Deal On Fiscal Cliff Still Possible
Posted in the Jonesboro Forum
#1 Dec 26, 2012
Various news and editorials hint that a deal is still entirely possible that would avoid allowing the US to hit the Fiscal Cliff that many economist fear would be a blow to the struggling economic recovery possibly even leading to a recession. There are a number of scenarios in which a deal is possible but none of the Washington beat reporters or commentators feel strongly enough that the chances of a deal are strong enough that they will make a prediction that a deal will be reached.
In the Senate, if Minority Leader Mitch McConnell will allow a vote on the compromise presented by President Obama or possibly a new one, then Democrats would be able to pass a Bill to be sent to the House or even vote on a Bill that had passed the House. The possibility of McConnell invoking a fillibuster requring a super-majority of 60 votes, woould be enough to prevent a vote from ever coming about.
In the House, Boehner could allow a procedure which would allow the President's proposal or another one to be voted on invokng a procedure called "a majority of the minority" vote which would allow Democrats to vote on the measure and any Republicans to join them in voting for the measure through a rarely invoked procedure.
Any measure capable of passing both Houses will require votes from Republicans that would rather vote for a measure to prevent even greater tax increases that would be triggered by hitting the so called Fiscal Cliff. Some Republicans have indicated they would consider supporting the measure simply because it would give them some control over the amount of tax increases rather than allowing automatic expiration of the Bush tax cuts altogether.
Neither Democratic or Republican leaders appear likely to allow any type of vote to proceed without knowing beforehand whether they have the votes to pass the legislation. Tea-Party Republicans remain adament about voting against any bill which would allow an increase in tax rates. However, GOP leaders have signaled that there are some Republicans in both the House & Senate who would rather vote for a bill that would a least allow them some control over the number of people effected by tax increases.
Failure by Congress to avoid the Fiscal Cliff runs the risk of causing the economy to fall into a recession with polls showing that Republicans would be the party receiving the largest share of the blame if a deal isn't reached and GOP strategist are reminding party members that this could have inflict tremendous damage on Republican candidates in the 2014 election season. Another scenario involves allowing the fiscal cliff to be reached then working to mitigate the most harsh effects of it but economist are warning this carries with it the greatest risk of permanently damaging the economic recovery and the markets have already been volatile due to a failure for a compromise to be reached.
At this point, our guesses on whether they will reach a compromise seem to be as good as any Washington insider. Who thinks that enough Republicans will break with Tea Party Republicans and vote for a compromise plan to avoid hitting the Fiscal Cliff? If they compromise and vote for a compromise, Grover Norquist has already stated that he will target those members in their next primaries for breaking his tax pledge. Personally, I'm giving it an 80% chance that the Republicans will seek the lesser of two perceived evils and vote for a plan giving them at least some input on how many will be effected by higher tax rates. Who else has a predicton?
#3 Dec 26, 2012
Looks like there isn't much confidence out there on this bunch coming through. lol
#4 Dec 27, 2012
Why does it have to be Obama's proposal? Why can't the Senate pass bills already passed by the House earlier this year that would prevent tax increases on anyone and would set the budget for 2013 that would cut spending in a more responsible manner?
And it would also require votes from Democrats. Again, why do you make it so one-sided? You make it sound like the entire problem is that Republicans won't cave in and accept what Democrats want to do.
The same thing is true of Democrats. If they would accept the plans that Republicans have already passed in the House, the fiscal cliff could very easily be avoided. Yet, they are willing to drive the economy into another recession just because Obama is hell bent on raising taxes on the top 2%.
As they should. After all, that's exactly what they were elected to do, not to mention that tax hikes right now will drive us into another recession and put even more people out of work.
The problem isn't revenue. Hell, the government is raking in more revenue now than it ever has. The problem is that government can't seem to stop the runaway spending.
Let's not be distracted from the real problem here.
