Leaks about budget bargains tend to be frustrating. While we all a potentially unlimited supply of outrage there are grand bargains in the rumor mill which can use up a lot of outrage. Only to disappear as quickly as they started. I hope this is one of those times because Democrats would be losing a tremendous amount of leverage. That actually might be the intention of the leak. To test how the public reacts. G.O.P. Talks of Limiting Tax Breaks or are the tea party captives really going to increase taxes?
Republican members of a Congressional panel seeking ways to cut the federal budget deficit indicated on Monday that they might allow some additional tax revenue as part of a deal with Democrats.
The Republicans met Monday to consider a proposal that would raise additional revenue by limiting some income tax deductions that primarily benefit higher-income households.
Republicans cited the proposal as evidence that they were open to ideas that would raise revenue and thus help reduce the federal budget deficit, which has exceeded $1.2 trillion in each of the last three years.
While these little tax give-a-ways or incentives were part of the kind of tax “increases” President Obama was talking about during the debt ceiling hostage crisis, they still ain’t no big thing in the way of concessions… like lower deductions for the multimillion dollar second home. Thus the reason I tend to think this was a Republican tell their side to the press first story. Hey, look at us Republicans disengaging our lips from Grover Norquist’s ass, being all ready to COMPROMISE.
Under the proposal, Republicans would agree to limit certain itemized tax deductions in return for a permanent reduction in marginal tax rates. This would not just extend the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, but reduce the rates that apply to each additional dollar of a taxpayer’s income.
[ ]…A Republican with knowledge of the talks said that limiting tax breaks was a major concession. As an example of such tax breaks, Republicans pointed to the deduction allowed for mortgage interest on a second home.
Republicans offer tea-spoon of water to dying man in desert, claim they showered him with generosity. Or as Jonathan Chait notes - Republicans Offer Yet Another Terrible Debt Deal
There is, however, a catch:
In exchange, Democrats would agree to make the Bush income-tax cuts permanent. This would mean preventing top rates from going to 42% from 35% today, and keeping the capital gains and dividend tax rate at 15%, as opposed to plans to raise them to 23.8% or higher after 2013.
Let me explain this part. The Bush tax cuts are scheduled to expire at the end of next year. This is a huge amount of leverage for Democrats — unless the House, Senate, and president can agree, taxes will return to Clinton-era levels at the beginning of 2013. The Republicans want to stop that from happening. The deal leaked to Moore is that they will agree to reduce some tax deductions, in return for which Democrats will agree to make the tax cuts permanent, in return for which Democrats will also agree to reduce entitlement spending.
Anybody see a problem with this deal? Yes: Democrats would be giving away an enormous amount of future leverage. Passing a bill to raise revenue is extremely hard. Passing any bill is extremely hard. When you stand to gain from nothing happening, you’re in a very strong position.
Republicans have very little leverage now. The public is starting to see that conservatives care more about the right-wing agenda and destroying Obama than they do about deficits or jobs or acting even marginally like responsible adults. The far Right game remains the same – gut Medicare, Medicaid, give everyone’s Social Security contributions to Wall Street to play with, gut public education, gut science spending on everything but defense. In that version of the future we live in a dog-eat-dog dystrophy. Not a civilized society. When you read forums and comment sections and conservatives complain about a few cents of every dollar going to pay for the social safety net what they are yearning for is failure. To see a future America based on right-wing fantasies look back at European societies pre-20th century or pre-New Deal America. There were a few very wealthy at the top, a small middle-class and lots of poor people. As we know they were not the best of times. Things did not end well for the greedy plutocrats in Europe either. America fared better because FDR took on the economic injustice where the capital produced by labor were being redistributed upward. Poll: 50 Percent Say GOP Is ‘Intentionally Stalling’ Economy To Hurt Obama
In the real world of work we and our co-workers say offensive things, tell offensive jokes or have generally offensive attitudes about some group or issue. The thing about the work place is you can’t walk away. It’s not like when your friend tells a bad joke and you can tell them off. You’re a captive to the need to provide food and shelter for yourself. That said I still try to be tolerant. Humans are flawed by nature and everyone screws up on occasion. The problem with Herman Cain is that he has, from positions of authority, screwed up multiple times. He was never fired. His victims appear to have been compensated but went on to work elsewhere or were forced out. This is what happens when you come forward - Cain accuser has history of financial troubles, legal squabbles. Her father, fiance say they stand with her. Maybe this woman has some ulterior motive. Records indicate she is a Republican, but that has not stopped the Right from ganging up on her. It is possible to reserve judgement about her veracity without calling her names. One thing that continues to be true about the Cain scandals is they are no help at all to Democrats. On the other hand they are being exploited by Cain’s conservative opponents - Now Newt smells blood – The Herman Cain groping scandal could be the former Speaker’s ticket to that elusive surge — and he knows it. There is also the traditional Republican establishment element. None other than establishment icon Bill Bennett – who once wrote a book claiming without the slightest bit of irony or shame that conservatives had cornered the market on values – has called on Cain to make a full account of his actions. Remarkably, after her initial remarks about Cain not being a reliable conservative candidate - Michele Bachmann has only made some round-about criticisms of Cain.
Rachel Maddow looks at how surreal the Cain candidacy has been. This is a little long, but hilarious. Partisanship aside I tend to see all politics having an absurdest performance art aspect. Maddow realizes that Herman Cain is an art project