"Fiscal cliff" tumble looms despite Senate efforts

Comments (94)
usagadfly wrote:

This entire dispute is over who bears the burden of funding a runaway, gerrymandered corrupt Government which only answers to the rich. The rich want not only to run the show but to fund it on the backs of the peasants.

This is a debate whether to enslave 90% of the American people, and it is one where the issue is in doubt. The very fact that it is an issue demonstrates that the US has no functioning representative government. If the rich prevail, then it is time to junk the old 1789 constitution that so many claim to worship and so few follow. Real “rights” cannot be “suspended” or “lost”, which is the difference between a right and a privilege.

Dec 30, 2012 7:25pm EST  --  Report as abuse
VSNFR60 wrote:

Dysfunctional bicameral congress. Crashing the markets – world wide…down. Damn thee Mayan calendar, damn thee.

Dec 30, 2012 7:26pm EST  --  Report as abuse
VSNFR60 wrote:

March 20, Wednesday, 2013, American Spring. Grrrrrrrrrrrr!

Dec 30, 2012 7:41pm EST  --  Report as abuse
TeaPublican wrote:

Yes! We MUST keep Social Security cuts on the table! If it comes down to Social Security cuts versus more taxes for the job creators the job creators MUST win out! We TeaPublicans MUST take care of the wealthy 2 percent simply because the wealthy ARE the ones that take care of the other 98 percent! These folks have got to realize that you can’t bite the wealthy hand that feeds you! This is a battle of socialism versus Capitalism and Capitalism MUST win out!

Dec 30, 2012 8:03pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Burns0011 wrote:

I think most US residents are *keenly* aware that it is the Republican Party that’s being obstructionist here. Hint; if the entire body of House Republicans voted for a tax increase, Grover Norquist’s lobbying group will be powerless. There would be too many races he’d have to spend money on for him to have any influence in any of them.

Dec 30, 2012 8:50pm EST  --  Report as abuse
AdamSmith wrote:

Fiscal cliff?

The greatest crime of this millenium was United States Bush admininstration’s invasion of Iraq in 2003. Iraq had never done America any harm whatsoever.

America spent over $2 trillion dollars on that war. But the American government under Bush didn’t have $2 trillion, so it had to borrow the money.

And today, America has yet to pay back that $2 trillion debt. America instead is simply carrying that war debt on its books forward, and paying quarterly interest on it.

Of all the mistakes America has made during the entire lifespans of all living Americans today, young and old, no mistake approaches the economic damage to America done by the Bush admininstration’s bloody, bungling and disasterous invasion of Iraq just 10 years ago, in 2003.

All the Americans who supported that war, and cheered for its violence, when they lament the state of America’s current deficit, should look in the mirror.

Dec 30, 2012 8:58pm EST  --  Report as abuse
AdamSmith wrote:

@usagadfly – Well said.

Dec 30, 2012 8:59pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Nullcorp wrote:

Have to agree with @AdamSmith on this one. And that $2B example is just one instance of such behavior.

Dec 30, 2012 9:52pm EST  --  Report as abuse
catholic wrote:

It is indeed as usagadfly says. Our elected representatives are using politics to further tilt the playing field in favor of the wealthy, who have been growing in wealth and favor for 30 years already. There is so much corruption in our government it is becoming hard to believe it can ever be corrected. Was the Iraq war about helping private oil companies secure new sources of oil, or was it about using some of the weapons of the military industrial complex to show the need we have for them? Why won’t the government break up the biggest (too big to fail) banks for our safety? Why are so many large corporations allowed to pay zero income tax? How can the country allow the super wealthy to spend as much as they please influencing our elections? It is madness all around. anticorruptionact.org and some others suggest reform, but will lawmakers ever kill their golden goose? How did Occupy Wall Street die out? That is exactly what we will need to do on a larger and larger scale if we the people, the workers, are to have any chance at a fair deal with the wealthy and powerful. I pray for integrity and honesty to rise up and meet these challenges of corruption, but will any statesman like elected officials ever step up to the plate? Bernie Sanders, Vermont senator, has many sensible ideas but no one supports him or them. Worst of all, the candidates who will do the bidding of the rich are elected by voters who are poor and quite unintelligent. The rural red states have given us a Congress that won’t raise taxes on millionaires who are paying historically low taxes. Do they still believe in trickle down and job creators despite abundant evidence to the contrary? Health insurance is so screwed up I cannot imagine why we won’t switch to government single payer, except for the greed of the wealthy and the lawmakers. If we are too stupid to vote them out, I guess we’ll get what we deserve.

Dec 30, 2012 9:55pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Stu_ell wrote:

You get the government you deserve.

The joke is on the bleating and whining American people who do NOTHING but bend over and take it from the libertarian elitists and their “do as I say, don’t say as I do” dogma.

You deserve this humiliation because you are weak. You have allowed your own constitution to become a tool of oppression just like they did with the bible.

Why are the victims always the last to see it?

Dec 30, 2012 10:12pm EST  --  Report as abuse
VSNFR60 wrote:

Had the election gone to Al Gore would Bush’s action have been corrected by now?

Dec 30, 2012 10:13pm EST  --  Report as abuse
mixup wrote:

Honey Boo Boo should act as a mediator between the two sides.

Dec 30, 2012 11:49pm EST  --  Report as abuse
happy316 wrote:

Americans are going to get what they deserve for giving the Republicans a majority in Congress. Either the fiscal cliff will hit or the poor and middle class will be extremely taxed in order to make up for the rich keeping their low taxes.

If Al Gore won the election and there wasn’t electoral fraud supported by the Florida Supreme Court (first court ever to elect a president) then Bush’s actions would have never happened and America wouldn’t be in these problems.

Dec 31, 2012 1:14am EST  --  Report as abuse
happy316 wrote:

Just watch as soon as taxes are raised on the super rich not one of them will have a single ounce of patriot blood in them. They will run off to another country turning their back on the United States and become tax exiles faster then anyone can call them traitors.

