bmull commented on the blog post United Nations: US Attacks Killed Hundreds of Afghan Children
I don’t know if I’d call the war “increasingly fruitless”. It has been fruitless for a long time, perhaps from the start. The only question is how to manage the withdrawal.
I think that gun in the Michigan school must have left for more than a “few moments”. Someone else must have found it because otherwise it never would have been reported. And yet–if you read the article–the parents are just thrilled to have an armed guard in their childrens’ school.
Obamacare *is* fascist.
ThinkProgress asserts that for it to be fascist it must “utilize warfare, forced mass mobilization of the public, and politically-motivated violence.” To require that that all be done the context of health care is patently absurd.
In Nazi Germany everyone by law was required to have a job. In Obama America everybody is required to buy private insurance. The parallel in terms of forced participation in economic activity with corporations that are in collusion with the government is unmistakeable.
Thanks fatser, as always!!!
bmull commented on the blog post Obama Considering Ruth Porat For Deputy Treasury Secretary Despite Dodd-Frank Lobbying
This is an issue that the Washington neolib establishment created out of thin air. It wasn’t on anyone’s list of concerns but now the low-information lefty voters are up in lather and Obama gets to show how responsive he is to their needs by meaningless appointment a couple of lobbyists who happen to have two X chromosomes.
As Senator from NE, Chuck Hagel opposed abortion in cases of rape and incest “because those cases are ‘rare’” and opposed allowing servicewomen “to pay for abortion services at military hospitals out of their own pockets.” He’s also opposed gay rights.
Hagel grew up in a strict Catholic household, and he represented a very conservative state. I don’t think his personal views are relevant here. I doubt there’s a long list of qualified applicants for this job, which will principally entail taking responsibility for the inevitable humanitarian disaster in Afghanistan. If he wants the job, let him have it, and protect him from Republican attempts to portray him as a closet Democrat.
Forbes: President Obama “Is The Smallest Government Spender Since Eisenhower”.
This article is silly because it’s looking at average annual spending growth during each presidency. TARP and the bulk of the stimulus were in FY08 which counts against Bush. By merely maintaining spending growth at that high level during FY09-13 Obama is able to earn the title of “smallest spender”. Even Eisenhower wasn’t a particularly small spender (remember the freeways?) He was just riding the wave of decreasing post-war spending.
If this analysis could be done properly I would guess that Bill Clinton would come out as the “smallest spender” but it’s really not worth trying.
Much of ACA is a social insurance program in the sense that it cannot run a deficit. If (when) dedicated taxes are inadequate to pay for subsidies then either subsidies get cut or dedicated taxes go up. Raiding the program to pay for general budget items is no different than raiding Social Security. The reason raiding the ACA doesn’t generate any public outrage is that it’s so complex few people understand it.
The portion of ACA that is not a social insurance program is the Medicaid expansion. This is funded by the 3.8% tax on the wealthy, via the general fund, and so it will always be under pressure. The IRS still hasn’t published final recommendations on how it will implement this tax–although it started on Jan 1. Relying on a good-faith effort in the meantime guarantees that revenue will fall short of expected for 2013 at least.
Obama didn’t get a complete victory. Trading tax cuts on the wealthy for an unemployment extension and EITC/CTC extension wouldn’t have been my choice but I understand why Obama went for it.
Obama should immediately announce that he’s not going to negotiate over the debt limit. If he doesn’t do that, then he’s choosing whatever bad compromise he makes.
There’s no political reason he should accept more than a 50/50 ratio of taxes to cuts in future negotiations.
Can I just vent again about Annie Lowrey?
Now she’s gone and written an a front-page article for the NYT (don’t get me started about how she got that plum job in the first place) which says that the tax code will be more “progressive” in 2013 than at any time since 1979. This is incidentally a cut and paste job from a moronic article that appeared in the Atlantic the day before.
For one thing, no one knows yet how the rich are going to shift their income around to minimize what they pay. In the past tax code changes have always led to such shifts and therefore raising less money than expected.
Secondly this doesn’t take into account all manner of sales taxes, which have been steadily rising in recent decades.
