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  • elk_1l elk_1l Nov 30, 2012 1:28 PM Flag

    OT: Republicans Getting Cold Feet on Entitlement Reform

    Kevin Drum, Nov. 29, 2012, Mother Jones 

    This cracks me up. We all know that in the negotiations over the fiscal cliff, Democrats want some tax hikes and Republicans want some entitlement cuts. But what cuts do Republicans want?

    A top Democratic official said talks have stalled on this question since Obama and congressional leaders had their friendly-looking post-election session at the White House. “Republicans want the president to own the whole offer upfront, on both the entitlement and the revenue side, and that’s not going to happen because the president is not going to negotiate with himself,” the official said. “There’s a standoff, and the staff hasn’t gotten anywhere. Rob Nabors [the White House negotiator], has been saying: ‘This is what we want on revenues on the down payment. What’s you guys’ ask on the entitlement side?’ And they keep looking back at us and saying: ‘We want you to come up with that and pitch us.’ That’s not going to happen.”

    Well, of course they want the president to make proposals for both sides. Then they can reluctantly agree, and in 2014 run about a billion dollars worth of ads saying that Democrats raised your taxes and cut your Social Security.

    This, of course, is yet more evidence that Republicans know perfectly well that cutting entitlements is unpopular. For some reason, however, they've lashed themselves to this particular mast, and now they have to figure out a way to wriggle out from beneath it. Their cunning plan is to make Democrats responsible for all the unpopular proposals and then paint themselves as the protectors of the middle class. But no matter what you think of Obama's negotiating skills, no one's a big enough idiot to agree to that.

    Here in the real world, it's time for Republicans to put their cards on the table. You want to cut granny's Medicare? Let's hear your plans. If you want to cut the deficit in the medium term, that also means cutting benefits in the medium term, and that in turn means cutting benefits for current retirees. You can't use the old wheeze about leaving everything alone for everyone over 55.

    The blowhard axis of the GOP has been complaining for weeks that Republicans would have won the election if only they'd stuck to Paul Ryan's guns on this stuff instead of muzzling him. Well, now they have a chance to find out. It's time to step up to the plate.

    Sentiment: Strong Buy

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    • i say lets go over the fiscal cliff. i am prepared are you.

      • 2 Replies to deeppockets46
      • Hi Deep...Yes.

        Fiscal cliff is a misnomer. These tax cuts from the beginning were scheduled to be temporary. These temporary 10 year Bush tax cuts are due to expire (run out) as scheduled! We shall revert to Clinton's taxes which were just fine.

        We paid more under Reagan, GHW Bush and Eisenhower. Hiusband had own business and we've been hit all along. Come on, patriots. I feel it's my patriotic duty to pay taxes as an American. Now, do away with Pass Through Interest exemption and pay a penalty for off shore tax haven accounts, too, Then perhaps plutcrats will pay something to our government and contribute to it as their patriotic duty. They keep bragging how patriotic they are and say we are the best. The best costs something., Cut our bloated Pentagon and military expenses. Take care of our wounded warriors in decent hospitals. GW created 2 wars on a credit card - never paid for them. His instructions were:"Go shopping!" No war bonds sold as in WWII.

        Rebuild America - not The Middle Eastern countries. Put our people to work doing something useful. Educate our children.

        Hey, remember: GW's tax cuts in light of 2 wars were unreasonable from their very beginning and made NO sense. Again, this shall be a "return" to fair Federal Income Taxes. Ha, just too bad uber rich and plutocrats will pay. Get real. Medicare is our most efficient health care system. The whole country should be on it - as our doctor says.

        Sentiment: Strong Buy

      • Re: "i say lets go over the fiscal cliff. i am prepared are you."

        One advantage of that is it might to get rid of Grover Norquist for good.

        Sentiment: Strong Buy

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