GOP Starts Talking Revenue Increases

by jhwygirl

In Washington, at least. And some of the biggest players, too – Sen. Lindsay Graham? Sen. Tom Colburn?

Will we see sacred cows fall? Graham cites ethanol subsidies, and calls for ending “…a bunch of other subsidies that go to a few people” and put(ting) the money “back into the federal treasury” for debt reduction.

Looks like reality is making headway in the Senate, if not pissing off Grover Norquist, who may be seeing the beginning of his own insignificance.

Let’s hope, huh?

The New Republic’s Jonathan Cohn is taking notice of the refreshing honesty coming from the GOP, pointing out that Reagan’s Budget Director David Stockman admitted that any austerity measures would most certainly make the jobs situation worse:

(Fareed) Zakaria noted that a policy of austerity, along the lines of what Stockman was recommending, would probably make the jobs situation worse. “Yes,” Stockman responded, “the scenario is pretty grim.” Stockman then went on to predict another decade of double-digit unemployment. “It sounds like very harsh medicine,” he said. “But it happens to be a very harsh reality.”

Now, I don’t know about you, but that sounds pretty grim. Republican’s can’t impeded every solution offered – in this particular case, Reich was advocating for a massive infusion of infrastructure spending – and so far all I’ve heard them call for is cutting social security and medicare.

Both of which would cost them dearly, politically.

Well…I see I’ve digressed. I do find it interesting that GOPers like Lindsay Graham and Tom Coburn are talking about raising revenues. If they’re saying that, there’s more where they came from.

  1. No offense meant, but don’t believe a word of it. This is nothing more than an appeal to disaffected moderates in hope of electoral victory.

    • Perhaps. If I were Queen Democrat, I’d jump all over this in a big way. I’d invite Lindsay and Tom up to the White House for lunch. And I’d start talking cutting tax breaks to oil and gas and coal.

      There’s lots of time between now and next election. We can’t sit around anymore and second-guess sincerity. Something needs to be done.

      One mistake that Obama made, imnsho, is not doing so when Boehner said he was open to increasing taxes on the richest 2% back in January. Instead, the administration mocked him which put him into easy reversal when the tea party started their attack.

      • We can’t sit around anymore and second-guess sincerity. Something needs to be done.

        On the contrary, sitting around and second guessing sincerity appears to be a new rage, when it comes to Democrats. You engage in a touch of that yourself in your following paragraph. It wasn’t the White House mocking him that made Boehner back off a look at the tax increase. It was his own party’s rebellion against moderate policies, a rebellion that became evident when Pelosi pulled her “present” stunt at the vote for the Republican Study Commission budget.

        I’m not at all suggesting that the Obama administration and Democrats generally haven’t screwed up, made mistakes or been insincere. But Graham and Colburn have given them nothing to actually ‘jump on’. The repeal of ethanol subsidies is a done deal, and completely meaningless to any real increase in revenue. Colburn has been very vocal about his support for the continuation of oil and gas subsidies. Within the framework of ‘offsets’ to any reduction in spending, they aren’t really talking about revenue increase at all. And what’s hiding in the background are painful ‘increases in revenue’ that the Republicans want, but know will be ill favored – a repeal of the student loan interest deduction and the home mortgage reduction, both of which disproportionately favor the middle class.

        Paul Krugman, and others better than myself, have stated and suggested that no meaningful revenue increase can be taken seriously without a repeal of the Bush tax-cuts, or a creation of jobs. Graham and Colburn cannot be taken seriously here. Please feel free to take this as my opinion, but they’re only spouting about this issue at all to keep the narrative of deficit reduction at the forefront of media attention.

  2. lizard19

    i don’t care if it’s disingenuous, there are now multiple fissures in the right’s messaging on multiple topics, and that’s something that needs to be seized on.

    another golden opportunity for Democrats to blow?

    same thing with Libya, there is a bipartisan effort to hold the president accountable. again, i don’t care if those on the right are doing it just to be oppositional to the president. i said from day one this war was a mistake, and i was right; another mideast quickie now sinking in mission creep quicksand.

    and Obama’s pathetic attempt to justify it is utterly despicable. and impeachable.

    stop the wars, raise revenue? i welcome glimpses of sanity from the GOP.

  3. There is a serious fissure in the right side of the aisle and there is nothing that can be done to hide it. The moderates and old school conservatives have had it with the ultra right, ultra religious wingnuts from the Tea Party. Candidates are scrambling trying to figure out how to keep the wingnuts from jumping ship while they watch helplessly while a large (and VERY significant) section of the right walks away. Some of these candidates (as well as some of the stuffed suits waiting their turn in a couple of years) have seen the writing on the wall and are backing away from the ultra right wing part of the party. These are the ones actually suggesting a rational approach to addressing the problem. Expect more of the same. The question is… Will the left even acknowledge the move back toward rationality? With things being so damn partisan – as well as ugly as hell – the established left is no more likely to move on this change as the Tea Party is.

