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Posted at 8:30 AM ET, 12/ 3/2010

Left freak-out: Obama to fold on tax cuts?

By Jennifer Rubin

Kim Strassel of the Wall Street Journal hits the nail on the head:

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs is now insisting that there are two things President Obama absolutely will not, under any circumstances, allow to happen on taxes: He will not agree to a tax hike on the middle class, and he will not go along with a permanent extension of the top rates.

Put another way, Mr. Obama will not allow anything more than what Republicans have been demanding for months. And he means it.

No wonder they are melting down over at the Huffington Post. ("Bush Tax Cuts: Fears Mount of Cave on Top Priority")

The tax issue tied Democrats up in knots before the election, and it's worse now. The left's standard-bearers are trying to keep a stiff upper lip. "I would hope the president would stand firm on what he campaigned on in Iowa," said Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa). "The Republicans painted themselves into a corner. I hope we don't let them out." Actually, I think it's the Democrats that have been boxed in. And at least some of them must realize that they have witnessed the political and intellectual collapse of the tax-the-rich philosophy that has guided their party for decades. That's no small thing.

What comes to mind -- though, it's far afield -- is the Supreme Court's Heller decision, which found that the Second Amendment contains an individual right to bear arms. This was considered crazy talk by the left for decades. Now it's the law of the land, recently extended to apply to the states. What was considered by the left to be right-wing extremism (e.g. the Second Amendment secures individual rights, hiking taxes on the rich is anti-growth) is now, or about to become, the consensus position.

I've mentioned that I love politics, in part for the plethora of irony in its twists and turns. There is no greater irony than watching Obama secure the extension of the Bush tax cuts. Yes, it's quite a bitter pill for the left.

By Jennifer Rubin  | December 3, 2010; 8:30 AM ET
Categories:  economy  
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Next: David Brooks vs. Paul Ryan, round 2

Comments

Ms. Rubin, I don't know if you read these comments, but if so, I hope that you will consider doing a few on-line chats. It would be nice to have the chance to interact with you in real time. Thanks.

Posted by: WashingtonDame | December 3, 2010 8:39 AM | Report abuse

As Milton Friedman once said, the key to success in politics is to make the wrong people do the right thing. That is exactly what has happened to Obama on the tax issue. The election and the refusal to cave by the GOP has forced Obama to extend all the cuts.

I'm fine if it's only for 2 years -- the 2012 elections will determine the fate of the cuts long term. I can live with that. What we need desperately right now is to NOT increase taxes on anyone, especially small business.

Posted by: jmpickett | December 3, 2010 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Posted at 8:30 AM ET, 12/ 3/2010
Left freak-out: Obama to fold on tax cuts?
By Jennifer Rubin
Kim Strassel of the Wall Street Journal hits the nail on the head:

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs is now insisting that there are two things President Obama absolutely will not, under any circumstances, allow to happen on taxes: He will not agree to a tax hike on the middle class, and he will not go along with a permanent extension of the top rates.

Put another way, Mr. Obama will not allow anything more than what Republicans have been demanding for months. And he means it.

No wonder they are melting down over at the Huffington Post. ("Bush Tax Cuts: Fears Mount of Cave on Top Priority")

The tax issue tied Democrats up in knots before the election, and it's worse now. The left's standard-bearers are trying to keep a stiff upper lip. "I would hope the president would stand firm on what he campaigned on in Iowa," said Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa). "The Republicans painted themselves into a corner. I hope we don't let them out." Actually, I think it's the Democrats that have been boxed in. And at least some of them must realize that they have witnessed the political and intellectual collapse of the tax-the-rich philosophy that has guided their party for decades. That's no small thing.

What comes to mind -- though, it's far afield -- is the Supreme Court's Heller decision, which found that the Second Amendment contains an individual right to bear arms. This was considered crazy talk by the left for decades. Now it's the law of the land, recently extended to apply to the states. What was considered by the left to be right-wing extremism (e.g. the Second Amendment secures individual rights, hiking taxes on the rich is anti-growth) is now, or about to become, the consensus position.

I've mentioned that I love politics, in part for the plethora of irony in its twists and turns. There is no greater irony than watching Obama secure the extension of the Bush tax cuts. Yes, it's quite a bitter pill for the left.

2010
12
03
08
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By Jennifer Rubin | December 3, 2010; 8:30 AM ET
Categories: economy
Save & Share:
Previous: Morning Bits


Comments
Ms. Rubin, I don't know if you read these comments, but if so, I hope that you will consider doing a few on-line chats. It would be nice to have the chance to interact with you in real time. Thanks.
Posted by: WashingtonDame

In my opinion,she doesn't read them;it is very unlikely that you will ever hear anything from her except her postings. She's very focused on about ten positions,which she restates in predictable
variations on those base positions. She will never disappoint the believers;she will never surprise anyone.

Posted by: rcaruth | December 3, 2010 9:00 AM | Report abuse

right rc, as if leftists don't regurgitate their positions endlessly - tax the rich, tax the rich, oh and tax the rich. And by the way, tax the rich.

