New York Republicans help anchor bipartisan “fiscal cliff” vote

Republican congressman Chris Gibson from Kinderhook voted in favor of the measure. (Photo: Wikipedia)

A fascinating detail from last night’s zero-hour House vote:  New York state Republicans made up nearly 10% of the entire Yes vote in favor of the measure.

The Empire State’s GOP caucus broke ranks with the vast majority of their conservative colleagues to support the spending bill.

Congressman Chris Gibson, who represents a chunk of the North Country that stretches from Queensbury to Saranac Lake, issued a statement last night explaining his vote.

Gibson, a Republican, says the deal “provides much needed tax relief for over 99 percent of my constituents.”  Gibson says that a deal is still needed to “achieve necessary long-term deficit reduction.”

(The former Army officer from Kinderhook will no longer represent the North Country after this week.  The new congressional redistricting plan approved last year in Albany shifts Gibson’s chunk of the North Country into the 21st congressional district represented by Democrat Bill Owens.)

Republican support for the controversial bill wasn’t entirely regional, but there was a discernible Northeastern slant to the outcome.

In addition to the 7 GOP Yes votes in New York, the spending plan also won 12 yes votes from Republicans in Pennsylvania, 5 Yes votes in New Jersey, and 6 Yes votes in John Boehner’s home state of Ohio.

Taken together, this cluster of Rust Belt-Northeastern states accounted for a third of the measure’s GOP support.

Republican support for the plan was also strong in California and the Pacific Northwest, the Great Lakes Region, and there was a surprising pocket of backing from traditionally conservative districts in Oklahoma and northern Texas.

46 Comments on “New York Republicans help anchor bipartisan “fiscal cliff” vote”

  1. JDM says:

    The “low information” voters get as far as “raise taxes on the rich” and then they tune out.

    “More than 80 percent of households with incomes between $50,000 and $200,000 would pay higher taxes. Among the households facing higher taxes, the average increase would be $1,635, the policy center said. A 2 percent payroll tax cut, enacted during the economic slowdown, is being allowed to expire as of yesterday. ” Bloomberg article. http://tinyurl.com/at7xvly

    Gibson, a Republican, says the deal “provides much needed tax relief for over 99 percent of my constituents, if you don’t count the 2% increase on your FICA. (I added the last part).

    Hot debate. Like/Dislike Thumb up 0 Thumb down 10

  2. Peter Hahn says:

    JDM – I would guess it was the republicans who insisted on that increase in FICA. Obama certainly wanted to keep it lower.

    Popular. Like/Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  3. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    FICA was temporarily lowered as part of the stimulus package and now it needs to go back to previous levels, in order to stabilize Social Security. This would be a total non-issue except that conservatives are constantly harping on the myth that Social Security is in crisis. So now they’re criticizing actions to shore SS up? Give me a break.

    Popular. Like/Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  4. Mervel says:

    Yes it needs to go back up. I am heartened that they were able to let it go back to what it had been for the past 30 years.

    Popular. Like/Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  5. Mervel says:

    Maybe NY -Northeast Republicans will start playing bigger roles? If they stabilize I think they should form their own group, much like the conservative Democrats did with Clinton.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  6. JDM: The link to the article citing your “facts” does not work. Try again.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  7. Peter Hahn says:

    From the Washington post fact check “But Obama has not proposed extending the payroll tax cut — the White House spokesman has danced around the issue, saying it is “something that we would look at in December”— and there is little appetite on Capitol Hill for extending it either. (Republicans have never liked the concept.)”

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  8. Paul says:

    “last night’s zero-hour” There you go again. The deadline had already passed.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  9. JDM says:

    Obama says, “We can’t simply cut our way to prosperity.”

    Obama likes to talk to people who don’t spend too much thinking about, well, anything.

    Hot debate. Like/Dislike Thumb up 1 Thumb down 11

  10. Pete Klein says:

    All things considered, as is often said on NPR, it was the best deal possible at this time.
    I always thought the payroll tax cut was a dumb idea if you want to protect SS.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  11. scratchy says:

    Obama should have held out for an increase in the debt ceiling. The impending debt ceiling showdown gives republicans the opportunity to, once again, be obstructionists.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  12. Walker says:

    I don’t know, Scratchy. I think the public is utterly fed up with the idea of a manufactured debt ceiling “crisis,” and Obama knows that the Republicans will simply shoot themselves in the foot vis a vis the 2014 elections if they try it. Folks here have mentioned the downgrading of our credit rating, as if it had to do with our level of debt; somehow they’ve forgotten that the only downgrade we have suffered happened as a direct result of the debt ceiling standoff.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  13. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    14th Amendment,section 4:
    “Section 4. The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.”

