It all depends on what the meaning of the word “is” is

Bill Clinton

Remember the media meme that tax increases were necessary to be sure the rich pay their fair share? Well apparently to democrats, the party of the little guy and the media “The Rich” doesn’t include General Electric, Citigroup, Diageo (makers of Puerto Rician Rum) Citi, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, American Wind Energy Association and The Motion Picture Association of America.

Apparently they wanted a big batch of tax credits and favors and paid millions to lobbyists to achieve them, they put these credits into a Senate bill called the Family and Business Tax Cut Certainty Act of 2012.

Now as the GOP didn’t support this massive tax giveaway and a House of Representatives with a strong Tea Party presence wasn’t about to pass it. In fact according to the site Govtrack.us…

Status:
Introduced Aug 28, 2012
Reported by Committee Aug 28, 2012
Passed Senate (not yet occurred)
Passed House (not yet occurred)
Signed by the President (not yet occurred)
The committees assigned to this bill sent it to the House or Senate as a whole for consideration on August 28, 2012.
Prognosis: 19% chance of being enacted.

Or at least that would have been the odds but according to Tim Carney of the Washington Times:

A Republican Senate aide familiar with the cliff negotiations tells me the White House wanted permanent extensions of a whole slew of corporate tax credits. When Senate Republicans said no, “the White House insisted that the exact language” of the Baucus bill be included in the fiscal cliff deal. “They were absolutely insistent,” another aide tells me. (The White House did not return requests for comment.)

Sure enough, Title II of the fiscal cliff legislation is nearly a word-for-word replication of the Family and Business Tax Cut Certainty Act of 2012.

So the Democrats,the protectors of the little guy, the people who were going to make sure that the rich paid their fair share and President Obama their champion managed to do what corporate lobbyists couldn’t add this unpassable bill into the fiscal cliff legislation, passed it in the senate and sent to the house where democrats voted for it en masse and enough establishment Republicans could make sure their corporate friends had their reward.

There was a time when media would have screamed foul, there was a time when such a bill once read and known to the public would not have been possible, but the media has already defined the villain as the GOP and the heroes as the Democrats in general and this President in particular and no amount of truth could change it.

We get the government we deserve, I really thought we deserved better.

Update: The Wall Street Journal adds to the list:

In praising Congress’s huge new tax increase, President Obama said Tuesday that “millionaires and billionaires” will finally “pay their fair share.” That is, unless you are a Nascar track owner, a wind-energy company or the owners of StarKist Tuna, among many others who managed to get their taxes reduced in Congress’s New Year celebration.

and they have a solution for the GOP

Republicans who are looking for a new populist message have one waiting here, and they could start by repudiating the corporate welfare in this New Year disgrace.

and even better they can ask where the MSM were when this happened?

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Back when I thought Romney was going to win I wrote this about one of my fears if he did in fact win:

The thing I fear the most about Mitt is that he will form a team with Establishment GOP and liberals in the House. The Establishment gets it’s spending, liberals get a piece of the action and Romney is hailed as “Bipartisan”.

Looking at the final fiscal cliff vote in the House where passage was secured by an overwhelming number of democrats teaming up with establishment republicans to get the 257 votes the Bill ended up with.

Dems split 172-16, Republicans split 85-151. Boehner didn’t come close to satisfying the “majority of the majority” rule, which leaves him on thin ice for Thursday’s Speaker vote. At least he didn’t hide, though: He voted yes tonight, as did Paul Ryan, much to Team Rubio’s delight. Meanwhile, the rest of the leadership team — i.e. Eric Cantor and Kevin McCarthy — voted no, although Cantor waited until the bill had 218 votes to register his meaningless disapproval.

With that heaven sent 41-1 ratio of tax increases to spending cuts no wonder over 90% of democrats would go for it, but I”m slightly disappointed that they managed almost 40 percent of the GOP going along.

I expect a lot more of the same, establishment GOP members making deals and the speaking marginalizing his own party for the next two years. I go back to what Mike Rogers said after election day:

The time to take over the GOP (state by state) or set up a real third party (let’s call it the conservative party, like NY state), is NOW, after a historic election that demonstrated the ineptness of the “Wizards of Smart”…

,,,If we successfully set up a conservative party, and win some seats, we can choose to align with Republicans or even endorse their candidate as a tactical matter on a vote by vote basis.

What say you?

