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Old 07-20-2012, 10:41 AM  
Direckshun Direckshun is offline
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The Fiscal Cliff Approacheth

In an effort to make this thread sticky-worthy, I am going to update this OP to keep casual glancers informed.

This post is the official one-stop shopping of the key points/developments of the fiscal cliff negotiations.

Far as I understand, the fiscal cliff:

1. Gets rid of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy.
2. Gets rid of the Bush tax cuts for everybody else.
3. Slashes defense spending by something like $500 billion.
4. Slashes domestic programs like the NIH, Head Start, and medicine/drug care for the poor by $500 billion.

The new idea is for Democrats to allow the cliff to hit, then immediately introduce a bill that would bring 2, 4, and some of 3 back. But not 1.

Here is a chart detailing exactly what the fiscal cliff is going to do, financially:

Spoiler!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Direckshun View Post
New CBO projection: if the fiscal cliff hits, we are in another recession, and lose two million jobs.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/...87L0JV20120822
The poor would be hurt by the fiscal cliff:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Direckshun View Post
Overall, if the tax breaks from the 2009 stimulus are allowed to expire—the EITC and Child Tax Credit expansions, along with American Opportunity Credit for college tuition—the poorest 20 percent of Americans would see their taxes go up by $209 on average, reducing their after-tax income by 1.9 percent, according to the Tax Policy Center.
As would the middle class:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Direckshun View Post
According to estimates by the Tax Policy Center, more than half of all married couples will owe an additional tax of around $4,000 unless Congress acts. And more than a third of families with children will fall subject to the AMT, with parents of three or more children facing an extra tax of $4,700.

Among married couples with at least two children and adjusted gross income between $75,000 and $100,000, the center estimates that 84 percent will face a significantly higher tax bill this year because of the AMT.
There seems to be some consensus between the parties that substantial revenues want to be raised. Boehner and the GOP hopes that's through limiting tax deductions rather than tax raises.

Obama's opening offer, essentially:

Quote:
  • Allow the Bush tax cuts on high earners to expire. $849 billion
  • Limit itemized deductions to 28 percent, close some loopholes and deductions on high earners, eliminate tax breaks for oil and gas companies, eliminate the carried interest loophole, plus a few other items. $584 billion
  • Create a special "Buffett Rule" tax rate for millionaires. $47 billion
  • Restore the estate tax to 2009 levels. $143 billion
  • Limit corporate income shifting to low-tax countries. $148 billion
  • Other miscellaneous tax increases and reductions. About -$200 billion
  • Total: $1.6 trillion

Last edited by Direckshun; 11-14-2012 at 09:54 AM..
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Old 11-30-2012, 08:18 AM   #301
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Direckshun View Post
The President was asked to bring the tax hikes he favored to the table. The GOP was asked to bring spending cuts they'd like to see.

Only one of them has lived up to their end of the deal.

Shrug.
The President was asked to bring spending cuts to the table. He brought spending increases instead. Fail. He thinks he has politics on his side and he just may be right. But even if he succeeds in making Republicans look like the bad guys here in the minds of the low information public, he'll still have failed the country.
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Old 11-30-2012, 08:26 AM   #302
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patteeu View Post
The President was asked to bring spending cuts to the table.
After the GOP refused to bring anything.

The President can't negotiate with himself. So he came out huge, with a progressive's dream of deficit reduction. Now the GOP needs to answer with their own.

Negotiations take two parties, not one.
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Old 11-30-2012, 08:32 AM   #303
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Direckshun View Post
After the GOP refused to bring anything.

The President can't negotiate with himself. So he came out huge, with a progressive's dream of deficit reduction. Now the GOP needs to answer with their own.

Negotiations take two parties, not one.
No, he's been asked for specific spending cuts from the get go. Still waiting.
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Old 11-30-2012, 08:43 AM   #304
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patteeu View Post
No, he's been asked for specific spending cuts from the get go. Still waiting.
And what's the GOP been asked for? What has the GOP delivered?

Name one specific thing the GOP has actually suggested. One thing.

Isn't that a bit weird, in a negotiation? To offer next to nothing?
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Old 11-30-2012, 08:57 AM   #305
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Direckshun View Post
And what's the GOP been asked for? What has the GOP delivered?

