If the GOP wants to win in 2016, what you are planning to do, you just can’t do. There is a path for a national victory, but on this current trajectory, you will surely step on your on feet as usual. So I put together a short list of all the things you just can’t do if you hope to know what its like to win a national election again. You do remember what a national election is right?
What You Can’t Do Is: Run on Benghazi – I know you want too and you honestly think its a good thing to keep talking about. Its going on three weeks now after the story has resurfaced for no apparent reason other than its a good retread story that makes good hearing photos. Nothing new under the sun has come to light on this horrific incident and yet you guys drive it like Ken Starr of the 90′s investigating Whitewater and Lewinsky. You have to know that this dog won’t hunt so why keep it out there?
1. Fundraising: Sure it helps raise much needed cash from your base, but unless you ever plan to discuss something else, $1 billion dollars won’t be enough, just ask Romney. Mr. Romney actually got 2 million less votes than John McCain received in 2008 against Obama. So for $1 billion dollars invested in Romney, conservatives got a lot less on their return.
2. Ignite the GOP base: Yeah, I guess you could use Benghazi for that too, but I mean really, one of the key miscalculations of the Team Romney in 2012 was underestimating the Democrats turnout operation. Instead of less, more African Americans turned out in Virginia, Colorado, Florida and Pennsylvania than anyone had ever imagined and this was know by the early exit polls on the afternoon of Election Day. It would only get worse as the day wore on.
If we include Hispanics, Women and Asians, and The Obama Rule, what initially looked like an upset for conservatives, quickly became a walk in the park for the President. Here is the fact, less republicans actually turned out to vote than democrats. Why? Romney wasn’t providing a coherent message to the base.
Another fact, Ryan easily won re-election in his Congressional district to return to Congress, but those same voters who willfully and easily returned him to Washington D.C. as their Representative were not willing to send him as their Vice President. He lost his home state for Romney which has not been done since Al Gore lost his home state of Tennessee in 2000.
What You Can’t Do Is: Run on the IRS – Again, albeit tempting, how much can you extract from this…even with more of this story still unfolding? Unless you can put the phone to Obama’s ear or the email on his desk, this will only do the two things we just identified above. Words not to use…“47 Percent”. Raising money doesn’t seem to be the issue for conservatives as long as their is a democrat in The White House so no need to chase the donors, they will come.
Republicans looking for a story should continue to investigate worthwhile leads and follow them where ever they take you. But keep in mind, Obama is not on the ballot in 2016, so running against Obama will be a futile exercise. Republicans must decide now which path they will adopt as the party leaders and wanna-be leaders fight for control internally. Democrats will actually relish the third Obama election in theory considering republicans lost the last two he actually ran in.
Chasing the IRS-big brother-anti ideology while President Obama stands next to Hillary and Bill Clinton with clasped hands raised, the proverbial “crowning” of his successor is really what you shouldn’t spend your time and donations doing.
With that said, unless you can put the phone in Hillary’s hand or the email regarding the IRS illegally pursuing conservative groups, tell me and the rest of America, precisely how you plan to ride this to victory in two and a half years? Most Americans don’t care today, exactly how are you going to make them care in two and a half years? Take a moment and get back to me on that.
What You Can’t Do Is: Run on states rights when it comes to social issues – States rights ought to be a thing of the past. Now, I know how you guys are really bent on keeping this as a part of your election platform and there is just no way to get you all to remove that, but just a word to the wise, democrats don’t hear “states rights” or “let the states decide” when their is an unpopular Governor in that state, i.e. Rick Scott of Florida, Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, and Jan Brewer of Arizona.
Each of those state’s Governors are currently on the wrong side, according to their own state’s polling on key issues. Jindal refuses to expand Medicaid even when his citizen’s could benefit from it the most. His own presidential hopes keeps him from doing what is right for the people of Louisiana. Rick Scott changed his mind and will now accept the expansion which will include millions of his residents but stands in the way of his state’s election overhaul and blocks real immigration reforms. Jan Brewer in Arizona rose to the headlines with her immigration stance but seems to be a ‘one trick pony’.
States deciding is no longer a winning strategy at the national level. Sure, it will work for state races, but thats it. Words not to use…“Food Stamps” and “President” in the same sentence. You will need to develop a new response when you don’t like a particular piece of legislation or figure out another way to deflect answering it. Rick Scott will lose his next election to a guy who was once a Republican Governor in Florida, who then became an Independent to run for the Senate but lost and is now a bonafide Democrat running again for Governor…do you really want the state’s decision? You know what, think on that too and get back to us.
Decide today if you want to be a principled conservative, pushing the party platform who only campaigns to his peril or you’d rather redefine the party platform. Republicans have a path to victory but their fringe keeps them from it. Virginia just launched it Tea Party favorite as their nominee for Governor, as if the republicans needed any more trouble in the purple state. All they need is more extreme views that will make it easy for democrats to show up in the polls.
Virginia has become more moderate in recent years, so promoting an extreme candidate doesn’t seem to be the way to go…time will tell if this time around will be different. What you can’t do is expect something different when you’re doing the same things.
What You Can’t Do Is: Run against Hillary Clinton – This will be a bit tricky for you guys because she too will help your Political Action Committees raise tons of pre-election cash, but tread lightly. Run against her as a continuation of the Obama policies, but avoid women’s issues. Words not to use…”Rape”. She is the Women’s vote and the country for the most part wants to reward her for playing the good soldier for the Obama Administration. Remember those 18 million shattering pieces of glass she referred too? There are at least three times that amount now.
Now here is what seems to be the obvious things you simply just can’t do. You can’t run against Immigration reforms. In fact, if there is no new immigration policy in effect at the time of the election that your party [the republicans] have overwhelmingly supported and sponsored, this will be an albatross around your political necks. It will be viewed as an obstructionist move to prevent granting undocumented workers a path to legalization.
You can’t run against family equality although this is not in your platform, you just can’t do it if you expect to win nationally. With the majority of Americans now in support of legislation granting same sex rights, making this a part of your “not negotiable” stance won’t benefit your campaigns. Words not to use…”Family Values”. Where there is no science to support your position, stay away.
You can’t run against ObamaCare. Not because its bad politics, to the contrary. Run against the public polling because many are just not sure of what it is, run against the new bureaucracy of government and the roll it will play, but running against what is now the law of the land seems a bit stupid. Congress voted for it, the Supreme Court upheld it, and, well, its official. To not fund this law, when you say you’re a law abiding citizen just is dumb and looks petty.