I say anyone who is even thinking about giving to the NRCC after this fiasco needs to if not turn them down flat, last least hold off till the debt ceiling business comes up, “better than nothing” argument not withstanding.

In fact I’d put them on notice, if we see a repeat of this in March then that dough will go to support either primary opponents for GOP house members or a new conservative party that can choose to stand with the GOP or no.

If we continue to let ourselves be played we deserve all we get.

Update.
Starting the year with a deficit myself, still $370 in the hole. If you’re looking to invest in conservatism this debacle proves I’ve got to be a better investment than these house guys




Update: Stacy McCain has the best line:

Just don’t say they were “spending like drunken sailors.” At least sailors spend their own money.

Update 2:

Via Insty, Conn Carroll asks the question:

Remember, Obama’s first offer was for a $1.6 trillion tax hike and an infinite debt limit hike. Boehner countered with $800 billion. The final deal was for only $600 billion.

How is that not a “win” for Republicans?

Easy, let me quote a certain Ex-Leper:

All right cut the haggling, say you open at once shekel I start at 2000 we end up about 1800

Brion in the end gives as the Ex-Leper puts it: “Half a dinari for me bloody life story?” when he had nothing coming. Obama won as soon as Boehner countered with the tax hike that became bipartisan.

Even worse The “Bush Tax Cuts” are gone replaced by the “Obama Tax Cuts” that actually raise taxes, yet the media will be calling them tax cuts forever while giving Democrats credit.

Fools.

Here is the whole Brian bit

Update 2: Bob Krumm gets it.

Update 3:
Joe Weisenthal gets it

Thanks to last night’s Fiscal Cliff deal, we an now put to bed the term “The Bush Tax Cuts.”

As of now, they’re the Obama Tax Cuts.

Told ya.

This Morning the Senate passed a compromise bill two hours after the deadline for the “fiscal cliff” bipartisan bill was to take effect.

The vote was 89-8 an even wider margin bipartisan margin than the bill it replaces. Only 3 Democrats and 5 Republicans voted against the measure that will now go to the house.

With such an overwhelming imprimatur from both sides of the aisle in the Senate, it is impossible that this bill will fail in the house. Every member of the tea party caucus may oppose it, speak against it, and can argue the case for responsibility to no avail.  There will be plenty of votes on both sides of the aisle to pass this deal.

That we are passing 100+ page bills that nobody has read at 2 AM on New Years day is bad.

That we are raising more taxes on small business at a $41 in tax increases not counting all the Obamacare taxes that are now kicking in, for each dollar of spending cuts, is worse.

But the thing that really bothers me beyond both is this:  We have problems, problems that requires courage to solve. It took a lot of pain and effort to achieve what had previously been done and as Veronique de Rugy tells us it wasn’t much:

The alleged brutality of the cuts is one of the biggest myth of 2012. For the most part, the sequestration “cuts” aren’t really cuts at all. According to the Congressional Budget Office, discretionary spending would grow from $1.047 trillion to $1.234 trillion without sequestration. With the sequestration cuts in place, it will instead grow from $1.047 to $1.147 trillion. Medicare, which also faces cuts in the sequestration process, follows a similar trend. That means that going through with sequestration is just the beginning. It won’t make a dent in the size of our debt, and more cuts will be needed in the future.Yet both sides oppose fulfilling the deal they agreed upon.

and now even that has been undone.

Without controlling spending we are heading toward disaster. As de Rugy points out above, the sequestration cuts….were not cuts and a whole lot more was needed beyond sequestration to get us out of the hole we’re in and now we aren’t event going to do that.

Amazingly despite the date this was done by a cold sober senate and will be passed by a cold sober house to the cheers of the media that will celebrate the cowardice of a nation and its elected leaders.

Marco Rubio, one of the few votes against said it well:

“I ran, just two years ago, on the idea that I wanted to be part of solving the long-term problems this country faces. Time and again, we’re given choices here that don’t involve that.”

“The real fiscal cliff is still there,” he said. “We’ll be back here again. In March, we’ll have a showdown like this all over again.”

And what will happen then?  Will the GOP grow a spine?  Will the democrats learn to count?  I wouldn’t bet on it.  If we can’t make the tough calls when left & right have the fear of God, or at least the voters in them how will we do it otherwise?

As I’ve said many times we always get the government we deserve, but I really thought we deserved better.