Dec 31, 2012 1:21am EST  --  Report as abuse
Telstar wrote:

@TeaPublican: Sheer drivel. What you state, which I hope is poor satire, has lead every single society of the past to utter devestation and extinction. It sounds like you are saying ‘we will bury you’, a phrase uttered by Khrushchev of the soviet union. How capitalist is that?

Dec 31, 2012 1:24am EST  --  Report as abuse
DeannaTx wrote:

The House of Representitives is solely responsible for coming up with a budget which not only will garner enough votes to pass among House members but will garner support in the Senate and the support of the President. That’s their required job. It’s what their placed in office to do. There is no justifiable excuse for their ongoing failure in performing their required tasks. If this had been you or I sitting on a tasked panel we would have been fired for this level of slovenly performance. And I don’t really care what party has the majority. It’s the party with the majority whose shoulders the burden of responsibility falls on. They’ve been shamed when the Senate had to intervene to do their job. They’ve shown themselves so completely unable to function within the position we’ve given them their abject failures.
The influence by lobbiests standing as frontmen for powerful intrests and the finances behind them which they broadly use without bothering to even be subtle has been exposed since the Citizen’s United Ruling. This exposure ought to have been a wake up call for American voters.
The problem is our elected House members are more concerned about getting elected another term than they are about doing their required job.
The problem isn’t the Senate. The problem isn’t the President. The problem isn’t the intended to be temporary because it was known at the time it was unsustainable tax breaks for all Americans or the spending which has dramatically increased during two recessions to keep America afloat and moving onto a forward track which all have agreed needs to be reduced and all have put cuts on the table.
The problem, the actual problem, is the corruption exposed by the CU ruling.
My advice to Americans is to ignore the TV ads. Ignore the millions of money being invested into promoting one candidate over another. When you next vore for your representitives, look in your own backyard to those less known. Less heavily promoted. Ignore their party alignment and pay more attention to what they propose overall. Don’t be swayed by the hired marketing. Vote for not who stands the most extreme because they won’t get the job done. Vote for those who do promote they will work together for the solutions American so desperately needs from them.
We are looking at the face of extremism.

Dec 31, 2012 1:25am EST  --  Report as abuse
Abulafiah wrote:

Act 2: raise the debt ceiling.

I can’t wait to see what obstructionist nonsense the Republicans pull for that one. Anybody would think they actually want to wreck the US economy again.

Dec 31, 2012 1:27am EST  --  Report as abuse
bill_o_rights wrote:

@AdamSmith,

It’s pointless to blame this all on Bush. Clearly, Bush started something that Obama is now continuing. They are both complicit and besides, Bush hasn’t been President for four years. Obama is about to begin his second term and I can absolutely guarantee the economy will be in MUCH, MUCH worse shape in four years.

Frankly, the notion that their goals don’t share a COMMON CAUSE is Kabuki.

Both share a willingness to strip us of our civil rights and both share a flagrant disregard for the Constitution.

As far as economic damage is concerned, let us ask why Obama’s appointee, Christine Lagarde wishes to both undermine national sovereignty in the E.U. and strong-arm nations like Greece, Italy and Spain to raise taxes to such a level as to reduce domestic spending to catastrophic levels. Let us also ask why she continues to strong-arm the Fed to pour billions more U.S. dollars into the sinking ship she wishes to sabotage. Finally, let us ask why she spent the better part of the last year consulting with the Chinese, recommending they stop buying U.S. treasuries, reduce their debt load and improve the liquidity of the yuan.

HINT: Take a look at the white papers on the IMF Globalization website, touting the efficacy of the yuan as the central currency.

Lagarde appears to have an inordinate amount of sway over Bernanke, which leads me to another point…

What happens to middle class retirees’ portfolios, when the Fed keeps rates artificially low, ad infinitum, then ratchets up the printing of new U.S. dollars to the tune of $100 Billion per month?

This is not to mention Obama’s rejection of the Keystone pipeline which, until Obama raised objections, was supported by 100% in both houses. The Canadians are short 140,000 jobs to build it, and can’t find enough workers.

But, let’s take Obama’s suggestion and pour everything into education–that’ll create jobs, right? Well, er, no. Not unless we had a surplus of skilled jobs. Turns out, we have a shortage of skilled jobs.

By the way, those making $250,000/year hire 92% of American employees. Taxes kill jobs.

How is it that the administration goes on and on about the wealthy ‘paying their fair share’, i.e. redistribution of wealth, i.e the fundamental tenet of Socialism and yet he’s still not a Socialist?

I submit that Obama is something much worse than a Socialist but, unfortunately, we will have to sacrifice a few more fundamental Constitutional rights before people understand this. Unfortunately, by then it will be too late to avoid unimaginable suffering.

We are being played people. And we’re nearly at the point where the tin foil hat folks will look a lot less crazy.

But, of course, anyone who criticizes Obama is a racist, right? Well, at least the man doesn’t try to be divisive, which I’m sure makes the sky-high level of partisanship in D.C. just a coincidence.

Dec 31, 2012 1:49am EST  --  Report as abuse
RickPeters10 wrote:

Why on earth would the republicans agree with the deal that is being put to them. They have little to gain for their agenda. By going over the cliff they get all of the government spending cuts and all they have to do is pass the legislation that Obama puts forward early in January to reinstate the tax cuts for everyone under $250,000 (or is it now $400,000). So they end up with a tax increase on the wealthy which they don’t want, but they do get the big cuts in government spending that they wanted.

Dec 31, 2012 1:51am EST  --  Report as abuse
JoeObserver wrote:

The deficit is already at a unsustainable level, and borrowing more without spending cuts will only worsen things. I am not a Republican supporter, but I think they have a point.

