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Posted at 12:52 PM ET, 12/17/2010

Krauthammer ♥ Obama

By E.J. Dionne

As someone who savors the ironies of life and politics, I have gotten a kick out of seeing my conservative colleague Charles Krauthammer emerge -- temporarily, no doubt -- as the Obama White House's favorite columnist. For two weeks running, he has argued how brilliant Obama's tax cut deal is, how he swindled Republicans in Congress, and how he has immensely strengthened his hand for the 2012 election.

"Holding no high cards," Krauthammer wrote today of the president, "he nonetheless managed to resurface suddenly not just as a player but as orchestrator, dealmaker and central actor in a high $1 trillion drama."

In fact, Krauthammer's analysis is very close to the administration's own, and there is considerable truth to it. Obama believed that the economy needed another stimulus, and while this one is flawed (the tax cuts for the rich and the outrageously low inheritance tax won't do a lot of good), it will give at least some boost to employment, and, with luck, maybe a decent boost. In monetary terms, Obama got more stuff that he liked, including the extension in unemployment insurance, than he had to pay for in concessions the GOP wanted. If he hadn't made a deal now, with Democrats still in control of the House, any deal he got next year would likely have been worse from his point of view. And, in general, voters like to see presidents who get things done and can negotiate with the other party.

So why are liberals still unhappy? Part of it is just the way Obama negotiated -- liberals thought he signaled his capitulation to the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy way too early. They noted that the polling made clear that public agreed with the Democrats' resistance to extending tax cuts for the wealthy. This was a fight Democrats thought they could win. Part of is that House Democrats, who again and again and again did Obama's bidding at considerable cost to themselves, felt cut out of these discussions and disrespected. Part of it is that awful estate tax deal. And part of it is a suspicion that Obama so wanted to get the New START treaty approved in the Senate that he didn't care all that much about the tax negotiations or their impact on Democrats.

But the real question is: What are the traps here for Obama? I see six of them.

First, the huge increase in the deficit this deal creates will be hung around the president's neck as part of the larger "Obama deficit." It will create extraordinary pressure for cuts in programs that both Obama and congressional Democrats want to protect. And by failing to get a debt limit increase into this deal, Obama and congressional Democrats handed the Republicans a powerful tool for trying to force cuts that, again, Democrats won't like.

Second, the payroll tax cut is almost certain to be extended next year. Who can imagine politicians voting for a big middle-class tax increase going into an election? I don't think it's liberal blog paranoia to imagine that some conservatives hope that taxpayers get used to having that two percent of the payroll tax in their pockets and push to convert the tax cut into the basis for private accounts, forcing major cuts in social security. Ezra Klein hopes that, instead, this will create pressure for a more progressive way of financing social security. That would be nice. I'm just less sanguine about that than he is.

Third, the unemployment insurance extension expires long before the new round of Bush tax cuts do. Even if unemployment goes down, it will remain high. What leverage will Obama have to get another extension?

Fourth, now that this level of estate tax has been approved, what are the realistic chances of pushing it up? Maybe Obama can win this fight, but he will have to invest some real capital in it.

Fifth, will Obama and the Democrats be more skilled the next time around in dealing with the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy? The administration thinks that if the economy is substantially better, the atmosphere will be more conducive to letting the Bush high-end tax cuts expire. I hope they're right, but I wouldn't bet your payroll tax cut on it. Alternatively, Obama can try to shift the whole discussion to tax reform. That's more promising. But as Obama's own lieutenants know, revenue-neutral tax reform is hard enough. Tax reform designed to raise revenue is even harder.

Sixth, will the stimulus work as well as Obama hopes? How low can we realistically expect unemployment to get by midsummer 2012? This is not so much a trap as the biggest uncertainty in the deal.

So: if Charles is willing to give Obama credit for being brilliant, I am willing to give Republicans credit for being smart enough to strike a bargain that could yet redound to their benefit. I actually hope -- and, Charles, don't get accustomed to my saying this -- that Krauthammer is broadly right. But for things to turn out that way, Obama will have to prove as brilliant over the next two years as Charles thinks he's been in the last month.

