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Posted - Aug 26 2012 : 8:58AM
Pecora Commission. Even the Wrath Of Khan does not seem way back to me.

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Posted - Aug 26 2012 : 9:13AM
^
Watch the above link folks. Somebody's interpetation, and what is actually being said are two different things.

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Posted - Aug 26 2012 : 4:38PM
"In 2008, Candidate Obama attacked John McCain for proposing cuts to Medicare. As president, Barack Obama cut Medicare by $716 billion to pay for Obamacare. Take it from Candidate Obama, "."

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Posted - Aug 26 2012 : 4:42PM
Oh, Cody, you already know that the payments were cut to a private insurer and some other providers, and you already know that there is no cut in benefits. You crack me up.
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Posted - Aug 26 2012 : 4:47PM
Cuts to providers and insurers are cuts to benefits and access. Insurers for Medicare Advantage aren't going to cut overhead, and they aren't going to attract more "customers" so they will absolutely reduce reimbursements for services, and providers provide services in a "fee-for-service" system. If you're cutting fees, you're cutting services.
Also, that is what John McCain was proposing and candidate Obama took issue with it, but now it's all ok? Nope, still "ain't right."
Did you watch the video in the link from the Bill Maher show? Did you watch the show? It was a good one, but at the very least check out the link.
 
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Posted - Aug 26 2012 : 5:28PM

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Posted - Aug 27 2012 : 7:42PM
Is that so? Bill Clinton raised taxes, and every Republican screamed that it would lead to disaster. Guess what? The economy grew, the deficit was reduced, and the budget went into surplus. So you are precisely, 100%, exactly wrong here.
Again.
Getting lectured on "actual economics" by ignoramuses like you is pretty hilarious.
the unknown pervert
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Posted - Aug 27 2012 : 7:56PM
It's certainly more hilarious than getting lectured by actual economists. (who happen to be about the dullest people in the world you could ever get lectured by)
urthoughts
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Posted - Aug 27 2012 : 7:59PM
Raising rates won't raise revenue? you are probably correct if the rates are raised on the rich because they will find a loophole to get out of it

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Posted - Aug 28 2012 : 3:25AM
Aha! In his today, Paul Ryan admitted that restoring the Medicare trust fund will require borrowing.
So that is the plan because Mitt can't stomach cutting Medicare. That might mean more out-of-pocket costs for seniors on MA in particular
EDIT: And as we discussed, that would just be following pre-Obamacare trends and plans.
But it sure as hell means no reimbursements cut. And it isn't something entirely new from Paul. I've heard him make the sensible and economically appropriate "absorb a few more years of debt as long as we reset and reverse the trajectory" argument before.
So there it is. If there is a Romney 2014 budget, the natl. debt will be set to increase by $716 billion+ for Medicare. But as long as the trajectory for long-term unfunded obligations is better, that is ok. The way, and the only way, to do that is economic growth and spending reductions or as Washington calls them, "cuts", or as Obama calls it (a difference between spending $40 trillion and $47 trillion) "thinly veiled social darwinism."
Edited by - Cody McLarge on 8/28/2012 3:39:37 AM
 
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Posted - Aug 31 2012 : 12:26PM

Op-Ed Columnist
By PAUL KRUGMAN
August 30, 2012
Paul Ryan’s speech Wednesday night may have accomplished one good thing: It finally may have dispelled the myth that he is a Serious, Honest Conservative. Indeed, Mr. Ryan’s brazen dishonesty left even his critics breathless.
Some of his fibs were trivial but telling, like his suggestion that President Obama is responsible for a closed auto plant in his hometown, even though the plant closed before Mr. Obama took office. Others were infuriating, like his sanctimonious declaration that “the truest measure of any society is how it treats those who cannot defend or care for themselves.” This from a man proposing savage cuts in Medicaid, which would cause tens of millions of vulnerable Americans to lose health coverage.
And Mr. Ryan — who has proposed $4.3 trillion in tax cuts over the next decade, versus only about $1.7 trillion in specific spending cuts — is still posing as a deficit hawk.
But Mr. Ryan’s big lie — and, yes, it deserves that designation — was his claim that “a Romney-Ryan administration will protect and strengthen Medicare.” Actually, it would kill the program.
Before I get there, let me just mention that Mr. Ryan has now gone all-in on the party line that the president’s plan to trim Medicare expenses by around $700 billion over the next decade — savings achieved by paying less to insurance companies and hospitals, not by reducing benefits — is a terrible, terrible thing. Yet, just a few days ago, Mr. Ryan was still touting his own budget plan, which included those very same savings.
But back to the big lie. The Republican Party is now firmly committed to replacing Medicare with what we might call Vouchercare. The government would no longer pay your major medical bills; instead, it would give you a voucher that could be applied to the purchase of private insurance. And, if the voucher proved insufficient to buy decent coverage, hey, that would be your problem.
Moreover, the vouchers almost certainly would be inadequate; their value would be set by a formula taking no account of likely increases in health care costs.
Why would anyone think that this was a good idea? The G.O.P. platform says that it “will empower millions of seniors to control their personal health care decisions.” Indeed. Because those of us too young for Medicare just feel so personally empowered, you know, when dealing with insurance companies.