Again, another slanted statement. Why is it presented as a Republican failure? Why aren't you also asking who thinks Democrats will break away from Obama and his lust to wage class warfare and join Republicans in halting harmful tax hikes and implementing a budget that puts us on a path to financial prosperity?
My prediction is that we will go over the financial cliff. I just hope Republicans have enough cajones to stand up and fight against the runaway government spending that is crippling our nation. If they don't they will be tossed out of office just as quickly as were the spend-happy Democrats in 2010.
#5 Dec 27, 2012
Ay, gabacho. What are "cajones"?
#6 Dec 27, 2012
#7 Dec 27, 2012
obomer is hoping that we go over the cliff !!!!
He will blame the GOP for it and take no blame for himself. Once were over the cliff he can use
all the extra tax revs from ALL working people and give it to those who refuse to work . After all just because someone refuses to work or take care of themselves and thier families does not mean they are not equal , and we ARE all equal . Some people can not help it that they like to work and
take care of themselves . I guess you cannot fix stupid .
We will not truely be equal until we all live off the government .
#8 Dec 27, 2012
I put on there "or other bill" specifically to include any Bill from any member of Congress or possibly another proposed by the president. The Democrats have submitted a plan and most recently the Republicans submitted a plan but then pulled it when Boehner saw he didn't have the votes to pass it. Neither group will let a plan go to the floor that doesn't have the enough votes from their own party to pass. I guess this is part of the postering or they have other concerns about it but that does seem to be the case. I will be more clear: It is a failure of this Congress that we have not been able to pass a budget and avoid the situation we are in. That said, there is a clear recognition in the Republican party that they need to move a little towards the center on these tax cuts or risk being seen as to far out of the mainstream. That's not my opinion but rather the results of polling and is acknowledged by some Congressional Republicans as well as party leaders worried about the 2014 elections. There are Republicans who are sending words through channels that they would support a Bill from the Dems in order to avoid the actions of the Fiscal Cliff and because polling shows they are going to receive the lion's share of the blame. It's an avoidable situation and it will be interesting to see which leaders on both sides of the aisle step up to avoid the cliff-or don't.
#9 Dec 27, 2012
I agree, but let's be clear. The House has passed budgets the past two years. But Harry Reid won't allow those budget bills to be brought up in the Senate for discussion let alone a vote. Why is that? Why should one man be able to single handedly stop discussion on a bill? And why do you want to blame the entire Congress when it's one man, a Democrat, who has prevented passage of a budget?
Now, the Senate has brought up two budget bills the last two years. Both of them were what Obama proposed. Neither one of them got even a single vote in favor of passage. They both were unanimously voted down by every single Seantor, Democrat and Republican.
So yeah, Congress did fail to pass a budget, but the problem lies squarely with Senate Democrats, and particularly Harry Reid.
Again, let's be clear. No one is talking about giving anyone a tax cut. What's at issue is whether we keep tax rates, credits and deductions the same as they have been for the last 10 years, or we raise taxes on some people, or we revert back to the tax policies that were in effect 10 years ago which is a vast tax increase on every taxpayer in the country.
And what is the "center"? Does that mean that the record amount of revenue the government is already taking away from the wealth of private citizens is not enough and that we should allow them to take even more? Does it mean that we should make no effort to halt the runaway government spending that is destroying our economy?
That sounds quite extreme to me.
Let's not lose sight of the big picture here. The real problem is the threat of economic collapse. We simply cannot avoid that collapse without severely cutting government spending.
We can give Obama all the tax hikes he wants, and it will amount to somewhere between $80 - 100 billion per year. We're spending so much that we're borrowing over $1 trillion per year.
Borrowing $900 billion per year instead of $1 trillion won't prevent the coming economic collapse. We can only do that if we cut spending.
And it's Republicans who have not only put plan after plan after plan together to address the problem of runaway government spending, they've actually passed a number of bills in the House that would put us on a path to a balanced budget in a handful of years, and after that allow us to actually start reducing the national debt instead of adding to it $1 trillion per year.
