Seriously, folks

Trading barbs through media won't solve fiscal cliff crisis

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Seems strange for a newspaper to suggest, but we wish our leaders in Washington would stop negotiating the “fiscal cliff” solution through the media.

Since the election, President Obama or his surrogates have thrown out wholly untenable proposals – including an unconstitutional handing over of budgeting from the Congress to the executive branch. The Supreme Court has said that can’t even be done with a line-item veto – yet the White House has suggested giving the executive branch the power to unilaterally raise the nation’s debt ceiling.

Nor did the president propose real spending cuts – after repeatedly touting a “balanced” approach to deficit reduction during the campaign.

Then, instead of working over the numbers with Republicans, the president went on a campaign-style swing to blast the Republicans and rally supporters.

That’s not how serious negotiations are done.

Sadly, even liberal-leaning CNN commentator David Gergen is confounded by the combative negotiating tactics Democrats have employed in recent weeks.

“I have to tell you,” he told CNN’s John King recently, “over the last two years I think it was the Republicans who showed an arrogance, a resistance to ... a reasonable compromise. But since this election, I think the Democrats are the ones who are really trying to rub it in and almost humiliate the Republicans.

“And that’s not going to get to a bargain. It has to be a win-win.

“There are creative solutions to this, but it does take both parties.

“You hear among some Democrats right now, and it’s disturbing, that, ‘Maybe we just ought to take (the country) over the cliff. We’ll score political points against the Republicans and we’ll force their hands in the new year ...”

Indeed, the Associated Press wrote this week that “Administration officials also hardened their insistence that Obama is willing to take the nation over the cliff ...”

The “fiscal cliff” refers to an end-of-the-year series of tax increases on all earners as well as hundreds of billions in blunt and thoughtless cuts to defense and domestic spending.

Democrats appear tempted to try to use the fiscal cliff for political advantage. And they seem to be in the catbird seat. If Republicans go along with everything they want, great. If not, nothing gets done and the fiscal cliff comes and taxes go up on everybody and they blame Republicans. Polls show the public will agree that Republicans are to blame.

In turn, we’re not sure what the Republicans are waiting for. It seems clear they will be forced to agree to tax increases on the wealthy in order to preserve the current middle class tax rates. They don’t have much time to use that concession as leverage to extract real and meaningful spending cuts from their Democratic colleagues.

As Mr. Gergen aptly notes, a solution will take both parties.

Right now, though, Democrats seem intent on making Republicans look bad – and Republicans appear intent on helping them.

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fedex227
11187
Points
fedex227 12/05/12 - 10:56 pm
7
13
Pick a poll, any poll.
Unpublished

Republicans don't need any help (especially not from Democrats) when it comes to 'looking bad.'

YeCats
12073
Points
YeCats 12/05/12 - 11:55 pm
13
0
Agreed

No one involved with the Federal government is looking good to me, at this time.

Young Fred
20839
Points
Young Fred 12/06/12 - 03:18 am
5
0
Sure, Republicans can go

Sure, Republicans can go along with all Obama ask. But where will the country be one year from now?

The same situation as the last four years. Kick the can, kick it again, and again, and again. If the Rep's don't want to play the game, then the Dem's can jump up and down, claiming bad sportsmanship.

The Rep's are really just playing the game, the establishment Republicans care nothing about the countries health. Their sole concern is the next election. They foresee a bleak future, and wish to capitalize.

The Dem's are going all in. They don't really care about the overall health of the country, like the Rep's they only care about the next election. The Dem's have popular media on their side, so they have carte blanche approval to do anything that satisfies immediate wants, wishes, and the perceived inequities of the electorate.

In essence you have a big gamble by the two ruling parties. Neither has a plan that even remotely addresses the problem (SPENDING), both parties are too damn scared to do what is needed.

One side CLAIMS it will spend only a little TOO much, the other claims it will spend a bunch too much, but it will be more equitable because of WHERE a slight percentage of the revenue came from.

