Fiscal Cliff - more Congressional blame games, less real negotiations?

@mehale (2200)
United States
December 14, 2012 8:00am CST
With the clock rapidly ticking down, time is quickly running out to avoid going over the dreaded fiscal cliff and further damaging America's already weak economy. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R) from Alabama claims he is fed up with the secret negotiations, however if you listen to the interview in the CNN video at the top of this article, it would seem to be more of the blame games instead of truth. ( The video I am referring to is the one at the top with "any progress in fiscal cliff talks under it.) http://www.cnn.com/2012/12/13/politics/fiscal-cliff/index.html?hpt=hp_inthenews After listening to the interview it sounds like business as usual for our very disfunctional congress. On one hand Sessions claims to be frustrated by the secret talks and says that it has come down to waiting on Bohner to tell them what to do. This would sound as if he was laying the blame for no deal squarely at Bohner's and the GOP's feet. But then in the next breath he trys to blame Harry Reid and the Democrats for the entire problem. There are also some interesting bits of information in the actual CNN article at the same link (under the video) about the negotiations. According to Bohner, we don't have an agreement because the president is pretending that spending is not a problem. And yet Pelosi says that Democrats have already cut spending, and that any further cuts would risk hurting the economy. And the GOP have still not said what cuts their plan would include. Not to mention, some republicans are open to raising taxes on the top 2% as well as most Americans, but Bohner refuses to consider it. And despite the seriousness of the issue, and no deal being reached, Bohner still plans to leave and go home to Ohio on Friday instead of continuing the negotiations. So what do you think, more of the same? Will we have to go over the cliff to get Congress to work together and compromise? Is that even possible?
3 responses
@debrakcarey (19896)
• United States
14 Dec 12
There is a blame game going on. And Bohner is not what I would call, a strong negotiator. Nevertheless, Reid and Pelosi are not either. Reid made it clear during the campaign that HE does not like working with the GOP when he said if Romney won he'd not get support from the Senate Democrats. And he's proven it during the President's first term, he's tabled three or four budget proposals made by the House, because they came from the Tea Party Republicans. No debate, no negotiations, just tabled and not debated. The president's budget submitted during his first term did not recieve one vote, from GOP OR Democrats. It contained a large spending increase. So, I do agree, Obama does not seem serious about cutting spending. I also find it hard to believe that Pelosi is very concerned with serious spending cuts or that the president is serious about fixing our economy. I think he's more concerned with making the GOP the scapegoat for our ills.
1 person likes this
@Fatcat44 (1141)
• United States
14 Dec 12
Nothing but politics. Politics created, politics ran. The republicans should submit budget based on the Clinton era, which dems say were so nice, and love. This would cut spending and everything to where we need it. However, the democrats over the last four years have proven that they are not fiscal responsible and cannot be trusted. They have not had a budget over the last 4 years. The have been spending 1.5 trillion over what we are bringing in, which is at record level. And not they want to impose 1.5 trillion in new taxes. The dirty little secret that has came out, is that the 1.5 trillion new taxes would be used to pay for another 1.5 trillion of spending and we would still run 1.5 trillion in debt. The democ-rats do not want to use the new taxes to pay off the debt, they want to spend more. These guys all need to go to jail. The are traitors to our country to mankind.
@mehale (2200)
• United States
14 Dec 12
I agree with you and also think they want to put this squarely on the GOP. But republicans are not completely without blame. What really bothers me though is the fact that what little negotiations and talks there are keep being held in secret with only Obama and Bohner in attendance...still hiding information from the people. I also agree that Pelosi is not as worried about the economy as she claims to be. Just another tactic to put blame on the republicans. The Washington blame game needs to stop, and they need to do their jobs instead of fighting each other and in the long run hurting the American people.
@mehale (2200)
• United States
14 Dec 12
And yes the dems want to spend more.....they think we can spend our way out of this. That needs to stop too, but isn't likely.
