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Senate passes massive tax cut which raised taxes over $600 billion in middle of night without reading the bill

Senate passes massive tax cut which raised taxes over $600 billion in middle of night without reading the bill

There are too many metaphors here applicable to the Senate’s 89-8 passage of a “fiscal cliff” bill in the middle of the night (around 2 a.m. this morning).

The bill raised taxes by over $600 billion, in addition to Obamacare taxes already coming on line, yet the Senators can claim it was a massive tax cut because the vote took place after midnight, so technically the Bush tax cuts already had expired.

The basic details are in last night’s post.  The index to the bill is here, and the full bill here.

Via WaPo:

Senate leaders had been waiting to schedule the vote until they had received an official score from the Congressional Budget Office, which provides estimates for the budgetary impact of legislation.

But even though that score was released before the measure was voted upon, it’s unlikely that many senators had the chance to read the entire 157-page bill before casting their votes early Tuesday morning.

Support for — as well as opposition to — the compromise spanned the ideological spectrum. The eight senators voting “no” were Democratic Sens. Tom Harkin (Iowa), Tom Carper (Del.), Michael Bennet (Colo.) and Republican Sens. Mike Lee (Utah), Richard Shelby (Ala.), Rand Paul (Ky.), Chuck Grassley (Iowa) and potential 2016 White House hopeful Marco Rubio (Fla.).

The Republican Senators voting against the bill were Rubio, Paul, Grassley, Lee, Shelby, and the Democrats were Harkin, Bennet and Carper.  Not voting were DeMint, Lautenberg, and Kirk.

For historical analogy, CBS News points out:

The measure is the first significant bipartisan tax increase since 1990, when former President George H.W. Bush violated his “read my lips” promise on taxes. It would raise an additional $620 billion over the coming decade when compared with revenues after tax cuts passed in 2001 and 2003, during the Bush administration. But because those policies expired at midnight Monday, the measure is officially scored as a whopping $3.9 trillion tax cut over the next decade.

Now it goes over to the House.

The most intereting part of the bill that we know of so far is that the automatic sequester cuts are delayed for two months, so there will be another big fight combining the sequester cuts and debt ceiling.  This delay is one of the selling points the Republican leadership is using to sell the bill.

The theory is that the spending cuts and entitlement reforms have not been surrendered, they will be fought over soon in a context in which the “rich” already have seen their taxes go up so spending and entitlements, not taxes, will be the only things on the table.

Obama already signalled in his offensive press appearance yesterday that he was not buying into that narrative, and that more “revenue” would be on the table again.

Updates:  Via Twitchy

Twitter Break Tax Pledge

And Senator Rubio’s Statement On Fiscal Cliff Vote:

Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) today issued the following statement after voting against the so-called deal to avert the fiscal cliff by imposing job-killing taxes and failing to solve America’s long term debt problem:

“I appreciate all the hard word that went into avoiding the so-called ‘fiscal cliff’. I especially commend Senator McConnell’s efforts to make the best out of a bad situation. Nevertheless, I cannot support the arrangement they have arrived at. Rapid economic growth and spending reforms are the only way out of the real fiscal cliff our nation is facing. But rapid economic growth and job creation will be made more difficult under the deal reached here in Washington.

“Thousands of small businesses, not just the wealthy, will now be forced to decide how they’ll pay this new tax and, chances are, they’ll do it by firing employees, cutting back their hours and benefits, or postponing the new hire they were looking to make. And to make matters worse, it does nothing to bring our dangerous debt under control.

“Of course, many Americans will be relieved in the short term that their taxes won’t go up. However in the long run, they will be hurt when employers pass on to them one of the largest tax hikes in decades. Furthermore, this deal just postpones the inevitable, the need to solve our growing debt crisis and help the 23 million Americans who can’t find the work they need.”

And, my latest post, Time for House to call a Time Out — pass Plan C.

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Comments

IIRC that’s $60 billion a year for 10 years.

Wheeee!

Now we’re going into debt a little slower than yesterday.

    MaggotAtBroadAndWall in reply to myiq2xu. | January 1, 2013 at 9:11 am

    >> Now we’re going into debt a little slower than yesterday. <<

    Ha. Ha.

    Ragspierre in reply to myiq2xu. | January 1, 2013 at 10:56 am

    Yah…no…

    If I’m not mistaken, that projection was made using static analysis. I doubt very much it will bring in that much.

    The rich…or ducks in this metaphor…will not stay sitting. They have too many choices, and will find more.

    Nothing is more portable than the rich.

