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Posted at 8:32 AM ET, 11/19/2010

The Morning Plum

By Greg Sargent

* Senate Dems set for big showdown on tax cuts, too: It's all going to come to a head just after Thanksgiving. Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi tell the president that they will both hold votes just after the holiday on extending just the middle class tax cuts.

* An offer Mitch McConnell surely can't refuse: Also: Reid is asking McConnell to allow the vote on just the middle class ones, and is offering to hold a vote on the GOP plan to extend all the cuts, too, presumably in order to be able to accuse the GOP of favoring a plan that would increase the deficit by $4 trillion over the next decade.

This is the sort of thing that gets you headlines that say you're playing "hardball."

* The "liberal wish list": But McConnell responds that asking Republicans to vote on extending just the middle class cuts is merely "forcing a vote on the liberal wish list."

Useful footnote: Far more Americans prefer this course of action to a permanent extension of all the cuts.

***********************************************************
UPDATE, 10:02 a.m.: In fairness, when McConnell referred to a "liberal wish list," he was referring to range of Dem lame-duck proposals -- oppsed by Republicans -- that would be taking time away from dealing with the expiring Bush tax cuts. He wasn't just referring to the Dem push for a vote just on the middle class cuts.

***********************************************************

* How Obama can take charge and become "the Decider": Eugene Robinson reads an interesting new report by former White House chief of staff John Podesta detailing how Obama can use executive orders and other presidential powers to go around the GOP, write his own narrative, and set the nation's agenda.

Key point: As Podesta notes, Obama needs to act more like President Bush, who crafted "a unique and deeply conservative agenda using every aspect of the policymaking apparatus at his disposal."

* More movement on DADT repeal: Senator Lisa Murkowski, fresh off her victory over the Tea Party, signals she could support it, suggesting that Dems may be right to be confident that they will have the votes if the procedural cards fall in the right places.

* Not budging on START: Peter Baker contacts the 14 GOP Senators who were considered open to supporting the START treaty, and not a single one is willing to come along, pending the backing of Jon Kyl.

* Krugman: GOP wants economy to fail. He goes there: "Republicans want the economy to stay weak as long as there's a Democrat in the White House." It's going to be interesting to see how many elite opinion-makers are willing to entertain this view.

* Tea Party rubes are in for a rude shock, part 973: John Boehner says we're going to have to raise the Federal debt limit, something that will enrage Tea Partyers who have railed against Dems for doing the same in the past, and insists we're going to have to deal with the problem like "adults."

* Bonus Tea Party rube bait: Americans United for Change goes up with the first post-election ad, on national cable, slamming Republicans for pushing to continue the tax cuts for the rich, and lampooning Tea Partyers for getting snookered by GOP rhetoric on the deficit:

* Bipartisan follies: Olympia Snowe has now joined the lawsuit to overturn health reform. How much time did Dems waste courting Snowe in the futile quest to be able to say health reform was bipartisan?

* Two House GOPers say No to their own big government health care: We now have two House Republicans who are refusing to accept Federally subsidized health care after campaiging against big government health care for months and months.

* And here's the concession of the day: Fox News chief Roger Ailes, who recently said NPR is run by "Nazis," allows that he "should not have chosen that word."

What else is happening?

By Greg Sargent  | November 19, 2010; 8:32 AM ET
Categories:  House Dems, House GOPers, Morning Plum, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans, Tea Party, deficit, taxes  
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Comments

Here's a good new Fact Check on New START. Bottom line: Republicans are lying about and misrepresenting the treaty.

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_START_TREATY_FACT_CHECK

Posted by: Ethan2010 | November 19, 2010 8:45 AM | Report abuse

Here's a good new Fact Check on New START. Bottom line: Republicans are lying about and misrepresenting the treaty.

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_START_TREATY_FACT_CHECK

Posted by: Ethan2010 | November 19, 2010 8:45 AM | Report abuse

The D's shouldn't be trumpeting their attempt at holding a vote taxes. If they had any spine they would have held this vote 6 weeks ago. Now not only will the vote not pass, but it won't have any impact on the election cycle.

Strong work.

