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 Post subject: Re: Indecision 2012
PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 3:32 pm 
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brandrinn wrote:
So we're done with the election then, yes? Good. We'll pick up again in 2014.


It's interesting how contingent it's been. Consider a): Texas was originally scheduled to vote on Super Tuesday. Consider b): Santorum, according to the polls, would have unambiguously thrashed Romney in Texas, receiving not just delegates but massive prestige and momentum.

As it is, it's all over.

----

Interestingly: Americans hate Romney. Romney has 48% unfavourability, compared to Obama's 44% - but only 33% favourability, compared to Obama's 49%.

-----

The problem if Romney selected Santorum isn't that he might win (although he might, you never know - all sorts of things could have changed by then). It's NEXT election. If Santorum isn't selected this time, he'll probably fade away by next time (when they have a better chance of winning) - he's pretty worn-out as a candidate already. If he's the VP candidate, he's a much bigger beast next time around. Then again, maybe not: the only Republican VP candidate to EVER be a presidential candidate without actually having served as VP was Dole - and it took him 20 years to recover from the VP candidacy.

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 Post subject: Re: Indecision 2012
PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 7:45 am 
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What are the odds looking like on the congressional election?


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 Post subject: Re: Indecision 2012
PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 9:57 am 
Smeric
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Last I had heard, the GOP is likely to retain the House. Their chances of retaining the Senate are decreased by the fact that Snowe is retiring.

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 Post subject: Re: Indecision 2012
PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 10:35 am 
Osän
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I wish there was someway Santorum couldn't be nominated, I mean the guy's an embarrassment and he's running for the highest office in the land? He would not play well with our allies, our enemies will see him as an easy target, and that's not mentioning the fact he wants to restore "Catholic order" in a non-Catholic not entirely religious country. His whole candidacy is just so wrong.

Kansans are crazy and I'm convinced that if they knew of his hatred of mainstream Protestantism, that he would've went down much more easily.

I'm not a Romney fan, but I would trust Romney with the presidency far more than Santorum. Heck, I'd trust Gingrich more. I'm also rather confident that Romney will simmer down back to a moderate once elected. And I don't care he's Mormon because unlike Santorum who's running primarily on a New Inquisition platform (which in itself is terrible), Romney is not running on a Mormon platform so therefore I'm pretty confident if elected he's not going to be Mormon this, Mormon that, like Santorum.

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 Post subject: Re: Indecision 2012
PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 3:16 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Indecision 2012
PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 1:31 am 
Osän
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dhokarena56 wrote:
What are the odds looking like on the congressional election?

sirred wrote:
Last I had heard, the GOP is likely to retain the House. Their chances of retaining the Senate are decreased by the fact that Snowe is retiring.

It is likely to retain the House, but in weatherman speak that's a low-confidence forecast - especially if Romney keeps having trouble getting his party behind him (and a Santorum nomination would really throw shit onto the House elections fan). But the Senate is currently controlled by Democrats, not the GOP, and whether it stays so after the coming elections is really anyone's guess; it had been somewhat tilted towards ending up in Republican hands, but the retirement of Olympia Snowe and the candidacy of Bill Nelson now put it well into "who knows" territory.

In short: my crystal ball is silent on both houses. Ask me again in June when we know who the presidential nominee is going to be.


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 Post subject: Re: Indecision 2012
PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 2:36 pm 
Osän
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Surprised this thread hasn't resurfaced sooner. It's September! Only two months to go, and the landscape has firmed up enough that we can pretty much see where we're going.

Where are we going? My crystal ball says:

- Obama wins. At this point there are so many electoral votes in his column compared to Romney's that Obama has far more paths open to reach 270 than Romney does. Although Wisconsin and North Carolina are listed as swing states by various sources, they are still likely to go for Obama and Romney respectively; so, adding those to the other electoral votes we can reasonably count on for each, we get Obama 247, Romney 206. This leaves 85 swing-state electoral votes up for grabs, and Obama only needs 23 of them while Romney would need 64. Florida alone would clinch it for Obama, or any two out of Ohio, Virginia, Colorado. Whereas Romney would need, for example, all four of Florida, Ohio, Iowa, and Virginia. So, barring some unforeseeable event messing things up, Romney's going to lose.

- The Democrats will probably lose a senator or two, but thanks to the retirement of Olympia Snow, and the great Todd Akin Fuckup, they will very probably keep control of the chamber.

- The Republicans will lose a dozen or more seats in the House, but probably keep the chamber.

