The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

With stupid like this, who needs Republicans

Seriously, could they be bigger idiots?

With just two months until the November elections, the White House is seriously weighing a package of business tax breaks – potentially worth hundreds of billions of dollars – to spur hiring and combat Republican charges that Democratic tax policies hurt small businesses, according to people with knowledge of the deliberations.


The very idea that this will do anything worthwhile, either politically or economically is beyond laughable.  40 years of tax  cuts have done what, exactly?

Businesses will take the money, and the still won’t hire till it’s clear that hiring will, y’know, be worth it to them.  The problem isn’t taxes, the problem is that they can make record profits already without hiring people.  They have more than enough money to hire if they wanted to, they aren’t because it isn’t worth it.

The stupid in the White House, it burns.

Oh, and if they pass this, it will increase the deficit.  But I guess they can “fix” that by cutting money for old folks.


Sean-Paul Lays it out: the Truth baby


Jan 19th: “In 2010 Democrats will be slaughtered”


  1. The hilariousest part is at the end:

    More spending on infrastructure, particularly transportation projects, is also under discussion. But it would be easier for a package composed purely of tax cuts to “avoid the stain of a ‘bailout’ or ‘stimulus’ label,” said one official familiar with the talks, speaking on the condition of anonymity because the deliberations were private.

    Emphasis mine.

    But yup, there is absolutely no sign that the White House is interested courting the base.

  2. Ian Welsh

    The base does not want tax cuts for business. They do not want bailouts. They supported stimulus UNTIL IT DIDN’T WORK.

    Three different things. Apparently you don’t understand that.

    More to the point, the base (and everyone else) wants jobs, and this won’t do it. It doesn’t matter what you do, how good your talking points are, if you don’t produce goddamn jobs.

    Apparently you don’t understand that, either.

    And if they want to court the base, they’re doing an asstackular job of it. I don’t give one good flying fuck what they want to do. I want them to fix the fucking economy. Since their own economic policies haven’t done the goddamn job, maybe they should listen to the people who told them their policies wouldn’t work.

    If not, they’ll lose the election (well, at this point it’s probably too late, but maybe they should start worrying about the next election), and that will be a direct consequence of their own goddamn incompetence.

    Their enablers, constantly telling everyone that “hey, it could be worse” have neither helped Dems nor helped the country.

  3. marku

    Yeah, I love this argument: “Vote Democratic or else we won’t be able to continue to get all the wonderful stuff this greatest-Democratic-majority-in-thirty-years has produced over the last two years.”


    The last two years have been a tremendous release. I don’t have to care about politics anymore because it has been proven beyond any shadow of a doubt that it makes “No Effing Difference”. As someone pointed out (I wish I could remember who, I owe them one!) “I am no longer a citizen of the United States. I am a Subject of the United States.”

    So tend the garden. Eliminate debt. Raise chickens (who knew chickens were so socially weird and sources of amusement, as well as eggs?).

    Obama and the Dems go down in flames?

    Pulleeze. Tell me something that matters, like how to cure blossom end rot on my tomatoes.

  4. anon2525

    The stupid in the White House, it burns.

    Oh, and if they pass this, it will increase the deficit. But I guess they can “fix” that by cutting money for old folks.

    When asking yourself what Obama&co will do, start with “WWGBD?” (“what would george bush do?”) That will give a pretty good first-order approximation.

    That plan — pass more tax cuts for businesses and then cut social security and medicare — sounds like it would fit right in with what obama wants. Electorally there will be problems? All the more reason, they’ll say, to get it done now before gridlock can set in.

  5. Bernard

    hey, this is what Business does. Democrat or Republican makes no difference here. This is Obama trying to please HIS Masters. surprise! NOT! lol

    and boy will the Democrats be erased from Congress. a tiny minority party is Obama goes through with this and cutting Social Security. Now the O’s Chess moves are shown! everyone else gets checkmated.

    wondering what and how the O team would play out sure has shown who they are and where they come from

    what Base?? Democrats have a base? NO, not any more. lol

    Speaker of the House Boehner!! Get used to it.

    Third World status will be achieved in no time!!!!

