Senate Republicans on Monday blocked a move to open debate on the so-called Buffett Rule, ensuring that a measure pressed for months by President Obama and Senate Democrats to ensure that the superrich pay a tax rate of at least 30 percent will not come to a decisive vote.
But the fierce debate preceding the 51-45 vote — the Democrats were nine votes short of the 60 they needed — set off a week of political wrangling over taxes that both parties insist they are already winning.
Senate Democrats intend to return repeatedly to the legislation, named after the billionaire investor Warren Buffett, who has complained that he pays a lower effective tax rate than his secretary. On Thursday, House Republicans will counter with a proposed tax cut for businesses that they say would spur job creation but would cost the Treasury almost exactly what the Democrats’ tax increase would raise.
Republicans say they like that contrast, and their language ahead of the vote on a motion just to take up the Buffett Rule was harsh and aimed squarely at Mr. Obama, who first proposed a 30-percent tax rate floor for anyone earning at least $1 million a year last September. Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican minority leader, went to the Senate floor and all but called Mr. Obama a liar.
“By wasting so much time on this political gimmick that even Democrats admit won’t solve our larger problems, it’s shown the president is more interested in misleading people than he is in leading,” Mr. McConnell said of the Buffett Rule push.
A couple thoughts. First, how does the media even pretend that the Republicans stand for anything but the wealthy? Between votes like this and the Ryan plan, how can they keep pretending otherwise.
Second, look how successful the Republicans have been in framing the notion of a majority as 60 votes- “Democrats were nine votes short…” Only when you change the definition of majority rule.
Finally, what larger problems has McConnell shown any interest in solving ever?
The problem of That One being President?
How in the hell do we still carry the rules of a senate based on the old slavery south into this modern day? Those rules were created solely to protect slavery … insane. Who won the civil war?
Villago Delenda Est
The media is made up of overpaid spokesmodels who know exactly where their next meal of cocktail weenies and tiger shrimp are coming from.
This will not change until the tumbrels roll.
“Finally, what larger problems has McConnell shown any interest in solving ever?”
The problems of the 1% of course. And whatever kittle trinket catches Elaine’s eye.
I can’t understand how the media lets them get away with being called Fiscally Conservative, when their counter to a way to help balance the budget is a bill that makes it even worse.
Unfortunately, Harry Reid let that horse out of the barn shortly after the 2006 election when dems won back the Senate. And for a year or so, Harry just conceded a filibustered cloture vote to the wingers on every bill, or about every bill. I think he did it to save time, to make the nutters actually vote for cloture. So all final votes were set at a 60 requirement for passage. I think he realized his error later on and stopped doing that, but the meme had already stuck in the msm.
so that pos rag nyt surrogate-calls obama ‘a liar’ and you parrot those lines ?
NYTimes article on two economists and their studies of income inequality in America
For Two Economists, the Buffett Rule Is Just a Start
“Fiscally Right-Wing” is how we should phrase it.
Democrats have had an opportunity to change Senate rules every two years. And every two years, they pass on reforming it. :-p
On the flip side, I think the filibuster means a lot less in ’12 than it did two years ago. Anything that passes on a party line vote out of the Senate is going to fail on a party line vote in the House. :-p
There are just a lot of white voters who are in deep denial of what the GOP stands for. All they can see are wasteful multi cultural democrats, that don’t look like them, and often don’t talk like them. And that is where their ears close and critical thinking stops functioning. It is the silent generation mostly to blame for that, and they will be dead soon.
@Yutsano: “Finally, what larger problems has McConnell shown any interest in solving ever?”
Over-regulation of mountaintop removal.
Limits on arsenic exposure for children.
Tom Friedman is Atrios’ Grand Wanker of the Decade today.
I could quibble about him being worst but he certainly deserves to be on the list.
It doesn’t matter at this point. The amount collected by the Buffet Rule was not huge. What matters is relentless votes on this and other bills to break the right wing wall on no new taxes, especially for the rich. Everything is posturing right now, and this is a good issue for dems to keep pounding.
I was thinking “Upwardly Redistributive.”
I can’t understand why a party that doesn’t intend to abuse the shit out of the filibuster wouldn’t at least favor changes to make filibustering hard. And the Dems aren’t going to abuse it; they don’t have it in ’em. I get not wanting to get rid of it entirely, and wanting to have some check on the majority (especially in the Senate, where the “majority” can easily represent a minority of the people in the country), but what is the argument against making the filibustering party put some effort into it?
