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Dems developing new strategy for war over Bush tax cuts

With a major battle over the Bush tax cuts looming this fall, top Democrats are formulating a strategy that rests heavily on making the case that letting the tax cuts expire is in fact a Republican tax hike -- because the GOP set the sunset date to begin with, aides tell me.

The strategy is an effort to turn the table on Republicans, by turning their primary argument against them. Republicans have aggressively framed the debate in advance by denouncing Dem plans to let the Bush tax cuts expire -- even those for the rich -- as a massive Dem tax hike that will further crush the faltering economy.

But Dems are planning to hit back hard by pointing out that Republicans are the ones who built in the sunset date of December 31, 2010 for the Bush tax cuts, all in order to conceal their true long term impact.

"Any tax increase is a Bush tax increase because the Republicans sunsetted the tax cuts to hide their true cost -- which will add nearly $700 billion to the deficit," a Democratic aide says, previewing the coming strategy.

Democratic aides hope this will resonate with another key argument: That the GOP's zeal to keep the tax cuts show Republicans don't care about the deficit.

To prove their point, Democratic aides have poured through the record and dug up quotes of Dems warning that Republicans had installed a sunset date in order to obscure the true impact of the tax cuts.

"I would say this bill is a monument to fiscal irresponsibility," Senator Kent Conrad warned in 2001, denouncing it as a deficit time-bomb designed to "hide the true costs."

Senator Dick Durbin at the time scoffed that the GOP had made the tax cuts' true costs "invisible," suggesting it was hocus pocus that even magician David Copperfield wouldn't attempt.

To be sure, Dems need to get on the same page themselves as they gear up for this war. Dem Senate leaders have indicated they're likely to move in September to force the issue, but divisions remain about whether to pursue a temporary extension. House Dem leaders seem inclined to keep the tax cuts in place for the middle class to force Republicans to defend letting them expire only for the wealthy. But some skittish Dems still worry they've vulnerable to Republican attacks on their "tax hikes."

Presuming, however, that internal divisions get resolved, the argument that letting the tax cuts expire is actually a Republican tax hike is one you'll be hearing a lot more often.

By Greg Sargent  |  August 6, 2010; 3:34 PM ET
Categories:  Senate Dems , Senate Republicans , economy  
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Comments

According to Republicans renewing the Bush Tax Cuts would add 3.8 Trillion Dollars to the National Debt.

Republicans say that would be worth it, just to make sure that Billionaries can continue to amass more and more wealth.

The Tax cuts did not create any jobs, so the only reason that Republicans can have for renewing them would be to further fatten the already too fat cats.

Posted by: Liam-still | August 6, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Greg,

You will probably want to add this to your Sharron Angle file;

From TPM

"Sharron Angle sure has some interesting political associations. As Jon Ralston reports, Nevada's Republican nominee for Senate will be headlining a Tea Party event Saturday in San Diego promoted by a far-right doctors group -- a group that has itself promoted all sorts of wild conspiracy theories.

The event this Saturday, the National Doctors Tea Party, is promoted by a group called the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons. Among the AAPS's greatest hits: They have stated that the establishment of Medicare in 1965 was "evil" and "immoral"; They have denied the link between HIV and AIDS; they have dabbled in birtherism; they have argued that President Obama may have used "covert hypnosis" to rally his crowds; and have suggested that the Food and Drug Administration is unconstitutional."

Posted by: Liam-still | August 6, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

"Top Democrats are formulating a strategy that rests heavily on making the case that letting the tax cuts expire is in fact a Republican tax hike -- because the GOP set the sunset date to begin with."

Didn't the GOP want to make them permanent but couldn't because the Dems filibustered? So they had to go the reconciliation route which required a sunset provision?

Posted by: sbj3 | August 6, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Bush signed the bill. If he did not like it, he could have vetoed it. Case Closed.

Posted by: Liam-still | August 6, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

sbj, from the NYT in 2001:

The bill includes nearly all the elements sought by Mr. Bush and Republican leaders. But to fit them within the amount of money available, Congress had to resort to a financial and political gimmick: it provided that all the tax cuts would be rescinded by 2011, the last year in the planning horizon used to calculate the legislation's cost.

Republicans said they assumed future Congresses would vote to extend the tax cuts. Democrats said the maneuver was a ploy to hide the fact that the real cost of the bill was at least $1.6 trillion — the level Mr. Bush had sought — if all the provisions were left in place in 2011.

and thx for that, liam...