You can’t continue to ignore New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. Begin accepting the fact that the most popular republican Governor in the United States is the Executive of a liberal state in the north east with the highest approval rating than most democratic Governors in liberal states. Accept that you will need a photo of Mitt Romney, your previous standard bearer standing next to Christie showing a sign of unity. Today, he is your best shot and you know it. Get behind him with your dollars and you will change the conversation. His reelection in ’14 as Governor will change your mind, of this I am certain.
Hopefully some of you will take this time to further develop your policy approach on these issues considering every professional talking head, every political consultant and strategist, every pundit and columnist, every elected republican in national office over the past two years got it wrong. These guys have been taken to the woodshed in the last two national election cycles first by a rookie Senator and then by an endangered incumbent who you said was only good at giving speeches. Mitt Romney changed his position on every issue he was ever asked about, but that wasn’t the problem; the issue was he had come out hard against that position in the beginning, he became his own worst caricature. If you are still listening to these people…is something wrong with them or is something wrong with you? Thats my story and um sticking to it.
Republicans have been searching for an issue to clobber The White House with and in the past week or so, they’ve been enjoying Christmas In May with the emergence of both manufactured scandals as well as problematic connections throughout the Administration with poor decisions, troubling responses from democrats and inexcusable actions and damage control.
They have been successful at blurring the lines of factual discovery and nonsensical congressional hearings. This week we were focusing on healthcare and just as we were just about taken off message as was The White House, ta-da!, there it was, another fabricated push; a clarion call by the GOP to initiate hearings to investigate ObamaCare.
Nearly two months ago, the newly elected GOP Senator from Texas, Ted Cruz said this:
“Therefore, when the Senate votes on the Continuing Resolution, I intend to offer a “Restore Growth First” amendment which will delay funding of Obamacare. I believe we should continue to delay such funding at least until economic growth returns to historic averages, and I intend to object to consideration of any Continuing Resolution that does not include a vote to delay funding of Obamacare”.
Senator Cruz has been pushed to the forefront to carry the party’s water because quite frankly, he doesn’t have to run for re-election for another six years so his political capital from his recent election can stand the immediate hit, unlike many in leadership. Republican’s believe every problem in this country is simply because of ObamaCare. Mr. Cruz went on to say in March, “In my view, Obamacare should be fully repealed”.
If you have seen any of my posts this week, you’ll find that this behavior is not because they dislike ObamaCare, they can be credited for “Designing ObamaCare” but instead, they can’t stand to think its success may tip the electorate for generations toward democrats. At any rate, that was Mr. Cruz in March.
As of yesterday, Sen. Cruz said, “I think it’s the right position for Republicans to be taking,” Cruz said. “And I think it would be exactly the right decision to then send it back to Harry Reid and President Obama and ask if Harry Reid and President Obama are willing to try to shut the government down in order to insist that Obamacare be fully funded now even though it could well push us into a recession”.
With that said, we clearly know republicans have no intention providing funds to ensure ObamaCare is fully funded for next year. The goal was to cut off the funding and sabotage the healthcare rollout so it would kill whatever support it currently have, damaging the prospects of the legislation ever fully taking root. You see, if you can stifle the law by refusing to ensure it receives the money it should receive, that, in the view of republicans is just as good and actually repealing ObamaCare altogether.
As Mr. Cruz said, he would rather the whole country be shutdown just to prevent paying for what Congress has voted for and what the Supreme Court has ruled is the law of the land. So Mr. Cruz would prefer the “land” be torn apart instead of implementing the law. So, what does all this have to do with a manufactured scandal?
President Obama’s Health and Human Services Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, reached out to Insurance providers, private companies and groups for help in raising funds to help fill in the cash void. Her task, to get states fully prepared for the healthcare rollout in October of this year, not January of next year. Problem, the republicans know this and are making it extremely difficult for her and the Obama Administration to get this done. Why October?
Knowing this, the President gave the okay for Secretary Sebelius to basically find the money and get this done. The Secretary said over and over that Congress was intentionally not increasing the budget to use the funds allocated to implement the law. The Secretary and the Obama Administration all know that the republicans won’t rest until the law is gutted so the Secretary went outside to find the money on her own.
What is it precisely that the republicans are accusing Secretary Sebelius of doing? She contacted outside groups to get them to contribute a nonprofit organization, Enroll America, which was created in 2011 to promote the healthcare law and encourage people to enroll in its new coverage options. This organization was always an outside group designed to publicize ObamaCare and inform Americans about the plans and the rollout. Congress was supposed to approve funds and send those funds to Enroll America, but legislators like Sen. Cruz and Orrin Hatch of Utah have made sure that didn’t happen. So the Sebelius went out to get the funding on her own and had it directed to Enroll America.
What else did she do? Absolutely nothing. So is any of this illegal? Absolutely not. Why not? According to Mrs. Sebelius’ spokesperson at HHS, Jason Young, “the secretary has been working with a wide range of stakeholders who share in the mission of getting Americans the help they need and deserve”. Mr. Young went on to say, “We have always worked with outside groups, and the efforts now ramping up are just one more part of that work.
Mr. Young mentioned a section of the Public Health Service Act that addresses the secretary’s leeway in working with nonprofit groups. According to Young, the provision says: “The Secretary is authorized to support by grant or contract (and to encourage others to support) private nonprofit entities working in health information and health promotion, preventive health services, and education in the appropriate use of health care”.
Thats from the HHS spokesman, but what are republicans saying?
1. Sen. Orrin Hatch, ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, and 10 other senators fired off a letter to Sebelius on Tuesday which stated, “Our initial reaction is that this appears at best to be an inherent conflict of interest and at worst a potentially illegal augmentation of appropriation”.
2. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) said, “If the Department of Health and Human Services closely coordinates with Enroll America and other entities, then the analogy with Iran-Contra is strong”. Mr. Alexander’s spokesperson later said, <em“The fact that Congress won’t appropriate more money for Obamacare isn’t a defense”.
So if what the Secretary didn’t do anything wrong, if she hasn’t broken any laws and if there is truthfully nothing going to come of it, why are we wasting time drumming up a fake scandal? For the same reason Orrin Hatch has already said, “Moving forward, I will be seeking more information from the Administration about these actions to help better understand whether there are conflicts of interest and if it violated federal law”. The idea is to ride every issue as a way to bog down the Administration with providing “information”.
Tonight, the President will be holding a briefing on the IRS “scandal”. Earlier today, the White House released Benghazi emails while Sebelius is defending her actions to get healthcare for the millions who have been without.
Republicans are put out because they thought they had every “t” crossed and all “I’s” dotted however, Obama had another trick up his sleeves. Lets not get lost in the weeds here, Republicans will, as they have stated, stop at nothing to ensure ObamaCare does not move forward, but if it does, they will ensure it only hobbles to a full stop. This is not about providing healthcare, but instead, its about preventing Obama from getting his legislation in the hands of Americans. To create a distraction, the GOP will discuss permitting the country to shut down. Thats my story and um sticking to it.
