'Tis impossible to be sure of anything but Death and Taxes (Christopher Bullock)
We need to put politics aside. The election is over. President Obama has won (Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss of Georgia)
Continued from Part 1
he GOP members of the House of Reps seem to be living in limbo as they are finding it hard to connect with their constituencies, just as Theodore Roosevelt (1858 -1919) said that "The most important single ingredient in the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people." Otherwise, they (GOP members of the House of Reps) should have known that Obama won the election and what he has in stock for the American public supersedes theirs. According to AP "For some time, signs have indicated that the Republican Party is shifting away from majority public opinion on key issues. They include taxes and spending. Despite Republican leaders' insistence that the deficit be tackled with spending cuts alone, and no new taxes, a recent Pew Research Center poll found a different public view. The vast majority of Americans say the deficit should be addressed with a mix of tax increases and spending cuts in major programs".
The Speaker of the House of Reps was a truant to the negotiations; because, he thought he would have staved it off through his Plan B. But, about two weeks ago, the reality dawned on him. His own party abandoned him, and then, lacking the GOP support, the 'fiscal cliff' 'Plan B' was yanked. In a report by Rachel Rose Hartman, Boehner drew low approval ratings for 'fiscal cliff' negotiations. Some polls taken prior to the "fiscal cliff" resolution found that Americans were preparing to "cast more blame on Republicans for a fiscal cliff failure". And despite the deal hammered out on Jan. 1, a new poll suggests House Speaker, John Boehner, still emerged unfavorably from negotiations. He drew a 51 percent disapproval rating from the Americans surveyed Jan. 2-6 in a Washington Post/ABC News poll released Tuesday morning (Jan. 8). President Barack Obama received a 52 percent approval for his handling of the compromise, which raised taxes on households earning more than $450,000, among other changes. More Americans surveyed approved of the resolution than disapproved, but support was far from overwhelming. Forty-five percent of Americans surveyed expressed support for the deal and 38 percent disapproved.
A majority of Americans view the GOP as too extreme. "That's due in part to the fact that the Republican brand is not doing all that well," says CNN Polling Director, Keating Holland. There comes the Grover Norquist Factor: The problem is that the Republican establishment has long embraced activist Grover Norquist's drive to persuade nearly every GOP lawmaker to pledge never to raise taxes on anyone, no matter how big the gap between federal revenue and spending. Anti-tax activist Grover Norquist was once again leading the conservative charge, urging Republican lawmakers to stand firm against President Obama's insistence that a tax hike for the rich be included in any deal to slash the deficit and avoid going over the fiscal cliff. But the Republicans forgot that even their conservative heroes such as President Ronald Reagan raised taxes at times. The anti-tax pledge has become the Republican Party's "brand," as Norquist often said. Some Republicans even worried publicly and privately that they were losing the war of appearances in the battle over the cliff. And some wanted to break free earlier from this un-elected Norquist holding them and American hostage. Republican Representative Tom Cole was one of them who broke ranks with his party and agreed to accept higher tax rates on the richest Americans. Reuters wrote, prior to the deal, that Grover Norquist may be losing favor with some members of Congress "Norquist's hold on the GOP has been loosening as congressional leaders recognize that this extreme, unelected activist is helping to hold a balanced bipartisan deal hostage."
Joe Conason wrote this in his column (Prior to the deal) "the Republicans Party demonstrates again why they are unfit for the responsibilities of national office. They proved their unfitness the first time in the summer of 2011, when they held the national debt ceiling hostage, supposedly to reduce spending, and succeeded only in damaging both the nation's credit rating and the economic recovery. Now they have declared their unwillingness to negotiate with a newly re-elected president, who won easily on the taxation issue. Although they held the majority, they actually lost seats and received fewer total votes than the House Democrats. But still they see no reason to deal with the president or acknowledge the national consensus. Naturally, public anger at the Republicans is growing. But how furious would people feel if they fully understood this latest absurd episode on Capitol Hill?
The president is fortunate in this opposition, whose obstinacy and extremism may yet prevent him from making a terrible deal to damage Social Security or Medicare when neither is necessary. He wanted to make a deal - very badly - but there is nobody with the competence or sanity with whom to make a deal, not even a raw deal.
Now Obama must explain clearly what has happened. Perhaps then voters will begin to draw the obvious conclusion - that this country's problems cannot be addressed, let alone solved, until they remove these Republicans from power".
