What Obama Can Do About The Bush Tax Cuts
This DKos diary, a classic in the "Leave Obama Alone" genre, does raise the question of what precisely can President Obama do regarding the Bush tax cuts.
First, it is true that the President himself can not enact legislation - he either signs or vetoes whatever the Congress passes. But therein lies the point - the Congress cannot enact legislation without the approval of the President (excepting of course the extremely unlikely possibility that legislation would pass with veto-proof majorities.) Second, if no legislation is passed, the Bush tax cuts simply expire. To wit, the President CAN end the Bush tax cuts by refusing to sign legislation extending the Bush tax cuts. Third, the President and most Democrats in Congress want to enact new middle class tax cuts (in essence the middle class tax cuts portion of the Bush tax cuts.) The GOP and Evan Bayh Democrats are adamant that they will hold the middle class tax cuts hostage to tax cuts for the rich.
So what's the President to do? He clearly has two choices here - (1) hold his ground and veto any legislation that cuts taxes for the rich or (2) capitulate and embrace the Bush tax cuts. There is a possibility in theory of a "decoupling" compromise, where middle class tax cuts are made permanent and the tax cuts for the wealthy are made "temporary." In my view, the GOP will not bite. They will not permit decoupling. So the reality is the President has to decide if this is worth fighting for. My view is, if not this, then what? Contrary to the view expressed in the "Leave Obama Alone" diary, this issue really is about Obama and what he is going to do. For better or worse.
Speaking for me only
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