"That is not compromise. It is capitulation."

Comments

1
I hate this piece of sausage-making, but hate even more that deficit fearmongers are using this to wag their evil fingers and cluck their evil tongues to urge austerity, a practice that for us would have the opposite effect to Germany. People are casting it as virtuous, but in terms of our own national economy and of human suffering, toying with austerity is a terrible vice.
2
If a Democrat challenges Obama in the primary, I'm voting for the challenger.
3
Republicans = fascism. Democrats = fascism + health care.
4
@2, the field is wide open to capture the "anybody but him" voter. Ambitious Democrats are salivating, the Republicans are gloating - morning in America again.
5
It's not so much the capitulation that gets me, it's how little of a fight they put up and how badly they sold their side.
6
i'm not being a smartass, i'm honestly looking for insight here: why did obama not call the republicans' bluff by saying, "okay. halt the government. stop EVERYTHING from happening so that you can get your taxcuts for billionnaires. i want tax cuts for regular folks, and i'm not AGAINST tax cuts for rich people, per se, but we just can't afford them right now. so how about we get together on tax cuts that we can afford (relatively speaking)?" the republican say "stick it in your ear" and block any and all legislative efforts in the future. how could that NOT backfire on them? how could that POSSIBLY end up as a loss for obama?

now, if i understand this right, the tax cuts are set to expire UNLESS the congress acts somehow. i know that republicans control the congress now, so they can pass whatever they want, for the most part. but they don't have a veto-proof majority. why doesn't obama just veto a republican bill with cuts for the super rich, meanwhile the dems introduce a bill for cuts for the poor and middle class. republicans will then either have to play along or stand belligerently in the way, while dems can cry foul that the supposed low-tax party is holding tax cuts for middle class americans hostage because they're pissed that they didn't get the cuts for the rich. i really don't see how obama loses that play. and i don't see how it's politically difficult either. so, what the fuck?

what am i missing here, sloggers?
7
So next we'll see if Obama capitulates on healthcare. My guess is, from the evidence, he'll cave like a rotten pumpkin.
8
Well, Amy, he couldn't possibly have done that. That might have pissed off the Republicans, you know.
9
@6,
The repubs don't control congress yet, but neither do the dems. The dems have the majority for the rest of this session, but majority don't mean shit in the senate. They need 60 votes to pass anything, and they don't have that. That's why they can't just let the Bush cuts expire and make up their own for the middle class only (same reason they can't just pass unemployment benefits by themselves).

The way Obama would "lose" if the tax cuts expired is that the repubs would immediately raise hell about Obama raising taxes for everyone, even on people making 250,000 dollars or less, breaking his campaign promises. It's twisting and distorting reality, but it's exactly what the repubs would do, and their followers would gobble it up eagerly.

Too many people don't think about things in the long term, they only think about what's happening to them now... this very moment. That's why the repubs shifting the blame would work.

Sort of simplistic answer to a complex issue, but hopefully it makes some sense.
10
Charles,

Myopia is a curable ailment.
11
Urgutha - i get that republicans would spin it into obama raising taxes on the lower and middle classes. but why couldn't dems spin it into REPUBLICANS raising taxes (which would have the benefit of being the actual truth in additions to the respective truth) on the lower and middle classes by refusing to play ball? is that really such a losing strategy? or are dems really that inept/spineless that they couldn't pull it off? it seems like a relatively simple message to me. and one that wouldn't really cost much political capital - could, in fact, build some, if done effectively.

*sigh*
12
I think people get lost in the symbolic party victories here. A Democratic "win" that doesn't extend unemployment benefits, lets taxes go up on everybody, doesn't cut the payroll tax, and doesn't extended the Earned Income Tax Credit is a loss for the actual human beings in this country that we are trying to help.

Dems in the Senate tried to pass a middle-class only tax cut extension. It didn't even come close. What are your other options, ASSUMING you actually care about the practical effects of this legislation?

Who cares about better Democratic salesmanship if it wasn't actually going to budge the necessary Republican and conservative Democratic senators to vote for the damn thing?

13
Have fun throwing away your vote on Kucinich in 2012, because he'll be Obama's only challenger.
14
@AmyC,
What @12 said in his/her first paragraph; plus, the dems are still seen as being "in charge." They control the House, they have a majority in the Senate (even though that's essentially meaningless for the time being, but many people don't realize it), and most importantly, the Head Honcho is a democrat.