    Let me edit for clarity: The validity of the public debt of the United States shall not be questioned.

    Read it and weep; there is no legal debt ceiling. If the Congress passes a bill that incurs debt we will pay it. No questions; no doubt.

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  14. Rancid Crabtree says:

    So, we just ignore the massive debt and keep spending, spending, spending?!!! Great plan. It’s worked so well for Greece, Spain, etc.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4

  15. Walker says:

    Rancid, we’re not Greece. Just like we’re not a household.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  16. Walker says:

    “So, we just ignore the massive debt and keep spending, spending, spending?!!!”

    Rancid, Congress spent the money when they passed the bills that called for the spending. The time to start curbing spending is up front, not when the bill comes due. The only thing that came from the absurd 2011 debt ceiling crisis was the downgrade of our credit rating, the first since 1917, a proud accomplishment of the Tea Party Republicans.

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  17. Two Cents says:

    there can’t be a debt ceiling if you want government to continue.
    budgets have to expand if you want the entity to grow

    ….if we want the united states wants to sit at the grown-ups table with china, or at the kids table with greece

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  18. Two Cents says:

    there’s the problem-!! too many “wants”

    *if we want the united states to sit at the ….”

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  19. dave says:

    Economically, the United States and Greece are entirely different entities. There is almost nothing worth comparing between the two.

    Saying that the US should take economic guidance from what happened in Greece is a bit like saying a major international corporation should follow the same financial plan as a small, local business.

    What worked, or didn’t work, for one has very little bearing on what will work, or not work, for the other.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  20. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    Greece once invaded what would become Iraq and Afghanistan, if you count Alexander the Great as Greek. That’s one thing we have in common. Sort of.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  21. Rancid Crabtree says:

    “there can’t be a debt ceiling if you want government to continue.
    budgets have to expand if you want the entity to grow”

    The entity in question isn’t the economy, it’s GOVERNMENT! And that appears to be the fine point you all are missing. You can’t keep growing gov’t in a shrunken and shrinking economy. Hence, comparisons to Greece and Spain and any other nation that’s spent far more than it can afford.

    And yes Walker, the time to cut was at the start, and we have to pay the bills. The problem is we don;t have the money to pay the bills, we’re apparently intent on spending more and no one is even considering the effect their spending will have beyond buying votes. Surely you can’t all be that blind?

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  22. Paul says:

    Well as I understand it the wars are pretty much over so this year we better have a budget that has no deficit. Deficit spending is not for day-to-day stuff.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  23. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    If you need to eat and you aint got no money and you have the ability to raise revenue indefinitely , you deficit spend.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  24. Walker says:

    You think we didn’t run a deficit in the post WW II years?

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  25. Rancid Crabtree says:

    “If you need to eat and you aint got no money and you have the ability to raise revenue indefinitely , you deficit spend.”

    having the ability to “raise revenue indefinitely” sounds a lot like stealing from someone else…..

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

  26. Rancid Crabtree says:

    Walker, yes, we ran a deficit post WW2- for 1 year! 1946 we had a deficit, in 47, 48 and 49 we had surpluses. Korea came along and we had a deficit again in 50 but a surplus in 51. We had deficits from 52-55, surplus in 56 and 57, deficits in 58 and 59 and a surplus in 60. The only surplus from 61 -98 was in 69. Figures say we had a surplus from 98 -2001 followed by deficits. The largest deficit prior to 2009 was 1943 where we had a $728 billion deficit in 2012 dollars. Bushs largest deficit was $500 bill. Obamas deficits have been double to triple that number. More importantly is the debt. The highest it was in WW2 was 129% of GDP. That’s the record. We are now at 123% of GDP. It’s been over 100% of GDP since 2009 and is expected to reach more than 125% this year. Does that sound sustainable to you? I think the difference between Truman and Ikes deficit spending was that they had no intention of sustained deficit spending, much less running a national debt of over 50% of GDP.