Posted by: sargegreg | August 6, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Hey Greg, That's the beauty of the sunset. the dems just do nothing (this is their skill set after all) and the tax cuts expire. Perhaps the dems could offer a payroll tax holiday for 3 years that would match the income tax hike on those under 200k and dedicate the tax increase to funding social security for 3 years. Let the repubs vote against that...

Posted by: srw3 | August 6, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

What a shortsighted and moronic strategy.

Dems shouldn't cede the ground that removing a tax cut or closing tax loopholes are a "tax hike". That's exactly the ground the GOP wants the debate.

What the Dems should be doing is framing the debate as if the Bush cuts have already expired - and the GOP wants to give MORE tax breaks to the richest of the rich. Since future budgets were already planned for the Bush cuts to go away this year, the baseline is those tax cuts not existing. So extending the Bush cuts is essentially like creating new tax cuts for the rich.

That's how to frame it.

During the slow recovery from the worst economic disaster since the Great Depression, the GOP solution is...to give MORE massive tax cuts to the richest 1% of the country.

Let's see how that "resonates" with voters, shall we?

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | August 6, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Between FY2002 and FY2009, discretionary spending rose 96 percent. http://bit.ly/dklh6r

Know how they complain about too many pages to read- One page ---> http://bit.ly/abECE0

New Resources + NEW TOOLS - 2003! ONE PAGE folks! National Homeownership Proclamation http://bit.ly/abECE0

Posted by: sasha2008 | August 6, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Oh yeah, this can't miss...

Posted by: ath17 | August 6, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Way too nuanced of an argument. Fail.

Posted by: johnyt1977 | August 6, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

I like The Republicans Position on this issue:

In A Nutshell; they are saying.

We passed massive tax cuts for the super wealthy. We did not offset the cuts with pay as you go revenues.

The Tax cuts did not create a single net job, during President Bush's two terms, they destroyed an annual budget surplus, and replaced it with a massive annual budget deficit.

Therefore, let us do it again. Why not add another 3.8 trillion dollars to the national debt; because it is for such a worthy cause; the further fattening of fat cats.

Posted by: Liam-still | August 6, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

This morning I suggested this on an earlier thread.

I believe my quote was, "Fact: The vote for a 'tax increase' took place a decade ago, and most all of the votes were Republicans."

The beauty of this is that it is 100% true.

Greg: any chance you can get us the vote totals on the "Republican tax increases for 2010" bill passed by Republicans in 2001?

One would think, since all that is needed to inact the "Republican tax increases" is for the Congress to do nothing, that getting them passed should be fairly easy.

Posted by: nisleib | August 6, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

BBQ - I disagree.

Dems should mock the "tax increase" line and keep pushing home the fact that the votes for this "tax increase" were supplied by Bush and the Republicans.

For goodness sake BBQ, this vote has already taken place. Holding Congress-critters accountable for their votes is a time honored tradition.

Posted by: nisleib | August 6, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

The Dems are going to lose this argument. I agree it is way to nuanced. To try and say 'I told you so' is so childish and will not work. And that's what this plan sounds like.

I agree with Atrios on this, go out and with your tax policies and call them the 'Obama tax cuts' and direct them to the middle and lower class. That's a winning strategy, of course, the Dems will not do that.

Posted by: tommyny26 | August 6, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

BBQ Chicken has it right. The cuts will expire as the GOP wished and now they want to give a massive $800 billion tax cut for the wealthiest 2% of taxpayers and blow a hole in the national debt.

The Dems want to lower taxes on the other 98% of taxpayers who haven't seen their incomes increase by triple digits like the top 2%.

That's about as simple as it gets.

And there is no evidence that tax cuts for the wealthy really create jobs. If they did, we wouldn't have lost a net 2 million jobs while Bush was Pres.

Perhaps when the Kennedy tax cuts lowered the top rate from 90% to 70%, or when the first Reagan tax cut lowered the top rate from 70% to 50% tax cuts on the top bracket did create greater efficiencies and better capital allocation. But dropping the top bracket from 39.5% to 37.5% obviously gets you not just into diminsishing returns but no bang at all. At that point it is just redistributive toward to top income group.

Posted by: Mimikatz | August 6, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

"The vote for a 'tax increase' took place a decade ago, and most all of the votes were Republicans."

"This "tax increase" [was] supplied by Bush and the Republicans."

