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The incoming ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, Orrin Hatch, is signaling that an extension beyond two years would be acceptable:

"A reasonable path forward should be on the table," Mr. Hatch said. "It would garner support from Democrats and Republicans alike. That path forward is an extension of all the tax relief well past the next election."

This notion was initially floated by Peter Orszag, who served as the White House budget director until he resigned in July.

Mr. Hatch rejected another compromise idea that has been floated of extending the lower tax rates for so-called middle-class Americans permanently, while only temporarily continuing the discounted rates for wealthier Americans.

President Obama has signaled that he will accept a two-year extension of tax cuts for the rich, and the first thing Republicans do is demand a foot. This is exactly why compromising before the fight does not work. Republicans intend to run down the clock, because President Obama has revealed his main fear:

Let’s start where we agree. All of us want certainty for middle-class Americans. None of us want them to wake up on January 1st with a higher tax bill.

The problem is that Republicans wouldn't mind at all if middle-class Americans woke up to a bigger tax bill. They want their tax cuts for the rich, or they'll happily engage in a full-scale political attack. They will do what they always do: rev up the noise machine to say that Obama is raising everyone's taxes. They are actually relishing the fight if that were to happen. Ezra Klein pointed this out in July:

The new Republican line is that there's a "Democrat tax hike" on the way. And it's a big 'un: "An unprecedented $3.8 trillion increase" that will affect -- and this is their bold and underline, not mine -- "every American who pays income taxes!"

Republicans are more than happy to run down the clock and increase the pressure. Can you see Senate Democrats shaking in their boots as December 31 nears? I can.

This is why President Obama should turn the tables on that argument by pointing out, repeatedly, the truth: It was President Bush and Republicans who created this expiring tax cut business in the first place. By making it clear that it is Republicans who created this mess, he can then step in with a new "Obama Permanent Tax Cut for the Middle Class." The only way to win this thing is to outflank the GOP and go on offense, not continuing to offer a weak posture that only encourages them to keep moving the goalposts.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Tue Nov 09, 2010 at 11:16 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

    •  obama on taxes (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dunvegan, Gorette, MartyM

      http://politifact.com/...

      Obama said. "They're much lower than they were under Dwight Eisenhower." ...
      during the eight years of the Eisenhower presidency, the top rate averaged roughly 90 percent, typically hitting individuals making $200,000 a year or couples making $400,000 a year. In 2010 dollars, that's equivalent to $1.6 million for an individual and $3.2 million for a couple. Someone making the 1954 equivalent of $186,825 in today's money would have paid a tax rate of 59 percent back then. ...

      •  many companies paid no U.S. income taxes (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cybersaur, Gorette, laker

        http://www.reuters.com/...

        The Government Accountability Office said 72 percent of all foreign corporations and about 57 percent of U.S. companies doing business in the United States paid no federal income taxes for at least one year between 1998 and 2005.

        More than half of foreign companies and about 42 percent of U.S. companies paid no U.S. income taxes for two or more years in that period, the report said. ...

      •  Here's the speech he needs to give: (0+ / 0-)

        "You’ll hear the Republicans talking about a Democratic tax increase of almost $4trillion dollars over the next ten years.  This is not simply not true.  The Bush tax increases were always temporary, and legislated to expire in 10 years, which is up on December 31 of this year.  The question that you should be asking is why they were only temporary.  So, why the ten years?  The Bush tax cuts did not have enough support to pass the Senate.  They could not be advanced beyond the 60 votes needed to stop the filibuster.  Sensible representatives saw that these were paid for with borrowed money.  They rightfully opposed funding tax cuts with borrowed money, particularly when the lion’s share of those cuts went to the wealthiest 2%.  People who really didn’t need it, and did not turn around and make meaningful investments.  Since they couldn’t get them through the Senate in the normal manner, they had to use a process called budget reconciliation.  You may recall the commentary coming from the GOP during the healthcare debate that the budget reconciliation process was never used and would be tantamount to the end of civilization if legislation was passed using this process.  They used it, and we are still here.  The budget reconciliation process has strict rules.  It says that you can’t pass a measure that will last for more than ten years, unless it shrinks the deficit.  The CBO determined that these cuts on borrowed money would definitely not shrink the deficit.  And so, here we are ten years later with budget busting tax cuts about to expire.  Why? Because they would not shrink the deficit.
        But you need to ask the proponenets of continued tax cuts for the wealthiest 2%, tax cuts that will add nearly another trillion to our deficit, why they won’t let you, in the middle class have a tax cut, without asking the best off among us (which will also include yours truly) to pay a mere 3% more on all money above $250,000.  That’s what we are talking about.  They are holding your tax cuts hostage in an attempt to secure a windfall for millionaires and billionaires.  Some might say that this is "class warfare,"  " a war on the rich."  Nothing could be farther from the truth.  If you make that kind of money you are much more likely to make more use of the government services.  You are more likely to make greater use of the judicial system, highways, airports, ports to ship your goods.  The unique protection of patents and intellectual property.  In other words, the ‘infrastructure of success’ that is unique in this country.
        But here’s another reason.  After the elections of 2002, the idea was floated for another round of tax cuts.  Tax cuts that the President was hesitant on.  Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill tried to warn that growing budget deficits-expected to top $500 billion this fiscal year alone-posed a threat to the economy.  The vice-President responded "You know, Paul, Reagan proved deficits don’t matter, We won the midterms. This is our due."
        "This is our due."  Think about that.  They knew that they were facing heretofore unheard of deficits after only two years previously being handed a budget surplus.  Yet it was their "due" to have these tax cuts.  Tax cuts that certainly benefitted the vice-President, not to mention most of their campaign contributors.
        "This is our due."  To take from the national treasury on borrowed money.
        "This is our due."  To saddle generations of working Americans with a debt in order to enable their lifestyle.
        "This is our due."  To make more friends that might contribute more of that money.

        So ask the Republicans, those that profess to care about the deficit, how they can take more from the national treasury, blowing another trillion dollar hole in the deficit, and leave you, middle class America, paying the bill.

        "I never understood why the French cut off Marie Antoinette's head. Now I fucking GET IT!" - Lewis Black

        by billybam on Tue Nov 09, 2010 at 02:27:59 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Because there is always time to bring it on. (17+ / 0-)

      Obama COULD very eaasily become a pulpit-pounding leader who DEMANDS things rather than ask politely and patiently.

      Lead, dammit.

      America's Priorities 11.8.10: Torture - Yes, Marijuana - No.

      by xxdr zombiexx on Tue Nov 09, 2010 at 11:35:29 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  They're not merely moving the goalposts (44+ / 0-)

    It's Lucy, Charlie Brown, and the football. Again.  And again.  And again.  

    WTF else is new?

    If I show my support and enthusiasm for positive change, I create an environment that enables the change to be made even better.

    by Richard Cranium on Tue Nov 09, 2010 at 11:19:57 AM PST

    •  Exactly (9+ / 0-)

      A couple of days ago, I wrote a diary in which I criticized the president for signalling compromise on this issue -- and well... got lots of negative reactions.

      Of course the repukes are moving the goal posts... Obama virtually WELCOMED them to do it.

      Perhaps this front page article will generate less negativity than my diary entry.

      ** sigh **

      •  just read your diary... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kevin k

        ...your "problem" was that it was too logical, just made too much sense. I strive to never let good ole common horse sense get in the way of knee-jerk, reflexive compulsions to pick a fight with the truth. But you know the truth is like water. It always finds its way to the surface, no matter how many tons of dirt we throw on top of it trying to bury it. And both water and the truth stings the ones they're pointed at, if sprayed under enough pressure!

        "I wish to have no connection with any ship that does not sail fast, for I intend to go in harm's way." John Paul Jones

        by ImpeachKingBushII on Tue Nov 09, 2010 at 01:02:19 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Bring it Lucy! Let my taxes revert higher. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      trumpeter, CKendall

      Just don't capitulate on taxing the wealthy. I'll consider it a campaign contribution. In exchange:

      1.) Make sure you blame Republcans for this loudly and often.
      2.) Only charge me 5 cents for psychiatric care when corporatists drive me crazy.

    •  There should've been a vote BEFORE (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ImpeachKingBushII

      the elections.  Put the Dem plan and the GOP plan on the floor of each house, and force everyone to take a stand.  If the GOP threatened to filibuster in Senate, let them do so.

      Dems already lost this "battle."  Only question now is over the terms of their surrender.

