Live Blog: Negotiating with Tea Party Terrorists

And the worst Tea Party Terrorists are in the White House “negotiating” with themselves. The only explanation for the way Obama is acting is that he doesn’t want a second term. I just don’t see how he can think he’s going to be reelected either way–whether the U.S. defaults on its debts or Congresses passes one of the austerity plans, Obama is toast.

I guess he can’t wait to start raking in the millions he’ll get from the sitting on bank boards after this is all over. I used to think he was looking forward to making big bucks on the lecture circuit, but who will want to hear him speak about how he destroyed the social safety net and brought down the U.S. economy?

I thought I’d put up a post for those of us who want to keep tabs on what the Senate is doing this afternoon. I’ll have more info shortly, but feel free to document the ongoing slow-motion nightmare in the comments while I set up my laptop in front of the TV and turn on C-span.


The Reid plan failed to achieve cloture in the Senate, so it’s looking like whatever McConnell, Boehner, and Obama are cooking up is what we’ll get stuck with. Here is what is known about the plan that is on the table right now.

If Democratic and GOP leaders finalize a deal, they would still face the tough task of convincing their rank and file to swallow a compromise. Fervent liberals and conservatives could scuttle any deal between the White House and congressional leaders. Here are the details of the tentative pact, according to several sources who spoke to NJ on condition that they not be identified:

•$2.8 trillion in deficit reduction with $1 trillion locked in through discretionary spending caps over 10 years and the remainder determined by a so-called “Super Committee.”
•The Super Committee must report precise deficit-reduction proposals by Thanksgiving.
•The Super Committee would have to propose $1.8 trillion in spending cuts to achieve that amount of deficit reduction over 10 years.
•If the Super Committee fails, Congress must send a balanced-budget amendment to the states for ratification. If that doesn’t happen, across-the-board spending cuts would go into effect and could touch Medicare and defense spending.
•No net new tax revenue would be part of the special committee’s deliberation.
That last item remained a potential sticking point. Obama’s advisers insisted on the Sunday talk shows that the president expected tax increases to be part of the Super Committee’s plan. “I think any long-term deficit-reduction is going to include revenues,” Obama adviser David Plouffe told ABC’s This Week.

Yet Plouffe was unwilling to commit that revenue increases would automatically kick in — along with spending cuts — if the Super Committee doesn’t hit the $1.8 trillion target. McConnell bluntly said that “job-killing tax increases” are off the table.

The ever-hopeful Ezra Klein says Dems will lose now but could win later.

Democrats are going to lose this one. The first stage of the emerging deal doesn’t include revenue, doesn’t include stimulus, and lets Republicans pocket a trillion dollars or more in cuts without offering anything to Democrats in return.

The second stage convenes a congressional “Supercommittee” to recommend up to $2 trillion in further cuts, and if their plan doesn’t pass Congress, there’s an enforcement mechanism that begins making automatic, across-the-board cuts to almost all categories of spending. So heads Democrats lose, tails Republicans win.

It’s difficult to see how it could have ended otherwise. Virtually no Democrats are willing to go past Aug. 2 without raising the debt ceiling. Plenty of Republicans are prepared to blow through the deadline. That’s not a dynamic that lends itself to a deal. That’s a dynamic that lends itself to a ransom.

But Democrats will have their turn. On Dec. 31, 2012, three weeks before the end of President Barack Obama’s current term in office, the Bush tax cuts expire. Income tax rates will return to their Clinton-era levels. That amounts to a $3.6 trillion tax increase over 10 years, three or four times the $800 billion to $1.2 trillion in revenue increases that Obama and Speaker John Boehner were kicking around. And all Democrats need to do to secure that deal is…nothing.

The only thing that can prevent increased revenue, says Klein, is the Obama administration. That’s pretty pathetic. Even Klein isn’t sure Obama will let the Bush tax cuts expire.

For more background, see my and and Dakinikat’s posts from last night.

I’ll put further updates in the comments.

Capital on fire

41 Comments on “Live Blog: Negotiating with Tea Party Terrorists”

  1. Minkoff Minx says:

    Hey, just saw this post, so I will repeat what I just posted on the Sunday reads thread.

    Senate blocks Reid debt plan, bipartisan deal close | Reuters

    The U.S. Senate defeated a Democratic proposal to raise the debt ceiling on Sunday as lawmakers closed in on a deal that would be acceptable to both parties.

