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Two mornings after the big election, I got invited to visit with a small group of politically keen senior adults—a kind of coffee club, I suppose, composed of 15 or so—that appeared to lean a little to the amiable right.

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Editorial, Pages 17 on 11/29/2012

Print Headline: The 15-minute solution

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  • Jackabbott
    November 29, 2012 at 8:21 a.m.

    Well, we are negotiating with ourselves and that is never pretty and, in fact, partly crazy. But this is a complete insider's game and the players at the table are Goldman, Sachs etc and their reps. Whether it is Paulson or Geither, Bush or Obama, the differences are pretty small. Take if from the middle working class and the old, keep the corporations and 1% whole, throw some goodies to the poor, unemployed, illegals and high profile minority groups and then neogiate another unfair trade deal. That has been the pattern now since the Carter years. Yes, Clinton bent the differences a bit, but how long did that last?
    You cannot beat $$$$$$$ with talk. This is what gave rise to the tea party nuts. The unfairness of rewarding the rich and the politically connected and taking from working people.
    Bush and his group were open about their goals and people could recognize it and deal with it. Obama is all smoke and mirrors. But do not forget it, Goldman Sachs and that bunch are calling the shots.

  • LevyRat
    November 29, 2012 at 8:51 a.m.

    Could it be that when you borrow 42% of everything you spend, you have a spending problem not a revenue problem??? Sure, just up the top tax rate 3% or 4% and that will solve everything .... LMAO, do you really believe that? WE OWE 16TRILLION DOLLARS AND COUNTING.

  • Namsaev
    November 29, 2012 at 9:04 a.m.

    For once I don't entirely disagree with you John. I believe Republicans should oblige Democrats and let the top rate go to 39%. And when they do they should issue this statement. "We do not believe letting the top tax rate go to 39% will do much to lower the deficit. We have tried our best to convince Democrats doing so will hurt the economy and increase unemployment. But Obama and the Democrats have refused to budge from their position. Therefor we have no choice but to reluctantly pass their idea and let the fact prove us right".

    John what you and other Democrats fail to realize is the country wasn't getting richer during the Clinton years wasn't because of higher tax rates. If was richer because the economy was growing faster and revenues were increasing faster than politicians could figure out ways to spend it.

    (Laughing) Democrats did with the White House and retain the Senate. But as far a winning the election? That is debateable. The President bearly won a majority of the popular vote. More Republicans than Democrats won seats in the House. There are more Republican governors then before the election. Even in the state of Arkansas Democrats lost the majority in the state legislature. So saying Democrats won the election is as bogus as Democrats saying Obama got bin Laden and Al Qaeda is decimated.

    Find a few tax deductions to end or cap, and maybe even invite a touch of middle-class sacrifice by reducing or capping the mortgage-interest deduction? Come on! You really think that's going to do much? Simpson-Bowles IF adopted, might, produce $4T over ten years. But that won't put us where we need to be. It probably won't cover the deficits of the next ten years, or possibly even the next five years.

    You want doctors to treat how many more patients and put limits on what they will be paid? You call it reimbursements. I call it payment for services rendered. You want them to do more and get paid less. Why don't you have government try that?

    John you could reduce discretionary spending to zero and give Obama his tax increase and it still won't cover the deficit. Reality is over the years Democrats have squandered money under the guise of 'general welfare' and created far too many people dependent on the government teat.

    I have noticed you are strong advocate of more taxes and hardly mention reducing government spending. (grinning) But then you are a liberal and a Democrat. Any signifigant reduction in government spending would greatly reduce the number of people who would vote for your side wouldn't it?

    So why can’t we simply get that done in Washington?

    You want to blame the Republicans. Go right ahead. They have had a hand in the mess we're in now. But don't leave the Democrats out. They are terrified if the public actually finds out how much they are paying for what the government provides. There won't be anyone left who would vote Democrat except someone on welfare.

    You have a good day.

  • GiveUsLiberty
    November 29, 2012 at 10:51 a.m.

    Way to go NAMSAEV!

  • Molly44
    November 29, 2012 at 3:46 p.m.

    The expiring of the tax cut on those over $250K is estimated to be about $850 billion over 10 years. So, maybe $85 billion in a year. The Buffet Rule would raise $47 billion over 10 years. Capping itemized deductions at 28% raises $459 billion. Eliminating the interest deduction on vacation homes and yachts saves another $13 billion. We'll save a trillion dollars if we get out of Afghanistan by 2014 and if we keep ourselves from building permanent bases in Afghanistan and Iraq. We'll protect and save more American lives by taking dollars from defense and putting it towards healthcare.

    Creating a Wall Street Gaming Tax on those that caused the financial crisis would generate another $850 billion. The idea is to enact a tax on derivatives, credit default swaps, and other exotic financial products, including both sides of futures and forwards, option premiums and foreign exchange spot transactions. This is a tax levied directly against the types of opaque, complex trades that Wall Street manipulators used to inflate their profits and were a direct cause of the financial crisis. This policy would use tax base and rates as follows: stock transactions at 0.25%, bond transactions at 0.004%, option premiums at 0.25% per year to maturity, foreign exchange transactions at 0.004%, and futures and swaps at 0.01% As much as everyone likes to raise sales taxes, let those speculators pay a tax on every transaction they do.

    By the way, the deficit now is about $285 billion lower than at this time when Bush was in office in 2008.

    As I recall, it was a Republican administration that wasted $750+ billion on a war in Iraq. It was Republican legislators that put in an unfunded drug plan for Medicare beneficiaries and legislated that Medicare couldn't negotiate drug prices. Republicans act like they are so responsible, but then go and block a measure that would save billions of dollars. It was the Bush administration that handed billions over to Cheney's Halliburton and other companies in "no bid" contracts. Republicans demonstrate their ability to manage government when they put a guy like Michael Brown at the head of FEMA when he had no experience in emergency management. Republicans are full of climate change deniers with no scientific training ignoring the facts brought to them by climate and atmospheric experts. It's unfortunate there are so many Republicans in Congress because they continually demonstrate their inability to grasp facts.

  • WZE
    November 29, 2012 at 4:22 p.m.

    Have you sent this to our Congressional representatives and/or to someone on the White House staff yet?

  • DontDrinkDatKoolAid
    November 29, 2012 at 6:10 p.m.

    Why would they accept that plan when their, the W/H plan is even dumber.

  • tfish053
    December 2, 2012 at 11:38 a.m.

    Here I sit watching the Sunday morning talk shows while I should be in church (Perhaps we can deal with my evangelical guilt later--I have an excuse.). It doesn't appear that washington has many people who are willing to work out a deal for the common good. I wish John and his coffee club could be put in charge. The Republicans need to get over their fear of raising taxes on the "rich". It may not be a good idea economically, but its better than no deal. Obama ran on it and he won. Its a side issue--a political trophy he's entittled to, not a solution to our actual budget problem. But are the democrats offering any reasonable entittlement reform and spending cuts? Does the Lincoln movie offer us an insight into the strange mixture of corruption and vision that is politics?

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