    Look, I’m not saying this is just Obamas fault. It’s not. It’s not Bushs fault either. Our last surplus was due to a bubble, we all recognize that. Oddly enough, it was a bubble financed on credit cards, but that’s another subject, The point is that it’s pretty rare for a magic bubble to come along an save you. It worked for Clinton, he was lucky. But I don’t see any bubbles on the horizon, therefore the prudent thing to do is to rein in the extravagance and try and shore up the basics. I know some people hate homeowner analogies but when you don’t get a raise for the 4th year in a row and the car needs tires and the zero interest for 18 months pay off at Lowes is coming due and the oil tank is almost empty and you just threw a rod in the snowblower and the bank balance is $78.34 and the savings account got zeroed out for Christmas you don’t take off for a 3 week vacation at the most expensive resort on Maui. Yeah, you can max out 3 or 4 credit cards doing it, but you still don’t have a away to pay for it! Whats more, you don’t NEED a vacation. What you need is a second job and some serious cost cutting at home.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  27. Walker says:

    “It’s not Bushs fault either.”

    You don’t think the Bush tax cuts had just a teeny bit to do with it?

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  28. Two Cents says:

    Rancid,
    how about this- :)
    soon we could owe so much that we have to invent a new word to describe it, zillions won’t mean enough.
    maybe it will be a mathimatical symbol or maybe a crazy word like gagagazillions where each ga added can represent a suitable co-efficient or something…any way its so freaking much that we can now make money from plastic wich will result in the people coming to realize how worthless it really is.
    after awhile you leave the realm of hard sciences and mathmatics and it all becomes philosophy.
    how about we just do away with money? and work on something else. its really just a silly invention.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  29. Walker says:

    “1946 we had a deficit, in 47, 48 and 49 we had surpluses.”

    Yes, and the top tax rate in 1946-47 was 86.45%, in 1948-49 it was 82.12%, in 1950 it was 84.36%. The top tax rate didn’t drop below 50% until 1987.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  30. Rancid Crabtree says:

    Walker, you are right, but look at the deductions allowed at the time to get a clearer picture. The top marginal tax rate might have been 86%, but the effective tax rate was much, much lower. I found the info once, I’ll look as see if I can find it again.

    As for the Bush rates, you miss the point. It’s not Bush or Obama that “did it”, it was Congress and Bush and Obama and 70 years of spending coming together. We’ve had periods of surplus and low national debt. They are far, far outweighed by deficit and high national debt. Years back, I think under Bush 1, the US basically co-signed for Mexican debt. A few months later Mexico devalued it’s peso and the US got stuck holding the bag. There were various bail outs and scandals over the past decades that added billions to the debt. Entitlement programs like Johnsons Great Society have added hundreds of billions, loans owed to the gov’t have been defaulted on, fraud, waste and abuse have added to it. Remember that even during the Clinton surplus period we had months of deficits. It’s not like all the bills got paid off during Clinton and we started fresh. All it was was a brief period where revenue exceeded outflow by a small amount. We’ve been in a sustained period of deficit spending and borrowing. It is not sustainable, even if a gov’t does it.

    Knuckle and some others have mentioned that the gov’t has the ability to print more money to cover the debt. True enough. The Treasury could run off $17 trillion and more than cover our national debt. What will our dollar buy then? $100.00 a gallon gas, $75.00 a gallon milk, $60.00 loaves of bread. We can print the money to cover the bill, which is essentially what QE1,2 and 3 were about, but the money is worth less. It’s not as simple as printing money and paying off $1.00 in debt with 40 cent current dollars.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  31. Two Cents says:

    the treasurey has run off 17 trillion, sshh its a secret.
    that was the reason behind the re-design of all the bills.
    secretely they just printed a few more, who’s counting?

    isn’t that what china does?

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  32. Walker says:

    “The top marginal tax rate might have been 86%, but the effective tax rate was much, much lower.”

    I saw that this morning– it was 45% plus or minus a bit. And we all know that many of today’s one percenters are paying in the 15 – 20% range.

    “It’s not like all the bills got paid off during Clinton and we started fresh. All it was was a brief period where revenue exceeded outflow by a small amount.”

    I guess you’ve forgotten those articles that seriously worried about what we would do when the deficit was gone. I’ll dig some up for you if you want.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  33. Walker says:

    “What will our dollar buy then?”

    Have you noticed the inflation rate lately Rancid? Conservatives have been hollering for years now about how inflation was going to go through the roof. But just like the wealth that was going to trickle down from the hyper wealthy, and all the jobs that the tax cuts were supposed to create, it just hasn’t happened.

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  34. Walker says:

    You’re right, though, Rancid, the debt never actually decreased under Clinton, it just kinda treaded water for a while. In retrospect, its amazing the economists ever actually worried about the demise of the deficit!