Still, wouldn’t private insurers reduce costs through the magic of the marketplace? No. All, and I mean all, the evidence says that public systems like Medicare and Medicaid, which have less bureaucracy than private insurers (if you can’t believe this, you’ve never had to deal with an insurance company) and greater bargaining power, are better than the private sector at controlling costs.
I know this flies in the face of free-market dogma, but it’s just a fact. You can see this fact in the history of Medicare Advantage, which is run through private insurers and has consistently had higher costs than traditional Medicare. You can see it from comparisons between Medicaid and private insurance: Medicaid costs much less. And you can see it in international comparisons: The United States has the most privatized health system in the advanced world and, by far, the highest health costs.
So Vouchercare would mean higher costs and lower benefits for seniors. Over time, the Republican plan wouldn’t just end Medicare as we know it, it would kill the thing Medicare is supposed to provide: universal access to essential care. Seniors who couldn’t afford to top up their vouchers with a lot of additional money would just be out of luck.
Still, the G.O.P. promises to maintain Medicare as we know it for those currently over 55. Should everyone born before 1957 feel safe? Again, no.
For one thing, repeal of Obamacare would cause older Americans to lose a number of significant benefits that the law provides, including the way it closes the “doughnut hole” in drug coverage and the way it protects early retirees.
Beyond that, the promise of unchanged benefits for Americans of a certain age just isn’t credible.
Think about the political dynamics that would arise once someone born in 1956 still received full Medicare while someone born in 1959 couldn’t afford decent coverage. Do you really think that would be a stable situation? For sure, it would unleash political warfare between the cohorts — and the odds are high that older cohorts would soon find their alleged guarantees snatched away.
The question now is whether voters will understand what’s really going on (which depends to a large extent on whether the news media do their jobs). Mr. Ryan and his party are betting that they can bluster their way through this, pretending that they are the real defenders of Medicare even as they work to kill it. Will they get away with it?

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Posted - Sep 1 2012 : 2:05AM
And Paul Krugman's latest unhinged rant should dispell the myth that he is a serious columnist with anything useful to say. Paul Ryan's an unequivocally nice guy, so allow me: Paul Krugman, go fuck yourself. More importantly, sorry Obama defenders, but . In Florida, 48 percent of seniors say Romney would do a better job on Medicare, versus 44 percent who say that about Obama.
So as Ryan said, "the biggest threat to Medicare is Obamacare" and it's resonating.
Rob Fleming
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Posted - Sep 1 2012 : 2:23AM
Cody, did Paul Krugman personaly play a role in you not being accepted to Stanford? What is the source of your irrational hatred for the man?
 
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Posted - Sep 1 2012 : 7:52AM
As opposed to you, for example
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Posted - Sep 1 2012 : 8:40AM
Kind of late to the party here. He did that at least 50 columns ago.

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Posted - Sep 9 2012 : 10:23AM
 
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Posted - Sep 15 2012 : 11:48AM

Editorial
September 14, 2012
Mitt Romney has been rousing military-minded voters with warnings of giant defense cuts in January, but he’s only telling half the story. An alarming White House report issued Friday shows that the full impact of next year’s ham-handed budget cuts would affect virtually every government function, not just the Pentagon.
From the Secret Service to food inspection to air traffic control, a broad range of programs would be cut by at least 7.6 percent, whether they are essential or frivolous.
A few categories are exempt, including Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, Social Security, veterans affairs and military personnel. Everything else would be run through a Procrustean band saw, a mindless way to govern.
These cuts, known as the sequester, were the result of the debt-limit crisis created by House Republicans last year, when they threatened to throw the government into default if the deficit were not reduced. President Obama and the Democrats tried to respond with a balanced package of spending reductions and tax increases on the rich. But when Republicans refused the deal, the two sides agreed on a different incentive: $100 billion a year in indiscriminate cuts to programs that each side holds dear.
So far, though, it hasn’t produced any serious negotiation on the deficit. The House, as recently as Thursday, has made several attempts to cancel only the defense sequester and double the size of the domestic cuts. That won’t fly with the Senate or the White House.

The release of the sequester details, however, might change the equation and transform the debate from abstract politics into a concrete and eye-opening reality. An across-the-board 9.4 percent slashing of the defense budget will mean $6.9 billion from the operation and maintenance of the Army, and $4.3 billion each from the Navy and the Air Force. There are huge cuts to equipment, as well as cuts to chemical and nuclear demilitarization.
The cuts to domestic spending, mostly at 8.2 percent, are even broader. A few examples: $1 billion from special education funds; $2.3 billion from low-income rental assistance, likely affecting 277,000 households; $86 million from food safety and inspection; $735 million from the F.B.I.; and $136 million from the Secret Service.
With American embassies now under siege, $129 million would be cut from embassy security, construction and maintenance. Medicare providers would be cut by 2 percent, or $11 billion. And there would be cuts to Congressional expenses (though the salaries of lawmakers would not be touched).

There is still time before year’s end for Congress to cancel this destructive sequester and negotiate a realistic plan to balance spending cuts with tax increases on the rich. One look at the details should persuade lawmakers that the task is urgent.
 
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Posted - Oct 12 2012 : 5:01PM

Op-Ed Columnist
By PAUL KRUGMAN
October 11, 2012
In these closing weeks of the campaign, each side wants you to believe that it has the right ideas to fix a still-ailing economy. So here’s what you need to know: If you look at the track record, the Obama administration has been wrong about some things, mainly because it was too optimistic about the prospects for a quick recovery. But Republicans have been wrong about everything.
About that misplaced optimism: In a now-notorious January 2009 forecast, economists working for the incoming administration predicted that by now most of the effects of the 2008 financial crisis would be behind us, and the unemployment rate would be below 6 percent. Obviously, that didn’t happen.
Why did the administration get it wrong? It wasn’t exaggerated faith in the power of its stimulus plan; the report predicted a fairly rapid recovery even without stimulus. Instead, President Obama’s people failed to appreciate something that is now common wisdom among economic analysts: severe financial crises inflict sustained economic damage, and it takes a long time to recover.
This same observation, of course, offers a partial excuse for the economy’s lingering weakness. And the question we should ask given this unpleasant reality is what policies would offer the best prospects for healing the damage. Mr. Obama’s camp argues for an active government role; his last major economic proposal, the American Jobs Act, would have tried to accelerate recovery by sustaining public spending and putting money in the hands of people likely to use it. Republicans, on the other hand, insist that the path to prosperity involves sharp cuts in government spending.
And Republicans are dead wrong.

