The Right Opinion

The Drawn-Out Crisis -- It's the Obama Way

The president seems to prefer frustration to good-faith negotiation.

By Peggy Noonan · Dec. 1, 2012

The president's inviting Mitt Romney for lunch is a small thing but a brilliant move. It makes Mr. Obama look big, gracious. It implies the weakened, battered former GOP nominee is the leader of the Republican Party – and if the other party has to have a leader, the weakened, battered one is the one you want.

Mr. Romney is not the leader of the party; he left no footprints in the sand. There is no such thing as Romneyism, no movement of which he's the standard-bearer. Nor is he a Washington figure with followers. Party leaders already view him as a kind of accident, the best of a bad 2008 lot, a hiccup. The bottom-line attitude of Republican political pros: Look, this is a man who's lived a good life and would have been a heck of a lot better than Obama, and I backed him. But to be a successful Republican president now requires a kind of political genius, and he didn't have it and wasn't going to develop it. His flaws as a candidate would have been his flaws as president. We dodged a bullet.

Republicans may be the stupid party, but they're not the sentimental one. Democrats often like their losers. Republicans like winners, and they find reasons to be moved by them after they've won.

To the extent the GOP has an elected face, it is that of Speaker John Boehner. And he is precisely the man with whom Mr. Obama should be having friendly lunches. In fact, the meal with Mitt just may be a clever attempt to obscure the fact that the president isn't really meeting with those with whom he's supposed to be thrashing out the fiscal cliff.

At a news conference Thursday, Mr. Boehner looked frustrated. In fact, he looked exactly the way he looked at the end of the debt ceiling crisis in the summer of 2011 – like someone who wanted a deal, was willing to gamble to get it, and failed. There has been “no substantive progress” toward an agreement, he said. In a meeting with Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and in a Wednesday night phone call with the president, he saw no willingness to reform or cut entitlement spending. What about an increase in tax rates? “Revenues are on the table.”

In fact the Democratic position on entitlements seems to have hardened.

In a way Mr. Boehner's press conference was the usual, but in a way it was sad, because it harkened back to the protracted, harum-scarum and unsatisfying fiscal negotiations of the recent past.

The election is over, a new era begins – and it looks just like the old one. A crisis is declared. Confusion, frustration, and a more embittered process follow. This is … the Obama Way. Nothing has changed, even after a yearlong campaign that must, at times, have looked to him like a near-death experience. He still doesn't want to forestall jittery, gloom-laden headlines and make an early deal with the other guy. He wants to beat the other guy.

You watch and wonder: Why does it always have to be cliffs with this president? Why is it always a high-stakes battle? Why doesn't he shrewdly re-enact Ronald Reagan, meeting, arguing and negotiating in good faith with Speaker Tip O'Neill, who respected very little of what the president stood for and yet, at the end of the day and with the country in mind, could shake hands and get it done? Why is there never a sense with Mr. Obama that he understands the other guys' real position?

It's not as if Mr. Boehner and the Republicans wouldn't deal. They've been weakened and they know it. A year ago they hoped winning the Senate and the presidency would break the stasis. They won neither. Mr. Obama not only was re-elected, it wasn't that close, it was a clean win. If the president was clear about anything throughout the campaign, it was that he wanted to raise taxes on those he calls the rich. So you might say that a majority of the American people just endorsed that move.

No one would know this better than Mr. Boehner, who has risen to where he is in part because he's good at seeing the lay of the land and admitting what's there.

The president would only benefit from showing he has the command and capability to meet, argue, press and come to agreement. It would be heartening to the country to see this, and would impress the world. And the Republicans would like to get it done. In narrow, purely political terms they need two things quickly. One is that it now looks to everyone – even to them! – like the entire domestic agenda of the Republican Party is tax cutting, and any party's agenda has to be bigger than that. The other is that when they try to protect people from higher tax rates they always look like Diamond Jim Brady enjoying the company of the wealthy and not noticing anybody else. Republicans need time to work through, within their party, their own larger economic stands.

So they're weakened, they want this particular crisis to end, and they badly need to win entitlement reforms that would, in the end, buttress the president's historical standing – and the president isn't working with them every day and making a deal?

* * *

Here's just one thing they should be discussing. Mr. Obama wants to raise tax rates on those earning $250,000 or more, as we know, on the assumption that they are “the rich.” But if you are a man with a wife and two kids making that salary and living in Westfield, N.J., in no way do you experience yourself to be rich, because you're not. You pay federal payroll and income taxes, state income and sales taxes and local property taxes, and after the mortgage, food and commuting costs you don't have much to spare.