ABC News wrote that "The fiscal cliff is just the beginning. The fiscal cliff negotiations have broad implications for the Washington agenda in 2013 and beyond. The tone has been set for the New Year, and possibly for the rest of President Obama's time in office: Washington's divisions are the only point that matters anymore. Call it dysfunction or call it just plain broken, just don't call it capable of even small legislative moves that involve compromise. The other items Obama ticked through as part of his second-term agenda - immigration reform, energy and environmental policy, infrastructure investments, gun control - look like dreams in this environment. The causes are manifold, and the blame doesn't have to be equally distributed for the ramifications to be real. The fact is that Republicans - who will control at least one house of Congress for at least half of the president's second term - do not now and may not ever see sufficient political benefit to offer the types of concessions Democrats are insisting on. If an election couldn't change that, there's precious little left that can. Name the issue and it's all too easy to see similar dynamics derailing meaningful reform. Washington is now broken beyond the point where bold individual leadership can even fix it. The forces at play are bigger than the ability of the president, House Speaker John Boehner, or any other person or persons to turn them around without the certain promise of a revolt in the party ranks that would leave them out of effective power".
A majority think it's likely that the president will be able to improve the economy in his second term. The American public supports tax hikes on rich, just as Obama wants. In a report by Rachel Rose Hartman of Yahoo News, a new poll suggests President Barack Obama had strong leverage over "fiscal cliff" negotiations because the public supported raising taxes on the nation's top earners. Sixty percent of registered voters in a new Politico/George Washington University poll said they support increasing taxes on households earning more than $250,000.
This writer didn't know, until recently, that a large group of baboons are also called a congress (http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_do_you_call_a_group_of_baboons). That really explains a lot now, doesn't it? No wonder that the US Congress (and even the Nigerian National Assembly) members are behaving the way they do!
Congress has had since November 2011 to deal with the big issues. Back then, a bipartisan committee couldn't agree on a compromise to avoid the fiscal cliff scenario, a double whammy of tax hikes and spending cuts that would have affected most Americans in 2013. According to AP, it was Congress that created the fiscal cliff to begin with, as part of a bipartisan vote to approve the Budget Control Act of 2011. The long-term problem is that the federal government spends more money than it takes in, forcing it to borrow massively. At its current pace, the government will have difficulty operating as Baby Boomers retire and tap into federal benefits.
The losers in the fiscal cliff deal, according to AP, are: Deficit hawks; Speaker Boehner's Plan B; the U.S. Treasury; the 1 Percent wealthy Americans who make their money from investments, rather than paychecks. In addition to higher income taxes, those who make above $400,000 will now be subject to a 20 percent tax rate on their capital gains and dividends; and of course, the Holiday Cheer: From senators who had to fly back to Washington two days after Christmas to Hill staffers who canceled New Year's Eve plans in anticipation of a late night hammering out a deal, the fiscal-cliff negotiations cast a pall over the holiday season. And it wasn't just Washington: Americans spent the holidays wringing their hands over pending tax increases.
While the middle and lower-income taxpayers are the main beneficiaries of the fiscal-cliff deal, the other winners are Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell; and, Vice President Joe Biden, who can revel in the crucial role he played in last-minute discussions with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. But the biggest winner is of course, President Obama. According to AP, President Obama made the fiscal cliff negotiations all about taxes, repeating the call for tax increases on the rich and tax cuts for the middle class that helped him win re-election. Although the final deal is less than the president had hoped for, he gets to say he kept his campaign promise to protect middle-class Americans. He also gets to renew key tax cuts passed as part of his 2009 stimulus package and to extend unemployment insurance.
This proves once again that any one who picks up a fight against Obama leaves with a bloody nose! No wonder that President Obama has extended his streak as the man most admired by Americans in the world, according to Gallup. For Mr. Obama, it is his fifth year in a row topping the list.
For now, let's continue thanking Mr. President:
For saving the auto industry and at least 1.4 million jobs:
US President Barack Obama tours a new Opal Ampera, a GM electric car manufactured in the US and to be sold in Europe, on November 20, 2010 at Feira Internacional de Lisboa in Lisbon during a NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) Summit of Heads of States and Government held on 19-20 November 2010. (TIM SLOAN/AFP/Getty Images)
For loving the troops:
President Barack Obama greets members of the audience following his remarks at an event with military personnel at the Pensacola Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Fla., June 15, 2010. This was the President's fourth trip to the Gulf Coast to assess the ongoing response to the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
President Barack Obama greets U.S. troops at Bagram Air Field in Afghanistan, March 28, 2010.
President Barack Obama visits with members of the military and their families in Anderson Hall at Marine Corp Base Hawaii, Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2012, in Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii (AP)
President Barack Obama speaks as first lady Michelle Obama listens during a visit with members of the military and their families in Anderson Hall at Marine Corp Base Hawaii, Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2012, in Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii. The first family is in Hawaii for a holiday vacation. (AP)
For understanding the horrible price of war:
President Barack Obama attends a ceremony at Dover Air Force Base in Dover, Del., Oct. 29, 2009, for the dignified transfer of 18 U.S. personnel who died in Afghanistan. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
THE THANX IS ALL YOURS!!!
Continued from Part 1
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