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Posted at 12:06 PM ET, 12/14/2010

Why House Dems are in major bind over tax deal

By Greg Sargent

With many House Democrats still furious about Obama's tax cut deal, they are now debating internally how to mount a last stand of sorts against the compromise -- a last ditch effort to block it or at least put their own stamp on it in some way.

But House Dems now face a major problem on this front, and yesterday's Senate vote passing the cloture motion is the reason why. The Senate vote was so overwhelming in support of the tax deal that House Dems realize that they have no allies for changing the measure in the Senate -- making them less likely to risk altering it in any substantial way.

Here's the situation, in a nutshell. Despite their own dislike of the tax cut compromise, House Dem leaders want it to pass the House. Period, full stop. They want the middle class tax cuts and unemployment benefits to continue, and they don't want to thwart an initiative upon which President Obama has staked so much.

At the same time, Dem leaders need to do something about the anger and near-despair among the House Dem rank and file. The idea has been to change the bill in some way to make it more palatable to Dems and to make them feel they've had a role in the process -- perhaps via an amendment on the hated estate tax provision.

But here's the problem. The tax deal passed the Senate yesterday by a huge number, 83-15. Worse for House Dems, a number of notable liberals voted for it, including Barbara Boxer, Chris Dodd, Sheldon Whitehouse and John Kerry.

The overwhelming support for the tax deal -- even among Senate liberals -- gives House Dem leaders less maneuvering room to make any substantial changes to the bill. They don't want to risk making changes that wouldn't have support if the bill were kicked back to the Senate, because they don't want to risk imperiling the deal.

"It really takes the air out of the sails of House Democrats when there's such a huge vote in the Senate for it," one House aide lamented to me. "It changes the dynamic in an unfortunate way. If you have the Senate saying they're accepting this deal in large margins, you have no partners to improve this."

That's why, as I noted yesterday, House Dems may end up voting on amendments to the bill that are likely to fail. It will enable Dems to register their disapproval of the estate tax provision and other things -- without preventing the bill from passing in the end, as Dem leaders and the White House want. Strong GOP support is expected to help it clear the House.

Indeed, Steny Hoyer hinted as much today. In his meeting with reporters, he noted that many Dems "want to reflect their view on a number of the issues in the bill." But he also said the Senate vote puts pressure on House Dem leaders to get the tax deal passed: "There is strong support for moving ahead."

All this explains why there is a growing and unmistakable sense that the tax deal will pass the House pretty much in its current form.

By Greg Sargent  | December 14, 2010; 12:06 PM ET
Categories:  House Dems, House GOPers, Senate Dems, taxes  
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Comments

So the great House Democrat kabuki dance is almost over?

Posted by: jnc4p | December 14, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Good lord. It's a done deal unless the GOP says no and they aren't that stupid. They know they are about to win the war. Not the battle, the war. It's O-V-A over. The GOP has conquered the Democrats. Nothing happens unless the GOP permits it. Repeat for 2 years then hope for the best.

Posted by: wbgonne | December 14, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

You beat me to it, jnc4p. There's more kabuki going on in DC these days than there is in Tokyo.

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

"The overwhelming support for the tax deal -- even among Senate liberals -- gives House Dem leaders less maneuvering room to make any substantial changes to the bill"

File this under "Senate Dems screw House Dems, yet again...."

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

Greg - perhaps the House Dems are coming around for it not just because "they don't want to thwart an initiative upon which President Obama has staked so much," but they don't want to thwart a deal that is increasingly popular and now perhaps they are starting to see some political and economic benefit from its passage (and conversely - more and more political damage from being the ones to stop it).

But beyond that, the same reason this will pass is the same reason Obama had to make the deal in the first place: because this wasn't dealt with earlier leaves no time or leverage to get the middle-class benefits at all. I mean, look at how elements of the tea-party right is raging at the middle-class benefits in the bill - do Dems think if they wait until more Republicans come into Congress they'll be in a better position?

Perhaps they should have thought about that before the election instead of punting it and then whining once the President was forced to make a deal.

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

"Why House Dems are in major bind over tax deal"

Yes, that's what happens when the president sells his own party down the river to boost his political fortune. More to come. Much much more. Hold on to your seats.

Posted by: wbgonne | December 14, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

wbgonne: They won the election and control the House; so this is true.

House Dems made a huge mistake raising such a stink IMO and not taking the fight straight to the Republicans and passing the compromise while reiterating the hostage talking points. Basically, they alienated themselves from the most popular democrat in the country and they have no plan b. It was just an amazing performance.

As for the White House, I hope they keep up this fight and message discipline. It looks like they're transferring to a campaign setting and they'll need it the next two years.

Posted by: Rhoda | December 14, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Pelosi should go on TV right now and say there will be simultaneous votes in Congress today, the House will be voting on the tax bill and the Senate will be repealing DADT today.

And then give McConnell and big thanks for the DADT repeal vote for cloture.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | December 14, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Rhoda: Are you writing from Planet Obama?

Posted by: wbgonne | December 14, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

"Yes, that's what happens when the president sells his own party down the river to boost his political fortune. More to come. Much much more. Hold on to your seats."

OK, and Senate Dems are blameless in all of this? They still are the majority in the Senate--how come people aren't furious that they voted for cloture? And in such stunning numbers?

Posted by: CTVoter | December 14, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Rhoda, don't mind wbgonne.

He/she is writing from Planet MywayorthehighwaylolwozersiheartFDL.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | December 14, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

I wonder who on the Democrat side is the angriest. Perhaps it is the boys and girls who got whacked in the last election after backing the ultra liberal agenda advanced by Obama and Pelosi

Pelosi's seat is as safe as safe gets. Obama has two more years to rehabilitate his electoral chances. The folks whose careers were sacrificed for the disastrous votes on the liberal agenda are no doubt quite upset. The house stands every two years, the people of America took advantage of that fact to throw out as many bums as the could as soon as they could. This volatility should have weighed on the minds of the pelosi followers who were lead as lambs to the slaughter.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | December 14, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

We're all angry skip. Democrats are inherently angry right?

grrrrrr angry!!! growl!!!

Posted by: mikefromArlington | December 14, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

If the Democrats were serious about blocking the extension of the tax cuts for high earners and the estate tax cuts, what you would be seeing is 40 Democrats in the Senate banding together and writing a letter similar to the one the Mitch McConnell and the Republicans wrote at the end of November.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/opinions/pages/PrioritiesLetter.pdf

They would announce that they were blocking cloture on the extension of the tax cuts both in this Congress and in the next one as long as the high earner ones and the inheritance tax rate were included. Because they don't have the will to do this (as indicated by the 83-15 vote), this is all theater and a complete waste of time on the House side.

Posted by: jnc4p | December 14, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

It's a bad idea - the tax holiday is a BAD idea -

The tax deal IS NOT GOOD ECONOMIC POLICY


That is the REAL problem.

.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 14, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

In Washington, true bipartisanship is in full display every time there is an opportunity to increase the deficit.

Yesterday's vote was yet another example of that, wasn't it?