- So all in all, the next two years are shaping up to look a lot like the last two. Assuming this validates, we are likely to see yet more dramatic and highly visible failures of Congress to get even routine business of the country done, and public opinion of them will sink even lower. It will be... interesting... to see what that does to the 2014 midterms.


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 Post subject: Re: Indecision 2012
PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2012 5:46 pm 
Sumerul
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Radius Solis wrote:
analysis


+1

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 Post subject: Re: Indecision 2012
PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2012 7:44 pm 
Smeric
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Radius:

Assuming everything plays out as you have suggested, how would you expect the removal of the "make sure Obama doesn't get reelected" motivation to affect the behavior of congress? I wonder if routine business would stand a better chance of getting taken care of, but then again I'm an optimist.


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 Post subject: Re: Indecision 2012
PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2012 8:40 pm 
Boardlord
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Matt Yglesias makes a good point... with the expiration of the Bush tax cuts, the motivations switch. Last year, Obama really wanted a deal and the Republicans could just say no. The Bush cuts expire at the end of the year, so simply by doing nothing, Obama gets a revenue increase. So if the Republicans want to keep all or some of those cuts, they're motivated to offer something.


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 Post subject: Re: Indecision 2012
PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2012 11:20 pm 
Osän
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zompist wrote:
Matt Yglesias makes a good point... with the expiration of the Bush tax cuts, the motivations switch. Last year, Obama really wanted a deal and the Republicans could just say no. The Bush cuts expire at the end of the year, so simply by doing nothing, Obama gets a revenue increase. So if the Republicans want to keep all or some of those cuts, they're motivated to offer something.

Motivated, perhaps, but I have my doubts it will result in their actually giving up much. They don't want to look like compromisers to their base - compromise is a dirty word now. Instead they may calculate they have more to gain by letting taxes go way up for a few years so they can paint the Dems as diabolical tax-and-spendists, passing compromise-free renewals of the cuts to help make the charge stick, campaigning in 2014 and 2016 on a platform of restoring the cuts to save us all from economic catastrophe they'll claim is about to befall us if we don't, and - if they gain the Senate this cycle or next - putting Obama in the position of having to defend vetoing a tax cut extension for the middle class. They've been pulling this shit for years and making it work; why stop now?

HandsomeRob wrote:
Radius:

Assuming everything plays out as you have suggested, how would you expect the removal of the "make sure Obama doesn't get reelected" motivation to affect the behavior of congress? I wonder if routine business would stand a better chance of getting taken care of, but then again I'm an optimist.

I wouldn't expect very much change. Making sure he doesn't get re-elected is just an instantiation of the deeper goal: make him fail. There is no reason to think they will suddenly want Obama to be able to claim any more successes - quite the opposite.


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 Post subject: Re: Indecision 2012
PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2012 12:11 am 
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I do tend to agree with Radius in the presidential end result, especially with respect to the Republican party ticket and how the VP choice (who, I might add, I am not thrilled with) has set the things in motion. Granted, it might (big might) cause Wisconsin to be a red state this year, as it's very rarely that a candidate's home state does not vote for them and also due to the outcome of the Scott Walker recall election, but that's a very big might. Pretty much, Romney needs Florida. If he can get the votes there, then he's in the game; if not, it's game over.

House will probably stay Republican-controlled, barring a major implosion, but the Senate is more of a potential toss-up with a lean towards the Democrats. A good number of predictions say the Democrats would likely lose control of around three seats while the Republicans only one. But if it went that way, that would still give a 51-49 majority to the Democrats.

On an unrelated sidenote, the governor's race in my "home state" (North Carolina) is looking to be rather lively. With the incumbent Democratic governor not running, it's a bit of a free-for-all. Fortunately, I'm not there and Ohio isn't having too many major elections this year, so I'm (sorta) safe from that chaos.

Radius Solis wrote:
Motivated, perhaps, but I have my doubts it will result in their actually giving up much. They don't want to look like compromisers to their base - compromise is a dirty word now. Instead they may calculate they have more to gain by letting taxes go way up for a few years so they can paint the Dems as diabolical tax-and-spendists, passing compromise-free renewals of the cuts to help make the charge stick, campaigning in 2014 and 2016 on a platform of restoring the cuts to save us all from economic catastrophe they'll claim is about to befall us if we don't, and - if they gain the Senate this cycle or next - putting Obama in the position of having to defend vetoing a tax cut extension for the middle class. They've been pulling this shit for years and making it work; why stop now?

I can really see them doing this: if Obama wins re-election, then it's in their interests to paint him and his side in as negative a light as possible (even moreso than they have been doing for the past few years) if they want a good chance at running a successful mid-term campaign.

