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Posted at 11:35 AM ET, 12/10/2010

How the White House will sell angry House Dems on tax cut deal

By Greg Sargent

The White House is privately circulating a new chart among Congressional Democrats -- sent over by a source -- that is designed to prove to Dems that the tax deal Obama got out of Republicans is really a victory for Democrats.

It's a pretty interesting chart -- a sign that the White House is gearing up for a full court press to sell the deal to angry House Dems who are vowing to block it:

whitehousechart.JPG

Note in particular that the chart stresses: "What Obama and Democrats got." That's an effort to persuade Dems that they can claim a stake in the good aspects of the deal: The extension of unemployment insurance and various tax credits.

Angry House Dems vowed yesterday to block the deal as it currently stands, and the White House is in the process of getting in touch with them to woo them behind the scenes. The question no one can answer yet is how far House Democrats are willing to go to win concessions and changes, and how ambitious the changes demanded by Dems will be.

Yesterday Nancy Pelosi vowed that changes would have to take place before she agrees to bring the bill to the floor. But it's unclear right now exactly where she and House Dems are going to draw the line. The problem for Pelosi is that if she insists on real tweaks it could mean House Republicans won't support it -- potentially dooming the deal that the President badly wants to happen.

House Dems are particularly incensed over the estate tax provisions, which sets a far more generous exemption and lower maximum rate than Dems wanted. But as the chart shows, the White House's pushback will be that what Republicans got from the estate tax provision is dwarfed by what Dems got. Same goes for the tax cuts for the rich. Indeed, the thrust of the chart is to persuade Democrats that they, and not Republicans, can claim victory in the great tax cut standoff.

UPDATE, 12:00 p.m.: The White House chart is similar to a recent analysis by the Center for American Progress that compared the costs and benefits of the Dem and GOP pieces of the deal.

By Greg Sargent  | December 10, 2010; 11:35 AM ET
Categories:  House Dems, House GOPers, taxes  
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Comments

So; what's the difference between throwing in special sweeteners, to get Senators from agricultural states to vote yes, on the tax deal, than the business as usual in DC, that Obama said he was going to put an end too?

It is still the same old : turn a bill into a Christmas Tree, on which to hang special gifts, regardless of what name President Obama wishes to call it.

Pay no attention children; those are not earmarks hanging from that lovely tree. They are just toys for needy rich tots.


Isn't it a bit late to start telling people that President Obama got the better of the deal, after he said in his press conference that The Hostage Takers made me give in?


Posted by: Liam-still | December 10, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

"the thrust of the chart is to persuade Democrats that they, and not Republicans, can claim victory in the great tax cut standoff."

What a load of horsesh*t. Gee, look at the pretty chart. Don't mind the capitulation. Does Obama think wee are as stupid a Fox viewers?

Posted by: wbgonne | December 10, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

O/T (sort of):

Our hero strikes again:

"The Obama administration is retreating on long-delayed environmental regulations — new rules governing smog and toxic emissions from industrial boilers — as it adjusts to a changed political dynamic in Washington with a more muscular Republican opposition. The move to delay the rules, announced this week by the Environmental Protection Agency, will leave in place policies set by President George W. Bush. President Obama ran for office promising tougher standards, and the new rules were set to take effect over the next several weeks."

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/10/science/earth/10epa.html?partner=rss&emc=rss&src=ig

A.B.O.

Anyone But Obama.
.

Posted by: wbgonne | December 10, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

"they, and not Republicans, can claim victory in the great tax cut standoff."

They can claim victory by given Republicans everything they want? And the unemployment extension doesn't even cover the 99ers, so millions will STILL lose their unemployment over the holidays.

Not to mention, the one hostage that Obama refuses to even negotiate for, raising the debt ceiling. How can you make a deal with hostage takers, without securing the release of the hostages?

Posted by: mikediaz1 | December 10, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

How can Obama claim the payroll tax holiday as a victory for Dems?

Posted by: sbj3 | December 10, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

"The problem for Pelosi is that if she insists on real tweaks it could mean House Republicans won't support it -- potentially dooming the deal that the President badly wants to happen."

I think this part could actually be a solvable problem. Sweeten it in the House, and then persuade a Dem majority to vote for it, making the House Republicans irrelevant one last time. Then kick it into the Senate's lap, and tell the negotiator in chief that if he wants his frickin deal he can go swing Snowe and Voinovich. Or Collins and Brown. Or Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum.

