most vulnerable. (This link also source of this cartoon.) The last insane fight, over the debt ceiling, cost over $16 billion just to the federal government. This time the entire economy is likely to take a big hit.
But it's worth at least a few notes. First, the White House is sticking to what it believes the economy and the country require. President Obama's opening proposal was delivered to Congress by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and quickly leaked to the press by GOPers in the act of rejecting it. The Washington Post:
President Obama offered Republicans a detailed
plan Thursday for averting the year-end “fiscal cliff” that calls for
$1.6 trillion in new taxes, $50 billion in fresh spending on the economy and an
effective end to congressional control over the size of the national debt.
But it also offered some $60 billion in budget cuts and savings, which GOPers lied about before they rejected it. GOPer congressional leadership had hissy fits over it, but don't seem able to come up with their own proposals, only demands on what the President should and shouldn't propose.
A few days later comes word (at least unofficially) that President Obama and the Dems are not going to make another proposal until GOPers agree to higher taxes on the wealthy. And why should they? Several polls show strong public support for it, and Warren Buffett went public again with a minimum tax proposal for the rich.
President Obama is out making speeches about this tax proposal, but also supporting the bill the Senate passed to make sure the tax cuts for the middle class remain past January 1. A couple of GOPers in the House said publicly the GOPer should take this deal right away, but the leadership is balking, or perhaps just floundering.
On Friday, House Dem Leader Nancy Pelosi said if the House leadership doesn't schedule the Senate bill for a vote, she would circulate a discharge petition, which would overrule the leadership and bring it to the floor. The petition requires 218 votes and therefore some GOPer support, and while it is unlikely to get 218 right away, it will be there as an alternative as time goes on and the cliff gets closer. Once it gets to the floor, it will be hard even for GOPers to vote against a tax break for 98% of the population.
Meanwhile, Michael Grunwald at Time called out the media for its mindless reporting on GOPer hypocrisy and nonsense (as Rachel did last week) :
"Mainstream media outlets don’t want to look partisan, so they ignore the BS
hidden in plain sight, the hypocrisy and dishonesty that defines the modern
Republican Party. I’m old enough to remember when Republicans insisted that
anyone who said they wanted to cut Medicare was a demagogue, because I’m more
than three weeks old.
I’ve written a lot about the
GOP’s defiance of reality–its denial of climate science, its simultaneous
denunciations of Medicare cuts and government health care, its insistence that
debt-exploding tax cuts will somehow reduce the debt—so I often get accused of
partisanship. But it’s simply a fact that Republicans controlled Washington
during the fiscally irresponsible era when President Clinton’s budget surpluses
were transformed into the trillion-dollar deficit that President Bush bequeathed
to President Obama. (The deficit is now shrinking.) It’s simply a fact that the
fiscal cliff was created in response to GOP threats to force the U.S. government
to default on its obligations. The press can’t figure out how to weave those
facts into the current narrative without sounding like it’s taking sides, so it simply pretends that yesterday never
Whatever. I realize that the GOP’s up-is-downism puts news reporters in an
awkward position. It would seem tendentious to point out Republican hypocrisy on
deficits and Medicare and stimulus every time it comes up, because these days it
comes up almost every time a Republican leader opens his mouth. But we’re not
supposed to be stenographers. As long as the media let an entire political party
invent a new reality every day, it will keep on doing it. Every
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