Name one specific thing the GOP has actually suggested. One thing.

Isn't that a bit weird, in a negotiation? To offer next to nothing?
It's not weird at all. Did we elect the President to be the leader of our country or not? Republican Presidents haven't had trouble making proposals in the past. Previous democrats haven't had trouble. What's wrong with this guy?
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Old 11-30-2012, 10:37 AM   #306
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patteeu View Post
Republican Presidents haven't had trouble making proposals in the past. Previous democrats haven't had trouble. What's wrong with this guy?
I don't think you know how negotiating works.

To summarize your position:

POTUS offers a 1.6T plan = weird.

Republican House offers nothing = not weird.
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Old 11-30-2012, 10:52 AM   #307
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Direckshun View Post
I don't think you know how negotiating works.

To summarize your position:

POTUS offers a 1.6T plan = weird.

Republican House offers nothing = not weird.
Is that the President's whole plan? No real spending cuts? Just tax increases that weren't even hinted about during the election plus some additional spending? President Lucy is failing our country and you're worried about why the Republicans won't just try to kick the ball again?
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Old 11-30-2012, 11:48 AM   #308
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The TL;DR version of that is that, while Republicans want Medicare cuts as their side of a grand bargain, they aren't bringing any specific cuts to the negotiating table, instead saying thats Obama's job.

I think the solution is obvious. Put Paul Ryan in charge of the GOP's negotiating position on Medicare. He wont get full-fledged "premium support", but he has made it his political mission to cut Medicare. If he doesn't support the outcome its dead in the water anyways, so have him lead the way on it.

The final agreement will be a hard sell regardless if those poll numbers I posted are close to true. There is nobody who could do a better job designing cuts and then selling them than Ryan.
To elaborate on this, the GOP plan on entitlements is the Ryan plan, but the Ryan plan doesn't cut Medicare in the next 10 years by a single cent, and the real cuts don't start for 20 years. If Obama was to bring to the table a plan that didn't cut spending for 20 years in exchange for tax hikes, he would get laughed out of the room.

Congressional Republicans need to sort out what kind of cuts they want. There is not really a way to move forward without them doing so. The whole point of a grand bargain is that because its unpopular, both sides contribute something, but they (understandably) want Obama to own the whole deal. I'm not sure its tenable.
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Old 11-30-2012, 11:49 AM   #309
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patteeu View Post
He thinks he has politics on his side and he just may be right.
Because he got 400,000 dead people/ mexicans to vote for him in PA, OH and FL?

Puh leeze.
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Old 11-30-2012, 12:03 PM   #310
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FD View Post
To elaborate on this, the GOP plan on entitlements is the Ryan plan, but the Ryan plan doesn't cut Medicare in the next 10 years by a single cent, and the real cuts don't start for 20 years. If Obama was to bring to the table a plan that didn't cut spending for 20 years in exchange for tax hikes, he would get laughed out of the room.

Congressional Republicans need to sort out what kind of cuts they want. There is not really a way to move forward without them doing so. The whole point of a grand bargain is that because its unpopular, both sides contribute something, but they (understandably) want Obama to own the whole deal. I'm not sure its tenable.
What is Obama willing to own? Tax increases on the rich? How courageous.
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Old 11-30-2012, 12:39 PM   #311
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Originally Posted by patteeu View Post
What is Obama willing to own? Tax increases on the rich? How courageous.
no shit.
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Old 11-30-2012, 12:43 PM   #312
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Originally Posted by Direckshun View Post
The Wall Street Journal says it all:
They do (or more specifically Kim Strassel does), don't they...
This Unserious White House
The president makes the GOP a fiscal-cliff offer he knows they will refuse.

The White House this week finally explained just how serious it is about averting a fiscal cliff that could throw the country back into a recession. The answer: not serious at all.

The markets and the media in recent days have been operating on an optimistic belief that the administration simply will not let the country fall off the fiscal cliff. They'd best rethink. On Thursday, the president dispatched Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and White House Director of Legislative Affairs Rob Nabors to Congress to finally outline the White House's offer to avert the coming tax hikes and sequester.

It was something out of Wonderland and Oz combined.

According to sources on Capitol Hill, the White House wants Republicans to pony up $960 billion in immediate tax increases, which will come from hiking the top marginal rates and increasing capital gains and dividends taxes. That is just for starters. The administration also wants the GOP to surrender an additional $600 billion in revenue via later tax reforms.

