And Frustration Begins ... Again

Last week, President Obama gave a speech addressing the “fiscal cliff” approaching. He pulled out the bipartisan card and said, “I’m not wedded to every detail of my plan. I’m open to compromise.” He then said, “I am not going to ask students and seniors and middle class families to pay down the entire deficit while people like me, making over $250,000, aren’t asked to pay a dime more in taxes. I’m not going to do that.”

Well, then Mr. President you are not "open to compromise." He is willing to hear more ideas and good ideas, but only ideas that will raise taxes on the top 2%. For me, it's not about the 2% of the wealthiest Americans; it's Obama's attitude, his stubbornness, and unwillingness to encourage democracy. In two simple statements he opened the floor to compromise, and just as quickly took it back. What if someone comes up with a brilliant idea that doesn't have to raise taxes on the 2%? What if someone has an idea that includes 100% of Americans? This is no way to start the next four years, and if this is an indication of the future four, it's not good.

The Speaker of the House, Republican John Boehner, also made a statement in support of bipartisanship and compromise, but what the House is dealing with isn't actually compromise at all. NOTHING is going to change.

There are a lot of opinions here on Watch Blog, and they're almost always valid and knowledgeable arguments. From outside the box, in the big picture, you have to look at President Obama's statement for what it is and the behavior it represents. If he truly wants compromise and bipartisanship, he wouldn't have so quickly contradicted his alleged position. That's what is most frustrating. This has nothing to do with division over his birth certificate, or taxing the rich, or same sex marriage, it's about the current status of the toxic chemistry we have in Washington. And reading between the lines of Obama's statements, that doesn't seem like it's changing.

Posted by bigtex at November 13, 2012 6:16 PM
Comments
Comment #357072
What if someone comes up with a brilliant idea that doesn’t have to raise taxes on the 2%?

There aren’t any magical ideas. That is the reality. You are correct - he is taking alternate realities off the table like ‘cut taxes on everyone and revenue will increase’. Democrats are spenders right? So if he is willing to address spending why is that not a compromising approach?

The moderate voters accept idea of repealing tax cuts for the wealthy. It’s a settled matter. Move on.

Posted by: Schwamp at November 14, 2012 8:08 AM
Comment #357073

All of us who pay taxes will end up paying more taxes. There is not enough money among “the rich” to tax only them.

Actually, I have come around to the liberal position: tax the hell out of anybody who makes more than I do.

Seriously, I think we need to address the tax code. Since Obama is so determined to raise tax rates, give that to him. But also simplify. Various tax breaks are one of the means by which politicians exercise influence. That is why politicians like the complicated system. Take away their nefarious power.

Posted by: C&J at November 14, 2012 9:12 AM
Comment #357074

The president just wants to make sure folks understand that compromise with Republicans isn’t, “We’ll do whatever the GOP demands.” He wants a balanced approach. I think they’ll reach it and it will be a less than satisfactory deal for both sides but it will get the job done in the end and both sides will come out ahead.

Posted by: Adam Ducker at November 14, 2012 9:37 AM
Comment #357076

At this point, raising taxes only on “others” will be like paying the monthly minimum on a 30% credit card while maxing it out each month.

If the people want government to provide for them, they are going to have to pay for it themselves. Milking the “rich” isn’t going to do it.

Posted by: kctim at November 14, 2012 10:23 AM
Comment #357079

The Repubs can’t do anything until there are specifics on the table. Has anyone seen any specifics, in writing , from the President? Have they seen anything specific in writing from the President since his proposed budget months ago was soundly rejected by the Repubs and Dems alike?

He can’t just keep talking a good game. As someone in the OMB once stated (paraphrased), “We can’t analyze broadbased words; we need specifics on paper”.

The only thing I have read is that he is adamant about taxing the “rich”, and $250,000 a year in many parts of the country does not make one rich. This needs to be bumped up.

Futhermore, the second most talked about aspect of agreement seems to be plugging up tax loopholes which he “borrowed” from Romeny/Ryan.

Why not totally revammp the tax system? How much would be saved by doing away with 3/4 of the I.R.S.? How much would businesses and individuals save on CPA’s and tax attorneys? Think any attorneys and CPA are lobbying that nothing gets brought up along these lines?

Posted by: John Johnson at November 14, 2012 11:58 AM
Comment #357080
Well, then Mr. President you are not “open to compromise.” He is willing to hear more ideas and good ideas, but only ideas that will raise taxes on the top 2%. For me, it’s not about the 2% of the wealthiest Americans; it’s Obama’s attitude, his stubbornness, and unwillingness to encourage democracy.

First of all bigtex we need to understand the difference between compromise and capitulation.

