Obama & GOP Agree To Tax Cut Compromise

By 90 Comments 1,414 views

Oh boy…

So we pick up more seats then we have in decades and this “compromise” is what we get?

President Obama outlined the “framework” of a deal with congressional leaders for a temporary extension of the Bush-era tax cuts in all income tax brackets, a compromise that he said would avert the “chilling prospect” of a tax increase next month for all Americans.

Obama, at a White House news conference Monday evening, renewed his calls for tax relief targeting the middle class and his criticism of making tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans permanent.

But in the end, he said, a compromise must be reached before the Bush-era tax cuts expire at the end of the year, or else ordinary Americans would become “collateral damage for political warfare in Washington.”

“I am not willing to let that happen,” he said.

Obama outlined a deal with congressional leaders that would extend the expiring tax cuts for all Americans temporarily for two years. Unemployment benefits for long-term jobless would through next year. The estate tax rate would be renewed at the previously lower rate temporarily.

The Obama administration also is proposing a one-year payroll tax reduction that sources say would cut the amount contributed to Social Security from 6.2 percent to 4.2 percent.

“I have no doubt that everyone will find something in this compromise that they don’t like,” he said, but “we cannot play politics at a time when the American people are looking for us to solve problems.”

Check out the video at Hot Air of Obama sounding so irritated that he had to work with the opposition. Krauthammer believes it was a speech directed towards the Kos kiddies and DummiesU crowd, maybe so, but this deal is not what we should of accepted.

And Ramesh Ponnuru described the speech succinctly:

Takeaway: Obama is better than those nasty Republicans, and also better than those Democrats who won’t cut deals with them.

As for the deal itself, we all know spending needs to be cut and knowing this we agreed to extend unemployment. This makes sense? Hugh Hewitt:

This is like TARP without the urgency of a genuine financial crisis pushing the bill forward. GOPers who vote for this will find that vote stapled to them for years to come, or until they lose to a primary challenger in 2012.

This goes to the inability of the GOP to ever fight on key issues, and reflects the same ill-considered negotiation strategy that led to the Gang of 14 and the immigration compromise of three years ago. The country just voted overwhelmingly for low taxes and spending cuts and the GOP just agreed to much more spending and temporary tax cuts which will not provide businesses with the environment of stability necessary to investment and job growth.

The scope of this miscalculation is deeply dispiriting.

Agreed. But Grover Norquist makes some compelling arguments for the deal:

Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, tells National Review Online that a tentative tax deal between President Obama and the GOP is “a much bigger victory than people see” for the Republicans.

Of course the deal isn’t perfect, Norquist says. He would have preferred a permanent extension of the income tax rates as opposed to just two years, but thinks Republicans should be thrilled at the prospect of revisiting the tax debate in 2012, when Obama is up for re-election, especially when the agreed-upon extension of jobless benefits will ensure that the unemployment rate remains artificially high.


Norquist says Republicans should be especially pleased with the proposal to re-establish the estate tax at a rate of 35 percent (for two years), given Democrats’ desire to return to a permanent rate of 55 percent after going all of 2010 without any estate tax whatsoever. “Think about how badly Democrats wanted [a return to a 55 percent rate],” he says. “They were willing to suck it up for a whole year…all those lucky dead people who weren’t sufficiently looted.” Now 35 percent becomes the new baseline, and Democrats are fighting a losing battle.

If the Democrats are losing this fight now, with large majorities in both houses of Congress, it will only get much worse for them when Republicans take over the House and install a filibuster-proof coalition in the Senate in 2011, as the debate over taxes continues in the next Congress.

And Chris Edwards from the Cato Institute also makes some good points:

● The extension of unemployment benefits is bad policy, which, ironically, will hurt the Democrats politically, because it will keep the unemployment rate artificially high.

● It’s good to get the tax-cut extension enacted now so that the budget focus next year can be spending cuts and more spending cuts.

● The end of Obama’s Make Work Pay credit is a good thing, because it was mainly just a spending subsidy program hidden in the tax code.

● The next tax deal between President Obama and the GOP should be to enact the fiscal commission’s corporate-tax-rate-cut proposal.

● The unified front shown by Republicans on this tax extension was very important. Centrist deficit hawks dream that Republicans will just give in and sign on to big tax hikes in some future budget summit, as occurred in 1990. Today’s news suggests that won’t happen for the time being.

● The message of the election was not that Americans thought that their taxes were too low, but that the government was too big. If the Republicans can show a similar united front on spending cuts next year, we could really make some budget progress.

So I have to say I’m torn on this one. We won a huge election recently, much of it because of the fiscal irresponsibility of those in power, and this is what we got?

I just can’t see this as a win for our side.