SAD

OALAEHO
16
Points
OALAEHO 12/06/12 - 04:04 am
9
0
Me

Perhaps the "Me"ness of our country has overwhelmed our principles of caring for/about our fellow beings. Our leaders posture for the media rather than moving toward a solution. Rancor subsumes common-sense.

TrukinRanger
1748
Points
TrukinRanger 12/06/12 - 05:43 am
1
1
Republicans have been
Unpublished

Republicans have been obstructionists for too long. It's finally time for them to actually come to the table with FRESH ideas and work together. It's pretty bad that the fiscal cliff is a better alternative to the former plans that the republicans have had. The tax cuts the very rich received to stimulate job growth did nothing but go right into their pockets or off shore bank accounts. The job growth never came from their incentives and they have be getting by with this too long. This pattern of record bonuses for CEO's is disturbing when the rest of the company is struggling to make ends meet. It's also pretty bad when corporations that take advantage of tax loopholes and credits are complimented as being business savvy but when someone unemployed takes advantage of whatever loopholes they can to get a few extra bucks in their pocket to pay for their rent, utilities, food is a moocher.

Riverman1
93467
Points
Riverman1 12/06/12 - 06:15 am
10
3
Republicans Should Give-in

Republicans should say due to the dangers of going off the cliff, they will acquiesce and give Obama everything he wants. Everything. Then when the mega recession begins, it will finally hit home that The Leader and his cult like followers don't understand economics.

Or could it be, the strategy of the Democrats is to create more and more dependents of the government? We are getting very close to beginning full scale socialism due to the changes in our population and voting patterns. It's not economics now, it's a war on the rich.

We have the same type criticism of the wealthy now that occurs when Communists are in control. The only difference is those in control are not marching the wealthy through the cities to be spat on; the public humiliation is done via the media.

Riverman1
93467
Points
Riverman1 12/06/12 - 06:39 am
7
3
I sincerely believe Sean Penn

I sincerely believe Sean Penn and Cindy Sheehan could be selected for the next Democratic ticket and win.

Techfan
6462
Points
Techfan 12/06/12 - 06:56 am
8
15
When the AC starts calling a

When the AC starts calling a guy like Gergen, who served as staff assistant (and for a while was director) of the speech writing team for Nixon (alongside ultra right wingers like Pat Buchanan and William Safire), was Director of Communications for Reagan and Ford, and an adviser to George H W Bush's campaign "liberal-leaning", you know they've lost that last tiny microscopic molecule of journalistic integrity they might have had left.

Rhetor
1082
Points
Rhetor 12/06/12 - 07:30 am
8
9
Really?

It's time for the Republicans to state what they want. Do you want to cut spending? Fine! List the programs you want to cut. Do you want to close loopholes? Fine! State which loopholes you want to close. All the Republicans have offered so far is to parrot mindless slogans like "It's not a revenue problem, it's a spending problem." The price of having a majority in the House of Representatives is an obligation to come up with actual proposals. This is something that they have not done. Obama presented a budget proposal. The Republicans laughed, but have not proposed a genuine alternative. Unspecified spending cuts such as those in the Boehner letter don't make a plan. Unspecified tax loopholes like the ones that Romney refused to state during his campaign don't make a plan. They need to propose something that is specific enough to make sense. Have a great day.

Riverman1
93467
Points
Riverman1 12/06/12 - 07:32 am
9
3
C'mon, Techfan

You are an astute political observer (and in one of the most dedicated and worthy professions in existence). You know the Democrats have already dropped off the cliff of reasonable politics. We are in some kind of "other game" with personality cults, philosophy politics, pressuring to take more from those who have. 401K's are next.

My practical side says to join you in the same way I made like I was a Catholic at the funeral where I was a pallbearer. I just sort of mouthed the chants and kneeled when the others did. Come to find out, they were almost like Southern Baptists.

