Patty Murray Lays Down the Law


agreed with one exception. letting the bush tax cuts expire, as written into them, as planned from the time they were passed, isn't plalying the gam "hard."

it's merely playing the game.

to play it hard, obama would be out there filling stadiums and cheering the 99% against the 1%. he'd be out there saying warren buffet should pay a HIGHER percentage of his taxes that his secretary. and most of all he'd be attacking the bain-lobbied super low 15% capital gains tax insisting that income from capital be taxed at the same highest marginal rate as income from working. the capital gains tax isn't even part of the bush tax cuts, I believe.

then, he'd be taking the total taxes to be raised on the 1% and dividing it by the population of the 99% to get a per capita figure, and using that to tell the 99% that each one of them has to pay that amount more in taxes according to the gop plan, then he'd take an exemplar 1%er -- Romney would do fine -- and explain that to boost his taxes by 4 points on income of $30 million a year on his $300 million of wealth means he STILL can build the garage elevator in la jolla, he just can't can't hire a full time staffer to run that elevator. he can still have the superlaucn on lake winipisaukee whatever, but maybe he can't claim rafalca. reagan had no problem telling stories to frame issues by creating aggregate types such as a welfare queen, dems refrain from telling stories with actual types such as romney or adelson, instead constantly saying things like "people like us" to refer to the one percent, telling the public that at bottom obama is "like" romney financially, which is totally not true. so wonderful dems are playing the game, but let's not say they're playing it hard. in fact, obama has yet to even say what murray is saying, we will go over the cliff.

why not? he's still not playing it hard.
Before we start talking of Fiscal Lemmings, we should be concerned with filibuster reform.

The Senate will remain a legislative graveyard so long as you require 60 votes to pass anything, especially now that the GOP has purged all moderates from its ranks. If you must retain this piece of bullshit, at least modify it so someone has to deliver the filibuster the way they used to before LBJ was in office. Stand up and talk until you drop from exhaustion, and once you do, that filibuster is over.
In other words, she wants to tax the middle class and Obama will break his promise.

But that was the plot all along.

true hardball would be to push for dc and puerto rico voting rights, see the gop defeat their voting rights, etc., then blame the gop for being angry old white racists etc. how can we let 6.5 million people not have voting rights, many of them people of color historically deprived of rights, and it's not even talked about by the dems?
Encourage Dems to stick to their guns:…
@3 He said let's pass the middle class tax cuts now and take them off the table. But Republicans think they can hold the middle class hostage. They never learn.
You mean we could return to the tax rates of the '90's when the economy created 22 million new jobs?
Encourage Dems to stick to their guns:…

I have excoriated the Republicans directly as well on this for holding my tax cut hostage to some other group as it violates their own pledges.

Both sides are colluding to raise taxes on the middle class in violation of their own promises. Both will blame each other. The hardest working people will get soaked.

If Obama were true to his work, he would have passed his own tax cuts specifically for the middle class.

If the Republicans were true to their word they would have accepted Obama's initial deal.

Both sides are bad.
@9 "Both sides are bad."

..but not equally bad.

The Democrats are saying they will let the whole package expire and then try to pass the ones the promised retroactive to the start of the year.

The Republicans are saying that perhaps God wanted to have your rate-baby.
@2 -- I've been saying essentially the same thing about the so-called filibuster for years. Make them stand up there and read the damn dictionary, the telephone book, the encyclopedia entry on the nutritive value of dryer lint, until they're so exhausted they fall in their tracks. And when they stop talking, it's finished. What we have now is not a filibuster, it's just a procedural trick of language to make obstruction sound dramatic. If they want to filibuster, they should by damn work for it.
@6 You are either willfully misreading the article, or are completely clueless to the situation.

Or both.

I could explain... but what's the point. You'll just misread it or bring up some other non-sequitor.
Republicans have been effective in their own arguments of "fairness", spinning tax hikes against the top earners only as unfair, with lots of middle class people aspiring to that top tier agreeing with them.

They still have plenty of cards to play in this game.

What the Democrats will focus on most is trying to stick the blame for any negative outcome on the middle class as being the fault of Republicans. Unfortunately, that will be their first concern, and the middle class themselves will be secondary (as opposed to the other way around).
MissLena, I don't think any petition is going to get too far if it can't even spell the president's name correctly!
So, which is it Bailo? As you say, Obama submitted a bill that would have kept the Bush-era cuts for the middle-class, but let them expire for the wealthy - which the Republicans flat-out rejected as you well know. So, Obama has already demonstrated his desire to not increase taxes on the middle-class; how then can you at the same time claim he is "colluding to raise taxes on the middle-class" when he's already proven that's not the case? You contradict your position with your own words.

