Monday, December 3, 2012

Elsewhere: Cliff, EC Edge, More

One of my policies as I've been writing for others has been not to argue about headlines. Of course, I write my own here (who else would?), and sometimes I write my own at Post Partisan; sometimes not. I've suggested headlines at other places, but you should usually assume that it ain't me. Which is usually fine...that's part of how this stuff works, and even if I argued I wouldn't necessarily win. And usually whatever is wrong with it isn't a big deal; it's not as if I'm running for president and the NYT has me shutting down the auto industry. At any rate: I had a nice little column over at Salon over the weekend about the Democratic electoral college advantage in the last two elections and whether it might carry over in the future, and I wound up with something about a "permanent" edge. Oh well.

What else...on Friday, I wondered at PP whether Mitch  McConnell would cut a filibuster deal if a majority-imposed reform appeared certain, and talked about how a key point for Harry Reid now is to figure that out in order to come up with the best strategy.

Today at PP I talked about how to talk about 2016 presidential candidates. And at Plum Line, I argued that the key to today's GOP fiscal cliff offer is whether the revenues they're committing to are real. Not everyone agrees on this, but my feeling about it is that what really matters towards getting negotiations underway successfully is if both sides are willing to (1) ask for what they want (2) using real numbers. It's not necessary that they ask for things the other side is willing to consider; you need to get to that, but you'll never get there if one side insists on phony numbers. So we'll see. If Republicans are really committing to $800B in new revenues, that's a pretty big deal; if it's phony, not!


  1. I saw that, mentally blamed anonymous headline writer (copy desks exist to take blame) and mentally substituted "structural"

  2. I suppose talking about what you want in reality would be a huge improvement over talking about what you want your opponent to want in fantasyland...

  3. I think the fiscal deals are for real numbers, though not all the Congress will be on board for the nitty-gritty of how to meet those numbers. Both sides are suspicious of phony numbers, so they'll be hammering them down as well as possible before the votes. That's what we saw in August '11, and I think it will be operative now too.

  4. On the cynical side, do you suppose the Republicans prefer to raise revenues through the elimination of tax loopholes rather than the raising of marginal tax rates because the former is so much easier to undo afterward? After the tax system was simplified in 1986, how long did it take to complicate it again?


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