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Old 01-02-2013, 12:11 AM
 
796 posts, read 1,478,406 times
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...to make the US population believe that the government is actually capable of doing something?
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Old 01-02-2013, 12:36 AM
 
Location: Tucson/Nogales
19,620 posts, read 23,271,690 times
Reputation: 27371
I believe the threat of it was a boon for Obama, a good way of pulling the wool over the eyes of the voters, and he'll be laughing all the way back to Hawaii to resume his vacation!

Obama knows it, Boehner knows it, but the stupid voters don't: Raise the taxes on the rich, and they'll merely hire one more tax consultant and take advantage of the tax loopholes which they've been enjoying since the 50's when the tax rate was 90% on the upper income.

There were billionaires who never paid a dime in taxes last year, and raise the taxes, and it won't change!

Closing the loopholes, that would do it! And until then, it's all symbolic, a charade to put a half-smile on the face of the voters whom Obama promised he'd raise the taxes on the rich!

I think it's cruel of them NOT to allow us to go off that tiny little cliff, take our pain in small doses, rather than wait for the cliff to get much higher and then take a painful dive into the ocean! Shame on all of them!
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Old 01-02-2013, 12:59 AM
 
Location: US
20,707 posts, read 20,265,596 times
Reputation: 16700
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinuzzo View Post
...to make the US population believe that the government is actually capable of doing something?
The fiscal cliff would hurt the economy in the short run, mostly from the immediate stop of unemployment benefits because virtually 100% of that money goes into the economy. However, I think the tax increases wouldn't be noticed because most Americans only look at what they currently have and don't think about taxes until tax day comes. I think the fiscal cliff actually was the best deficit reduction plan if they kept unemployment benefits. Higher taxes across the board and 10% across the board reduction in government spending sounds like a perfect balanced plan.

However, considering half my income in 2011 and 2012 came from the stock market, I'm happy legislation was passed. I wish the people in the House who didn't even bother to vote would be kicked out. What the hell are they being paid for?
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Old 01-02-2013, 06:47 AM
 
837 posts, read 1,671,495 times
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I'm glad something was done but am dissapointed that its basically another 'kick the can down the road' strategy. We'll be back here in 2 months with the debt ceiling. The frustrating this is that 99% of american's really don't understand these topics at all - which doesn't help the conversation when time comes for debate - for instance, its (amazingly) not common knowledge that the debt ceiling needs lifting to pay pre-existing obligations, not future unfunded ones. Thus, the argument that you so often hear of "I'm not going to give Obama more money to burn!" is, in the most literal sense possible, flat out wrong. Similarly, I'm astonished at the number of people who don't understand the concept of marginal tax rates - that one seems to be an incredibly common misconception. All of this to say nothing of advanced topics like say, the impact of a expansionary monetary policy, the relationship between interest rates and bonds, or something like the laffer curve. Just forget it.

Worst of all, we seem to have become an increasingly dysfunctional country - its absurd that it had to get to this point in order to come up with any deal. And unfortunately its clear that it was done this way almost intentionally for the purposes of saving face, re-election, being able to say 'I would have voted no, but i had no choice' things of that nature. I think the most absurd thing I heard last night was Norquist saying that Republicans could now vote Yes on the plan because, technically, they weren't violating their pledge. The argument for this was that the bush tax cuts had (technically) expired at midnight, so therefore saying yes to the bill was, again, technically, not a tax increase. He went on to say - publicly - that as a result Republicans who voted yes no longer had to fear his organization potentially attempting to subvert their re-election. If that doesn't give you an extraordinary amount of pause, I don't know what does. Besides being an incredibly vacuous argument in of itself - (You could have made the exact same argument three weeks ago that they would have expired had we not acted) - members of congress should not be voting because of the fear of retribution from someone like Norquist. And yet, its clear that this was part of the play here. We went over the cliff intentionally in order to save face for re-election purposes.