Tighten the squeeze on that couple, and they'll change how they live. They'll stop sending the struggling son to a neighborhood tutor, they'll stop going out to dinner once a week, they'll cut off the baby sitter, fire the guy who once a month does yard work, and hold back on new clothes. Also the guy will peruse employment ads in Florida and Texas, potentially removing from blue-state New Jersey his heartening, taxpaying presence.

It really is worth a discussion, isn't it? A closer look at the numbers? Shared thoughts on how Americans really live?

* * *

In an interview last year, shortly after the debt ceiling debate, Mr. Boehner spoke of how much he'd wanted a deal. He wanted entitlement reforms, cuts in spending, was happy to increase revenues through tax reform. He thought our fiscal realities the great issue of his speakership, said he meant it when he told staffers if it resulted in the end of his speakership then so be it. He'd have walked out of Congress knowing “I did the right thing.”

That's who Obama should be negotiating with – in good faith, and with his eye not on ideology but on the country.

Instead, it's going to be a long four weeks. Scratch that, it's going to be a long four years.

Appeal_patriots_day_4

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83 Comments

Tod the tool guy in brooklyn ny said:

"Democrats often like their losers?"
smelly rats are losers; they cannot see beyond their own navals! A four-year-old says,"I want,I want, gimme,gimme! Giant Gov must be immediately cut down to Constitutional size and scope or it will be Amerika Karl Marx).And Boehner is a blind sheep.

Saturday, December 1, 2012 at 5:56 AM

Kat in NJ said:

Dear Ms Noonan,

My husband and I live in Bergen County - one of the wealthiest in the country. We make nowhere near $250,000 - in fact we make less than $100,000. We pay federal payroll and income taxes, state income and sales taxes and local property taxes - which are very high. We have commuting expenses and food costs and we still have a bit left over for savings. I don't know what your couple in Westfield are doing wrong.

We're definitely not rich, but we do okay. We buy things. We eat out. We have a lawn service. We have one old car and one that's a year old. So let me tell you from experience. Those people living in Westfield and making $250,000 - they're rich. Maybe not like the ultra wealthy - but definitely rich.

I look at what I have, and not what I don't have. I look at people who are supporting families with 3 and 4 children on $8, $9, $10 dollars an hour. Maybe they are working 2 jobs just to pay the rent and put a bit of food on the table. They don't go to the movies, or out to eat. They don't have a lawn service or a savings account.

There are more Americans living those situations than in situations like your family in Westfield. The people making $250,000 can afford to pay a bit more. Those making $500,000 and $1,000,000 or more can afford to pay a lot more.

My husband and I voted for President Obama to help the people at the bottom (and we didn't get any "gifts"). And to help those who have paid into SSI and Medicare all their working lives - like us - to get what they paid for. By the way, our Westfield couple are only paying into SSI on the first $106,000. I say they should kick in a bit more there as well.

Tell your Republican friends and Mr Boehner to get with the President's program. It's what the majority of American voters want. And the last time I heard - Majority Rules

Saturday, December 1, 2012 at 9:29 AM

Ct-Tom in NC replied:

Dear Kat: You are precisely the reason we will soon be in the same situation as Greece. Enjoy the ride because it will soon be over.

Saturday, December 1, 2012 at 10:09 AM

John Taylor in California replied:

To suggest that the situation in the U.S. is similar to Greece is on its face evidence that that person knows nothing about economics.

One reason is that the currency of Greece is the Euro. Study the significance of that CT-Tom and get back to us.

Monday, December 3, 2012 at 10:50 AM

Wayne in Hinesville, GA replied:

Well, John, the retirement age of 55 and the generous pensions couldn't have anything to do with Greece's problem could it. If the Euro is the problem then why is Germany such a financial powerhouse in Europe. You need to do more research before making statements about economics.

Monday, December 3, 2012 at 12:02 PM

Bart in Chicago replied:

John, you saw on Fox that Greece had retirement at 55 and generous pensions but you didn't do any research beyond that or you would understand the comment about the Euro. Greece couldnt control its monetary policy so when its fiscal policy got so far out of whack the entire country went tits up. The US controls both its monetary and fiscal policy so... there really is no comparing the two situations unless you have a poor understanding of economics or are willfully spreading propaganda.

