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Old 11-09-2012, 10:08 PM   #1
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Obama lays down the gauntlet.

As of right now, this transcript is incomplete, but I assume it'll be filled out shortly: http://www.washingtonpost.com/politi...684_story.html

I just listened to Obama's speech, and what he did was pretty damned brilliant.

He said there was one thing, tax-wise, that both sides agreed on: those making under 250,000 a year should NOT have their taxes go up. The Democrats felt that way, and the Republicans felt that way. So why wait and see if a deal could be worked out on everything else? Why not go ahead and sign a deal right now that would guarantee that the Bush tax cuts on the poor and middle class were extended? He said the senate just agreed on such a bill, and he was ready to sign it -

Ball's in your court, House.

Nicely done, sir. Nicely done.
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Old 11-09-2012, 10:11 PM   #2
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Nice! I didn't get to see the speech, since I'm at work, so I was hoping someone would post a thread.

Come on House.

Unfortunately, the House is dominated by Republicans. Let's hope they see some sense.
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Old 11-09-2012, 10:14 PM   #3
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Transcript is now complete. Here's the section I'm talking about:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Obama
And let me make one final point that every American needs to hear right now. If Congress fails to come to an agreement on an overall deficit-reduction package by the end of the year, everybody’s taxes will automatically go up on January 1st -- everybody’s -- including the 98 percent of Americans who make less than $250,000 a year.

And that makes no sense. It would be bad for the economy and would hit families that are already struggling to make ends meet.

Now, fortunately, we shouldn’t need long negotiations or drama to solve that part of the problem. While there may be disagreement in Congress over whether or not to raise taxes on folks making over $250,000 a year, nobody -- not Republicans, not Democrats -- want taxes to go up for folks making under $250,000 a year.

So let’s not wait. Even as we’re negotiating a broader deficit reduction package, let’s extend the middle class tax cuts right now. Let’s do that right now.

(APPLAUSE)

That one step -- that one step would give millions of families, 98 percent of Americans and 97 percent of small businesses, the certainty that they need going into the new year. It would immediately take a huge chunk of the economic uncertainty off the table. And that will lead to new jobs and faster growth. Business will know that consumers, they’re not gonna see a big tax increase. They will know that most small businesses won’t see a tax increase.

And so a lot of the uncertainty that you’re reading about that will be removed. In fact, the Senate has already passed a bill doing exactly this. So all we need is action from the House.

Now, I’ve got the pen. Ready to sign the bill right away. I’m ready to do it. I’m ready to do it.
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Old 11-09-2012, 10:51 PM   #4
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GW Bush really was a visionary, wasn't he?
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Old 11-09-2012, 10:56 PM   #5
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I wouldn't say that. But I also wouldn't say that no part of anything he ever did was a good idea.
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Old 11-09-2012, 11:05 PM   #6
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Obama: Bush Tax Cuts "Offend My Conscience" (In 2008)

I guess they don't anymore.

Some gauntlet. Challenging Republicans to support something they've supported for 10 years. That is pretty damned brilliant. Dishonest, but brilliant.
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Old 11-09-2012, 11:21 PM   #7
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It seems that he was speaking specifically of the tax cuts for the rich, which, apparently, do still offend his conscience.

As to his challenge to the Republicans, yes, it was a brilliant move, and yes, it's asking them to do something they were previously unwilling to do.

Obama has been trying to extend the tax cuts for lower and middle-income Americans for quite a while, but the Republicans have always refused to do so unless those cuts were ALSO extended for the wealthiest Americans.

As of right now, they've signaled a willingness to drive us off the fiscal cliff rather than raise taxes on the wealthiest.

The part of that cliff that seems to upset the majority of Americans the most is the tax increases due to come to low and middle-class Americans.

So now the Republicans face a choice: Agree to extend the cuts for just the lower and middle-income earners (as Obama has been asking them to do all along) and lose their primary bargaining chip in the battle over how to avoid the cliff without raising taxes on the wealthy, or refuse to extend tax cuts for lower and middle-earners and make themselves the ONE party who refused to do so, even if it meant pushing us over the cliff.

Brilliant move, as I said.
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Old 11-09-2012, 11:24 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger J Carlson View Post
Some gauntlet. Challenging Republicans to support something they've supported for 10 years.
Ah, but will they support it now? Way too many of those in Congress have a huge political investment in opposing absolutely anything Obama proposes, and some of those (e.g., Todd Akin, Joe Walsh) just lost their positions, and have nothing else to lose.