    And the economic law of substitution will dictate that many of the very bright, motivated people in the targeted income brackets will simply find substitutes for paying the taxes laid on them.

    kohath in reply to myiq2xu. | January 1, 2013 at 12:57 pm

    Minus the $30 Billion in new spending on unemployment extensions.

[…] Legal InsurrectionThe bill raised taxes by over $600 billion, in addition to Obamacare taxes already coming on line, yet the Senators can claim it was a massive tax cut because the vote took place after midnight, so technically the Bush tax cuts already had expired. […]

Twitchy probably had the best description.

Crap Sandwich

“without reading the bill”

pelosi policy..”we have to pass it to see what’s in it!”

Why do we keep electing these bozos?

Goodbye GOP!

Goodbye GOP!

Goodbye GOP!

It’s time to quit “talking” about a third party and start “doing” something about it. I live in Mitch McConnell’s “kingdom” and I plan to do everything in my power to see that he does not get reelected again. I at least have Rand Paul as my other Senator.

This bill isn’t the crap sandwich, it’s the appetizer to the crap sandwich, which they’ll feast upon in sixty days.

MaggotAtBroadAndWall | January 1, 2013 at 9:42 am

“The theory is that the spending cuts and entitlement reforms have not been surrendered,…”

Because of the holidays there’s a temporary shortage of white flags. I suspect Republicans have placed an emergency order to restock their supply of white flags so they’ll be prepared to surrender when the time comes.

I am done. I will not vote for any incumbent in 2012. I have been repeatedly told how important it is to have Republican Senators…for what? So they can pass $1 in cuts for $41 in tax increases? And that dollar in cuts will never be seen..its in the future, its non specific, its lipstick on a pig. How much worse would we be in the long run if the Democrats owned both houses and were forced to take credit for the economy they have successfully run into the ground? Perhaps even the media would start to apportion them some of the blame if they had control of the House too. Would our state of the union be that much worse? Can it get that much worse? Seems to me we are teetering on the brink as it is.

    Observer in reply to rangered. | January 1, 2013 at 10:24 am

    It’s looking more and more like we’re going to need an insurrection . . . and not the legal kind.

    How much worse would we be in the long run if the Democrats owned both houses and were forced to take credit for the economy they have successfully run into the ground.

    The Democrats would (or will) split into a progressive faction and a socialist faction. The media would (or will) pretend these are the only two legitimate alternatives, and talk up the “new” socialist proposals.

    But let’s not forget who did not veto a single spending bill while his party controlled Congress.

      gs : Your point on G W Bush & the veto is dead on. He is the first President I voted for that won & that goes back to voting for McCarthy against Nixon. As time passes & we see the fruits from G W, I come to question those 2 votes.

        Thanks for your words, secondwind.

        Afaic Obama deserves most of the blame, but a significant amount goes to Bush.

        That put(s) the GOP in a pickle. They can’t disavow their own two-term President. Otoh, blaming Obama for everything is not plausible and could backfire; iirc November exit polls were consistent with that.

        The problem is diminishing with time, but it won’t go away soon.

Please correct my last post to state: “I will not vote for any incumbent in 2014” rather than 2012..my bad..its that whole new year thing….

Augean stables. We have no Hercules.

Democrats are magicians – they can turn dollars into toilet paper and cigar lighters.

Every Democrat administration performs this magic.

INFLATION is a Democrat supernatural phenomenon.

Looking forward to purse-size cereal boxes, thinner T shirts, towels, MUCH higher gas prices…not to mention increased gun control and thought control.

Politicized judges continuing to declare every sick and evil thing good, every harmful, unconstitutional destructive thing legal.

    Democrats are magicians – they can turn dollars into toilet paper and cigar lighters.

    Every Democrat administration performs this magic.

    INFLATION is a Democrat supernatural phenomenon.

    Inflation was not a serious problem under President Clinton. I have not read that it was a serious problem during President Kennedy’s three years.

Was this based on a revenue bill that originated in the House or have they decided to stop even pretending that they’re following Constitution?

    rangered in reply to Karnak. | January 1, 2013 at 10:26 am

    It is my understanding that the House will vote on a bill, probably very similar but enough difference to be a “House” bill. If it passes, the two bills will go to a conference committee made up of Senators and Representatives to reconcile the differences. The resulting bill will then go to the House for passage and voila….its now a House bill. After passeage by the House, it will then go to the Senate and on to the Presidents desk. Rules? Rules? We don’ need no stinkin’ rules…..

      Uncle Samuel in reply to rangered. | January 1, 2013 at 10:45 am

      Both parties have been winking at and ignoring the Constitution since Obama, the alleged son of a foreign national and adoptive son of another foreign national was allowed to run for President.

      Obama is an unconstitutional president in multiple senses of the word.