As of this post, No illegal actions have been identified with regards to the performance of Secretary Sebelius.
As of this post, the Senate has not voted in favor of Senator Cruz’s bill to defund ObamaCare at the behest of a government shutdown.
In the world of budget deficits, whether they be state or federal, governments and local municipalities are always looking for more resources to fill those budgetary gaps. We know what democrats or republicans believe; Dems feel we must increase spending to ensure we make every opportunity available for everyone. But it costs great deals of money to make opportunity available and then so much more to manage that opportunity for those who are unable to manage it themselves.
Republicans simply believe spending is too high. their approach would be to make entitlement program cuts to balance the budget. The one thing both political parties seem to agree on is the the fact that they both want more cash to add to their budgets gaps.
So lets be clear, republicans want new cash to help balance inflated budgets and special projects “without raising income taxes” and democrats want new cash as a means to create new projects and expand existing programs by increasing revenues which is politically correct for “raising taxes to pay for them”. Since neither will clear the path for the other, there’s only one problem; where in the world will they get it from?
There’s a game being played by politicians with all the state and federal budgets. According to the Center for Science In The Public Interest, “A 2005 petition to Congress from 60 of America’s leading economists, including 4 Nobel prize winners, agreed that an alcohol tax increase is overdue and justified“. They believed, “An increase in federal alcohol excise taxes is popular, compared with cutting critical social programs. Consumers support higher taxes on alcohol, especially to fund health-care needs”.
So raising alcohol taxes in 1990 had more to do with it being “popular”with most Americans and better than “cutting social programs” those Americans preferred? Clearly this is not something we do often to fix the budgets right?
America’s first Treasury Secretary, Alexander Hamilton proposed raising taxes on cigarettes in 1794. His reason, to help pay for the Civil War. Just three days ago the State Congress in Massachusetts proposed a $1 tax increase on cigarettes to increase the state’s revenues to pay for education and transportation needs. Hey, it’s popular so I am certain Governor Patrick will sign the legislation.
The amazement is, how education, transportation and healthcare; all of which, regardless of the state, typically underperform for their citizenry. Massachusetts isn’t alone, Louisiana Congressman Harold Ritchie (D) is also proposing a tobacco tax increase because the additional funds could bring an additional $230 million a year for healthcare. Keep in mind, although the Congressman Ritchie is a democrat, the state’s Governor, Bobby Jindal, who wants to be on the 2016 Presidential ticket will definitely sign the bill if it gets to his desk.
Why would Gov. Jindal sign it? If he can take credit for improving healthcare in the state without raising “income or property taxes”, its a win for the Governor. If its not a gas tax, a property tax or a state payroll tax, Americans just don’t consider it a tax at all; they just call it a fee. Several states are currently looking at possible cigarette tax increases to help out their annual budgets; Minnesota, Ohio, West Virginia and New Hampshire just to name a few.
Several states have found something new to tax; Marijuana. Don’t be confused however, medicinal marijuana is currently legal in 19 states, Colorado being one of them that passed that legislation back in 2000. Colorado, along with Washington state recently went a step further in 2012 by the use of marijuana legal for everyone. What’s the catch? You will now be taxed!
According to the HuffingtonPost, “Colorado Sen. Chris Romer, D-Denver, said he plans to introduce legislation in January that would require dispensaries to buy licenses, as well as pay the state’s 2.9 percent sales tax. He estimates the state could collect up to $15 million a year on the sales, and communities could collect an additional $45 million a year through city and county taxes”.
Colorado saw something “popular” and decided to not only make recreational marijuana legal, but they found that they could kill two birds with the same stone if they could then return to levy a tax on that popular thing with the hopes of aiding the state’s budget woes. California could bring in $1.4 Billion a year. Those are astounding, eye-popping numbers for states looking to recover tax revenues from the millions who are out of work or currently under employed since the financial crisis of 2008.
Colorado Revenue department spokesman Mark Couch said, “This is not a new tax, it’s just an existing tax being applied to a new product”…spoken like a true politician. As nearly 30 states are struggling to find additional revenues to fix their budgets, they will certainly turn to both Colorado and Washington for pointers. Just a hint, start with those that are currently permitting legal or medicinal marijuana to take the leap first.
It’s a market that has been forced to be silent or face jail time so no one truthfully knows how big the market for recreational marijuana might actually be so the revenues are only an estimate. If you tax it too high, dealers would once again become more and more necessary. Oregon and Maryland are currently on course to introduce measures to tax marijuana to grow their education and healthcare budgets. It’s not a republican thing nor is it a democratic matter, both parties are taxing to spend.
It doesn’t matter what you’re taxing, a tax is a tax. Mitt Romney, the 2012 GOP presidential nominee lowered state taxes taxes but increased $3 Billion dollars in fees which helped to close the budget gap. For that, he campaigned that he cut taxes and still balanced his budget.
States should consider looking at other ways to tackle their budgets, unfortunately, politics keeps getting in the way their ability to do business. We currently tax alcohol, cigarettes, and everything else that was and is socially unacceptable for one group for the sole purpose of funding what is important to another group. This is not a budget solution, it never will be enough. It wasn’t enough when Hamilton did it in the 1700′s or when Reagan did it in the 1980′s. Clinton tried it, and now executives in various states are also staking a stab at it; it won’t work.
I won’t defend marijuana usage, alcohol consumption or cigarette smoke, but at this rate, legalized prostitution will be next with a recreational sex tax. Can’t you see it? Tax subsidies for condoms. That’s my story and um sticking to it.
“… supporting same-sex marriage will end your career if you’re a Republican…There’s overwhelming support for traditional marriage in the Republican party, that’s why it’s part of the party platform, and any attempt by the establishment to redefine marriage and redefine what it means to be a conservative will mean the death of the Republican party”, said Brian Brown, President of the National Organization of Marriage.
Mr. Brown is simply responding to the moving sands under the feet of the Republican Party regarding their traditional stance on Same Sex Marriage (SSM). Since November’s election, the GOP’s rebranding effort has made more significant leaps toward inclusiveness that its beginning to startle the deep red portions of the base.
The numbers are hard to ignore. The number of ultra conservatives that are now entertaining measures to not exclude the LGBT Community is mind boggling. The Speaker of the House, John Boehner lent his voice to the fray and said that while his personal belief is that marriage should strictly be between a man and woman, it should be up to the justices to decide whether the act should be upheld as constitutional.