The president's team specified no amounts or details on spending cuts. Rather, the White House wants more spending: at least $50 billion in new stimulus, an extension of unemployment insurance, a one-year deferral of the sequester, new money to refinance underwater mortgages, a Medicare-doctor fix . . . and a partridge in a pear tree.

Oh, the White House also wants Congress to give Mr. Obama the authority to increase the debt limit, whenever he wants, as much as he wants.

What do Republicans get in return? Next year, the White House will agree to talk to the GOP about cutting as much as $400 billion from entitlement programs. Maybe. If Democrats get around to it. Which they won't—because they'll have everything they've wanted.


How to put this tax-and-more-spending offer in perspective? It is far in excess of what the Democrats asked for in last year's debt-limit standoff—when the political configuration in Washington was exactly the same. It is far more than the president's own Democratic Senate has ever been able to pass, even with a filibuster-proof majority. It is far more than the president himself campaigned on this year.

But the president's offer is very much in keeping with his history of insisting that every negotiation consist of the other side giving him everything he wants. That approach has given him the reputation as the modern president least able to forge a consensus.

Don't forget: The man now engaged with Congress to work out a grand deal is the same one who could not pull over to his side a single Republican vote for his stimulus legislation, who had to ram through ObamaCare with procedural tricks, and whose inept handling of last year's debt-ceiling talks ultimately led his fellow Democrat, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, to isolate him from the final negotiations. This is not a history to inspire confidence.

Mr. Obama's tendency to campaign rather than lead, to speechify rather than negotiate, has already defined this lame-duck session. The president has wasted weeks during which a framework for a deal has been in place.

Within two days of the election, Mr. Boehner had offered an enormous compromise, committing the GOP to provide new tax revenue, through limits on deductions for the wealthy. Mr. Obama campaigned on making "the rich" pay more—and that is exactly what Mr. Boehner agreed to give him.

All that was left for the president to do was accept this peace offering, pair it with necessary spending cuts, and take credit for averting a crisis. Mr. Obama has instead spent the past weeks campaigning for tax-rate hikes. He wants the revenue, but collected only the way he chooses. And on the basis of that ideological insistence alone, the nation is much closer to a crisis.

Talks that had been at a standstill may now crumble, thanks to the Geithner-Nabors proposal. The president is boxing in the Republicans—offering them a deal they cannot accept, a deal they can't even be seen to be treating seriously. Mr. Boehner is legitimately interested in a bargain that will set the country on sounder footing. Yet the most immediate outcome of such an open slap from the White House will be to make even those Republicans who were willing to cut a deal harden their positions. Someone get the White House a copy of "Negotiating Tactics for Dummies."

Then again, the most frightening aspect of the White House proposal is that it wasn't an error. Perhaps the proposal was thoroughly calculated. This suggests a president who doesn't care about the outcome of the cliff negotiations—who thinks that he wins politically no matter what. He's betting that either the GOP will be far more responsible than he is and do anything to avert a crisis, or that the cliff gives him the tax hikes his partisans are demanding. Win-win, save for the enormous pain to average families across the country.

The Republicans will have to contemplate how to deal with such an unserious offer. But in presenting his demands, the president has now made very clear that there is only one side that is working in good faith.
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Old 11-30-2012, 12:49 PM   #313
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$50 billion stimulus package in FY13
Really?
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Old 11-30-2012, 12:53 PM   #314
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Originally Posted by alpha_omega View Post
Really?
Yep. The guy doesn't want to avoid the cliff.
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Old 11-30-2012, 01:01 PM   #315
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Direckshun View Post
After the GOP refused to bring anything.

The President can't negotiate with himself. So he came out huge, with a progressive's dream of deficit reduction. Now the GOP needs to answer with their own.

Negotiations take two parties, not one.
The GOP brought ideas to the table for three years while the Senate diddled and did nothing in terms of passing a budget. What the President handed over yesterday was essentially his last budget proposal which...wait for it...was voted down by the Senate 96-0. The only people that didn't vote against it didn't vote at all. FAIL

Obama is failing America and God willing historians will recognize it even if the slapdick American voting populace doesn't.
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