Department of inconvenient facts:

"The bill passed the House ... with 28 Democrats and an independent joining all Republicans in voting yes. The Senate then passed it by a vote of 58 to 33. Twelve Democrats joined 46 Republicans in support of the bill in the Senate."

Looks as if this never could have passed without Democratic support. (Reminds me of the Iraq war...)

Posted by: sbj3 | August 6, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

SBJ - Yes, sadly some Dems did vote for it, but 28 out of 450 in the house and 12 out of 100 in the senate does not counter the fact that "most all of the votes" were Republicans.

And thanks for reminding me of the cowardice of the Democrats on the Iraq vote. That is the kind of thing that stops me from joining the Democratic Party. Grrr.

Besides, the Republicans had control of congress when these, "Bush tax increases for 2010" went through. It was thought up by Republicans and signed by a Republican President. That makes it a Republican plan, no?

Posted by: nisleib | August 6, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

The SuperRich 1% have 47% of the wealth in the Untied States. The bottom 80% have 7% of the wealth: Tax the Rich.

Tax rates on the SuperRich are the lowest they have ever been: Tax the Rich.

Balance the budget? Tax the Rich.

Get back the money Wall Street stole from us? Tax the Rich.

Raise the marginal rate on the top 1% to 70%, which is more or less its historical average. Could not be more simple. And very surely effective. The only reason the Democrats don't say it is because they don't believe it.

Does this help illuminate the fundamental problem? In the end it really is a class struggle.

And as for the wars, Pres. Eisenhower warned about the military-industrial complex. He also reminded everyone that every dollar spent on the military is a dollar that comes from Americans but isn't spent to improve American lives. But the military-industrial complex by now is just one of many areas where government and industry have fused. Eisenhower's warning was apt but limited. We now live in a plutocracy and defense companies aren't the only ones suckling at the teat.

Posted by: wbgonne | August 6, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

@nislieb: "most all of the votes" were Republicans."

They were, but the tax cuts could not have become law without the Dems in the Senate.

"That makes it a Republican plan, no?"

I imagine the GOP will take credit for the tax cuts and blame any tax increases on the Dems. Dems' best bet is to extend the middle class cuts and let the rich guys' expire.

If the Dems let the middle class tax cuts expire then Greg's argument won't work at all because it is within the Dem's power to stop the middle class increase. I imagine that those Repubs who will defend the tax cuts for the rich will be in safe districts.

Posted by: sbj3 | August 6, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

SBJ - Well, the Dems could win on this one, easily. They could, if they had any message discipline.

But the Dems have the message discipline of a preteen at a Justin Bieber concert, which really hamstrings them.

We'll see how it plays.

But you say, "it is within the Dem's power to stop the middle class increase." I'm not so sure. I wouldn't put it past the GOP to fillibuster any effort to keep the middle class tax cuts and lose the "Paris Hilton Needs a New Bentley" tax cut. All or nothing seems like their style. I hope I'm wrong.

Posted by: nisleib | August 6, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

question --

if the Bush tax cuts were passed with reconciliation's 50 votes, why couldn't the Dems push their tax policy through reconciliation? is it the conservaDems?

Posted by: jeeze56 | August 6, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

@sbj3 : Actually the second round of tax cuts didn't have a dem vote in the senate. Cheney had to come out of hiding to cast the deciding vote. BTW, 3 republicans voted for the stimulus, does that make it a republican bill?

Posted by: srw3 | August 6, 2010 4:41 PM | Report abuse

question --

if the Bush tax cuts were passed with reconciliation's 50 votes, why couldn't the Dems push their tax policy through reconciliation? is it the conservaDems?

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2010/mar/04/alan-grayson/bush-tax-cuts-were-passed-reconciliations-50-votes/

Posted by: jeeze56 | August 6, 2010 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Republicans block settlement for black farmers... AGAIN.

http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/08/still_no_settlement_for_black_farmers.php

The Racist Republican Party is at it again. They will do ANYTHING to deny African-Americans their equality. Literally anything.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | August 6, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

@nislieb: "I wouldn't put it past the GOP to fillibuster any effort to keep the middle class tax cuts and lose the "Paris Hilton Needs a New Bentley" tax cut."

You could be correct about this.

Posted by: sbj3 | August 6, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

@srw: "BTW, 3 republicans voted for the stimulus, does that make it a republican bill?"

No, but it makes them complicit!