Posted by: raincntry | November 19, 2010 8:45 AM | Report abuse

Quote to start the morning...

"Democrats, you face a truly demented opposition that knows only political warfare. Do something about it."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/michaeltomasky/2010/nov/18/obama-administration-usforeignpolicy

Posted by: bernielatham | November 19, 2010 8:45 AM | Report abuse

--- * Senate Dems set for big showdown on tax cuts, too: It's all going to come to a head just after Thanksgiving. Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi tell the president that they will both hold votes just after the holiday on extending just the middle class tax cuts. ---

But of course what is NOT being said here, or any where else to the best of my knowledge, please correct if wrong, is that Democrats will hold ONLY ONE vote, that being to extend just the under $200K cuts.

This is just more kabuki for the rubes and dupes.

Sure they will hold their show vote, but at the end of the day, when that vote fails, which Joe Lieberman assures us is the case, they will immediately turn around and extend all the cuts.

It's all kabuki. But at this point, now that I'm an ex-Democrat, I have to admit it's rather funny watching the rank and file Democratic fools getting all excited about this only to see their hopes dashed yet again.

And just to mention again, if the House leadership wants to kill the tax cut extensions all they have to do is --- wait for it --- NOTHING.

Posted by: unymark | November 19, 2010 8:48 AM | Report abuse

--- * An offer Mitch McConnell surely can't refuse: Also: Reid is asking McConnell to allow the vote on just the middle class ones, and is offering to hold a vote on the GOP plan to extend all the cuts, too, presumably in order to be able to accuse the GOP of favoring a plan that would increase the deficit by $4 trillion over the next decade.

This is the sort of thing that gets you headlines that say you're playing "hardball." ---

Because of course that what is really important - that they can - "gets you headlines that say you're playing "hardball." -

Policy itself is just a after thought.

Kabuki - Kabuki - Kabuki

Posted by: unymark | November 19, 2010 8:55 AM | Report abuse

--- Key point: As Podesta notes, Obama needs to act more like President Bush, who crafted "a unique and deeply conservative agenda using every aspect of the policymaking apparatus at his disposal." ---

Democrats - unilaterally disarming since, well the last 30 years anyways -

They have the driest powder in the world.

One has to wonder how long it will take the rubes to figure out that it is quite intentional on the Democrats part ...

Posted by: unymark | November 19, 2010 9:01 AM | Report abuse

@Greg, re: Krugman

"It's going to be interesting to see how many elite opinion-makers are willing to entertain this view."

Probably the same amount that entertained that view while Krugman (accurately) said the same thing about the GOP before the 2010 elections...none.

Face it, dude. You're profession is bought and sold, completely inside DC and mostly outside of it. If you really want to see it get better, you have to do 2 things:

1) Continue to be awesome at your job, which seems totally doable given your track record.

2) Start really challanging and calling out other members of the media for their incompotence.

I know #2 sucks and probably breaks some sort of unwritten "code" of the profression or something. But it's something that really needs to start happening. They won't take Jon Stewart's critizism to heart, it has to come from within the club. Josh Marshall does it fairly effectively over at TPM. I think he (and you) should take the extra step and actually contact members of the media when you catch them in something really bad. Bringing it to their attention and making their failing the story, might just force them to re-evaluate how they go about their work...hopefully for the better.

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | November 19, 2010 9:07 AM | Report abuse

@Greg, re: Krugman

"It's going to be interesting to see how many elite opinion-makers are willing to entertain this view."

Probably the same amount that entertained that view while Krugman (accurately) said the same thing about the GOP before the 2010 elections...none.

Face it, dude. You're profession is bought and sold, completely inside DC and mostly outside of it. If you really want to see it get better, you have to do 2 things:

1) Continue to be awesome at your job, which seems totally doable given your track record.

2) Start really challanging and calling out other members of the media for their incompotence.

I know #2 sucks and probably breaks some sort of unwritten "code" of the profression or something. But it's something that really needs to start happening. They won't take Jon Stewart's critizism to heart, it has to come from within the club. Josh Marshall does it fairly effectively over at TPM. I think he (and you) should take the extra step and actually contact members of the media when you catch them in something really bad. Bringing it to their attention and making their failing the story, might just force them to re-evaluate how they go about their work...hopefully for the better.

