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Posted at 9:00 AM ET, 12/ 7/2010

More reaction to the tax deal

By Jennifer Rubin

Vice President Biden has been dispatched to calm down the Democratic troops on the Hill. But that's not likely to alleviate the apparent despair within the liberal base. A tweet from Chris Hayes of the Nation seemed to sum up the sentiment: "Just so we're clear: Democrats, currently in charge of Cong and WH, are about to ratify single defining domestic policy of W."

The liberals' distress was evident in comments from prominent liberal lawmakers. Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) threatened, "I can tell you with certainty that legislative blackmail of this kind by the Republicans will be vehemently opposed by many, if not most, Democrats." Sen. Tom Harkin (D.-Iowa) declared it an "understatement" that he was disappointed in the deal.

Meanwhile, one policy advisor to a senior House GOP member told me late last night that a deal with a two-year extension on tax rates, and an estate tax deal modeled on one set forth months ago by Sens. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) and Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.), was almost too good to be true.

And, to the truly cynical, one might conclude that a one-year extension of unemployment benefits under Democratic leadership takes the onus off the House Republicans once they take over the majority.

Obama made a great show last night of "limiting" the tax extensions to two years. But in dozens of conversations and e-mail exchanges over the past week, I've yet to find a Republican office holder who isn't quite content to have this precise argument all over again in 2012.

By Jennifer Rubin  | December 7, 2010; 9:00 AM ET
Categories:  House GOP, Taxes  
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Next: Reaction to the payroll tax holiday

Comments

It's amazing what partisan and fractious government can accomplish when they are scared of the electorate.

Posted by: metanis | December 7, 2010 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Boy metanis do you have that right! This entire deal, mostly a win for the GOP, came about because of 11/2/10. Maybe the GOP could have gotten more, I don't know. But, as Jennifer said, we are all set up to have another 'let's increase taxes in a bad economy' argument right before the 2012 election. I like our chances in that argument.

Posted by: jmpickett | December 7, 2010 9:38 AM | Report abuse

It's always worth remembering that the phrase "the wealthiest Americans," if translated into English, means "employers." See, according to Obama, what's supposed to happen is he takes the employers' money in taxes, then the Fed loans it to banks, so the banks will loan it to the employers, who will then invest it. Too bad the employers refuse to play, but you didn't need a magic eight ball to see that coming. So maybe he woke up and is trying a different plan. Let the employers keep the money and invest it. Cut out the middleman.

Posted by: Larry3435 | December 7, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

You have to admit it is pretty funny. Yesterday we were all deficit reduction commissions and the deficit is the end of the world.

Today, it's deficit? What deficit?

That's why you never pay attention to commissions of any kind, and never bet on the government being serious about deficit reduction. You can make a LOT of money that way!

Posted by: 54465446 | December 7, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

544,

Well, it seems I challenge you again. You assume that higher taxes will cut the deficit. In my experience, a nominal dollar in higher taxes brings in eighty cents in revenue and results in a dollar and twenty cents in additional spending. The only way the deficit ever gets cut is to control spending while letting the economy grow. Current tax revenues are more than enough to fund an efficient, limited government.

Posted by: Larry3435 | December 7, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

"It's always worth remembering that the phrase "the wealthiest Americans," if translated into English, means "employers."

Simply untrue, numbnutz. Most people in the US not employed by governmental entities are employed by publicly held corporations.

What a surprise -- a trashbagger is wrong on the facts.

Posted by: Observer691 | December 7, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Who would have guessed that extension of all the Bush tax cuts would be the wedge issue that split Obama from his true believer progressive base? Get used to it, progressives.

Starting January, Obama will have to agree to sharp spending cuts or else shut down the government. Once again, he will have to choose between practicality and liberal ideology.

Posted by: eoniii | December 7, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Bottom line:
The Republicans will not get their victory until after the first of the year,if ever. A weak Obama is a two edged sword;he is now too weak to rally his troops to support the deal.
It will be interesting to see how in Jan. how the Senate Republicans will deal with the new party of NO,the Dems. If they fail to get the tax cuts into law,they will pay the same price Obama has for his failure to confront the current party of NO.

Posted by: rcaruth | December 7, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Yep, extended not permanently like Republicans supposedly wanted (who cares, they have political momentum on their side because of Obama's failings as a chief), but for 2 years. Why only 2 years you ask? Republicans wanted this fight again. They didn't win on the merits this time around, and they've proven that you don't have to win on the merits.

Obama, once again, has let down the people who voted him into office by not letting these tax cuts either expire or pass only the $250K or less tax cuts (for families, and $200K for individuals).

Not only this, but he decided to attach something that could stand on its own like unemployment insurance to this deal. I guess since nobody made a stink about Republicans holding up the works on renewal this several times over the course of the past year during the elections, he didn't feel like it would be worth voting on alone. Well, 13 months of renewal will be granted. Absurd, you say when tens of billions will go toward these tax cuts and a much smaller fraction will go to UI? Definitely. You couldn't even do a day-by-day extension alongside these tax cuts? I guess he thought getting an extra month added to the first year was a good compromise. What an !d!ot.

Not only this, but then, you have a social security dip instead of an actual SS holiday. Way to increase the deficit that much more, President Feckless Federal Wage Freeze.

Did I mention that the Estate Tax is somehow being rolled into this in the name of bipartisanship? What does this have to do with helping the economy or keeping people who have little in their homes? This only really affects people who make over a million dollars in assets - you know, people who aren't exactly suffering in looking for a job or struggling to keep their home.