Monday, December 3, 2012 at 10:34 PM

Bart in Chicago replied:

Dear Tom, your attitude is why we can't get out of this mess. Try to be civil, try to be adult, try to be an American. Thank you - Publicus

Monday, December 3, 2012 at 10:34 PM

Wayne in Hinesville, GA replied:

Kat, No it's the deluded like you, the unions, women, and the parasites at the so-called "bottom" who have never worked in their lives that elected Odumbo. I noticed you didn't say you were going to kick in a bit more. It's always easy to tell someone else to give up more of their money than to give up any of yours. Typical liberal thinking that the government is responsible for taking care of lazy, shameless, prideless, and just plain stupid moochers. May you live to regret voting for Odumbo.

Saturday, December 1, 2012 at 1:57 PM

Bart in Chicago replied:

typical Georgian browbeating women, eh Old Guy?

Tuesday, December 4, 2012 at 12:00 AM

William in Florida replied:

Kat,
I understand your opinion but the reality is we are a free country and in no way will many people in america ever go along with any policy that chips away at our freedom. You may be o.k. with government control along with many other people in america but the other half is not and intend on revolting and simply not doing Obamacare, higher taxes etc.
Since you also live in this free country you have a right to be controled if you want to so when we split this country up into 2 governments I bet you will change your mind quickly!

Sunday, December 2, 2012 at 7:05 AM

wjm in Colorado replied:

Kat, you voted with the Communist Party of America for the destruction of America. You are a useful idiot as described by Lenin. Get with the Presidents Program? Why would anyone endorse Treason. Majority Rules equals Mob rule. You are a fool. Enjoy the demise of America you voted for.

Sunday, December 2, 2012 at 11:35 AM

Bart in Chicago replied:

why is it only right-wingers can quote Marx and Lenin?

Monday, December 3, 2012 at 10:38 PM

Patrick in Houston replied:

Actually Kat, I believe your statement would be more accurately "I look at what I have, and what other people have, and vote on the basis of envy and resentment".

Sunday, December 2, 2012 at 4:14 PM

READY4ACHANGE in ILLINOIS replied:

AMEN! I thought the same thing!

Monday, December 3, 2012 at 10:17 AM

Bart in Chicago replied:

no, she said she has less than the other people and she's just fine and happy. I think the quote was "I look at what I have rather than what I don't have." Perhaps you should read more and spit venom less.

Monday, December 3, 2012 at 10:39 PM

Barbara in NY replied:

Kat in NJ,
We are a professional couple with an AGI over 250K and I agree with you wholeheartedly. Raising the marginal rates isn't at all the big deal that Ms.Noonan projects it to be. Like Noonan,I am old enough to recall that we did just fine with higher rates under Clinton. In fact,the whole country did better. Is the GOP so vested in making Obama fail that they don't want America and their fellow Americans to prosper? I certainly hope not.

Monday, December 3, 2012 at 8:49 AM

Wayne in Hinesville, GA replied:

No, Barbara, we just don't want our tax dollars going to fund parasites who live off the hard work of others. This country spent almost $1.2 trillion on welfare programs last fiscal year and all it did was make more people dependent on government. What happens when the takers outnumber the makers? Where will the money come from then? Higher taxes until even you think they are to high?

Monday, December 3, 2012 at 12:23 PM

John Taylor in California replied:

You're right to be angry about those parasites.

There is a new study just published in the NYTs about corporations who are given considerable tax breaks and other incentives to move their companies to a city or town.

"...over the years, companies have dragged states and localities into a "high-stakes bazaar" in which they compete with each other to offer the biggest corporate bonanza. Just one more example of how private enterprises enhance their profits by socializing their expenses and, all too frequently, leaving those desperate communities deeply indebted for years. The pressure amounts to blackmail. "

Please keep after these parasites, Wayne. You're on to something..

Monday, December 3, 2012 at 8:09 PM

Bart in Chicago replied:

then why do you keep voting Republican? $5bn in give aways of YOUR MONEY to oil and gas companies with no return. $2bn to farmers to NOT GROW FOOD - who are the lazy leaches doing nothing? Really, what planet do you Teatards live on, cuz it ain't Earth.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012 at 12:03 AM

Bart in Chicago replied:

ok... serious question: Old Man, do you believe that if someone who is on Social Security were to be offered a job that pays more than SS they will not take it because they would have to go to work? If a single-mother is given day care and more money than is paid on TANF to work, she will refuse?

Tuesday, December 4, 2012 at 1:18 AM

Cynthia in Maumee, Ohio replied:

Kat in NJ
Wow! Have you read the rest of the comments here? Peggy Noonan has a serious following of Rush Limbough and Fox News fans, I guess. My 84 year old father watches Fox, and he still thinks we started a war in Iraq because Saddam Hussain was responsible for 9/11.

