Fiscal Cliff

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Buddha12, Apr 19, 2012.


Will the US go over the Fiscal Cliff?

  1. Yes. There's no way those idiots will actually accomplish anything.

  2. No. Obama and the Republicans will reach some compromise.

  1. Rhaedas Valued Senior Member

    It would be interesting in an academic sense to see how Romney would have taken his flipflopping style he used in his campaign into office. Would he have just become a yes man to the party who got him in, or would he continue to try and please every side, saying what everyone wanted to hear at thst moment, and then switching gears with the next group?

    Interesting academically. Not in reality.
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  3. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    That was a surprise ....

    Well, sure, as long as we overlook the problem that a hardline faction of the party that always says government doesn't work is refusing to govern. What counts as leadership, then? Give the guys holding hostages everything they demand?

    The funny thing about posts like that is how acutely timed they are. At a point when Republicans in the House are refusing to govern, here comes Madanthonywayne saying, "Obama is the problem. He can't govern. He has no interest in governing."

    The sad part, of course, is how predictable you've become.

    We are not going to have a Supreme Court that will overturn Roe versus Wade. There will be no more Antonin Scalias and Samuel Alitos added to this court.

    We`re not going to repeal health reform. Nobody is going to kill Medicare and make old people in this generation or any other generation fight it out on the open market to try to get themselves health insurance. We are not going to do that.

    We are not going to give a 20 percent tax cut to millionaires and billionaires and expect programs like food stamps and kid`s insurance to
    cover the cost of that tax cut.

    We`re not make you clear it with your boss if you want to get birth control under the insurance plan that you`re on.

    We are not going to redefine rape.

    We are not going to amend the United States Constitution to stop gay people from getting married.

    We are not going to double Guantanamo.

    We are not eliminating the Department of Energy or the Department of Education or housing at the federal level.

    We are not going to spend $2 trillion on the military that the military does not want. We are not scaling back on student loans, because the country`s new plan is that you should borrow money from your parents.

    We are not vetoing the DREAM Act. We are not self-deporting. We are not letting Detroit go bankrupt.

    We are not starting a trade war with China on Inauguration Day in January. We are not going to have, as a president, a man who once led a mob of friends to run down a scared, gay kid, to hold him down and forcibly cut his hair off with a pair of scissors while that kid cried and screamed for help and there was no apology, not ever.

    We are not going to have a Secretary of State John Bolton. We are not bringing Dick Cheney back. We are not going to have a foreign policy shop stocked with architects of the Iraq war. We are not going to do it.

    We had the chance to do that if we wanted to do that, as a country. And we said no, last night, loudly.

    (Rachel Madow)

    Obviously, the only thing that counts as leadership is if Obama givs all that to Republicans. Right? After all, he won the election. Democrats grew their Senate majority. But that's not significant, is it? Because the party that thinks government doesn't work is crying that Obama doesn't want to govern because he's not giving the losing slate everything it wants at the outset.

    Does saying absurd things like that help you feel better? I mean, you can't possibly think you're actually going to sell that line. Right? Or ... well, is it possible that you actually believe these things?

    As I recently noted in the Newtown discussion:

    There is an old joke about how a Democrat will tell you that he can make you stronger, smarter, richer, and more attractive. Oh, and he'll get the chickweed out of your lawn. Meanwhile, the Republian will tell you that government doesn't work. And then he gets elected and proves it.

    One of the fundamental paradoxes in American politics is that the right wing essentially applies for a job by telling us how unimportant and even useless the job is. While the GOP might be bringing American governance to a grinding halt, we should not be surprised. After all, they're the party that now lives and dies by the notion that government doesn't work.​

    I mean, sure, you can try to convince people to forget about all that sort of stuff Republicans keep saying about how government doesn't work. And, I don't know, maybe you can justly hope that nobody really noticed it. You can even try saying it's just populist red meat for the base, and everybody really knows better. But coming out here, when the GOP won't take "Yes" for an answer° and essentially refuses to govern°? We've wasted how much time watching Republicans fall all over themselves in order to deliberately stall the process of governing, and your two cents is, " Obama is the problem. He can't govern. He has no interest in governing."


    Okay. I should have seen that coming.


    ° GOP won't take "Yes" for an answer — Sometimes, obvious lines like that present themselves, if someone does something so stupid as to demand his bill be brought to the floor, and then, when it is, initiates a filibuster against it. Hell of a PR stunt.