Curt served in the Marine Corps for four years and has been a law enforcement officer in Los Angeles for the last 24 years.

90 Responses to “Obama & GOP Agree To Tax Cut Compromise”

  1. 51


    Nan G. —

    Methinks that Obama is going to have a scotch and a cigar and a smile on his face this evening . . . the Dems are not nearly as upset with this as they are letting on. Once the GOPers realize they got punked, though, I expect that THEY will be the ones pissed off.

  2. 52



    Over and over again you’ve continued trying to argue a point and then argue the counter point…rather unsuccessfully I might add.

    The whole time we, The Great UnwashedTM have been running circles around you.

    You’ve been pinned down on the factual fallacies of your arguments since your first post on this thread.

    Yes, I am an expert in unemployment comp because I am the person who airlines, banks, public employers, etc. hire to negotiate settlement agreements, represent them in unemployment comp hearings, etc.

    Right…. That may (or may not) have been true once upon a time but, now that your not so stellar legal career seems to have run face first into a proverbial bridge abutment, we both know that’s no longer accurate now don’t we?

    Alas, that is one of the tragedies of American business: stupid management teams . . . they abound.

    Which is how you got your shot at that not so stellar legal career right?

    Of course, there are also smart management teams who recognize dead wood and choose to purge it rather than continuing to allow it to suckle right?

    Run along now…it’s almost time for your afternoon shift.

  3. 53


    A tax lawyesr take on the Obama tax cut deal.

    A quote:

    It would be nice if Congress did what former Budget Director Peter Orszag, my Tax Policy Center colleague Len Burman, and others have suggested, which is to use the next couple of years to enact serious tax reform. It would be nice. But it won’t happen.

    Remember the virtuous talk of fiscal prudence that washed over Washington for, oh, three days last week. Forget it. Forget as well the promises of change that Republicans (and Obama before them) brought to Washington. This is business as usual and at its worst: You have a bad and expensive idea. I have a bad and expensive idea. Let’s compromise and pass both of our bad ideas.

    As of this morning, I have not seen any revenue estimates, but the leaks suggest the price-tag will be $700 billion to $900 billion. And while the package is being spun as much-needed stimulus, it contains an awful lot that will do little or nothing to boost the economy. Among those provisions that are a waste of money if you are interested in short-term economic growth: extending the patch on the Alternative Minimum Tax, continuing the high-bracket tax cuts, extending dozens of expiring tax provisions, and restoring the estate tax at extremely generous levels. Add it up, and one-third or more of this new “stimulus” will do little if anything to boost growth.

  4. 54

    Nan G

    Employers posted a sharp increase in job openings in October, raising hopes that hiring could pick up in the coming months.

    Businesses and government advertised nearly 3.4 million jobs at the end of October the Labor Department said Tuesday.


    Gee, 3.4 MILLION jobs were offered.
    Only 39,000 were hired.
    Looks like a lot of people prefer to stay home for 99 weeks or there abouts.
    Official unemployment is 9.8%, unofficial is ~16%.

    Maybe we need more illegals.
    We have a whole lot of people here who are not willing to do these jobs….apparently.

  5. 55




    The left is apoplectic that their savior would turn around on them and adopt Bush’s most “draconian” tax policies that “only favor the rich.”

    If they were frustrated before, now they are palpably angry and publicly voicing their disillusionment with Obama.

    Without those voters rocking with enthusiasm, Obama could not have won in 2008.

    Now, ask yourself this question: How many people do you know who voted for Obama in 2008 but now express regret about the vote or reservations about his leadership?

    Probably plenty.

    Now ask yourself this: How many people do you know who voted against Obama in 2008 but have since been won over?

    Probably not a single one.

    All that math adds up to a very lonely number: One, as in One Term.


    Greg Sargent reports the results of a Survey USA/WaPo poll among volunteers and contributors to Obama’s presidential campaign that underscores the problem:

    The poll shows clearly that these contributors are deeply opposed (74%) to a deal with Republicans to extend the Bush-era tax breaks for those making over $250,000 a year. The depth of opposition to a deal is severe with former Obama contributors saying that they are less likely (57%) to support Democrats who support this deal in 2012.

    A majority of the former Obama contributors surveyed also say that the President’s deal also makes them less likely (51%) to contribute to his reelection campaign in 2012.

    But he could win them back, right? Sargent isn’t so sure:

    While Adam Serwer is right to note that over time passions on the left could subside, particularly if Obama delivers on other core liberal priorities such as the repeal of don’t ask don’t tell, it’s also perfectly possible that trading away core liberal priorities will levy major political costs on Obama and Democrats in general.

