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View Diary: Remember, the Bush tax cuts expire on Dec. 31, 2012 (58 comments)

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  •  Paleo, leverage is important (3+ / 0-)
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    ajr111240, Sanuk, thematt523

    This isn't all about being pure of spirit and progressive of mind.
    It's about the cold, hard reality of politics.
    And the reality is that the Rs want those tax cuts extended, while President Obama and the Dems don't, particularly.
    That puts them in a more powerful position than they were in this time.

    •  Just like in December 2010? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RainyDay, Sychotic1, marty marty

      How did that turn out?

      What this is about is constantly caving in to blackmail.

      •  Yes, when unemployment benefits were extended (1+ / 0-)
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        For those millions of unemployed Americans and their families, having those benefits extended worked out incomparably better than having them cut off on December 31, 2010.

        And for their landlords.
        And their grocers.
        And their local gas station owners.

        •  The Big Lie (2+ / 0-)
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          Odysseus, lgcap

          There was never a connection between the two until Obama and his apologists made one.  In '12 they'll come up with some new cover story for their capitulation.

          •  The connection was they both expired on 12/31/10 (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            thematt523, FG

            And the Rs refused to extend the unemployment benefits, Paleo.
            It wasn't President Obama and "his apologists" who connected the two things.  It was the Republicans in the Senate, led by Mitch McConnell.

            You may think President Obama is the enemy of progressives.  He's not.
            It's Republicans.

            •  Simply untrue (0+ / 0-)

              Read back.  No mention until the tax cut capitulation.  The problem with Obama is that he cabes every time the Republicans make a threat.  Rather then daring them to go through with it.  Which just emboldens them for the next round.  Senate Republicans never would have blocked unemployment extension on the eve of X-Mas. They had blocked it previous times only to end up relenting.

              Had Obama threatened to veto any bill that contained a tax cut extension for the wealthy, this would have been a moot point.  But this president does't threaten Republicans.  He appeases them.

              •  Paleo, the GOP blocked it over and over and over (1+ / 0-)
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                You are the one who has forgotten what happened here.
                The Republicans didn't just "threaten" to block the extension of unemployment benefits.  They did it -- over and over and over again, all year long in 2010.

                Here, for instance, is the start of a report from ABC News on July 1, 2010:

                More than 1.3 million unemployed workers won't be getting their next round of unemployment benefits, after Congress failed again to pass an extension bill Wednesday night. With Congress taking a Fourth of July recess, those hoping to get their benefits reinstated will have to wait until at least July 12th, when Congress comes back in session to pick up the issue.

                The main holdup is coming from Republicans, who have filibustered the bill three times. They say paying for the benefits by adding to the national debt is unacceptable. Instead they propose using the leftover money from last year's economic recovery package to pay for the bill. For now, Democrats have rejected that offer.

                "The only reason the unemployment extension hasn't passed is because Democrats simply refuse to pass a bill that doesn't add to the debt," said Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

                (Emphasis added).
                GOP blocks unemployment
                Paleo, if you think the Rs would have caved on Christmas Eve out of the goodness of their hearts, I'm afraid you've got a hopelessly rosy outlook on the character of the modern Republican party in Congress.  They had been blocking that extension all year long.

                •  Revisionism (0+ / 0-)

                  Obama did not promise to use the extension as a bargaining chip for the unemployed.  


                  Sep 9, 2010  OBAMA: Look, the reason is because those folks, as I said over the last decade, at the time when the Republicans were in charge, didn't see a wage increase. Did not see their incomes go up at a time when their costs for health care, for college tuition, for everything else was going up. So, they are just barely keeping their heads above water. The one group that actually saw their incomes increase substantially when … Republicans were in charge, were the top two percent of Americans. The folks who saw the biggest jump were the top one tenth of one percent of Americans.

                      STEPHANOPOULOS: Does that mean you will veto an extension of tax cuts to the wealthy?

                      OBAMA: What I am saying is that if we are going to add to our deficit by $35 billion, $95 billion, $100 billion, $700 billion, if that's the Republican agenda, then I've got a whole bunch of better ways to spend that money.

