the House passes this stupid bill from the Senate we will have $650 Billion in Tax increases from this bill, $1,000 Billion in Tax Increase from the Affordable Care Act, and $150 Billion in spending cuts. A net increase of $1,500 Billion taken out of the Economy. Add to this the inflation caused by QE1, QE2, QE3, TARP, and Stimulus and who loses again? The American Citizen.

    When Interest Rates increase on the National Debt from the current 1.9% to 4%, then we are in big time trouble. The only solution is to cut Federal Government spending back down to 18.5% of GDP as occurred in the last few years of the Clinton ERA. Run Surplus Budgets and pay down the National Debt not increase it.

  20. Jerpell January 1, 2013

    The media created the mythical “Fiscal Cliff” just as they spout about “Global Warming” …all nonsense!

    1. Mary Martinez January 1, 2013

      If there is no global warming, then why do our sun an moon have a brown circle. surrounding them?

  21. docb January 1, 2013

    That was an attempt to OFFSET the Revenue LOSS from $250,000 to $400,000…

    Watch the Asian Markets that open in about 8 hours! It is the PERCEPTION!

  22. Mary Martinez January 1, 2013

    Looks like the republicans are getting a very sweet deal. This sucks, this will heart the small business’. Again the middle class goes home short.

  23. workerperson January 1, 2013

    Why do you think people that make 500,000 a year are rich? These are mostly families that took out high loans to pay for medical school or started a business and took risks. Happiness in love of God and Humanity, but economies are created by people who take risks. Taking their money int axes so they can’t invest more is really just misguided. Do you really think a working person like a teacher, government official or publc saftey person with maybe a college degree, should make as much as someone with NO pension, no safety net who is trying to run a small manufacuting business or store they started. these folks create jobs. You can’t compare Mitt Romney or Warren Buffet with the average doctor or business owner that just makes a good living cause they work 80 hours a week!

    1. spinchange January 1, 2013

      >Why do you think people that make 500,000 a year are rich?

      Perhaps because 50% of the population lives on $46,000 or less.

      >Do you really think a working person like a teacher, government official or publc saftey person with maybe a college degree, should make as much as someone with NO pension, no safety net who is trying to run a small manufacuting business or store they started. These folks create jobs.

      Yes, and if they are W2’ing themselves $500K they can afford a couple of fucking basis points to pay for the society and civilization that enabled them to pursue their dreams and make it. It’s not about punishing them (I know so many phrase it like it is) The point is it’s *our* Government and we’re all in it together. We have a system of progressive taxation. If you’re pulling down a half-million after expenses, you aren’t hurting.

    2. idamag January 2, 2013

      OMG, $500,000/year and on food stamps.

  24. Alvey Pelletier January 1, 2013

    Here’s how we reduce the cost of government. Pay all our useless lawmakers just one weeks
    wages and have that week be the last one of the year. Recent history has shown us that they’re totally useless the first 51 weeks!

    1. idamag January 2, 2013

      Alvey, this time – and beyond.

  25. charleo1 January 1, 2013

    Okay Lefties, Liberals, otherwise know as humans with a heart. How many believe the goal
    of the Republican Party is to end Medicare as we know it, use Social Security as a Wall Street
    windfall, that ends up serving as a funding source to pay for the exploding premiums of a
    privatized Medicare program? How many of us are going to try setting at home like we did
    in 2010, because we didn’t get everything we wanted in a National Health Plan? Well, it
    sounds like some of us haven’t learned a damned thing. Last election we reelected the President,
    regained some of our losses in the House, and picked up two seats in a Senate we lost six seats in
    in 2010. So, now we’re done right? If Republicans won’t listen to the will of the People, and
    President Obama won’t make them, we’ll just go back to keeping up with what Brad, and Angelina
    are doing, or whatever nonsense we were concentrating on in 2010, when we created this mess.
    That’s right. We created this. When we found we had a problem with the filibuster, did we
    elect a Democrat to replace the late Ted Kennedy? No we did not. Did we say well, if some
    pretend Democrats are voting aganist their own Party, helping the Republicans obstruct.
    Did we determine, we would need at least 3 more Democratic Senators? Evidently not. As
    we lost 6 seats. And any hope of tackling immigration reform, making sure the tax system
    was more fair, or we invested in rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure, and falling down schools,
    while putting millions of unemployed back to work? We did not. WE that’s us. Sat at home,
    and allowed the Karl Roves, the Koch Bros. and the, “Freedom Works,” and their, “Club for
    growth,” and bevy of other deliberately named to deceive, political money operations, reverse
    much of the progress we had worked so hard to achieve. I hear much of the same grumbling,
    and griping today, that I heard in the Summer, and Fall of 2010. The question for Progressives
    is, are we just too stupid to realize it takes more than one great election cycle to change the politics in this Country? With all respect, of course!

