Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
Posted at 10:43 AM ET, 12/ 6/2010

How Dems can still eke out a bitter but significant victory

By Adam Serwer

It looks as though the parties are close to deal on the extension of all of the Bush tax cuts for two years in exchange for an extension of unemployment benefits. This is a tremendous capitulation for Democrats and a huge win for Republicans, but depending on how it plays out there may be a bright silver lining for the left.

The good news is that a deal on tax cuts will pave the way for the Democrats to move forward on other important parts of their agenda -- repeal of don't ask don't tell and the START Treaty, since at least two Republicans have indicated a willingness to vote to repeal DADT if a deal on tax cuts is reached. Passage of the DREAM Act would make turn the lame-duck session into a significant net victory for Democrats, but even with substantial revisions to the bill and a CBO score showing the bill reduces the deficit, passage seems like a long shot.The bad news is that, as Ezra Klein has written, unemployment benefits should really be extended as long as unemployment is above seven percent, so this is a fight we're going to see again in the near future. If necessary, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid should, as Steve Benen writes, extend the lame-duck session.

If the deal is to extend all the Bush tax cuts for two years as some outlets are reporting, then, as Kevin Drum writes, that sets the Democrats up for another political fight over tax cuts that is likely to play to the GOP's advantage. In 2012, when the president is running for reelection, one of the biggest political fights will be over tax cuts, a terrain the Republican Party feels confident playing on -- and for obvious reasons. Despite the Democratic majority in both houses and control of the presidency, the GOP just leveraged a deal that gives them everything they want -- despite the fact that only about a quarter of the country shares their view.

There are significant downsides, but having fumbled the ball at every stage in the game, a deal that allows an extension of unemployment benefits, passage of DADT repeal and START may be the best possible outcome. For the president in particular, repealing DADT will give him an important symbolic victory to tout in 2012, the kind of historic win that will make disillusioned liberals go to the polls and remember why they put Obama in office in the first place.

Adam Serwer is a staff writer at The American Prospect, where he writes his own blog.

By Adam Serwer  | December 6, 2010; 10:43 AM ET
Categories:  Foreign policy and national security, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans, gay rights, taxes  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: The Morning Plum
Next: Why the left is angry at Obama

Comments

Greg, you're Dreaming or, smoking something more powerful than pot if you think the Nightmare Act has a chance of passing...

Posted by: illogicbuster | December 6, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

President must make DADT repeal and DREAM Act passage mandatory if GOP want their overlords to get their freaking tax cuts.

Otherwise, he ought to tell the Reichpubliscums to take a hike to Mars and beyond!

Oh! And just to rub it in real bad, tell McConnell and Kyl that START is part of the deal too.

It's pretty simple to understand: Republicans must give if they want to receive.

Failure to put all this on the table and fight for it tooth and nails pretty much guarantee a primary challenge to Obama in 2012.

Posted by: grosmec | December 6, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Let all Bush tax cuts expire.

Posted by: mwamp | December 6, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Agree the taxes should just expire. Period. That or folks just aren't serious about the deficit.

I don't think they'll go for the Dream Act. But I think DADT and START has a small chance of getting through.

Posted by: Alex3 | December 6, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Tax cuts for all including the wealthy then UI benefits for all including the 99ers!!!!
Congress makes deals behind closed doors while we wait to see what they have in store for our future!!!
5 million 99ers are unable to find work since exhausting our benefits but yet we are still being ignored! I guess they don't want to admit that the economy is far worse than they say!

PASS THE UI EXTENSION AND ADD A TIER 5 FOR ALL UNEMPLOYED AMERICANS!!!!

Posted by: PatL1 | December 6, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

OT, sorta:

Freshman Tea Party Republicans taking corporate lobbyist cash

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/12/05/AR2010120502691.html

So much for "We The People"!

Any Tea Party Republican supporter care to comment on that?

Posted by: Ethan2010 | December 6, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Tax cuts for all including the wealthy then UI benefits for all including the 99ers!!!!
Congress makes deals behind closed doors while we wait to see what they have in store for our future!!!
5 million 99ers are unable to find work since exhausting our benefits but yet we are still being ignored! I guess they don't want to admit that the economy is far worse than they say!

PASS THE UI EXTENSION AND ADD A TIER 5 FOR ALL UNEMPLOYED AMERICANS!!!!

Posted by: PatL1 | December 6, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Apparently no one understands that when there is more money in the pockets of the American People, then tax revenues to the government raise.

Cut taxes even deeper than the Bush tax cuts, for individuals and businesses, and watch how fast this economy turns around.

I'm shocked at anyone in their right mind would say "Yea raise my taxes" like being a citizen somehow obligates you to pay off some senators tax and spend agenda.

Posted by: vtcrusade | December 6, 2010 11:15 AM | Report abuse

I'm tired of "symbolic victories."

Posted by: mrmoogie | December 6, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Only a Dem filibuster would prevent the GOP from adopting a permanent tax cut extension when they take power nerxt year--minus, of course, all those loopholes and giveaways for the poor loke the earned income tax credit. Maybe they'd save the child tax credit because it's, you know, family friendly.

START probably will pass because the GOP is being lobbied hard by the national security establishment. Mayne DADT if McCain gets any more embarrassing and they just need to shut him up. But never the DREAM Act, because it would add Dem voters.

Posted by: Mimikatz | December 6, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

So blackmail is the name of the game again. Give the rich their money and we will maybe give you your demands. I give up on the Democrats. They have no balls at all.

Republicans are wildly inaccurate. 97-98% of small businesses fall below the $250,000 tax limit. There’s no way Republicans are representing their constituents… not representing the people in their districts when it comes to the tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires.