    Obama will probably get DADT repeal anyway, but that’s on a different plane of existence from the Bush tax cuts. And it’s not likely that Obama will be able to gain anything else on the progressive wish list from this point forward, thanks to Republican control of the House.

    Equals….not looking rosy for The One

  6. 56


    Yeah, Nan G., that must be right! People would rather have $250 per week and no benefits than earn $500 per week with benefits.

    Nan, who are these people you know who would rather collect 30 cents on the dollar compared to what they used to earn and fall behind on their mortgage, rather than earn a full days wage? Who are they, Nan? Seems to me that unemployment comp is another area where economists draw certain conclusions but common sense and peoples’ lives actually prove the opposite.

  7. 57


    Curt —

    I am certain that you WISH there would be real anger, etc., about Obama “caving” to the GOPers to get unemployment comp extended a year, get the CBC its desired estate tax extension, get his Obama stimulus tax cuts extended, get the middle class tax cuts extended, etc. But when all is said and done, he got a lot and did not, imho (given the GOP solid opposition and some Dems with them) give up anything that they probably would not have gotten anyway. So when you get what you want and only give up what you would have lost anyway, it is not a bad deal.

  8. 58

    Wm T Sherman


    The White House is blaming Democrats in Congress. Congressional Democrats are blaming the White House.

    So according to you, the Dems are concealing the massive success of their secret plan by intentionally looking like a disorganized rabble of petty, backbiting fools in public. It’s all just an act.

    That sure is some elaborate, devious theater they have going on.

    Or, maybe they’re just as scared as they look.

    So B-Rob, from what Aye tells us, I gather that you have had some reverses in life. I surmise that you probably come here and sneer so as to feed your ego and live in the past. Good thing for you that you’re not really here to defend the ongoing expansion of the size and reach of government, because that has become an impossible job. Obama’s former cheerleaders see this. That’s why they’re dropping off the tree like overripe fruit. Or, is that part of the master plan as well?

  9. 60

    Wm T Sherman

    So the attempted spin by B-Rob is that Democrats overcame the solid opposition – of a distinct minority – and won a victory. Impressive reasoning, B.

    As with other recent Democrat legislative defeats, this one was actually caused by the loss of the votes of Democrats in Congress, and that happened because the real oppostion is not the outnumbered Republicans in Congress, it’s the American people. Many Democrats fear the wrath of their constituents. The Republicans are at most reminders, surrogates and brokers for that wrath.

    That’s what held up the Healthcare bill, remember? Couldn’t get enough Democrats to vote for it.

  10. 61


    @ Wm T Sherman, #60:

    So the attempted spin by B-Rob is that Democrats overcame the solid opposition – of a distinct minority – and won a victory. Impressive reasoning, B.

    That minority has turned the monkey-wrenching of the gears of effective government into Standard Operating Procedure in the U.S. Senate. That was exactly what they threatened here.

    Had Obama not compromised, all of middle America would have seen tax increases in January, and millions of struggling American families would have suddenly lost their only income even before that.

  11. 62

    Wm T Sherman

    The Senate has always had ways for the minority to slow things down, Greg. That was the conscious design of the Founding Fathers. There is nothing new or innovative in that regard.

    Obama and the top (Left-wing) Democrats could not get what they wanted because they did not have enough votes from their own party, which still holds a large majority. That is reality.

  12. 63

    Nan G

    I’m really surprised that I know so many slacker types.
    And more surprised that r-bob claims not to.

    They are all up and down the beach here……usually they scrape together a 1st and last then live rent-free for as long as possible.

    I love their big plans: to go down to a Wal Mart and (they don’t call it ”beg’) ”bum” cigarettes off people.

  13. 64

    Wm T Sherman

    About the Unemployment Insurance Extension

    I’ve been seeing this error in media reports and the blogosphere all day, particularly from folks like Hugh Hewitt complaining about the absurdity of 13 more months of “paid unemployment” tacked onto the existing 99 weeks, so just as a point of clarification:

    The tax deal would extend the federal unemployment payments scheme for another 13 months. It would not add 13 months of payment eligibility to the current 99 weeks authorized by federal law. I agree with Hewitt that 161 weeks of unemployment insurance would be absurd. Fortunately, that’s not part of the tax cut deal.


  14. 65




    Hey Greg…I know you’ve had a rough couple of days watching your “tax the rich” dream scheme get dashed on the rocks but I have a couple of questions for you.

    1) The Dims have, for the last two years, had complete control of the legislative branch of our gov’t with a filibuster proof super majority for a majority of that time. Why, oh why, didn’t they pass their tax ’em plans when they had the votes to do so without opposition?

    2) The Dims have the ability right now, through reconciliation, to get whatever tax plan they wish to pass through the Senate with only 51 votes. Why did they choose to compromise instead?

