Video and Transcript From President Obama's "Fiscal Cliff" Speech (11/09/12)--Please Put In Your "Two Cents" [2nd Revision]
Here's a link to the video of President Obama On The Economy And The Deficit [November 9, 2012].
Here's a link to the transcript of the speech.
Here's one a couple of excerpts which are perfect examples of "Kabuki Theater" IMO:
OBAMA: I’m not gonna ask students and seniors and middle class families to pay down the entire deficit, while people like me making over $250,000 aren’t asked to pay a dime more in taxes.
No where in that sentence do I hear any guarantee that he won't "slash" entitlements, only that he won't do it without asking those making more than $250,000, to pay more taxes. Jeeeeezzzzz!
OBAMA: While there may be disagreement in Congress over whether or not to raise taxes on folks making over $250,000 a year, nobody -- not Republicans, not Democrats -- want taxes to go up for folks making under $250,000 a year.
This "noise" about raising the marginal tax rates on the wealthy is posturing. Bowles-Simpson's The Moment of Truth calls for reductions in all the marginal tax rates, especially for the top brackets.
And, here's an excerpt from a piece in the Business Section of the Washington Post, "Obama, Boehner Again Prepare To Tackle National Debt.":
In Boehner’s view, aides said, the starting point should be the deficit-reduction deal that he and Obama were close to sealing in secret talks during the summer of 2011. With Congress locked in a bitter battle over the federal debt limit, the two tentatively agreed to slice $2.4 trillion from future borrowing in part by trimming Medicare and Social Security benefits and generating $800 billion in new revenue by overhauling the tax code.
Under the terms of the emerging agreement, the rewrite would reduce the top tax rate paid by the highest earners from the current 35 percent, although a precise target was not specified. In return, Republicans agreed to drop demands to preserve preferential rates for investment income such as capital gains and dividends — by far the most lucrative break in the tax code for the very wealthy.
On entitlements, Obama has offered significant changes to Medicare, including letting the eligibility age to rise from 65 to 67. He has also supported applying a less generous measure of inflation to Social Security benefits. But he took fire from liberals for those concessions, and he dropped them from his latest budget request.
But William Daley, Obama’s former chief of staff, said the president must be prepared to offer some concessions to get a deal.
“I don’t think you can just stick with the plan [Republicans] rejected and hope they change their mind,” Daley said in an interview. “I think they start with the outline from a year and a half ago. It would be easy going back to that deal, which we got fairly close to doing.”
And lastly, here's an excerpt from the Matt Bai's "Obama vs. Boehner: Who Killed the Debt Deal?". It outlines the tentative agreement for a Grand Bargain reached in July of 2011.
The Grand Bargain Within Reach
For all the talk since last July about who blew up the deal, it has been difficult to get a clear sense of what specifically the agreement was supposed to include. And so the three-page counteroffer that Rob Nabors sent to Barry Jackson and Brett Loper that Tuesday night, which turned out to be the last set of numbers exchanged between the two sides, represents the most detailed picture yet of what a grand bargain might have looked like. It’s a remarkable snapshot of the moment, not for the points of contention it exposes, but rather because it illustrates how much agreement Obama and Boehner had actually managed to find.
They had agreed to reduce discretionary spending — meaning both the defense budget and money used to finance the rest of the government — by about $1.2 trillion over 10 years; it would be up to Congress to figure out how. They also agreed to a list of programs from which they could cut at least $200 billion more in the coming decade. These included an estimated $44 billion from pensions for civilian and military employees of the government; $30 billion from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac; $33 billion from farm subsidies and conservation programs; and $16 billion from reforming the Postal Service.
On entitlements too they had moved closer to a final deal. The White House agreed to cut at least $250 billion from Medicare in the next 10 years and another $800 billion in the decade after that, in part by raising the eligibility age. The administration had endorsed another $110 billion or so in cuts to Medicaid and other health care programs, with $250 billion more in the second decade. And in a move certain to provoke rebellion in the Democratic ranks, Obama was willing to apply a new, less generous formula for calculating Social Security benefits, which would start in 2015. (The White House had rejected Boehner’s bid to raise the retirement age.) This wasn’t quite enough for Boehner, nor was it as extensive as what the Gang of Six had proposed. But the speaker’s team didn’t consider the differences to be insurmountable, assuming the two sides could also settle on a revenue number.
Just heard 30 minutes of Jay Carney "jockeying" with the Washington Press Corp. Now, Carney's talking about the "Buffet Rule," as opposed to raising the marginal tax rates on the wealthy back to the Clinton tax rate of 39.6%.