I couldn’t think of a more fitting story on my last day of blogging to symbolize the nature of our government than the aborting of Plan B, wherein House Republicans couldn’t even pass a messaging bill with no chance of advancing. Sometimes we’ve seen Speaker Boehner miscount the votes – the most notable time I can think of was an initial vote reauthorizing the Patriot Act, when some civil libertarians revolted – but not on a pure messaging bill.
|By: David Dayen Friday December 21, 2012 6:40 am|
|By: David Dayen 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 [...]
|By: David Dayen Tuesday December 18, 2012 8:25 am|
First of all, this is a benefit cut of about 0.3% a year, as Dean Baker points out. He adds that “This loss would be cumulative through time so that after 10 years the cut would be roughly 3 percent, after 20 years 6 percent, and after 30 years 9 percent.” Actually if we started using chained CPI in 2002, we’d be 3.6% behind today. That’s well over $1,000 a year, and the situation grows worse over time. So the greatest impact would be on the oldest seniors, which happens to correlate with the poorest.
|By: David Dayen Tuesday December 18, 2012 6:54 am|
The headlines here is that the Obama Administration narrowed the demand they maintained for four years, for tax rates to increase above $250,000, and they would agree to a benefit cut for Social Security and $400 billion in unspecified Medicare cuts, and in exchange they would mostly extend current law on a few fronts (but not all) and get an unspecified amount, no more than $50 billion, in infrastructure spending.
|By: David Dayen Monday December 17, 2012 6:57 am|
The offer apparently paired $1 trillion in tax increases with major social insurance cuts. Assuming that the spending cuts match the tax hikes dollar-for-dollar, all Boehner is saying is that his rule, where every dollar of debt limit increase must be matched by a dollar of spending cuts, remains in effect. So he’ll honor that with a $1 trillion increase in the debt limit. Tax increases do not count as deficit reduction in Boehner’s equation; only spending cuts will register for increasing the debt limit.
|By: David Dayen Friday December 14, 2012 4:34 pm|
It certainly looked yesterday as if the White House had dropped any notion of using an increase in the Medicare eligibility age as a bargaining chip in future negotiations on a grand bargain. While the White House has not ruled out increasing the age, some of its leading allies did, and Dick Durbin went so far as to say this was “no longer one of the items being considered by the White House.” But the Press
|By: David Dayen Wednesday December 12, 2012 8:21 am|
I think the White House added the corporate tax piece into the negotiations so that they could get business groups to pressure Boehner on the other points, especially raising individual tax rates. John Engler of the Business Roundtable dutifully carried that out yesterday.
|By: David Dayen Wednesday December 12, 2012 7:00 am|
The ferocious pushback on a trial balloon offer to raise the Medicare eligibility age continues, now at a very high level.
|By: David Dayen Tuesday December 11, 2012 6:00 pm|
Basically, Republicans have convinced themselves that they will have additional leverage if they look completely past the fiscal slope and the tax rate situation and move directly to taking the debt limit hostage. They believe that they can, as they did in 2011, force major concessions on spending, and this time social insurance cuts, if they simply refuse to increase the government’s borrowing capacity, threatening a default. This has led House Republicans to argue for delay on any deal until that debt limit comes into play, sometime in late February/early March.
|By: David Dayen Monday December 10, 2012 6:35 am|
Staffers in this White House in particular float trial balloons on a continual basis on virtually every issue of importance to gauge public response, and the whole point of that exercise is to actually respond to it rather than not take it seriously. And if that’s the case, and the eligibility age conversation represented a trial balloon, I think we can say it’s been effectively and efficiently popped. Because over the weekend, Dick Durbin, perhaps the closest US Senator to the White House, criticized the idea.