  15. 67

    Tsgt Ciz

    Anyone who claims that people are refusing to take work because they are getting UE is either a liar, an idiot, or friends with a criminal and should turn that person they are speaking of in.

    I work with Unemployed people every day and there is not a single one of them that wouldn’t knock you down to get to a job. They apply to every job that is listed and they would gladly take any job offer they get.

    How about you loud mouths talking about jobs that people wont take posting up those jobs! I’d love to see these jobs.

    Around here the only job listing that goes unfilled is the one where they are only farming resumes ‘in case’ they get an opening. or so they can try to steal peoples identity.

  16. 68

    Nan G

    So, who watched Obama today?

    He’s tried to argue that he took this short term deal, which will end up being a bad long term for Republicans, because of the “tax cuts on the rich.”

    What he doesn’t seem to get is that he’ll be arguing about the “Bush tax cuts” as a whole in two years, when he’s running for re-election, having already lost that debate in 2010.

    He’s came across as hectoring, defensive, and not well acquainted with the facts or the policy.

    Next he angrily lectured the Left for their negative reaction to ObamaCare because it lacked a public option.

    It was, all in all, pretty bad.

    Obama even compared Republicans to terrorists holding the American people “hostage”!

    Tax policy does not equal terrorism, especially in an age of actual, lethal terrorism.

    Will 2010 go down as the year of the death of “Hope and Change.”

    Update: Real Clear Politics has video of Obama calling Republicans “hostage takers.” It’s a remarkably unpresidential line.

    A bloc of Senate Democrats could decide not to support a White House-brokered deal on tax cuts and unemployment benefits, thereby putting the plan in danger, according to the second-ranking Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (Ill.)


    Durbin said during an interview on NPR. “If the Republicans overreach — if they start including some of their pet projects into this compromise when it comes to the tax code, you could find a walkout on the Democratic side.

    If, if, if…..

  17. 70

    Wm T Sherman

    Tsgt Ciz, I posted the same link to Gabriel Malor’s article at Ace a few minutes before you did. A gross misunderstanding of the meaning of the unemployment benefits extension is afoot.

    The problem is that the media have widely misreported it.

    Our expert trolls here have not mentioned the misconception – I should think they would have mentioned it, condescendingly of course, if they had known.

    Instead, we get our clarification from a writer at a conservative blog.

  18. 72

    TSgt Ciz

    Wm T Sherman
    I noticed your link just after I posted mine. Good to see a fellow Moron here.
    Thanks. I think that shows what I’m talking about. If unemployment there is like it is here (14% reported closer to 18% real) then you have a lot more people who want jobs than th ere are jobs to be had. Even if it were the national average (9.8% reported, who know what real) then you would have 24,871 people trying to get those 18 jobs. And more, if those jobs are like those listed here, then 40% would be unskilled minimum wage, and the others would be professionals with a masters degree and 10yrs experience. Don’t bother applying for the unskilled minimum wage job if you actually have any skills. They won’t bother hiring you because they know you will never stop looking for a new job that you can live on, and the hiring boss is worried the job you might go after first is his job.
    Fellow conservatives, you are blowing it big time by scapegoat-ing the unemployed. This echoes the rise of conservatives to power under the “Contract with America” followed by their complete vilification when the government was shut down and the Democrats pointed out all the collateral damage from a puritan policy over people approach. Whether it was deserved or not, the Conservatives were painted as completely heartless and the branding remains to today. If you want to really make it stick, keep bitching about someone’s friend or family member collecting a stipend while they desperately look for work. There are more than 12 Million Americans out of work entirely and who knows more Americans who either need a second or a new job. Put more than 12 Million Americans on the streets and you will crash the economy and risk our entire society. Everyone knows several someone’s who are out of work and have been for a long time. They see the daily suffering and worry that they are going through and know the devastation that will follow if they all suddenly have nothing to keep the household together.
    Now I will completely agree that the lion share of the problems we have were caused by liberals and their constant mucking with the economy. There are a large number of supposed conservative Republicans I can toss in the blame mix too. And I will preach loud and long about how Liberal’s have made it nearly impossible to start and succeed in business today, or how they have made it so expensive to hire anyone. But you don’t ignore the people in the water just because the Capitan of the Titanic was an idiot and the builder cut corners, especially not if the Titanic sank in your drinking water and all those bodies are going to poison it.
    I don’t think the extensions of unemployment are desirable. I don’t know anyone who wants an extension of the unemployment. I have proposed that every business that hires a unemployed worker should be credited against their unemployment insurance payment with whatever the unemployed workers would have received for up to 1 year. If the cost of UE Ins is so high it’s stopping hiring, and workers are clinging to their UE because they can’t get wages sufficient to improve their lot, then this should address both issues.