I'm with you, sister. Our family of five has an annual income of a little less than $100,000, and we are grateful that we have enough of everything we need. If that Westfield family is going to struggle to make it on $10,000 less a year, I wonder how the families who make $50,000 in that community are surviving now?

.

Monday, December 3, 2012 at 10:21 AM

Andrea Osuch in Plano Il replied:

AMEN. Exactly what should be happening.

Monday, December 3, 2012 at 10:42 AM

John Taylor in California replied:

Well said Kat.

Monday, December 3, 2012 at 10:45 AM

Damon in Seattle replied:

Oh, yes, a one party system. Perfect answer. The Republicans have as much room to "negotiate" with Obama as a cow does when it visits the butcher. No matter what they come up with Obama wins. If we go over the fiscal cliff, it will be completely the responsibility of the Republican party. The media will tell so, and Obama won't stop post-election campaigning on it. Never mind the fact that if they cave to Obama, he never has to submit the debt ceiling to congressional oversight again. Never mind that the best these new taxes will drum up is maybe 10 days of operating expense for the government. Never mind that real issue has nothing to do with taxes or with our fiscal health. All this has to do with is politics. Obama could care less if we go over the cliff. Hell, that's just more captured voters who now are reliant on government money (his base).

And worse, let's say we enact sky high taxes on everyone Obama hates. He'll just increase spending! So much for that. And EVEN EVEN if all of this works and we pull out of what looks like a doomed situation, then Obamanomics will replace every other model in existence and we will never again have a reason to vote for any other party other than liberal democrat. THAT is the real end goal. It always has been.

Monday, December 3, 2012 at 2:57 PM

John Taylor in California replied:

Well Damon I guess Bohner getting 98% of what he wanted during the last negotiation with Obama just isn't good enough for you?

Monday, December 3, 2012 at 8:12 PM

Bob in West Virginia replied:

Not to mention, how much extra tax would swoonin' Noonan's hypothetical Westfield family have to pay, that might cause them to stop tutoring lessons for their son, or even move to a lower tax state? That's right: under Obama's proposal their extra tax burden is zero. Nada. Now if you're making 300,000, a princely sum even in Westfield, you would be looking at an extra $2500 or so. Think you can handle that?

Monday, December 3, 2012 at 3:40 PM

John Taylor in California replied:

Bob,

That was just too logical for this website and most of the posters here.

But please keep up the good fight.

Monday, December 3, 2012 at 8:14 PM

Steve Cochran in Bufkin, IN said:

What a silly, silly piece, full of dissembling: "Republicans like winners, and they find reasons to be moved by them after they've won."

Obama is a winner. I'm still waiting for the Republicans to be moved by him, but I'm not holding my breath. They will only be moved by being dragged, kicking and screaming, in the direction that the plurality of voters want them to move.

Saturday, December 1, 2012 at 10:24 AM

Wayne in Hinesville, GA replied:

Steve, Yessir, Right down the road to financial ruin, nanny state run wild, immorality on the rise, and stupid people who think the government is the answer to all their problems. I rather eat dirt than follow a Democrat anywhere.

Saturday, December 1, 2012 at 2:00 PM

Bart in Chicago replied:

immortality on the rise?

Old man, are you drunk again?

Tuesday, December 4, 2012 at 12:09 AM

Tex Horn in Texas said:

Virtually every day, I'm writing my representatives in the Republican Party to let the country go over the fiscal cliff. Perhaps then, even the whining and success-haters like the looney from New Jersey can understand that it was the Republicans that prevented them from paying the outrageous taxes they will be paying when over the cliff. Bring on the fiscal cliff and let Democrats really experience this president's "caring." By the way, I would bet that "Kat" and her family, if they are truly living like she says on less than 100k, are up to their ass in debt.

Saturday, December 1, 2012 at 11:29 AM

Jeff in Woodbridge, VA replied:

Tex Horn, like the rest of the republicans, is advocating the ruination of America. But you guys call liberals the traitors. How do you live with yourselves?

Monday, December 3, 2012 at 11:10 AM

Jesse in Beaumont, Texas replied:

First off, the debt ceiling involves money that has ALREADY BEEN SPENT. You know, in Iraq, Afghanistan, etc.

But back to your comment.

"...it was the Republicans that prevented them from paying the outrageous taxes they will be paying when over the cliff"

If the GOP hadn't stymied even modest increases in tax rates, then they wouldn't be facing "outrageous taxes" when we go "over the cliff."

