The best is yet to come (pass the popcorn)

While it might have fallen short of the Tseabagger Tsunami that many were predicting, yesterday’s midterm election was a pretty impressive performance for a movement (cult, whatever) that didn’t exist 2 years ago, and I don’t think anyone can take that away from them.  I do wonder what the results would have looked like if the GOP had been running more traditional establishment candidates — my guess is that they would have taken both Houses, but I guess it’s one of those Unknown Unknowns that Rummy was jabbering about.

But never mind that:  now the real fun starts.  I look forward to seeing the GOP explain to their teabagging overlords why they’re voting to raise the debt ceiling next year, after promising not to.  Ditto all the other unfulfillable promises they made on the teabagging trail, like cutting government spending and lowering the debt while giving away gazillions in tax cuts:

Good times!

Lightly buttered and hold the salt, please.

31 Responses to “The best is yet to come (pass the popcorn)”


  1. 1 deBeauxOs Wednesday, November 3, 2010 at 11:26 am

    Tseabagger Tsunami! I love it.

  2. 2 BrianWren Wednesday, November 3, 2010 at 11:44 am

    The problem with that graph is that it presumes a relatively stable economy.

    But if the tax cuts are allowed to expire it is virtually certain that the US will go into recession again (and thereby lowering revenues despite the tax rate being higher, and raising the numbers of the unemployed), and possibly even depression.

    But you’re absolutely right: there’s going to be a lot to see during the next 2 months, a lot to see in the 6 to 9 mo.s following the seating of the new electees, and in the 2 years that follow seating them.

    One of the things that’s going to happen almost for sure:  People who got spun up about this election but who haven’t played this sport before are going to get an education on how slowly things happen in bringing change.

    And, as far as that goes, with the current makeup, the legislature really isn’t going to be able to initiate much;  they will mostly only be able to put on the brakes.   That’s better than nothing, but it will be a disappointment to those who think more robust results are possible.

  3. 3 JJ Wednesday, November 3, 2010 at 12:42 pm

    Brian

    But if the tax cuts are allowed to expire it is virtually certain that the US will go into recession again (and thereby lowering revenues despite the tax rate being higher, and raising the numbers of the unemployed), and possibly even depression.

    First I should point out that only the top 2% of earners will be affected by the expiration of tax cuts being considered by the Obama administration.

    All the people who will actually go out and buy stuff because they have more money (the bottom 98%, ie. YOU), will still get their tax cuts. The GOP has done a good job of spinning this like EVERYONE will lose their tax cuts, or like the top 2% are Ma&Pa store owners but it’s just BS.

    This is all about the GOP getting leaned on by their wealthy overlords (as opposed to their teabagging overlords). With all the pounds of flesh they’ll be surgically excising over the next few months, there won’t be much for the buzzards to pick on by 2012.

    People who got spun up about this election but who haven’t played this sport before are going to get an education on how slowly things happen in bringing change.

    Yep, that’s where the fun starts :lol: I can’t wait to see the kind of mental gymnastics that get performed to justify raising the debt ceiling.

    The GOP has made promises that are mathematically impossible, and now it’s time to make good on them. Maybe that’s what Boner was crying about last night.

  4. 5 Rob F Wednesday, November 3, 2010 at 2:25 pm

    I have a challenge for you:

    (1) Stand in front of a mirror.
    (2) Recall that much of the 1950s and 1960s were prosperous with long periods without recessions (cite).
    (3) Recall that during those times, taxes were much higher than today. The highest marginal rate was sometimes above 90% (cite).
    (4) Bearing in mind those two facts, explain without reference to conservative talking points how high taxes discourage economic growth and cause recessions.
    (5) Keep practicing until you can do so with a straight face.

  5. 6 B York Wednesday, November 3, 2010 at 5:26 pm

    Good point Rob F.

    JJ, I think a graph comparing growth in job losses to increased tax cuts is also in order. The big rallying cry behind tax cuts was to free up corporate funds for job creation.

    That’s such a sad joke that governments and supporters don’t bother with that old chestnut. They just use more vague terms like “stimulate the economy”, which in fact means lining the pockets of investors.