  19. 73



    Why don’t you show me the specifics of how McClatchy’s got that number, Billy Bob. But wait… I remember. You do not have a curious mind, and just blindly swallow the party line.

  20. 75

    another vet

    As somoeone who worked two jobs for over thirty years before becoming unemployed, I concur 100% with Tsgt Ciz. Mine is hardly the resume of someone who doesn’t want to work. Personally I applied for over 100 jobs without a single callback. A lot of those were jobs at Home Depot and the like so it wasn’t like not wanting to work for anything less than six figures. In my state you have to apply for a minimum of three jobs every week or lose the benefits. Make no mistake, there are plenty of freeloaders out there who couldn’t find work even if the unemployment rate was 1%, but they are in the minority. It took awhile to get out of the UE cycle and it wasn’t easy, it just took some investing and time.

    Being somewhat ignorant about how UE compensation works, I know that employers pay UE insurance but I assume the rest of the funds come from the government who in turn get their money from people when they pay taxes. If you’ve worked and paid taxes you’ve paid for someone’s UE just not your own. Kind of like SS where you work and pay someone else’s SS but not your own. Is that a fair assumption to make or am I comparing apples and oranges?

    Before going after people who’ve worked all their lives but who have come upon hard times, I think we first need to cut off benefits to those who haven’t paid into the system, i.e. illegal immigrants, freeloaders who are chronically unemployed, and those who have never worked even though they’ve lived here all their lives. Welfare folks (minus disabled people) should be subjected to drug tests before collecting their $$ and must prove they are trying to get off the system through education, job training, or by proving they are looking for work. For those of us who have collected UE, perhaps something should be enacted whereby if you collect say, $30,000 in UE compensation, when it comes time to collect SS, you either have to wait a couple of years before collecting full benefits or take a reduced amount until you reach the $30,000 figure. I realize it’s two different pots of money, but it’s a way to curb spending and make people more responsible. Just some thoughts.

  21. 76



    Now, for something all on it’s own:

    Billy Bob sez:
    On your statement regarding the IRS . . . did you even read what you linked to? Obviously now! That is about what employers’ claim as a deduction for unemployment comp insurance, not what their PREMIUM will be!

    Billy Bob, you amoeba, you are aware that the FUTA taxes from an employer are collected by… ta daaaaa… the IRS? Shall with start with the elementary stuff first?

    I did not say it was what the “premium” would be. What I was pointing out was that the IRS sent letters to an employer contesting their declared amount. Normally when the IRS contests your filing figures, they state a “you owe this much more” amount, or they audit. And you contest.

    Still with me, slow, single celled one?

    Please note the title of the notice. I’ll replay it for you…

    We Are Proposing a Federal Unemployment Tax Increase
    Because of Information We Received From Your State

    Are they saying “oops, you’re wrong.. you owe us this much MORE?” Nope. What they are saying is that what the employer reported doesn’t match with the state. Don’t give us your records and/or dispute us, and we’ll bill you, plus charge you interest.”

    Exact wording:

    If we don’t hear from you by {due date} we will assume you agree and will bill you for the additional tax plus any failure to pay and failure to deposit penalties that may apply. The bill will also include interest as required by law. We will figure interest from the due date of the return until you pay in full.

    Gee… something about this smacks of me guilty until proven innocent, in the eyes of the IRS.

    Is this a state mandate rise? No. Is it an increase in your personal employer UI fed taxes, at the point of an IRS gun, unless you prove your innocence? Nope. Yep (Freudian moment… LOL) Whether it’s an across the board, or directly leveled tax increase, it comes from the IRS feds. Spend money fighting it, or pay up. But either way, it’s an increase in that employers’ UI taxes.

    You know, as a lawyer (supposedly of your purported and presented “on the side of the working man” ideology), you’d think that when the govt says “you’re guilty, pay me”… that you’d be on the side of the working man.

    But noooooooo…. hypocrite.

    more Billy Bob ‘isms: You know how I know the stimulus package worked? Not a single GOPer con ANYWHERE has neglected to go schnorring for stimulus funds AND not a single state ANYWHERE turned down the federal funds.

    Gee.. you’ve spent the money via enacted law. If I don’t take the money I’m obligated to pay for, who will?