                      STEPHANOPOULOS: But you're not saying you're gonna veto it.

                      OBAMA: I, there are a whole bunch better ways to spend the money.

                      STEPHANOPOULOS: How come you don't want to say veto?

                      OBAMA: There are a whole bunch better ways to spend the money.

                  •  lg he *did* use the extension to extend unemplymnt (0+ / 0-)

                    Maybe you've forgotten, but that was the deal in December.  
                    Your quote is from early September.  Later that month the Dems in Congress caved and agreed not to bring up the tax cut extensions before the November election, scared that the Rs would label them as "increasing your taxes" even on the very wealthy.
                    So, in December, with unemployment benefits AND the Bush tax cuts both expiring as of the end of the month, he cut the deal that extended both (AND included a payroll tax cut, AND cleared the way for Congress to repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell, etc.).
                    From the December 7, 2010 Washington Post:

                    President Obama and congressional Republicans have reached a tentative accord on a far-reaching economic package that would preserve George W. Bush administration tax breaks for families at all income levels for two years, extend emergency jobless benefits through 2011 and cut payroll taxes by 2 percent for every American worker through the end of next year.
                    The scope of the agreement, announced by the White House late Monday, was far broader than lawmakers in either party had been expecting. The deal would extend a college tuition tax credit and other breaks for middle-class families that were due to expire New Year's Eve. And it would revive the inheritance tax after a year-long lapse, imposing a 35 percent rate on estates worth more than $5 million for individuals and $10 million for couples.

                    (Emphasis added).
                    12/7/10 Wa Po

    •  Obama uses leverage against Dems, not GOP... (1+ / 0-)
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      marty marty

      If he has leverage against the GOP, he'll give it away and get nothing in return.

      Please help to fight hunger with a donation to Feeding America.

      by MJB on Sun Jul 31, 2011 at 12:51:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  MJB, like an extension of unemployment benefits? (0+ / 0-)

        In December of last year President Obama got an extension of unemployment benefits for millions of out-of-work Americans in the midst of the worst economic times in 75 years, in addition to clearing the way for the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell and other important legislation.
        You consider that "nothing?"

        I respectfully suggest you are wrong about that.
        I think it was very important to the nation's weak economy, and it was absolutely crucial to those millions of desperate Americans and their families, MJB.

        I understand that many are frustrated that our national politics hasn't more favorable to progressives over the last few years.
        But let's not forget what's important.

        •  You've said that same thing in > 10 comments (1+ / 0-)
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          We understand your point of view.

          Please help to fight hunger with a donation to Feeding America.

          by MJB on Sun Jul 31, 2011 at 01:07:29 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  MJB, so what's your response? (0+ / 0-)

            I mean, aside from "Obama sucks!"

            You claimed the Presidenbt gets "nothing" in return in his negotiations with Republicans.
            I pointed out just what he has gotten in return in his past negotiations.
            I get that you're frustrated that everything isn't as you would like it to be.
            But, in the real world, where Republicans have a share of the power and wield it effectively, what do you expect?

            You don't seem to think it will make any difference that President Obama and the Dems may have some increased leverage from the tax cuts expiring.
            So what do you think should be done?

          •  The unemployment extention was (0+ / 0-)

            trivial compared to the disaster that the Bush tax cuts will cause. Six months of benefit to some unemployed people, compared to the austerity that the teabaggers (with Obama's acquiescence) are now forcing on us? Come on, it makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.


            •  Trivial? Not for millions of desperate Americans (0+ / 0-)

              The unemployment benefit extension continued modest benefits for millions of unemployed Americans and their families right in the midst of extremely hard times.
              Almost every single dollar of benefits was spent and very quickly began recirculating in the national economy, going almost immediately back out to landlords and grocery stores and hardware stores and vendors and businesses of all kinds.
              There was also a payroll tax cut as part of the bargain that also helped put some additional dollars into the paychecks of millions of people.

              I'd hardly call that "trivial," lgcap.

              And remember, it was in exchange for a two-year extension of the tax cuts -- so those cuts will expire at the end of next year, giving the Dems and President Obama leverage over the Rs.

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