Avoiding the Fiscal Cliff

Well, the agenda media is tripping over itself speculating on how Congress and the President will avoid the fiscal cliff, and what the ramifications are if they do (or don’t).

An on-line AP article today makes some of the most ludicrous statements and assertions I’ve seen in a while, illustrating the fact that they haven’t got a clue as to what’s going to happen — or why.

President Barack Obama and leaders of the lame-duck Congress may be just weeks away from shaking hands on a deal to avert the dreaded “fiscal cliff.” So it’s natural to wonder: If they announce a bipartisan package promising to curb mushrooming federal deficits, will it be real?

Come on, now — this is Washington D.C. where perception is reality, and the MSM is all about creating perception.

Obama and top lawmakers could produce an agreement that takes a serious bite out of the government’s growing $16 trillion pile of debt and puts it on a true downward trajectory.

On what planet could (or would) they do that?  Certainly not this one.  Even during the Clinton administration when the budget was supposedly “balanced”, the debt never went down year on year.  If they taxed the top 2% at 100%, they couldn’t even erase the current deficit, much less “take a serious bite” out of the debt.

Or they might reach an accord heading off massive tax increases and spending cuts that begin to bite in January — that’s the fiscal cliff — while appearing to be getting tough on deficits through painful savings deferred until years from now, when their successors might revoke or dilute them.

Now that sounds more like what we’re accustomed to from our political class.

Historically, Congress and presidents have proven themselves capable of either.

Not recently.  Since 1961 the debt has done nothing but increase.  In all fairness, the biggest jumps came during the administrations of Ronald Reagan ($2 trillion) and George W. Bush ($5 trillion).  But Obama has already exceeded Bush’s total and is likely to exceed that combined $7 trillion well before the midpoint of his second term.

Passing a framework next month that sets deficit-cutting targets for each of the next 10 years would be seen as a sign of seriousness. But look for specifics. An agreement will have a greater chance of actually reducing deficits if it details how the savings would be divided between revenue increases and cuts in federal programs, averting future fights among lawmakers over that question.

Say what?  Can anyone read that and not laugh?

Better yet would be including a fast-track process for passing next year’s tax and spending bills if they meet the savings targets so they can whisk through Congress without the possibility of a Senate filibuster, in which 41 of the 100 senators could kill a measure they dislike.

Is that the same Senate that hasn’t passed a budget in 3-1/2 years?

Raising money from higher rates, closing loopholes or a combination of the two would create real revenue for the government.

As opposed to what? Fake revenue?

The problem is many tax deductions and credits , such as for home mortgages and the value of employer-provided health insurance, are so popular that enacting them into law over objections from the public and lobbyists would be extremely difficult.

D’ya think?

With the price tags of tax and spending laws typically measured over a decade, delaying the implementation date can distort the projected impact of a change on people and the government’s debt.

But it does give the perception that they’re doing something.

Even more questionable are assumptions that overhauling tax laws will boost economic activity and thus produce large new revenues for the government. Many Republicans and ideologically conservative economists contend that’s the case, but most economists say there is no sound way to estimate how much revenue can be generated from strengthening the economy by revamping the tax system. Many believe the amount is modest.

Well then, we are just fluked!

Savings that come from weeding out waste, fraud and abuse, which sounds good but are difficult to find, or rely on one-time sales of federal assets should be treated with suspicion.

Of course — there’s no waste, fraud or abuse in the federal budget.

Deep cuts that take effect in the future, say after Obama leaves office in 2017, might be better than imposing them now and hurting an already weak economy by reducing spending.

Now were talkin’

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42 thoughts on “Avoiding the Fiscal Cliff

  1. juanitogonzales November 24, 2012 / 8:28 pm

    The Winner Makes No Difference to Europe
    The United States Army is developing a weapon that can reach — and destroy — any location on Earth within an hour. At the same time, power lines held up by wooden poles dangle over the streets of Brooklyn, Queens and New Jersey. Hurricane Sandy ripped them apart there and in communities across the East Coast last week, and many places remain without electricity. That’s America, where high-tech options are available only to the elite, and the rest live under conditions comparable to a those of a developing nation. No country has produced more Nobel Prize winners, yet in New York City hospitals had to be evacuated during the storm because their emergency generators didn’t work properly.

