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Economic pessimism

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From page A6 | November 30, 2012 | 88 Comments

So far the coming year is not shaping up well. The economic outlook leaves us pessimistic. President Obama’s economic strategy is to raise the tax on those “millionaires and billionaires” who make more than $250,000 per couple ($200,000 for a single tax filer).

Who are these so-called high income earners? “They are two-earner professional couples living on the East and West coasts, doctors, lawyers, engineers and Wall Street executives,” according to a July Blomberg News article by Richard Rubin. “Few are billionaires or earn more than $1 million a year, and most are not employers.”

Though one has to assume that doctors and lawyers are employers. Engineers are more often than not employees.

“The 2 percent, they’re people who are successful in their professions, but they’re not the absolute rock stars,” Syracuse University economist Leonard Burman told Bloomberg News. “There’s a big difference between the 99th percentile and the 99.9th.”

The fact that these higher paid professional couples live on the two coasts arises in part from the high cost of living in California and on the East Coast. Think about what it costs to live in New York City or San Francisco and then it appears raising the tax on those earning more than $200,000 is really a tax on residents of New York City, San Francisco, Palo Alto, Santa Barbara, Santa Monica and Malibu and residents of Connecticut, New Jersey or Washington, D.C.

There is a reason it is less expensive to live in Nebraska, Kansas, Ohio, Iowa, Missouri, Indiana, Arkansas and other inland states. Houses are way less expensive. Often taxes are lower. Other than Arkansas there are few people moving to the inland states. More likely they are moving to California or Florida for the weather.

President Obama has been using the phrase “fair shot” since he was a community organizer. His tax plan makes no sense other than making some claim to “fairness,” which is just a code word for income redistribution. It makes no economic sense because it would only raise $82.3 billion annually, according to estimates by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office. As pointed out by congressional Republicans, that is enough to fund the government for eight days.

Rubin’s Bloomberg article provided valuable information about who the top earners are. Williams College economist Jon Bakija in Massachusetts provided a breakdown by using 2005 tax returns.

“Engineers, architects and information technology workers make up 9.6 percent of the top 5 percent of taxpayers and 4.2 percent of the taxpayers,” Bakija said. “The top 5 percent includes managers, financial professionals, lawyers and medical professionals, though all in the lower concentrations than in the top 1 percent.”

“As you go higher up the income scale, you get a larger share of executives and finance people,” Bakija said.

“Of the top 5 percent, 23 percent have spouses who don’t work outside the home, compared with 31.6 percent of the highest 1 percent and 39.3 precent of the top 0.1 percent,” according to Bloomberg News.

Further, Bloomberg noted that a 2011 Treasury Department analysis found that 25 percent of the taxpayers subject to the top two tax rates, 25 percent are small businesses and employers.

A July study for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce prepared by Drs. Robert Carroll and Gerald Prante of Ernst & Young noted that S corporations, partnerships, limited liability companies and sole proprietorships employ 54 percent of the private sector workforce and pay 44 percent of the federal business income taxes. “More than 20 million workers are employed by flow-through businesses with more than 100 employees.”

In the wake of Obama’s reelection he indicated some flexibility and a willingness to consider revenue increases, which are Republican code words for limiting deductions. But now indications are that he and Senate Democrats are becoming inflexible. Instead of negotiating budget cuts and revenue increases, Obama is going out campaigning for his tax on doctors who spent 12 years going to school.

We remain pessimistic that President Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid don’t have an incentive to avoid the “fiscal cliff” of the expiration of the Bush tax cuts and huge budget cuts to the Defense Department, among others that take effect Jan. 1, 2013. They think they can blame the Republican majority in the House. They are in denial, if they think the president and the Democrats will escape blame too. It leaves us pessimistic about the economic future.

