Obama Announces Deal on Tax Cuts

President Obama announced today that the Administration and Republicans have reached an agreement on tax cuts.

Under the compromise agreement, the Bush-era tax cuts, including those for the wealthy, would be extended for two years. Unemployment benefits for those unemployed more than six months would be extended for 13 months. The employee payroll tax would be cut by 2% for 2011. The estate tax will apply only to those inheriting more than $5 million and would be capped at 35%. And the Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit and American Opportunity Tax Credit will be extended.

Ezra Klein says the deal is imperfect but not that bad.

Is this another compromise where no one is happy?

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  • 0-bummer liberated me months and months ago (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by seabos84 on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 07:12:02 PM EST
    and with this kind of $ell 0ut garbage, the hold-grudges side of my belief system is nurtured, instead of the let's-all-just-along side.

    REALLY - what the frack will 0-bummer have to offer in 2012, other than Palin is a right wing nut job?


    2012 is 2 yrs away (none / 0) (#5)
    by nycstray on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 07:18:56 PM EST
    the tax cuts will be expiring again . . . .

    Just in time for the election (5.00 / 3) (#8)
    by andgarden on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 07:20:47 PM EST
    This extension is effectively permanent. Akin to Republicans allowing the public option to pass.

    Agreed, they are permanent. (5.00 / 3) (#21)
    by KeysDan on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 07:51:25 PM EST
    In two years, when we have a Republican House and the Senate and President we have now.... well, say so long to Medicare and Social Security as we know it.  

    They're being gutted before 2012 (none / 0) (#22)
    by observed on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 07:55:22 PM EST
    Conservatives are in control (5.00 / 1) (#93)
    by waldenpond on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 11:36:17 AM EST
    We have a conservative House, conservatives (Repubs plus all the Nelson's) have the Senate and a conservative Pres.

    People are so f#cked.  Everyone saw the disaster that was Bush and it just gets worse with Obama's conservatism.

    I was thinking, if corps had to be smart, they'd prove the lie that tax cuts create jobs and actually pump some money into the economy.  Not even out of a gloating benevolence, just to stick on needle in the eye of decades of economic facts and say it works.  But you know what?  With this Congress and this Pres they don't even have to do that.


    How is Obama better than Bush? (5.00 / 4) (#94)
    by observed on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 11:40:00 AM EST
    His signature achievement, "HCR", is comparable to Bush's Medicare D: although larger in scope, its main feature is to make the insurance companies even richer.
    He's taken some troops out of Iraq, but puts more into another useless war in Afghanistan.
    He's demonstrably worse on the issues of civil liberties and the limits of Presidential power.
    He's just awful.

    Obama is worse than Bush (5.00 / 2) (#102)
    by waldenpond on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 11:48:36 AM EST
    I stated that it has gotten worse with Obama's conservatism.  Obama has been more abusive in foreign policy than Bush.  Obama has been more abusive on domestic policy.

    Obama is a terrible Pres.  Absolutely terrible.  I do not understand why any centrists would support him let alone why liberals would jump on. You have to be an extreme authoritarian to get behind Obama or I guess a pretty conservative Christian background.


    AFTER the election (none / 0) (#48)
    by jbindc on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 08:50:51 AM EST
    Good God, thank goodness he's not a public (5.00 / 6) (#3)
    by rhbrandon on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 07:17:33 PM EST
    defender; he's meet-and-plead every client on the prosecutor's first offer.

    A note about strategy: (5.00 / 10) (#4)
    by andgarden on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 07:18:39 PM EST
    It can only get worse from here. Any Democrat who claims in public to like this deal will increase the probability that it gets worse (e.g., Joe Lieberman and Medicare buy-in).

    For my own part, I think this deal is awful, and I would comfortably prefer to let all of the tax cuts expire. I couldn't even begin to consider this deal unless the Defense authorization bill were passed unmodified, Republicans agreed to offset the cost of the tax cuts by implementing a public health insurance option, and all as-yet-unconfirmed judicial nominees were given a up-or-down vote.

    (See, that's called negotiating).

    The Dem caucus (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by CST on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 09:17:14 AM EST
    has been making angry noises.

    I doubt they stand up to this deal.  But I also don't see them lauding it.  So I guess I'll say, maybe it means this won't get worse?

    Best case scenario is they push back and get some more concessions on other issues. Which, IN THEORY, they should be able to pass anyway (DADT, START, maybe DREAM, etc....)

    I'm not holding my breath though.


    PCCC has a good ad out (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 09:23:03 AM EST
    that I saw this morning. Youtube here.  I saw another ad this morning as well on CNN calling for Obama to keep his promises and lead, I don't know who put that one out but it was a better ad in my opinion.

    You're saying that Obama (none / 0) (#9)
    by observed on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 07:21:05 PM EST
    has a lot more caving to do,right? My take is that the final bill will be putrid.

    Here's how I predict this goes down (5.00 / 3) (#12)
    by andgarden on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 07:24:33 PM EST
    Tomorrow Jim DeMint and the Republican rank-and-file throw a fit over some concession the President got (probably unemployment) and force it to be removed (after all, they will not be afraid to obstruct).

    One thing the Republicans understand that Democrats don't is that even if you can live with a deal, you can win further concessions by talking about all of the provisions you don't like.


    That's like predicting Anne will (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by observed on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 07:26:32 PM EST
    write a long comment(no offense intended)

    That it is so predictable (5.00 / 3) (#15)
    by andgarden on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 07:28:35 PM EST
    means that it should be easy to turn the tables.

    Obama and the Democrats are like the guys who buy the anti-rust undercoating every. single. time., even though they've been told repeatedly that there is no reason to.