I've already suggested the tactic Congressional Democrats should adopt: submit legislation NOW that restores tax cuts to the middle-class in the event the GOP continues to sandbag and the Bush-era cuts expire en masse. Put them ON RECORD as being the ones to shoot down either this bill or any compromise package that holds these cuts hostage in exchange for continuing cuts for the wealthy.

Let them whinge and moan all they want about "fairness" or "lack of bipartisanship" or whatever bullshit they want to spew, and then see where that gets them in the 2014 cycle, because the Democrats will use this to nail their asses to the floor. Every national poll I've seen on the matter shows that Americans overwhelmingly want to see the wealthy - most of whom have continued to make money hand-over-fist even during this economic downturn - pay their fair share, which I think most people would agree they haven't. So, leave the choice up to the GOP: either put more money in the hands of the middle-class, the REAL drivers of our economy, or continue to protect the interests of the fat-cats who simply hoard their wealth to themselves and who refuse to use it in any way that is constructive to the overall national prosperity.

Let THEM choose; and reap or suffer the consequences accordingly...
12, Indeed. The filibuster is not in the Constitution or the CJS or any other law-its not required to exist and can be gotten rid of altogether or modified by a simple majority vote at the start of the Congressional Calendar.

Its original intent was to avoid mob rule. In a fit of mass psychosis, the majority of Americans may indeed favor a particular course of action, only to later come to regret it after the mass panic wears off. By having a Senator stand and deliver an oral argument against a piece of legislation, and hold off on voting until that Senator is finished, the idea was that the argument made during the filibuster might be strong enough to overcome the fires of passion with the cool waters of reason.

But since no arguments are made during a filibuster anymore, why do we retain such a thing? It no longer serves as one last chance to make a case for or against before the final vote, and is now just a tool for creating gridliock.

Frankly, I would jettison the filibuster altogether. but if we are going to keep this useless relic, lets at least turn it from being a blunt object with which one party can beat the other with into a tool for making one's point, the way it was originally conceived.
Again, filibuster reform or all of this talk is just I'd suggest everyone take some time and write / call the Senate Majority Leaders office this coming week and tell him that filibuster reform must happen
Look, for all the blustering, there is absolutely NOTHING the Forces of Far Right Hatred Against America can do to stop this.


So long as Patty and Maria stick to their guns, and the President backstops them, the anti-capitalist pro-mercantilist Bush Tax Giveaways to the Rich ... are gone.
@3 is simply stating exactly what the repubs will scream and cry about for the next few years.

This is how it'll go down:
The tax rates will expire for everyone.
The democrats will attempt to get tax rates reduced for the middle class.
The republicans will reject that unless the wealthy also get lower tax rates.

And the ONLY thing you'll ever hear the republicans say is this: "Obama promised not to raise taxes on the middle class and he broke his promise derp derp derp!!!"

That's how the political parties operate nowadays. Both do it, but republicans are notorious for adopting trite phrases and repeating them inside their echo chambers ad naseum until they become "facts" to their base of simpletons.
hey charlie brown, wanna kick this football?
@Urgutha, there's a glimmer of hope that the republicans may see the damage done them by listening only to their echo chamber. Only a glimmer.
Don't you ever learn? The Dems will cave.
Good for Patty. I'm sick of the dems always caving in to the republicans. About damned time the democrats grew a spine.
Here's Auntie Catalina's plan for a solid recovery.

1.) Let the tax cuts expire.

2.) Eliminate the Social Security earnings cap. Make everyone pay regardless of their source of income (dividends, etc). At the same time, cut the percentage people have taken out of their paycheck for Social Security. The system will still become solvent due to the extra revenue, and it will lessen the burden of the expired tax cuts.

3.) Roll all of the government healthcare programs (Medicaid/Medicare/tricare/etc - everything but the VA) into one program, and start a process of lowering the eligibility age by five years every five years until universal single-payer is achieved. This will allow the insurance industry to make the necessary changes to exit the health insurance market without chaos or mass unemployment, plus it will blow the job market wide open, as the boomers evacuate themselves from jobs they are only keeping because they need insurance.

You're welcome, dearies.....
Catalina, the Social Security system is in no danger of becoming involvent. That is a lie promulgated by the Republicans and has been "fact-checked" many many times over the last several years.

Your suggestion about rolling all healthcare programs into one program is good; however, the Health Care Reform Act is what we're dealing with now, and it's the only improvement we're realistically going to get for quite a while. And it is quite an improvement. This is not a revolutionary country; its an incremental society.

