Bill Kristol tells GOP to come back to the table.

yeah and now this garbage is happening. It reads (at least in my mind) as common sense being overruled by kicking and screaming politicians. "Don't take away our ability to impede progress!!"

In a clash on the Senate floor Monday, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said that Majority Leader Harry Reid’s planned move to change the Senate filibuster rule could jeopardize chances of reaching a deal on avoiding tax hikes and spending cuts at the end of the year.
Reid said he’s not proposing that the Senate do away entirely with the filibuster, “just that we do away with filibusters on motions to proceed,” the procedural step that precedes a final debate on a bill or a nomination.

http://nbcpolitics.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/11/26/15462105-filibuster-fight-may-threaten-accord-on-avoiding-fiscal-cliff?lite

Could someone give me the 25 word or less reason why the hell filibusters are even tolerated in the first place?

Maq wrote:

Could someone give me the 25 word or less reason why the hell filibusters are even tolerated in the first place?

The senate is filled with old, fat, self indulgent windbags?

KingGorilla wrote:
Maq wrote:

Could someone give me the 25 word or less reason why the hell filibusters are even tolerated in the first place?

The senate is filled with old, fat, self indulgent windbags?

With a 15 word remainder, nice!

Also, it's up to the President to do all the compromising? You mean... like he's tried to do everytime we get into yet another budgetary crisis because the Republicans, in spite of being the minority in one half of the legislative branch and not in charge of the executive branch, believe they are the true will of the people and should have absolute power on all matters of taxes and government spending and as such act as though its their way or the highway?

Some people may be saying that, but the President has a good history of working with all people on these issues to find solutions that would be compromises for both sides... the Republicans during this Presidency have a good history of sticking their fingers in their ears and whining loudly about how nobody wants to do things their way (see our quotes from the 2012 election thread on Republican obstructionism with regards to anything that has even glancing relation to Obama) and just as many people are sick of that.

Bah, just irritates me that they can somehow think that with the President winning both the popular and electoral college votes that we can somehow still be acting like Romney was the choice.

Filibuster FAQ
http://www.thenation.com/blog/157453/filibuster-faq-fact-fiction-and-why-we-need-reform#

I like the part about the nuclear option. All I can picture is Jason Sudeikis as Biden doing this.

Maq wrote:

Could someone give me the 25 word or less reason why the hell filibusters are even tolerated in the first place?

Filibusters are the emergency brake to keep things from being passed by the majority without any significant discussion or attempts at amending.

The current system of anonymous holds and the mere threat of a filibuster being sufficient to kill all forward progress forever is not working as intended. The filibuster is -not- the minority party's very own veto stamp on the entire Senate. I'd encourage everyone to write their Senators in support of the change. I would, but my guy is the one who wrote the proposed change.

Given that the GOP has just blocked a bill that would lead to less regulation on hunting, ammunition, and wildlife preservation introduced by Democrats - saying it was an issue of "principle" - I am suddenly even less optimistic. The bill was a pretty good compromise, possibly even one that was lopsided against Democrats.

Bloo Driver wrote:

Given that the GOP has just blocked a bill that would lead to less regulation on hunting, ammunition, and wildlife preservation introduced by Democrats - saying it was an issue of "principle" - I am suddenly even less optimistic. The bill was a pretty good compromise, possibly even one that was lopsided against Democrats.

NRA? Where you at?

So they're saying their big objection is that it costs too much money and that they're not going to spend anything on conservation projects? I'm trying to figure out where the big cost is at. Aside from the requirement to maintain shooting ranges on federal land it seems like everything else is just deregulation in allowing hunters to pass through federal lands, not regulating lead from ammo and fishing weights, etc. Of course the Democrats also say, basically, that this is revenue neutral as there are some costs but that they're all offset. A while back weren't some Republicans pushing to more guns and hunting in national parks or was that just for opening them up to private drilling and exploration? I honestly don't recall. It just seems like this bill would have been put forward by the Republicans, not the Democrats. Feels like I'm missing something here.

Kehama wrote:

So they're saying their big objection is that it costs too much money and that they're not going to spend anything on conservation projects? I'm trying to figure out where the big cost is at. Aside from the requirement to maintain shooting ranges on federal land it seems like everything else is just deregulation in allowing hunters to pass through federal lands, not regulating lead from ammo and fishing weights, etc. Of course the Democrats also say, basically, that this is revenue neutral as there are some costs but that they're all offset. A while back weren't some Republicans pushing to more guns and hunting in national parks or was that just for opening them up to private drilling and exploration? I honestly don't recall. It just seems like this bill would have been put forward by the Republicans, not the Democrats. Feels like I'm missing something here.