    • There’s a fissure, Moorcat, but don’t go making it more than it is. Time will tell whether it it is as big as you say it is.

      Ignoring potential fissures, though, isn’t the answer. Exploit every crack there is, I say.

    • lizard19

      Will the left even acknowledge the move back toward rationality? With things being so damn partisan – as well as ugly as hell – the established left is no more likely to move on this change as the Tea Party is.

      the problem with how “the established left” responds to the fractured right is that the left needs a monochromatic boogeyman as badly as the right does. just look at your brother, moorcat. don’t believe a word of it, he says. he says that because his ideology appears to render him incapable of thoughtfully considering different strains of conservatism. at least that’s how his rabid advocacy for team blue makes it seem.

      there are fiscally conservative arguments about reversing imperial overreach. i think that’s a good thing. there are strong libertarian arguments about ending the utter failure of the war on drugs. i think that’s a good thing.

      but to party loyalists, just saying that is virtually tantamount to treason.

      • Keep grinding that axe, Liz. Someday you might be able to cut bait. (I lurvs me a mixed metaphor.)

        Apparently it’s never occurred to you that I might think that Coburn and Graham are lying because they actually are. That’s not a partisan thing, except to you. That’s not an ideological thing, except to you. It’s an admission of reality, something you seem ill-equipped to deal with. My brother knows me far better than you will ever allow yourself to, and he knows that I have no difficulty considering different strains of conservatism. Yet somehow it’s deeply important to you to educate him about me. That’s a worthy use of your time, I’m certain

        In the end, I will be proven correct, and you will remain smugly convinced that I was only correct by ‘coincidence’. I’ll accept knowing what’s going on over thinking I know what’s going on any day.

        • Rob is probably right about Coburn and Graham. Their history at least suggests it. Further, Rob and I have had multiple discussions about the various “flavors” of conservatives (he still calls me a liberal in denial…). Fact of the matter is that Rob is not all that different from me in viewpoints though we tend to get there from different directions. He is probably right about me being a closet liberat (at least about social issues).

          He is also right about knowing each other. We have even finished each other’s sentences before. Not a good idea trying to “edumacate” me about my brother. I would remind you that – in 49 years of being around him – in my opinion, the hardest thing for him to accept from anyone is someone telling him what he thinks. He is VERY self aware and quite capable of figuring out his own mind. He really doesn’t need to be told what (or how) he thinks.

          My take on the fracture in the Conservative Party (I still refuse to use the term “Republican” comes from the various Montana Conservative forums, a large number of Conservatives I regularly talk to and – most importantly – from what is happening in things like school board elections, Republican officer elections and the stuffed suits in Congress. The fracture is so easy to see, the big wigs of the party are scrambling to try to do something about it. If they are admitting the problem exists (remember Reagan’s 11th Commandment), then it is likely that I am not the only Conservative seeing the fracture. I will probably be voting a primarily Democratic Ticket next year, and I am absolutely certain, that I am not going to be the only moderate conservative doing that.

          • lizard19

            I would remind you that – in 49 years of being around him – in my opinion, the hardest thing for him to accept from anyone is someone telling him what he thinks. He is VERY self aware and quite capable of figuring out his own mind. He really doesn’t need to be told what (or how) he thinks.

            and i would remind you that for not liking being told what to think, he sure spends a lot of time telling other people what to think, like the first comment that started off this thread.

            • The basic difference is that he doesn’t tell you how you think or even what you think, he simply tells you – in his opinion – what you
              should think. I don’t always agree with him (though in truth, I do agree with a lot of what he says, he is a smart guy), but that doesn’t mean he is wrong. I am sorry you fail to see the difference. As a blogger, you try to tell people what to think. You may not do it as “in your face” as Rob does, but you do it by what subjects you choose to blog about, how you present those topics and how you address those issues to your readers. All this boils down to “telling people what they should think”. I do it, Jay does it, Pogie does it.. we all do it when we try to make a point with our blogs or comments. Rob is simply more direct than most. It is one of the things I admire about him.

              • lizard19

                nope, i don’t see much of a difference. Rob does what he whines and bitches others do to him. and he purposely tries to illicit angry responses with flame-bait. it’s not a matter of him being “more direct”.

                what you admire i find incredibly obnoxious.

        • lizard19

          what proof do you have that they are lying, rob? if that’s your opinion, fine, but don’t state like it’s fact unless you can prove it.

          but that’s not really the point. if you paid attention to my initial comment, i said pretty clearly i don’t care if they are being disingenuous. what i care about is whether or not democrats can seize this opportunity to push for critical policies to help this country, like repealing Bush tax cuts for the rich and wealthy, or whether they’re going to blow it out of concern for their financiers.