      Some men see things as they are and ask why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not?

      by RFK Lives on Tue Nov 09, 2010 at 12:41:34 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  now repeat after me... (0+ / 0-)

        "Ever since the HCR debate when the public option and universal HC were taken off the table before the first up or down vote "shot was fired", I will never again let my highest expectations that we learned anything from our first black eye, prevent me from getting another one...and another one...and another one...ad infinitum."

        "Lather, rinse, repeat".

        "I wish to have no connection with any ship that does not sail fast, for I intend to go in harm's way." John Paul Jones

        by ImpeachKingBushII on Tue Nov 09, 2010 at 01:29:47 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  You are correct...tout the savings that the (19+ / 0-)

    middle class will enjoy with their tax cuts....and force republicans to stand/vote against it.

  •  They know he's a wimp and act accordingly. (29+ / 0-)

    I wish it weren't so, but it is.  The only people against whom he's ever been willing to slug it out are actual progressives and real Democrats.

    Visit http://theuptake.org/ for Minnesota news as it happens.

    by Phoenix Woman on Tue Nov 09, 2010 at 11:20:23 AM PST

  •  2 years? (8+ / 0-)

    Gee, just in time for the next Presidential election.
    I thinking Orrin wouldn't approve of a 3 year deal.

    Never argue with a fool, they will lower you to their level and then beat you with experience.

    by God loves goats on Tue Nov 09, 2010 at 11:20:41 AM PST

  •  Nice little tax cut you (19+ / 0-)

    middle-class have there, it'd be a shame if something happened to it.

    Freaking republican thugs.

  •  Another Day, Another Democratic Cave.. (26+ / 0-)

    Is there ANYTHING the Democrats won't cave on?????

    And people are upset at a How To Expat Diary on here..

    When the Retirement age is 75, Social Security is cut 20%, and Medicaid is raided into basically not being able to function, will THEN be a good time?????

    Wait for it..

    After all, those ideas are "Bipartisan"...

  •  Fat chance with the MSM (13+ / 0-)

    firmly under Republican control. I think the real reason NBC screwed with Olbermann was a shot across our bow - we can't count on them or anybody else to give equal time to the Democrats' case. Those networks are run by selfish, rich assholes just like every other business in America.

    Of course I want Obama to play chicken with the Republicans. But he's got a Prius and they have a Mack truck.

    It is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness - Eleanor Roosevelt

    by Fish in Illinois on Tue Nov 09, 2010 at 11:22:30 AM PST

  •  Another bad Rethug idea that Obama is considering (6+ / 0-)

    It will never end.

  •  Ya. We get far telling Obama what he SHOULD do. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Major Tom, hhex65, boofdah
  •  ASDF (18+ / 0-)

    I'm quoting from this diary, posted yesterday.

    "From 1950 through 1980, the share of all income in America going to everyone but the rich increased from 64 percent to 65 percent. Because the nation’s economy was growing handsomely, the average income for 9 out of l0 Americans was growing, too – from $17,719 to $30,941. That’s a 75 percent increase in income in constant 2008 dollars.  

    But then it stopped. Since 1980 the economy has also continued to grow handsomely, but only a fraction at the top have benefitted. The line flattens for the bottom 90% of Americans. Average income went from that $30,941 in 1980 to $31,244 in 2008. Think about that: the average income of Americans increased just $303 dollars in 28 years."  

    "C.E.O.’s of the largest American companies earned an average of 42 times as much as the average worker in 1980, but 531 times as much in 2001. Perhaps the most astounding statistic is this: From 1980 to 2005, more than four-fifths of the total increase in American incomes went to the richest 1 percent."

    •  factoring in inflation (0+ / 0-)

      that 300 dollar rise not even noticed. In reality itwas like a huge cut-it was wiped out by the decline in purchasing power.
      Real incomes for the bottom 4/5ths dropped during that 28 year span.

      cast away illusions, prepare for struggle

      by Pete Rock on Tue Nov 09, 2010 at 11:58:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  For those still not getting it: (14+ / 0-)

    Here Come Bush Tax Cuts For The Rich

    And you can take that to any bailed out bank...

    More and Better Democrats

    by SJerseyIndy on Tue Nov 09, 2010 at 11:24:03 AM PST

  •  I assume Dems didn't spend all their $$ pre-11/3 (4+ / 0-)

    With what's left over, they should run ads depicting this for what it is, a hostage standoff between the two parties.  And it's Republicans who are holding the gun to the head of ordinary non-plutocratic taxpayers.

    Or Obama could, as per my diaries (the source of all sounds government policy), propose retaining the tax cuts for the wealthy in the form of tax credits for domestic investment.  If Republicans reject that, they're defending the right of wealthy people to send their tax cuts abroad or spend them on new yachts.

    The most impressive thing about man [...] is the fact that he has invented the concept of that which does not exist--Glenn Gould

    by Rich in PA on Tue Nov 09, 2010 at 11:24:12 AM PST

  •  Obama will fold like a cheap lawn chair. (11+ / 0-)

    The rethuglicans know it, the press knows it and all but the most deluded Obama worshipping Dems know it as well. Just get it over with and capitulate already Mr. President, why draw this thing out any longer then necessary? Sure, you could have put this entire issue to bed before the elections by holding a vote back then and making the richest Americans (who are the only people in this nation to have prospered over the past decade) to pay their fair share. But that would have required you to show some actual leadership and for you to stick by your principles, if in fact you have any principles that you are not willing to sell out.

    •  May I remind you (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dunvegan, CalliopeIrjaPearl

      That there is a separation of powers in this country, that the President advocated for just that and the senator said there is no way to go over filibuster and we may even not have 50 and that even in the house they did not have the votes.

    •  To be fair (5+ / 0-)

      Obama could not hold a vote in Congress.  Harry Reid or Nancy Pelosi could. His failure is in not using his incredible communications skills to back up Pelosi and Reid.  That's the way it should work - he hammers the opposition relentlessly, and the Congressional leadership moves the bill through.  Now that's much more difficult with the House in GOP hands.

      He needs (needed) to dump the community organizer mindset, the mindset that says don't do anything until there's a base of support driving the issue forward.  

      "Die Stimme der Vernuft ist leise." (The voice of reason is soft)

      by ivorybill on Tue Nov 09, 2010 at 11:35:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Yea well hope in one hand... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Major Tom, boofdah, bluicebank, kevin k
    ...and shit in the other.  Democrats inaction is starting to really try my patience on all matters political.  Hope is like oil, it is a finite resource.  Each opportunity the Dems fail to capitalize on is no different that me pouring a quart onto the ground, it's no good to anyone when its wasted.
  •  I just don't understand why Obama is (12+ / 0-)

    playing this game with them. The fact is, BO lowered the tax rates and people STILL think they went up. Jesus Christ on a cinderblock!  Does Obama really think that if he gets a 2 year extension for the wealthy in exchange for a permanent tax cut for the (ever shrinking) middle class that the middle class will thank him for it later??  The electorate won't know or care by the time '12 rolls around.  Use these past elections as a something to learn from!

    Let the damn tax cuts expire. Then go from there.

  •  Don't worry Obama will give in as usual.... (3+ / 1-)
    Recommended by:
    Anthony Segredo, Major Tom, beerh
    Hidden by:
    Pete Rock

    Name a single case where Obama hasn't given in to GOP demands? A single case? Obama is a GOP plant, who just does their bidding every time and is used to create fake drama to give the GOP their means of moving farther and farther to the right. Obama is the worst stooge in American history ad he's completely destroying the progressive movement.

  •  I've never seen a president give away so much... (15+ / 0-)

    ...before even sitting down to the table. He has to be the worst negotiator I've ever seen.

  •  An army of people could shout "I told you so" - (6+ / 0-)

    Seriously, how many people said that this should have been tackled before the election when Democrats could control the conversation?

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Tue Nov 09, 2010 at 11:26:16 AM PST

  •  So, is the President lying or deluded? (5+ / 0-)

    Let’s start where we agree. All of us want certainty for middle-class Americans. None of us want them to wake up on January 1st with a higher tax bill.

    This is obviously not the case -- The GOP is completely ok with middle-class Americans waking up with a higher tax bill if they can blame it on Obama.  Is the President lying, or does he suffer from the delusion that this is so?

  •  Let them expire...ALL of them. (16+ / 0-)

    Write a new Obama tax cut bill in 2011 that will take effect in 2012.  Leave the rich fuckers out of it.

    Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

    by darthstar on Tue Nov 09, 2010 at 11:26:27 AM PST

  •  Reps are counting the days until the Dem majority (0+ / 0-)

    is no more.  After the two years and the Dems are gone they will simply make the cuts PERMANENT.

  •  JAM It Through (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SLKRR, xxdr zombiexx

    What was that procedural vote they did last year?

