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Can Mike Bloomberg Save America?

by: DocJess

Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 06:07:21 AM EST

I am confused.

President Obama is back in DC. He brought with him on Air Force One Brian Schatz, the man Neil Abercrombie appointed to replace Daniel Inouye, in direct disregard of Inouye's final wish. There's no doubt in my mind that Abercrombie will eventually pay a price for that.

But basically, the Democrats are either back in DC or on their collective way back. They're willing to do what is necessary to fix things before next Tuesday. The Republicans? They've completely abdicated their responsibilities. I don't understand how they get away with this. That is, how do their constituencies keep voting them back in? I just don't get it. How is it that they pay no price whatsoever for their intransigence?

It's a fine line of what will happen next week. "The government" in all sorts of different areas, has ways of making the cliff a curb, the curb a cliff, and how delicately that is handled will greatly affect what happens across the whole globe.

Take the debt ceiling. Tim Geithner announced we're out of money next Monday. He'll be able to juggle the books so that we have an additional few months, but we're going to have to deal with it. How is it no one remembers the summer of 2011 and the decrease in our credit rating? Why isn't everyone with a Republican rep on the phone daily saying "raise the debt ceiling, you moron." ??? Then again, I'm in favour of Obama having the Mint mint those 2 trillion dollar platinum coins. Or invoking the 14th. He's never running for office again, let the chips fall where they may. 

Take taxes. The IRS has a lot of play in terms of what they do relative to whether Federal tax withholdings go up, when, and by how much. If they say that because there's no deal, everyone's withholding rises to the pre-Bush rates, that actually delays when the debt ceiling is hit as a lot more money hits Treasury sooner. But, if they do that, it greatly affects the overall economy, which is 70% consumer-driven. I'm unclear if they can change withholding amounts only for those earning over, say, $250,000 or $400,000, and what influence the White House would have on that decision. A lot of the tax changes don't come into play until the end of 2013 when people have to evaluate their situations for the 2014 filings. However, there's no AMT patch, which means that people earning in the neighborhood of $45,000 in 2012 will be hit with the AMT when they file in 2013. Will the IRS assume a patch? Or will they take the money, and then wait for people to file amended returns? 

And the markets? Who's to say? It might be a great fall, but people may hold their securities assuming that there will be a fix. 

Mostly, though, I just keep coming back to the House. The election for Speaker is next Thursday, and the CV says Boehner holds. Tmess proposed that a more moderate Congressman be selected. The interesting thing is that nowhere is it written that the Speaker needs to be a member of the House. Therefore, if we're going for the non-Boehner, I'm in favour of offering the job to Mike Bloomberg. He probably wouldn't do it as he likes being Mayor of NY, but I wonder if he could accept the position for 6 months only, take a leave from NY, and come down and do for DC what he's done for NYC government. Then again, he might actually want the job: imagine a press conference from him (with his deaf interpreter) daily on what is really going on. Talk about getting people across the country listening and ready to man those phones to their Congressional offices. 

He certainly knows money. He wouldn't need a salary: he's been a dollar a year man since taking office as NYC Mayor. He is a straight shooter, and he's been a Democrat, a Republican, an Independent, and has no loyalty to any party. He also has no hidden constituency to which he needs to answer. It's not as if the likes of the Koch Brothers or Sheldon Adelson can buy him off - he can buy them, or at least hold his own. And basically, can you think of a better choice? 

What do you think?

DocJess :: Can Mike Bloomberg Save America?

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Not clear he'd be more effective (0.00 / 0)
The problem is that I don't think Bloomberg would be any better at wrangling Tea Partiers than Boehner.

I've been trying to think of who could do the job. Alan Simpson, maybe?

Or wait--here's the most over-the-top strange proposal you'll hear: what about Newt? He's got Tea Party cred, and he might like a do-over from 1996. He could be tempted into playing the heroic compromiser, and it would help him sell more books. But he might be willing and able to actually cut a deal with Democrats.