    For old times's sake (none / 0) (#17)
    by andgarden on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 07:29:26 PM EST
    I think the problem is that (none / 0) (#129)
    by Socraticsilence on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 01:31:22 PM EST
    its much, much, much harder to negotiate when you actually want the status quo to improve than it is when your best served by simply preserving the status quo- think about it- Health Care- GOP would prefer doing nothing to something actually improving; Unemployment- hell if they do nothing it helps the GOP on two fronts- they don't spend money (fiscal cons like that) and they get votes from those who are suffering; DADT- again the GOP actually likes the status quo why on earth would they ever cave on something like this when doing so while morally right and historically essential (seriously no one wants to be George Wallace in the social studies classrooms of the 2020s) would enrage their base and help them in no way whatsoever, Immigration- the current situation lets them demagouge to their whackjobs and still serves their corporate whores (plus by doing nothing they avoid pissing off hispanics- whereas any action they take is either going to alienate the base or turn off America's fastest growing demographic base-- its the same reason they generally ignore abortion unless they absolutely have to do something in order to rile up the Theocons); START- voting for it gives Obama a foriegn policy victory, voting it down hurts Obama (and humiliates him abroad) with no real downside (loose nukes but hey long term thinking isn't a strong suit- if it was they would have bit the bullet and passed immigration reform in 2007).

    Obama favors the (R) position (none / 0) (#18)
    by observed on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 07:30:05 PM EST
    on tax cuts for the wealthy,clearly.

    I doubt it (5.00 / 5) (#20)
    by andgarden on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 07:31:41 PM EST
    Rather, I think he thinks that putting this "issue" behind him is a "win." And for this White House, having a "win" is more important than actually winning.

    Yes, and the "win" attests (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by KeysDan on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 05:37:27 AM EST
    to the lack of seriousness in deficit reduction through the tax code.  For a real outline of the deficit reduction plans see the Cat Food Commission's "majority" report.   The two-year extension of all the Bush tax cuts permits President Obama to, once again, campaign in 2012 on allowing the tax cuts to expire on the "wealthiest Americans".   Those Republican devils made him do it, and he dared not jeopardize the recovery and increase the jobless rate back in 2010.  As President Bush once said, there is an old saying in Texas, fool me once, I'm a fool once again, or something like that.

    Oh, I think that Obama , many Dems (5.00 / 6) (#44)
    by MO Blue on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 07:58:55 AM EST
    and the Republicans are very serious about using the excuse of the deficit to gut Social Security and other safety net programs. Wall Street wants SS gutted and they own the country lock, stock and barrel.

    Totally (none / 0) (#130)
    by Socraticsilence on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 01:32:24 PM EST
    I mean its not like hes spent much of the past 3 months giving speeches around the country denouncing them while simulataneously urging Congress to act.  

    Anti rust coating (none / 0) (#115)
    by MKS on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 12:12:25 PM EST
    is no-good, lousy?

    When I was young and broke, (hopefully not to come full circle anytime soon but who knows), I always wanted to pay for the under carriage rust coating....That was a sign you had money....at least in cold weather climates...


    The conventional wisdom (5.00 / 0) (#139)
    by andgarden on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 01:46:54 PM EST
    among people I know who are successful car negotiators is that agreeing to pay for dealer-installed extras--especially the talismanic "rust coating"--is tantamount to flushing your money down the toilet.

    Most cars have all the rust coating technology will allow straight from the factory. Paying for extra is seen to be a rookie mistake akin to negotiating based on monthly payments or allowing yourself to wait longer than a few minutes for the salesman to "talk to his manager."


    Ah, andgarden, (none / 0) (#170)
    by MKS on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 04:48:07 PM EST
    when I lived in a cold weather climate, there was nothing from the factory and a car would rust out in two years....

    Back in the day.....


    "Back in the day" is right. (none / 0) (#192)
    by Mr Natural on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 10:17:48 PM EST
    You don't need the $600 "miracle" paint treatment.  Or the upholstery insurance.  And unless you live on a gravel road, like I do, you probably don't need the wheel and tire insurance either.

    Not offended at all... (5.00 / 12) (#27)
    by Anne on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 08:37:53 PM EST
    Probably my shortest comment ever.  :-p

    INteresting the Pres. chose to be outside (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by oculus on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 12:02:35 AM EST
    the beltway and tout the extension of unemployment benefits.  Hey, don't look at me.  I'm not part of that group!

    Reporting of cave in already (none / 0) (#78)
    by MO Blue on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 10:31:27 AM EST
    IMO achieving extremely negative PR for Dems.

    Republicans achieve top goal in Obama tax-cut plan

    WASHINGTON (AP) -- Republicans control neither the House nor the Senate -- and certainly not the White House. But they largely dictated the terms of President Barack Obama's proposed tax-cut compromise...

    Of course, it's not a cave-in from (5.00 / 1) (#80)
    by observed on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 10:36:33 AM EST
    "Chicago School/FDR was wrong" Obama---he's at least neutral, and probably in favor of the GOP position. Dems in Congress could negotiate much more effectively if they treated Obama as  a Republican.

    I have said that liberals (none / 0) (#113)
    by MKS on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 12:08:51 PM EST
    need to focus on securing 41 votes in the Senate.  

    The GOP has shown how effective that can be.


    The Dems do not have 41 (none / 0) (#117)
    by MO Blue on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 12:26:59 PM EST
    Senators in Congress who disagree with Republican policies.

    I do not believe that (none / 0) (#118)
    by MKS on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 12:30:33 PM EST
    They had at least 41 in 2005.

    You can have 12 defections among Democrats--in the next Congress--and still have 41.

    Disappointment should not lead to self-fulfilling defeatism.....


    What are Dem Senators supporting? (none / 0) (#131)
    by MO Blue on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 01:34:49 PM EST
    There are IMO at least 15 Democratic Senators who will be willing to vote for extending the tax cuts for the wealthy now and also vote to save SS by gutting it in the not too distant future.