Mountain Democrat

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Discussion | 88 comments

  • JohnNovember 30, 2012 - 12:08 pm

    It's so tiresome to use the word 'misleading' with the editorials appearing in this paper. The distortions and lies are so numerous that I'll just mention one: increasing taxes on those making $250,000 or more per year. The MD fails to mention that the increase will be applied to amounts over the $250,000 threshold. If you make $255,000 per year, your increase in taxes will affect only $5,000. Not quite as scary as the MD would have us believe. Furthermore, who ever heard of people making $250,000 a year who do not have a few tax shelters tucked away. If they don't, they ought to get a new accountant. Like Romney, these people pay an effective tax rate of 12% to 18%, a hell of a lot less than I pay living on a fixed income. Mountain Democrat, please spare us the crocodile tears for the plutocrats. for

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  • CatherineNovember 30, 2012 - 12:17 pm

    It's always easiest to be pessimistic. That way you'll never be disappointed. But in your pessimism, google "Complaints Aside, Most Face Lower Tax Burden Than in 1980." I appreciate your concern, but the doctors and engineers in my family will be fine paying 3% more. (As an aside, you might also benefit from a search on the phrase "journalism 101.")

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  • Jack MartinNovember 30, 2012 - 1:04 pm

    Catherine, I followed your search suggestion. Thank you. It PROVES the point about Democrats and taxation. James Earl Carter, Democrat, was President in 1980 (yes, the whole year) and had been for the previous 4 years. I remember those years, I was a teenager. The economy sucked, inflation was banzai, interest rates were in the high teens, our military was demoralized and yes, taxes were HIGH. Thanks for validating the link between democrats, taxes and the economy. Classic. As for your relatives being happy to pay 3% more.... that is merely their personal view.

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  • CatherineNovember 30, 2012 - 2:14 pm

    Perhaps you and I didn't read the same article, Jack. I thought it was a pretty interesting piece, as opposed to the hodgepodge MD article. But I'm glad you feel validated, and impressed that you had such economic awareness as a young teen. I always liked Jimmy Carter.

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  • James E.November 30, 2012 - 2:59 pm

    Mr. Martin, the military was demoralized in the time frame of 1976 - 1980? I was in the military during those years and we weren't demoralized. Perhaps your specific military unit was demoralized, tell us about it.

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  • Phil VeerkampNovember 30, 2012 - 3:20 pm

    Colonel, I was last in uniform 1968, picked up at SFO by Mom and dined in downtown SF. - A rather icy atmosphere. The rest of us "baby killers, mother rapers, village burners were not exactly in high spirit - particularly after Congress defunded the "effort" and vain death and destruction added up to - - uh - - - well - - not exactly high Esprit de corps. Reagan began the turn around. He found a small guy and kicked a$$ in Grenada in 1983. Presto !! high morale Tip O’Neal thanked him for turning around the “Vietnam syndrome".

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  • James E.November 30, 2012 - 3:32 pm

    Phil, the time frame in question was 1976 - 1980. Yes, in 1968 the morale was not top notch as draftees were not enamored of the war and they turned out to be correct. How did your soup turn out, and you mentioned listening to Rush while making soup. Did Rush have anything to say that you could share with us? I only listen to him when I'm driving down the hill in the AM.

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  • Phil VeerkampNovember 30, 2012 - 3:51 pm

    rush - generic fulmentations re Benghazi, fiscal cliff, Timmy Geithner - Chicken gumbo is FANTASTIC! French onion broth "OK" it will come together tomorrow - we shall see

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  • robertdnollNovember 30, 2012 - 4:00 pm

    Senator McCain was put in prison by the north Vietnamese,who put james e in prison?

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  • James E.November 30, 2012 - 4:19 pm

    Robert, thanks for making my point. Who put me in the heartbreak hotel? Good question, I'm not sure of the individual. Since you know all, give us the name.

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  • James E.November 30, 2012 - 4:25 pm

    I would make some educational comments about the heartbreak hotel. First, if you have to go, try to go as a full colonel who was housed on Ft. Leavenworth proper and not in the USDB. Secondly, instead of breaking rocks, I was given the task of rewriting the Army Regulation on the Military Police with a MP Major as my assistant. Finally, while no one wants to go to the heartbreak hotel, it was a character building experience.

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  • James E.November 30, 2012 - 4:28 pm

    Oh, and Robert this subject has been rehashed for the past 20 years on the Mt.Democrat site. If your purpose is to embarrass me, you are 20 years too late. It's old business.

