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Posted at 2:58 PM ET, 12/ 6/2010

Obama, Republicans' ominous deal on Bush tax cuts

By Stephen Stromberg

For weeks, observers have preemptively hailed the sort of deal the White House and congressional Republicans seem to be striking on extending the Bush tax cuts. Republicans, it seems, will acquiesce on maintaining enhanced federal unemployment benefits if Democrats extend all of the Bush tax cuts for two years. Expect a few satisfied sighs from Washington once the bargain is struck. Advocates of bipartisanship will express pleasure. Conservatives should be happy, since they clearly got the better end of the deal. Even liberals are saying this is a "bitter but significant victory."

But it's important to note that, as so often is that case with bipartisan deals in Washington, this one is of the easiest sort: It involves each side distributing hypothetical federal revenue in the way it prefers. Republicans get to keep their tax cuts. Democrats get to keep unemployment benefits for those who have been looking for work for up to 99 weeks. Both are probably going to be deficit-financed. It is the sort of logic that has driven just about every bipartisan initiative over the past decade. And just the sort of thinking the country cannot long afford.

In this case, each side has a ready justification: the weak economy. Democrats argue -- with reason -- that the long-term unemployed are victims of the worst downturn since the Great Depression and deserve continued assistance. These would-be workers, they continue, will spend what they get immediately, since they have no choice, generating needed economic stimulus. More dubiously, Republicans argue that it would be unwise to raise taxes on anyone, anywhere, right now.

But what happens when the demands of policy require pain? If Congress addresses long-term spending in coming years, which pretty much requires reform of Social Security, Medicare and taxes, ideological and/or political considerations will push each side to see the stakes as incalculable. Will a spirit of bipartisanship really develop when Congress is deciding what to cut, instead of simply how to allocate hypothetical money? Perhaps there's some reason for optimism. Eleven of 18 members of the president's debt commission voted for some painful spending and tax policies last week. But as far as compromises go, this one, lubricated with cash, is ominous in its resemblance to how Washington has approached dealmaking for so long.

By Stephen Stromberg  | December 6, 2010; 2:58 PM ET
Categories:  Stromberg  | Tags:  Stephen Stromberg  
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Comments

Such a 'deal' is the worse of all possible worlds: increase spending and decrease revenue!

The correct thing for Obama to do is to:

1. Demand an indefinite extension of UI benefits as long a the unemployment rate is above 7 or 7.5%

2. Demand that the bill passed last week by the House, on the tax rates, be enacted.

Let the Republicans then:

1. Explain why the economy collapsed with the tax rates they want to extend if they are so beneficial. For that matter, why don't they explain why net job growth during the 8 Bush years was lower than even than during Ford's 2 years;

2. Explain why a $700billion expense must not be paid for of but a $12 billion expense must.

Posted by: AMviennaVA | December 6, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Another of the many compromises that can only be spelt Lame Duck. For some the need to have a black president was obvious, but now it’s becoming obvious there is considerably less need to have this one for a second term. Obama seems obsessed with bi-partisanship with a group of right wing Republicans who think he is a Muslim, a communist or other things that lose definition in a fog of right wing thinking and buzz words, but certainly aren’t complimentary. I suspect that Obama has made his way in the world because he is a charming, very likeable fellow and he assumed he would charm the right wing of the Republican Party. He hasn’t and he won’t, but in the mean time he has alienated his core support. It should come as no surprise for voters to find that the person they voted for disappeared after being sworn in. In many ways Obama has taken this to new heights. The people who made it possible for him to overcome what seemed a certain Clinton victory did not do so to expand endless wars, to bail out the richest companies, including McDonalds, to endorse the Bush diminishment of civil liberty, to totally ignore the social issues that compromise our ability to be competitive in the global economy and most important to fail to understand the problems faced by our schools. To address the startling failure of education in this country will require a major commitment including a requirement that class size in k-6 needs to be reduced to 12. Obama has done nothing to address the problems in our criminal justice system that leave millions of young people sidelined for life and the fact that prison guards may be facing the wrong direction as, due to social conditions, much more needs to be done to prevent people from breaking into expensive prisons. In ’12 the most Obama can hope for is that the Republicans shoot themselves in the foot and nominate Christine O’Donnell or some such. See SF Chronicle article Obama and Progressives
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/contribute/sn/persona?User=saintpeterii&plckPersonaPage=BlogViewPost&plckUserId=saintpeterii&plckPostId=Blog%3asaintpeteriiPost%3ad02a80b8-9cac-42d0-ab98-3598235b2106&plckController=PersonaBlog&plckScript=personaScript&plckElementId=personaDest