Riverman1
93467
Points
Riverman1 12/06/12 - 07:37 am
8
3
From the NY Times, Republican Cuts

"Republicans did produce proposals that could create a political backlash. Of the plan’s savings, $200 billion over 10 years would come from changing the way the government calculates inflation, which would slow benefit increases in programs from Medicare to Social Security and raise taxes by slowing the annual rise in tax brackets. Republican aides said that it would be unpopular, but that it was the right response to deficits still topping $1 trillion.

The Republican plan also called for $600 billion in cuts to federal health care programs, including an increase in the eligibility age for Medicare and increased means testing to shrink health benefits for more affluent elderly Americans.

In all, the Republican offer would reduce the deficit more than the president’s..."

Young Fred
20839
Points
Young Fred 12/06/12 - 07:46 am
11
3
Tsk, tsk, Techfan Little bit

Tsk, tsk, Techfan

Little bit of misdirection on Gergen don’t you think? Of course I don’t expect many who share your views to actually understand the “liberties” you’ve taken to paint a certain picture.

I admire your consistency however. Always quick to make an irrelevant or inaccurate point while ignoring the main thesis of an argument, if said argument makes shambles of the tenets of your politics.

justthefacts
24968
Points
justthefacts 12/06/12 - 08:15 am
10
1
Rhetor

I tell you, you got nerve. Talk about shirking obligations, please tell us about the Budgets that the Senate have past over the last 4 yrs. Thanks.

OpenCurtain
10049
Points
OpenCurtain 12/06/12 - 08:00 am
8
1
52 vs 48 %

To me those are still fighting odds.

Sure the Re-DuP-licans need to figure out where they screwed up. We can tell them all day long it was the poor selection of Candidates, but they will do what they will.

BUT WHY
roll over and die, after only losing by less than 2% of the votes sounds more like a DIM-O-crat Wish and plan than the real world.

QUESTION
Did the DIM-O-crat's roll over and die after 2000, 2004?
NO... In fact they double down with even more socialist ideas and give aways buying their way into office.

The Re-Dup-licans major problem the last 2 elections has been mainly Candidates, and not as much Platform issues.

Sure there is going to be changes, but not Head to Toe Plastic Surgery.

I say drop the social issues and champion that such decisions are made at home, not by government. One will correct the other in a generation or 2.

BTW: I am changing my party listing to Independent and will be voting here on as I see a candidate that truly represents my way of thinking.

Techfan
6462
Points
Techfan 12/06/12 - 07:59 am
5
14
In other words, I'm right,

In other words, I'm right, Gergen isn't a lefty. When the main source of an editorial is based on a lie, the rest of the AC's argument takes care of itself. I admire your consistency. When someone points out the truth and makes shables the tenets of your politics, attack them personally and shift the subject. Class act buddy.

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 12/06/12 - 08:16 am
14
2
"When the main source of an
Unpublished

"When the main source of an editorial is based on a lie, the rest of the AC's argument takes care of itself."

Many have made this point about many of your posts, asking you to present facts to back them up and been answered with silence. I admire your consistency. You JUST attacked someone for "shifting the subject" when your entire first post addressed NOTHING in the article except the one thing you could find to try to discredit it. I'm overwhelmed by the irony.

Young Fred
20839
Points
Young Fred 12/06/12 - 08:15 am
10
2
Humble Angela

Peerxactly!

Techfan
6462
Points
Techfan 12/06/12 - 08:20 am
3
15
The GOP: We love America so

The GOP: We love America so much, we'll destroy it if we don't get our way. Or we may secede and leave it. Either way, we love it more than you do. Just like we love the Constitution more than you do, except for all the parts of it we want to throw out.

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 12/06/12 - 08:26 am
14
2
"The GOP: We love America so
Unpublished

"The GOP: We love America so much, we'll destroy it if we don't get our way."

How is that any different from refusing to even talk about spending cuts, which is what the President proposed?

And name ONE thing the GOP wants thrown out of the Constitution....and try backing it up with facts this time, please.

I might point out again, yet another post that doesn't offer any facts to refute the article....just attacks of the GOP.

