Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
Posted at 1:50 PM ET, 12/ 8/2010

White House touts Democratic supporters of tax deal

By Perry Bacon Jr.


When a Republican backs an Obama administration initiative, the White House often e-mails reporters to note this, trying to demonstrate the wide appeal of whatever the proposal is.
 
But two days after the president reached an agreement with Republicans on taxes and other economic issues, the White House is doing something highly unusual: blasting out the support of fellow Democrats. Democratic support usually is assumed for the administration, but the agreement the president reached Monday is so unpopular among the party's base that the administration feels compelled to note the support of Democratic figures such as Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.),  Rep.Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villariagosa and Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell.
 
"I commend President Obama for his leadership in forging this agreement," Webb said in a statement the White House circulated to reporters. "The framework agreement for tax cuts and extended unemployment insurance shows great promise in reinvigorating our economy and putting people back to work."
 
These are not the only Democrats who have spoken in favor of the agreement, which would keep in place tax cuts for families at all income levels for two years, extend emergency jobless benefits through 2011 and cut payroll taxes by 2 percentage points for every American worker through the end of next year.
 
But the intense anger about the deal from party activists and some lawmakers has not been met with enthusiasm from other Democrats. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who strongly pushed most of Obama's agenda the last two years, has been non-committal, as have members of the Congressional Black Caucus who almost always line up behind Obama on key policy issues.

Despite the lack of support so far, Obama predicted members of his party would soon come around.

"I think it is inaccurate to characterize Democrats writ large as feeling 'betrayed," Obama said Wednesday at the White House, replying to a question from a reporter about liberal criticism of the agreement. "I think Democrats are looking at this bill, and you've already had a whole bunch of them who said this makes sense.  And I think the more they look at it, the more of them are going to say this makes sense."

(This item has been updated since it was first posted.)

By Perry Bacon Jr.  | December 8, 2010; 1:50 PM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Rogers, Upton tapped to chair House committees
Next: House GOP unveils changes to legislative calendar

Comments

McConnell and his follow republicans are unbelievable. They tout the increasing debt and deficit issue, ran their midterm campaigns on such and then demand that bush taxes for the top 2% be extended. Blatant antinomy.

This is not a show of force. It displays deeply rooted hypocrisy, greed and self-interest.

Posted by: haruko8 | December 8, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Can someone post a list of items the Republicans relented on to achieve this "compromise"? I'm sure there's something of significance but it seems to me they asked Obama to change a $20 bill and he gave them two $10's and a $5. Kind of reminds me when someone recently asked for a federal freeze on salaries to save $5B so they could lower the tax rate on estates over $5M to the tune of about $50B in lost revenue. Oh, same guy. Don't they teach Math at Harvard? Or Ethics? Shame on you Mr. President. And why have we never seen you as angry with the Republicans as you were to your own party in your press conference yesterday? Republican? How about we stay home again.

Posted by: mikeh3 | December 8, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Why is it that all the GOP has to do is threaten a filibuster and the Democratic leadership just shrugs and gives up? For God's sake, call their bluff and let them stand up there on the Senate floor in open and visible opposition to tax cuts for 98 percent of Americans. Let them be the symbol of heartlessness in shutting off unemployment for 2 million of us who can't find work due to the corporations pulling the Republicans' strings. It used to be that a filibuster came at a cost for the party mounting one; now it's a get-out-of-voting-free card with no consequences.

And shame on the President for folding on his original commitment to fiscal responsibility. I voted for him, and before that walked door-to-door for him in four different primary states on my own dime, and until now I believed he would stand up to the idiotic shenanigans of the Party of No. But letting the GOP successfully hold America hostage for no better reason than to line the pockets of millionaires while further deepening the financial sinkhole that is the national debt is disgraceful. The Republicans acted no differently than the Somalian pirates who took several American sailors hostage early in Obama's presidency. At least then he acted decisively and swiftly. No so this time around.

Posted by: whatmeregister | December 8, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

the body language i saw on tuesday didn't appear to be a fighter... it appeared to me to be someone whose life is threatened daily- the past has shown it could happen, and that explains everything.

Posted by: jgaskins1 | December 8, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Blaming the President for a GOP initiative is what I call stupid! I call it blaming the victim.

Posted by: ruthella10 | December 8, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

The Democrats are true idiots if they choose to oppose this deal, and hold the budgets of all Americans hostage for next year.

Posted by: liberalsareblind | December 8, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse
* * * * *
Agreed. Think of the costs (and, therefore, lost productivity) of accounting departments across this country that are (currently) planning for a tax increase beginning in 3 weeks - and it's not just wages; it impacts deductions for parking and/or what is/not covered by FSA etc.
Even if the new Congress is seated, and they pass the bill retroactively, more lost productivity in undoing everything that they are doing right now.
Get some certainty, so that we can plan accordingly!

Posted by: DoubledownDC | December 8, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Blaming the President for a GOP initiative is what I call stupid! I call it blaming the victim.

Posted by: ruthella10 | December 8, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Isn't it a bit early for liberals to be the Party of No?

I guess being the Party of No is a good thing now, but wasn't a good thing for the past 2 years?

Posted by: drjcarlucci | December 8, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

The tentative agreement Obama has forged with the republicans is a good first step. If the democratic house holds out for not renewing the Bush tax break for people with taxable incomes over one million dollars we might just have a chance to stimulate the economy without selling it to the highest bidder, China. As it stands it makes my stomach flip over with dread.