They’re not creating jobs. They are investing in the stock market, in properties, all over the country, mountain homes, city homes. When Bush enacted these tax cuts ten years ago it was at a time when it looked like the country would be operating and we were approaching a surplus.

There’s no surplus any more. The Republican talking point that those over the $250,000 threshold represent half of all small business income, which of course we all know means they start counting things like hedge fund managers and other really rich people that don’t employ very many Americans.

Yes, I understand the Republican’s stance on wanting to write tax cuts for the upper 1% because they provide jobs, but I am wondering why maybe they didn’t make sure, like include language to make sure that the tax cuts would go to businesses that actually provide jobs here in America for Americans as opposed to off shoring overseas or hiring, you know, people with VISAs over American citizens.

Well, Sen. Warner proposed a bill that would have done exactly that by offering a payroll holiday to small businesses that do create jobs in the United States and that Republicans voted against it.

Posted by: sherardg | December 6, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

The current tax rate has been in effect for 10 YEARS! Come on, this is a Tax INCREASE! Tax & Spend Democrats, how typical!
Increased Taxes = Less Spending=Less Demand=Less Jobs.
Anyone who hasn't found a job in a year needs to do 8 hr/day, 5/day/week
community service to get their unemployment extended.
There are too many people out there who won't take jobs because they feel these jobs are "beneath" them.
The reality is, most Americans have taken Significant pay Reductions over the past 10 years, due to global economy/increased competition.

Posted by: ohioan | December 6, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

“How Dems can still eke out a bitter but significant victory” Well there’s the whole problem with the political process in America today. When you lefties finally realize that it shouldn’t matter which party “wins” That it should be the American people who win. That’s when you might, just might start winning elections again. When character assassination and deliberate misrepresentation give way to meaningful, common sense legislation and honest political debate. But you won’t, you’ll still look at politics as some perverted tennis match. Well, right now you see it as 40 – love for the Republicans. Time to step up the attacks, smear, defame, KILL… Hope that makes you feel better; But I think the voting populace is getting tired of that bucket of crap.

Posted by: wagb83 | December 6, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

@Ethan2010: "Freshman Tea Party Republicans taking corporate lobbyist cash"

Indeed. I am shocked to find gambling going on in this establishment.

DC is a politician machine, most of the Tea Party folks have the dispensation of any regular politician or they wouldn't have been running in the first place, so naturally, they are going to start feeding at the corporate trough with the rest of their brethren. Does not particularly surprise me. Eventually, any pledge they've made that limits them in some way (re: earmarks, fundraising, lobbyists, term limits) they will neglect and forgo, and then be kicked out. And then their successors will come, and the cycle will be repeated.

Sort of like Neo in the Matrix. We're all kind of like the Merovingian: We have survived all of your [political] predecessors, and we will survive you!

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | December 6, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

letting tax rates go up in a recession may not be a great idea, but even Laffer would tell you you're crazy if you think lower rates actually lead to greater tax revenue. All he ever claimed was that the relationship between rates and revenue wasn't linear, in other words, that increased economic activity would at least partially pay for tax cuts, and that increased rates don't yield their nominal amount.

The bottom line is that the tax cuts for the middle class will cost 1.3 trillion in lost revenue, and for the rich, another 700 billion. both parties claim to be serious about the deficit, but neither is telling us what they're going to cut to make up for the lost revenue

Posted by: JoeT1 | December 6, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Ohioan, Wagb83,

Either of you want to comment on the "Anti-Washington"/"Anti-Establishment" Tea Party freshman taking corporate lobbyist cash?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/12/05/AR2010120502691.html

Posted by: Ethan2010 | December 6, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

-- This is a tremendous capitulation for Democrats and a huge win for Republicans, but depending on how it plays out there may be a bright silver lining for the left. --

One reason Democrats are always wish-washy is because they can always count on "left-leaning" pundits to consistently cover their backsides regardless of how ridiculous either their positions are or the excuses being made in support of those positions. Silver lining. Sure, whatever.

-- In 2012, when the president is running for reelection, one of the biggest political fights will be over tax cuts, a terrain the Republican Party feels confident playing on -- and for obvious reasons. --

Gee, ya think maybe if the Democrats just let the tax cuts expire and the world didn't actually come to a standstill the Republican terrain might be a little rockier and their confidence a little shaken? I guess we'll never know, will we?

-- DADT -- I believe I gave repeal about a 5.7% chance of passing in the lame duck last week. Since McConnell came out and said it won't pass in the lame duck, and we all know Republicans actually mean what they say and are willing to fight for it, I now give it a 0.0057% chance of passing in the lame duck.

-- Dream Act -- Dream on. Nuff said.

So the Democrats big victory will be a 6-12 month extension of unemployment benefits and bragging rights to wanting to keep tax cuts only for the middle class.

Yaaaaayyyy! I'm gonna run out and rejoin the Democratic party now. Yaaayyyy!

And for goodness sake can you please get a comment system that allows at least the most basic html?

Posted by: unymark | December 6, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

What's the opposite of progress?--- Congress. Is any Democrat in either house of Congress stupid enough to believe ANYTHING the Republicans say? Just don't have a vote on any tax bill and the current law will expire. Please be a do-nothing congress for the rest of the year.

Posted by: mwamp | December 6, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

@vtcrusade

-- Cut taxes even deeper than the Bush tax cuts, for individuals and businesses, and watch how fast this economy turns around. --

Because goodness knows the now almost ten year old Bush tax cuts have done such a wonderful job with the economy to date.

By all means, never believe your own lying eyes....


Posted by: unymark | December 6, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

@KW: "Indeed. I am shocked to find gambling going on in this establishment."