    Brilliant.  It pissed off the republicans to NO END, but it got the job done.

    What was that thing called again?

    Wouldn't this work under that rule?

  •  It appears to me the question is not Obama (7+ / 0-)

    The problem is winning the framing war when the MSM refuses to even begin to consider the possibility of doing their jobs.

    In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra

    by blue aardvark on Tue Nov 09, 2010 at 11:27:27 AM PST

    •  Bingo. But that of course would mean the MSM... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dunvegan, blue aardvark, DRo, laker

      ...would have to actually give Democrats equal time to convey their frames, rather than being overwhelmed constantly by the bigmouths (and big money) on the right.

      President Obama will need us, and we will need each other, now more than ever.

      by boofdah on Tue Nov 09, 2010 at 11:31:25 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Eugene Robinson (5+ / 0-)

      had this comment in a Q&A this morning:

      Eugene Robinson writes:

      I agree, except I take issue with the part about "the media" not presenting the full story. The media basically chooses to "spout" what the politicians spout at us, and I can't think of a Democratic officeholder who argued the progressive case about the public's view of health care reform as well as you did in your question.  All these facts were reported -- you are fully aware of them, after all -- but yes, the truth did get out-shouted by GOP and Tea Party critics who defined the language of the debate. Instead of even shouting back, much less fighting back, too many Democrats ran away.

      Some truth there. We can't always blame the media when Democrats aren't out there defending their positions.

      The brilliant, liberal voice of Sam Seder is back! Free mp3 play, Free live stream, Free i-Tunes. M-F show. (Free for now.)

      by OLinda on Tue Nov 09, 2010 at 11:36:57 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Well that's the beauty of it (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      laker

      All we have to do is nothing at all.

      The GOP only gets its way if the Dems do anything at all.

      The problem is the Dems too often mobilize to make painful concessions to the right happen.

      We are real and soulful, with heart and mind, feelings and flesh, thoughts and motives mixed and bright and dark all at once.

      by cskendrick on Tue Nov 09, 2010 at 12:04:57 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  President Obama has faith in his fellow (8+ / 0-)
    man.  He doesn't realize that Rethuglicans aren't coming to the table ready to negotiate.  They're coming to the table to turn it over on top of him.  The president obviously wants to work hard to get more Americans jobs.  The Rethuglicans obviously want to work hard putting Obama out of a job.  Period.  That's their only goal.  Appealing to their "better angels" is praiseworthy and admirable, but they HAVE NO ANGELS.  They are working for their corporate overlords and their religious masters and their agenda is clear:  Obama As A One Term President who gets NOTHING DONE for the American people for the next two years.  Period.

    I hope President Obama quickly realizes that his expectations of fair and honest dealings with the opposition will occur over the next two years is a pipe dream.  They're out to get him out.  Period.  Oh, and they sure do SUCK.  What's new?

    Fox News + Saudi Prince = Propaganda Promoting Sedition

    by Little Lulu on Tue Nov 09, 2010 at 11:28:05 AM PST

    •  When appealing to the South's better angels did (0+ / 0-)

      not work, President Lincoln defeated the South. He did not surrender or split the difference with them. I still think President Obama is that kind of President. I still have hope.

      •  Then he, like Lincoln, will have a civil war (0+ / 0-)

        The righties are champing at the bit for one.

        I say call the bluff. We need to stare them back in the eye and say, calmly and clearly - "We're willing to fight for OUR country. Are you sure you want to do this?"

        And have it mean something.

        Or.. we can watch our leadership fold yet again.

        But this Lucy and the Football act the Republicans are always playing on the Dems is getting old.

        We are real and soulful, with heart and mind, feelings and flesh, thoughts and motives mixed and bright and dark all at once.

        by cskendrick on Tue Nov 09, 2010 at 12:03:56 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Lincoln was generous AFTER he won. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        We Won

        But prior to Appomattox, his resolve was as firm as Bethlehem Steel. People don't remember, but it was Lincoln who coined the phrase "unconditional surrender."

        a spook who sits by the door

        by brooklynbadboy on Tue Nov 09, 2010 at 12:24:27 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  How could he be that stupid? (0+ / 0-)

      No, I have to believe that he knows what he is doing. He wasn't born yesterday under a cabbage patch. He has to be a willing accomplice to the destruction of the American working man.

  •  Let the Republican tax hike go in place (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CalliopeIrjaPearl, laker, TheBrian123

    and SCREAM [b][u]REPUBLICAN TAX HIKE[/u][/b] until every Democrat is blue in the face.

    Hey Boehner! When are you gonna fixit?

    by Walt starr on Tue Nov 09, 2010 at 11:28:09 AM PST

  •  I'm sorry--why the f* would Obama say that? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    boofdah
    ('All of us want certainty for the middle class') Is he really that naive and beaten down?!?
  •  Why can't Obama understand this? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Major Tom, boofdah, Mr MadAsHell, tardis10

    The only way to win this thing is to outflank the GOP and go on offense, not continuing to offer a weak posture that only encourages them to keep moving the goalposts.

    The way things are going, he's going to be remembered not as a second FDR, but as a second Jimmy Carter style whuss.

    We're all pretty strange one way or another; some of us just hide it better. "Normal" is a dryer setting.

    by david78209 on Tue Nov 09, 2010 at 11:29:42 AM PST

  •  yeah he is beaten (0+ / 0-)

    He thought he would come in and save America. If he doesn't draw a line in the sand on the tax cuts he should just not run and let Hillary take over.

  •  Let Them Expire on Everyone (10+ / 0-)

    The Democrats should refuse to extend the Bush tax cuts for those over $250,000 even if it means letting them all expire. Then they should loudly blame the Republicans for raising taxes on the middleclass. Obama and the Democrats electorial future does not hang on these tax cuts. In two year either the economy will be doing well enough that most Americans will be making more money then they lost in tax cuts and Obama will be re-elected or the economy will still be in stasis and the Democrats and Obama will go down in flames. Either way the tax-cuts will not be the deciding the factor. Obama needs to stop opperating from a place of fear and learn how to stand his ground.

  •  Why were the middle class tax cuts counted as (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ferg, Major Tom, Deadicated Marxist

    stimulus as it was approximately 50% of the stimulus package and the Bush Tax Cuts are just "TAX CUTS?"

  •  I'm not sorry anymore. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Major Tom, CKendall, laker

    that Obama is being put on the spot. He needs to lead. And giving in on tax extensions is not how to lead. If he has to lose, so be it. What the HELL does he get from the republicans if he goes for a 2 year tax extension? It will come up again. You know it, I know it, everyone knows it. He gets NOTHING. His base is alienated, republicans are emboldened and the narrative YET AGAIN is framed by republicans.

    In a democracy dissent is an act of faith. Like medicine, the test of its value is not in its taste, but in its effects. J. William Fulbright

    by crescentdave on Tue Nov 09, 2010 at 11:31:47 AM PST

  •  If Obama falls for this.... (13+ / 0-)

    Even I may be through with him.  

    The 10-year term for these tax cuts, passed under reconciliation with a maximum of 10 years as I recall, was meant to cause the expiration to hit the President after Bush, with a ballooning deficit.  

    Extend the tax cuts and the huge deficit will only be Obama's fault.  That's why they want to extend them past 2012.  Because they act with wily cunning and we act like we're brand new at this game.  

    The facts:  the Bush tax cuts did NOTHING for this economy.  The economy tanked, they did nothing to create jobs.  TELL THE FACTS, MR. PRESIDENT.  

    People who will buy shoes and school books and feed and clothe their families -- their tax cuts help the economy.  With demand, you jackasses.  In fact, higher tax rates spur business and investment.  Once you've given away the store up front, there is no reason to open a business.  They'd rather buy antiques and $20,000 baseballs signed by some illiterate ballplayer.  

    The answer has to be "no", Mr. President.  A good portion of the deficit is the fault of the higher bracket tax cuts and must end.  Give them a year and YOU hold them hostage.  

    If Obama doesn't draw a line here, then even I think we're doomed.  

  •  Looks like Obama is... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Major Tom

    Pushing off everything until 2012 hoping he will enough things to run on to make people forget his bungling things.

    DADT? Well let's just wait, and we can run on it in 2012

    Tax cuts for the rich? Sure I promised it, but it's easier politically to extend them to 2012 and hope that we can run on it in 2012

    Immigration? Eh, let's deal with that later. Hopefully we can use it to get Latino support in 2012

    Yes, I know it's difficult to get things done with the blue dogs and GOP mucking things up. It would be nice, however, if Pres. Obama could go on offense on these important issues.