    JayDick in reply to Karnak. | January 1, 2013 at 11:28 am

    This provision has not been followed for decades. The Senate can take a bill passed by the House, any bill, no matter the subject, amend it (i.e. delete all of it and put new language in its place), then pass it. They could also take the House bill extending all the Bush tax cuts, delete all of the language, substitute the Senate language, and pass it. This provision has not been meaningful for a very long time.

The republicans have adopted the same rhetoric used by the left. Listening to McConnell, I heard Harry Reid. “Hey, this is a great success because it is better than nothing.”

Now, the left will lurch further left, moving the battlefield of ideas from conservative vs progressive, to blatant in your face marxism vs socialism.

I can’t wait for the next election cycle. Republicans will get primaried, the democrat challenger will sound like a republican on taxes and spending, and the utter destruction of the republican party will be complete.

    rangered in reply to Browndog. | January 1, 2013 at 10:33 am

    When I read Marco Rubio’s comments on his “No” vote today-that he had run pledging not to raise taxes-I thought ‘He has a lot to learn. Promises made during a campaign are not binding until 6 months before the next election. The 5 and 1/2 years before then, you can do what you want…the voters have short memories’ Remember that 94% of incumbents were re-elected in November.

      Browndog in reply to rangered. | January 1, 2013 at 12:21 pm

      “Of course, many Americans will be relieved in the short term that their taxes won’t go up.

      Patently false statement.

      Like I started saying a month ago, the republicans have adopted democrat rhetoric.

Can we stop talking about $600 billion in added revenue?” It sounds much better to say $60 trillion, which clears most of the government’s obligations. And it will only take 1000 years, using the same type of assumptions. Anticipating $600 billion is only somewhat less ridiculous.

This pretty much guarantees a deep recession in the coming years.

The demonrat bozos, of which I am a former member, may get 60 billion in direct confiscated money per year. How much will they lose from the economy contracting, the REAL economy, not the part funded by govt borrowed money. It will be well over 60 billion in lost incoming revenues. France’s Holland found this out immediately with his 75% tax rate, investments plummeted, France went back deep into recession within months after his election.

Let it Burn, as Ace of Spades says, there is nothing to do but let this collapse happen faster rather than dragging it out. Stop spending, stop investing, just go John Gault.

    turfmonster in reply to alex. | January 1, 2013 at 11:17 am

    That’s how I see it too, Alex. We’re going to suffer greatly with the government that we now, and will, have for the short-term. In all likelihood, it’ll mean that we’ll see the economy suffer a deep recession, and if this comes to pass, it’ll mean that the entitlement programs will probably collapse.

    It also means that we probably won’t be able to fund the military properly so that we remain hegemonic, which means that when something flairs up in the South China Sea, we won’t have the clout to bring all of the agitated parties to the table to find a diplomatic solution.

    I had hoped that our country would be able to find solutions to the deficit problem and they did exist. Unfortunately, we ended up with that vile individual in the Oval Office, as well as his lackeys in the Congress, the press and academia. When those of us who are seeing this crisis clearly now finally come to our senses, we need to go after these three groups hard and replace them with responsible adults who are like our site host, Professor Jacobson.

    JayDick in reply to alex. | January 1, 2013 at 11:39 am

    What most people fail to understand is that this “fiscal cliff” stuff is really meaningless in the real world. It may have political significance, but it won’t affect the economy much, if at all.

    A recession is likely next year. If this bill is not passed, a recession may be a little more likely, but it is still likely one way or the other. Until spending is brought under control, the economy will continue limp along at best.

    The Democrats and the media have convinced a majority of voters that government spending helps the economy. It may for a very short time, but then it hurts, a lot.

    So the real issue is, who gets blamed for the poor economy. Republicans’ main objective at this point should be to make sure Democrats get blamed. That won’t be easy, but it is the best they can do.

      alex in reply to JayDick. | January 1, 2013 at 12:03 pm

      well then, the dems own this. They sold the lie that clinton tax rates will mean a better and growing economy.

      I was a clinton voter back then, I never credit to Newt and the repubs for reducing spending, I do now, unequivocally.

      This BS plan raises 60 billion a yr, the deficit is growing 1.3 trillion a yr.
      No amt of taxation will fund the dem’s spending.

      They want clinton level rates, hell they’ve got them now.

      Now what? balls in your court you dems! you own this !!

Mark Levin cites this LI post and agrees completely with Prof. Jacobson on his facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/notes/mark-levin/disgraceful/10151162887635946

How can a spending/tax bill originate in the Senate?

