The Morning After Pill

The so-called “Republican Plan B” for avoiding the fiscal cliff will be brought up for a vote today. Like the real-life Plan B, it’s pretty much going to be prophylactic in getting passed on into the uterus. I mean, Senate.

House Speaker John Boehner has proposed Plan B, which would extend Bush-era tax cuts on income of up to $1 million. He described it as a fallback option to prevent a sweeping tax hike while negotiations continue on a broader plan.

GOP leaders also had planned to vote Thursday on President Barack Obama’s long-standing proposal to return to the higher tax rates of the 1990s on income above $250,000 for families.

But Republicans decided to drop their plan to vote on extending tax breaks on incomes over $250,000. One GOP aide said that since the president has moved the threshold to $400,000, there is no point to that exercise.

What’s astounding about this plan, even this minimally effective plan, is that Boener is having trouble rounding up enough votes to get it through his House. He’s had to hand out lollipops to the children in his caucus, even to the point where the sequestration that both parties in both houses of Congress agreed to two years ago are up for modification.

You may read that as meaning the defense cuts are off the table.

Needless to say, President Obama has promised to veto this nonsense, although it’s hard to see how you can get Republicans back to the table.

This all hinges on one date on the calendar, and you should mark it, should we go over the fiscal cliff: January 3.

That’s the day most Americans who receive some form of monthly compensation from the United States — Social Security, welfare, a salary — can expect their next installment. Including many of the same asshats who are writing into their Teabagger Congresscritters telling them to stand firm on taxes.

It will be interesting to see what happens when those government-bought Hoverounds start to malfunction and there’s no money to be found for fixing them. All those FOX News viewers stuck inside, can’t even go to the corner for a pack of cigs and a 40, and of course, the HEAP money will be flatlined too, so no heat or hot water — not that they shower, mind you — no mail delivery so no pension checks or Victoria Secret catalogues to fap to, and then God forbid there’s an actual disaster and they need help.



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  • As to what happens January 3, you might like to listen to/read transcript of Dean Baker’s explanation. I’d point out that what becomes law on January 3 is a budget deal worked out as a bipartisan plan backed by Obama. It does not cut the so-called “entitlements”. It raises taxes and cuts spending at a time when we shouldn’t be doing that, but then it sure beats the hell out of trading the continuation of the Bush tax cuts for Obama Social Security cuts.

    There’s lots of shrieking about this deal, but virtually any plan that includes cuts in federal spending will produce shrieking. All the military contractors are up in arms, because a small fraction of those lovely arms profits are threatened. The AMA and other medical provider lobbies are screaming about lowering Medicare provider payments. I’ve read dire, dire, dire warnings about the disastrous consequences of cutting spending on whatever program benefits the person writing the warning.

    I think the issue with government taxing and spending is that we should do it at the level optimal for good policy. But those like Boehner and Obama croon away at “The deficit! The deficit! OOOOh, the deficit! Let’s cut social spending because it’s the rich who are our base.” Anyone seriously concerned about addressing the deficit by cutting government spending should welcome this hyped up “cliff”.

  • I don’t understand the last two paragraphs, beginning “That’s the day most Americans who receive some form of monthly compensation from the United States — Social Security, welfare, a salary — can expect their next installment,” at all.

    What about those “installments?” Surely you don’t think that payment on them is not going to be forthcoming? This is not about a government shutdown, it’s about curbing spending by a few percentage points. A few defense and other government contractors will undoubtedly need to make some layoffs, some federal workers will be cut, but not all that many in the overall picture, and Social Security…?

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