When the news 1st came down about the deal President Obama was supporting where Republicans will support a temporary extension of Middle Class Tax Cuts as long as tax cuts for the wealthiest 2% where also temporary extended I was upset but I was willing to give the president the benefit of the doubt. I knew the president was breaking one of his key campaign promises but the idea of a compromise still sounded good as I knew the type of opposition the president was facing from Republicans. So a compromise couldn’t be that bad right????
All that changed when I found out the price tag of this Tax Cuts Compromise; $900 Billion…
So what exactly contained in this tax compromise
The GOP got around $95 billion in tax cuts for wealthy Americans and $30 billion in estate tax cuts. Democrats got $120 billion in payroll-tax cuts, $40 billion in refundable tax credits (Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit and education tax credits), $56 billion in unemployment insurance, and, depending on how you count it, about $180 billion (two-year cost) or $30 billion (10-year cost) in new tax incentives for businesses to invest. – via Ezra Klein (Washington Post)
When you look at the details of the compromise Progressives will see that the deal favors Democrats as it includes many initiatives that Progressives have supported in the past (Child and Education Tax Credit, and Middle Class Tax Cuts, and extending unemployment benefits). There are plenty things about the deal that I am happy about, the 13 month extension of unemployment benefits was a great move as this issue will not have to be revisited for a year. The problem is not necessarily in the deal itself, its how we got to the point of making a deal that bothers me the most (along with price tag).
On September 12, 2010 soon to be Speaker of the House John Boehner (Republican) said the following on Face the Nation:
“If the only option I have is to vote for some of those tax deductions (Middle Class Tax Cuts), I’ll vote for them”
With that said, why would President Obama then turn around and offer the possibility of temporarily extending tax cuts for the rich… it doesn’t make sense. All that talk about drawing a line in the sand was nothing but BS; if the line your drawing in the sand is coming from a position of giving up ground then why draw the line? The president gave up ground when HE started talking about temporarily extending tax cuts for the rich.
This whole summer Obama talked about letting the tax cuts for the rich expire and how that will generate $700 billion in revenue that would be used to pay down our $13 trillion-dollar deficit. Obama even talked about how it would not be fiscally responsible for us to borrow money from China or Saudi Arabia to pay for tax cuts for the rich. So what happened?
The president says he did it so not to hold the middle class and unemployed “hostage”; I can understand this thought but I thought we don’t give into terrorist?? Obama has to understand that Democrats like me are upset by his lack of fight. He can talk all he wants about Republicans should not take this compromise as a sign of weakness, but the fact is they are and what’s worse Democrats are starting to think the same thing. Where is the threat of veto from the president? Why didn’t Obama challenge Republicans to be the group that voted down Middle Class tax cuts? Instead after cutting the deal the only tough talk I am seeing/hearing from the president is at Democrats for not supporting him on this.
One congressman said it best, if the president didn’t have the guts to let the tax cuts expire now… why should we believe he will have the guts to let the tax cuts expire in 2 years during his re-election campaign??
If there is something to be said, “It’s On Broadway” to step up and say it!!!