I think the President did a good job of laying out the facts in his news conference yesterday. Yet, his starry-eyed "base" feels betrayed. He should have fought for a better deal. Fought with what? The President can't enact legislation. In a few weeks we will have a Republican controlled house. We have a Democratic majority in the Senate that can't seem to get a single Republican to cross over on anything. We have a Republican party who has made it clear their number one priority is to ensure that they extend tax breaks to the very wealthiest Americans no matter the cost, even if it means shutting down unemployment benefits during Christmas. But, the President who got a deal that not only gets the unemployment benefits extended it provides more tax breaks for the middle class and for the cost of only a two year extension on the breaks for the rich gets hammered- not by his opposition, but by his own people.
No progressive likes the fact that we had to extend the tax cuts for the rich for another two years to get this deal done. But, let's look at what we got. One it was only two years, not a permanent extension. Fact is in two years we'll have to fight the battle again. But, the extension is not permanent. Estimates are this deal will create another 2.2 million jobs. We got not only unemployment benefits out of the deal. But, a tax holiday for everyone paying social security and other tax credits.
|Obama Got ||Republicans Got |
|Extension of Unemployment |
|Income tax cuts for wealthiest |
Americans- extended another 2 years
|Tuition Tax Credit ||Estate Tax reduction for |
|Tax Credits for Hiring New |
|Social Security Tax Holiday|
Pat Garofalo and Michael Linden report on who'll benefit from each side's priorities.
Obama's components of the tax deal (extended unemployment benefits, the payroll tax cut, and the extended credits) will cost $214 billion to aid 156 million people. The Republicans priorities (extending the Bush tax cuts for the rich and cutting the estate tax), meanwhile, will cost $133 billion, but only benefit roughly 4.8 million people.I've got friends now saying that Obama is another George W. Bush. Another boss, just like the old boss. I completely disagree. Look at where Obama's priorities lie and where the Republicans' priorities lie. Obama's part of this deal impacts a large number of people- mostly middle class. The Republicans' part of this deal is targeted- at the rich. The blame for the deficit growing tax cuts for the rich needs to be be laid at the feet of the Republican hostage takers who were willing to throw the unemployed and the middle class under the bus unless they got the break they wanted for their "base". Obama should be applauded for what he got out of the deal, not castigated for what he gave up to get it.