How is this an Obama victory again?

How would this not be a defeat for Obama? So Obama’s macho “Deal-by-Friday-or-time’s-up-on-to–Plan-B” ultimatum is actually an obvious, slightly desperate attempt to avoid the cuts-only take-it-or-leave-it no-brainer ploy that Even E.J. Dionne and Jennifer Rubin and NRO‘s editors talk about, right? … P.S.: Looks as if Obama might get a cuts-only deal in a McConnell Plan B “hybrid” anyway. Jon Alter seems to have missed that part. … P.P.S.: Objectively (as we Marxists say) that would be a defeat for Obama, after his showy insistence on revenue increases, no? He’d still wind up with all cuts, no new revenues. But why do I suspect it’s all OK with Obama as long as he can  look like he’s in charge? Avoiding Carterization is Job #1. …

  • callenlaw

    To Kaus’s question, I think it’s a matter of relative defeat, by which I mean whether voters ultimately decided to punish Obama more than tea-partyists decided to punish Republican members of Congress for perceived selling out.

    With March-June 2012 a lot closer than November, I can see a perceived slight to tea-partiers giving rise to more Sharron Angles and Christine O’Donnells in primaries (undermining the goal of retaking the Senate and holding the House). Only keen political discipline could prevent such an occurrence and keep the focus on Obama until the election, which I do not believe the GOP (or any Conservative movement) capable of at this point.

  • http://www.zazzle.com/libertyjane LibertyJane


    Tell me again why they should?

  • stephenkaus

    Tell me again why rich people should not pay the same tax rates as in the 1990s.

    • Jim Treacher

      Tell us to begin with why it’s your business how much taxes somebody else pays.

      • gooners

        Good lord are you dumb.

        • Jim Treacher

          Well argued, goonie.

      • randomerror95

        This is an excellent point. Really, why should anyone care what anyone else is legally obliged to do? It’s not as though there are policy implications of any of this that affect society generally.

        • Jim Treacher

          More importantly: It’s not FAIR!

          • randomerror95

            You’re correct about that. Targeting one group for taxation isn’t fair. Everyone’s tax rates need to go up, not simply those of the wealthy, and discretionary spending needs to be cut, and entitlements need to be restructured.

    • Akatsukami

      Because it leads to reactionary theftists sneering, “Tell me again why rich people should not pay the same tax rates as in the 1930s”.

    • Nikonman2010

      Sounds good, if we can go back to the government spending rates of the 1990’s.

      Let’s see, Obama’s been trucking along with a federal government spending rate of around 24% of GDP, and Clinton topped out at around 20% of GDP, and was usually closer to 18-19%. That translates to an immediate cut in government spending of around $750 billion annually.

      If you have a hard time deciding where to cut, let’s start with the wrecking ball at the Departments of Education, Commerce, and Energy, and follow up at Housing and Urban Development. If there are a few necessary functions (like the census), put those in one of the remaining Departments.

      National Labor Relations Board? Gone.
      Agricultural subsidies? See ya.
      High Speed Rail? buh bye

      • randomerror95

        I agree that we are spending an unhealthy percentage of GDP on federal government. But you do know that this is largely due to the the collapse of tax revenues and increases in expenses (e.g., Medicaid, aid to the states, etc.) that are due to the recession, right?

        • callenlaw

          Largely, but not entirely. The Obama Administration, through the Stimulus and otherwise, has presided over the expansion of agencies, regulations, and grant programs like CFPB, CPSC, Dept. of Education, Dept. of Transportation, EPA, Pell grants, etc. Unlike the social safety net programs, spending on these items does not automatically contract with economic expansion (and, if one believes certain regulatory theory, their existence actually crowds out that same expansion). Ergo, those are legit targets for cuts.

          • randomerror95


    • randomerror95

      I think it’s clear that for us to get our fiscal house in order, everyone’s tax rates need to return to Clinton-era levels, not simply the wealthy. And we need to cut spending. And modify the entitlements that are going to bankrupt us in the long run.

    • davidr3

      1.Because rich people are already paying the vast majority of taxes in this country.
      2. Because rich people use their money to create jobs.
      3. Because if you take away a high enough percentage of their income, rich people will stop working so hard.
      4. Because even if you tax 100 percent of rich people’s income, it still won’t be enough to balance the budget and pay off the debt unless you curb spending programs.