  6. 7 PeterC Thursday, November 4, 2010 at 4:36 am

    I look forward to seeing the GOP explain to their teabagging overlords why they’re voting to raise the debt ceiling next year, after promising not to.

    I’m not sure why you think that is going to be necessary. It seems that history has taught us that these things are only important if the other party does it. Sometimes it makes me wonder if a 10%(or whatever it needs to be) flat tax for everyone with no exceptions might actually be a fair way of doing things. Maybe exclude the lowest 10% on the income ladder. The whole let’s encourage social change by tax policy seems to be a failed idea to me.

    RobF, good points…

    B York, especially when you consider the ton of cash, more than ever before after adjustments for inflation, that corps are already sitting on because it is too risky to “invest” it.

  7. 8 Cornelius T. Zen Thursday, November 4, 2010 at 7:27 am

    Good morrow, all!
    From what I’ve read so far, the Republicans hold about 55% of the House of Reps. Now, suppose they pass some form of legislation that Obama does not care for. And suppose Barry Whitehouse suddenly grows a pair, whips out his…pen and vetoes that puppy. Where are the GOTP going to find enough votes (2/3, or about 67%) to overcome the presidental veto? Uh, oh…
    The GOTP are still the minority in the Senate, although the Dems have lost their filibuster-proof majority. That means that any GOTP-initiated legislation will be at risk there, as well.
    Interesting times, interesting times…CTZen

  8. 9 Cornelius T. Zen Thursday, November 4, 2010 at 7:39 am

    Good morrow, again!
    And for those of you dancing in the street at the rout of the “libruls”…
    The USA owes its very existence to liberals, radicals, terrorists, traitors and insurgents. If the conservatives of their day had had their way in 1776, Merkans would be sipping tea, quaffing Guinness and driving on the left-hand side of the road.
    It was a very liberal, radical, treasonous thing to do: sign the Declaration of Independence, draft the Constitution, take up arms against the British Crown and Government. Remember, until July 4, 1776, America was still a British colony, under British rule, subject to British law, and to suggest otherwise, let alone act on the suggestion, was liberal, radical, treasonous, insurgent. To cast off the role of British colonial and take up the musket of American soldier or militia was all those things and more. America was founded by liberals, radicals, terrorists, and insurgents. And…George Washington’s troops (you know, the guys that kicked German George’s Hessian mercenaries to the curb) were trained by a gay Bavarian military strategist.
    Interesting that a country founded by such people should forget, and vilify such people now.
    Point to ponder: you can occupy the land. That does not mean that you have conquered the people.
    Just some thoughts – CTZEn

  9. 10 Cornelius T. Zen Thursday, November 4, 2010 at 7:50 am

    Good morrow, again?
    For those of you giddy with the prospect of “President Palin”:
    A scene from the White House, circa June 2013:
    Karl Rove saunters into the Oval Office. President Palin is at her desk, her face streaked with tears and mascara.
    Rove: “Madame President! What is the matter?”
    Palin, holding up newspaper: “It’s all these lame-stream media papers, Uncle Karl. They all hate me! They all say such hateful things!”
    Rove: “Don’t you worry, Madame President. I will get to the bottom of things!”
    Rove storms through the bowels of the White House, bellowing: “WHICH ONE OF YOU IDIOTS LEFT OUT A NEWSPAPER FOR THE PRESIDENT TO READ!!!”
    One of the staff turns to another, shrugs and mutters, “Who knew she could read?”
    Cogito, ergo, dumb – CTZen

  10. 11 JJ Thursday, November 4, 2010 at 8:21 am

    Rob F – Good point — I await Brian’s report on how this exercise went.

  11. 12 JJ Thursday, November 4, 2010 at 8:38 am

    B York

    The big rallying cry behind tax cuts was to free up corporate funds for job creation.

    I would actually be okay with giving businesses tax breaks if they were specific to job creation, ie. if they hire locally instead of outsourcing. But otherwise I don’t think this trickle-down thing really works. It’s been supposedly trickling down for the last 10 years, so why 10% unemployment?

  12. 13 JJ Thursday, November 4, 2010 at 8:48 am

    Peter C

    It seems that history has taught us that these things are only important if the other party does it.

    Don’t you think the teaparty will hold the GOP’s feet to the fire? They’re feeling pretty full of themselves these days — and why not? — so I think they’ll be setting the agenda.