"We introduced legislation that practically could have come from the most right wing Republican and they still rejected it. Do you really want them in the House/Senate mucking everything up, even if they agree with it, just to stick it to the Democrats?"

Demosthenes wrote:
Bloo Driver wrote:

Given that the GOP has just blocked a bill that would lead to less regulation on hunting, ammunition, and wildlife preservation introduced by Democrats - saying it was an issue of "principle" - I am suddenly even less optimistic. The bill was a pretty good compromise, possibly even one that was lopsided against Democrats.

NRA? Where you at? :D

Obama! He's tryin' to take our guns away! (I had the two die-hards at work sing that same old song and when I asked them for some sort of evidence that he wanted to take away their precious, precious guns, they couldn't come up with a single thing. I should send them that link.)

edosan wrote:

Obama! He's tryin' to take our guns away! (I had the two die-hards at work sing that same old song and when I asked them for some sort of evidence that he wanted to take away their precious, precious guns, they couldn't come up with a single thing. I should send them that link.)

The lack of evidence is proof that he is lying, so that taking our guns will be even more of a surprise!

Ugh. Just listened to Saxby Chambliss on NPR. Sounded a lot like "Look, I can be reasonable, I'm willing to compromise. Just as long as I don't have to change my position at all."

Demosthenes wrote:

Also, it's up to the President to do all the compromising? You mean... like he's tried to do everytime we get into yet another budgetary crisis because the Republicans, in spite of being the minority in one half of the legislative branch and not in charge of the executive branch, believe they are the true will of the people and should have absolute power on all matters of taxes and government spending and as such act as though its their way or the highway?

The President's budget garnered exactly zero Democratic votes in the Senate.

NormanTheIntern wrote:
Demosthenes wrote:

Also, it's up to the President to do all the compromising? You mean... like he's tried to do everytime we get into yet another budgetary crisis because the Republicans, in spite of being the minority in one half of the legislative branch and not in charge of the executive branch, believe they are the true will of the people and should have absolute power on all matters of taxes and government spending and as such act as though its their way or the highway?

The President's budget garnered exactly zero Democratic votes in the Senate.

Which budget specfically was that and what were the mitigating circumstances? If we're talking the instance where the Republicans in the house had already shot it down so they didn't bother voting symbolically and instead went on to see where they could improve... wait... didn't we already have this discussion in the election thread?

NormanTheIntern wrote:

The President's budget garnered exactly zero Democratic votes in the Senate.

...Because Jeff Sessions, who presented the President's budget, stripped out the policy elements, reducing a 2000 page document to about 56 pages. That meant that any actions could be taken to reach the budget numbers, rather than the ones crafted by the President's team. That's pretty obviously a show-stopper. What was voted down was not the President's budget, in other words, even though it was represented as such by Republicans. It was political theater.

Meanwhile, Paul Ryan's budget suffered the loss of five Republicans in it's defeat, but not because it was modified by Democrats. It was instead that the dissenters actually had issues with the budget itself. Same thing for the other three Republican budget proposals, but with more dissenters (well, I think Toomey attracted one more vote than Ryan did for his.)

So the claim you make, Norman, does not imply that Democrats disagreed with the President's budget. It simply means that they were not going to accept a budget with the same topline numbers but with it's guts ripped out by Republicans and presented as a sham to the Senate.

So, umm, this cliff is a return to pre-bush tax scales? That would certainly be a damn sight better than what we have now.

If the reform that we need, and seemingly will not get, is slightly higher taxes on top earners, much higher estate taxes, closing rebate loopholes. Rolling back the clock a bit seems OK compared to keeping the status quo that Republicans want.

The Republicans got their buddies a decade of paying damn near no taxes. I think they got enough. If you want to have a lot of money, exploit the poor, and not pay taxes, move to the Congo.

NormanTheIntern wrote:
Demosthenes wrote:

Also, it's up to the President to do all the compromising? You mean... like he's tried to do everytime we get into yet another budgetary crisis because the Republicans, in spite of being the minority in one half of the legislative branch and not in charge of the executive branch, believe they are the true will of the people and should have absolute power on all matters of taxes and government spending and as such act as though its their way or the highway?

