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Posted at 12:00 AM ET, 12/ 8/2010

Bye-bye, Miss American Pie

By Tom Toles

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***
Well that didn't take long, part II
Remember when the deficit was the most terrible, dangerous, threatening, catastrophic, calamitous, insidious, irresponsible, impending existential disaster striking at the root and foundation of the Republic and it's citizens? That was way back a month ago before the election when that line of argument could be used against the Democrats. With my wizard-like powers of prediction I foretold the screamingly obvious that AFTER the election, when the GOP caravan rolled in, deficits would disappear as an operative concern.

And now, lo and behold! We have a budget "compromise" in which the president agreed to make the deficit BIGGER to get some money to the unemployed, and in exchange the Republicans agreed to make the deficit BIGGER by extending tax cuts for the rich. In case you missed it, this chart from Ezra Klein gives a pretty clear idea of the proportions of those tax cuts. Follow that big bouncing ball at the bottom as the GOP sings its song about fiscal rectitude.

As for Obama? Oh, the craven cave-in! Unless it's just the way he got an imperfect form of the second-round-of-stimulus that he wanted anyway. --Tom Toles
***
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By Tom Toles  | December 8, 2010; 12:00 AM ET
Categories:  Economy and jobs  
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Comments

With apologies to 'dudeupnorth':

I attempted to "report abuse" regarding 'bigisle's screed but my e-mail link is broken.

Concur his remark is racist, repugnant and reprehensible.

Posted by: DougMUSN | December 8, 2010 6:05 PM | Report abuse

Obama or no Obama, the Democrats still have the option of blocking this thing. They DO have the votes, after all, if they can find the spine to use them.

We can blame it all on the Republicans who, after all, did bring the whole thing on... but do the Dems REALLY get to stand back and let it happen and them complain about it? And blame the Republicans? While the Democrats still have a majority?

I don't think so.

Are the Dems THAT good at diversion? And we so gullible so as not to place responsibility where it belongs?

Last I knew, the Dems have a majority in the House and can easily filibuster the Senate... IF they can find spines.

This isn't about bama caving; it's about the whole Democratic Party caving. Again.

Posted by: jonroesler | December 8, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Line Item Veto or Presidential Signing Statement. Make the right responsible for their own crapulence. If it's a war they want, I say give it to them.

Posted by: pete1013 | December 8, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

The president made a deal that I don't like. I understand his desire to get unemployment benefits to the unemployed, but it would have been nice to see him stand up and say, "We're going to have unemployment benefits. If we don't, the Republicans in congress are to blame. If they insist that we pay for it, we'll let the tax cuts expire and that will MORE than pay for it. So, what's it going to be GOP?"

For once, I would have enjoyed seeing him tell the GOP to put their money where their loud mouth is. And I think that's where a lot of progressives are disappointed. Instead of selling your soul to these d-bags for a few crumbs, just stand up to them and stand up for what's right.

Posted by: PrairieDog60 | December 8, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

~~ps. Albert Einstein would also say you were insane.
Posted by: EarlyBird1
My three year old granddaughter's comment and my bodacious Thoughts on the subject at hand...
The “out of the mouths of babes” was “everyone is a little crazy” with her finger and thumb circling her one eye and the other eye closed while sitting on her dad’s lap.~~~dave


Hmm…I would not be sane if not for my insanity…
I am seeing reference to “One Eyed Willy” in your comment above…interesting. Was he not the infamous pirate in The Goonies movie?
One of the best movies made. Great for both young and old. I highly recommend watching it after ya’ll read that taxing and time consuming document dalyplanet so highly recommends.
You see, it is all relevant…

As for me…I’m taking the day off to mourn yet another slammed door on the industrial market in this country,in my own backyard, no less...

Posted by: bertzel | December 8, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Liberal Democrats, aka Socialists, are squealing like stuck pigs since all their wealth confiscation plans are going up in a cloud of smoke and mirrors. It doesn't get much better than keeping the Bush tax rates the same for another two years or until tax rates are cut again and the UK liberal media finally confessing that the manmade global warming hoax was nothing more than a Socialist global wealth confiscation scheme.
Posted by: billybeer6

My Comments...
We are all socialists and so are you. Civilization is always a socialist system.
Capitalism is a part of the socialist system. Capitalism is no more than a method of supplying the society with the goods and services they need and the goods and services that they want.
When the capitalist system can no longer provide a quality society based on justice and equity; it is a failure.
You are not only a sick puppy, you are sociopathic and anal retentive. Like the "tinman", you need a heart. The sad thing is you do not even know it is missing.
Dave

Posted by: OckamsRazor | December 8, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

dudeupnorth,

"we may be reminded of the level of racism that persists -- even today -- and (C) safely assume that the President's problems are deeply embedded in racial bias"

Are you kidding me?