Posted by: saintpeterii | December 6, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

And now, from Politico.com - "STRAIGHT TO THE BOSS: A White House official e-mails: "The President and Vice President will meet with a group of Democratic leaders this afternoon to discuss progress being made on the ongoing discussions on the middle class tax cuts and other key measures to support our economy."

Expected at the White House are Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Sen. Dick Durbin, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer. -- Carrie Budoff Brown"

The Democrats seem to be ticked. Haven't they been in the negotiations?

Posted by: kitchendragon50 | December 6, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Obama is a coward, and a Republican in disguise.

He should just let the GOP block tax cuts for the middle class, and benefits for the unemployed. They would NEVER win another election!

Posted by: thomasmc1957 | December 6, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

There is INVERSE statistical correlation between job creation and the Bush tax cuts. So why extend them?

This "bipartisan trade" is bad policy, bad economics, bad politics. It only demonstrates complete incompetence on the part of Obama and the Dems. They get nothing and give up $4 TRILLON in spending that doesn't create jobs.

The Republicans will cave on the unemployment - the red states are hurting, too.

Approving this deal will literally motivate people like me to write four figure checks and actively campaign on behalf of a strong primary challenger for Obama. If they thought people stayed home for the mid-terms, they've seen nothing yet.

Posted by: boscobobb | December 6, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse

I want to know why no one admits to the gorilla in the room, TWO WARS both of which were mismanaged, one of which was illegal and started on lies and deceit and both of which ran the deficit to new heights?

Then the Republicans want to do away with social security, medicare and unemployment while the programs help the same people that fight the wars for them.

The GOP and Tea Party people don't mind letting other people do their dirty work but don't want to show a little compassion and help these people through tough times and keep them out of the bread lines.

The GOP and Tea Partiers are not clueless to what the American people want or need but they don't care.

The GOP would rather see my father a WWII vet and my mother who raised 5 children DIE from hunger and lack of medical care then to show any kind of compassion.

Compassionate conservatism is as much a joke now as when Bush took office.

Bush gave us the tax cuts for the every wealthy and two wars and then those ridiculous and useless "tax rebates" that drove this country's finances right into the red zone but THEY continue to blame it on everyone else and have their constituents fleeced into believing that if Murdoch pays less taxes he and his friends will generate jobs for us.

The rich in this country couldn't care less if we all died of starvation in the streets and that's how the GOP and the Tea Party feel about our citizens as well!

You want to talk "Death Panels" keep an eye on the Conservative Supreme Court Judges and the Congress those are two death panels that will make 1950's Communist Russia seem almost benign.

The GOP/TP will do the best to keep American citizens DOWN and ignorant so they can trample on our constitutional rights.

Posted by: davidbronx | December 6, 2010 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Reality check:

How the senate wastes our money and blocks our governance:
http://rules.senate.gov/public/?a=Files.Serve&File_id=b4081dcd-2092-4964-8f77-cdb37c2c5420

Posted by: jetlone | December 6, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

I've been working for more than 30 years. I've paid into the unemployment system my whole life. There are few jobs and tremendous competition. Age discrimination doesn't help.

That is my money, those are my insurance payments.

I want my money back.

Posted by: marcos | December 6, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

AMviennaVA,

Well stated. I'd throw in START approval and now we're governing.

