Most progressives in the U.S. Senate and House voted in favor of the “fiscal cliff” deal worked out between Vice President Joe Biden and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. They did this despite the fact that the agreement compromised on what was supposed to be a hard-and-fast principle: that tax rates on Americans making $250,000 or more must go up to at least the rates that were in place when Bill Clinton was president. Instead, the deal only ends Bush-era tax cuts on those with incomes above $400,000. That rate, thoughtful progressives argue, “does not generate the revenue necessary for the country to meet its needs for everything from education for our children, to job training, to other critical supports for the middle class.”

True, there will be some restoration of tax fairness — not to mention an extension of unemployment benefits and a delay in across-the-board cuts proposed as part of the so-called “sequester” scheme. That was enough for most congressional progressives, from Sens. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, to Congressional Progressive Caucus co-chairs Keith Ellison, D-Minn., and Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz., in the House. They voiced their concerns but ultimately voted “yes.”

Many, like Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., did so with considerable concern. “Although it does not do as much as I want, this bill does ensure that the wealthy will be contributing more as we work to bring our deficits under control. I far prefer that choice to further cuts to education, law enforcement, and investments in the infrastructure our economy depends on,” Merkley said of the measure. “But let’s be clear: This deal carries great risks as well. This deal sets up more cliffs in the near future, including the expiring debt ceiling and the sequestration, pre-planned cuts to programs essential to working families. And as before, there will be some who use these cliffs to launch renewed attacks on Medicare and Social Security. We cannot let those attacks succeed.”

For a handful of progressives, however, the risks were too great to secure their support.

A few House stalwarts refused to go along with the 257-167 vote on New Year’s Day. Among the objectors were Congressman Jim McDermott, D-Wash., and Congressman Peter DeFazio, an Oregon Democrat who has a history of breaking with his party’s leadership when he feels it has compromised on tax fairness, economic justice and infrastructure investment. Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro, a Connecticut Democrat who chaired the party’s platform drafting committee in 2004, said she voted “no” because the bill did not do enough to benefit working families. “I was hopeful that we would be voting on legislation that prioritized working families and the middle class over the wealthiest Americans in taking a balanced approach to the challenges we face as a nation,” she explained. “However, the bill before the House of Representatives tonight is not that.”

In the Senate, where the vote for the measure was a lopsided 89-8, the one progressive “no” vote was that of Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin, who echoed the vow of grass-roots groups such as the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, which argued: “The president ran on and won on $250,000 twice. Voters across the country overwhelmingly agree with the $250,000 threshold. And in real human costs, the billions lost by raising the threshold to $400,000 will come out of the pockets of grandparents and working families across the nation.”

Harkin, an old-school populist who worked closely with former Minnesota Sen. Paul Wellstone, outlined his opposition in a statement of principle. Issued at the time of the Senate vote, it read:

“Tonight, at the 11th hour, we find ourselves considering legislation to address a manufactured ‘fiscal cliff.’ Much of this could have been avoided had the U.S .House taken up the Senate-passed legislation to avert tax hikes on 98 percent of Americans.

“Instead, we find ourselves voting on an agreement that fails to address our No. 1 priority — creating good, middle class jobs in Iowa and throughout the country. Further, it does not generate the revenue necessary for the country to meet its needs for everything from education for our children, to job training, to other critical supports for the middle class.

“The deal also makes tax benefits for high-income earners permanent, while tax benefits designed to help those of modest means and the middle class are only extended for five years. In essence, this agreement locks in a tax structure that is grossly unfair to middle-class Americans, one which provides permanent tax assistance to wealthy Americans, and only temporary relief to everyone else.

“Every dollar that wealthy taxpayers do not pay under this deal, we will eventually ask Americans of modest means to forgo in Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid benefits. It is shortsighted to look at these issues in isolation from one another, especially when congressional Republicans have been crystal clear that they intend to seek spending cuts to programs like Social Security just two months from now, using the debt limit as leverage.