Not bad.

2.) Eliminating the cap is good, but leave the percentage alone.
And raise the retirement age by a year now and gradually raise it more over time.

The only people who can complain about their taxes are the upper middles: $100-200k a year. We're the ones getting screwed.
@ 9 You're an idiot. President Obama can't "pass" anything. PS The House of Representatives is controlled by Republicans who will not pass ANYTHING that this President proposes.

@ 25 Nice synopsis Catalina. Deluge the White House with POSTCARDS why don't we. MILLIONS of 'em.

I am very proud of my US Senators. Let the ass kicking of Congressional Republicans begin.
Sarah dear, I should have said "remain solvent". What I meant was that we would be able to cut the Social Security contribution considerably and remain solvent because of the money being put in by removing the earnings cap.

And troll dear, no: the retirement age should not be increased. That's an idiotic idea. If people want to work past 65, that is fine, but if it were widespread it would be a disaster for innovation, young people, and the economy. Thanks in part to Social Security, retired elderly people are a net positive to the economy - particularly tourism.

Real economic populism could ensure the party that embraces it pretty much permanent control of both Congress and the White House.
I think the dems realize it's now or never to be the country's party.
Good for Ms. Murray. That's exactly how Dems should be thinking.


but look for Obama to do it before this term is up....
THis plan works for the Republicans too; they can then say that they stuck to their guns and never voted to increase taxes.

The cuts expire and then they can return to tax cutting for the middle class and claim VICOTRY FOR THE FORCES OF DEMOCRATIC FREEDOM!!!

It works for everyone. I hope senators are smart enough to see it that way.
The Democrats "laid down the law" right before the last round of do-or-die budget negotiations. And then they caved and punted, as usual.

The last election didn't change much. It affirmed the status quo. And the status quo is that Murray and Co. will talk tough and then cave, like Democrats do.
@34: Exactly. This allows House Republicans to save face because they can claim it wasn't them raising the taxes on the rich. And of course they're not going to obstruct Obama when he comes around in January and asks them to reinstate the tax cuts for the bottom 98%, because even though it's going to drive them crazy to do something Obama wants, it'd absolutely destroy them to face their constituents in two years and have to answer for why they refused to cut taxes on the middle class.
While they're at it, the Dem's should reinstate Medicare's ability to negotiate drug prices with Big Pharma. Bush and the fuckin' R's gave that golden gift away in his first term. As a candidate, Barack Obama promised to repeal a prohibition on Medicare negotiating directly with drug companies over prices for Medicare recipients, but then during the Obamacare trench war, he pissed backwards. I'll believe the D's have sprouted some balls when the rubber meets the pedal to the metal.
I'm sure this has been posted b4 b/c the Dems are in deep denial about their party and its caving disease, but once more (into the breech):…
[sarcasm]Don't you know that Obama's evil socialist minions are going to be too busy taking away everybody's guns and collaborating with the U.N. invasion to worry about minor issues like taxes. [/sarcasm]
How can households in the $150-200K/year bracket get away with paying no taxes? Seems only the rich and lower classes pay nothing, it's the upper middles who get screwed.

@39 sadly most Sloggers wish that was true. Luckily Obama is a centrist and threw the far left under the bus long ago. Just wait until be makes his Grand Bargain.
@38 - I'm pretty sure any Democrat who's been paying attention fully expects Obama to cave once again. Myself, I'm hoping to be pleasantly surprised.

Full throttle towards the fiscal cliff is the only viable choice when the other side has forgotten the definition of "compromise."
Linda J-love the Guardian article! Painfully true! Obama wins! Now how do we make nice to those nasty right-wingers?
The trick here is to get something to pass that everyone can claim they got a good deal. That responsibility's going to mostly lie with Boehner.

I predict they will get some minor tax increase on the wealthy, possibly in the form of removing deductions rather than lowering rates, and will mostly kick the can down the road.
Democrats ultimately have a single goal...steal from the middle class to feed subsidies to their wealthy backers.

Obama will hem and haw and say that the GOP "made him do it" but ultimately he set it up so that he will be taxing average people a whole lot more.
The beauty of this situation is that if no one does anything, it resolves itself. The unwise Bush Tax Cuts expire for everyone and we go back to the more reasonable tax rates of the Clinton era, these are the rates that created a record budget surplus. Everyone is saying the debt is a bad thing, so lets pay it off. Lets fully fund the things we need while we are at it. I don't see the Republicans becoming reasonable, nor making needed compromises. However, this automatic course of action needs no support from them.
@44: >mfw Bailo just attributed the Republican strategy to the Democrats
>mfw I have no face