Posted by: grosmec | December 14, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

"Dem leaders need to do something about the anger and near-despair among the House Dem rank and file."

I've got an idea:

BETTER HOUSE DEMS.

How about, oh, House Dems who won't wait until they have no choice but to cave? How about House Dems who won't prevent the caucus from voting on key issues when they are, oh I don't know, maybe like in normal session and not lame duck? How about House Dems who aren't Blue Dog Republican-lite?

Posted by: Ethan2010 | December 14, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

CTVoter:

Here's the thing. We have known for 2 years that the Senate Dem Caucus was utterly dysfunctional. Why? Because it is infested with Republicans masquerading as Democrats. We got a brand spanking new president with great gifts and powerful public support who had the ability to OVERPOWER the Senate Republicrats. (JUst watch what he's doing to the House Dems and the Dem Party right now.) But Obama chose not to. Why? I suspect Obama is really a Republicrat himself, a Clitnonian Triangulator who intends to run for a second term on having cut taxes the most in history (or whatever). Do you think this is beneficial to the Democratic Party? And before you answer -- should you choose to -- please consider these two questions: 1) what are the chances the tax cuts won't be extended again in 2 years -- or just made permanent and get it over with since there is no effective opposition party anyway; 2) what do you think Obama's response will be when the GOP screams that because the deficit is so large there MUST be vicious cuts to government programs?

I suspect that Obama intentionally boxed himself in by agreeing to add another trillion to the debt, which has probably the Cat Food Commission's brutal cuts inevitable. Call it what you will but it has nothing at all to do with the Democratic Party. Those are Republican initiatives through and through. Evidently, what today's Democrats want is to be Republicans.

Posted by: wbgonne | December 14, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Just SAY NO!

We did not vote in a 60 seat Dem senate and a Dem president to get Reganomics!

If we stand by and let this happen he the DEMS are now total wusses. Sorry that is the best term.

NO!

Posted by: franciscosworth | December 14, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

I agree with CTvoter as I am another CTvoter and would rather have had our President stand up for what is right than to have folded to a mean-spirited party which has as it's mantra....."Make President Obama fail"....they will do nothing more than to continue their actions for the next two years and if the President believe that they will work with him, he is delusional.

Posted by: gilbertpb40 | December 14, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Ethan: I have an even better idea: a better president. Preferably a Democrat next time.

Posted by: wbgonne | December 14, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Bipartisanship can be defined as a concerted effort by all involved to raise the deficit at every opportunity.

Yesterday's vote in the Senate merely confirmed that definition.

Posted by: grosmec | December 14, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

They're in a bind because O'Bummer made a bad deal.

He assured that the rich will get richer, and middle class taxpayers will get poorer. Who borrows money to give the wealthiest citizens a bonus?

Kind of hard to recover from that, though they might be able to change up the estate tax a bit.

Brilliant move on the part of Republicans. Obama should never be put in the position of negotiator again -- he sucks at it.

Posted by: Benson | December 14, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Meanwhile, we have this gem from Mittens:

"Romney: Workers Should Pay Their Own Unemployment Benefits"

Mitt Romney has a solution to America's unemployment problems. Rather than giving Americans government help when they lose their jobs (help which he says will keep them unemployed), Romney suggests workers pay for their own unemployment insurance. The government, on the other hand, should spend its money spurring companies into making new jobs.

As part of a sharply-worded attack on the Bush tax cut extension compromise published in today's USA Today, Romney states his case that the extended unemployment insurance contained in the compromise will keep those out of work from looking for new jobs. In its place, Romney suggests "individual unemployment savings accounts over which employees would exercise direct control when they lose their jobs."

http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/12/romney-slams-tax-cut-compromise-concept-of-unemployment-benefits.php

Posted by: suekzoo1 | December 14, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

OUTSOURCING MADNESS


The liberals have come up with the ultimate in OUTSOURCING MADNESS.


The liberals now want to have foreigners handle the surrogancy.


So, let's say a liberal couple is too busy making "Bush Lied" signs for their rallies.

And they want to have children....


They now have surrogacy firms - which ship the "ingredients" overseas - and a baby comes back - FEDEX.


IS THAT COMPLETE INSANITY.


The liberals MUST BE STOPPED.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 14, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: franciscosworth
Just SAY NO!

We did not vote in a 60 seat Dem senate and a Dem president to get Reganomics!

-------

We have not had 60 Dem Senators (DINOs or otherwise) in quite a few months. Nice that you could wake from your nap and spout some nonsense.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | December 14, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

I think we should all get behind tax cuts for the rich.

Clearly, Obama and the Congress feel that they haven't exploded the deficit enough yet.

Posted by: Benson | December 14, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

What the compromise bill (which is a lot more than just a tax bill) really shows is that the most important thing to the Republicans is tax cuts for the rich.

Since the 1980's, the GOP has been an alliance among three separate groups: gun advocates; religious conservatives; and advocates for the rich (traditional GOP). As long as any bill affects only one of these three issues, the entire GOP will vote for or against it according to the wishes of the affected group.

United they stand; divided they fall.

Posted by: ad9inaz | December 14, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Oh, why don't we all just face it and turn the country over entirely to corporations, lobbyists and Wall Street, with the Republican Party as spokesmen who can feed us more fairy tales about our exceptionalism. And just chalk up the failure of the idea of democracy to just another human error in thinking that people are capable of governing themselves under a system of laws and equality for all.

Posted by: 85edwardearthlinknet | December 14, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

as I said yesterday: they should amend the bill to restore what they passed in the first place--PERMANENT tax cuts on income below $200,000/$250,000. That's the smartest, most obvious, least objectionable change. It will get no House Republicans, but Pelosi could get enough Dems onboard. Then you challenge the senate, Dems and Republicans both, and the President to explain why the should fight AGAINST one of their most cherished core principles.

The point of this being to salvage a crucial political victory: decouplization of the tax cuts for all from those just for the rich. That would go a long way toward calming Dem fears of further capitulation.

Posted by: andrewlong | December 14, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Maybe Obama and the House and Senate want the bill because they are the wealthy who will reap the benefits of the tax cuts. Sounds like a big conflict of interest.

Posted by: alterego3 | December 14, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

andrewlong: "they should amend the bill to restore what they passed in the first place--PERMANENT tax cuts on income below $200,000/$250,000. That's the smartest, most obvious, least objectionable change. It will get no House Republicans, but Pelosi could get enough Dems onboard."

What makes you thing Pelosi has the votes now? She didn't have them in September or the House would have voted. You really think the Blue Dogs would do the right thing while walking out the door? Heck no, they won't.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | December 14, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

The issue that Steny overlooks is that HE AND OBAMA HAVE ALREADY FAILED!! THEY CAVED!!!

Rethuglicans will do EVERYTHING IN THEIR POWER to get this passed so they can then start hammering away at all the 'un-necessary social spending" like Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Education, etc.. they'll fight like animals to have slashed to support those fat manila envelopes that get delivered to their offices every day full of crisp $100 bills for their daily payoff.

Classic Bob 'the REAL Crook" Corker... scum to the end..

