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13 Feb 2012 16:47


Politics: GOP caves on payroll tax cut; 10-month extension set to pass

  • 10 month extension of the payroll tax cut is likely to pass source
  • » Good news for Democrats:  GOP leadership has indicated that they’ll pass a 10-month extension of the payroll tax without any offsets in spending. Democrats had wanted to balance the tax cut, in part, with higher taxes on the rich; Republicans wanted to do so, in part, with cuts to unemployment benefits. Ultimately, they couldn’t agree, and so it will be passed with no offsets at all. Why is this good news for Democrats? Well, the GOP took a hard-line against the payroll tax cut–which largely benefits the middle-class–last December, making the once-benign policy a partisan issue. Democrats, by and large, were okay passing it sans offsets–the suggestion to pay for it via tax cuts on the rich was more a general effort to increase taxes on the rich–and so the fact that the extension is going to pass is a political and legislative win for Democrats. But the extension expires in ten months–right around the presidential election–so this fight is only over in the short-term.

27 Jun 2011 23:22


World: House Democrats stand to gain from failed debt ceiling talks

  • We’ve all said we would vote for the full faith and credit of the United States to be honored by voting for this increase in the debt ceiling. If they don’t want to do taxes, maybe they don’t want to do anything.
  • House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi • Pointing her finger at Republicans — emphasizing that if nothing’s done about the debt ceiling situation (because they aren’t willing to raise taxes), it will greatly hurt them. The New Republic’s Jonathan Chait suggests that this is a power play on Pelosi’s part; if the Republicans can’t make a deal with Obama, it’s likely to damage the economy in such a way that a) it will hurt Republicans and b) it will hurt Obama. One group it won’t hurt, however, is House Democrats — meaning that they’d get some much-needed leverage in 2012 and Pelosi will no longer be an afterthought. This is what we call game theory.  source

12 Apr 2011 22:20


Politics: Polling suggests drop in support for House GOP

  • That pendulum always swings: Count us amongst those who were skeptical about the emphasis put on the Republican wave that rolled into Congress last year, at least from a big picture, long-term standpoint — these two parties have been losing and gaining back ground for decades. Just as Barack Obama’s election caused media personalities to jump the gun in declaring the Republican Party dead in the water, so too have they rushed to heap dirt on the Democrats since the 2010 elections. Rest assured, if somebody strenuously tells you either liberalism or conservatism is dead, they may be taking an overly simplistic view of chaotic, real world political events. source

12 Dec 2010 21:15


Politics: Obama tax compromise: Democrats resigned to its eventual passing

  • We’re not going to hold this thing up at the end of the day.
  • Democratic Rep. Chris Van Hollen • Admitting what’s been obvious from the outset – the Obama tax compromise will eventually pass. The GOP knows this. Obama knows this, and House Democrats, who perhaps have been most dead-set against it (barring Bernie Sanders) are starting to turn around and begrudgingly accept it. By offering up the compromise he did when he did, Obama knew what he was doing. source