How Far We’ve Come

This wasn't very long ago.

Every single Republican primary candidate raised their hand when asked if they would turn down a deal that included 10 dollars in cuts for every 1 dollar in new revenue.

During the presidential debates, Mitt Romney also, once again, reiterated that he would not accept a deal that included a 10:1 ratio of cuts to revenue.

And as recently as the middle of December, congressional Republicans rejected the idea of a 10:1 ratio.

Fast forward to today, and President Obama and the Democrats managed to pass a bill with a 1:41 ratio of cuts to revenue. And Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney's running mate, voted for it.

In my opinion, to insist that this was anything other than a sweeping victory, or that it was some kind of "cave," is not only foolish, it also gives me reason not to take you seriously on other subjects. Because it really flies in the face of logic.

  • drsquid

    All these hair-on-fire people talking about leverage. I do not believe that word mean what they think it means.

    Its meaning is simple – if you can afford to walk away from a deal, you have leverage. Tell me how the GOP can walk away from a deal in two months without getting their asses set on fire by Wall Street, defense contractors, or the voters.

    As for the “caved” articles, they’re just being environmentally friendly by recycling the same boilerplate from 2011. Progressive!

  • D_C_Wilson

    The one major problem is that the deal doesn’t take the debt ceiling off the table and it just kicks sequestration down the road. So, we’ll be refighting this battle in March.

    The good is that cuts in Social Security and Medicare were taken off the table. No, we didn’t get everything the president wanted, but you never do in any negotiation. But one important barrier has been broken: the republican unified opposition to any revenue increases. That alone is worth it.

  • jeremydium

    Obama’s original offer: $1.6 trillion in revenue

    Boehner’s original offer: $800 billion in revenue

    Final deal: $600 billion in revenue, permanent reinstatement of 84% of the Bush tax cuts, and the republicans get to take the debt ceiling hostage again in two months and now Obama isn’t going to have any leverage against them.

    How exactly is this a good deal again?

    • JMAshby

      Boehner’s original offer was nothing but Ryan budget gimmicks and he probably couldn’t have even passed it. And “deal” doesn’t mean you get everything and they get nothing.

    • drsquid

      Now that we know that you can copy Huffington Post boilerplate, how about giving your own thoughts on the subject. Plagiarizing from Adam Green doesn’t count.

      And what leverage do the GOP have? They’ve already decoupled spending cuts from revenue increases. Only the sequester comes up in March, and they won’t be allowed to hold SS, Medicare, Medicaid, or UI hostage to restore the defense cuts. And the anti-Democratic Hastert rule, the rule that has contributed more to the partisan bickering than anything else, has been broken. Don’t come back with that debt ceiling hostage crap – the Hastert rule got broken because a third of the GOP caucus were more afraid of killing a bond rating than being primaried by crazier hoopleheads.

      It sounds like you’re one of those that believe we should treat tax rates the way the GOP treats abortion – always have it around to threaten the other side and raise money off it, but never change it.

      • mrbrink

        I agree with all of that drsquid, and well said, except for the notion that republicans don’t really care about restricting, or banning abortion. In this regard, I think the crazies have gotten fed up because it’s been great for raising money and has been the case for years, but as we see across state legislatures, and prominent GOP candidates outspoken in their eagerness to appoint wackaloon justices to the courts I’d say the days of counting on the republican party to merely pay lip service to banning abortion are officially over.

    • mrbrink

      It’s a good deal because you depress voter turnout. It’s a cycle, you see.

      Every two years there is an important election. Not every four years.

  • eljefejeff

    This deal is actually better than I expected. However, the stimulus deal 4 years ago was also better than I expected at the time, and yet, it ultimately fell short of what Krugman and many others said would be necessary to get the economy going in full swing.

    So legislatively yes, this was a victory for liberals. Down the road, however, it may be more and more clear that it wasn’t quite enough. Hopefully voters will blame republicans and vote more of them out. I’m worried republicans will hijack the narrative and blame any potential slowdown on the dems’ insistence to raise taxes on so called “job creators”

  • fork_in_it

    I am certainly not a firebagger by any means, and overall I have been quite happy with Obama’s presidency. But I think this blog is being a bit naive by declaring victory on what just happened, while ignoring the prospects for what happens in two months, in the next big showdown. We will face the same opposition, though arguably that much more determined to get their way this time, and we will not have our biggest bargaining chip anymore (the Bush tax cuts expiring).

    In my opinion, it would be foolish to pass a judgment either way on this deal until we see what happens in the next one.

