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Posted at 6:45 PM ET, 12/ 2/2010


By Ezra Klein

Recap: The Democrats have really mucked up the tax cuts; party disunity has its benefits; and three reasons to relax -- a bit -- about the deficit.


1) House Dems passed an extension of the tax cuts for income under $250,000. There's no reason that Senate Democrats and the White House couldn't simply push this as their position, too.

2) How the U.N. Development Program's Human Development Report makes sub-Saharan Africa look worse than it really is.

3) The Chipotle burrito theory of the federal budget.

4) I don't watch Sandra Lee very much. Is this -- could this possibly be -- typical?

By Ezra Klein  | December 2, 2010; 6:45 PM ET
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Next: Wonkbook: Tons o' tax cut votes; Simpson-Bowles likely to win a majority vote


>>here's no reason that Senate Democrats and the White House couldn't simply push this as their position, too.>>

Multiple choice:
a) Stupidity.
b) Fecklessness.
c) Both.

Posted by: fuse | December 2, 2010 7:08 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Ezra, the Sandra Lee bit is typical.

Posted by: khuxtable | December 2, 2010 7:20 PM | Report abuse

Jake Tapper finally is the one to remind people that Obama's proposed budget includes a couple of dozen tax changes, not just proposals on Bush's tax bracket rates. Obama has known this for months while all others ignore it. Now they will come into political play in some fashion, potentially as not-unimportant Democratic successes. Or more failures. Check some of them out:

Posted by: pjro | December 2, 2010 7:41 PM | Report abuse

Ezra, we've certainly all been waiting for the sub-Saharan report, but how about an idea for tomorrow.

Why not write about the astounding numbers we learned this week, 3.3 trillion, that Bernanke and Paulson were juggling during the crisis. Greenspan would have positively stroked out if this had happened to him! I even promise not to post on that particular blog when you get some of the numbers wrong, as you always do.

Posted by: 54465446 | December 2, 2010 7:41 PM | Report abuse

"The proposal would extend the Bush-era tax cuts only to individuals earning $200,000 or less per year and families earning $250,000 or less."

I hate it when things are phrased like this. People making more than $250,000 a year also got a tax cut extension. They just didn't get it for all of their income, just the first quarter million dollars.

Since most couples that make over $250,000 a year probably don't make that much more over $250,000 the vast majority of their income is still getting a tax cut extension. And for the people that make a lot more than $250,000, most of the income comes via capital gains and dividends that isn't even subjected to this rate anyway.

And, no matter how you slice it, everyone still has an effective tax rate lower than during the Clinton years.

Posted by: Nylund154 | December 2, 2010 7:44 PM | Report abuse

"House Dems passed an extension of the tax cuts for income under $250,000. There's no reason that Senate Democrats and the White House couldn't simply push this as their position, too."

I thought Obama had already blown that possibility by negotiating with himself, given what I've seen on this blog the last few days... apparently Congress is in charge after all

Posted by: justin84 | December 2, 2010 7:45 PM | Report abuse

Usually she's waving the twins around a bit more, but yes, that's actually pretty good for Sandra Lee.

Posted by: pj_camp | December 2, 2010 7:54 PM | Report abuse

Ezra, if you're not familiar with Sandra Lee, you have to check youtube for her 'Kwanzaa Cake". It's... something else.

Posted by: NeonBlueStocking | December 2, 2010 10:47 PM | Report abuse

Couldn't the tax cuts lapse and then the Dems pass a new tax cut for the middle class? Or isn't that feasible this late in the game?

Posted by: Chris_ | December 2, 2010 11:03 PM | Report abuse

Sandra Lee, oy vey. Poor Andrew Cuomo is going to be eating some weird stuff out of boxes up there in the Governor's mansion. With cocktails.

Posted by: JJenkins2 | December 2, 2010 11:21 PM | Report abuse

I don't know what you have against ketchup; a meat loaf better be REALLY good if you're going to leave off the ketchup.

Maybe you college boys disdain ketchup or something.

Posted by: mattmdavis1 | December 3, 2010 12:27 AM | Report abuse

Hahahaha!!! I'll be Sandra Lee plays great in Akron, OH where my father grew up!

Posted by: RowanTrumpetProf | December 3, 2010 12:47 AM | Report abuse

crap! I'll be"T" she plays great............

Posted by: RowanTrumpetProf | December 3, 2010 12:49 AM | Report abuse

Why can't the Democrats pass the middle class tax cut through reconciliation. That was how the original tax cut was passed by Bush.

Posted by: klot | December 3, 2010 12:57 AM | Report abuse

It's called "meatloaf," Ezra. It's made of meat and it's shaped like a loaf.

35 seconds provides limited info, so I don't know what else went into it, but on the other side, a lot of recipes in the NYT call for ingredients which are very difficult to find or unheard of. Not as bad as it used to be, but still often too exotic.

Posted by: franklynch2 | December 3, 2010 7:27 AM | Report abuse

Meat loaf with ketchup. A staple of the 1950s through 1970s.

You young people simply don't know enough history.

Posted by: ostap666 | December 3, 2010 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, that's typical of Sandra Lee, but meatloaf *always* looks like that. At least when it's on a baking sheet instead of inside a loaf pan, it's not actually swimming in the rendered fat.

If you pick and choose from her recipes, you can find some not-terrible ones.

It's the "tablescapes" that are truly terrifying.

Posted by: ajw_93 | December 3, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

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