Posted by: rbaldwin2 | December 14, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

@WB: "I have an even better idea: a better president. Preferably a Democrat next time."

Because I guess President Obama MADE them delay the tax cut vote until lame duck?

Right?

"""Obama wanted a vote on his proposed extension of some of the tax cuts before lawmakers returned to the campaign trail for the November 2 elections, in part to reinforce Democratic support for pocketbook issues.

...

"I believe a vote on taxes right before the election is a mistake," said Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California"""

http://articles.cnn.com/2010-09-23/politics/senate.tax.cuts_1_tax-cuts-tax-rate-senate-democrats

"""Obama has been pushing for a vote by year's end to extend middle-class tax cuts. But House Democrats - much like their Senate counterparts - are divided."""

http://articles.sfgate.com/2010-09-25/news/24096988_1_tax-cuts-tax-cut-vote-middle-class

Honestly, WB, you're awesome, you're just wrong about President Obama.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | December 14, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

"Romney: Workers Should Pay Their Own Unemployment Benefits"
----------------------------------------------------
Bwahahahaha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Privatized unemployment benefits! Will it be tax deferred? What a great idea, says Wall Street! What a great idea, say employers! Why should WE pay, say employers, when it is only the dumbass employees who use the benefits?

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | December 14, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

When Obama goes for a "class struggle" message, all Obama does is go AGAINST THE AMERICAN DREAM.


Everyone wants to be rich - few want to tax them.


That is the American Dream. And all Obama is doing is proving that he is not American.


Obama is NOT American at heart.


That is the charge against Obama and it sticks. Not only does it stick, Obama is constantly proving it to be correct.

.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 14, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Oh, why don't we all just face it and turn the country over entirely to corporations, lobbyists and Wall Street, with the Republican Party as spokesmen who can feed us more fairy tales about our exceptionalism.
--------------------------------------------------
There are some among us, Edward, who think this has already happened some time ago.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | December 14, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

How come my comment got eated??

Posted by: CTVoter | December 14, 2010 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Funny watching lib's heads spin and explode.

Posted by: illogicbuster | December 14, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Greg, 83 to 15 -- WOW!!!

I must admit, that the Votes like those of Kerry, Boxer and Dodd caught me off guard, but I think you assess the message quite correctly and accurately. I think that in the Senate Halls, the word got around that the answer is still the same:

NOTHING is passing the Senate until this is done. Even the poster child, the Stand Alone DADT repeal, is DOA without this.

I was looking at the Financial Advice lines out there, and the shocker for me is double: Most are advising the Rich to NOT repatriate *anything* in the face of these temporary cuts extended for the rich. They advise to take advantage of some short term deals, in some cases, but long term, they advise keeping the money out of the US. Yikes!!!

They advise looking for bargain basement deals in Ireland and Greece that may garner them Tax Exempt status or at least significant cuts, while the rest of the people there are suffering austerity, and very steep taxes. They advise investing in India, a BIG up and comer in the Capitalist World. They even advise investing in China, an outright communist nation, as possibly being a better choice than the US in these uncertain times. WOW!!!

And Kerry is *not* getting anything for this, nor should he:

http://news.bostonherald.com/news/columnists/view/20101207its_time_to_put_up_or_shut_up_senator_kerry/

Ouch!

But his (his wife's, actually) money is pretty much *all* overseas, and he very ably demonstrates that the Ultra Rich are always going to be able to shelter their assets and keep from paying taxes -- legally, if not popularly.

But Greg, I knew if I hung around long enough, you would write an article I 100% agree with. Thanks for giving me that vindication!

;'{P~~~

Posted by: Clearbrook | December 14, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

12Bar -- Romney gets the Scrooge award .. as well as the Empty Suit and Brain statuette.

Or maybe the Marie Antoinette Takes the Cake award. But you could give that to the whole party -- never have I seen republicns at such a low point -- how low can they go? How much greedier, selfish, grasping, and demonic can they get? They get such sadistic pleasure out of inflicting pain.

The Dems should just pass this bill, because it's the best they can do right now. Once the rightwing freaks come in and take over the House, there will be no chance of help for the unemployed and the middle class at all.

Posted by: fiona5 | December 14, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

The left wing TAXERS are insane.

They maintain that the Estate Tax is a tax on Income to be received by the beneficiaries...so if it is in effect, an income tax, then why should it be taxed at rates higher than the income tax?

Unfairly confiscating wealth to pay for more and more benefits for those who haven't got is Marxist theology.

Posted by: Hazmat77 | December 14, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

House Republicans should agree to vote for or against the bill in the same proportions as House Dems vote.

If a majority of House Dems vote against it, then the House Dems will kill it - and get blamed for killing it too.

Then we'll have Dems killing Obama's bill.

Republicans should pass something better next year.

Posted by: jfv123 | December 14, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Ethan:

What Obama professes to "want" is irrelevant. It's what he does that matters. Obama could have taken charge of the whole business by declaring his intention to veto all legislation extending the Bush Tax Cuts. Instead he sat silent and the House wasn't about to go out on a limb yet again only to have the branch sawed off the White House (which, as you'll notice, is precisely what has happened). I learned that during all this during public option fiasco. The House learned it then and with energy and some other things I can't remember right now. Bottom Line: the real Dems in the House don't trust Obama. And they are quite correct not to. Obama is a Republicrat who just toys with Liberals, then sticks a knife in their backs when they become inconvenient.

Posted by: wbgonne | December 14, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

dems made their bed when they refused to deal with the issue before elections. now they have to sleep on it. I'm a loyal dem, but I have zero sympathy for the supposed rage of dems. yawn.

Posted by: LADemocrat | December 14, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

fiona5 .. Republicans were willing to enact the unemployment extension if the Dems would follow the Rule of "pay for it" which was a Pelosi Democrat Rule. Your insane rant evidences the fact that you just don't know what you are writing about.

stop you F****** whining!

Posted by: Hazmat77 | December 14, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

"Oh, why don't we all just face it and turn the country over entirely to corporations, lobbyists and Wall Street, with the Republican Party as spokesmen who can feed us more fairy tales about our exceptionalism.
--------------------------------------------------
There are some among us, Edward, who think this has already happened some time ago."

This is exactly where we are. And the rightwing trolls are so happy to see their masters methodically smashing/devouring the american middle class. After they completely suck this country dry, they will move to Dubai.

Posted by: fiona5 | December 14, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Clearbrook wrote: " They even advise investing in China, an outright communist nation, as possibly being a better choice than the US in these uncertain times. WOW!!!"
-------------------------------------------
Yep, opened a business there in '03'. China is a dictatorship but, hardly a communist country (you'd know that if you were familiar with their econ system). The burden of running a bus there is MUCH less than in the U.S. Hence, the U.S. is toast in the long term.

Posted by: illogicbuster | December 14, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

"Privatized unemployment benefits! Will it be tax deferred? What a great idea, says Wall Street! What a great idea, say employers! Why should WE pay, say employers, when it is only the dumbass employees who use the benefits?"

meh -- the fed rate is offset by the state rate, so typically works out to less than 60 a worker. and it's only applied to the first $7,000 of compensation. so it's pretty cheap. state rates vary, but they also only applied to the first 7,000 or 8,000. it's pretty cheap insurance. but some states do withhold from employees. PA i think. Jersey too. so it's not a new idea.

