We the People

Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty. Politics and civil commentary with community columnist John Eyster.


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John Eyster
Monday, December 31, 2012


“Dems abandon tax demands, but still no ‘cliff’ deal” is the website promotional headline on an article with the full title, “Senate negotiators yet to reach ‘fiscal cliff’ deal as clock winds down.” The article by Lori Montgomery and Paul Kane with contribution by Rosalind S. Helderman.

The key point is that in spite of the fact that the DEMOCRATS have abandoned the $250,000. Threshold for tax increases. NOW, the proposal opens the door to $450,000 a year! Is this COMPROMISE or CAPITULATION? I note that President Obama campaigned clearly on the $250,000 threshhold. WHY would he NOW allow the GOP to protect the wealthy to $450,000?!

As I asserted yesterday in my WE THE PEOPLE blog post, I hope OBAMA does “KEEP THE VETO PEN HANDY!” NOW I think that is the MORE critical. What do YOU think?

I urge you to read the whole Post article, YOU can use this link, “Senate negotiators yet to reach ‘fiscal cliff' deal as clock winds down.”

I am troubled to read that the DEMOCRATS also relented on the politically sensitive issue of the estate tax, promising to stage a vote in the Senate that would guarantee that taxes on inherited estates remain at their current low levels, a key GOP demand. WHY?

BELIEVE IT OR NOT, the article reports that Senate Majority Leader McConnell (R-Ky.) was still holding out to set the income threshold for tax increases even higher, at $550,000, according to people close to the talks in both parties. And he was protesting a Democratic proposal to raise taxes on investment profits for households with income above $250,000. Again, ALERT TO PRESIDENET OBAMA, “KEEP THE VETO PEN HANDY!” What do YOU think?

Read the article to gain information as to the Reid – McConnell game of “chicken.” HELP!

The key is identified by the Post article asserting that many Republicans are very troubled by a deal that would require them to vote for a significant tax increase for the first time in more than 20 years.

The article clarifies, “Republicans would be more open to the tax hike if it was used to reduce the federal budget deficit but remained resistant to raising taxes to expand government spending.”

Be sure to remember this key point made by the article as to the REALITY of the current situation vis-à-vis the “FISCAL CLIFF,” “…on the central issue of expiring tax cuts enacted during the George W. Bush administration, Democrats proposed to let the cuts expire on income over $450,000 a year for couples and $360,000 for individuals — a big jump from their original demand of $250,000 for couples and $200,000 for individuals.”

And, “Republicans were insisting late Sunday on even higher thresholds, arguing that income under $550,000 for couples and $450,000 for individuals should be completely protected.”

Keep in mind that our US Senate’s rules make the process very demanding even after there is an “agreement.” The article underscores, “Even if the leaders forge an agreement, the midnight deadline would be daunting to meet. Reid and McConnell would require the consent of all 100 senators to dispatch with the normal parliamentary procedures and complete debate and vote in hours rather than days.”

Add, “And Senate passage would not guarantee an easy ride in the House, where Boehner’s conservative flank has shown deep resistance to any tax hikes. The speaker has indicated he does not want to approve a bill with mostly Democratic votes and a sliver of his 241-member Republican conference.”

Will the HOUSE really wait until tomorrow – New Year’s Day after we go over the FISCAL CLIFF? The article reports, “Some lawmakers said they were anxious the Senate would adopt a bill Monday and expect the House to act within a matter of hours. Instead, House members may push to delay a vote until Tuesday. That would mean missing the fiscal cliff deadline, but with U.S. financial markets closed for the New Year’s holiday, some members reasoned that the economy would be unlikely to suffer.”

I hope you will add to your awareness of the crisis vis-à-vis the “fiscal cliff” Chris Cillizza’s OpEd column, “The Fix,” “As ‘fiscal cliff’ looms, Republicans have no political incentive to make deal with Obama.”

Cillizza reminds us, “Amid the last-minute wrangling over a ‘fiscal cliff’ deal, it’s important to remember one overlooked fact of the 2012 election: Republicans in the House and Senate have absolutely no political incentive to compromise with President Obama.” I encourage you to review the data which he analyzes helpfully.

After analyzing the data Cillizza asserts that ONLY President Obama does NOT have to keep at least one eye on the next election race.

He concludes, “That mentality means that for the vast majority of Republicans in Congress, a deal is more dangerous than no deal. A deal creates the possibility of a primary challenge from their ideological right in districts and even states that, by and large, went heavily against Obama in November. No deal means they might — with the emphasis on “might” — face some blow back from constituents who want them to get something done for the good of the country and put the partisanship and politics aside.

“And so, if you are wondering why congressional Republicans won’t, in the words of Obama, just “take the deal,” now you know. They have every political reason not to. “ What do YOU think?

I PRAY for YOU - each and every one - a meaningful & inspiring, fulfilling & blessed NEW YEAR 2013!

Here we go...

Mr. E.

Last updated: 10:33 am Wednesday, August 28, 2013

John W. Eyster lives in the Edgerton area. He is an adjunct professor assigned with the online/distance education faculty of Viterbo University, LaCrosse. He continues his personal mission supporting democracy/civics education in Wisconsin K-12 schools through Project Citizen, We the People, Discovering Democracy (Milton HS). John is a community blogger and is not a part of The Gazette staff or management.

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