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What a joke! Republicans blame Obama for their refusal to compromise with him!

On the night of Barack Obama’s inauguration nearly four years ago, more than a dozen Republican lawmakers met privately to map a strategy on how they would deal with the new president. The consensus was that they would stonewall him at every turn.

Rep. Kevin McCarthy was quoted as saying:  “We’ve gotta challenge them [Obama and the Democrats] on every single bill.”

GOP politicians were encouraged to mount “unyielding opposition” to every proposal emanating from the White House.

Jamelle Bouie of The American Prospect characterized the strategy thusly:

In other words, there was nothing President Obama could have done to build common ground with Republicans. From the beginning, the plan was to relentlessly obstruct Obama, regardless of whether that was good for the country The GOP’s high-minded rhetoric of compromise and bipartisanship was bunk; cover for a plan to keep Democrats from accomplishing anything.

Regarding those early days of the Obama presidency, Steve Benen wrote THIS eight months ago:

Looking back at Barack Obama’s message from four years ago, one of the more common messages he pushed was a deeply-held desire to govern in a bipartisan way. As a candidate, he spoke extensively about reaching across the aisle, working in good faith, and bringing people with different ideologies together in a spirit of shared values and common purpose.

We now know those efforts fell far short, and I suspect there will be some voters who are disappointed, hoping that Obama would have had more success in at least narrowing the partisan divide. But that’s all the more reason to understand why bipartisanship in the Obama era has proven to be impossible.

Obama made several moves early on that suggested he was sincere. The president put Republicans in high-ranking administration positions; he expressed a willingness to compromise; and he pursued an agenda that was moderate and mainstream, embracing ideas on health care, energy, and immigration that have traditionally enjoyed bipartisan backing.

It all came to naught, of course, because Republicans refused to cooperate. Any thought of compromise put GOP incumbents at risk of primary-election challenges from Tea Party types. You were either anti-Obama to the core, or you were labeled a RINO (Republican In Name Only).

But now, with Obama having won re-election and enjoying widespread public support for his stance on fiscal-cliff negotiations, Republicans are howling that he’s the one blocking the path toward cooperation and compromise.

And again, Steve Benen TELLS THE TRUTH of the matter:

For four years, congressional Republicans have refused to work with the Obama White House on anything. GOP leaders have freely admitted that made a deliberate decision never to compromise or work constructively with the president, even when he proposed Republican ideas.

On practically every issue, Obama reached out to GOP officials, pleading with them to work with him in good faith, and in literally every instance, they refused, instead embracing a scorched-earth strategy in which defeating the president was their sole priority. This began literally the same day Obama was inaugurated.

The result has been unprecedented obstructionism and the most toxic political atmosphere since [then-House Speaker Newt] Gingrich led an impeachment crusade against President Clinton.

And yet, despite these past four years, according to Gingrich, there will be a “permanent war” between the parties unless Obama does even more to make Republicans happy. Why? Because GOP policymakers are “sick of” how mean the president is to them.

It’s like peeking into an alternate universe.

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28 Comments

  1. I wonder why, when presented with this information, the right still think that liberals are the problem?

    Remember back in early Aug when the negotiations over the debt ceiling were going on? Boehner said in an interview that he got “98% of what he wanted”. Ant yet he still has the nerve and audacity to claim that Obama and the democrats are the ones unwilling to compromise.

    This man is a nuisance and a dangerous idiot.

  2. Brian Opsahl

    I also remember Mr. Boehner saying that the election would deciede what direction the country would take and now that its clear which direction we chose ….Boehner is now reniging on what he said …typical republican..!!

  3. Luke Fredrickson

    I’m curious, what does it take to impeach an entore party?

    I’m a enthused to see a second-term Obama with stones of steel.

  4. Luke Fredrickson

    ^ entire

  5. Jeremy Cantrell

    It really is incredulous to see them living in this alternate reality…much like the alternate reality G.W. Bush fell into after his presidency…it’s like the election never happened.

    GOP is pulling the same blocking tactics they used the first 4 years while yelling loudly “the sky is falling” and pointing the opposite direction.
    Hell, they are even filibustering their own bills now!