So Kevin, did you think from the very beginning that the "We The People" cheer from the Tea Party was a farce?

If not, when did you realize that the Tea Party was nothing more than an extension of the corporate GOP establishment?

Posted by: Ethan2010 | December 6, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

@Mimikatz

-- Only a Dem filibuster would prevent the GOP from adopting a permanent tax cut extension when they take power next year... --

Did Obama negotiate away his veto pen while I wasn't looking? Sounds like something he would do alright.

But me thinks you might want to re-read the US Constitution.

Just sayin s'all...

Posted by: unymark | December 6, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Ehthan writes

Shrink,

Anyone who honestly believed that the Tea Party was on the side of the regular American on the street is too stupid for words. Republicans are Republicans are Republicans. They are so obviously for the wealthy corporate elite and nobody else that it literally could not be more clear.

___________________


This is a ridiculous statement - it is silly and completely untrue.


Ethan - have you ever been to a Tea Pary rally - have you ever spoken to any of them ???


They are not agents of big corporations

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 6, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

@JoeT1: "The bottom line is that the tax cuts for the middle class will cost 1.3 trillion in lost revenue, and for the rich, another 700 billion. both parties claim to be serious about the deficit, but neither is telling us what they're going to cut to make up for the lost revenue"

Well, here's the thing. It seems obvious that, given that the wealthy are, in fact, *much* wealthier than they were even 10 years ago, it's arguable that that 700 billion will not find it's way into the overall economy (because they already have well in excess of that, and it has not) and thus will not prove stimulative.

However, the middle class are, at best, at the same place they were about 10 years ago. If there is any extra, it's been eaten up with some other modern necessity (such as a cell phone) that one can barely be without, these days, if they want to manage a life with spouse and children, or look for a job, or deal with clients, etc., etc.

So. If you take that 1.3 trillion away from the middle class, you are essentially taking it out of the day-to-day economy. Those folks aren't going to sit on it, or put it into foreign bonds or Swiss bank accounts. They're going to spend it at Wal-Mart, Lowes, Home Depot, and Applebees. Possibly Olive Garden. They will buy an extra Christmas present, purchase a new car, or take a vacation (instead of forgoing one). Take that a way from them, then they are spending even less on already teetering businesses.

Is it really a good idea to take 1.3 trillion dollars out of the economy to be (laboriously, slowly, inefficiently) redistributed into politically chosen, micro-managed sectors, or to pay off Chinese debt?

I'm not convinced.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | December 6, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Get big money out of politics. Not sure how, but if that could be accomplished, I would imagine the economy of DC would be floored, but the rest of the country would be better off! Imagine if there was no lobbyist money? The Congress could actually do the work of the people and not the work of the corporations. Idealistic, I know. But after 35 years of living in DC and working peripherally in politics all that time, I've gone from hopeless to hopeful to delusional!

Posted by: LAB2 | December 6, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

I hope everyone here realizes that if the Bush tax cuts are extended now they will never be repealed. The GOP has learned it can hold the entire government hostage unless millionaires get their extra tax breaks. It really is a shameful system that allow the wealthy to exert so much influence over one party and, by extension (thanks to the filibuster and loose coroporate campaign donation laws), the whole government.

Posted by: g9fool | December 6, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

@RainForestRising

-- Ethan - have you ever been to a Tea Pary rally - have you ever spoken to any of them ??? They are not agents of big corporations --

As a die-hard union supporting liberal I actually agree with this statement, for the non-racist true believer portion of the tea-party movement. I would certainly disagree with respect to the powers that lie behind them, e.g, Dick Armey, Koch Bros, et.al.

RainForestRisng - Would you consider joining an alliance of earnest tea party members and blue collar liberals? We both recognize it isn't D vs R anymore so much as oligarchs vs everyone else.

I think it is the future. Think about it.

Posted by: unymark | December 6, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

I don't understand why the middle class cuts can't be made permanent and the others for one year. Dems, please don't trade away everything!

Posted by: LAB2 | December 6, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Ethan

Why don't you look up all the corporate cash that Obama has taken over the years???


Then you can draw your contrasts - which there are little.


You really have to be honest - and research both sides - at this point you are being willfully deceptive


Obama took almost one million dollars from BP, did you forget that????


Then Obama held a big speech saying offshore drilling was safe, did you forget that?

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 6, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

"rolls my eyes in disgust of your spin" So, you really think that the American independent voters who are so key these days will think that repeal of DADT and START truly matters to them or to ending the calamidy of the recession and the aftermath of the recent wars? The surrender on the Millionaire tax cuts while controlling the House, the Senate and the Presidency is an act of such submission and non-leadership that the general public believes the Democrat Party has no meaning, value or even leadership that will be helpful for them or the country.

Posted by: nibbler | December 6, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

dems have always wanted your taxes to go up...
thats why they played everyone...
and in the end...
they will probably shut down the goverment before giving up the tax increases...

Posted by: DwightCollins | December 6, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

The Tea Party = Republicans. They've been co-opted. If you do not think so, then please show me one elected Tea Party Congressman who ran as an independent. There are none. Because Republicans didn't vote for them.

"The current tax rate has been in effect for 10 YEARS!"

Yep and see where it got us?

If the Tea Party ilk get their way with the tax cuts, I don't want hear another word from them about the deficit. They obviously don't care about it.

Posted by: Alex3 | December 6, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

@Ethan2010: "So Kevin, did you think from the very beginning that the "We The People" cheer from the Tea Party was a farce?"

From the Tea Party or from the politicians? I think most of the folks doing the Tea Party thing were earnest, optimistic, sincere and hopeful.

