In Which ‘Puter Fixes Boehner’s Boner, With Some Help From Rahm

Hold me closer, Tiny Dancer!
Also, speaking of crises, why the
heck are you hung like a Ken doll?

Since Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) does not understand the concept of “negotiating against yourself,” ‘Puter finds it necessary to step in, take over and fix the mess Speaker Boehner created.

Fiscal conservatives hold three conditions precedent to any fiscal cliff deal.  First, a deal must have revenues and expenditures balanced immediately.  Second, fundamental tax and entitlement reform are necessary.  Third, there can be no “revenue enhancements,” meaning higher marginal tax rates.

Fiscally illiterate liberals also hold three conditions precedent to a fiscal cliff deal.  First, government must seek out and confiscate money from “the rich” (i.e., those making more than $250,000.00 per year) to fund governments massive Rube Goldberg giveaway, redistribution and vote-buying leviathan.  Second, there must be an immediate increase to the debt ceiling so the United States does not default on its debt.  Third, no so-called entitlement program can ever be cut.

Here’s the hard truth.  Fiscal conservatives are going to have to give on higher revenues and fiscally illiterate liberals are going to have to give on entitlement reform.

Here’s the package Speaker Boehner should have offered in the first place, telling Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and President Barack Obama this is the last, best and final offer the House Republicans are making.  If the Democrats in the Oval Office and the Senate choose to walk away, fine.  We can all burn together.

  • Repeal the carried interest deduction for investment bankers and hedge fund managers.  This is the mechanism whereby Wall Street types with no money in a deal treat what should be income as capital gains, paying about half in taxes.  Democrats hate this deduction, and there’s no good reason for Republicans to defend it.  This would increase revenues by about $18 billion per year. State the Republicans changed their minds and agree with the Democrats that symbolism is important.
  • Cap itemized deductions at $25,000.  This will affect mostly those with high annual income in high tax blue states.  Anyone who takes the standard deduction will not be affected, which is most of the real middle class. Most others who itemize deductions never get close to $25,000 in itemized deductions.  This will result in additional revenues of $130 billion per year.  In return, insist that all Americans over 18 file a tax return each year, and that a minimum payment of $1.00 be made.  If an American does not file his return and pay the $1.00 tax, he is ineligible for all government benefits.  Tell Americans that just as the rich must carry a greater burden as they have more, it is only fair that all Americans pay something towards our national obligations, even if the amount paid is merely symbolic.  Hammer away that Republicans want all Americans to have buy-in to our system of government, as well as its costs and benefits.
  • Repeal President Obama’s payroll tax cut.  This costs the federal government about $100 billion each year, which allegedly is spent on Social Security, but which is actually spent by Congress as general revenue.  Require that all revenue raised from OASDI and other payroll taxes be spent only on those items. If there is a surplus in any year, it must be returned to the individuals who paid it, pro rata. Tell America Republicans are dedicated to keeping Social Security solvent, even more so than the Democrats whose continued support for underfunding Social Security by cutting its revenues means they are jeopardizing the elderly’s retirement.
  • Immediately raise the full retirement age for Social Security to 70, saving about $15 billion each year through 2021, raise the early retirement age for Social Security to 64, saving about $12 billion each year through 2021, and raise the Medicare eligibility age to 67 from 65, also saving about $15 billion each year through 2021. These changes will affect only those Americans born after 1959, meaning people who turn 53 this year.  That’s $42 billion per year without any other changes to the outdated programs.  Tell Americans that this solution keeps Social Security solvent while protecting our loved ones who currently depend on Social Security income for their upkeep.  Republicans want to protect our disabled and elderly.
  • Repeal Medicare and Medicaid in their entirety as of 2014, the year ObamaCare fully takes effect.  After all, why not have just one program covering all Americans, as Democrats insisted was our moral obligation, required by concepts of “social justice” and “paying a fair share.” As President Obama and the Congressional Democrats who crammed this ObamaCare shit sandwich down America’s gullible throats constantly remind us, “[i]f you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor. Period.”  Better yet, Democrats promised Americans that ObamaCare is revenue neutral, meaning abso-frikkin-lutely free (if by free you don’t count hidden and not-so-hidden tax and cost increases that creep down to the consumer)! Repealing Medicare in favor of the infinitely superior ObamaCare would save $534 billion in 2014 alone, according to CBO projections. Repealing Medicaid in favor of President Obama’s Bag of Magic Medical Beans, a/k/a ObamaCare, would save $337 billion in 2014 according to CBO projections.  Require that Medicare and Medicaid be zeroed out of the 2014 budget, meaning their revenue streams cannot be rolled over to ObamaCare.  Tell Americans that Republicans are taking Democrats at their word that ObamaCare is vastly superior to our current health care system.  Therefore, it would be foolish to allow costly, old, outmoded systems to continue when we have a much better alternative at hand.  If Democrats scream, ask them what ObamaCare wouldn’t cover that Medicare or Medicaid would cover.  Ask Democrats why ObamaCare won’t be revenue neutral (ZOMG TEH FREEZ!!1!!) if we put all Americans into it, as Democrats wanted in the first place.
  • Increase the federal debt limit (a/k/a “debt ceiling”) to any amount sufficient to permit the federal government to roll over (i.e., issue replacement debt) any federal debt instruments that mature at then-market interest rates. Do not permit any new debt other than roll over to issue. Tell Americans that you have fixed the problem, giving Democrats exactly the debt limit increase they insisted on. The Republican increase means America will not default on any of its issued debt, the prospect of which scares the pee out of financial markets.  Democrats will immediately realize that this means Democrats can’t keep putting fully 40% of current year government operations on the nation’s credit card, meaning they will have to convince the American people to raise taxes on all Americans to keep their Spend-a-Thon going.
  • Require that any laws and regulations in effect apply to Congress, repealing the age-old “do as I say, not as I do” Congressional self-exemption. Expressly state this includes Congress’ separate medical and retirement programs.  If ObamaCare and Social Security are good enough for ‘Puter, they’re sure as Hell good enough for ‘Puter’s congresswoman Louise Slaughter, currently 82 years old.  Heck, let’s require that any Representative, Senator or President is ineligible for any and all federal benefits of any sort, including any and all members of their immediate household. 
  • Agree to set up a joint committee to overhaul the tax code according the following principles: (1) any new code must use 2012 actual tax revenues as a floor; (1) any new code cannot have marginal rates in excess of 2012 marginal rates; (3) there can be only two tax rates on income; (4) all deductions and credits must be phased out over not more than 10 years except for home mortgage interest, which can be phased out over 30 years.  If Congress does not accept or reject the recommendations of the committee via legislation before 30 June 2014, the committee’s recommendations become law.  This makes Democrats own the taxes they impose, instead of exempting favored groups.  It also gives leeway to the committee to increase the personal exemption, thereby allowing liberals’ fetish of “progressivism” in the tax code.  Tell Americans a simpler tax code is better for everyone, and there’s nothing preventing Democrats from decreasing the percentage of Americans who pay taxes, or increasing taxes on the rich. Democrats just have to do so within these rules, which are easily understood and fair to all.