    Finally, I can understand some of the disappointment from the left. Even the MSM was coming around to the idea that Obama basically had the issue of taxes going up on income over $250k “for free”, and yet we negotiated a chunk of that away. And further, the deal only bought two months on the spending side of things. I cannot see how we’ll be holding a better hand in two months than the one we were just holding.

    • JMAshby

      There’s still $500 billion in defense cuts waving in the wind.

      I am not going to waste time worrying about what may or may not happen two months from now. And I trust that the president has already considered every eventuality.

      And besides, whats the solution in the meantime? Hang over the cliff for 2 months? Yeah, no thanks.

      • Brutlyhonest

        I’d like to see some “serious” person state the truth that cutting $50B/year out of the Defense budget – and this is just the public, unclassified budget – would be a good start.

        Anyone who has ever worked within the DoD budgeting system, if they are honest, knows there is easily that much waste that can be easily identified. Just start with all the crap different members of Congress force the services to buy every year.

  • mike

    Don’t take me seriously, fine. Please reconcile instead Paul Krugman’s opinion on the upcoming debt ceiling fight with Obama’s own campaign promise [PROMISE] not to go above $250K for the tax portion of what just passed.

    • JMAshby

      Paul Krugman is an economist, not a politician.

      • mike

        And a Nobel-prize winning one at that. Since Bob is neither of those 2, I was hoping he could help me understand those big, numerific words (and stuff) that Krugman uses. I can wait.

        • JMAshby

          I wrote the post, not Bob. And you’re going to be waiting a long, long time.

    • Treading_Water

      So the difference between what Obama got and what he arguably should have gotten is around 0.1 percent of potential GDP. That’s not crucial, to say the least.
      Paul Krugman, Jan 1, 2013

      I think the words “not crucial, to say the least” mean that he’s not particularly disturbed over the 250k vs 450k difference in tax revenues.

    • aleth

      No one care anymore.

      Paul Krugman can keep giving his opinion but I am tired of his opinion. I went 4 years listening to him whine only at the end of the campaign season admitting the President was right all along. Krugman does not know politics– where were the votes? He should stick to economics

      So its now about 250 to 450? That’s it, that is the biggest complaint? Seriously. And I dont’ want to hear any liberal come to me with the payroll tax expiration because the “google” is not the liberals friends. This one of a mulititude of articles on the whining.

      The same “kill the bill” from ACA are back. I have been done with them since 2010. The President won his promise- raise tax on the wealthy Americans. Done.. Next issue please.

      It is sad when you read redstate comments and it is essential same as DKOs. I guess Sanders is a sellout too. Everyone is done with the extremes of both parties.

      Guess what election 2010 had a consequence. Time to move on to the next issue. Outrage and dissappointment everyday coupled with unnecessary hair on fire.

      • drsquid

        Yep, 250 to 450 is the hill they’re willing to die on. One purist, back when chained CPI was the “chip” that is nowhere now, actually compared the purists struggle against chained CPI to the abolitionists struggle against slavery.

        Yeah, like I’m really ready for 600 thousand Americans to die in a bloody war over an accounting trick. No perspective among these idiots.

    • eljefejeff

      honest question here…did Obama use the words “I promise we won’t go over $250K”? There’s a difference between a “plan” and a “promise”. A plan can be negotiated.

    • MaryLF

      The phasing out of deductions for the $200,000 and up bracket counts as a tax rise too.

  • KABoink_after_wingnut_hacker

    The 2012 republican primaries could just as well named ‘Dolts on Parade’ or ‘Pandering to the Bigots’. None of these assholes have contributed anything of value before or since.
    It’s just a crying shame that MSM has refused to report what is actually going on in the country.

  • Ipecac

    That’s one of those videos I cannot watch without giving my computer monitor the finger immediately afterwards. More for the audiences insipid approval of the stupidity than anything.

  • chucklenuts

    Well, first, you should never take me seriously, but I agree with your assesement.

    Here we see the biggest difference between conservative and liberal people. Conservatives will stand behind their guy no matter the facts, and then re-write history when enough time has passed. Liberals are more prone to criticize when they see fit, even if it is not too my liking, but I think it is part of the make up the liberal mindset, we are all diverse and see things not as black and white, but more from a view of what will be the full impact of the decision/policy/whatever in the future.

    • aleth

      They give the other side ideas and meme period.