The party in power gets the blame and takes the credit. GOP takes credit for tax cuts, Dems get blamed for tax increases.

You'd have to spin fast enough to escape the boundaries of time to pin a tax increase on the GOP.

Posted by: sbj3 | August 6, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

@jeeze56 : because the dems don't want to play hardball for some reason. They believe in the comity of the senate and all that. S. Whitehouse had the chance to pass all the stalled nominees through because no republicans were in the chamber (they all left early for vacation, after vigorously doing nothing for months, people need a break) but deferred based on senate tradition. I am still not sure why he thinks that matters anymore. Dems are playing oregon trail while repubs are playing halo 3....

Posted by: srw3 | August 6, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

SBJ says, "You'd have to spin fast enough to escape the boundaries of time to pin a tax increase on the GOP."

No, you would only need to be able to spin better than the Republicans.

Come to think of it, you might have better luck escaping the boundaries of time.

Posted by: nisleib | August 6, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

@sbj3:You'd have to spin fast enough to escape the boundaries of time to pin a tax increase on the GOP.

Actually the tax cuts expiring are a product of republican legislation as you well know. Reagan raised taxes at least 3 different times...

Squirm all you want. Repubs wrote the bill to expire in 10 years. They weren't willing to argue that they should be forever, because they couldn't (or more accurately didn't want to take the political heat for) offset or defend the deficits they would (and have for 10 years) have caused. Really you can do better...

Posted by: srw3 | August 6, 2010 5:13 PM | Report abuse

@Ethan: This is a moral outrage. Both groups were consciously and shamelessly cheated by the federal government and repubs don't have the guts to admit that the US is responsible for the cheating. This is more disgusting than filibustering judical nominees or unemployment legislation. It is righting a grievous wrong perpetrated by our government. Repubs are acting like pond scum on this (and maybe that is unfair to pond scum.)

Posted by: srw3 | August 6, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse

SBJ3, Republicans had a majority voting for the tax cuts, however, they didn't have a supermajority. As a result, they had to use reconciliation to pass it. And this is the reason the tax cuts weren't made permanent then. The CBO deemed the tax cuts as deficit increasing and reconciliation can't be used to pass a deficit increasing law past ten years (Reconciliation's purpose was to make it easier to cut the deficit, rather than expand it)

But that's why we are here today to talk about making them permanent, because GOP couldn't do it ten years ago.

Incidentally, this is why we won't have to revisit the health care law in ten years. For all that Republicans want to scream and yell about it being a spending bill that adds to the deficit, the CBO deemed the sidecar (remember, only a small part of the bill needed reconciliation. The major parts of the bill passed with a supermajority) to be deficit reducing past the ten year window. Thus, it's permanent.

Posted by: DDAWD | August 6, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

@srw: "Repubs ... weren't willing to argue that they should be forever."

Huh? Washinton Post, November 2002:

"Bush and congressional Republicans have argued that making the tax cut permanent would help the economy by giving individual taxpayers and businesses certainty that the tax code would not revert to its higher 2001 rates in 2011. The White House showed no sign of retreating from that position yesterday. Bush pushed again for a permanent extension."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?pagename=article&node=&contentId=A51334-2002Nov13¬Found=true

Posted by: sbj3 | August 6, 2010 5:23 PM | Report abuse

"SBJ3, Republicans had a majority voting for the tax cuts, however, they didn't have a supermajority. As a result, they had to use reconciliation to pass it. And this is the reason the tax cuts weren't made permanent then."

That's what I thought! The GOP wanted permanent cuts but the Dems forced them to go via reconciliation.

Posted by: sbj3 | August 6, 2010 5:30 PM | Report abuse

I sure hope this wasn't a secret strategy.

Dems need to also separate their desire to keep the middle class tax cuts and tell the nation if their taxes go up it is because the Republican's blocked the middle class cut extension trying to again, get more tax cuts for the rich.

There is no way you can convince me the economy will collapse if we raise the inheritance tax or the tax on dividends. The Dems really need to start picking those cuts apart.

Posted by: soapm | August 6, 2010 5:49 PM | Report abuse

"SBJ3, Republicans had a majority voting for the tax cuts, however, they didn't have a supermajority. As a result, they had to use reconciliation to pass it. And this is the reason the tax cuts weren't made permanent then."

I thought reconciliation was never used for legislation as large as the HCR? And the Dems only used it for a small part of their bill. The GOP used it to add $Trillion to the debt and are still claiming they don't have to be paid for.