The President's budget garnered exactly zero Democratic votes in the Senate.

Nice work, Norman. Why don't you actually explain why no Democrats voted for the Budget, instead of trying to mislead.

The budget voted on was not actually Obama's budget proposal. It was a Republican proposed budget that was based off of Obama's budget. But it included several changes to the policy reporting language that the Democrats did not like and so voted against it. They even stated that as the reason why the voted against it.

Hypatian wrote:

Ugh. Just listened to Saxby Chambliss on NPR. Sounded a lot like "Look, I can be reasonable, I'm willing to compromise. Just as long as I don't have to change my position at all."

I heard the same segment this morning and it was infuriating. At least they pushed back a little on some of his statements but then they let him easily sidestep those questions to move on to another talking point. He stated that any, ANY tax increase is "not on my radar" and that negotiations aren't going to even start unless there's some serious reform/cuts to "entitlement programs" along with massive spending cuts. Then, and only then, will they then work on tax reforms but no tax increases. Which, by the way, I still have serious issues with the constant calls for cuts to so-called "entitlement programs". The very term itself just goes to propogate the idea that Obama has just been handing out hard-working Americans money to no-good, lazy drug-addicted deadbeats. Okay, derailing myself.

And I swear to Bob allmighty I don't think I can listen to one more politician go on and on about the sacred small business owners that make over 200k a year who, if taxed 1% more, will stop hiring and grind the economy to a halt. The interviewer even countered this asking him if he truly believed that a small business owner who makes over 200k a year that was planning on hiring more employees was suddenly going to stop expanding his business because he had to pay 1k more a year in taxes as the tax increase would only go up on the upper portion of the income, not the entire 200k. Naturally no response to this. They even pointed out that the President had now won 2 elections on the platform of "raise taxes" so obviously it's what the American people wanted. His response to this was that basically the American people were wrong.

Nothing's changed. I was actually hopefull just a week or two ago that maybe the tone in Washington was going to change and we'd see some real negotiations take place. Now, the more I hear regarding the specifics that Republicans are offering I realize it's the same as last time. It's like a mechanic telling you he'll do anything it takes to get your car running again as long as it doesn't involve working on the engine.

Kehama wrote:
Hypatian wrote:

Ugh. Just listened to Saxby Chambliss on NPR. Sounded a lot like "Look, I can be reasonable, I'm willing to compromise. Just as long as I don't have to change my position at all."

I heard the same segment this morning and it was infuriating. At least they pushed back a little on some of his statements but then they let him easily sidestep those questions to move on to another talking point. He stated that any, ANY tax increase is "not on my radar" and that negotiations aren't going to even start unless there's some serious reform/cuts to "entitlement programs" along with massive spending cuts. Then, and only then, will they then work on tax reforms but no tax increases. Which, by the way, I still have serious issues with the constant calls for cuts to so-called "entitlement programs". The very term itself just goes to propogate the idea that Obama has just been handing out hard-working Americans money to no-good, lazy drug-addicted deadbeats. Okay, derailing myself.

And I swear to Bob allmighty I don't think I can listen to one more politician go on and on about the sacred small business owners that make over 200k a year who, if taxed 1% more, will stop hiring and grind the economy to a halt. The interviewer even countered this asking him if he truly believed that a small business owner who makes over 200k a year that was planning on hiring more employees was suddenly going to stop expanding his business because he had to pay 1k more a year in taxes as the tax increase would only go up on the upper portion of the income, not the entire 200k. Naturally no response to this. They even pointed out that the President had now won 2 elections on the platform of "raise taxes" so obviously it's what the American people wanted. His response to this was that basically the American people were wrong.

Nothing's changed. I was actually hopefull just a week or two ago that maybe the tone in Washington was going to change and we'd see some real negotiations take place. Now, the more I hear regarding the specifics that Republicans are offering I realize it's the same as last time. It's like a mechanic telling you he'll do anything it takes to get your car running again as long as it doesn't involve working on the engine.

I think my favorite part was where he mealimouthed his way through the whole "job creators" bs by saying that the small business owner would likely pay more or the same in taxes in the GOP plan to remove deductions as he would in the Dem plan to raise rates, but that doing so would still create jobs.

So, to clarify:

GOP plan = remove deductions so that small business owner pays more in taxes is good for the economy.
Dem play = raise rates on highest marginal tax bracket is bad for the economy.