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  • Jack MartinNovember 30, 2012 - 4:41 pm

    Well, James, I'm glad your military unit wasn't demoralized. But I guess in the passage of time you must have forgotten that Jimmy Carter froze military pay at a time of steep inflation, canceled the B-1 Bomber and presided over the much-publicized failure of Operation Eagle Claw. And it was his presidency that gave ride to the term "A Hollow Army. General Meyer gave this little glimpse of our operational readiness in 1979...General Meyer warned that a substantial number of Army divisions were not fully capable because of personnel deficiencies. Journalist James Kitfield reported that in 1979, Meyer informed the President that only four of 10 active divisions stationed in the United States were capable of deploying overseas in a contingency.83 In fact, the historical record indicates Meyer brought this issue to the attention of the commander in chief and Secretary Brown at a November 24, 1979, meeting at Camp David with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the other service chiefs. The meeting lasted 3 hours.84 At the meeting for which there is no transcript but which Meyer recalled in an 1988 interview, he told the President and the others present that there were adequate Army personnel to create only four divisions, although there were 12 divisions in the Army’s force structure. He also stated that the Army’s budget was insufficient and had told Carter and the others, “We had a hollow army. Hollow people. Hollow equipment. Hollow sustainability. Hollow quality. I pleaded for more money.” You can read the entire document published by the Strategic Studies Institute at the united States Army War College. 79 pages of light reading...enjoy http://www.strategicstudiesinstitute.army.mil/pubs/display.cfm?pubid=1125

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  • DeeNovember 30, 2012 - 5:37 pm

    Geither presentation on proposal to avoid the fiscal cliff doesn't even pass the giggle test.---- Weekly Standard "Mitch McConnell, the Senate Republican leader, says he “burst into laughter” Thursday when Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner outlined the administration proposal for averting the fiscal cliff. He wasn’t trying to embarrass Geithner, McConnell says, only responding candidly to his one-sided plan, explicit on tax increases, vague on spending cuts."

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  • James E.November 30, 2012 - 6:38 pm

    Mr. Martin, well done, but I wasn't serving at those lofty levels in 1976 - 1980. I was in the 24th Infantry Division (Mechanized), and we were not demoralized.

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  • James E.November 30, 2012 - 6:41 pm

    Dee, McConnell laughing. Stop, it's torture, I can't get the image out of my mind.

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  • cookie65November 30, 2012 - 6:50 pm

    Mathematics is immutable. Those who want to postpone us going over the so-called fiscal cliff would just prefer it not happen on their watch. The top 1% pay nearly 40% of all federal tax revenue, the top 10% pay 70% of all federal tax revenue. And they are the ones who aren't paying their fair share? Or is it that they are just such a small minority that the politicains can get away with shafting them even more? Getting even with people who have more than you is not an economic policy.

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  • James E.November 30, 2012 - 7:23 pm

    Cookie, I'm a liberal and I want all your money. Put it in a black trash bag, and leave it by the door of the Post Office at 3AM. Oh, I'm kidding, I just want you to pay more taxes. Besides, it's too wet and cold to be out at 3:05AM retrieving black trash bags.

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  • James E.November 30, 2012 - 8:24 pm

    It appears we will be going over the fiscal cliff, as Boehner and McConnell refuse to indicate their cards (much like Mitt did). They want the president to show his cards first (wait, didn't he just do so and McConnell just laughed, laughed, and laughed). What a Congress !!!

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  • CatherineDecember 01, 2012 - 9:28 am

    Regarding "hollow army," I hadn't known this was a current Fox buzzword, so of course I was interested in any discussion that assumes our military is somehow underfunded, and how this is being used to rally the masses and link Obama to Carter in the minds of those who didn't think Carter was a good president. The site you mention, Jack, has a good paper on the reassessment of that period and how and why this became a political catchphrase. You can download it for free. Hope you'll read it.

