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Top Story — Pending Deal or No Deal? Sen. McConnell Rebuffs Taxing Top 2% *Updated*

IT’S BECOMING clear that since President Obama gave in once on extending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest that McConnell and Boehner think he will again.

The Hill reports:

“We’re insisting on keeping tax rates where they are, first and foremost, to protect jobs and because we don’t think government needs the money in the first place,” McConnell said on the Senate floor.

“The problem, as I’ve said, is that Washington spends too much. But if more revenue is the price that Democrats want to exact, then we should at least agree to do it in a way that doesn’t cost jobs and disincentivize rates, as we all know raising rates would do,” he said.

Steve Rattner on “Morning Joe” today said that the two sides are far apart, because the decision makers aren’t dealing.

Republicans want entitlement spending on the table, with McConnell more concerned about getting a primary challenger if he gives in.

Politico’s report this morning gives more credence that McConnell and Boehner’s bloviating is all bluffing.

Cut through the fog, and here’s what to expect: Taxes will go up just shy of $1.2 trillion – the middle ground of what President Barack Obama wants and what Republicans say they could stomach. Entitlement programs, mainly Medicare, will be cut by no less than $400 billion – and perhaps a lot more, to get Republicans to swallow those tax hikes. There will be at least $1.2 trillion in spending cuts and “war savings.” And any final deal will come not by a group effort but in a private deal between two men: Obama and House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio). The two men had a 30-minute phone conversation Wednesday night – but the private lines of communications remain very much open.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has taken Social Security out of any economic negotiations. Senator Durbin hinted at a commission for Social Security, which is laughable.

Update: From Roll Call, someone is working very hard to scuttle the talks. I’d bet on someone from the right who don’t want a tax deal, because the White House has to know the pressure Boehner’s under not to deal on the 2% tax hike.

Republicans believe the administration leaked details of the 30-minute Wednesday night phone call to Politico, which is causing them to question whether they can trust the White House to keep details private, a sentiment that has caused progress in the negotiations over the “fiscal cliff” to stall. White House aides, however, denied that the leak came from the administration.

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16 Responses to Top Story — Pending Deal or No Deal? Sen. McConnell Rebuffs Taxing Top 2% *Updated*

  1. Cujo359 November 29, 2012 at 4:09 pm #

    “IT’S BECOMING clear that since President Obama gave in once on extending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest that McConnell and Boehner think he will again.”

    It’s too bad people don’t pay more attention to baseball, because it’s really a good metaphor for life. If you’re a pitcher, and you throw a fastball down the middle of the plate to a great hitter like Miguel Cabrera, you don’t say to yourself “I’ll try that again.” On the other hand, if you throw that thing past Jemile Weeks *, you have to figure you can do that again.

    And that’s why they’ll assume Obama is going to whiff on this fat, juicy fastball again. He’s done it before, and nothing he’s ever done in the past would lead anyone to think he won’t keep doing it until the end of the 2016 season.

    * lowest OPS in majors among qualifiers

    • Taylor Marsh November 29, 2012 at 5:56 pm #

      * lowest OPS in majors among qualifiers

      LOVE this.

      • Cujo359 November 29, 2012 at 6:14 pm #

        Because the logical question was “Who is Jemile Weeks?”. At least, that would have been the question I was asking if the MLB didn’t have their stats online. ;)

        • TPAZ November 29, 2012 at 6:21 pm #

          At least Weeks is hitting above the Mendoza line.

  2. ladywalker68 November 29, 2012 at 4:27 pm #

    Wow…I’m shocked….not really. The Republicans just don’t get it so I guess we need to start working now to throw out the House Majority bums just as soon as we can.

    Cujo–for marginal baseball fans, can you translate OPS for me? Thanks!

    • ladywalker68 November 29, 2012 at 4:39 pm #

      I meant to add, if the Republicans won’t co-operate and leave the cuts only for the 98%, then I am all for letting all of the tax cuts expire. I really hope Obama doesn’t cave and keep the cuts across the board. I am barely making ends meet now so while I will take a hit, having taxes at the current level do nothing to increase my cash flow so that I have much to spend back into the economy except for the basics: food, a roof over my head, transportation to work and a job that has a health care plan, albeit I am staying as healthy as I can cause even with that, the out-of-pocket expenses have done nothing but gone up for years now. So status quo on the taxes does nothing for me and I can scrape to figure out how to keep going. And no, that doesn’t mean I will ever step foot into one of the Big Box, hell-holes owned by the greedy, souless, evil monster Walton family.

      Instead of voting to extend all Bush Tax cuts, I’d rather make sure that the Social Security plan that I have paid into for over 40 years is left untouched and not given to the crime lords of Wall Street who screwed everbody’s 401K in the 2008 collapse. Oh yes, like we need to give all that money to them as they drool over the possibility. They just can’t stand the fact that all of that money is sitting there and they can’t touch it, even though it belongs to somebody else. I wish we could kill Wall Street. It is a cancer on the economy.

      • Cujo359 November 29, 2012 at 6:17 pm #

        “I meant to add, if the Republicans won’t co-operate and leave the cuts only for the 98%, then I am all for letting all of the tax cuts expire.”

        I forgot to add, “as do I.” I suspect your case is pretty typical of the 98% who would be affected. There will be some stimulus to the economy if the 98% can keep that cash. In fact, it will be as effective as any tax cut that the DC nutcases are considering right now, since it puts the money where it’s most likely to be put back into the economy. Still, it won’t be all that effective at either stimulating the economy or making peoples’ lives better.

    • Cujo359 November 29, 2012 at 5:32 pm #

      It’s short for “On base percentage Plus Slugging”, the two most useful figures for determining a hitter’s effectiveness. Sorry about that. Thought about it the moment after I hit “Submit Comment” button, of course.

      • ladywalker68 November 29, 2012 at 7:32 pm #

        I used to know that (having grown up in a baseball-obsessed family) but I forgot. I must be getting old…

        Thanks!

  3. Taylor Marsh November 29, 2012 at 5:57 pm #

    I meant to add, if the Republicans won’t co-operate and leave the cuts only for the 98%, then I am all for letting all of the tax cuts expire.

    Absolutely agree.

    • ladywalker68 November 29, 2012 at 7:32 pm #

      Me too.

    • Uh-oh November 30, 2012 at 9:47 am #

      Me too.

  4. TPAZ November 29, 2012 at 6:28 pm #

    Letting all the Bush tax cuts expire can be explained in one sentence: We could not afford the tax cuts from the outset. Before they were passed we balanced our budget. Since they ere enacted we have run deficits each year.

    • Cujo359 November 29, 2012 at 7:21 pm #

      As Dean Baker pointed out not too long ago, that’s only partly true. The Internet and housing bubbles helped balance the budget, too. That’s one of the reasons that merely restoring the pre-Bush tax schedule won’t balance the budget now – there are too many of us who either are out of work or are working for less.

      Tax bases, folks. It’s about tax bases. When they’re too narrow, the government’s revenue falls down.

  5. secularhumanizinevoluter November 29, 2012 at 6:30 pm #

    Let them all expire. Make FRACKING sure the people know who is responsible and why for their taxes going up. I really hope the repugnantklan/teabaggers stick to their guns…hell, double down on the crazy then bring on 2014.

  6. jinbaltimore November 29, 2012 at 7:29 pm #

    Let em all expire!

    Then just cuts for middle-class. Win. Win.

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