Yes, they will be dead soon.
Teixeira’s book was right in the long run, it just anticipated things moving faster (and in some cases more reasonably) than has happened.
The GOP loses the under-30 vote. It is losing (has lost?) women. It’s losing hispanics at rates approaching the rates of african-americans. Its stronghold is the older white males, and you can make a decent prediction on the vote there if you find how frequently they attend church. (once a month or less, almost never. Two or more times a week, almost always.)
It’s only a matter of time, but it’s going to be an ugly time while it happens.
Why do you even care cup half empty Cole? You were all “we should just give up and give Republicans the keys” yesterday. So why should anyone care what you think or say when you are so willing to fold like a deck of cards just because it gets in the way of your tv viewing or whatever.
Go fuck yourself!
Davis X. Machina
The Times headline is Buffet Rule Debate Blocked By Republicans.
Weisman got it wrong, and his editor got it right.
@General Stuck: While I agree, I’ve got inside baseball fatigue, and am ready to reach for a torch and a rusty farm implement.
Davis X. Machina
From Charles Lane in today’s WaPo: Return of the ‘white man’s party’?
It’s ok to talk about this now, apparently.
Ain’t we all. some day this war will end.
@TooManyJens: I think we should no longer allow the filibuster in absence. Bernie Sanders knows what a filibuster looks like
Also too, all wars should be fought with pocket-knives – by the people who declare the war…
Hey, I can dream, can’t I?
Hahahahaha! Are you gonna just sit there and take that kind of abuse Wrong Again Cole™…on your own damn blog?
Because if the media started telling the truth, that the entire GOP establishments’ only goal is to plunder the nation’s wealth and funnel the money to their bosses who foot their re-election campaigns, then a third of the country would get pissy at them and they’d no longer be invited to politicians’ BBQs or have the all coveted ‘access’ with which politicians reward their good little media whores for repeating the lies they’re fed.
In short, we’re fucked.
But we had a pretty decent run there for a while.
@General Stuck: Wake me when it happens. I’ll be in Michoacán
After listening to that this american life radio episode on money in politics a few weeks ago, my view is pretty cynical these days about stuff like this.
Congress members have to regularly call millionaires begging for money. When a lobbyist calls a congressman about raising funds for their campaign, they are thrilled, cause that means less gazzillioners that gotta call that day begging for money.
The “buffet rule” is a fucking joke till the way campaigns are financed changes in very fundamental way.
Dems are trolling us with this I’m afraid.
Speaking semi-tangentially about the nation’s (and ghoulish obsessives’ party) holy and shaltnotbetouchedorinfringedupon priorities, have a peek at a world map of arms spending. Map ahould start out with spending as a percentage of GDP (hey! look at our spiritual neighbors under the skin!) and then you can switch over to the usual spending in cast (where we entirely expectedly have no neighbors).
@ant: (and several other commenters on this thread)
This is what it looks like when an empire begins to unravel.
I’m seriously beginning to think Derf is actually Matt Yglesias’s Petey troll. Same tenacity, same mo- find one phrase and just say it over and over again. Same loser.
The only thing mitch mcconnell should fix is that damn chin of his. I feel like I’m looking at someone who has a pair of testicles attached to his neck.
Today when I was reading the news on various sites, I noticed a recurring theme of trying to tar Obama for coddling corporations and the wealthy. I wish I could articulate this better, he’s being accused of being what Mitt actually is.
I saw it under three different articles, as if this was today’s talking point handed to a group of paid trolls.
Belafon (formerly anonevent)
CNN poll on whether people favor the 30% tax rule:
No opinion 1%
Forum Transmitted Disease
Democratic majority is 70 votes. A Republican majority is 50.
I was not of the opinion that changing the filibuster rules was a good idea. I am reconsidering that notion.
@Belafon (formerly anonevent):
Funny thing about that number.
@opie jeanne: classic rove. He called it turning somebodies biggest strength into their biggest weakness. It sounds strange above, but the way it’s applied it’s classic projection.
It’s another way of playing Goebbels old game. Accuse others first, of what you are guilty of yourself. Add that to his other con, which is the bigger and more bald-faced the lie, the easier it is to get people to believe it. Finally, mix in repetition. Repeat a lie so often it becomes truth.
