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Author Topic: Federal Gov't Budget News & Discussion  (Read 1684 times)

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Offline Loretto

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Re: Federal Gov't Budget News & Discussion
« Reply #60 on: December 28, 2012, 01:13:27 PM »

Online Cleburger

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Re: Federal Gov't Budget News & Discussion
« Reply #61 on: December 29, 2012, 02:23:14 PM »
Looks like we're going over the cliff.  Get ready for the blame game.

From WSJ.com "Three Questions as Fiscal Cliff Nears"

http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2012/12/27/three-questions-as-the-cliff-nears/

From everything I've read Boehner stands to take a large share of the blame publicly.   If this is true you would think he'd be hustling to save face.   It's a rare Congressman who ignores polling!

Offline Hts121

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Re: Federal Gov't Budget News & Discussion
« Reply #62 on: December 30, 2012, 07:13:49 AM »
The vote for next speaker of the house is in a few days.  Perhaps Boehner cares more about the people who are voting in that poll...... the Tea Party house members who privately see going over the cliff as a win-win.

I still say we take a single issue vote approach.  GOPers are customarily in favor of a single issue rule and it's not like they would now oppose what they once proposed.  Oh wait......

Offline gottaplan

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Re: Federal Gov't Budget News & Discussion
« Reply #63 on: December 30, 2012, 10:41:29 AM »
Hypocrisy rules the day on this issue.  Democratic Senators from NY & CA won't vote for a tax increase on the "wealthy" so long as that defines those as making $250k or more, but that's not really getting reported.   So Reid doesn't really have his ducks in a row either.  Reality is that this fiscal cliff and constant debt limit last minute bartering is a product of the Senate not passing a proper budget for many years now.  That's not really getting reported either.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2012, 10:44:26 AM by gottaplan »

Offline Clevelander17

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Re: Federal Gov't Budget News & Discussion
« Reply #64 on: December 30, 2012, 02:05:27 PM »
Hypocrisy rules the day on this issue.  Democratic Senators from NY & CA won't vote for a tax increase on the "wealthy" so long as that defines those as making $250k or more, but that's not really getting reported.   So Reid doesn't really have his ducks in a row either.  Reality is that this fiscal cliff and constant debt limit last minute bartering is a product of the Senate not passing a proper budget for many years now.  That's not really getting reported either.

And the Senate not passing a proper budget is because the place has become an obstructionist nightmare in recent years.  That's not getting reported, either...at least not whenever it's been brought up as being relevant.

Hate to say it, but there are a lot of good things that would come from going over the fiscal cliff, including raising taxes on dividends/capital gains and cutting military* spending.  The only bad part is that neither goes far enough.  There'll still be a bit of a tax penalty to regular, hard-working Americans compared to those that do nothing but push paper around on Wall Street.  And we'll still be spending several times more on the military* then we should be.


*I refuse to call this "defense" spending, because most of the out-of-control growth in spending in this sector in the past decade has centered around adventurism and imperialism.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2012, 02:06:08 PM by Clevelander17 »

Offline Loretto

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Re: Federal Gov't Budget News & Discussion
« Reply #65 on: December 30, 2012, 05:57:46 PM »
The Republican Party in one tweet
Posted by Ezra Klein on December 30, 2012 at 5:23 pm


Today’s Republican Party thinks the key problem America faces is out-of-control entitlement spending. But cutting entitlement spending is unpopular and the GOP’s coalition relies heavily on seniors. And so they don’t want to propose entitlement cuts. If possible, they’d even like to attack President Obama for proposing entitlement cuts. But they also want to see entitlements cut and will refuse to solve the fiscal cliff or raise the debt ceiling unless there are entitlement cuts.

...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2012/12/30/the-republican-party-in-one-tweet/

Offline gottaplan

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Re: Federal Gov't Budget News & Discussion
« Reply #66 on: December 31, 2012, 07:02:38 AM »
This entire debate about spending cuts & tax increases is getting clouded by discussing "what's popular" or what public opinion thinks America should do.  I don't think the country should necessarily construct it's fiscal policy based on what's popular or what a slim majority of the country prefers. 

National holiday every Friday with free ice cream would be popular & preferred by a majority of the country but it won't do much to reduce our debt or improve our long term economic outlook.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2012, 07:08:56 AM by gottaplan »

Offline Clevelander17

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Re: Federal Gov't Budget News & Discussion
« Reply #67 on: December 31, 2012, 08:20:41 AM »
This entire debate about spending cuts & tax increases is getting clouded by discussing "what's popular" or what public opinion thinks America should do.  I don't think the country should necessarily construct it's fiscal policy based on what's popular or what a slim majority of the country prefers. 

