Obama and tax cuts
So who won this week?
December 10th 2010
Obama and tax cuts - So who won this week?
Some excerpts :
EVERYONE has at least one answer. But anyone who still thinks Barack Obama simply "caved" over the Bush tax cuts ought to read Charles Krauthammer's column this morning, in which this unrelenting critic of everything Obama bemoans the president's "swindle of the year". It is a splenetic confirmation of the gathering consensus that - politics being the art of the possible - the president was quicker than his party to grasp the reality of the new balance of power on Capitol Hill, played a weak hand pretty well, and outwitted his Republican opponents:
New York Magazine
Why the Tax Fight Is Obama’s Pivotal Moment
By John Heilemann
December 8, 2010
Heilemann: Why the Tax Fight Is Obama’s Pivotal Moment
Some excerpts :
We in the media are admittedly given to hyperbole, but it’s no exaggeration to say that this week — and especially the past 24 hours — is shaping up to be a pivotal moment in the arc of the Obama presidency.
For more than a month since the “shellacking” administered by the Republicans to the Democrats in the midterms, the White House has seemed adrift, with no clear strategy, no effective tactics, and no evident answer to the central question facing the administration: What now?
For better or worse, that period of lassitude is over. In terms of both policy and politics, the White House has embarked on a dramatically new path. Much of the left is furious. Democrats in Congress are no less so. And some conservative Republicans are threatening to revolt, alongside their liberal foes, against what Senator Mary Landrieu yesterday decried as the “Obama-McConnell plan” on taxes. At this hour, whether the deal will survive or not is an open question — though I suspect it will, in something close to its current form.
The conservative objections to the plan, voiced by the Club for Growth and ultra-con Republican senator Jim DeMint, are that it (a) fails to extend the Bush tax cuts forever and (b) “blow[s] a hole in the deficit,” as the Club president, Chris Chocola, put it. The inherent contradiction between these complaints is so obvious that it renders them too absurd to merit further comment.
But it’s not the only reason. An equally substantial one is that they [the Democras] are primarily to blame for putting Obama in the position where he had to make the trade he did. Although the White House didn’t push the matter hard, the president is correct when he says that he preferred to see Congress deal with the tax-cut extension issue in the fall, before the midterms, in which all but certain Republican gains might rob him of his negotiating leverage (as they did). Congressional Democrats, however, were fearful of taking a controversial tax vote in the heat of an election season. Out of sheer cowardice, they postponed that vote until the lame-duck session — and now they are whining about an unpalatable situation of their own creation. So again, I say, shut up.