No deal, Mr. President. Do not make a deal with the Tea Party Republicans now. Call their bluff. Stare them down. Tell them to go over the cliff and enjoy the ride.
We, the public, get it. The public understands that tax rates should go up for the wealthiest. Look at every poll on earth that matters, Mr. President; you need to tell Speaker Boehner that the time for vagueness is over. Tell him if he wants to have an adult conversation on fiscal negotiations, it's time he puts his cards on the table, face up. Ask him to explain exactly which loopholes he'd like to close.
Mr. President, it's also time for you to announce some specifics of your proposed deal. Start by eliminating the capital gains rate, the tax rate applied to most dividends, stock sales and the infamous carried interest that benefits hedge fund managers. Make it clear this is an essential part of any deal. Capital gains should be taxed as ordinary income.
John Boehner and the Tea Party Republicans continue to repeat their favorite theme -- just close loopholes -- without ever specifying which loopholes, or explaining how it's mathematically possible to close loopholes and raise enough revenue without crushing the middle class. Why no explanation? Simple: It's not mathematically possible.
After four years of sheer obstructionism -- behavior that was called out during the presidential campaign season -- most Americans are pointedly aware of who is willing to further wreck the nation's economy and who would like to rescue it.
Fifty-three percent of the nation believes that if a fiscal agreement isn't reached by New Year's Eve, Republican Tea Party members in Congress are the ones to blame, reports a new Washington Post-Pew Research Center poll. It also reports that 38 percent believe that the president and the Republican Congress will reach a deal.
W. Frank Hairston, Ravenna Township