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Fiscal Cliff
  • Republicans Give John Boehner Something to Cry About

    Even after John Boehner loaded up "Plan B" with a Christmas tree of right-wing ornaments — cuts to Obamacare, cuts to food stamps, tort reform — the most ardent conservatives in his caucus abandoned him, refusing him the 218 votes needed for passage. So he cried. Then he withdraw the proposal and sent the House home for Christmas rather than face a humiliating defeat on the House floor.

    Plan B — Boehner's alternative to actually negotiating with Barack Obama and patching together a narrow bipartisan majority in the House — would have raised taxes on millionaires, while extending Bush-era tax rates on everyone else. Since this plan stood no chance in the Senate and would have faced a presidential veto, it was widely described as "political theater."

    Hopefully, the House GOP learned a lesson from this meltdown: running any kind of theater without the help of gay people is bound to be an epic fail.

    Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images News/Getty Images


    Tags: Fiscal Cliff, House of Representatives, John Boehner, Republicans
  • Pharaoh Grover Norquist Lets His People Go

    The Pharaoh hardened his heart and would not let the people go. Then business executives said to John Boehner, "Go to Pharaoh and say to him, "This is what the conservative business community, the God of the Republicans, says: "Let my people go, so that they may worship me."

    And Pharaoh Grover Norquist heeded the warning and liberated the House Republican Caucus by declaring that Boehner's "Plan B" proposal did not violate the Americans for Tax Reform no-tax-hike pledge…

    This legislation — popularly known as 'Plan B' — permanently prevents a tax increase on families making less than $1 million per year.  Republicans supporting this bill are this week affirming to their constituents in writing that this bill — the sole purpose of which is to prevent tax increases — is consistent with the pledge they made to them.  In ATR's analysis, it is extremely difficult — if not impossible — to fault these Republicans' assertion.

    Funny enough, applying this logic to the Obama proposal would make that plan consistent with the pledge as well. After all, the Democratic proposal prevents a tax increase on families making less than $250,000 per year, but the Norquist's new dispensation does not apply to the Obama plan, because the Pharaoh does not have to be fair.

    Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images News/Getty Images


    Tags: Americans for Tax Reform, Fiscal Cliff, Grover Norquist, John Boehner
  • Tweet Untweet: Obama's Strong Hands


    Tags: Barack Obama, Fiscal Cliff, John Boehner, Tweet Untweet, Twitter
  • Our Endorsements: Baby Congress Argues the Fiscal Cliff

    * Da fwiscaw cwiff is soooooooo cute.

    * North Korea gets the news wrong again.

    * While The Onion, as usual, gets it right again.

    * For those of you who don't have snow or any music ability.

    * And so this is no longer Christmas, and what have we done?

    * Makes you want to invite drunk Boris Yeltsin over for holiday dinner.

    * Did you know Christopher Nolan is directing Obama's presidency too?

    * The most fascinating discoveries of evolution this year. No, really. We've evolved.

    * Finally, a gift for the person who has everything (I'm assuming you hate them, too).


    Tags: Daily Links, Fiscal Cliff, House of Representatives, Kim Jong-un, North Korea, The Onion, Time Magazine, War on Christmas

  • Chained CPI vs. Django Unchained

    Much to the surprise of of those liberal Democrats who have not paid attention to anything the president has done or said over the past four years, the White House may support cuts to Social Security as part of the fiscal cliff negotiations with House Republicans.

    Specifically, the administration suggested replacing Social Security's current system of annual cost-of-living benefit increases with an adjustment mechanism that relies on something called a chained Consumer Price Index, or "chained CPI."

    Policy experts like the idea because the inflation formula currently used to calculate Social Security benefits fails to take into account substitution effects. That is, when broccoli becomes expensive, Americans spend more of their money on spinach, without necessarily increasing their grocery budget. Just kidding, Americans don't eat vegetables. In fact, it's easier to explain Chained CPI via Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained and let you decide which is more palatable:

    Read More »


    Tags: Barack Obama, Debt, Fiscal Cliff, Movies, Quentin Tarantino, Social Security