Posted by: Gently52 | December 8, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Whether or not the agreement makes sense is not the issue. Rather, the issue is Obama's conduct in appearing weak and clueless in reaching the agreement to the point where we actually found him apologizing to Republicans and taking blame for their obstructionism. Instead of calling their bluff, Obama allowed Republicans to ride roughshod over the wishes of his own base with a devil-may-care attitude. Obama could have held out for an agreement that makes more sense, when everyone (especially Republicans) are complaining about the deficit. Obama had the chance to gain a club to beat Republicans over the head with in the upcoming months by blaming them for causing middle class Americans' taxes to increase and for attempting to increase the deficit by continuing tax breaks for the wealthy. With this club, Obama could have gotten whatever he wanted out of the Republicans in the next Congress. Instead, he fell right into the Republican's trap by showing them that they can get whatever they want from him by threatening obstruction of legislation the people clearly want. Yes, it'll now be much harder for Obama to negotiate with Republicans since they've been shown obstructionism works in dealing with Obama.

Posted by: Caliguy55 | December 8, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Whether or not the agreement makes sense is not the issue. Rather, the issue is Obama's conduct in appearing weak and clueless in reaching the agreement to the point where we actually found him apologizing to Republicans and taking blame for their obstructionism. Instead of calling their bluff, Obama allowed Republicans to ride roughshod over the wishes of his own base with a devil-may-care attitude. Obama could have held out for an agreement that makes more sense, when everyone (especially Republicans) are complaining about the deficit. Obama had the chance to gain a club to beat Republicans over the head with in the upcoming months by blaming them for causing middle class Americans' taxes to increase and for attempting to increase the deficit by continuing tax breaks for the wealthy. With this club, Obama could have gotten whatever he wanted out of the Republicans in the next Congress. Instead, he fell right into the Republican's trap by showing them that they can get whatever they want from him by threatening obstruction of legislation the people clearly want. Yes, it'll now be much harder for Obama to negotiate with Republicans since they've been shown obstructionism works in dealing with Obama.

Posted by: Caliguy55 | December 8, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

There seems to be some inaccuracy regarding the claims which Obama is making regarding extending Unemployment benefits.
According to the blogger Kid Dynamite, if a person has collected unemployment insurance for 99 months there will not be any extension for them under the Obama/ Republican tax agreement. What has been extended is the "emergency unemployment compensation" program which created a multi-tier system for unemployment beyond the usual twenty-six week cap.
This is quite different than one would believe when President Obama has explained this agreement.
What else about this plan is not clear?
For instance, Republicans have been claiming that the Social Security fund will run out of money in a few years. Now the Obama/Republican plan cuts Social Security tax by 2% for the next two years. How does this help the solve the projected problems with Social Security?
During this past election the Republicans biggest issue was the claim that all of the government programs are increasing the U.S. deficit. This program seems to further extend the deficit in order to give tax cuts to the wealthiest 2% of Americans? How does this solve the problems for the U.S. economy.
The Republicans stand to lose a lot if the tax cuts expire at the end of the year. President Obama should have used this to demand a better deal. As it is it appears he has caved in to the Republican agenda. It is as if he left home with our precious milk cow and hes returned with a pocket full of magic beans.

Posted by: OhMy | December 8, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Ha! Now who's the Party of No?

Posted by: alexandria6351 | December 8, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

The Democrats should just go home; what's the point? The Repugs prevent anything worth doing and with the Obama sellout they might just as well have their corporate owners rewrite the Constitution or maybe we shouldn't even bother with that charade! Just post the list of wars and the block chairman to enforce religious purity, the work gang schedules, and volunteer soldiers deployments!

Posted by: CHAOTICIAN101 | December 8, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

A majority of Democratic voters support the deal which will give the country a respite from the uncertainty of the current situation. WHY SHOULD people of income be treated like cash-cows for a socialist based agenda? 66% of the country approves of the deal.

Posted by: chambedr | December 8, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

During the Health Care fight the deficit was an emergency. When it comes to giving cash to the wealthy it's an unimportant afterthought. I can't imagine supporting Obama in 2012.

Posted by: RuralOregonian | December 8, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Obama needs to understand that he has to be seen to be fighting. He rarely gets out in front of cameras and challenges the stupidity of GOP arguments. He never commits himself to trying to sway public opinion as if that's below his job grade. Sorry Mr. President. That is your job. Whenever you capitulate on an important issue without getting out there and fighting publicly you will get burned and rightly so. Go out there and fight to change public opinion. NOW!!

Posted by: rramos01 | December 8, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

How much more "bargaining" can we, the rapidly disappearing middle class, take from Obama? I can picture him in 2012, berating his former supporters for not being happy with the jobs he's created: scrubbing Rush Limbaugh's solid gold privies and polishing the chrome on Rupert Murdoch's 50 Rolls-Royces...

It occurs to me that he is one of those people that plays nicey-nice with those that don't approve of him, but treats those close to him like trash.

Posted by: ChrisRestonVA | December 8, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

The Democrats are true idiot if they choose to oppose this deal, and hold the budgets of all Americans hostage for next year.

Posted by: liberalsareblind | December 8, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Obama - Those of us who worked hard to get him elected are particularly disappointed to learn, too late, that he is a great orator, family man and sports enthusiast, but NOTHING else. Once burned is enough.

McConnell, Boehner and their fellow Corporate entwined GOP and Blue Dog millionaires, on the other hand are accurately labeled as "AMORAL" (and irony of ironies, their less educated red-neck supporters, wrap themselves in OUR flag, and Jesus)!

Posted by: lufrank1 | December 8, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge washingtonpost.com's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.




characters remaining

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company