Posted by: NoVAHockey | December 14, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Liberalism is the problem...

From domestic policy to foreign policy, liberalism is an antiAmerican ideology

The European Press gets it:

"The New START Treaty: President
Obama is pushing for a monumental
surrender to Russia"

Tax increases to underwrite democrat voter indigence cannot be afforded...

...nor are they the right thing

No wonder the Great Depression lasted a decade.....democrats were in charge


Democrats: Appeasers legislating Recession into Depression since the 1930's

Posted by: georgedixon1 | December 14, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Let me be clear.

Obama likes deficits.

He cuts millions, but spends billions, if only to make the rich richer.

Posted by: Benson | December 14, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

"Watcha Gonna Do?"

"You stupid fool, I'm laughing at you; watcha gonna do."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bSEg7tU-giw&hd=1

Posted by: Liam-still | December 14, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse


Excellent!

Let the WH, Senate Republicans and Democrats find ‘common ground’ and let the moron House Democrats ‘compromise’.

Life is SWEET, and Pelosi is demonstrating the same leadership we’ve seen for four LONG years!


Posted by: bcarte1 | December 14, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Hey, I gotta splendid new GOP idea: how about employees paying for their own raises. Here's how it would work:

1. Open an account called, oh, how about, Personal Appreciation Trust Account.

2. Of course, every brokerage outfit will sell these PATs where you can save money for your own raise, and guess what, buy securities sold by, guess who? Wall Street.

3. Then, when you, the PATsie, don't get a raise--no problem. You can GIVE yourself a raise.

4. Every account will be linked to paperwork--Certificates of Appreciation. You just put in your name and voila, ready for framing and pictures.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | December 14, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

If ever any "bill" needed to be killed it would be this abomination! How a Government where Democrats have a huge majority in the house, a huge majority in the Senate, and a President can create such a bad result for 2 years culminating in the beginning of the destruction of Social Security and the perpetuation of the universally declared bad tax giveaways of the BushCo regime is impossible to understand, much less accept! This is just plain wrong, stupid, and a final, final straw in the destruction of our Republic and the demise of yet another political party into the fatal arms of corporate fascism!

Posted by: CHAOTICIAN101 | December 14, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Clearly,

Now that Obama wants to EXPLODE the deficit with the tax holiday, all the democrats (except 7 or 8) are in favor of tax cuts for the rich.


So, we all know now what is more important to the democrats EXPLODING THE DEFICIT OR THEIR PRINCIPLES

We all knew the answer all along


didn't we ?


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 14, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

andrewlong said:

"as I said yesterday: they should amend the bill to restore what they passed in the first place--PERMANENT tax cuts on income below $200,000/$250,000. That's the smartest, most obvious, least objectionable change. It will get no House Republicans, but Pelosi could get enough Dems onboard. Then you challenge the senate, Dems and Republicans both, and the President to explain why the should fight AGAINST one of their most cherished core principles.

The point of this being to salvage a crucial political victory: decouplization of the tax cuts for all from those just for the rich. That would go a long way toward calming Dem fears of further capitulation."

------------------------------

Now I agree with the idea, but not for the reason he wants it done. For him, it is a Partisan Victory for the Democrats. For me, it is a Non-Partisan Victory for Middle Class America. The point is this: If ever there was "just one" amendment that could be made and succeed radically, this would be it!

Will Pelosi and Hoyer be that smart? I don't know. The Senate Vote Shocked me with its overwhelming weight. This is Pro Wresting, not Kabuki, and if one guy makes a super move in Pro Wrestling, the other guy has to make an equally impressive counter move, or the match (and the entertainment) is all over. Pro Wrestling is faked, in the minds of many -- even those that watch it. Is Congress 100% for real, you think?

Stay tuned! It is sure to be entertaining, even if ultimately discouraging! The trick is this: when forced to either laugh or cry, I will try to pick laughing, because that will keep me going!

;'{P~~~

Posted by: Clearbrook | December 14, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

"Obama is a Republicrat who just toys with Liberals,"

And this is the kind of rancid hyperbole that completely turns me off of this discussion.

I think Obama, when he said that he was, in certain ways, a Rorschach test, really understood what happens when people judge him. And what I hear from the left is sheer outrage that he isn't behaving the way they expect him to. From the right, I hear outrage because everything he does is judged as a sign that the apocalypse is here. How can anything be done in this toxic environment?

I think the tax deal is lousy, but I'm not willing to let the UI lapse any longer than it needs to, and I like the stimulus aspects of it. Most of all, it's the best that could be gotten given how crazy Republicans currently are, and how feckless Democrats currently are.

Posted by: CTVoter | December 14, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Why is it that every political comment board become a dumping ground for rightwing sewage? Is it just that these people are too stupid to get jobs and have nothing else to do?

Posted by: fiona5 | December 14, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Easy solution for these highly conflicted, statist handwringers: mass suicide on the steps of the Capitol.

They would make their point with an explanation mark, and do away with further agida. Life insurance would put all their kids though college and pay off the mortgage.

Most of America would be happier with them gone.

It's a win win.

Posted by: Curmudgeon10 | December 14, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

But, WB, veto threat or not, there wasn't the votes in the Dem caucus to move forward on MC tax cuts only.

Do you honestly think that a vigorous effort by President Obama would have changed the minds and votes of Blue Dogs and Conservacrats?

I respect your position on Obama being more demonstrative of his Presidential powers on behalf of the Liberal agenda, and I agree, I just think that we're dealing with an entrenched corporatist class within the Dem Caucus and that has effectively tied the President's hands one way or another.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | December 14, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

"Change"?! ... Yes we can!!!

.... Somebody ... "changed" alright. Heh, heh, heh .... (sarcastic cough).

Change we can "be 'lie' ve" in.

Posted by: deepthroat21 | December 14, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

"The burden of running a bus there is MUCH less than in the U.S. Hence, the U.S. is toast in the long term."

lmao. I remember the pictures of the smog during the Olympics. That was horrible.

Is that what you want in the U.S.? is that what you call less burden?

And also, it must give you great pride being so full of American Exceptionalism!

Posted by: mikefromArlington | December 14, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

fiona5: that rightwing sewage just drives me away from the Plum...

Posted by: CTVoter | December 14, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Off Topic, but not really:

http://www.futureofcapitalism.com/2010/07/explaining-kerrys-yacht-tax-dodge

For those of you who are curious as to just HOW John Kerry was already (legally?) dodging taxes and how he and his wife *still* will, regardless of this bill...

;'{P~~~

Posted by: Clearbrook | December 14, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Oh, why don't we all just face it and turn the country over entirely to corporations, lobbyists and Wall Street, with the Republican Party as spokesmen who can feed us more fairy tales about our exceptionalism.
-------------------------------------------
There are some among us, Edward, who think this has already happened some time ago.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain

Hate to have to inform you and the rest of the LibDems ... American exceptionalism, first described by Frenchman Alexis deToqueville in the early 1800's, and it never meant "Superiority" ... but it is what created the pharmaceuticals and well as the medical treatment facilities that may save your life one of these days. And a whole lot of other stuff that has benefitted much of the world's population.