The politicians running, on the other hand? I think the Pareto principle applies: 20% good apples to 80% bad apples (or typical politicians). It's the nature of the beast. Of those 20%, after a few years in Washington, 80% of those will either be converted to the typical inside-the-Beltway Washington ethos, or bitterly disillusioned.

"If not, when did you realize that the Tea Party was nothing more than an extension of the corporate GOP establishment?"

Politicians who run for elected office in Washington DC are, by definition, almost always part of the corporate DC establishment. You may not agree with me, but maybe wbgonne would. ;)

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | December 6, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

All, my take on why the left is angry with Obama:

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

Posted by: Greg Sargent | December 6, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

I"m most amazed by how everyone seems to forget about the reason for the Bush tax cuts in the first place. Clinton actually did so well that we had a surplus. Instead of using that for our country's future, Bush decided to "give it back to the people" in the form of TEMPORARY tax cuts. Nearly a decade later & after 8 yrs of Republicans running this country into the ground, we are now in dire states & instead of a surplus, we have a massive deficit. Yet, the entitlement crowd seems to think they're still entitled to suck money out of the system & not pay their fair share. BTW - I'm not talking about the poor or elderly, the republicans are the true entitlement crowd in this country & the wealthy & large corporations are all the biggest welfare babies. It's time we started telling the truth. The republicans are NOT conservatives - their actions prove them to be the opposite of conservative & plain old scam-artists, con-men to boot!

Posted by: soundpam | December 6, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Agree to extended the tax cuts at your on peril. I voted for Obama, but if he caves in on this and grants the taxes cut for $250K+ then he will loses my support! Maybe he's just too nice of a guy, but I want someone that has a pair and will fight these idiots. I'll support another democratic for president, I'm done with him if he caves!

Posted by: noneckmd | December 6, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

here's to hoping the house democrats refuse to play along and allow ALL the tax cuts to expire.

I'm sick of Obama's love of the GOP>

Posted by: newagent99 | December 6, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

@KW: "I think most of the folks doing the Tea Party thing were earnest, optimistic, sincere and hopeful."

So you agree with me, then, that these earnest and hopeful anti-establishment Tea Party Americans were duped into supporting establishment corporate politicians?

Posted by: Ethan2010 | December 6, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

"Apparently no one understands that when there is more money in the pockets of the American People, then tax revenues to the government raise."

Again, it's been 10 years with these tax cuts and we are still losing revenue. When a regular person is facing huge debt problems, they go get a second job to bring in extra revenue. The right wing would tell us to take out another loan and stay home. It makes no sense.

$4 trillion can't be made up by cutting spending overnight.

Posted by: Alex3 | December 6, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

@g9fool: "I hope everyone here realizes that if the Bush tax cuts are extended now they will never be repealed."

Never say never. There was a time in America where plutocrats and oligarchs paid not a lick of taxes. Within 35 years of paying nothing, they ended up paying an income tax rate of 94%. Ergo, the top marginal rate would have (except for loopholes) consumed all over their income over a certain dollar amount.But tax rates where in the upper 70s to 90s (for the wealthy) for over 40 years.

Taxes can always go up. Someone might take up the idea of a more progressive tax system that doesn't treat the first $100k earned after $250k exactly the same as the first $100k earned after $10,000,000.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | December 6, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Let all the Bush tax cuts expire. Period. Not one person can explain how we can balance the budget without returning to the Clinton-era tax rates, which by the way, produced surpluses in 2000 and 2001. The only reason the tax cuts weren't made permanent in the first place was so idiots like "ohioan" and all the other right-wing tools on here could holler about big government, tax-increasing Democrats, year after year, while they hide behind future budget projections that all assume that the tax cuts WILL EXPIRE. If you are a tea partier and think the budget deficit looks bad now, wait until another tax cut extension goes into all the estimates! Just be sure to let me know how independent you are from the GOP then.

In the meantime, the lame duck Democrats in Congress should act like grown-ups who know that 2+2=4 and let these irresponsible Bush taxes expire. Tell the GOP, here's your "certainty" in the tax code, now man up and tell us what defense programs you are cutting so that we can solve this budget deficit! I'm pretty sure none of this will happen, but it's what should happen if we are going to stop living in fantasy land with the next balanced budget in 75 years like the deficit commission's "solutions."

Posted by: mgiese1 | December 6, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

@mgirese1: "The only reason the tax cuts weren't made permanent in the first place was so idiots like 'ohioan' and all the other right-wing tools on here could holler about big government, tax-increasing Democrats"

Given that Democrats wouldn't sign on to permanent tax cuts (in fact, threatened the filibuster, thus requiring reconciliation, which made the 10 year sunset necessary), this argument doesn't make much sense. For good or for ill, the Republicans attempted to make the Bush tax cuts permanent, for everybody, at the time. The only reason they aren't is the Democrats. If the Democrats hadn't "obstructed" the permanence of the Bush tax cuts, then they'd be permanent, and we wouldn't be having this argument.

What makes for responsible tax policy is certainly up for debate. Counterfactual spin as to what actually happened in the very near, and easily checkable, past seems counter productive. Specifically, it's the kind of spin that engenders smirks of derision or general head scratching on the parts of Republicans and independents and only plays well with folks who are already true believers. Which does nothing to advance the argument of the recklessness of continuing the Bush tax cuts for the mega-wealthy. In my opinion. Which is certainly fallible.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | December 6, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: LAB2: "Get big money out of politics. Not sure how, but if that could be accomplished, I would imagine the economy of DC would be floored, but the rest of the country would be better off! Imagine if there was no lobbyist money?"
------------------------------------------
NOT difficult. Ditch the 17th Amend and ADD, no Senator may accept $ for anything while in office nor may they originate or accept communication regarding future employment after office. NOR may a person approach a Senator about employing them in the future under penalty of 20 years hard labor in Fed prison.