By E.J. Dionne  | December 17, 2010; 12:52 PM ET
Categories:  Dionne  | Tags:  E.J. Dionne  
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Comments

Nobody ♥ EJ Dionne.


(Well, except Jesus, but he kinda' has to.)

Posted by: etpietro | December 17, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Oh Horse droppings the kraut is doing it so the GOP can lay the blame for this travesty of a bill directly on Obumbels shoulders leading up to 2012 when their are still no jobs and the economy is still tanking.

And the Idiots in the White House are eating it up like the groveling empty suits they all are.

Posted by: PennyWisetheClown | December 17, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

BHO is an adult in the middle of a room full of wretched rug rats. The traps you describe have already been caluclated and become part of the larger discussion. This nation needed a larger stimulus (ala Krugman)and, if I read my tea leaves correctly, by the time the unemployment extension ends, this nation should be well into the 2011-2012 recovery. No drama Obama will always be the smartest guy in the room. The scab pickers on the right and loons on the left need to get over their fit of pique and start participating in positive governence of this nation. We will have four more years of BHO as our president.

Posted by: Kuehn | December 17, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

No E.J. Dionne Jr, Charles Krauthammer doesn't love Obama. He recognizes his abilities, as well as his weaknesses.


But you may actually learn something from Charles Krauthammer E.J.

OBJECTIVITY

Which is something that you decidedly lack.

Posted by: FormerDemocrat | December 17, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

1. The Republicans have gamed the President and the country.
2. No new jobs of any worth will be created by this tax bill.
3. The jobs sent overseas will never return.
4. American workers will be competing with Chinese and Indian workers for jobs.
5. American workers will work for less, work longer hours and have no benefits.
6. Tax cuts for the rich will become permanent.
7. Social programs will be cut or privatized.
8. Too much will be spent on defense and wars of various kinds.
9. All the failed policies of the Bush 2 administration will continue or be revived.
10. Welcome to Haiti North.

Posted by: 85edwardearthlinknet | December 17, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

I'll vote for Palin before I vote for this puppet again. And to think I sent them campaign money.
I'm sure he can count on his GOP friends like Krauthammer to vote for him in 2012. And the Wall Street Banksters will undoubtley support him as well, right?
This guy has turned out to be the biggest phoney since.
May Satan take you Barack!!!!

Posted by: mudbone | December 17, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

I'll vote for Palin before I vote for this puppet again. And to think I sent them campaign money.
I'm sure he can count on his GOP friends like Krauthammer to vote for him in 2012. And the Wall Street Banksters will undoubtley support him as well, right?
This guy has turned out to be the biggest phoney since.
May Satan take you Barack!!!!

Posted by: mudbone | December 17, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Tax cuts for the rich "in this time of war" is not "stunning" as Doktor Kraut puts it - it's treason.

Posted by: areyousaying | December 17, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

All the trickle-down arguments in the world don't make failed supply-side economics. valid. The growing gap between the very wealthy and everyone else bodes poorly for the economic future of this nation. The greed-driven approach to taxation serves a very few selfish people at the expense of the long term needs of the country. Only the most cynical can press for continued tax cuts to the wealthiest. Obama did not just sell himself out- he sold out the American people. You can't negotiate with Republican terrorists.

Posted by: jeffl240 | December 17, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Krauthammer ♥ his taxes not going up.
Sounds like the Kraut had a cow, but I don’t know because I rarely read Kraut’s columns. (If you’ve heard one rant, you heard them all.)

Kraut probably has money in every category where taxes would have gone up.

As it has been said: "It would be easier to get a camel through an eye of a needle than it is to get a rich man into the Kingdom of Heaven."

Posted by: lindalovejones | December 17, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Being a left-wing Democrat let me say that the only thing many of us are angry with is Obama's decision to extend the war. I think, although we don't have any place to go now, it is two years for some anti-war politician to challenge him. We may not win but Obama will lose and we can just sit back and watch the hapless Republicans destroy the economy and by extension the country.