@chrystalia (1208)
• Tucson, Arizona
15 Dec 12
There is plenty of blame to go around here--the administration hasn't actually "cut " anything--all they have said is they would decrease the expected future spending on some programs, they aren't "cutting" the base line budget at all (nothing new there), just making the upward adjustment to the base line budget a little bit shallower. Considering that our actual expenditures so far this fiscal year--at the moment we have an almost 300 billion dollar deficit for October/November, 57 billion more than the same two months last year, the odds are quite good we'll be well over a trillion again this year despite the so-called "cuts"--assuming those actually happen at all. The administration is also making noises about wanting unilateral power to raise the debt ceiling--or an infinite debt ceiling (even worse)--in 2006, he voted against raising the ceiling. In 2007, and 2008, he didn't vote on it (just declared present), but he did vote on the bank bailout (TARP)--which cost 700 billion dollars. Fortunately the banks paid it back. Trying to separate the debt ceiling from revenue doesn't work--and only congress can appropriate funds, so congress should also have control over the ceiling. Historically speaking, it should also be noted that when promises are made to make cuts, rather than actual cuts being made--the spending happens, but the cuts rarely do, no matter which party is in power. right now we are spending 4.8 billion a day or so, and more than half is borrowed money. The republicans are already in trouble, because they aren't getting the right message out to the people--they don't get the whole court of public opinion thing, and assume that people will actually take the time to read everything they can find, not rely on twitter, Facebook and the media for the "facts". They're wrong, of course. It is also interesting that they are once again allowing the POTUS to be active in legislation--far more so than previous POTUSes. The executive branch cannot, and should not legislate. Make recommendations, yes--but this my way or the highway crap that POTUSes have gotten used to needs to be addressed. The GOP have not stated what cuts, because the first rule of negotiation is, in a nutshell: he who makes the first offer loses--because once you SET the starting point, you have given control of MOVEMENT to the other party. Besides, the POTUS said, while on the campaign trail, that he would go for a "balanced" deal, looking to get 800 billion over--what was it--ten years? Funny, we have spent 300 billion in 2 MONTHS--not much of a deal. Then he upped it to getting 1.6 trillion--still over a wide span of years--but has yet to show any balance in his plan--or explain to the people the Washington version of accounting, that shows the "cuts" are not actual "cuts" at all. Nobody on either side wants to point that out. Making a pledge to spend less, but still overspend, in the future, is far from an actual cut, and it never works out as it is supposed to. Besides--at this point, unless they put in a stop gap legislation for delay, we will actually go "over the cliff", so to speak--this coming week. Because it takes TIME to write budgets, and get them passed, and then get them vetoed, or passed--about a week to ten days in general just to write them. We're already out of time. And the economy is already hurt. November numbers (the real ones, from the various government agencies that track sales and labor) were flat. During the biggest month of the year. And they are nearly flat so far this month. Almost all sectors of the economy that are tracked showed far smaller than the projected gains, and the U6, the REAL unemployment figure, is still at 13.9% aggregate, 14.4% adjusted seasonal. Check out the Bureau of Labor and Statistics. www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.t15.htm Food stamps are still going up as well--47.7 million people on food stamps as of December 7th of this year, check out the historic charts www.fns.usda.gov/pd/34SNAPmonthly.htm. none of our politicians are doing their job--they haven't for a long long time.
@mehale (2200)
• United States
16 Dec 12
You are so right, and yet like fools we keep electing them back into office hoping this time it will be different or better somehow. We need to kick them all out and start over.
• Tucson, Arizona
16 Dec 12
Hey, our founding fathers never intended for there to be universal enfranchisement--the vote was restricted to free male property owners. Every civilization to date that has embraced full enfranchisement has shortly after collapsed--for good reason. The expression is "bread and circuses", and it fits. I don't think it dawned on them that society would get to a point where there would be full enfranchisement--because they assumed that people would study and remember history. Oh, well.
1 person likes this
@bobmnu (8157)
• United States
15 Dec 12
In one respect it is the fault of the Republicans. When they voted for tax cuts it had a sunset provisions of 10 years. However President Obama and the Democrats has also put some things in motion with the 2% Social Security tax holiday (which expires December 31, 2012. The plan that put spending cuts in effect January 1, 2013 that was developed and worked out by both the Republicans and Democrats. Lets face it the fault is with the people who see keeping their job more important that doing with is best for the country. If we go over the cliff it will be the fault of all those we elected for not doing their job which was to do what is best for We the People and the country.
1 person likes this
@mehale (2200)
• United States
16 Dec 12
Well said. Both parties are at fault. They worry more about making congress a lifetime career than they do fixing what is wrong and doing what is right for our country. Sad but true. On the other hand, we re-elected most of them, so I guess part of the blame is on us too.