  6. And if they want to court the base, they’re doing an asstackular job of it. I don’t give one good flying fuck what they want to do.

    This doesn’t make sense. What they choose to do reveals what they want to do, and what they want to do reveals part of the scope for progressive action in this electoral context. If you’re not interested in that, why write anything at all about American electoral politics? I mean, other than for venting frustration or something.

    Their enablers, constantly telling everyone that “hey, it could be worse” have neither helped Dems nor helped the country.

    You presume that anyone’s enabled anything. I think that’s a really big presumption. If you want people to walk away from the Dems, then do you have a strateg(er)y for what happens next?

  7. I mean, what is it that you want people to do with what you’ve read? If you want people to plant pumpkins like some people whose views seem to overlap with yours, then say that.

    I can’t afford to assume that I’ll survive by planting pumpkins. It really could be worse for me. *shrug*

  8. And since we’re getting things of our chests, I think that Obama was ultimately right about Park51, but perhaps not in the way he intended (who knows). Yes, it’s their right to build there, but I question the wisdom of it. Muslims in the West, particularly North America, have been an unpopular minority since well before 9/11, and only now are liberals really even noticing it, for whatever reason. Muslims have survived largely by putting their heads down; many mosques (or community centers, or whatever) are built in non-central locations, often at significant driving distances from the communities they serve, and not just because of the cheap land. I understand a lot of progressives desperately want to see some kind of dramatic Civil Rights Moment occur, but Muslims in America are not an old, large, and established/historic population like, say, blacks. But now that the cat’s out of the bag of course they should build it.

    But actually, this is related to the whole underlying issue you brought up. You’re telling me that you don’t care about the conditions under which policy happens, just that it does or doesn’t—as you’ve said before. That’s an expensive position for some of us to take. It’s also very wrongheaded and will lead us all off a cliff.

  9. @marku:

    Yea, you get it. I’m with you 100% there.

  10. Lex

    Marku, first check your soil pH. If it’s too acidic, calcium and magnesium get locked out and that can cause blossom end rot. Or you may just be deficient in those two elements. Many garden fertilizers have extra of those for just your situation. Epsom salt can be applied for getting just those two elements. And crushed eggshells around the base of your tomatoes will help too. Sometimes it happens from the soil being too wet, but more often it’s chemical.

    Most county extension agents offer full soil testing for a nominal fee. It’s the best $15 (or so) that a backyard gardener can spend. Knowledge is power.

  11. “What they choose to do reveals what they want to do”

    Well, at some point, no. What they do reveals what they want to do.

  12. Troll mandos thinks a tomato is a pumpkin. Good to know.

  13. As a bonus, crushed eggshells are a good barrier against slugs.

  14. Z

    This is the opening salvo to restore bush’s tax cuts for the rich. The obama administration opens up talking about how he wants to help “small” business owners and create jobs, but the only thing that he can get through congress right now are some tax cuts … even though this will be ineffectual for creating jobs, which he knows. And next the republicans will say, “All right, maybe we can work with you there. But how about extending those tax cuts to ALL tax payers … back to the bush cuts. And we got a bicker about your definition of “small” in small business too, coz we think it’s too small.”

    Then, of course, the head pr man of the establishment. the man of unquestioned honorable intentions, will get all pragmatic … but reluctantly so, according to his pr agents … and give the reps and their … and the dems’ … big business owners everything they want, which will include the pre-conceived compromise on what “small” is. The people will get some tax cuts and there may be some jobs created, but not a lot. And not a lot becoz that was never what it was intended for. The story line will be this … once again: under the unquestionable premise of really, really wanting to help the lower classes, the rahmbama administration was able to give us something … hooray! … but they have to give the rich more … oh shucks. And the rich get more powerful and the corporations that they hide behind get more powerful And we still fall further behind.