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 Post subject: Re: Indecision 2012
PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2012 5:59 pm 
Sanno
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Radius Solis wrote:
zompist wrote:
Matt Yglesias makes a good point... with the expiration of the Bush tax cuts, the motivations switch. Last year, Obama really wanted a deal and the Republicans could just say no. The Bush cuts expire at the end of the year, so simply by doing nothing, Obama gets a revenue increase. So if the Republicans want to keep all or some of those cuts, they're motivated to offer something.

Motivated, perhaps, but I have my doubts it will result in their actually giving up much. They don't want to look like compromisers to their base - compromise is a dirty word now. Instead they may calculate they have more to gain by letting taxes go way up for a few years so they can paint the Dems as diabolical tax-and-spendists, passing compromise-free renewals of the cuts to help make the charge stick, campaigning in 2014 and 2016 on a platform of restoring the cuts to save us all from economic catastrophe they'll claim is about to befall us if we don't, and - if they gain the Senate this cycle or next - putting Obama in the position of having to defend vetoing a tax cut extension for the middle class. They've been pulling this shit for years and making it work; why stop now?

The problem with letting the tax cuts expire is that it would let the cat out of the bag that the cuts mean nothing for 'the middle class'. Right now, they can claim it's a tax cut for the middle classes - when they expire and the taxes of the middle classes don't go up, that'll be harder to push.
Quote:

HandsomeRob wrote:
Radius:

Assuming everything plays out as you have suggested, how would you expect the removal of the "make sure Obama doesn't get reelected" motivation to affect the behavior of congress? I wonder if routine business would stand a better chance of getting taken care of, but then again I'm an optimist.

I wouldn't expect very much change. Making sure he doesn't get re-elected is just an instantiation of the deeper goal: make him fail. There is no reason to think they will suddenly want Obama to be able to claim any more successes - quite the opposite.

[/quote]

True.
Also, the emphasis can just shift to "make sure Obama's protege doesn't get elected to continue his failed policies". This is a particularly easy campaign to run, because Obama doesn't have a protege yet - in the absence of a clear successor, the Republicans can conjure up whatever socialist nightmare they want, with even less need to make it match reality than normal.

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 Post subject: Re: Indecision 2012
PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2012 9:18 pm 
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Quote:
The problem with letting the tax cuts expire is that it would let the cat out of the bag that the cuts mean nothing for 'the middle class'. Right now, they can claim it's a tax cut for the middle classes - when they expire and the taxes of the middle classes don't go up, that'll be harder to push.
Erm, what? Perhaps I am misinformed, but to the best of my knowledge the expiration of the Bush cuts will cause middle-class tax rates to go up substantially - and the middle class segment of the cuts accounts for, IIRC, around 2/3 of the cuts' total revenue loss.


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 Post subject: Re: Indecision 2012
PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2012 9:38 pm 
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Radius Solis wrote:
Quote:
The problem with letting the tax cuts expire is that it would let the cat out of the bag that the cuts mean nothing for 'the middle class'. Right now, they can claim it's a tax cut for the middle classes - when they expire and the taxes of the middle classes don't go up, that'll be harder to push.
Erm, what? Perhaps I am misinformed, but to the best of my knowledge the expiration of the Bush cuts will cause middle-class tax rates to go up substantially - and the middle class segment of the cuts accounts for, IIRC, around 2/3 of the cuts' total revenue loss.

If we're talking about the Bush tax cuts, then you are misinformed.

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 Post subject: Re: Indecision 2012
PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2012 9:56 pm 
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brandrinn wrote:
If we're talking about the Bush tax cuts, then you are misinformed.


Brevity is the soul of wit only insofar as it doesn't eliminate information critical to one's communicative intent, such as a source.


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 Post subject: Re: Indecision 2012
PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2012 12:00 am 
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Raw rates can be found here.

If you made up to $100,000 in the Clinton years, the maximum tax rate was 28%.

Today it's 25%.

The actual effect on taxes is not so simple, because you can't just ignore deductions. But assuming a married couple filing jointly, and deductions of $15,000, taxes went (after Bush) from about $18,210 to $13,500.

But a $100K income, though it feels middle class, is pretty close to the top 10%. An income of $50,000 saw taxes going from about $6000 to about $5200. (I'm less sure about this one because, if there are several children, EIC may also apply.)

In any case, it's actually a terrible idea to return to the Clinton era tax rates right now. It'd be equivalent to passing a massive austerity program-- such as has already pushed Britain back into a recession.

Obama's payroll tax cut also expires in 2013, and that will chiefly impact the middle class.

It's just that, in the game of high-stakes chicken that US politics has become, this puts Obama into a better spot. Simply by doing nothing, taxes are raised and the long-term deficit projections suddenly look much better.