          • Asking for proof, poet? Rather bold of you.

            I’ll post what ever comment I damned well please. I don’t need to “prove” anything to you, because you don’t seem to know the history of Coburn or Graham’s voting records. Do your research, son, and then we’ll talk.

            • lizard19

              listen, puppy, while voting history might be a good indicator of future behavior, it by no means proves that Coburn and Graham are lying. you stated that they are lying like it was fact. i asked for a bit of proof. you now revert to your sneering antics. woof woof.

              your brother thinks you’re direct, so in the spirit of being direct, why don’t you explain to me what being a poet has to do with this discussion?

              • Liz,

                He gave you the “proof”. You ignored it. You have given no reason or proof that they aren’t lying. He is being direct and you are simply attacking him… so who is right and who is wrong? It may be your post, but you are engaging in the very behavior you say you want to eliminate on this blog and in Montana. Regardless of how you feel about Rob (and that is intuitively obvious by exchanges such as this), why don’t you answer the simple question “What reason do you have to believe that Coburn and Graham will actually act this time when their voting history indicates it is a lie?”

              • lizard19

                No, i didn’t ignore it. i clearly stated that past voting history is not proof they are lying IN THE PRESENT. it may indicate how they MIGHT vote, but it’s not a guarantee. are people incapable of changing their opinions, and voting accordingly? that seems to be what you two are arguing.

                and i don’t have any proof that they are NOT lying, but i never claimed to have proof. as i stated, i’m more interested in the fissure in the messaging, and the potential opportunity for Democrats to push a counter-narrative to the cut cut cut mantra that, if enacted by the deficit hawks (which includes democrats) will mean more pain for the majority of Americans struggling as corporate profits soar.

              • So you picked a fight with Rob over something that you don’t care about? I just don’t get that. All the indications are that Coburn and Graham are lying. It is what they do based on their past history. You have no indication what so ever that they are NOT lying, you don’t really care one way or the other but it was important to pick a fight with Rob and I over it. Why does anyone even bother talking/listening to you?

              • Moorcat, you’ll notice I’m not arguing with him any more. The principled progressive stance in this post is that the administration needs to jump on this opportunity to sway softening Republican stances on increasing revenue, specifically a repeal of the Bush tax cuts. Today, Eric Cantor and Jon Kyl walked out of meetings with the Vice President agendized to stave off an American default on its debt. They ‘took their ball and went home’ because the administration (I’m assuming that Biden is still in the administration) wouldn’t give them everything they wanted and nothing they didn’t … oh and then they’ll compromise. Graham, Boehner and Coburn can talk all they like about increasing revenue, but their chosen negotiators won’t move an inch. Hence, their talk is all just electoral babble, precisely as they figured. (Except for Boehner, who is in one helluva political pickle.) The Republicants will not do what needs to be done, period.

                I’m certain that’s Obama’s fault as well.

              • The stupidity being displayed by the Republicans in Congress is monumental. Even if they were to have come to some kind of agreement today, it still would take a month to get legislation through congress to enact it. With the deadline of Aug 1 coming up, investers are getting really nervous and the approval ratings of the current Republicans is plummeting. Even their corporate masters are getting nervous and beginning to apply pressure to come to some agreement.

                Yesterday the Fed released a report expressing this very thing. As I have said multiple times on facebook… Playing this game with the debt ceiling is like playing Chicken with a Mac Truck… even if you win, you are still an idiot.

            • We’ll see who’s right in the end, won’t we.

      • Thanks, Pogue. That was a nicely written article and it is, by no means, the only one that is appearing on the Internet in Conservative circles. Only a complete dolt (say, like the Tea Party) would think there wasn’t an issue.

  4. it’s a race to see who can demonize the opposition first. main stream media only covers controversy and conflict so there is no reward for these guys to do their job right and cooperate for the good of the country.

    i agree with rob. this is the GOP baiting again.

    i also agree quite a bit with moorcat. there is a fissure now but i expect it will be all healed up in time for next november’s election. the bush crash has pretty much traumatized the public so much they are acting like scared sheep right now. thanks to the overboard behavior of the right wing nuts and the religious zealots, i do see the herd slowly moving toward the left fence again but almost anything could easily send them scared and running right again.

    and i am pretty sure rove and the boys have it all pretty well mapped out how to do it just in time for the elections. my money is on newt gingrich emerging as the final contender. his phony moves to the center have been totally misread by the main stream media who seriously underestimate his chances. he could attract those people you are talking about moorcat. and if he wins the presidency, he will unleash the zealots worse than W ever did. beware of newt and those slithery things in the grass who are his close relatives.

    • lizard19

      ahh, that’s too fatalistic, pbear. let your imagination run wild. it could be things are getting so bad even our conservative congress critters are considering self preservation and trying to make just a little bit of sense.