Compromise - settlement of differences by arbitration or by consent reached by mutual concessions.

Capitulation-The act of surrendering or giving up.

It seems to me the problem for conservatives is the number of repub/conservative representatives in Congress that have capitulated to Grover Norquist. These rep’s have signed pledges with Norquist and his group that does not allow them to do their job. They are in effect hostages of Norquist which is a conflict of interest if not downright traitorous. Yet since 1986 Norquist has bullied conservatives into acting into signing this pledge.

Now Obama and the dems, as well as the American people, have them by the short hairs as the effects of the pledges they signed have helped to leave the country deep in debt. Hopefully Obama can stick to his guns this time and move the country forward.

The silly argument that cutting taxes creates jobs, or that the top 2% are “job creators” that these conservatives have been spreading the past 30 years have been shown to be false. The American people no longer buy into the BS, after all, had they been proven to be true we would be awash in jobs, right? But these conservatives are stuck with the pledge they signed, so they keep avoiding the inevitable if we are to pay down the debt in our lifetime. The funny, in a sick kind of way, thing is your comment ” it’s Obama’s attitude, his stubbornness, and unwillingness to encourage democracy.” Is it “Norquist democracy”, you know the forced pledge thing, you are referring to?

Obama has the right attitude whether you like it or not. It is the attitude of the conservatives like yourself that should change to face the reality of the situation conservatives and their starve the beast theory are responsible for creating the past 40 years.

http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Columns/2010/11/26/Bartlett-Starve-The-Beast.aspx#page1


http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/taxfacts/displayafact.cfm?Docid=456

Posted by: j2t2 at November 14, 2012 12:05 PM
Comment #357082

Jesus, advocating for smaller government and lower taxes now equals treason.

Posted by: kctim at November 14, 2012 1:33 PM
Comment #357083

No kctim signing pledges to special interests groups that keep you from doing the job people elected you to do, Putting the interests of a special interest group ahead of the interests of we the people is what these guys are doing. Treasonous is probably exaggerating a bit but it is in line with this and this charges by conservatives themselves.


Posted by: j2t2 at November 14, 2012 2:21 PM
Comment #357084

j2t2…..please don’t exaggerate. The pledge was to promise to not vote to raise taxes…nothing more….so don’t see how this group’s hands are now tied as you state. Had they signed a pledge to not fight for spending cuts we would be in trouble.

Posted by: John Johnson at November 14, 2012 2:47 PM
Comment #357085

J2, people who elect Conservatives expect them to fight for smaller government and lower taxes. We also believe preserving our individual rights are what is in the best interest of we the people.
The fact is, they are doing the job they were elected to do.
I’m not sure why you guys can’t understand that.

Posted by: kctim at November 14, 2012 2:48 PM
Comment #357088

Compromise for Obama is my way or the highway. He has absolutely no intention of compromising.
And where does he get the idea that anyone making $250,000 is in the top one percent?
I don’t believe that Boehner has any intention of compromising either. If either one really wanted to compromise why haven’t they been doing it the last two years? It’s just more partisan politics as usual.
If the Republicans are really as interested in avoiding the physical cliff as they claim they are, they’re most likely gonna have to cave to Obama. Then get blamed when it doesn’t work. And Obama’s plan won’t work.
Raising taxes without spending cuts is as smart as cutting taxes without spending cuts. Both are a recipe for disaster.
In order to get the economy back on course and avoid the physical cliff will take keeping the currant tax rate, cutting spending in all areas, and getting the budget balanced.
Basically were all in the middle of a huge crap pie and we’re all gonna have to take a few great big bites.

C&J
Your right we need to reform the tax code and make it simple. That’s why I favor a 10% flat rate with no deductions. If I make $10,000, I pay $1,000, If I make $100,000, I pay $10,000, If I make $1,000,000, I pay $100,000. Everyone is paying their fair share and no one is getting any detections that someone else isn’t.

kctim

If the people want government to take care off them, they are going to have to pay for it themselves. Milking the “rich” isn’t going to do it.

But that wouldn’t be fair to make folks that want the government to take care of them to pay for it. After all why shouldn’t those greedy folks that’s worked for what they got pay for someone else to live good too.

Posted by: Ron Brown at November 14, 2012 5:52 PM
Comment #357090

Well stated, Ron. Totally agree

Posted by: John Johnson at November 14, 2012 6:06 PM
Comment #357094

You are spot on Ron. My point was to address Obama’s lack of compromise and the behavior pattern. Democrats say Republicans are just as bad. It’s reciprocated. Obama can’t expect everyone to meet a standard when he’s not upholding that standard himself. This is a recipe for another disastrous 4 years.