The latest devastating demonstration of that wrongness comes from the International Monetary Fund, which has just released its World Economic Outlook, a report combining short-term prediction with insightful economic analysis. This report is a grim and disturbing document, telling us that the world economy is doing significantly worse than expected, with rising risks of global recession. But the report isn’t just downbeat; it contains a careful analysis of the reasons things are going so badly. And what this analysis concludes is that a disproportionate share of the bad news is coming from countries pursuing the kind of austerity policies Republicans want to impose on America.
O.K., it doesn’t say that in so many words. What the report actually says is: “Activity over the past few years has disappointed more in economies with more aggressive fiscal consolidation plans.” But that amounts to the same thing.
For leading Republicans have very much tied themselves to the view that slashing spending in a depressed economy — “fiscal consolidation,” in I.M.F.-speak — is good, not bad, for job creation. Soon after the midterm elections, the new Republican majority in the House of Representatives issued a manifesto on economic policy — titled, “Spend less, owe less, grow the economy” — that called for deep spending cuts right away and pooh-poohed the whole notion that fiscal consolidation (yes, it used the same term) might deepen the economy’s slump. “Non-Keynesian effects,” the manifesto declared, would make everything all right.
Well, that turns out not to be remotely true. What the monetary fund shows is that the countries pursing the biggest spending cuts are also the countries that have experienced the deepest economic slumps. Indeed, the evidence suggests that in brushing aside the standard view that spending cuts hurt the economy in the short run, the G.O.P. got it exactly wrong. Recent spending cuts appear to have done even more harm than most analysts — including those at the I.M.F. itself — expected.

Which brings us to the question of what form economic policies will take after the election.
If Mr. Obama wins, he’ll presumably go back to pushing for modest stimulus, aiming to convert the gradual recovery that seems to be under way into a more rapid return to full employment.
Republicans, however, are committed to an economic doctrine that has proved false, indeed disastrous, in other countries. Nor are they likely to change their views in the light of experience. After all, facts haven’t gotten in the way of Republican orthodoxy on any other aspect of economic policy. The party remains opposed to effective financial regulation despite the catastrophe of 2008; it remains obsessed with the dangers of inflation despite years of false alarms. So it’s not likely to give up its politically convenient views about job creation.
And here’s the thing: if Mitt Romney wins the election, the G.O.P. will surely consider its economic ideas vindicated. In other words, politically good things may be about to happen to very bad ideas. And if that’s how it plays out, the American people will pay the price.

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Posted - Oct 12 2012 : 5:13PM
Nice article.
For those with short attention spans:
Edited by - lindi on 10/12/2012 5:14:27 PM
 
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Posted - Oct 17 2012 : 11:26AM