  6. Brian Opsahl

    Mitch McConnell (ninja turtle) filibustering his own vote crack me up…what a loser this guy has become for a leader of his party that everybody is now laughing at. The rich are paying more for a change and we voted for that..by more than 4.4 million voters

  7. Guess what Brian?

    The rich will pay more and we will still have a huge deficit.

    The rich will pay more and they will still be in the 1%.

    The rich will pay more and the economy won’t grow more, in fact it may grow less.

    The rich will pay more and thousands of charities will have less.

    Let’s celebrate, shall we?

  8. Luke Fredrickson

    > The rich will pay more and we will still have a huge deficit.

    Squirrel! No one is saying this is the solution to the deficit. No one! The rich just need to get off the welfare train and take civic responsibility as Americans. The Cayman Island bankers may have a hard time though…

    > The rich will pay more and they will still be in the 1%.

    The point is not to make them poor, buddy. Anything wrong with following Reagan’s lead on equitable taxation?

    > The rich will pay more and the economy won’t grow more, in fact it may grow less.

    Wrong, wrong, wrong. Even Mr. Trickle Down now admits welfare for the rich does not grow the economy. It just redistributes wealth upward. Just read McConnell’s own study for details. Stop the class warfare.

    > The rich will pay more and thousands of charities will have less.

    Only if the Republic Party succeeds in limiting charitable deductions. Hopefully Barack Hussein Soetero won’t let those craven losers screw our charities.

    Celebrate we will!

  9. Craig Knauss

    Guess what doc?

    The rich will pay what they paid back when Clinton was president.
    The economy was in good shape.
    Unemployment was low.
    The deficits were almost non-existent.
    The debt was almost stabilized.
    Charities had sufficient income.
    And not one damn millionaire starved to death. Not even one!
    Amazing, isn’t it?

  10. Don’t even try to get your points across. Republican is becoming synonamous with delusional. If they are even listening, they are not hearing the same thing that’s being said.

  11. Brian Opsahl

    It’s pretty hard to hear anything with your head firmly planted up your rectum…
    Doc, did I strike a nerve..? Your acting like the World will end because the rich are being asked to pay a fairer share …BooHoo you..Sir
    Stop being a crybaby over losing the election you should be proud that Americans were smart enough to see through all that BS being shoveled by the Trumps,Koch Brothers,Sheldon Addelson and all the other rich folks who already have the tax code written in there favor…by your republicans …..can you say offshore ..Doc..!!

  12. I have to agree with Craig (somewhat). We need to at least go back to Clinton’s time in the late 90′s with a Republican Congress when looking at spending as a percentage of GDP which led to balanced budgets.

    1997: 19.5%
    1998: 19.1%
    1999: 18.5%
    2000: 18.2%

    Compare that to current times:

    2009: 25.2%
    2010: 24.1%
    2011: 24.1%
    2012 estimate: 24.3%

  13. Boys, boys don’t get all excited.

    I am merely making my predictions over what will happen. Luke and I agree. Raising taxes on the rich IS NOT a solution to our deficit problems, so why are the Democrats so focused on this squirrel?

    The Clinton rates were in effect during good economic times. Are the times so good today? In the world? In this country? I think not.

    If you want to impose more tax on wealth and investment profit you will get less wealth and less investment. This is a simple rule that Democrats seem to want to ignore.

    Many studies have shown that the percentage of tax collected will remain about 18-20% of GDP. We should be focusing on economic growth, not class warfare.

  14. Nef – You forgot to add W’s outlays which should include 2009. Although currently still high they have trickled down under the current administration.

  15. This is a perfect example of why what is happening in Washington will NOT help our situation.

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/dec/10/penalized-for-success/
    Last week, Christine Jacobs, the CEO of Theragenics Corp., a public company listed on the New York Stock Exchange that makes medical devices and is involved in cutting-edge cancer cures, wrote a letter to President Obama explaining why it was necessary to “begin moving our U.S. manufacturing to Costa Rica.” The power players in Washington still do not get that many businesses are being forced to flee America or just plain shut down because it is no longer profitable or too risky to continue to do business in the historical home of entrepreneurial capitalism

    *snip*

    Theragenics makes “medical devices for prostate cancer, vascular access and wound closure.” In her letter to Mr. Obama, Ms. Jacobs noted that her company has four factories in four states in the U.S., which employ 626 people. She stated: “In our 30-year history we have treated over 200,000 men for prostate cancer, and we have been proud of our workforce and proud to have treated so many dads, brothers and husbands for cancer. As a public company we have fallen prey to the heavy burden of being public with increased expenses associated with [Sarbanes Oxley] and now Dodd Frank.” She also reminded the president that she had written to him back in 2009, when she stated, “We were paying about $8,000 per employee per year to be public and comply with the new Dodd Frank regulations. That money could be better spent on jobs and expansion.”

