Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Looming Cliff and What To Do About It... One Individuals Opinion

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
-vs- Tyranny

NBC/WSJ poll: GOP already goes off one cliff -- the image cliff… American public: We want compromise… But this also presents dilemma for White House: Does it bend over backwards to achieve compromise, or does it try to make the GOP cry “Uncle”?... Who gets the blame if the country goes over the cliff? Answer: Both sides… But Obama and the Democrats also have the upper hand… The other big news from our poll: Majority, for the first time, supports gay marriage… {First Thoughts - NBC}

Maybe the President and Congress will finally listen? I'm linking it unlikely.

Those among us that lean towards a reasonable fiscal conservatism and a libertarian social agenda have seen this coming for quite some time. rEpublicans (many are members of the Tea Party) decided after the 2010 mid term elections that compromise on debt and budgetary matters was a dirty concept. The agenda was to stare down the President and dEmocrat party. The rEpublicans obviously believed, erroneously as it turned out, the public was in majority force behind them. We all know where the socons stand on social issues, back a couple hundred years or so.

dEmocrats while offering some compromises the reality is for the most part they were designed to result in the rEpublicans not accepting them. President Obama, after establishing a "commission" to find alternatives and make recommendations pretty much ignored the advice of those he appointed. However, on the social issue side they offered a welcome counter to the socons of the rEpublican party.

The general public, including a majority of rEpublicans polled hold a negative view of the party of the Elephant. Some very telling (and top) comments used to describe the rEpublicans in Congress are; "“Bad,” “weak,” “negative,” “uncompromising,” “need to work together,” “broken,” “disorganized”. If the party really doesn't desire achieving complete and total irrelevancy the leadership might want to start listening a tad better.

Being a fiscal conservative of the reasonable sort, and libertarian on social issue I say the rEpublicans ought to give the President and the dEmocrats precisely what they want. Let the spend thrift dEmocrat Keynesian statists (not at all unlike the rEpublican spend thrift statists) have the day. This way the responsibility for a collapse, should it occur will rest fully with them. The other side of the token of course is that if their plan is a resounding success they will reap all the accolades.

Here's how I see it bottom line. What we've got ain't working. What we had, at least in part, led to our current situation. So, at least in this individuals never humble opinion letting the dEmocrat Keynesian bureaucrats now in power call the shots seems reasonable. After all in four years the country will have the opportunity to grade the results and pass judgment. This time based SOLELY on the current administration and dEmocrat policy and agenda. I can't think of anything more fitting.

By Chuck Todd, Mark Murray, Domenico Montanaro, and Brooke Brower - *** GOP goes off the image cliff: The clock is ticking over whether President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner can avoid going over the so-called fiscal cliff at the beginning of next year. But our new NBC/WSJ poll shows that the Republican Party has already gone off one cliff, per co-pollster Peter Hart (D) -- the image cliff. The GOP’s fav/unfav rating in the poll now stands at 30%/45% (minus-15), which is down from 36%/43% (minus-7) right before the election. That’s compared with the Democratic Party’s 44%/35% rating (plus-9). And other than self-described Republicans and conservatives, just two other groups have a net positive view of the GOP: folks who live in rural America (39%/33%) and folks who live in the South (39%/38%), that’s it. What’s more, asked to give a word or short phrase to describe the Republican Party, 65% offered a negative comment, including MORE THAN HALF of Republicans. The top responses: “Bad,” “weak,” “negative,” “uncompromising,” “need to work together,” “broken,” “disorganized” and “lost.” By contrast, 37% gave negative descriptions of the Democratic Party, while 35% were positive. A Republican politician or operative might look at our poll and say, “Well, the good news is that our numbers can’t get any lower.” That might be true, and they could very well drag Democrats down with them if there isn’t a deal. But there’s another way to look at the poll: Republicans have a lot to gain, too. And if they want to be a competitive national party again and not simply a regional, rural party, they need to make gains.

*** The American public: We want compromise: The reason they have a lot to gain is that the American public -- Democrats, Republicans, and independents alike -- wants compromise. According to the poll, two-thirds of respondents (67%) are willing to accept an increase in taxes or cuts in federal government programs they care about to reach an agreement to avoid the problem. What’s more, a whopping 76% say it would be acceptable increasing taxes on those who earn more than $250,000 to avoid the cliff, and that includes 61% of Republican respondents. Indeed, for the first time in our poll, a majority of Republicans (59%) say they want GOP leaders to make compromises to gain consensus in the current budget debate. Previously, in 2011, majorities of Republicans said they preferred GOP leaders to stick to their positions rather than make compromises. And the percentage of Democrats who favor compromise on this question (70%) is now at an all-time high in the survey.

*** Does the White House seek compromise -- or total victory? But these numbers present the Obama White House with a dilemma: How does it proceed during what looks like a stalemate right now in the budget negotiations? Does it bend over backwards with Boehner and House Republicans just to get a deal, even if it gives up much of the leverage it has with the Bush-era tax cuts and after last month’s presidential election? Or does it -- as some Democrats and many progressives are urging -- hold fast and be willing to go off the cliff to break the Republican Party and make it cry, “Uncle”? This is a tricky situation for the White House, because there is every chance that we simply go from fiscal cliff to other fiscal cliff over the next few years, and that could end up being politically painful for the White House and could mean the hope of getting OTHER legislative accomplishments in 2013 remote (think immigration or energy or education). {Read More}

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Via: Memeorandum


  1. Here's a few things that I would do, Les; a) Cap the deduction for mortgage interest at $500,000 and do away with it entirely for second homes. That would decrease the deficit by $30 billion. b) Have Medicare negotiate directly with the drug companies over cost. That would also save the treasury $30 billion. c) Close unnecessary foreign military bases. That would cut the deficit by $12 billion (Rumsfeld's numbers). d) Cut farm subsidies (most of which go to rich farmers anyway) by 20%. That would decrease the deficit by $4 billion. e) Reduce foreign aid by 20%. That would cut the deficit by $10 billion. f) Eliminate funding for PBS/NPR. That would decrease the deficit by $.5 billion. g) Keep the payroll tax holiday but pare it in half. That would net the treasury approximately $55 billion.......There, that's a robust $141.5 billion and I haven't even tackled entitlements yet.

  2. Will: Remind me why we need farm subsidies at all?

    Another change: it would save a few billion to fix back SCHIP, a health care program intended to aid needy children. Now it has been expanded, at the insistence of the Democrats, to cover well off, almost wealthy adults.

    I don't think it is unreasonable at all to demand that welfare programs only serve the needy, and to judge welfare to the wealthy as scandal/abuse to be eliminated.

    1. I was trying to be nonconfrontational but, yeah, I would have zero problems doing away with farm welfare altogether (not to mention free healthcare to those who clearly don't need it).

  3. Will: Also, repeal "Davis Bacon" and prevailing wage laws, which will result in government paying a fair rate for contracts. Most of what I have seen on savings for this start at $10 billion.

  4. "What we had, at least in part, led to our current situation."

    Please add up the debt contributions under Republican presidents and policies, and stop claiming both parties are equally responsible.


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