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  • James E.December 01, 2012 - 10:07 am

    Catherine, I knew the Brigadier General who came up with the phrase "Hollow Army." I'm not sure the Army was, in fact, hollow, but instead indicative of the infighting among the services as to who would get the largest slide of the funding pie. As for the readiness status of Army divisions during that period, the Army is quite adroit at manipulating ratings to support whatever point they are trying to sell. As for the Iran raid, Jimmy Carter took responsibility (as the ultimate commander), but the failure was in the Pentagon caused by fighting among the various services. I know more about this mission than I care to state, suffice to say Jimmy Carter is not the villain in this tragedy.

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  • CatherineDecember 01, 2012 - 10:28 am

    It seems that Meyer wasn't even the guy who first said it, and he was not in favor of the phrase at first. The piece is Hollow Army Reappraised: President Carter, Defense Budgets, and the Politics of Military Readiness. It's beautifully written and informative in a non-partisan way, and a good reminder of how the sausage gets made.

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  • James E.December 01, 2012 - 10:37 am

    Catherine, when I was first assigned to the Pentagon my job was to make sausage. I almost went mad, but by the grace of God I was diverted to Special Operations -- 90 percent of the Pentagon is engaged in making sausage. Pray for the poor souls.

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  • Phil VeerkampDecember 01, 2012 - 10:48 am

    LINK - a good "listen" - the entire 40 minutes - UnCivilization - Urban Geopolitics in a Time of Chaos by Gregory R. Copley

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  • Phil VeerkampDecember 01, 2012 - 10:50 am

    dammit! careless - try THIS ONE - LINK - a good "listen" - the entire 40 minutes - UnCivilization - Urban Geopolitics in a Time of Chaos by Gregory R. Copley

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  • CatherineDecember 01, 2012 - 10:53 am

    James...Laughing! Not everyone can be a sausage-maker.

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  • DeeDecember 01, 2012 - 11:51 am

    Why McConnell is laughing and so should you. I know I am.---- (1) Obama is asking for $1.6 Trillion in tax hikes, double the number he and Boehner reportedly (almost) agreed upon last summer during the previous crisis. Not only does he want to raise marginal tax rates on "the rich," he's also shooting to raise capital gains and dividends taxes, too. According to NBC News, those revenues would amount to nearly $1 trillion. Then comes an undefined $600 Billion in unspecified "new revenue," presumably from tax increases to be named later. This element of the broader package alone is more than enough to tear the whole thing up and walk away. (2) There are no guaranteed entitlement reforms. There are no specified spending cuts. Obama is willing to consider some "savings," but those would have to be discussed some other time in the future. This is what Obama fancies to be his "concession." And it comes in exchange for...Republicans agreeing to the taxmaggedon described in item #1. As I said, surreal. (3) There's another stimulus in this puppy. Remember, this is supposed to be a deficit reduction plan, yet it calls for *at least* $50 Billion in new spending on infrastructure and other projects. As the Times reports, some aides on the Hill believe the plan's guaranteed spending increases could actually outnumber its (still unspecified) cuts (!)... (4) Obama's proposal goes so far on investment and death tax hikes that even Congressional Democrats are looking at each other and slowly backing away. (5) And, oh yeah, it abolishes the debt limit. Poof. Limitless "legal" debt for the federal government." Times

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  • Phil VeerkampDecember 01, 2012 - 11:58 am

    Dammit, Dee! Stop depressing me.

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  • James E.December 01, 2012 - 12:59 pm

    Dee, fine, so what's the Tea/Republican counter proposal? Nothing. Dead silence. The Party of NO continues.

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  • James E.December 01, 2012 - 1:07 pm

    Phil, we don't want you to be depressed. Have hope everything is going to be OK -- even if all taxes go up and automatic cuts take place. It will be a beautiful day in the neighborhood. Hmmm, believe the President has the Tea/Republicans over a barrel -- they come up with their "wish list" or it's all over. Their NO option isn't going to work this time.