    Under Obamacare, there is a new tax specifically on the gross revenue of medical device manufacturers. Most people (outside of Washington) understand that if we tax something, we get less of it. A higher tax on medical device manufacturers means fewer and more expensive medical devices that save lives, and less research and development to develop new and better devices. As Ms. Jacobs explains: “Our products are for people with prostate cancer, heart disease, breast cancer and orthopedic knee or hip surgeries. Our 626 employees’ futures are now uncertain. The cost of regulation, legislation and now the Device Tax have provided an atmosphere that is close to untenable.”

    Ms. Jacobs, who started out as a nurse with a passion for science, has headed Theragenics Corp. for the past two decades. She is a classic entrepreneur, an all-American woman, who likes to hunt, fish and go to the symphony. She serves on the boards of many civic institutions and other organizations. Now, having built a successful company that competes in the global marketplace, she is being forced by ignorant and misguided legislators and regulators to move operations outside of the United States. She concluded her letter to the president: “Our 30-year-old company has done all our country has asked of it and has been punished. I am immensely sad at this writing.”

    The Washington statists love to talk about how compassionate they are and how we need to “give” them more of our money and be regulated by their wisdom. In fact, they misspend our money every day to feather their own nests and curry favor with media sycophants. Most of those members of Congress who voted for the additional tax on medical device manufacturers did not do so to deliberately cause excess deaths and job losses. By failing to think through the consequences of their actions, however, they were engaged in “willful negligence,” which is a felony when not committed by those in government. In this case, they were clearly engaged in the ultimate “fatal conceit” as described by the great economist and philosopher F.A. Hayek. America is stagnant because we are punishing and pushing out the Christine Jacobses and rewarding those who work in the regulatory and taxing agencies and their enablers. We ought to be doing the opposite.

  16. Craig Knauss

    Nef and doc,

    Why haven’t you guys posted data from GWB’s two terms for comparison? GWB gave big tax breaks to the wealthy. Things should have been great. Right? Except for climbing unemployment, crashing markets, and that nasty housing debacle. Oh, and let’s not forget that GWB added more than 5 trillion dollars to the national debt. That’s why Obama was elected in 2008 and not McCain.

    To answer my above question: No, they weren’t great. And in case you forgot, Reagan’s big tax reductions for the wealthy never created the intended effect either. The wealthy just spent their additional cash overseas or put it in tax shelters. Do you guys remember when the national unemployment rate hit 10.8% and Rockford’s rate hit 22% during Reagan’s administration?

    To answer doc’s question, no, things aren’t so great today. But they are noticeably better than they were in January 2009, when Obama took office. And asking the wealthy to pay the same tax rate that I do is not class-warfare. (I would love to pay only 14.1% tax rate!)

  17. You have to be careful how you define wealthy. Are you talking Buffet wealthy or small business owner making 250,000 a year. There is a big difference in the implication for a tax increase on those 2 groups of people.

  18. Brian Opsahl

    Doc: stop the crying …we have 2 models that are being promoted Clintons 39.6 % that added some 23 million new jobs….Fact

    Or the plan Romney put forth which was Bushs plan on steroids….are you serious about the one we choose as NOT being the right one after all we have been through.

    Look of course we can’t tax our way out of this but asking those who certinly can afford it to pay a little more is better than asking those who cannot… why can’t you understand this..?

  19. I can understand it.

    I also understand basic math facts and realize that not taxing the wealthy enough isn’t our problem.

    Taxing the wealthy will certainly add some revenue to the federal government but it won’t be as much as is projected and it won’t be nearly as much as any revenue that would result from even a small increase in GDP.

    And revenue isn’t even our biggest problem. It…is….spending.

  20. Craig Knauss – You many have just set a record for most number of inaccurate statements in a single paragraph. But let me break down how wrong you are point by point.