    ° essentially refuses to govern — And then there are the times that, say, a Speaker of the House has to yank his own bill because he realizes he doesn't have the votes to pull off a PR stunt, because his own caucus refused to back it.

    Works Cited:

    Maddow, Rachel. The Rachel Maddow Show. MSNBC, New York. November 7, 2012. Transcript. December 31, 2012.
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  5. R1D2 many leagues under the sea. Valued Senior Member

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  7. ElectricFetus Sanity going, going, gone Valued Senior Member

  8. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

    A few days ago Republican radio talk show host Mark Levin told his eager audience of devoted Republicans that if Republicans didn’t get everything they wanted in spite of recently losing a general election, it was tyranny, pure and simple. So yeah, Republicans do believe that when they are the hostage taker, they should get everything they want, else it is tyranny. And no matter what President Obama does or does not do, he is always an incompetent, communist, imperialist, socialist, fascist, illegal alien, tyrant; unfortunately this is nothing new for Levin and his fellow Republican entertainers. They have been preaching this kind of crap for decades. It doesn’t have to make sense, it usually doesn’t. It doesn’t have to be true, it almost always isn’t. It just has to inflame the irrational emotions of the Republican audience.

    On a separate note, I had to chuckle to myself this afternoon when I received an email from a longtime family friend who is an ardent and passionate diehard Republican. He and his brother are the kind of people who constantly forward the never ending stream of Republican bull crap email alleging everything from Obama is an alien who manipulates the weather for his political advantage to Hillary and Bill Clinton are mass murders. He and his brother are constantly at work proselytizing the Republican meme of the day.

    With Medicare and Social Security now on the fiscal chopping block, this longtime family friend is suddenly concerned about his Social Security and Medicare as he and his brother are very dependent on their Social Security and Medicare entitlements. He and his brother have never had much money. They have never earned much money, never been a country club member, and what money they have they spend. They are one of the apartment dwellers Romney spoke about in his famous secretly taped 47% talk to big Republican donors. They are part of the 47% that Romney felt he didn't need to represent.

    Despite being a diehard Republican, a ditto head, this longtime family friend didn’t want anyone cutting his Social Security and Medicare entitlements. The very things his fellow Republicans have been trying to do for decades. After years of Republican fanaticism, he and his brother got a wakeup call during the recent fiscal cliff negotiations. How long will his revelation last? I have no idea. Limbaugh, Levin, and Fox News are pretty good at what they do. But his recent revelation did give me a little chuckle this afternoon.
  9. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Senate: 89-8 Approves Fiscal Deal

    Fiscal Bill: Senate Says Yes 89-8; House Uncertain

    The deal struck by Vice President Biden and Sen. Mitch McConnell last night passed the U.S. Senate today by a vote of 89-8.

    The Senate did not quite make its midnight deadline -- the vote was held at nearly 2 a.m. -- but with House action delayed, it didn't much matter.

    Despite widespread grumbling, leaders on both sides made statements expressing satisfaction. President Obama called the agreement "the right thing to do for our country," which was followed soon after by a similar statement from McConnell: "I think we can say we've done some good for the country."

    From a progressive perspective, there's plenty to disapprove of in this compromise, and I'll explore the president's concessions in more detail later, but I'd note one observation in the agreement's defense: if you'd told me a week ago that the Senate would easily approve a fiscal deal with no Medicare cuts, no Social Security cuts, and no new spending cuts of any kind, I probably wouldn't have believed you. And yet, that's what happened.

    In the short term, however, the more pressing question is whether the package will actually reach the president's desk. We can all think of plenty of instances in which a controversial measure will clear one chamber, only to run into stiff opposition in the other, and House passage today is hardly a sure thing.


    Speaker Boehner has said the House will "honor its commitment to consider the Senate agreement", but he expects Republicans to want to take their time proposing amendments in the House. We'll see; the Speaker is not widely known for having a firm grip on his caucus. House Republicans have already pushed the vote back until Thursday, which is after the new Congress arrives. We'll have to see how this goes.