So, you're essentially arguing that it's a good idea to not pay your bills for 3 or 4 months so you can buy nice things (like a war of choice), then you want to complain about having to pay a ridiculous amount of money all at once and have no money for things like food and shelter. Guess you should have tried to balance those books a bit earlier.

Republican Economics. An epic failure 100% of the time.

Monday, December 3, 2012 at 11:15 AM

Jenn in Los Angeles replied:

So... You're writing your Republican representatives to not negotiate with the Democrats in order to plunge the U.S. economy into chaos just so you can try to blame it on the Democrats?

Do you have any sense of how twisted and unpatriotic that is? (Not to mention it won't work. We all know how we got here, and it wasn't the fault of the Democrats).

People placing the loyalty of their party over their nation is what led to the rise of both Hitler and Lenin. If your kind of delusion continues it will be very bad for our country. Please, come back to reality.

Monday, December 3, 2012 at 12:21 PM

Wayne in Hinesville, GA replied:

Jenn, We know how your state got where it it. Broke and all because of the Democrats. How typical of a liberal to compare someone who disagrees with you to Hitler and Stalin. I served 22 years in the US Army so don't you dare call anyone who doesn't agree with the polices of this administration unpatriotic.

Monday, December 3, 2012 at 12:28 PM

StallChaser in CA replied:

How did Bill Clinton turn a deficit into a surplus if Democrats are so bad with budgets? How did George W Bush turn that surplus into such a massive deficit if Republicans are so fiscally responsible? And how is Obama such a big spender if he has shrunken the deficit and reduced spending?

Whether you realize it or not, the Republican policies will sabotage the economy. It's only unpatriotic if you're fully aware of this and still want to obstruct recovery. Otherwise, it's just your gross ignorance of economics.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012 at 1:42 AM

Bart in Chicago replied:

if you can't live on $100k a year without debt, then you deserve to fail. that's a lot of money. my family didnt have that kind of money and we had cars, vacations, college, and no debt. i dont make $100k a year and yet I have cars, vacations, and no debt. If you can't make ends meet, then you overspend. Time to get in check there bubba, ain't the government's job to run your personal finances.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012 at 12:13 AM

Just Saying in Idaho replied:

The issue, Burt, is not if one can or cannot livve on $100,00. It is what right do you have to the money your neighbor makes? Why do you feel entitled to have the government steal it?
I don't want your money, you can keep it. And I would like to keep mine, I work hard for it.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012 at 3:03 AM

Tad Petrie in Westerville, OH said:

OK Ms. Noonan, precisely which America are YOU living in?! First of all, the Republican establishment loved Romney because he is a “Moderate”, i.e.; “Liberal”, they backed him because they are afraid of the President and his liberals and they think the only way to win is to be as liberal as the President is, in order to attract “independent” voters! Well, we can see how well that worked! As far as the Speaker of The House, John Boehner is INCOMPETENT and a COWARD! Since becoming Speaker he has done NOTHING except COMPROMISE with the President and his liberals, well, we can see how well that worked! Nothing is going to get accomplished in Washington until people like Boehner are voted out of office and replaced by conservatives who are willing to actually stand up for the American people!

Saturday, December 1, 2012 at 11:29 AM

KATHLEEN A HAGIWARA in mt view said:

Please remember that the tax increase is on any income made OVER $250,000. For those lucky enough to be making that much money, it is only a small amount more in additional taxes they would be contributing and it would have a beneficial blanket effect on the local economy and society.

Saturday, December 1, 2012 at 7:30 PM

Wayne in Hinesville, GA replied:

Kathleen, Pleae explain the benefit blanket it would have. It's been proven time and time again that raising taxes on the rich hurts the economy. They stop investing and small business owners in that bracket stop hiring and usually cut employees hours. The projected $80 million in revenue it would raise won't make a dent in the massive debt. What do you think they plan to do with that revenue? I'll go out on a limb and bet it won't go towards the debt.

Saturday, December 1, 2012 at 8:07 PM

JAC in Texas replied:

Agree--there will soon be lot of part-time, 25 hours per week employees. Under ObozoCare, it's a lot less expensive for an employer to have two 25 hour per week part timers than it is to have one 40 per week full timer. No full time employee benefits, no health coverage, no fines for not having it, etc. More hours are covered at a lower business expense cost. It's a no-brainer.

Saturday, December 1, 2012 at 8:45 PM

Peter Leon in Denver, CO replied:

Hate to break it to you, but that has been the case since, well, when Ronald Reagan was President. By deregulating business and breaking up unions, you incentivize the poor treatment of employees. Business is not nice to its employees, because it wants to be. There needs to be a financial reason to do so.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012 at 1:24 PM

Jesse in Beaumont, Texas replied:

"It's been proven time and time again that raising taxes on the rich hurts the economy."