    Of course the alternative to raising the debt ceiling is government shutdown, and I’m sure the GOP remembers how well that worked out for them the last time.

    Even so, the teabaggers might be down with it. Interesting times ahead :shock:

  13. 14 JJ Thursday, November 4, 2010 at 9:09 am

    CTZen – You raise an interesting point, which sort of touches on something I’ve been griping about for awhile.

    There was obviously a time when liberals/progressives/lefties, whatever you want to call them, did much to make life better for the middle/working class, and thus had their support.

    What changed?

    It’s a subject that’s been irritating me for some time now, because frankly, I don’t see “progressives” winning the hearts & minds of the people at large. And even worse, many of them seem totally blind to it, even after red flags like the election of a guy like Rob Ford in Toronto. Instead of saying “where did we go wrong that this could happen” we’re saying “this happened because the electorate is DUMB”. WTF? That is not a winning attitude :(

  14. 15 BrianWren Thursday, November 4, 2010 at 2:31 pm

    First I should point out that only the top 2% of earners will be affected by the expiration of tax cuts being considered by the Obama administration.

    All the people who will actually go out and buy stuff because they have more money (the bottom 98%, ie. YOU), will still get their tax cuts.

    It’s not the “buy stuff” crowd that is in focus in this prediction, but the “hire people” group and the “invest” group.

    A big problem right now is that, because Obama has not been consistent, there is great uncertainty on what to expect. That interferes with planning, and so those with capital are holding it, not knowing what the smart move(s) is/are.

    implementing higher taxes on those who earn more (it is not the wealthy, but the high earners in scope) will serve to keep them waiting, or cause them to be even more reluctant to act. That will affect everyone.

     

    he GOP has done a good job of spinning this like EVERYONE will lose their tax cuts, or like the top 2% are Ma&Pa store owners but it’s just BS.

    Even if it is Ma Bell, rather than Ma & Pa, Ma Bell hires middle class people. If Ma Bell is uncertain as to whether the “attack business” spotlight will be randomly steered their way, they will be less active in using what cash they have on hand, saving up against potential future trouble.

    So whether is is BS or not BS, that does not argue that it makes a difference, as I see it. It might change the proportionality, but not the paradigm.

  15. 16 BrianWren Thursday, November 4, 2010 at 2:32 pm

    “Good point Rob F.” Not!

  16. 17 BrianWren Thursday, November 4, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    The 50s and 60s were indeed prosperous.

    This is when the Jet engine came into its own, when the transistor was coming into use, and so on. The advances in technology were absolutely unheard of before.

    There is no way to say from just looking at one data point, what the trend might be. In the same way, trotting out just the point that there was prosperity while the tax rates were high does not make the case.

    Very, very few actually paid those rates because of loopholes, exemptions, and fraud.

    Remember that JFK strongly advocated lowering taxes dramatically, and he said not just temporarily, but permanently. The reason for doing that, according to him, was to promote economic growth.

    Given your straw man, Rob F., what was he thinking? What got him to even be worried enough about it to take any action?

    Keep your mirror, I think you need it more.

  17. 18 BrianWren Thursday, November 4, 2010 at 2:51 pm

    Where are the GOTP going to find enough votes (2/3, or about 67%) to overcome the presidental veto? Uh, oh…
    The GOTP are still the minority in the Senate, although the Dems have lost their filibuster-proof majority. That means that any GOTP-initiated legislation will be at risk there, as well.

    This is exactly right. That’s why the strategy is that for now, the GOP will only be able to kill the direction things have been going (a really good thing; when you’re going in the wrong direction, it is an improvement in the situation to stop).

    Should the trend continue, and the GOP gets the majority in the Senate in 2012, then more than just stopping bad ideas will be added to the list of the possible.

    Should the GOP take the White House as well, then implementing change gets added to the list of the possible.

    So you’re right.

  18. 19 BrianWren Thursday, November 4, 2010 at 2:59 pm

    The USA owes its very existence to liberals, radicals, terrorists, traitors and insurgents.

    You’re lying.

    The USA does not owe it’s existence to terrorists. This is a piece of historical revisionism. The Revolutionaries had armies, and fought battles. They were insurrectionists, and they weren’t terrorists.