By ANNIE LOWREY
October 16, 2012
WASHINGTON — Income inequality has soared to the highest levels since the Great Depression, and the recession has done little to reverse the trend, with the top 1 percent of earners taking 93 percent of the income gains in the first full year of the recovery.
The yawning gap between the haves and the have-nots — and the political questions that gap has raised about the plight of the middle class — has given rise to anti-Wall Street sentiment and animated the presidential campaign. Now, a growing body of economic research suggests that it might mean lower levels of economic growth and slower job creation in the years ahead, as well.
“Growth becomes more fragile” in countries with high levels of inequality like the United States, said Jonathan D. Ostry of the International Monetary Fund, whose research suggests that the widening disparity since the 1980s might shorten the nation’s economic expansions by as much as a third.
Reducing inequality and bolstering growth, in the long run, might be “two sides of the same coin,” research published last year by the I.M.F. concluded.
Since the 1980s, rich households in the United States have earned a larger and larger share of overall income. The 1 percent earns about one-sixth of all income and the top 10 percent about half, according to statistics compiled by the respected economists Emmanuel Saez of the University of California, Berkeley and Thomas Piketty of the Paris School of Economics.
For years, economists have thought of such inequality in part as a side effect of policies that fostered the country’s economic dynamism — its tax preferences for investment income, for instance. And organizations like the World Bank and the I.M.F., which is based in Washington, have generally not tackled inequality in the world head on.
But economists’ thinking has changed sharply in recent years. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development this year warned about the “negative consequences” of the country’s high levels of pay inequality, and suggested an aggressive series of changes to tax and spending programs to tackle it.
The I.M.F. has cautioned the United States, too. “Some dismiss inequality and focus instead on overall growth — arguing, in effect, that a rising tide lifts all boats,” a commentary by fund economists said. “When a handful of yachts become ocean liners while the rest remain lowly canoes, something is seriously amiss.”
The concentration of income in the hands of the rich might not just mean a more unequal society, economists believe. It might mean less stable economic expansions and sluggish growth.
That is the conclusion drawn by two economists at the fund, Mr. Ostry and Andrew G. Berg. They found that in rich countries and poor, inequality strongly correlated with shorter spells of economic expansion and thus less growth over time.
And inequality seems to have a stronger effect on growth than several other factors, including foreign investment, trade openness, exchange rate competitiveness and the strength of political institutions.
For developing economies, the channels through which inequality might drag down growth seem clear. Inequality might foster political instability and lead to violence and economic destruction, for instance, a theme that fits for Arab Spring countries, like Egypt and Syria.
For the United States, such channels are now the subject of intense research interest, with economists examining whether and how the gap between the rich and the poor fueled the recession and what it might mean.
In the last few years, research by the Brookings Institution, the I.M.F. and dozens of economists at top research universities has started to coalesce into a compelling narrative.
Starting in the 1970s, earnings were squeezed for low- and middle-income households. They borrowed to improve their standards of living — buying bigger houses than they could afford and using those houses as piggy banks. Families bet that housing prices would keep rising, making a three-bedroom outside Phoenix a safe store of wealth. But the housing bubble collapsed, and took the rest of the economy with it.
Research by Raghuram Rajan of the University of Chicago has also underscored the importance of deregulation. “Starting in the early 1970s, advanced economies found it increasingly difficult to grow,” he wrote this year. “The shortsighted political response to the anxieties of those falling behind was to ease their access to credit. Faced with little regulatory restraint, banks overdosed on risky loans.”
Thus, inequality might help explain the recession and the sluggish recovery after it. But now, economists and policy experts are facing the thorny and politically freighted question of what the United States’ inequality might mean over the next several years.
The recession seems to have cemented the country’s income and wealth inequality, not reversed it. The top 10 percent earn a larger share of overall income than they have since the 1930s. The earnings of the top 1 percent took a knock during the recession, but have bounced back. In contrast, the average working family’s income has continued to decline through the anemic recovery.
The distribution of wealth has become more concentrated as well. The lower income a family earns, the more wealth they tend to hold in their housing. Housing values have plummeted, and are not expected to recover for years if not decades. At the same time, many bond prices have soared and stock prices have performed well, aiding the upper-income households that tend to hold investments.
A new study by the left-of-center Economic Policy Institute, a research group in Washington, has found that the top 1 percent of households now hold a larger share of overall wealth than the bottom 90 percent does.
Policy experts and politicians across the political spectrum — including President Obama and Mitt Romney — argue that restoring the middle class will be crucial to driving growth. But they disagree sharply on the proper policies to do so, particularly when it comes to taxes and government transfer programs.
“What worries me is the idea that we’re in a vicious cycle,” said Joseph E. Stiglitz, a Nobel laureate in economics who has studied inequality extensively. “Increasing inequality means a weaker economy, which means increasing inequality, which means a weaker economy. That economic inequality feeds into political economy, so the ability to stabilize the economy gets weaker.”
Rea S. Hederman, an economist at the right-of-center Heritage Foundation, a Washington research group, said that “the problem is that the policies that encourage growth also encourage inequality,” citing the preferential tax rates for investment income as an example. “That means redistributing income is going to restrict growth.”
 
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Posted - Nov 21 2012 : 1:09AM


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Posted - Nov 21 2012 : 1:22AM
You know, even Boehner's been talking that way for a week or so. Once the remarks like that start flowing, it's over (knock on wood).
I can't predict any end result as far as the 'fiscal cliff,' but the unwavering commitment to never raising any taxes of any kind is no longer an unwavering commitment.
Edited by - lindi on 11/21/2012 1:24:28 AM

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Posted - Nov 21 2012 : 1:33AM
Definitely seems like the calculus is: go over the "fiscal cliff" and economic growth slows tremendously or let the top tax rates expire and growth should only slow moderately. But a quick look at the current business community, and, well, even moderate tightening is a pretty bad situation for investment and growth. We really should just take it off the table, extend all tax rates for one year while we work out, yet again, another long term debt deal so that we don't bounce from one crisis of uncertainty to another...and another...and another...

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Posted - Nov 21 2012 : 5:52AM
And don't forget, this is the fiscal cliff according to the CBO.
Fiscal Tightening.png
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Posted - Nov 21 2012 : 11:50AM
Cody McRaptastic wrote:
Yeah, cuz the last four years wasn't enough time. Another year should be just right.

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Posted - Nov 22 2012 : 2:08PM
Yeah, the economy was just terrible when we had those rates during the Clinton administration.

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Posted - Nov 30 2012 : 11:05PM
, seems to make some good arguments.
Conservatives have our reservations, but . Both Benson and Ham caveat that it's the best way to win the political argument before, and after, the "fiscal cliff." No it's not. It's the best way to mitigate the political damage, because it will be a loss for Republicans, period, and posturing over causing a recession is a horrible, disgusting failure of leadership. But maybe, like some kind of Christmas miracle, it's the bipartisan pathway for avoiding the "fiscal cliff" and paying down long-term debt, an actual deal. And for that, I'm on board.
Likely this has been the plan all along - Boehner immediately dropping a pledge of revenue neutrality, and declaring the Affordable Care Act is "the law of the land," a position that mostly went unnoticed but I think is a huge step, and an unwelcome one, for the GOP, but we were forced there and a small tax increase, backed by a promise for real tax reform, beats all the rates expiring in any universe.
Tl;Dr the deal should be something akin to Simpson-Bowles, and it would be wise for the Republicans to lead the effort.

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Posted - Dec 3 2012 : 3:23PM
And so it is.
In [link inactive:Server error]a letter to the White House, House Republican Leadership has proposed a counter-offer. Let the negotiations begin.
EDIT: So not technically Simpson-Bowles, officially the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform Proposal. The Republicans like it better, likely because it has a lower revenue target. But it's a first offer, and so it seems the game plan is to get to something akin to that final Simpson-Bowles proposal.
Edited by - Cody McLarge on 12/3/2012 3:40:11 PM

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Posted - Dec 6 2012 : 9:15PM
Ding dong, the witch is dead!