      I could go on, but I think that’s a decent start.

    • wellbasically

      Going back to the 90s would be great if you’d like to give up all the growth we’ve had since then.

      The end of the Bush Tax Cuts as presented in the press would also end the Clinton Tax Cuts of the late 90s, and push investment taxes back to 40% where they are at 15% now. That’s a huge increase and would give back the last 14 years of growth.

      Internationally, it’s like Keith Richards moving to the USA to get a 70% tax rate instead of the 90% he had in the UK. In the 90s, the EU had an average corporate rate of 35% (down to 25% now and falling), and the former eastern bloc countries had top tax rates over 40% (most have flat taxes down under 20%). Going back to the rates of the 90s might be possible if you could just legislate all these other countries to stop cutting taxes too, but you can’t.

      • gooners

        What growth are you talking about? 200-2010 was the first decade since the 30’s that had zero job growth and zero wage growth. The only thing that grew was the wealth gap and the unemployment rate.

        • BigRmv

          You know, I keep hearing progressives and liberals refer to “wealth gaps” in one way or another.

          Rather than worrying about what the divide is between the richest and poorest, why don’t you ask “How did we get here?” The answers may surprise you. It’s not the ‘tax breaks for the rich’ that caused this. It’s a general lack of morals and any accountability. To paraphrase Colin Powell, people no longer have any shame.

          Things that were morally and socially unacceptable in the past are now just ignored.

          We once had a society where individuals had some pride in their jobs; pride in their ability to provide for their families. The common man worked hard to better himself and his situation and was ashamed if he let ANYONE down or failed to keep his word. He tried to live within his means. The worst thing a man could do was to put his family’s well being at risk.

          But now we have a society where it’s perfectly acceptable to lie, cheat, steal, fail, and take handouts with the knowledge that there are no repercussions. That has had a cascading effect in terms of burdens on society. Corporations, the government, and individuals have accountability issues. Look at Madoff. Look at the absentee fathers who leave single mothers to fend for themselves and the government entitlement programs that reward them for having more kids out of wedlock.

          There is no shame because we’ve lost our pride.

          So instead of blaming the people who are successful for the people who haven’t been, take a good long look at what those unsuccessful people have done to better their situations.

          (PS — before you start raving about this, do a little research on Star Parker or Condelezza Rice).

        • truebearing


          Maybe if you had a true global perspective instead of ideological tunnel vision, you wouldn’t come out with your microwaved talking points. The world is constantly changing and we are losing our advantages on a daily basis.
          We ceased to have the advantage in education or work ethic. (I guess that is the left’s fault)

          Wages are stagnant, and dropping because of world wide competition. What part of cheaper labor don’t you understand? There go the jobs….

          Unions raised wages above the point where American corporations could stay competitive. They sought out cheaper labor overseas, which changed their fundamental activity from manufacturing to distribution. Less wealth was created in this country. (largely the left’s fault)

          Regulations have been choking off new business and stifling existing business for years.(left’s fault again)

          Obviously there are many reasons we have lost jobs and wages have dropped, but shouldn’t you be happy? It means there is global equality. It means we are no longer richer than those nations we allegedly exploited. Isn’t egalitarianism your goal?

        • wellbasically

          The US economy grew by 40% under W.

    • blatantplayer

      Moral relativism is bad enough. It is worse when people only consider morality as an attainable virtue when there is no direct and immediately discenible (positive or negative) impact to oneself. This leads to complicity and a general ambivalence towards the wellness to those who are not ME. People seeking power have used the complicity and ambitions of the masses for centuries to gather, hold, and abuse power.

      Herr Goebbels: Why should you care who we vilify, scapegoat, and persecute? You are not Jewish.
      Herr Klink: It does not seem morally right to isolate one group of people as the cause of all our problems.
      Herr Goebbels: Yes, but again why should you care? If we can but rid ourselves of the Jews, you and the entire country shall prosper.
      Herr Klink: Well, put that way……
      Herr Goebbels: We will also build our strength and the world will have no choice but to respect us again.
      Herr Klink: Ahh…
      Herr Goebbels: Besides, we’ll give you a job watching over people.
      Herr Klink: Sir, you have won my complicity.