    Still, they are only the symptom of America’s failure, not the cause. In reality, neither the idealists and Democrats, nor the useful idiots of the Tea Party have any power over the circumstances.

    From a European perspective, it doesn’t matter who wins this election. Only US foreign policy is important to us — and Obama is no dove and Romney no hawk. The incumbent president prefers to wage his wars with drones instead of troops, though the victims probably don’t care if they’re killed by man or machine. Meanwhile, despite all the criticism, his challenger says he wouldn’t join Israel were the country to go to war with Iran because the US can now no longer afford such a thing.
    http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/commentary-total-capitalism-and-the-downfall-of-america-a-865437.html

    • J. R. Babcock (@JRBabcock) November 24, 2012 / 8:40 pm

      From a European perspective, it doesn’t matter who wins this election.

      Hate to tell you, sport, but the election was nearly 3 weeks ago.

      Just a wild guess, but I’m betting the pols (both parties) will let us go off the cliff, and then vote to reinstate the Bush rates for everyone except the eeeeeeevil rich. That way none of them will be held accountable.

      • 02casper November 24, 2012 / 10:21 pm

        JR,
        I agree. In fact I’d be surprised if they come to any kind of agreement. Republicans won’t agree to any deal that raises taxes on the rich and Democrats won’t agree to a deal that doesn’t. Stalemate. The new congress comes back in Jan. to restore tax cuts to the middle class and everyone pats themselves on the back.

      • Retired Spook November 25, 2012 / 12:04 am

        JR, I think the consensus is growing around the scenario you suggest. They may avoid the immediate fiscal cliff, but we still edge closer to complete collapse. The sad part is that nothing they are likely to do at this point is going to have a positive effect on the economy. Even Obama said in December 2010 that raising taxes in a weak economy would lose as many as a million jobs; and the economy is weaker now than it was then. And raising taxes only on the wealth and job creators won’t even raise a significant amount of revenue. And the longer we avoid the pain of a reset, the worse the ultimate pain is going to be.

    • dbschmidt November 26, 2012 / 12:15 am

      Juan,

      Hurricane Sandy ripped them apart there and in communities across the East Coast last week, and many places remain without electricity. That’s America, where high-tech options are available only to the elite, and the rest live under conditions comparable to a those of a developing nation.

      Here I have to disagree with you on several points. Across America, even in the most rural areas all have power, telephone, and mail (water/waste is local) which puts them light years ahead of third world countries. They also have the options of satellite connections (in addition to dial-up, DSL, etc.) options for communication. I live in the friggin’ boonies and have more options than most and quite a few more than any third-world country. I was also in Miami, Fl. for Hurricane Andrew (among others) and we took care of ourselves for the 3-plus months it took for private services (electricity) to be fully restored–the Government never really did much but pat everyone on the back and say ‘Atta Boy’. Don’t whine about 3-weeks.

      No country has produced more Nobel Prize winners, yet in New York City hospitals had to be evacuated during the storm because their emergency generators didn’t work properly.

      Guess what–failing generators are their fault. Were they properly maintained? Were they on the standard test schedule? You have heard of BCP / DR (Business Continuity Planning / Disaster Recovery) haven’t you? You do realize those items require constant testing.

      Next, you harp– nor the useful idiots of the Tea Party have any power over the circumstances. with no proof outside of the container you call a brain housing group. You fit the useful idiot category better than most in the TEA party.

      Finally, you contend his challenger says he wouldn’t join Israel were the country to go to war with Iran because the US can now no longer afford such a thing. when Romney was the one who would stand with Israel while Obama goes on “Bowing Tour 3.0” being referred to as a “slave/subject” of Cambodia. Refer back tot he useful idiot declaration posted earlier. America can and will fight on as many fronts as required with the exception of the weak POS in charge at the moment. Guess that just destroys your The Winner Makes No Difference to Europe comment as well. We (America) can handle two major battle fronts but I do not consider Iran, etc. as major.

      Grow up, grow a pair, and actually learn something before you make such idiotic statements. Remember, no matter how far America falls–you will exceed our depths because of your reliance on America.