“I am all for compromise, but a compromise that sets a new tax threshold for the wealthiest Americans while neglecting the very backbone of our country — the middle class — is a compromise I simply cannot support. This is the wrong direction for Iowa and our country, and at a time when our fragile economy cannot sustain further damage.”

John Nichols is associate editor of The Capital Times. jnichols@madison.com

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(37) comments

Fartinthewind
Fartinthewind

Wow. Conservatives on this thread seem to believe there are two mutually exclusive schools of economic thought. One says a rising tide lifts all boats. The other says if everyone's tide is rising and everybody's wages are going up, all you get is inflation. They are wrong. These schools of thought are not mutually exclusive. Our economy can support across the board wage increases without risking inflation.

Perceptions of reality often contradict scientific theories. Gravity is a perfect example of this. Stripped down to its basics, the theory of gravity says two objects dropped at the same time hit the ground at the same time. Systematic testing that controls for outside forces proves this theory. It is reality. But, we don't live in a vacuum. In the real world, if you drop a feather and a lead filled balloon at the same time, the feather floats slowly to the ground and the balloon drops like a stone.

In theory a rising tide lifts all boats. But what if a boat is firmly anchored to the sea bed? The forces of the tide cannot lift the boat until the chains binding the boat are broken. Our economy is chained by a lack of demand. Rising wages could break those chains and allow more boats to rise with the tide.

Would those rising wages lead to inflation? Sure, in theory. But we don't live in a vacuum. Because lower wages (expendable income) have depressed demand, we have excess capacity in our economy. Inflation shouldn't become troublesome as long as wages and capacity are moving towards equilibrium. We've got a long way to go to reach that point.

Logicguy
Logicguy

Obama and all liberals care more about income redistribution than reducing the debt. The historical record clearly demonstrates that reducing tax rates results in increased revenue to the treasury. I have yet to hear an intelligent rebuttal to that fact. I'm waiting.

251001
251001

Hello Logicguy,

There are many intelligent sources that refute any findings that claim reducing taxes increases revenue. Here is a link to a webpage from The Tax foundation, which describes itself as a non-partisan organization that is widely respected. Its Board of Directors is rife with business leaders representing large companies and investment firms. These include, Eli Lilly and Co., PriceWaterhouseCoopers LLP, the Vice-President of PepsiCo Inc. as well as Mr. Douglas Holtz-Eakin, the sixth Director of the CBO.

I'm sure you will have your share of disputes and differing opinions but, The Tax Foundation is certainly composed of successful businessmen and intelligent contributors. If you refer the question to Google, you will also find many other websites that dispute your beliefs with solid evidence. Here is that web page.

http://taxfoundation.org/blog/does-lowering-taxes-increase-government-revenue

196ski
196ski

The argument, "does lowering taxes raise revenue's" stems from this. Not the article but the graph.
http://www.forbes.com/sites/mikepatton/2012/10/15/do-tax-cuts-increase-government-revenue/

Since 1960 as the top rate has gone down, Federal revenue's have gone up.

Nothing, as the tax foundation points out, is as simple as this. Theory's are pretty hard to test in a macro economic reality.

Economists? At best they are harmless but at worst they can be very dangerous. Certainly they have little credibility. How many economists saw the collapse? Peter Schiff for one, but he was literally laughed at by his peers for his predictions. Was he right or was it just a lucky guess?

251001
251001

Yes, the graph begins at 1980 and doesn't include years when taxes were lowered from rates above 90% while revenues increased. However, I like the Tax Foundations inclusion of the unknown variable, which is that, no one can be certain if revenues might have continued to increase at an even greater rate if, for example, the above 90% tax rates continued. These original high rates may also have begun to stimulate economic growth in ways that continued to be effective even when taxes were lowered after 1970--a good analogy being the way a snow ball may continue to grow in size as it rolls downhill. So many unknowns were at play that, it make it hard to jump to any definitive conclusions about economic activity in the 70s.

I also like the inclusion of the fact that the Bush tax cuts didn't really take effect until 2005 and before that,revenues actually fell while the Bush tax cuts were being phased in. But, of course, there are a ton of other factors to consider there, that may also been at play--such as the economic recession after 911.