Posted by: bigtex at November 14, 2012 6:27 PM
Comment #357095

I agree Ron, I brought that same 10% argument up some time ago. God only requires 10% so I don’t see why the government can’t opperate on a 10% tax for everyone.

Posted by: KAP at November 14, 2012 6:39 PM
Comment #357099

I agree on the flat tax, at any percent. But, and that’s a huge BUT, won’t happen with the duopoly. The tax code is the most effective/efficient tool the Corpocracy has to micro manage the folks. Also, a the most ‘acceptable’ way to make winners and losers. Meaning, incumbents would get their heads delivered on the proverbial silver platter if they tried a flat tax.

We will get some fringe change to placate angst among the folks. Only possible way to a much needed flat tax system is thru a 3rd party w/a diff pol att and so on - - -

Otherwise - - -

Posted by: Roy Ellis at November 14, 2012 8:46 PM
Comment #357100

How do you turn ” We have to have a balanced approach” To he is just going to raise taxes on the on the rich. That inability to deal with a facts based reality is why the republicans lost and will continue to lose elections.

Posted by: Jeff at November 14, 2012 9:48 PM
Comment #357101
people who elect Conservatives expect them to fight for smaller government and lower taxes. We also believe preserving our individual rights are what is in the best interest of we the people. The fact is, they are doing the job they were elected to do. I’m not sure why you guys can’t understand that.

Fair enough, but this means you concede that the failure to reach a compromise is due to conservatives’ adherence to ideology and not due to any sort of intransigence on the Left. You cannot have it both ways, either one is open to a compromise or one is an ideological absolutist.

And Obama’s plan won’t work. Raising taxes without spending cuts is as smart as cutting taxes without spending cuts.
Is “Raising taxes without spending cuts” Obama’s plan or is it the plan you misattribute to him?
I don’t see why the government can’t opperate on a 10% tax for everyone.
For the entirety of the postwar history of the United States, government spending has rarely dipped below 20% of GDP let along 10%. In order for your plan to be deficit neutral, it would require reducing government spending by more than half, which is something beyond the scope of most discussions. Not even Ron Paul has ever proposed something that drastic. Operating the government with only 10% of GDP would result in a serious deterioration to our infrastructures and institutions. God may only need 10%, but our government is imperfect and inefficient in comparison. Logically, it will require more money to accomplish the same things if we are forced to utilize our worldly government instead of relying on Divine Providence. Posted by: Warren Porter at November 14, 2012 9:53 PM
Comment #357102
j2t2…..please don’t exaggerate. The pledge was to promise to not vote to raise taxes…nothing more….so don’t see how this group’s hands are now tied as you state. Had they signed a pledge to not fight for spending cuts we would be in trouble.

John I exaggerate much less than your fellow conservatives if you would notice the links in my last comment. Perhaps if you take them to task over their outrageous exaggerations…..

I don’t doubt you cannot see why these representatives, by pledging to Norquist, have ties their hands when it comes to doing their jobs on behalf of the American people. I have seen this inability in many conservatives, the same ones who voted conservatives into office to to cut taxes whilst charging the nation building and war in Iraq and Afghanistan on our children’s credit cards without a problem. So when they try to tell me it is all a spending problem I just don’t believe them.

Posted by: j2t2 at November 14, 2012 10:00 PM
Comment #357103

Porter, If every working person paid a flat rate of 10% with no deductions no refund no loopholes then the rate is quite fesiable. At the present tax code no it wouldn’t work.

Posted by: KAP at November 14, 2012 10:59 PM
Comment #357104

Roy
Your right! The only way to get a flat tax is to get rid of the two major parties and put a third party in that will listen to their bosses, the tax payers.

KAP

God only requires 10% so I don’t why the government can’t operate on a 10% tax for everyone.

I have a bumper sticker on my truck that says just about that.
It says, God can work with 10%, why can’t the government?

Warren
If Obama plans to cut spending he sure ain’t telling us about it. Reckon that’s a top secret plan that’s only on a need to know bases?

Posted by: Ron Brown at November 14, 2012 11:15 PM
Comment #357105
If every working person paid a flat rate of 10% with no deductions no refund no loopholes then the rate is quite fesiable.

If this were the case, revenue would be 10% of GDP. Current spending is more than twice that. That plan is not feasible without considering spending cuts too draconian for Ron Paul.

If Obama plans to cut spending he sure ain’t telling us about it.

Where have you been for the last four years? Obama has consistently had the same position: that any reduction in the deficit must come from a combination for revenue increases and spending decreases. He has never advocated for one without the other. It is the GOP that has drawn a hard line in the sand and refused to budge when it comes to taxes.