It doesn't matter that Obama has no power over congress, the vast majority of people see the president as "the decider" and all reward and/or blame falls with him. If taxes go up, it'll be blamed on Obama, if taxes stay the same, it'll also be attributed to Obama. It's not fair, but it's simply the way things work, mainly because most people don't follow politics very closely. Most people just listen to snippets and blurbs and trust (fairly or not) that the sources they get their info from are truthful and infomed.
15
yeah. it just makes me sad. and really fucking frustrated. i generally don't get too involved with this stuff because there isn't anything i can do about it. but extending the bush tax cuts - particularly for the super rich - is such a monumentally bad idea. and the supposed compromise, the thing that's supposed to make this bitter pill go down easier, is an even WORSE idea. the 2% SS payroll tax 'holiday' does effectively nothing for the american taxpayer (NPR reports that the average taxpayer will get about an extra $1000 over the course of a year. that amounts to $38/paycheck. what fucking good is $38?) and yet will cause a HUGE problem for social security, which is already in huge trouble. the absolute stupidity of a move like this just makes me want to knock heads together. days like today i want to move into canuck's basement.
16
If you took the original maximum cap for Social Security taxable earnings, and adjusted it for inflation, it would mean anyone making $1 million or less would pay for Social Security and Medicare.

Instead of the $106,000 cap we have now.

Beohner fiddles while America burns.
17
@15,
If you take that thousand dollars and divide it up over the whole year, it's really only eleven cents per hour. What good is eleven cents?

The reality is that lots of families could use that extra $1000. Maybe you're lucky enough that a grand is just a drop in the bucket. But there are millions for whom that is a meaningful amount of money, particularly in a devastating recession when employers are freezing pay, cutting hours, cutting benefits, etc.

Not to mention the millions of long-term unemployed who are getting their UI benefits extended.

18
@17 - the $1000 is for the "average" american household income, which is $50,000. if you're a family of 4 with an income of $50K annual and no major catastrophies (like an uninsured illness, or home robbery or something), $38 every two weeks DOESN'T mean anything. if you're making little enough money that $38 a paycheck will actually improve your life, you're not getting anywhere close to $38 per paycheck, because you're not in a high enough income bracket in the first place. that's why it's bullshit. it deals a major blow to social security, and helps exactly no one.
19
@18,

A huge number of Americans are in debt, including those incredibly successful (according to you) households making $50k a year. $76 could easily be a minimum credit card payment.
20
@18,

Also, in your outrage, you're conveniently forgetting that middle class Americans were facing a tax increase. You're very lucky that $1,000 plus the automatic tax increase aren't important to YOU, but the majority of people live hand to mouth, and many people live worse than that and are sinking into increasing debt.
21
I don't mean to speak for AmyC, but I'm thinking her original point was "why can't the dems blame the repubs but the repubs can blame the dems?" Which I also find incredibly annoying, yet understandable (in that, it makes sense), given the dems vs. repubs current executive and legislative makeup.

Raising taxes on the middle class would be a hardship for many of them, even if it seems like it doesn' amount to much. The real problem is that Bush never should have given the tax cuts to begin with, especially not to the wealthiest, and especially ones that were labeled "temporary" but set to last for nearly a decade. It was just another republican ploy to get people addicted to receiving free money so it'd be harder to quit, and they wanted the democrats to appear as the pusher who comes asking for payment (which is exactly what happened).

The whole thing is a big pile of shit but it's the same thing that happens again and again in our history:
1. Repubs cut taxes without paying for it.
2. Rich gamble it all away and collapse the system.
3. Democrats are elected to clean up the mess.
4. Cleaning up the mess means we have to pay for it (with higher taxes).
5. People get pissed about their taxes going up.
6. Repubs promise to cut taxes (without paying for it).

It's happening now, it's happened before, and it'll happen again.
22
I think Charle's assessment here is astute. According to the CBO not letting the billionaire tax cuts expire will have some neglible growth effects, as would most likely another round of stimulus (although no doubt growth effects that would be felt much more by non-billionaires). Pretty much Obama's chances in '12, as with every president's chances always, rest on where the economy is at. And keeping the free lunch wagon rolling is probably the least risky way of buying a short term improvement in the economy.

But I think I shall be moving my assets into renminbi in the very near future.
23
right, urgutha. thank you.