Posted by: boscobobb | December 6, 2010 5:12 PM | Report abuse

PayGo. Fine give the tax cuts away. But just as Senator Bunning said when in February he filibustered unemployment benefits, he was for them so long as they were paid for by lawmakers.
Joining him in the Senate were Cornyn, Kyl and Session in this sentiment. In the house his move was favored by many including Cantor. So that is fine, they just have to pay for them. Figure it out.
Paygo.

Posted by: stevepj | December 6, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Pyrrhic victory, blah. We need a true leader to run in 2012.

Posted by: Irreverent_inDC | December 6, 2010 5:36 PM | Report abuse

So much for the U.S. Public Debt. I'm doubtful that this move will increase demand for goods & services, if it does not, we've added more to the long-term debt, while not doing a thing in the short term to help put people back to work.

Posted by: Evan.Rosenberg@Gmail.Com | December 6, 2010 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Obama has no reason to cave to this extortion, yet he does so willingly. Who's side is Obama really on?

Posted by: Whys | December 6, 2010 5:42 PM | Report abuse

I no longer trust Obama. He is just another corporate tool. He would have my support if he just let all the tax cuts expire, but that's not what corporate America wants. Guess who wins? Guess who always wins, at our expense? Eventually there will be nothing left for the people and the people will have nothing left to lose. Good thing for the ruling elite that they'll have scanners and Homeland Security agents keeping us all in line while we are treated as cattle and used as indentured servants. We the people? Sorry, we just live here.

Posted by: Whys | December 6, 2010 6:09 PM | Report abuse

Hey liberals, how does it feel to have something shoved down your throat. We suffered during Obamacare and this should show you that compromise is best.

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

farmsnorton, your comment shows your total lack of understanding the issues. The deficit is totally the root of our death as a superpower and that deficit is 93.81% the responsibility of the republican hero's of the worlds largest ponzi scheme AKA Reaganomics, voodoo economics, or would you prefer the truth, ENRONOMICS, as practiced by Bush/Chaney to the highest level of deficit ever in the history of the world! At the very least the liberal democrat gives you the shaft to put on your wall and that's more than the magic bullet they used to fleece you of your very intelligence!

Posted by: anOPINIONATEDsob | December 6, 2010 6:53 PM | Report abuse

So when alls said and done we elected McCain after all.

Posted by: notthatdum | December 6, 2010 9:28 PM | Report abuse

I think what we are really trying to say here is that we are all still democrats but the disappointing notion is that President Obama is not the Messiah we all thought he was. I still think he is a well meaning person, and a decent man, but you are ultimately measured by how you deliver to your constituency. I too, now think it is time for a primary challenger. For this to happen, gosh I don't know how to say it any other way, black folks have to get over that he is "one of us" and truly put a more effective candidate in there. And I know that is hard. Maybe too hard. But it may be the only answer.

Posted by: markmanders56 | December 6, 2010 9:59 PM | Report abuse

Actually the Democrats are getting exactly what they deserve. They were so afraid of what Bill Clinton's reputation would do to a Hillary Clinton nomination they supported this totally unqualified man for the Presidency. Now they are killing the Clintons by asking them to save the Party. This man is a total failure. Our country will continue to spiral into debt. There is no way the electorate will stomach cuts to Social Security or Medicare after this tax cut. Only a few from both parties will support anything that asks for sacrifices after this deal.

Posted by: EFDTN | December 6, 2010 10:47 PM | Report abuse

I remember in the early eighties under Reagan, a congressional committee was meeting to cut some amount from whatever they were responsible. At the end of the day, they had actually increase spending by more than they had set out to cut. I wish I had saved the reference. It was classic. For at least the last 30 years. They can only decrease taxes and increase spending. Good times, bad times its always the same.

Posted by: chucko2 | December 7, 2010 12:48 AM | Report abuse

Right on, Stephen. Check out the cartoon in Tuesday's SL Tribune.

