Fiscal Cliff Back-and-Forth

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Mara Liasson, NPR national political correspondent, talks about the ongoing negotiations over the fiscal cliff, and other key Washington news.

Comments [32]


it might not "feel" super rich mara, but you know what the data shows that in fact IS given the median income in NYC is in $55.600, 250K is 5X what the most people make! What do you make Mara? And more importantly, what SHOULD you make?

Dec. 06 2012 08:31 PM
R Clefnote from Brooklyn

Nice work letting Mara "Fox News Analyst" Liason spread her magic, Brian! gotta love how dismissive she was of the caller who mentioned how anywhere outside of NYC $250,000 is considered rich. Liason is so out of touch that she thinks that's not that much money.

Even better was when she claimed Republicans don't want to cut Social Security, but merely to fix the trust fund! The evidence that they DO want to cut Social Security is more than abundant. Our man Brian "Ride the Fence" Lehrer didn't bother to point out the folly of that statement. Why would he? Holmes never met an issue he couldn't straddle. Maybe Brian too can someday rub noses with the likes of O'Reilly and Hannity!

Dec. 06 2012 02:42 PM

Fiscal cliff is all hype and just a giant volatility play by investment banks/hedge funds. SEC should check positions of firms that make money on market volatility (which all this fiscal cliff BS causes). But, of course, they won't. Honestly, if you're not a revolutionary who is willing to actually do something about all of this, you might as well try to understand what's going on and profit off of it best you can.

Dec. 06 2012 11:37 AM

@Jim -
My guess is that the old rates would be in effect for less than 30 days. Probably no effect. However, sequestration is a $120B cut in government spending. That *would* induce a recession. Just a smaller one.

Dec. 06 2012 11:34 AM
Jim from Brooklyn

If Congress lets tax rates increase on Jan 1, wouldn't it be fairly easy to then renew tax cuts for the middle class? No recession then...

Dec. 06 2012 11:18 AM

@Jim from Brooklyn

The cliff is real in the sense that without ACTION tax rates go up (JAN 1) and government spending goes down (JAN2) which WILL induce a recession.

However, the common wisdom is that a bill to lower middle class rates will pass through both Houses pretty quickly. The deal to bend the sequestration cut-offs will not be so easy.

So if we let the 'cliff' metaphor play out, by not making a deal before the deadline Congress is opting for the high risk attempt to grapple hook the bumper and pull the car back up rather than just turn the steering wheel. How irrational can we be?

Dec. 06 2012 10:53 AM
BK from Hoboken

Overall, Americans have been paying less and less in taxes across the board in the last 25 years. It's pretty damn simple- we ask for a lot but don't want to pay for it. The deficit will not be fully tackled until everyone pays more or accepts less. We spend about 30% more than what we take in every year. It's unsustainable and people have to wake up to that. The rich need to pay a lot more, GE needs to pay more, and hate to say it but the middle class will have to pay more (not a lot each, but the "middle class" is so huge that any tax break costs a lot).

Dec. 06 2012 10:43 AM

Negotiation? What negotiation? This is still the public posturing.

Let the Austerity Time Bomb begin. If it runs for a month or more in 2013 the US bond rating will rise, more buyers will rush to a safe haven, etc.

Most of the effects of the time bomb won't be felt for a while.

Ms. Liasson's GOP talking points continue to lose her credibility. Perhaps she should transfer to Fox full time.

Dec. 06 2012 10:36 AM
Jim from Brooklyn

FISCAL CLIFF?! Wow. This term is now being used without qualification -- in reality, it, like the idea of the debt ceiling, have been manufactured by Republicans to scare ordinary Americans into accepting cuts to programs like Social Security while giving more tax breaks to the rich. The more "fiscal cliff" is repeated by "reputable" news sources like WNYC, the more people will believe in it and other ideas the Right conjures up to use as scare tactics.

Dec. 06 2012 10:33 AM

Dec. 06 2012 10:30 AM

We're not even talking about raising taxes on people who make 250k, but raising taxes on the money that they make ABOVE that! So that first 250k will be taxed the same as usual, and then everything after that will be taxed at a few percentage points more.

Dec. 06 2012 10:27 AM
mejimenez from manhattan

Please phrase the tax issue correctly. It is misleading to say that rates will be raised on people making over $250K. What is being proposed is increasing the tax rate on any *income* above $250K.

In other words, everybody, whether they earn less than $250K or more than $250K will enjoy the reduced rates on their income below the $250K. In fact, people making $250K or more are the ones who benefit the most from the maintenance of Bush low rates on income below $250K, since they get the low rate on all of that $250K.

Dec. 06 2012 10:27 AM
John A.

Many, many people (have to) live off of $25K/year, but saying that others need $250K to "survive". That's entitlement. Maybe you should get the Federal gvt to insure you against higher property taxes. Absurd, right?
Deduced (from one datapoint). WNYC workers may be paid too much.

Dec. 06 2012 10:27 AM
Amy from Manhattan

Quoting myself again:

What about taking the cap off the payroll tax, which pays for Social Security? Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, Warren Buffett, & Bill Gates don't pay any more for this tax than someone making $110,000 a year--not just the same rate, the entire *amount*. This is the most regressive tax in the U.S. tax system. Not only that, but when they collect Social Security, the payout *is* based on their salaries, so they get far more out than they put in. Why aren't Democrats publicizing this & pushing for removal of the cap?