    Benen, Steve. "Fiscal deal sails through Senate, awaits House action". The Maddow Blog. January 1, 2012. January 1, 2012.
  10. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    Perhaps this is all for the best. I have several times proven mathematically that progressive taxes (or some form of re-distribution) is essential to prevent excessive concentration of wealth in the hands of very few "trillionars", as has is starting to happen in US during about a decade - due to Bush tax breaks for the wealthy (and their skills at constructing and using special tax laws). Last time US had a balanced budget was under Clinton and then wealth was not becoming concentrated as it is now.

    The "solution" to the fiscal Cliff, if there is one may be worse than going over it in the long run as Senate version is permanent tax cut for >98% population and not progressive enough to prevent formation of a small elite of wealthy ruling the US. We need to return to the tax structured we had under Bill Clinton with government stimulus only short term for construction of infrastructure, not banker bonuses etc. The US Gini index is the worst of the developed countries and rapidly growing worse. The 3 of the 4 very best Gini index countries are famous for their highly progressive and high tax rates, but good public services (free health care & free high quality education.)
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 1, 2013
  11. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

    Well we are over the Cliff and things don't look well at all.
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2013
  12. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

    And they want to blame President Obama? Republicans cannot even come to an agreement amongst themselves. This has come to be a habit with Republicans, they come to an agreement then at the last minute they back out of it. Last night Republicans in the Senate overwhelmingly voted for the same Fiscal Cliff legislation the House is now refusing to vote on.

    Democrats have done all they can to avoid the Cliff short of rolling over and giving their keys to Republicans. It’s now time to let House Republicans reap what they have been sowing. Last week House Republicans who have not been able to resolve this issue for a year and a half threw it over to Senate Republicans to act on their behalf and then they went on vacation. So now everyone is going to get a significant tax increase…kind of ironic for the party who claims to be against taxation.
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2013
  13. kmguru Staff Member


    Our proposed budget at 2013 is Input= $2902 Billion and Output= $3803 which is a number made up verses 2012 at Input=$2469 and Output at $3795 ($1327B deficit).

    So, this fiscal cliff, how that connects or not and what will happen they pass it or not???
  14. Rhaedas Valued Senior Member

    There's no cliff, it's just a big continuous car wreck. The biggest question is, what is the media going to call the next crisis tomorrow, now that we're over the cliff, as it were.

    The Mayan doomsday was more productive.
  15. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

    Help begins with understanding the deficit. It began when Republicans started two wars and bungled those wars for 8 years. And they made it worse when in an effort to keep our seniors from crossing national borders to buy less costly prescription drugs, they passed Medicare Part D riddled with pork for big pharma and the health insurance industries. And the coupe de grace for the deficit was when they ran the economy into the ground with their deregulation of the financial industry causing The Great Recession of 2008 which took millions of people off the tax payer roles and made them receipents of federal financial aid in the form of unemployment and welfare payments. The Great Recession of 2007-2009 was disasterous for the the nation's finances. It greatly reduced federal and state tax revenues while greatly expanding federal and state government spending through welfare and unemployment payments.

    So fixing the deficit begins with growing the economy. President Obama and the Democrats have reversed the Great Recession and got the economy growing again. If we can get it growing faster, it will have a huge impact on the deficit. Playing shenanigans with the Fiscal Cliff and Debt Ceiling hurts the economy causing slower economic growth and if they really fuck it up, they could cause negative economic growth which would be disastrous for the nation’s deficits and debt. That is why this gets so much attention.

    One war has ended, another will end next year. The financial industry has been reregulated. Healthcare has been reformed, though further work is needed, and over the course of the next decade I think the efficiencies implemented with Obamacare will result in federal savings that will exceed expectations.

    We also need more people, a growing population. We are fortunate that the US population is still growing but it is growing at an anemic pace. So immigration reform is greatly needed. More people translates to more demand for goods and services, more housing, more food, and more consumer goods, which translates into more economic activity and economic growth.

    Taxes still need to go up and we are having that discussion. They will ultimately be raised. What we are now seeing is a slow undoing of the Republican policies that have caused this deficit. It takes time. There are no magic wands. But the corner has been turned. The deficits are getting smaller with each passing year. And with all of the actions that have already been taken, we should see significant progress in deficit reduction over the course of the next few years, assuming Congress and more specifically the Republican House doesn’t put the nation back into a recession.
  16. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    The financial drains of the slowly ending wars continue. The financial industry has not been reregulated, and appears to be beginning to dig another hole for its next pyramid to collapse into. Healthcare cost has not been addressed significantly - which will crash Obamacare, sooner or later and probably sooner. All it will amount to for a lot of lower class people is a 4% regressive income tax hike, anyway - the wealthy will not be affected.