Posted by: Warren Porter at November 14, 2012 11:52 PM
Comment #357107

W.P. or W.R. which ever, key word is current, with spending over 1Trillion not even taxing the top 2% at 100% would cover the cost, so cuts in spending are needed. Putting people to work would be an advantage to a 10% tax plan with the loopholes pluged and no refunds. If the government keeps the money without having to pay out refunds, with some of them more than was paid in, think about it. That is 10% out of every working person.

Posted by: KAP at November 15, 2012 12:21 AM
Comment #357108
so cuts in spending are needed

No one is arguing otherwise. You are erecting a strawman that Obama wants to balance the budget soly on the basis of increasing income taxes on those with incomes >.25M dollars, but you are wrong. General consensus among the Left is to combine revenue increases with spending cuts.

Putting people to work would be an advantage to a 10% tax plan with the loopholes pluged and no refunds. If the government keeps the money without having to pay out refunds, with some of them more than was paid in, think about it. That is 10% out of every working person.

No matter how you spin it, you cannot get more than 10% of GDP without taxing someone more than 10% of his or her income. If you proposed a flat tax of 20%, you might sound more believable, but if you insist on a flat 10% rate you simply make a fool of yourself. I am very certain you want our government to spend a great deal more than 10% of GDP on public goods, services, etc…

Posted by: Warren Porter at November 15, 2012 12:29 AM
Comment #357129

Warped

So the lefts desire for more and more government programs is not an extreme position? That is bull hockey my friend.
Strict adherence to ideology is why liberals have added trillions to the debt, and now you claim “compromise” is paying for your ideology that you forced onto all of us?

This country has moved so far left that the only thing people on the right have left to “compromise” are our principles. The left is no longer wanting “compromise,” they are demanding sacrifice, and if this country is to have even the slightest chance of being what it once was, we won’t cave to their demands.

Posted by: kctim at November 15, 2012 10:12 AM
Comment #357132

Warren
Tax cuts or no tax cuts, tax increase or no tax increase, flat rate or no flat rate, we need to make drastic spending cuts. Even with the current tax system we are spending trillions more than we are taking in.
Within four years we’ve gone from $8 trillion in debt to $16 trillion in debt. White I realize that interest is a part of it most is out of control spending. Something y’all blamed Bush for but are now defending Obama for.
Try to spend $1,000,000 more than you take in and see how log it is before your belly up. You might even get free room and board in one of your states leading institutions for a few years. But here’s the government spending trillions more that it takes in and it’s not being held responsible by either or the major parties, and worst of all the voters ain’t holding them responsible.

Posted by: Ron Brown at November 15, 2012 10:49 AM
Comment #357211

kctim,

So the lefts desire for more and more government programs is not an extreme position? That is bull hockey my friend.
Strict adherence to ideology is why liberals have added trillions to the debt, and now you claim “compromise” is paying for your ideology that you forced onto all of us?

This country has moved so far left that the only thing people on the right have left to “compromise” are our principles. The left is no longer wanting “compromise,” they are demanding sacrifice, and if this country is to have even the slightest chance of being what it once was, we won’t cave to their demands.

I won’t deny there are extremists on the Left as well, but I wouldn’t consider spending taxing & spending 20% of GDP to be an extreme position. That level of taxation & spending has been the norm for at least 70 years. One who argues that government should tax & spend 30% of GDP could be considered extreme, but that is not the position of Obama or the bulk of the Democratic Party in Congress. On the other hand, the opinion expressed here (reducing taxation and spending to 10% of GDP) is definitely extreme. As I cited earlier, not even Ron Paul proposed cuts that drastic.

Ron Brown,
I agree that the medium to long term debt situation is a serious problem, unabated continuation of current policies will certainly lead to unpleasantries if foreigners ever stop buying our debt. It is true that any solution will consist of spending cuts to entitlement programs as well as increases in revenue. Whether or not those cuts are drastic will be determined by whether we are able to return revenues to normal levels (20% GDP) instead of the 15% of GDP that we’ve seen in recent years.

Try to spend $1,000,000 more than you take in and see how log it is before your belly up. You might even get free room and board in one of your states leading institutions for a few years. But here’s the government spending trillions more that it takes in and it’s not being held responsible by either or the major parties, and worst of all the voters ain’t holding them responsible.
The debt of the nation does not operate in a way analogous to personal debt because the government controls the printing press. I would avoid these analogies to personal finance. Instead, focus on the real threat, which will be the inability to borrow money when we really need to do so. Posted by: Warren Porter at November 17, 2012 12:26 AM
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