    They also were not traitors.

    They were liberals, but 200 years ago that word meant almost exactly the opposite of what it means today, having been co-opted. Your assertion that they were liberals, when made without qualification as you did, is dishonest.

    I must say, my opinion of you has really gone downhill this month. I disagreed with you, and thought you were pompous, but still had some respect for your persistence, and ability to make your points.

    But you have really been blatantly dishonest several times in the last few weeks, and I have been really taken aback. You are not who I thought you were, I am disappointed to say.

  19. 20 BrianWren Thursday, November 4, 2010 at 3:08 pm

    I would actually be okay with giving businesses tax breaks if they were specific to job creation…

    This puts those who write the tax code in the position of picking winners and losers. It’s not the right approach. Government bureaucrats often have never worked in the private sector, and just don’t have either the wisdom nor the nece3ssary amount of information with which to make these kinds of decisions (who gets a tax break v. who doesn’t).

    Look, for instance, at how many resources, and how much money (in grants and tax breaks) have been out into compact florescents. This has resulted in a LOT of mercury in the environment compared to what would be there had they not. And now, a scant few years later, LED technology is proving to be cheaper, more efficient at the utilization of power, and not an environmental hazard.

    Bureaucrats just don’t have a firm enough grasp on technology to make the right decisions, even if they have all the data. But beyond that, they can’t get enough data to make good predictions about what are the right ways to go.

    Even now, with LEDs looking like the better choice, they ought not to be subsidized, because some better technology that can develop successfully on a level playing field might get squashed by the subsidizing of LEDs.

    Using the tax code to engineer society is putting humans in the role of doing what humans just cannot be up to doing: successfully predicting what is or isn’t a good idea.

  20. 21 BrianWren Thursday, November 4, 2010 at 3:12 pm

    I’m sure the GOP remembers how well that worked out for them the last time.

    The tarring and feathering that the GOP took on that was a real victory for the White House and the media.

    It was a good idea with the way the White House and congress were disagreeing.

    Clinton was ever bit as much responsible for the shut down, and impasses like that are the way politics is done.

    If the GOP has learned enough about how to avoid being pilloried by the press, a shut down would not be all that bad.

  21. 22 J. A. Baker Thursday, November 4, 2010 at 9:22 pm

    Very, very few actually paid those rates because of loopholes, exemptions, and fraud.

    Remember that JFK strongly advocated lowering taxes dramatically, and he said not just temporarily, but permanently. The reason for doing that, according to him, was to promote economic growth.

    But the tax cuts that JFK got passed also closed a lot of those loopholes that you mentioned, such that there was no net change in the top marginal tax rate. The sky sure as hell didn’t immediately collapse, as you are suggesting.

  22. 23 J. A. Baker Thursday, November 4, 2010 at 9:24 pm

    If the GOP has learned enough about how to avoid being pilloried by the press, a shut down would not be all that bad.

    Actually, in today’s media environment, the media would be providing cover for the GOP.

  23. 24 J. A. Baker Thursday, November 4, 2010 at 9:33 pm

    The USA does not owe it’s existence to terrorists. This is a piece of historical revisionism. The Revolutionaries had armies, and fought battles. They were insurrectionists, and they weren’t terrorists.

    They also were not traitors.

    But history is written by the winners, and so of course we (rightly) see the Founding Fathers as heroes and brave patriots. That’s not how The Powers That Be (TPTB) at the time saw them, and had the Founding Fathers lost, they sure as hell would’ve been tried, convicted and executed for treason, insurrection, sedition, terrorism, etc. And the average British citizen would’ve (perhaps) willingly gone along with it, if for no other reason than TPTB could’ve spun it in a manner that would pacify the masses. Of course, it helped significantly that TPTB could coerce (whether via judicial or extrajudicial methods) cooperation from the commoners.

    Kind of like how we got into the invasion of Iraq…

  24. 25 BrianWren Thursday, November 4, 2010 at 11:59 pm

    “But the tax cuts that JFK got passed also closed a lot of those loopholes that you mentioned, such that there was no net change in the top marginal tax rate. The sky sure as hell didn’t immediately collapse, as you are suggesting.”