    1. Claresa K Barnhisel January 1, 2013

      oh yes, our pre kardashian era – ha ha – very good charleo1 !

    2. Mary Martinez January 1, 2013

      I don’t know about you, but I did this after I put in more than eight hours a day 6 days a week, and sometimes more.

  26. coliwabl January 1, 2013

    Just more of the same political posturing and holding America hostage, while the rich get richer by continuing to support their outsourcing ways and doing anything to keep the military industrial complex going. The Tea Party fools are nothing but self-centered sociopaths looking to destroy the USA.

  27. atc333 January 1, 2013

    There is no deal until it passes the House of Representatives. Considering some of the comments from various members of the Radical Right in the House, its passage is far from a sure thing.

    Strange how the GOP is all in for the very rich getting tax cuts, which that group does use to create jobs, or really put back into the economy, in the form of money in circulation, which is exactly what extending unemployment benefits, reducing Social Security, or Medicare or Medicaid, or Aid to Dependant Children, or the other “entitlements does in fact accomplish.

    Instead, the top earners simply either hoard their money, buy super expensive toys, homes, or invest in high return securities and stocks, enriching their own group, but not rebuilding our economy putting that money back into circulation, much less creating jobs.

    The GOP Right Wing has perpetrated a massive scam on the American Public over the past 24 years, and once again, they will do it again, though the use of the Debt Ceiling, and more threats of allowing us to go over the Fiscal Cliff.

    Any settlement on the Cliff should include increasing the Debt ceiling, allowing the Fed to invest in job creating programs, education, infrastructure, as obviously the “Job Creators” have proven they are not job creators, but merely recipients of the GOP’s long term “Socialism for the very rich”, as proven by the massive redistribution of wealth from the middle class to the top 2%, and top 10% of Americans.

    At this point, I would almost rather suck it in, pay higher taxes, and let the GOP House block any deal, as $450K is not a middle class income level, period, and obviously, they still consider the Federal Debt limit as their final Ace in the this game of Fiscal Roulette.

  28. bchrista January 1, 2013

    As I said yesterdayI was a super strong Obama defender and backer until I started reading some of the deals they were talking about then I realized that the Democratic Congress, the Senate and Obama were tough talkers but had no backbone, it reminds of when I was a kid there was a kid called Bobby Ray and he was a bully most of the guys wouldn’t stand up to him and one day we were in the park playing and he faced me and I backed down and went home almost in tears because I was afraid of him and my mother saw the look on my face and asked me what was wrong and I didn’t dare lie to her so i told her, she looked at me and said wait one minute she put on her shoes and said come with me, I followed her to the park, she asked me who was Bobby Ray and I pointed him out she walked up to him turned and looked at me and said come here boy, if you don’t beat his ass right here and now or you’re going to have a problem with me right here and now and right then I realized that I feared her more than I feared Bobby the rest is history I put a good ass whipping on him and after that I was no longer the whipping boy of the neighborhood, it’s too bad My mom passed away I bet she would have put some backbone into the Demos, Sen and, Obama. Because the yellow streak is starting to show and the Republicans are already laughing at us because they knew that in the end they would get their way and Obama and the Demos would cave in to them. I hate to say this but now I feel that Seniors like myself were sold down the river and there’s no telling how far we will be sold down the river, a lot of us have something wrong with us that makes it hard for us to do any more manual labor and we have no one to turn to for help and we are dependent on our Social Secutiry checks that we paid into for so long and medicare only to find that our money was not protected and the Repubs were able to cut us out of our rightful money because it went to pay for another program so the 2% wouldn’t have to pay the obligatory tax theyshould have to pay if we had someone with balls on our side.

  29. Claresa K Barnhisel January 1, 2013

    over all of these decades that i’ve so far enjoyed – i love watching american politics – in spite of all the bickering, the special interests, the manipulation, the assasination – the scandals – the subversion of evidenciary fact sharing – poor choices – good choices – mud slinging and just the whole damned mess – to me – it’s still an amazing political system that we have, and there is never, and i mean never a dull moment!