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Old 11-09-2012, 11:42 PM   #9
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GW Bush really was a visionary, wasn't he?
I think that Pres. Bush's support of the idea should have been in the President's proposal. All part of "reaching across the aisle."
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Old 11-09-2012, 11:48 PM   #10
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http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2...uts-expire.php

TPM quotes the same section of Obama's speech that I just did and relays top Republican responses to it. They don't even acknowledge that this is a call to preserve tax cuts for lower and middle income earners, and instead reframe it as a direct call to raise taxes on the wealthy:

Quote:
That leaves the onus on Boehner to either pass that bill, or find an equivalent way to take the same amount of new revenue from high income earners. So far, he and other GOP leaders seem unwilling.

“”The increased tax rates that would be allowed under the Senate-passed bill are part of the fiscal cliff that economists are warning us to avoid,” Boehner said in response to the Presidents remarks. “Those increased tax rates will destroy jobs in America by hurting small businesses across the country.”

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell was more strident. “[T]here is no consensus on raising tax rates, which would undermine the jobs and growth we all believe are important to our economy,” McConnell said. “While I appreciate and share the President’s desire to put the election behind us, the fact is we still have yet to hear an actual plan from the President for addressing the great economic challenges we face. What’s needed now is a realistic and specific proposal from the President that can actually pass the Congress.”
Apparently, Mitch McConnell doesn't see keeping the tax cuts for lower or middle earners as a realistic and specific proposal that could actually pass the congress.

Sad, that.

But all this directly refutes the idea that Obama is asking the Republicans to do something they already wanted to do.
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Old 11-09-2012, 11:54 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger J Carlson View Post
Obama: Bush Tax Cuts "Offend My Conscience" (In 2008)

I guess they don't anymore.

Some gauntlet. Challenging Republicans to support something they've supported for 10 years. That is pretty damned brilliant. Dishonest, but brilliant.
From Obama's speech as referenced in the linked article.

Quote:
John McCain said that George Bush's economic policies have led to "great progress" over the last seven years, and so he's promising four more years of tax cuts for CEOs and corporations who didn't need them and weren't asking for them; tax cuts that he once voted against because he said they "offended his conscience."

Well they may have stopped offending John McCain's conscience somewhere along the road to the White House, but George Bush's economic policies still offend ours.


So the offense of one's conscience was stated by McCain, then quoted by Obama, and then specifically targeted at tax cuts for "CEOs and corportions who didn't need them" and not the Americans making less than $250k per year.

That is all.
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Old 11-10-2012, 12:19 AM   #12
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This is just power play and games of chicken.

If the Republicans aren't willing to extend the tax breaks for the less than $250k income earners (without extending them for everyone)... what will Obama do? Will he let all the tax cuts expire so he can collect more from the over $250k's?

If the Republicans agree to extend the cuts for the less than $250k's, there'll be no bargaining chip left.

This is all so stupid and pathetic, how politicians gamble and play games with other people's money.
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Old 11-10-2012, 12:53 AM   #13
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Let me see if I understand what's happening.

The President has just told the GOP to give him what he wants now, because they want that part too. And as to the parts they disagree with, they'll deal with it all later? The parts that he doesn't want and they do? Why would the GOP agree to this? Isn't it, give me what I want and we'll see about any of your concerns later?

It's worded well, but I don't think that it's gonna work and I don't know that it's all that brilliant. There's no compromise in it from the WH or the Dems. Why would the GOP ever believe that it will happen later?
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Old 11-10-2012, 01:44 AM   #14
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Let me see if I understand what's happening.

The President has just told the GOP to give him what he wants now, because they want that part too. And as to the parts they disagree with, they'll deal with it all later? The parts that he doesn't want and they do? Why would the GOP agree to this?
Why wouldn't they? Your logic fails me:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vince524 View Post
Isn't it, give me what I want and we'll see about any of your concerns later?
Not the way i read it. What he said is, this much we both agree on, so let's do that now, and get something out of the way. In other words, make a start.

The only reason they can oppose this is just bloody-minded oppositional syndrome. To oppose this proposal is to oppose something they have explicitly supported. It won't be difficult for Obama to demonstrate this to the public at large.

Speaker Boehner just today said that it was time for Obama to "be a leader". Obama just did. Ball in your court there, John.