Dec. 06 2012 10:26 AM

"At some point interest rates are going to go up"

Conservatives have been saying this for YEARS and it has not happened.

Liasson shows she fundamentally doesn't understand — or won't understand — how markets work.

Dec. 06 2012 10:26 AM
peter falconi from bklyn

I paid more federal taxes in 2011 than GE
Where is the outrage

Where is Herman Cain and 999?

Dec. 06 2012 10:26 AM

Is it unreasonable to ask Mara Liasson whether she would retain her position at Fox if her reporting was less charitable to Republicans, and how much she collects annually from Fox and Murdoch enterprises?

Dec. 06 2012 10:26 AM

@Ed from Larchmont -

Your gossip-mongering is a) way off topic and b) too soon to matter. If Hilary wins a primary in 2016 (or several), you can be certain that Obama will back her. Asking for the President to choose as he directs in 2012 would just be cock-blocking on WJC's part, don't you think.

Why do carry water for the wackos?

Dec. 06 2012 10:23 AM
rebecca from Brooklyn, NY

I really don't understand the Republicans! Obama ran and was elected by a large majority first in 2004 and I remember one of his main promises was to raise taxes on people that earn more that 250k! Isn't this what the US population elected!?!

Dec. 06 2012 10:22 AM
Eli from astoria

c'mon folks 250k a year a pretty rich. i've gotten by on 20% of that for years living pleasantly. if you don't "feel" rich making 2 hundred and fifty thousand dollars a need to recalibrate your nervous system and maybe hold off on that second boat, third car, third house, and save a little.

Dec. 06 2012 10:22 AM

shrink gvt

Dec. 06 2012 10:22 AM

Mara Liasson is subtly reminding us that she's a mouthpiece for Fox (for whom she grovels regularly).

The Republican math doesn't exist — at all. That's why we don't see any Republican or any conservative economist (like Martin Feldstein or Glenn Hubbard) offering the math.

In fact, cutting Obamacare would raise costs nationwide by pushing people into less efficient, more costly avenues for obtaining medical care. For example, as Paul Krugman has been noting again and again, if you raise the Medicare age threshold you carve out the _least_ expensive recipients, the 65 and 66 year-olds.

At every step, conservatives and Republicans prove that their mission is not rational, but greedy money-grubbing for the wealthiest.

Dec. 06 2012 10:22 AM
RD from Manhattan

If they cut or raise the age for Medicare, how is that not depriving me of property without due process? I've been paying in all this time.

Dec. 06 2012 10:21 AM

Mara Liasson is brazenly misrepresenting Republican positions, one after the other.

Republicans have no intention of cutting SS? After demanding such cuts? Who exactly told her so?

And on and on, it goes.... Amazing, that this passes for objective journalism.

Dec. 06 2012 10:21 AM
Helen from Manhattan

How is $250,000 not rich?

Dec. 06 2012 10:19 AM
Seth Pickenstiff

The Bush tax cuts were always meant to be temporary. Let 'em expire for everyone!

Dec. 06 2012 10:17 AM
BK from Hoboken

Why the constant push to "flatten rates"? If someone making $50k has a very different rate than someone making $75k, can someone please tell me how someone making $500k should pay the same as someone making $50 million? There should be many smaller brackets as you go up.
$500k - 37%
$1 million - 38%
$5 million - 39%
$10 m - 40%
$50 m- 41%
$100 m - 42%
and so on...

Dec. 06 2012 10:16 AM
Hugh Sansom

The number of people paying more as you raise the floor on those seeing an increase in tax rates falls _exponentially_. That is, if you raise the threshold for "upper income" from 250k to 500k, you don't halve the number effected, you quarter it or more. It's astonishing that the sentiment seems to be that the 2 percent making over 250,000 per year have such a stranglehold on the nation that we can't raise tax rates on them.... Or that Americans are so staggering delusional that somebody making 60k thinks he or she is just about to making 250k.

Dec. 06 2012 10:15 AM

C'mon...get it right, guys!

If Bush cuts expire, the $250K rates would go from 33% to 36%, the 39.6% rates don't start until $398,350.

Pesca screwed this one up too but I expect better from my A team.

Dec. 06 2012 10:14 AM

Obama's negotiating problem has been that he's too accomodating, so thanks Ed, you've made me feel better already. The repub's will not play fair, so we need a hard-A right now.

Dec. 06 2012 10:11 AM

fascinating, ed from larch. -- but -- do you know source of this report and do you believe it to be true, or not?

(we all hear things that are interesting but there is no reason to believe they are true)

Dec. 06 2012 10:04 AM
Ed from Larchmont

Yesterday it was reported that President Obama, in exchange for President Clinton's endorsement and help, was supposed to give President Clinton influence in the choice of the next DNC chairperson, and to support Hilary in 2016. When President Clinton sent in five names for the chairperson, he later found out the five were never considered or vetted, but that President Obama was going with his choice Ms. Schultz.

President Clinton asked if President Obama would support Hilary in 2016 and President Obama said it was too soon to say.

Reportedly President Clinton was enraged.

This is the kind of person one is dealing with in President Obama. He looks friendly and one would like to vote for him, etc., but that's not who he is, sorry to say. And the negotiation on the fiscal cliff will reflect this.

Dec. 06 2012 08:13 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.