Posted by: andrewlong | December 10, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

So it boils down to a competition over which side gets to borrow more money.

Please, before some wing nut wastes valuable key strokes on the Fox talking point, money only has to be borrowed for spending, not for tax cuts, please, it isn't true, saying it over and over won't make it true, please...thank you.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 10, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

@sbj3 "How can Obama claim the payroll tax holiday as a victory for Dems?"

Because it's a policy he supports. Policies he supports are "victories" even if Republicans have supported it in the past. It's part of his worldview that politics doesn't have to be a zero-sum game.

Dana Milbank's piece this morning is pretty good on the tax cut deal:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/12/10/AR2010121002298.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

Posted by: jnc4p | December 10, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

I would recommend that some of the commenters here read the Krauthammer article at WaPo as a companion piece to Greg's chart. This deal is a huge Dem win, and I think signals Obama regaining his mojo. In turn, I dutifully hate it.

If the "disastrous" presser from earlier this week was truly staged in conjunction, then I will really need to re-evaluate my contempt for BO's skills, as this has been a master stroke, immature braying about "capitulation" aside.

Posted by: bzod9999 | December 10, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

"The problem for Pelosi is that if she insists on real tweaks it could mean House Republicans won't support it -- potentially dooming the deal that the President badly wants to happen."

Let it fail. Congress should go home and not do any further harm. In fact, they shouldn't even come back. Ever.

Posted by: wbgonne | December 10, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Basketball analogy for tax cuts for the rich:

Full court press.

Basketball analogy for tax cuts for the middle class only:

Matador defense.

http://basketbawful.blogspot.com/2007/08/word-of-day-matador-defense.html


But never mind that.

Greg I take issue with your chart.
Which is to say: Can you massage the specious "what they got" data bars into another form? Namely: the debt the country got? I mean really, if we are going to play "kick the can" can we at least see the real combined cost to the nation?

Or has the country already flip backed to "deficits don't matter?"
Admittedly, I have a hard time keeping up with the latest fad...

Posted by: AgaBey | December 10, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Gitmo

I think it is a great time for everyone to pull themselves out of their partisan-prisms on this issue - and re-examine the whole thing.

The Geneva accords govern enemy combatents. I think everyone agrees with that.

However, trying detainees Federal civilian courts may actually be much LESS consistent with the Geneva accords - because the Geneva accords specifically DISALLOW many criminal prosections to POWs.

Ironcially, military tribunals which have been tailored specifically to be in accordance with the Geneva Accords may in fact be the more "liberal" position.


In addition, the democrats have really not considered what Bush did in over 300 civilan trials after 9/11. To say that Bush's positions on these issues have been misrepresented is an understatement. Bush did have civilian trials.


What we have is candidate Obama - or pre-candidate Obama - searching for some reason to say "Bush is doing something wrong" - and seizing on the trial issue. The problems are apparent - the issue simply does not work out the way the liberals wanted it. Bush never did anything wrong. Everything has always been Constitutional.


The question actually becomes: What is the best policy for US national security ??

Which policy protects our "methods and operations" best ??? We need to protect our methods if we are going to continue to effectively fight terrorism, which has NOT diminished.

If at every trial, we give HINTS to the terrorists as to what we are doing to protect themselves, then eventually they can devise ways to get around what we are doing.

It is of the HIGHEST national security imperative that we keep our "methods and operations" as close to us and as quiet as possible.

Military tribunals do that. And I honestly believe that if the liberals re-examine all these issues from a fresh point-of-view, they will agree.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 10, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

If anyone voting republican has not watched Bernie Sanders on CSpan today, you should watch it when it hits YouTube.... and if you still think the rich need OR DESERVE this tax cut, then you are either One of the Billionaires who ripped off America, A paid Croney of the Billionaire here and throughout the Internet to promote their scam, or you are mentally ill. I do believe, if we can get America to see what has happened, the Republicans are as good as history! I do believe we all could have one hell of a lawsuit to get our money back and give it back to the American's who did not deserve the crap they did to us PURPOSELY bringing us to this state of economy, and the suffering of the unemployed and those others who have lost their homes while still working.

Posted by: Tab3 | December 10, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

I understand the art of the compromise, and have no problem with doing such deals, but this is different.

This is the sell out of a core principle, that as a life long Democrat, I hold dear.

In A Nutshell.