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Posted - Dec 12 2012 : 2:51AM
For Cody:


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Posted - Dec 14 2012 : 6:39AM
There is one fact-checker that I believe actually gives a shit about reality above all other considerations. It's still simplified by a headline bullshit - "the Pinocchio test" - but WaPo's Glenn Kessler is not one to be swayed by either party's talking points. The same fact-checker that calls the president's "plan to reduce the debt by $4 trillion" nothing more than fiction says ".
And without David Stockman's absurd recitation of NYT/Dem Party talking points, that is the the whole truth.
Moreover, no one reneged on the actual deal.

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Posted - Dec 20 2012 : 9:36PM

I have been so very angry at the pedantic ideologue in chief for over his treatment of the fiscal cliff, yet I knew that any deal to avoid it would be on the president's terms, however unreasonable. The polls are against Republicans. The public will blame them for the inaction that would result in going over the cliff.
And it's not inaction. Plan B is mostly a replay of bills the House passed in May and September that the WH and Dem. Senate have ignored. They have just ignored everything, every concession, every moment of sincere groveling that the Republican Speaker has been compelled to do. He has no leverage, though. That is the critical piece of assessing the moment, the plans, and any deals. So Plan B was a compromise on the top tax rate for over a million dollars in income. It sucks. It would not help the economy. It is not good, but it was the least worst option.
For some reason, conservative sideline coaches decided to just ignore all that. The GOP has NO leverage, NONE. The talk show hosts and interest groups that came out against Plan B have offered no alternative. Some believe, or at least claim to believe, that going over the cliff will hurt Obama politically. No, fuckwads, it won't. And it won't give the Republicans any leverage.
Plan B wouldn't have made a difference, and I can blame and bitch and moan at Harry Reid's unconscionable behavior and the president's unacceptable lack of leadership. But the public sees it differently. They shouldn't but they do. Fine, public, you fucking win.
But the public wants Washington to strike a deal. Not gonna happen. The Dems think they'll gain from the cliff, and perhaps some Republicans think they might gain from it.
Now, the GOP members might have 2014 on their minds. So? Is reelection more important than recession? Would these 21 "Republicans" that torpedoed Plan B lose their seats? Perhaps. Will the rank-and-file lose more, possibly costing the GOP control of the House? I see that as more likely. Do the 21 representatives care? No. And they're not alone. A huge portion of the party will face a primary challenge. What makes these fuckers think they're special? What gives their constituents the right to control the rest of us?
And that is why I'm more furious than ever. Boehner's a weak-assed quarterback fighting a tragically not serious liberal ideologue in the president and his party, a politically astute party that is dismissive of math and economics. But they'll "win" the politics. Fuck.
The "continuing resolution" fight that almost shut down the gov't showed that he would look for any "victory" instead of admitting defeat when the president is calling the shots. That can make conservatives angry but it beats a shutdown. Then there was the debt ceiling (which actually brought about the fiscal cliff) and conservative stalwarts not only undermined negotiations but helped downgrade the nation's credit rating. People openly musing about default is unhelpful, period.
The combination of a not serious "president" and self-interested conservative ideologues has brought about this moment. And tonight, the fuckers on the far right fucked everyone else. Who the fuck are they? They're just trying to keep their Heritage Action Fund Scorecard squeaky clean so that they can challenge Boehner, the Senate, or perhaps the presidency. Or perhaps they legitimately fear their constituents will oust them.
So I don't know who to blame, the reps that won't go along with the duly elected Speaker, their constituents that wouldn't accept Plan B, the interest groups that are shouting from the sidelines. Someone wants to go over the fiscal cliff, and it's not just the Democrats, and right now, they're leading the leadership that I sincerely believe represents a vast majority of voters, Republican voters, probably even a majority of their constituencies. Paul Ryan, Tom Price, Allen West, Marsha Blackburn, Eric Cantor, all conservatives, fiscal conservatives, staunch supply-side fanatic conservatives, and they were all on board. Who torpedoed the plan?
But for some reason, we're going over the cliff unless Boehner gives up on them and thus, his speakership, and the Republican Party, to get the Democrats on board. He tried. He failed. It's a good thing the Democrats prefer the status quo or else they'd actually have to do something now.
[/rant]
TL;Dr "Fuck."

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Posted - Dec 20 2012 : 11:56PM
I think this thread should be renamed the "Cody McLarge Manifesto"
 
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Posted - Dec 21 2012 : 9:08AM

EDIT: Forgot to add Link.
Also might as well add this,
Edited by - zarinafan on 12/21/2012 9:13:28 AM
 
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Posted - Dec 21 2012 : 10:12AM
As should every thread the one who shall not be named purposes to his will.
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Posted - Dec 21 2012 : 12:34PM
[link inactive:404 - Page not found]Ron Brownstein: Dems Grow More Unified While GOP Falls Apart