Posted by: soapm | August 6, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse

"During the slow recovery from the worst economic disaster since the Great Depression, the GOP solution is...to give MORE massive tax cuts to the richest 1% of the country.

Let's see how that "resonates" with voters, shall we?"

What's worse, those tax cuts for the rich were in place when we were loosing 700K jobs per month. If they were such job creators, what happened?

Posted by: soapm | August 6, 2010 5:53 PM | Report abuse

@sbj3: Looks as if this never could have passed without Democratic support. (Reminds me of the Iraq war...) And the tax cuts would not have been proposed if we had popular elections of presidents. Both parties were to blame but repubs get the vast majority of the blame because they proposed it.

The bush tax cuts were the financial equivalent to the debacle of the Iraq invasion. A disaster of monumental proportions that wreaked havoc on millions of lives and that we are still paying for.

See I agree with you.

Posted by: srw3 | August 6, 2010 6:04 PM | Report abuse

"@sbj3: Looks as if this never could have passed without Democratic support. (Reminds me of the Iraq war...) And the tax cuts would not have been proposed if we had popular elections of presidents. Both parties were to blame but repubs get the vast majority of the blame because they proposed it."

If I recall, only one Democrat, Ben Nelsen voted for the tax cuts. Like the Republican's keep saying, you can't pick off two or three from the other party and call it bipartisan.

Posted by: soapm | August 6, 2010 6:12 PM | Report abuse

All, Happy Hour Roundup posted:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/08/happy_hour_roundup_67.html

Posted by: sargegreg | August 6, 2010 6:18 PM | Report abuse

@sbj3:Huh? Washinton Post, November 2002:

the date is key here. When they passed the initial cuts, they didn't or couldn't make the argument that they should be permanent, which is what I said. They did try to change the bill after the fact, but during the debate when people nominally were paying attention, they didn't make a persuasive case for just changing the tax law permanently or at least not persuasive enough. They certainly demagogued the issue enough. I believe that, at the time, they didn't want to admit that they had no offsets for the tax cuts beyond the surplus that clinton generously provided them and so went to reconciliation, using it in a truly unprecedented way, to raise the deficit. I believe they fired the senate parlimentarian when he pointed out that using reconciliation that way was against the rules of the senate. Bush didn't have to sign it if he didn't like it. Those republicans are really deficit hawks, aren't they...Added more to the national debt than all other presidents combined. No net job creation to show for it, no infrastructure improvements to show for it, oh, that's right, the benefits went overwhelmingly to the top 5% of all income earners...Maybe that's why there was no job creation....

Posted by: srw3 | August 6, 2010 6:22 PM | Report abuse

srw3 The freaking DNC or the Obama W.H. need to hire you for their messaging. Your posts are spot on and I for one appreciate your copious use of attribution and hyperlinks. Perhaps that's just the retired journalist in me or perhaps it's the old cliche about opinions..everyone has one and you know the rest. Most of the trolls..certainly not all...and quite frankly some progressives just come on here and spew opinion. Everybody's entitled to their opinion and while I now respect you opinion enormously srw3 it's still nice to see somebody actually documment their assertions.

Well while I'm passing along compliments the same goes to you Greg. Again as someone who majored in Broadcast Journalism and worked 25 years in the biz one of the things that attracts me to this blog Greg is that I truly believe you have impeccable journalistic credibility. Are you capable of mistakes. You're human. But at no point could ANYBODY make a case that you have misreported or slanted facts to make a point. Too bad Greg you have no future at Fox Propaganda. That's OK we love ya here.

Posted by: rukidding7 | August 6, 2010 6:31 PM | Report abuse

@soapm : If I recall, only one Democrat, Ben Nelsen voted for the tax cuts.

I don't think this was true of the first round of cuts, there were several dems who voted for it. I thought that only republicans voted for the second round which is why they needed darth cheney to break the 50-50 tie, but I could be wrong there. of course Nelson is one in all but name (and who he votes for majority leader.)

Posted by: srw3 | August 6, 2010 6:34 PM | Report abuse

Raising taxes in the midst of a recession is so very stupid and Americans see that - if Obama wants to commmit political suicide once again like he did on the Health Plan, he can go ahead, but there won't be a lot of Democrats bacmking him.

America doesn't want socialism, but Obama, Pelosi, and Reid are dead set on making sure America becomes socialist....but as the monority party on Capitol Hill after the midterms, they won't be able to do it!