Republicans' goal has been to Comfort The Comfortable, and Afflict The Afflicted,

While Democrats mission has been to Comfort The Afflicted, and Afflict The Comfortable.

President Obama has turned his back on the underdogs, and is now engaging in a full court press, with his Republican allies, to continue the comforting of the most comfortable overdogs in the land.

We Democrats have not abandoned him. He has abandoned us.

Of course, now that he has "tossed his cap over the wall", he has to win this fight, because he has created a situation where he is now forced to fight an existential battle to save his presidency. A loss on this; and he would be done for.
Even a win, will leave him a much weaker President, than before he gave in to the "hostage takers".

Posted by: Liam-still | December 10, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

"Payroll Tax Cut Would Mean Higher Tax Rates for the Working Poor"

http://firedoglake.com/

Just Say No!
Just Say no!

Posted by: wbgonne | December 10, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

"Congress should go home and not do any further harm. In fact, they shouldn't even come back. Ever."

Sounds rational. Haha. I largely agree with you on policy, but lately you're sounding as ridiculous as the Tea Party Republicans.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | December 10, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Billionaires and their employees can be mentally ill too you know.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 10, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Form The Hill:

"Corporate chief executives who have been disappointed in the Obama administration are suddenly singing a different tune. Ivan Seidenberg, the Verizon CEO who just months ago criticized President Obama’s policies as a threat to business, on Wednesday said Obama “has shown a willingness to learn.”

http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/132819-ceos-find-new-friend

Posted by: wbgonne | December 10, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

If you want to see who really benefits from the Obama/Republican plan check out this chart. I'm at the airport headed home and haven't had time to check if anyone linked to this one yesterday. I'm still a NO vote. See y'all later. Also, if you have a chance check out Bill Black's post at Huffpo. All the bankers love love love this deal.

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezra-klein/GR2010120808056.gif

Posted by: lmsinca | December 10, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

"We Democrats have not abandoned him. He has abandoned us."

Amen.

Posted by: wbgonne | December 10, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

"lately you're sounding as ridiculous as the Tea Party Republicans."

Ethan: I should think you'd be a bit more concerned that President Obama is in the process of destroying the Democratic Party.

Posted by: wbgonne | December 10, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

sbj:

In case you are interested, I responded to your last question to me yesterday, re DADT, near the end of yesterday's Happy Hour.

Posted by: ScottC3 | December 10, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Greg, two things that would be interesting to get your reporting on:

1. Your link this morning to the WSJ article on the Senate Tax bill included this item:

"It also includes a one-year extension of a 45-cent-a-gallon tax credit for fuel made from ethanol, a provision sought by farm-state lawmakers"

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703766704576009472395668718.html?mod=WSJ_hp_LEFTTopStories

What's the word from the previous coalition of conservatives and environmentalists that wanted to kill the ethanol subsidies about this?

2. Any explanation from Reid or his staff about why the DREAM vote was treated differently than the DADT vote, as reported in the Post yesterday?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/12/08/AR2010120805209.html?hpid=moreheadlines

Posted by: jnc4p | December 10, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

jnc4p:

"It's part of his worldview that politics doesn't have to be a zero-sum game."

That's an interesting take in light of a chart which divides the agreement into "What we got" and "What they got".

Posted by: ScottC3 | December 10, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

What we got? We could have gotten unemployment extension without this "deal".

a payroll tax cut is a Republican idea. Nonetheless, it could also have passed without this "deal".

So what exactly did Obama get out of this deal, other than the ability to say he got something for totally caving. (something we could have got anyway!

Posted by: mikediaz1 | December 10, 2010 12:26 PM | Report abuse

I disagree that the payroll tax holiday is a "win" for the Democrats. If approved, Social Security will use general revenue to pay benefits, undermining the notion that you've paid a dedicated tax and are entitled to your benefit. Decoupling benefits from the payroll tax is a huge win for those who think it should be eliminated. Extend the holiday another time or two, but continue to pay benefits, and it become another just another welfare program.

FDR said it best: "We put those payroll contributions there so as to give the contributors a legal, moral, and political right to collect their pensions and their unemployment benefits. With those taxes in there, no damn politician can ever scrap my social security program"

Ideally, this is a first strike

Posted by: NoVAHockey | December 10, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

ALL,

The chart above is a MARXIST ANALYSIS.


It is that simple. How much do the rich get, how much do the middle class get - how much do the poor get.

That is all A MARXIST INTERPRETATION OF HISTORY AND POLITICS.