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6/06
Posted - Dec 21 2012 : 7:10PM
I have to say that I never thought I'd ever find myself writing this sentence, but here I go: I actually feel a little sorry for Boehner. He's 97% crazy, but enough of his caucus is 100% crazy that they make it impossible for him to move, at all, on anything.
Andrew Sullivan sums things up:
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Between the humiliating and chaotic collapse of Speaker Boehner's already ludicrously extreme Plan B and Wayne La Pierre's deranged proposal to put government agents in schools with guns, the Republican slide into total epistemic closure and political marginalization has now become a free-fall. This party, not to mince words, is unfit for government. There is no conservative party in the West - except for minor anti-immigrant neo-fascist ones in Europe - anywhere close to this level of far right extremism. And now the damage these fanatics can do is not just to their own country - was the debt ceiling debacle of 2011 not enough for them? - but to the entire world.
Those of us who have warned for years about this disturbing trend toward ever more extreme measures - backing torture, pre-emptive un-budgeted wars, out-of-control spending followed, like a frantic mood swing, by anti-spending absolutism of the most insane variety in a steep recession, vicious hostility to illegal immigrants, contempt for gay couples, hostility even to contraception, let alone a middle ground on abortion ... well, you know it all by now.
But the current constitutional and economic vandalism removes any shred of doubt that this party and its lucrative media bubble is in any way conservative. They aren't. They're ideological zealots, indifferent to the consequences of their actions, contemptuous of the very to-and-fro essential for the American system to work, gerry-mandering to thwart the popular will, filibustering in a way that all but wrecks the core mechanics of American democracy, and now willing to acquiesce to the biggest tax increase imaginable because they cannot even accept Obama's compromise from his clear campaign promise to raise rates for those earning over $250,000 to $400,000 a year.
And this is not the exception. It is the rule. On abortion, the party proposes that it be made illegal in every state by amending the Constitution. Torture? More, please. Iran? It should be attacked if it merely develops the technological skill to make a nuclear bomb, let alone actually make one. Israel? Leading Republicans don't just support new settlements on the West Bank. They show up for the opening ceremonies!
Gun control? A massacre of children leads to a proposal for more guns in elementary schools and no concession on assault weapons. Immigration? Romney represented the party base - favoring a brutal regime of persecution of illegal immigrants until they are forced to "self-deport" - or rounding as many up as they can. Climate change? It's a hoax - and we should respond by shrieking "Drill, Baby, Drill!" Gay marriage? The federal constitution should be amended to bar any legal recognition of any gay relationships, including civil partnerships. Their legislative agenda in this Congress? To "make Obama a one-term president." Not saving the economy, not pursuing new policies, not cooperating to make Democratic legislation better. Just destroying a president of the opposite party. And, of course, failing.
Then there is the rhetoric. In just the last fortnight, House Republicans have asserted that secretary of state Clinton faked her recent fall and concussion at home in order to get out of testifying on the Benghazi consulate attack. And then the Weekly Standard quotes a Senate Republican staffer saying: "Send us Hagel and we will make sure every American knows he is an anti-Semite."
Enough. This faction and its unhinged fanaticism has no place in any advanced democracy. They must be broken. But the current irony is that no one has managed to expose their extremism more clearly than their own Speaker. His career is over. As is the current Republican party. We need a new governing coalition in the House - Democrats and those few sane Republicans willing to put country before ideology. But even that may be impossible.

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Posted - Dec 21 2012 : 10:36PM
^I like the article.
 
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Posted - Dec 23 2012 : 2:40PM

By BINYAMIN APPELBAUM
December 22, 2012
WASHINGTON — On a Saturday afternoon in October 1990, Senator Pete V. Domenici turned from a conversation on the Senate floor, caught the eye of a clerk by raising his right hand and voted in favor of a huge and contentious bill to reduce federal deficits. Then he put his hand back into his pocket and returned to the conversation.
It was the end of an era, although no one knew it then. It was the last time any Congressional Republican has voted for higher income taxes.
The conservative revolt against that 1990 legislation — and against President George Bush, who violated his own “Read my lips” vow not to increase taxes — was a seminal moment for Republicans. The party of balanced budgets became the party that opposed tax increases.
When conservatives sank Speaker John A. Boehner’s plan last week to acquiesce on tax increases for the most affluent Americans as part of a potential broader deal with the Obama administration to avert tax increases for everyone else, several said that 1990 accord was a reason. They regard Mr. Bush’s broken promise as a major reason he was not re-elected, and they say the budget agreement proved that such compromises do not restrain the growth of government.
But the 1990 legislation also highlights a basic challenge now facing the party, which the chaos within the House caucus helped bring into public view on Thursday night.
Republicans continue to embrace the no-new-taxes stand as a centerpiece of the party’s identity, even in the face of public opinion that strongly supports tax increases on high incomes. And some Republicans fear that the party’s commitment to prevent tax increases more and more is coming at the expense of those other, older kinds of fiscal responsibility.
“Republicans used to be interested in not running continual rivers of red ink,” said former Representative William Frenzel, a Minnesota Republican who as the ranking member of the House Budget Committee in 1990 helped to negotiate the deficit deal. “If that meant raising taxes a little bit, we always raised taxes a little bit. But nowadays taxes are like leprosy and they can’t be used for anything, and so Republicans have denied themselves any bargaining power.”
The resulting debate has created perhaps the greatest test of the tax stand in the last two decades. Republicans who are willing to accept tax increases as part of a broader deal are pitted against a conservative wing, restocked by the Tea Party wave of 2010, that insists that opposition to tax increases is particularly important at times like these, when the temptation is greatest to avoid spending cuts by asking Americans for just a little more. Many in the antitax camp come from deeply conservative districts and were re-elected by wide margins.
They were not even swayed by Grover Norquist, the activist and arbiter of antitax orthodoxy, who has pushed politicians for the last 25 years to promise that they will not vote to raise taxes, a pledge a vast majority of Congressional Republicans have signed. Mr. Norquist said Mr. Boehner’s proposal was not a tax increase, but he could not convince the generation of politicians he helped create.
“We know that our big problem is too much spending,” Representative Louie Gohmert, Republican of Texas, said on Fox News last week, explaining his opposition to Mr. Boehner’s plan. “We know that President Reagan fell into the trap and President George H.W. Bush fell in the trap of ‘Here, just raise taxes on somebody, and we’ll come along with the cuts later.’”
The Republican Party’s embrace of tax cuts is often traced to the 1970s, when conservative thinkers began to argue that cuts were not just politically advantageous but also fiscally responsible. The economist Arthur Laffer advanced the theory that cuts could even be self-financing, because they could generate enough economic activity to increase revenue.
Others said that cutting taxes would force the government to cut spending too, an idea colorfully described as “starving the beast.”
But the movement did not truly take hold until the early 1990s. Some Congressional scholars argue that opposition to tax increases offered a new kind of ideological glue after the cold war. Others cite changes in the political landscape, including the rise of advocacy groups like Mr. Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform, and the purification of Congressional districts through gerrymandering, which led House members to fear primaries more than general elections. And the electoral success of the political strategy — many voters are swayed by promises of a lower tax bill — became its own justification.
In the early 1980s, majorities of Congressional Republicans voted for a pair of deficit deals orchestrated by President Ronald Reagan, even though tax increases accounted for more than 80 percent of the projected reductions. But by 1987, a majority of Republicans opposed a third deal, even though only 37 percent of the reductions came from tax increases.
The 1990 battle echoed the present situation. The economy was struggling. Deficits were growing. Congress had enacted automatic spending cuts that it was racing to avoid. Republicans did not want to raise taxes. Democrats did not want to cut spending. Mr. Bush, convinced that the government needed to balance its books, reluctantly agreed to break his no-new-taxes pledge. Once again, less than 40 percent of the money came from tax increases. Once again, a majority of Republicans voted no.
By 1993, not a single Republican would vote for a deficit package drafted by the Clinton administration and Congressional Democrats that laid the groundwork for the first balanced budget since the late 1960s.
Instead, in 2001 and 2003, Republicans passed tax cuts that more than reversed the increases during the Clinton administration.
“When I entered politics, the frame of reference was a balanced budget as the principle conservative precept,” said former Representative James Leach, an Iowa Republican who served from 1977 to 2007. “Today, it’s the level of taxes.”

