It is Very Difficult to Believe Obama on the Debt Ceiling

By: Tuesday January 15, 2013 5:45 am

One of the most memorable parts of President Obama’s hour-long press conference on Monday came he was forced to face the issue of his own negotiating credibility problem.

 

The GOP Didn’t Actually Agree to Raise Taxes

By: Wednesday January 2, 2013 7:50 am

The Obama administration has declared victory with the new tax deal. They believe they got 85 percent of what they wanted on taxes and more importantly the administration claims they finally broke the back of the Republican Party’s opposition to raising taxes. President Obama said, “Thanks to the votes of Democrats and Republicans in Congress, I will sign a law that raises taxes on the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans.”

Obama Ready to Fold on Tax Rates

By: Monday December 31, 2012 11:45 am

This again reinforces that the best negotiation tactic with Obama is for the Republicans to be purposely disingenuous.The GOP should pretend to be close to a deal so Obama publicly says what concessions he will make, only to have the GOP predictably blow up the deal. After that, the GOP can start negotiations again but use Obama’s concessions as the new goal posts. Works every time.

Why A Tax Hike Today Won’t Be a Tax Hike Tomorrow: a New Baseline

By: Monday December 31, 2012 9:10 am

Today taxes are low but by tomorrow the Bush taxes cuts will have expired for everyone. Any deal reached today that only extends most of the Bush taxes cuts can be theoretically framed as a tax increase, since Congress would be voting for a tax rate higher than currently exists. By tomorrow, though, this entire issue goes away.

Late Night: Nothing to Be Done (Hopefully)

By: Friday December 28, 2012 8:00 pm

At first blush, President Obama’s inconclusive televised announcement this afternoon made the long-running “fiscal cliff” negotiations sound like the end of Samuel Beckett’s classic play Waiting for Godot.

Few in PA Would Be Affected by Ending High-income Tax Cuts

By: Friday December 21, 2012 5:01 pm

The Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center is out today with a new analysis finding that President Obama’s plan to end federal tax cuts for high-income earners would have very little impact on taxpayers in most Pennsylvania counties.

Boehner Bails on Plan B

By: Thursday December 20, 2012 6:28 pm

I just finished laughing from this spectacle on the House floor today. The House leadership tried desperately to pass “Plan B,” the main part of which was an extension of the Bush tax cuts on the first $1 million of income. In truth, all of the other giveaways in it would actually result in lower taxes for many wealthy earners, but tax rates have this weird power, especially within the Republican caucus. And you could just feel today that conservatives weren’t willing to pass the bill, even at that ridiculously high level. John Boehner and the leadership added a sweetener in the form of a package that eliminated the sequester on defense spending and applied it to more discretionary spending cuts, and even that barely passed, tainted by the association to Plan B.

We waited for a vote. And waited. Then the House Republicans held a closed caucus. And then…

Plan B Morphs Into a Conservative Wish List

By: Thursday December 20, 2012 11:22 am

House Republicans will wait until tonight to pass “Plan B,” and while I think ultimately it will pass, the reason they’re waiting so long is that they have to figure out what to put into it to get conservative votes. Erick Son of Erick has a whip list of 34 no votes and 12 leaners, and Republicans can only lose 23, assuming no Democratic crossovers. So leadership must sweeten the pot if they want to win the vote.

And the way you sweeten the pot for House Republicans is that you kick the poor a bit more while handing out some aid to Wall Street and Lockheed Martin.

Boehner’s Plan B Also Cuts Taxes on Rich, Raises Them on Poor

By: Thursday December 20, 2012 6:38 am

John Boehner may not even have the votes for today’s “Plan B,” a bill that effectively raises taxes on people making over $1 million a year. He was seen gladhanding on the House floor last night, whipping votes for his side. He can only lose 24 votes to reach 217 (there are a couple vacancies right now), on the expectation that he’ll get no help at all from the other side. It’s probably a heavy lift; even with Grover Norquist’s blessing, Boehner wants his GOP colleagues to walk the plank on a tax increase bill without any hope of it becoming law, just so they can go back and pass another bill that does the same thing.

A look at the bill’s particulars, however, actually inverts expectations.

Learned Behavior: Obama’s Backtrack on Tax Rates, Debt Limit Empowered Republicans

By: Wednesday December 19, 2012 2:10 pm

The White House announced they would veto “Plan B,” John Boehner’s gambit to pass a bill extending the Bush-era tax rtes for all earners on the first $1 million of income. And Nancy Pelosi said that Boehner had better have 218 votes for such a bill, since House Democrats won’t provide any. Of course, Boehner [...]

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