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  • James E.December 01, 2012 - 1:23 pm

    Dee, let me ponder how this works. The president makes an offer, and the Tea/Republicans mock it (as you just did). The president then makes less of an offer and the Tea/Republicans mock it. The president then makes less of an offer and the Tea/Republicans mock it, and continue to mock his offers until they have bled him dry. Then they begin to negotiate. One problem -- the president has been through this before and it's not going to work this time. Off the cliff and the rich will be committing suicide because they will be paying 4.6% more. Poor things.

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  • James E.December 01, 2012 - 1:30 pm

    ADDED: Oh, and the debt limit. Perhaps I don't understand -- I thought the debt limit isn't more money, it's raising the level to accommodate what Congress has already appropriated. If Tea/Republicans are really concerned, perhaps the House should stop appropriating. That would be interesting.

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  • Phil VeerkampDecember 01, 2012 - 1:33 pm

    Be careful what you wish for, Colonel. When obama gets this country what you say is nirvana I hope you/we are as you prophesy.

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  • James E.December 01, 2012 - 2:15 pm

    Phil, it has been said we all will be doomed when President Obama's policies hit the fan. What would these events be?

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  • EvelynDecember 01, 2012 - 2:27 pm

    OUR COLLAPSING ECONOMY AND CURRENCY: "Is the “fiscal cliff” real or just another hoax? The answer is that the fiscal cliff is real, but it is a result, not a cause. The hoax is the way the fiscal cliff is being used." ~ by Paul Craig Roberts @ http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2012/12/01/our-collapsing-economy-and-currency/ ********** (A longish article which goes beyond party-political talking points)

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  • Phil VeerkampDecember 01, 2012 - 3:18 pm

    Colonel, you ask, ”. . . we all will be doomed when President Obama's policies hit the fan. What would these events be?” James, when the $hit hits the fan it will not be the result of President Obama’s policies. NOTHING (except good stuff) will be the result of O’s policies. It will become illegal to assign ANYTHING “naughty” to the great O(z). All the nice stuff will go to Oz. All the naughty stuff will go . . . uh . . . elsewhere.

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  • Phil VeerkampDecember 01, 2012 - 3:24 pm

    test test

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  • James E.December 01, 2012 - 3:27 pm

    Phil, that's exactly what I was thinking it would be -- just good things in the next four years. Have faith.

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  • Phil VeerkampDecember 01, 2012 - 3:54 pm

    Colonel, I appreciate your sense of humor. You (we) will find such assets indispensable. BTW were you able to find 40 minutes for this? - LINK - 40 minutes - UnCivilization - Urban Geopolitics in a Time of Chaos by Gregory R. Copley

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  • CatherineDecember 01, 2012 - 4:00 pm

    Evelyn, good article, especially the part on stock dumping..... Phil, wish there was a transcript, as the book looks interesting.

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  • Phil VeerkampDecember 01, 2012 - 4:13 pm

    Colonel, for some unexplainable reason I have fallen into the habit of addressing you as Colonel. It occurs to me that your essence may not be bold Colonel . Colonel, is this better? Are you more Colonel orColonel?

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  • Phil VeerkampDecember 01, 2012 - 4:18 pm

    Catherine, would you like the book for Christmas? - LINK - AMAZON - Temporarily out of stock. UnCivilization - Urban Geopolitics in a Time of Chaos - Hardcover

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  • DeeDecember 01, 2012 - 5:21 pm

    Longhofer-As I understand it the Administration makes and offer. The Reps say we can't do that. The Administration makes anotherd worst offer. The Reps say we can do that. The Administration makes an even more horrendous offer. The Reps say O.K. And we go merrily on down the hill into bankruptcy.---The dept ceiling is like the credit available on your credit card. Without a budget it doesn 't matter because in reality at this point no one knows how much the government is spending on what. And nobody cares. The whole thing is humorous except for the results.

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  • DeeDecember 01, 2012 - 5:26 pm

    This last offer does not pass the giggle test. And wth your vast knowledge of jurispudence you know what the giggle test is.

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  • CatherineDecember 01, 2012 - 5:34 pm

    Phil, I'm waiting for it to have more than 3 reviews and a Kindle edition, which will be hard if it's out of stock.