    One of the consequences of Republican obstruction is the obstruction of stuff. It was obstructed, successfully.
  17. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

    One Down More to Go

    Boehner broke the "Majority of a Majority" rule this evening by allowing the Senate bill a vote on the floor of the House. It passed, the Cliff has been averted. But there are more challenges ahead like the sequester and most importantly, the debt ceiling. Hopefully this will be the end of the Majority of a Majority rule Republicans have been using for more than a decade now.
  18. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

    The banking industry has been reregulated Ice, that is why they are spending millions trying to get Republicans to deregulate them again. The Federal Reserve now has responsibility for minimizing systemic risk. As long as the integrity of the Federal Reserve is maintained, we should be in good stead.
  19. ElectricFetus Sanity going, going, gone Valued Senior Member

    Well well its over, fiscal cliff averted.... ?
  20. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

    They still have to deal with the “sequester”, government funding and the debt ceiling. To his credit, President Obama has said the debt ceiling is nonnegotiable. But Republicans in congress seem to think it is. So the Republican drama queens & kings in congress have many more opportunities to ruin the economy in the coming months. Round one is over. The Cliff was averted this time around. But there are ample opportunities to fall off the Cliff in the coming months.

    The good news is Speaker Boehner acted like a speaker and a patriot for the first time in his life – about bloody time! That is a good start. I hope it continues.
  21. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    That isn't true. Nothing equivalent to Glass-Steagal has made it through Congress, for example. The Commodity Futures Modernization Act is still unreformed ( ). The Gramm-Leach-Bliley act remains the law of the land. The banks are actually bigger than they were, and less amenable to oversight.

    A few minor Executive Branch regulations have been imposed, and enforcement is more rigorous than under W (not a high bar), but the basic legislative deregulation accomplishments remain in place. More are sought, of course.

    That has always been true. It does not work.
  22. youreyes amorphous ocean Valued Senior Member

    3rd choice: Obama and Democrats will reach the solution to Fiscal Cliff issue)))
  23. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

    That is not true. I suggest you read Dodd-Frank or a good summation of Dodd-Frank.–F...I_.E2.80.93_Federal_Reserve_System_Provisions

    I suggest you pay attention to Title XI of Dodd-Frank. Until Dodd-Frank the Fed did not have responsibility for managing systemic risk in the banking industry. The Comptroller of the Currency was and remains the primary bank regulator. But thanks to Dodd-Frank, the Fed now has responsibility for managing systemic risk in the banking system whereas no agency was responsible for managing systemic risk prior to Dodd-Frank.

    “Standards, Plans & reports, and off-balance-sheet activities

    The Fed is required to establish prudent standards for the institutions they supervise that include:[174]
    Risk-Based Capital Requirements and Leverage Limits
    Liquidity requirements;
    Overall risk management requirements;
    Resolution plan and credit exposure report requirements; and
    Concentration limits.

    The Fed may establish additional standards that include, but are not limited to:
    A contingent capital requirement
    Enhanced public disclosure
    Short-term debt limits

    The Fed may require supervised companies to "maintain a minimum amount of contingent capital that is convertible to equity in times of financial stress."[175]

    Title XI requires companies supervised by the Fed to periodically provide additional plans and reports, including:"[176]
    A plan for a rapid and orderly liquidation of the company in the event of material financial distress or failure,
    A credit exposure report describing the nature to which the company has exposure to other companies, and credit exposure cannot exceed 25% of the capital stock and surplus of the company."[177]

    The title requires that in determining capital requirements for regulated organizations, off-balance-sheet activities shall be taken into consideration, being those things that create an accounting liability such as, but not limited to:"[178]
    Direct credit substitutes in which a bank substitutes its own credit for a third party, including standby letters of credit.
    Irrevocable letters of credit that guarantee repayment of commercial paper or tax-exempt securities.
    Risk participations in bankers’ acceptances.
    Sale and repurchase agreements.
    Asset sales with recourse against the seller.
    Interest rate swaps.
    Credit swaps.
    Commodities contracts.
    Forward contracts.
    Securities contracts.” - Wikipedia

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