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Ceiling Obama’s Fate

I don’t like Speaker Boehner or trust him.  Which just means I have a lot in common with your average conservative Republican congressman (that and skinny-dipping).  It bothers me that this is effectively the most powerful Republican in the federal government.  He’s going to compromise our best strengths away and we’re going to get screwed.   But I really have no idea what else the GOP in the House should do.

We’re talking about Obama’s legacy here.  A working and lasting deal on the debt and taxes would be the starting point for anything good or bad that happens after it.  Obama missed this chance last time through incompetence and opportunism.  He insisted on holding off on any long-term solution until after re-election and allowed the uncertainty  of the fiscal cliff and Taxmageddon  (as well as Obamacare, now not going away) to drag down the economy for another year and a half. 

This is why his first term must be considered to be a failure.  Obama roughly held unemployment in place–unless you want to get into the more complex argument about labor force participation–and that was the issue foremost on voter’s minds.  But Bill Clinton promised that nobody could have fixed the economy in four years and he wouldn’t lie to us, right?  So Obama gets his re-election and another shot at a grand bargain on the debt ceiling and taxes.

Frankly, I’d be more impressed if the federal government woud just pass a real budget in compliance with the law, but they are so fucked that this isn’t even on the table right now.   Whatever Big Fuckin’ Deal these damn fools come up with, it’s going to equally celebrated and meaningless.  They’re not doing what needs to happen, they’re postponing it.  They’re not really doing what they’re supposed to, but making it look like they are.  It’s theatre, but we had best know what the audience is expecting to see on stage: The Rich as the antagonist, who must lose at third act.

The GOP is going to lose plainly on taxes.  Incomes on those who make over $250,000 need to go up because we can’t keep defending these people for no clear reason.  Yeah, yeah, raising taxes now would throw us back into recession or worsen the one we’re already in, depending on your outlook.  The proposed tax increases won’t close the deficit either, I know.   But Obama must have that to show off.  It’s inescapable.  Don’t get me wrong, if we HAD to give Obama a trophy, I’d tell him to take Boehner’s testicles; but he doesn’t want them.  He wants to confiscate more wealth from the wealthy.

I say that the taxes on top earners have to go up because the American people don’t know dick about economics.  Let’s face it.  If they did, they would have shown a lot more curiosity about the lack of a federal budget for nearly four years now and possibly asked some questions about why the recovery was oh so weak.  Oh, yeah: They probably wouldn’t have re-elected Obama either.

My prediction is that the Democrats will get the tax increase on “the rich” while barely giving anything in return.  Don’t get mad about this though.  It’s a loser and the GOP will be better off with it resolved.  It will suck all the wind out of the “party of the rich” arguments if any other part of the deal falls through.

The GOP has the big gun in this argument.  They can always let all of the Bush tax cuts expire.   The demented extremist side of me who would like to collectively kick the electorate in the junk for last Tuesday LOVES the thought of doing this just for spite.  Shitty thing is that this would hurt my household too.  I’m a working schlub, married to a teacher, and we have two kids.   We are that middle class that everyone purports to care about so much and really doesn’t.  Hence, we hate everyone else.

Obama most assuredly does not want to be blamed for raising taxes on the middle class (except for Obamacare, because “kids with cancer” or something).   If the Democrats don’t agree to some spending cuts beyond reducing the military to menacing our enemies with rubberband-fired paper clips, then the GOP must announce that no agreement that realistically reduces the deficit could be reached and they have no choice but to allow the tax cuts to sunset.

The Democrats do not want this and will work hard to prevent it.  The problem is that even though we have the advantage in the form of the great tax increase gambit, we have the biggest disadvantage on the game board: Boehner himself.  This isn’t about him, it’s about Obama.  Both of them want to secure their own legacies and I think Boehner is the less committed of the two.   Worse, he still thinks that something can be worked out man-to-man with this president.  His greatest weapon is that which Obama most fears: tax increases on everybody.  Not beating Obama at golf.

If Boehner does not use the big gun, then he establishes Obama as a good-enough president for resolving the debt stalemate, passes an idiotic compromise that accomplishes nothing for the good of his country, and proves once again how ultimately meaningless it is to give the GOP control of any part of the federal government. 

Obama’s legacy is on the line but all eyes should be on Boehner now.

