Obama extends tax cuts to the wealthy

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There’s a good chance you’ve already heard as it’s all over the news — President Obama has struck a deal with the GOP to extend the Bush tax cuts to the wealthy for two years. After one of President Obama’s biggest goals in his campaign and throughout his president has been to end the tax cuts on the wealthy implemented during the Bush era that has no doubt contributed to the shrinking middle class, this is a huge disappointment for the Left.

Let this serve as an open thread — was this actually a compromise for the unemployment insurance extension? Should he have called the Republicans’ bluff and let the tax cuts expire? Were his hands really tied? Or is he just incapable for fighting for what needs to be done? Share thoughts in comments!

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9 Comments

  1. Posted December 7, 2010 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    The man routinely confounds me. I don’t know what to say here, except to note that he still must believe in bipartisanship.

  2. Posted December 7, 2010 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

    I think it was a little bit for unemployment benefit extension but I really have no idea why they didn’t try and decouple the tax cut extensions. Make the ones for the lower brackets permanent, extend the ones for the upper brackets for a year and then re-fight the battle then when the Republicans can’t as easily link the two in the popular consciousness. They really do deserve separate debates. Ugh, I can’t believe that as a Libertarian I’m giving policy advice to a bunch of left wing people but hey, someone has to build those bridges!

    Also, I really don’t get the payroll tax cut. The broken Social Security system is one of the major reasons for our hyper-deficit and removing funding from it is madness. What actually needs to happen is the payroll tax cap needs to be raised beyond the current $106,000 and that could be offset with eliminating taxes on simple savings accounts and a certain percentage of CD yields. This would encourage safe, private sector investment and could blunt the right wing idea to partially privatize social security (a terrible idea).

  3. Posted December 7, 2010 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    I personally would not have minded if he had let unemployment run out and the tax cuts expire. I have a job, enough to live on, no debt, and no family. But a lot of people have no job, a family and barely enough to live on so I think letting them suffer so we (dems/liberal/whatever) could win a symbolic “victory” seems heartless. That being said, I think we need to do a better job of holding Republicans responsible for their actions here. They held poor people hostage so the rich could have more money. We need to shame the crap out of them.

  4. Posted December 7, 2010 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    It seems like there’s a LOT more Dems could have got out of this deal. For instance, unemployment was only extended for _13 months_. Why not two years, like the tax cuts? It’s kind of stupid.

    Obama should have threatened to veto it. The only reason Republicans wanted it all rolled up with the lower-class tax cuts is so they wouldn’t have to take the criticism of voting on the tax cuts for the wealthy by itself, as its own bill, which voters would have found hugely unpalatable. This is why they refused to vote on the lower-class tax cuts by themselves. Most polls show Americans don’t want the tax cuts for the wealthy, and the only way they can get away with it is by glossing it over as “something we want to give ‘equally’ to all.”

  5. Posted December 7, 2010 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

    My answers: No. Yes. No. Yes. To make myself even clearer: I am absolutely disgusted by Obama’s lack of leadership on this issue. Trickle-down economics is a fallacy that justifies the haves’ having MUCH more than the have-nots. As Paul Westerberg once sang, “the rich are getting richer, the poor are getting drunk.” I feel like a little eggnog myself….

  6. Posted December 7, 2010 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

    Okay, I’m thoroughly disappointed with Obama’s entire presidency. Yes, he’s accomplished a few things, but his endorsement of the stricter TSA measures are leaving a sour taste in my mouth. I will absolutely not vote for his reelection in 2 years.

    Anywho, in regards to the issue at hand. My mother was just short of becoming a (grossly underpaid) executive a year ago, when the position she held at the time became obsolete and she was laid off. She’s been working toward her bachelor’s online for some time now so hopefully in June when she finishes the job market will be more friendly to her. However, in the 14 months that she’s been unemployed, she’s sent out hundreds of resumes, had 6 or 7 interviews, and is no where near getting a job. As much as I hate to say it, the republicans have us “by the balls.” They have the majority, they knew unemployment HAD to be extended, otherwise there would be millions more starving, homeless people in just a short time. They knew it, and they used it. Is it disgusting? Yes. Do I think Obama or the Dems should have called their bluff and played with the fate of jobless Americans? Abso-fucking-lutely not.

    • Posted December 8, 2010 at 7:49 am | Permalink

      As much as I hate to say it, the republicans have us “by the balls.” They have the majority, they knew unemployment HAD to be extended, otherwise there would be millions more starving, homeless people in just a short time. They knew it, and they used it. Is it disgusting? Yes. Do I think Obama or the Dems should have called their bluff and played with the fate of jobless Americans? Abso-fucking-lutely not.

      exactly. it feels real easy go to ‘all in’ when it’s not your money to lose. im just hoping people remember it was the republicans that wanted to “steal christmas” two years from now, if the economy, gourd forbid, doesnt get any better.

  7. Posted December 7, 2010 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

    I can’t say that I am particularly enthusiastic about extending unemployment benefits. It’s not that I would necessarily consider them a bad thing, but they don’t support people who are in low-paying or part-time jobs (who have to pay certain fixed costs that the unemployed do not), so offering Republicans more than a minor perk in exchange for them is nonsensical. Piecing together a “compromise” that saddles the country with even more debt (not just restoring Bush tax cuts and paying more in benefits, but outright raiding social security [as opposed to the borrowing/loaning as done now to mitigate interest paid on the national debt] by cutting payroll taxes) is making things even worse for future generations.

    Colbert had a point, too: The Word: Unrequited Gov

  8. Posted December 8, 2010 at 5:15 am | Permalink

    It was a deal so he could get DADT repealed. Oh. Wait.

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