    • Amazona November 26, 2012 / 5:12 pm

      Little John is merely an anti-American ankle biter eager to trash this country while happily embracing the Leftist swill that pretty much anyplace is better than this one.

      The most obvious proof that this IS swill is the minuscule number of these malcontents who are actually willing to go live in any of these “better” places.

      I have repeatedly offered to pay for tickets and relocation costs for people like this who have expressed disdain for this nation and eagerness to live somewhere else. No repayment, no strings attached. Just bring me the paperwork from the State Department on your commitment to giving up your American citizenship and the checks will be cut and you can be on your way, I have said several times.

      So far, no takers.

      All we need to read in this screed from Little John is this: “That’s America, where high-tech options are available only to the elite, and the rest live under conditions comparable to a those of a developing nation. ”

      Yeah, right—except that most of “the poor” in the United States live in houses with air conditioning, refrigerators, cook stoves, color television sets, and indoor plumbing, own at least one car per household, have telephones or cell phones, and lately tend to have expensive bling, gold teeth, tattoos, and elaborate expensive manicures.

      Perhaps his little Red buddies need to put down the hammers and sickles and get their behinds off to some “developing nation” to see what conditions are really like—-and since most of these are under Leftist control, the rest having already developed, they might even learn a thing or two.

      • 01canadianobserver November 27, 2012 / 7:36 am

        Amazona, it is very refreshing to hear you admit that living under the Socialist policies and agenda of the current President really isn’t that terrible, after all, and that you still feel that the U.S. remains the best place in the world to live.

        Listening to all the moaning and groaning coming from Conservatives following his victory we thought there would be a mass exodus of folk who believed that the country was doomed; that free speech would be outlawed and their guns would be ripped from their hands. Old Rush Limbaugh, and probably many of his supporters, vowed to leave for other parts if the President were re-elected. Heck, some misinformed idiots even mentioned moving to Canada; haha, can you believe that? As far as I know, Limbaugh hasn’t packed his bags yet. You and those like you, Amazona, who believe that President Obama is out to destroy the Constitution and declare himself King will come to realize that all your fears were for naught and when his second term is over, y’all will still be citizens of the greatest country on earth.

      • Amazona November 27, 2012 / 12:49 pm

        CO, clearly I need to pay more attention to Canada. Your odd little snarl seems to suggest that your personal experience, which would of course be in your own country, is that the entire nature of the country abruptly changes with the election of each CEO, and that the definition and history and character of your nation disappears with each new leader, as a completely new character takes over.

        I can’t imagine any other reason for your supposition that with Obama as President the United States has become radically changed, losing its history, losing its character, losing its identity, and becoming a completely new entity as defined by Obama—an entity unacceptable to a conservative American.

        Or am I supposed to treat this like your other silly screeds, and write it off as your usual futile striving for humor and/or relevance?

        I still think the United States is the best place to live, and since I know many Canadians who have chosen American citizenship and only one American who chose to live in Canada, because he married a Canadian woman, this doesn’t seem to be just my own opinion.

        One reason the nation is so great is that its basic structure provides the stability to allow it to ride out political storms like the one we are seeing with the Obama presidency. He has done some damage and will no doubt do more, but his goal of “fundamentally transforming” the country will fall far short, and we will be able to undo most if not all of the damage.

        I know Rush joked about moving to Costa Rica (!) if the “health care” act was passed, but in general conservatives don’t make those stupid comments about fleeing the country if the “wrong” person is elected. We leave that to the Chers, the Martin Sheens, the Barbra Streisands, etc.

        I don’t think anyone has thought Obama would anoint himself as King Barry, but it’s disturbing enough that he treats his position as an imperial presidency, simply picking and choosing which laws to enforce and which to ignore, overriding and essentially canceling out the legislative process, and ruling by presidential edict.

        But that’s OK. That’s what we have to go through for political illiterates to realize that no, they did not just vote for gay marriage, they voted for a political system. No, they did not just vote for protection from the imagined threat to outlaw contraception, they voted for a political system. No, they did not just vote against a guy who had been branded as an elite snob, they voted for a political system. No, they did not just vote to prove they are not racists, they voted for a political system. This is just a necessary stage of realization of just what that political system means, and no , it is not just about soaking “the rich”, it is about rising taxes and inflation and a multitude of Unintended Consequences.