Posted by: Realist201 | August 6, 2010 6:46 PM | Report abuse

@ruk: thanks, but I don't really think that Obama wants to hear what I have to say about his single greatest policy failure: the lack of accountability for bush officials for torture and illegal surveillance. Of course, this is the only area where republicans agree with him....

@ greg: I second ruk's comments. This one of my favorite sites to lurk/post on. Lots of smart commenters, only a few trolls and they are easily dispensed with usually. I do wish kevin would come around, but I bet he gets tired of us all beating up on him. Anyway keep up the good work and don't forget my idea for a post...;-)

Posted by: srw3 | August 6, 2010 6:46 PM | Report abuse

@nisleib

"Dems should mock the "tax increase" line and keep pushing home the fact that the votes for this "tax increase" were supplied by Bush and the Republicans."

You just don't see the long term in this. Ending tax breaks is not a tax increase. Closing tax loopholes is not a tax increase.

Don't cede that ground to Republicans, because it's those that bogus framing that have allowed the GOP to convince the public Dems are "tax and spend liberals" for 30 years.

Stop agreeing with them.

People already don't like the tax cuts for the rich. The only way the GOP makes people support them is by painting the act of not extending them as a "tax hike". People aren't going to be receptive to the argument that the GOP already voted for this in 2001 - that's simple too nuanced and requires a level of knowledge of the process that most don't have.

The GOP wants to give the richest of the rich more tax cuts. People will, rightly, hate that.

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | August 6, 2010 7:08 PM | Report abuse

@ Realist201 :
America doesn't want socialism, but Obama, Pelosi, and Reid are dead set on making sure America becomes socialist..

You do know that blithely throwing around the words socialist and socialism, (without the faintest notion of what they mean or how they might apply to American society) just puts you in the

"talking point spouting troll who has no interest in (or maybe no ability to engage in?) rational argument, well sourced and annotated opinions, discussion, and/or even listening to anyone beyond his/her own 1s and 0s" category.

You do realize that don't you?

I haven't seen republicans (outside of Paul Ryan, whose plan most republicans wouldn't be caught dead with) out there demanding that medicare and social security be abandoned, even though they are the closest things to "socialism" we have here. It seems that people like those examples of socialism. How could this be? Oh no! Americans are actually closet socialists! You see how silly you sound now, right?

Posted by: srw3 | August 6, 2010 7:20 PM | Report abuse

"@nislieb: "I wouldn't put it past the GOP to fillibuster any effort to keep the middle class tax cuts and lose the "Paris Hilton Needs a New Bentley" tax cut." You could be correct about this. Posted by: sbj3"

The Dems are counting on it. The game goes like this: Bill gets read. Kuccinich moves to table. Motion to table has to be debated. Debate has to be scheduled and there is lots of priority legislation the House has to work on. The motion to table vote is tabled. The bill is in limbo.

Meanwhile the bill is read in the Senate, and is assigned to at least three committees for hearings. September goes rapidly, the Republicans constantly stop any progress towards a middle class version and the Dems keep stacking on amendments. October goes by and the bill is still in Limbo in the House and going no where in the Senate.

Congress recesses at the end of October. The Dems actually makes minimal gaines in the House and the senate.

Congress comes back for its Lame Duck Session, sans whichever Republicans took the newt pledge, and there isn't enough opposition from R's, so the D version, middle class tax cuts, fat cats section expires.

Republicans wonder just what the hell happened.

Posted by: ceflynline | August 6, 2010 8:22 PM | Report abuse

@liam: I'll be at that rally tomorrow. A group of physicians who favor Medicare for all is hastily organizing a counter-protest to the AAPS "Doctor's Tea Party." It should be a very interesting afternoon to say the least. The counter group is Physicians for a National Health Program. I'll be sure to take plenty of photos and videos of the event.

Posted by: AndySD | August 6, 2010 10:37 PM | Report abuse

Gahhh!!! Democrats DID NOT "pour through the record," they "pored through the record." Why do so many people not know the differences between homonyms? "Hoard" and "horde." "Discreet" and "discrete." Not to mention the absolutely infuriating "loose" in place of "lose." Wassamata you? You don't have editors at the Washington Post? Editors don't have to know how to spell? I know we rely on spell checkers too much, but heavens to Murgatroyd, this just jumps off the page at me.

Posted by: Acharn | August 7, 2010 8:18 AM | Report abuse

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