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Old 04-02-2011, 11:07 PM   #871
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oh my.
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Old 04-05-2011, 09:23 PM   #872
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Andrew Sullivan, April 5
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The president's walking away from the deficit commission he set up was, to my mind, one of those moments when his caution was not about the substance of the issue but the politics. He knows we need to cut entitlements and defense or face fiscal collapse. And yet he has allowed Paul Ryan to move into the vacuum Obama created on the most important domestic issue of the day.

Ryan's proposal, whatever you think of it, is serious. His proposal for Medicare looks to me like an extension of the Romney/Obama healthcare exchanges. His proposal for Medicaid--block grants to the states--will inevitably cut down on sky-rocketing healthcare spending. His tax reform is straight out of Bowles-Simpson. Alas, his op-ed is needlessly partisan in its initial lashing out at Obama. That's not the way to start a real dialogue, which is what we desperately need.

But the good news is that we finally have a political party being honest about what it takes to avoid falling off a fiscal cliff. It means sacrifice. And my objection to the Ryan plan really comes down to the injustice of imposing major sacrifices for the poor and elderly, while exempting the wealthy from any sacrifice at all. This is because of Ryan's and the GOP's intransigent, doctrinaire refusal to bring taxes back to their Clinton-era or Reagan-era levels, even as they have given themselves a great opportunity to raise revenues as painlessly as possible. All the GOP has to do is make tax reform revenue-positive rather than revenue-neutral. Income tax rates would come down--but not quite as low as they might have. The money left over could reduce the burden on the poor. If he advocated serious cuts in defense, rather than the minor measures backed by Gates, he'd be on much firmer ground as well.

But this is clearly an opening bid--and a powerful rebranding of the GOP, after the Bush years, as fiscally serious. As David Brooks wrote this morning, we shall soon see what Obama is made of by how he responds. We were told that Obama did not embrace long-term fiscal reform in his State of the Union this year because he needed political cover from the right. Well, he's got it now. Will he react by demagoguing the issue as the liberal blogosphere is doing--or by seeking a way to build on it, to trade cuts in Medicare and Medicaid for a revenue-positive tax reform and deeper defense cuts?

I don't accept the logic that this cannot be done in the year before a general election. The massive debt and deficits can be ducked no longer. While I'm sure there are many legitimate complaints about Ryan, in this proposal at least, he gets real points for seizing the initiative on honest debt-reduction, and pushing it forward as a principal issue for the elections in 2012. For the first time, the Tea Party seems genuine and serious in its fiscal goals. And the Democrats and Obama now have to offer a response. The question I'll be asking is quite simply: how would they save $5.8 trillion from the federal budget over the next decade? Tell us, please.
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Old 04-06-2011, 12:09 AM   #873
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i, for one, see no reason on earth why we can't keep taxes low for the rich by eviscerating health care for our most vulnerable citizens.

i mean, honestly, who could object to such a thing?
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Old 04-06-2011, 02:40 AM   #874
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i, for one, see no reason on earth why we can't keep taxes low for the rich by eviscerating health care for our most vulnerable citizens.

i mean, honestly, who could object to such a thing?
Don`t forget, as an American, YOU, yes YOU, have the change to become a wealthy person thanks to American Exceptionalism!!! YOU could be one of the top 5% of income earners!!!! IT`S THE AMERICAN DREAM!!!!!!!!!
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Old 04-06-2011, 09:05 AM   #875
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Don`t forget, as an American, YOU, yes YOU, have the change to become a wealthy person thanks to American Exceptionalism!!! YOU could be one of the top 5% of income earners!!!! IT`S THE AMERICAN DREAM!!!!!!!!!
I like the new box you can check on our tax returns that lets you take your refund in Powerball tickets.


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Old 04-06-2011, 09:20 AM   #876
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So, it looks like there might be a government shutdown
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Old 04-06-2011, 09:57 AM   #877
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The first headline I saw this morning was "Obama, GOP Try to Avoid Shutdown, Start to Point Fingers" which I at least got a bleak chuckle out of.
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Old 04-06-2011, 12:08 PM   #878
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The military won't get paid, other people won't-but of course Congress and the President and VP would still get paid
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Old 04-06-2011, 12:58 PM   #879
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The military won't get paid, other people won't-but of course Congress and the President and VP would still get paid
I love the Republican explanation I heard earlier, "Oh, the military will get back-pay once the budget is resolved and the government opens again."


Way to support the troops folks.
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Old 04-06-2011, 01:06 PM   #880
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Money or benefits was never the way the government supported the troops. It just says nice stuff about them.
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Old 04-06-2011, 01:29 PM   #881
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On another note, Paul Ryan viscerally makes me want to hurl, which probably means he has a glorious political career ahead of him.
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Old 04-06-2011, 03:26 PM   #882
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i think replacing a successful, single payer system like Medicare and replacing it with a voucher system, and then cutting the funding of those vouchers, is a great way to continue to cut taxes for the rich. it makes me very happy, as a young person, to pay for people born in the 1950s to have great health care and then not have the same system available when i am their age.
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Old 04-06-2011, 04:38 PM   #883
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with the left fired up in Wisconsin
the best they could do was 50/50

With 100% of vote counted, Kloppenburg clings to narrow lead; recount expected - JSOnline

I think 2012 will be very close for Obama, much like 2000 or 2004 where one or two states will determine the electoral college, I also think the GOP will win the Senate and hold the House.

I think the deficit spending and public pensions will be winning strategies for the GOP

I have friends, tenants and family members that work in the public sector

Private worker tax payers seem to have come together to go after the public worker pensions and benefits that they no longer enjoy.
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Old 04-06-2011, 05:59 PM   #884
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with the left fired up in Wisconsin
the best they could do was 50/50

With 100% of vote counted, Kloppenburg clings to narrow lead; recount expected - JSOnline
That is quite a bit disingenuous from you given that in 2 months the "fired up" left erased a 30-point lead that Prosser enjoyed.

But I do agree that the election will be close. Though it feels like it is years away, and I certainly wouldn't feel confident making any predictions now.

Remember in 1995, the government shutdown and Newt being a total whining baby ended up reversing the polls and approval ratings for the GOP Congress and Clinton. And in very short order. I am not saying that will happen, but we just have no way of knowing what will transpire between now and November of 2012. Mostly on the House/Senate side - I just don't find there to be a single serious presidential candidate for the GOP so my feeling is they might simply be giving up on it until 2016. Plus, Obama is more useful to them in power than not.
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Old 04-06-2011, 11:20 PM   #885
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Obama is more useful to them in power than not.

and he makes the Fox News punditocracy much more money than if there were a republican in power.
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