    By a vote of 50 to 49, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s plan fell short of the 60 votes needed to advance in the 100-member body.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Thanks, I heard. It looks like it will be the McConnell-Obama Republican plan then. There isn’t much difference anyway, but Moody’s says they’ll downgrade our credit rating either way. None of this makes any sense–unless you think this is a good way to gut Social Security. Apparently it’s worth it to Obama.

  2. bostonboomer says:

    Chuck Todd says “some Democrats are unhappy.” Those are the only real Democrats then.

  3. mjames says:

    I just read over at TPM that, now that Reid’s plan has been voted down, McConnell and our quisling in chief are working out a new plan that will include mandatory cuts to “entitlements” and defense (yeah, right, I believe that one). McConnell and Obama: two right-wing economic idiots. And the non-Dem Dems will go right along, including Sanders. You can count on that.

    I’ve said all along, as have many others, our government “representatives” do not want to honor the money they “borrowed” from the Social Security trust fund. In fact, they never had any intention of paying it back, though they are legally obligated to do so. So, they’ve twisted themselves into pretzels to find a “legal” way to avoid paying their debt. While we’re supposed to continue to pay for their salaries and their pensions and their health care and their endless wars. That’s what this is all about. They aren’t going to pay what they owe us. Social Security has nothing to do with the deficit or the debt. How many times must we repeat that truth? This is insane.

    I think we should unite to show them who’s boss. Pick a date – and we all withdraw all our money from our respective banks. We all withdraw our money from the stock market. We cash in our bonds. And we stop paying our bills, based on the model set by our government. (That is, we renegotiate our individual debt unilaterally, as they are doing now with the government debt). Yes, pension plans would be hurt, everyone would be hurt, but, still, pension plans are already being looted and will soon cease to exist (same for 401k plans) and … inaction in the face of this disaster is anathema to me. I’m ready to march on Washington. Whatever it takes.

    I guess it starts with campaign finance reform. And an agreement amongst all liberals not to vote for anyone who supports this blatantly crooked deal. That’s every last goddam one of them, starting with that tiny excuse of a man in the White House. You know, the guy with the outsized ego and pea brain, the guy who wants to be in with the in crowd more than helping the country, the guy who destroys that which we were promised and that which we paid for, the quisling par excellence.

    • bostonboomer says:

      I’m afraid it’s way too late for all that. Our only hope is that things get so bad that Americans start fighting back–in the streets.

  4. bostonboomer says:

    Marnus3 Joseph J. Santorsa
    Lesson learned from the debt ceiling debate: When an arsonist is ready to burn down your house, offer them a match. #p2

  5. bostonboomer says:

    NYT: Rightward tilt leaves Obama with party rift

    Entering a campaign that is shaping up as an epic clash over the parties’ divergent views on the size and role of the federal government, Republicans have changed the terms of the national debate. Mr. Obama, seeking to appeal to the broad swath of independent voters, has adopted the Republicans’ language and in some cases their policies, while signaling a willingness to break with liberals on some issues.

    That has some progressive members of Congress and liberal groups arguing that by not fighting for more stimulus spending, Mr. Obama could be left with an economy still producing so few jobs by Election Day that his re-election could be threatened. Besides turning off independents, Mr. Obama risks alienating Democratic voters already disappointed by his escalation of the war in Afghanistan and his failure to close the Guantánamo Bay prison, end the Bush-era tax cuts and enact a government-run health insurance system.

  6. bostonboomer says:

    whisper1111 mike fogelsanger
    debt bill agreement includes provision that every illness of someone over 70 be officially called hypochondria

  7. bostonboomer says:

    Writer from Reuters on CNN saying this is a complete capitulation by Dems and overwhelming win by Repubs. Even though Obama wants this, it will be seen as a major loss for him.

    How does that help him get reelected?

    • bostonboomer says:

      The entire panel on CNN wants lower tax rates and more revenue. This seems to be code for cutting taxes on the rich and making the poor pay more.


  8. joanelle says:

    Mr. Obama could be left with an economy still producing so few jobs by Election Day that his re-election could be threatened Ya’ think ;?

  9. RSM says:

    Yves Smith calls Ezra Klein the Baghdad Bob of the Democratic Party.

  10. bostonboomer says:

    Rep. from Buffalo NY, elected in a solid Republican district. Yesterday got 6,000 phone calls. Can’t vote for the bill if it puts social security and medicare on the table.

  11. bostonboomer says:

    Rep. Grivalja, leader of Progressive Caucus, will not support the bill as is.

  12. bostonboomer says:

    Leaders in both parties are unhappy.

    “It’s going to be insufficient clearly,” said Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), the top Republican on the Budget Committee. “I don’t like all these secret talks. We have not done anything publicly.”