Posted by: chicagostanford | December 17, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

It's not that he <3s Obama, EJ. It's that he criticizes Obama when Obama deserves criticism, and he praises him when he deserves praise.

You, on the other hand, praise him no matter what he does, which makes even a crank like Krauthammer look decidedly reasonable when put up against your predictable, sorry ravings.

Posted by: charlesbakerharris | December 17, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

what House Democrats -- and progressive Democrats in general -- don't get is that President Obama does not cotton to theatrics and playing games. If something is not likely to pass, he doesn't waste time pretending that it will. He doesn't play-act that he can engage in a symbolic fight and miraculously things will change, the sky will open, a celestial choir will sing and the votes will come down like gentle rain.

He charts his course and sticks with a winning strategy. House Dems failed to see the writing on the wall over the public option -- which never had the votes in either chamber -- and on this tax deal. President Obama did, drew his line in the said and got exactly what he wanted out of the deal.

House Dems had a hissy fit, a slumber party last night that ended a bit early, and engaged in a symbolic pillow fight.

And by the war, President Obama didn't "extend' any war. They were raging in full when he took office. Combat troops are out of Iraq. After years of neglect, Afghanistan is finally back on a President's radar. 2014 is a ways out, but only because what was started in 2001 was never prosecuted correctly in the first place. We cannot be "anti-war" simply for the sake of being anti-war. As President Obama said in Oslo last year, war is never desirable, but to create peace we sometimes must engage in war. And were this country to be hit again on the scale of what happened on 9/11, many of the peace-niks would demand that we fight.

Posted by: jade_7243 | December 17, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse

FormerDemocrat
"But you may actually learn something from Charles Krauthammer E.J.

OBJECTIVITY"

You mean how to recognize when you don't have it? Because Krauthammer is about as far from objective as you can get. Not that I'm blaming him for it -- he's an opinion columnist, so he's not really expected to be objective.

Posted by: presto668 | December 17, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

I looked up from the book I was reading while lounging under an oak now that the temp got to 70 or so and heard a bird. That scene and sounds preceded and will survive Dionne and Krauthammer with their columns and new found "loves".

It took many years but I learned, as an adult - more senior than adult actually, that I can make out the status of this country's existence and constant internal and external fight for recognition as a pretty good representative democracy, all things considered, without Dionne's or Krauthammer's translations and interpretations. I highly recommend that.

Posted by: myonecent | December 17, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

It's the OLD ONE EYE!!!
Worst thing since Clarence Thomas!!

Posted by: mudbone | December 17, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

We will have four more years of BHO as our president.
Posted by: Kuehn | December 17, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

____________________________

I think you meant six more years,,no?
Look pal,,,the NEOCONS will decide in 2012 if the Black Puppet can fit their agenda or if they need a full blown sociopath. As for the USA,,it's just a bunch of walking Earpone-Zombies at this point in time. This place fits the discription of a zoo more than the discription of a country!!

Posted by: mudbone | December 17, 2010 5:04 PM | Report abuse


I heard McConnell say today that passing the extended tax cuts bill benefits the GOP because when the new Congress convenes, taxes will be off the table and all the bills introduced for the next two years will be cuts in spending and paying down the deficit.

McConnell said Clinton used to haggle with the GOP because there were taxes in the bills and he would use them as leverage. Obama won't have any leverage with the tax issues out the the way.

This could be a very interesting next two years. And hopefully our economy will finally be able to recover.


Posted by: janet8 | December 17, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Ah yes, Dionne, raging about those taxes that are so "outrageously low." That's why we heart you too, you big lug. NOT.

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

What kind of whine do you prefer, turkey?

Posted by: michaelhunt277 | December 17, 2010 6:31 PM | Report abuse

BS - it's a setup from the word "go."

This is a bad piece of legislation -
tax cuts with our current deficits and 2 wars???!? Hello??

When you are heavily in debt- with tons of bills and expenses- do you reduce your income and take out a loan???

Stupid stupid stupid.

They'll pin this (deficit fallout) on Obama 18 months from now.