What happened to those bills passed by the House? The same thing as HR 8 which would prevent tax hikes on anyone - Harry Reid has single handedly killed them.
And what happened to the proposed balanced budget amendment that passed the House and needed to pass the Senate in order to be sent to the states for ratification? It was defeated in the Senate because Democrats refused to support it.
So we're back again at being clear what the economic problem is, and where the problem lies in implementing a solution.
It's clear the problem is runaway government spending, and it's clear Democrats are to blame for blocking spending reform solutions passed by Republicans.
What we're witnessing in DC is nothing more than a diversion to draw attention away from the real problem - runaway governmetn spending.
We're going to wake up one day and find ourselves in the same financial condition as Greece. And we can thank Obama and the Senate Democrats for that.
#10 Dec 27, 2012
Wow!!! You get it. I wished others could see it.
#11 Dec 27, 2012
Oh. "Cojones." Never heard of cajones.
#12 Dec 27, 2012
Guest usa, exactly who is to blame is a matter of perspective and opinion. To me, and this is my opinion, it is clear that the GOP has been more interested in saying "NO" to anything Obama is for than what is best for the country. The use of the filibuster to block anything Obama supports has been invoked somewhere in excess of 350 times during Obama's term which I think speaks for itself. Republicans even met on Obama's innaguaration day vowing to oppose everything he advocated and urging other party members to do the same. That's a pretty overwhelming indication that they weren't interested in what was best for the country. You see it differently and see Harry Reid as the bad guy. But, it's still just our opinions.
Now, we are at a pivotal point hours away from the the automatic consequences of failing to act before the Fiscal Cliff deadline. Obama has abandoned his lofty notion of a "Grand Bargain" realizing that nothing of that magnitude is possible. Boehner realizes that he can't even rally his own party to stand behind his Plan B and has his Speakership in question. I think it's safe to say that neither side can walk away from this happy about any deal they may broker.
The truth is that they are not that far apart on the numbers but the Republicans are going to have to accept allowing the tax rates to go up slightly on some of the wealthiest Americans in order for a deal to go through. Obama and the Democrats made that a major point of the election and the polls all show that the voters are overwhelmingly in support of this component. Individual GOP senators and House members have signaled a willingness to budge on this to avoid the cliff but Boehner has got to decide whether to let that vote happen. He has some Republican members who lost their elections who are more than happy to vote against any deal because they have nothing to lose and can say they never voted for a tax increase. The others are looking at the polling and trying to figure out how to make a deal work and then deal with Grover Norquist whacking their peepee with a ruler and running people against them in their primaries.
Any deal that may coming about in the final hours will include concessions made to both sides. Failing to make this deal happen is going to allow the proverbial shit to hit the fan. With the fragile economic recovery in jeapardy, both sides should have plenty of motivation to give up attempting any great strides and close the gap with something they can all not like but we can live with. Everything I've read says the Republicans have the most to lose if we go over the cliff, but that doesn't mean it may not have catastrophic effects on both parties. We should know within a few hours which way the wind is blowing.
#13 Dec 28, 2012
Obama wants to raise taxes and increase spending. Neither one is good for the country. Besides, Republicans were elected specfically to oppose those two things. They are merely doing the will of the people that elected them.
I don't agree with the filibuster rule in the Senate, but under the Constitution the Senate has the power to set its own rules of procedure.
That being said, Obama and the Democrats had a free hand for two years to do whatever the hell they wanted because Republicans didn't have enough votes to stop anything Democrats wanted to do.
So for two years we tried the Democrat way. All we got was trillions more added to the national debt, government ownership of GM, Geihtner's buddies at Goldman Sachs bailed out with taxpayer money, Chris Dodd riding off into the sunset with millions of taxpayer dollars kicked back from Countrywide Mortgage, Obamacare, the onerous Dodd-Frank banking regulations that will end up costing the economy hundreds of billions of dollars and countless jobs, near record numbers of unemployed, record numbers of people living in poverty, and record numbers of people drawing welfare.