Please explain the boom in the 1950s economy when top rates were over 90%.

In the 1950s, the top marginal tax rate was more than 90% and GDP growth averaged more than 4%. During the last 8 years, the top marginal rate has been 35% percent and GDP growth has been less than 2%.

Wait - it gets better.

When the tax rate was less than 50%, growth averaged 2.7%.

When tax rates were greater than 50%, growth was 3.7%.

So, how is it that NOW higher rates will cause an economic slowdown when that has not been the case over the last 60+ years?

Monday, December 3, 2012 at 11:21 AM

Bart in Chicago replied:

citation please.

oh, Old Man Yelling at Clouds, here's a link to the Friedman Institute of Economics at the University of Chicago paper "How Do Laffer Curves Differ Across Countries"?

You will notice that they point out that your premise is wrong, doesn't bear out in reality, and that we could raises taxes across the board to 39% with no consequence to the national or personal economics. You are broke because you are bad with money. It's not Obama's fault.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012 at 12:20 AM

Kevin from Arkansas in USA replied:

Kathleen:

"it is only a small amount more in additional taxes they ("the rich") would be contributing ..."

A small amount indeed, and you don't even realize how small. From "Eating the Rich" by Walter Williams.......

This year, Congress will spend $3.7 trillion dollars. That turns out to be about $10 billion per day. Can we prey upon the rich to cough up the money? According to IRS statistics, roughly 2 percent of U.S. households have an income of $250,000 and above. By the way, $250,000 per year hardly qualifies one as being rich. It's not even yacht and Learjet money. All told, households earning $250,000 and above account for 25 percent, or $1.97 trillion, of the nearly $8 trillion of total household income. If Congress imposed a 100 percent tax, taking all earnings above $250,000 per year, it would yield the princely sum of $1.4 trillion. That would keep the government running for 141 days, but there's a problem because there are 224 more days left in the year.
++++++++++++++++

It's a SPENDING problem, Kathleen, not a revenue probably. If you want more REVENUE then lower the tax rates. It's been proven time and time again that raising rates DECREASES tax revenues and lowering rates INCREASES revenues.

But Obama does not care. It's all about a nebulous "fairness" policy, punishing the rich, instigating class warfare and spreading the wealth. If Obama really wanted to increase revenues he'd be slashing rates.

Saturday, December 1, 2012 at 8:50 PM

Bart in Chicago replied:

what is wrong with you Teatards? "Rich" is a relative term. So, relative to what? In economics, it's the far end of the income/asset scale. So... the top 2% are rich, no matter what they have because they have more than 98% of the rest of the population. Just like "poor" is the opposite, so the bottom 10% - even if they own shoes! I know, it's crazy, but it's math! Pay attention next time through in elementary school and you might learn a little.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012 at 12:25 AM

Just Saying in Idaho replied:

So what is wrong with socialism, Bart? Nothing?
Why the hell are you here? Are you paid to spew your venom at conservatives? Is that income over $250,000? Maybe you'd like to write a check to the Treasury for the income you're making pushing socilalism on this, and probably other sites. All of you idiots that think that there is nothing wrong with stealing money from people who honestly are earning it, just on the basis of envy and class warfare are the ones taking this country over the brink. When we are fighting to save it, we save it for you too, idiots. When you are pushing to destroy it, your destroy it for all of us. That is the difference. And I saw that you were inviting one of the commenters to go live in Iran. Why don't you? Why don't you try Cuba, or China, or even W Europe? Let's see how you like socialism, imbecile.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012 at 3:09 AM

wjm in Colorado replied:

Tax it and you get less, subsidise and you get more. You are a fool to think higher taxes have ever generated more revenue, the opposite is the fact of the matter.

Sunday, December 2, 2012 at 11:39 AM

Bart in Chicago replied:

so, you're saying that if we just tax at 0%, we're all gonna be rich!

Hot dog! Why didn't anyone think of this in the past? Is it because of Marx or Lenin or the Marxist-Lenninst Voltron robot that kills free-market warriors in France that did it?

Tuesday, December 4, 2012 at 12:26 AM

Peter Leon in Denver, CO replied:

Again, not really true. It would be easy for investors to avoid paying much of the taxes on their dividends. Simply reinvest. It's what happened in the 1950's. Then, it made no sense for entrepenaurs to sit on their earnings, because they would be taxed at an incredibly high rate, so they reinvested and created one of the largest growth periods in human history. These were, of course, supplemented and stimulated by government investment. I've never been able to get a good handle on the Laffer Theory. Maybe he should have had a bigger cocktail napkin.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012 at 1:20 PM

John Taylor in California replied:

Don't introduce facts into the discussion it only confuses the republicans and Noonan.