Posted by: jmpickett | December 3, 2010 9:02 AM | Report abuse

The tax fight is silly. It makes almost no economic difference whether the top rate is 35% or 39.6%, as it was during the boom times of the 1990s. This is nothing more than a test of wills for polititians. If either side were serious about tax equity they would stop letting hedge fund managers pay 15% while wage earners pay 35%.

Posted by: Inagua1 | December 3, 2010 9:05 AM | Report abuse

right rc, as if leftists don't regurgitate their positions endlessly - tax the rich, tax the rich, oh and tax the rich. And by the way, tax the rich.
Posted by: jmpickett

Not me JM,in fact,I'm generally happy about the results of the recent election,because Ron Paul may end up in charge of the House Monetary Policy Committee,and,like, Mr Paul,I believe we need asset backed currency. BTW,Try to get Jennifer to comment on Mr.Paul's positions,Audit the Fed,Audit Fort Knox,get rid of the Fed,put Gold behind the Currency Etc etc,You will discover that Ms Rubin believes in Fiat Money,A Floating Currency system,Trade imbalance,and all the plethera of ills that have devestated our economy including Borrowing to pay for Wars. As a Conservative,she's quite a joke,just like it's a joke to think that tax policy is the cause of our economic problems.

Posted by: rcaruth | December 3, 2010 9:38 AM | Report abuse

agree with Inagua1. Perhaps J-Ru, who does read some of her comment threads, will explore Senator Schumer's current versus past position on why individuals whose income is from hedge fund and private equity continue to pay the capital gains tax rates on their income. Schumer went to a lot of expense in 2010 to rebrand himself as "fighting for the middle class" in order to drop that "Senator FOR Wall Street" label from 1999-2009.

Can't wait to see where Geithner+Ewe find the $150BIL to pay for unemployment /other good 2011 stimulus. Will it be TARP or CRRA, or both? Which is all the GOP has been insisting on - re-allocate unspent funds from existing programs.

Posted by: K2K2 | December 3, 2010 9:48 AM | Report abuse

jmpickett

Also JM,If you ever wish to Contrast the ideas of JR with the now outdated (LOL)Conservatism of WFB Jr,anytime,anyplace.
You must understand that people like me are a nightmare to Bloggers like JR,and a hundred others like her. I'm in the school of William Buckley and National Review as it once was. I'm also educated in Economics. My hostility to the failed liberals/Progressives is matched by my contempt for the failed NeoCons,and the Chicken Hawk Neocon politicians. Example,compare Norman Podhoretz,with sonny boy,John Podhoretz,need I say more?

Posted by: rcaruth | December 3, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Rcaruth:

You will see snow in DC in August before you ever see a return to any type of gold or metal standard. Sorry don't mean to offend you, it just has no chance whatsoever.

Posted by: 54465446 | December 3, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

I definitely do read the comments and have chimed in a couple of times a day. At some point would love to do an online chat.

Posted by: Jennifer Rubin | December 3, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

You must understand that people like me are a nightmare to Bloggers like JR,and a hundred others like her.
___________________

Well you may be a nightmare to others, but I, for one, are grateful for your advocacy. Conservatism has been both empowered and severely muddied by the soundbite nastiness and intellectual dishonesty of contemporary "conservative" positions. In contrast, traditionally conservatism is intellectually grounded and rhetorically defensible. It is also elitist and meritocratic, two aspects that are apparently anathema to contemporary conservatism.

Posted by: veritasinmedium | December 3, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse

I are???!!!

I, for one, AM grateful...

Posted by: veritasinmedium | December 3, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Rcaruth:
You will see snow in DC in August before you ever see a return to any type of gold or metal standard. Sorry don't mean to offend you, it just has no chance whatsoever.
Posted by: 54465446

You aren't reading carfully;I said that Ron Paul will give it some face time if he becomes the Chairman of the Monetary Policy Committee. I never said that it has a chance. JR will never discuss monetary policy with anyone.

Posted by: rcaruth | December 3, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Why, Ms. Rubin, don't you see that both the democrats and republicans have agreed on trickle down economics over the past 30 years? And now, here we are, at the logical conclusion of 30 years of this economic policy. Economy controlled exclusively by the rich? Check. Low taxes? Check. Lax regulations? Check. "Efficiency?" Check. And look at how well it's worked out. The unemployment rate (which only includes people searching for jobs) for young people like me is 17%, because it is more "efficient" for the few people who control wages to hire people in India.

Posted by: rippeyburton | December 3, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

I'd posted something at lunch and it said it was going to the blog head for review. I'm posting this to see if that's normally what happens. If it happens again I'll know you didn't want my comment on your blog and won't bother you agian.

Thanks

Posted by: SETinVA | December 3, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

On the off chance J-Rub does read this, please use your powers of persuasion to get whoever it is that does these things to make your RSS more readable. I'm pretty sure the crappy formating is designed to get me to come to the land of ads on the WaPo website, but it's really, really annoying.

And I kinda like witty predictability, especially when the views expressed are rarely in evidence elsewhere. Even if predictable, they're rare for all that. Kinda like diamonds in South Africa: they're predictable, but there's still a whole lot more dirt.

Posted by: bbmoe | December 3, 2010 10:04 PM | Report abuse

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