What is worse - it is a STATIC model.

It is not dynamic, it does NOT account for GROWTH.

Where is the JOBS CREATION ??? Obama is more concerned with a one-shot money infusion - rather than LONG TERM JOBS CREATION AND ECONOMIC GROWTH.

Economic Growth is the way out of this recession.


From an economic point of view, this reasoning is FLAWED.


What this idea is a pathetic attempt to turn this Compromise into another stimulus - one that is flawed, and aimed only at helping Obama's re-election prospect, not based on sound economic policy.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 10, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Liam and wbgonne,
You really think you're being "abandoned" here? Really? So, you'd consider voting for a Republican opponent to BO? Or a primary challenger? You'd stay home and not vote for either Dem vs. a Repub? Really?

Posted by: bzod9999 | December 10, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Seems that none of the outrage resulting from the abhorrence of journolist has yet met this reality:

This is fairly significant because it once again reaffirms the existence of a messaging pipeline which stretches from the industry to the lobbyist to the lawmaker and to Fox — and not necessarily in that order. The effectiveness of this communication system was on full display during the health care debate, when Republicans went to the floor and literally read from the industry-sponsored critique of the health law and then again echoed their arguments about the causes of premium increases after the law passed. None of this happened through some coincidence or a meeting of the minds. More likely than not, Republicans and their friends in the media were reading from talking points they received directly from the industry.

http://wonkroom.thinkprogress.org/2010/12/10/ahip-public-option/

Posted by: pragmaticagain | December 10, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

DIVIDING THE NATION


So, the Obama who was suppose to unite the nation - "we are not blue states, we are not red states, we are all together"


Chalk that speech up to ANOTHER OBAMA-FRAUD


Look at the chart about - US VS THEM


What did "we" get - What did "they get"


This is a DISGUSTING ATTEMPT TO DIVIDE AMERICA


____________________________

There are 5 different income tax brackets - and the lower 47% of Americans pay ZERO income tax


To portray that PROGRESSIVE INCOME TAX SYSTEM as "everyone against one bracket" is just wrong and stupid.

These are PROGRESSIVE polices to begin with - Obama has lost his mind.

.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 10, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

bzod9999

Liam can speak for himself. Me? I'm a Liberal not a Democrat. And I will NOT vote for Obama again. Period. Full stop.

Posted by: wbgonne | December 10, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

"Tea Party Republicans"

That was such an odd collision of people and political forces. I hope someone is writing the book. The rise and fall of Christine O'Donnell, the kids in China trying to figure out how to make the rush order of three cornered hats and plastic muskets. A bump in Lipton sales that disappeared when the rubes found out about teabagging. The penultimate Glen Beck rally then after the election, the ones who got in falling on the spoils system as usual. Its hard to believe that all really happened.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 10, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

This proves, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Republicans were always willing to compromise with the Obamacrats, and, Obama is now taking them up on their willingness to cooperate. It is all in the spirit of Clinon, style triangulation.

Obama is positioning himself for 2012. I have predicted this or over a year now and it is happening.

Obama is throwing the evil leftists under the bus and then backing up over them to make sure. It's a beautiful thing to watch.

But, I still don't think Obama is half as clever as Clinton is. He will not have a Perot to help him win in 2012 and Ralph Nader is talking about challenging Obama, next time out.

Welcome to Carterville, Mr Obama.

Posted by: battleground51 | December 10, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Here is the trap that Obama has walked into.

Republicans argument was that we could not kill the Bush Tax cuts for the wealthy during a recession, so let us extend them for two years.

Two years from now; if the job market is still weak, the same argument will still apply, and Obama can not turn around and reject it, after having bought into it, in 2010.

On the other hand, if the economy improves, and the unemployment rate had dropped considerably, The Republicans will argue that it was extending those tax cuts that created the jobs, and we should not risk triggering another recession by repealing them.

Obama has created his own catch twenty two. He has made the Bush Tax cuts for fat cats permanent.

Now was the time, when he had the one chance to smother that monster in it's cradle, and he failed to do so.

Posted by: Liam-still | December 10, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

This chart makes Obama's 2004 keynote speech into a COMPLETE FRAUD


It also shows the country what Obama has been thinking all along - income redistribution issues are paramount to Obama.

This causes the nation to wisely analyze everything Obama is doing to see what he is up to. This chart represents an erosion of TRUST.


This chart is also a confirmation of everything that Glen Beck has been saying.