Dec 31, 2012 2:40am EST  --  Report as abuse
flashrooster wrote:

AdamSmith: Bullseye. History, if written by someone outside of the gravitational pull of America’s rightwing, will look upon the Iraq War as the preeminent abuse of power by the most powerful country in the world. And the responsibility won’t just fall on Bush and the Republicans. Our entire nation will share responsibility for that debacle. These kinds of things have a way of coming back to haunt civilizations, like karma. Squatting in the shadows of all these absurd fiscal cliff “negotiations” is the cost of the Iraq War, which was undertaken only after our nation was deceived into supporting the effort. (Some of us weren’t fooled.)

I was happy to see your post because very few Americans realize the true magnitude of what took place by our invading Iraq and how the invasion came about. It wasn’t a crime like Hitler’s execution of 6 million Jews, but the enormity of the crime and the way an entire nation was deceived is comparable to the crimes of the 3rd Reich. But few Americans will admit that, and that’s one of the most disturbing aspects of the Iraq War. No one was held responsible, nor do we, as a nation, take any responsibility for the murder and destruction we caused. None at all. We just carry on in our myopic materialistic world, squabbling over nothing.

So here we are carrying this massive debt due, in no small part, to that war. We refused to pay for it then and we’re continuing to refuse to pay for it ow. Not only did we sign on to all the death and destruction of another country, not to mention the deaths of 4,500 American soldiers, but we’re refusing to even pay the financial cost. It really is shameful. The next time I hear an American politician refer to America as a Christian nation, or say “God bless America,” I’m going to spit.

usagadfly: I also agree with AdamSmith on his comment about your post. Well said. The single biggest problem in this country is that our government is now controlled by a group of plutocrats who have absolutely no loyality toward this country. They only care about increasing their wealth, and to that end they’re willing to sacrifice all of us. Fortunately for them, and unfortunately for the rest of us, the Republican Party is acting as their bulwark. The GOP have been completely successful at protecting this arrangement that allows that cadre of plutocrats to suck the lifeblood out of this nation. I’m not sure what can be done, but if we do nothing, the American Middle Class and our democracy will most assuredly die.

Dec 31, 2012 2:45am EST  --  Report as abuse
Abulafiah wrote:

bill_o_rights wrote:
“Taxes kill jobs”

How? What mechanism are you imagining here? Explain how it works – or are you just parroting?

Dec 31, 2012 3:18am EST  --  Report as abuse
Abulafiah wrote:

JoeObserver wrote:
“The deficit is already at a unsustainable level”

In what way is it unsustainable? The USA has sustained higher deficits in the past and survived; the UK sustained higher deficits for decades and it is still here to tell the tale.

This whole “OMG the debt! OMG the deficit!” from the right is a smoke screen, a feeble attempt from the right to hide the real problem. The *only* problem the USA has is a lack of growth. Economic growth will fix everything, but the right-wing don’t want to admit that, because the current lack of growth is the long-term effect of the recession that Republicans caused.

Instead, the waffle on and on and on about debt and deficit, while keeping quiet about the 89% increase in national debt they ran up.

Dec 31, 2012 3:25am EST  --  Report as abuse
B4themaster wrote:

the GOP is just inviting a revolution… Push people out of there homes and hard earned income and watch what happens .. Americans will soon wake up to the fact that everything they worked there whole life for is being taken away… Watch the riots begin !

Dec 31, 2012 3:28am EST  --  Report as abuse
Abulafiah wrote:

@B4themaster

The GOP also support the NRA bun-nuts no matter what the cost in innocent lives, thus building what is effectively a GOP militia.

A radical political party with a military wing is not a good combination. Think of the Sinn Fein/IRA, for example.

Dec 31, 2012 3:48am EST  --  Report as abuse
Joe_Casepack wrote:

Anyone who thinks this “going over the cliff” business truly matters is another deluded political junkie.

This is by design, people. Obama doesn’t want to have to live under “Bush Tax Cut” rules anymore than Michelle wants to live under a “no lobster” rule.

The whole idea is to junk the “Bush tax cuts” while Obama comes in to save the day from the mean old Republicans who only want to give people cancer.

I hope at some point the USA will wake up and see the BS but I’m not holding my breath for this. Our country seems to be willfully stupid these days.

Dec 31, 2012 3:48am EST  --  Report as abuse
Joe_Casepack wrote:

Yep, higher taxes should fix everything.

The stock market agrees.

Dec 31, 2012 3:51am EST  --  Report as abuse
DeannaTx wrote:

@bill_o_rights,
You said “How is it that the administration goes on and on about the wealthy ‘paying their fair share’, i.e. redistribution of wealth, i.e the fundamental tenet of Socialism and yet he’s still not a Socialist?”

Read Wealth of Nations written by Adam Smith,the godfather of Capitalism, published in 1776 and then the correspondence by and between our founding fathers.
You’d be surpirsed to find that relief for the poor is included in a Capitalistic economy. You’d likely also be surpeised to find out that presented also is the wealthiest pay a larger share of their income to provide for such purposes.
I’m continually amazed by how little so many people seem to know about the core tenents of Capitalism. Instead they’ve picked up on fear terms such as Socialism without a grasp that there are certain elements required for any economic system to be successful.
To note: One of the warnings Smith issued was allowing a small portion of citizens to own the majority of the wealth of the country. Named were provisions to be held to which would prevent such. The consequences Smith notes mirror todays economic problems.

Dec 31, 2012 4:18am EST  --  Report as abuse
Abulafiah wrote:

@DeannaTx

Completely right. The Founding Fathers where basically liberals. Thomas Jefferson wrote, in a letter to George Logan:

“I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and bid defiance to the laws of our country”

It seems that it is not just GOP and Democrats who are far apart right now. The GOP and the Founding Fathers are far apart too.

Roosevelt also made an interesting prediction on April 29, 1938, in an address to Congress:

“The liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is fascism — ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power.”

If there is any doubt that the GOP are heading towards fascism, Mussolini:

“Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of State and corporate power.”

Who can deny that the GOP is a merger of State and corporate power? Mussolini too had his military wing – the Blackshirts.