Monday, December 3, 2012 at 11:08 AM

Wayne in Hinesville, GA replied:

What facts are you talking about John?

Monday, December 3, 2012 at 12:32 PM

John Taylor in California replied:

This one Wayne.

"Please remember that the tax increase is on any income made OVER $250,000."

Monday, December 3, 2012 at 8:17 PM

Just Saying in Idaho replied:

So John, how much longer and harder would the people making over $250,000 continue to work to make that kind of income only to have the government steal it? Why would they, John?

Tuesday, December 4, 2012 at 3:10 AM

Ed Shipley in Amarillo, Tx said:

If the $250,000 figure includes business income, then lots of folks who are not rich are included. A lot of business expenses and taxes come out of that $250,000 before you get to the take home money, and unless that taxpayer's family lives in the business location, then there are double or more real estate and insurance expenses to pay. There are lots of perks to running a small business, but a lot of money worries, too.

Sunday, December 2, 2012 at 2:15 AM

Tod the tool guy in brooklyn ny said:

Smelly rats are simply NO GOOD with money! They own 21 Bankrupt green energies. They do not enforce our borders. They waived the WORK requirement from Welfare. They are destroying the private sector. Karl Marx would be proud of the hostile takeovers of Autos,student loans, and Big Banks. One cannot even follow the money, Patriots!!!

Sunday, December 2, 2012 at 2:52 PM

enemaofthestatistquo in Monroe, GA said:

You have to child psychology on children. Boehner thinks he's dealing with adults., so he made a statement he is willing to deal, bad move. Now the POXUS thinks Boehner will caVE ON EVERYTHING. bOEHNER WOULD DO WELL TO SIT IN HIS OFFICE UNTIL oBAMA COMES TO him, begging to talk.

Sunday, December 2, 2012 at 8:58 PM

Sean in El Granada replied:

I agree. Boehner should just wait until January. Then we can pass the Obama Tax Cuts and never hear the words "Bush Tax Cuts" again.

Imagine how the GOP will love campaigning on "Make the Obama Tax Cuts Permanent!" in 2014 and 2016.

Monday, December 3, 2012 at 9:53 AM

Sean in El Granada said:

Peggy's feeling a bit disingenuous, I see. Boehner wants President Obama to make the proposals for him so he won't have to. President Obama is no longer negotiating with himself and offering middle of the road compromises to start. He did that before and the GOP still bit his hand.

It's their turn to say what they want...explicitly. But when your entire strategy is "repeal Obamacare and all will be well" and it hinges on winning the presidency (and you lose), you have nothing left. And it shows.

Time to change the subject and send McCain and Graham out to Sunday talk shows to hype Benghazi conspiracies.

Maybe write an article gently questioning President Obama's legitimacy as a natural born citizen...that worked so well for you last term.

Monday, December 3, 2012 at 9:45 AM

Cynthia in Maumee, Ohio replied:

But, wait a minute Sean! Think about the situation the Republicans have here now. If they can't make Obama propose more cuts to reduce the deficit, what will they have for their campaign ads in two years. Remember back to Oct? Obama gutted $750,000,000 from Medicare. Obama slashed that money from Medicare, and had to fight the Medicare loving Republicans to do it!

Monday, December 3, 2012 at 10:40 AM

Wayne in Hinesville, GA replied:

When was the last time Obama submitted a budget that even the Demorats voted for? Never! How long has it been since the Senate came up with a budget even though they are the controlling party? Almost four years! So how can it be the Republicans fault that no budget has been passed by the Senate even though the House submitted a budget to the Senate and Harry Reid refused to let it come to a vote. Benghazi was a coverup by the Obama administration and most liberals could care less that four of their fellow Americans lost their lives because of incompetence because in their eyes their Messiah can do no wrong.

Monday, December 3, 2012 at 12:42 PM

Bart in Chicago replied:

ok, jury's back, Old Man never read the Constitution since he doesn't understand how the budget works. It's in there, in English even! Why doesn't Obama send his budgets to the House...?

And the WH issued several prospectus and they were taken up in the House by Dems and killed in committee by the Thugs that ran the committees.

So when are the Republicans ever going to do their jobs and let the budget reach the floor for vote?