22 comments

1 ping

  1. Kimpost says:

    I’m actually encouraged by this. Unlike last time, we might just see adults talking for a change. Boehner & Co should push Obama to some significant cuts, while accepting slightly higher taxes on top income earners. With the right approach I’m sure they’ll be able to get a 3-4:1 ratio deal through.

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  2. Thrill says:

    We DID have the adults talking last time. If you believe Woodward, Obama was all but cut out when he couldn’t say yes.

    The shitty thing about this situation is that Boehner has all the pressure to deliver while Obama will get the accolades. I would not want to be Boehner right now.

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  3. Kimpost says:

    I believe Woodward. Which is why I said that I didn’t think it was handled by adults. Obama showed his inexperience when he threw in some last minute revenue. And Boehner showed weakness when he suddenly realized that he probably couldn’t get enough Republican support even for the deal prior to Obama’s last minute addition. He was saved by Obama…

    It was ridiculous. IMO, Republicans should have agreed with Boehner and jumped on the deal. It was a good and reasonable one. Better for (R) than for (D).

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  4. Thrill says:

    It’s just odd that you’re bringing up how improved it is that we have the adults in the room now. It’s the exact same cast of misfits as last time: Obama, Boehner, Reid, McConnell, Pelosi.

    It’s why I think that the the 2012 election was such a farce. It’s like the electorate decided to mindfuck DC with a practical joke since they don’t actually expect them to do anything anyway.

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  5. Kimpost says:

    The same people, but they don’t want to repeat the events of last summer. Sure, some of it is because they don’t want to look like idiots again. Obama included. It’s a show. But I’ll take that if it gets something done.

    There should be room for healthy vivid debate, but not total gridlock just for the hell of things. Slightly higher taxes on top earners isn’t the end of the world. Just see to it that you get something in return. And lower the expectations. There won’t be Ron Paul type of cuts. Realistically we’re talking about a deal balancing the budget 2025-2030. Best case scenario, unless growth speeds things up.

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  6. Thrill says:

    You’re correct about higher taxes on top earners. We need to accept that. However, I’m worried that Boehner is going to give up too much for too little else. You favor Obama so you have more reason to be optimistic than I do.

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  7. Poosh says:

    Let Obama have everything he wants.

    Salt the earth.

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  8. Thrill says:

    I can dig it.

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  9. AlexInCT says:

    Was that some word play in the title Thrill, or did you mean to say “Sealing” instead of “Ceiling”?

    Frankly, I’d be more impressed if the federal government woud just pass a real budget in compliance with the law, but they are so fucked that this isn’t even on the table right now.

    And I expect this to stay the same for at least the next 2 years, and two more if democrats keep control of the senate. It is not an accident that Reid has blocked a bill for over 3 years now. They are likely spending far more than the trillion plus they claim they are spending each year over and above what they are collecting, and a real budget would give that away. Even worse, it would give people a clue about how important it is for government to forcibly keep interest rates low – that pesky percentage of the budget that they are spending just servicing the $16 trillion, and soon to be allowed to go up to $ 18.5 trillion debt – would eat up all of the $ 2.35 trillion in revenue the government collects each year if the rate jumped up to what it realistically aught to be (about 6%) instead of the artificial 0% we have now. They HAVE to keep these rates down or they are toast. And that is why they are killing any kind of savings growth.

    My prediction is that the Democrats will get the tax increase on “the rich” while barely giving anything in return.

    It has been already shown, repeatedly, that Obama’s desired tax hike on the rich won’t amount to a hill of beans. Their take every year will still be short by over $800 billion annually. That is, IF – and what a big if that is – they don’t jack up spending, which is what this whole kabuki dance that the left is doing about taxing the rich more really boils down to. Even if they were to confiscate all the rich people’s wealth, it wouldn’t pay for more than 1 year of these people spending. Mind you, I now don’t care if Obama jacks up taxes on the rich. In fact I see it as a bonus. It’s like a guy that just stabbed himself in an artery pulling the knife out and thinking that’s going to make things better. And I am sure they will blame everyone and anyone but the democrats and their policies as this makes things worse.

    In the end this tax hike isn’t really about the revenue they thing they can get from the rich anyway. It’s about this being an excuse for them to jack up spending. And then, because they simply can not get more from the rich, they will sock it to the middle class. After all, the middle class is hostile to them, and the people that vote their way don’t pay income taxes anyway.

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  10. Thrill says:

    did you mean to say “Sealing” instead of “Ceiling”?