Dec 31, 2012 5:03am EST  --  Report as abuse
ajsfca wrote:

The DEMO-gouges are basically saying “We want more taxpayer money to spend on our guys and we want it from those guys.”

Dec 31, 2012 6:25am EST  --  Report as abuse
LoveJoyOne wrote:

Abulafiah,

I agree with your post. If the Democrats are Socialists, the Republicans are very clearly fascists.

The party of the rich and powerful are certainly the new fascists. They just need some black shirts and they’ll be easily identifiable.

Dec 31, 2012 7:06am EST  --  Report as abuse
americanguy wrote:

Just like their plan to destroy the country and “make Obama fail” so they could get elected, the Republicans are once again living in an oxycodone induced fantasy world thinking they can still make Obama fail and they can take over. Just like the failed trickle down theory they keep promoting. I find it incredible that Republicans think working people are stupid and don’t know what is going on. Just like in the French Revolution.
Americans will take back our country from the wealthy who have made us slaves.

Dec 31, 2012 7:20am EST  --  Report as abuse
PKFA wrote:

In typical fashion, the media gives sensationalist fodder to the unwashed masses to vent their particular ideologies. Meanwhile, the political class argues over $650 Billion while the crisis of $48 Trillion looms.

I have a picture in my mind of the well-paid, well dressed in the Capitol building arguing over who farted while a Level 5 hurricane approaches. And the news headlines, “Strong Odor Detected in Washington; Lawmakers Debate” with the media simply waiting to cover the storm devastation in the next news cycle. And the populace snickering over which of their least favorite member of Congress would have the audacity to stink up the place (hint: ANY of them…).

Dec 31, 2012 7:57am EST  --  Report as abuse
mikemm wrote:

The voters by a majority have already said they will hold the GOP responsible if no agreement (even a temporary just to get through January deal)is reached. If this doesn’t happen until January, when the GOP loses a few seats in the new Congress, that will only re-enforce the blame on them.
The GOP leadership knows this is not a bluff they can win, but if they can’t rally the votes in their ranks to make a deal, there isn’t nuch they can do. The damage that the Tea Party and the far right wingers have inflicted on the GOP is tearing the party apart. Either they turn the party back to the moderates, or they will lose even more seats in the next few elections. Yes, they will easily hold several red states, but they won’t amount to a majority for legislation or Federal laws and regulations. The popular vote is against them on progressive issues, gay rights, legalization of Marijuana, gun controls, banking regulations, elimination of corporate welfare, universal healthcare coverage, and making the wealthy who have gotten away with paying little if any taxes at all for many years to start paying a fair share. Even the right leaning Supreme Court is looking more moderate in comparison to ultra far right leaning GOP of today.
I think that maybe the GOP leadership senses that they cannot turn this around and can’t win these battles, so they’re just trying to stall for time and go for what they can hold onto for as long as they can to protect their special interestes until their ship sinks.

Dec 31, 2012 9:22am EST  --  Report as abuse
mikemm wrote:

@DeannaTX,

Jefferson was also clearly an atheist, or at the least did not think very highly of organized religion. It was organized religion too clodsely aligned with government that was responsible for the flight of many of the colonists in the first place.
The Treaty with Tripoli in 1796 also clearly states that America is not a nation founded on any religion and does not endorse any religion over any other.

These facts seem to be lost on the Tea Party and people who cite Jefferson as their hero and pull passages out of the Constitution taken out of context to claim America was founded as a Christian nation and to justify their own political viewpoints.

Dec 31, 2012 9:32am EST  --  Report as abuse
zotdoc wrote:

The cliff is the best solution. Government spending will actually be cut and all americans will share in the burden of government.

Dec 31, 2012 9:44am EST  --  Report as abuse
actnow wrote:

If “fixing” our runaway deficit spending is only focused on deciding who is rich enough to get extra taxes, then we won’t see any resolution. To be sure, this issue must be on the table, but the elephant in the room is how we adjust spending to assure that our most basic needs are covered for generations to come. The Baby Boomers can’t have it all.

Dec 31, 2012 10:13am EST  --  Report as abuse
usa.wi.vet.4q wrote:

The people blaming the other party must believe they are also politicians??? You people are showing the psychotic personality that our political leaders are displaying. A complete inability to work with the other team. Well folks that leads to civil war!!!! So keep blaming the other side while you do NOTHING except hurt our country you treasonist swine.

Dec 31, 2012 10:14am EST  --  Report as abuse
Sue01 wrote:

We must remember this is part of the 95% of media extremely biased left, progressive aka democratic nee marxist. Therefore, we can only take oh…about .0001% of what they print as fact. I was not and am not in the room where these “discussions” are taking place and unless you have it put in writing so we can see what they are talking and agreeing about…I don’t believe you. Progs did this to Reagan back in the day…agreed to scale back spending with a tax rate decrease…then, didn’t do it! They did this with George Bush and Obama is now doing it to Boehner and McConnell…they will promise whatever they need to (think “taquiyya”) and then fail to deliver. Pure prog politics. But, since the progs have brought us to this point with their lavish spending….$1.4-$1.5 trillion more every single year Obama has been in office over and above what we take in, Social Security $45 billion in the red again….because contributions, payroll taxes, were stopped over two years, we are approaching nearly 9,000,000 Americans on “disability”…a family of four average entitlements worth $6l,000 annually and there Obamacare on the horizon to add $1 trillion, per CBO, in taxes…they’ve painted themself into a corner….larger than normal, but still, a corner. Don’t read the media…listen to the words structured in their announcements, complaints etc., to understand what the progs are truly saying.

Dec 31, 2012 10:17am EST  --  Report as abuse
theJoe wrote:

Republicans in the House do not want to raise tax rates without some significant spending cuts

TRANSLATED
The Republicans will not be happy unless they can take from the poor, middle class and the old, wake up America and vote them out in 2014. All they do is take from the people and give it to the rich.