Move House Rep districts BACK to ~40,000:1 Rep to constituent ratio as they originally were, as opposed to the current ~700,000:1 ratio that has evolved since the early 20th century law passed freezing the number in the House. House Reps are supposed to be able to be known by the PEOPLE and held accountable. With ~700,000 constituents this is TOTALLY impossible.

Posted by: illogicbuster | December 6, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

The GOP is holding nuclear inspections, the unemployed, and immigrant children in college and the military hostage to tax cuts for Billionaires and will extend unemployment payments so long as millionaires and billionaires can pay less in taxes and contribute less to society.

Let all Bush tax cuts expire ($3.7 Trillion over 10 years, $6 Trillion over 2012-2022) and then propose a new middle class tax cut. America’s entire annual defense and war budget of $830~$895 Billion is Borrowed Deficit Spending. Defense spending will be $1.6 Trillion over 2011-2012. That’s One Thousand Six Hundred Billion in Defense spending while Millionaires and Billionaires pay the lowest taxes since 1950.

http://www.costofwar.com/

2010 Total USA Defense Spending = $830 Billion ($722 Billion plus the $108 Billion for wars in Afghanistan and Iraq = 34.58% of $2.4 Trillion in revenues).

Defense spending rises to $895 Billion for 2011: 34.8% of $2.57 Trillion in Revenues, all of which is Borrowed Deficit Spending.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/politics/budget-2010/

Troops do the dying, while Billionaires and their lackeys do the whining. End all the Bush era tax cuts and raises taxes to pay our bills. Not possible? Really? Millionaires and Billionaires are paying the lowest tax rates since the 1950s and pay $0.00 in estate taxes in 2010.

Posted by: Airborne82 | December 6, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Anyone in their right mind knows if you extend the tax cuts for two years; Obama will be history in 2012, and the tax cuts remain permanent.....my Lord what traitors we have in Congress.....Great America is over.....better one start dealing drugs, open gambling books, steal from your neighborhood......that's how you'll be living to survive.

Posted by: bigisle | December 6, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Gee I don't know... why don't they at least TRY? If the Republicans are threatening to filibuster, the Democrats cave. How about making them actually filibuster? Let them stand there and read the phone book in their pajamas so that millionaires can keep a tax cut they shouldn't have gotten in the first place. But don't just give up

Posted by: fmjk | December 6, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Obama thinks it's about what the GOP want or what he wants!

Not once did he ever mentioned what the Democrats want....

VOTE THIS ARROGANT ELITIST OUT LET COLORADO AND NORTH CAROLINA VOTE FOR HIM

HE WON'T BE GETTING A URBAN CITY VOTE....WE DON'T GIVE A DANM ANYWAY...NO ONE CARES ABOUT US SO WE DON'T CARE AT ALL ANYMORE...SO DO YOUR WORST

Posted by: danders5000 | December 6, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: bigisl; "better one start dealing drugs, open gambling books, steal from your neighborhood"

------------------------------------------
All common Dem occupations anyway. What would be new?

Posted by: illogicbuster | December 6, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Kevin:

"Those folks aren't going to sit on it, or put it into foreign bonds or Swiss bank accounts."

Is this what you think "rich" people do? Seriously? For people making over $250k/year, what percentage of their income do you suppose is either held in foreign investments or hidden under the mattress at home? I am curious.

Posted by: ScottC3 | December 6, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

@Alex3: "Again, it's been 10 years with these tax cuts and we are still losing revenue."

Well, it depends on what you mean by still losing revenue. Our 2008 and 2009 tax receipts were still higher than they were in 2000, 1999, or any year before. In fact, most of the Bush years saw higher tax receipts than the Clinton years.

Even adjusting for inflation and population size, there hasn't been any kind of huge drop in revenue (although there may have been much more, had higher taxes been in place, but that is a what if, not an actual real drop in revenue).

The increase in the deficit has been spending, spending, spending. Since 2002 outlays have been higher than revenues (and also significantly higher than the spending of previous years).

http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/taxfacts/displayafact.cfm?Docid=200

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | December 6, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

@illogicbuster,

How do you reconcile your apparent belief in removing money from Washington D.C. with your silence on Republican Tea Party freshman taking corporate lobbyist cash?

Do you realize that your support of "Tea Party Turned GOP Establishment" candidates is in direct opposition to your comments about lobbyist money influencing politics?

@KW, care to respond to my question @ 12:27pm? Here it is again:

So you agree with me, then, that these earnest and hopeful anti-establishment Tea Party Americans were duped into supporting establishment corporate politicians?

Posted by: Ethan2010 | December 6, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