  30. Constance Wilds January 1, 2013

    In a democratic society, it is criminal that the wealthiest, such as Mitt Romney, pay lower tax rates than the average working citizen. Everyone should pay their “fair” share. Lower tax rates for the wealthiest is not fair.

  31. quasm January 1, 2013

    Mr. Sattler;

    Now the question arises, how are we going to make up for the revenue lost from those whose earnings exceed $450k? If past experience is any indicator, any tax increase on those who can find ways to avoid paying taxes results in less revenue. So now we will have more fairness and more poverty as productivity lessens. Also income disparity will increase.

    Dik Thurston
    Colorado Springs

    1. daniel bostdorf January 1, 2013

      QUASM….Unfortunately, your opinion is just that, an opinion …..because the facts and economic history indicates otherwise.

      I would suggest that you read the Kelley Erb Forbes article this past November that addressed the factual basis and factual ramifications. It was titled: Tax Increases Looming in 2013: Who Pays, How Much and Will They Stick?
      Thanks for your consideration.

      1. quasm January 2, 2013

        Mr. Bostdorf;

        Good try. I read the article as you suggested. It doesn’t address revenue only taxes. Do you understand the difference?

        Best Regards;

  32. GET THE MONEY January 1, 2013

    Who reallys cares

    1. daniel bostdorf January 1, 2013

      Can’t you get past 3 words? Do you have any ability to have a meaningful, rational exchange of ideas?

      1. idamag January 2, 2013

        No, that is a silly kid who wants to put something out there and is not smart enough to think of something.

  33. workerperson January 1, 2013

    I suspect 90% of those that say tax the rich that make less than 500k a year, never aspired via endless hours or figured out how to make 500k a year. No one says they won’t pay their fair share, but if you make 500k, between federal, state and local taxes you are paying over 50% of what you make in taxes. That’s a real disincentive, not that you wont’ keep trying, but in the end you have not much to show. Kill the winners in economics and you have Greece, France at 75%, etc. We are going to be Greece, it may take 25, 50 or 100 years, but know one is willing to make any sacrifice. I love how becasue the majority of people make less than 250k, or less than 45k, they say tax the other guy. Once you have food, roof over your head, schools, safety, do you really need a 36 inch TV? Oh tax, the rich guy. Tax the geek that worked hard and made it. Tax everyone. Yes, my congressman, he knows how to spend it to save society. He hasn’t had a job in 20 years, but give it to government, they will tax the rich and distrubute to the “middle class”.

    1. charleo1 January 1, 2013

      It’s always instructive to listen to a comment posted under, “workerperson,” advocating
      for the 2%. I’ll bet it’s a big hoot to the Koch, or Walton families, to hear how hard you
      believe they’re working for their money. The ignorance, and cocksure sincerity of living
      in a Country where 400 individuals control more wealth than the bottom 50%, and the
      concern of people living one missed Social Security check away from the street, is about
      making sure we do whatever is necessary, that not a cent of those 400’s money is ever,”redistributed,” downward, or worse, given to the Government. I beg you. Get the
      facts, before the next time you walk into that voting booth, and elect another crop of
      nihilists, and corporate lapdogs, and put them in a responsible position. It starts with
      you, and your primary. So if this Country is ever going to reestablish a balanced prosperity it
      must have. You have got to catch on. The U.S. isn’t Greece. Your budget at home does
      not, nor could it ever resemble that of a world superpower. When through no fault of their
      own millions are still struggling, the most harmful thing that could be done for the
      economy, and the Country, is to cut off these people’s support before things improve.
      And finally, it’s really not about the debt. It’s about who still runs this Country.
      If they can’t be taxed, they can’t be regulated. And if they can’t be regulated, they run
      the Country.

      1. idamag January 2, 2013

        charle, Greece’s answer to the economic melt-down was an austerity program. they cut social services and lowered taxes. Germany, on the other hand, zeroed in on jobs. Germany loaned money to Greece. Which program works best?