    Yes, I took advantage of the homonym.

    Everything you said is true. In fact, I hope that when taxes do go up, the GOP runs with it to say, “Look! WE CANNOT TAX OUR WAY OUT OF THIS. It’s impossible. The Democrats have promised you too much shit and something has to go. It’s not us, it’s arithmetic.”

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  11. CM says:

    After all, the middle class is hostile to them, and the people that vote their way don’t pay income taxes anyway.

    Didn’t you just demonstrate in the other thread that lots and lots of rich people voted for Obama?
    Are these rich people not paying income taxes either?

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  12. Mississippi Yankee says:

    The same people, but they don’t want to repeat the events of last summer. Sure, some of it is because they don’t want to look like idiots again. Obama included. It’s a show. But I’ll take that if it gets something done.

    Kim, do you have skin in this game or are you, once again, telling us what’s “best” for US?
    Do you also advise the EU? How about the Merkel Reich or do you know better?

    And is it your own opinion or a Soros cabal decision?

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  13. Thrill says:

    Are these rich people not paying income taxes either?

    The rich can always escape taxes, one way or another and they do. There isn’t enough wealth to cover the entitlements that we have for the medium term. We have to reduce or give more than we’re accustomed until it gets balanced.

    Obama’s own 1% could donate as much as they want to the Treasury, but they prefer to grandstand by demanding more taxes. I’ve never understood this.

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  14. Kimpost says:

    Generally, you should just learn to live with foreigners discussing US politics, MY. But since you asked, many US-policies are important even to people outside of the US. We live in a global economy, as you know. A prospering US would not just be good for Americans but for Swedes as well.

    I’m pretty interested in what happens in the EU too, yes. I live there, so it would be weird if I wasn’t. But I’m not visiting German blogs, if that’s what you are asking. I do, however have opinions on lots of countries.

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  15. Thrill says:

    I’ll admit that I like der Spiegel.

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  16. Mississippi Yankee says:

    Don’t mean to Hi-jack your thread, it’s just the the very Executive Order – dictat, fiat is like
    Heeeere we gooooo…….
    Executive Order — Establishing the White House Homeland Security Partnership Council

    *slip*
    *slide*
    *avalanch*
    right down the slippy slope

    By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, and in order to advance the Federal Government’s use of local partnerships to address homeland security challenges, it is hereby ordered as follows:

    Oh and the members of the new steering committees are pretty much the same people that received all of those ammunition purchases earlier this year that I was told -not to worry about.

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  17. Thrill says:

    Oh, just hijack all of my threads. They all turn into discussions about Star Wars and fucking and fucking Natalie Portman anyway. I am the worst thread moderator in the history of this blog.

    That aside, what is the slippery slope here?

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  18. CM says:

    Did someone say “fucking Natalie Portman”? Who, what, where?!

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  19. Mississippi Yankee says:

    That aside, what is the slippery slope here?

    Link following, although not required, may be helpful.

    Natalie Portman and Keira Knightly are one of my winter fantasies. If things ever cooled off I could just rub them together and create heat. My other is a fat girl with tattoos all over. Shade in the summer, warmth in the winter and moving pictures all year long.

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  20. Biggie G says:

    Obama’s own 1% could donate as much as they want to the Treasury, but they prefer to grandstand by demanding more taxes. I’ve never understood this.

    Just remember this: Socialism is for the people, not the socialist.

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  21. AlexInCT says:

    Didn’t you just demonstrate in the other thread that lots and lots of rich people voted for Obama?
    Are these rich people not paying income taxes either?

    So now rich people are middle class? Fuck, I can not keep up with you progressive class warriors and how quickly you change people’s labels and what caste or class they belong to. I guess in the end they are all are serfs of the nanny state, though. Well everyone except the really rich people the class warriors pretend to dislike.

    That was sarcasm CM. If you think middle class includes those that make over $500K year, those people that vote for Obama by an 80% margin, then I finally understand why the left wants to tax “the rich”? It really boils down to everyone that earns income.

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  22. AlexInCT says:

    The rich can always escape taxes, one way or another and they do.

    See or Google John Kerry and Yacht or Geithner and IRS….

    And those two are some of the more obvious stuff these people do…

    The left ins’t about socking it to the rich: they are about making sure nobody else gets rich.

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  1. What the class warriors are really aiming for: tax everyone more » Right Thinking says:

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