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | November 19, 2010 9:07 AM | Report abuse

And finally --

--* More movement on DADT repeal:--

This is one even this cynic is becoming the rube on and actually beginning to believe it might happen - Of course I've seen the way republicans actually play hardball, as compared to getting headlines saying they are playing hardball, and will believe it when I see it. I give it a 5.76% chance of passing this lame duck.

--- And oh yeah, Krugman is right, as usual...

Posted by: unymark | November 19, 2010 9:10 AM | Report abuse

@unymark - That's as much concern as I've read in a long while. But you're an ex-Democrat, so we all believe you.

Posted by: bernielatham | November 19, 2010 9:10 AM | Report abuse

Why have over 120 companies in the US been granted a waiver from having to follow the Health Care bill? Why would they want to be exempt from this Bill and isnt it ironic that the big Unions who fought so hard for it have asked to be exempt from it?

Posted by: hastoglis | November 19, 2010 9:14 AM | Report abuse

@ bernielatham -

Because I've never been accused of being a concern troll before - Yawn.

In some distant universe somebody who accuses me of being a concern troll will actually address and/or disprove the points I am making.

Hint - It ain't bernie in latham (is that ny) today...

Posted by: unymark | November 19, 2010 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Beginning from Michael Goldfarb's spiffy take on the founding documents which recommend the murder of individuals without trial, Digby writes a really excellent post on moral "norms" in the US of A. Read the whole post but I'll excerpt this one quote from another good patriot who got her wish...

"As for the tragic piggism that is taking place on the streets of New Orleans, it is not unbelievable but it is unforgivable, and I hope the looters are shot. A hurricane cannot rob a great city of its spirit, but a vicious citizenry can. A bad time with Mother Nature can leave you digging out for a long time, but a bad turn in human behavior frays and tears all the ties that truly bind human beings--trust, confidence, mutual regard, belief in the essential goodness of one's fellow citizens."

That's Peggy Noon, shooting down. And she got her wish, didn't she?

What do you think Peggy would say if someone suggested that the police move into Wall Street and shoot individuals who have actually REALLY hurt the country and it's "norms"?

http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2010/11/conservative-norms.html

Posted by: bernielatham | November 19, 2010 9:18 AM | Report abuse

Why have over 120 companies in the US been granted a waiver from having to follow the Health Care bill? Isn't it also very ironic that a lot of the big Unions who fought so hard for it have asked and been granted to be free of it as well? I would have thought that the Unions who fought so hard for it would have run too it not run away from it. I guess they believe its fair that the rest of us have to follow it but not them.

Posted by: hastoglis | November 19, 2010 9:18 AM | Report abuse

Someone else here went on ad nauseum about the waivers from following the HC bill. Did anyone bother to ask why these waivers were given, other than just assume THEY know the nefarious reasons. The waivers are temporary to keep employees from losing their health care coverage until the exchange kicks in so they have somewhere to go to purchase their own coverage. Sheesh.

Posted by: lmsinca | November 19, 2010 9:24 AM | Report abuse

@unymark - Why ought I to bother with you at all? There's nothing to suggest your claim to prior Dem allegiance/philosophy is anything but false. Your rhetorical style and your rightwing cliches are boilerplate. And if that's so (I suppose you might convince us otherwise but you won't even try) then you're playing a dishonest game here and wouldn't deserve response.

Posted by: bernielatham | November 19, 2010 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Good graph showing the consequences on GDP growth of the Bush tax cuts...

http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2010/11/the-importance-of-sustaining-the-bush-tax-cuts.html

(hint: it got strangled/bludgeoned/moydud)

Posted by: bernielatham | November 19, 2010 9:33 AM | Report abuse

From Krugman, on the odd and incoherent response of the GOP to the Fed's attempts to reduce unemployment -

The odd: on Monday, a somewhat strange group of Republican figures — who knew that William Kristol was an expert on monetary policy? — released an open letter to the Fed warning that its policies “risk currency debasement and inflation.” These concerns were echoed in a letter the top four Republicans in Congress sent Mr. Bernanke on Wednesday. Neither letter explained why we should fear inflation when the reality is that inflation keeps hitting record lows.