      • bears are not known for trusting much about human nature and politics is about as evil as it gets. all i know is the people are hungry for a leader who claims he can guide them back to the path of prosperity again. it is a false claim of course, but humans are very gullible. i fear that 2012 is gonna make us all wish it was 2008 again.

  5. Ingemar Johansson

    Looks like the Soros/Move-On/Reich video is on life support. Images of Gene Wilder screaming, “It’s alive”.

    Well this ought to put a stake in it’s heart.

    P.S. Rob, you get to argue with Breitbart?

  6. lizard19

    moorcat, i’m responding down here.

    So you picked a fight with Rob over something that you don’t care about?

    if you look back i was answering a question you posed, and i used Rob as an example. was i using rob-esque flamebaiting? yeah, maybe a little. i find it hard sometimes not to stoop to Rob’s level.

    and Rob responded predictably, finding ways to mock me and his new boogeyman, the “principled left”, like with his ridiculous post at LitW.

    if you have a problem with how i have behaved in this thread, then i would hope you apply the same standard of conduct to Rob, otherwise your criticism of me is pretty worthless.

    • Liz, you’ve made it rather evident that any criticism of you is pretty worthless … to you. So much so, that you don’t respond to what is actually happening, as I posted above. Cantor and Kyl have proven me correct. No matter how much the awful Obama administration ‘jumps on’ the Republicant offer to raise revenue, they will never do so, save in rhetoric. No principle will get you to admit that I was correct. After all, in Liz-universe, I’m a bad bad man. Nice principles you got there. So yeah, that’s kind of worth mocking.

    • As Rob has already pointed out, the GOP has already proven that they were insincere in their pledge to consider revenue as an option. They have walked out of talks over the Debt ceiling for that very thing. I cannot tell you how disappointing that is for me because of the sheer stupidity of the move. As I said above, playing games with the Debt ceiling is like playing Chicken with a Mac Truck… even if you win, you are still an idiot. The GOP proved today they are idiots and it will cost them at the polls.

      To put this in perspective, many national economists are predicting a calamity of events if the US defaults on their debt Aug 3rd. In short, the resulting depression could – theoretically – make the one in the 30’s look like a minor event. No one is underplaying the effects that this would have on our economy. This is nothing like the Government shutting down. What this would mean to business, anyone on federal retirement or social security, the various projects being funded by federal money etc is so hard to see, not even the experts know for sure just how bad it will be. State economies will also be in deep trouble. Without federal funds they have been promised, the states – with the current almost bankruptcy situation most of them are facing – can’t make up the difference. In a state like ours, where we get more federal money than we give in taxes, it could be catastrophic. This is a serious situation and for the Congressional GOP treating this like some kind of game, they are proving just how inept they are in their positions. I guarentee a blood bath at the polls next year if this situation isn’t resolved soon.

      Econ 101 – the American Economy is based on faith. When the American People (and more importantly, the corporations and rich) lose faith in the economy, bad things happen. The Fed has already reported that American investers are staying home over fears of Congress not addressing the debt ceiling. This situation will only get worse until it is rectified. If that the debt ceiling is not addressed, goddess help us all…

      I take this situation VERY seriously as, I believe, Rob does. We both commented on this thread because we both want to see the GOP currently in power get their heads out of their rectums. Sadly, while I believed it might be possible because I have been working with other moderate conservatives to promote sanity on our side of the aisle, Rod believed it was all a smoke screen – and he was right. Now we wait to see what further stupidity they will perpetrate on the American People.

      • lizard19

        both sides of the isle work behind the smoke screen when it comes to perpetuating this insane downward spiral of austerity, squeezed productivity, stagnant wages, and obscene corporate profit, but Obama groveling before wall street is suppose to be somehow better than the scary looming alternative. what the hell does it matter when the results are the same?

        not that it means much coming from me, moorcat, but i really do appreciate how you talk honestly about strains of sane conservatism.

  7. lock out my account too please (0.00 / 0) [delete comment]
    IP Address:
    the saddest thing about your snarling and barking is you think it works. it doesn’t.

    you rely on character assassination to invalidate us unruly leftists and in doing so have made this once respectable blog a total joke.

    engaging with you is a waste of time.
    by: lizard @ Thu Apr 14, 2011 at 22:09:40 PM MDT
    [ Parent | Reply | ]

    Just don’t come back (0.00 / 0) [delete comment]
    IP Address:
    But please, tell yourself that I’ll care …
    by: Rob Kailey @ Fri Apr 15, 2011 at 14:35:36 PM MDT
    [ Parent | Reply ]

    I’m sorry, I seem to remember your words as actually meaning something. Yet you keep quoting me from a website you abhor and begged to be removed from. Odd, don’t you think?

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