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  • DeeDecember 01, 2012 - 5:45 pm

    Charles Krauthammer on Thursday called an offer to fix the fiscal cliff from the White House, presented to House Republicans by Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, “not just a bad deal, this is really an insulting deal.” “What Geithner offered, what you showed on the screen, Robert E. Lee was offered easier terms at Appomattox, and he lost the Civil War,” Krauthammer said on Fox News on Thursday. “There are not only no cuts in this, there's an increase in spending with a new stimulus. I mean, this is almost unheard of. What do they expect? They obviously expect the Republicans will cave on everything. I think the Republicans ought to simply walk away.”

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  • James E.December 01, 2012 - 6:03 pm

    Phil, it matters not to me. I am so easy going.

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  • James E.December 01, 2012 - 6:10 pm

    Dee, yes, of course, as in the motion, or the proposed contract offer, etc., etc., does not meet the laugh test. A term of derision.

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  • James E.December 01, 2012 - 6:16 pm

    Dee, as I understand it, the President made an offer. Instead of a counter-offer, the Tea/Republicans laugh. No lesser offer from the President because he has been fooled again and again in the past. Stalemate until the Tea/Republicans fold or off the cliff.

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  • James E.December 01, 2012 - 6:22 pm

    Dee, reference Charles Krauthammer's comment. Yes, the President does expect the Tea/Republicans to cave on everything -- he now comes from a position of strength. But, if they fold at the last moment, I'm sure they can be given a few crumbs so they can save some small amount of face. Otherwise, off the cliff.

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  • DeeDecember 01, 2012 - 6:32 pm

    Longhofer, "Dee, yes, of course, as in the motion, or the proposed contract offer, etc., etc., does not meet the laugh test. A term of derision." Such an offer does not deserve a counteroffer. The offer shows a lack of seriousness and respect. And since no matter what happens will be the Reps fault one can only laugh. Besides, the last time Boehner thought he had deal with Obama, Obama called him up with new numbers and this 1.6 trillion increase in taxes is double what was being discussed before the election. I'm sure the next offer will include 3.2 trillion in tax increases.

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  • DeeDecember 01, 2012 - 6:48 pm

    Phil-Just to make your evening because I am jealous of your expertise in soup making. New Taxes for Obamacare starting January 1.Excise tax of 2.3% on medical device companies (pacemakers, wheelchairs,etc.). This is on the gross income even is the company does not make a profit.---Surtax on investment income of 3.8%(This is in addition to tax rate already paid.)in households with income making $250,000;single $200,000.---Medicare Payroll Tax Hike from 2.9% to 3.8%.on households with income of $250,000;single $200,000. This is a direct hit on small business owners who will the entire increase..---Cutting of medical itemized deductions from 7.5% of AGI to 10% f AGI. Next year will be fun.

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  • James E.December 01, 2012 - 7:13 pm

    Dee, regarding all these taxes next year, as George W. Bush would say, "At last the coffers will begin to fill."

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  • James E.December 01, 2012 - 7:17 pm

    Dee, you say that such an offer does not deserve a counter-offer. OK, good, then off the cliff and Boehner/McConnell will be blamed. Don't you see, the Tea/Republicans have painted themselves into a corner.

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  • James E.December 01, 2012 - 7:28 pm

    Phil, I listened to the 40 minutes. Let me summarize: We must get rid of entitlements and not tax producers or we will go the way of Rome. People have become subjects of government by decree, and which governments are run by bureaucrat/politician Socialists. And, it will all start to go down hill when we stop having babies. The program was very academic sounding, but the bottom line seemed to support the Tea/Republican philosophy. Did I misread or, should I say, mishear?

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  • James E.December 01, 2012 - 7:32 pm

    Dee, the President's offer not showing respect. Boehner and McConnell deserve no respect. The have proven time and time again that the Party of NO has no concern for the American people. Respect is earned, not demanded.

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  • James E.December 01, 2012 - 7:33 pm

    OK, I'm going to take a time out. I've done enough to rile up Dee and I have to give my dogs their heart worm medicine. Later.

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  • Phil VeerkampDecember 01, 2012 - 7:54 pm

    Catherine, SUPER! My Christmas shopping is done.