Frankly, why wouldn't everyone want to live in a nation that was exceptional????

There's always Venezuela for those of you who want to remain on the left!

Posted by: Hazmat77 | December 14, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Clearbrook. That's a pretty old article. You should probably read up on what Kerry ended up doing with that yacht.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | December 14, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Wbg, Obama is a politician who wants to be re-elected first, and a Democrat second. Just because he took this stance on this tax issue, does in no way give him any Republican credentials. His desire to stay in office takes precedence. This is typical politician behavior. They don't have the 'nads to go down with the ship. Survival is all important.

Posted by: actuator | December 14, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse

"The burden of running a bus there is MUCH less than in the U.S. Hence, the U.S. is toast in the long term."

lmao. I remember the pictures of the smog during the Olympics. That was horrible.

Is that what you want in the U.S.? is that what you call less burden?

And also, it must give you great pride being so full of American Exceptionalism!
----------------------------------------------------------
Wait a minute there! I thought the idea was that China would become more like us, you know, more interested in the environment, human rights, etc. etc.

Now, we're supposed to become more like them? If we'd known that, we could have done this a whole lot easier. We could all just move back into caves and hunt to live. I mean, think of all the money that would save. Who would need government? Who would need buses?

Who woulda ever thought this was a race to the bottom?

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | December 14, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Isnt doing the same thing again and again, but expecting different results a sign of insanity?

Tax cuts for the rich never has proven to create jobs, just make the rich richer.

Dems should hold their ground and not give in to these Republicant Terrorists. Obama sold them down the river. I doubt they will have enough guts to do anything meaningful.

Too bad Grayson got ousted. Dems need more like him.

Posted by: theAnswerIs42 | December 14, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

We already know how many real Democrats there are in the Senate--damn few. The House? We will find out.

Posted by: rusty3 | December 14, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

The GOP and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce have given up on the American work force and our standard of living. It's been decided by the multinationals that American's are living too far above their means and are systematically lowering wages and destroying our working class in the process.

Together, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce with the GOP writing legislation for them, will continue this downward spiral until there is violence in the streets.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | December 14, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

All the discussion about the retail politics -- egos that need to be stroked to get the bill passed, input from the House so they can feel values, etc., is besides the point.

The problem with the tax cut deal is that it is bad policy and bad strategy for the Democrats.

I guarantee, Greg, that if you are writing this blog two years from now you will be reporting how this deal boxed in the Democrats and made it nearly impossible to save Medicare and Social Security from drastic cuts. Who thinks the estate tax rates will be raised, or tax rates on the wealthy will be raised, or ethanol subsidies will be dropped? Those revenue killers will get in the way of saving Medicare and Social Security from the Republican axe. The Repbulican "starve the beast" strategy will have worked - and this deal further implements it.

Posted by: Poster3 | December 14, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

@illogicbuster:

Thanks for the Clarification. Most of us will still think of China and Russia in somewhat outdated views, but even before the Iron Curtain Fell, there was *some* capitalism of small sorts in Mother Russia, as well. The capitalist idea only needs two people willing to trade something of value that they both control. Money makes it easier, but capitalism, in its *purest* form, will *never* go away!

The "Official" form of Government in China is still Communism, but your experience is greater than mine in that area, and I have to think you are right, based upon what I am seeing Finacial Advisors saying...

Again, thanks!

;'{P~~~

Posted by: Clearbrook | December 14, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Frankly, why wouldn't everyone want to live in a nation that was exceptional????
----------------------------------------------
That was my question. Apparently, the Chinese don't care about that.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | December 14, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

"I just think that we're dealing with an entrenched corporatist class within the Dem Caucus and that has effectively tied the President's hands one way or another."

Ethan: I hate to keep going over this but Obama is the President. He can veto any legislation he doesn't like. Had he declared his intention to veto the Bush Tax Cuts what would have happened? I don't know for sure. But I suspect there would have been a UI extension which is about all Obama got from the deal anyway. Do I think it would have been a catastrophe if all the Bush tax cuts expired? Absolutely not. But Obama certainly could have insisted on legislation extending the cuts for all but the rich and then dated the GOP to vote no. But that would have meant standing up to the GOP not Liberal Democrats. When Obama takes on the Conservatives and the Republicans on something significant that will mean something. Kicking Liberals is just bullying b/c everyone knows Liberals are helpless. They just happen to be correct is all.

And don't even get me started on the estate tax. BTW: Those who profess weakness as Obama's excuse for lame policies should at least recognize that with this tax bill, Obama has done exactly what everyone says he is powerless to do: he crafted legislation and insisted the Dems vote for it. The only difference is that -- once again -- it is Liberalism that gets sold out and GOP core beliefs that are honored.

I know you are a TrueBlue Democrat but this horrid deal is only good for Obama himself (short-term), not for the Democratic Party and definitely not for the country.

Posted by: wbgonne | December 14, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

mikefromArlington,

Sure, its old, but the one that got me looking at it

http://news.bostonherald.com/news/columnists/view/20101207its_time_to_put_up_or_shut_up_senator_kerry/

was from today. The other article was more of an explantion of the whys and is still quite valid. But at least you looked at it, and thanks for pointing stuff out like that!

;'{P~~~

Posted by: Clearbrook | December 14, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

"Together, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce with the GOP writing legislation for them, will continue this downward spiral until there is violence in the streets."

You are deluding yourself if you think the Democratic Party is one bit different.

Posted by: wbgonne | December 14, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Correction: A week ago today...

Posted by: Clearbrook | December 14, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

"Those who profess weakness as Obama's excuse for lame policies should at least recognize that with this tax bill"

I agree. It has nothing to do with "weakness" (I agree that is a total cop-out) and everything to do with vote counting.

Also, you may disagree but I would NOT want the tax cut package to completely expire because Obama was busy fighting for Liberal ideas. A wise and brave young man once said: "He who fights and runs away lives to fight another day." Another: "You've got to know when to hold em, know when to fold em, know when to walk away, and when to run." You've GOT to pick your battles or you get NOTHING in the end.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | December 14, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

All, time to up the pressure on Harry Reid on DADT again:

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

Posted by: Greg Sargent | December 14, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

The problem is not extending the tax cuts for people who make $250K+ it's the folks who make 100s of millions. The debate should change from tax cuts to the top 2% to tax increaes for the top 1/2%. Also the dramatic reduction in Estate Tax is another loophole for extreme wealth.

http://policychange.org/2010/policies/economic-policy/extension-of-the-bush-tax-cuts/

Posted by: donttweetblog | December 14, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Clearbrook: "The "Official" form of Government in China is still Communism," ---------------------------------------
Yes, quite correct. They won't drop that appellation for a LONG time. To do so is to publicly admit (to their own people) that the econ system of communism/socialism is a failed econ theory and that the mass murder of ten of millions of countrymen was for naught. THAT would cause a revolution and sweep the current gov from power.