    Durbin and Conrad have both made public statements that they would have voted in favor of the recommendations of the Cat Food Commission which did include cuts to SS benefits. Conrad on Friday, 12/3, called for a summit between the White House and congressional leaders as the next step in efforts to tackle the nation's budgetary issues.

    Also on December 3, 2010, 14 Democratic Senators sent a letter demanding prompt action to bring the country's deficit into balance and stabilize our debt over the long term. Signing the letter were Evan Bayh (D-IN), Mark Begich (D-AK), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Tom Carper (D-DE), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Kay Hagan (D-NC), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Joe Lieberman (I-CT), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Jon Tester (D-MT), Mark Udall (D-CO) and Mark Warner (D-VA).

    ...the joint letter concludes. "Regardless of whether the Commission's report receives the support of at least 14 of its 18 members, we urge legislative action to address these problems." link

    Paying attention to what the Dems are backing has nothing to do with self-fulfilling defeatism. Making excuses and not facing what is actually happening in D.C. is denying reality IMO.


    Okay, you win, Social Security will be gutted (none / 0) (#169)
    by MKS on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 04:44:49 PM EST
    and there is nothing anyone can do about it.  Happy now?

    Lord love a duck.  Saying it would be good to get 41 Democratic votes secured in the Senate to protect social security draws criticism?  Saying that is making excuses?  Get a grip.

    There are 58 Democratic Senators now.  You say 15 of them are gone.  That would leave 43.  And, you still need to distinguish between fighting the deficit and gutting social security.....There is some posturing going on.

    If you are right, and I am just making excuses, then the fight is already over, right?  So just accept it, right?

    If you want to wallow in defeatism, go ahead.  The GOP will win while Democrats fail to shore up the support for Social Security in the Senate....

    I say again the thing to do is secure 41. Is that not facing reality?  Is that making excuses?

    If you are not just being fashionably nihilistic, what do you propose to do?


    And start today (none / 0) (#171)
    by MKS on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 04:51:41 PM EST
    Bernie Sanders has the right idea.  Make common cause with the Republican nutcases to get 41 to filibuster the current deal.....That way, you don't need 41 Democrats....

    Get DeMint and Coburn and somebody else and then all you need is 39 or so....


    BTW you changed the criteria (none / 0) (#180)
    by MO Blue on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 06:36:57 PM EST
    from your comment 118. Per that comment"

    You can have 12 defections among Democrats--in the next Congress--and still have 41.

    You cannot have 15 defections among Democrats--in the next Congress--and still have 41.


    If you are talking about today, (none / 0) (#183)
    by MKS on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 07:38:39 PM EST
    and trying to defeat today's "deal", today's composition of the Senate matters...

    The broader point is working to secure votes in the Senate....

    With help form nutcase Republicans, you might need only 38 Democrats to sustain a filibuster to ttoday's deal....Given today's numbers, that means losing close to 20 Democratic votes....That could be possible....But if everyone stands around kvetching, no one will ever know.....

    And even if the vote fails, and the deal becomes law, the more Republicans needed to get it to pass, the better...


    Landrieu whom you list (none / 0) (#172)
    by MKS on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 04:53:11 PM EST
    is heavily critical of the deal....

    If she will go public with that kind of response, there could many others who would filibuster....


    Sen. Mary Landrieu is critical of the deal (none / 0) (#179)
    by MO Blue on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 06:33:26 PM EST
    She says it is 'morally corrupt' but how will she vote?

    Put me down as undecided, strongly objecting to that provision," she added. "Are there other provisions that I like in there? Absolutely." link

    You miss my point (none / 0) (#181)
    by MKS on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 07:11:07 PM EST
    If she is critical, you should be able to get the votes of others...

    What is it about the need to be contrary about everything?


    Have you contacted Dem Senators (none / 0) (#178)
    by MKS on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 05:48:09 PM EST
    asking them to filibuster the deal?

    have done on this issue- he gave speeches, urged Congress to vote on only extending the cuts on income lower than $250,000, etc.   What more do you think he should have done- killed Harry Reid? This, is an issue that Reid and Pelosi could and should have passed months ago but which they lack the will to do-- after all Tax Cuts can't be filibustered why didn't Reid have the Senate vote on the partial extension in October?

    I think (none / 0) (#135)
    by lilburro on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 01:42:58 PM EST
    A veto threat might have helped (none / 0) (#153)
    by ruffian on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 02:28:53 PM EST
    I'm actually (none / 0) (#127)
    by Socraticsilence on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 01:23:06 PM EST
    kind of shocked the GOP agreed to a 13 month extension in unemployment benefits- it seems like an odd concession I mean from a political standpoint they'd be better off just cutting off any and all aid to the poor and then blaming the ensuing suffering on Dems because eventually we'll cave because unlike the GOP we actually care if people suffer- its much, much easier to bargin when you have essentially sociopathic/nihilistic outlook on life- I mean why ever compromise on anything you want when your best served by people dying in the street, health care never ever, ever being reformed, and the economy crashing?

    I'm not shocked (5.00 / 1) (#166)
    by sj on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 04:17:52 PM EST
    In the end, they have unemployed constituents, too.  I don't think there was ever any real doubt about whether or not the extensions would pass.  The real question was what would they get for them.

    Let's see, 2 year tax cut extension and a slide for SS into federal general funds. 1 year unemployment comp benefits.  

    I bet they can't wait to see what they get for it next year.


    DADT repeal is really needed now (none / 0) (#112)
    by MKS on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 12:07:50 PM EST
    It could help buoy liberal spirits....

    And it can be done now....


    Don't count on it (none / 0) (#126)
    by jbindc on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 01:11:54 PM EST

    Defense Secretary Robert Gates, a supporter of repeal of the military's Don't Ask Don't Tell policy, said Monday that he is "not particularly optimistic" that Congress will act on legislation before the end of the year to repeal the ban on gays and lesbians serving openly.

