Bill Kristol tells GOP to come back to the table.

PoderOmega wrote:

Greg, that's not a quote from Obama. Here's one from the same article.

The president said he would have preferred a bigger debt reduction deal, but congressional Republicans balked and now it will have to be done "in stages." Down the line, Obama said he will continue to insist that debt reduction be balanced with revenues as well as spending cuts, foreshadowing a second term defined by budgetary clashes with Republicans.

"It's going to have to be a matter of shared sacrifice, at least as long as I'm president," Obama said. "And I'm going to be president for the next four years, I hope."

We will have to go to the transcript.

Obama did speak about the deficit, not the debt. Forgive me for believing the USA Today.

Greg wrote:

From the USAToday

At his White House event earlier in the day, Obama told an audience of cheering supporters that a proposal would help reduce the nation's $16 trillion-plus debt through higher taxes on the wealthy. He also said it would also extend unemployment insurance and preserve tax credits for such middle class items as child care and education.

The messaging has been that taxing the rich will take care of the problem. The full package of tax hikes will not reduce the $16 trillion debt by 1 cent. Plus it looks like a tax deal has been reached which will preserve our $1 trillion deficit for the next year.

A pox on all of their houses for mismanaging the government's finances.

Why wouldn't tax hikes reduce the debt? That has to be part of it.

NathanialG wrote:

Why wouldn't tax hikes reduce the debt? That has to be part of it.

It doesn't reduce the debt we have accumulated. It only manages to reduce debt accumulation. So we still have a massive debt and a growing deficit.

Obama is a no good, very bad man.

There, can we now talk about the actual proposal agreed to?

ZaneRockfist wrote:
NathanialG wrote:

Why wouldn't tax hikes reduce the debt? That has to be part of it.

It doesn't reduce the debt we have accumulated. It only manages to reduce debt accumulation. So we still have a massive debt and a growing deficit.

So... we shouldn't bother if it doesn't fix everything?

PoderOmega wrote:
ZaneRockfist wrote:
NathanialG wrote:

Why wouldn't tax hikes reduce the debt? That has to be part of it.

It doesn't reduce the debt we have accumulated. It only manages to reduce debt accumulation. So we still have a massive debt and a growing deficit.

So... we shouldn't bother if it doesn't fix everything?

My complaint is that we are not doing enough, not that we should do nothing.

Complain to Boehner and McConnell.

Maybe he realizes we can just inflate our way out of the debt.

Robear wrote:

Complain to Boehner and McConnell.

About what?

As a federal employee....yea for Continuing Resolutions 2013!

Grumble grumble

Greg wrote:
Robear wrote:

Complain to Boehner and McConnell.

About what?

About not doing enough. The Republicans are doing everything in their power to limit the deficit reduction we get in the next couple weeks.

Bloo Driver wrote:
OG_slinger wrote:

It's truly sad to the the Democrats roll on the Estate Tax. It was finally going to get back up to where it was under Clinton, 55%, next year. Keeping it at 35% is a massive, massive tax break and one that will only benefit the ultra wealthy. Allowing wealth to be concentrated and then passed down to heirs is a dangerous thing for a democracy...

I'm really of two minds on this. On one hand, I have a reflexive aversion to anything that boils down to the government having a right to come take part of your money. We can argue up and down about if the heirs really deserve it, or how much someone has benefitted from the current national setup (and thus owes the country in the form of paying something back). But at the end of the day, it's difficult not to see this as a fundamentally problematic thing: allowing the IRS to just come take a slice because the money has changed hands. I mean, that's what taxes are, sure, but it just seems overmuch.

On the other hands, though, I do basically agree with the above (both OG's comment and my sentiment from the previous paragraph): Allowing wealth to be concentrated in that manner is extremely damaging to a functioning free society. And people who prosper a great deal obviously owe something to the society that has set up a place for them to flourish.

At the end of the day, I am somewhat paralyzed with indecision on this one.

This is pretty much how I feel about it. On one hand, I don't like the idea that your money belongs to society and you should be happy keeping whatever Uncle Sam decides is fair. That's a very different idea than paying enough to support necessary services. Also, there are better ways to directly limit the influence of money in politics.

However, I've come to a realization that we no longer have a sense of noblese oblige among the children of the wealthy. Instead of the Rockefellers we have rich kids of instagram: http://richkidsofinstagram.tumblr.com/

Yonder wrote:
Greg wrote:
Robear wrote:

Complain to Boehner and McConnell.

