# Obama compromises with the GOP for extending the tax cuts

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The "stimulus" that magically pulled us out of the GOP depression? 10 years from now we'll still be planning our way out of this one.

Let's go back to recovery.gov - the site that tracks President Obama's Stimulus Spending
http://www.recovery.gov/Pages/default.aspx [Broken]

They have an "Overview of Funding" section.
"Overview of Funding
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 distributes the $787 billion as follows: Category Funds Made Available Funds Paid Out Total Recovery Act Funds Tax Benefits ....................$0B $243.4B$288B
Contracts, Grants, Loans ..$275B$161.9B $275B Entitlements ...................$181.2B $171.9B$224B
91% of funds, excluding tax benefits, have been made available.

As of: 11/27/2010"

Now let's take a closer look. The $243.4Billion spent on tax cuts (to 95% of taxpayers) in the form of a few dollars left in everyones paycheck - has not held unemployment to 8% as promised - it's now 9.8%. The "Shovel Ready" spending (I assume) falls into the "Contracts, Grants and Loans(?)" category - and has been exceeded by "Entitlements" spending? Perhaps the "Shovel Ready" term didn't actually have anything to do with construction? It appears to me that tax cuts (in the form of a few extra dollars per week in a workers pocket) do not create jobs (unemployment has gone up). Businesses and business owners create jobs. People hired to work in businesses take their wages and stimulate the economy - their tax withholdings fund the Government (unless you give back their Social Security withholdings via Earned Income Tax Credit and they make less than$50,000 per year/family of 4). I think it's fair to add the proposed extension of unemployment benefits to the "Entitlements" tally of this illustration.

Does anyone else have a different analysis of these results? It seems to me that giving tax breaks to 95% (everyone except the top 5%) of taxpayers doesn't create many jobs.

I wonder what the effect would be if only the top 5% maintained the current tax rates and everyone elses tax rates (the 95% who don't pay much now) went up just 2% and for people who don't work at all - a reduction of benefits of 2% - can anyone make those calculations?

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Gokul43201
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member

You of course know that he was among the most liberal senators all three years he was in the Senate - we discussed it during the campaign.
That is was discussed doesn't make it true, or relevant to what he's been as a President.

And his policies so far have included a veritable liberal adjenda checklist, starting with that one big thing that liberals have wanted for 80 years but couldn't get because the country has never elected enough liberals to Washington for the liberals to pass it.
Anything can be made to look like a veritable <add fringe identifier here> agenda checklist, if you cherry-pick the entries that make the list.

In one of the worst recessions since the depression and with two ongoing wars, the priority he appears to have spent the most time and energy on wasn't directly related to the economy or the wars. Yeah, he's that liberal.
The second sentence doesn't follow from the first.

Alternatively ... in a period of historically high unemployment and in the middle of two wars, Republicans ran campaigns on issues that have absolutely nothing related to either. Yeah, they're that <add unrelated fringe identifier here>.

Obama compromised precisely because the Republicans gave him no other choice. Now that he doesn't have his filibuster-proof majority anymore, he can't http://politics.usnews.com/opinion/...ds-democrats-open-secret-health-reform-talks" with his my-way-or-the-highway attitude. Now he must compromise if he wants anything passed.
Obama hasn't had a filibuster-proof majority since a year ago.

Be serious.
+1

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Ivan Seeking
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member

Obama hasn't had a filibuster-proof majority since a year ago.

As I recall, he never did. He had the two Independents to deal with. Recall that Lieberman was responsible for killing Universal Health Care. He also had the blue-dog Democrats [e.g. Webb] to provide balance within the Democratic party. This meant compromise was needed among Dems without ever considering the GOP.

It was also critical at one point that he get Olympia Snowe [R] on board [after Kennedy died, I think].

