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Showdown on Capitol Hill

Written by Gary North on November 9, 2012

The mainstream media are focused on the fiscal cliff, as well they shoud be.

CBS News announces:

Newly re-elected President Obama will use a White House appearance to set the tone for upcoming talks with congressional Republicans on avoiding the so-called fiscal cliff.

Republicans continue to draw a line in the sand against higher tax rates for upper-income earners as they seek to topple the conventional wisdom that Mr. Obama has the upper hand in upcoming negotiations on averting the potentially economy-crippling set of tax increases and automatic spending cuts due to hit in January.

Mr. Obama faces a tough, core decision: Does he pick a fight and risk a prolonged impasse with Republicans, or does he rush to compromise and risk alienating Democrats still celebrating his victory?

This analysis is correct. Will he pick a fight? I doubt it. He has avoided political fights all of his political career. Pelosi gave him Obamacare. Justice Roberts let him keep it.

Many of his Democratic allies hope Mr. Obama will take a hard line when he addresses the matter Friday. Republicans warn that a fight could poison efforts for a rapprochement in a bitterly divided Capitol and threaten his second-term agenda.

I think they will be disappointed.

Boehner may buckle, of course. But he does not have to.

Mr. Obama has been silent since his victory speech early Wednesday morning, but Capitol Hill Republicans have filled the vacuum with vows to stand resolutely against any effort by the president to fulfill a campaign promise to raise the top two income tax rates to Clinton-era levels.

Boehner will have to desert his political base in the House to compromise. Then he must get his Party to vote for his compromise. This will not be easy. If he suffers a defeat by failing to control his troops, he will become a lame-duck Speaker at the beginning of the new Congress. Why should he do that? It would be mud sandwich, round two. He knows this.

“Raising tax rates is unacceptable,” House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, declared Thursday on ABC. “Frankly, it couldn’t even pass the House. I’m not sure it could pass the Senate.”

What do Republicans say they want? They want what Obama has vowed he will not give: cuts in Medicare.

Republicans say they’re willing to consider new tax revenue, but only through drafting a new tax code that lowers rates and eliminates some deductions and wasteful tax breaks. And they’re insisting on cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and food stamps, known as entitlement programs in Washington-speak.

The Republicans really do not want these cuts. They are bluffing. They are stalling. The longer they stall, the worse Obama’s situation will be. He is now a lame-duck President. If he loses this fight, his duck is cooked.

While some of that heavy work would be left for next year, a raft of tough decisions would have to be made in the next six weeks. They could include the overall amount of deficit savings and achieving agreement on how much would come from revenue increases and how much would be cut from costly health care programs, the Pentagon and the day-to-day operating budgets of domestic Cabinet agencies.

If the Republicans buckle, they will have nothing to show for it. The voters back home will be furious. The Democrats will lord it over them for the next two years, and maybe four. “We’ve got you, pantywaists.”

The House Republicans’ egos are on the line. We are about to see who has the taste for a fight: Obama or Boehner. We will see who sticks to his guns.

Continue Reading on www.cbsnews.com

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8 thoughts on “Showdown on Capitol Hill

  1. When Chrysler was taken over by Mercedes late last century, Chrysler had millions of dollars put aside in reserve for financial crysis. But it went bankrupt after foreign interests who don't know how to make and sell American cars took it over. GM went bankrupt because it could not manage its money well enough to handle the foreseeable future.

    When Obamacare was passed, heaping huge taxes on everybody, the Bush tax cuts were already set to expire. There is absolutely no reason that Obama or the Democratic Congress should not have been able to see that Obamacare would not work because the tax revenue would not be there to support it. But, like children, they all voted for it anyway, because the childish excitement of putting something over on the opposition party and showing their power was irresistible.

    That's why children aren't allowed to get behind the wheel of a 4,000 pound car with 300 horsepower. And that is why chlldren should not be elected to public office.

  2. American people are going to get exactly what they deserve, they voted this little dictator back into office. The trouble is the rest of the American people who have brains are going to suffer also. I would still like to know how a person who was not born of, two American parents can be president. The supreme court in the late 1800's ruled that , if they were not born of two American citizens, was not a natural born citizen. This has never been changed. Where are the true Americans in the Congress and Senate?

  3. I'm not an Obama fan, I don't even vote Democratic, but the truth is he was born in Honolulu in Aug. 1961. The 2 largest newspapers in town carried his birth announcement. His mother and his real father, Frank Marshall Davis, were not married, making Obama a typical Sixties love child. The birth certificate nonsense and court cases were just a sideshow to hide this underlying fact.

  4. At least we don't have to listen anymore about Bush… Obama and the Democrats own it!

  5. WhatTextActuallySays says:

    Wait just a second. I read those newspaper birth announcements. Those newspaper birth announcements merely said that a son was born on Aug 4, 1961 to parents who happen to RESIDE at such and such an address in Honolulu. The announcement did NOT say where the birth itself actually took place. From the way the birth announcement was worded the birth could have taken place while the parents were temporarily traveling out of state, even though the parents regularly resided in Honolulu. The newspaper announcement is silent on the matter of where the birth actually took place.

    Here is the exact text of the two newspaper birth announcements:

    From the Honolulu Advertiser:

    Mr. and Mrs. Barack H. Obama,
    6085 Kalanianaole Hwy., son, Aug 4

    From the Star-Bulletin:

    Mr. and Mrs. Barack H. Obama,
    6085 Kalanianaole Highway, son,
    August 4

    See, the newspaper birth announcements do NOT prove where the birth took place.

  6. WhatTextActuallySays says:

    The problem for the GOP is that they are running against the Dems as Santa Claus. Unfortunately for the Dems, Santa Claus is about to exhaust his line of credit. What happens when the ChiComs won't lend us any more money and the Federal Reserve finally refuses to lend Congress the money? The Fed will continue, for a while at least, to print money and lend it to Congress to spend, but this will probably stop eventually. Why? Because although the fed will inflate for a while, the Fed probably won't want to hyperinflate to pay the bills because **hyperinflation would destroy the pensions of the people who run the federal reserve.** Hyperinflation would take away the one tool the have – the ability to print at will a fiat currency that has AT LEAST SOME VALUE (even if low levels of inflation slowly erode that value). Hyperinflation would destroy the currency's value altogether. Being able to print at will a currency that is worthless is itself a pretty much worthless power.

    I think the people who run the fed would rather throw a wrench in the Democrats' plans than destroy their own pensions. And why would the Feds destroy their power to print currency that has at least some value? From the standpoint of the Fed, better to throw the Democrats under the bus than for the Fed Bureaucrats to destroy their own pensions and their own power.

    Gary North has written about this at length on several occasions. I agree with his overall long-term assessment.

  7. I will be very surprised if Boehner stands strong. As Jan. 1 approaches, he and the other Republicans are going to look more and more like deer in the headlights, mark my words. There's no real reason for it, it's just a Republican flaw to keep looking to please their ideological opponents as though they were going to get votes from them. Hahaha! Go figure. Earth to GOP: The liberals will never, EVER vote for you, so you might as well once and for all FORGET IT!!! I look for Boehner to fold like a house of cards. Takers?

  8. If Boehner folds, his political career goose will be cooked. I'm hoping that the Republican controlled Congress stands strong. Just leave Obama and the Senate Democrats out to dry. I think it would be great. 🙂 The idiot voters that voted for Obama deserve what they get, unfortunately the rest of us intelligent voters will be hurt also,