Posted by: illogicbuster | December 14, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

WHA HAPPEN'!

It feels like I am just coming to after a knockout punch. My head is spinning! The thought process has gone kaput. The neurons are misfiring!

Just yesterday (figuratively) Obama and democrats were saying no tax cuts to the rich. That would be bad. They said tax cuts only for $250K and lower. They said rich don't need more money. They said rich do not invest the money back in the economy.

How did all of this turn into "A Good Deal for America!"

HOW? WHA HAPPEN'!

Posted by: kishorgala | December 14, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

"I agree. It has nothing to do with "weakness" (I agree that is a total cop-out) and everything to do with vote counting."

Good god, man. That is what "weakness" means in this context: the inability to move votes.

Let me ask you this: What will you say if Obama's EPA abandons or eviscerates the emissions-regulating power the court now says it has? I predict right now that that is what is going to happen. If it does, what will you say?

Posted by: wbgonne | December 14, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Here you go, Mike:

"The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which represents more than 3 million businesses and is located just steps from the White House, is cheering the administration's recent course. "I think he [Obama] has done the right thing to reach out to people in both parties," Chamber of Commerce CEO Tom Donohue said last week during a television interview with FOX News. The Chamber invested heavily in GOP candidates during the run-up to the midterm elections, but has been effusive in its praise of the tax compromise. And the free trade agreement announced by the administration drew this response from the Chamber: "The administration has done its part. Now it's time for the new Congress to make passage ... a top priority in January. We will do everything in our power to round up the votes," Donohue said in statement released after the agreement was announced. In another sign of a thaw, Obama is considering attending a jobs summit hosted by the Chamber, which is expected to take place in early January."

http://money.cnn.com/2010/12/14/news/economy/Obama_CEO_Summit/?cnn=yes

Posted by: wbgonne | December 14, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

I guess giving the tax breaks to the poor rich folks is "consensual" by Obama and Democrats. Therefore it is not "Raping of America." Rather it is an Combined Orgy by the two branches of the Government.

Posted by: kishorgala | December 14, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

All House members who vote for this Social Security time bomb will be primaried in two years and many will lose that fight.

Disemboweling the most common (Heaven help us) retirement program in the US is not going to play well with the middle class. Fools who blindly run into this GOP trap will pay the penalty later, no question.

Posted by: JC505 | December 14, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Another whining Liberal who can't appreciate how wonderful Obama is:

"The captains of industry, fresh off looting America, are hurt that anyone might have said mean things about them! And while Obama should be leading the pitchfork and torch brigades, he's groveling at their feet instead.

It should be the other way around. Corporate America should be praising Obama to the high heavens and kissing his feet for protecting them from the mob, bailing their asses out, and refusing to get serious about reforming, taxing, and regulating Wall Street and other such industries.

Yet like his lame apologies to the GOP for not reaching out enough, Obama is now trying to "mend fences" with the people who have destroyed America, and will soon gear up to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to defeat him and other Democrats in 2012. Instead of rallying populist sentiment, he's doing everything he can to jump in bed with these hated corporatists."

http://www.dailykos.com/

Didn't get his pony, I'll bet.

Posted by: wbgonne | December 14, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

.
.
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"""""""""""""" Immediately Stop Americans Job Outsourcing """""""""""


If Mr Obama Promise that Immediately Will Agree to Stops American Jobs OutSourcing Legislation to Include in Congress Vote


""""""""""" Congress Immediately Will Pass Tax Cut """""""""""""

""""""""""" Congress Immediately Will Pass Tax Cut """""""""""""


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Posted by: stop-outsourcers | December 14, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

"Good god, man. That is what 'weakness' means in this context: the inability to move votes."

I guess that's where we part ways. I don't think the President would have been able to move enough votes to pass a MC tax cut only. Maybe the operative word is "enough"... but I just don't see it happening regardless of how vigorously Obama defended MC-only cuts.

"What will you say if Obama's EPA abandons or eviscerates the emissions-regulating power the court now says it has? I predict right now that that is what is going to happen. If it does, what will you say?"

I will say that I am greatly disappointed, but I doubt that it will happen for a bunch of reasons, #1, and #2, Obama has already done a whole lot to combat GHG emissions (car/truck CAFE standards going into effect in January, cleantech funding in the stimulus, green building initiatives, etc etc etc). I just don't see it happening. The 112th Congress will attempt to deny EPA from the authority to make new regs, but they will fail.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | December 14, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

.
.
.
.
Republicans Bush Said Tax Cut Creates Jobs:
""""""""' For 10Years We Said Show us The Jobs """"""""""""""""
""""""""' For 10Years We Said Show us The Jobs """"""""""""""""

"""""""""""""""""""""""" Mr Obama after 2 years Wants To Create Jobs """"""""""


""""If Mr. President is Serious about Creating JOBS First Close Broken Pipe That Leaks American Jobs Offshore Now, """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" Senate Legislation S.1637 """"""""""" """"""""""" """

Mr President Are You Serous On JOBS??? """""""""" Yesterday, Today, Now, This Hour, This Minute, thIs Second and Tomorrow American Jobs Are Being Shipped Offshore and Tax Payers Pay for it """"""""""""""

First Thing First Mr. President """""" Senate Legislation S.1637 It Pays Tax Payers Money to All U.S Firms That SHip American Jobs Offshore Put Stop On It Now Could You ????????????????????????"""""""""""""""""""""""

Mr. President,if You Are Serous Immediately Repeal """"""""" Repeal ( Money Give Away For Send Jobs Offshore Senate Legislation S.1637) Give Exact the Same Money to American Firms That Create JobS Here U.S.A """"""""""""""

Let See After 2 Years Mr President Will Fix this Brocken pipe and Close this Brocken Pipe that Leaks American Jobs Offshore ???????????????????????????????????????
.We bet Mr President will not Let to Come up In the Media

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Posted by: stop-outsourcers | December 14, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

My goodness, the tearing of hair and gnashing of teeth by the American left carries on unabated. There is a word for this singlular, obsessive desire for other people's money: greed.

the presistent attempts to mischaracterize this issue is also diagnostic. No one's taxes are being cut. Further, no cost of this deal to the treasury arises from the fact that tax rates remain unchanged for two more years. both of these micharacterizations are quite simply lies.

there is no doubt that the entitlement mess we face must be addressed. That the left missed a chance to pillage America's most dynamic and succesful people has no bearing on that sad fact.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | December 14, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

TO: wbgonne who wrote:
“Good lord. It's a done deal unless the GOP says no and they aren't that stupid. They know they are about to win the war. Not the battle, the war. It's O-V-A over. The GOP has conquered the Democrats. Nothing happens unless the GOP permits it. Repeat for 2 years then hope for the best.”

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Obviously you’ve forgotten what happened last time Republicans were in charge, or are you living off of your imagination.

Nothing happens without the President’s signature.


Posted by: lindalovejones | December 14, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

If the house dems mess this up, they will have created the LARGEST TAX INCREASE IN THE HISTORY of the USA. This is NOT a tax cut! No ones tax is cut. This would be a TAX INCREASE if the bill does not pass.