What a creep this guy turned out to be. I don't want to hear about the political reality BS. Republicans were in the minority in both houses of Congress, two years ago. Obama arrived with supermajorities in both houses of Congress, a wildly positive election win, high popularity among all kinds of demographics, not just liberals and independents. He had more of a mandate than Bush EVER did, and look how Bush governed - like 99.9% of the people voted for him. And yet, here we are. Obama, every step of the way, capitulated. Didn't want to take a hard stand on anything.

Sure, he got "legislative victories", if you can call them that. What good are they, if they don't fix the problems today? What good are they, if the lobbyists wrote the damn bill?

And the Republicans have a nerve to call this d-bag a SOCIALIST? HA!

This guy wants to be a Republican, so bad, why doesn't he just pull a Palin and quit? It's been two years, already. Give a Democrat with a scrotum a chance. An ACTUAL progressive, please.

Posted by: fbutler1 | December 7, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

fbutler1 They didn't win on the merits this time around

They haven't won anything until Congress puts a bill on BHO's desk.

Posted by: rcaruth | December 7, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

If you want to know why Obama caved, look at this chart. It's the economy, stupid!
http://hotair.com/archives/2010/12/07/chart-of-the-year/

Posted by: eoniii | December 7, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

What we will learn very quickly is how the Democrats up for election in 2012 and 2014 view the political landscape--if they think backing off from the progressive surge of the past two years is good politics, the bills will move very smoothly indeed to Obama;s desk, because it will only take, what, 13 or 14 Democrats to break a filibuster. If they think their constituents want them in the bunker with Obama, defending the "accomplishments" of the last two years then, yes, the bill extending current tax rates and others like it won't make it to Obama's desk. It will be very instructive, because those Democrats have a very urgent interest in knowing how things stand.

Posted by: adam62 | December 7, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

adam/defending the accomplishments

it's not about defending obama,he's dead in the water,it's about fighting the momentum,and finding a new leader with some integrity.

Posted by: rcaruth | December 7, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

What on Earth are the Liberals Mad About??
That everyone's taxes are going down by 2%?
That you will NOW, have more of your own money to spend on "the environment"? On your dogs, and cats, and gerbils? On your one child? on your electric car? and bus fare?
Why do liberals love to spend everyone elses money??
Hey! you spend yours, and we will spend ours!. We each earned it. we each have a right to spend it, AS WE SEE FIT. "Government spending" is another word for "Our Taxes". It's no one elses "tax". its Ours.

Posted by: stormpost | December 7, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

stormpost
What on Earth are the Liberals Mad About?

I'm not a liberal.but I know what I'm mad about,it's called Inflation,taxes are so irrelevant. In 1976,I made $35000 gross income,what would be the purchasing power of $35000 1976 Dollars today? The so called Conservatives have little knowledge of Conservative Economics. Suppose that the Tax Cuts get you a 10% increase in your income,and suppose thatInflation(The True Rate)is 9% what have you gained.LOL Let's start talking about real economics OK?

Posted by: rcaruth | December 7, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Hey deficit hawks claim to care abou deficits and debts - WELL, GOP, HERE WAS YOUR CHANCE TO PROVE YOU ACTUALLY CARED (liberals knew better, the Tea Party was just Republicans helping others to get to the polls after a dismal defeat in 2008). Meh. Let's spend more borrowed gov't money. Who cares what the country looks like a few years from now. Maybe we'll get lucky and go into another Great Depression. You'll be able to spend plenty of your OWN money, then. Don't know what you'll be able to buy or if you'll have a job to replace the money you spend. But who cares!

Posted by: fbutler1 | December 7, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

eonii wrote:

"Starting January, Obama will have to agree to sharp spending cuts or else shut down the government. Once again, he will have to choose between practicality and liberal ideology."

You will find that once in office the Republican urge to stop spending will immediately go away, much like a school child's illness does, after the bus has left!

Posted by: 54465446 | December 7, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

larry wrote:

"Current tax revenues are more than enough to fund an efficient, limited government.'

If you ever find one of those, especially a country with a beach, let me know and we will go halves on a vacation home.

Economic growth of course, but cut spending where? Getting out of Iraq and Afghanistan would be a HUGE step to control spending.

The funny thing is because most people don't understand our economy, they want to cut Social Security. SS dollars are spent in almost exclusively American ways, while salary among younger people is often spent on items that half subsidize other economies.

Think about the greatest consumer electronic expenditures, and who maunfactures those items. Think about where many new cars are made, and who buys them. (non-SS dollars, half of which winds up in Asia)

Think about which group spends the most on health care and prescription medication and where those dollars go. Think about who eats out a lot, even if it's funny to see seniors gathered for breakfast in McDonalds. (SS dollars almost all of which stays here)

Posted by: 54465446 | December 7, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

"adam/defending the accomplishments

it's not about defending obama,he's dead in the water,it's about fighting the momentum,and finding a new leader with some integrity."

The only momentum politicians seeking re-election care about is the kind that can keep them in or sweep them out of office.

Posted by: adam62 | December 7, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Dear lefties,

You are absolutely correct. Obama's problem is that he is not far enough to the left. You need someone with more ideological backbone. Maybe Ralph Nader. Dennis Kucinich. Che Guevera? Hang in there. I'm behind you 100%

Posted by: Larry3435 | December 7, 2010 7:49 PM | Report abuse

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