Dec 31, 2012 10:23am EST  --  Report as abuse
theJoe wrote:

Translation:
Republicans DO NOT like black people so they will take America down as not to do anything to go along with Obama.
Vote them out, all of the GOP, they are filled with hate.

Dec 31, 2012 10:27am EST  --  Report as abuse
ponder wrote:

No deal or compromise from Obama. US will tank.

Dec 31, 2012 10:51am EST  --  Report as abuse
PKFA wrote:

Oh. And let’s stop calling it a “fiscal cliff”. $650 Billion is a fiscal pothole. $48 Trillion- now THAT’S a cliff!

Dec 31, 2012 11:05am EST  --  Report as abuse
sjfella wrote:

@theJoe,
Vote them out? Surely you jest. The brainless sheep just re-elected nearly all of them.

Dec 31, 2012 11:14am EST  --  Report as abuse
jaham wrote:

And to think: If Obama had only proposed spending cuts in the 2:1 ratio his own Simpson-Bowles deficit commission recommended, he probably would have realized his tax increase on “the rich”.

Instead he proposed a disingenuous farce of a proposal and refused to cut spending in earnest….some “leader” we just re-elected….

Dec 31, 2012 11:29am EST  --  Report as abuse
USMCPatriot wrote:

Well it appears it’s time to put on the parachutes as we go over the cliff. Nothing in the comments from those in the Senate or the Administration implies nothing truly productive has taken place. If any of those folks worked in my business they’d all be fired for being to stupid to be drawing a paycheck. They don’t even know how to prioritize their responsibilities or how do go about conducting meetings. IDIOTS! We will be reaping what we as voter have sown and it’s hard as heck to find anything of benefit coming out of a patch of weeds. Most ignorant, incompetent assemblages to ever grace the Nation’s Capitol. Shame on us!

Dec 31, 2012 11:38am EST  --  Report as abuse
jaham wrote:

@Adamsmith…”America spent over $2 trillion dollars on that war.”

Since you realize $2T is a lot of money…what about the $6T Obama added to the deficit in the past four years?

Dec 31, 2012 11:42am EST  --  Report as abuse
Doc00001 wrote:

usagadfly, AdamSmith and catholic,,
I agree with you folks fully. Further, I found your posts articulate and indicative of intelligence. There’s more than taxes and social programs at play however. The abandonment of manufacturing in the States will continue to burden the less well off here in America. How America can put the brakes on (and reverse) the unfair trade agreements is very likely out of reach. Our position internationally is to build our enemy’s war mongering capacity so the very few in this life may sate their avaricious requirements. It’s been tried before and came to a bloody end just as this power grab will end after the goon squads begin kicking doors in. Glad I’m an old bastard but I weep for my grandchildren.

Dec 31, 2012 12:03pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Doc00001 wrote:

@ usa.wi.vet.4q
Can’t sympathize with your “team” statement. In my life, the other team is that which should be defeated. Taking the route of compromise reminds me of the old joke: A camel is a horse designed by a committee.
As far as I can see,, if a republican and his / her puppet master were to have a bull and a cow,, they’d butcher the bull and keep the cow for breeding. Compromise with people of that mentality always leads to an outcome of universal dissatisfaction.

Dec 31, 2012 12:13pm EST  --  Report as abuse
SanPa wrote:

Democrats and Republicans have no choice but to stay in DC until the cliff happens, lest they be blamed for not being around to try and prevent it.

Dec 31, 2012 12:18pm EST  --  Report as abuse
AlkalineState wrote:

Congress could buy themselves another hour on this if they re-vamp daylight savings time before close of business today. Change all the clocks to fall back an additional hour.

This is hilarious.

Dec 31, 2012 12:20pm EST  --  Report as abuse
boreal wrote:

In addition to your daughters’ your sons’ lives so unselfishly sacrificed, wouldn’t that 2 trillion cool cash spent on Israel’s proxy wars in the ME be handy now?

Dec 31, 2012 12:26pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Kevin117 wrote:

Success is luck. Birth luck. Inherited and genetic. Intelligence, talent, health, looks, connections, quality of education, everything… birth luck, or lack of it. The hardest working people are the poorest. These are facts we all know just don’t want to acknowledge.

There’s no reason those born lucky should ALSO have all the laws written to favor them and their kids. There’s no reason a society that believes in fairness would allow inheritances. When you die all your money should go to pay for kid’s educations. All the kids. Lucky and unlucky.

Dec 31, 2012 1:51pm EST  --  Report as abuse
jabberwolf wrote:

@usagadfly and every other MORON out there that thinks this is a good idea. Look to history and not to a retarded bumper sticker.

OBAMA LIES!! = He said in the debate he wanted to LOWER capital gains yet in this deal: “Dividends and capital gains would be taxed at 23.8 percent for high-income households under the Senate package. That would be an increase from the existing rate of 15 percent.”

That means BYE BYE big investors and bye bye future jobs and future investment. The democrats are retarded and have memories of goldfishi to support this. TAX TAX TAX more but no end in spending in sight. I thought Americans were more intelligent, I am wrong- there are too many stupid people out there.

Dec 31, 2012 1:53pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Kevin117 wrote:

The deficit is a result of 30 years of upper class cold warfare against the middle class.

Dec 31, 2012 1:54pm EST  --  Report as abuse
AndrewBinga wrote:

When you spend more money than you earn you go bankrupt. Why does Obama and the Democrats have such a hard time understanding that concept

Dec 31, 2012 1:55pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Whys333 wrote:

Weeeee! A healthy dose of medicine if you ask me. Heck, I hope we fail to raise the debt ceiling too. Sometimes the cure hurts.

Dec 31, 2012 2:00pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Perv889966 wrote:

The debt is $16.45 trillion, folks.

Those Washington DC peripherals who want to belly up to the tax revenue trough need to be pulled away like a pup whose time to be weaned has come.