    "The Congress has two weeks to act on the legislation and I'm not particularly optimistic that they will get this done," he said at an event aboard aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln. "I would hope that they would."

    Gates, who testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday about the issue, reiterated his concern that courts will overturn the policy before lawmakers nix the existing law, triggering a messy and disorganized implementation.

    "My greatest fear is that we have to be told that this law will be overturned by a court and we will be forced to implement it without any time for information or training, or any of the other efforts that need to be undertaken to prepare us for such a change," he said.

    Sure that is the concern (none / 0) (#173)
    by MKS on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 04:54:13 PM EST
    Do you support repeal of DADT?

    Seriously (none / 0) (#175)
    by jbindc on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 05:06:11 PM EST
    Is it your mission to question my personal beliefs any time I post something that is contrary to your pronouncements?

    Yes, I support the repeal of DADT.  I also support the idea of women being able to fully serve in combat, and if a draft is ever re-instituted, women should be draft eligible.

    Anything else you'd like to know?


    I never said that repeal was likely (none / 0) (#177)
    by MKS on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 05:34:31 PM EST
    I read that Gates quote yesterday, so I knew that it was nowhere a done deal.....

    I merely said repeal would be good....and drew adverse comments....Good grief....

    I often cannot tell what position you advocate....


    Probably would be prudent to (none / 0) (#174)
    by oculus on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 04:57:03 PM EST
    institute zero tolerance for discrimination/harassment training and policy now.  Why wait?  Handwriting is on the wall.

    Good bone to throw? (none / 0) (#152)
    by waldenpond on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 02:28:25 PM EST
    Yep, a huge expansion of the oligarchy to transfer 900 billion from the middle class to the wealthiest... let gays serve in the military.

    I think your target with that is the centrists so they can say liberals should sit down and shut up.

    When over 70% of the country supports serving openly?  jeez, what a crumb.


    Not getting would not be good (none / 0) (#168)
    by MKS on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 04:30:53 PM EST
    What does the Catfood Commission Think about it? (5.00 / 9) (#6)
    by Dan the Man on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 07:20:14 PM EST
    This bipartisan deal proves no one is serious about cutting the deficit.

    Trillions to millionaires and pennies for everyone else.  2 years of bush taxes in exchanges for 1 year of unemployment benefits.

    By the way, I LOVE how the taxes for the wealthy expire in 2012, right in time for the 2012 presidential election.  Obama can run in 2012 on the platform that he'll get rid of the Bush tax cuts for rich people if he wins - the same thing he ran on in 2008.  11 dimensional chess at its very best.

    Exactly (5.00 / 2) (#10)
    by andgarden on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 07:21:47 PM EST
    There are countless progressive ways to offset the cost. But nooooo, Democrats refuse to actually negotiate.

    Not just Democrats---Obama too! (none / 0) (#11)
    by observed on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 07:24:05 PM EST
    There are lots of potential (5.00 / 3) (#14)
    by andgarden on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 07:27:03 PM EST
    Democratic choke-points along the way. No doubt there will be strong pressure for the Congressional Dems to eat this deal, but the President can't force them to.

    If the House adjourns sine die, the tax cuts expire.


    If they Did That (5.00 / 2) (#24)
    by glanton on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 08:30:57 PM EST
    We'd have cause to believe there is still a pulse in liberal America.

    "Sine die" was not on the CA bar exam! (none / 0) (#35)
    by oculus on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 12:04:41 AM EST
    The term "Democrats" (5.00 / 0) (#34)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 12:03:43 AM EST
    pretty much excludes Obama by defintion.

    How can we cut the SS tax . . . (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by nycstray on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 07:20:46 PM EST
    if SS is in such dire trouble . . . . ?

    That's easy (5.00 / 2) (#36)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 12:05:21 AM EST
    SS is not, NOT in "dire trouble."  It has a slight problem, easily fixed by raising the income cap on contributions, with our without this rather tiny holiday on contributions.

    From your lips . . . (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by nycstray on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 12:33:18 AM EST
    but we all know what's a comin' down the pike . . .

    Turns out the little (none / 0) (#69)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 09:57:22 AM EST
    payroll tax cut is being funded out of the general fund, so doesn't effect SS funds.

    No, I really don't know what's coming down the pike on SS.  Contrary to some here, I don't see the government defaulting on SS-held Treasuries to reduce the national debt.


    Agree with you concerning (5.00 / 1) (#74)
    by jeffinalabama on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 10:12:56 AM EST
    default, but I am concerned about raising retirement age, changing eligibility, and even privatization.

    One simple solution to any SS question is lift the cap on taxed earmings, or raise the cap, if not lifting it entirely.

    But I don't hear the analysts mention this, only that there's 'big trouble' down the road. I'm getting tired of pants-wetting fear mongering from terror to budget to deficits.

    Already rage is gone, because a body can only sustain so much. Now it's time for solutions, real ones, not stopgaps. And SS isn't a problem right now. Medicare is much more pressing.


    Create donut hole for Social Security tax (none / 0) (#116)
    by MKS on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 12:23:38 PM EST
    During the Primary Debates, there was chatter that one of the major Democratic candidates thought the cap should stay in place but be lifted for those over 250k a year, creating a  donut hole.....

    That way no taxes are raised on the under 250k group.

    There are all kinds of ways of tweaking social security.....

    BTW, please indulge me, but here is my first Diary at Big Orange, entitled, Social Security will not go broke for 100 years.

    Written at nother nadir in December 2004....This too shall pass.  Just get 41 Democratic Senators to protect Social Security.  If Social Security could survive a Republican Congress and Bush, it can survive again.....Just get 41.