Posted by: newsraptor | December 7, 2010 1:12 AM | Report abuse

The Democratic Congress (especially the House) should not go along with this compromise, which is not a compromise. The Democrats should vote this bill down and let the Bush tax cuts expire for everyone. The Republicans are not going to let the unemployment go unfunded - that will be funded through a separate bill. As many have said, Obama simply does not have the courage to do what is right.

Posted by: william29 | December 7, 2010 1:37 AM | Report abuse

@Marcos,

I'm sorry for the hardships you're facing and I know there's a strong preference for less experienced, cheaper workers.

However, I apologize for correcting you. Employees do not pay the unemployment tax. SUTA and FUTA (State/Federal Unemployment Tax Act) are paid by employers annually. (In NY state, the rate is only 0.08%, net). Check out your pay stubs, you won't see a line for SUTA/FUTA.

And even though I do believe benefits should be extended as a safety net in these uncertain times, but wow, 900 Billion dollars worth of tax revenue for just 13 months of benefits is a high price to pay.

Seriously, there has never been such a lopsided deal since the Dutch purchased Manhattan island for $24 worth of beads.

Posted by: sjen1999 | December 7, 2010 1:44 AM | Report abuse

Liberals relentlessly try, but they are NEVER going to win the argument that not taking away people's earnings is the equivalent of government spending.

The spending clearly cannot go on, and what is equally unsustainable is the tired old liberal formula of tit-for-tat "partisan compromises."
.

Posted by: gitarre | December 7, 2010 3:17 AM | Report abuse

All the hand-wringing on the left is unjustified. Where it up to me, I'd let all the tax cuts expire but what Obama and the country need right now is job growth. Even left-wing economists concede there is some stimulative impact from lower tax rates on the rich.

Posted by: RealChoices | December 7, 2010 4:08 AM | Report abuse

2. Explain why a $700billion expense must not be paid for of but a $12 billion expense must.

Posted by: AMviennaVA
------------------------------
AMviennaVA, the 700 billion dollars is over TEN years, not over one.

The tax break for the rich costs 70 billion a year.

The tax break for the middle class costs 200 billion a year.

Our deficit for 2009 was 1.42 trillion.

So retaining the Bus tax cut for those making over $250,000 a year is 5% of the deficit.

Take a look at:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010_United_States_federal_budget

and you will see that mandatory expenses, mostly medical and social, are taking up more than 90% of revenues.

We need to rein in medical costs. Otherwise we are facing disaster.

Democrats have been too obsessed with Republican hatred to see where our problems actually are.

Not that Republicans are angels. Tax rates do have to rise to avoid deficits. But they have to rise for ALL of us to make a real dent in the deficit.

Posted by: rjpal | December 7, 2010 6:10 AM | Report abuse

davidbronx says:

I want to know why no one admits to the gorilla in the room, TWO WARS both of which were mismanaged, one of which was illegal and started on lies and deceit and both of which ran the deficit to new heights?
---------------------
David, you need to learn some figures and do a little arithmetic. Take a look at

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010_United_States_federal_budget

and you will see that mandatory expenses, mostly social, cost 2.184 trillion, or more than 90% of revenues.

The Afghan war is currently costing less than a 100 billion a year.

I am not in favor of continuing the war in Afghanistan. That is not my point.

But Democrats are looking for our problems in the wrong direction.

It is a tragedy that the better educated party, the Democrats, have become so blinded by Republican hatred that they are unable to face our real problems.

The real problem is our exploding health care costs, not the war in Afghanistan.

Posted by: rjpal | December 7, 2010 6:16 AM | Report abuse

You can have your tax cuts, you can have your war(s), and you can have fiscal responsibility. Pick two out of three.

Posted by: PostSubscriber | December 7, 2010 6:49 AM | Report abuse

It takes two to reach a compromise in any negotiation. Most people agree the Republicans won this round. Here is what they won.

What the Republican’s won:

• 900 billion increase in the deficit over the next two years
• Tax cuts targeted to the highest income earners (so called “millionaires tax cut”)
• More spending and tax cuts using borrowed money

Sounds like the same old story from the past 10 years, doesn’t it?