        Too bad. Just as sometimes you have to let the child touch the stove to learn what “HOT” means, sometimes you have to let the politically illiterate vote for their emotional issues to learn what a Leftist political system really means.

      • 01canadianobserver November 27, 2012 / 1:34 pm

        “that the entire nature of the country abruptly changes with the election of each CEO, and that the definition and history and character of your nation disappears with each new leader, as a completely new character takes over.”…Amazona

        ————————————————————————————————–

        Isn’t that exactly what we were told would happen by Far Right Wing Conservatives if, heaven forbid, President Obama were to be re-elected?

      • Amazona November 27, 2012 / 1:59 pm

        “Isn’t that exactly what we were told would happen by Far Right Wing Conservatives if, heaven forbid, President Obama were to be re-elected?”

        No

      • Retired Spook November 27, 2012 / 3:36 pm

        and when his second term is over, y’all will still be citizens of the greatest country on earth.

        CO, I have a serious question I’d like to ask you, and I hope you’ll consider giving me a serious answer. In his speech about redistribution at Loyola University in 1998, Barack Obama also said something that was not widely reported:

        “What I think will re-engage people in politics is if we’re doing significant, serious policy work around what I will label the ‘working poor’, although my definition of the working poor is not simply someone making minimum wage, but it’s also families of four making $30,000 a year. They are struggling. And to the extent that we are doing research figuring out what kinds of government action would successfully make their lives better, we are then putting together a potential majority coalition to move those agendas forward.”

        That Loyola speech was a defining moment in the molding of Obama’s political career, and nothing he’s done since has deviated from the views he expressed in the speech. So, my question to you is, how does American remain “the greatest country on earth” if the working poor become a majority voting block?

      • 01canadianobserver November 27, 2012 / 4:21 pm

        Spook, my statement that the U.S.was, and still is, the greatest country on earth was greatly influenced by Amazona when she wrote:-

        “most of “the poor” in the United States live in houses with air conditioning, refrigerators, cook stoves, color television sets, and indoor plumbing, own at least one car per household, have telephones or cell phones, and lately tend to have expensive bling, gold teeth, tattoos, and elaborate expensive manicures.”

        When I read that, I thought, WOW, the well-to-do in some countries don’t have it that good so Amazona must be right; the U.S. has to be the best place in the world to live.

        If after being reassured by Amazona that the poor have it darned good, Spook, do you really think there would be drastic changes made if the working poor, in fact, do become a majority voting block? On the other hand, perhaps it was the filthy rich that allowed most of the poor to live in houses with air conditioning, refrigerators, cook stoves, color television sets, indoor plumbing, cars, telephones, cell phones and don’t forget that expensive bling, gold teeth, tattoos and elaborate expensive manicures.

      • Retired Spook November 27, 2012 / 4:26 pm

        Spook, my statement that the U.S.was, and still is, the greatest country on earth was greatly influenced by Amazona

        Well done, CO. I had a preconceived notion of how you might answer the question, and, as usual, you didn’t disappoint. Y’all (see I can use that Canadian accent too) may or may not realize it, being a foreigner and all, but there is a reason the poor in the U.S. have it so good.

      • thetruthshallsetyoufree2012 November 27, 2012 / 11:42 pm

        “So, my question to you is, how does American remain “the greatest country on earth” if the working poor become a majority voting block?”

        While this question was asked in full seriousness, it was also premised upon bad faith. Nowhere did Obama say he wanted the working poor to become a majority voting bloc unto themselves. He said: “we are then putting together a potential majority coalition.” A coalition is a partnership of multiple discrete groups; Obama wants the working poor to be a part of the coalition. And then he wants that resulting coalition to:
        1) be a majority (much easier to get your policies passed when you’re the majority), and
        2) work to help the working poor.

        So the questions for you, then, are:

        1) Is there anything wrong with wanting the working poor to be a part of your political coalition?
        2) Is there anything wrong with wanting that political coalition to make crafting policy to assist the working poor one of its goals?

      • Retired Spook November 28, 2012 / 12:40 am

        So the questions for you, then, are:

        1) Is there anything wrong with wanting the working poor to be a part of your political coalition?

        Not if your desire is to help them achieve upward mobility. but if your desire is simply to bribe them with free stuff in exchange for their votes as Obama is doing, then I think it’s reprehensible.

        2) Is there anything wrong with wanting that political coalition to make crafting policy to assist the working poor one of its goals?

        Again, if the goal is to help the working poor to become the working middle class, I would applaud that, but that’s not what Obama is doing, nor what he wants to do because as soon as a person becomes self-sufficient, they don’t need government anymore. And if there’s anything Obama is about, it’s people needing government. During his first term, entitlements have exploded while middle class real income has shrunk.

      • thetruthshallsetyoufree2012 November 28, 2012 / 11:37 am

        “but if your desire is simply to bribe them with free stuff in exchange for their votes as Obama is doing, then I think it’s reprehensible”

        Well, he’s not actually doing that, despite right-wing talking points to the contrary, so no worries there.

        “nor what he wants to do because as soon as a person becomes self-sufficient, they don’t need government anymore. And if there’s anything Obama is about, it’s people needing government.”

        Again, he’s not actually doing that (and please tell me you’re not one of those kooks who believes that Obama wants to push middle-class people down into the ranks of the working poor), and he’s not actually “about” that, despite right-wing talking points to the contrary, so no worries there, either.

        I’m not sure what sort of major point you think there is in Obama’s quote, but we’ve at least determined that it isn’t a desire to make the working poor a “majority voting bloc” but rather a part of a coalition that will in turn address the issues the working poor face.

        And I will further point out that during his first term, Obama was dealing with the economic collapse brought about by the Bush presidency (I know we’re supposed to pretend Obama cratered the economy, but that’s just not how it happened–and the American people are well aware of that, as demonstrated by their voting), hence the “entitlements” you talk about. Similarly, the lower and middle classes were stagnating well before Obama came into office, as supply-side economics obliterates upward mobility.

      • Retired Spook November 28, 2012 / 1:02 pm

        Well, he’s not actually doing that, despite right-wing talking points to the contrary, so no worries there.

        I certainly can’t argue with that logic, Truthie. What an excellent debater you are. I yield to your magnificence.

      • thetruthshallsetyoufree2012 November 28, 2012 / 10:49 pm

        Well, I’m glad we had this discussion, then–at the very least, we did away with the notion that Obama wants the majority of voters to be working poor. But if you’d like to present evidence that Obama’s real desire is merely to “bribe” the working poor with “free stuff,” by all means do so.

  2. M. Noonan November 24, 2012 / 10:17 pm

    You can pretty much rely on it that any alleged cuts will happen after January 20th, 2017 – there might be some cosmetic reductions in the rate of spending growth over the next four years, but if they come out with, say, a plan to cut a trillion in spending over the next ten years you can be sure that any actual reductions in spending – other than possibly defense spending – won’t happen while Obama is in office.

    • J. R. Babcock (@JRBabcock) November 25, 2012 / 11:54 am

      plan to cut a trillion in spending over the next ten years you can be sure that any actual reductions in spending – other than possibly defense spending – won’t happen while Obama is in office.

      Which begs the question, what does the next Democrat running for President run on?

      • Retired Spook November 25, 2012 / 12:39 pm

        JR, given the policies that Obama has pursued and has promised to pursue, the best he can hope for is that things aren’t any worse in 2016 than they are now. And what did he run on this time? That he was going to help the middle class by expanding the entitlement class and punishing the wealth and job creators. I still haven’t figured out the logic behind that yet, but I’ll bet a dollar to a donut that the next Democrat running for President will run on “the rich aren’t paying their fair share” and green jobs.

      • neocon01 November 25, 2012 / 1:28 pm

        Which begs the question, what does the next Democrat running for President run on?

        lies, hate, class warfare, marxism, islam…..

      • M. Noonan November 25, 2012 / 10:35 pm

        JR,

        Ultimately, that depends on the state of the economy – if it is in good shape then they easily run on more of the same. Its its not in good shape then they will probably rely on their 2008/2012 model and be counting on ginning up just enough more votes than the GOP gets. In either case, the proper GOP response is to work out a positive program of deep reforms which will excite the American imagination – doing that the GOP stands a good chance of winning no matter what the conditions of 2016 are. All in all, the best analysis I’ve seen for 2012 is a general disgust with things as they are which Romney failed to channel in to a desire to vote for him…almost certainly that will be the general attitude in 2016 and so we just need a good message and a good messenger.

  3. J. R. Babcock (@JRBabcock) November 26, 2012 / 4:06 pm

    The problem is many tax deductions and credits , such as for home mortgages and the value of employer-provided health insurance, are so popular that enacting them into law over objections from the public and lobbyists would be extremely difficult.

    I thought they were already part of the “law”. You’re right — this author doesn’t have a clue.

  4. Amazona November 26, 2012 / 4:12 pm

    From Newsmax:

    “As Congress prepared to dive back into “fiscal cliff” talks on Monday after the Thanksgiving holiday, there were growing signs that the long-standing Republican resistance to raising taxes is beginning to crack.

    On Sunday, three leading Republicans — Sens. Lindsey Graham and John McCain, and Rep. Peter King — said they no longer viewed the anti-tax pledge designed by activist Grover Norquist to be binding on them. Their statements followed a similar one Thursday by Georgia Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss.

    The decades-old pledge from the Americans for Tax Reform group has been signed by 238 House members and 41 senators in this Congress and has essentially become inescapable for any Republican seeking statewide or national office over recent election cycles, especially in the Republican-controlled lower chamber.

    But on Sunday, there were signals of a sudden shift.

    “I agree entirely with Saxby Chambliss,” King said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “A pledge you signed 20 years ago, 18 years ago, is for that Congress. … The world has changed, and the economic situation is different.”

    “I will violate the pledge, long story short, for the good of the country, only if Democrats will do entitlement reform,” Graham said on ABC’s “This Week.”

    McCain, meanwhile, said he wants to focus on closing so-called tax “loopholes” to raise revenue but stressed he wants no increases to the marginal tax rates. Many observers, however, note that closing loopholes will still represent an effective tax increase. “We can close a lot of loopholes,” McCain said on “Fox News Sunday,” identifying deductions on charitable donations and on mortgage interest.”

    http://www.newsmax.com/Headline/mccain-graham-norquist-chambliss/2012/11/25/id/465282

    Well, let’s see—getting rid of the mortgage interest deduction will hurt the middle and lower income classes far more that those hated 1%, the bast ids. So this sounds absolutely brilliant.

    And as for charitable deductions, cut that out and you can be sure to expand the role of the federal government in providing aid for the needy. Another brilliant move.

    Remember, we are only talking about keeping the existing tax rate in effect, not lowering taxes or raising them, yet these RINO geniuses seem to be falling for the RRL rhetoric and redefinition of terms.

    • neocon01 November 26, 2012 / 4:45 pm

      Time to DITCH the GOP and form a new party…..TEA?

      • Amazona November 26, 2012 / 5:03 pm

        I’m a recycler/remodeler at heart. Even when I had to tear half of a house down, because of black mold, I kept the foundation and the basement and the half that was under a pitched roof, and redid the part that was rotten.

        The Republican Party has a brand and a history, and a growing number of members dedicated to rejuvenating its original mandate to adhere to the Constitution. I think it makes more sense to clean house within the party.

        You don’t think a party can undergo a massive reinvention within just a few years? Look at the Democrat Party, which has in just a decade or two shifted from being a center-to-slightly-left-of-center party with the same goals for the country as the other side and just a little different idea of how to accomplish those goals to a radically Leftist party with the goal of “fundamentally transforming” our Constitutional Republic into Euro-American Socialism.

        We can do the same with the GOP, just moving it in the opposite direction, and much faster than we can create a whole new party and waste years competing with Republican Party diehards, in the interim handing control over to the Left as the Right is splintered.

      • Retired Spook November 26, 2012 / 5:11 pm

        Neo,

        We haven’t had a Tea Party meeting since the night of the election (1st Tuesday of each month), and we’re going to miss the one on December 4th since we’ll be in Kansas visiting my daughter and her family. I’ve spoken with very few of our local members since November 6th, and I really don’t have a feel for where the movement goes from here. This election made it abundantly clear that we’ve lost the culture, and no amount of good ideas and vision can overcome that. I haven’t given up on the country quite yet, but the next 4 years may be a time to just keep our powder dry and let whatever’s going to happen happen.

        Here’s a great talk Bill Whittle gave to a Tea Party group after the election. I completely agree with his assessment that the people who voted for the continued leftward lurch toward Socialism must feel some pain and consequences of their choice before the pendulum can be pushed back the other way.

      • neocon01 November 26, 2012 / 6:01 pm

        When are we going to face the fact that politicians will not cut enough or raise enough revenue to address the massive deficits and debt we carry? Politicians are not in the business of inflicting pain on their constituents either by taking away some of their goodies or slamming them with increased taxes. Hence, a short term deal that cuts little and raises little revenue to address the immediate crisis but then allow a return to business as usual – spending as much of our money, our children’s money, and our grandchildren’s money as fast as they can think up new things to spend it on.

        Eventually, the laws of economics will catch up to us and we’ll be facing utter and immediate ruin. I wonder if that prospect will rouse our somnolent legislators and get them to act then?

        Don’t bet on it.

        Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2012/11/fiscal_cliff_downpayment_may_be_in_the_works.html#ixzz2DMut0qGA

      • M. Noonan November 26, 2012 / 6:19 pm

        I’ve pondered from time to time the establishment of what would be a “Christian Democrat” party – I don’t know if that name would play well in American culture but I can’t think of any better. The idea, of course, is to pick up the threads of Jacksonian democracy and carry on. The GOP is actually doing quite well in the old, Jacksonian heartland (a wide belt of territory which starts in western New York and spreads southwest to Texas) but I wonder – especially in the wake of 2012 – whether the GOP can finally cut its ties to the northeast? We even have too many conservatives who actually care what is talked about in the New York Times and the Washington Post and/or who think that those inside NYC and the DC beltway have the foggiest notion of what is going on – or what is best for America.

        I think about it not only because it would pull in those Jacksonians (and thus cripple the GOP) but also would stand a fair chance of gaining socially conservative African-American and Latino voters (thus crippling the current Democrat party). The main problem is two-fold:

        1. It would likely at least initially split the anti-socialist vote, thus giving the socialists in the Democrat party a continued lease on political life.

        2. You can’t start a new party from the top-down: you have to build it from the ground up. The ultimate failure of the Reform Party in the 1990’s was that it concentrated on electing a President to the exclusion of all else. A Christian Democrat party would have to, first and foremost, secure the school boards and county commissions – buckets of money and masses of time would have to be spent to make sure not that the White House is secured, but that the machinery of local government comes in to our hands.

        Of course, if you can get on with that, then the prospects would brighten. This is especially true as our current system is heading for collapse – the GOP lacks the power to stop the collapse while the Democrats simply will not take any steps to stop it. If we had a new, Third Party untainted with the collapse then it would be the natural place to go for those who want to change. But, would we have time to get a national party together before the collapse? Remember, we don’t even need any Senators or House members – but we need to have a power base we can rely upon to generate candidates, volunteers and funds when needed…which could be as soon as 2014.

        I doubt, therefore, that we have the time – so, back to work with the GOP. But the GOP must break with the past – Jindal and Rubio see it, as do plenty of others but if I had to estimate it, I’d say that 60% of GOP/conservative/libertarian leaders figure that if we can just tweak turnout a bit we can win…but even if we can if we win as a status quo party, then we won’t have the authority or spirit to make the changes necessary to restore America. We’re in quite a pickle – my basic attitude is not to fight it out on the “fiscal cliff”. That is, don’t get drawn in to a fight where it appears we’ve undone an deal to “fix” the problem. Be clearly shown as willing to work with Obama and Reid to “fix” it without signing off on their actual policies…and then just let the collapse happen because we know full well that nothing Reid and Obama will agree to will address the real issue. If we’ve shown ourselves reasonable and thus not responsible for the smash up and spend the next two years breaking our ties to the old GOP (big business, especially) then we’ll be in a position – with Jindal or Rubio as the nominee – to sweep the boards in 2016.

      • neocon01 November 26, 2012 / 6:24 pm

        BINGO…….

        Russian News Outlet Pravda Labels Obama a ‘Communist’ in Scathing OpEd

        http://www.theblaze.com ^ | November 26, 2012 | Tiffany Gabbay

        The famed Russian news site “Pravda,” which ironically was formed as the official Communist publication of the former Soviet Union, recently released a scathing opinion column entitled, “Obama’s Soviet Mistake,” in which the author unabashedly labels the U.S. president a “Communist without question promoting the Communist Manifesto without calling it so.”

      • neocon01 November 26, 2012 / 6:26 pm

        Jindal?

        Nah

      • M. Noonan November 26, 2012 / 6:41 pm

        Jindal now and always, my brother – the only problem is that he’s probably too smart and competent…might scare off too many people.

      • dbschmidt November 26, 2012 / 7:27 pm

        Just as when the Whigs split between north and south–the southern Whigs disappeared while the northern Whigs (under Lincoln) rebuilt the GOP. Same now for the TEA party folks to rebuild the GOP in our image.

        As everyone cries about “How could we lose?” I am not here to place blame but just remind everyone that every time we moved center–we lost. Yes, we need to better control the message and get it out, but also run someone who is farther right and believes it whole heart. Then promote that message.

        The one TEA party meeting I have made since the election has the disappointed in attendance but also the resolved who are looking at the mid-terms. My next ideal Presidential candidate would be as smart and quick as Gingridge but without the baggage. So far there are several including Rubio (NBC issues?) and Rand. Both excellent.

        At this point I think we all know how the “fiscal cliff” is going to go–Obama drives us off of it and then quickly replaces parts so he can look like a champion without doing anything but reinstate existing policies for most.

        I, myself, am looking forward to complete financial (among other things) ruin and rebuild from the rubble. Let the Dems have what they but I am sure most of America does not want to live in the new Detroit.

      • neocon01 November 26, 2012 / 9:06 pm

        Jindal now and always, my brother –

        I have visited several conservative sites and seems he is well liked in our circles, I will keep an eye on him for sure.

      • M. Noonan November 27, 2012 / 12:57 am

        Neo,

        At the age of 24, Bobby JIndal had the brass to get himself recommended to the new Governor of Louisiana for the job of director of the State health system. They tried to fob him off with an assistant directorship, which most 24 year olds would have been happy with, but Jindal turned it down: it was Director, or nothing. Jindal ended up being one of the six candidates interviewed by the governor – after a half hour chat, Jindal got the job.

        At the time, the department was rife with corruption and waste and was running a $400 million deficit. Jindal took the department apart – completely cleaning it up and clearing out massive amounts of fraud and waste. So determined was Jindal to make a clean sweep of corruption that when he got married he sought legal advice on just what sort of wedding presents he could accept, and from whom – and put that notice in to the wedding invitations. At the end of the day, Jindal fixed a system which no one thought could ever be fixed and remember he took the job when he was 24 years old.

        From there, he has just gone on to bigger and better things – Louisiana is simply not the most corrupt State in the nation any longer: Jindal has seen to that. It has a solid fiscal system: Jindal has seen to that. It has a business-friendly climate: Jindal has seen to that. Louisiana has a better education system (one Parish going from a below 50% graduation rate to a 61% rate): Jindal has seen to that. The Democrat party is powerless in the State of Louisiana: Jindal has seen to that.

        Jindal knows what needs to be done and he knows how to get it done. He is the man of the hour…if we’ve simply got the smarts to see it.

      • Amazona November 27, 2012 / 11:51 am

        I like Jindal and think he has a lot of ability, but his comment ““We cannot be, we must not be, the party that simply protects the rich so they get to keep their toys.” appeared to me to be pandering to those who keep trying to label the GOP in this manner, and adding to that perception by not denying or rebutting it, simply saying we shouldn’t be like that.

        I found it poorly stated and it did change my perception of Jindal as being ready for the Big Show.

      • dbschmidt November 27, 2012 / 2:14 pm

        Jindal, like Rubio, has that NBC (Natural Born Citizen) issue to deal with first. Do not want to spend the real campaigning time being distracted with whatever the left will throw against the wall.

  5. watsonthethird November 27, 2012 / 12:20 am

    deleted – completely off topic

    • watsonthethird November 27, 2012 / 12:54 am

      Whining about moderator policies deleted

      • neocon01 November 28, 2012 / 7:31 pm

        Ha Ha………

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