The TAX INCREASE would hurt the MIDDLE AND LOWER CLASSES the most!

If the bill does not pass now, it WILL PASS in JANUARY 2011. Next month it will not have the unemployment extention or the things Obama bargained for.

The bill will pass and Obama will sign it in January because Obama can not have the LARGEST TAX INCREASE IN HISTORY on his record!

The progressive/liberal/marxists in the house may just be stupid enough not to pass the bill. They do not care about our taxes increasing. They only care about the power they have over us. Well, that power decreases immensely in 3 weeks! Thank, Heavens!

Posted by: annnort | December 14, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse


TO: skipsailing28 who wrote:
“…obsessive desire for other people's money: greed… No one's taxes are being cut… the entitlement mess we face must be addressed…”

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Oh you must be one of those that’s been in a coma for the last 10 years, you have no memory, and rely totally on “lie and deny” political demagoguery.

No tax cuts? Why do they call them “The Bush Tax Cuts”?

Other people’s money? How do you suppose the Republican warmongers who made millions buying stocks in military equipment on the stock market, are going to pay back all the money they borrowed from China and spent on The Lie Called The War In Iraq?

As for Social Security, that’s not the government’s money, that’s OUR money the government took from MY paychecks all my working life and that is in Trust with the U.S. Government that greedy Republicans keep borrowing from, and then they scheme on how to not have to pay us our money back.

Rich people aren’t funding this country, they’re getting a free ride. We middle class tax payers are stuck with all the bills, so when we come across a nut case who doesn’t know what the freak they’re talking about, we like to pause for a moment and remind you of the facts.


Posted by: lindalovejones | December 14, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

I have a big problem with the gov't borrowing money, handing it out to people and then declaring "success" when the people take the money and spend it. NO such policy can be considered "successful" UNTIL the progress made can be SHOWN to be permanent AND the borrowed money is paid back (or there is at least a REALISTIC plan for doing so).

Please think about this. Imagine that I am in terrible debt to the point I can't even pay my mortgage. Somehow I manage to find someone dumb enough to lend me even more money so I take that money and use it to pay my mortgage. Is THAT "success"? Did I solve my problem? OF COURSE NOT. All I've done paper over the problem and push back the crisis and that ONLY at the cost of making the inevitable crisis that much worse. That, however, is basically what our government has been doing for DECADES now.

I am not exactly a "right-winger" but I do tend to line up more with the "conservatives" on economic and fiscal issues. I cannot, however, support this tax-plan. I don't see all that much difference between borrowing money and directly passing out to people in the name of "stimulus" and borrowing money so that we can avoid paying our own bills with our own money (again). I don't see any good evidence that this will actually spur investment. Irresponsibility is irresponsibility and we MUST start living within our means!

We did this to OURSELVES. No one did it to us. We are the ones who voted year after year for liars that told us we could do this, have that and fight them without ever having to pay for it. Now we have $14 trillion in pain waiting for us. The fact is that we've dug ourselves into a deep hole and WE (not our child and grand-children) are responsible for climbing out. The longer we ignore this problem, the harder the sacrifices that will be needed to fix it.

Posted by: andrew23boyle | December 14, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Conservatives want the LARGEST TAX INCREASE IN HISTORY if the bill does or does not pass now or in 2011 it will be the LARGEST TAX INCREASE IN HISTORY Republican LARGEST TAX INCREASE IN HISTORY Obama not responsible for the LARGEST TAX INCREASE IN HISTORY.

See? I can play Word Salad too!

Posted by: Ethan2010 | December 14, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

"The fact is that we've dug ourselves into a deep hole and WE (not our child and grand-children) are responsible for climbing out. The longer we ignore this problem, the harder the sacrifices that will be needed to fix it."

Speak for yourself, Buster Brown, nobody I ever voted for supported Bush's wars, the irresponsible tax cuts of 2001 and 2003, nor the egregious corporate welfare we've seen over the last decade.

All you have to do to right the wrong is vote for Democrats. It's really that obvious and that simple.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | December 14, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

"As for Social Security, that’s not the government’s money, that’s OUR money the government took from MY paychecks all my working life and that is in Trust with the U.S. Government that greedy Republicans keep borrowing from, and then they scheme on how to not have to pay us our money back."

Hate to break it to you, but you don't have an account with social security that is building a balance on your contributions. In Flemming v. Nestor (1960) the Supreme Court ruled that "entitlement to Social Security benefits is not a contractual right."

Congress can change the program at any time. They could cancel it tomorrow and you wouldn't be entitled to one dime.
And there's nothing in that Trust fund but a bunch of IOUs from the Treasury.

Posted by: NoVAHockey | December 14, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

"The overwhelming support for the tax deal -- even among Senate liberals....."
======================================
Does this mean we are screwed!

Looks like the MO these days is if you can't fight them, JOIN THEM!

Posted by: kishorgala | December 14, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

The governance model the Forefathers came up with no longer works in the 21st century. Cheney found a way around it. Obama is struggling with it. To avoid a question about Constitutionality, I propose a new model:

1) President makes up the decision with the opposing party.

2) President presents the proposal to Senate for an appearance of propriety.

3) Dissolve the House. And the Judiciary.

Posted by: kishorgala | December 14, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

As several writers have mentioned this bill endangers the future of Social Security. House Democrats should propose alternatives to the payroll tax holiday because that is a time bomb.
In 2012 Republicans will argue against its expiration on the grounds that it is a regressive tax, tax increases are always bad anyway, and an increase is especially inappropriate in times of economic downturn (very likely to still be so in 2012). Then when Social Security is being financed out of general revenues they will have stronger arguments for weakening it or even killing it in the long run.

Posted by: RandyMoor | December 14, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

They are behaving like 2 year olds GROW up

Posted by: mandinka2 | December 14, 2010 5:49 PM | Report abuse

They are behaving like 2 year olds GROW up

Posted by: mandinka2 | December 14, 2010 5:49 PM | Report abuse

First of all the current tax rates should be made permanent. CONGRESS NEEDS TO CURB THEIR SPENDING!!!!. What makes the Dems think that the government is entitled to 55% of a person's inheritance? They did not work for a dime of that money or property. If the inheritance is property, that property will be assessed by the government and then the assessment will be taxed at 55% if the democrats allows the taxes to increase as they wish. The best thing to do is have a flat tax so that everyone pays. For example: If you make $500 a week, you pay $50 in taxes if the tax rate is 10%. If you make $10, pay a $1. That's fair!!! I wish all of congress would be voted out. I know I will not vote for my senators or congressman in the next election. I have seen some of the dirtiest politics this year.

Posted by: Philco1 | December 14, 2010 5:59 PM | Report abuse

nothing like leading with insults to cement your bona fides as a debater Linda.

I repeat: no one's taxes will be cut by the deal Obama struck with the Republicans. To say otherwise is to simply lie.

The baited hook about Iraq was very amusing. It seems you'd rather talk about anything other than the lust you feel for the money other people earned. Isn't there something in the decalogue about coveting Ms Jones? Why I'm almost certain that there is.

