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© Don Wright

Obama agreed to extend all the Bush tax cuts for two years in exchange for an extension of unemployment benefits. Our government is definitely broken.



  1. TJ wrote:

    Maybe the congressional Democrats will grow a pair and refuse to vote for this crappy deal.

    Tuesday, December 7, 2010 at 2:32 am | Permalink
  2. Jason Ray wrote:

    I think we all have to understand that this result is the inevitable outcome of the Washington political process. The Senate Republicans are simply not going to approve any deal on the Bush tax cuts that doesn’t include an extension for all income levels. They were quite prepared to filibuster everything until next year, when the House is in Republicans hands and they can pretty much ignore any Democratic desires since they can point to the Senate Democrats as the ones “refusing to agree to middle class tax cuts”.

    In reading through the “framework” Obama outlined, he has actually gotten a surprising number of concessions from the Republicans including extending other tax breaks that directly help middle class voters, extending unemployment benefits, etc. The one thing that BOTH sides are willing to sacrifice is the deficit impact – so much for Republicans actually being interested in deficit reduction. Their demand to extend the millionaire’s tax cuts will cost more than the entire stimulus package if they stay in place long enough.

    The other news (I can’t quite bring myself to say “good” news) is that the framework is for a 2 year extension, so both sides will have to confront this again – in an election year – and hopefully the economy will have improved enough that the Republican argument for the millionaire tax cuts being extended will be even more inane than it is now.

    I applaud the President for getting this far with this, in the face of the situation with Senate Republicans where he has almost zero leverage. And I applaud that he’s getting so many things that are actually impactful to the economy while only extending the millionaire cuts for 2 years, and setting up the Republicans for a more difficult position in an election year.

    Tuesday, December 7, 2010 at 2:35 am | Permalink
  3. patriotsgt wrote:

    I agree with Jason Ray.

    Lets get these important issues taken care of, now to fund the gov before it shuts down on Dec 19th.

    Tuesday, December 7, 2010 at 6:26 am | Permalink
  4. ebdoug wrote:

    I’m reading “The Case of Obama” by Tim Dickinson from October Rollingstone. He basically says the same things as Jason Ray, plus he reiterated that Obama has gotten more social programs through than LBJ.

    I noticed during the eight years Bush was in, he was doing nothing for the people.

    Tuesday, December 7, 2010 at 6:30 am | Permalink
  5. Jonah wrote:

    Jason ray is spot on IMO.

    Tuesday, December 7, 2010 at 6:52 am | Permalink
  6. Dan wrote:

    from what i saw of the Fed Chairman’s interview on 60 minutes (the last 5 min) it seems Obama took his advice. I wonder why hardly anyone mentions the stimulus. package was mostly tax cuts? Should really have been more spending.

    Health plan really should have been Medicare for all, paid for by a sales tax (excluding fresh food)eliminating the payroll tax. It would have helped American manufactures cut costs and increased to cost of foreign goods.

    Tuesday, December 7, 2010 at 7:55 am | Permalink
  7. Mad Hatter wrote:

    In some alternate universe, where the Democrats have the cajonies and the Republicans are the ball-less wimps here is how it would go…

    The Democrats would call their bluff and refuse to pass anything that included a tax cut for income over $250K and successfully convince the American people that it is the Republicans that are responsible for not passing any tax cuts or unemployment relief for the majority of the people because of their unreasonable desire to increase the wealth of the wealthiest. Obama would make it clear now that he would veto any such legislation passed from the Republican controlled House next year. Again, if the government shuts down or we have no tax cuts or unemployment relief, Obama convinces the people that the reason is the Republicans and there is a landslide victory for Obama and the congressional Democrats in 2012.

    Sadly we’re in this universe. The Republicans get exactly what they want this year and the next two years. If you have wealth, the economy will continue to hum along and get better over the next two years. (If you have wealth, which I have a little, the economy hasn’t been bad at all for the last year). The Republicans will win the presidency and the congress by a landslide because Glenn and Rush will convince those poor suckers that don’t have any wealth and can’t find a job that they’re way better off now than they would have been in the inevitable socialist state they would have lived in under the Democrats.

    I heard an interesting observation on C-SPAN2 this weekend that I totally agree with. Our government will continue to be broken until we reverse all of the past gerrymandering of congressional districts and open up primaries to all voters. I would also add that all American citizens should be required to vote. If all Americans voted, it would dispel this notion that we were a center-right nation, IMHO.

    Tuesday, December 7, 2010 at 10:27 am | Permalink
  8. Bert wrote:

    They are pushing themselves around. If we do this kind of compromise now, what kind of compromise comes next. This feels like the kind of deal we’d get if they were in the majority.

    Tuesday, December 7, 2010 at 11:36 am | Permalink
  9. Falkelord wrote:

    I kind of liked this deal, but not for the reasons that it actually implicates.

    Surely, we’ve lost unemployment benefits, but tax rates have STAYED THE SAME. This is a HUGE gambit by Obama; like Jason said, they expire in an election year. This smells so much like Clinton, it’s got cigar burns on it. The Republicans are letting almost $700 billion go in taxes by not raising taxes on the rich (Which is great, because they’ve always been for lowering taxes but they’re not lowering taxes, they’re keeping them at the same rate which is not conducive to reducing the deficit). I think that in 2 years, when the Republicans’ plan ultimately fails to pay for the debt (and after 2 years of Obama “itchin for a fight,” as he’s been saying, which by the way is probably the most powerful speech he’s made since he took office, I think we’ll find Obama is in the right spot).

    This ploy by Obama to make the Republicans look bad in the coming years is pretty great. Although I haven’t heard of unemployment benefits being destroyed (I actually heard they’re being extended another year in exchange for the tax cuts being extended for 2 years), it’s still a small concession in the larger scope of things. I’m actually excited for the coming 2 years, instead of the usual pissed off at American politics (considering I’m a poli sci major, I’m greatly interested).

    Tuesday, December 7, 2010 at 6:36 pm | Permalink