A Candid Interview with Mitch McConyall

Interviewer: Thank you for speaking with me today. Let’s get right to it. To what do you attribute the amazing string of Republican victories of late?
Mitch: Genius.
Interviewer: You’re a genius?
Mitch: Well, yes, but not just me -- the entire Republican organism.
Interviewer: You’re saying George Bush is a genius?
Mitch: (Laughs) I’m saying his installation as President was genius. George as an individual is, as we say in Kentucky, dumber than dirt. You Dems attacked him for being stupid and our base felt sorry for him and loved him even more. Worked like a charm.
Interviewer: I’m confused.
Mitch: Of course you are. You’re a Democrat. Or, as I should say, a left-wing Commie Marxist un-American Socialist.
Interviewer: (Looking offended.) I’m trying to be fair in this interview; there’s no need for name calling.
Mitch: Of course you are trying to be fair. That’s because you’re a Democrat – and basically stupid. And the name calling is important. Having called you all these names, no decent Republican will even listen to what you have to what you have to say.
Interviewer: I don’t understand…
Mitch: Of course you don’t. We’ve been working the same old rope-a-dope routine on you Democrats for decades now and you still don’t get it. Here, let me explain. It’s political judo. Take the deficits for example. When we were in office Cheney said “Deficits don’t matter.” We cut taxes, proceeded to start two wars, and created a massive debt crisis. Got it?
Interviewer: Not really.
Mitch: Like I said, you’re stupid. Now that you dumb Dems are in charge, we make the case that deficits DO matter. We blame the crisis on you. We will use the crisis that we manufactured to cut entitlement spending. We’re going to end Social Security and Welfare. This will free up more money for the Defense industry who are all Republican supporters. Defense contractors do well and donate. We elect more Republicans. Life is good.
Interviewer: So where do you go from here?
Mitch: Well, we make the Dems in Congress look incompetent – unable to govern. We do this by delaying, opposing, obstructing – making Government the enemy.
Interviewer: And Mr. Obama?
Mitch: (Frowning) We like to refer to him as the Kenyan. That undercuts his legitimacy. He didn’t give us as much to work with as President Clinton, so we’ve had to be creative. I personally came up with the idea for the Birther movement. And, of course, all we have to do is suggest that Obama wants to restrict gun rights and our base is all over him. Anyway, the Kenyan is toast. He’s a one-term president. Interviewer: Won’t ending or reducing Social Security and entitlements hurt your base?
Mitch: Of course it will, but we’ll convince them that it’s the Dems’ fault that they can’t afford health care and are eating cat food. They’ll be angry for decades and we’ll use that anger to elect Republicans.
Interviewer: You are a genius.

Posted by: SequimBob2 | December 6, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

How is repealing DODT a win? Obama could get rid of the policy by ending it or not appealing the courts decision. There is no need for the Senate to do s#$#.

The most important thing that seperates republicans and democrats is tax policy, and if Obama and democrats cave on this I will go looking for any candidate who wants to challenge Obama in the primary.

Posted by: AndyR3 | December 6, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

It's the benefits for the Rich that are socialist. The Rich pay the lowest tax rates since the 1050s while American is in debt and hundreds of thousands of American men and women are fighting in the Middle East where thousands of them have died or suffered casualties. Here is “GOP Socialism for the Rich” that the USA should eliminate:

Millionaires and Billionaires pay $0.00 in estate taxes in 2010.

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezra-klein/2010/07/research_desk_compares_whats_t.html#more

The current Estate Tax giveaway to the Rich is costing the USA $300~700 Billion between 2009 and 2018.

“What’s another $678 Billion?” GOP has no problem extending tax cuts for the rich

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/07/13/AR2010071305391.html

“SENATE REPUBLICANS,… are untroubled by the notion of digging the hole $678 billion deeper by extending President Bush's tax cuts for the wealthiest of Americans.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/06/26/AR2010062600222.html

“The Bush tax cuts are really expensive. The tax cuts expire this year. If lawmakers renew all of them, they'd add $6 trillion to the deficit from 2012 to 2022.”

Why is Congress protecting a tax code that benefits the rich?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/11/17/AR2010111705315.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

“money paid to managers of private-equity funds and similar partnerships at 15 percent, as if it were risk capital, rather than at ordinary income rates of 35 percent.”

Posted by: Airborne82 | December 6, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

@ScottC3: "Is this what you think 'rich' people do? Seriously?"

Oh, for the love of pete. Can no one use shorthand anymore? Perhaps I should have added: "fill in the blank", because those were toss aways. I don't consider the specifics of what they are doing or not doing with the money the central issue.

"For people making over $250k/year, what percentage of their income do you suppose is either held in foreign investments or hidden under the mattress at home? I am curious."

Under the mattress: 100%.

Seriously, it doesn't matter. What they aren't doing is hiring people in meaningful numbers, stimulating domestic economic activity, or doing anything that leads to job creation. If they were, we would see that economic activity, and we would see the jobs.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | December 6, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

@Ethan2010: "So you agree with me, then, that these earnest and hopeful anti-establishment Tea Party Americans were duped into supporting establishment corporate politicians?"

How do I know? I do not read minds, and I'm not in men's hearts. Some of them might have wanted corporatist politicians. Some were probably hopeful but skeptical. Others might have been choosing between the lesser of two evils, in their minds. Could be they are all smart and voted for perfectly lovely people, and I am mistaken in my cynical view of human nature.

Or, let's say it this way: Probably as many as were "duped" into voting for into voting for Obama, or any of the wholly owned corporate subsidiaries (otherwise known as house and senate Democrats) that rode in on his coattails.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | December 6, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

The Democrats are history, you jerk! The American people have spoken! They have said DON'T READ THE WASHINGTON POST!!!!

Posted by: georges2 | December 6, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Obama and Democrats; stand up and grow a pair. You have the presidency and a Senate majority. Enact bold Job creating ideas and stop bending over to the GOP. Compromise on taxes, drilling and nuclear power only made the GOP and FAUX news attack you even more whey they bent over themselves apologizing to BP. Stop compromising and end the farce. The GOP wants nothing more than high unemployment in order to boost their political and financial fortunes. Stop their Goose-stepping on American job growth in favor of Tax cuts for Billionaires. Stop the attacks on Social Security benefits for the middle class and poor so Billionaires can shield all income above $107k from contributing.