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

The Republicans don't have to explain anything. The last election wave clearly established that the majority of Americans want tax cuts. End of story. The Dems are hosed on issue. We libs can gripe all we want about the Obama compromise but there is no way in hades all tax brackets won't get an extension of the Bush II rates no matter the opposition by Dems.

Deficits are being given lip service but that's all. It's very clear to me that we Americans will allow our country to fail until we get serious about debt. Austerity is not our thing. Deficits are much too abstract for most Americans anyway. Dick Cheney, bless his heart, completely acclimated us to the notion that "deficits don't matter" in his now famous teta-a-tete with then tres sec ONeill.

All members of Congress have a PhD in deficit spending. They keep piling our debt higher and deeper.


Posted by: gfoster56 | December 7, 2010 7:57 AM | Report abuse

rjpal @ December 7, 2010 6:10 AM: Thank you for the response without the name calling. Now as for the substance:

1. $700billion is the 10-year projected cost of continuing the sale on tax rates. Please note that there have been no tax CUTS. What the Republicans passed in 2001 was a temporary reduction, that is a sale, on the tax rates. They purposely put an end to them because the costs of perpetuating them was far too high. As it was, the Republicans waived the pay-go rules in order to pass the unfunded sale.

2. I have yet to see any proof that this sale has been beneficial. Let me explain: (a) they went into effect in 2002; (b) we have been running record deficits since; (c) the Bush era doubled the debt - that is an improvement over Reagan who tripled it; (d) we went into recession in 2007; (e) the economy collapsed in 2008; (f) job growth during Bush's 8 years has been the weakest since WW2!
WHERE IS THE BENEFIT FROM THESE TAX RATES?

3. I know that the reduction in rates for incomes below $250000 is higher than for the higher incomes, but that is money that will have an immediate stimulative effect. That is, it will go back into circulation almost as fast as unemployment compensation. That has the fastest economic benefit.

4. I agree that medical costs need to be controlled. The evidence everywhere, including the US, is that the closer to a single payer system a society has, the more EFFECTIVE the medical care and lower the costs. So, while I accepted the ACA, it is because it is a first step. Afterall, without it, health care in 2025 will account for 25% of the economy, up from 17% now. PS: It was about 10% in 1994, and Republican inaction and intransigence helped it explode. I hope (but fear we shall) we do not repeat the stupidity.

Posted by: AMviennaVA | December 7, 2010 8:02 AM | Report abuse

farmsnorton @ December 6, 2010 6:21 PM wrote "Hey liberals, how does it feel to have something shoved down your throat. We suffered during Obamacare and this should show you that compromise is best."

That is as stupid and idiotic a post as one can make. Let me illustrate: YOUR VP (and Pres for that matter) consider me a traitor because I disagreed that we should invade Irak. NONE of you Republicans pointed out to them that as a citizen I have the right, and responsibility, to question the government. So, you decided that I am a subject, not a citizen!

Further, YOUR candidate for VP the last election kept talking about the 'real America'. NONE of you have a sufficient understanding of democracy to explain to her that she was running as VP of the ENTIRE country, not just a sliver.

I shall leave aside the secessionists that Republicans had running for office. One of them is governor of TX!

So, perhaps you should look in the mirror. Then again, that may be too unpleasant an image for you!

Posted by: AMviennaVA | December 7, 2010 8:09 AM | Report abuse

The President and Democrats should not compromise...hold the Republicans' feet to the fire. Force them to give in. Keep bringing the two tax cut bills up for a vote. Keep bringing unemployment up for a vote. Bring the budget omnibus up for a vote. Let them shut down the government. Maybe we will get a repeat of Gingrich faux pas. I would rather pay higher taxes than let these Republican thugs have a victory over the failed Republican economic policy. MR. PRESIDENT, DO NOT COMPROMISE WITH THE REPUBLICAN BULLIES! LET THEM GO DOWN IN FLAMES. STAND ON DEMOCRATIC PRINCIPLES OF FAIRNESS AND FORCE THE REPUBLICANS TO TAKE THE HEAT.