About what?

About not doing enough. The Republicans are doing everything in their power to limit the deficit reduction we get in the next couple weeks.

Both parties are avoiding deficit reduction. Both parties are attempting to extend the Bush Tax cuts for the middle class which is limiting deficit reduction.

But one side is trying to raise some taxes, and one has been stonewalling on raising any until just this week.

It's a game of false equivalence and people are just calling you out.

Jayhawker wrote:

But one side is trying to raise some taxes, and one has been stonewalling on raising any until just this week.

It's a game of false equivalence and people are just calling you out.

Whatever. If either party was serious about deficit reduction, they would have let all of the tax cuts expire. Apparently, they are not going to do anything meaningful about the deficit until external forces make them do so.

If either party was serious about deficit reduction we would slash the military budget.

And stop counting the cost of the wars as being 'outside' the regular budget.

bandit0013 wrote:

If either party was serious about deficit reduction we would slash the military budget.

The GOP has tried to weasel out of the sequestration cuts for the military a couple of times already...

OG_slinger wrote:
bandit0013 wrote:

If either party was serious about deficit reduction we would slash the military budget.

The GOP has tried to weasel out of the sequestration cuts for the military a couple of times already...

I think it's safe to assume the Democrats haven't done the same thing because they know the GOP will do it for them.

3:09 p.m. ET - CNN's Deirdre Walsh reports from Capitol Hill that House Majority Leader Eric Cantor opposes the fiscal cliff measure passed by the Senate. "I do not support the bill," Cantor told reporters as he was leaving a meeting of the GOP conference. He said no decisions have been made, and that he's looking for the best path forward.

3:50 p.m. ET – The fiscal cliff deal passed by the Senate Tuesday morning would increase deficits over the next decade by close to $4 trillion, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

But that's relative to where deficits would otherwise be if Congress were to let all the Bush tax cuts expire and keep much if not all of the other tax hikes and spending cuts under the fiscal cliff in place. Under that scenario, only $2.88 trillion would be added to the debt over the next decade.

4:05 p.m. ET - Rep. Darrell Issa, R-California, says on CNN he's with Eric Cantor: He cannot vote for the fiscal cliff bill in its current form. He wants a bill with spending cuts.

Could it be possible that this "fiscal cliff" would actually be a good thing in the long run for our economy? Sure, it hurts now, but it helps to correct our fiscal path for the future.

I wish they would just let it go over the cliff. Dramatic changes need to happen to our spending and taxation policies.

Every picture I see of Eric Cantor makes me want to smack that smug face of his. I don't know what it is about him, but he's one of those people I instantly dislike due to only his appearance.

I always hear the Republicans talking about how we need to cut things and reduce the size of government (except the sacred cow of defense....) and not raise taxes. What is their argument for doing more with less? By that I mean wouldn't they be forced to improve the efficiency of the government and reduce in kind if they had less money to do it? Judging by their actions (and government in general) all that has been done is increases in size for the really bloated areas, defense isn't even Jabba the hut fat anymore. I don't know what word to use for it.

OG_slinger wrote:
Bloo Driver wrote:

The estate tax feels like simply penalizing the money from moving to an heir - what did the government do to protect that transaction? What is the government's role and right to take some?

Bill Gates Sr.[/url]]
A common, and misguided, criticism of the estate tax is that individuals who work hard and save their money should be entitled to pass on the fruits of that labor to their family. I am not against working hard, saving money, or taking care of your family.

However we must acknowledge that the person who accumulates wealth in this country was not able to do that independently. The simple fact of living in America, a country with stable markets and unparalleled opportunity fueled in part by government investment in technology and research (something my family has plenty of firsthand experience of), provide an irreplaceable foundation for success and have created a society which makes it possible for some men, women and their children to live an elegant life.

I attended the University of Washington under the G.I. Bill, and then became a lawyer enjoying a successful career that allowed me to provide well for my family so that they in turn were able to create their own wealth. So I believe that those of us who have benefited so greatly from our country's investment in our lives should be asked to give a portion of our wealth back to invest in opportunities for the future.

Society has a just claim on our fortunes and that claim goes by the name estate tax.