What Boehner was referring to was the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), a piece of legislation that was signed back in the 90′s which protects the idea of marriage being between a man and a women. Recent lawsuits with regard to inheritances and proper taxation for same sex couples is now going before the U.S. Supreme Court. The Speaker punted too the Court while his Congressional colleagues and fellow Ohioan, Senator Rob Portman sent shock waves through the Party last week with his reversal and support for SSM.
Also clarifying his position, partially because he is likely to seek the presidency in ’16, Chris Christie chimed in on the latest bill passed by the New Jersey Senate to ban what is called Conversion Therapy. This controversial practice attempts to convert children who identify themselves as being gay to heterosexual. Christie said, “I am of two minds about the practice…” as he went on to defend the parents’ right to treat their children or seek whatever guidance necessary.
While Christie is walking on a razor’s wire, the ultra conservative and once thought of future president, current Governor of Ohio, John Kasich, has seemed to stand firmly on the side of Rob Portman, the Senator from his state, to support Civil Unions. Kasich, who took on worker’s unions for much of his term came out on record this week, ““I talked to Rob and encouraged him if people want to have CIVIL UNIONS and have some way to transfer their resources, I’m for that. I don’t support gay marriage”.
I felt the need to capitalize that because before the day was out, Governor Kasich’s Spokesman, Rob Nichols re-clarified the Governor’s position. “While he may have used the term ‘civil union’ loosely in this instance, he recognizes the existing rights of Ohioans to enter into private contracts to manage their personal property and health care issues The governor’s position is unchanged. He opposes gay marriage and opposes changing Ohio’s constitution to allow for civil unions”.
So maybe Kasich prefers Boehner’s razor thin position after all? Not hardly. Kasich said what he meant, that’s the problem when a politician speaks without being prepped; he actually says what he thinks. Only in politics can you say you are for something the same day you announce you are against it…but will support it anyway.
What you are witnessing is the Republican Party testing out the waters. They are struggling to find a way to be for something that is politically expedient, all while pretending there principles won’t permit them to enjoy the benefits of victory or being on the side of just about every American poll showing the electorate as more tolerant.
As I said, the Supreme Court will be hearing DOMA on March 27th and the likelihood is that it could be struck down clearing the way for states to permit SSM. There is one group in support of the the law being overturned that you would least expect. This group of 80 high profile republicans signed a brief called “The Friend of the Court“ to encourage the Supreme Court to abolish this law.
Many of the republican leaders served under George W. Bush, ran his campaign, worked for him and designed his agenda against the very law they are now working to overturn. Four years ago Meg Whitman, founder of eBay campaigned ferociously for Arizona Senator John McCain against then Senator Barack Obama. Ms. Whitman just three years ago ran a failed campaign for the California Governor’s mansion where she used tens of millions of her personal wealth campaigning against SSM.
However Ms. Whitman said, “As the Republican nominee for governor of California three years ago, I supported the majority of Californians who voted for Proposition 8 and against same sex marriage, after careful review and reflection since then, I have come to embrace civil marriage for same sex couples.. You don’t believe that do you? My thought is, Whitman was just being a good soldier for the party and said whatever they needed her to say…or, she wants to run again someday and needed to get this clarified.
Not only did Whitman sign it, the Senator from Arizona himself, John McCain also signed the brief to encourage the Court to overturn the law. Whitman went further saying, “Establishing a constitutional right of marriage equality in California will strengthen our nation as a whole”.
So, Six former republican governors, a former Bush Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez, four former and two current members of Congress signed the brief along with members of the Mitt Romney and Sen. John McCain presidential campaigns also signed. What’s unique about this group of eighty is 78 of them are no longer holding office or currently running for one. I mention that because although everyone is entitled to their own politics and opinion, while in office or pursuing one, none of them spoke up.
They now stand with the President who signed it into law, Bill Clinton, pushing for its demise. As the GOP look to double-down on its economic policy, fortify their second amendment stance with the NRA and redefine their party DNA, they have answered the call, kinda; with two trains of thought, party and populous, they are attempting to carve out for themselves a path to victory. That’s my story and um sticking to it.
Why is there any serious discussion about Congressman and former Republican Vice Presidential candidate, Paul Ryan’s budget as if it will actually be signed into law in its current form? The Congressional Budget Office, the non partisan team of folks specifically assigned to assist the Congress with data regarding taxes, revenues and the budget process in Congress refuses to even look at Ryan’s budget because the Congressman from Wisconsin doesn’t provide any details on how he intends to reach the goals he outlined within the budget he submitted.
So lets look at it this way, the Congressman has just about every republican on Capital Hill touting his budget plan even though they have no idea as to how the goals will be attained. What we do know is its practically the same budget Romney and Ryan ran on in the 2012 election; the same one he submitted in 2011 and the same one he offered in early 2008, the same of which, most Americans starkly voted against. More specifically, there are specific targets for taxes and spending within the budget but no indication as to how he believes Congress will act to ensure those targets are met.
Something else the Congressman has done to create a balanced budget in the next 10 years is he conveniently left off any discretionary spending for natural disasters. Currently, Congress has always included a specific amount to go towards disasters like Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy to assist with clean up and aid, but Ryan no longer wants that in the budget.
What would be the benefit of removing aid for natural disasters? Everyone always looks for aid when it’s their state. If a legislator failed to ask for help, he or she would most certainly be ousted from Office in the next election. However, it’s good politics to cut those same funds off from anyone else who may need them.
Amazingly enough, this GOP position more than likely seems to affect Republican governors more than Democratic ones. Currently there are thirty Republicans occupying State Houses so that probability is easier to quantify. Governor Chris Christie and former Governor of Mississippi, Haley Barbour know all too well of the disaster relief frustrations, both Sandy and Katrina respectively.
Interestingly, the House of Representatives voted today in favor, again, in favor of Ryan’s budget plan 221-207. It is the same budget blueprint Ryan has proposed since April, 2008. “There was an election about that, I thought they [republicans] got the message…they didn’t get the message”, said Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA). I must say, if at first you don’t succeed with the budget proposal, just submit it again next fiscal year.
Truth be told, democrats wanted the GOP to pass Ryan’s budget in the House so they could be tied to what they believe are poor choices that are not lining up with the new autopsy rhetoric coming from the RNC this week. Now that the GOP has once again strapped itself to what is being called an incentive plan for those at the bottom of the economic ladder, dems will insist a balanced budget can’t fall solely on the elderly and the poor.
This budget couldn’t pass the Senate and it won’t. The House wants to make Medicare private and paid out through a voucher…well that wont happen if dems have their way. Here’s the skinny on the positions of both parties. The democrats can’t balance their budget without additional revenues or tax increases and the Republicans can balance their budget without more spending cuts…lots of spending cuts. The problem is, Republicans need more cuts than Democrats need increases. Regardless, this is the standoff.