    He's fond of saying "If the GOP (fill in the blanks), then that's a fight I'm willing to have". Seems to ring a bit hollow.

  •  Aaaargh! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Major Tom, CKendall, NatureHound

    I am so Sick of caving in to the wishes of the Corporate Class!  Sick, I tell you!

    This is not the country I grew up in and I want "OUR" country back.....

    Extend the tax cut for the Rich for 2 more years??? I am livid and my hair is on fire!  What is Obama thinking?   And what the hell are we gonna do for $$$ in the meantime?  We need that $$$ back because most of it is ours to begin with, and it is theirs only because it was ill-gotten.  Let the Rich eat stale white Bunny Bread......

    I am disgusted.  Negotiate with the Repugs?  Never.

    Arggggh, I say....Arrrrgh!

    End of rant....for now.....

    "What, Me Worry?"...King George Walker Alfred Eusless Newman Bush

    by RantNRaven on Tue Nov 09, 2010 at 11:32:38 AM PST

  •  Only agree if it includes a permanant break for (0+ / 0-)

    under 250,000

  •  Shouldn't we ask the losing Blue dogs what they (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CKendall, NatureHound

    think?

    And how about Lieberweenie, Ben Nelson and Sen Manchin?

    Should we consider how the repubs could distort our position in 30 second ads?

    Aren't we glad we didn't pass this BEFORE the election?

    (how many of the dem senators who voted against solving this before the election lost?)

    Umm, that's PRESIDENT Obama and SENATOR Franken, mr. o'reilly.

    by filby on Tue Nov 09, 2010 at 11:32:45 AM PST

  •  he could mention (5+ / 0-)

    that it was a misguided tax cut for the wealthy by Bush in a time of war when we could least afford it. It is what caused so much of our current budget and deficit problems. Bush knew it was unsustainable, and that's why he made provisions for it to expire. Now is not the time to extend it.

    During the campaigns Dems were all saying what a horrible thing the tax cuts were "in a time of war" but now you never hear it.

    The brilliant, liberal voice of Sam Seder is back! Free mp3 play, Free live stream, Free i-Tunes. M-F show. (Free for now.)

    by OLinda on Tue Nov 09, 2010 at 11:33:11 AM PST

  •  Orrin Hatch is more reactive Republican Scum (6+ / 0-)
    He is dishonorable and a liar. He cannot be trusted.

    it SUCKS Obama has already -caved- sought to appease republicans with this tax-cut extension bullshit, but BELIEVING anything Hatch says qualifies one as "dumb".

    Why, oh why, can't we just stick to our guns?

    Why?

    Th GOP does it.

    It can be done.

    Leadership, at this time, would be telling Mr. Hatch to shut the hell up and forget this tax cit extension.

    God it makes me sick how quickly Democrats abandon their values in the VAIN hopes of change from republicans.

    America's Priorities 11.8.10: Torture - Yes, Marijuana - No.

    by xxdr zombiexx on Tue Nov 09, 2010 at 11:33:50 AM PST

  •  One of the problems with the tax fight (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zizi

    is that the Democrats are not on the same page.  We have some Democrats who want one year extension, others two years, others full extension, etc.

    The GOP are on the same page.

    Jim Manley: "Republicans are making love to Wall Street, while the people on Main Street are getting screwed."

    by Drdemocrat on Tue Nov 09, 2010 at 11:34:29 AM PST

  •  Actually the Democrats still have 59 Senate (8+ / 0-)

    seats until December 1st and huge majorities in the House so who gives a shit what Cantor has to say about taxes.

    Voinovich has already said that he doesn't want ANY of the Bush tax cuts extended so what the Senate Democrats need to do is talk to Voinovich and make a deal with each other and Voinovich to be the 60th vote.

    Jim Manley: "Republicans are making love to Wall Street, while the people on Main Street are getting screwed."

    by Drdemocrat on Tue Nov 09, 2010 at 11:36:46 AM PST

  •  No one could have anticipated this! (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Major Tom, puakev, Rabbithead, laker

    Doesn't pre-conceding always work?

    I now think that the Dems should just present a new bill in the rump session to extend middle-class tax cuts permanently, period.  Let the House and Senate Republicans vote it down.  More political theater, people!  If we don't do it, they will!

    They tortured people
    to get false confessions
    to fraudulently justify
    invasion of Iraq!

    by Seneca Doane on Tue Nov 09, 2010 at 11:37:18 AM PST

  •  Republicans: "I want the Sun"! (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SLKRR, justmy2, laker, NatureHound

    Obama: "How about the Moon"?

    Republicans: "Okay, we'll take it...and we still want the Sun"

    Moral? Meet them halfway and they'll end up with three quarters :-/

    (-9,-9) pragmatic incrementalist :-P

    by Enterik on Tue Nov 09, 2010 at 11:38:41 AM PST

  •  all of this is just stupid. (9+ / 0-)

    Let all the tax cuts expire, then introduce a bill with a new set of tax cuts for only the middle class and down. Fuck the Bush tax cuts. There's no need to fight this fight at all.

    Break the Cornspiracy! Eat grass-fed.

    by ubertar on Tue Nov 09, 2010 at 11:38:47 AM PST

    •  let them expire (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ferg, Major Tom, Dunvegan, NatureHound

      They were so horrible to the deficit when they were first passed that even a Republican Congress wasn't willing to pass them for more than 10 years. Replay their own arguments back to them.  Make it all about deficit reduction!!!!

    •  That seems to me the simplest, clearest way (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ubertar

      to turn this entire debate on its ear. That is why I said on Sunday the President should just go on offense and have the IRS send a shitload of letters out telling them the Bush tax cuts are expiring. End of Story.

      Then announce you will introduce new Obama tax cuts and go campaign on them.

      I just don't get why this president would box himself in because of fear.

      a spook who sits by the door

      by brooklynbadboy on Tue Nov 09, 2010 at 12:33:02 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  You also need a clear definition of middle class (0+ / 0-)

      Really it should be 350k or less for a family.  The people who need to pay up are the Koch brother and their ilk. The people making MILLIONs of dollars of per year.

      Give me government-run healthcare over Wall Street-run healthcare anyday...

      by trillian on Tue Nov 09, 2010 at 12:33:12 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  looks like everyone gets permanent tax cuts (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    abarrenfuture

    And if this is the starting point for the negotiation, we probably will all be getting extra tax cuts thrown in.

  •  Someone check me here but... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SLKRR

    Under current Senate rules, isn't this situation that would decrease the budget deficit?  Doesnt that fall under the rubric of eligible for reconciliation?  We certainly have 51 votes for everyone but the top 2%, why cant we just ram it through GOP style?

    The righties already hate Obama, it's not going to lose him any support, that's something he has been hemmorhaging since Jan 2009.  Ram this through and let the GOP make the next play.

  •  Senator Voinovich can be the 60th vote (3+ / 0-)

    in the Senate on taxes.  All the Democratic Senators have to do is make a deal with Voinovich on going forward on taxes.

    Voinovich has already said that he doesn't want any of the Bush tax cuts to be extended so work with him.

    Who gives a shit what Cantor and Boner has to say for right now the Democrats have a lot more seats in the House than Republicans in the lame duck and it is the lame duck that will make the decision.

    Jim Manley: "Republicans are making love to Wall Street, while the people on Main Street are getting screwed."

    by Drdemocrat on Tue Nov 09, 2010 at 11:40:13 AM PST

  •  color me SHOCKED, JUST SHOCKED (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NatureHound

    no, not in the least shocked.

    "Kossacks are held to a higher standard. Like Hebrew National hot dogs." - blueaardvark

    by louisev on Tue Nov 09, 2010 at 11:41:24 AM PST

  •  Caving on taxes will just lead to bigger demands (5+ / 0-)

    when it is time to raise the debt ceiling. The last time Gov was shut down the Republicans backed down. Will they next time, or will they think that the Democrats will give up if they just wait long enough?

  •  I think Obama and the Dems have to do the right (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ferg, Dunvegan, CalliopeIrjaPearl

    thing.  We have several consecutive months of private sector job growth.  The economy is establishing a decent track record of job creation, it's just not fast enough given the hole that Bush put us in.  The fundamentally sound thing to do would be to let the tax cuts expire.  It would be the fiscally responsible thing to do and will actually help stimulate the economy by reducing the deficit, keeping interest rates low, giving the government more money to assist with stimulative activities or debt clearance and encourage banks to lend. The Bush tax cuts cost too much and are fiscally irresponsible.  