I hate to go all Godwin but feel free to draw your own parallels…
Apparently, “Go Fuck Yourself” is your version of “Carthago Delenda Est” — just some bit of doggeral you stick at the end of your pointless whiny comments.
Reporters HATE MATH!
That’s why they became reporters, rather than say engineers, scientists or even business majors; they never ever wanted to take a math class again after high school.
To understand economic stuff requires math. And not just simple math with numbers, but the fancy math that involves LETTERS AND NUMBERS and funny symbols that aren’t +, -, x, or division.
Anyway, how can you fault someone for avoiding something they went into a profession to avoid?
For example, person ‘a’ quit being a salesman because he wanted a steady paycheck and didn’t like being paid on commission. Would you fault ‘a’ from avoiding things that would get him commission based pay? No.
Same goes for journalists. They hate math. Anything involving math is something they would avoid.
Belafon (formerly anonevent)
@Forum Transmitted Disease: I’ve decided that it needs to go in part because, if the Republicans take control of the Senate, they need to own every vote they make. If I were a Senator, I would vote with the Republicans to end the rule.
@gaz: This is the first time I’ve spotted it, and it seems to be a new thing just today. When I saw the third one I was reminded of the Daily Show clips of various commenters parroting the same phrase word for word, even though every time I saw it the wording was reworked to fit the article it appeared under.
I’m wondering what country the 1%-ers think they are going to be able to live in once they have extracted all the wealth from the economy. Somalia? Or are they all Xtians who figure they will be Raptured away?
I can’t believe they’re still trying to claim that tax cuts to the wealthy create jobs.
@Kristin: Like gaz said in #35, repetition helps sell the lie. And the lie is all they have.
@PaminBB: Well, they certainly don’t need money for that.
Because a lot of top level media pundits and journalists are wealthy, themselves. They have to look out for their own interests.
I especially like the part where McConnell complains that the Buffett Rule won’t help lower the price of gasoline.
The keep pretending this because the President and the Dems are, as they usually are, completely ineffective at organizing and implementing and maintaining a messaging/public relations strategy. Why this is the case is open to debate.
See above. Plus, this is obviously the way the Dems want things to be also. How long do you intend to remain credulous?
YOu are correct. And the Dems suck.
Judas Escargot, Your Postmodern Neighbor
@Forum Transmitted Disease:
And (because I apparently love repeating this): The filibuster is history the next time the GOP takes the Senate.
Given current trends, the period from 2013-2015 is going to see some weird, weird, asinine, and frankly insane shit passed through Congress. Probably with patriotic-sounding names, so the GOP can say stuff like “Obama voted against the America and Apple Pie Bill!”
When the media look in the mirror, they SEE the wealthy.
But, they are not Paris Hilton wealthy. Oh no. They are the good kind of wealthy where they fucking earned that shit. And they don’t even really consider themselves wealthy – just a wee-bit on the higher end of being middle class really. David Gregory and the rest of the glitterati are the real, working/middle-class.
All of us bloggers and screaming libtards are just a bunch of stupid fucking hippies who don’t shave, stink, fuck without rubbers or fuck with the pill paid for by David Gregory.
(Note: if you are not watching Chis Hayes show on the weekend, you are missing out)
Cris (without an H)
@evinfuilt: 27 is the new 23
Yeah, but how many is 10? And what is this “9” thing anyway?
@scav: Cripes! Iceland spent a MILLION DOLLARS, total. Does the army supply its own boots? God bless ’em….
Word up. I started reading “Master of the Senate” about Lyndon Johnson today, and there’s an entire section at the beginning about the way the Senate had worked from the Civil War onwards. Wow. Just wow. I knew it was bad, but I had no idea the extent to which it was a Dixiecrat-run private club – or an obstruction to democracy. That body is WAY overdue for a makeover.
@Clime Acts: Why?
The filibuster will never die at the hands of Democrats because Senate Democrats like having quirky prerogatives. For the most part, their belief in their own powers is stronger than their ideological commitments or their willingness to be constructive with a President from their own party. Russ Feingold was unhelpful in something like a principled way having to do with the balance of powers, but someone like Ben Nelson is unhelpful in a way that has only to do with lucre and/or individual self-preservation. What We Need Is a group of senators that doesn’t feel that way. Unfortunately, people who feel that way very often end up winning nominations, then elections, and we get stuck with them, sometimes for decades.