    We probably do need to push the retirment age (none / 0) (#136)
    by Socraticsilence on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 01:43:55 PM EST
    up in the longterm as well as removing the contribution cap- do those two things, the former over the course of decades; the latter ASAP and Social Security will never have solvency issues (retirement age should probably be linked to lifespans in much the same way a COLA are linked to inflation but I don't know how to do whilst simultaneously accounting for the fact that certain professions due to their physical toll need a lower eligibility age).

    Interested in what you mean (none / 0) (#82)
    by MO Blue on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 10:46:55 AM EST
    when you say you don't see the "government defaulting on SS-held Treasuries to reduce the national debt."

    Does that mean that you do not think that they will a) raise the retirement age b) change the method by which benefits are calculated (thereby reducing benefits) or c) means test benefits eliminating or greatly reducing benefits for a large segment of the population?


    I think that (none / 0) (#83)
    by jeffinalabama on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 10:50:57 AM EST
    a, b, and c are options being considered. I oppose each of them. I simply don't see default as the term to use-- maybe 'screw people,' but not default.

    IMO the government is pursuing (5.00 / 1) (#103)
    by MO Blue on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 11:48:52 AM EST
    ways to "default" on paying out the benefits that were outlined when they took the money out of my paycheck each and every month.

    Let's say that I am a self made millionaire (not close) and I have paid into SS since I was 16. The government took a % of my earnings each year and in returned promised to pay me a minimum of $2,000 (adjusted for COL) upon my reaching the age of 67. Now since the government wants a never ending SS surplus to add the general revenue (available for tax cuts) it changes the rules so that no one with assets of a million dollar or more receives any SS benefits. From my POV, the government has just defaulted on its financial obligation to me.

    Basically what the government wants to do is to be able to always roll over the funds plus interest in the trust fund. They will never default because they will keep changing the rules so that they always have a surplus and never have to pay the money back.


    Hard to do (none / 0) (#137)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 01:45:09 PM EST

    Now since the government wants a never ending SS surplus to add the general revenue (available for tax cuts) it changes the rules so that no one with assets of a million dollar or more receives any SS benefits.

    The government has a fair number of ways to determine your income.  However it has precious little capacity to determine the value of of everyone's assets.


    They use assets when deciding who (none / 0) (#147)
    by MO Blue on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 02:09:06 PM EST
    qualifies for programs like Medicaid or assistance for Medicare premiums etc.  

    Interesting (none / 0) (#164)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 03:45:32 PM EST

    Do you know how they figure how much cash you have stuffed under the mattress? Or is their measurement of assets limited to disclosed bank accounts and property on the tax rolls?

    digby on tax holiday (none / 0) (#160)
    by MO Blue on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 02:53:50 PM EST
    It's a landmine. The Republicans are going to run on the president's stated desire to raise taxes in 2012 --- on everyone, not just millionaires. They are going to run on the fact that he's going to "raise" the payroll tax as well. And subsequently it won't be raised.

    Meanwhile, they will argue that Social Security is now showing a much larger shortfall and they will use it to demand cuts in the program. (I realize that the president said that they will use general revenue to make up the shortfall, but I think we can comfortably predict that he will not be very effective at using what they will call an "accounting gimmick" to do that. Judd Gregg on just said on MSNBC right out that it's coming from the Trust Fund, full stop. That will be their line whether it's true or not.)

    I have always been skeptical of the payroll tax holiday, not because it doesn't make sense on a policy level, but because restoring a tax is always an extremely heavy lift (impossible at the moment apparently, even for vastly wealthy people) and trying to restore Social Security revenue in the middle of this social security jihad is far too risky. The politics are all wrong for even touching Social Security right now. link

    No, it was BRILLIANT!!!!! (5.00 / 1) (#163)
    by waldenpond on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 03:38:22 PM EST
    Let me pause to vomit... ok (wiping the back of my hand across my mouth) watching MSNBC.

    It is the second largest tax cut in history!!
    It was unfortunate he had to cut the Dems out, but he had to do something now, now, now!!
    He'll get credit if it works!!!
    When it doesn't, he can say 'we did it your way, you suck!! (completely ignoring we been doing it the conservative way for 10 years)

    Ratigan seemed a little sane pointing out that it was easiest thing they've done for Dems and Repubs to scratch each others backs... meanwhile the people who are being forced to pay for it, weren't in the room.

    MSNBC sure is trotting out the conservative Ds to sell this.


    Not really (none / 0) (#134)
    by Socraticsilence on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 01:40:19 PM EST
    I don't see a single bill to cut social security in the works which has a chance in hell of passing- hell, the "Catfood Commission" ended up being the empty threat a lot of us said it would be when it was created (much like the similar Commission also led Bowles and Simpson, the was established by Clinton in the mid 90s- its recommendations were ignored)- how anyone thought it would ever produce an actual report to be voted on is beyond me- Both Simpson and Bowles had called for SS reform and cuts to Military Spending for more than a decade as each of these items is essentially a poison pill for a major party the commission itself was never going to achieve the consensus needed to pass a report on for a vote.  

    Sure and Durbin is coming out in favor (none / 0) (#149)
    by MO Blue on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 02:12:53 PM EST
    of the Cat Food Commission recommendations and raising the retirement age because he represents one of the most conservative states in the union.

    Ezra Klein (per referenced article): (5.00 / 4) (#16)
    by KeysDan on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 07:29:10 PM EST
    "A hopeful sign. The White House sat in a room with Republicans and Democrats and managed to negotiate an actual compromise."   Yes, everyone walked out a winner,  especially the millionaires in life and in death, what with the income tax and estate tax bonanzas.   The Wall Street guys will not need to give out their million dollar bonuses  before the end of the year as they were planning to do.  A hopeful sign?  What audacity from Klein and his White House masters who ladled the Kool Aid from the holiday punch bowl into his cup.