Sounds pretty fishy.

Paleocon wrote:

So, to clarify:

GOP plan = remove deductions so that small business owner pays more in taxes is good for the economy.
Dem play = raise rates on highest marginal tax bracket is bad for the economy.

Sounds pretty fishy.

Hey, when you can get away with people seriously believing this -

NormanTheIntern wrote:

The President's budget garnered exactly zero Democratic votes in the Senate.

... the possibilities are endless!

You missed one Paleo.

Lower taxes on Executive salary=more jobs =/= executives make more money.

He was also still fishing around with the whole Laffer Slope nonsense in which he hinted that lowering top marginal tax rates would raise economic activity to the point that tax revenue would increase. Considering that even Arthur Laffer no longer believes this is possible, isn't it time that the GOP finally put an end to this magical thinking?

Paleocon wrote:

He was also still fishing around with the whole Laffer Slope nonsense in which he hinted that lowering top marginal tax rates would raise economic activity to the point that tax revenue would increase. Considering that even Arthur Laffer no longer believes this is possible, isn't it time that the GOP finally put an end to this magical thinking?

Is this a reflection on the idea that reducing taxes has less and less effect as they are lowered, and we've already dropped them significantly (ie, an argument against perpetual tax cutting)? Or is this a statement Laffer made somewhere, that economic activity is not stimulative? I can't find it, but I have found tons of stuff Laffer wrote claiming that the three largest tax cuts in American history were indeed stimulative (ending with Reagan, naturally, I don't think Bush's fit the model).

Robear wrote:
Paleocon wrote:

He was also still fishing around with the whole Laffer Slope nonsense in which he hinted that lowering top marginal tax rates would raise economic activity to the point that tax revenue would increase. Considering that even Arthur Laffer no longer believes this is possible, isn't it time that the GOP finally put an end to this magical thinking?

Is this a reflection on the idea that reducing taxes has less and less effect as they are lowered, and we've already dropped them significantly (ie, an argument against perpetual tax cutting)? Or is this a statement Laffer made somewhere, that economic activity is not stimulative? I can't find it, but I have found tons of stuff Laffer wrote claiming that the three largest tax cuts in American history were indeed stimulative (ending with Reagan, naturally, I don't think Bush's fit the model).

The whole business behind the Laffer Curve was that it was supposed to be a curve. The idea being that the sweet spot in revenue collection was somewhere south of the marginal tax rates of the Carter Administration, but necessarily higher than zero. Anyone possessed of two brain cells to bang together knows that 0 x Anything = 0, and as one approaches a zero % tax rate one also approaches absolute zero revenue.

Laffer was a big believer that the Reagan cuts did follow the model, but very much distanced himself from the Bush cuts stating only that it was "theoretically possible" for the cuts to be "revenue neutral" if they stimulated enough growth. In the end, even that turned out to be laughably false.

Unfortunately, the GOP still remains tissue-grafted to the notion that lowering tax rates will magically stimulate economic growth to the point that deficits will magically disappear. Most reputable economists agree that this is the mathematical equivalent to a chocolate cake diet.

Paleocon wrote:
Robear wrote:
Paleocon wrote:

He was also still fishing around with the whole Laffer Slope nonsense in which he hinted that lowering top marginal tax rates would raise economic activity to the point that tax revenue would increase. Considering that even Arthur Laffer no longer believes this is possible, isn't it time that the GOP finally put an end to this magical thinking?

Is this a reflection on the idea that reducing taxes has less and less effect as they are lowered, and we've already dropped them significantly (ie, an argument against perpetual tax cutting)? Or is this a statement Laffer made somewhere, that economic activity is not stimulative? I can't find it, but I have found tons of stuff Laffer wrote claiming that the three largest tax cuts in American history were indeed stimulative (ending with Reagan, naturally, I don't think Bush's fit the model).

The whole business behind the Laffer Curve was that it was supposed to be a curve. The idea being that the sweet spot in revenue collection was somewhere south of the marginal tax rates of the Carter Administration, but necessarily higher than zero. Anyone possessed of two brain cells to bang together knows that 0 x Anything = 0, and as one approaches a zero % tax rate one also approaches absolute zero revenue.

Laffer was a big believer that the Reagan cuts did follow the model, but very much distanced himself from the Bush cuts stating only that it was "theoretically possible" for the cuts to be "revenue neutral" if they stimulated enough growth. In the end, even that turned out to be laughably false.