@Citizen Alan: lol..not only do you not have a point, but you are defending “let’s just give up and let the Republicans win” folding like a cheap suit Cole the coward…lol. Somehow pathetic loser is not a strong enough word for whatever you are.
So I can read the articles you’re referring to. ???
A Humble Lurker
Too bad Republicans suck even more.
These were COMMENTS under the articles, non-sequiturs really. One was under an article about GE not paying taxes, in the comments. I linked to these articles from other sites so I have no idea which ones had them.
@A Humble Lurker: Thank you. I think he’s a troll.
@Davis X. Machina:
From your article:
Actually, my question is, why should we bother?
Whatever else they are, voters are all grown-ups. If an ever-increasing number of white male voters have decided that they hate empowered minorities and women so much that they’re willing to try and gut the safety net for us all rather than share it, they know what they’re doing. If nonwhite and female voters see that trend, take it for what it is and flock to the other party for their own protection, the decision is clearly theirs as well.
As a white Christian male, it does pain me that such a huge number of my fellow people are prejudiced, petty and short-sighted enough to walk down that path… but as a Democrat, I can’t say I’ll miss them, and I don’t really see why we should try to change their minds. It’s hard enough holding the line against Republicans without a fifth column of our own bigots running a second front from the inside. Yes, for the last fifty years we have had to grovel in front of white “moderate” “swing” voters riddled with identity issues because in a democracy, there’s no other way (hence Carter and Clinton). But demographics being what they are, we’re quickly approaching a point where these voters are no longer in that position.
(And who in their right minds would want them to be? If Archie Bunker is moving from being the center of American politics to the fringe lunatic he richly deserves to be, that’s a good thing for all of us. There was never any way to turn him back into a solid partisan without turning our backs on a half-century of progress anyway).
@Chris: An excellent post.
They should just re-name it the Reagan Rule, I think there is only about 2% difference between his stance and Buffet’s.
They couldn’t vote against it then! Extreme cognitive dissonance, aieee!
@Chris: My only fear his how much damage they are going to do on the way out.
For the most part yes. But I think as a society we are storing up trouble for the future if we don’t make an serious effort to get these folks re-invested in the idea of being part, and a valued part at that, of the same human community as the rest of us. Otherwise, the only thing standing between our current state of affairs and a more widespread White Christian (so-called) Supremacist domestic terrorist movement is for them to get younger. Right now too many of them are too old and fat to be out there doing much in the way of blowing stuff up, but when the Boomer generation shuffles off into the sunset, a younger and angrier generation will inherit their hatred. I don’t like where this is headed, especially because violent domestic political movements have the potential to bring out the worst in the police/national security/surveillance state, and that hurts all of us.
Thanks, Gaz –
And to answer both these –
I’ve always thought that if we do get our wish and consign the right wing (as it currently is) to permanent minority status, we will indeed get a wave of terrorism. Political movements usually spawn these things when they feel they’ve lost the legal/public-opinion battle. The fifties and sixties were the age of decolonization and desegregation, so naturally, you got the shenanigans from the KKK over here and the OAS in France, among others. In the seventies and eighties politics moved back to the right and the radical left became an object of ostracism, so you got the Red Brigades, Baader Meinhoff and the rest of these guys. I’m expecting the same thing from our conservatives whenever their turn finally comes.
I don’t like it. I just don’t know what to do about it. How do you make them feel like “a valued part of the human community,” when the only time they feel “valued” is when they’re running it from A to Z?
None, republicans don’t solve problems, they create them to campaign against them.
I don’t know. This is a really hard question to answer. The best I can come up with is a short slogan the substance of which we could use a lot more of around here: The Dignity of Labor. Give people lots of that and maybe they won’t need to drink the Haterade so often.
We can hope. I just don’t think something like that’s going to be enough to peel away the true haters.
Only way out I can see is to let enough of the old ones die off and let the young ones condemn themselves to the fringe. People in my generation, even whites, have been a lot less reactionary than their parents so far. That’s cause for hope, if it stays that way. And the good news with these terrorist movements, if there is any such thing, is that they usually just accelerate their own demise by scaring away mushy moderates who might’ve otherwise been on the fence or on their side.
My hope is that by the time I die, today’s teabaggers will have become like the BNP or FN in Europe – still around, nasty buggers, but on the outskirts of politics rather than in the central position they’re in now. May I turn out to be right…