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Stewart “Four weeks, ladies and gentlemen.  Just twenty some days.  Our country will be heading over the fiscal cliff, that we ourselves dug, and put in our way.  It’s the set of automatic spending cuts and tax hikes that can only be averted if our nation’s leaders are able to display bare bones competence, and middle-school maturity.  So, is there a deal?”

Reporter 12-4-12 “There’s, of course, no deal.”

Stewart “Of course!  Is there a prospect for a deal?”

Reporter “There’s not a prospect for a deal.”

Stewart “Of course.  But, the ongoing talks?”

Reporter “There aren’t even very many talks going on.”

Stewart “You’re killing us.  Give us something.”

Reporter “But, for the first time, there are numbers on pieces of paper from both sides.”

Stewart “Numbers on paper!  We have numbers on paper.  From both sides.  We’re going to be OK.  How were negotiations being conducted before they decided to put numbers on paper?  Were they communicating by pheromones, like ants? … Were the two sides just spray-painting the side of a camel and hoping it wanders past the other sides office, or other equally absurd examples of something?  So, tell us about this paper, with numbers on them?”

Reporter 2 “$4 trillion of deficit reduction over the next 10 years.  It includes $1.6 trillion in higher taxes on households making more than $250,000 a year.  There’s also $400 billion in cuts to entitlement programs.  There’s also some fresh new spending, $50 billion next year in stimulus spending, all for infrastructure.”

Stewart “All right.  So, we’ve got a little tax hike here, a little entitlement trim there, basically telling the government it needs a mix of diet and exercise if it wants to reduce its chances of succumbing to heart disease, or a swollen prostate… Basically, this plan is around, somewhat, what Obama said he was going to do about the budget, while he was on the campaign trail.  I guess we could put that another way.”

Rep Jim Gerlach (R-PA) 11-30-12 “The proposal that came forward yesterday, really is a joke.”

Sen John Cornyn (R-TX) 11-30-12 “I’m not surprised that my colleague Senator McConnell laughed at that proposal.”

Sen Lindsey Graham (R-SC) 12-2-12 “The President’s plan does nothing but damn us to becoming Greece.”

Rep Ted Poe (R-TX) 12-2-12 “So ridiculous.”

Sen Orin Hatch (R-UT) 12-1-12 “Disastrous.”

Sen Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) 12-2-12 “Very disappointing…disappointed…I’m very disappointed.”

Stewart “Really?  ‘Cause you really don’t sound that disappointed, quite frankly…To their credit, though, the Republicans didn’t just complain about the President’s plan.  They put forward, on paper, numbers of their own.”

Luke Russert (MSNBC) “You see the offer there on your screen.  $800 billion through tax reform.  $600 billion in health savings.  $300 billion in mandatory savings.  $200 billion entitlement scale revision.  $300 billion further discretionary savings.  That nets to a total of $2.2 trillion in savings.”

Stewart “All right.  So, the GOP proposal is, if I’m adding that up correctly, is $1.2 trillion in cuts, $1 trillion in savings, and they leave the tax rates alone for the top 2%, and they, wait a minute.  The fiscal cliff, the thing we’re trying to avoid, had $1.2 trillion in cuts, but half of those cuts were going to be defense.  This has $1.2 trillion in cuts, but they’re just saying, why don’t we just make the whole thing cuts to entitlements and domestic spending, and not cut defense at all.  Basically, they’re trying to entice Democrats through saying, I don’t want you to fall off this cliff, so why don’t you voluntarily jump off this steeper cliff, but don’t worry.  Your fall will be cushioned by lava.  Now, obviously it’s a negotiation.  People take a hard line position.  It’s a starting point.  With the tax bite being the lowest it’s been in America since the 1950’s, most likely we’re going to raise it back to the rate it was in the 90’s, for the upper 2% at some point.”

Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) 11-9-12 “Raising tax rates is unacceptable.”

Stewart “OK, so what exactly is your idea of a negotiation?”

Boehner 12-2-12 “The President’s idea of a negotiation is, roll over and do what I ask.”

Stewart “At least, once he has you on your back, he asks….I cannot wait until the Democrats get a hold of this Republican proposal.  They’re going to tear it to shreds.”

Rep Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) 12-3-12 “The good news is, he’s put something in writing.  The bad news is, it doesn’t really get us moving forward.”

Rep Xavier Becerra (D-CA) 12-3-12 “The Republican plan failed the very first test of fairness.”

President Barack Obama 12-4-12 “Unfortunately, the Speaker’s proposal, right now, is still out of balance.”

Stewart “Out of balance?  Fails the fairness test?  Where’s your hysterical rhetoric?  Where’s your I laughed in their bleeping faces?  Where is your DISAPPOINTED?  Where is your this proposal is an insult, this proposal will destroy America?….You know what?  Maybe it’s just time to stop this back and forth of offers.  It’s pretty clear that Republicans aren’t ever going to come to the table with anything even remotely reasonable, so I’ll be the one to say it.  I know it would be disastrous.  I know it will doom our economy for years to come.  But, let’s just go over the bleeping cliff.  Fine.  Let’s just go.  Just leave the negotiating table and send us over the cliff.  “Cause you know why?  At least, for a few seconds, it’ll feel like we’re flying.”

 

http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/tue-december-4-2012/cliffpocalypsemageddonacaust—totally-solvable-budget-problem—numbers-on-paper

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