Gergen: Will Obama push us over the cliff? | TigerDroppings.com

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Gergen: Will Obama push us over the cliff?


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quote:

In a breakthrough, House Speaker John Boehner quickly lined up behind the idea of the wealthy paying more. He still disagrees with the president on how to get there, of course, but critics are losing sight of how far Boehner seems prepared to go. In private negotiations with Obama last year, the two men first agreed on raising $800 billion in new taxes over 10 years. When Obama pushed to see whether Boehner would go up another $400 billion to $1.2 trillion, the talks fell apart amid bitter recriminations and conflicting accounts of what happened.

Elections do make a difference:

Obama has now doubled the ante, asking for a total of $1.6 trillion in higher revenues over 10 years. Even though that is twice the revenues discussed last year, Boehner hasn't walked away.

He hasn't even blinked. Instead, word seeps out from Republican ranks that his members are asking to keep the final figure under $1 trillion even as others in Washington speculate that a compromise may be struck at halfway between $800 billion and $1.6 trillion, at $1.2 trillion.

Last summer, that would have been considered a huge victory for Democrats. Remember that Republicans haven't voted for significant tax increases since 1990 -- 22 years ago. To get them to the point where they seem prepared to accept as much as $100 billion a year in new taxes, aimed at the affluent, is remarkable.

There are at least two sticking points. Obama has insisted that the first new revenues come from raising tax rates on couples who earn above $250,000; Boehner has insisted that, no, they should come from limiting personal deductions and closing loopholes. Democrats like Sen. Harry Reid say the deduction/loophole route won't yield enough revenue. The Washington Post editorial page argues that in fact, limiting deductions to $50,000 per taxpayer would raise about $750 billion over 10 years, nearly matching the $800 billion that would be raised through the proposed tax hikes on the top 2%.

The other sticking point is that Republicans insist now that, as Obama would put it, the final grand bargain must be balanced. Big tax increases and big spending cuts must be voted on together so both sides are guaranteed concessions by the other.

That, too, seems highly doable: In the negotiations last summer, Obama's team (see Bob Woodward's new book) put a number of significant entitlement reforms on the table, including Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. Republicans are insisting that before they sign on any dotted line about higher taxes, Obama and the Democrats show what entitlement reforms they are willing to embrace. Frankly, that sounds entirely reasonable: It has been clear since Simpson-Bowles and numerous other efforts that big concessions must come from both parties.

Instead of turning the GOP willingness to deal on taxes into a win-win, the White House seemingly wants to humiliate them by insisting they cave entirely on increasing tax rates -- or take responsibility for going over the cliff. Instead of sitting down and negotiating directly with leaders from the other side in private getaways, as presidents like Lyndon Johnson and Ronald Reagan did, the president launches a campaign-style offensive against them.

The proposal that Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner put before Republicans on Thursday, as reported by The New York Times, was clearly intended to score political points with Democrats rather than entice Republicans into serious negotiations. It was full of nonstarters. One example: It demanded that Republicans lock in to $1.6 trillion of higher taxes in December and in exchange said that spending cuts one-quarter that size would be the subject of talks next year. Come again?

What we are seeing, I regret to say, looks very much like a movie we have seen before: The side that wins an election thinks the public has given them permission to steamroll the other side, pushing through their favorite ideas willy-nilly. Sometimes, they partially succeed, but before long, there is a backlash, and Washington comes to another grinding halt.










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idlewatcher
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Houston
Member since Jan 2012
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re: Gergen: Will Obama push us over the cliff?


Great post - even easy for us stupid people to understand





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DEANintheYAY
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re: Gergen: Will Obama push us over the cliff?


Obama just doesn't want to negotiate against himself and is trying to get the Republicans to offer their plan.

I agree that the revenues will be about $1.2 trillion and in the end Democrats and Obama will agree for enough spending cuts to make this happen.

This is just the negotiation process.






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C
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The Woodlands, TX
Member since Dec 2007
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re: Gergen: Will Obama push us over the cliff?


quote:

Obama just doesn't want to negotiate against himself and is trying to get the Republicans to offer their plan.


The problem is entitlements are more sacred to Democrats. They have to let the republicans know what edges can be rounded off. Thats why the republicans countered rate increases with deduction limits. You get to the same end, just a different way that appeases their base. Democrats need to take a look at previous negitiations as a starting point vs presenting the presidents previous budget that no one in congress voted for on either side of the aisle.






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DEANintheYAY
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re: Gergen: Will Obama push us over the cliff?


Republicans need to put an offer on the table.





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ironsides
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Nashville, TN
Member since May 2006
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re: Gergen: Will Obama push us over the cliff?


quote:

Republicans need to put an offer on the table.


Why? I thought Obama had a plan? He said he had some sort of brochure when he was debating Romney. I guess just like all of his other campaign promises, nothing to see but unicorns.






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C
LSU Fan
The Woodlands, TX
Member since Dec 2007
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re: Gergen: Will Obama push us over the cliff?


quote:

Republicans need to put an offer on the table.


Sounds like they did: $750B in tax hikes through $50k deduction limits.






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Interception
Providence Fan
Member since Nov 2008
11089 posts

re: Gergen: Will Obama push us over the cliff?