    Ezra has no personality left (5.00 / 1) (#88)
    by waldenpond on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 11:16:19 AM EST
    He's a pure propagandist.  He's all about access.

    I'm actually (none / 0) (#138)
    by Socraticsilence on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 01:45:14 PM EST
    suprised by the long-term UE benefits extension- without that this is pretty much a cave but with that its much more mixed.  

    Imperfect but not ???? (5.00 / 3) (#23)
    by masslib on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 08:25:14 PM EST
    Wow.  I wonder what Klein would consider bad.

    By definition according to (5.00 / 1) (#81)
    by MO Blue on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 10:42:15 AM EST
    Klein's rule, if Obama does it, it can't be bad.

    I think some of you are (5.00 / 5) (#25)
    by Left of the Left on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 08:31:49 PM EST
    mistaken on the unemployment. This is eligibility and funding through the next year for all existing tiers for those newly unemployed, and those you havent exhausted the first 4 tiers, but this extension does not add a new tier for those that have already exhausted their benefits. The 99ers.

    Right, Left. (5.00 / 3) (#29)
    by masslib on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 09:48:30 PM EST
    I believe there are 4 million not eligible for the extension.

    You are correct, (5.00 / 4) (#38)
    by Romberry on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 12:21:14 AM EST
    The way I put it on another forum is "while unemployment benefits are to be extended, there is nothing in this for the long term unemployed (AKA "the 99'ers") who are now essentially disconnected and disassociated from the job market and are the equivalent of economic collateral casualties."

    I hate that they are getting the payroll tax reduction from the funding for Social Security. I cynically believe they set it up that way to purposely worsen long term projections for the program and bring the faux crisis closer to the present so they can more urgently call for "saving" Social Security by cutting it.

    The estate tax deal is bad. The continued preferential treatment for unlimited earned income (cap gains and dividends) over wages is an obscenity.


    Payroll tax cut is not coming from (none / 0) (#70)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 10:00:08 AM EST
    SS.  It's being funded out of the general fund.

    The estate tax component is a huge (5.00 / 7) (#26)
    by Anne on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 08:36:27 PM EST
    gift to the wealthy, that's for sure...

    According to dday (bold is mine):

    Senior Administration officials tried to cast their deal on the Bush tax cuts in a positive light, even as forces on the left and right were mobilizing against it. The deal is so shaky that the White House officials and the President would only call it a "framework." Several Democrats and Republicans in the House and Senate are already either simply opposed, or dedicated to mobilizing for defeat of the package, and the Senate Majority leader delivered a terse one-line statement only agreeing to discuss it with his colleagues. The biggest news here is that this deal isn't done.

    Just to outline this framework: under the deal, the Bush tax cuts for all rate levels would be extended for two years. The estate tax, in a monstrous deal, will be lowered from 2009 levels, with a $5 million dollar exemption and a 35% rate, for two years as well. And, the deal adds what is now an annual patch to the alternative minimum class so it doesn't hit people in the middle class. In exchange, extended unemployment benefits between 26 and 99 weeks will be continued for 13 months, to the end of December 2011 (costing around $65 billion). A trio of tax cuts from the stimulus - the advanced Earned Income Tax Credit, the child tax credit, and the tuition tax credit known as the "American Opportunity Tax Credit," would be extended, I believe for a year, at a cost of $40 billion. A new tax cut, an employee-side payroll tax cut of 2% (out of the 6.2% that employees pay), would be in place in 2011, at a cost of $120 billion dollars. A senior administration official responded to my question by saying that would be paid for out of general revenue through a credit, and so would not impact Social Security and Medicare finances in any way. And, there are an array of business tax credits in the deal, including two that the President noted in September - bonus depreciation allowing businesses to write off at 100% the cost of new investments, and the R&D tax credit. Senior officials punted when asked if assurances for votes on other agenda items, like new START and repealing Don't Ask Don't Tell, were included in the deal.

    I guess that last part translates to, "[W]hat?  you expected us to actually get something for our conciliatory outreach?"

    Uh, no, I think at this point we're just hoping it doesn't get any worse, even as we prepare for just that scenario.

    It's like the creeps I went to high school with... (5.00 / 5) (#28)
    by desertswine on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 09:38:33 PM EST
    are running the govt.

    Obama (5.00 / 6) (#30)
    by sas on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 09:58:16 PM EST
    is no Democrat...he's Republican Lite.  No Democrat worth a dime would go along with something like this. Further, it's yet another campaign promise broken. It looks like he caves again. Where is the fight in this man?  Maybe he just doesn't care to fight, or has no principles worth fighting for.

    This "deal" is absolutely AWFUL...900 billion for the millionaires and 220 billion for working class people (the FORMER Democratic base).  And this reduces the deficit by...oh wait, it doesn't. sorry.


    Does Obama think we'll forget this gift to the wealthy and agree to the sacrifices suggested by the cat food commission?  

    We have got to get someone else in 2012....who has some backbone.  Carville was right about the balls....

    I hate to say "I told you so" (5.00 / 4) (#31)
    by hairspray on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 11:34:36 PM EST
    but I always thought he was inexperienced and too cool for words.  I didn't think he had enough time to develop a resume.  We need to thank Tom Daschle, John kerry, Ted Kennedy and others who shoved him down our throats. I think he just lost 2010 on this.  Too bad there isn't a dark horse in the wings waiting to primary him.  

    This man avoided creating an REAL (5.00 / 4) (#50)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 09:06:28 AM EST
    resume that would give any true reflection of the man.  He has one now though

    Ted Kennedy didn't (none / 0) (#37)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 12:17:15 AM EST
    "shove him down our throats."  He endorsed him.  That's all he did. The maneuvering and positioning was Daschle and Durbin et al, not Teddy.

