Senate Fiscal Cliff Doomsday Countdown Thread

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by Jabbadabbado, Nov 8, 2012.

  1. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    Does it happen and spark a 2013 recession?

    Is there a compromise, and who has the upper hand, the Republican House or the White House?

    What role is the non-filibuster-proof Senate going to play? Is Reid going to exercise what used to be called "The Nuclear Option" and change the Senate rules to do an end-run around filibusters?

    May you live in interesting times: the 2013 edition.
  2. Mr44 VIP

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    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    The immediate problem is that what form would a compromise take?

    Both sides are currently talking about working together. Both Boehner and Reid have issued statements which have said they're ready to work with the other side, but neither contain any specifics. At this point, I don't think either side has an upper hand. Obama wants to continue the "Bush tax cuts" except for the wealthiest 2%, which sounds like a slam dunk after the election, but any reduction there will have to come with corresponding spending cuts, which aren't going to be in defense. Will the administration be willing to accept cuts to social programs to get the symbolic "rich 2%?" That's the immediate compromise that would seem to be available, but it's going to alienate his base. I guess the question is, is it better for Obama to go after the rich and sacrifice the poor (in essence, ditching the extremes on either side) to shore up the middle class at the moment?
  3. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

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    Good questions. I'd agree that defense spending is probably going to turn out to be impregnable.
  4. VadersLaMent Chosen One

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    Apr 3, 2002
    star 9
    The Fiscal Cliff has become the new buzz topic in right wing outlets.
  5. Mr44 VIP

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    Well, Obama is hard to read as far as actual defense cuts go. On one hand, he's got his"bayonet and horse" comment, but on the other, he's pretty much said that real defense spending cuts aren't going to happen either. The problem that transcends Obama is that defense cuts are the most political, and the most far reaching of any spending cuts that the government does. For infrastructure, you have to go through the BRAC committe (which controls base closures) The next BRAC policy commission isn't even going to occur until 2015, so it would start right around the time for the next campaign, but that's about it. That's nothing that the administration could do in the short term. Beyond that, no member of Congress wants major defense cuts in manufacturing in their district, so you get battles over what gets trimmed before anything else, and compromises to the compromises, which also takes time.
  6. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

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    Mar 19, 1999
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    VLM: The main reason for that is that they have always said "A second Obama term is going to destroy the country." And now there's actually a mechanism in place for making that happe
    Last edited by Jabbadabbado, Nov 8, 2012
  7. AAAAAH Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2012
    star 4
    are the spending cuts in the 2013 trigger that catastrophic?
  8. Juliet316 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 27, 2005
    star 7
    Yes. Including deep cuts to social programs, education, and defense.
  9. AAAAAH Jedi Grand Master

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    Nov 8, 2012
    star 4
    very, very exciting stuff. i sit in suspense.
  10. Yodaminch Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 6, 2002
    star 6
    What is the motivation for the House to cooperate?

    They are either on their way out - with nothing to lose. Or, they just got re-elected and can afford to squander that now because people will likely forget by the time of re-election unless it blows up in their faces.

    And what's the motivation for the Senate? Same deal for many of them. Some have 6 more years before they need to sweat it out. And for Obama? Aside from how history remembers him, he no longer has to worry about elections either. This could easily become a stand off up until the very last minute where Boehner is most likely to blink because he's the only one that really has a great chance of losing his job in two years. Reid's still assured his position as Senator for until 2016 and by that point he's likely to pack it in anyway. Sure he might lose control of the Senate before then, but he too has little to really lose personally.
  11. AAAAAH Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2012
    star 4
    boehner is already blinking because he is a weakling. just puny. so the big deal will probably happen soon, and boehner will be weeping uncontrollably all the way through it. and cantor will be gritting his teeth and making the grimace face, and reid will be a stubborn, loathsome ass, and pelosi will trip out as the spittle drips off her chin.

    or they could just default and drive the economy into the dirt. either way is fine with me.
  12. A Chorus of Disapproval New Films Riot Deterrent

    Manager
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    Lowbacca edit: See below note
    Last edited by Lowbacca_1977, Nov 8, 2012
  13. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

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    Jun 28, 2006
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    Reminder, this is a Senate tagged thread. That should entail more than just images and more involved discourse
    Last edited by Lowbacca_1977, Nov 8, 2012
  14. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    It will be done... even if its resolution is stretched out, it will be done.

    And even if it somehow failed, it wouldn't be doomsday, either.



    The White House definitely has the political capital for this. Boehner has admitted that, he just hasn't completely surrendered. My take on the eventual "Grand Bargain" on tax/entitlement reform:

    *Tax Reform that lowers rates, closes loopholes primarily for the rich and corporations, and generates close to the same amount of revenue that simply letting the Bush Tax Cuts for the top 2 brackets expire but without crushing the middle class.