And there you have it.  It’s simple really. 

Republicans would appear to have given Democrats everything they’ve asked for.  In 2014 alone, there’s $1.134 trillion in new revenue, which is more than the current budget deficit. That’s more money for Democrats to blow on hookers and Pez.  Democrats will have Republican buy in to Social Security, with no benefit reduction to current or near retirees.  Democrats also have Republicans seemingly endorsing ObamaCare, while secretly waiting for it to collapse, which any sentient being with a rudimentary understanding of basic mathematical concepts understands it must.  Republicans can claim to have bent over backwards for Democrats, and Democrats will be hard pressed to claim Republicans have not.

Seeming to have caved to Democrats, while maneuvering Democrats into a corner from which it is difficult to criticize Republicans, Republicans walk away with the store.  Republicans automatically get an automatically simplified tax code, elimination of Medicare and Medicaid, and prohibition on Democrats’ continued debt financing of current obligations.  Better, Republicans make it impossible for ObamaCare to survive, as it will surely crater under the onslaught of former Medicare and Medicaid recipients, permitting a de facto repeal of Obama’s signature monstrosity, as well as a more realistic rewrite of America’s health care laws. 

‘Puter knows many fiscal conservatives don’t want to give an inch.  But we have an opportunity here to burn the whole danged firetrap that is federal government fiscal policy down and start over, implementing a fiscally sane approach to America’s necessary government functions. 

As a wise mensch ballerina once said, never let a good crisis go to waste.

About 'Puter

Always right, unless he isn’t, the infallible Ghettoputer F. X. Gormogons claims to be an in-law of the Volgi, although no one really believes this.’Puter carefully follows economic and financial trends, legal affairs, and serves as the Gormogons’ financial and legal advisor. He successfully defended us against a lawsuit from a liquor distributor worth hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid deliveries of bootleg shandies.The Geep has an IQ so high it is untestable and attempts to measure it have resulted in dangerously unstable results as well as injuries to researchers. Coincidentally, he publishes intelligence tests as a side gig.His sarcasm is so highly developed it borders on the psychic, and he is often able to insult a person even before meeting them. ’Puter enjoys hunting small game with 000 slugs and punt guns, correcting homilies in real time at Mass, and undermining unions. ’Puter likes to wear a hockey mask and carry an axe into public campgrounds, where he bursts into people’s tents and screams. As you might expect, he has been shot several times but remains completely undeterred.He assures us that his obsessive fawning over news stories involving women teachers sleeping with young students is not Freudian in any way, although he admits something similar once happened to him. Uniquely, ’Puter is unable to speak, read, or write Russian, but he is able to sing it fluently.Geep joined the order in the mid-1980s. He arrived at the Castle door with dozens of steamer trunks and an inarticulate hissing creature of astonishingly low intelligence he calls “Sleestak.” Ghettoputer appears to make his wishes known to Sleestak, although no one is sure whether this is the result of complex sign language, expert body posture reading, or simply beating Sleestak with a rubber mallet.'Puter suggests the Czar suck it.

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