    Alternative rock with something to say: http://www.myspace.com/globalshakedown

    by khyber900 on Tue Nov 09, 2010 at 11:44:58 AM PST

    •  middle class tax cuts, yes (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Major Tom

      rich tax cuts, no.  It is fiscally irresponsible to give the rich tax cuts and the rich won't spend any money they get anyway so they won't help the economy.

      •  I don't think we need middle class tax cuts (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ferg, flynnieous

        either. Ultimately, that's what the GOP is daring Obama to do:  be willing to forego middle class tax cuts in order to hold to the position that the tax cuts for the wealthy are too costly to afford.  The GOP doesn't care about deficits, fiscal responsibility or sanity.  They simply want to bilk the public treasury to help their friends.

        Obama shouldn't try to moderate them out of some notion of acting like an adult (which everyone fears is his weakness).  Rather, he should follow through on his own analysis:  he has said several times that the Bush tax cuts are too expensive to afford.  Given that the economy is no longer in a fragile double-dip risk state, but rather is in the process of a slow recovery, it is better for the economy/jobs picture if there are no tax cuts for anyone rather than erring on the side of tax cuts for everyone just to keep the middle class happy.

        Politically, it helps him with his base to follow-through on a key campaign promise:  to kill the Bush tax cuts on the top tax bracket.

        Alternative rock with something to say: http://www.myspace.com/globalshakedown

        by khyber900 on Tue Nov 09, 2010 at 12:17:57 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  The GOP definition of (5+ / 0-)

    Bipartisanship is "having the other side give into 100% of your demands, plus some". Yet Obama seems to be willing to play their game, by their rules.

  •  Obama the star student still hasn't learned... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Major Tom, CKendall, NatureHound

    ...his lessons from either "Negotiation 101" or the "crash course" of the 2010 midterms.

    "President Obama has signaled that he will accept a two-year extension of tax cuts for the rich, and the first thing Republicans do is demand a foot."

    Here's a "signal" for you, Mr. Obama. Compromising with our arch-political enemies, the reich wing repubs, is a fool's errand and one that leads only to yours and this party's disastrous plummet into oblivion, irrelevancy and final defeat! Which begs me to ask the question, sir: Just whose side are you really on? The special moneyed corporate interests and the rich puppetmasters who like to think they rule this nation-or the American working class taxpayers who pay the bills around here? Don't tell me anything anymore. Your words are past feeling; they speak nothing more than volumes of austerity and draconianism to me, and your actions are to my ears deafening!

    "I wish to have no connection with any ship that does not sail fast, for I intend to go in harm's way." John Paul Jones

    by ImpeachKingBushII on Tue Nov 09, 2010 at 11:45:23 AM PST

    •  Funny thing is (8+ / 0-)

      Obama strikes me as a very smart guy who should know these things.

      His "refusal" to learn from his mistakes makes me wonder if he wants to learn from them at all.

      At some point, this is just who he is. A guy who is willing to give up 75-80% of what he wants just to get something passed.

      In other words, he'd rather pass 10 things, each 20% what he wants than pass 2 things with 75% of the things he wants. (by "he wants" I mean what he campaigned and ran on)

      Too idealistic that the GOP will play ball. Too idealistic that American voters will simply know the effects of the policies he creates (e.g. 8% know he cut taxes) and/or will vote rationally. Too idealistic that he can transcend "partisan politics"

      He seems so dead set on "transforming" politics (by everyone getting along) that he's forgetting to transform a country which has been steadily declining (for most) for the last 30+ years.

      •  words a true leader and fighter for justice... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        esquimaux, CKendall

        ...would say, and words that will never be spoken from this president's lips:

        "I'm not going to stand by while tens of millions of Americans whose lives are in disarray subsidize the plush lifestyles of the top one percent."

        Or,

        "If you take earned money from the hard working people struggling to get by and give it to the rich, what else can you call it but robbery?"

        No, never in a million years! Meteor Blades always said words to this effect: "Your words tell me how you stand but your actions will show me where you really stand!"

        "I wish to have no connection with any ship that does not sail fast, for I intend to go in harm's way." John Paul Jones

        by ImpeachKingBushII on Tue Nov 09, 2010 at 12:06:27 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Obama hasn't "learned" because he isn't a (4+ / 0-)

      student. He already knows what he wants to do.

      He wants to appease Republicans until there are no more disagreements between him and the GOP. And that's because Obama has no interest in being a Democrat.  He wants unity with Republicans at any cost.

      We know this by his behavior.

  •  this is revolting (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DRo, rationalrevo, NatureHound

    I'm well beyond disgust at this point.

    A person who campaigns on change and then defends the status quo has no business blaming the people who believed his promises.

    by RickD on Tue Nov 09, 2010 at 11:46:17 AM PST

  •  It's called negotiation (6+ / 0-)

    Too bad only one side is doing it.   The other side is busy capitulating and precompromising.

    The real question is whether hatch will be surprised when Dems go ahead and agree with him.

    I don't blame Republicans for acting like a real political party.  I blame Dems for refusig to act like one.

    "Senator McCain offered up the oldest Washington stunt in the book - you pass the buck to a commission to study the problem." - Senator Obama, 9-16-2008

    by justmy2 on Tue Nov 09, 2010 at 11:47:05 AM PST

    •  Hm. Can I get this to fit on a (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      justmy2

      bumper sticker?  It's perfect.

      I don't blame Republicans for acting like a real political party.  I blame Dems for refusing to act like one.

      Meanwhile, I'm going to use a variation in my next WH email.  Thanks.

      "Don't let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do." John Wooden

      by CKendall on Tue Nov 09, 2010 at 01:42:47 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The NEW Liberal consensus: (3+ / 1-)
    Recommended by:
    laker, rationalrevo, NatureHound
    Hidden by:
    zizi

    Obama is NOT a Democrat!

    Obama is NOT caving!

    Obama is not caving because he was a Republican all along!

    Obama PRETENDED to be a Democrat.

    Obama only SUGGESTED that he'd back liberal/progressive causes. He never intended to follow through.

    Obama is intent on ushering in a new corporatist/feudal society.

    Look at what he's DOING!! Ignore what he's saying!

    At every opportunity, he shows favoritism toward corporatists.

    At every opportunity, he DECIDES to evade confrontation with so-called political opponents.

    Obama is the best thing that could ever happen to Republicans.

    They can gain power through blaming Obama without having to oppose him, and they can demonize him at every opportunity. It's beautiful. They not only have him by the balls, but they're sucking the soul right out of him. And he stands still, like the perfect foil, sacrificing himself and the rest of us on the Altar of Corporatism.

  •  Proper framing would be (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CKendall, DRo, laker, NatureHound

    "Obama's tax cut for the middle class" and then silence.  If someone brings up the expiration of the Bush tax cuts, simply frame it as "yes, Bush gave you a tax cut also and now Obama is giving another tax cut to the middle class".  Let their heads explode about the expiration of the Bush tax cuts, not ours!

  •  the rich don't spend (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CalliopeIrjaPearl, NatureHound

    giving mroe to the rich won't help the GOP create any jobs.

    •  Rich and spending (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ferg, laker

      The rich spend more when their taxes are higher.

      Think about it -- when their taxes are higher, they are more encouraged to take risks in order to increase their income so that their after-tax income remains the same.

      When their taxes are low, they have less incentive to take risk, because their wealth is more secure.

      Let's say you have a furnace with four burners, providing what I'll call "heat wealth". One burner has always been broken, so you have less "heat wealth" than your capacity. No big deal, you get used to it. But then another burner fails and now you have gone from 3/4 to 1/2 of your potential "heat wealth". You are now more likely to start finding ways to increase the "heat wealth" of your house than you were before.

      This is why democratic administrations result in strong economies and republican ones result in recessions. Taxing the rich has positive results. They don't like it, of course, and they have the power to oppose it. But it's in their own interest, not the country as a whole. They SAY taxes reduce hiring, but only among the non-rich middle class business owners who don't have surplus to invest in risk. It increases investment by the rich -- often into those same small middle-class-owned businesses, to reduce startup costs compared to a wholly new venture.

      Terrorists can attack freedom, but only Congress can destroy it.

      by romulusnr on Tue Nov 09, 2010 at 12:04:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  You put the proposal out there, and what the hell (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NatureHound

    include a temporary extension for the top bracket.  Hell, even make the permanent ceiling 500,000 for families.

    Then you say "This is it.  You don't pass it, it's YOUR fault, bitches".

    then sit and get your popcorn ready.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White

    by zenbassoon on Tue Nov 09, 2010 at 11:49:39 AM PST

  •  Anyone else having a West Wing flashback? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dunvegan

    (and yes, it appears to be a theme for me today).