One important point to make is also that, it's pretty hard to negate the correlation between higher taxes and increased revenues for all those years included after 1980. If the growth lines on the chart are really accurate, then these figures alone, suggest that there IS indeed, an intelligent reason to doubt the validity of trickle down theories in economics. I should also add, that before H.W.Bush became President, he referred to Reagan's trickle down ideas as "Voodoo" economics. He embraced them only after realizing that they had become popular and, represented a political advantage!

Fartinthewind
Fartinthewind

251001,

Props. I like your direct rebuttal of Logicguy's argument. Contrary to logicguy's assertion there are intelligent sources that refute the notion that tax cuts raise revenue (pay for themselves).

While I like your direct rebuttal, I love your inferred argument: that the Tax Foundation is a credible, non partisan organization. What a hoot.

I read your link. I'm still not ready to say the Tax Foundation is non-partisan. The Tax Foundation is always chiming in on conservative memes. I've never seen them publicly contradict republican dogma on tax policy before.

251001
251001

Fartinthewind,

Thanks, I understand that many sources which claim to be non-partisan, may be giving themselves too much credit when, they, at times, may be swayed by subjective partisan feelings. However, the TAX FOUNDATION, seemed a more reliable source of objective information than the WHITE HOUSE WEBSITE, or many of the other hits provided by Google. And, like I said, if one looks at all the search results from them, it is immediately apparent that many intelligence sources really do NOT support the idea that lowering taxes raises revenue. It is also very apparent that many conservative organizations are usually not being objective about taxes and economic growth either.

251001
251001

I know that many of the fiscal conservatives that post on this sight will disagree, but the events of the past two years have convinced me that radical elements of the GOP are holding a gun to the heads of anyone who makes sense or, even exhibits some small degree of sanity.

Because Democrats are dealing with crazy people, who seem to think that their obstructionist, anti-tax philosophy is mankind's next step up in divine evolution, I also would have voted for the compromise that was passed. People who are hypnotized by an ideology, like the Tea Partiers are, will seldom admit that their fanatic devotion will probably hurt Americans as a whole. Being so deluded as this would cause them to self-righteously take us over the cliff and throw the baby out with the bathwater, just to control our nations fiscal agenda.

The very idea of refusing to raise the debt ceiling, even though it is intended to pay debts already incurred, rather than instead, confining debates to cutting future costs, is nothing more than an outright power play from self-righteous group of right wing fanatics who cannot help but cause us more damage in the long run.

For me, this compromise deal was a necessary step requiring the acceptance of the lesser of two evils. And, It also accomplished a task that has so far been relentlessly resisted by Republicans--they have actually agreed to raise taxes on themselves, even by only a little bit more!

I know that the President has gotten a lot of flak for this deal from the members of his own party, but, I am particularly relieved that, because of this compromise, millions of unemployed Americans who are desperately seeking employment, will not have to be effectively, thrown out into the streets, when their unemployment insurance is terminated!

I hope Republicans know, that Democrats are also interested in making cuts as well as increasing revenues. It would be great if Republicans really did support meaningful changes in the tax code and its myriad of loopholes and deductions. In return, Democrats might agree to some tough cuts and/or changes of their own.

Whatever his detractors claim, on the left or on the right, we cannot deny that Obama is one of the few remaining politicians who actually accepts the principle of compromise, and, no matter what Grover Norquist thinks, such compromise is intended as the natural outcome of an effective system of checks and balances!

susieq
susieq

I personally believe at this point in time, the only tax credits business should get is if they give their hourly workers $1.00 more per hour. That and that alone would get the economy going again!!!!

skippie
skippie

Good thing we increased those taxes so we can get an additional $60B in revenue this year. Opps, Sandy relief is going to take $10B of that right off the top. Trillion dollar deficits.... Reduce that by $50B, you are left with trillion dollar deficits.... Only liberals (most of which are horrible at math) would think this is a plan that will work.

pete
pete

richardsussel said: "But who really "earns" it? The people who do the work, or the ones sitting at the top of the heap calling the shots? Worse yet, the ones sitting on Wall Street, gambling with other people's money and not producing a damn thing? Compare who actually DOES stuff with who ends up with the money and tell me that you don't see a disparity."