Tuesday, December 4, 2012 at 12:30 AM

Peter Leon in Denver, CO replied:

Wayne, Please. Benghazi? How many Americans have died in Iraq? How many were killed on September 11th. How many died in the aftermath of Katrina? All of these are examples of the ineptitude of the last Republican Administration. While I believe Obama is a flawed President, his flaws pale in comparison to the arrogance, ignorace, and downright incompetence of the Bush team.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012 at 1:14 PM

Brian Wilson in Kentucky said:

I, I love the colorful clothes she wears And the way the sunlight plays upon her hairI hear the sound of a gentle word On the wind that lifts her perfume through the air

Im pickin up good vibrations Shes giving me excitations Im pickin up good vibrations (oom bop bop good vibrations) Shes giving me excitations (oom bop bop excitations) Good good good good vibrations (oom bop bop) Shes giving me excitations (oom bop bop excitations) Good good good good vibrations (oom bop bop) Shes giving me excitations (oom bop bop excitations)

Close my eyes Shes somehow closer now Softly smile, I know she must be kind When I look in her eyes She goes with me to a blossom world

Im pickin up good vibrations Shes giving me excitations Im pickin up good vibrations (oom bop bop good vibrations) Shes giving me excitations (oom bop bop excitations) Good good good good vibrations (oom bop bop) Shes giving me excitations (oom bop bop excitations) Good good good good vibrations (oom bop bop) Shes giving me excitations (oom bop bop excitations)

(ahhhhhhh) (ah my my what elation) I don't know where but she sends me there (ah my my what a sensation) (ah my my what elations) (ah my my what)

Gotta keep those lovin good vibrations A happenin with her Gotta keep those lovin good vibrations A happenin with her Gotta keep those lovin good vibrations A happenin

Ahhhhhhhh Good good good good vibrations (oom bop bop) (Im pickin up good vibrations) Shes giving me excitations (oom bop bop) (excitations) Good good good good vibrations (oom bop bop) Shes na na...

Na na na na na Na na na Na na na na na Na na na Do do do do do Do do do Do do do do do Do do do [ Lyrics from: http://w

Monday, December 3, 2012 at 10:15 AM

John Taylor in California said:

Why is anyone posting articles by the smarmy, unctuous, and always wrong Noonan?

She now attacks Obama for having learned a few things about negotiating with republicans, that you don't meet them half way at the start because then they demand 98% and get it.

Noonan's article is yet another example of blaming others for they very thing conservatives are guilty of - confusion, frustration and an embittered process.

It's a good time to cite Mann and Ornstein's article:

"Let's Just Say It; The Republicans are the problem."

Monday, December 3, 2012 at 10:42 AM

mcavity in tx said:

Elections have consequences.
The american people have spoken.
You have been rejected. The sooner you moderate your ideas the sooner people might take you seriously again.
For now. your a joke.
Enjoy Yelling at the clouds inside your echo chamber.

Monday, December 3, 2012 at 10:44 AM

wah in texas said:

" Mr. Obama wants to raise tax rates on those earning $250,000 or more, as we know, on the assumption that they are "the rich." But if you are a man with a wife and two kids making that salary and living in Westfield, N.J., in no way do you experience yourself to be rich, because you're not."

This is a silly point. If a family makes 250,000/yr, they don't pay a higher rate on that first $250,000....only money above that is taxes at a higher rate. This right wing lying about how our tax system works needs to stop.

Monday, December 3, 2012 at 10:45 AM

Jesse in Beaumont, Texas replied:

To be fair, maybe they're not lying - maybe they're just incredibly ignorant about the basic facts of something they claim to care deeply about.

Monday, December 3, 2012 at 11:09 AM

Jesse in Beaumont, Texas said:

Peggy Noonan now:

"Mr. Romney is not the leader of the party; he left no footprints in the sand. There is no such thing as Romneyism, no movement of which he's the standard-bearer."

Peggy Noonan on election eve:

"All the vibrations are right. A person who is helping him who is not a longtime Romneyite told me, yesterday: 'I joined because I was anti Obama-I'm a patriot, I'll join up But now I am pro-Romney.' Why? 'I've spent time with him and I care about him and admire him. He's a genuinely good man.' Looking at the crowds on TV, hearing them chant 'Three more days' and 'Two more days' - it feels like a lot of Republicans have gone from anti-Obama to pro-Romney."

THERE IS NOT A "MITT ROMNEY." THERE NEVER WAS A "MITT ROMNEY." OCEANIA HAS ALWAYS BEEN AT WAR WITH EURASIA.

Monday, December 3, 2012 at 11:08 AM