Midwest Rhino | January 1, 2013 at 11:21 am

I’m not a trained propagandist or political strategist, but it does seem Obama got all he wanted, and has little ammo for the debt ceiling. Tax the rich and no spending cuts (which are not cuts anyway). He’s behaved like a child in taunting Republicans with “I won, you are losers”.

Now Republicans are in better position to argue the debt ceiling, and paint Obama as the arrogant child that needs the people’s credit card pried from his fingers. They can remind the public that President Big Spender ran on 3:1 cuts to tax increases (which he dishonestly calls revenue). And we have Obama’s own words calling Bush’s $550 billion deficit spending unpatriotic and irresponsible.

iirc, those Reader’s Digest condensed novels were popular because they were written at sixth grade level. Our leaders need to do that for the conservative position. And for every time Obama and media call conservatives rich, greedy white racists .. Obama needs to be called dishonest, deceptive, incompetent, heckler, rabble rouser, Marxist, etc.

The debt ceiling can be used to hold Obama to his mandate of $3 cuts to $1 “revenue”. Greta fact checked that and found the statement somewhere last spring, so Obama is “on the record”. All Obama has done is raised taxes on those funding about half the income tax revenue and hiring, while continuing the largesse for those that pay nothing. All with a dose of hate for America.

    He’s behaved like a child in taunting Republicans with “I won, you are losers”.

    Yes, he’s behaved like a child, but we are losers. Not much hope of changing that until we acknowledge it.

    The first step is admitting you have a problem.

The Republican party is spent, decadent beyond recovery. I don’t know what we do exactly. I’m a believer in leadership. I’m glad for the Tea Party but I think ultimately we need a leading figure to coalesce our frustration and love for America. Currently I see only Sarah Palin and Rand Paul. Rubio, Christie, J. Bush — these are establishment tools waiting to do establishment bidding. I didn’t pay much attention to Paul at first, but the more I listen and watch him the more impressed I am. He seems unflappable and speaks with a compelling clarity and reasonableness which I believe could really give the Left conniptions.

    JayDick in reply to raven. | January 1, 2013 at 11:42 am

    Your thinking is misguided inasmuch as you assume the majority of the electorate thinks as logically as you. They do not.

    So, we need a leader who can frame the debate and conservative principles in a way that appeals to a large proportion of the electorate. To me, Rubio best fits that requirement.

      raven in reply to JayDick. | January 1, 2013 at 12:07 pm

      I can’t say for sure that Palin or Rand can make the case better or that they will have more political appeal. I can say for sure that Rubio will be representing a set of interests which, by 2016, will be seriously degraded in the eyes of his core audience. To what degree he can position himself as a counter-intuitive Republican — not what he is or has been — will matter. And where in this effort will our increasing craving for authenticity show itself?

      Of course, money will matter too.

        JayDick in reply to raven. | January 1, 2013 at 3:10 pm

        Palin, despite her ideological purity, is damaged goods, kind of like Gingrich but purer. Paul is a better possibility, in my opinion; I like him a lot, ideologically, and he explains his views well. But, I don’t think he is capable of the appeal to voters that we need.

Will it take large numbers of Republicans leaving the party and registering as independents or Libertarians for the Party leaders to realize we are serious? If their mail lists suddenly shrink with a simultaneous shrinkage in donations, will they then know that they have taken us for granted for too long?
Does anyone really think that at this time they are concerned about how the masses feel? And if you feel that they do, then can you point to any action that reflects that concern?

Ace of Spades reports:
“Rates on the rich will increase, but only above the $400,000 threshold, rather than the $250,000 threshold so beloved by Obama. But the tax cut for those making less than $400,000 would be permanent — no sunsetting, no expiration date.”
http://ace.mu.nu/archives/336146.php

So does that mean that the half of Americans who pay no taxes will now never be made to pay taxes? That they will be getting a free ride forever? Somebody please explain how this is a good policy for America as we used to know it.

I believe that everyone should pay something in taxes, so they are aware of the cost of providing government services. Granted that this is a bad time to be raising taxes on anyone, surely we should not be permanently eliminating the option to bring non-taxpayers into the tax-paying sector at some time in the future.

Can someone here at LI tell me how this revenue Bill initiated in the Senate does not violate Article 1, Section 7, of the Constitution of the US?

[…] Which is to say, “There are too many metaphors here applicable to the Senate’s 89-8 passage of a “fiscal cl… […]

[…] Professor Jacobson noticed the pattern, too. You should really read his article. […]

[…] Legal Insurrection has the details of the deal, which still needs to be voted on in the House. […]

[…] » Senate passes massive tax cut which raised taxes over $600 billion in middle of night withou… […]

[…] Republican Party. It means that the premises of class warfare have largely been accepted. …and reading the bill was, as usual, not […]

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