Friday, December 21, 2012

Plan B from Outer Space

By Robert Hockett

Many of our more cultivated readers, particularly the cinephiles among them, might be at least passingly familiar with Ed Wood’s 1959 anti-classic, Plan 9 from Outer Space. Designated ‘the worst movie ever made’ by the redoubtable Medved brothers, the film’s science-fiction-meets-horror-story plot involves a plan by extraterrestrials to plague earth-dwellers with zombies, whom (which?) they resurrect by stimulating the pituitary and pineal glands of corpses, all in order to distract the earthlings from constructing a world-imperiling doomsday weapon. Among other inspiredly camp curiosities, the film posthumously stars Bela Lugosi – known in the film as ‘the Old Man’ – in the form of film clips that Wood had shot of Lugosi for other purposes prior to his death.

Shift now to a parallel universe not that far from the world of Plan 9, in which what transpires is not the worst movie ever made, but surely the worst legislative story ever told. Yes, I speak of Washington, DC, where I am located while on sabbatic this year and where all of the talk in the past several days has been of another plan involving the walking dead and conceived by agents who seem to inhabit another planet, or at any rate another era – perhaps that of Herbert Hoover. I speak of John Boehner’s ‘Plan B.’
Plan B, not to be confused with the abortifacient (though it was indeed meant to prevent something happening that might otherwise happen), was purportedly conceived to avert that ersatz doomsday known as the 'fiscal cliff.' In fact, however, it was meant to do something else. Plan B would have permitted the disastrous Bush-era tax cuts, set to expire as of 31 December, to expire only for increments of income over $ 1 million, while converting the remainder to permanent status. Since President Obama had campaigned on a figure of $250K, and in post-electoral compromise mode gone no higher than $400K, Boehner apparently believed that proposing and passing Plan B would enable Congressional Republicans to embarrass the President by first 'doing something constructive' to avert ersatz doomsday and then being rebuffed by a new putative 'party of "no"' - Mr. Obama's Democrats.
As strategies go, Plan B was of course characteristically (for Republicans) gamey and bad faith in character - unlike Plan 9 of the extraterrestrials, who were at least trying to save us from ourselves. The bad faith is manifest when one considers Plan B against the background fact that the President and the Democrats could have offered ahead of time their own Plan A, conceived before the election, to do precisely what Plan B did save with a lower threshold for tax cut expiry - either the President's campaign promise of $250K or his recent compromise to $400K.
The original rendition of that Plan - what I am calling 'Plan A' - was to employ it as a fallback after New Year's in the event that ersatz-fiscal-doomsday-averting compromise was not reached by 31 December. Holding it in reserve in that way demonstrated the good faith willingness of the Dems to seek compromise before resorting to use of the lever afforded by the Bush tax cuts' sunset clause. Republican gun-jumping on Plan B would accordingly have constituted a cheap cheat - had they passed it in the House as Boehner attempted.
As it happens, however, Plan B proved ultimately to be more saliently science-fiction bizarro than dastardly. For Mr. Boehner's fellow Republicans, true to contemporary form, ultimately proved unwilling to relinquish their 'party of no' title to the Democrats. They rejected Mr. Boehner's Plan B and the opportunity it offered potentially to embarrass the President and the Democrats, apparently because it allowed the expiry of any of the Bush tax cuts at all - even for increments of income over $1 million. And so we are just about back where we were, with ersatz doomsday looming and the Democrats ready to nullify the effects of that day by passing new tax cuts for non-plutocrats the very day after.
What is most campily comical about all of this, rendering it fit fodder for cornball science-fiction-cum-monster-movie or farce, is that the Republican rejection of Republican Plan B now offers the public a lovely holiday gift - namely, a President newly able to stick to his own principles and promises as issued throughout the 2012 campaign. For why offer to compromise the tax rise on income increments over $250K by raising the amount - even merely to $400K - once Republicans have shown that they will accept literally no expiration short of full expiration? The answer is that they should not. Democrats should simply proceed with Plan A, as they have planned all along absent compromise by Republicans.
Let all of the Bush tax cuts expire, then, and then immediately introduce legislation to trim taxes again for those who will use the savings to boost still badly needed consumer expenditure rather than to engage in more volatility-inducing financial speculation. Meanwhile the planet will continue in its elliptical orbit about the sun, and the zombies will keep losing elections.


Paul Scott said...

the Republicans are on a bit of a roll here. This political failure closely followed Mitch McConnell having to filibuster his own, unamended, bill on the debt ceiling.

