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Ok, so I was planning on avoiding a fiscal cliff deal diary because there are too many out there today from different perspectives.  I am not going to engage in any argument here because I think it's pointless and it usually ends badly.  But for the record, I am neither celebrating the deal as a win nor am I am screaming "Obama caved!!!!" today.  I feel we could've gotten a better deal but what's done is done.  I'm ready to move on and get ready for the next stage in this ongoing battle.  But the only reason I am going to write a fiscal cliff diary is because it's centered around U.S. Senator Tom Harkin (D. IA) who I love.  In case you missed it in today's Mid Day Thread, one of the articles mentioned was The Nation's article about why Senator Harkin, along with Senators Thomas Carper (D. DE) and Michael Bennet (D. CO) voted against the deal.  Here's the article:

And here is Harkin's full statement:

Tonight, at the eleventh hour, we find ourselves considering legislation to address a manufactured ‘fiscal cliff.’ Much of this could have been avoided had the US House taken up the Senate-passed legislation to avert tax hikes on 98 percent of Americans.

Instead, we find ourselves voting on an agreement that fails to address our number one priority—creating good, middle class jobs in Iowa and throughout the country. Further, it does not generate the revenue necessary for the country to meet its needs for everything from education for our children, to job training, to other critical supports for the middle class.

The deal also makes tax benefits for high income earners permanent, while tax benefits designed to help those of modest means and the middle class are only extended for five years. In essence, this agreement locks in a tax structure that is grossly unfair to middle class Americans, one which provides permanent tax assistance to wealthy Americans, and only temporary relief to everyone else.

Every dollar that wealthy taxpayers do not pay under this deal, we will eventually ask Americans of modest means to forgo in Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid benefits. It is shortsighted to look at these issues in isolation from one another, especially when Congressional Republicans have been crystal clear that they intend to seek spending cuts to programs like Social Security just two months from now, using the debt limit as leverage.

I am all for compromise, but a compromise that sets a new tax threshold for the wealthiest Americans while neglecting the very backbone of our country—the middle class—is a compromise I simply cannot support. This is the wrong direction for Iowa and our country, and at a time when our fragile economy cannot sustain further damage. - U.S. Senator Tom Harkin (D. IA), The Nation, 1/2/13

Harkin makes a pretty compelling argument and I thank him for standing firm on his beliefs.  Again, I'm not going to spend a lot of time on the fiscal cliff deal arguing on the Daily Kos but I like and respect Harkin that much that I was willing to dedicate a whole diary to his statement.  I also wanted to write this diary to remind people on this site that there are still great Democrats in Washington, D.C. and we need to keep them in the Senate or House as long as they can.  Now Harkin is up for re-election in 2014.  He hasn't announced yet if he will run for re-election but I have a good feeling that he will.  One way to encourage him to run for one more term is to help raise money for his upcoming campaign.  Seeing people donating money to help give him an early start for 2014 is a great way to say thank you and to urge him to keep up the fight.  So if you are someone who either hates this deal completely or you're just an avid Harkin supporter, show Harkin your appreciation with a donation because Karl Rove and the right-wing Super PAC machine will be gunning for him:

Also, David Nir pointed out that both Harkin and his colleague, Senator Chuck Grassley (R. IA) have officially been ranked #5 in terms of the longest serving duo in the Senate:

Grassley and Harkin have now served together in the U.S. Senate for 28 years, which is not simply the longest current streak in the nation's upper legislative chamber, but one of the longest in U.S. history. - Smart Politics, 1/2/13
I for one would like to give Harkin a new colleague to work with but that won't happen until 2016.  But can you imagine the horror Grassley could really do if he had someone like Steven King (R. IA) as his colleague?  
Yeah, that image frightens me too.

Originally posted to pdc on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 06:00 PM PST.

Also republished by The Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party and In Support of Labor and Unions.

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