National holiday every Friday with free ice cream would be popular & preferred by a majority of the country but it won't do much to reduce our debt or improve our long term economic outlook.

Oh of course not.  Ideas like this give representatives free reign to craft policy that is pulled from the sky...or sponsored by their special interest corporate sugar daddies. 

Offline Hts121

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Re: Federal Gov't Budget News & Discussion
« Reply #68 on: December 31, 2012, 08:41:53 AM »
This entire debate about spending cuts & tax increases is getting clouded by discussing "what's popular" or what public opinion thinks America should do.  I don't think the country should necessarily construct it's fiscal policy based on what's popular or what a slim majority of the country prefers. 

National holiday every Friday with free ice cream would be popular & preferred by a majority of the country but it won't do much to reduce our debt or improve our long term economic outlook.

How do you suggest the legislative process work?  Should our reps ignore what (channeling Sen. McConnell) "the American people" support?  Should they use their own best judgment and (channeling whatever Tea Party member) just ram/cram/jam/bam/wham/kazaam unpopular laws down our already chaffed throats?  Do they know better than America what is good for America?  Are you a commie?  ;)

Offline gottaplan

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Re: Federal Gov't Budget News & Discussion
« Reply #69 on: December 31, 2012, 08:52:58 AM »
No I'm not a commie and I'm not a tea partier and bottom line, I'm sick of partisan politics.  The Simpson-Bowles bi-partisan commission produced a defined list of legislative objectives, as they were asked to do by President Obama.  It's been totally cast aside at this point.  No one is even talking about it!  Cuts are painful.  Tax increases will definitely hurt in the short term.  But the real story here is the DEBT/DEFICIT.  That's what created this FISCAL CLIFF!!!   Now everyone is talking about "fairness".  What good is a tax increase on the wealthiest 1% going to do to improve the debt/deficit if it doesn't include spending controls?

Honestly, this entire failure of Congress has me thinking it may be time to revisit term limits for US Senators & Representatives.  Everyone is so worried about doing what's popular, perhaps they would be more inclined to do what's right if they knew they only had 1 term left to serve.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2012, 08:56:44 AM by gottaplan »

Offline gottaplan

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Re: Federal Gov't Budget News & Discussion
« Reply #70 on: December 31, 2012, 08:59:07 AM »
This entire debate about spending cuts & tax increases is getting clouded by discussing "what's popular" or what public opinion thinks America should do.  I don't think the country should necessarily construct it's fiscal policy based on what's popular or what a slim majority of the country prefers. 

National holiday every Friday with free ice cream would be popular & preferred by a majority of the country but it won't do much to reduce our debt or improve our long term economic outlook.

Oh of course not.  Ideas like this give representatives free reign to craft policy that is pulled from the sky...or sponsored by their special interest corporate sugar daddies. 

It's funny that you mention corporate sugar daddies like they are the only special interest with lobbying power affecting this debate.  Who do you think is holding up entitlement reform?  Chaining cost of living adjustments to the CPI instead of standard 3% increases...?  Certainly not corporate sugar daddies....

Offline Hts121

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Re: Federal Gov't Budget News & Discussion
« Reply #71 on: December 31, 2012, 10:15:13 AM »
What good is a tax increase on the wealthiest 1% going to do to improve the debt/deficit if it doesn't include spending controls?

There is no silver bullet.  If you want to decrease the deficit and, in turn, the debt then you have to be willing to BOTH increase revenue and cut spending.  Tax increases on the wealthiest 1% is a way to increase revenue, which will (in theory) lower the deficit.... which will (in theory) lower the debt (or at least slow down its increases).
« Last Edit: December 31, 2012, 10:15:31 AM by Hts121 »

Offline X

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Re: Federal Gov't Budget News & Discussion
« Reply #72 on: December 31, 2012, 11:03:27 AM »
But the real story here is the DEBT/DEFICIT.  That's what created this FISCAL CLIFF!!!   

Actually, no it isn't.  The "Fiscal Cliff" is an entirely artificial emergency foisted on us by the Republicans as a condition of raising the debt ceiling last year.  We could indeed have a debt crisis at some point, but this is not actually it.