    1. Unemployment was consistently low for almost all of Bush’s term in office. The great recession was brought on by a variety of factors. Trying to blame the whole thing on Bush is woefully ignorant.

    2. You’re complaining about Bush adding $5 trillion worth of debt, and yet Obama is easily on course to adding over $10 trillion worth of debt during his time in office. Most of us would love to go back to the now relativity small deficits incurred under Bush.

    3. Every time the government cut taxes, its gross receipts actually increased. Check out these charts for more info…

    http://news.investors.com/photopopup.aspx?path=A1cuts_121018.png&docId=629790&xmpSource=&width=409&height=655&caption

    4. Reagan’s unemployment rate did indeed go very high early in his first term in office. By his second term, unemployment had fallen dramatically thanks to his policies. (Yes, I’m well aware that Reagan did raise taxes on some minor stuff that liberals like to gloat about, such as airport and airway trust fund taxes and cigarette and telephone excise taxes.) The point is that Reagan worked with Democrats to get the economy working again. That’s a lot more than can be said of the current administration in the White House.

    5. The number of rich people that pay under 15% is not that great. Most do in fact pay the full rates which can exceed over 50% of their income. Only in warped liberal mind can over half your income go to the government be considered “your fair share.”

  21. Craig Knauss

    Nef,

    You broke my record for inaccurate statements.

    1. I never blamed the whole thing on Bush. I stated that despite his tax cuts for the wealthy we still had an increase in unemployment, the market crashed, and we had a housing debacle. And FYI, unemployment rate is lower now than in Jan. 2009.

    2. You righties always seem to forget that the national debt was about $11 T when Obama took office. I was just reminding you that GWB was responsible for $5T of that.

    3. If gross receipts increased, how did Reagan grow the debt when he cut taxes? Maybe you should explain that to David Stockman.

    4. Reagan’s unemployment rate peaked almost 2 years after he took office. Obama’s unemployment peaked about 3 months after he took office. And your comment about Obama not cooperating is ridiculous. Even after the Dems got control of Congress, they still tried to cooperate with the Reagan White House. The current Repubs have NOT done that and have made a point of stopping every single program that Obama has proposed. Did ANY Dem ever stand up at the SOTU Address and yell “You lie!” to Reagan? Ever? Do you really call that “cooperation”? John Boehner needs to be reminded that he is not the president and he has never won a single national election. Obama has.

    5. Nef, I’ve been paying income taxes since 1967. I know full well that what the tax tables say and what people actually pay are two different things. The maximum tax rates are before any deductions, which can be considerable. Only idiots pay the full rate. When the maximum rate was 55% and Reagan wanted to reduce it, the IRS found the average final rate for those same people was 28%. And how come Romney had to forgo some deductions to get his rate above 14%, when I can’t get enough deductions to get mine below 14% and I earn a very small fraction of what Romney did? Ponder this: when Nixon was president, he once paid about $700 on $250,000 income while my parents paid about $1000 on only $10,000 income. Nixon had a ton of deductions, credits, etc. that my parents couldn’t get. I don’t think warped conservative minds really ever try to understand government finance and taxes. I don’t think anyone should pay 55%, but a millionaire’s “far share” should not be less than my fair share on a small fraction of the income. Do you?

  22. Craig,

    The problem is that by changing tax code to target the truly ultra rich you (or at least the current Obama proposal) will maybe generate several tens of billions of dollars. The ultra rich will still find ways to avoid most of those taxes and the extra they will pay will not impact them much.

    However, those same rules will apply to tens of thousands of other people that will be significantly impacted by those same rules. Particularly those who run small businesses.

    A family that is making 250,000 a year from a small business does not have the ability to manipulate their tax liability like Nixon or Buffet. They are going to be approaching tax rates nearing 50%.

    That is simply not fair to those people or their employees.