And about dollar debasement: leaving aside the fact that a weaker dollar actually helps U.S. manufacturing, where were these people during the previous administration? The dollar slid steadily through most of the Bush years, a decline that dwarfs the recent downtick. Why weren’t there similar letters demanding that Alan Greenspan, the Fed chairman at the time, tighten policy?

Meanwhile, the incoherent: Two Republicans, Mike Pence in the House and Bob Corker in the Senate, have called on the Fed to abandon all efforts to achieve full employment and focus solely on price stability. Why? Because unemployment remains so high. No, I don’t understand the logic either.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/19/opinion/19krugman.html?_r=1&ref=opinion

I'm sure the righties will screech something about "consider the source" but can anyone actually dispute the basis of his thesis?

Posted by: pragmaticagain | November 19, 2010 9:35 AM | Report abuse

@bernielatham -

Of course I have no way of proving to you my past allegiance/philosophy.

But the simple truth is I was always a registered/self identifying Democrat. I am a liberal. I support a single payer health system or medicare for all. I quit the party after HCR passed without even a watered down public option. It was really the 87th final, but real final straw for me.

Do you really believe any type of New Deal/Great Society legislation would/could be passed by the contemporary Democratic Party?

Simply put, I want the Democratic Party of FDR And Johnson, NOT a Democratic Party of Bob's Michel and Dole.

And I will not roll over as the Democrats move further and further to the right. I will lose in the end, but I'm not going quietly.

Believe what you will...

Posted by: unymark | November 19, 2010 9:36 AM | Report abuse

The juxtaposition of these two sentences is awful.
All these years, all that blood and the US military still thinks its enemies are going to be impressed by us blowing up their houses from a mile away.

Bringing battle tanks into the Afghan war...

"The tanks bring awe, shock and firepower," the officer said. "It's pretty significant."

Although the officer acknowledged that the use of tanks this many years into the war could be seen as a sign of desperation by some Afghans and Americans." WaPo now

Shock and awe, haven't we been there and done that? I read general Giap's account of his victory in Vietnam. They were in awe of the helicopter mounted cavalry all right and artillery that could be slung from one hilltop to another...they decided never to engage in a set piece battle with the Americans, something the Taleban already know. Guess what, the Soviets used tanks in Afghanistan. Disgusting.

Posted by: shrink2 | November 19, 2010 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Imsinca- "Someone else here went on ad nauseum about the waivers from following the HC bill. Did anyone bother to ask why these waivers were given, other than just assume THEY know the nefarious reasons. The waivers are temporary to keep employees from losing their health care coverage until the exchange kicks in so they have somewhere to go to purchase their own coverage. Sheesh."

This waiver nonesense would be funny if the people didn't actually believe what they were writing. Do you know who started this talking point?

Posted by: ashotinthedark | November 19, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse

"Reid is asking McConnell to allow the vote on just the middle class ones"

_____________________________


So Reid needs McConnell to allow such votes intended to make the Republicans look bad ???

Does anyone see how things might not go well there ?

Posted by: RedTeaRevolution | November 19, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse

"Reid is asking McConnell to allow the vote on just the middle class ones"

_____________________________


So Reid needs McConnell to allow such votes intended to make the Republicans look bad ???

Does anyone see how things might not go well there ?


_____________________________________

Greg goes on to say FAR MORE Americans prefer his personal opinion


The link and poll cites says:


Eliminate all the tax cuts permanently: 10

Eliminate the tax cuts for those earning more than $250,000 per year, but keep them for those earning less than that: 39

Keep in place all the tax cuts for everyone for another year to three years, or permanently: 46

________________________________

Where is anything in the category of "FAR MORE"


Greg - this is the problem with the rhetoric in this column - you pick the most favorable poll for your position, and even then it really doesn't say what you want it to say.