Bending over for, and kowtowing to the GOP is why less voters went to the polls. Fighting for the Rich at the expense of the middle class and poor betrays their trust in you and other Democrats who do the same. If you support tax cuts for the rich and cuts in Social Security benefits the middle class and poor will not bother to contribute, vote and canvass. Look at the facts: most young voters didn’t even bother to vote this election cycle. They are too busy looking for jobs that don’t exist because the wealthiest are paying little to nothing in taxes, which would otherwise be invested in job creation.

IF you must capitulate, extend tax cuts for only six months. Six months to see if there is any good faith from the GOP on nuclear inspections and other important issues. Extending tax cuts beyond Six months only sets yourself up for failure in 2012 (as well as betrays any trust the middle class and poor have in you).

Posted by: Airborne82 | December 6, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Ethan2010: "How do you reconcile your apparent belief in removing money from Washington D.C. with your silence on Republican Tea Party freshman taking corporate lobbyist cash?"
-----------------------------------------

What ARE you babbling on about? Is it because many Tea Party types ALSO want to get rid of the 17th to lower corruption due to Senate campaign contributions? Or, is something else? Explain or admit to heavy drug use.

Posted by: illogicbuster | December 6, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Kevin:

"I don't consider the specifics of what they are doing or not doing with the money the central issue."

It seems to me that you do make that the central issue. Your defense of lower taxation on group X but not Y is precisely that X will do something specific with their money that group Y will not do. No?

BTW, if you think that higher taxes do not effect the spending habits of "rich" people, you are mistaken.

Posted by: ScottC3 | December 6, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse


LAST CHANCE TO TABLE THE DREAM ACT

President Obama is reaching out to fence-sitting Republican Senators trying to earn their vote on the DREAM Act. A new report from the National Journal says that members of the President's cabinet are targeting Sens. Collins and Snowe from Maine, Sen. LeMieux of Florida, and Sen. Hutchison of Texas. These politicians will be carefully scrutinized how they vote when this issue comes to the table this week. Call the Capitol Switchboard NOW and urge these Senators and your Members of Congress to oppose the DREAM Act Amnesty -- 202-224-3121 NumbersUSA for details.

Its not the processed students that are the major problem, but the--CHAIN MIGRATION--that follows. The immediate family will be sponsored, then the parents will come, with brothers and sisters, grandparents and the whole mass of people will snowball--into the millions--and inevitably a huge cost to taxpayers.


Those Americans opposed to the DREAM ACT or slyly undisclosed as an incremental Amnesty, better take a minute to bombard your three Representatives in Washington and stop this financial insanity. Children of citizens and legal residents can no longer get a decent seasonal job and 15 million Americans are laboring for lower wages or seeking jobs that are almost non-existent. Yet the extremist Liberals want to extend an open hand to students of illegal aliens and ignore this deep recession this country is in. No matter what Sen. Harry Reid and his administration say, there will be a cost with the passage of the Dream Act. There has always been a direct cost for enactment of any Amnesty, such as the 1986 Immigration and Reform Control Act and the 6 Amnesties that followed. The Dream Act will be no different--whether disclosed or not, to the general public. Incidentally--any illegal alien can be recruited for the armed services, in times of war? This is yet another lie passed onto us by the lame duck government that students cannot join the military in time of war.

If you feel different, I still have that Brooklyn Bridge to sell you? Be honest—have you known our government to tell us the truth? Annually billions of dollars are spent catering to the invasion of people not welcomed into this nation. Rewarding yet another immigration policy as this, will only be a very large magnet to foreign workers and their families. The annexation of illegal nationals will never end, without the American people demanding a stop to this immigration travesty and throw the outlaws in Congress out who applaud this free movement of people. Just look around our nation over the past thirty years of horrendous infrastructure deterioration, unmanageable influx of at least a million legal immigrants a year. Border state schools overcrowded with illegal alien children, exhausted medical staff in emergency rooms and our growing taxing of the people to pay for anybody who slips through our border or flies in on a one-way ticket.

Posted by: infinity555 | December 6, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

The Republicans & their owners are fighting a war, and their weapon is the Big Lie. Obama doesn't see this, obviously.

If he caves on the Bush Tax Cuts, I for one will give up on him.

Maybe our only hope for a sane future is letting the South go, once and for all. Can we force Secession through during this lame duck session? Maybe through reconciliation? That'd get people's attention.

Posted by: jsmith09 | December 6, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: jsmith09: "Maybe our only hope for a sane future is letting the South go, once and for all. Can we force Secession through during this lame duck session? Maybe through reconciliation? That'd get people's attention."
-----------------------------------------
That would work! All the illegals, criminals and welfare recipients would flock to the 'North' & all the people who want to keep their hard earned $ would flock to the 'South'.

Sounds like a plan. How do we get this passed?

Posted by: illogicbuster | December 6, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

I won't drink the DLC kool-aid. This last capitulation is really demoralizing and will cement Obama's future as a one-term President. I think Obama has a tremendous inferiority complex and contents himself with obtaining pyrrhic victories. Time to prepare a Primary challenger.

Posted by: Irreverent_inDC | December 6, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

** How do you pay for tax cuts for the wealthy ?
 
1. First attempt : threatening Social Security and Medicare Cut through the deficit panel.
 
2. Second attempt : holding the desperate Hostage, say, the Ransom.
How long will it take for Obama to learn that we think compromise is a synonym for unconditional surrender, or another Bush-era?
 
** The deal based on the outright lies and supportive Dead Media will lead to another Bush-era & irreversible RECESSION.
 
1. The reps uses the recession as an excuse for tax cuts for the wealthy.
 
THIS IS A MIDDLE CLASS RECESSION.
 
2. The Republican Senate minority leader has been arguing that the outcome of the midterm elections confers a mandate on Congress to extend the Bush-era tax cuts.
"There's bipartisan opposition to raising taxes on anyone at this time."
 