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As I recall, he never did. He had the two Independents to deal with. Recall that Lieberman was responsible for killing Universal Health Care. He also had the blue-dog Democrats [e.g. Webb] to provide balance within the Democratic party. This meant compromise was needed among Dems without ever considering the GOP.

It was also critical at one point that he get Olympia Snowe [R] on board [after Kennedy died, I think].

Aren't we splitting hairs? Obama had no problem pushing through his legislative agenda - until the public found out what was going on - as I recall - do you remember the health care town hall meetings?

turbo
Gold Member

As I recall, he never did. He had the two Independents to deal with. Recall that Lieberman was responsible for killing Universal Health Care. He also had the blue-dog Democrats [e.g. Webb] to provide balance within the Democratic party. This meant compromise was needed among Dems without ever considering the GOP.

It was also critical at one point that he get Olympia Snowe [R] on board [after Kennedy died, I think].
True. And Snowe got on board only to get the health-care reform bill out of committee without a public option. Maine is a very poor state and we feel the effects of economic woes long before most and long after, as well. We certainly could have benefited from a public option, since many jobs here are seasonal, with NO benefits. Snowe didn't serve her state - she did the bidding of the GOP's puppet-handlers. Susan Collins is not a bit better. She touts her upbringing in rural Aroostook county, while serving the wealthy and powerful. The last decent senators we had were Mitchell and Cohen. Now we have party-line hacks.

Ivan Seeking
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member

Aren't we splitting hairs? Obama had no problem pushing through his legislative agenda - until the public found out what was going on - as I recall - do you remember the health care town hall meetings?

The town hall meetings occured long before the vote and were driven by media [hate radio, Fox, et al] hype and bluster. Obama was smart to start the debate early so that Fox had the summer to blow itself out. Of course, the disinformation campaign wasn't a complete failure as many Americans still think Obama wants to kill grandma.

If you call stating the facts, splitting hairs, so be it.

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The town hall meetings occured long before the vote and were driven by media [hate radio, Fox, et al] hype and bluster. Obama was smart to start the debate early so that Fox had the summer to blow itself out. Of course, the disinformation campaign wasn't a complete failure as many Americans still think Obama wants to kill grandma.

If you call stating the facts, splitting hairs, so be it.

What??? Obama wants to kill grandma???:uhh:

I'll give you credit for trying - but when legislation is rammed through the way Obama, Reid, and Pelosi did it - I don't think anyone's going to be sympathetic to his 1 or 2 votes challenge.

Gokul43201
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member

What??? Obama wants to kill grandma???:uhh:
Yeah, I'm sure you've never heard that before.

I'll give you credit for trying - but when legislation is rammed through the way Obama, Reid, and Pelosi did it...
So how much time do you think should be spent on debating and revising a bill for its final passage?

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So how much time do you think should be spent on debating and revising a bill for its final passage?

I'd be happy at this point if they'd agree to actually read the legislation before they vote - how long does that take?

Gokul43201
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member

I don't know how long it should take, but I would hope a few months ought to do. Of course, I don't insist that every Congressperson actually read every paragraph of legislation that goes through them. I imagine legislative aides make that process a lot more streamlined.

The initial versions of the bill were written up in July 2009. Nearly four months later, the House passed its version of the bill. And another two months later, the Senate passed their version. The final version (very similar the the Senate version) passed the House three months after that, in the end of March 2010.

I don't know how long it should take, but I would hope a few months ought to do. Of course, I don't insist that every Congressperson actually read every paragraph of legislation that goes through them. I imagine legislative aides make that process a lot more streamlined.

The initial versions of the bill were written up in July 2009. Nearly four months later, the House passed its version of the bill. And another two months later, the Senate passed their version. The final version (very similar the the Senate version) passed the House three months after that, in the end of March 2010.