Posted by: old_sarge | December 7, 2010 8:09 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Obama can run for congress. He does not belong as President.

Posted by: kevin1231 | December 7, 2010 8:50 AM | Report abuse

Ahhhh, now I get it. You're going for the Fox News version of "Fair and Balanced."

"Republicans get to keep their tax cuts. Democrats get to keep unemployment benefits" you say. Except they were Obama's Tax Cuts, except for the RICH who make over $250,000.

Speak the truth if you must write. Obama got his unemployment benefits and his TAX CUTS for the WORKERS. Republicans got their tax cuts for the RICH, adding a hundred billion to the Debt.

Posted by: chucky-el | December 7, 2010 9:05 AM | Report abuse

As we learned in January 2009, elections have consequences. The electorate just told us last month that they will not be ignored. All of the sudden liberals and progressives are concerned about deficit spending. Where was that righteous indignation when they were bailing out the banks, General Motors, Chrysler, and passing Healthcare "Reform" and "Cap and Trade"? Hopefully in the next couple of years we can get our country back to the mindset where the Government is the protector of our National Security and individuaal rights as opposed to being provider of equality of outcome regardless of effort.

Posted by: magoo902 | December 7, 2010 9:17 AM | Report abuse

My God, what a choice we have in govenment now - the GOP are criminals in the pocket of the rich and the Dems and Obama are cowards and weak. Time for a 3rd party if ever there was one. I may sit out 2012.

Posted by: sux123 | December 7, 2010 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Why does there appear to be such acrimony about the upper tax brackets? Thosde folks pay the bulk of the taxes, at all level, now. How much is too much? This sounds like pure greed or class hatred. There somes a time when we as a nation need to get back to our roots -- that is the money is "mine" (individual) and not the government's.

Posted by: DOps | December 7, 2010 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Why does there appear to be such acrimony about the upper tax brackets? Thosde folks pay the bulk of the taxes, at all level, now. How much is too much? This sounds like pure greed or class hatred. There somes a time when we as a nation need to get back to our roots -- that is the money is "mine" (individual) and not the government's.

Posted by: DOps | December 7, 2010 9:34 AM | Report abuse

For some reason the left just does not get it that the revenue the government receives does not cause the economy to recover and is just a measurement of how well things are going. Revenue down bad economy, revenue up a good one.

The problem we have is not a revenue but a spending problem. You have entire agencies such as the department of education that can be eliminated and replaced with 50 people giving block grants for a massive savings and there are many more examples of agencies in the Federal, State and Local levels that are redundant and to not exist. You also have to index social security with the average life span, the plan was never designed for someone to be on it for 30 years.

Posted by: Pilot1 | December 7, 2010 9:49 AM | Report abuse

For some reason the left just does not get it that the revenue the government receives does not cause the economy to recover and is just a measurement of how well things are going. Revenue down bad economy, revenue up a good one.

The problem we have is not a revenue but a spending problem. You have entire agencies such as the department of education that can be eliminated and replaced with 50 people giving block grants for a massive savings and there are many more examples of agencies in the Federal, State and Local levels that are redundant and to not exist. You also have to index social security with the average life span, the plan was never designed for someone to be on it for 30 years.

Posted by: Pilot1 | December 7, 2010 9:49 AM | Report abuse

DOps @ December 7, 2010 9:34 AM wrote "Why does there appear to be such acrimony about the upper tax brackets? Thosde folks pay the bulk of the taxes, at all level, now. How much is too much? This sounds like pure greed or class hatred."

Starting with the Reagan era wealth disparity has increased in the US to the extent that we are now a 3rd world economy. Whereas the portion of wealth held by the 'lower 98%' has decreased, it has instead exploded in the top 2%. We are returning to the levels of the 1920's when income disparity was 1000:1. So, it is only rational the top 2% pay far more in taxes: it is because they own far more of the wealth.