In order to maintain that commitment, Republicans need to develop a similar consensus about how to reduce federal spending. The federal budget, particularly spending on health care programs, is projected to grow rapidly as the country ages and as medical costs continue to rise, leaving Washington in need of more revenue.
The party’s conservative wing wants to circumscribe those benefit programs, despite their popularity among voters. The goal of balancing the federal budget has all but vanished, replaced by the idea that deficits should be reduced to sustainable levels.
The 1990 deal still won the support of 47 Republicans in the House and 19 Republicans in the Senate. Only 4 of those 66 are still in Congress, and Senator Richard G. Lugar of Indiana and Representative Jerry Lewis of California both will be gone at the end of the current session, leaving just two: Senator Thad Cochran of Mississippi and Representative Frank R. Wolf of Virginia.
Mr. Domenici, the New Mexico Republican who played a significant role in negotiating the 1990 deal, which he regarded as necessary to reduce federal deficits, left the Senate in 2009. But he has continued to advocate a similar approach as a co-chairman of a commission organized by the Bipartisan Policy Center that called for a mix of revenue increases and spending cuts to stabilize the federal debt.
He said he was frustrated by the reflexive opposition of conservatives to any kind of tax increase, but he added that Democrats had also shown little willingness to negotiate necessary cuts in spending on federal entitlement programs.
“There has been a hardening in the Democratic line, too,” he said. “There isn’t any Democrat in here that is going to help with these cuts.”

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Posted - Dec 28 2012 : 7:15PM

Before he left for Hawaii, the president finally offered a sincere proposal that could pass both chambers of Congress. Republicans are conceding that spending cuts will not be a part of the deal; the WH is conceding a debt limit increase (those offset one other too).
If a bipartisan deal on taxes, unemployment insurance increases, and delaying cuts to Defense passes the Senate, Boehner will be boxed in, likely where he's known he'll be all along. I'm skeptical that such a deal can be reached, but the president reasons it's a fine gambit.
In the House, it will not be a Republican-heavy vote, but like the vote to avoid a government shutdown, and the vote to raise the debt limit, enough Republicans will provide the support to lift it over the top. But that is only if Boehner's confident he can maintain his Speakership. If not, he'll be forced to come to the conclusion that many members of his caucus did - better to survive politically, stand on "principle," and go over the cliff than to make a deal. That would be unfortunate, but it could happen.
I think there will be a deal on January 1st. The markets are closed. People won't be paying much attention. Tax rates "will have already expired." Lame ducks will be two days away from retirement, and exhausted.
Edited by - Cody McLarge on 12/28/2012 7:28:43 PM

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Posted - Dec 28 2012 : 10:27PM
Shitsticks.
 
