Snowed in Holiday wallpaper – Republicans Have an Austerity Bomb Counter Offer, Raise Middle-Class Taxes 4%

winter, snow, mountains, cabins

Snowed in Holiday wallpaper

I could just post this heder and my job would be almost be done for the day, Boehner Counter Offer To Obama Includes Higher Medicare Age, Social Security Benefit Cut. Which is mostly what conservative bloggers do. This is a good example. Ashley Judd is considering a run for the Senate against Mad Dog Mitch McConnell (R-KY). Not a bad idea. She is knowledgeable, articulate and a genuine populist. Three things that cannot be said for Mad Dog. After reading that I checked a couple of  conservative bloggers. Their total and in-depth commentary consisted of Hollywood lib to run for senate, anti-gun lib to run and moonbat. These same bloggers have shown a remarkable love of conservation; they have been conserving their great insights in American politics, culture, history, math, economics and public policy for the seven plus years I have been writing this blog. How the party that gave us corrupt airheads from Hollywood such as Ronald Regan, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sonny Bono and Fred Gandy ( formerly of the series The Love Boat) can be so dismissive of someone just because they are an actor, singer, producer, business woman, is strange. Anyway, why the smoke and mirrors that the Speaker of the House, no less, says is a serious offer is a wingless plane, What’s Wrong With the Republican Austerity Bomb Counteroffer

1. It’s not really a proposal — it’s just a set of headline numbers without specific policies. The letter says Republicans want to cut $900 billion from mandatory spending and $300 billion from discretionary spending(Raising Medicare’s age: Saves feds $5.7 billion, costs you $11.4 billion), but they don’t say what or how they want to cut. The letter nods toward a proposal sketched out by Erskine Bowles, the cornerstone of which is a gradual increase in the Medicare age, but it lacks specifics.

On the tax side, they agree to $800 billion in new revenue from “pro-growth tax reform that closes special-interest loopholes and deductions while lowering rates.” But they don’t endorse specific loophole closures or propose a new rate structure.

Capping itemized deductions is part of the smoke. That might cost a few millionaires a few bucks, but is hardly the kind of revenue that will close a $500 billion gap compared to what the President has offered.

3. The proposal does not fully avert the fiscal cliff. Republicans describe their proposals as a way to “avert the fiscal cliff.” But this proposal would only partly delay the implementation of austerity measures (tax increases and spending cuts) into future years when the economy is stronger.

Some parts of the Republican approach to cliff aversion are clear. The plan would continue the vast majority of the Bush tax cuts. I assume Republicans would agree to generally uncontroversial items: patching the Alternative Minimum Tax, implementing a “doc fix” to prevent a sharp drop in Medicare reimbursement rates, and extending corporate tax provisions that require periodic renewal.

But the $1.2 trillion in “sequestration” spending cuts wouldn’t be averted; instead they would apparently be replaced by other cuts to entitlement programs and discretionary spending. While mandatory spending cuts (such as a Medicare age increase) would likely be backloaded by design, Republicans need to make clear that they are willing to backload the discretionary spending cuts, too; otherwise, they will constitute a near-term austerity measure.

The letter also says nothing about the payroll tax holiday or extended unemployment insurance benefits, both of which Republicans likely want to sunset. As such, this proposal only constitutes a partial aversion of the fiscal cliff, which would mean a drag on economic growth in 2013.

Boehner’s proposal actually raises taxes on the middle class and working poor. Only about 4%, but I don’t know any households that making the national median (about $52k) that can really spare paying 4% more in taxes, not right now anyway. And of course Boehner and conservatives are willing to raise taxes on everyone, but the top 1%. It is as though any attempts to raise taxes on those incomes the same rate they were paying in the 1990s was some kind of sacrilege. One would think, or in regards Republicans, wish that they would stop jerking the American people around. They are after all, the gravely serious people who know stuff. Instead we get the same recycled  nonsense,

“The new revenue in the Bowles plan would not be achieved through higher tax rates, which we continue to oppose and will not agree to in order to protect small businesses and our economy,” the Republican letter said. “Instead, new revenue would be generated through pro-growth tax reform that closes special-interest loopholes and deductions while lowering rates.”

This is pure unadulterated bunk. Small business? Letting the Bush tax cuts expire will not hurt small business. Conservatives have been playing this combination tax paranoia/faux populist card for years. As a matter of fact letting the tax cuts for the lite expire will increase GDP. If tax cuts were the magic elixir for growth we should all be sitting on the pots of gold we had let over from the Bush-era. This brightly colored story book tale of taxes is part of the conservative Big Lie. It doesn’t matter how many studies show it is not true, they’re sticking with it. If that means making America’s working class retire two or three years later or cutting Medicare, its worth it so that Mitt can buy another elevator for his cars. And it is like the president’s centrist budget ( by no means is it a progressive budget) is going to hurt the wealthy corporations that conservatives are frantically trying to protect are going to going begging, Corporate Profits Hit Record High While Worker Wages Hit Record Low and Apple, Google, Microsoft Avoid Taxes By Keeping Billions In Profits Offshore.

Some very good news, Elizabeth Warren(D-MA) Wins Senate Banking Committee Seat: Sources

Conservatives have already tried the usual blame shifting. The public is not buying it, POLL: Americans Fear The Fiscal Cliff, Expect The Fiscal Cliff, and Blame Republicans For The Fiscal Cliff Though the public is mistaken to be overly concerned. If the Bush tax cuts and the Obama tax cuts expire, the effects will not kick in right away. It might even be a good thing. It will force Republicans to  negotiate cuts for the wealthy in the first quarter of next year. They could choose to vote against payroll tax cuts for the middle-class, and then try running on that in the 2014 mid-terms. That would be fun to watch.

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