Offline mrnyc

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Re: Federal Gov't Budget News & Discussion
« Reply #73 on: December 31, 2012, 11:19:16 AM »
no, the fiscal cliff situation was foisted on us by both parties. there was plenty of time here. intransigence is not doing the job.

Offline KJP

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Re: Federal Gov't Budget News & Discussion
« Reply #74 on: December 31, 2012, 11:22:43 AM »
Honestly, this entire failure of Congress has me thinking it may be time to revisit term limits for US Senators & Representatives.  Everyone is so worried about doing what's popular, perhaps they would be more inclined to do what's right if they knew they only had 1 term left to serve.

We did that here in Ohio, which got rid of the legislative "experts" and made the general assembly even more of a special interest-pandering body. I think the solution is to do the opposite -- lengthen the terms. House members should serve at least four-year terms, as opposed to the current two-year term which gives them just one year to govern. They spend the second year campaigning and worried more about how their votes are perceived. So little gets done in election years -- that's half the time! I want House members who are able to govern for at least three years.
"Give me control of a nation's money supply, and I care not who writes the laws." -- Mayer Amschel Rothschild, founder of the European banking dynasty.

Offline mrnyc

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Re: Federal Gov't Budget News & Discussion
« Reply #75 on: December 31, 2012, 11:49:21 AM »
yeah the two year term is too abrupt. both should be three years.

too bad any change there will never happen because leaving the chaos pays off too well.

Offline Hts121

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Re: Federal Gov't Budget News & Discussion
« Reply #76 on: January 01, 2013, 07:49:29 AM »
I'm not sure when Boehner said the ball is in the Senate's court, he actually thought they would do something.

Anyone surprised that Rubio and Rand Paul voted against the compromise?  I suppose they need "political cover" for the 2016 GOP primary where 'compromise' is an indictable offense

Offline Clevelander17

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Re: Federal Gov't Budget News & Discussion
« Reply #77 on: January 01, 2013, 08:03:24 AM »
What good is a tax increase on the wealthiest 1% going to do to improve the debt/deficit if it doesn't include spending controls?

There is no silver bullet.  If you want to decrease the deficit and, in turn, the debt then you have to be willing to BOTH increase revenue and cut spending.  Tax increases on the wealthiest 1% is a way to increase revenue, which will (in theory) lower the deficit.... which will (in theory) lower the debt (or at least slow down its increases).

And we're not even raising taxes on the wealthiest 1% all Americans, we're raising taxes on the wealthiest 1% of workers.  So many of real 1% make money through capital gains and will not see their taxes go up as much as those who work for a living will.  The Warren Buffet situation will still exist even if the Biden-McConnell compromise gets through the House.

Offline Loretto

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Re: Federal Gov't Budget News & Discussion
« Reply #78 on: January 01, 2013, 09:54:00 AM »
^In the Senate bill capital gains is going to 20% for income above $400,000/$450,000.

Offline Clevelander17

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Re: Federal Gov't Budget News & Discussion
« Reply #79 on: January 01, 2013, 12:57:29 PM »
^In the Senate bill capital gains is going to 20% for income above $400,000/$450,000.

I know, I saw that, which as I said before is nice.  But although I can definitely understand the reasons behind keeping capital gains tax rates low to encourage investment, I also think that there are good arguments for the idea that income is income and that it should be taxed at the same rate as income earned through working.  And there's no payroll tax on capital gains, which is also not insignificant.

Either way, there's still the issue of the carried interest loophole which needs to be addressed, even if lawmakers continue to believe that there should be a penalty for working.

Offline gottaplan

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Re: Federal Gov't Budget News & Discussion
« Reply #80 on: January 02, 2013, 08:28:31 AM »
so after all the last second wrangling to avert the cliff, which was designed to reduce the debt by increasing taxes & cutting spending, we have a CBO report that says the new deal will add almost $4 trillion in new debt over the next 10 yrs.  Way to go everybody!!!

On a side note, the White House disagrees with the CBO report, saying the estimates do not give enough credit to the improved economic growth that will result from the tax cuts.   

Wait what?  Obama says tax cuts cause economic growth?  Hold the phone!!!

http://www.politico.com/story/2013/01/will-tax-deal-balloon-or-shrink-deficits-85671.html?hp=l3

Offline Hts121

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Re: Federal Gov't Budget News & Discussion
« Reply #81 on: January 02, 2013, 09:26:05 AM »
^Are you under the impression that Obama has ever said anything other than tax cuts for the middle class spur economic growth?  That has been his position since day 1.

