Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Did Obama Con the Republi-CONs?

As noted before, to balance the budget, do nothing, and now more than ever.

"In August, Republicans scored what they thought was a big win by persuading Democrats to accept a trigger that consisted only of spending cuts. The price they paid was 1) concentrating the cuts on the Pentagon while exempting Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare beneficiaries, and 2) delaying the cuts until January 1, 2013. That was, they figured, a win, as it eschewed taxes. Grover Norquist's pledge remained unbroken.

But 12 years earlier, George W. Bush had set a trigger of his own. In order to pass his tax cuts using the 51-vote budget reconciliation process, he had agreed to let them sunset in 2010. A last-minute deal extended them until the end of 2012.

So now there are two triggers. One is an extremely progressive spending trigger worth $1.2 trillion that goes off on January 1, 2013. The other is an extremely progressive tax trigger worth $3.8 trillion that goes off on...January 1, 2013. If you count reduced interest payments, the two policies alone would reduce future deficits by about $6 trillion. That's far more than anything the supercommittee came close to discussing. It's distributed far more progressively than anything the Democrats have even considered proposing. And all that needs to happen for it to pass is, well, nothing."

Read the Washington Post, The GOP's dual-trigger nightmare.

Also read the Washington Post, The GOP’s dual trigger nightmare in one graph, which notes, "[t]o get a sense of how progressive, here’s a graph comparing the spending cuts and tax increases in all of the major deficit-reduction packages proposed thus far":

A NoBullU Prediction: Romney-Cain in 2012

UPDATE VII: So much for this prediction. Read the Washington Post, Ginger White accuses Herman Cain of long affair.

UPDATE VI: "The Republican Party’s inevitable decision to nominate Mitt Romney for president is starting to look evitable after all.

That’s certainly not a consensus view among the Washington cognoscenti, who tend to see the yet-to-come primaries and caucuses as mere formalities. . .

But I’m less and less convinced. It’s hard for me to see how any of the other candidates can win the nomination — but it’s hard for me to see how Romney wins it, either.

Polls have told a consistent story: Between 20 percent and 30 percent of Republican voters support Romney, and the rest support somebody else. Actually, not somebody, anybody.

It was bad enough when Romney’s main challenger was Michele Bachmann, whose views are so extreme that she favored allowing the nation to go into default — thus triggering the possible collapse of the global financial system — rather than to raise the debt ceiling. It was bad enough when Rick Perry entered the race and vaulted into the lead, sight unseen. It was bad enough when Republicans, having actually made Perry’s acquaintance, practically offered New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie the nomination, along with a dog and pony, if he’d just say yes.

But the whole Herman Cain infatuation is much worse, from Romney’s point of view. Here’s a man with no experience in public office, no knowledge of international affairs and, from the evidence of his '9-9-9' tax plan, bizarre ideas about how arithmetic works. Yet before allegations of sexual harassment threatened to derail the Cain Train, he was leading in many polls.

It is safe to conclude that most Republicans are looking for an alternative. Clearly, they don’t see Romney as the inevitable nominee — and they’re the deciders."

Read the Washington Post, Is Romney really the GOP’s choice?

BTW, evitable (first sentence above) means possible to avoid.

UPDATE V: Of course not everyone is happy with The Inevitable Candidate.

One long time conservative columnist thinks "Romney, supposedly the Republican most electable next November, is a recidivist reviser of his principles who is not only becoming less electable; he might damage GOP chances of capturing the Senate. Republican successes down the ticket will depend on the energies of the Tea Party and other conservatives, who will be deflated by a nominee whose blurry profile in caution communicates only calculated trimming."

Read the Washington Post, Mitt Romney, the pretzel candidate.

UPDATE IV: For further proof that Romney has the eelction wrapped up, read the Washington Post, Perry goes into the fever swamp; Birtherism and secession and Rick Perry’s birther Parade, which notes that "political professionals expect more from a mainstream candidate such as Perry. After Perry’s birther Parade, strategist Karl Rove lectured his one-time friend Monday in a Fox News appearance. 'You associate yourself with a nutty view like that and you damage yourself,' he said. Rove added that the pandering to Trump 'starts to marginalize you in the minds of some of the people whom you need in order to get the election.'"

UPDATE III: After last week's blunder on abortion, Cain might not be the Republi-con VP nominee, but have no doubt, Romney's got it wrapped up.

"FOR the next three months, the political press will engage in an extended masquerade, designed to persuade credulous readers and excitable viewers that the Republican presidential nomination is actually up for grabs.

Last week the big story was Herman Cain’s rise to the top of the polls, and then Rick Perry’s combativeness at the Las Vegas debate. Next week, perhaps, it will be Newt Gingrich’s surprising resilience or Ron Paul’s potential strength in the early caucuses or the appeal of Perry’s flat-tax plan. Then there will come a debate in which Mitt Romney looks shabby instead of smooth, a poll that shows one of his rivals surging, a moment when all his many weaknesses are on every pundit’s lips.

Please do not listen to any of them. Ignore the Politico daily briefings, the Rasmussen tracking polls, the angst from conservative activists over Romney’s past deviations and present-day dishonesties. Please ignore me as well, should campaign fever inspire a column about the Santorum surge or the Huntsman scenario. Because barring an unprecedented suspension of the laws of American politics, Mitt Romney has this thing wrapped up."

Read The New York Times, The Inevitable Nominee.

UPDATE II: Though he's a teabagger Republi-con favorite, he's really a political insider.

"From 1996, when he left the pizza company, until 1999, Mr. Cain ran the National Restaurant Association, a once-sleepy trade group that he transformed into a lobbying powerhouse. He allied himself closely with cigarette makers fighting restaurant smoking bans, spoke out against lowering blood-alcohol limits as a way to prevent drunken driving, fought an increase in the minimum wage and opposed a patients’ bill of rights — all in keeping with the interests of the industry he represented." Read The New York Times, Cain, Now Running as Outsider, Came to Washington as Lobbyist.

UPDATE: Or Cain-Romney. Read the Washington Post, Herman Cain surges to front of GOP pack in new poll.

Tea Party supporters and conservatives prefer Cain by a 2-to-1 margin.

A Romney-Cain ticket would quiet Not-Mitt Republic-cons, and appeal to the base.

BTW, did you know that in "February 2008, Herman Cain used his syndicated column to endorse a candidate in the Republican primary." Read The Atlantic, When Herman Cain Endorsed Mitt Romney for President.