Pfeiffer had just posted his objection to a spirited New York Times column by David Brooks, who rebuked both parties for failing to lead: “For anyone reading David Brooks’ column, here is the President’s detailed sequester plan that he doesn’t think exists (link)”
I replied: “let us know when you’ve got a deal and the government your running isn’t headed over a cliff again. #ThisIsCrazy”
I regret the obnoxious tone. I was trying to reinforce the point of my post on presidential leadership.
You’d have better regretted the homonym fail, you idiot. The only “cliff” here is the political brinksmanship of a bunch of GOP dead-enders.
And discovers it flourishing vibrantly as—wait for it…—the Democratic Party itself!
“Extreme” positions such as cutting our safety nets somewhat less than the GOP would and pretending to regulate the looters of our economic system now define the outer limits of left-leaning political thought even as the Right openly embraces paranoia and sedition.
The sad thing is, he’s not entirely wrong.
My periodic reminder about the rotten deal known as the Grand Bargain:
Starting in 1983, the payroll tax was deliberately set higher than it needed to be to cover payments to retirees. For the next 30 years, this extra money was sent to the Treasury, and this windfall allowed income tax rates to be lower than they otherwise would have been. During this period, people who paid payroll taxes suffered from this arrangement, while people who paid income taxes benefited.
Now things have turned around. As the baby boomers have started to retire, payroll taxes are less than they need to be to cover payments to retirees. To make up this shortfall, the Treasury is paying back the money it got over the past 30 years, and this means that income taxes need to be higher than they otherwise would be. For the next few decades, people who pay payroll taxes will benefit from this arrangement, while people who pay income taxes will suffer.
If payroll taxpayers and income taxpayers were the same people, none of this would matter. The trust fund really would be a fiction. But they aren’t. Payroll taxpayers tend to be the poor and the middle class. Income taxpayers tend to be the upper middle class and the rich. Long story short, for the past 30 years, the poor and the middle class overpaid and the rich benefited. For the next 30 years or so, the rich will overpay and the poor and the middle class will benefit.
The trust fund is the physical embodiment of that deal. It’s no surprise that the rich, who didn’t object to this arrangement when it was first made, are now having second thoughts. But make no mistake. When wealthy pundits like Krauthammer claim that the trust fund is a fiction, they’re trying to renege on a deal halfway through because they don’t want to pay back the loans they got.
— Kevin Drum, MoJo
Make no mistake: all this nonsense about the deficit is about reneging on that deal. The 1% stole the trust fund fair and square and they have no intention of paying it back.
Missouri state Rep. Mike Leara (R) loves the Second Amendment so much he wants to make it a felony for state lawmakers to propose legislation he thinks would violate it.
Unlike some of the sponsors of those bills, Leara said he doesn’t expect his bill to pass. He filed the bill criminalizing certain bill language to make a point about freedom, he said.
Some freedoms are more equal than others?