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  • CatherineDecember 01, 2012 - 8:42 pm

    Gosh, Phil, if the Colonel's summary is accurate, I guess that's not the book for me. But That You--it's the thought that counts....... And I'm perplexed by voters who elect men like McConnell and Graham. These noisy people distract the Republican Party from finding real leaders. My guess is the 31st will come and go, and the world will not end.

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  • CatherineDecember 01, 2012 - 8:45 pm

    ***That would be Thank you

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  • Phil VeerkampDecember 01, 2012 - 9:13 pm

    Catherine, obviously I am unable to speak to what the Colonel heard. His synopsis totally misses the global perspective of the book and presents only as a U.S. centric treatise regarding progressive vs conservative philosophy. In fact the United States enters the discussion only to the extent of our place within the larger global community. The most brief summary might describe the book as a look at the cyclical rise and fall of societies and our place on that “sine wave”. Find 40 minutes, Catherine, and listen for yourself. – just for you – your very own link – Season’s Greetings! - LINK - HERE

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  • Phil VeerkampDecember 01, 2012 - 9:26 pm

    Dee, thank you for the compliment on my cooking. In all modesty I am the inspiration for LINK - the Seinfeld SOUP NAZI James and Catherine GET NO SOUP from me!

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  • James E.December 01, 2012 - 10:30 pm

    Phil, private link for Catherine? That's just not fair. Catherine, please read it for your own evaluation -- you have to remember, I've become very cynical in my old age. But, I nevertheless think I got the nuance of the message.

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  • James E.December 01, 2012 - 10:31 pm

    *** listen, not read.

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  • Phil VeerkampDecember 01, 2012 - 10:41 pm

    Yes, James, I thought twice before assuming that level of familiarity with Catherine. I guess it's the season. But I will not be surprised if/when members of this forum insinuate more.

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  • James E.December 01, 2012 - 10:46 pm

    And, as to it all going down hill when we stop having babies seemed to be a subtle anti-abortion message. As I said previously, the program was most academic and pleasing, but seemed to be skillfully spoken to advance the conservative message. Phil, the radio host is certainly more pleasant than Rush.

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  • James E.December 01, 2012 - 10:47 pm

    Phil, not to worry, you have been a gentleman regarding Catherine. No one will fault you.

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  • Phil VeerkampDecember 01, 2012 - 11:01 pm

    Ahhh . . . I see the split in perception. The forecast future population stabilization has macroeconomic consequences. The constraints on growth are real. The end of (population growth) economic growth has consequences. The author WAS NOT advocating for or against abortion/contraception. He was forecasting population stabilization as having economic consequences. The ponzi scheme of compound economic growth is nearing an end. A = P(1+r/n)^nt is the “beast”. The exponential function will be fed.

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  • Phil VeerkampDecember 01, 2012 - 11:21 pm

    . . . will be FED.

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  • James E.December 01, 2012 - 11:26 pm

    Phil, when I was Division Chief, Special Operations Division in the Pentagon, one of the sub elements in my Division was Psychological Warfare -- in those days we were beaming propaganda into Cuba. The subtle message had to be woven into a learned academic message, so perhaps I am too attuned to looking for subtle messages. Nevertheless, it's a necessary skill in our political world and one I'm glad to have.

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  • James E.December 01, 2012 - 11:29 pm

    On the other hand, I know nothing about music or speaking Japanese.

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  • Phil VeerkampDecember 01, 2012 - 11:44 pm

    YES. Winston Smith finally did admit that 2 + 2 = 5

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  • James E.December 01, 2012 - 11:47 pm

    Phil, push my face into a cage of hungry rats, and I'll tell you whatever you want to know including 2 plus 2 equals 5 or 6 or 7 or 8 or whatever makes you happy. No contest.

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  • James E.December 01, 2012 - 11:49 pm

    Reminds me that you can quickly break a person if you know what he/she fears.

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  • James E.December 01, 2012 - 11:54 pm

    OK, checking out -- going over to Netflex to watch some BBC Bleak House.