Unfortunately, the GOP still remains tissue-grafted to the notion that lowering tax rates will magically stimulate economic growth to the point that deficits will magically disappear. Most reputable economists agree that this is the mathematical equivalent to a chocolate cake diet.

Right.

More less the USA is on the wrong side of the curve and are not doing any of the other stuff that would potentially increase revenues.

This isn't some eastern European situation where as you cut taxes (cant remember if they were overall actually cut), change the collection system and change the overall culture of taxes being normal that revenues go up up.

The Romney's of the US arn't bringing back their Cayman islands money no matter how much you cut taxes.

They would be forced to if you start blocking their loopholes and corner them into a position of. 1. Pay your taxes to enjoy living in the United States. 2. No? f*ck off to Belize and be John McAfee's neighbor.

Does Obama have any non legislative options? Can certain loopholes be closed without going through the Republicans?

jowner wrote:
Paleocon wrote:
Robear wrote:
Paleocon wrote:

He was also still fishing around with the whole Laffer Slope nonsense in which he hinted that lowering top marginal tax rates would raise economic activity to the point that tax revenue would increase. Considering that even Arthur Laffer no longer believes this is possible, isn't it time that the GOP finally put an end to this magical thinking?

Is this a reflection on the idea that reducing taxes has less and less effect as they are lowered, and we've already dropped them significantly (ie, an argument against perpetual tax cutting)? Or is this a statement Laffer made somewhere, that economic activity is not stimulative? I can't find it, but I have found tons of stuff Laffer wrote claiming that the three largest tax cuts in American history were indeed stimulative (ending with Reagan, naturally, I don't think Bush's fit the model).

The whole business behind the Laffer Curve was that it was supposed to be a curve. The idea being that the sweet spot in revenue collection was somewhere south of the marginal tax rates of the Carter Administration, but necessarily higher than zero. Anyone possessed of two brain cells to bang together knows that 0 x Anything = 0, and as one approaches a zero % tax rate one also approaches absolute zero revenue.

Laffer was a big believer that the Reagan cuts did follow the model, but very much distanced himself from the Bush cuts stating only that it was "theoretically possible" for the cuts to be "revenue neutral" if they stimulated enough growth. In the end, even that turned out to be laughably false.

Unfortunately, the GOP still remains tissue-grafted to the notion that lowering tax rates will magically stimulate economic growth to the point that deficits will magically disappear. Most reputable economists agree that this is the mathematical equivalent to a chocolate cake diet.

Right.

More less the USA is on the wrong side of the curve and are not doing any of the other stuff that would potentially increase revenues.

This isn't some eastern European situation where as you cut taxes (cant remember if they were overall actually cut), change the collection system and change the overall culture of taxes being normal that revenues go up up.

The Romney's of the US arn't bringing back their Cayman islands money no matter how much you cut taxes.

They would be forced to if you start blocking their loopholes and corner them into a position of. 1. Pay your taxes to enjoy living in the United States. 2. No? f*ck off to Belize and be John McAfee's neighbor.

Does Obama have any non legislative options? Can certain loopholes be closed without going through the Republicans?

Precisely.

When Saxby Chambliss goes on the radio to say that the small business owner making $250k/year is going to forgo hiring someone because the rise in his marginal tax rate would make him pay an extra $2500/ year, you recognize that it isn't at all about the small business owner. And when he goes even further and says that "closing the loopholes" will get the $2500 out of him anyway, you really realize that it has absolutely nothing to do with the folks making $250k/year. He's protecting the billionaires.

Oh, and as a small business owner, I can say with absolute authority that the only reason I would hire someone is because I need the coverage and/or I need the skill set. Giving me a tax break will do absolutely fcukall for my motivation to "create jobs". It is time to put that bit of mythology into the biohazard incinerator too.

Holy crap! I just realized Paleocon was one of the mythical job creators! 'Scuse me, I have to go build a shrine now so that I can pray to him to fix our national economy.

KingGorilla wrote:

Awful lot of honkies over here.

They must have misplaced all those binders full of women after the election...

It's also nice to see they put Lamar Smith in charge of the Science, Space, and Technology Committee seeing how he doesn't believe in global warming and introduced both the SOPA and Protecting Children from Internet Pornographers (PCIP) Acts.