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Old 11-10-2012, 02:00 AM   #15
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Not the way i read it. What he said is, this much we both agree on, so let's do that now, and get something out of the way. In other words, make a start.
Oh bullshit. If neither side does anything the tax cuts expire. Do you actually think that Obama would "work" with the Republicans on maintaining the tax cuts for the over $250k after he gets them for everyone else?

I repeat, this is just a stupid ploy to try to show how "evil" the Republicans are. If you think they're evil, fine. But don't act like Obama is doing something noble here or "showing his willingness to work with the other side."

And again, I ask you: If the Republicans refuse to extend the cuts for the less than $250k, what will Obama do about the tax cuts that are about to expire? It's either allow the Republicans to "win" and extend them for everyone, or be seen as "evil" himself (although I'd imagine he could just blame the Republicans) by extending them for no one.

This is a big fat joke. C'mon.

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Old 11-10-2012, 02:08 AM   #16
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Quote:
Isn't it, give me what I want and we'll see about any of your concerns later?
Well, technically, it's more like "Give ourselves the thing you say you want and I say I want and a lot of America would ostensibly want, and then we'll talk about that thing that we are never going to hope to agree about later."

The practical issue is leverage. The one thing the GOP can hold as a hostage in these negotiations is the "98%'er" tax cuts. "Don't hike up taxes on the wealthy, and we'll agree to the tax breaks for the '98%.'" The thing is, if the tax breaks for middle-class / lower-income Americans is truly what Republicans actually want, then holding that hostage might not be the best look for them, depending on how all the spin eventually comes down. Obama's trying to frame it as the Republican Party being willing to shoot the hostage in the face if they don't get their way, even though the GOP claims they care about the hostage just as much as the president does. And he's going to respond with, "See? I'm trying to keep them from shooting the hostage in the face, but they're just some stubborn ass hostage-face-shooting-evildoers."

I don't know if that's "brilliant," but it sure as hell let me invent the phrase "hostage-face-shooting-evildoers," so there's that...
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Old 11-10-2012, 02:08 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chrissy View Post
And again, I ask you: If the Republicans refuse to extend the cuts for the less than $250k, what will Obama do about the tax cuts that are about to expire?
And again, I ask you: Republicans are already on record as favoring tax cuts for everybody. How will that look in the public eye if they now oppose tax cuts for the majority of the populace? It's political gamesmanship, to be sure. But, like I said, Obama just tossed the ball into Boehner's court. He'll need to respond in some manner that doesn't make Republicans look like boneheaded oppositionists. Let's see what he comes up with.

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Old 11-10-2012, 02:13 AM   #18
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And again, I ask you: Republicans are already on record as favoring tax cuts for everybody. How will that look in the public eye if they now oppose tax cuts for the majority of the populace? It's political gamesmanship, to be sure. But, like I said, Obama just tossed the ball into Boehner's court. He'll need to respond in some manner that doesn't make Republicans look like boneheaded oppositionists. Let's see what he comes up with.

caw
Just to clarify, my "you" was editorial but I'm glad you responded.

And my response is, I'd ask the same thing of Obama: If your back (or more like, your reputation) were against the wall, what would you decide? All or nothing? Those are your choices.

Oh, but wait. Obama doesn't have to worry about his reputation anymore.

So yeah, he definitely has the political advantage.

The real question is, does anyone really give a shit about us, the people?
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Old 11-10-2012, 02:13 AM   #19
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Yeah, they all agree on those tax cuts. But in other words, of the GOP does agree, then the tax cute that Obama want to expire do and that's that. So it's a fancy way of saying give me my way.
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Old 11-10-2012, 02:15 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Chrissy View Post
Oh bullshit. If neither side does anything the tax cuts expire. Do you actually think that Obama would "work" with the Republicans on maintaining the tax cuts for the over $250k after he gets them for everyone else?

I repeat, this is just a stupid ploy to try to show how "evil" the Republicans are. If you think they're evil, fine. But don't act like Obama is doing something noble here or "showing his willingness to work with the other side."

And again, I ask you: If the Republicans refuse to extend the cuts for the less than $250k, what will Obama do about the tax cuts that are about to expire? It's either allow the Republicans to "win" and extend them for everyone, or be seen as "evil" himself (although I'd imagine he could just blame the Republicans) by extending them for no one.

This is a big fat joke. C'mon.
So, you're suggesting that it is ok to hold the financial assistance to the vast majority of Americans hostage in order to have leverage for a future political fight?

That is what your scenario requires.

Or, put what is already publicly agreed upon in an agreement and move on to the next thing. It is publicly agreed upon.