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  • Phil VeerkampDecember 02, 2012 - 12:02 am

    pleasant conversation makes a nice end of th' day. G'night, Colonel

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  • robertdnollDecember 02, 2012 - 2:37 am

    senator McCain was in jail as a prisoner of war,why was james e sent to jail?

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  • cookie65December 02, 2012 - 4:02 am

    The repubs should call the dems bluff on spending cuts. Offer them $25 billion in new taxes for every federal agency that they eliminate and no longer fund and let them pick which ones. Anyone who believes the dems are gonna cut any significant spending need to start shopping for a bridge. That is like believing prop 30 in California was for schools.

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  • DeeDecember 02, 2012 - 11:48 am

    Longhofer-the Republicans, represent 48% of the voters but do not deserve respec?. Well that runs both ways. The Democrats, who have cheats, liers, thiefs, lawbreakers for representatives are examples of politicians deserving of respect? Don't think so. You are making me laugh again.The fiscal cliff is not a Republican/Democrat problem. It is an American problem. Obama is so busy playing games and campaigning that he has been unable to even produce a unlaugable budget since he came into office. Even his liberal Democrat Senate was rolling in the aisles when the last budget was sent over. Not one of them, incuding Reid, voted for it. As the leader of the Country, Obama is obligated to lead in solving the fiscal problem, not play games. The Republicans will be blamed for whatever happens that is bad. That is a fact.

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  • James E.December 02, 2012 - 12:00 pm

    Dee, Mitt didn't give 47% of America respect, so please don't ask for any. And, it appears to be your position that Democrats are cheats, liars, etc., etc., while Republicans are pristine. Dee, you are one angry lady tilted to the extreme right.

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  • James E.December 02, 2012 - 12:07 pm

    Robert, I see you are back -- to answer your question, because the Commanding General of the Military District of Washington abused his discretion. Are you able to understand these large words?

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  • DeeDecember 02, 2012 - 12:22 pm

    Longhofer-Changing the subject again. The subject is not the 2012 election , it is tthe fiscal cliff and the laughable compromise the Administration put forward. It is about the lack of seriousness that the Administration is showing in trying to solve a major problem of spending. I will repeat, this is NOT a Republican/Democrat issue. It is an American issue. And only approaching the problem through the narrow blinders of party politics is foolhardy and dangerous.

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  • James E.December 02, 2012 - 12:42 pm

    Dee, didn't we discuss this at length yesterday? No change today except your attempt to shame me (an American issue), in an attempt to negate my point that Republicans have painted themselves into a corner. If it's not a political issue, then Tea/Republicans should just give in to the President (and they should because they have no choice). Oh, how sweet it is.

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  • DeeDecember 02, 2012 - 12:45 pm

    Longhofer-"Dee, you are one angry lady tilted to the extreme right." Calling names again? I win!

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  • James E.December 02, 2012 - 12:50 pm

    Dee, have you run out of argument? If I were calling names, I wouldn't have called you a lady.

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  • James E.December 02, 2012 - 12:59 pm

    OK, I've inadvertently riled up Dee again, so I'm going to go over to Netflix and watch some BBC Bleak House.

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  • James E.December 02, 2012 - 4:01 pm

    Dee, I should hope that we could debate sending slings and arrows at each other over politics, but with the knowledge that each of us is valued. Perhaps not friends, but worthy chat opponents. I think each of us loves the debate, but that neither of us wants to hurt the other. May we continue in that spirit?

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  • The cligg;December 02, 2012 - 6:47 pm

    The Cliff; Decades of underinvestment in our country by the wealthy class, two Bush wars paid for on credit, and an unrestrained culture on Wall Street that treated the economy like a poorly run casino has unarguably left America strapped for cash. The only question at hand is whether we'll finally be treated to genuine accountability and sound fiscal policy in this deal. Not if the Republicans get their way. Their endless exaggeration of the certain doom that awaits us on the other side of the fiscal cliff is intended once again to force middle class and poor Americans to accept yet one more bum deal so that the wealthy don't have to budge an inch. But this time, they do so at their own political peril

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