    *Entitlement Reform that is primarily lifting the cap, so the payroll tax is also applied to income over $250k/year. That has been projected to fund Social Security and Medicare into the 2080's alone. Adjusting the COLA and retirement age are also possible... but if the cap alone does it, then lifting the cap alone does it.

    *Spending Cuts and General Government Reform are also possible... combined with a modest one-time Infrastructure investment around the $50-$200b range (see the leftovers of the American Jobs Act... creating a National Infrastructure Bank, investment in transportation, investment in rehabilitating houses, investment in renovating and modernizing public schools)
    Last edited by Summer Dreamer, Nov 8, 2012
  15. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2004
    star 7
    There should be no talk of lowering tax rates. Tax rates should be either raised or left alone. The question is whether or not we can afford the Bush tax cuts. A further tax cut should be out of the question. Why should the party that lost the election still get the things it hoped to get by winning the election?
  16. Rogue_Ten Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 18, 2002
    star 7
    because democrats are useless
  17. Vaderize03 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 1999
    star 5
    I wouldn't say useless, they just lack intestinal fortitude.

    Aka "guts".

    Anybody see the news story about Iranian jets firing on an unmanned American drone last week over international waters? It got lost in the election coverage, but it's an important story.

    Peace,

    V-03
  18. Fire_Ice_Death Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2001
    star 7
    I personally think this 'cliff' is a bit exaggerated. And I think the main reason for that is so that Republicans could use it as a hammer with which to defeat the President and when that didn't happen...well, they either compromise or they act obsructionist. Either way nobody is going to be happy with them if they act as they did during the last 'fiscal emergency'. This, I suspect, is also a way for the GOP to maintain power as their big bogeyman (terrorism) didn't cooperate with them. I lay this on the GOP as the debt ceiling talks triggered this 'fiscal cliff' that has been a creation of dealing with economic terrorism.

    I'm not saying that fiscal problems aren't a problem--they are--but I think this problem has been greatly exasperated by having a hostile House which was propelled into being in 2010 with the election of extremists who will not compromise on anything. And no, i'm not going into this false equilvalency where 'both sides are bad'. So we're going to continue seeing these financial problems until they're voted out. Boehner strikes me as a pragmatist stuck in charge ofa bunch of children. So he's going to have to lay off the self-tanner and scotch and get to work on making them fall in line.
  19. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    Yeah, I think it's clear that the fiscal cliff problem was directly created by a GOP attempt to undo the Obama presidency, as was their fairly openly stated goal. Ultimately, I think the president is going to win on collecting more tax revenue from those earning at or above $250k annually, even though there will be some compromise on the expiration of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy. I'm much more confused about what kind of compromise can be reached on spending. I'd like to see big defense spending cuts, but the pressure on Democratic Senators to side with the Republican house to protect defense spending is going to be immense.
  20. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    1. This is what I think the eventual compomise will look like.
    2. Who cares about rates if they can continue to avoid taxes with the loopholes? Close the loopholes for the rich and corporation to the point that they would end up paying the same amount as if the rates were raised, perhaps even more... and it just makes the tax code much simpler and fairer too.
    Last edited by Summer Dreamer, Nov 9, 2012
  21. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    Well, the immediate problem for Obama is that he was the one who signed the Budget Control Act" ie the "fiscal cliff" into law. Yes, he did so out of compromise, but it still has his signature on it. It's not one of the famous "hold-overs" from Bush that he was forced to deal with.

    The second issue is that one of the clearest things he said during the campaign is that deep defense cuts won't happen. There was even one of the debates, the last one, IIRC, where Obama looked right in the camera and said " military sequestration won't happen on my watch." He didn't say that about any other program. So while I could see Obama making token defense cuts, the lion's share of any cuts are going to have to come from other areas. (Either that, or he basically lied to get military votes, but he's more savy than that) And in fact, the law specifically exempts Social Security, Medicaid, military pay, and veteran benefits from any of the fiscal cliff cuts, which practically ensures that any spending cuts will come from federal social programs not exempted above.
  22. Fire_Ice_Death Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2001
    star 7
    I see now why US policy has been not to negotiate with terrorists (unless you're Reagan)--you end up with a crapsack deal.
  23. Juliet316 Chosen One

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    Apr 27, 2005
    star 7
  24. Fire_Ice_Death Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2001
    star 7
    Yeah, and I'm betting the first thing on that chopping block is education, because fiscal problems do not matter if your state is too stupid to understand what 'fiscal' means in the first place.

    I also have no problem with gutting the military if it'll help. Not saying indiscriminately is preferable, but this might be the first time we'll ever see military budget cuts take effect as nobody wants to even touch the issue lest they be seen as 'unpatriotic' for not supporting an untenable funding pattern for our military.
    Last edited by Fire_Ice_Death, Nov 9, 2012
  25. Rogue_Ten Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 18, 2002
    star 7
    the next time i hear about the "fiscal cliff", im going to throw myself off a physical cliff
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