Obama and Republicans Compromise on Tax Cuts to Keep Everything at Status Quo12.03.10
With Obama essentially conceding the tax cut extensions for everyone including the richest Americans, he’s given into the situation that the Republicans set up into where he’s damned if he does, damned if he doesn’t.
If he pushed for the tax hikes against the rich, then he’s the socialist that they claim he is; but, if he extends the tax cuts and adds $700 billion to the national deficit, then he’s the spend-happy left-winger who has no regard for the massive debt that they claim he is.
Let’s just look at the facts of the story:
- Most Republicans want to extend the tax cuts – permanently – to all Americans, that includes the top echelon of earners.
- Extending tax cuts to the rich will cost another $700 billion, which would be added to the deficit because there’s no plan to pay for this, not even from the GOP.
- Republicans don’t want to extend unemployment insurance to the 2 million of Americans who will be without benefits by the end of the year unless the $56.4 billion extension is paid for.
- Republicans took back the House and almost the Senate in November 2nd with campaigns focused on fiscal responsibility and reducing the national debt.
Republicans are all for fiscal austerity when it’s for a $56.4 billion tab that affects the middle class but not when it’s a $700 billion bill for the top one-percent, wealthiest Americans.
I still don’t get how anyone can say that the GOP is the fiscally responsible party doing the bidding for the average American based on these positions they’ve taken.
Now, there will be negotiations in the final bills that are passed. The one thing different about the tax cut extensions that will most likely end up passing would be that the GOP wants them to be permanent while the current plan would have them be temporary — probably two to three years long, at which point I’m sure we have this same argument to look forward to (unless it’s a Republican president at that point, which could be what the GOP is planning on so that they can then make them permanent at that time). Dems are also looking to add in help for people paying back tuition and for small businesses who hire the unemployed.
Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, said he would oppose legislation that cuts taxes for upper-income taxpayers, even if it includes an extension of unemployment benefits and the accompanying tax cuts for the poor that the administration is seeking.
I get Harkin’s frustration, but he’s doing nobody any favors by digging his feet in to combat the Republicans digging theirs in.
So after all of this political theater, I predict:
- Tax cuts extended for everyone
- Unemployment benefits extended for another year
- GOP continues to blame Democrats for being spend-happy liberals
- Debt and deficit keeps ballooning out of control because no one in either party will take the political heat associated with the anger and negativity that will come from all sides when the drastic cuts and tax hikes that are necessary to balance the budget need to be made
Pretty much status quo.
Photo courtesy of snty-tact via Wikipedia Creative Commons.