    "I must stand with anybody that stands right, stand with him while he is right, and part with him when he goes wrong." - Abraham Lincoln

    by Word Alchemy on Tue Nov 09, 2010 at 11:49:46 AM PST

  •  How hard is it (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Treg, Greasy Grant, CKendall, NatureHound

    to just split them up and make the republicans filibuster, then they filibustered the tax cuts... or am i missing something?

    •  The Democrats have such an extraordinary (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ferg, Treg, CKendall, rationalrevo, NatureHound

      messaging and communications operation that when Republicans vote 'No' on legislation people want, Democrats get blamed.

      Barack Obama in the Oval Office: There's a black man who knows his place.

      by Greasy Grant on Tue Nov 09, 2010 at 12:01:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I don't get it either (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Treg, CKendall
      It seems so simple to unbundle them, or scrap them both and institute our own new ones. Either way the obstructionist GOP is the force keeping Americans from their tax cuts.

      We need to be on offense with this winning issue.

      GOP hypocrisy is so blatant. If the millionaire tax cuts are SO important then the GOP should have no trouble convincing the Dems and the voters they represent. If they really were of such great value to this country, then there would be no problem separating them from the middle class tax cuts!

      Plus, everyone needs to keep pointing out that everyone benefits from the "middle class" tax cuts. Millionaires get the benefit for their first 250K.

      And how is this even a problem?!?! We are not talking people with a net worth of $250K or more...this is $250K of annual income! I don't see how the top 2% tax cut has support from more than 2% of this country!?!

      Where there is no joy there can be no courage; and without courage all other virtues are worthless. -Edward Abbey

      by beefydaddy18 on Tue Nov 09, 2010 at 12:04:25 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Let all the tax cuts expire, Even Reagan's cuts. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dunvegan, CalliopeIrjaPearl

    Bring the economy back with taxes and spending. Let's stop pretending the private market props up the economy, it does not.

    Where there is no vision, there is no hope. George Washington Carver

    by Amayupta yo on Tue Nov 09, 2010 at 11:54:21 AM PST

    •  The amount of revenue (0+ / 0-)

      collected, as a percent of GDP, did not change when Regan cut tax rates -- because the rest of the tax code changed too.

      The collection of taxes has held constant since FDR was in office -- more or less 20%.

      The private market is the economy.

      La mathematica è l'alfabeto in cui Dio à scritto l'Universo. Galileo Galilei

      by Pyper on Tue Nov 09, 2010 at 12:04:10 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Nonsense (0+ / 0-)

        When Reagan cut taxes the national debt exploded, unemployment went above 10% and when he stopped infrastructure spending the steel industry died and in a flash US manufacturing died.  The market does not exist without government and the Middle Class and the Middle Class does not exist when the economy is allowed to swing wildly from bubble to burst.  The government has a duty under the constitution to both tax and spend for the General Welfare of the country and insuring the economy from depressions is in the General Welfare of the country.
         Economics is not about money or numbers alone and the duties of a civilization and its government supersede profit.  The entitlements that are chocking the economy are in the board rooms and executive offices, not in the elderly or unemployment lines.

        Where there is no vision, there is no hope. George Washington Carver

        by Amayupta yo on Tue Nov 09, 2010 at 10:19:33 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Obama a shitty negotiator (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aquarius40, NatureHound

    This has been Obama's problem since day one. He doesn't know how to negotiate, or haggle, or bargain. He must have been the cheapest lawyer in Chicago. Not because he wasn't good, but because he'd probably start with a reasonable fee and then be talked down. I would hate to have had him as a lawyer in a civil suit! "Your honor, when the plaintiff drove into my client's front window, he suffered cold temperatures, loss of security, drafts, and repair costs. The repairs cost $1200. We ask for $1200 in damages." Uch.

    You can't be a successful President -- or for that matter a successful elected official -- without some healthy cynicism. But Obama is a die-hard believer in the good nature and rational minds of his fellow humans. So, he thinks he is improving things by starting off with reasonable requests. Then he gets whittled down until it barely resembles what he asked for -- or wanted.

    Everyone who's ever negotiated anything, whether it be the salary and terms of a job offer or a trans-national peace treaty, knows that you start with more than you want, in order to maximize the chances that the resulting push-and-pull will be closer to what you want, and possibly even better.

    Obama doesn't do that, ever. Or if he IS doing that, then I'm really upset with the disappointing tepidness of his vision.

    Terrorists can attack freedom, but only Congress can destroy it.

    by romulusnr on Tue Nov 09, 2010 at 11:56:12 AM PST

  •  Look, Everyone in Kongress is a wealthy person. (0+ / 0-)

    None of them want to see taxes increased on themselves.

    They are simply looking for a way to do this while at the same time being able to claim that they didn't want to do it.

    Lets get over it and get on to a jobs bill for the poor, which right now includes the bottom 89% of the country.

  •  Oh for god's sake! Just say no! (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dunvegan, jfromga, CKendall, laker, NatureHound

    Really. Say no extending the tax cuts for the rich, say we need to make things right by looking out for the middle and lower classes, and don't give an inch! I am SO SICK of this! Say no!!! THEY always do, and yet we continue to try and work with them.

    They'll either block everything for the middle class because we said no to the richest rich people getting more, or they'll block everything for the middle class because they ram the rich people stuff down our throats while giving the middle class a piddly little crumb, and then saying "don't say we never gave you anything!" Either way, the middle class gets screwed! The only way out is to say NO!!!

    I think the only people making the laws about this stuff should be people who also have conversations regularly with their families about how they are going to pay for their kids' college education, or whether they need to give up cable to balance their budget, or if they might need to apply for food stamps, or how they can save enough money to give their kids birthday presents this year.

    Lower my taxes by $50? Keep it! As long as it means the super-rich corporations are taxed fairly in the long run.

    I swear. I have nothing left to give.

    My life is defined not by religion and ritual, but by attitude and action.

    by World Citizen on Tue Nov 09, 2010 at 11:57:07 AM PST

  •  Hey Obama... (5+ / 0-)

    who's fucking side are you on?

    You have to pick sides, dude.  They did.  And it ain't yours.

  •  Under the current system (0+ / 0-)

    Those who earn in the top 5% earn about 32% of the income and pay about 52% the taxes.

    Those in the bottom half earn 16% of the income and pay 8% of the taxes.

    What would be a fair percentage for the top 5%, who earn 32% of income to pay?

    La mathematica è l'alfabeto in cui Dio à scritto l'Universo. Galileo Galilei

    by Pyper on Tue Nov 09, 2010 at 12:01:11 PM PST

    •  Statistics & Liars (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      esquimaux, jfromga
      •  Check the math (0+ / 0-)

        Individual Income Tax Returns with Total Income Tax:  Total Income Tax as a Percentage of Adjusted Gross Income

        Table 3.2

        http://www.irs.gov/...

        But name calling is such a better way to argue /snark

        La mathematica è l'alfabeto in cui Dio à scritto l'Universo. Galileo Galilei

        by Pyper on Tue Nov 09, 2010 at 12:07:42 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  You're forgetting about payroll taxes (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          esquimaux, CKendall

          which constitute a much larger proportion of the federal taxes paid by lower income taxpayers than for those in the higher income brackets. This is same kind of logic that allows wingnuts to claim that many Americans don't pay any federal taxes  because they don't pay income tax, which is a bald-faced lie because they still have to pay federal payroll taxes.

          •  The current debate isn't about payroll taxes! (0+ / 0-)

            The discussion is about income taxes.

            But if you want to add them in it doesn't really change much.

            Those in the bottom half paid $93b in FICA based on 7.65 percent of adjusted gross income. Those in the top 5% paid $461b based on the $106k cap.

            That's compared to $1T in personal income taxes.

            La mathematica è l'alfabeto in cui Dio à scritto l'Universo. Galileo Galilei

            by Pyper on Tue Nov 09, 2010 at 12:23:06 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  some arguments (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          esquimaux, CKendall

          are so inane, and clearly right wing talking points that anything but the truthful statement that statistics lie is a waste of time.

          The rich get the benefit of tax dollars much more than the poor in terms of their overall standard of living and benefits of a well regulated and policed society.  Just ask the rich guy who will be slapped on the wrist with a misdemeanor for a serious hit and run accident because a felony conviction would hurt his income.  No average person would be so protected by a DA.   Look at all the infrastructure spending, defense spending, government regulation and favor granting that is part of any level of government.  Its money the rich don't have to spend on providing the necessities that allow their factories and hedge funds to be successful. The rich don't want a level playing field or a lack of government, they want a government that furthers their interests.  