Your view of social security is simplistic at best. If you had to survive just on how much you actually paid in, we wouldn't be in the mess we're in. the simple fact is sustaining your retirement income via social security requires the taxation of current workers. You didn't put enough in to cover what the government promised you. It is that simple. As the work force ages, the ratio of workers to retirees becomes unmanageable. We simply can't sustain it. I thought liberalism was all about sustainability. Aren't you?

and if you really think that rich people aren't funding this country then I must conclude that you have only the vaguest aquaintance with actual fact. Take a look at the most recent IRS data. You will see that the top 5 of taxpayers pay 58.7% of the income tax.

You are just plain wrong. Where you got this notion that the rich are getting a free ride is unknown to me. But it is a lie that the left repeats often. It is part of their big lie strategy. It is right up there with global warming is caused by man as a myth being used as a weapon.

the problem for the left now is that facts are readily available and so the lies have to be more clever.

Good luck keeping up with that.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | December 14, 2010 6:03 PM | Report abuse

"CONGRESS NEEDS TO CURB THEIR SPENDING!!!!."

NO THEY DON'T!!!!.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | December 14, 2010 6:17 PM | Report abuse

"The best thing to do is have a flat tax so that everyone pays. ... That's fair!!!"

So someone below the poverty line with 4 kids and 3 jobs pays the same tax rate as a multi-billionaire?

You apparently don't know the meaning of the word "fair".

Posted by: Ethan2010 | December 14, 2010 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Their last hurrah is a ...............whine.

Posted by: wxyz6200 | December 14, 2010 9:44 PM | Report abuse

Tax-Cut Compromise Conundrum
The BAD:
• Tax Cuts for Rich: probably permanent.
• Estate Tax: WAY more than necessary.
• Public Funding of SS: BAD PRECEDENT!

QUESTION: How can you possibly make this bill better, yet still not lose all the Republicans?

The SOLUTION:
• Insist that your vote will require that the REAL long-term unemployed be included, by demanding 26 weeks of coverage in a 5th Tier for the millions who have exhausted their benefits, AKA: the 99ers!

THINK ABOUT IT:
• Republicans CAN’T complain about deficit-busting, when it’s THE RICH that are making out like bandits.
• Republicans will do almost anything to get the tax cuts extended 2 more years, + the cherry on-top of the Estate Tax giveaway.
• Republicans will never help the 99ers after January 3rd – SO, THIS IS THE LAST, BEST CHANCE TO ACTUALLY HELP THE 99ERS.
• These changes will probably lose some Republican votes, but we’d gain more Democratic votes = EASIER TO PASS!
The BONUS:
• Some Tea Party Wackos are sure to revolt; but this will surely backfire on them, as they will not be able to reap any of the rewards from all the people that are helped in this massive bill. Neither the rich, middle-class, nor unemployed will be attracted by their arguments (and by including the help for the 99ers; you will firmly pull 4-6 MILLION of them back to the Democratic fold = no strays to the Tea Party or GOP: GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY!).

Posted by: RenoKeith | December 14, 2010 10:41 PM | Report abuse

Talk about nonsense. They wanted stimulus, and that's what they got. Of course, it's stupid, and anyone in their right mind would have told Obama to fold his proposal 5 ways and put it where the moon don't shine. Extending unemployment is one thing. Reducing employee contributions to the Social Security "trust fund" is nuts. This is particularly true because it is already a ponzi scheme. Typically, declining revenue collections precipitate the death of ponzi schemes. Maybe if Obama could get some advice from Bernie Madoff on this matter he could arrange a pardo for him.

Posted by: buggerianpaisley1 | December 15, 2010 1:17 AM | Report abuse


Over the life of a 30 year loan, a $300 per month decrease would equal over $100K in savings. Search the web for "123 Mortgage Refinance" website they helped me find 3.118% rate easily. Strongly recommend them for anyone.

Posted by: terellwilson | December 15, 2010 4:56 AM | Report abuse

skipsailing28: "I wonder who on the Democrat side is the angriest. Perhaps it is the boys and girls who got whacked in the last election after backing the ultra liberal agenda advanced by Obama and Pelosi"

Skip, before posting this yet again you really should come up with some facts to back up your assertion that there has been some "ultra liberal agenda" going on.

Is it health care reform? You know, that reform that was more conservative than what Nixon and Clinton proposed, modeled on what ultra-liberal Republicans offered in the 1990s, where single payer wasn't even on the table, the public option was dropped, and the result was endorsed by those ultra-liberals Bob Dole and Bill Frist among other former Republican representatives?

Is it about cap and trade, which never made it into law and in any case was supported by that ultra-liberal John McCain during his presidential campaign?

Is it allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire at least for the wealthy, which would return them to the levels we had during the years of the ultra-liberal Clinton administration?

Is it about the bank bailout, which was instituted by the ultra-liberal Bush and supported by those ultra-liberals Mitch McConnell and John Boehner?

Is it the stimulus, which was of moderate size, apparently a one-time expense, and most of which was tax cuts and aid to the states?

Painting these policies as "ultra liberal" should be laughable and destroy any vestiges of credibility of those asserting it--except that so many of them have gotten away with it without being challenged.

Posted by: dasimon | December 16, 2010 12:11 AM | Report abuse

"I oppose borrowing nearly $1 trillion over the next two years when we will pay $438 billion in interest on the national debt this year alone", REP. PETE VISCLOSKY claims.

The estate tax, first enacted in 1916, was never intended to be simply a device for raising revenue. Rather, it was meant to address the phenomenon of a small number of Americans controlling large amounts of the country’s wealth — which was considered a national problem.

I think we all know that the advanced countries are marked by the strong base of middle class, which ensures persistent economic vitality.
But Americans seem little inclined to resist wealth concentration. Efforts to impose taxes geared to the wealthy are lambasted as promoting class warfare.

Reacting to Republican opposition United for a Fair Economy, a nonpartisan, non-profit organization, issued the following statement:

"In the last decade, we've seen a massive transfer of wealth from the middle class to the rich, and tax policy has been a big driver of that," said Mike Lapham, director of UFE's Responsible Wealth project. "Extending the Bush tax cuts would give the average millionaire over $100,000 per year. Extending those tax cuts will do nothing to create jobs. Business owners make decisions about hiring based on demand, not based on their tax rate. By contrast, when middle class people get tax cuts, they spend it and that creates jobs. Republicans are blocking tax cuts for the real job creators – 98% of Americans, the vast middle class – in order to extend extra tax giveaways to the rich."

And added, "Republicans claim they are for fiscal responsibility, but they would like to repeal the estate tax, at a cost of $700 billion over 10 years. Republicans aren't concerned about growing wealth inequality, even though it hurts our country's economic growth and health, and is now the worst it's been since 1928. They opposed Sen. Baucus' bill, which sets the estate tax exemption at $7 million for a married couple, with a 45% rate on amounts above that. A stronger estate tax, with higher rates on billionaires, would do more to curb that wealth inequality and bring more broadly shared prosperity to all."

Posted by: hsr06011 | December 17, 2010 3:50 AM | Report abuse

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