In short, the socialist policies promulgated by the Democrats the first two years Obama was in office proved to be a disastrous failure.
You act like the Republicas should just lay down every principle they stand for and let Obama and the other socialist Democrats completely dismantle our free market system and flush the Constitution down the toilet.
Fortunately the genius of our governmental system will prevent that. Ours is a system of checks and balances, as it should be.
Bullshit. That's nothing but a lie. Surely you're smart enough not to simply swallow that without considering whether there is any truth to it.
Yep, a deadline that we've known was coming for the better part of 2 years. 2 YEARS!!! Yet as usual here we are at the 11th hour hoping any deal will go through.
You know, that's exactly why we're in this mess, remember? Congress couldn't agree on a debt ceiling increase, so this fiscal cliff plan was hatched as a compromise to increase debt back then and buy time for Congress to work out a way to address the real problem, which is runaway government spending.
Republicans have worked very hard the past two years to address the real problem, yet Democrats have fought them every step of the way, rejecting the report of the President's own debt commission, and blocking bill after bill after bill that House Republicans have passed. And those bills weren't even brought up for discussion in the Senate, let alone a vote. It's the most chickenshit way to block them because it doesn't even require Senate Democrats to be on record opposing spending cuts and balanced budgets.
#14 Dec 28, 2012
Obama needs to abandon the class war he's waging on the wealthy. The only reason a deal cannot be reached is because Obama is hell bent on increasing taxes. If he dropped that, a deal would be reached in a matter of hours.
That's because conservatives refuse to cave in on one of their most important principles - no tax hikes. Boehner is another of the old guard, good ol' boy system that's part of the problem. We need people in Washington, both Democrats and Republicans, who care more about doing what's right for the country than getting re-elected. It's time career politicians went back home and got a real job. Let's elect statesmen who have the country's, rather than their own, best interests at heart.
My dad always taught me to stand up for what I believed was right, to fight for my prinicples rather than run away like a little coward. I wish our politicians had learned that lesson and had the balls to do what is right rather than worry about getting re-elected.
If that's the case, then no deal will go through. Look, like I've said several times, the problem isn't that government doesn't tax us too much. Hell, the government is raking in record amounts of revenue as it is. The problem is that we are spending far, far too much.
Republicans were given a commanding majority in the House for two reasons: to fight tax hikes and to cut spending. They are just doing the job they were hired to do.
It's not Norquist who will whack them, it's the voters whom they made promises to. We don't like to be lied to. Blanche Lincoln did that regarding Obamacare, promising not to support it, then she went back to DC and cast the deciding vote to pass it. She lost the next election by a landslide.
If during their campaigns, Republicans promised not to support tax hikes and to cut spending, and won their elections because of that promise, if they renege and break that promise, it's the voters who will take out their anger on them, not Norquist.
Then let the shit hit the fan! Maybe it will wake people up and they will realize that the real problem we face is runaway government spending and these silly games being put on by the Democrats in DC are nothing but a diversion designed to draw attention away from the real problem.
Read what you want, but a dozen politicians not getting re-elected doesn't amount to jack shit when people are rioting in the streets because our economy has collapsed. Take a look at Greece. That's where we are heading if we can't get Democrats on board with deep spending cuts.
#15 Dec 28, 2012
All your point by point is really just more opinion. They have time to prevent a catastrophe of their own making by each side moving slightly toward the other. Nobody is expecting major moves. If they don't make it, the voters will decide for themselves just whose fault it was but that won't help the average person if the fiscal cliff jeapardises the economy.
#16 Dec 28, 2012
Ah, that's just your way of remaining in denial.
