Congress & President Playing Chicken

Note about the fight between Congress and the President over tax hikes and spending cuts:

While I am almost certainly going to be accused of “supporting Obama” on this, I would prefer people take my word because I have said this over and over and over again for more than 15 years including multiple times on my blog and about multiple Presidents and Congresses:

When Congress picks a fight with the President, no matter who the President or who leads the Congress, the President usually wins in the public eye.

Prediction: if the President plays chicken on this tax and spending issue and doesn’t flinch, he wins one way or the other politically.

Author: DEAN ESMAY, Guest Voice Columnist

Dean Esmay is a long-time associate of Joe Gandelman and The Moderate Voice. He is Managing Editor of A Voice for Men. He also blogs on a variety of issues at Dean's World, one of the world's first blogs and one of the few that was archived as Historically Significant by the Library of Congress for the 2004 elections. You can also follow Dean via Twitter here.

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  1. Grover Norquist continues to make a big deal over the difference between revenues that come from tax increases and those that come from economic growth. But isn’t this just a continuation of the voodoo economic theory of trickle down economics?

    Now-a-days, large companies are going to use the extra revenues in their coffers to invest in moving production to India, China, or anywhere that the present economic system, allows them to use slave labor, in order to produce even more, and cheaper, products—not just to invest in growing their businesses at home!

    It seems a bit Ironic when you consider that Republicans have continually cast themselves in the role of defenders of prosperity, and guardians of our economy and, of the National debt—considering that most knowledgeable economists stress the fact that the debt cannot be reduced without a balanced approach including large spending cuts AND significant taxes and other revenue increases. One or another alone just will not do.

    So what are the guardians of our economic prosperity recommending?—only half of the revenue increases desired by Obama, and these only from eliminating unspecified loopholes and deductions that, like Mitt’s strategy, expects us to trust now and pay later–another strategy that independent economists say is impossible without virtually crippling tax payers by nixing some of the most helpful deductions that are widely applauded and used by all of us! And what has become of the GOP’s role as the protective guardians of taxpayers money when they are suggesting a total debt reduction that is much smaller than the 4 trillion over the next ten years that is proposed by Democrats?

    For those of us who think being the villain in this drama is highly relative and, depends largely on the view point of the players involved, consider what happened in the last debt ceiling crisis—The president pleaded publicly several times on National TV, about the fact that raising the debt limit is only a routine matter meant to pay for debts already incurred by government, and that, to block it, would only lead to lowered credit ratings, and, would cast doubt in the eyes of the world concerning the strength of our economy. He even quoted Ronald Reagan about the folly of using the debt ceiling as a bargaining point, and/ or as a way to grandstand the power plays of political players. what was the result of Obama’s efforts?—we can so close to default that the S&P downgraded us anyway. Then, at light speed, Republicans demagogues like Michelle Bachmann, blamed it all on the President! We might also ask ourselves if a party that is literally holding its own members hostage to the Norquist pledge—effectively refusing to compromise on any tax increases, before hand, and, without further debate, Is really without blame concerning the grinding gridlock in Congress?!

    Even though Republicans have continually criticized the President for minimizing the importance of reducing the debt through the use of large cost cutting measures (themselves continuing to refuse even minor tax increases as part of the deal) it appears that Obama is proposing the largest spending cuts so far, towards that end.

    If their ever was a definition for making power plays, Norquist’s name would be the first word mentioned. He knows damn well that wealthy Americans would not be hurt much by paying a bit more in taxes, or by making continued profitable investments even though the capital gains tax would rise a point or two. It’s like being offered a Aston Martin or a Lamborghini, for one tenth of the actual book price, and then turning it down, because someone increases the price to only one eight of the actual worth of the vehicle. Buffet says it is all poppycock, because a good deal will always be a good deal!

    I cannot understand the insane reluctance exhibited by Republicans concerning their refusal to allow even a small increase in their taxes–even when that refusal threatens to force us over a fiscal cliff, that will in all likelihood, return the economy they all CLAIM to be concerned about, to a state of extreme recession! Still, they feel resentful of being asked to sacrifice in a much more mild way then the many unfortunate chumps in the middle class which were nearly fatally hurt by the greed of others. Could it be that they are not just defensive about their own personal fortunes, but defensive towards the possibility that they will not be able to increase their already super-sized bank accounts by however much they damn well please? No matter WHO suffers because of their insatiable avarice?

    I know there are many ethical and socially conscious millionaires and Billionaires out there who still respect the concept of playing fair. Please speak out to your peers and convince them to back us away from the fiscal cliff by making even the smallest concessions in regards to increasing tax revenues!

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