Dec 31, 2012 2:08pm EST  --  Report as abuse
xyz2055 wrote:

DeannaTx..haven’t seen you post before today. But I very much like your comments. Just 1 point. Did you know that the Budget (solely the responsibility of the House and Senate) does not even go to the President for either his signature or his veto. Congress can have ANY Budget they want and there’s absolutely nothing the President (any President) can do about it.

Adamsmith, USAgadfly, Flashrooster and catholic….. outstanding comments.

Dec 31, 2012 2:38pm EST  --  Report as abuse
REBELLIOUS12 wrote:

Well it looks like Obama will get recognition he doesn’t deserve if this legislation passes. He will have saved us from the “EVIL RICH PEOPLE” and made this country safe for “SOCIALISM”.

Dec 31, 2012 2:41pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Gigimoderate wrote:

Whys333
You hope we fail to raise the debt ceiling….must be a smart tea bagger!
So I guess you don’t pay you bills….
Not raising the debt ceiling is like using your credit card then tearing up your statement when it comes due!

Dec 31, 2012 2:54pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Whatsgoingon wrote:

No surprise. The cliff is just another setup to claim overtime work and victory for the politicians. Should we cheer again – the parade is still going strong, as more people claim to see the splendid clothes (solutions) once they remind themselves to be smart…Where’s the “stupid boy”? Who will end up more embarrassed – the emperor, the boy, or the bystanders? Does anyone know what happened in the end?

Dec 31, 2012 4:16pm EST  --  Report as abuse
rasekane wrote:

I can’t believe all these people writing in still “blaming Bush” for the acts of the Democratic congress. The last administation was Obummer, in case you forgot. And you re-elected him in spite of his trying to destroy the USA. Unfortunately you reap what you sew and I have to suffer along with you. I will pray for you AND our country.

Dec 31, 2012 4:25pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Ed57 wrote:

I voted for Obama and favor increased tax on the rich and cuts in Defense but the Republicans should have held out for more Democratic movement on welfare cuts, and unemployment spending cuts (both of which which we also need) They may not get it later if they agree to the tax increases if they’re not tied to the spending cuts. For the sake of our children, our future and the middle class we need to control our budget and get tough with the very rich AND the poor.

Dec 31, 2012 4:31pm EST  --  Report as abuse
cirrus7 wrote:

PIGS. The income disparity in America is the worst in, literally, 100 YEARS.
The filthy rich already have a VERY low 15% capital gains tax rate, a lowered estate tax rate, and many ways to avoid declaring income.
The Bush Tac Cuts were 100% BORROWED, considered emergency spending ‘off-budget’ as George Bush ran $1 Trillion deficits if count the tax cuts and the two wars.

We need to retroactively increase taxes on the filthy rich to 44% u ntil the unfair tax giveaways of the last 12 years are recovered.

Dec 31, 2012 4:41pm EST  --  Report as abuse
AlkalineState wrote:

“If Congress fails to act, about $600 billion in tax increases and government-wide spending cuts will begin taking effect after midnight”

Good. The sooner the better.

Dec 31, 2012 4:58pm EST  --  Report as abuse

We are gettin ready to get Fiscal Cliffed!! Check out my T-Shirt @ http://FiscalCliffTshirt.com

Dec 31, 2012 4:59pm EST  --  Report as abuse
sjfella wrote:

@xyz,
Need a tissue?

Dec 31, 2012 5:05pm EST  --  Report as abuse
123456951 wrote:

I agree with taxation of the rich, but it also must come with substantial reductions in Federal spending. This bill does not do the latter, and coming out of the Democratic Senate, it looks as if it may be a ploy to blame the Republicans for going off the fiscal cliff if the Republican House fails to pass it. Political blackmail maybe??

Dec 31, 2012 5:07pm EST  --  Report as abuse

Biden’s giving away the farm. He’s thinking more about his chances for the Oval Office in ’16 than in dealing with the “fiscal cliff.” If we go “over the cliff,” it will look like Biden failed, so he’s rolling over for Republicans. All anyone will remember in ’16 is that Biden saved us from the cliff, if in fact that does happen.
Sterling Greenwood/AspenFreePress

Dec 31, 2012 5:10pm EST  --  Report as abuse

So… there will be no vote before we go over the cliff. In the mean time, Obama gave the DO NOTHING Congress a raise. Go flipping figure! Boot them all out and start from scratch.

Dec 31, 2012 5:16pm EST  --  Report as abuse
VernonDozier wrote:

I remember how in 2005, the FBI outsourced purchasing of network equipment, a TYPE OF INFRASTRUCTURE, Similar to roads. Basically, the FBI wanted to modernize, and they were paying top dollar for equipment costing $1M+ Anyways, the FBI’s vendors started purchasing counterfiet Cisco equipment on eBay, affecting national security.. Remember this is infrastructure related to investigations.

It’s pretty interesting how creative some companies and organizations will become when they focus on meeting Wallstreet expectations, and don’t have adequate cash reserves. Quality ultimately suffers, and the company runs solely on numbers on a balance sheet.

The Government just wanted proper equipment, but a lot of Bush’s Buddies seemed to find a way to sell used products as new, and lie and challenge ethics involved in Business.

Dec 31, 2012 5:18pm EST  --  Report as abuse

This is per Forbes;

Annualized Growth of Federal Spending:
Reagan – 82-85 8.7%
Reagan – 86-89 4.9%
Bush 1 – 90-93 5.4%
Clinton – 94-97 3.2%
Clinton – 98-01 3.9%
Bush II 02-05 7.3%
Bush II 06-09 8.1%
Obama – 10-13 1.4%

Dec 31, 2012 5:28pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Really... wrote:

The authors states that the deal is “light on spending cuts.” If by that he means, “it actually has no spending cuts, but it does have plenty of spending increases” then I guess you wouldn’t call the reporting misleading.

Dec 31, 2012 5:29pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Really... wrote:

The authors states that the deal is “light on spending cuts.” If by that he means, “it actually has no spending cuts, but it does have plenty of spending increases” then I guess you wouldn’t call the reporting misleading.