David Gergen is hardly a Republican sympathizer. When Gergen writes an article like this I think people should listen.

Don't you believe this would have been wasted time if in fact they kick the can to the summer? Who knows what kind of atmosphere Washington will be in by the summer? The Republicans want to make the deal and its the President balking.









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DEANintheYAY
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re: Gergen: Will Obama push us over the cliff?


quote:

The Republicans want to make the deal and its the President balking.


The President isn't balking. He ran on an won on the concept of increasing taxes on those making $250k or more and that is part of what he is proposing. BUT, Republicans see that as a non-starter.






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jamboybarry
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I Putt Out
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re: Gergen: Will Obama push us over the cliff?


quote:

He ran on an won on the concept of increasing taxes on those making $250k or more and that is part of what he is proposing. BUT, Republicans see that as a non-starter.


Seems to me Boehner has already floated this would be acceptable. So now the only issue is him getting his tea party (and norquist pledgers) to line up

Is that what you were referring to?






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DEANintheYAY
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re: Gergen: Will Obama push us over the cliff?


Somewhat. Boehner has coalesced around letting the BTC expire for the top 2 brackets?





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C
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The Woodlands, TX
Member since Dec 2007
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re: Gergen: Will Obama push us over the cliff?


quote:

Republicans see that as a non-starter.


I haven't see that. The republicans just want some cuts to spending and we haven't seen anything offered up.

quote:

He ran on an won on the concept of increasing taxes on those making $250k


You seem to forget the house republicans also ran and won on cutting spending.






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Interception
Providence Fan
Member since Nov 2008
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re: Gergen: Will Obama push us over the cliff?




quote:

There are at least two sticking points. Obama has insisted that the first new revenues come from raising tax rates on couples who earn above $250,000; Boehner has insisted that, no, they should come from limiting personal deductions and closing loopholes. Democrats like Sen. Harry Reid say the deduction/loophole route won't yield enough revenue. The Washington Post editorial page argues that in fact, limiting deductions to $50,000 per taxpayer would raise about $750 billion over 10 years, nearly matching the $800 billion that would be raised through the proposed tax hikes on the top 2%.


quote:

The President isn't balking. He ran on an won on the concept of increasing taxes on those making $250k or more and that is part of what he is proposing. BUT, Republicans see that as a non-starter.


Increasing taxes on those at 250k is ridiculous. Have any idea the cost of living in major cities. Shummer and Pelosi both favor 1 million and above but the President thinks 250k is rich. What a fricktard?






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BigBoyTiger
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Chicago
Member since Aug 2005
8751 posts

re: Gergen: Will Obama push us over the cliff?


quote:

The President isn't balking.


Maybe not now, but in the past he has.

You should read Woodward's book. With out saying it verbatim, Woodward essentially called Barack Obama a terrible leader. He also outlined how the Republicans were fractured, as well. But the President looks like he's in over his head.






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DEANintheYAY
USA Fan
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re: Gergen: Will Obama push us over the cliff?


quote:

Increasing taxes on those at 250k is ridiculous. Have any idea the cost of living in major cities. Shummer and Pelosi both favor 1 million and above but the President thinks 250k is rich. What a fricktard?



I live in San Francisco, so yes I know about living in a major city.

Its part of negotiating. You don't negotiate against yourself or offer your final offer first.







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a want
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re: Gergen: Will Obama push us over the cliff?


quote:

Obama just doesn't want to negotiate against himself and is trying to get the Republicans to offer their plan.


Yeah, I remember a lot of criticism over his negotiation skills during the last round. His 'fallback' position will be what he's been talking about for about 2 years now. Hopefully we'll get 3:1 cuts in there (ease them in) over time.






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BigBoyTiger
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Chicago
Member since Aug 2005
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re: Gergen: Will Obama push us over the cliff?


quote:

Its part of negotiating. You don't negotiate against yourself or offer your final offer first.


Right. I understand that. But you also don't throw something out there that is completely insulting and a non starter.

My whole issue with this thing is that he's the President. He's the leader of the free world. I am annoyed that he negotiates this through the media. Why can't this be outside of the public? Throwing this out in the media only makes this worse and more partisan.






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DEANintheYAY
USA Fan
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re: Gergen: Will Obama push us over the cliff?


quote:

My whole issue with this thing is that he's the President. He's the leader of the free world. I am annoyed that he negotiates this through the media. Why can't this be outside of the public? Throwing this out in the media only makes this worse and more partisan.



I think it was leaked by Republicans, no?

This will get done. No worry. Be happy.






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Interception
Providence Fan
Member since Nov 2008
11089 posts

re: Gergen: Will Obama push us over the cliff?


Well as Gergen states he doesn't have the negotiating skills of a Johnson or Reagan.

What's really weird is Obama literally has no relationships on Capitol Hill and that's coming from both Democrats and Republicans. I dont know of anybody that believes he has extradinary Presidential leadership skills. Except maybe himself?







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goatmilker
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re: Gergen: Will Obama push us over the cliff?


If the prez doesn't want to negotiate and reach a compromise then they should walk away. This was not a dictatorial election victory no matter what you think. The prez has only four more years not so the rest of us. Besides, these numbers are still just a drop in the debt bucket.





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