Posted by: RedTeaRevolution | November 19, 2010 9:56 AM | Report abuse

@unymark - I got that impression. A person disgusted on the left. Unfortunately, as long as the Senate clings to archaic rules, even if the ENTIRE Democratic caucus were united behind single payer, it still wouldn't have passed. At least following Brown's election.

Me. I'm a social liberal and fiscal conservative. Neither party has aligned with my interests over the past decade.

Incidental to this topic, Wyden and Sanders are pushing a state opt-out provision. It would allow individual states to go single payer and others to go for whatever free market mumbo jumbo they want. Ezra Klein has a nice column up on it today.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | November 19, 2010 10:01 AM | Report abuse

"Do you know who started this talking point?"

I have no idea but while working from a computer, not mine, un-equipped with troll hunter, I saw who was spreading it, our resident thread bomber. I'm sure it's quite popular and probably another one of those email chain letters so popular on the right. I receive them regularly from extended family members who lean tea party.

Posted by: lmsinca | November 19, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

@unymark - Your good answer sent me back to re-read your posts above. I think I have to apologize. Sorry. Meager defense is that I'm sick this morning.

I'm Canadian and consequently have many decades of experience, personal plus family plus all else, with single-payer. Eg, I have a brother recently diagnosed with myeloma while traveling in another province. He was handled immediately and with top resources put to the task in that province, then when he got back to BC, the same level of care and resources were continued. He has lacked for nothing in all of this and his family insurance payment is about $90 a month. The situation here in the US (I'm in Oregon now) is cruel beyond belief. It is banana republic uncivilized and nationally self-defeating.

But do you really suppose that some other Dem president could have done significantly better given the nature of the political, financial and institutional forces arrayed to stop him?

I had a similar debate with wbgonne a few days ago. You could infer from my quote of Tomasky up near the top that I too grit my teeth at Dem mis-steps, particularly as regards a blindness as to what they were going to face (absolutely cynical obstruction as a means to regain power by Republicans and billions spent in sophisticated propaganda from the corporate sector). I understand, I think, partly why this team behaved as they did and consider the goals valid. But the reality is that they have a responsibility not merely to work towards their policy goals but also to join the fight in the manner it is being fought or those policy goals have no chance of being implemented.

But still, my argument to wb was one I'll re-state.... the Dems are the only game in town. To the degree that we on the left fall prey to attacking ourselves, to that degree we become actors in a play written by Republican strategists.

As FDR said, "Make me". And that's just fine. Everyone ought to push. But the fundamental aspect to keep in mind is that, in a serious fight, the friend beside who hasn't helped as much as you'd hoped, isn't the guy who you want to turn your fists on.

Posted by: bernielatham | November 19, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Imsinca

Which talking point are you talking about?

I don't work off of any party "talking points" which get sent out daily.

I write my own stuff - and it shows. I don't care


Ethan is just re-printing the democratic stuff, and so are a few others here

Posted by: RedTeaRevolution | November 19, 2010 10:12 AM | Report abuse

and I must now go... ps. the 'latham' thing isn't a city, it's my last name.

Posted by: bernielatham | November 19, 2010 10:12 AM | Report abuse

unymark writes

Kabuki - Kabuki - Kabuki


_____________________

Sounds like all this Reid just is just that, I think the University of New York is correct in its analysis

Posted by: RedTeaRevolution | November 19, 2010 10:15 AM | Report abuse

@FairlingtonBlade -

Unfortuantely I passed disgusted about a decade ago.

And I have to respectfully disagree with blaming it on Senate rules - The Republicans have proven time and time again they are willing to blow the senate up to get what they want - The Democrats won't even so much as ruffle some papers. I simply don't believe it's a matter of rules or spinelessness anymore - I haven't for a while.

No, the Democrats pass exactly the (corporate friendly) policies they want passed.

But I was thinking about something bernie in latham said while I was getting ready for work that got me chuckling - He said:

- Your rhetorical style and your rightwing cliches are boilerplate -

This is funny because, for instance, it was Bill Clinton who adopted Reagan's frame of "welfare queens" to kill AFDC and other New Deal programs and closer to home it is Obama who is adopting conservative framing of "Social Security in crisis" so as to "fix" SS, when of course SS has NOTHING to do with budget deficits. -

Oh well. I've ranted enough. I suppose I should do some work today. While I still have it.

