Skip to main content

This quote was widely reported and circulated on Dailykos a week ago when it came out in the Wall Street Journal as an example of President Obama sticking to his guns and his requisite "toughness" in threatening to veto any legislation that didn't raise taxes for incomes above $250,000.

"You get nothing," the president said. "I get that for free."

And now that Vice President Biden, negotiating on behalf of President Barack Obama, after the talks seemed to falter between Senate Majority Leader Reid and McConnell, are giving away the farm to the Republicans on the tax rates for the wealthy by agreeing to raise the tax level to $500,000.
To the GOP’s delight, that no longer seems to be the case. In the Obama-Boehner negotiations, the White House offered to raise the threshold from $250,000 to $400,000. McConnell, in his negotiations with Harry Reid and now Joe Biden, has been trying to raise that to $500,000. It’s clear to the Republicans that they will get past the fiscal cliff with a smaller tax increase than they thought. Perhaps much smaller. Huzzah!

That will set up a fight over the debt ceiling. The Republicans plan to say that now that they broke their pledge and voted for a tax increase, they’ll insist on a dollar of spending cuts for every dollar of debt-ceiling increase — the so-called “Boehner rule”. The White House plans to insist that it won’t negotiate over the debt ceiling at all.

Republicans I’ve spoken to laugh at this bluster. Obama is already negotiating over the debt ceiling, they point out. He began the fiscal cliff negotiations by saying he wanted a permanent solution to the debt ceiling. Then it was a two-year increase in the debt limit. Now he’s going to sign off on a mini-deal that doesn’t increase the debt ceiling at all. Does that really sound like someone who’s going to hold firm when faced with global economic chaos? The White House always talks tough at the beginning of negotiations and then always folds at the end. Republicans are confident that the debt ceiling will be no different.

Greg Sargent points out that there is still time for the President and the White House to prevent further concessions to the Republicans, but that the President's fervent desire for a deal, a bipartisan deal, will not serve him or the Democratic Party well in the short-term and the long-term.

So now, we will face further hostage-taking by the Republicans when it comes to the debt ceiling raise, and the continuing budget resolution later this year if this deal goes through. Why should the Republicans expect the President to act differently in those upcoming battles? After all, he's given up so much in concessions to the Republicans, and has moved consistently to the right in giving the Republicans what they want, instead of the Republicans moving further to the center.

The President is a horrible negotiator, which makes sense since he sees himself as post-partisan, and not representing the values of the Democratic Party, or in negotiating from a progressive position. Coming into this battle, the Democrats had all the leverage, and now they are losing it because any deal is better to President Obama than a deal that actually acknowledges what the American people voted for. An actual tax increase on the wealthy above $250,000, and not this paltry tax increase on incomes above $500,000.

We progressives have often been accused of not being able to compromise, but in all actuality, we do acknowledge that there has to be compromise. However, the way the White House is going about it is NOT compromise. It is pure and utter needless capitulation over a manufactured crisis. None of this needed to happen, but it did because the White House let this happen back then.

Originally posted to slinkerwink on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 08:48 AM PST.

Also republished by The Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party, ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement, Dailykos Kossacks For Action, TrueMarket, and Team DFH.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Alumbrados, paradox, Ed in Montana, cslewis, jec, glitterscale, irmaly, dfarrah, theboz, karlpk, MouseThatRoared, Shockwave, CleverNickName, Aspe4, xynz, polecat, RFK Lives, the OTHER rasmussen, opinionated, Boston Boomer, davechen, magnetics, fishwars, chechecule, michael1104, Nate Roberts, pollwatcher, psnyder, CitizenOfEarth, 2laneIA, potatohead, wilbur, RuralLiberal, Deward Hastings, Steven D, averageyoungman, Skennet Boch, davidincleveland, joanneleon, humphrey, radarlady, PAbluestater, qofdisks, stlawrence, Erik the Red, grimjc, reflectionsv37, FutureNow, bleeding blue, KBO, Tool, nieman, snoopydawg, sgary, Alan Arizona, accumbens, Showman, trentinca, profundo, HoundDog, cookseytalbott, AoT, Son of a Cat, Lefty Coaster, DarkestHour, triv33, praenomen, gooderservice, Dinclusin, James Kroeger, livjack, Timothy J, shaharazade, Eryk, ammasdarling, pgm 01, Habitat Vic, Deadicated Marxist, Debs2, dclawyer06, suejazz, sfbob, Unbozo, aliasalias, HCKAD, jedennis, bobswern, LWelsch, South Park Democrat, cynndara, fuzzyguy, zerone, poligirl, rssrai, tofumagoo, RandomNonviolence, icebergslim, costello7, allie123, priceman, Quilldriver, billybam, Mike Taylor, David Futurama, ZhenRen, prettygirlxoxoxo, Rhysling, cybrestrike, divineorder, Scott Wooledge, lostinamerica, rudy23, maryabein, Zotz, realwischeese, jpmassar, Just Bob, awcomeon, FogCityJohn, Progressive Pen, Eddie L, gulfgal98, Lady Libertine, 2020adam, albrt, Johnny Q, Betty Pinson, Michael Langenmayr, slice, StateofEuphoria, bgblcklab1, lighttheway, Teiresias70, CoExistNow, Wolf10, smoothnmellow, LSmith, Grandma Susie, Faroutman, PhilJD, peregrinus, randomfacts, Marihilda, SouthernLiberalinMD, Lucy2009, PrometheusUnbound, quill, Only Needs a Beat, hardhatmama, Williston Barrett, IndieGuy, foucaultspendulum, deanarms, Mr Robert, BobSoperJr, BusyinCA, marking time, Brown Thrasher, Ray Pensador, Chaddiwicker, DamselleFly, countwebb, JayRaye, goodpractice, motherlu, howabout, Bon Temps, xscvrx, aimwand, teacherjon

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site