Both sides will lose significantly in their districts if they vote for the other. Dems can’t vote cut Medicare and other entitlements for the second time in a year and the GOP can’t vote to increase taxes again, twice in a year. Both however made concessions toward the debt ceiling increases, not the long term budget, yet they will both remind each other that they just gave at the office.
Both can stand to do more, both will need to do more. Republicans in the House have hinted that corporate loopholes could stand to be closed to help get to a balanced approach although those loophole closures were no where to be found in Ryan’s budget which was voted on today.
Democrats have suggested additional cuts, not entitlements like Medicaid or Food stamps for those recently unemployed will make that list, so we’ll have to see if they include those cuts in their budget expected to submitted in the Senate.
Republicans know, regardless of what they say of Ryan’s budget, that it was DOA since it needs ObamaCare to be repealed in order to reach balance. Democrats know they must submit a budget, something they hadn’t done in Obama’s whole term, as to not reveal their hand. Tough choices will need to be made, no more commissions, panels or the like. We know everyone will need to get involved.
Their goals are somehow different, GOP officials would love to balance the budget, dems could care less, so that makes most of this all political fodder. Before this all over, there will be 1,000 amendments, forced votes and tricky posturings from both sides. Nothing significant will get done the closer we get to 2014 midterms. That’s my story and um sticking to it.
As the Chairman of the Republican National Committee, Reince Priebus delivered his report of the findings regarding the state of the parties’ recent loss in November against President Barack Obama, he led with what the rest of us knew since last October, that if Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan lost against Team Obama, it would be for more reasons than just one.
The Chairman yesterday proclaimed after an extensive top down evaluation that went on for over three months that “So, there’s no one solution…There’s a long list of them.” After reviewing what was billed as an internal autopsy, even I have to give credit to the RNC for at least being bold in their approach to flat out honesty in their assessment. Anything less would have just been plain wicked to ignore the obvious.
Priebus’ report identified 219 solutions to just as many problems within the party. He said, “…we know we have problems”. The RNC Head dodged no bullets with his straight forward analysis. “There’s no one reason we lost. Our message was weak; our ground game was insufficient; we weren’t inclusive; we were behind in both data and digital; and our primary and debate process needed improvement”.
We can debate the findings until God’s return but the fact is, even they’ve considered themselves as a party, dead; hence autopsy. Several key points I find worth mentioning for this post:
1. GOP Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney received only 27% of the Hispanic vote, significantly less than George W. Bush received in 2000 and 2004 and the republican’s plan for Immigration Reform was the sole reason for that. You can’t suggest self-deportation as an immigration policy and then expect to win that block of voters. In Presidential politics, the White vote is no longer enough to get you to 270.
Former White House spokesman under President Bush and one of the co-chairs for this Coroner’s review, Ari Fleischer likened the lost last November to Obama to a two-by-four across the head. Ari knows that if he ever wants to see a republican administration occupying The White House again, the next wave of candidates would need to appeal to a larger tent of inclusion. They would need to speak to purple, not simply red.
2. Ten million has been set aside to hire regional directors to live in various parts of the country as embeds of sorts to develop relationships and help to brand the republican message. They are taking a quasi approach to the Obama Rule, to make the party politics more appealing at the local level with the hopes of aligning the message with relevance.
$10 million should take care of Rhode Island; That’s not enough money guys. One billion dollars was raised for the Romney campaign and he lost because of Obama’s Minority Coalition of Blacks, Hispanics, Women and Asians and all you think you’ll need is…really? Insert Uncontrollable Laughter Here!
Problem is, well, the message. Nobody likes it. You can’t have it both ways. You can’t welcome Hispanics without being branded as showering amnesty to illegals. That’s exactly what they’ve done to the democrats for years. Conservative Talk Radio host, Ann Coulter confessed at CPAC last week “I am a single issue voter“ as she rebuffed any talk of republicans supporting a path to citizenship for the estimated 11 million immigrants currently in this country.
Problem because the alternative was shot down in last year’s election. You also can’t go completely in the opposite direction without being compromising your core principles.
Unless the RNC plans to work closely with the Speaker of the House and the House leadership to ward off challengers against those legislators who venture out to follow this edict, bravery among those republicans will be thwarted. These guys are afraid of losing their seats in Congress so the party has to protect them when they do the right thing.. You can’t call African Americans takers and then expect them to vote for you. When Obama is gone from The White House in three years, his presence will still be felt.
He will campaign for the Clinton’s because he owes them for the heavy lifting they did for him in ’12. His ever growing database will be a boon to whoever wins the democratic nomination. The GOP will need more than a regional director living in urban areas. A policy has to follow. You have to stop calling Obama “the Food Stamp” President. What it implies will undermine every inch forward you make across the electoral map.
Priebus said, “The way we communicate our principles isn’t resonating widely enough”. The key word there is “principles”. Speak clearer and less corporate gobly-gook. If you honestly want to relate to the populous, talk to them and not to their employers. If smaller government is one of your “principles”, craft your message with the understanding that government cuts to social programs like Special Education, ESOL and Head Start targets the very voters you’re attempting to woo.
3. Welfare. When it comes to the debt debacle with the President, Republicans in the House under John Boehner have consistently asked for spending cuts, dollar for dollar, to match debt ceiling increases the Obama Administration has requested to keep the government running. Why not take that same approach when it comes to making cuts to Welfare programs?
Match dollar for dollar, for every dollar cut from a family, to a cut from a corporate entity. You can’t continue to throw billions at particular industries like Oil and Gas or Coal while cutting food and assistance programs that those families depend on. You can’t win their vote with that. There is room at the table for both forms of spending cuts, not all or nothing. That’s real balance.
4. Financial Policy. If your policy doesn’t simultaneously benefit both the rich and the poor, don’t craft a budget like Congressman Paul Ryan’s recent budget submission as a blueprint. When Americans hear the term “private” or “privatization” they immediately become afraid and weary of the other exclusive shoe dropping on their already troubled way of life.
Devising a tax policy, as Mitt Romney did last year that only benefits those with Foundational and Family Trusts, stocks and Mutuals is not an inclusive American tax policy. I read his plan then and was astonished that only the wealthy and their accountants could understand it because it was behooving of them too. You can no longer tell Americans that their day will come when the wealth trickles down as if it was a crumb. If thats a “core principle” your core is rotten. That message is bad.
5. Gay Rights Fleischer said, “Already, there is a generational difference within the conservative movement about issues involving the treatment and the rights of gays — and for many younger voters, these issues are a gateway into whether the Party is a place they want to be”. This “generational” difference is a real one and if the party doesn’t find a way to stay in the fight, they will quickly be boxed out.