Posted by: daveque | December 17, 2010 6:45 PM | Report abuse

You actually believe that we are getting back on a track that can improve employment and our Wall-Street raped economy?

Check THIS Current inexcusable, totally IMMORAL Action!

"Today SEIU has released a new report, Big Banks Bonus Bonanza .

From the report:
Despite unleashing havoc on the global economy, Wall Street is once again getting ready to pay astronomical bonuses this year. The nation's six largest banks alone are on track to pay their bankers a staggering $143 billion in bonuses, benefits and compensation ("bonus and compensation"), more than enough to fill the $130 billion2 total budget gap for all 50 states in FY 2011. If Wall Street pumped this money directly into the economy instead of paying it to its bankers, it could create 3.6 million new jobs, and lower the unemployment rate by 2.3 percent. Bank of America tops the list, with $35 billion in bonuses and compensation set aside for its bankers.


P.S. You should look at their tax breaks in the report . . . Wonder how much their kids will inherit, with $143,000,000,000 bonuses EACH YEAR? Be sure to eliminate the Estate Tax .....Although these are the bums are the main beneficiaries.

READ THAT FACT AGAIN --- The Bonuses would pay for the TOTAL BUDGET GAP FOR ALL (count them). ALL 50 STATES IN FISCAL 2011 !!!

WHY CAN'T WE STOP WALL STREET'S OBVIOUSLY IMMORAL ROBBERY ?????

How about a NEW Political Party? We might call it, "The FDR Party" ?

Posted by: lufrank1 | December 17, 2010 7:13 PM | Report abuse

This is a song about taxes
T.A.X.E.S.
Sales, income, property
What are the rest?

Before we sing about taxes
What's the difference in a tax and a fee
I guess it does not really matter
When it is Government and your money

They want to tax your car
Want to tax your gas
Want to tax your utilities
Phone, internet, cable and electricity

They want to tax you when you come
Want to tax you when you go
Want to tax you when the sun's shining
Raining or in the snow

This is a song about taxes
City, county, state
And the federal government with a changing rate

They want to tax your drivers license
Want to tax your license plate
Want to tax your airline ticket at every airport gate

They want to tax you when you hunt
Want to tax you when you fish
They want to tax you anyway they can
Ain't that a _itch
Taxing situation
What would the Founding Fathers say

Your in a taxing situation
Have another tea party

They want to tax the cigarettes
Want to tax the booze
Even want to tax my water and food

This is a song about taxes
Impuestos in Espanol
Sabes mi amigo
Demasiado

They want to tax your house
Want to tax your land
Even want to tax your building plans

they've got
import, export, excise
inheritance, luxury
its all about
revenue
from people like you and me.


This is song about taxes
What would the Founding Fathers say
Your in a taxing situation
Have another tea party

This is a song about taxes
Just what do you get?
More over-dressed, over-paid
Bueruacrats

This is a song about taxes
Just what do you get?
More police officers
To write you more tickets

This is a song about taxes
Just what do you get?
I'll tell you one that you don't
Guareenteed health benefits

This is a song about taxes
Just what do you get?
If you do not pay them on time
Your going to get interest

They want to tax you when you travel
Hotel, motel tax
They want to tax on a toll road
And to park in a parking ramp

This is a song about taxes
Going to be a part two song
Send your comments to
Songabouttaxes.com

This is a song about taxes
And they even want to tax my dog.

Posted by: OutOfState | December 17, 2010 7:18 PM | Report abuse

Thank God the Republicans are debating the New Start Treaty. It is the wrong treaty at the wrong time, for the wrong reasons.

Posted by: michaelyjohnson | December 17, 2010 8:17 PM | Report abuse

Poor E.J...all alone with his fellow liberals, for The One has forsaken their feckless whining and moved toward the Center. "Self preservation" is a concept totally alien to our self-described progressive friends, safely perched on their soap boxes directing traffic below ("You give your money to him, you give your money to them...").

Merry Christmas--I mean, Happy Non-Denominational Diverse Holidays, E.J.!