        1. charleo1 January 2, 2013

          Austerity has been a bust. Long live John Maynard Keynes! Now we can see.
          With most of Europe’s economies walloped by being involved in the same collateralized
          debt scheme that tanked our economy in 2008. Many of the Countries, faced with a
          credit crunch, and higher interest rates, adopted programs of austerity. As a result
          many of their economies still teeter on the brink of collapse. Isn’t it ironic in a way,
          Germany is saving Europe? But they also have been very smart about not getting too
          involved in buying debt, with the hope of big returns. As Greece, Spain, Portugal, and
          Italy did. Germany also has very strong unions, that sit at the boardroom table. They
          took the necessary steps to protect their manufacturing base from imports made with
          cheap Asian labor. And find it appalling, and quite baffling the United States
          thought so little of it’s industrial base, they would ratify the lopsided trade policies
          It is worth noting that it is not the Government’s job to simply give
          to big business everything they come to Washington and request. That has been the
          case far too often for the past few decades. And we are all paying the consequences
          of the premise, or idea that it’s government’s job to lower taxes, and get out of way.

      2. saceo January 3, 2013

        I don’t think you can lump the top 400, or 5000 richest families in the same league with folks that make 250-500k a year. I think you are targeting maybe the super-rich. As a workerperson too, I have can aspire to making 250k or 500k, but other than no worries, I still wouldn’t have real fallback like a pension, or a lot of investments. A nice life, with no extra dollars to really invest in businesses, etc. Most people that don’t succeed in business don’t understand how hard it is to create jobs. If 50% goes to government every year with federal, state and local taxes you just can’t invest in things unless you are very frugal. If husband and wife each work, pay for daycare, etc, it almost pays for 1 of them not to work due to crush of taxes that take 50% of it. Be careful is what I think on letting 90% make decision for the “rich”, that’s all. Tax the other guy is bad thinking, and I hate when the President says, ok 90% of people we have a deal for you that soaks the other 10% (even if it just a few more points, casue it never really ends at that). It not about not paying fair share, we all love US and will pay. But I don’t think 39% fed tax rates are fair or helpful, federal tax rates should be 25%, state 7%, and local property 3% – or something like that. You also pay sales tax, tolls and lots of other taxes too if you look at it.

        1. charleo1 January 3, 2013

          I hear you. You believe taxes are bad for anyone to have to pay. And, this one tells
          you businesses are having to pay 50% of their profits back to the government, and so
          taxes are the culprit. I can tell you, the rate, or amount is not near 50%, and simply
          having money to invest and expand one’s business, hire more people, etc. is done
          as a matter of increased demand for the product or service. And is not determined
          necessarily by the amount of money in the owner’s bank account. And even in good
          times 50% of new businesses fail in the first two years. But their probability of success
          is greatly enhanced when there is general prosperity in the market. And that imbalance
          in our Country today is our greatest impediment to a thriving economy. Not taxes. Look,
          you say the fact that 90% makes a decision for the 10, makes you uncomfortable.
          However, is it preferable that the top 10% make policy for the remaining 90?
          That, as much as anything, has brought us to the point where we find ourselves today.
          How many times do pols mention small business? A lot. How much of the policy is
          aimed at helping small business? Hardly any. If you travel around the Country, notice how much one town looks like the last. Same franchises, everywhere you go. It wasn’t always so. Thousands of small businesses have been shoved out of the market. Millions of people
          that may have stated their own business, and prospered, are working for a big box store.
          With wages that simply fail to drive our economy, educated our children, and pay for
          the public necessities, security, and public works. Out towns, and cities are literally
          falling apart right before our eyes. While the Wal-Marts, and the Papa Johns, hire politicians to tell the public how hard the government is on them. That, gosh! If we only had a more Capitalist economy… If taxes weren’t so high, well then, wages would be better.
          It’s a fetching line. And it’s a lie. It’s killing the Middle Class. And it’s killing the upward
          mobility of our people. What we still refer to as, “The American Dream.” Bit by bit
          the working people in this Country are being debilitated. Robbed of the financial ability
          to make decisions about their own lives. While politicians hold unemployment benefits
          hostage, rail aganist even the food provided to the poor, as something undeserved, stolen. Demanding ever more tax relief for their uber rich, benefactors, and corporations.
          Take a good look. Really look around, when you have time to think. See what’s happening
          to your Country. That’s what every American ought to be doing today.

  34. Jackmack January 1, 2013

    now let’s see what this Republican Congress will finsh the job or screw America again

    1. daniel bostdorf January 1, 2013

      As of 4pm Tuesday, 2nd ranking House leader Eric Cantor refuses to support it as it is written.

      Here we go again with “poison pill” amendments, Teaparty divisiveness…..back and forth to the Senate this goes…

      GOP: Holding poor and middle class hostage.