One of the nicest thing about the entire “Fiscal Cliff” business is it focuses us on the change that is coming in the 2nd term for President Obama.

Granted the new congress doesn’t convene until Thursday and the President’s new term is twenty days off but the fiscal cliff deadline has clearly been painted in media as a function of post-election the whole: “Obama won so congress should do X” meme.

I was trying to think of how to best illustrate what is coming in a second Obama Term and the more I think of it New Year’s Eve is absolutely perfect for the job.

Think about it:

New Year’s eve is a day when people tend to party to excess forgetting all their actual problems for one big smash of excess forgetting all their worries and then the next morning, what happens:

You wake up in bed with a bad choice beside you

Or In a cell if lucky with a big bill if lucky or a bad accident if not

or in a best case scenario you start the year with a splitting headache

with the huge credit card bills of December in the mailbox

and your federal tax forms in the mail.

This is America under Obama all over, a bender of spending that felt good, a bunch of big bills coming up, and a bunch of bad choices where the lady chooses the flashy guy, vs the steady one.

And we wake up to the 2nd term and suddenly here come the bills, the taxes, the Obamacare (with its taxes and rules), the companies finding it easier to drop hours and coverage than give you insurance, New regulations on the and the layoffs that will come from them and an Arab world with Islamists on the rise.

All of this is coming in the 2nd term, all of this we’ve done to ourselves.

Enjoy New Years Eve because the with the New Year comes the government we deserve, and that’s going to be the most painful part of it.

Update: I’m still $370 away from avoiding a personal 2012 defect. It’s too late for voters to stop the nation’s fiscal cliff but you can help me avoid mine.




and the story of that bill was told in cartoon form…

In those magical days congress worked in the following ways.

The House would pass a bill.

If the senate didn’t like the house bill they would pass a bill of their own.

And then the two bills would go to a conference committee and the details worked out.

And then when both sides had passed bills they would work out the differences.

Now things have changed:

The House has passed a budget, the house has passed a tax bill, they have passed bills tackling the big issues of America.

The Senate has not.

They have dodged the big issues, they have punted, the one greatest deliberative body in the world has made a deliberate decision to avoid any decision that might affect their electoral futures and the country be damned.

The response to this inaction? Nobody in the media has challenged the Senate, nobody has pressured the senate, until the last few days nobody has called on the Senate to do anything.

And because the rest of America is too busy simply trying to survive when the media has blamed the house for inaction and ignored the senate the country has ignored them too and not pressured them to do anything.

Perhaps if the media called the Senate on this the people would have pressured them and we would have a bill in conference committee already.

But that is not to be, after all if the American Public is unwilling to punish the Senate for inaction there is no reason for action to take place.

And we once again get the government and the consequences we deserve.

The End.

Update: Still $525 short on the emergency Bleg, any help would be appreciated




One of the things that never ceases to amaze me is how many people fall for the “Tax the Rich” business in the form of higher taxes.

However the women at PolitiChicks aren’t among them:

But wouldn’t these same celebrities be worried about the impending tax hikes? Aren’t they worried that they could be impacted? Not a chance. Because when it comes to actually paying taxes, these celebrities don’t want to pay their “fair share.” And, guess what? They don’t have to.

Hollywood’s elites are using a whole array of methods to escape paying their “fair share.” They use of offshore trusts, tax havens and the transferring funds to wives or civil partners as tax dodges.

Hey that can’t be right! Celebs like Kimberlin funder Barbra Streisand supported all these big tax hikes what could they possibly get out of it?

Well shortly after Proposition 30 was passed, Governor Brown signed legislation extending the state’s $100 million tax-credit fund for two more years. This measure allows California film producers a 20 percent or 25 percent credit against income and sales and use taxes.

There’s even more good news for Hollywood’s elite. California Assembly member Felipe Fuentes (D) has introduced Bill AB 2026. This measure would extend the State’s Film and Television Tax Credit Program by an additional five years, for an estimated tax break of $500 million dollars ($100 million per year). The program has already saved the Hollywood industry over $400 million in tax credits to date.

I wonder how much of that $400 mill went to democrat pols urging the rich to pay their “fair share”?

And that’s just the credits passed in daylight. For example while it’s axiomatic that you could consider using Henry C Frye for your accounting and financial planning needs, it’s also axiomatic the very rich have an army of Henry Frye’s on payroll ready to find the necessary credits and deductions to offset any increase in rates but the avg small businessman like say Walter from Aaron Pallet doesn’t.