          If you were a democrat, you wouldn't have to question why 70 million or so heads of household who only earn 16% of the total income produced annually, are way overpaying at 8% tax while few million take over half and 440 families take an even more disproportionate share of that income.  The reality is, that in delivering necessities, shelter, food, clothing, some minimal health care, police and fire protection, and the kind of equal opportunity we supposedly, as democrats believe in, decent schooling and living wages for a family, a chance to accumulate a home or sufficient other assets for a secure retirement, our economy is failing the vast majority of citizens.  Even at a 90% tax rate, the top 1% could easily meet those basic necessities as well as provide adequately for opportunity.  The next 4% could easily double what a typical family has for those necessities and opportunities at something approaching a 60% tax rate, given that rates are progressive.

          But that's not really the point for right wing talking point parrots, is it?   Its not about achieving a just society that provides equal opportunity and living wages.   Its about crushing anyone who stands between the vastly wealthy, natural or corporate persons, and the last penny on earth.  And as the prominent surgeon run over by the billion dollar wealth fund manager found out, 99% of Americans, simply don't count.

          •  I'd like you to quote the argument (0+ / 0-)

            that you refer to.

            I'm not making any argument one way or the other.

            But here's something for you to consider.

            If the 5% with the highest incomes pay 90% of the tax burden instead of the 50% they currently pay, will they perceive that they are entitled to a greater say in how the money is spent?

            If the bottom 20% paid 0% instead of 1% of the taxes, would the top 80% think they ought to have the same say? I can see the slogan now: Representation without taxation.

            Are you certain that by paying an even greater share of the burden that the rich will not become more powerful? Kind of like if you have a friend you go out with who always pays for everything. Sooner or later that relationship is going to hit a rough spot.

            But check your math. The bottom 73 million (under $100k) earn 43.6% of the income and pay 25% of the tax.

            La mathematica è l'alfabeto in cui Dio à scritto l'Universo. Galileo Galilei

            by Pyper on Tue Nov 09, 2010 at 02:13:16 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  math (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              esquimaux

              a 90% tax rate, not necessarily 90% of all tax.  I quoted top tax rates I would support.

              And I didn't bother to add up all return numbers, which is why I used about 70 million returns by heads of households, but I'll let you add up the number of returns to hit your 50% because it doesn't change the basic question of whether you believe in democracy, little d, which tends to require that you support progressive taxation.

              Again, the lie is in the attempts to bracket numbers statistically when the truth of the taxes is that there are multiples of millions of human beings who receive very little in individual income, still pay a substantial percentage of that individual income in taxes when you consider what they can buy in the way of necessities with that income, and there are a tiny multiple of millions who pay a much less amount in real dollars in taxes that take away from their ability to afford necessities.

              If someone in the top 1% gives up the paltry 3% being asked for in reality as opposed to my 90% top tax rate, then they would never miss it for necessities or even vast quantities of luxuries.  When someone in the bottom 50% gives up 3% of income, it may mean the differnce between rent or food or medicine for a child.

              Your attempt to use percentages is lying with statistics.  Your attempt to deflect from whether or not you support progressive taxation and are in fact a democrat (all Americans ought to be loyal to the idea of democracy and equality of opportunity) or a plutocrat's tool pretty much sums you up as a person.  Better some should starve so that others may keep money they don't need.

  •  Memo to Obama: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Patrick2415

    Serial weakness and capitulation is not inspirational.

    We can only pray that someone not totally batshit crazy, like Mitt Romney perhaps, comes out of the GOP primaries, because at this rate, Obama is going to get his ass kicked in 2012.

  •  God I hate Republicans! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CalliopeIrjaPearl, NatureHound
    I know this comment doesn't say much, but I just felt like I needed to holler that into the electroverse.  I fucking hate those smarmy sociopathic con-artists.

    Another angle of defense: argue that the Republicans are blocking the Democrats' tax cuts.  Which is true, BTW.

    You can't compromise with a mugger in a dark alley.

  •  So somebody "signaled" something in the WSJ (0+ / 0-)

    and something Ezra wrote in July proves something or other? That's enough to get everyone jumping off the cliff now?

    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

    by hhex65 on Tue Nov 09, 2010 at 12:04:35 PM PST

  •  It's weird. Despite the "shellacking" that (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bluicebank, CKendall, laker, NatureHound

    the Dem party just took, he seems to be in the Bayh - Warner camp that thinks he should ignore those pot smoking, DFH's and appease "the middle."  

    And this is coming in spite of the fact that the middle abandoned him.  He thinks that by running on a teeny, tiny point of tax cuts for the rich is going to motivate moderates to vote for him.  IN SPITE of the fact that they already got tax cuts and still didn't turn out for Dems.

    Mind blowing.

  •  As someone who negotiates (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    esquimaux, bluicebank, CKendall

    a lot in my career, I have to say that Obama is hands down the WORST FUCKING NEGOTIATOR I have ever seen.

    Ever.

  •  If Obama were negotiating the price of a car (4+ / 0-)

    He'd end up higher than the dealer price.

    "I've never believed that government's role is to create jobs . . . So this week, I've proposed a six year infrastructure plan."

    by Paleo on Tue Nov 09, 2010 at 12:07:28 PM PST

  •  The pending tax cut extension (0+ / 0-)

    I would be willing to forgo tax cuts just to cause extreme pain and misery to the top 2%, most of whom have horded an obscene amount of wealth and bonuses paid for by the taxpayer.

    Frankly most of them should be in jail in my opinion and although I realize that the system works in their favor I would like to see them pay - big time.

    The way I understand the pending tax cut expiration to pan out is that the Republicans want the tax cuts extended to everyone which would add approx. $700 Billion (not including the interest)to the deficit over 10 yrs. if the top 2% are included.

    These tax cuts would be based on TAXABLE INCOME above $250,000 correct? I am assuming all loopholes are still in place...

    My question is this:

    Can you break down how much hardship ($) the different income brackets would suffer if the current tax cuts are NOT extended for anyone?

    Any tax people out there that could answer this?

  •  Sad to say this, but we've already lost (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Treg, Jerry056, rationalrevo
    this battle.  It is too late for such delicate shading on the message.  Why do we always try to sell our message with a pen or a paintbrush, while the republicans use a cudgel?

    The Republicans have nothing to lose here.  If the cuts expire, "Obama raised taxes!"  If the cuts are extended, "Obama increased the debt by $700 billion!"

    If the economy doesn't improve, they'll say "See? Throw the bum out!"  If the economy does improve, they'll say "WE did it when we took over the House."

    Heads they win, tails we lose. Checkmate.

    "Don't bring that horse in here!" -- Cassandra

    by tc59 on Tue Nov 09, 2010 at 12:10:09 PM PST

  •  The Democrats probably lost on this issue (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    esquimaux, CKendall

    the moment they decided to debate extending any of the Bush tax cuts. They should just let them sunset as they were designed to do by the REPUBLICANS for goodness sake. Then Pres. Obama should have gotten his shiny new plan for permanent tax cuts on the first $250,000 of income for everyone, rich, middle class, and poor, introduced and voted on by the House and Senate. Then let the Republicans explain why wealthier people deserve extra tax cuts. The framing of this issue by the Democrats has been horrendous.

  •  I believe RHCP have a song (0+ / 0-)
    that describes Obama's negotiating strategy:

    Give It Away

  •  I think when they finally take up immigration... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Major Tom, brooklynbadboy

    ... Obama should suggest that he'll consider building a wall, but only if snipers on the ramparts are kept to three per mile, and landmines are used sparingly.

    That'd be a fantastic point to start the negotiations from.

    Regards,
    Corporate Dog

    -----
    We didn't elect Obama to be an expedient president. We elected him to be a great one. -- Eugene Robinson

    by Corporate Dog on Tue Nov 09, 2010 at 12:10:49 PM PST

  •  Never hire a corporate lawyer when you need a (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Patrick2415

    trial lawyer to do the job.  That's the lesson here with Obama. Sorry folks.

    Don't be so afraid of dying that you forget to live. "

    by LionelEHutz on Tue Nov 09, 2010 at 12:11:51 PM PST

  •  there is NEVER a way to "WIN" with rethugs (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CKendall, Patrick2415
    period.
    never has been,never will be

    THAT IS WHY YOU NEVER GIVE IN!!!

    pass everything with 50 votes and fuck the other side!

    "The only way to win this thing is to outflank the GOP and go on offense, not continuing to offer a weak posture that only encourages them to keep moving the goalposts."

