Mitt Romney’s selection of Congressman Paul Ryan as the Republican Vice-Presidential candidate is a double down bet on a set of ideas and policies. The idea is that if rich people get lower taxes and working people get fewer benefits, America will somehow be a better place for everyone.
President Obama should draw a line in the sand and let the Bush tax cuts expire. Use your veto pen to reject any legislation that includes tax cuts for the rich. If the Democrats pass these tax cuts for the rich, you will sabotage their own reelections in 2012. The Bush tax cuts make the budget deficit much bigger. In particular, there is no justification for cutting tax cuts for the rich, which will add $700 billion dollars to the deficit. If we believe the deficit is a real problem, then more tax cuts are simply irresponsible. Right now, the Democrats are letting the Republicans make two completely contradictory arguments, and appear to be ready cave in the face of their illogical and unjust tax policy.
In the wake of the 2010 congressional elections, President Obama and the Democrats have a choice between combat and capitulation. They say they want to compromise. It looks much more like capitulation.
On November 11, 2010 White House press secretary, David Axelrod signaled that the President may be willing to support an extension of the tax cuts for the rich, in order to obtain a continuation of the tax cuts for the middle class. On Monday, November 29, 2010, President Obama announced that he plans to do a two year pay freeze for federal workers. This was a completely unilateral concession to the Republicans. On November 30, Obama met with the Republicans and told them that he had failed to reach out enough to the Republicans during his first two years of his presidency. He promised to be more bipartisan in the future. The next day, the Republicans announced that they will vote no on everything until the Democrats agree to extend tax cuts for the rich.
With Democrats still in control of both houses of Congress, and with a Democratic president having the veto pen, the Democrats act as though the burden is on them to give the Republicans exactly what they want. They want to call it compromise. It looks like capitulation.