Here's where I tend to stray from the pack. I'd prefer that legislation be broken in to smaller Bills - with great focus - and votes cast daily (if necessary). This would cast a bright light on Pork and quite possibly eliminate ear marks.

turbo
Gold Member

Here's where I tend to stray from the pack. I'd prefer that legislation be broken in to smaller Bills - with great focus - and votes cast daily (if necessary). This would cast a bright light on Pork and quite possibly eliminate ear marks.
And here is where you and I are are in 100% agreement. Omnibus bills and bundles are a really sweet way for our elected kleptos to hide their pork. Keep bills separate, and forbid non-germaine amendments. Maybe we can get our government back under control.

Hepth
Gold Member

I agree too, but there has to be SOME combination in order to allow for compromise, right? When one party holding the senate, the other the house., no single line items would ever get through given how the parties tend to vote. Only if you can bundle what both want together is there a chance.

But maybe that's the point. If you can't get everyone to agree it might not be such a good idea.

Ivan Seeking
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member

What??? Obama wants to kill grandma???:uhh:

I'll give you credit for trying - but when legislation is rammed through the way Obama, Reid, and Pelosi did it - I don't think anyone's going to be sympathetic to his 1 or 2 votes challenge.

We've been waiting since Teddy Roosevelt first tried. Hillary tried but the effort was killed. No Republicans since I think Nixon have tried. Health care is in crisis and will bankrupt the country if costs are not checked. When disaster strikes, families without insurance are in crisis; the underinsured are in crisis. And in spite of the right-wing media hype, Obama care is expected to reduce costs by about 100 billion a year, for the next ten years. This is according to the CBO.

What Reid and Pelosi did was simply pass a bill retroactively when they knew they couldn't get the one they wanted. Nothing was slipped through without a vote. The only difference was the procedure, which was perfectly legal.

All of this business about earmarks is smoke and mirrors. Sure, we should clean things up, but that constitutes a very small part of our spending. It doesn't address the real problems. Like the flag burning nonsense that has been coming up periodically my entire life, it is used as a distraction.

Health care is in crisis and will bankrupt the country if costs are not checked. When disaster strikes, families without insurance are in crisis; the underinsured are in crisis. And in spite of the right-wing media hype, Obama care is expected to reduce costs by about 100 billion a year, for the next ten years. This is according to the CBO.

What Reid and Pelosi did was simply pass a bill retroactively when they knew they couldn't get the one they wanted. Nothing was slipped through without a vote. The only difference was the procedure, which was perfectly legal.

The massive health care legislation that passed is not perfect - we all agree on that - right?

I think we also agree that health care costs are a problem and that pre-existing conditions are a problem - we just don't all agree on how to solve the problem.

I've disclosed this before - I'm very close to this issue professionally. I study the issues (in depth) on a daily basis. Accordingly, I believe there is a better way to insure more people and reduce costs.

One major problem is that every state has it's own insurance regulations. If the regulations were standardized - even to the highest standards mandated across the states - it would open the market to smaller carriers and greatly reduce legal and administrative costs for both providers and insurance companies. Next, people with pre-existing conditions could be underwritten if the Government formed a high risk pool to assist carriers - the carriers could also contribute a few dollars per month from every premium (perhaps use some of the savings from standardized regulation).

As for your claim that the CBO projecvts a \$100Billion per year savings - please support with current information.

This CBO link demonstrates the uncertainty of what to expect - that is unintended consequences.
http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/115xx/doc11544/Presentation5-26-10.pdf [Broken]

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CRGreathouse
Homework Helper

All of this business about earmarks is smoke and mirrors. Sure, we should clean things up, but that constitutes a very small part of our spending. It doesn't address the real problems.

I agree that it's an insignificant amount of money. But I do think it's a real problem: even if it's a small amount of the US budget it accounts for a significant amount of political patronage/corruption. Cleaning that up is a worthy task.

turbo
Gold Member

I agree that it's an insignificant amount of money. But I do think it's a real problem: even if it's a small amount of the US budget it accounts for a significant amount of political patronage/corruption. Cleaning that up is a worthy task.
Thank you!!