    2. karinursula January 1, 2013

      Well they are going to screw us, because what heard I doubt very seriously that Congress is going to vote on the bill that came out of the Senate. But than what else is new. Now they want to do an amendment of cuts, which probably would hurt the little people and not the rich.

  35. dalnb January 1, 2013

    Now it would be great too see a massive movement throughout the United States to initiate a TOTAL recall of every Congressman in Washington. They have neglected their job, they have held up national recovery, they have driven us into debt with their failure to do anything and their constant bickering rather than working as they are paid to do. They take more time off than the unemployed man and women in our country who spend almost every-day looking for work.

    We need to get a totally new Congress – out with the lazy, worhtless bums who have failed our nation!

    1. daniel bostdorf January 1, 2013

      The American people voted these clowns in.

      H.L. Mencken :: “People deserve the government they get, and they deserve to get it good and hard.”

      The American people blindly keep voting back in the very people who have caused this mess, and made it worse by voting for the neo-fascist Teaparty/GOP in 2010.

      2014 is our last chance.

      Can America finally wake up?

      Hasn’t so far.

      1. dalnb January 1, 2013

        We should not wait for 2014. These elected men and women need to know and undertsnat that they work for us and if they can not or are not doing their job they will be FIRED – NOW, not in 2014. They need to start respecting us more than the Tea Party and wealthy donors whp bought them into office!

    2. idamag January 2, 2013

      dal, there is only one problem with the “dump the incumbent” movement. It resulted in some pretty dumb tea party house members.

      1. dalnb January 2, 2013

        I think most people have seen what the Tea Party and their choice of people they push into office has resulted in. It became totally obvious during the Bush era that America had to do something to correct the mess Bush was developing. That pushed a group of people to organize into what then became the Tea Party. Americans could see what Bush was doing and were ready to jump on the band wagon to fix the mess the Bush Administration had created. Many became Tea Party members or at least attended their rallies and felt encouraged. The Tea Party became so radical they were soon seen as a troubled and off base organization. They selected political candidates that were weak but would make good Tea Party followers. With huge funding support from people like Karl Rove the Tea Party pushed these half-wit followers into office. The past four years has seen the results.

        Today most people who at one time felt the Tea Party was the answer have now pulled away from the radical Tea Party activists. That became evident when a lot of Tea Party office holders lost their jobs in reelection and the shunning of radical Tea Party office holders loosing their grip in office.

        I do not think many people will back candidates in the future based on Tea Party endorsements.

        We need to rid Congress of “Do Nothing” men and women – we can not afford to let them create hate, discontent and confusion in our government. We can not afford to have people like these in office but never at work. We can not afford to pay these people when they are out of session more than they are in session.

        We need a complete new Congress that fears the voters more than they fear the Tea Party or anything else! The SOONER the AMERICAN VOTER understands this the SOONER AMERICA CAN GET BACK ON TRACK! We need to get rid of radical, obstructionist office holders from both parties!

        1. idamag January 2, 2013

          dal, when I first heard about the tea party I thought, “At last people are willing to speak out.” Then, I saw their ugly signs and uglier rhetoric and realized they were just an extension of the john birch society or the kkk.

          1. dalnb January 2, 2013

            I have been a registered Republican for the past 51 years. I have to admit though I seldom vote party choosing to vote for the best person rather than follow party. Over the past 20 years I have voted almost 100% Democrat. In the past 10 years I have found the Republican leadership to be non-existent. Republicans like Mitch McConnell and Karl Rove and radical radio and TV talk show hosts like Hannity and Limbaugh have all but destroyed not ony the party’s reputation but the worlds respect for our government. I had hopes the Tea Party would help get the Republican party back on track BUT – they have made things even worse. I attended several Tea Party rallies and soon learned they were leading the Grand-old Party down the wrong track.
            I believe any person has the right to their opinion and they have a right to support and back their opinions but when they become so radical and the only support that can be mustered comes from huge financial interests then it is not in the best iinterests of our country.

            I plan on changing my party affiliation before the next election and as it stands now, based on the past 10 years – I will probably never vote for another Republican!

  36. daniel bostdorf January 1, 2013

    To bchrista:

    Interesting story about Bobby Ray, but frankly, your quote that follows has nothing to do with Obama.