Cheers all, at least it's the weekend* :)

*(Something else you can thank liberals for BTW)

Posted by: unymark | November 19, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

On the Waivers

lmsinca at 9:24 AM


If you remember, one of the DANGERS in the Obama health care plan was the creation of INCENTIVES to have employers and people stop their private health insurance - and go onto the government-provided system.


I think that one aspect of the health care is this: we had 45 million uninsured (was 20 million of that illegal aliens? - leave that issue at the side for the moment) -

If we have 45 million, let's keep the government program to that 45 million.


INSTEAD, Obama has created INCENTIVES to have employers and people DUMP their private insurance and go on the government program


SO the WAIVERS - are just a "holding area" for those companies and unions in which the Obama plan has FORCED their health insurance to be TOO EXPENSIVE - and they will be dumped into the government programs at some point.

Last I checked it was over 1.2 MILLION PEOPLE in this "holding area" already.

____________________________


Now what are the objections to that???

When those people go on the government insurance, there will be some sort of SUBSIDY - so the government is going to pay part of their health insurance.

Well - NOT the government - OTHER TAXPAYERS will be paying part of their health insurance.

ADD TO THAT - there are MILLIONS of other people who will not get on the government program - but who will get a subsidy through the IRS, on a sliding scale based on income.


So, if your income is at a certain level, Obama will pay a part of your health insurance, and there will be a sliding scale to the incomes and percentages of the health insurance paid.


Obama will not be paying, other taxpayers will be paying. Obama will be TAKING money from other people to pay for this massive scheme.

.

Posted by: RedTeaRevolution | November 19, 2010 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Apparently there is no limit to which a member of the GOP will bend over for the Tea Party. Sad.

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | November 19, 2010 10:26 AM | Report abuse

OK so the HC bill Waivers are all just this temporary mechanism and we can absolutely expect all those exempted companies and Unions to be on board in the near future and everyone following along. Got it...

Posted by: hastoglis | November 19, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

OK so the HC bill Waivers are all just this temporary mechanism and we can absolutely expect all those exempted companies and Unions to be on board in the near future and everyone following along. Got it...

--------------------------------------

Yes, that's what the government has said. What's your evidence that it won't happen?

Posted by: ashotinthedark | November 19, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

FB said,

"Me. I'm a social liberal and fiscal conservative."

Jim DeMint says we don't exist.

Posted by: shrink2 | November 19, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

hastoglis and imsinca - waivers were written in for preexisting contracts with tail periods that overlapped the beginning of HCR implementation. That avoided arguments about retroactively negating existing contract rights.

On Sen. Snowe: she consistently worked against the mandate and tried to negotiate it out of the bill. When her negotiation failed, she opposed the final product. She never said other than that she opposed the individual mandate and her position in this lawsuit is consistent. There is no reason to think that she did not negotiate in good faith, previously.

That she could not be convinced that the mandate was crucial to the spreading of the risk to include a healthier younger population, thereby making the program more cost effective for pre-medicare geezers [Sen. Snowe included] raises a separate issue. She actually called for a constitutional point of order during the floor debate because she thought the mandate was outside the commerce clause, and that position, if correct, trumps the policy issue.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | November 19, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

@bernielatham -

Thank you for you thoughtful response. I really am what I say I am and just want the Democrats to start behaving like Democrats again.

And I simply don't believe that will happen until the rank and file start making the party pay a price. Something along the lines of the conservative bases's response to Bush One breaking his "no new tax pledge"

This year would have been perfect as the Dems were going to take a pounding anyway.

At this point I believe we really need to hit bottom hard before liberal policies come back into acceptance. Sigh...

I really have to get to work now. Hope you feel better...

Posted by: unymark | November 19, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

"But do you really suppose that some other Dem president could have done significantly better given the nature of the political, financial and institutional forces arrayed to stop him?"