      Well if that is the case that they care about the full impact, why can’t they seem to care about the unemployment insurance, the extra credits for college, tax cut of the middle class etc.. why were they okay with just go over the cliff and screw the every middle class and poor they care about? I think you also need to be carefully on the broad word “liberal”– reading majority hispanic, asian or black pragmatic and liberal blogs do not outline complaints like a certain sect.

      Majority of minority run blogs run in reality. They see congress as is not how it should be. Alot of them also see “certain liberals” as contributing to the 2010 election results. Why the constant whine with this president? While I understand your underlining point, it does not go with the other reality outside of a certain blogs cathering to a select group.

      I am curious why didn’t Krugman call Clinton a wimp during NAFTA, Welfare reform, DADT etc.. why are certain language left for “this” specific President. Why do people think they know better by than “this” president but sure were quiet as a mouse for Clintons.

      No Reich and Krugman had their chances in various administration but failed. Obama makes incremental changes as is the very foundation of this country whether we like it or not. Untile the House is no longer controlled by the GOP, there is no point to whining.

      • nathkatun7

        Bravo, Aleth! Extremely well said. I totally share your sentiments about these born again, holier than thou, liberals/progressives. They’ve never once allowed President Obama any breathing room to deal with the “Know-nothing” Republican anarchists now dominating one House of Congress as well as having a substantial minority in the other house where they’ve used the filibuster to block everything aimed at advancing the interests of the country. I am not interested in theoretical debates when assessing a President who has the burden of governing a country that is deeply divided ideologically.

        • chucklenuts

          Understood, I was not trying to bring a large net around liberals to say they all think about the same thing only different opinions, I was trying to say exactly what you pointed out (maybe, or I am mssing your point), we are more apt to find opinions on the democratic party that are not just stepping in line with the media’s/party line

          Also, I was more referring to people in general and excluding politicians, so if you are asking me why the politicians in DC where willing to go over the cliff and screw the middle class, I don’t know, but I can venture a guess. The other party are assholes, petulant little children who, from my viewpoint and what I can gether using critical thinking and review history, have been out to fuck the 98% of us who are not in there coffers. So for them going over the cliff was only a tool to see if the Dems would (as many are saying on the left) “cave” so they could get what they wanted

          Are democrats any better, I say yes, by a large margin, but others will disagree. But if I were a republican, I would say, the right is always right and the left are a bunch of dirty fucking hippies…end of conversation for them (See David Brooks, Andrew Sullivan……etc, from 1998 to today). I am at least willing to see the issues with the party I feel is best for the country at this time, and discuss and disagree, or, have my opinion changed based on information and or viewpoints I have not used prior, I can’t say that for the right and I am being general, but there are people out there, far greater than I, because they take the time to manage blogs, who are very apt at capturing the rights historical clusterfuck of policy, talking points and so on, Driftglass comes to mind (my apologies Bob and JM, don’t mean to promote another blog)

          Why did the people you mention not bash clinton? I don’t know, but if there were blogs in 1992 – 2000 like there are now, I would venture to guess we would have seen many bashing the Clinton Administration.

          There will always be those on the left who are never happy with the whoever is in the whitehouse while it is under a democratic leadership or Congress for that matter, and they do feed the simple minds of the hate radio with fire power. And our wonderful media with the centrist BS they push so they can keep their million plus dollar paycheck will never call the lunancy of the right out. But is that wrong?

          I can remember how unhappy people on the left were with Al Gore, the lesser of two evils I would hear. In fact that is often the case, see this election, and that infuriates me, as I imagine you as well. To not see the right for what they are and think the democratic side is as bad is beyond my thinking, but this is the centrists lie be brought forth by a media that is afraid of being called liberally biased.

          Let me finish with this, President Obama was given a horrible situation when he was sworn in in 2009, the likes of which I have not seen, a broken economy, a political party bent on his failure and willing to do so at the countries peril, a well oiled machine of propaganda that was and still is relentless. In my opinion, he has done an amazing job and will be viewed as one of the most accomplished presidents of our time.

          I was not trying to be holier than thou, just trying to show that one side is not afraid of criticizing, right or wrong, while the other side is happy to be followers. I have always said that if president bush had walked out of the whitehouse and pooped on the lawn, the right would have been praising him of being “brave” enough to poop in public and any thing else said about it would have been considered “un-american”, this is the difference I see between the the two parties, but that is just my opinion and for both of you, I think your posts were great, thanks for responding

  • blackdaug

    The firebaggers and pitchforks are out at C&L ..Huffpo comments…KOS too.
    I think they started posting “caved” articles before they actually read the deal..and now cant muster up the sense to admit the mistake.