Look, it's a fact that Republicans have already passed several bills in the House that would prevent the fiscal cliff. It's also a fact that Harry Reid is single handedly preventing those bills from being brought to the Senate floor for discussion and a vote.
It's also a fact that if Obama would stop insisting on tax hikes, a deal would be agreed upon which would prevent tax hikes on every single taxpayer in the country as well as preventing another recession.
The ball is in his court as it has been all along.
Those are facts my friend, not opinion.
#17 Dec 28, 2012
You're just full of shit, "my friend"..
#18 Dec 28, 2012
You seem to be in denial of the fact that neither party has presented a budget that has been allowed to go to a floor vote. It's very simple for you to say that if they could easily pass a plan--as long as the Republicans get their way on it. lmao The Republicans can pass all the House bills they want and they're DOA in the Senate and vice versa. Neither Boehner nor Reid is going to push through a vote at this point that they know will fail. That's politics whether its the Republicans or the Democrats. If they Reid & McConnell fail to reach a plan within the next 24 hours, President Obama is going to publicly ask them to let his last proposal go before a vote in both houses and then let the public decide on the outcome. I think there is at least a fairly good chance they will reach a stop-gap measure to avoid the cliff.
#19 Dec 28, 2012
I must add that I was somewhat less than thrilled to learn exactly how and who would be participating in a possible compromise agreement. Evidently, neither Reed or McConnell will actually be in on it. Each of them has appointed one top staffer to work on possible compromises. And they won't actually be sitting down together in a room on Capital Hill but rather communicating via emails and possibly phone calls.
You'd think with the stakes being what they are, the two Senators might actually get their asses into a meeting room and try to find common ground without pissing each other off. I realize that this is often the way deals are forged in Washington but I guess I was expecting a little more public display of genuine effort. Well, maybe the two staffers will be able to find a way to head off our plunge off the fiscal cliff!
#20 Dec 29, 2012
That is just false. Republicans have passed budgets the last two years in the House. But like most everything they have passed, Harry Reid blocked them from being brought up in the Senate. That's a fact.
Democrats in the Senate voted on Obama's proposed budgets the last two years. Both of them were unanimously voted down. That's also a fact.
You tell me I'm giving you opinion, but I'm not. You're just ignoring facts and reality.
Obama doesn't want anyone else's way. He ignored the recommendations of his own debt panel. Remember Simpson-Bowles? When Boehner took a lot of heat and agreed to the initial tax increase that Obama requested, Obama doubled the tax amount and then added in more stimulus spending.
Obama has done everything in his power to prevent a deal from happening. As it is right now, the only thing that keeps a deal from happening is Obama's insistence that the top 2%(who already pay far, far more than anyone else) should have their taxes vastly increased.
And Obama cares so much about screwing the top 2% that he's willing to throw every taxpayer in the country under the bus, plus drive the economy into another recession. That's another fact.
Senate bills are not DOA in the House. The ONLY Senate bill that hasn't been brought up in the House is the unconstitutional one passed by the Senate that violates Article 1 Section 7. That's another fact.
OTOH, Harry Reid has literally dozens of House passed bills that he refuses to bring up in the Senate. That's another fact.
The public has no say in the outcome. Legislation in our nation is done only by Congress. Yet another fact.
#21 Dec 29, 2012
I should have been more specific but I was refering to the last few weekss of the crisis negotitation, but the fact remains no bill has been presented that had a chance of passing both houses. As to the technicality that they arise in the Senate, they have procedures for those occassions and have for decades. The public does have the ultimate say so even if it's not in specific votes. They can send you packing at the next election. That's what I mean by the ultimate say.
Again, keeping bills from reaching the Senate or House is nothing new. There is a bi-partisn effort underway to limit the use of the filibuster. I don't think requiring a super-majority vote on hundreds of pieces of legislation was how the framers intended the filibuster to be used but that's another subject. We'll see in a few more hours what our Congress is or isn't gong to do to avert the cliff.
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