    This is like refusing a turkey your bold survivor-type butt (yes , that *is* sarcasm) shot in the wild because I oppose killing turkeys. The turkey’s already dead… why would I refuse? Do I utilize the meat for a feast, even tho I opposed your hunt? (and no, I’m not anti-hunter… it’s just an analogy, folks… LOL) Or do I let another eat the meat instead? After all, the damn turkey’s already dead, thanks to you… and my family is hungry.

    last Billy Bob ‘ism I can stomach for the night: And though you don’t know it, you are also ignorant about how settlement agreements are drafted in the employment context, and how courts determine lost wages in employment cases which, 99% of the time, involve an accounting for unemployment comp expenses and benefits. Other than that, you are spot on and a genius.

    First let me say, if you want to know why you live in the moderation filter, Billy Bob, it’s because you spam the site with horse manure, and statements that don’t include a lick of back up in documentation (guess you lost the paralegal who functioned as your second brain cell?).

    Twenty comments today alone. What’s the matter? Slow time in the legal world? Got a new gig which gives you lots of free time?

    It’s just too bad you still never say anything and merely attempt to operate as an Obama “Russian cyber attack machine on WikiLeaks”, instead shaving down to FA as your target. That’s almost laughable in itself… that your ambitions and threshhold of accomplishment lies with whether you can spam FA enough daily. 😆 But we thank your for the left hand compliment.

    But this last one is just too good to pass up.

    So why don’t you tell me about the UI taxes, and employer lawsuits, that is supposed to be your magic “I’m the genius” label you demand – sans evidence? To just say that I couldn’t possibly know, and yet not cite court cases (as I do for you, you lazy quasi-attorney SOB), just tells me that your career must be in free fall for lack of discipline.

  22. 77



    @Aye: Hey Greg…I know you’ve had a rough couple of days watching your “tax the rich” dream scheme get dashed on the rocks but I have a couple of questions for you.

    A couple of days? Greg’s been on the tail of “the wealthy” since his arrival here back in Feb 2010, Aye. It seems to be his obsession. 😯

    Now, since I haven’t actually addressed the subject of the thread here… the GOP compromising on the 100% tax quota staying the same (it is not a tax cut… all budget reconciliation deficit measures are “temporary” for 10 years because of the Byrd Rule… Senate debate rules)… let me comment on that. Take it where you will.

    Billy Bob is dreaming if he thinks this is an “Obama punked you” moment. On the other hand, I see no GOP victory either. The goal should have been, at max, 100% tax status unchanged, and extension of unemployment bennies MAX to April 2011 tax deadline.. Period. You are either not for spending, or you are.

    If you agree to the tax cuts from 2001 remaining status quo for two more years, and then compromise on adding to the FUTA debt… which is likely to be recup’ed from businesses via state increases.. you are not part of the solution. You are only an enabler of the current problem.

    Piss poor performance, GOP. What they gain is the temporary extension of current tax levels, and traded it off for a hidden “stimulus” with both extended bennies and other tax increases.

    As for Obama, he didn’t win either. Neither did the Democrats. They “caved” according to their base and O’faithful, because he did not punish “the wealthy”… a staple phrase in the Obama vocabulary, along with “let me be clear.

    Nor did Obama or the Dems gain the opportunity to paint the GOP as “Ebenezer Scrooge” for cutting off the spending INRE FUTA/extended UI benefits prior to Christmas… ala a tax “pink slip”. Naturally, that was never their goal, but that wouldn’t stop the Dems saying that for political gain, if they didn’t agree to the Dem demand for increased spending.

    Lastly, Obama loses as he now promotes the “Bush tax cuts” he agreed to extend as a “stimulus” bill. Since he is an obvious supporter of “stimulus”, this makes his opposition to the Bush tax policies nothing short of political BS.

    What we know is that neither party won anything of consequence. But the American taxpayer and economy lost it all.

    Count me way unimpressed….. /spit.

  23. 79


    Mata —

    Nah, he punked you guys . . . and some of you are starting to acknowledge that . . . .

    Question: why oppose a $900 billion bill because only a third of it (the unemployment benefits part) is not offset? Why no worry about offsetting the tax cuts with spending cuts? Ah . . . I get it . . . if we go down that road, cons will FINALLY have to admit that tax cuts have to be set off with spending cuts, otherwise deficits grow . . . as they did with Reagan and Bush II.

    And no, Mata, Obama is not calling the Bush tax cuts “the stimulus” part of the deal. Indeed, that makes no sense at all, since putting those cuts in puts us back to the 2007 recessionary, pre-Obama stimulus plan status quo, doesn’t it? And was the economy “stimulated” when the Second Bush Recession started in December 2007? No. Rather, the stimulus parts are the investment tax credit part, the extension of the Obama stimulus plan tax cuts, the new payroll tax cuts, and the unemployment benefits extension . . . you know, the Dem ideas . . . .