Otherwise you are asking the folks with less to pay more in order to show support for the idea of those who have more continuing to pay less. (Because that upper end ISN'T a tax increase, it is a return to an already in place tax rate.)

Can't quite find a way to justify that.
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Old 11-10-2012, 02:22 AM   #21
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I don't know if that's "brilliant," but it sure as hell let me invent the phrase "hostage-face-shooting-evildoers," so there's that...
Excuse me, I believe that was "stubborn ass hostage-face-shooting-evildoers." Wouldn't want to shortchange the character.
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Old 11-10-2012, 02:26 AM   #22
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So, you're suggesting that it is ok to hold the financial assistance to the vast majority of Americans hostage in order to have leverage for a future political fight?
BOTH SIDES ARE DOING THIS. What part of that do you not see?

You can say all you want that you believe the wealthy should pay more. That's fine. But what is happening here is that Obama is backing his opponents into a corner.

The question is, if they don't give in, what will Obama do? Do you seriously think that Obama is not a politician? Do you seriously think that he will succumb to his "enemies" for the good of the majority?

If you do, I truly hope you are right.


Quote:
Or, put what is already publicly agreed upon in an agreement and move on to the next thing. It is publicly agreed upon.

Otherwise you are asking the folks with less to pay more in order to show support for the idea of those who have more continuing to pay less. (Because that upper end ISN'T a tax increase, it is a return to an already in place tax rate.)

Can't quite find a way to justify that.
This would only be true if Obama is prepared to give in and extend the tax cuts for everyone.

But the fact of the matter is, we don't know that.

BOTH sides are hostaging the middle class.

ETA: and to turn your phrase around, if the tax cuts expire because Obama won't compromise "folks with less will pay more in order to show support for the idea of those who have more continuing to pay less being required to pay more. (Because that upper end ISN'T a tax increase, it is a return to an already in place tax rate. Right. The tax break was for everyone, so the return to the already in place tax rate is for everyone.

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Old 11-10-2012, 02:34 AM   #23
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Old 11-10-2012, 02:40 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Chrissy View Post
BOTH SIDES ARE DOING THIS. What part of that do you not see?
Both sides are refusing to budge on the tax cuts for the wealthy, yes.

But both sides SAY they want tax cuts for those low and middle-earners.

What Obama has done, quite succinctly, is to ask the Republicans to make a very public stand one way or the other. Do they really want tax cuts for low and middle earners, or do the cuts for the wealthy trump everything else?

Quote:
You can say all you want that you believe the wealthy should pay more. That's fine. But what is happening here is that Obama is backing his opponents into a corner.
Hell yes, he is. The Republicans have been publicly saying they will let us go over the financial cliff if they don't get their way. On NPR the other day, they were saying that if Obama won't give in and do it their way BEFORE we go over the cliff, well, he'll be much more amenable AFTER we go over.

In other words: our way or the highway.

Obama's response? Go on record with that shit. Show the entire country that you're not fighting for the low or middle earners, but you're willing to push us over the financial cliff for those at the very top.

I'd say that's well played.

Quote:
The question is, if they don't give in, what will Obama do? Do you seriously think that Obama is not a politician? Do you seriously think that he will succumb to his "enemies" for the good of the majority?
He's done that for four fucking years. I honestly hope he'll tell them to shove it up their ass now that he doesn't have re-election to worry about.

Quote:
BOTH sides are hostaging the middle class.
No, not really. Both sides SAY they don't want tax cuts for the middle class to expire. Only one side is willing to put its legislation where its mouth is - as you said yourself, the other side is using the middle class as a bargaining chip (read: hostage) and won't sign a deal keeping their tax cuts because that will leave them in a weaker position as regards other things they want.

You said it yourself:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chrissy
If the Republicans agree to extend the cuts for the less than $250k's, there'll be no bargaining chip left.
The Democrats are not using the taxes of the low and middle earners as a bargaining chip, hence their willingness to take that off the table. And the Republicans have said - for years - that they are FOR those Republican-implemented cuts. But they're now taking the taxes of 98% of Americans hostage in a bid to keep the top 2% paying a lower rate.
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Old 11-10-2012, 02:42 AM   #25
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And my response is, I'd ask the same thing of Obama: If your back (or more like, your reputation) were against the wall, what would you decide? All or nothing? Those are your choices.
What makes you think this mess has to be an "all or nothing" scenario? Obama has just pointed out that it doesn't have to be that, and challenged his opponents to respond.

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