Dec 31, 2012 5:29pm EST  --  Report as abuse
slaskin wrote:

The US economy will not turn into a pumpkin at midnight. Tax hikes can always be reversed retroactively and the Executive Branch has great flexibility in determining when and how to effectuate budget cuts. Better to go over the mythical cliff and let the Bush tax cuts expire in their entirety. The Administration will then have the upper hand with Congress and can then, if it truly wants to, hold firm on limiting tax cuts to families with income of $250,000 or less. A higher threshold makes it very difficult to avoid draconian budget cuts. Besides, what we should be doing now is engaging in a massive stimulus program to get people back to work. Doing so will take care of the deficit without cutting essential social support programs like Social Security and Medicare.

Dec 31, 2012 5:32pm EST  --  Report as abuse
ConstFundie wrote:

@AndrewBinga, Good question. But probably for the all same reasons that Reagan, Bush Sr., and Bush Jr. did not understand it?

@usagadfly, I understand the reaction to want to ‘junk’ the Constitution. Interesting enough many of the Founders wanted it, well maybe not junked per se, but they did at least feel it was not ready for adoption, and was especially lacking in protections against Autocracy, and especially Aristocracy. Patrick Henry adamantly maintained that the Constitution, as written, would doom us to an Aristocracy at best (especially without a Bill of Rights). He was especially against a Standing Federal Army that could be used for forced tyranny, including unjust wars for power and personal wealth accumulation.

Hamilton and Madison and Jay argued that the Separation of Powers and Democracy would insure against that happening. They specifically stated in argument ( The Federalist Papers) that Congress would Always be socio-economically representative of the general Population, and thus Always purely representative. We know that is absolutely not the case, unless near 50% of People are millionaires.

At any rate, No Constitution can be effective if the Leaders/Representatives actively work to remove Separation of Powers, stretch out legal loop-holes to actively avoid intent, when choices for electable Representatives are preselected, and when a small percent of the People have a majority of free Speech and influence.

These difficulties have been cycling since it’s signing, but Bush and Cheney took the idea of ‘loop-holing’ the Constitution and monopolizing Powers to grand new heights. They pursued a philosophy of treating the Constitution as Corporate contract, to be argued and manipulated for the personal gain. As a result we actually have leaders espousing, and People believing that Capitalism is a form of Government (see TeaPublican above).

Dec 31, 2012 5:44pm EST  --  Report as abuse
123456951 wrote:

The inaction of the Roman Senate was one reason the Roman Republic gave way to the Roman Empire.

Dec 31, 2012 5:50pm EST  --  Report as abuse
YouGoYo wrote:

What is all this focus on the Senate? It’s the Do-Nothing GOP Congress that needs to, well, do something!

Dec 31, 2012 5:53pm EST  --  Report as abuse
pilisugsug wrote:

Once again our congress can’t come to an agreement. We’ve had the filthy rich run the country to the gutter. Sooner than later we must kick these idiots out of office. They have corrupted our political system! These fools only represent themselves and the 1%. They just approved a raise for themselves starting 2013. These clowns work 4 months out of the year. They have extravagant salaries and a very handsome pension. They also have health benefits for the rest of their lives along with their spouses. These clowns have abused their power. Inside trading runs rampant within the walls of congress. Ever wonder how some of these clowns come in with meager finances and come out filthy rich. Back a few years back they sent Martha Stewart to a federal prison for inside trading. And these crooks in congress get away with inside trading. From the Reagan years all the way to the Bushes our clowns couldn’t balance the budget so these crooks decided to rape the SSI to help pay for wars etc. In 1987 they made a law to only use SSI monies for SSI. But that didn’t stop these clowns. Year after year they stole from SSI to make their budget look better on paper. SSI is in shambles. What these idiots need to do is give up their jobs in the congress, return all monies they made from inside trading, relinquish their pensions and health benefits. And then put them in stocks at an amusement park where we could throw rotten tomatoes at them

Dec 31, 2012 5:57pm EST  --  Report as abuse
AlkalineState wrote:

There is no fiscal cliff. Raising revenue and cutting spending is not a cliff. It’s medicine. Time to take it and move on.

Dec 31, 2012 6:30pm EST  --  Report as abuse
pilisugsug wrote:

The government’s $2.5 trillion debt to Social Security is the real reason that so many politicians want to cut benefits. They are trying to find a way to avoid having to repay the looted money…. Given the fact that much of the surplus revenue from the 1983 payroll tax hike ended up in the pockets of the super rich in the form of income tax cuts, I propose a special tax on this group of taxpayers to recoup the missing Social Security money. The government used revenue from the Social Security payroll tax hike to fund tax cuts for the rich because that was where the money was. I think the government should recover the ‘embezzled’ money by taxing the rich.”

Dec 31, 2012 7:08pm EST  --  Report as abuse
pilisugsug wrote:

The theft of SS funds has been ongoing since President Johnson took the fund out of trust and put it into the general fund to help finance the Viet Nam War. The Bush2 Administration used SS funds to hide the loss of revenue from his tax cuts the upper 3%; redesignating these stolen funds as “revenues” to hide the theft.

Dec 31, 2012 7:09pm EST  --  Report as abuse
pilisugsug wrote:

By 1983, it was clear that the slight shortfall in the Social Security system would need adjustment because by 2010 the baby boomers would retire and that would create huge deficits in the system. So the Democrats and Reagan agreed to a plan that would actually create surpluses. By 1984, the Social Security surplus was already $300 million, up from a minus of about $8 billion in 1982. It then quickly went up to $9.4 billion, $16 billion, $20 billion and in 1988, the year George H.W. Bush was elected, it was $39 billion. Eventually, surpluses would average well over $100 billion a year. So what’s the problem? By 2003, we had already set aside–or so we thought–$1.5 trillion and growing for the security of the system when the Baby Boomers retired and beyond. The problem was Democratic political anxiety and Conservative Republican greed. Reagan actually started it off by pretending to be a President while he was merely playing one on television. The People, entranced by the picture of a man who could apparently walk on water, bought his line completely. And we have paid a terrible price ever since.