    “If the rumors are accurate, it’s very troubling,” said Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), citing the “absence of any effort to review and trim programs for the wealthy and well-connected.”

    Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), who has spent months trying to negotiate a bipartisan compromise on the deficit, was hardly ready to embrace the emerging plan, though he was eager to see the details.
    “I have not been satisfied with what they’ve been talking about,” he said, calling the talk over the enforcement mechanism to force a second round of deficit cuts a “straight jacket.”

    Still, lawmakers hadn’t seen the details yet of the plan, and had only learned about the broad outlines in news reports and from comments Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and White House officials made on the Sunday talk shows.

    Read more:

  13. joanelle says:

    I do’t think our founders had a “supercommittee” in mind – I certainly don’t – talk about raxation without representation!

    • joanelle says:

      ooops -“taxation”

      • mjames says:

        That’s exactly what I was thinking. This is actually taxation without representation. Even without the super committee BS. Not a single Dem is listening – and acting on – what his or her constituency wants. Not a single one.

    • dakinikat says:

      Sounds sort of like something the Soviets would have come up for a five year plan.

  14. mjames says:

    I’ve never seen anything like this. The Republicans are still complaining? After Obama has completely capitulated. Maybe they’ll make him put on a dress and say “pretty please.” I don’t see how he could be more humiliated than he already is. A mewling puking little kid terrified of his big bad daddy. In so far over his head it is staggering. Why, why, why, he’s sputtering to himself, you mean I have to work at this job? But, but, but, I never worked a day in my life. I don’t know how. I played golf with TanMan and I talked with McConnell. Isn’t that enough?

    For the life of me, I do not understand how the Dems can go along with this (except, of course, for that blackmail thing our Chicago boy and his henchmen have going for them). Any rational being knows this plan is going to sink the economy and the country – and cause unimaginable pain and suffering to millions of innocent people. So, how does this help politically? Independents rely on Social Security and Medicare. We all do. It’s the great unifier. This is sheer insanity.

    Nobody will have a job, so there will be no tax revenue. Then, they’ll get rid of the FICA tax for good, so there will be no Social Security fund (even one with phony IOUs). Then, nobody will be able to afford health insurance, so the medical industry will go belly up. Then, Medicare and Medicaid will shift 100% to the states, so they’ll die too, since the states are already bankrupt. Leaving public education a thing of the past. Food and water? Whose going to enforce whatever regulations remain in place?

    Is there anyone down there in that cesspool with a brain? The answer is clearly no.

    The only solution I can come up with is for Obama to resign. Right now. Today. Someone needs to tell him it’s over.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Just wait. After all his caving, the Repubs will probably try to impeach him if he gets reelected.

      • mjames says:

        Maybe they’ll do us a favor and impeach him before this term is over. That way he can’t do any more harm.

    • paper doll says:

      The Republicans are still complaining?

      It’s what they do and who they are . I’m sure the will have grievance list for Jesus when he returns. Obie is j doing the job he was created to do…. be the Over Lords Trojan horse and trash the safety net .

    • northwestrain says:

      That movie has been done — several times….. Soylent Green — one of the best.

      When there’s a clear choice — good & evil — today’s politicians are choosing evil.

      When is the wake for the now clearly dead Dem party?

  15. bostonboomer says:

    MSNBC says they have word from Dems about an announcement and possible vote tonight.

  16. fiscalliberal says:

    Now that they have every one tired of Washington, at the last minute they will slip stuff in just before it goes to the president. They do this with out the Senate or House voting on it. Thet did it often under Bush

    If we go constitutional ammendment (14?) things at least will be more transparent

  17. Pat Johnson says:

    We have no idea what is even contained in these bills other than an evisceration of Social Security and Veterans benefits. Other than that what else is in there that would produce this amount of bogus savings overall?

    We know that revenues will not be included so what’s left? All I can see is a lot of social safety nets being cut or reduced which means the states will be left up to providing the difference which means that my state alone will up its tax rate which is bound to filter back into my property taxes to cover police and teachers.

    On my income I could lose my home and any standard of living (believe me when I say it is not high by any means) and whatever savings I have left to cover expenses.

    Are these people nuts altogether? Do they all come from districts that are without senior, kids, sick people and whose wage earners are making above $200,000 annually? The unemployed may as well pitch tents since they will be forgotten as well.

    Is this the face of the country we want to procede? Where are those in DC posing these same questions?

    If anyone thinks any of this is a good idea they have no idea how revenue is obtained. State and local governments will be looking for it somewhere and it will be out of the same pockets the federal government has just shaken the last cent.