Regardless, it seems to me that the article cites the WH thinking the CBO numbers might be wrong "chiefly because of higher tax payments from the wealthy".

The bottom line, however, is that NOBODY proposed a deal which would balance the budget.  Not even falling off the "cliff" would have brought us to a balanced budget.  Applying simple logic, that means any deal would have raised the deficit over the course of several years.  For whatever reason, all the hee-hawers about the deficit don't seem to understand the correlation between the debt and the deficit.  Each year we have a deficit, it adds to the debt.  Even the Ryan budget, which was largely laughed off by his fellow GOPers, did not bring us to a balanced budget for several decades.  The hole is simply too big to dig out of in one, two, four, eight, or even twenty years.  Best we can do is set a trajectory towards a balanced budget and hope that economic conditions do not divert us. 

Offline Hootenany

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Re: Federal Gov't Budget News & Discussion
« Reply #82 on: January 02, 2013, 09:42:50 AM »
^^There's a bit of intellectual dishonesty going on when people say that this tax deal adds $4 trillion to the debt over 10 years.  The only reason the CBO scored it that way is because it was forced to compare the tax deal to "current law" as of the day the bill passed (1/1/2013).  Well, "current law" was clinton-era tax rates because the Bush tax cuts had technically expired.  So the CBO says that $3.638 trillion of that $4 trillion in new debt is due to an extension of many of the Bush tax policies (rates on 12/31/2012). 

No one really expected all of the Bush tax cuts to be allowed to expire so it's not exactly fair, in my opinion, to use that as the baseline.  I agree with the white house that "current policy" should be the baseline the plan is scored against.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2013, 09:43:50 AM by Hootenany »

Offline Hts121

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Re: Federal Gov't Budget News & Discussion
« Reply #83 on: January 02, 2013, 10:11:08 AM »
Well..... it looks like the 'Fiscal Cliff' fight is going to be minimal compared to the upcoming debt ceiling vote.  Serious question - do these Tea Party honks not understand or are they just pretending to not understand what the debt ceiling is?

Offline gottaplan

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Re: Federal Gov't Budget News & Discussion
« Reply #84 on: January 02, 2013, 10:25:20 AM »
They're using it as leverage to try and enforce some sort of spending controls

Offline Hts121

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Re: Federal Gov't Budget News & Discussion
« Reply #85 on: January 02, 2013, 10:31:56 AM »
Obviously....... but, again, do they really understand what it is or are they just pretending that it is something that it is not? 

Offline Grumpy

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Re: Federal Gov't Budget News & Discussion
« Reply #86 on: January 02, 2013, 10:55:10 AM »
The policy wonks understand the debt ceiling just fine, but they also understand that the average person doesn't, so they're using the average person's lack of knowledge to score political points.

Offline Hts121

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Re: Federal Gov't Budget News & Discussion
« Reply #87 on: January 02, 2013, 11:02:13 AM »
I'd like to think that, but unfortunately I think there are more than a few members of Congress who don't understand it....... especially if they think it is effective "leverage to try and enforce some sort of spending controls" regardless of whether the public is willing to buy into that BS

Let's use the household analogy the wonks like so much.  My household is $10,000 in debt.  In order to enforce some sort of spending controls, we decide to stop paying our debt.  Good plan?

Offline natininja

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Re: Federal Gov't Budget News & Discussion
« Reply #88 on: January 02, 2013, 11:38:14 AM »
^^There's a bit of intellectual dishonesty going on when people say that this tax deal adds $4 trillion to the debt over 10 years.  The only reason the CBO scored it that way is because it was forced to compare the tax deal to "current law" as of the day the bill passed (1/1/2013).  Well, "current law" was clinton-era tax rates because the Bush tax cuts had technically expired.  So the CBO says that $3.638 trillion of that $4 trillion in new debt is due to an extension of many of the Bush tax policies (rates on 12/31/2012). 

No one really expected all of the Bush tax cuts to be allowed to expire so it's not exactly fair, in my opinion, to use that as the baseline.  I agree with the white house that "current policy" should be the baseline the plan is scored against.

Didn't realize that. Thanks for the info.

Offline natininja

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Re: Federal Gov't Budget News & Discussion
« Reply #89 on: January 02, 2013, 11:40:36 AM »
This is exactly the clusterf any observer must have expected. Too small a revenue increase and too small a (no) spending cut.

People want their medicare. They don't want their payroll tax. Congress delivers.