    "On any given Sunday, any team can beat any other team" Bert Bell "Except in 1972!" Mercury Morris

    by surfdog on Tue Nov 09, 2010 at 12:12:50 PM PST

  •  certainty would quickly follow an (0+ / 0-)
    emphatic 'no, the taxes are going up January 1'.  

    We all have our lines, mine will probably be parallel ones, what happens with the cat food commission and these tax cut extensions.  Crossing them both in significant ways that increases wealth accumulation at the expense of working families in the bottom 95% of earners is my line.

  •  Can we put Michele in charge? (0+ / 0-)

    Just wondering.

  •  This is why we need new leadership (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pattym922
    Pelosi, Hoyer, Reid, etc.  crickets.  Why are they all not screaming into whatever microphone and camera they can find about this?  It's been this way for too long and now we all pay for their lack of media savvy.  It'd be nice if some goodly Democrat would take the initiative to actually frame an issue from an offensive position rather than a defensive one.
  •  Fighting the gop (0+ / 0-)

    Does anyone honestly believe that obama is going to really fight the gop on this?  The repugs are already setting the stage and dems are running for cover hoping the world doesn't fall on their heads.  I have been hoping for 2 years that obama would step up to the plate but i just don't see it happening, perhaps ever.
    I do hope I am proved wrong.

  •  At least Chamberlain had only one Munich (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ImpeachKingBushII

    When it comes to the Republicans, Obama seems to have a Munich a month.

    "I've never believed that government's role is to create jobs . . . So this week, I've proposed a six year infrastructure plan."

    by Paleo on Tue Nov 09, 2010 at 12:18:02 PM PST

  •  Someone should compile these comments and send to (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pattym922, CKendall, Patrick2415

    Obama.  A WH staffer that is.  There is clearly movement occuring in the base regarding the bases trust in him.  I haven't seen one comment that assumes he won't give in.   That is a major problem.

    "Senator McCain offered up the oldest Washington stunt in the book - you pass the buck to a commission to study the problem." - Senator Obama, 9-16-2008

    by justmy2 on Tue Nov 09, 2010 at 12:22:45 PM PST

  •  i hope you all (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CKendall

    are writing this to the White House, in addition to posting here. because I'm guessing there is zero chance he reads this. Why not jot off a letter to him saying the same thing you're saying here? It certainly couldn't hurt.

  •  How you react to this GOP ploy.... (0+ / 0-)

    The President needs to go on CNN, NBC, CBS, ABC, MSNEC, Faux New and Seseme Street if need be and exposes this for what it is: Blackmail against the middle class in America.  He tells the American people the GOP is responsible for their taxes going up and he elists every Democrat and David Stockman, Paul Volcker,Bernanke, Allen Greenspan and anyone else of any stature to help and pins this where it belongs, on the GOP.  He then sits back and tells the truth, that this is too serious to let the charade continue that the GOP gives a tinkers damn about anything other than their power.  Who knows, Rand Paul might even go along with him.

  •  Obama on the offensive - LOL (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CKendall
    I'll believe it when I see it.  He blew this when he refused repeatedly to veto any extension for the rich.  At that moment the Repubs had him.  He really is their squeak toy.

    Also, btw, even his idea of a temporary extension is bullshit.  As if the Repubs wouldn't pull the same shit as they are doing now.  What are the chances they would say in two years or whenever, "OK, time's up for the tax break for the rich.  Let's move on."  I'd zero.  

    The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

    by accumbens on Tue Nov 09, 2010 at 12:44:01 PM PST

  •  I wish our president would stirke a hard (0+ / 0-)

    bargain instead of giving away a huge 700 billion to the rich--right off the bat! Or ever!

    Mr. Obama this is a time for guts!

    Our unemployment crisis could be cured very quickly if we had the intellectual clarity and political will to act. ~ Paul Krugman

    by Gorette on Tue Nov 09, 2010 at 12:49:55 PM PST

  •  It's pretty obvious what's going on here (0+ / 0-)

    This started out as an argument where the Democrats had strength and traction - eliminate the wealthiest tax cuts. Now, the Republicans feeling emboldened after their win and sensing nervousness amongst the Democratic party, are seeking to move further to the right on this issue, with the hope of getting exactly what they wanted in the first place.

    By refusing to compromise, they move further to the right; then when it is time to compromise, they'll push for a 5, then a 4, then a 3 year extension... Which makes them look powerful to their voters (and lobbyists)and makes the Democrats look weak.

    Based on recent history, do you think Democrats can see this and will act accordingly? I sure don't.  

  •  LET THEM ALL EXPIRE! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Crazy like a fox, CKendall

    If the defecit is so bad, let them all expire. I'll gladly pay a little more to piss Republicans off.

  •  I agree that "weakness" is Obama's major... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CKendall

    problem.  He not only looks weak these days, but tired and without a sense of purpose.  He should either go on the offensive now or announce that he's not going to run in 2012 because he wants to focus on the problems of the nation, rather than his own ego. At least that would look "Presidential."

  •  Wake up and read the statistics (0+ / 0-)
    Simply put to understand the growing Republican popularity and their illogical Libertarian ideology of NO GOVERNMENT all that is necessary is to look at the exploding number of rich people in the United States. The confusion over this matter is provided by the media, who constantly focus on the exploding poverty in the U.S. while remaining silent on the exploding ranks of wealthy Americans.

    Colleges and Universities study everything from solar energy to the fiber content of doggy biscuits. However, for some reason very few histograms are generated in these noble institutions which map the growth of power in the Republican Party against the continuous increase of multimillionaires and billionaires in America. One thing Democrats can do as a public service is to encourage centers of higher learning to in turn encourage their students to periodically perform such a statistical analysis of this powerful relationship in modern American society.

    I am certain the result of such integral mapping will show that startling increase of the "super rich" (multimillionares) population has contributed growing popularity of the Republican party. Further, the design of such a project would require the creation of an "average scaling factor" that would effectively mirror the controlling power exercised by each wealthy individual in American society.

    Just to provide a teaser as to what I am talking about, check out thesee stats from wikipedia's piece on millionaires.
    "In 2009 there were 3,100,000 households worth MORE than $1 million."

    This number is close to 10% of the current U.S. population, however not all members of the 310 million American population are wage earners. To obtain any sort of a scaling handicap factor, one would have to develop a methodology to integrate the data for actual working Americans, in addition to scaling their wages/salaries. These parameters are necesary to provide the basis of comparison necessary for any such statistical analysis

    This is not easy work but someone must do it if America is to gain a clear perspective of the capabilities of the players in the current 21st century political power game here in America. Oh, by the way, did I forget that the overwhelming majority of the super rich DO NOT want to pay TAXES...

  •  Bugger it all. (0+ / 0-)

    I make far less than the 250K boundary on this (about 15% of that), btu I would be willing to pay the extra taxes just to

    My life is an open book, and I want a rewrite!

    by trumpeter on Tue Nov 09, 2010 at 01:08:13 PM PST

  •  Bugger it/ (0+ / 0-)

    I make far less than the 250K limit on this (about 15% of that), but am more than willing to pay a bit more in taxes just to LET THE DAMN THING DIE!

    Don't give the [EXPLETIVE DELETED] Right, and Orrin Hatch and the rest of them a bloody inch!  They are backstabbers and liars, and if you give them inch, they will take your wallet (to mug a metaphor).

    Let it die, and then let the GOP fight it when Congress tries to enact actual middle class tax cuts.

    My life is an open book, and I want a rewrite!

    by trumpeter on Tue Nov 09, 2010 at 01:11:51 PM PST

  •  HAHAHA (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Crazy like a fox

    "President Obama has signaled that he will accept a two-year extension of tax cuts for the rich, and the first thing Republicans do is demand a foot...he only way to win this thing is to outflank the GOP and go on offense, not continuing to offer a weak posture that only encourages them to keep moving the goalposts."

    this president doesn't do offense. we'll be lucky if he doesn't agree to abolish social security.

  •  Now we have a updated version of the 3 Stooges (0+ / 0-)

    The Fed as Moe
    Congress as Larry
    The President as Curly

    Each blaming the other for the deficit and the lack of job growth

    Looks like we may be adrift for another 2 years

  •  Let them all expire (0+ / 0-)

    Everyone did fine in the Clinton years.  If this is the way Republicans want it, then let them expire.  

  •  Maybe devaluation of the dollar is the plan (0+ / 0-)
    If the deficit grows because we won't tax ourselves, we might be headed to a $2.00 per euro exchange rate.  Think California, but on a national scale.  I wasn't planning on replacing my eight year old BMW any time soon, I can do without French wine, and I don't drive enough so that $5.00 per gallon gas would kill me.

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