    The most amazing thing to me is that so many people ask themselves what else could the dlc’s dynamic duo of deceit, the pope of hope and his chi-town sidekick emanuel, possibly do more damaging to the dems’ electoral chances in the mid-terms without ever asking themselves if they are doing it INTENTIONALLY. Do people believe that these people are that stupid? They’re not … and they are confident that they can get away with it becoz they believe that they are MUCH smarter than the rest of us. It’s been done before. This is the clinton model: lose congress, and hence responsibility for the legislation, and then continually be “forced” into passing legislation that makes your big donors happy. And then they make you happy back after you leave office.

    obama is a terrible person … a very dangerous person. What sort of person keeps looking after the rich at this stage of the game? And what sort of dickhead throws people’s ss under the bus in a game that he damn well knows is rigged against them to begin with? SCUM!


  15. marku writes:

    The last two years have been a tremendous release. I don’t have to care about politics anymore…

    I couldn’t disagree with this more. Well, not with marku’s caring, that’s marku’s pre-rogative.

    What I believe is that the opportunity costs of engaging in politics as the legacy parties define it is not acceptable. There is literally always something better to do with your time.

    Consider the idea that learning to grow your own food is a “political” act, especially in a post-Peak Oil scenario:

    1. You decrease your likelihood of being poisoned by the food chain.

    2. You might get to eat if the trucks stop. In some worst case scenarios, that’s important.

    3. You don’t pay rent to Big Ag.

    4. You acquire a lot of social capital locally with others of like mind, of whom there are many.

    The last point is especially important, since if strategy is to be developed, that is where it will happen…

  16. @marku: yes, absolutely, especially the part about the liberation. I’m off the reservation, myself, but I see you beat me to the chickens.

    A question I ask myself, though, is why am I here, or reading any commentary at all? Do I need a fix of feeling bad to louse up my own liberation? Surely I have something better to do. I love Ian’s darkness, being of a similar predilection myself. But one needs to tread carefully, revisiting addictions. The whole process is like riding a bicycle across a tightrope wire. Maybe I still read a couple of blogs just to see if I can and not go shoot myself.

  17. I think the goal is to bring conservatives into the Democrats. Fast enough to swing November, or save Obama’s Presidency–that’s harder to say. But it looks very much to me like the Democrats, not liking the base they have, are trying to build another one.

  18. BDBlue

    But they won’t be able to bring conservatives in – why settle for far right Obama when you can get batshit right Rs?

    Instead, what they will do is discourage the base (and there’s polling that shows the Ds are in trouble not because people are changing to Rs but because more Ds ain’t going to be showing up) and discourage independents because it won’t do anything to help the economy. So that leaves you with hardcore conservatives and Rs, see my first point.

    Of course, I will be voting – I will just not be voting for either legacy party, except possibly at the very local level if there are any good candidates. The national Dems have indicated they want to do it without me, so good luck to ’em.

  19. Got links on those polls BDBlue?

  20. Formerly T-Bear

    Ian, this was over at The Agonist, does it add to this discussion?

    Historically it seems every economic downturn has been preceded by a collapse of credit followed by a collapse in demand (in the history of US expansion from the east coast), that followed by a collapse in business and growth. This is a common event in 19th century US history, and repeats itself again in the 20th century’s great depression and, with the exception of the oil shocks which followed another line of causation, most of the downturns after WWII to present day. What is noticeable is when the tax rates were at post-WWII levels, spending and demand soon returned to normal. Once the Reagan tax cuts for the large income earners was in effect, the period for recovery became extended for longer periods with less than complete recovery from previous highs in employment or in income, just what would be expected from an ideology that savings (which tax reduction allowed) were a driving force for increasing demand and like economic myths (this is the fallacy behind tax cuts exercising a growth affect on economic production) perpetrated by the Chicago School of ….

  21. S Brennan

    Here’s some advice from the Brits:

    Now a know this will start the “no nukes, no how, lalalalalalalalalal…I can’t hear you” crowd, who will not even read the article before spouting. But since coal releases more radiation into the atmosphere than all the reactors combined with open “air bursts”…not to mention the prime source of environmental mercury.

    And the party most responsible for coal’s longevity is same said crowd…well have at it…FYI, Thorium reactors would destroy our current nuclear was-lalalalalalalala, I can’t hear you, lalalalalalalala, I can’t hear you, lalalalalalalala, I can’t hear you.

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