Yes, I could have, easily. Problem is, people who can get elected and the people who know what to do and how to do it are rarely together on the same team, let alone combined in one person. Mostly, these people are only about getting elected. Hope and change my ass, I feel like a chump.

Posted by: shrink2 | November 19, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

WAIVERS

hastoglis at 9:18 AM


I didn't realize this question was yours.

1) Based on the above comment, the first objection is the expense - once all these people end up on government programs - for at least a PARTIAL of their health insurance, then the TOTAL expenses of the program become clear.

2) You might want to wonder WHY this is happening so soon.

Obama wanted to jam-pack the health care benefits into each health insurance policy. So, Obama made it ILLEGAL to buy a less-expensive health insurance policy and he is now forcing everyone to buy expensive health insurance filled with benefits.

Everytime you add a benefit to a policy, the price goes up. It is simple economics. Obama decided he wanted a whole list of additional benefits added to EVERY POLICY in the nation.


3) So, when you hear that this health insurance company or that one has raised premiums this year 10% - 20 %, this is the reason - the additional benefits have been PHASED in

So these additional costs are going to grow over time.


This is a Fiscal objection - one that will create a growing deficit over time.

As more and more people respond to the incentives, the deficits in the health care portions of the budgetS (Federal and 50 States) will increase.


I hope you get it

Posted by: RedTeaRevolution | November 19, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Joe Miller has filed in federal court to prevent Alaska from certifying the election.

Posted by: clawrence12 | November 19, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

All, new Adam Serwer post on the new frisk rules:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/11/touch_his_junk.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | November 19, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

mark_in_austin at 10:36 AM


I disagree strongly with the characterization of "spreading the risk"


I realize this is a phrase out there, and not yours personally.


Every insurance company has "risk pools" - so every pool has a level of risk -

That risk leads to pricing.

The point is this: Obama's health insurance is so expensive, he has to sell it to people who DON'T NEED OR WANT all the additional benefits.


It is a transfer of wealth from the young to the old. Obama is TAXING people in their 20s to give to people in their 50s.


Ironic, that is Obama's base (supposedly)


There are many moving parts in Obama's plan.

If there was no individual mandate, the prices would simply be higher for health insurance policies.


It is about PRICE, not about "spreading the risk"

Posted by: RedTeaRevolution | November 19, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

"This is the sort of thing that gets you headlines that say you're playing "hardball.""

I'm leery of getting too excited but I think I see some signs that Obama and the Democrats are finally waking up. I noticed that Mary Landrieu finally released her hold on Obama's budget director nominee. And there's an article in the NYTimes about Obama forcing the START vote to go ahead. All good stuff. But, Lucy, PLEASE don't move the football this time.

Posted by: wbgonne | November 19, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

re Krugman.

FWIW, I believe the Fed is playing with fire with QE2. Does anyone actually believe that 30 or 40 basis points on the 10-year is all that is standing between us and job growth?

I understand what the Fed is trying to do (though they won't say it) - they are (a) attempting to support the housing market and (b) create inflation. Both are fool's errands in my view.

Real estate prices are not falling because interest rates are too high. They are falling because real estate is overvalued. Still. A bottom in housing is a necessary but not sufficient condition to recovery. The Fed cannot engineer a bottom - it will happen when prices reach a market - clearing level.

Second, creating inflation is a seductive solution. If wages and prices rise, the relative value of debt falls. However, what happens if prices rise but wages don't? It certainly appears that the excess liquidity from the Fed is finding its way into the commodities market. If prices rise and wages don't (and who honestly believes that there can be any upward pressure on wages with 10% unemployment?), all this exercise will do is make some commodity hedge fund managers rich, and further crimp disposable incomes. Great.

I know that academic theory says that wages and prices will rise simultaneously. I'm sure that is why Krugman likes it. The problem is we are dealing with an economy in the aftermath of an asset bubble, and a lot of the levers the government has at its disposal don't work, or work very poorly.

I am very worried about what the Fed is trying to do. I think it will end badly.

Posted by: sold2u | November 19, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Among other things that should no longer be stated are that Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins are moderate Republicans.

Posted by: BlueSquareState | November 19, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

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