Newt? (0.00 / 0)
It's funny - Newt is the person that basically gave birth to Grover Norquist and the whole Tea Party movement back in the '90's. Until Newt, there was no downside to Republicans allowing for tax increases: rather, they saw taxes as a necessary evil to fund the military-industrial complex (from which they benefited) as well as for infrastructure. They allowed for Social Security, Medicare, and the rest as a third rail. Didn't like it, but lived with it. The Republican party's intransigence, and its current situation, owes more to Newt than Reagan, two Bushes and every other member of their party who has served in Congress in the last 20 years. I think he'd make things worse.

Perhaps Mayor Mike isn't the right choice, and I'm willing to accept that the House is fundamentally dead weight until the members either die or get voted out (and the way things have been gerrymandered, there's a better chance most will die of old age before getting ousted.)The GOP House members face virtually no threat from the Democrats until redistricting in the vast majority of districts. I think there are maybe 30 - 50 where there is a chance they could lose to a Democrat. But 100% of them face potential challenges from the right.

So I don't know what the answer is: how much can be done by Executive Order? Is there some way of constituents successfully suing their members for failure to execute their duties as spelled out in the Constitution?

It's all so very sad.  

[ Parent ]
Better Choices (0.00 / 0)
Well maybe.

Jeb Bush - As Gov of Florida he was able to work with Republicans and Democrats toget thingsdone for the State, he would probably be abe to get things done leading the House. Why he would take it is to get hime more National exposure for a National Office run.

Pawlenty - He used to be resonable, only saying stupid thngs to try to get the radical and teaparty right to support his Pesidential run. Once again, like Bush, this would set him up to run ore successfully for President in 2016.

Bill Richardson - New Mexico is one of those ever Purple States. He was a successful Governor other than the one scandel at the end that he was cleared of. Mos people like Bill and he has shown he can negotiate with the likes o North Korean leaders and such.

Chris Cristie - Just because he has the attitude and go that he could and would bring things to the foor for a vote.

There are a lot of good "outside" choices. But I think the aove just could win the vote or Speaker in the House as well as do a good job if seleced.

while there may be nothing thast requires the speaker to be a house member (0.00 / 0)
i dont think we have ever had one, and thats probably a safe bet to continue. every house member thinks he is the most important member and only gives way to a stronger member when that member manages to make him/her an offer he cant refuse. given the current 435, given the real choices are probably bohner or cantor, unless there is someone who could get all or most of the dems and 30-40 gopers, given that both parties have their most extreme elected officials in the house, i dont see anything changing except maybe the tea party putting in a more radical leader....

by the way, jeb was one of the most hated governors in florida history (0.00 / 0)
with members of the opposition, he is one of the most arrogant SOBs ever elected to public office!

[ Parent ]
Maybe that is what I should have said (0.00 / 0)
Because he forced both Republicans and Democrats to come off their positions to pass legislation. And that is what is needed in the Speaker of the House position right now........

I wouldn't call him hated. I was stationed in Florida for part of his Governorship, thought he was doing okay. And many must of agreed since he was reelected. That doesn't happen much in Florida........

[ Parent ]
well from statehood until 1971, no fla gov had been reelected (0.00 / 0)
but starting with askew, 4 of 9 have been re elected (askew, graham, chiles and bush, and crist did not run for a second term, but is likely to win one this time around, albeit in a different party)

Note: before 1968, a florida governor was barred from running for a second term by the constitution.....

[ Parent ]
tax rates (0.00 / 0)
I'm confused about the tax rates.  If the rates change, does that affect the tax return we start working on in a few weeks, or not until the one that's a year later than that?  Ditto the AMT question, etc.  (I realize it likely affects withholding right away.)

I'm really not sweating going over the fiscal cliff.  Howard Dean says we should, and that's good enough for me.  Worth it to clobber "defense" spending.

amt IS for 2012, the rest is 2013, and they have all year to get it right, (0.00 / 0)
but not all year to not screw up the withholdings companies have to mave for their employees




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