Right, but that quote just says the exact thing I already acknowledged and mentioned that there are answers like that. Don't we already pay for that in income taxes, taxes spent while building and buying permits? While we pay property taxes and the like? It's not as cut and dried as "you owe the society that allowed you to flourish here" because it's not like the estate tax is the only time the government comes dipping in to that. There's little in that above quote that cannot literally be applied to any other tax or government related fee.

The estate should be taxed at normal income tax rates. It's a transfer of funds just like any other sort of business transaction.

The House has passed the Senate bill with 257 yea votes.

Boehner voted yes. Cantor voted no.

Two-thirds of the GOP voted against the bill.

Okay, so the House just passed the Senate bill, cool. There's apparently a lot of tax "cuts" for everyone under $450k, reductions to estate taxes, some capital gains, etc. So the law sounds, from that perspective, to be, compared to before sequestration occurred (for less than 24 hours, so I don't think it counts, even though Grover Norquist reportedly does), that the federal government will be taking in slightly more taxation than in 2012, mostly from earners above $450k. So...what cuts to federal spending, if any, are in this new law? Does it only slightly increase the taxation, or does it somehow shrink the federal expenditures somehow, too? I've been watching some news coverage of it but they don't seem to talk about that much.

Welp, there goes our only chance to limit military spending for the next maybe ever.

At this point I think that our only chance is if we can raise Eisenhower from the dead. Although in this political climate it may take only minutes for even a five-star general Nazi defeater to become a weak-willed "soft on terror" un-American liberal after he asks for defense spending cuts.

Actually, Yonder, the DOD is budgeted to shrink over the next several years because President Obama and Congress agree that since there aren't two wars, that we don't need as large of a military. The draw-down is not as drastic (many would say catastrophic) as what would have happened without tonight's new law--and I don't know the details of how this law actually does or doesn't affect DOD spending yet--but check militarytimes.com or any major news outlet for coverage on the DOD budget over the next several years and it's clear that the DOD already faces a challenging time to shift from away from OIF/OEF/OND and to peacetime preparedness with a smaller budget. The biggest challenge to the US deficit, debt, and budget over the next decade or two is not DOD spending, but federal entitlements, most notably Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. Whereas we can control DOD spending pretty reliably, the entitlements are dictated far more so by the nation's demographics and economic situation. We're involved in fewer wars now but more folks are retiring and our healthcare is powerful but expensive.

I guess they just kicked the can down the road a few months on sequestration, so they can fight over the spending cuts right around the time that they are starting a fresh round of fighting over the debt ceiling. They really only addressed the taxes half of the "cliff" issue here--and sure enough, Grover Norquist was out there tonight trumpeting that any Rs voting for the bill were still technically voting for tax cuts.

JC wrote:

Every picture I see of Eric Cantor makes me want to smack that smug face of his. I don't know what it is about him, but he's one of those people I instantly dislike due to only his appearance.

It's not just his appearance. Cantor is a truly contemptible piece of sh*t.

Keithustus wrote:

Actually, Yonder, the DOD is budgeted to shrink over the next several years because President Obama and Congress agree that since there aren't two wars, that we don't need as large of a military. The draw-down is not as drastic (many would say catastrophic) as what would have happened without tonight's new law--and I don't know the details of how this law actually does or doesn't affect DOD spending yet--but check militarytimes.com or any major news outlet for coverage on the DOD budget over the next several years and it's clear that the DOD already faces a challenging time to shift from away from OIF/OEF/OND and to peacetime preparedness with a smaller budget. The biggest challenge to the US deficit, debt, and budget over the next decade or two is not DOD spending, but federal entitlements, most notably Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. Whereas we can control DOD spending pretty reliably, the entitlements are dictated far more so by the nation's demographics and economic situation. We're involved in fewer wars now but more folks are retiring and our healthcare is powerful but expensive.

I checked out militarytimes.com and the only relevant article I found was this one that stated that the US intelligence budget was going down to $72 billion next year. It also got some major facts wrong, stating that this was a reduction from the $80 billion high in 2012, meaning that this would be a 10% reduction. However a number of other places indicate that the high of $80.1 billion was back in 2010, and 2012 had a budget of $75.4 billion, so it's actually only a reduction of 4.5%.

Edit: Hmm, looking at it it looks like the bill congress passed still leaves sequestration on the table, so we could still see military cuts.

I also think it's hilarious bullsh*t that the GOP stalled to January 1st so that the taxes would go up, technically, for a couple of hours, all to appease Grover Norquist. What miserable people.