    “….she walked up to him turned and looked at me and said come here boy, if you don’t beat his ass right here and now or you’re going to have a problem with me right here and now and right then I realized that I feared her more than I feared Bobby the rest is history I put a good ass whipping on him and after that I was no longer the whipping boy of the neighborhood, it’s too bad My mom passed away I bet she would have put some backbone into the Demos….”

    Iappreciate your disillusionment with Obama especially if you actually believed that the GOP/Teaparty/Fox News/Karl Rove et al would even consider cooperating and or compromising.

    Instead, the GOP controlled House went on to be THE WORST House in the history of this country.

    You cannot blame Obama in his matter at any level. He did not cave in to anyone. Just read the Senate Bill that’s in the House’ hands now.

    He exemplified courageous LEADERSHIP in trying to get the “do nothing Bone Head Boehner” House, the stiputifyingly uncompromising GOP Senate to finally get it’s act together.

    Your anger should be towards the GOP/TEAPARTY/Foxnews and Koch brothers with a Supreme Court making corporations people with Citizens United.

    We need to have an “American Spring” in this country like what we witnessed in the Middle East.

    The 3% millionaires and billionaires need to be forced, once and for all, to help the poor and middle class instead of robbing the poor and middle class with giving corporate bailouts and tax havens to the 3%.

    And quit sending our jobs overseas. TAX those corporations that do!

  37. Pamby50 January 1, 2013

    Unfortunately I don’t believe the house will pass the bill. The last I heard was that they want to ammend the bill. So much for Boehner saying that if the senate passes a bill, he would bring it to the floor for a vote. The house has abdicated it responsibilites & I see them not changing.

    Happy New Year!!

  38. greghilbert January 1, 2013

    This article characterizes the prospective deal as “establishing the most progressive tax code in generations”. That’s an outrageously misleading characterization. The deal preserves TWO THIRDS of the huge tax cuts granted millionaires and billionaires under Reagan. The deal neither reverses nor stops the decades-long transfer of wealth from the many to the few, but rather assures it will continue. The USA is ALREADY near the very bottom of the global ranking of nations by income and wealth disparity. This deal guarantees the disparity will grow more extreme every year.

    Here’s one real-world example: The six Walton family members who own most of Walmart already have more wealth than the bottom 150 MILLION Americans. I trust you are familiar with how pathetically little the Waltons pay their employees, many of whom survive only with the help of food stamp and other taxpayer-funded programs. The six already mega-wealthy Waltons will have incomes totaling several billion in 2013, making them even more mega-wealthy. The deal would increase the taxes on their incomes as follows: (1) The portions of their salaries above $400,000 would be taxed at a rate of 39.6%, up from the current 35%, (2) The portions of their capital gains and dividends above $400,000 will be taxed at 20%, up from the current 15%. Almost all their income is from capital gains and dividends, so their taxes will go up from 15% to 20%, a paltry increase. In 1972 the rate was 35%. Get it? After years of accumulating vast wealth the Waltons will accumulate more, at a fast past. They will pay 20% on the addition of billions to their mega-wealth, as opposed to the 35% they would’ve paid in 1972, which percentage then and now they could easily afford and would only slow their accumulation of wealth so vast as to constitute a crime against humanity.

    Now consider how the deal will impact over 99% of Walmart’s employees. Status quo, except that their paychecks will decline 2% because Social Security withholding is to increase that amount. Their costs of essentials like food will increase. Oh, and perhaps you are aware that most Walmart employees are not eligible for health insurance. The Waltons make sure of that. On the near horizon many of those employees will discover that Obamacare law requires them to pay a tax penalty if they do not buy health insurance. OMB estimates that some 2 million working poor will pay the tax penalty for inability to afford the available insurance. Many thousands will be Walmart employees, and thousands more will be employees of Walmart contractors and suppliers.(There are some good things about Obamacare, but let’s not forget it is based on a Republican plan delivering a windfall to the health insurance cartel.)

    Now let me turn to the thing I find so tragically sad in all of this: among commenters on most NM articles it is popular to cheer for Obama as the champion of the 99% who is thwarted by the evil Repubs and forced to compromise. On this article’s comment thread one sees the predictable silence of compromise champions and wishful thinkers as to Obama’s role in an ongoing sell-out to the elite and betrayal of the non-elite. The far right castigates compromisers. Obama and Dem loyalists celebrate and apologize for them, drowning out the voices of progressives trying to rally a counter to the Repub-Dem right-shift.