  24. 80


    Mata —

    I am not an accountant. So, no, I have never actually “done” a payroll. What I do is a bit higher end than that, such as working with management and negotiating with the unions to draft the actual contracts that set the actual wage rates and benefits packages that go into the payroll. I work with the treasurers and HR directors to make sure they can afford to pay what they are contracting to pay. And guess what works into that calculation? Yep, the cost of mandatory benefit programs: unemployment comp, workers comp, Social Security, retirement programs for public sector employers, etc.

    But my point remains, of course — by any rational definition, employees EARN unemployment comp and it is allocated to them based on the hours they work and the wages they earn. Employers pay it into the unemployment comp system for the employees, but they earn it and become “entitled to it” when/if they file a claim for benefits. THAT is what makes it different from any other entitlement, because you pay in under your name, you draw benefits based on your earnings, and you don’t get the benefit at all if the employer can prove you were fired for cause.

    A large part of the cons “outrage” over the system is based on unadulterated ignorance as to how the system works and the stress the states are under. (Aside: stress relieved, somewhat, by the Obama stimulus package that you cons opposed . . . fancy that . . . .) Like Jim DeMint calling for unemployment comp benefits to be “a loan”. A loan to whom? The states who cannot afford to pay it? Or are you going to lend the employees the benefits they already earned by paying into the system for years? W.t.h. are you cons talking about?

    The rest of what you referred to . . . all I can say is “Huh?”

  25. 82



    Billy Bob, if you will remember, I am already on record calling this a triple loser.

    The GOP leadership caved, and did not honor the “thou shalt not spend” commandment sent via midterm elections.

    Obama lost with his base when he caved on the “tax cuts for wealthiest Americans”…. when in fact, it’s not a tax cut, but continuing the status quo. Again, this comes down to the idiocy of someone saying they are losing money on a rental house because they aren’t charging $500 more than they do.

    Obama also lost the ability to paint the GOP as Scrooge, but they did try to set up the sequel a year from now… and the GOP stepped handily into that trap. A small win at best.

    Lastly, the media talking points… generally selling what WH officials whisper in their ears… are labeling this a “stimulus”… Firedoglake to the San Jose Mercury News and the NYTs, who calls it the “second stimulus”. You, yourself, are now calling tax credits and tax cuts “stimulus”.

    So I guess, according to your demented thought, tax cuts and credits are only a “stimulus” when they are proposed by “duh one” and his Dim cronies, with a special category that excludes the 2001 tax cuts? Laughable. Quite the attempt at lib/prog doublespeak.

    And BTW, I have asked both you and Greg about this $900 billion number. As CNN’s Money points out, there are no official numbers for the proposal and all it’s components. However the number they attribute… not offset by anticipated revenues and consumer behavior… of those evil “wealthiest” Americans is $75 billion. $250 billion is the amount of revenue the government says it will lose if it doesn’t *raise taxes* on those making $250K and lower… this from earlier Treasury numbers.

    A bit disingenuous to heap all the BS talking points blame about “the wealthy” INRE keeping the tax structure status quo, when the bulk of the money they’d be attempting to abscond actually comes from Joe Blow America, don’t you think?

    And considering there is no official government estimate, and that it would be unlikely to address it’s counter effect on revenues, it’s probably as valid a number as any.

    This means the GOP fought to keep $383 billion in the pockets of the bread winners in all financial categories, and the Dims would allow that to happen if they could pile on (using your $900 bil figure) $517 bil more of “stimulus”… $56 bil of that being flushed down the drain as UI benefits which will come back to haunt the individual employers in states who borrow from FUTA.

    As I said, count me unimpressed. Obama and the Dims aren’t winners when they now label their cuts as “stimulus”. Obama’s credibility INRE his long touted “no tax cuts for the wealthy” is shot. And the GOP sure isn’t a winner.

    The biggest losers are, of course, we the taxpayers. Therefore, welcome to the ranks of “the punked”, Billy Bob. When we are screwed by the elected ones, we are all screwed…. despite chasms between our political beliefs.

  26. 84



    Billy Bob, now that was a more rational comment INRE UI benefits. Of course the benefit is earned and has caveats. But they do not “pay into the system”, as you earlier misstated…. and continue to misstate even in your latest comment. The employer does.

    Also for the record, I don’t agree with DeMint’s “loan” proposal INRE UI extensions. But I will tell you that the employers have not paid into the system to support 99 weeks of UI employee benefits, nor have the employees “earned” that much in benefits with the limited employer contribution. So who’s paying for people to collect UI checks, instead of taking a job where they consider themselves “underemployed”? We, the taxpayers, of course.

    Lastly, the ARRA “stimulus” was kicking the can down the road for the states and their individual overspending of budgets. As I have repeatedly said, if you have a business where you are not making enough revenue to pay your employees, me stepping in to pay your employees for you does not cure the problem. Does it relieve “your stress”? Of course it does. But one dumb a$$ move if I did that….