Sometimes I agree and sometimes I don't but in general I appreciate what you say, however a statement like this is laughable. Your pettiness and ignorance shows when you say junk like this. It's a lazy stereotype that fits a minute percentage of people not even worth talking about.

Ever worked for or owned a small business???? Feel free to tell the small business owner working 70-80 hours a week that he/she isn't really "doing" anything.....

uwjeff
uwjeff

LOL.........you nailed that pete - as someone who does own a business - the 7 AM to 7 PM day is not at all unusual -- it's jsut how many of us are wired - and yes, I do strive for getting into the highest tax bracket there is - but I also want to continue to grow and build and add to the solid staff and team around me in the process and share in the success of the business. You see so many here focus all their vents at the 'Wall Street' crowd and overlook the fact that all the tax increases - change in the laws and increased regulations that they wish to rain upon them -- also tend to hit us as well -and we're no where close to what they do on Wall Street - that frankly is a large part of the 'crony capitalism' world - that makes their bed and profits by their close ties with the politicians in Washington (OF BOTH POLITICAL PARTIES - Obama being the major benefactor of all polticians over the past several years from the Wall Street crowd - a fact so quickly passed over and overlooked) -- it's funny how they see Wall Street as a Republican creation - when it's as much or more a Democrat claven of late.........and for us as conservatives - we can't stand the Wall Street 'insider' happenings -- anymore than we can stand 'the joke' that is Washington DC and our so-called political 'leaders' (again, witht the oxymoron - 'political leadership' coming from Washington) -- the only true leadership you see is at the State and Local levels -- where political leaders actually have to govern and exist within a manageable budget --- it's easy to govern at the Washington DC level - where you just toss the money around. LOL

251001
251001

Yes, Obama certainly is so blessed by support from Wall street that he feels it necessary to seek Wall Street reforms that might actually prevent a replay of 2008. He also placed his tail between his legs and insisted that credit card holders not be bamboozled by the small print, and taken advantage of by one unfair charge after another. Then, he pacified his Wall Street cronies by creating a department to regulate them and overlook the workings of Wall Street. He also sneakily insisted on including ordinary civilians, as well as business people, to serve on it. He also had the Gall to expect billionaires to pay a bit more in taxes--even though criticized over the fact that such increases would not make a significant dent in the debt--he insisted in adding 60 billion in revenue at a time when every penny of revenues matters. The point here being that i.e. just like arresting a drunk driver will not end all the road injuries and fatalities related to alcohol consumption, we should arrest them anyway, because it may save SOME lives in the long run. So are Republicans suggesting that we take a stance in regards to taxes similar to letting all drunken drivers off the hook, because it will not immediately solve the problem? Or, for a better analogy, how about eliminating all sales taxes, because increasing them just a smidgen will not erase all of our home State's debt? In the end, letting very wealthy people pay a larger amount in taxes is just the right thing to do--even if it does not create fiscal nirvana. Besides, whatever party is in power, or whatever any President does, the task of effectively reducing the debt is likely to take decades. That is, unless we starve ourselves with austerity measures which will only make things worse.

Yes, all politicians court donations from big business, just like most large businesses donate to one side or the other, or even BOTH, during most election cycles in order to increase the odds in their favor. Obama admits it, but is not hesitant to criticize Wall street anyway. This obstinacy has cost him a lot of money that could have come from Wall street! But instead, even though he did use Super-packs, a huge chunk of his money came from small donations.

Think about it! How could any sane person think he would continue to receive sufficient donations from big businesses--to cinch a victory--after campaigning almost exclusively on raising taxes for the wealthy, and consistently pointing to the fact that Romney's wealth disqualified him from truly understanding the needs of middle class? And who can deny that, persisting in the endeavor to regulate the way business in done on Wall street, is NOT a great strategy to follow if you are interested in raising large amounts of campaign cash from big business executives.

The "facts'" you use, almost exclusively amount to circumstantial evidence that fails to succeed in painting Obama as merely a two-faced opportunist. If it is solid evidence you desire. Look no further than Obama's gutsy criticism of the Supreme Court in front of joint session of Congress. Doesn't that prove that many wealthy individuals could not possibly want him elected, and, isn't it true that a Harvard Law Student--graduating with high honors, would have brains enough to know this? the President seems to take a lot of unwise political gambles in his attempt to win large donations and voter support! How clever of him!

Politics does make for strange bed-fellows at times, but, these associations do not totally color the agendas of all Presidents who seek to bring positive changes which will help the middle class--and by default--the rest of the economy!

JBANK
JBANK

Harkin is a fraud. Along with all the other folks carrying on about how they want to look for the middle class. Liars. Cheats. Scam artists. Harkin and his ilk sell their snake oil to those that don't understand that there aren't enough rich people we can get our hands on to cover the bills. We are spending way beyond our means but folks like Harkin pose for holy pictures claiming not a penny can be cut in any program.

bookman21
bookman21

The cheap labor crowd continues to whine about taxing the so called job creators and continues to ignore the fact that looting the middle class is bad for the general economy.

Pay the working people of America a decent wage and they will spend it. The rising tide will lift all boats. Or you can continue with the GOP's biggest lie, trickle down.

uwjeff
uwjeff

.....and still so many can't see that it's the Government which claims to be their friend and 'savior' that is doing most of the taking and looting and not creating any future for the middle class -- and these same people fall prey to those who seek to divide us and create the specter of 'class warfare and division' by demonizing and attacking those in the private sector that take risks and succeed. The same people who fail to realize the critical importance of having a vibrant and free private sector that encourages and promotes investment and the risk taking of job creating entrepreneurs and don’t understand that if you promoted the private sector that you'd have more jobs to pay working people a decent wage and yes, I too believe that they would spend it -- why do you have so much blind faith in a government to redistribute and 'force' a definition of fairness and equality upon us and believe in it’s vision of how to grow a middle class? Show me an example in history and the past where this has ever succeeded on any scale for any duration? History has shown that you need private sector job creation to accomplish a rise in the middle class - take a look at what's happening to Cuba now.........there you had a socialistic economy that had literally bottomed out -- and no, it wasn't due primarily to the US embargo (that didn't help though)......now they're showing some of the greatest % economic growth - most of it due to policies which seek to 'free up' the private sector and not due to increasing regulation and taxation. I don't know if 'non-business' owners really 'get it'......and I guess how should we expect them to – it takes a special breed to take personal risks to own and operate a business and there exists the need to be on a constant vigil of how to operate the business most efficiently and maintaining being in a position to seize growth opportunities when they appear – or else you fail - governments are not capable of that type of operation or 'vision' – indeed, “failure” is a viable option for government - those of you who view President Roosevelt (a well intentioned man I’m sure) as the big savior of America in the late '30's and 40's and being the visionary job creator, simply have not a clue of what it takes to truly 'create' jobs that will grow and sustain a middle class - at least not a middle class that has any hope of rising above the 'middle class' if they so aspire. You call it ‘trickle down’ and label it a GOP lie because that gives you a comfort blanket and convenient target to vent at and allow you to ignore having to deal with the reality.......Government does not so much create - as it takes - it's taken from the people throughout history and will always 'take' – it always takes more than it gives back in redistribution - the best we as the people can hope for is to have an enlightened political leadership that knows and respects the limitations of government and the need to control and restrict it's power and growth - as once it reaches 'critical mass' in it's evolution of expansion - it's too late as it's created the dependency it needs to survive and beat back anyone's attempt to bring it under control.........yes, it's close to....if not already too late for America to restore itself to it's former status as an economic engine of prosperity and invention and driving force for individual freedom - it seems we've reached that stage in the evolution a democracy that has been predicted would happen and befall it -- pick your quote: "The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money" OR "A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the majority discovers it can vote itself largess out of the public treasury" ...... either or both apply........ maybe enough will 'wake up' and realize that they don't really have a friend in government but 'a keeper' .....but hey, if that's what you really want in life ‘to be kept’.........it's yours for rolling over and letting them 'keep' you safe and secure – but please know, that with all that ‘keeping’ - it all comes at a price.............most of you don't see it or realize it's even happening and you won't before it's too late - most likely for your children or the next generation we've passed - or rather, imposed, this mess we've helped create upon them

pete
pete

bookman21 said: "Pay the working people of America a decent wage and they will spend it. The rising tide will lift all boats. Or you can continue with the GOP's biggest lie, trickle down."

for starters, didn't you just define trickle down? Also, what happens when you blindly "pay working people a decent wage"? Ever heard of inflation? More importantly, who determines what a decent wage is? I was always told a decent wage is what you got when you earned it, maybe you see it differently.

pete
pete

I was reading an article by ej dionne today and the thought process with him and others like jon are downright frightening. Here's what ej had to say: "Many liberals are unhappy for the same reasons that Republicans who backed the bill are hopeful. Both groups assume that (1) Obama has now lost all his leverage; (2) he will fold during the next round of negotiations as a vote on the debt ceiling approaches; (3) this was the last chance to win tax increases; and (4) the deal contains a lot less new revenue (roughly $620 billion over a decade) than it should have.

There's no question that significantly more revenue will be needed to avoid steep cuts in social insurance programs. And it's useful that many on the left have signaled their dissatisfaction because this will expand their influence (and Obama's negotiating room) in the coming months."

These "progressives" truly feel that any money that is earned is not really yours and the gov't should be entitled to whatever they feel they need......scary stuff. It's also quite evident that this initial wave of tax increases is only the beginning if the regressives have their way. It's also quite apparent that the libs will stop at nothing to continue to buy votes through our social programs. How pathetically sad.

RichardSRussell
RichardSRussell

But who really "earns" it? The people who do the work, or the ones sitting at the top of the heap calling the shots? Worse yet, the ones sitting on Wall Street, gambling with other people's money and not producing a damn thing? Compare who actually DOES stuff with who ends up with the money and tell me that you don't see a disparity.

skippie
skippie

It does not matter Richard. If the government decides that the money earned is theirs and not the earners, than they can take the money of people making billions a year and people making tens of thousands a year. After all, why do you deserve your income when there are people in poverty? If you make 40K or more a year you don't really need that. You can live on less. Many people do. 40K is rich to some people you know.

skippie
skippie

John correctly points out that the tax increase on those making over $400K“does not generate the revenue necessary for the country to meet its needs for everything from education for our children, to job training, to other critical supports for the middle class.”

John fails to point out that increasing taxes to 100% of all income on those making $250K and above also does not generate the revenue necessary to eliminate the deficit.

Why do you fail once again to point this out John? Are you math challenged?

RichardSRussell
RichardSRussell

I am fit to be tied that ALL the politicians and ALL the commentators will talk about every aspect of the fiscal cliff, every pro, every con, every tweak, every program, every perk, every promise, every tax, every loophole, every precedent —in short, everything imaginable EXCEPT the trillion-dollar elephant in the room that is the endless, stupid, counterproductive, destructive war in Afghanistan that one dunce of a president lied us into and another spineless coward of a president refuses to get us out of.

AllAmerican11B
AllAmerican11B

RichardSRussel,
"...war in Afghanistan that one dunce of a president lied us into..."

I'm not arguing against your underlying argument about the money spent in Afghanistan, you're welcome to your opinion on that.

I completely understand the arguments on both sides (that doesn't mean I agree with all of them them) surrounding the circumstances that got us into Iraq, call them lies if you choose, but what were the lies that got us into Afghanistan?

RichardSRussell
RichardSRussell

"Osama bin Laden is hiding out SOMEWHERE in Afghanistan."

Would have been more accurate if they'd said "SOMEWHERE in Asia", for all they really knew.