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  35. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    Hey, speaking of ItsallBushsFault, where has s/he been? And Hermit Thrush? Who else has been missing around here since the Mayan Apocolypse? Like Brett, oh no, I forgot about Brett for a second.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  36. Rancid Crabtree says:

    “Have you noticed the inflation rate lately Rancid? Conservatives have been hollering for years now about how inflation was going to go through the roof. But just like the wealth that was going to trickle down from the hyper wealthy, and all the jobs that the tax cuts were supposed to create, it just hasn’t happened.”

    You can’t possibly be anything remotely like serious!!!! That or you are one of the uber wealthy Kennedy types that doesn’t notice the price of things.

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  37. hermit thrush says:

    don’t worry knuck, i’m still around. just haven’t had the energy for commenting much lately.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  38. Walker says:

    Annual Inflation
    2012 – 2.10% (approximate)
    2011 – 3.16 %
    2010 – 1.64 %
    2009 – minus 0.34 %
    2008 – 3.85 %
    2007 – 2.85 %
    2006 – 3.24 %
    2005 – 3.39 %
    2004 – 2.68 %
    2003 – 2.27 %
    2002 – 1.59 %
    2001 – 2.83 %
    2000 – 3.38 %
    (Historical Inflation Rate)

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  39. Rancid Crabtree says:

    Walker, since 2000 the CPI has risen 37.5%. That’s just based on BLS stats. It does not take into account the dollars value, the same dollar that has been purposely devalued through QE 1,2,3. http://blogs.reuters.com/james-saft/2010/11/04/enter-the-era-of-dollar-devaluation/ Add devaluation to the “official” inflation judged by the CPI and you have a much higher cost of living, Add to that some real world COL observations and you begin to understand that the reported inflation rate is a farce. https://www.aier.org/article/7557-epi-reflects-basic-economic-change

    Inflation is about more than judging the cost of an item month to month as the CPI does to get the inflation rate.

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  40. Mervel says:

    Well its an economic puzzle why inflation has not been running at higher rates. It is historically low right now compared to previous decades. I used to disagree with him, but this time Krugman has it correct that we are in a liquidity trap, where adding to the money supply, lowering interest rates, does nothing, it does not create inflation OR demand.

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  41. Walker says:

    “…adding to the money supply, lowering interest rates, does nothing, it does not create inflation OR demand.”

    What creates demand is getting money into the hands of consumers.

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  42. Rancid Crabtree says:

    Inflation itself is low, yes. The cost of living is not. I hope the distinction is understood. Some people are opining that the world is in a period of stagflation overall. That could end today. Deflation is another part of this that can lay havoc. Whats more, you can have inflation, deflation and stagflation all at the same time in differing areas. It just gets too complex to report on after a while.

    The only way you put money into the consumers hands is by allowing the economy to create jobs that pay decent wages. That’s the problem we have now.

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  43. Walker says:

    “The only way you put money into the consumers hands is by allowing the economy to create jobs…”

    Or by rebuilding crumbling infrastructure, or by doing almost anything that puts cash in people’s hands.

    The odds that private enterprise can pull us out of this unaided is poor– private enterprise needs people who can buy their products before they can hire people to make more stuff. Or as Krugman put’s it in a recent column “… spending and earning go together: my spending is your income; your spending is my income. If everyone tries to slash spending at the same time, incomes will fall — and unemployment will soar.” (The Big Fail)

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  44. Walker says:

    As a commenter to that Krugman piece put it…

    Twelve million remain unemployed; five million of them jobless for longer than six months. And the real numbers are grimmer as labor force participation plummets for prime age adults. As for the next generation, well, 15 million children live in poverty with growing numbers homeless. The public school system erodes with teachers under attack.

    State and local governments have been shedding public workers in the hundreds of thousands. After all who needs firefighters, health inspectors, teachers, police officers–they should all take minimum wage or get a real job in marketing, banking, real estate. Something productive…

    And obviously it’s time for the feds to match the pain of state governments in shedding all the useless spending on pensions, health care, school lunches, and all those other boondoggle programs for the grimy people.

    Funny thing though. Australia has a minimum wage of $16/hour, unemployment of five per cent, and a public sector deficit of less than one per cent. The Aussies are too crazy to realize that high minimum wages are a disaster! They think wages create demand! Lunacy.

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  45. Rancid Crabtree says:

    Well that’s cool Walker. All we have to do is raise the min wage here to $100.00 @ hour and all our problems will be solved, right?

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  46. Walker says:

    Yeah, why not to $1000/hour?

    Or maybe, not to be stupid, raise it by $2 an hour each year ’til we get to $16. We could evaluate the results of each increase.

    But no, let’s just agree that raising it to $100 an hour would be stupid and then pretend that it isn’t working in Australia.

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