Techfan
6462
Points
Techfan 12/06/12 - 08:29 am
4
17
Sorry I didn't bow to your

Sorry I didn't bow to your will and wisdom and do a line by line rebuttal of all of the AC's bull and just pointed out one of their lies. Maybe you should take your shining brilliance to Washington and help solve the fiscal cliff problem. You already have the GOP negotiating style down, demand you follow their way or no way. Next time I'll try to get y'alls approval before I post.

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 12/06/12 - 08:40 am
13
3
Techfan...I'm asking nicely.
Unpublished

Let's see....the GOP proposed tax revenue increases and spending cuts.....ie compromise. The Dems proposed spending increases and tax increases.......where's the compromise? How again is it the GOP who is so demanding? Please explain and again, please back it up with facts for once. We would really appreciate it.

TParty
6004
Points
TParty 12/06/12 - 08:39 am
6
0
David Gergen is a liberal??

David Gergen is a liberal?? Well, no wonder folks around here think I'm a liberal, if you think Gergen is a liberal. makes sense. Anyways, didn't Gergen complained that Obama went too far by demanding $1.6 trillion in revenue, that he should have stayed with Simpson-Bowles — which calls for $2.2 trillion in revenue. So math continues to be a problem...

TParty
6004
Points
TParty 12/06/12 - 08:41 am
4
3
"the GOP proposed tax revenue

"the GOP proposed tax revenue increases and spending cuts"

Where are the details on that? Specifics of the GOP proposed tax revenue increases and spending cuts?

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 12/06/12 - 08:43 am
12
2
Where are the details on the
Unpublished

Where are the details on the President's spending cuts.....oh yeah....he didn't offer any...he simply promised to talk about it later....and he has such a long history of keeping promises.

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 12/06/12 - 08:46 am
7
2
Here's a few details....which
Unpublished

Here's a few details....which is far more than the Democrats have offered.

http://www.cnn.com/2012/12/03/politics/fiscal-cliff/index.html

Young Fred
20839
Points
Young Fred 12/06/12 - 08:50 am
10
2
Sorry Techfan, the AC was not

Sorry Techfan, the AC was not lying when they labeled Gergen as “liberal-leaning”. He has been “leaning” towards the libweenie way of thought for a couple decades now.

You were the one painting a false picture of the Gergle man.

But hey, if you want to go back 30 or 40 years, let’s apply that same standard to Obama. I realize since the main stream press didn’t vet Obama, you may have no idea of his past, but with just a wee amount of effort on your part, you can draw a Gergen like portrait of Obama.

Of course there are major differences between Gergen and Obama. Gergen is merely an opportunist, whereas Obama has been consistent in his actions (if not his words) throughout his career.

Riverman1
93467
Points
Riverman1 12/06/12 - 09:23 am
13
3
New Idea for a Political Party

I am going to start a political party that will give everyone $60,000 a year, free medical care, free contraception and abortions, free housing, free heating and cooling, free cell phone and a few hundred a month spending money? I bet my party will win. (Does anyone think that's already where we are?)

TParty
6004
Points
TParty 12/06/12 - 09:32 am
4
4
I keep seeing the same

I keep seeing the same talking points, Angie, the "GOP plan promises $2.2 trillion in deficit savings over the next decade, including $800 billion from tax reform, $600 billion from Medicare reforms and other health savings and $600 billion in other spending cuts" deal.

But what are the specifics? What spending cuts? What reform? Tax loop holes, which ones?

Riverman1
93467
Points
Riverman1 12/06/12 - 09:36 am
6
1
T-Party, I guess you missed

T-Party, I guess you missed my post above where I quoted the NY Times presenting the Republican cuts. But that's okay, I sometimes miss things too.

Riverman1
93467
Points
Riverman1 12/06/12 - 09:38 am
8
1
"I am going to start a

"I am going to start a political party that will give everyone $60,000 a year, free medical care, free contraception and abortions, free housing, free heating and cooling, free cell phone and a few hundred a month spending money? I bet my party will win. (Does anyone think that's already where we are?)"

I know why I got a thumbs down on that post. I didn't say we wouldn't have to work at all.

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