    I just (5.00 / 3) (#45)
    by lentinel on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 08:46:21 AM EST
    remember how they were all jumping on the Obama bandwagon.
    It was scary.
    It reminded me of the way that pols, one by one, got behind Bush's march to war in Iraq.

    I'd consider believing it (5.00 / 1) (#143)
    by hairspray on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 02:03:53 PM EST
    if I could find a source. Do you have one? Ted Kennedy was so awful to HRC throughout the campaign that it is hard to believe he wasn't in on "kingmaking".  Even after the caucuses did HRC in and Obama had the nomination he made sure that HRC didn't get to do anything on health care. Not exactly objective.  Deep seated antipathy is how I read it. I read that he loathed the Clintons so getting her out of the way sounds like no brainer to me.

    I mean 2012 on this! (none / 0) (#105)
    by hairspray on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 11:55:58 AM EST
    If the GOP puts up a moderate appearing person like Mitt Romney I don't think Obama will get the independents and the conservative Dems.  That leaves the liberals staying home.

    "too inexperienced" (none / 0) (#193)
    by Mr Natural on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 10:34:56 PM EST
    Youse guys ain't cynical enough by far.

    I think he was chosen because he could be so easily led and manipulated.


    Yes, all will be forgiven (5.00 / 2) (#90)
    by waldenpond on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 11:26:50 AM EST
    You watch.  People will jump on board.  There is complaint from the left, but there is one thing that holds true about Dem voters... they are wimps.  

    Obama isn't Repub lite.  He disparages liberals and liberalism and pushes and signs conservative legislation.  You don't have the ideology ingrained (and spout the proven lies that are trickle down economics) in you the way Obama does if your not a true believer.  Obama is only a Dem because he has such a weak character and would never have gotten anywhere in the Repub party.

    He doesn't just look conservative, he's in tea-bagger territory with 'tax cuts to create jobs', but just watch, it'll be nasty because it can't be on policy (the Pres is a tragedy of epic proportions) it can only be personal.


    Speaking of personal (none / 0) (#154)
    by waldenpond on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 02:33:41 PM EST
    Over at BJ, JC has started the election season early.... if you don't support Obama, you're racist.  Forgive me for not linking but that particular writer comes across a little nutty (a perfect reflection of their majority conservative readers)

    Oh yeah, progressives are evil!!!



    I am shaking my head sadly (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by Politalkix on Mon Dec 06, 2010 at 11:49:19 PM EST
    at the way they are interpreting the results of the midterm election in the WH.

    I'm also shaking my head sadly. (none / 0) (#42)
    by Dr Molly on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 06:05:52 AM EST
    because their interpretation is correct.

    I am shaking my head (5.00 / 3) (#47)
    by jbindc on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 08:50:27 AM EST
    Because the signs were all there for an election blowout way before the election, but they did not pay attention because the WH figured his awesome-ness would carry the day.

    That whole article... (none / 0) (#98)
    by sj on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 11:47:33 AM EST
    ... leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

    And what better time to raise taxes (5.00 / 3) (#41)
    by ruffian on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 06:05:33 AM EST
    than when 20% of people are either un- or under- employed and won't even be affected? Put some of the taxes into a jobs bill and even the employed will thank you for saving their familiy's and neighbors' jobs.

    We've just guaranteed tax policy will never be seriously addressed. They sure as heck won't address it in two years.

    I read (5.00 / 3) (#46)
    by lentinel on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 08:47:44 AM EST
    that Obama supports this mess, but "does not agree with it."
    And I think to myself, what horsesh*t. Pardon my French.

    Obama is the kind of shrewd dealer (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by observed on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 08:55:28 AM EST
    who, when playing Let's Make a Deal, would stick with door number 1, even though he had already seen the goat. "The other doors might have something worse!", he'd say.

    CNN is kicking his arse this morning (5.00 / 2) (#51)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 09:08:36 AM EST
    They are playing over and over again clips from his campaign speeches where he says that the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy are going away under his Presidency, there are at least twenty different clips.

    It's a twofer---Obama does (5.00 / 2) (#53)
    by observed on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 09:18:01 AM EST
    120% of the Republicans' bidding, and helps Republican chances in 2012 too! He's "too liberal", they'll say, which is why the economy is tanking.

    He's moved to 12 or 13th dimensional chess. (none / 0) (#55)
    by jeffinalabama on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 09:19:10 AM EST
    Either that, or his Jedi mind trick skills have SERIOUSLY weakened.

    Jennifer Rubin (5.00 / 1) (#56)
    by jbindc on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 09:20:18 AM EST
    Yes, a conservative, but she feels pretty good about the deal, so once again, young Ezra Klein doesn't really know what he's talking about:

    There really is no other way to say it: the Republicans won, the liberal Democrats lost, and the president sided with the Republicans. The subject, of course, is an agreement to extend all the Bust tax cuts. The president tonight announced a "bipartisan framework" for agreement on, among other things, to extend the Bush tax cuts for two years. A Republican House aide tells me tonight it is "a damn good deal." And so it is, from the perspective of conservatives.

    As they've been demanding, all of the Bush tax cuts are extended for two years. The estate tax that was due to pop back up to a rate of 55 percent was retained, but with a $5 million exemption and at a rate of 35 percent (better than Republicans privately expected). For that huge concession, the president extracted... a 13 month extension in unemployment benefits.

    Now it's true that the deal includes a one-year payroll tax cut of 2 percent. Plus other tax credits -- the earned income credit, the child tax credit and the newly-created college credit -- all remain in place. And businesses will be allowed to expense 100 percent of their purchases for equipment. Liberals and White House spinners will argue that the White House "wanted" many of those tax credits and breaks, but in point of fact the Republicans didn't mind giving more tax breaks. It sounds better to slide those items into the White House's column, but really the only concession by the Republicans was on extension of the unemployment benefits.