For the Republicans, the calculation has been "We can live with a worsening economy, so long as tax rates stay low, because it'll probably bring Obama down too." I don't think they become happy rabbits if Obama wins and taxes go up. They may be crazy, but a 5% rise in the tox tax rate is something they're very motivated to avoid.


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 Post subject: Re: Indecision 2012
PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2012 1:23 am 
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Even if the GOP doesn't change much, Ezra Klein has an interesting point: if Obama is reelected, there will be some dramatic changes, but they don't require GOP support. That's because they already passed: the health care bill comes mostly in force in 2014, and the Wall Street reform bill will continue to be implemented.


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 Post subject: Re: Indecision 2012
PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2012 2:22 am 
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zompist wrote:
But a $100K income, though it feels middle class, is pretty close to the top 10%. An income of $50,000 saw taxes going from about $6000 to about $5200. (I'm less sure about this one because, if there are several children, EIC may also apply.)

Ah, thanks. I realize, of course, the complications to figuring out how much of a break it really is for each situation. But the assertions I'm questioning, Sal's "taxes don't go up" and that the cuts "mean nothing" to the middle classes, seem sufficiently refuted. A few percent may only be a few percent of total income, but it can be a much bigger percentage of disposable income, and that matters.

For one example, I remember how the original Bush tax cuts made enough of a difference that my folks were able to get the house re-roofed when they otherwise couldn't have. Which in turn enabled them to refinance, reducing their monthly mortgage payments significantly.


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 Post subject: Re: Indecision 2012
PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2012 6:19 am 
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Radius Solis wrote:
...the assertions I'm questioning, Sal's "taxes don't go up" and that the cuts "mean nothing" to the middle classes, seem sufficiently refuted.
Great. Now you can get started on defending that assertion you made:
Quote:
the middle class segment of the cuts accounts for, IIRC, around 2/3 of the cuts' total revenue loss.

See how easy it is to just pretend the burden of proof is on whoever isn't you? Hell, I didn't even have to Google anything.

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Last edited by brandrinn on Fri Sep 07, 2012 8:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Indecision 2012
PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2012 6:40 am 
Sumerul
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 Post subject: Re: Indecision 2012
PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2012 1:37 pm 
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brandrinn wrote:
Quote:
the middle class segment of the cuts accounts for, IIRC, around 2/3 of the cuts' total revenue loss.

See how easy it is to just pretend the burden of proof is on whoever isn't you? Hell, I didn't even have to Google anything.

I did google it, before I first replied to Sal. Google does not always quickly and easily provide what you're looking for (especially with the process slowed by vision impairment), and in the half hour I could spend at the time I didn't find it. So I wrote my post as a questioning of his claims that acknowledged I might be wrong and hedged my recollection with "IIRC" to signal openness to correction. But then you offered a refutal of no more substance than clicking a "like" button, or "dislike" as the case may be, which, as I aspired to point out before, hardly constitutes correction.

On the matter of the 2/3, that's the figure I recall being bandied around in news reports from back when Obama was trying to get the cuts extended for the middle class only. I will be happy to find out for sure if I can, and this evening I will have time enough to look into it more.


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 Post subject: Re: Indecision 2012
PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2012 10:20 pm 
Visanom
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Radius Solis wrote:
On the matter of the 2/3, that's the figure I recall being bandied around in news reports from back when Obama was trying to get the cuts extended for the middle class only. I will be happy to find out for sure if I can, and this evening I will have time enough to look into it more.

So, that's still [citation needed], then. Gotcha.

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 Post subject: Re: Indecision 2012
PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 2:26 am 
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brandrinn wrote:
So, that's still [citation needed], then. Gotcha.

Yes, yes it is. Please consider the point retracted - it turns out to be a hard question to answer! Authoritatively, at least. Primary sources or reputable news reporting thereof, not blog/PAC/thinktank sites... there's plenty of those, and sufficient that I appear to have been at least in the right direction on it, but on the other hand I wouldn't accept that sort of evidence from you and I don't expect you to accept it from me. If the CBO has produced a report on the proposal I can't find it. I'm disappointed, but two hours of slogging through this shit and I'm past the point where it's worth continuing.


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 Post subject: Re: Indecision 2012
PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 2:48 am 
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Now that that's settled, what does everyone think of Clinton's convention speech? It was pretty good, in my opinion. The usual circlejerk "isn't our side awesome" nonsense, but way less so than most of the speeches given at the RNC, or any party convention for that matter. Apparently they let him go to almost twice his allotted time, he was so popular.

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