More importantly, the true measure of a progressive tax code is whether it reduces income inequality, and unlike the tax codes of about 10 other industrialized nations, no serious economist thinks the Obama tax code will make a dent in growing income inequality.
All this does is give conservatives ammunition in upcoming deficit battles. Moronic.
I can vouch for the zerohedge article on the fiscal cliff negotiations being an interesting read. In that view, both sides are too incompetent to reach a deal and they will just keep raising the debt limit. I hope so, but I still think we have to keep after Obama to officially drop Chained CPI from his offer.
Thanks for all your hard work David. I would have lasted about a week :) You’re a very smart guy and I’m sure you’ll go on to do great thngs.
bmull commented on the blog post Hoyer Pushes Plan to Pass Obama Offer With Bipartisan Mix
This is a giant F@$& You to everyone who voted for Dems last month. My only consolation is I didn’t.
Right. Just to show the Villagers that he went the extra, extra, extra mile to reach a compromise–even after his opponent bailed, giving him the perfect excuse to withdraw his overly-generous offer.
Drop both Chained CPI and the tax cuts on income between $250,000-$400,000. The changes cancel each other out so the bill costs the same. Dare Boehner to deny it a vote. If he doesn’t blink, let the fiscal cliff happen and come right back with the same offer in January. He will blink eventually.
I think you’re wrong.
The Senate will pass Obama’s last counter-offer including the chain CPI and permanent extension of tax cuts for those making $400,000.
The bill will go to the House where Pelosi will pass it with votes from corporatist Republicans.
Obama will sign it.
I was just watching the Ed Show and he and guest we’re chatting about how Chained CPI is no big deal, etc. I feel like I’m living in a bizzaro-world in which Democrats are fine with a significant Social Security cut in order to permanently extend tax cuts that overwheming benefit the top 2%. If that isn’t a bright Red Line, what is?
bmull commented on the blog post The Plan B Follies: Freedomworks Jumps Off the Ship
All this is a smokescreen while the number crunchers score Obama’s original sell-out deal. Remember they need three days before they can vote. The right wants to make sure the media focuses on them and not chained CPI in the interim.
bmull commented on the blog post Testimony Today in Congress About Benghazi Incident
Notice how the fact that CIA was still (still!) operating an illegal prison on the grounds, and that was the reason for the attack, gets swept under the rug b/c its officially classified to no one can mention it.
So you’re buying his bluff.
GOP would rather have all the Bush tax cuts expire than:
- Keep Bush tax cuts for the first $400,000 of income
- Keep the Bush tax cuts on divident and estate taxes
- Deal a severe blow to the New Deal by breaking the 70 year-old compact that Social Security changes are not to be used primarily to plug short-term budget holes
- Raise taxes disproportionately on low-income people by changing income tax brackets
- Get a promise on tax and entitlement reform for 2013, with liberals already down 0-1 on Social Security
- 10 year Doc Fix at a time when the average physician salary is surpassing $200,000
- 10 year AMT fix–taking that trillion dollar upper-middle class tax break off the table for upcoming deficit talks.
As Joe Biden said, in the same debate where he promised Obama would not touch Social Security: “You’re dreaming.”
I can tell you if it’s a real threat right now: It’s not.
But Negotiating 101 requires that you have at least a credible threat to walk way. That’s what Boehner’s doing here. He already got most of what he wanted, but he’s hoping to get just a bit more before this deal gets baked into the cake.
bmull commented on the blog post Threat of Medicare Eligibility Age Increase Recedes – For Now
I would take a raise in the Medicare eligibility age over chained CPI any day. It would make the public see what’s at stake here. Chained CPI is a stealth change to a program that works well and has been protected for more than 70 years from stealth changes. Reagan’s 1983 deal, as bad as it was, was much more honest and balanced.
bmull commented on the blog post Obama Proud of His Fiscal Slope Offer, For Some Reason
The idea that the GOP will refuse the raise the debt limit, with all that would mean for financial markets, is ludicrous. I mean they’ve already shown their cards as willing to print money for the banks during the financial crisis. They will do anything to protect the banks.
- Load More