    This article panders to the Obama Dem loyalists and apologists, encouraging sheep to bleat for the champions of a minor slow-down in the pace of their socio-economic slaughter, just as they did for Clinton. Nothing will change until there is a chorus of voices demanding an end to the slaughter, and rallying the actions required to achieve it.

    1. daniel bostdorf January 1, 2013

      GOP and your sympathizers: Stop the “civil war” that you are waging on the poor and middle class!

      I agree with your statement:

      “….this article’s comment thread one sees the predictable silence of compromise champions and wishful thinkers as to Obama’s role in an ongoing sell-out to the elite and betrayal of the non-elite. The far right castigates compromisers. Obama and Dem loyalists celebrate and apologize for them, drowning out the voices of progressives trying to rally a counter to the Repub-Dem right-shift.”

  39. Tavia Hughes January 1, 2013

    If these GOP Obstructionists bastards know what’s good for their sorry ass party, they will pass this plan and any other Democratic Presidential mandate, and shut the phuck up about it!!! We, the American People, don’t want to hear anything lacky Cantor or Boehner has to say about the matter! We have voted to return President Obama to his current post and will vote out these good-for-nothing GOP bastards come 2014!!!! And the debt ceiling arguments, A DONE DEAL FOR THE PRESIDENT AND THE AMERICAN PEOPLE!!! Because come 2014, ALL OF YOU GOP TEA PARTY FREAKS WILL BE VOTED INTO THE POLITICAL WILDERNESS TO TIME INDEFINTE!!! Praise God for Four More Years of the Obama Administration!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  40. bchrista January 1, 2013

    I agree with Dominick about the country (USA) being able to compete with the world powers on the economic market, however, the point being missed here is that those countries are getting to be economic powers is thanks in part to those stinking bastards that call themselves Americans and are the ones that that out sourced our technically, our jobs. and our companies over seas to those countries and you can thank our Representives in Washington for that so they could line their pocketswhile at the same time they were sinking their own country thanks to those traitorous bastard who put money before their pledge to their country and now they continue to be obstructionest against reaching a deal with the President I can’t wait until 2014 and 2016 to throw them slimeballs.

  41. Angel January 1, 2013

    KEEPING IT THOUGHTFULLY HONEST: So Boehner where are the JOBS as you asked during the election? It is the responsibility of our National Press News to accurately on this “going off the cliff” political hostage issue? FACTCHECK who is conducting the republican clown show in House of Reps.? Publicly name each clown! Everyone is entitled to its own opinions but its own facts! But our Free Press and News needs to responsibly remind everyone including Boehner and his republican clowns of the results of this election. So where are the negotiations on Government stimulus funding to facilitate more American new jobs growth for the middle class? THE INCONVENIENT TRUTH: The republican’s election issue of 10 years of the continued Bush tax cuts for billionaires and millionaires that significantly contributed to our national debt and created new jobs in Communist China lost! Fiscal Responsible Debt Reduction is secondary. The Ryan Plan was defeated- No voucher or cuts for Medicare and leave Social Security alone for now! This is not rocket science! That’s it! The National Press and News stop trying to be politically correct, but responsibly call out the republicans that their “hostage taking obstruction to undermine our economy” and intransigence’s on their unacceptable defeated policies will put them out of the political business! America’s middle Class is fed up with you irresponsible idiots with the past four years of class war on the American Middle Class! The majority of Americans have spoken so deal with the new reality! So where are the jobs?