By 1985, the Social Security surpluses were building up, but the government deficits, because of huge tax cuts that were supposed to increase productivity, were growing exponentially. Under Reagan, the deficits for 1982, 1983, 1984 and 1985 were, respectively, $120 billion, $208 billion, $185 billion, and $221 billion. Even with high unemployment, with double digit interest rates or with inflation at its worst rate in our history, deficits under either Ford or Carter never passed $75 billion. And even that was considered a dangerous situation.

So what did Reagan and his boys do? The gang-that-couldn’t-count-straight decided that here was a pile of money they could steal to make themselves look better. And so they did. They took $84.5 billion from Social Security surpluses and spent it. They spent all of it in order to cut the size of the public debt. In 1988, for example, the national debt was $194 billion dollars. But by spending our Social Security funds, the Reagan Administration reported a deficit of only $155.2 billion. They took $38.8 billion of our Social Security funds to spend presumably on tax cuts and missiles for Iran. (Iran-gate.)

Fast forward to George H.W. Bush. He had deficits between 1989 and 1992 of $205 billion, $277 billion, $321 billion, and $340 billion. During that same period he stole from us $52 billion, $57 billion, $52 billion and $50 billion to make those numbers smaller when reported to the public.

Dec 31, 2012 7:11pm EST  --  Report as abuse
sylvan wrote:

And still the putrid, obstructive miscreants in the GOP House caucus can’t bring themselves to actually show up for work. All of this legislating should have taken place in March in the House, but still nothing. GOP caucus is a cancer that should be excised at any cost. If they can let Supremes choose the president in 2000, then President Obama can rule by fiat since the House is in treasonous rebellion. What a bunch of ignorant worthless loads on society the Repugnicant anarchists have turned out to be, pathetic gray faced old, old old, and stupid, stupid, stupid F ups. If about 10 million of us showed up to surround the Capitol, they would soil their tighty whiteys en masse.

Dec 31, 2012 7:17pm EST  --  Report as abuse
pilisugsug wrote:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xvhX2KB8J5k

Dec 31, 2012 7:17pm EST  --  Report as abuse
apache11 wrote:

The deal is a good one. I was a little disapointed with the increase in the estate tax, but the bill still keeps the 5 mil $ exemption, which should help ranchers and farmers. Unfortunately, neither the DNC or GOP will set aside partisan politics and pass the bill so the USA can get back to business. The congress should not be getting a pay raise or a paycheck.

Dec 31, 2012 7:28pm EST  --  Report as abuse
apache11 wrote:

The deal is a good one. I was a little disapointed with the increase in the estate tax, but the bill still keeps the 5 mil $ exemption, which should help ranchers and farmers. Unfortunately, neither the DNC or GOP will set aside partisan politics and pass the bill so the USA can get back to business. The congress should not be getting a pay raise or a paycheck.

Dec 31, 2012 7:28pm EST  --  Report as abuse
apache11 wrote:

The deal is a good one. I was a little disapointed with the increase in the estate tax, but the bill still keeps the 5 mil $ exemption, which should help ranchers and farmers. Unfortunately, neither the DNC or GOP will set aside partisan politics and pass the bill so the USA can get back to business. The congress should not be getting a pay raise or a paycheck.

Dec 31, 2012 7:28pm EST  --  Report as abuse
StigTW wrote:

So apparently most of the talk is all about tax rates rather than what those rates are there to support – the mass haemorrhage of money from the govt’s account.

Dec 31, 2012 7:52pm EST  --  Report as abuse
actnow wrote:

The losers in this whole mess are responsible Americans. How on earth can anyone be pleased with a last minute “deal” that was done behind closed doors and that doesn’t address the out of control spending that is leading this country to ruin? It seems like the bar has been set so low by our nations “leaders” that if they don’t completely collapse our economy overnight, it is a victory.

Dec 31, 2012 7:54pm EST  --  Report as abuse
flashrooster wrote:

ConstFundie: A really excellent post. You’ve taught me something.
pilisugsug: Likewise with you posts. I had known in general terms what happened to SS, but not specifically. I’ll have to research it more thoroughly. Any website recommendations on the history of the theft of our Social Security? I also enjoyed the Richard O’Bryan video. Thanks.

Dec 31, 2012 10:05pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Randy549 wrote:

@ConstFundie, you do realize that “TeaPublican” is a left-leaning person posting outrageous-by-design caricatures of right-leaning positions…don’t you?

Dec 31, 2012 11:31pm EST  --  Report as abuse
ConstFundie wrote:

@Randy549, Yes i do, I think TP must be a Fox news pundit or Sarah P. Which do you suppose?

@flashrooster, thanks, i often learn from your posts as well. If you have not already, I think you would enjoy reading the Federalist Papers and the Anti-Federalist Papers. Somewhat repetitive at times, but interesting.

For those unaware, they were public, mostly published, arguments for and against ratifying the US Constitution. Interesting enough, most of the Anti-Federalists were not Separatists but were people concerned that the Constitution needed more refining, and especially a Bill of Rights. The Federalists argued it was good enough (and better than), and pushed to close the deal, somewhat on fears that if it wasn’t ratified soon, the momentum and will to Unite the States would be lost, and the land would degenerate into economically competing and even waring States…and/or, Foreign countries could gain control of States via treaty, alliance, or invasion.

Another fact i find interesting is that many of these discussions/arguments were penned and published under, not only secret (at the time) pseudonyms, but names similar to the handles or screen names people post online by today. Hamilton, Madison and Jay shared the name “Publius”, others were “Brutus”, “Cato”, “Centinel”, and “Federal Farmer”.

Jan 01, 2013 4:25am EST  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.