You can make a safe assumption that our President's problems are deeply embedded in racial bias based on,

a trash talkers veiw,

posted in a comment section,

of a blog,

of a guy who draws cartoons!!

Posted by: whatsup4 | December 8, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Well, TT, your comment section has hit a new low with the likes of "bigisle." The really, really scarey part is that (A) mine is the first piece to object to his/her "trash talk;" and (B) that thanks to (A) we may be reminded of the level of racism that persists -- even today -- and (C) safely assume that the President's problems are deeply embedded in racial bias, otherwise known as "The Great American Evil."

Posted by: dudeupnorth | December 8, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Or, "Fair Trade" - The Big Bammer hands the plumpephant a fat bag of cash; and gets a santa sack of poor starvelings in return....

Posted by: woodyag | December 8, 2010 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Remember when "Rush to Judgement" was an operative phrase for "take it slow?"
The 24-hour newscycle makes taking time for reflection difficult; nonethless, it should be done.
After the initial bursts of outrage, moderating voices have become audible, and the deal doesn't look quite so bad.

Posted by: GeneTouchet | December 8, 2010 9:09 AM | Report abuse

" Unless it's just the way he got an imperfect form of the second-round-of-stimulus that he wanted anyway."

Now you got it. If the Republicans really believe their propaganda - they will never admit they goofed.

But it seems the left is joining them in their delusion.

It is like a lot of Presidential decisions. We have to wait and see who is right. But there is no reason to say he is wrong, just now.

He has a plan. Let us hope it works.

Posted by: GaryEMasters | December 8, 2010 7:24 AM | Report abuse

Liberal Democrats, aka Socialists, are squealing like stuck pigs since all their wealth confiscation plans are going up in a cloud of smoke and mirrors. It doesn't get much better than keeping the Bush tax rates the same for another two years or until tax rates are cut again and the UK liberal media finally confessing that the manmade global warming hoax was nothing more than a Socialist global wealth confiscation scheme.

Posted by: billybeer6 | December 8, 2010 6:27 AM | Report abuse

I would swallow this "compromise" much more easily if President Obama had a different history.

The Repuglicans say no to everything.
Obama has said no to nothing.

Close GTMO..........still open
Public option.......stricken from legislation
No millionare tax breaks........granted
Financial reform............soaring CEO bonuses, bank-casinos remain open
No torture..............no investigation, no prosecution
Reduce nuclear weapons...........add more funding than requested for 'modernization'

Had he taken ANY stand, forced the Repuglicans to ACTUALLY filibuster something, anything, I would believe he has a spine. Willow trees may survive storms better than oaks, but I want the chair I sit on made of hardwood.

Mr. President, do you care for anything enough to stand up for it without caving in at the first sign of conflict?

Posted by: DougMUSN | December 8, 2010 5:51 AM | Report abuse

Thank you, Mr. Toles, for a perfect depiction of a slick-talking "step-and-fetch" boy. If Mrs. Obama has any couth, she'll cut him off in the bed for the next two years or more.....oh well. Barack will join Tiger Woods and say: " Where all da' white women?"

Posted by: bigisle | December 8, 2010 2:28 AM | Report abuse

So Warren Buffett says the rich should pay more but if the tax on the rich were to go up to Clinton levels his tax would only rise about $500,000 based on his current tax bill. This guy does get by on the cheap but the Bush tax cuts had a very small change in his tax bill. It would take saving $500,000 for 100,000 years to get to his net worth of 50 billion bucks. The little guy rich at $500,000 a year will pay double as a percentage of income as does Warren under the currently extended tax situation. Warren earned 46 million and paid about 7.8 million for fed taxes in 2009 or half the rate of the 500,000 dollar earner. The system needs reform for high net worth guys. I am sure that if Warren can convince congress that a 100,000 high income wage earners pay more there is less likely hood of congress going after his and others preferential investment tax benefit. Plus he is going to game the system out of the death tax due by donating an amount equal to tax due at death to a family run charity as he is out promoting giving away his and other rich guys money. The truly rich will always pay less than the high wage earner but the guys with the 250,000 income put cash into the economy and the real rich skim cash out. The current tax system allows for this but there is no discussion of changing any breaks that the uber rich use. He with the gold rules. Not the wage slave no matter how high the income.