  42. robert January 1, 2013

    Jose T., let’s examine what you posted about Former President George W. Bush, Vice President “Dick” Cheney, and former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld . Why you put Donald rumsfeld in this is a mystery to me, but let’s continue. Before 9-11, Bush/Cheney took the multi-million dollar surplus they inherited from the out-going Clinton/Gore administration and used it to subsidize billionaire industries and corporations to bolster their businesses that were out-sourced overseas and depriving Americans of employment. The used the surplus to push for tax cuts for the wealthiest 1%, deregulated financial and mortgage institutions, and set up the financial framework that created con-men like Bernie Madoff. When 9-11 hit America, Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld went into hiding while the WTC buildings and Pentagon were on fire, and emerged to vow to go after the terrorists that committed the attack, who they later found out was Osama binLaden. We bought into that vengeance without considering how it would be paid for, and with the surplus being squandered early-on, they went to war on a wing and a prayer. In the meantime, the economy was beginning to feel the ripples from deregulation and the incredible greed that follows voodoo economics, while Bush/Cheney convinced America to not only go behind binLaden, but also Saddam Hussein who was supplying alQueda and producing weapons of mass destruction. America bought into that because we thought we had leaders who were as patriotic as we were. Contractors of the military industrial complex, Haliburton, and Blackwater, all billionaire friends of Bush/Cheney, and Haliburton and Blackwater who Cheney represented as their CEO, went into Pakistan in search of binLaden, though they never found him, and went into Iraq on the pretense of stopping the manufacture of weapons of mass destruction. That war cost America trillions of dollars at a time when the American economy w as collapsing under the weight of deregulation. After seven years of war under Bush/Cheney, they and their billionaire friends of the military industrial complex are the only people who benefited from the wars in Pakistan and Iraq. Bush/Cheney were the largest beneficiaries because they were making billions if not trillions of dollars per year through Haliburton and Blackwater. To cover it up, Bush/Cheney borrowed 6 trillion dollars from communist China to keep Americans from realizing that, unlike Osama binLaden/Saddam Hussein, Bush/Cheney were two of the most dangerous homegrown domestic terrorists that America has ever created. That, with deregulation and voodoo economics, brought America on the edge of a great depression, took awaythe generational wealth providing entitlements and privileges that white people in America has enjoyed for atleast two hundred years, and the economic disaster America is in today. All of the problems that Obama/Biden inherited are overlaps of the terrorism started by Bush/Cheney. “Dick” Cheney dicked us all. So, I don’t mean to burst your bubble, but i just felt that you needed to understand who your heroes are before you praise them, okay.

  43. onedonewong January 1, 2013

    They reached a deal to add another $4 TRILLION to the national debt…. Great… And of course not 1 dime of spending cuts
    This is a joke not a serious bill. But then again what do you expect from a quota recipient who has never had a job.

    1. bcarreiro January 1, 2013

      the joke is on all of us …..get a clue why we got into this mess in the first place. FUCKING BITCH ASS BUSH>

      1. onedonewong January 1, 2013

        guess facts aren’t something your comfortable with. Just look from 2007 forward when the Dem’s took over Congress

      2. idamag January 2, 2013

        bcarreiro, onedone is a racist who has let his hate and bigotry slip on other posts.

  44. stoptheinsanity January 2, 2013

    Our country is so highly polarized politically that I don’t believe that any one party will ever get 100% of everything they want anymore. There has to be and must be compromise. Extremists in both parties are screaming “bloody murder” and “sold out” if their party compromises even one iota. Republicans, for so very long, have been the party of “no compromise under any circumstances”. They have managed, for all these years, to bully their will through Congress and , for the most part,weak and spineless Congressional Democrats and the President would finally cave in to their demands. Because of this fiscal cliff agreement, Grover Norquist and right-wing extremists are having a fit and are enraged by the violation of their party’s “no new taxes ever” pledge on the rich. Left-wing extremists feel like they have been sold out by President Obama. If extremist liberals had voted for Romney, or simply stayed at home during the election and Romney would have won, would their lives have been any better off under a Republican administration? I seriously, seriously deny that it would have. So to the extremists in both parties: Stop all the bitching and wake up to the realization that this is the way our country is and will continue to be unless and until we wake up to our senses and stop reelecting these extremists.

  45. Skyline43 January 2, 2013

    I can’t believe the behaviors of the Senate and the House. They act like the people aren’t out here watching and listening. It is a stage and they are constantly performing. A perfect example, the OVER THE CLIFF thing. What drama! Our leaders (if that’s what you can call them) are over the CLIFF SOCIALLY and no longer relate to real people. They vote themselves pay raises, have their own retirement, tax payers pay their expenses. The people should have more to say about their benefits and pay raises. How many of us are privileged in that respect and not fulfill our duties. How great the rewards for accomplishing NOTHING!! We may have to examine the two party system. As it is today, the two party system does not work. Another thought. Who pays for the flights they took to leave Washington, come back and then, leave again? If they worked together long before the holidays, extra travel would not be necessary, and WE the taxpayers would not be strapped with more of their indiscretions and lack of responsibility to the American people.

  46. djuissi January 3, 2013

    President Obama did the right thing to fight for the middle class for taxes, but what about salaries.
    He should close the gap by fight for wage here in USA.
    For example rent goes up every year, but not salaries
    go up


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