(By the way, there is much nonsense about how 47% or some such do not pay taxes. The reality is that once FICA is included, the top 5% pay a lower percentage to the government than the rest. FICA may not be income tax, but it has been sustaining government expenditures for 70+ years, helping keep taxes lower than they would otherwise be!).

And I agree that there is a class war under way. Reagan led it on behalf of the wealthy, and we have been losing ever since. We have been losing, by the way, because the wealthy have been waging a class war, and the rest of us are too timid to fight back.

Posted by: AMviennaVA | December 7, 2010 10:01 AM | Report abuse

I'm just sitting here laughing, because this is exactly what the dmiwitted American voter asked for. Today the mega-rich, China, and Iran are laughiing their asses off - while the middle class American once again takes it in the pants.

Exactly what all you idiots deserve.

Posted by: SmallBusiness | December 7, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

As we learned in January 2009, elections have consequences. The electorate just told us last month that they will not be ignored. All of the sudden liberals and progressives are concerned about deficit spending. Where was that righteous indignation when they were bailing out the banks, General Motors, Chrysler, and passing Healthcare "Reform" and "Cap and Trade"? Hopefully in the next couple of years we can get our country back to the mindset where the Government is the protector of our National Security and individuaal rights as opposed to being provider of equality of outcome regardless of effort.

Posted by: magoo902
===========================\
Magoo where have you been?

OH you have been watching FOX !!

Posted by: pdq2 | December 7, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Liberals relentlessly try, but they are NEVER going to win the argument that not taking away people's earnings is the equivalent of government spending.

The spending clearly cannot go on, and what is equally unsustainable is the tired old liberal formula of tit-for-tat "partisan compromises."
.

Posted by: gitarre | December 7, 2010 3:17 AM

You can't cut the deficit without tax increases. 53% of your income taxes are spent on defense. Discretionary spending is less than 20%.

Posted by: jboogie1 | December 7, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

WHAT AN ABOUT FACE!!THis Person Was The Head Steam Roller in WAshington,D.C. To Do What He Wanted,When He Wanted and HOW He Wanted Just a few Months Ago,Now He is Singing a New Tune!!Now He Singing BI-Partisianship to Congress!WHAT A TRANSFORMATION!! DR. Jeckyl and Mr. HIde!!
I only hope and Pray that this NEW ERA of Doing What is Best For the People here at Home, by both Partys Working TOGETHER Lasts FOREVER!!I also Hope that the US Congress and administration Come to Grips of Just how Bad this Country's Economically is!!It Is time for EVERYONE In THis COuntry to Come together -irregardless of their Party Affiliation and Solve this Countrys Most Serious National Problems!!

Posted by: sstart2003 | December 7, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Does it really matter at all?

According the Geithner (sic) the tax on the top 2% would generate $700 billion in revenue over ten years. $70 billion per year.

The deficit is running $1.3 trillion per year. $70 billion is chump change.

The only real tax solution is no more deductions, no more child credits, no more caps on SS taxes, no more earned income credits. Then raise rates on everyone who gets a paycheck 10, 15, 20, 30, 50, 70%. Raise payroll taxes 100% Even that may not be enough to close the gap without huge cuts in government payrolls and services.

Posted by: katorga | December 7, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

President Obama likes to call his deal with the Republicans extending tax breaks for the wealthy, “a compromise.” Mitch McConnell, the Republican’s hatchet man, got - with nary a whimper on Mr. O’s part - 99 percent of what the Republicans wanted for the wealthy, while the president fought ( in his own words ) to get 1 percent of what the Dems wanted for the working class. Some compromise!

This action is only the last in a series of capitulations in which the president has given away the store to the Republicans without extracting anything in return. He says his “negotiations” are part of a larger strategy that will pay dividends in the future. He has said that from the beginning of his term, and his actions will soon be paying more dividends - to China.

Posted by: mungmung | December 8, 2010 3:05 AM | Report abuse

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