Any person who doesn’t understand this just doesn’t get it.

There are two things that really don’t make any sense to me in the so-called “Fiscal Cliff” debate.

The first is the considered opinion of everyone involved that “sequestration” is a bad thing when it was a bipartisan law passed by a GOP House with broad democrat support and through a democrat senate with over half of the GOP signing on then signed by the president.

But there is a second question that I found odd that isn’t getting a lot of play.

We are told by both sides that we have to do X because of the election. The left says the GOP has to give into the president because he won re-election, the right says the president has to give some because the members of the House won re-election and the senate says nothing because they don’t want to remind people that Democrats have control (and responsibility) for half of congress.

This makes no sense since the congress that WAS elected won’t be sworn in until Jan 3rd.

If we as a nation are going to make decisions, one way or the other, based on the election, why not simply let the congress that is coming make these decisions? Let sequestration come, and then let the new congress do what they were hired to do when they were hired to do it.

And if we don’t like the job they do, well their contracts come up in two, four and six years.

As a person of the right I’ve already expressed my opinion of what the House should do in terms of the “Fiscal Cliff” although I absolutely love Glenn Reynolds’ ideas in USA Today which include Simpson Bowels, a plan to taxing the Government revolving Door and particularly his idea for Hollywood:

3. Make Hollywood Pay Its Fair Share. At the DNC, actress Eva Longoria offered to pay more taxes. Well, back during that Eisenhower era that the Dems are so nostalgic for, there was a 20% excise tax on movie theater revenues. It was established to help pay off the post-World War II debt. Now we’re in debt again. Bring it back. For added fun, extend it to DVD sales, movie downloads and music on CDs and over the Internet. As a great man once said, at some point, you’ve made enough money. If we need more tax revenue, who better to pay it than Hollywood fatcats with their swimming pools and private jets?

but while these ideas are creative there is one thing I have no patience for right now and that’s quoting polls right after an election:

Politico
:

A survey of 800 Obama voters, conducted last month by Benenson Strategy Group for the moderate Democratic think tank Third Way and shared first with POLITICO, finds that 96 percent believe the federal deficit is a problem and that 85 percent support increasing taxes on the wealthy.

Yet 41 percent who supported the Democratic incumbent want to get control of the deficit mostly by cutting spending, with only some tax increases, while another 41 percent want to solve it mostly with tax increases and only some spending cuts.

Just 5 percent of Obama supporters favor tax increases alone to solve the deficit, half the number who back an approach that relies entirely on spending cuts.

CNN:

Meanwhile, according to polling by CNN, registered voters oppose Obamacare by a margin of 10 points — 52 to 42 percent. Independents like Obamacare even less, opposing it by a margin of 22 points — 57 to 35 percent. Clearly, voters didn’t think they were ratifying Obamacare when they pulled the lever for Obama.

Rassmussan

The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Monday shows that 56% of Likely Voters at least somewhat approve of President Obama’s job performance. Forty-two percent (42%) at least somewhat disapprove.

This is the second day in a row the president’s approval rating has been this high. This is his highest level of approval since being reelected and the highest since the earliest days of his time in office

and Gallup

For the first time in Gallup trends since 2000, a majority of Americans say it is not the federal government’s responsibility to make sure all Americans have healthcare coverage. Prior to 2009, a majority always felt the government should ensure healthcare coverage for all, though Americans’ views have become more divided in recent years.

Now it’s the job of polling companies to poll but I think any argument on what to do at this time based on polls are nonsense.

We just had an election. The result was the status quo. Any poll that says Obama voters want spending cuts is meaningless because those same voters choose the candidate who pushed for tax increases instead, as Mary Katherine Ham put it:

Too bad they all voted for the man who’s offering a rather more unbalanced approach than Republicans.

If the voters wanted a President who wanted spending cuts, if such an issue was overriding to them, they would have acted differently, if they didn’t like the GOP House or the Democrat senate they had a chance less than 30 days ago to do something about it.

They did not.

I objected to the left arguing the GOP should follow their path based on polls in December of 2010, I see no logical reason for any pol to base a decision on a random sample polling when they have the hard data from the only one that matters.

I fully expect Barack Obama and Harry Reid to act based on their victories, I expect the GOP to do the same, what happens next will depend on how clever they are in doing it. As far as the American People are concerned they had better decide to like it.