Posted by: jd5024 | December 17, 2010 8:32 PM | Report abuse

I may have voted for him in the last election but thank goodness I didn't send him any money.

Next election I won't be voting for him again and he won't have to worry about getting any of my money either.

Posted by: buzzsaw1 | December 17, 2010 8:58 PM | Report abuse

Since day 1 in the White House Obama has behaved like a Republican president in every way except in name. Whether this transition will prove to be a wise political move remains to be seen.

Obama has, with Pelosi's help, clearly abandoned his liberal base in favor of, for example, a costly health insurance program that has since seen health care costs skyrocket, and financial reforms designed to curtail too-big-to-fail corporations but, instead, have just made such corporations bigger and more profitable at the expense of taxpayers and the consumer.

Big business is, of course, supportive but is still investing in, and sending jobs to, emerging markets overseas while stateside industry continues to be saddled with overcapacity and middle income wage earners are saddled with high levels of unemployment.

Posted by: billeisen1 | December 18, 2010 1:11 AM | Report abuse

E.J. never tires of being on his knees to worship the Usurper in Chief. What will you do EJ when Obama is ultimately convicted of treason and fraud ?

Posted by: JUNGLEJIM123 | December 18, 2010 7:05 AM | Report abuse

One of the responder accused the Kraut of being objective, that's like saying Fox News is fair and objective.
The passing of this bill does give republicans all the potential that Mr. Dionne ascribes, but also gives one opportunity to fix the social security funding. And that is to maintain the present tax cut but extend it to all earnings. That's the arguement by the right on the extension of Bush tax cuts, they want the same for everyone. So lets go for it next year.

Posted by: tplocki | December 18, 2010 8:20 AM | Report abuse

One of the responder accused the Kraut of being objective, that's like saying Fox News is fair and balanced.
The passing of this bill does give republicans all the potential that Mr. Dionne ascribes, but also gives one opportunity to fix the social security funding. And that is to maintain the present tax cut but extend it to all earnings. That's the arguement by the right on the extension of Bush tax cuts, they want the same for everyone. So lets go for it next year.

Posted by: tplocki | December 18, 2010 8:21 AM | Report abuse

The combination of greed sadism and panic to the truth is proving lethal to the US and the world. Instead of helping a President who is committed to change the course of action dictated by oldfashion 'i prefer to hide' conspirators we roadblock him siding with our oppressors. BIngo! how dumb we can still get?

Posted by: manittou | December 18, 2010 8:47 AM | Report abuse

One has to wonder how long it will take Krauthammer to be pressured into another column walking back and explaining his column proclaiming Obama the Comeback Kid. The Tea Party right considers such rhertoric coming from their side heresy and a direct violation of their purity doctrine one of the precepts of which is that thou shalt not say anything kind about the evil one Barack Hussein Obama.

Posted by: jaxas70 | December 18, 2010 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Wait a second! As a member of the so-called "wealthy" (small business owner), nobody is GIVING me anything. I'm paying a 35% tax rate and keeping the 65% that I earned through my own blood, sweat, and tears--no freebies, no bailouts. The idea that the government is "giving" me 4% of what I earn in this tax deal is preposterous and the reason our economy is in the sorry-azz state it is. It's my money, I earned it through my own hard work, and nobody in congress should feel they have a right to it, that it's somehow their backup coffer to fund whatever wacko spending scheme they come up with.

And another year of unemployment benefits? Really? How about extending Medicaid to those unemployed for a year so they can work lower-paying jobs without risking their homes and assets and families' health? They're not lazy, it's just another dumb catch-22 that government brilliantly created: Don't work, keep collecting unemployment, and we'll cover your health care. But work lower-paying jobs that don't provide health care and we'll cut you off completely. Dumb, dumb, dumb. Whose in charge?

Posted by: casey0272 | December 18, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

"and the reason our economy is in the sorry-azz state it is. It's my money,"

==

Anyone who uses the phrase "my money" in a public policy discussion deserves to be stripped to the waist and horsewhipped.