Good ole Dubya, tho, wanted to pick fights with 2 countries that he KNEW up front were in no position to fight back. But he wasn't far-sighted enuf (like about a month into the future) to ask the question "OK, we've captured their capitals. NOW what?" And his answer was apparently "Let's hold a celebration, declare 'Mission Accomplished', and maybe everybody will stop paying attention." Wrong again, Dubya.

AllAmerican11B
AllAmerican11B

RichardSRussell,
Do you have some evidence that you can direct me to that shows they knew up front that Osama bin Laden was NOT in Afghanistan before or when they invaded and lied about it?

AllAmerican11B
AllAmerican11B

Additional question Richard;

Do you have access to all the intelligence that identified where Osama bin Laden was prior to, during, and after 9/11?

RichardSRussell
RichardSRussell

Besides the lie, there's the appalling attitude of whom to take out our spite on. It's akin to saying "Al Capone is hiding out somewhere in Chicago, so let's burn the city to the ground. THAT'LL teach him a lesson!"

AllAmerican11B
AllAmerican11B

RichardSRussell,
I'm not going to argue the "spite" comment, I half agree with you on that one.

I can't help but mention that the Taliban in Afghanistan was actively supporting and protecting the terrorist organisation al-Qaeda within the borders of Afghanistan.

Quick question for you Richard; is there any point in time that you would stand up for yourself or your family to prevent a purposeful murderous group of people from killing you and your family because of their open religious bigotry against all you stand for?

uwjeff
uwjeff

Be careful with what you say out loud RichardS......given the tendencies of the current Administration -- who know's, there could be a drone out there about to be programmed with your name coming up on a screen and zeroing in on your phone GPS system.

Of course I jest....... or at least I hope that I am..........but heck there's a lot of Democrats out there who are willing to give Obama a pass on anything and everthing he wants with a 'rubber stamp' and don't have a clue what path they're being led down..........oh well, while we likely 'vote' for different parties most of the time....funny, how we seem to share many of the same frustrations - have a Happy New Year Richard ...keep up the good fight.

tomtom666
tomtom666

The progressives who voted against this bill would have used the revenue gained by sticking to the 250,000 figure to fund infrastructure projects which are vital to the country's economic health. In addition to providing the jobs related to construction, the upgrades would allow for the expansion of industry and commerce. They projects would pay for themselves many times over before they needed to be upgraded again. Deficits don't matter when the money is spent wisely. Tax cuts don't stimulate the economy, spending does and it doesn't matter who is doing the spending.

uwjeff
uwjeff

So your answer is that "Deficits don't matter when the money is spent wisely" LOL,, well that was one I wasn't expecting.... does anyone else see the irony and understand the oxymoron aspect of that statement?

Can I assume that you will be in favor of a federal bailout of the States of Californian and Illinois when their fiscal house of cards comes crashing down because their deficits arose because of no fault of their own - that it was all well intentioned 'wise spending' - or seemed so at the time?

P.S. Who do you believe 'spends' money more wisely - private citizens and the private sector - or Government? This might explain your first response - and your position that 'tax cuts' don't stimulate the economy.

Do they teach Economics 101 anymore..........at any level in the public education system?

uwjeff
uwjeff

P.S. And I do know that there's a Macroeconomics crowd out there that believes in the "Deficits don't matter as long as the money is spent wisely" approach when it comes to the Government expenditures and and how to stimulate the economy.........personally though - I just break out laughing whenever I hear that ........indeed you have to LOL at the thought of our government spending money 'wisely'........I mean seriously........who believes stuff like that???

uwjeff
uwjeff

@tomtom666 - my apologies if my comments came across too personally directed at you and your view of the situation - that was inappropriate and not fair of me. I'm just a bit fed up with 'the mess' that is our Government and Washington DC and am tired of their charade of claiming to be working for us the people............I mean when even a relief bill for the hurricane victims is stuffed full of wasteful and unnecessary increases in government spending all 'wrapped' in the holiness of aid for the hurricane victims - we're really dealing with a lost cause to think that working toward a fiscally sound and balanced budget will ever happen in our lifetime - we're doomed to follow the path of the European model and suppose to accept that as our destiny and the new norm. Pitiful and of course we don't really have to worry because their are many policians who truly believe that 'Deficits don't matter, as long as the money is spent wisely'.........so we should just trust in their better judgment for all of us............why does the phrase 'bend over' suddenly come to mind at that thought?