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Posted - Jan 2 2013 : 9:14PM
Senate Democrats and Republicans reached a deal to undo the majority of the so-called “fiscal cliff” by extending most of the Bush tax cuts while levying Clinton-era rates on households with more than $450,000 in income. The sequester cuts agreed to as part of the 2011 deal on the debt ceiling will be delayed for two months and perhaps ultimately replaced by some other package. But the details packed into this deal reveal the real winners and losers:
Winners
Rich people: Raising the threshold for higher taxes from $250,000 to $450,000 is a big tax cut for all kinds of rich people, not just those with adjusted gross incomes between the two figures. That’s because taxes are assessed on marginal income, meaning that even if you make $600,000 or even $1 million a year you still have a very large share of your income that’s taxed at a lower rate thanks to this deal.
Red State Democrats: Democrats currently hold a majority of seats in the Senate thanks to senators from such not-so-liberal states such as Louisiana, Arkansas, South Dakota, and West Virginia. If we went over the cliff, this is the group that would be caught in the Obama-Boehner crossfire. A deal lets them duck partisan controversy, which is right where they want to be.
Unemployed people: The deal includes funding for a one-year extension of supplemental unemployment insurance benefits. It’s easy for liberals to dismiss this as a GOP concession on a temporary issue in exchange for permanent tax cuts, but it’ll make a big difference in the lives of the unemployed.
Doctors: Neither Democrats nor Republicans favored implementing the large cuts in Medicare reimbursement rates for physicians that were scheduled by law, but there was a partisan dispute about how to orchestrate a so-called “doc fix” for 2013 and cliff diving might have at least temporarily hit doctors in their wallets. This deal completely punts on all kinds of substantive issues related to the reimbursement rate issue, but it guarantees that the money will keep flowing for now.
The elderly: As recently as yesterday morning, it was taken for granted that one of the major provisions of an alternative to the fiscal cliff would be cuts in the federal retirement security programs that are the main long-term drivers of deficits. But ultimately Democrats cared more about avoiding spending cuts than securing tax revenues, and Republicans cared more about low taxes than cutting spending. Old people are the winners.
Losers
“Grand Bargaineers”: David Weigel has written elegantly for Slate about Pete Peterson’s decades-long failure to move the needle on deficit reduction, and this week Peterson has failed yet again. The “fiscal cliff” was his best chance yet to secure a grand bargain of big tax hikes and major spending cuts by creating an artificial political crisis that supposedly could only be defused with a huge deficit reduction package. But the win for the elderly was a catastrophic defeat for the grand bargain.
Fighting Democrats: The Obama administration has gotten a lot done since Inauguration Day 2009, but what it’s never done is give strong partisan Democrats the kind of to-the-mattresses battle against the GOP that they crave. Most liberals think—and I agree—that had we simply gone over the cliff and had Obama simply insisted on a new tax cut bill with a $250,000 threshold, he ultimately would have won. But success was by no means guaranteed, and ultimately the White House chose not to risk further re-enforcing a sense that the president is a weak poker player.
Grover Norquist: The leader of Americans for Tax Reform is hardly the key to anti-tax thinking on the right. But his particular gimmick, a “pledge” to never cast an affirmative vote for higher taxes, had become influential on its own terms. The White House and other pro-deal Democrats see breaking this taboo as an important precedent-setter in its own right.
The economy: The deal is being characterized as one aimed at “stopping taxes from going up on middle class families,” but in fact the expiration of the payroll tax holiday means that taxes will go up on working people. Obama started the fiscal cliff talks aiming to extend the holiday or replace it with some other new stimulus ideas. That’s all fallen by the wayside now and for the next two months, the markets will have the shadow of a debt ceiling standoff lurking over its head.
 
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Posted - Jan 2 2013 : 9:16PM
Eric Cantor stabbed John Boehner in the back AGAIN.
It really is Lucy and Charlie Brown with the football with these guys.
 
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Posted - Jan 2 2013 : 9:18PM
The conservative talk radio guys and bloggers are incensed with Boehner. They're even angrier than they were on November 7th, which I didn't think was possible,

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Posted - Jan 3 2013 : 2:23AM
Tomorrow is either the day to turn off talk radio - you'll cause an accident, or to listen in on all the self-mutilating masochistic glory. John Boehner is going to remain Speaker, and Erick Erickson, Mark Levin, Michael Savage, and the rest are going to fucking lose it.
As far as I'm concerned, I'm rather impressed. I thought the Democrats were slow-walking the deal so that the threshold would be their political trophy at $250,000 of income. I thought that was clearly the hill they were willing to fight on. Settling for $400,000/450,000 was rather unexpected, and it turns out Joe Biden, and thus the White House itself, are more reasonable than I give them credit for, and McConnell is owed some apologies from his detractors as well.
The House is, however, pretty fucked up. Ignoring alternatives, indulging in mudslinging politics when their colleagues in the other chamber had just taken the same damn risk, and ultimately doing the typical Washington thing - shouting loudly, then quietly asking "what's the vote count? I can still keep my hands clean, right?" Ugly, ugly, ugly.
Boehner gives 'em an out and they want his scalp. He tries to work with the president, and they undermine his spot at the table. Leadership has to lead, not be lead.I've had my problems with weak quarterback Boehner, but this time, he did all he could, and I think it's entirely opportunistic, unreasonable, and disgusting to use this turn of events against him.
And finally, Paul Ryan in the Y column? That's not good politics, not at all. He's going to pay for that. Either he has to put out the most detailed supply-side, pro-growth tax reform agenda of all time and stake his entire legacy, and presidential ambition on that, or he's going to get mangled by the junkyard dogs.
 
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Posted - Jan 3 2013 : 4:34PM
Michele Bachmann has tweeted that she is putting forth the first bill of the 113th Congress -- a bill to repeal Obamacare.
Isn't she just darling?

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Posted - Jan 3 2013 : 4:55PM
bachmann.jpg
 
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Posted - Jan 3 2013 : 5:17PM
LOL! Cross-topic posting!

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Posted - Jan 4 2013 : 12:22AM
Ah, great, and agree.

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9/02
Posted - Jan 4 2013 : 1:05AM
Krauthammer thinks Hillary is faking a concussion.
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