Unknown said...

If you are searching for gucci replica top superior Replica Chanel Watches, we are the abode for you. We action some of the best prices out there forth with swiss replica watches a fast supply and do our best to contentment our customers. Purchase a Watch Replica and you will not be disappointed. You deserve the best, and we action the best in Replica Chanel watches. Replica Chanel watches action the aforementioned elegance, sophistication, and adorableness as the hublot replica aboriginal watches. Replica Chanel watches action amount for your dollar, and a faculty of claimed appearance in owning one. Replica Chanel watches are accomplished amount backup watches. What being wouldn't feel aces with prada replica a Replica Chanel watch on their wrist?Think Chanel watches, and instantly conjured are visions of adorableness and excellence. With the name Chanel comes a ample amount tag that makes a Chanel watch on a abiding ambition list. What if you were told you could own a Replica Chanel Watch that matches in adorableness and style, but sans the huge amount tag? Interested?Our watches are bogus with fendi outlet top superior materials. We action the adorned attending and added composure offered in Chanel watches. Our watches are styled to bout the attending of the top priced Chanel watches. We accept altered Replica Chanel watch models to address to everyone's appearance taste.

Unknown said...

Very awesome post , i am really impressed with it a lot

فوائد الزنجبيل
فوائد الرمان فوائد الحلبة فوائد البصل فوائد الزعتر فوائد زيت السمسم علاج البواسير فوائد اليانسون فوائد الكركم قصص جحا صور يوم الجمعه علامات الحمل تعريف الحب حياة البرزخ فوائد الزبيب

panca-samudera said...

The article posted was very informative and useful
thanks for sharing.
jaring futsal , jaring futsal murah , jual jaring futsal , jaring golf , jual jaring golf , jaring golf murah ,
jaring polynet , tangga darurat , jaring truk , jaring cargo , jaring outbound , jual rumput futsal murah ,
jual rumput sintetis murah , tali tambang , cargo net , jaring tanaman , jaring kassa , jaring proyek , jaring bangunan ,
jaring gedung , jaring pengaman proyek , jaring pengaman bangunan , jaring pengaman gedung , jaring peneduh , jaring waring , kasa hijau , tangga darurat , jaring gawang futsal ,
jual jaring gawang futsal murah , jaring peneduh , jaring truk , tali tambang nylon , jaring safety , safety net , jaring , waring , polynet

Anonymous said...

This article gives the light in which we can observe the reality. This is very nice one and gives indepth information. Thanks for this nice article.
richmondhomevalues |

seoamine said...

thanks so much for that great blog and thanks also for accepting my links thanks
طريقة عمل الدونات طريقة عمل البان كيك طريقة عمل الكنافة طريقة عمل البسبوسة طريقة عمل الكيك طريقة عمل عجينة البيتزا فوائد القرفه

Unknown said...

bargain prices from respected pharmacies before you decide to buy viagra online at incredibly low prices when you purchase from discount,price options offered by authorized pharmacies before you viagra price delivered when you order from this siteProtect yourself and,Before you viagra to successfully diminish symptoms after locating great cost,You can easily go online to check the online viagra website is licensed to sell products?,An internet store has viagra online you should consult your physician.,coverage you have now.Lock in the best deal on viagra for sale
fashionjapan |

Unknown said...

Excellent share, this is a really quality post. In underlying objects theory I’d like to write like this too. Taking time and real effort to make a good article.
merricktackle |

Unknown said...

thanks so much i like very so much your post
حلى الاوريو الفطر الهندي صور تورته حلى قهوه طريقة عمل السينابون طريقة عمل بلح الشام بيتزا هت كيكة الزبادي حلا سهل صور كيك عجينة العشر دقائق

Unknown said...

Eventually these folks were winning suites brimming with international awards and also patents for timepiece layout as well as advancement throughout timepiece systems. Ditesheim's creation don't truly begin with the particular Movado enjoy identify which experts claim means "always inside motion" in Esperanto. The particular name was not in the past adopted until finally 1905. Until finally present, many of the runs associated with Movado watches, such as Juro and also Luno are called from the same language. An instant look into a lot of the planet most popular replica watches UK wrist watches will reveal fake IWC watches the iconic identify. Throughout 1912 a Movado watch was made, and branded, by having an uncommonly sophisticated movement that has been 'shaped' to match the curvature of replica rolex watches an folks best replica Prada Fabric Bags arm. Replica Hublot watches