It's not "your money," chump, it's the dues you pay to belong.

You're able to make "your money" running your "small business" because you can hire people who know which end of the soldering iron to hold and if you're lucky they can read a paragraph or get their instructions from a computer. They can get to your small business and whatever rubbish you con people into buying can be shipped to market because there are roads. Your wage-slaves have a better than even chance of being alive tomorrow morning to come to work and aggrandize your wealth because there are police and fire departments. And the gas in their tanks is relatively cheap because we have troops and fleets in the Middle East keeping the stuff coming.

All this costs money, and those taxes you whine and grouse about are your part in keeping it all working, you small-minded conservative fool.

Posted by: caothien9 | December 18, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

LOL.....Charlie K is toying with the Democrats. He is leading them on, and EJD is just too partisan to see it.

Obama HAD TO agree to extend the current tax rates - he had no choice.

The Republicans HAD TO swallow their objections to the few extras because they probably would have had to do he same or worse if this tax situation wasn't resolved until next year, since they were in a similar boat with Obama. Neither side could politically afford a return to the higher tax rates, no matter who would have been at fault.

Obama is still in way over his head. Could be so is Boehner and McConnell. We know Harry Reid is hardly able to keep his head above water. And it will be great to see Pelosi off the stage.

Posted by: Hazmat77 | December 18, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

areyousaying .......there are NO tax cuts as part of this legislation.

You'd know this if you'd stop reading the Daily Worker or Huffington Post as your primary sources.

Posted by: Hazmat77 | December 18, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

caothien9 ... sure it all costs money, but what about all the government sponsored waste (unnecessary earmarked projects?) and massive government intrusion into areass of life that are not the services that the majority of "We, the People" have demanded.

Just as an example, and assuming that you're more intelligent than Pelosi and the rest of the combined Congress, what provision of the Constitution auhorizes Congess to take money from the taxpayers to fund a radio and television network?

Posted by: Hazmat77 | December 18, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

jaxas70 ... you would make such a foolish comment.

Most Tea Partiers realize that Charlie is playin with the Demoids...

Posted by: Hazmat77 | December 18, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

"And another year of unemployment benefits? Really? How about extending Medicaid to those unemployed for a year so they can work lower-paying jobs without risking their homes and assets and families' health?"

That's a nice idea but the sad fact is those lower-paying jobs are also hard to get and are reluctant to hire anyone over the age of 35. The economy is in transition due to technological advances and globalization and extending unemployment benefits is a small price to pay for keeping up with those changes and is less wasteful than the federal money squandered on the military-industrial complex.

Posted by: dnahatch1 | December 18, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Because it is Christmas Time let us assume that the chess game is played by men of good will; that Obama as well as Ch. Krauthammer are concious-I think they are- aren´t playing with wooden pawns but with foot soldiers ignoring what is cooked at the head quaters.
Master player Paul Krugman said few weeks ago that Obama is going straight to a saducean trap, (CHEKMATE) few months before 2014 reelection.
Let us hope for the best. The pipelines are overpressed and pressure relief valves are urgent no to follow the disturbing way taken by Mark Madoff, now in God merciful hands.Hearts up..Sursum corda!

Posted by: justdiogo | December 18, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

What's not to like about this bill from a Republican perspective? It feeds right into Karl Rove and Grover Norquist's "Starve the beast" strategy.

Bush got the ball rolling on this with his tax cuts in early 2001 on a close "reconciliation vote". The two wars later in his term presented an opportunity to enrich defense contractors who support Republicans, while further depleting the US treasury.

Now Obama is "starving the beast" even more by agreeing to increased spending and tax cut extensions.

The day is coming when the interest rates will start to skyrocket, as they did in the early 80s, some very hard fiscal choices will have to be made.

Obama and the Dems are betting that these choices will tranlate into big tax increases for the wealthy, as they did in Teddy Roosevelt's day rather than to entitlements.

We'll see who is right.

Posted by: capmbillie | December 18, 2010 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Dear etpietro:

I do so ♥ EJ Dionne! So there.