Progressive income taxes are not an issue - the nation has had them for 100 years. What's more- the democrats have rich people too. And the democrats have special interests - CORPORATE INTERESTS - which they seek to protect. This kind of reaonsing really puts the democrats into a hypocritical situation

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 10, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

From Think Progress:

"in an interview on NPR this morning with Morning Edition host Steve Inkseep, President Obama reflected this point of view, agreeing that the tax cuts for the wealthy will not create “one single job“:

INSKEEP: Let me ask you about something that we heard from one of our listeners. … The question that we got was: “Please ask him how keeping the tax rate for the richest the same as it has been for a decade creates one single job.”

OBAMA: It doesn’t, which is why I was opposed to it — and I’m still opposed to it."

Yet, he is pushing hard to extend them, which in fact will end up making them permanent. If they are not killed now, they never will be.

Posted by: Liam-still | December 10, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

@jnc4p: "Because it's a policy he supports... It's part of his worldview that politics doesn't have to be a zero-sum game."

Yes, but isn't it just a bit misleading to come up with a chart that shows that $112 billion on one side only when it rightly belongs to both sides?

The WH seems rather disorganized of late. One day this is a stimulus, the next day it isn't - is it back to a "stimulus" today? One day they were held hostage, the next day they snookered the GOP into a good deal for Dems... What is it today?

I know the man takes a lot of vacations but perhaps he needs yet another?

Posted by: sbj3 | December 10, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Battleground figured out that Obama has been postitioning himself for 2012? In other news, the sky is still blue.

How long did it take you to figure this out? A politician that wants to get re-elected? I'm shocked!

Oh, let me guess-you're gonna throw the "I'd rather be a one-term President" quote. Yawn.

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | December 10, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

wbgonne,
Thanks for the reply. I like your "liberal not Dem" distinction, mostly because I conflate the two too often and it is a good reminder. I hope that I can apply it similarly to myself in a "conservative not Repub" manner, especially after my self-justifications for supporting McCain/Palin in 2008.

Posted by: bzod9999 | December 10, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

@ScottC3 ""It's part of his worldview that politics doesn't have to be a zero-sum game."

That's an interesting take in light of a chart which divides the agreement into "What we got" and "What they got"."

The chart is a sales pitch to people who do view politics as a zero sum game, i.e. House Democrats.

The original question was how Obama could view the payroll tax cut as a "victory". The longer answer is that Obama views the enactment of good policy ideas as "victories" even if Republicans originally came up with the ideas. He just has to sell it to the House Democrats as the Democrats are getting more than the Republicans are out of this deal.

Posted by: jnc4p | December 10, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

All, new poll finds that moderate GOP voters STRONGLY support DADT repeal:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/12/dear_moderate_gop_senators_mod.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | December 10, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

NoVaHocky wrote: "FDR said it best: "We put those payroll contributions there so as to give the contributors a legal, moral, and political right to collect their pensions and their unemployment benefits. With those taxes in there, no damn politician can ever scrap my social security program""

That "first strike" was struck back in the '60's. There is no right to SS. It is a welfare / wealth transfer system.

http://www.ssa.gov/history/nestor.html

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | December 10, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

@scott: I appreciate your response and understand completely your personal view. I may have responded slightly differently but I think ashot got it right when s/he pointed out that serving openly would not suddenly make gay persons unable to control their desires. I also assume that the UCMJ would apply to gay soldiers to resolve these issues. I think the biggest disruption might be with the Armed Services defending themselves from the inevitable (but sadly true) discrimination/harassment lawsuits brought by gays.

Posted by: sbj3 | December 10, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

So let's see: "we" get $200bil divided between about 150mil
Of us who are eligible to receive it. "They" get $100bil divided among about 4mil people. Yeah, TOTAL win for the country!

And it's not much of a win for those who make less than 40k, since their taxes will go UP--and of course for the 99ers, who get bupkus from this.

Nice try POTUS--you sad hack.

Posted by: torridjoe | December 10, 2010 1:10 PM | Report abuse

@wb: "I should think you'd be a bit more concerned that President Obama is in the process of destroying the Democratic Party."

Nope. Not concerned. Not happening.

This is the reality setting in that midterm voters were older and more conservative than the electorate. It sucks, but such is life! Deal with it and move on.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | December 10, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

I see, Ethan. Everyone should just shut up and eat Obama's sh*t sandwich because Obama says so. Not gonna happen, My Friend. And I suggest that YOU deal with THAT.