Posted by: dalyplanet | December 8, 2010 12:29 AM | Report abuse

Very very funny cartoon by the way, it captures the situation perfectly.

Posted by: dalyplanet | December 7, 2010 11:03 PM | Report abuse

Mr, Toles

Ezra Kline's little graphic may be statistically accurate but does nothing to illuminate the facts of the tax debate. In fact it is no different than any of the flaming rhetoric some of the class envy spewing lib pols have been engaged in to discredit those of a different viewpoint. This graphic has absolutely no context and its main point is the bigger incomes get the biggest balls.(figuratively bertzel) This only states undefined income and an undefined tax savings. There is no quantifying data to give perspective. The media owes us all more than this useless data that is only simplistic and divisive. Cotton Candy, all air, no substance, and for libs it tastes sweet in an 'I told ya so' sound bite sort of way. Not that this sort of meaningless tripe doesn't cut the other way too.

The point is, an article based on the following report can educate many, should it be reduced to layman's terms and condensed.

http://www.taxfoundation.org/files/wp1.pdf

feedback please from those that may look

Any of you who want a much deeper understanding of tax revenue, distributions, and consumers of services, this is the ticket. It is a large document but, for the clever out there, it is full of interesting data and goes so far beyond the 'tax cuts for all' or 'tax the rich' sound bite discussion heard lately. This is a compendium of state, local, and fed taxation, and is very complete and educational. No matter what your viewpoint on Fed tax rates or policy you will be able to speak with understanding beyond the layman after slogging through this tome.

Mr Toles this group of congress today are still the old lame duck, lost the election batch, and I am still holding out hope that the new improved tea party group would never have been so fiscally irresponsible and compromised on granting another 13 weeks of THE DOLE bringing the total to 112 weeks of vacation for some folks. They would have insisted on getting these people off the unemployment roles and back to work or at least down to the welfare office to tide them over until the job search was more fruitful. This would quickly improve the economy as necessity is the mother of all invention and getting to the edge is very motivational. Ya?

Posted by: dalyplanet | December 7, 2010 10:52 PM | Report abuse

ps. Albert Einstein would also say you were insane.
Posted by: EarlyBird1

My three year old granddaughter's comment and my bodacious Thoughts on the subject at hand...
The “out of the mouths of babes” was “everyone is a little crazy” with her finger and thumb circling her one eye and the other eye closed while sitting on her dad’s lap.

My Bodacious thoughts…
My read on the situation is that we are dropping like a stone into a third world country.
President Obama has disconnected from reality and has allowed the Republicans to run all over him and us in his attempt to get some kind of a team effort between the Republicans and the Democrats.
Thanks to the Red states and Blue states concept of our politics, we are now divided into two camps. We are no longer the “UNITED” States of America.
The Red army has all the weapons of mass destruction and money to burn while the
Blue army has president Obama With his rhetoric and unarmed foot soldiers.
The Blue army has the high ground while the self-righteous Red army thinks it can scare the blue army into submission.

In the meantime, the nation is doing self-destruct to the glee of our enemies.

Both the Red army and the Blue army will pay the price when the economy fails and we become a dysfunctional third world nation, an oligarchy and a dictatorship.

"United we stand and divided we fall".

It is obvious that we are divided and that we are falling.
We are also failing fast due to a top heavy economy. We are divided and will surely fail if we do not unit.
We are supposed to be The "UNITED" States of America not a state of chaos. We need to work together for the common good before the common bad destroys us. Survival depends on cooperation not conflict.
Like it or not we depend on each other to constitute a functional society.
Dave



Posted by: OckamsRazor | December 7, 2010 10:05 PM | Report abuse

Seriously - in this economy, how much does one get paid to scribble this garbage?

Posted by: AG11 | December 7, 2010 8:49 PM | Report abuse

Probably more than you for whatever you do. So what? Get over it.

Posted by: jhnnywalkr | December 7, 2010 9:14 PM | Report abuse


Seriously - in this economy, how much does one get paid to scribble this garbage?