(a). Only 34 percent of Americans believe that tax cuts ought to be extended for those households making more than $250000 a year, according to a new CNN poll.
 
(b). A recent CBS News poll indicated that Only 26 percent indicated they support extending the tax cuts for all Americans regardless of income level
 
(c). In the AP-CNBC poll, 34 percent favor extending the tax cuts for all Americans.
 
(d). A recent Gallup poll found 40 percent favor maintaining the Bush-era tax cuts for all Americans.
 

Posted by: hsr06011 | December 6, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

3. The reps road the waves of deficit reduction just 2 months ago.
 
Now, 2 months later they are set to increase the deficit and increase the governments debt ceiling just so they can give themselves and their rich pals more money.
This isn't what Americans voted for.
 
4. Tax cut for small businesses.
 
A small business bill was blocked for weeks by a republican filibuster in the Senate.
 
5. Tax cut for job creation.
 
(a). There is no evidence that the tax cuts created even a single job.
Back when Bush was pushing his tax cut packages through Congress in 2001 and 2003, supporters said the cuts (which weren't balanced with spending reductions) would initiate an era in which the American economy would grow so robustly the nation would be running a surplus of more than $5 trillion at the scheduled expiration date. U.S. now runs a deficit of about $1.3 trillion.
In fact, the available evidence is the exact opposite:
Former President Bill Clinton left a record surplus and created 20 million jobs, despite the warning of potential economic disaster over tax increase for the wealthiest.
 
(b). Your Waterloo = our windfall.
Even when the economy was on the cusp of entire collapse just like Lehman Brothers ahead of the roll-out of stimulus package, it was held hostage by Audacity of Nope, and the time was running out.
Power first then said : Nope ! How do we pay for it ?, Just let it go under exactly like Lehman Brothers.
 
6. The GOP along with Big Business bought this past midterm election.
The structure that the last champion is authorized to pick the next match winner .
 
The ruling that allowed Corporate money to back Political Candidates destroyed the very fabric of the Elections and Americans are paying dearly for it.
The incessant barrage of negative campaign ads drove most Americans towards something they knew nothing about, the Republican­/Corporate take-over of the US. Millions upon millions were spent to defeat certain Democrats.
 
7. From my perspective, Communism & extreme Capitalism have one thing in common : Power First, Corruption at the cost of people !

Posted by: hsr06011 | December 6, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

"Sounds like a plan. How do we get this passed?"

Reconciliation, like I said. :)

Posted by: jsmith09 | December 6, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: jsmith09: "Reconciliation, like I said. :)"
------------------------------------
Oops. Missed that. Brilliant idea.

Posted by: illogicbuster | December 6, 2010 2:39 PM | Report abuse

The repugs will NEVER give Obama anything he claims to want. Anybody who has been watching them for more than 5 minutes could figure that out.

But Obama obviously does not want a repeal of DADT. He's fought it every step of the way in court. So its repeal will not be party of ANY "deal." Deals only go one way in Obama's world - repugs win, dems lose.

There are no silver linings. Only radioactive ones.

Posted by: solsticebelle | December 6, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Where do you come up with your figure saying only 25% of Americans want the tax cuts extended? I would venture to say that it's much higher, probably around 50%. If your 25% refers to all Americans, that could be true but since only 50% of Americans vote, that 25% of all Americans will equal 50% of those who vote.

Posted by: Jsuf | December 6, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Ok fine...let everyone get what thay want, which would be permanent tax cuts for the rich and full unemployment extensions, which includes 99's. But here is the main provision that should be RIGOROUSLY implemented in any agreement and that is "PROOF" of damn near everything. You want permanent tax cuts for the rich, then they should provide exact proof that they hired various people to justify they're tax cuts and also 99's must prove that they have been looking for a job with detailed dates, addresses etc, Not the current format that the dept of labor has, but a complete follow up of all their interviews etc. So the main headline here should be "PROVE IT".

Posted by: kwinn919 | December 6, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

kwinn919, just a little bit of information for you. First of all, when you have been on unemployment as along as I have been and never get a call back it is hard to give details of a follow up. Second, you do have to document it. People are right I want to sit at home and collect a check, minus the fact that I suffer from a disease that is destroying my central nervous system and don't have health insurance.

The people voted and this is what is going to happen in January, all your hard work electing them will prove to you that you just voted in the "House of NO". I have complete faith that Obama will be a two term president because seriously tell me the options.

I am just getting tired of people and comments about things they have no idea about. Did you take a history class at all? Do you know how the government really works? The House and the Senate makes the decisions, he signs them into law, if he doesn't agree he doesn't sign. Very simple.

Posted by: amyb_36 | December 7, 2010 12:04 AM | Report abuse

Watch out! If the haters can sink the Dream Act, they will. They will be led by the ignorant redneck Republicans from the deep South (where they exploit immigrant labor, but try to deny them their rights - sound familiar???)

Posted by: NMguy1 | December 7, 2010 2:09 AM | Report abuse

The D.A.D.T. is a tool of the Global Progressives to fundamentally CHANGE America!

Politicians have attached TWO sneaky little amendments into a Military Funding Bill, 1) Government Funding of ABORTION, and 2) recognizing that the unnatural UNION of two men, or two women is exactly to the natural union of a man and a women.

Corruption runs WILD in our Government.

To sneak these two amendments into the D.A.D.T. Bill is DECEITFUL.

Watch today... who are the Senators who vote in favor of CLOTURE - they are the deceitful ones... they are the corrupt ones, and they must be banished from our government.

Posted by: btrask3 | December 8, 2010 9:27 AM | 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