  23. Craig Knauss

    doc,

    I kept having a buzzing in my mind whenever I mentioned Reagan, but forgot what it was. I had forgotten that Reagan reduced the maximum tax rate to 35%. Apparently, it has remained there for all these years. Here are the current tax rate brackets for three different scenarios:

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/moneybuilder/2012/11/01/2013-federal-income-tax-brackets-and-marginal-rates/

    Scenario 1: Tax cuts under the extension of the Bush-era tax cuts for all
    Rate Single Filers Married Joint Filers Head of Household Filers
    10% $0 to $8,950 $0 to $17,900 $0 to $12,750
    15% $8,950 to $36,250 $17,900 to $72,500 $12,750 to $48,600
    25% $36,250 to $87,850 $72,500 to $146,400 $48,600 to $125,450
    28% $87,850 to $183,250 $146,400 to $223,050 $125,450 to $203,150
    33% $183,250 to $398,350 $223,050 to $398,350 $203,150 to $398,350
    35% $398,350 and up $398,350 and up $398,350 and up

    Scenario 2: Tax brackets under the expiration of the Bush-era tax cuts for all
    Rate Single Filers Married Joint Filers Head of Household Filers
    15% $0 to $36,250 $0 to $60,550 $0 to $48,600
    28% $36,250 to $87,850 $60,550 to $146,400 $48,600 to $125,450
    31% $87,850 to $183,250 $146,400 to $223,050 $125,450 to $203,150
    36% $183,250 to $398,350 $223,050 to $398,350 $203,150 to $398,350
    39.60% $398,350 and up $398,350 and up $398,350 and up

    Scenario 3: Tax brackets under the expiration of the Bush-era tax cuts for high-income
    Rate Single Filers Married Joint Filers Head of Household Filers
    10% $0 to $8,950 $0 to $17,900 $0 to $12,750
    15% $8,950 to $36,250 $17,900 to $72,500 $12,750 to $48,600
    25% $36,250 to $87,850 $72,500 to $146,400 $48,600 to $125,450
    28% $87,850 to $183,250 $146,400 to $223,050 $125,450 to $203,150
    33% $183,250 to $203,600 $223,050 to $247,000 $203,150 to $227,300
    36% $203,600 to $398,350 $247,000 to $398,350 $227,300 to $398,350
    39.60% $398,350 and up $398,350 and up $398,350 and up

    So, your hypothetical family with an income of $250K would pay a maximum rate of 33% under the Bush rates. If all the Bush rates expired, their rate would go up to 36%. If only the Bush high income rates expired, their maximum rate would go up to 36%. But in no case does the maximum rate for anyone exceed 39.6%. And a judicial use of deductions would push most Americans into a lower tax bracket. For example, in Scenario 3, a mere $3000 deduction for your hypothetical family would drop them to the 33% bracket (their current maximum tax bracket).

    In short, it’s not as bad as some have led us to believe.

  24. Of course 39.6% doesn’t include state income tax and all of the other taxes we all pay.

    Here in Wisconsin the top marginal rate is 7.75%.

  25. Craig thinks its “not as bad”

    But according to the Congressional Budget Office going over the fiscal cliff will increase unemployment back up to 9.1% and another recession will quickly ensue. Buy hey, not that’s not too bad, is it Craig?

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1112/83602.html

    yeah. It will all be the Republicans fault. whatever.

  26. Craig Knauss

    doc,

    You know full well the discussion was about federal income tax. Period.

    BTW, out here in WA, the TeaTards constantly complain about high taxes. True, the sales tax is pretty high at 8.3%, compared to about 7.75% back in Illinois. However, out here we have absolutely no state income tax whatsoever. (I think IL income tax is 5% now. It was 3% when I left.) And my real estate tax out here now (~$2600) is about a half of what it was in IL back in 2000! The tax bill on my old house back there hit $7700 a few years ago (in GOP run Dupage Co.). The other taxes back there were pretty high too. So it’s all relative.

  27. Craig Knauss

    Nef,

    Try to pay attention. Please.

    Some posters were claiming the max rate either was or was going to be 50%. I provided the tax rates which shows that’s total BS. And if your GOP heroes will try to compromise a little instead of kissing Grover Norquist’s backside, the whole thing can be avoided. So it’s not that bad, unless your heroes want it to be. And I wouldn’t put it past them.

  28. Brian Opsahl

    Craig you put a lot of thought into that,and your facts are pretty true. Nef,Doc can’t you see that they are attacking this problem from both sides or are you blind. Raise revenue cut spending …stop guessing about what they are doing it will come out soon i hope…then once you see it you, and Fox can complain all you want…but at least wait till you see something thats…Real…!!

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