Posted by: AG11 | December 7, 2010 8:49 PM | Report abuse

It was just yesterday that I posed the question, in one of the WaPo forums, of how this Obama/Republican "compromise" comported with GOP/Tea Party rhetoric regarding the horrors of federal deficits and national debt. One barking moon-bat, Tea Party, fruitcake bit and reminded me that TEA stands for "Taxed Enough Already" (as if she had to remind me) and dodged the deficit question altogether. I didn't think the GOP would reveal their complete hypocrisy and cynicism this soon after the election. But there is method to their madness: as bushidollar pointed out, the GOP will be blaming Obama for the future deficits. Why not? With a compliant Fox News watching their backs, the GOP will continue with their outrageous misdirection. But I will not be confused by their lies: Obama is indeed partly responsible here. There also seems to be something here that the GOP will use to help eliminate Soc. Sec. and possibly Medicare:payroll taxes reduction. They lack the courage to engage in a frontal attack on SS (they accomplish all their evil by deception), so they are working to defund it. I wouldn't mind if Obama punted on 4th down, but he punts as the kickoff returner...not a good strategy if you actually have the goal of winning. And how soon before your blockers( Congressional Democrats) give up on you? Sorry for the extended metaphor(Tea Partiers should look this word up in a dictionary--in fact they should look the word "dictionary" in a dictionary).

This compromise gives Obama a chance to get some of his other initiatives passed, such as the New START Treaty. But does anyone think that the GOP would give him a victory on that? It's a good treaty. Many/most conservative defense analysts support it. But the GOP will not allow it to come to a vote. Obama may may able to get it to a vote by spending $100s of billions on nuclear weapons and lab "modernization"--more of that deficit reduction that the GOP keeps talking about. So Obama should do what Reagan and Bush 43 did so often: tell Congress to "give me the bill I ask for or I will veto whatever bill your send me." Under Reagan and Bush 43, that worked well for them. Sadly, that is why we have this humongous national debt. You know, the debt that gets blames with remarkable success on the Democrats.

Posted by: ptgrunner | December 7, 2010 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Obama folded. The Democrats aren't unified enough to stop the lockstep Republicans, it's that simple. The unemployment insurance extension was not about getting money to his constituents, as some would like to believe, because there are plenty of people who didn't and won't vote for Obama that are unemployed right now, I know a few myself. No, this was actually about getting money to people who are struggling, and the Republicans had managed to hold that hostage to get what they want: their tax cuts.

It's disgusting, it's cynical, it's vile, and it worked.

Posted by: jhnnywalkr | December 7, 2010 5:28 PM | Report abuse

TT wrote:
"As for Obama? Oh, the craven cave-in! Unless it's just the way he got an imperfect form of the second-round-of-stimulus that he wanted anyway."

Losing faith in President "Let's Make a Deal" Obama? You know what is extremely sad? The Republicans will successfully blame the larger deficit on the POTUS, and President Obama will not have any one to blame but himself.

Posted by: bushidollar | December 7, 2010 5:23 PM | Report abuse

“Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”

Albert Einstein

Obama has agreed to a 900 billion dollar package of tax breaks for 2 years with a 13 month extension of unemployment benefits.

Taken as a whole, the package is exactly the same as what we have in place this year except that the estate tax returns at a lower 35% rate for those lucky enough to die with 5 million to spare. (10 million if you’re married)

Democrats just took an ass kicking last month primarily because of the 9.8% unemployment rate, which has been basically unchanged this year.

Republicans have just gotten their wet dream with this tax package and will be content to sit by and push for spending cuts that Democrats will block for the next 2 years. No substantial additional government spending has been possible for over a year and that will not change.

Our infrastructure still has plenty of jobs but not much money to do it. Our population continues to fall further behind the rest of the world in education and marketable skills.

If you believe in trickle down, voodoo economics, then next year jobs will rain down like manna from heaven.

If you believe that the economy will magically create enough jobs to make a significant enough dent in the unemployment rate to keep the Democrats in power, then I have a foreclosed, termite riddled home in a swamp that you might be interested in.

ps. Albert Einstein would also say you were insane.

Posted by: EarlyBird1 | December 7, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Gee, nobody else has anything to say? On the one hand, I understand that Obama made this deal as a way to demonstrate bi-partisanship and get the unemployment benefits extended. OTOH, I really wish he would have doubled down and stuck to his guns. Tell the U.S. that, look, the Repubs only want the tax cuts extended for the wealthy for craven political reasons. Even Warren Buffet says the rich sould pay more. It will be interesting to see now if he can get enough members of his own part to go along. Unless maybe he thinks that a Democratic filibuster in the Senate will do the intended job of raising everyone's taxes at the first of the year, and leave it to the Repubs to try and fix it and justify the tax break for the wealthy. Ah, politics. It's just a game of gotch-ya now.

Posted by: ebtnut | December 7, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

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