196ski
196ski

With all do respect you cannot possibly be serious. Your just being sarcastic right?

Deficits don't matter?

In 2011 the US Government spent 211 BILLION dollars on INTEREST payments on our debt. And that is with interest rates at almost zero interest rates. We are on course for the fiscal 2013 budget, which started in October, to set record deficits again. October and November were 20% higher than 2012. If ALL of the Bush tax cuts were allowed to expire it would just barely cover the current interest payments, this new plan will raise on the order of 60 Billion per year, against an annual deficit of 1+ Trillion dollars.

All I have heard since this deal was what the money is going to be spent on which is nonsense, this money needs to go to deficit reduction and be coupled with cuts in Federal spending. We have got to accept the fact that the Federal government cannot do everything.

skippie
skippie

People like tomtom and his lack of any kind of intelligent reasoning are the biggest danger we face. We know that it was the "low information voter" that kept Obama in the white house. Only a fool would believe that "Deficits don't matter." Tomtom is an example of the large group of people that will gladly follow President Obama right off a cliff to disaster. The stupid voters and the voters that just vote to get more money from the government (welfare, foodstamps, unemployment) are destroying this country and if we don't change things we will go the way of the USSR, Turkey and Greece. It happened to them and in CAN happen to us.

uwjeff
uwjeff

Can I ask a serious question of the readers and editorial board of the Cap Times? (that was rhetorical....of course, I can 'ask'.......whether there's ever going to be an answer......well, that's another matter.) Here's the question - for all the talk and goal of achieving 'tax fairness' and securing needed revenue to meet the 'needs' of the middle class (by the way - when did meeting the needs of the middle class [which I count myself in] ever become a government mandate? I thought the government should focus on the truly needy and not those able to provide for themselves (if held accountable)...............OK, back to the question -- does the Cap Times editorial board support the principal of government programs and operations being conducted on a balanced budget basis? Perhaps I missed that 'support' if it's ever been articulated and laid out - but it seems to be a principal that get's short shift if any attention here and I wonder why. Is it because you truly don't believe in it.........that you feel it's become a lost cause? Why aren't you more concerned about the run-away deficits and unfunded mandates that governments are creating at all levels? Why when you know that ‘doing the math’ shows that no matter how much you raise tax rates – that any additional revenues raised (if it doesn’t keep/put the private sector economy into a further funk) will not come close to bringing the deficits under control? When the poorly fiscally run states of California and Illinois go bankrupt and turn to the federal government for a bailout - which will require contribution from the more budget conscious citizens of Wisconsin - what will be your Editorial Boards position on that – will you support Wisconsin bailing out California and Illinois? Would someone care to respond? ............ please. When programs for the truly needed start to run out of money because no one has addressed the deficit and unfunded mandates – what will you call for and where will you turn to then for more revenue when you’ve already ‘broken’ the private sector – the well will be dry and only the uber rich and politically connected elites will be untouched by the consequences of our politicians of today poor decisions and cowardness……….and yet, YOU do nothing to call them out for continuing to fund wasteful government programs and their excessive spending……..you only call for ‘tax fairness’ while we ‘kick the can’ further down the road – pretend that the fiscal mess with just magically fix itself without pain and pass the bill on to our children and grandchildren and we will all suffer. ……… so yeah, do you truly believe that governments should operate on a balanced budget basis (other in times of declared national emergency)? Why or Why Not? And why do you ‘ignore’ the issue?

RecessionSux
RecessionSux

Do the math here. This measure if the progressives would have gotten what they wanted would have covered maybe 10% of the deficit. Obama has no plan and no clue on how to get the economy pumping jobs. We are doomed.

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