    That doesn’t seem to add up. If all stayed the same for the bottom line, what would JFK have been talking about as he described the economic growth that was supposed to ensue?

    My “sky is falling” comments (quite an exaggeration, that) are not from closing loop holes or lowering taxes, but regard RAISING taxes, the opposite of what JFK got passed.

  25. 26 JJ Friday, November 5, 2010 at 5:13 am

    Brian – At the risk of stating the obvious, it’s strange that the teabaggers are pissed off at Obama for not fixing the economy in 2 years, yet the supposed benefits of the Bush Tax Cuts for the rich have had 10 years to “trickle down” and so far they haven’t.

    If the Bush tax cuts for the fat fucks are allowed to expire, they’ll go back to the same tax rate they were at during the Clinton administration — from 35% to 39% (which helped clean up the mess that St.Ronaldus Maximus left behind). Boo hoo!

    PS – I see Mr. Teabagger himself, Jim DeMint, has already said he’d be okay with raising the debt ceiling. Goes to show how serious they were about the debt :roll:

  26. 27 J. A. Baker Friday, November 5, 2010 at 7:59 am

    That doesn’t seem to add up. If all stayed the same for the bottom line, what would JFK have been talking about as he described the economic growth that was supposed to ensue?

    My “sky is falling” comments (quite an exaggeration, that) are not from closing loop holes or lowering taxes, but regard RAISING taxes, the opposite of what JFK got passed.

    You’re missing the point entirely. My point was that keeping taxes at current levels or even raising them, does not harm economic growth. Even JFK, who you selectively quote to make your point, recognized that fact, otherwise he wouldn’t have closed the loopholes with his “tax cut.”

  27. 28 Cornelius T. Zen Friday, November 5, 2010 at 8:01 am

    Good morrow, all!
    Brian: “You’re lying.”

    Lying? Ask the British Crown and Parliament of the day if the guerilla tactics, the secret meetings, the Tea Party, the violation of British Laws were not the acts of traitors…to the British Crown.

    “The USA does not owe it’s existence to terrorists. This is a piece of historical revisionism. The Revolutionaries had armies, and fought battles. They were insurrectionists, and they weren’t terrorists.”

    Right. They formed lines and squares, and mirrored the tactics of the Hessian mercenaries. They sat down to tea at 4 pm. They sang “God Save The King”. Gotcha. Then how did they manage to outfight the best army in the known world. Pretty much the way Charlie chased Uncle Sam’s ass outa Nam. By being diferent, by fighting dirty, by using the land to their advantage.

    “They also were not traitors.” See my point above.

    “They were liberals, but 200 years ago that word meant almost exactly the opposite of what it means today, having been co-opted. Your assertion that they were liberals, when made without qualification as you did, is dishonest.”

    Liberal, in the sense that they thought of the future as belonging to them, not them belonging to the past. Liberal, in the sense that there should not be classes of people, that opportunity need not favor the socially favored, that any man could do as well as he could manage, whereever he was free to do so. Liberal, that no religion should dominate society, that all men should be free to speak, to associate, to worship OR NOT, as was responsible to do so.

    “I must say, my opinion of you has really gone downhill this month. I disagreed with you, and thought you were pompous, but still had some respect for your persistence, and ability to make your points.

    “But you have really been blatantly dishonest several times in the last few weeks, and I have been really taken aback. You are not who I thought you were, I am disappointed to say.”

    Call me what you will, that is your privilege. Your disappointment is not my problem. I don’t have to live with it.

    Sticks and stones, me poor wee bairn – CTZen

  28. 29 J. A. Baker Friday, November 5, 2010 at 8:01 am

    Actually, let me make that a bit clearer: keeping taxes at current levels or even raising them (within certain limits) does not NECESSARILY harm economic growth.

  29. 30 Jasper Friday, November 5, 2010 at 10:03 pm

    “The USA owes its very existence to liberals, radicals, terrorists, traitors and insurgents.”

    ..and Ronald Reagan was a liberal too, and Joe Stalin was a freedom warrior.


  1. 1 T(bag)-minus 3 days til Debtmageddon « unrepentant old hippie Trackback on Monday, November 26, 2012 at 2:18 pm

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