We've entered a space where it genuinely seems like compromise is now considered "a dirty word" - by both parties (although especially by the republicans). Thats not likely to lead to a functional, working government - and that's just sad.
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Old 01-03-2013, 07:18 PM
 
Location: US Empire, Pac NW
5,008 posts, read 11,228,447 times
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Makes me wish for a Parliamentary system ... simple: you get multiple parties, multiple viewpoints, to forge a coalition if a dominant party does not exist, and you stick to that platform and the parties stick with it too, lest fear of political reprisal. Then you have a senate to ensure the minority voice is heard, and a PM and President to enact legislation. Still have a Supreme Court to ensure it adheres to the Constitution.
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Old 01-03-2013, 09:55 PM
 
1,699 posts, read 3,814,752 times
Reputation: 3912
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinuzzo View Post
Is the Fiscal Cliff just a manufactured crisis ...to make the US population believe that the government is actually capable of doing something?
The hype was manufactured by the political media to fill their airtime between ads. And also to soften people up for raising the debt ceiling and the coming recession / depression.
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Old 01-03-2013, 10:24 PM
 
4,173 posts, read 3,122,121 times
Reputation: 2629
Quote:
Originally Posted by tijlover View Post
I believe the threat of it was a boon for Obama, a good way of pulling the wool over the eyes of the voters, and he'll be laughing all the way back to Hawaii to resume his vacation!

Obama knows it, Boehner knows it, but the stupid voters don't: Raise the taxes on the rich, and they'll merely hire one more tax consultant and take advantage of the tax loopholes which they've been enjoying since the 50's when the tax rate was 90% on the upper income.

There were billionaires who never paid a dime in taxes last year, and raise the taxes, and it won't change!

Closing the loopholes, that would do it! And until then, it's all symbolic, a charade to put a half-smile on the face of the voters whom Obama promised he'd raise the taxes on the rich!

I think it's cruel of them NOT to allow us to go off that tiny little cliff, take our pain in small doses, rather than wait for the cliff to get much higher and then take a painful dive into the ocean! Shame on all of them!

Your best thinking on this subject is that Obama "pulled the wool over the eyes of the voters" and the Republicans just sat back and said nothing?

Maybe you do not understand what sequestration entailed as part of the fiscal cliff? Along with a reversion to 90s tax rates all while the global economy is struggling?

Perhaps you missed the part where Grover Norquist and the Tea Party members of congress steadfastly refused any tax increase at all? And wanted to eliminate the deficit entirely on the backs of Social Security and Medicare? Read: eliminate them entirely!

In the spirit of learning from you, as I am just a stupid voter, please name a couple "billionaires who did not pay a dime in taxes last year".

Last edited by shaker281; 01-03-2013 at 10:32 PM..
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Old 01-03-2013, 10:30 PM
 
4,173 posts, read 3,122,121 times
Reputation: 2629
In one sense the fiscal cliff was a grim reality, if the tax cuts had expired entirely (payroll and Bush era tax rates) at the same time federal spending was curtailed in a big way it would have had a serious impact.

On the other hand, no credible source expected our politicians to commit career suicide by invoking a deep recession on ideological terms. A game of chicken!


"If the current laws slated for 2013 had become law, the impact on the economy would be dramatic. While the combination of higher taxes and spending cuts would reduce the deficit by an estimated $560 billion, the CBO also estimated that the policy would have reduced gross domestic product (GDP) by four percentage points in 2013, sending the economy into a recession (i.e., negative growth). At the same time, it predicted that unemployment would rise by almost a full percentage point, with a loss of about two million jobs.
A Wall St. Journal article from May 16, 2012 estimated the following impact in dollar terms: “In all, according to an analysis by J.P. Morgan economist Michael Feroli, $280 billion would be pulled out of the economy by the sunsetting of the Bush tax cuts; $125 billion from the expiration of the Obama payroll-tax holiday; $40 billion from the expiration of emergency unemployment benefits; and $98 billion from Budget Control Act spending cuts. In all, the tax increases and spending cuts make up about 3.5% of GDP, with the Bush tax cuts making up about half of that.” Amid an already-fragile recovery and elevated unemployment, the economy was not in a position to avoid this type of shock."
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Old 01-05-2013, 01:43 PM
 
Location: Great State of Texas
86,068 posts, read 76,144,685 times
Reputation: 27635
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinuzzo View Post
...to make the US population believe that the government is actually capable of doing something?
Yes and the debt ceiling is now up to bat and will go through the same "media crisis" of apocalyptic events if not passed.

The boy that cried wolf now comes to mind when you say "Congress".
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Old 01-05-2013, 01:52 PM
 
Location: San Francisco, CA
14,735 posts, read 11,785,738 times
Reputation: 13766
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinuzzo View Post
...to make the US population believe that the government is actually capable of doing something?
Well, obviously it is entirely a manufactured crisis. There is only a Fiscal Cliff because Congress and the President created it themselves in the last deal they made to raise the debt ceiling as a means to push out decisions on the deficit, yet provide them with compelling incentive not to push it out too far. They are the ones who set this deadline and these heavy automatic cuts.
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