The New Hostage!

With all of the nonsense that is being kicked around out there in the media and with all of the blogs (left and right) you might actually think that this “debt ceiling agreement” amounted to something. One of the biggest political hoaxes perpetrated on folks since the last debt deal between Congress and the Administration. Both parties are talking about sending the no-compromise types onto the special Congressional Committee. Hilarious. Does anybody really expect that defense cuts and medicare cuts, put together without a thought to impacts on either, will be allowed to go forward? That is even more hilarious. Spare us the drama. The deal coming down the pike will center on the extension of the Bush tax cuts, which the President can stop on his own. The Republicans may just find out that hostage taking is a two way street.

The upcoming deal will include tax revenues that have been taken, up to this point, off the table by Republicans. The deal on revenues will be well north of $1 trillion, and will include major changes sought by Democrats. The deal will also make changes in entitlements that will save real money, and possibly the reduction of some tax rates, as well as the abolition of the Alternative Minimum Tax. Repatriation of overseas corporate money at greatly reduced tax rates will also be included, if it has not already occurred by next year. The Republicans will be faced with a President who will simply let the entire array of the Bush tax cuts expire for all in the absence of such an agreement. That is worth $4 trillion over ten years. As the attached clip from Steve Rattner shows the prescriptions advocated by both parties, as far as deficit reduction goes, are nowhere near what is needed. Ezra Klein talked about the President’s leverage in today’s column. We will now find out how good of a negotiator the President really is.
That column had the take given by noted deficit hawk Alice Rivlin, who was on the Simpson/Bowles Committee, and co-chaired her own deficit panel with Republican Pete Domenici

“We always started by asking how to slow the growth of entitlements, because that’s what’s driving the budget deficits,” she says. “But then we would find there’s nothing you can do that gets you much money in the near term. Then we would go after discretionary spending, and cap or freeze that. But after we did all that, we would realize we hadn’t closed the gap. This happened on both commissions. And that’s when everyone would realize you need more revenue and turn to improving the tax code.”

That is just what Paul Ryan realized as well, but he just has not admitted it yet. Despondent Democrats should stop whining, and realize that the major engagement has yet to be fought.

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4 Responses to The New Hostage!

  1. Jules Gordon says:

    Your Honor,

    What is telling about this president is setting up another commission intended to supplant his complete lack of capability. The commission will bring their own issues to the table and will be deadlocked or, even better, just ignored.

    So after a a historic week the stock market tanks and the country’s debt is degraded to AA+, the President emerges from his rabbit hole to read the same tired old canards from his worn out teleprompters calling for taxing the rich bla, bla, bla. Then he reads that he will becoming involved with the special commission and he will make up plans over the next few weeks. Next few weeks? what the heck has he been doing for the last three years.

    After the speech he shuts down the teleprompter and goes back into the rabbit hole.

    Consequence, the stock market dives another 400 points.

    Even the Boston Globe and Chris Mathews have realized how bad things are, and turned on Obama pleading with him to get involved (as if he has that skill). I believe Mathews has missed that thrill up his leg for some time now.

    An interesting poll: President Obama has the highest approval rate in the country (that’s all 57 states).




  2. Jules Gordon says:

    You Honor (correction)

    The poll results applied to Massachusetts.



  3. Bill Manzi says:


    Those extra 7 states may provide needed electoral votes for the President. I did take note of the criticism by Matthews on the leadership issue. And I do not necessarily disagree. I criticized the President a few days ago on this blog, saying that he needed to step it up, including saying what he was for SPECIFICALLY. We have a unique political system that for the most part punishes those who make decisions and take real positions. But the time for that nonsense is gone. As an aside I have my own doubts (applied equally to Republicans as well as Democrats)on the ability of Legislators to do executive work without executive experience. I have always laughed about the glorified notion of the President as someone who should be setting big picture goals without worrying about management details. Always been hogwash, and it remains hogwash. Can’t do without management skills.



  4. Jules Gordon says:

    Your Honor,

    My opinion; you can do a better job than Obama. Sarah Palin can do a better job as well.

    You seem Leary of showing your hand as it will be a target. But, you had no compunction in calling for the Republicans to show their plans. Hmmmmm.




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