The truth is this, if Republicans can’t find a way to include the LGBT and Hispanic communities, it will literally be two generations if not more before they regain their political footing. Hispanic voters are quickly evolving into the new majority with regard to state by state voters and the electoral map, but homosexuals are being born everyday into a more accepting society so pull the wagon or push it.
Finally, stick to your principles, but make sure those principles are not just yours. Once you’ve reached out to gays and the initial greeting are over, what then? It’s not just message but policy. Once you reach out to Hispanics, how long before you revert back to self-deportation? Policy, not message or tone alone. Obama built a minority coalition from the South side of Chicago (so much for the Community Organizer jokes) while the GOP was busy defending a warped NRA all while arming their own circular firing squad. Democrats love Jesus too. That’s my story and um sticking to it.
Earlier this week, “The Former” (my nickname for Hillary Clinton, since her list of former jobs is too long to mention) saw Senator Rob Portman do something she had never done; something no republican Senator has done and saw the door to The White House inch a bit more toward the closing hinge. When the Ohio Senator reversed himself and came out on the side of same sex marriage, his simple admission made her silence on the issue deafening.
Although Hillary Clinton has said time and time again that she is not running or considering a run for the Oval in 2016, she jumped up from the lazy boy, got decked out in a formal dress and filmed a video for the Human Rights Campaign’s website where she finally officially launched her support full throated for gay marriage in this country.
Why is that significant? Hillary, “The Former” has been the First Lady of the United States, Senator from New York, 2008 Presidential Candidate for the United States of America, Secretary of State but at no time had she ever clarified her position on gay marriage. Not until she entered retirement had she felt the need to now, of all times, make this statement? Hmmm. Sounds like someone is attempting to keep all her options open.
If you ever wanted to know how the Clinton’s earned the moniker “The Clinton Machine”, here’s how. Although Bill Clinton recently had been out on the circuit conducting speeches about repealing DOMA, (Defense of Marriage Act), Portman’s heart reversal on the matter reignited much of the “is she for it-or is she not” chatter that has dogged Mrs. Clinton. Even after Biden’s support and President Obama’s shift late last year, Hillary was silent which caused many to begin to wonder more publicly about where she stood.
What you may not have known is, 17 years ago when DOMA was signed into law, the President who signed it in the Oval Office was one President William Jefferson Clinton. Are you confused yet? Well, how would you like to be the President who signed into law, a bill which prevents same sex marriage now that the country is more tolerant of it and several states have now passed legislation to permit it but your bill is the only thing standing in their way?
How would you like to be the President who signed DOMA into law, when your wife has a chance to be the first woman to be President of the United States and gay rights is likely to be the catalyst to catapult her into the very Oval Office you signed the bill in? Something had to be done. Portman and other slowly evolving republicans could potentially steal this moment away from the democrats while Hillary hunkered down in retirement…so the machine was once again activated.
On the Sunday following the Portman announcement, Former President Bill Clinton personally penned an Op-Ed (Opinion Editorial) in the New York Times publicly calling for the repeal of the very law he himself as president signed into law. In the piece, he recalled the motivations for the bill and special caveats he added to the bill which showed then, that he supported gay rights, but the country was not yet ready.
Mr. Clinton said, “…while our laws may at times lag behind our best natures, in the end they catch up to our core values”. The former President went on to say, “I know now that, even worse than providing an excuse for discrimination, the law is itself discriminatory. It should be overturned. As a true “I fall on my sword” moment, the machine got out in front to own the issue; or so we thought.
Just as the media began the Hillary-is-she chatter again, TheFormer sealed the Democratic Presidential nomination today with her public support of repealing DOMA. And just like that, the machine once again knee-capped any potential opponent who wondered to themselves privately or aloud, were the Clintons going to show up in 2015 to play.
This one move by its own virtue keeps the door open for the nation’s first female POTUS in 2016. If you think for a moment the GOP isn’t looking for Newt to pull out his old strategy book on the Clintons that he had tucked away when he was Speaker you should be checked out. Just think, the only person EVER to beat the machine is currently sitting in the Oval that may soon be occupied by a woman.
This is something they both know very well, so the former President threw down the gauntlet for Obama to return the campaign favor when he said in the Times on Sunday, “In that spirit, I join with the Obama administration, the petitioner Edith Windsor, and the many other dedicated men and women who have engaged in this struggle for decades in urging the Supreme Court to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act. Ding-Ding-Ding! Let’s get ready to rumble! That’s my story and um sticking to it.
Everyone is so sick of earring about the ‘cliff, our January 1 deadline whereby the nation’s financial system is expected to “right-size” itself as a result of failed attempts by the legislature in Washington D.C. If you follow this blog at all, you know that we have beat this topic like a dead horse to simply educate everyone on how we foolishly arrived at this point.
After a year of conversations about the looming deadline, the hope for reaching a deal to avoid the drastic slashing of entitlement programs like Medicare and Medicaid, sharp spending cuts to the Defense Department totaling hundreds of billions of dollars and an immediate across the board tax increase to every single American.
As reported by Politico, a Senior GOP Aide close to the discussions said, “No negotiation can change the fundamentals” meaning everyone has already drawn their lines in the sand and there’s not much left to discuss. What precisely are those fundamentals?
1. Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid (D-NV) will need to get the assurances from the GOP Minority Leader in the Senate, Mitch McConnell (R-KY) that he won’t attempt to block or delay the bill, a filibuster, and wont encourage his Senate members to block it with useless motions and amendments.
Senator Reid will also need the Speaker of the House, John Boehner (R-OH) to promise to permit any bill that passes in the Senate to actually receive a vote in the republican controlled Congress, even if only democrats vote for it (the Speaker can prevent or permit a bill from ever being discussed or voted on).
Mr. Reid doesn’t want to try to hammer out a deal or even get his Senate Democrats to vote on anything if the republicans in the Senate or the House are just going to block it. So before sticking his neck out there, revealing his hand, possibly hurting any negotiating posture he may take in the future, he wants to know he’ll have a clear path to actually get a vote on anything the democrats come out for. Speaker Boehner knows all too well why that concerns Senator Reid considering he himself recently came out for increasing tax revenues and then further suggested increasing tax rates for those making over a million dollars annually, only to have his on colleagues refuse to support such a measure. Republicans are truly boxed in by the President and the flack Boehner has taken for his about-face on tax rates may cause trouble for him later.
2. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell needs The White House to cut back on the tax increases its demanding from republicans. McConnell doesn’t see anything they can claim as a victory to their constituents once the debt fight is over. All the advantage is leaning Obama and McConnell simply can’t sign off on anything that shows a win in the Obama column solely. But if The White House increases the income cut off from the current $250,000 to say, $750-800,000, that will be a clear victory for the GOP. Although the President has signaled he would be in favor of $400,000 income earners and above, what McConnell is wanting is not likely.
As an alternative, McConnell will accept deeper cuts to some spending in major entitlement programs like Medicaid or the President’s Affordable Care Act, ObamaCare, to offset tax rates increases to the wealthy…neither likely to happen.
Finally, as Senator Reid is requesting a clear path for a democratic bill to pass the Senate without obstruction from McConnell, the Minority Leader is not likely to oblige Mr. Reid without prior coordination with Boehner. If McConnell allows a bill by democrats to get out of the Senate without filibustering it, it then goes to the House of Representatives where the pressure would then be on Speaker Boehner and the GOP to support it and McConnell isn’t likely to add more pressure to to his republican colleagues in the House so he’ll have to block or delay the bill; jumping on the grenade for the House republicans.
Either way, republicans will be blamed for the delay, the obstruction and ultimately the fiscal free-fall the economy and the recession that is almost certain if no action is taken. Reports are already surfacing that imply the President would use his Inaugural address and his State of the Union address to blame republicans for any damage caused to the economy if no deal is reached in time.
With so much to lose, both sides of the aisle have begun to instead search for any political upside if any, to see what’s the worse that could happen once over the cliff. Speaker Boehner may be able to negotiate without the attacks from his own flank to do something more significant on taxes and rates.
3. Democrats have a bigger majority in the next Congress so it may be advantageous to wait and go over the cliff, knowing their majority will be able to change the conversation after Jan 1. The 10 member Senate majority and the increased presence in the House Minority, makes the Dems a force to reckon with.
Some or all of these “fundamentals” are necessary to move legislation in the next week to thwart an economic free-fall. Lets not forget, we are here because this government cannot find a way to negotiate. They have such distrust and disdain for each other, this cliff is beginning to look like the best alternative to losing to each other. This government is on a crash course to stupid-ville. Just know, while all this is going on, some small group of strategists are huddled in some capital hill basement thinking up possible attacks on the other side to blame away their involvement in this calamity; a sad case of throw the rock-hide your hand.
These fundamentals are only necessary as each side looks to bulletproof themselves, even if the American public stands in the line of fire. This is not friendly-fire, it’s a slaughter to the finances and stability of hard working Americans. That’s my story and um sticking to it.
Why is the country still waiting for the republican Speaker of the House, John Boehner to “negotiate” a deal to avert the nation’s financial crisis when after this week’s demonstration that he no longer clearly has the authority to corral them into the pen to forge a compromise with the President on the financial crisis?
Although many still say Mr. Boehner has their respect and is not in jeopardy of losing his speaker-ship early next year, only the fallout from the final deficit deal after Jan 1 will ultimately decide that. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce jumped into the fray to show support for Speaker Boehner’s failed Plan B option which he himself pulled when Boehner realized he could not get his members of his own party to support it. Even after a day of arm twisting and nudging.
Just know, when the Speaker of the House, the person third in line of succession to the presidency, cannot get his own party members to support his plan, any plan, even after he and his Majority Leader, Eric Cantor (R-VA) had gone on television and stated that they would have the votes (VIDEO) necessary to push the bill. What bill? Instead of supporting Obama’s bill, the one campaigned on, where anyone who earns above $250,000 would see a tax increase of about 2.5%. Basically, taking their tax rates up on what they would owe, while then lowering the tax rates on middle income earners to help them lighten their load and to spend more.
Republicans didn’t like that proposal while the President was campaigning on it and they don’t like it now, although many voters supported the Obama idea. Polls continue to show that the public is still behind the President and they want to see his plan implemented. You would think, after this recent election, republicans would be willing to heed the concerns of the electorate….well in a way they are, their own.
Why would these republicans, who all want deficit reduction, who have been talking about this for almost two years like a plague, now run the opposite direction from their Leader Cantor and their Speaker Boehner and away from the “will of the people” who stand with the President according to a recent typically conservative tracking poll.
The reason is simple, these conservatives are worried about their re-election possibilities next near in 2013 and others in 2014. You see, although most support the deficit reduction plan behind the scenes, they are not willing to publicly support anything; anything at all, that Obama likes because their constituents don’t like the President. The Senate Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell (R-KY) wants to wait a year, literally kick the can down the road once again, because he is worried about losing his job to an actress, Ashley Judd who hasn’t even stated whether she was running against him or not. The Senator is so worried, he paid to have a poll done which show Ms. Judd, who is only “considering” a run, 4% points behind McConnell.
What I want to do is merely explain the real reason why there is no deal on the table. Negotiating is not the problem, fear of losing their jobs is the problem. When the Speaker threatens you and you walk away from his or her threats, it’s because there is a much bigger threat on the horizon for you that makes the Speaker’s “arm twisting” null; and that’s the voters in your home district. Is this fear warranted? Absolutely.
Keep on mind, the President wants tax rates, the percentage of taxes paid, to increase for people earning $250,000 or more, but Boehner’s plan B counter offer called for an increase for those who earned over $1 million and his entire party revolted against it. That is a $750,000 dollar gap in incomes, clearly, people making one million could afford it, but republicans, to date at least, feel any increase is one they can’t return home and explain.
Mr. Boehner made a mistake this week; a big one. He created this bill to increase the rates on those earning one million or more only to show The White House that his caucus was solid with only rates for the higher earning folks and would not be able to go down to what the President wanted, $250,000. However, republicans left Mr. Boehner out to dry when they refused to even support his fake bill; his “show” of solidarity. So the deficit reduction plan is still not an effective plan because….(drumroll)…republicans are protecting the tax rates of millionaires. The truth is, millionaires are just on the receiving end of the gift, because republicans just don’t want any taxes to go up.
So once again, will everyone suffer, as the President puts it, because republicans can’t make the tough choices? Every republican believes tax rates on the middle income earners should not go up, but…but…they can’t seem to bring themselves to save the people who need it most for fear their support for the wealthy losing would ultimately cost them votes in the midterms. Wicked world.
This entire quagmire should be left at the feet of the GOP because they gave the President every advantage when creating the financial “cliff” a year ago. They were so confident the President would lose his re-election bid, that they put everything on the table in the “do or die” financial talks. If a deal was not reached, based on a committee put in place by both parties, a year ago which was designed to come up with a balanced approach to dealing with the debt, this “man-made” cliff would then force both sides back to the table to hammer out a plan, because as agreed, they both would lose significantly. Tax rates would go up across the board and spending would drop to all the programs democrats cherish.