  27. 85


    premium_subscriber, subscriber

    Hmmm, there is a Santa:

    Congressional Republicans appear to be quietly but methodically executing a plan that would a) avoid a federal bailout of spendthrift states and b) cripple public employee unions by pushing cash-strapped states such as California and Illinois to declare bankruptcy. This may be the biggest political battle in Washington, my Capitol Hill sources tell me, of 2011.

    That’s why the most intriguing aspect of President Barack Obama’s tax deal with Republicans is what the compromise fails to include — a provision to continue the Build America Bonds program. BABs now account for more than 20 percent of new debt sold by states and local governments thanks to a federal rebate equal to 35 percent of interest costs on the bonds. The subsidy program ends on Dec. 31. And my Reuters colleagues report that a GOP congressional aide said Republicans “have a very firm line on BABS — we are not going to allow them to be included.”

    “… Indeed, legislation amending federal bankruptcy law is currently being prepared by congressional Republicans. Local municipalities do declare bankruptcy from time to time, most famously California’s Orange County in 1994. But states can’t. Allowing them the same ability to renegotiate obligations could enable them to slash public employees’ lavish benefits, a big factor in their financial woes.



  28. 86


    Mata —

    You wrote

    You, yourself, are now calling tax credits and tax cuts “stimulus”.

    A BIG qualifier here Mata: you are wrong if you are implying that I said anything like “tax cuts pay for themselves.” Because we know, as a matter of economics and common sense, that tax cuts do not pay for themselves. If they did, every states would cut its tax rates when they got into a recession and Reagan and Bush II would not have run deficits: the tax cut revenues would have drowned out the spending!

    The way tax cuts CAN BE stimulative, in a short term, back door way, is if tax cuts are funded through borrowing from people who have dollars; then you spend that money. You double the short term economic impact by (a) giving money back to the wage earning class, which will spend it and (b) borrowing and spending borrowed funds on federal goods (tanks, gasoline, computers, desks, etc.) or services (wages, contracted services, etc.).

    It is a short term solution, though, that leads to long term problems. Hence the Reagan debt and the Bush II debt followed the Reagan and Bush III tax cuts, the same way the Obama tax cuts from his stimulus and this new round of tax cuts that will be added to the long term Obama debt pile.

    Got that? The two year, $800 billion tax deal WILL ADD TO THE DEFICIT!

    Mata, I have said one thing over and over and over again: tax cuts should be offset with spending cuts because there is no free lunch, there is no Magic Tax Cut Fairy who will drown us in dollars if only we cut taxes. It is the cons here and elsewhere who, for ideological reasons, refuse to acknowledge the obvious: if you do not offset tax cuts with dollar for dollar spending cuts, you drive up the deficit and the long term debt.

  29. 87



    Billy Bob, you have such a lib/prog demented thought on tax cuts (of which this is not a tax cut, but taxes staying status quo in a recession, as they should…). This idea that not stealing cash from the taxpayer needs to “pay for itself” comes down to one thing only… stop the damn spending.

    i.e., I think my income revenue stream should really be $30K higher than it is, but the market doesn’t show that’s possible. Am I losing revenue because of my illusions? Nope. It is what it is. . Now if I add to my spending, pretending my income revenue is what I want to believe, and not what it is, am I “paying for my income cut” (which was never real to begin with)? No… I’m being a fiscal fool. I’m spending on what I think my income should be, and not based on what it is.

    It’s a very simple economic lesson… you don’t spend more than you bring in the front door. And you don’t count money you wish you were bringing in. I know this may be beyond you, but give it the ol’ Chicago college try, eh?

    Therefore the “add to the deficit” figures you all bandy about are based on nothing more than wishful thinking for a higher revenue stream than the nation can bear in a recession. You can not, and should not, count on cash that can not, and will not, be manifested by we turnips, the taxpayer.

    The answer is simple… stop the damn spending. And start the cutting process… no, not all at once. But implementing changes incrementally. i.e., when your car has motor problems, troubleshoot part by part, and don’t buy a new engine.

  30. 88

    Nan G

    Since last night Obama has had a change of heart.
    This compromise was not really a compromise…..just a jumping off point!
    That’s right.
    He is NOW open to allowing Dems to add their choice cuts of pork into the mix.
    Only last night he was against making changes!
    And how did he inform the public of this?
    By an interview on NPR.
    Now there is a big chance that those Republicans who agreed to the compromise will NOT be open to all of the new pork Dems will want to lard up this bill with.
    So, there is a bigger chance that we will pass the Dec 15th deadline without a signed bill.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *