Tag Archives: Fiscal Cliff

Hail To the VEEP

For and foremost, I want to wish everyone a very Happy New Year. Great to have made it to 2013!!

One thing is clear today… Washington is finally doing some WORK. After a painful campaign year in 2012, and a shameful Lame Duck session, the United States Congress has now gone over the Fiscal Cliff. As of today, the Bush Tax Cuts have expired FOREVER, and we are now under the largest tax rate the nation has had in over 10 years. It’s done folks, the clock has run out.

Of course this isn’t what anyone wanted… Neither Democrats or Republicans wanted tax rates this high (at least not yet), or cuts this steep to defense and social services. Just like our hangovers from last nightMs New Years’ Eve, we now have to face the consequences of our Congressional actions. Unemployment benefits have now been cut off for nearly 2 million Americans, and it’s unacceptable to let them starve. In other words, now we need some help.

In for the rescue come Vice President Joe Biden. Apparently, some jobs are too big for even the President to negotiate. And when it comes to Congress m, those jobs now fall to Joe Biden.

What we sometimes forget about our distinguished VP? Before 2009, he was a in the United States Senate for 36 years. Had he not become VP, he would actually be the most senior Democrat in the Senate. That seniority is proving to play a critical role to the future of our nation. Knowing the gravity of the situation, Minority leader Mitch McConnell actually called on Biden to come in and close the deal for the Senate. As a result, Senators reached a compromise and were able to pass a the fiscal cliff deal on a shocking 89-8 vote. If you’ve followed Congress over the last few years, you’ll know that bi-partisanship of this magnitude doesn’t happen often.

Of course Joe Biden has been a critical partner to President Obama at almost every turn. He helped restore the faith of the Progressive Caucus in a shrewd move to clarify the White House position on same sex marriage. Sure President Obama came out in support of marriage equality last May, but only after Biden endorsed it a few days prior on a Sunday talk show. This put the President against a wall, and thankfully he chose to side with the arc of history. Since that pivotal moment, the cause for marriage equality has entered a new realm of victory with endorsements by Civil Rights organizations, and wins in the mere state-wide referenda. Sure history will talk about Obama’s leadership on the issue, but let’s not forget who actually toppled the first domino.

Now let’s not kid ourselves… This isn’t a great bill, and the struggles are far from over. The House has yet to vote on the legislation. But now, with weight of Republican support from the Senate the House will knows that rejecting this bill would be electoral suicide. So the prospects look good at the moment. (Look for updates as this is developing rapidly.)

But in either case, the Vice President has proven his worth today. After forcing the President’s hand on issues like same-sex marriage, clobbering Sarah Palin and Paul Ryan in debates, and being a tireless champion for the working class, it’s time for us all to raise a glass to Mr. Biden.

Hail to the Veep.

Obama’s Fiscal Cliff Opener: Game ON

My only advice for Liberals when the Conservative blogosphere starts their crowing and whining about the Fiscal Cliff negotiations… GET USED TO IT.

After President Obama delivered his “opening bid” in the Fiscal Cliff negotiations, Republicans naturally became upset over the fact that there was not much for them to like. Conservatives from sea to shining sea will continue to feign outrage and disgust with this in an effort to scare the Left and the President into submission. They want the country to forget the 2012 elections ever occurred.

This is a test for Congressional Democrats and everyone that cares about our causes. This is ONLY a test. No matter how many threats they try to spin, Obama and Democrats are playing a new game right now. A game that is weighted by public opinion, inflated by an improving economy and mandated by the votes on November 6th. Before those on the Left consider cowering, let us be reminded of some very important facts…

1) On November 6th, the GOP lost the election. They lost eight net seats in the House. They lost 4 net seats in the Senate. They LOST the Presidency. And not only did they lose the Presidency, but they lost it on the very same issue being presented in the Fiscal Cliff talks. All polling shows that Americans want taxes for the wealthy to go up, and they don’t want to cut benefits on MedCare, MediCaid or Social Security. In other words… we want a balanced approach. So why is it an insult for the President to do what we’ve asked?

2) House Republicans may have retained control of the chamber, but only after the most aggressive gerrymandering plans in US history. Let them claim a mandate if they wish, but one can argue its strength quite easily by looking at the numbers. 3) If the House GOP feel “insulted” by Obama’s opening bid, it’s high time. The President has gotten little more than insults from this caucus since he was first sworn in… from the infamous shouting of “You Lie!” during a State of the Union address, to the constant conspiracy theories from Birthers, Truthers and whoever else-ers, to the all-out persecution of current Cabinet members Eric Holder and Susan Rice, this group of legislators have shown nothing short of contempt for the Obama Administration.

4) The clock is still ticking. The GOP now have 32 days to come to a deal, or the Bush Tax Cuts expire… never to return. If that happens, they lose all leverage on a bargain for lowering tax rates. As was said yesterday, the writing is on the wall.

For Democrats, this is the time to let the Right crow about insults and being unfair. And when the opportunity arises, simply remind them that if they really cared about insults, maybe they should have thought of the ones they started hurling in January of 2009.

New Game. New Rules. GAME ON.

The ABCs of the GOP: Q is for


To paraphrase from the great William Shakespeare…

Bush Tax Cuts, or Obama Tax Cuts? That is the question.

What’s in a name? That which we call a tax cut By any other name would smell as sweet.

But unfortunately for one political party, it simply doesn’t work that way. The “Bush Tax Cuts” are now much more than a name for the Republicans… they are are a legacy, and a philosophy. For the Republican party in the twenty-first century, the BUSH Tax Cuts have really been the central orb around which all Conservative fiscal policy gravitates. Lest we forget that Democrats now have greater advantage as the party of the new, more diverse America, the party of foreign policy, and the party of defending minority and women’s rights. Fiscal Conservatism is the only real game Republicans have left. Never mind that President Obama has already cut government spending by 1.5 Trillion Dollars and continues to argue for a balanced approach, proving more fiscally Conservative than his GOP predecessors. Hell or high water, Republicans believe in tax cuts. It is their Raison d’etre.

Which is why it may surprise some that House Republicans have continued to be so adamant against the President’s plan to preserve tax cuts for ALL Americans on their first $250,00 dollars of income (that’s right… EVERYONE still gets a tax cut!!). It is quite literally a chance to preserve the GOP’s false identity as the party of lower taxes and cutting spending. This is what’s important about having the name BUSH associated with TAX CUTS.

Here lies the ultimate quagmire for Republicans in the House… come January 1st, that legacy of the BUSH TAX CUTS and of Republicans being exclusively known as “the tax cut party” dies. If they don’t reach a deal to extend the BUSH Tax Cuts, they lose the name Bush forever from the measure. Any tax cuts they pass in 2013 would then be forever known as the OBAMA TAX CUTS. Talk about a tough pill to swallow… do Republicans in this really want to be remembered as the ones who created the Obama Tax Cuts??

As lawmakers, we should expect that Republicans and Democrats don’t care about nomenclature… they care about doing what’s right for the American People. But sadly, this has not been the case at all during the Obama era. The GOP fought this President’s agenda at every chance. They crippled the Senate with filibuster abuse, held the country hostage over the debt ceiling, and basically prolonged the economic Recession by refusing to make any public sector contribution to the Recovery… all in the hope of weakening President Obama, and his chances for re-election. None of it worked.

For all of that malice, November 6th was their reward. There will be no President Romney, and (barring an unprecedented catastrophy that none would hope for) no chance of any Republican taking the White House before January of 2017.

So Democrats… if you want a deal to happen before the beginning of the year that raises tax rates on the wealthy and does not cut social programs, pressure the GOP with their impossible choice. Do they extend the Bush Tax Cuts now for 98 percent of the country, or do they erase the Bush/GOP legacy and CREATE the Obama Tax Cuts later?

For the GOP, it has come to this.