Posted by: harrumph | December 18, 2010 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: caothien9 Anyone who uses the phrase "my money" in a public policy discussion deserves to be stripped to the waist and horsewhipped. It's not "your money," chump, it's the dues you pay to belong.You're able to make "your money" running your "small business" because you can hire people who know which end of the soldering iron to hold and if you're lucky they can read a paragraph or get their instructions from a computer. They can get to your small business and whatever rubbish you con people into buying can be shipped to market because there are roads. Your wage-slaves have a better than even chance of being alive tomorrow morning to come to work and aggrandize your wealth because there are police and fire departments. And the gas in their tanks is relatively cheap because we have troops and fleets in the Middle East keeping the stuff coming.All this costs money, and those taxes you whine and grouse about are your part in keeping it all working, you small-minded conservative fool.

EWWWW...TOUCHED A NERVE, DID I? YOUR SELF RIGHTEOUSNESS IS VERY UNATTRACTIVE, AS WELL AS YOUR READING COMPREHENSION SKILLS. NOWHERE IN MY COMMENT DID I STATE THAT I SHOULDN'T PAY ANY TAXES--ONLY A FAIR SHARE. BECAUSE I'M SUCCESSFUL DOESN'T GIVE ANYONE THE RIGHT TO DIG INTO MY POCKETS EVEN MORE SIMPLY BECAUSE I HAVE IT. BESIDES, 35% IS HIGH ENOUGH AND THE MORE I MAKE, THE MORE MONEY THE GOVERNMENT MAKES.

BUT IN ORDER FOR YOU TO UNDERSTAND, YOU'D HAVE TO SPEND A DAY THIS SUMMER WORKING WITH ME OUTDOORS IN 90 DEGREE HEAT WITH 90% HUMIDITY INSTEAD OF SITTING ON YOUR FAT AZZZ IN FRONT OF A COMPUTER DECIDING HOW EVERYBODY ELSE'S MONEY SHOULD BE SPENT.

Posted by: casey0272 | December 18, 2010 5:49 PM | Report abuse

So, EJ, you want to raise the "death tax" as it is obscenely low?

You truly are a Marxist/liberal/socialist goofball.

Posted by: churchill99 | December 19, 2010 2:32 AM | Report abuse

Mr. K's article reminded me of the coach of a superior team who "talks up" the inferior opponent prior to the shellacking. The debt ceiling extension will tell the tale of what new concessions the Administration has to give up "for the good of the American people." That is a huge bargaining chip for the GOP and Pres. Obama's negotiations on that issue will confirm or deny the contention he is a "comeback kid."

Posted by: bobwhite1 | December 19, 2010 6:34 AM | Report abuse

E J, you and a slew of your liberal compatriots make a fairly good salery writing your daily dribble. You folks cannot seem to get off this TAX THE RICH soapbox.

I have one suggestion, insofar as your salary and total income is significantly higher than the average American, you should lead by example of paying more in taxes. How about providing and example for the rest of the nation by donating all your income OVER the national average (about 48K/year) to the federal government.

In other word.PUT YOUR MONEY WHERE YOUR MOUTH IS!

Posted by: frankn1 | December 20, 2010 7:38 AM | Report abuse

Yonkers, New York
20 December 2010

Realistically, there is no way those Bush tax cuts to America's wealthiest 1 percent could be ended--ever!

If the Democrats could not "sunset" those Bush tax cuts to the rich now that they control both the Senate and the House, there is less of a chance for doing so next year when the House will be under the control of Republicans.

And lesser still when, after the elections of 2012, more likely than not Republicans will capture the White House and control both the Senate and the House. Those seismic shifts in population from the Northeast to the South bode ill for the Democrats.

Mariano Patalinjug

Posted by: MPatalinjug | December 20, 2010 7:41 AM | Report abuse

The lamebrains on the right don't get it. There once were and still are an extreme few intelligent, thoughtful conservatives who were patriots. Mr. Krauthammer is one of those; they are disgusted with what passes for Republicans these days and I suspect thier disgust also involves pain, unlike we Democrats, who just feel disgust. The President managed to do what was best for America, in spite of them, because collectively they are not too bright. Yeh, we could have done beter without them but reality is reality.