The problem is, republicans never thought Americans would support Obama’s plan and therefore if it failed, Americans would blame them [republicans] instead for the failure. Lets not forget, one year ago it was pushed to this year because it was election time and republicans as well as democrats feared the negotiation would hamper their re-election potential. This was to force them back to the table, well, this is the table! But what do they want to do again? Push it one more year…nonsense.
This is about their own futures and not mine. These people are ridiculous and simply should not be trusted. They are entertainers on a world stage, no different from the likes of Lady Gaga, dressed up for the lights and the cameras, playing on their twitter feeds for banter. You guys are lame if you make people suffer anymore than they already have for this self inflicted horror. That’s my story and um sticking to it.
The only way to fix the country’s debt problems is to raise taxes (politically correct to say revenues) and cut spending (politically correct to say reduce entitlement expenditures), but regardless of how you say it, something has to be done on both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue in the next 26 days or all the minions in hell will break loose. What is there to keep discussing? Why are we still dodging the obvious solutions?
What’s the reason for this back and forth?…politics of course. If you look at recent history, the nation has approached a debt ceiling impasse six other times in the last decade not counting this time. Before that, you would have to go back almost just as long to find a single occurrence where such an event occurred more than twice in a five year span. And even then, matters beyond the scope of politics would have been the ultimate reason for the increase.
When they did happen, politicians on both sides refused to make them political footballs because they knew, no one would benefit from a stalemate. So the rubber-stamp would quickly come out to ensure stability in the U.S. Treasury and the investment markets held strong. The perceived strength of the nation always was first and foremost.
Truth be told, there is no real rubber-stamp, Congress would actually come together and present legislation, a bill, agreeing to raise the debt limit and it would then, without much fanfare, make its way over to The White House for the President to sign it into law and it was done. This normally took no more than a week and the Congress was then able to get on with its business and so would every other branch if government.
In today’s “gotcha-politics”, where everyone is set out to prove that the other is bent on destroying the country, both sides are throwing rocks and hiding their hands. Through the bad blood, America’s excellent credit rating was lost a year ago and foreign investments have fallen off due to instability. Standard and Poor’s, a credit rating agency puts total blame on the political system. Well, that’s a no brainer.
Like I said, we’ve come close many times in the last decade to reaching the statutory limit but never over that hump. In 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006 and 2009 we came close, but smarter politics prevailed. Now, it’s hard to know who will drive the nation into the ground for political points and “one-ups-manship”. It’s almost easier to further divide the already fracture country and broken economy to prove…absolutely nothing.
In the past, crisis’ were averted by attaching the debt raising legislation to other pieces of legislation. They call it a rider because it hitches a ride on other bills moving through the Congress; formulated into one major packaged deal. For example, as recent as 2010, republicans attached a rider to the debt increase call PAYGO, or Pay as you Go. Not a bad idea actually, because it causes measures to be introduced to pay for the increase to help balance out the overall impact (or cost) of the increase.
What most people, including politicians have forgotten, these increase are to the debt. There are times when the country has to be able to make such choices, however, this process has become all too consistent and without strict oversight. How do you PAYGO? If you want the debt to increase, you have to cut spending. Simple right! Well, not so much.
If George W. Bush was forced by these same Republicans to PAYGO those two wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, what would he have cut to pay for it, considering, we are still paying for it on a credit card that has hit with higher interest by Standard and Poor’s credit reduction? How do you PAYGO the stimulus Barack Obama had to sign into law to pay for the reckless economy he inherited? Even Jeb Bush, Obama’s predecessor agrees Obama was dealt a bad hand.
So although a good idea, it won’t cut the mustard with today’s economic implosion. Currently, Obama has staked out a position that is different from the one he took in 2011. Then he encouraged Republicans to raise $1.2 Trillion in revenues without raising the tax rates for those with higher incomes (politically correct way for say rich people). He was then trying to give the Republicans some cover so their base would not attack them, but then said “no way”. They said no because they thought they had him on the ropes at the time. As a good show of faith, Obama cut $1 trillion in spending over the next 10 years, but republicans still didn’t budge.
They then agreed to this nonsensical “Fiscal Cliff” because republicans believed Romney would win and all bets would be off. They were wrong. Now they face an emboldened President with the wind at his back and public opinion on his side. This their own web. So of course, two days ago, Republican Speaker of the House, John Boehner (R-Ohio) decided to offer the same $1.2 Trillion Obama asked for a year ago, but guess what? Obama said, “no way”.
The President said, “the situation has changed and “I cannot ask middle class families to continue to sacrifice while the wealthy pay nothing extra”. He went on to refer to the Speaker’s plan as “out of balance” and not going far enough to prevent the critical ‘cliff.
For this to happen in the next few days, the deal will include many things and will leave out several. Tax reform cannot happen in this session. A temporary tax increase may be put in place to expire at the completion of a more detailed, comprehensive tax reform plan is rolled out in the next year. Keep in mind, this is a lame-duck session, many legislators are moving out of their offices making rooms for newly elected ones from the recent election.
1. Raise Social Security age from 65 to 67.
2. Increase the debt ceiling, possibly giving the President limited powers to do so without Congress.
3. Additional cuts in Spending to reach between $300-$800 billion in entitlements.
4. Let the Bush Tax Cuts expire on the top 2% of income earners.
5. Keep Bush Tax Cuts for middle class families and small businesses in place.
6. $500 Billion in Defense cuts
7. Stimulus spending for jobs close to $300 Billion or so.
This deal will either help build or break political careers and Speaker Boehner knows it. The double-edged sword however deals an even worse blow if a deal is not reached at all. The Speaker will have to answer for his reluctance in raising rates on the rich. The poor and middle class will never forgive him if he protects the rich at all costs; he gets cut either way. Obama will again try to help Boehner look good, but we all will know, the Speaker blinked.
The other GOP leadership are bracing for what they know is an eventuality. They agree secretly behind the scenes that they are in a pickle, but publicly offer a stance of failing instability. Senate Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell, (R-Kentucky) publicly supported his colleague in the House, Speaker Boehner, for making an effort, yet he would not endorse the effort Boehner submitted to the President as a counter offer. Neither of these men want to be responsible for this hot potato…but they will be.
Everyone will pay for this debacle, but mostly, everyday Americans. We all have invested interests and for that reason, we have to fix it. Those who invest in our Treasury bonds and the markets are sitting on the sidelines waiting for these crazies to get their act together. That’s my story and um sticking to it. I’ve had it up to here with the debt ceiling and fiscal talks and the back and forth of leaders looking for wiggle room to get out of bad positions they’ve put the country in. Lets get it done.