Posted by: wbgonne | December 10, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

"When we amplify everything, we hear nothing."

The President has not changed his opinion on the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest incomes in the country. The Republicans haven't changed their mantra that they are "job creators." The President has called their bluff. "You want these 'job-creating' tax cuts, you got 'em. Lets see how many jobs they actually create come March or April. Let's see how many of those dollars parked on the sidelines of the economy come flooding back into the markets. Let's put the truth of your arguments to the real test."

The House Dems need to wake up and smell the Starbucks: if they don't accept this compromise, come January, the Bush taxes will be made permanent and there will not be a thing they can do to stop. EVEN with a Presidential veto, it will be overridden by a more conservative Congress.

Over course, Democrats love to grandstand and they will. They love to show up at the eleventh hour and put on an Ed Sullivan style "really good shew!" (Some of you will need to google Ed Sullivan.)

Sadly, Democrats have had a terrible habit of posturing and posing. The truth is the Democratic party is rapidly to a litmus test based party just as the Republicans have. If you're not the right kind of Dem you'll be booted out of the big tent. (Or the "progressives" will create their own tent where us reasonable people will not be welcome.) What a said day for us.

I wonder how many legislative "hostages" will be sacrificed today? First there was Republican obstruction, and we have the Democrats.

Heavy, mournful sigh.

Posted by: jade_7243 | December 10, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

wb = cluster liberal
ethan = network liberal

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/10/opinion/10brooks.html

Posted by: sbj3 | December 10, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

"There is no right to SS. It is a welfare / wealth transfer system." I'm hopeful that this will undermine political support for the program. That 2 percentage points is a big deal and will be hard to take back.

Posted by: NoVAHockey | December 10, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

sbj = self-hating homosexual
David Brooks = boob

Gee, this is fun.

Posted by: wbgonne | December 10, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

wb: "Everyone should just shut up and eat Obama's sh*t sandwich because Obama says so"

No, you should stop blaming Obama for dealing professionally and maturely with circumstances that he clearly didn't wish for in a million years.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | December 10, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

@wb: Yes, I didn't think you'd agree! I don't like Brooks but thought his "triangulation" analysis was interesting.

Posted by: sbj3 | December 10, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

What Obama is doing can not be classified as Triangulation.

More like self Strangulation, as in Choke!

Posted by: Liam-still | December 10, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

"stop blaming Obama for dealing professionally and maturely with circumstances that he clearly didn't wish for in a million years."

Good lord, Ethan. Ease up on the kool-aid before you drown yourself.

Posted by: wbgonne | December 10, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

So far, we have caothien9 and wbgonne promising to not vote for Obama again. Any other true-blue liberals?

Posted by: clawrence12 | December 10, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

It is very good that the White House can apply pressure and engage is strong PR to sell a policy and agreement.

They should have done it for the ACA and for the tax cuts that Obama was elected for. Instead they let those issues suffer from a thousand cuts.

Posted by: AMviennaVA | December 10, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse


People on Social Security have not received any COLA increase in their benefits, the entire time that Obama has been in office, yet basic necessities, such as meat, and dairy products costs have doubled and tripled in that same period.

Who do you suppose that all those elderly people might assume has deprived them of getting any COLA adjustments since he took office?

Sure; he did not decide to grant no COLA increases, in the SS. Checks, but he has not fought hard for to find a way to let those living on just Social Security to maintain their meager lifestyles either.

When those people see him now being willing to go to the mat, to extend huge tax breaks for those who do not need them, you can count on it, that it makes a lot of elderly voters angry, and they do show up at the polls on election days.

I talked to a lot of those people when I was working to turn out the vote, and I can tell you that they do not see Obama as championing their needs. That is disastrous for our Party.

If he was any sort of hard nosed negotiator, he should have been able to get the "hostage takers" to agree to a one time $500.00 check to be cut for all those living on Social Security income only, in order to help them to cover the increases in the price of food stuffs, because of the corn ethanol subsidies causing a shortage of feed grain.

Posted by: Liam-still | December 10, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

WB, thanks, trying to quit. This one's for you:

INSKEEP: Let me ask you about something that we heard from one of our listeners. … The question that we got was: “Please ask him how keeping the tax rate for the richest the same as it has been for a decade creates one single job.”

OBAMA: It doesn’t, which is why I was opposed to it — and I’m still opposed to it.