Posted by: withersb | December 20, 2010 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Oh, I SO disagree. Krauthammer is praising the president's efforts on this deal so when it craps all over us, he and the rest of the right can call it the "Obama tax cuts" and hence, the Obama deficit. The massive red ink Republicans and George W. Bush delivered will be transferred - lock, stock and barrel - to the Democrats' lap. Quite transparent really.

Posted by: CardFan | December 20, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Hazmat77, do you actually believe that the average tea party nitwit has the capacity to think that deeply about all of this? Trust me. They are going to crawl up Charlie's rectal orifice over this. These people don't care about politics or policy or what would actually happen if the government accepted their addled ideas. They just have this great big erection over the fact that the dude in the Oval Office just does not look like one of "us".

Posted by: jaxas70 | December 20, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

I know it's a surprise for you EJ but there are OpEd men and women that actually talk about issues irrespective of party line and/or spin.
EJ is the uber-shill in the land of shills.

Posted by: flyover22 | December 20, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

....and, Charles, don't get accustomed to my saying this -- that Krauthammer is broadly right.....

E.J. just might be the most dispicable race baiting writer at wapo. Well...maybe 3rd behind Eugene R.and J. Capehart who deal those cards weekly. Everything is viewed thru that prism. Everything.

Krauthammer is also having some fun at dems expense. Although, contrary to the aforementioned wapo columnists CK can be objective.

E.J. and the other libs don't have an objective bone in their bodies. MSNBC echo chambers.

p

Posted by: whypromote | December 20, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

@whypromote:

that's one of the more race-based and subjective comments I've seen today. Thanks for keeping irony alive and well. Peace.

Posted by: rgray | December 20, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Democrats love wars. Just take a look at LBJs (D) Vietnam War........58,000 dead Americans. H.Trumans (D) Korean War...........38,000 dead Americans. But hey whose counting!

Posted by: wxyz6200 | December 20, 2010 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Of course German Cabbage Hammer likes Obama - as do all conservatives. Who else have the moneychangers and corporatists been able to get to do all their bidding? He is accused of, and criticized for, being a leftist, socialist, and communist, but everyone in the Regressive Party knows that he is just the opposite, and they just say this to nudge him over to the right a little more.

Have anyone of the political opposition suggest, or just hint, that the prez is any of these things, or is leaning slightly leftward - even if not true - and his jumping to the right is a slam dunk. He only pauses to ask, "How high, and how far?"

Posted by: mungmung | December 20, 2010 8:21 PM | Report abuse

With respect to Krauthammer and other political pundits...it is your opinion what you analize and say...period. It is the American people that will have the final sayso as to President Obama and his credibility, and if he is up or down.

Not unlike the Washington political establishment...your inner circles of east-coast pundintry is not the American heartland. Your commentaries, the spins of cable news, and the workings of our Federal Government do not always represent the majority of the American people...despite your lack of trying to shape the news and the minds of the American people.

Posted by: adamscar | December 20, 2010 10:50 PM | Report abuse

Re:"that awful estate tax deal" You must be joking! Screwing more blood and taxes from the dead, one more time! Whats next? Is the government going to dictate what hymns to play at your funeral and who deserves to pay respect? If the intended heirs don't deserve it, then please justify who does? 35% is way too much to give the overspending feds who already taxed the hell out of what is left of well tended investment and saving. I was planning to retire early and do volunteer work with my inheritance, (shared among many sibblings.)The 35% eats too much of it, so now some deserving young person will have to wait another 5 or more years for my job, (10 if the death tax goes to 55%). Stupid government always screwing the poor, and the almost well off. Death tax is positively a cockup. Screws a lot of not gonna be rich heirs in order to screw a few REALLY rich dead folks. Stupid, philosophically corrupt, shortsighted and unfair, the only words that describe it.

Posted by: bgt_nm | December 21, 2010 7:00 PM | Report abuse

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