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View Diary: The Problem With the Defense Spending Triggered Cut (19 comments)

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  •  I disagree on the Bush tax cuts. (0+ / 0-)

    I think that if you watched Obama's attempted strategy in 2010, it was clear (to me at least) that before the election, Obama felt a fight over limiting the extension to below-$250,000 would be beneficial for the Democrats, but Congressional Democrats didn't want to hold a vote before the election.  Then in December, they had a dramatically weakened bargaining position because they would have gotten an even worse offer as of January 3 and had other things they wanted to do in the lame duck.  And even then, Obama refused to agree to a permanent extension.  (As you have said in the past, Obama does have certain red lines; a permanent extension, at least without getting something very good for it, it one of them.)

    This time, when the focus is on whether Obama can win re-election and there are fewer Blue Dogs to influence the Congressional leadership, I don't see why Obama would give in on the tax-cut issue in the runup to the 2012 elections.  if the Republicans propose the extension as all-or-nothing, which I agree with you they probably will, then Obama will be saying to the voters, please give me a Democratic House and re-elect me if you want the wealthy to pay their fair share, and then we'll get the tax cuts for everyone other than the rich extended in January 2013.

    Electoral politics are, in fact, crucial here.  The Bush tax cuts will not get permanently extended for the wealthy if we re-elect Obama and elect a Democratic House in 2012; they will if Obama is defeated, and if he is re-elected but the Republican House majority holds onto its power, the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy will remain an open issue.

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