The issue here is not whether I think that the tax cuts for the wealthy are a good or smart thing to do. I’ve said repeatedly that I think they’re not a smart thing to do, particularly because we’ve got to borrow money, essentially, to pay for them.

The problem is, is that this is the single issue that the Republicans are willing to scotch the entire deal for. And in that circumstances — in that circumstance, we’ve got, basically, a very simple choice: Either I allow 2 million people who are currently getting unemployment insurance not to get it, either I allow the recovery that we’re on to be endangered or we make a compromise now.

http://thinkprogress.org/2010/12/10/obama-bush-cuts-no-jobs/

THAT is called being a leader, in my book.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | December 10, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Bill Clinton standing his ground when Newt tried to get him to surrender, by shutting down the Government, is what I call a leader.

Saying: The Hostage Takers made me surrender, is not what I would call leadership.

When the Russians put the entire population of the country under the threat of a nuclear holocaust, JFK did not blink. That is strong tough minded leadership.
Giving Hostage Takers what they wanted, and adding in new Estate Tax cuts, is a loss of nerve, plain and simple.

Posted by: Liam-still | December 10, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Kennedy DID blink by secretly agreeing to remove all our missiles from Italy and Turkey.

Posted by: clawrence12 | December 10, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Another data point to kill the "Obama is secretly a conservative" lie from the "Liberals"....

Cue Steve Benen (our favorite conservative commenter):

Dave Weigel put together an interesting item the other day, noting Obama's rhetoric on taxes during the presidential campaign. He highlighted four examples: a CNN interview in June 2007, a primary debate in April 2008, a campaign speech in May 2008, and a general election debate in October 2008.

In each case, the position was the same: then-candidate Obama intended to keep Bush-era rates in place for families making up to $250,000. For those who make more, they'd still get a cut on their first quarter-million in income, but would return to Clinton-era top rates.

But that's still his position. The president gave a speech in September, as the midterm election season started to heat up in earnest, and he talked up his approach to tax policy. There was no difference from the line he took back in June 2007.

There was no reversal and no "preemptive concession." If Congress had sent him the tax-cut compromise he designed, he'd have signed it in a heartbeat.

So why strike the deal? Because congressional Democrats balked at voting before the midterms; the party lost its leverage; the president got stuck in a box with limited options; and he negotiated the best deal he could against shameless adversaries while looking out for the middle class and the unemployed. The result is an agreement that credible liberal economists believe will have a positive impact on the economy.

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2010_12/027021.php

/story

Posted by: Ethan2010 | December 10, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Obama is not a conservative. No one believes that. What he is as a man who does not have the courage of his convictions.

He is one of those types, that Yeats spoke of in the "Second Coming", when he wrote: "The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity." In this case the worst stuck to their guns, and they won.

To put it in contemporary terms.

When it came to not renewing Bush Era tax cuts for the Fat Cats;

Obama always talked the walk, but when it came time to actually walk the talk, his knees buckled.

Posted by: Liam-still | December 10, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

I think Benen misses the point of Weigel's pulling up those Obama cuts. The point was that Obama said he would would return to Clinton-era top rates TO PAY FOR HCR.

Posted by: sbj3 | December 10, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

TPM is carrying a video link of Senator Sanders real filibuster against the Obama deal with Republicans. Senator Sanders has already been talking for hours, ala Jimmy Stewart in the movie version of the classic filibuster.

http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/12/sanders-launches-actual-filibuster-of-tax-relief.php?ref=fpa

Posted by: Liam-still | December 10, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

The White House has admitted the payroll tax holiday was a Republican offer. Since it weakens Social Security put it on their side.

Better yet, take it away and put back the tax credit for working poor they removed.

Posted by: elemming | December 10, 2010 8:24 PM | Report abuse

The Refi Plus program will waive the normal credit score requirement for a refinance; it will have reduced documentation standards for proof of income; and it will allow for computer-based appraisals, which tend to inflate the value of a home and make it easier to qualify for a refinance. Search online for "123 Mortgage Refinance" they are the best and fast.

Posted by: gladysthomas | December 11, 2010 2:13 AM | Report abuse

Come on, anyone with two brain cells to rub together knows that the Democrats will approve this. They don't really believe in anything, and they are a pack of spineless weaklings. They've proven it a million times. This will be time 1,000,001. Done deal, folks.

Posted by: MagicDog1 | December 11, 2010 3:00 AM | Report abuse

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