    So you can see why liberals are morose. A Capitol Hill aide described Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid's demeanor upon returning from the White House: "He looked like someone shot his dog."

    To say that Republicans are triumphant would be an understatement. They won the philosophical point (tax hikes impede economic growth) and, candidly, are more than delighted to have a repeat of this debate for the presidential campaign in 2012. Ryan Ellis of Americans for Tax Reform, which strenuously pushed for extension of the Bush tax cuts, tells me,"If 2012 is a referendum on Obamacare and tax hikes, we win." Well, there will be lots of other issues, and 2012 in political terms is a long way off. Still, I see his point.

    Look at what this does to the deficit (5.00 / 4) (#59)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 09:27:14 AM EST
    In 2012 the Republicans will flaunt that.  In order to defuse that explosion what could we do....I guess we could try cutting entitlements?  And then in the 2012 ads, Obama is the guy who gutted Social Security and made the poor poorer while exploding the deficit at the same time.  The stupid is so bad I can barely stand to watch.

    The stupid - it does burn. (5.00 / 2) (#61)
    by jbindc on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 09:28:19 AM EST
    If I were a federal worker who just (5.00 / 5) (#71)
    by Anne on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 10:07:44 AM EST
    found out my pay has been frozen, sacrificed in service to deficit reduction, I think I would be more than a little hacked off about the across-the-board "temporary" extension of the Bush tax rates, as well as the sweetheart deal on the estate tax (not only do those with estates over $5 million get a really low top rate, but opportunities abound for estate planning that will ensure that individuals die with an estate that would be totally exempt from tax - not that such planning wasn't going on before, but it's going to ramp up again).

    When I'm in the grocery store, or trying to plan for Christmas, or sitting with the bills, or telling my kid, "no, I'm sorry, we can't afford that," I'm steaming mad that the rich are once again getting the bulk of the benefits of yet another deal, and I'm looking at no pay raise.  Oh, sure the payroll tax cut might help, but I'm still thinking to myself: "why is it always the little guy for whom the tough choices have to be made?"

    And I'm wondering if Obama has even a clue whether what he's "negotiated" for will help the economy - or is he just playing politics?

    How can anyone not be thinking that?


    I hope liberal house dems (5.00 / 3) (#57)
    by CST on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 09:21:04 AM EST

    If Obama wants to pass a republican tax plan, let republicans vote for it.

    That's (5.00 / 2) (#62)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 09:29:27 AM EST
    the way I feel about it. The irritating thing is that they are the ones that always supposed to compromise but the GOP is never asked to compromise.

    And do what? (none / 0) (#60)
    by jbindc on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 09:27:50 AM EST
    They've already passed a bill that allows for only middle class tax cuts.  It isn't going anyhwere.  What are they supposed to do?

    easy (5.00 / 1) (#65)
    by CST on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 09:34:09 AM EST
    they vote no.

    Next question?


    Since liberal Dems (none / 0) (#67)
    by jbindc on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 09:41:44 AM EST
    are a minority within the Democratic caucus - will it actually send a message?

    it will send a message (none / 0) (#68)
    by CST on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 09:55:19 AM EST
    that their votes cannot be taken for granted

    I imagine there will be future votes where the republicans and blue dogs will not be lock-step and liberal dem votes are needed.

    It's not a democratic tax plan.  So real Democrats shouldn't vote for it, plain and simple.


    D-day has another scenario (5.00 / 1) (#72)
    by jbindc on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 10:08:04 AM EST

    I think the bigger problem would come from intransigent Republicans who don't want to extend unemployment for another year. If you just get a non-trivial number opposing the bill from the right - 20-25 dead-enders - it makes it that much harder to find enough support on the left to get the bill passed.

    And ultimately, I see this as less of a problem in the House than in the Senate, mainly because of the difference between a simple majority and a filibuster-proof supermajority. I could easily see Jim DeMint, Tom Coburn, Jim Bunning, and the right of the right opposing the deal on these grounds. That would raise the bar significantly on Harry Reid to round up the votes for passage.

    I could see the kind of left-right alliance coming together - for very different reasons - to oppose the ultimate deal. And with 60 votes needed in the Senate, maybe the center will not be able to hold.

    in that case (5.00 / 1) (#75)
    by CST on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 10:14:22 AM EST
    voting no would kill it dead and the tax cuts expire.

    I'm ok with that.


    Until of course (none / 0) (#77)
    by jbindc on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 10:25:40 AM EST
    Taxes go up in January and Democrats take another shellacking in 2012,as they get the blame.

    January (5.00 / 1) (#79)
    by CST on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 10:32:18 AM EST
    is a long ways away from 2012.

    Whatever happens in 2012, I really doubt that this tax vote will be the deciding factor.

    They already voted to cut taxes on the middle class and republicans torpedoed it.  So how exactly will it be the Dems fault if taxes go up?

    I think the Republicans may have overplayed their hand here a bit.  They are not being portrayed favorably in this whole thing.  Kind of like spoiled children.


    When Bush retained Karl Rove (none / 0) (#114)
    by hairspray on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 12:10:50 PM EST
    as his presidential advisor after the campaign, many felt that Bush's strategy was directed too much by how everything would play in the various up coming elections.  Obama seems to be doing the same with Axelrod.  They seem to think that the left has no where to go.

    also (none / 0) (#85)
    by CST on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 10:53:16 AM EST
    how are republicans not to blame?

    If this doesn't pass, it means republicans didn't vote for it.  So Dems at least can say "hey, we tried".  What do Republicans say?  "we really wanted to lower your taxes but not at the cost of an unemployment extension?"

    I'll have that political fight any day.


    I wish. (none / 0) (#87)
    by rennies on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 11:04:53 AM EST
    We are about to find out if (none / 0) (#91)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 11:31:53 AM EST
    Obama does fight anyone aren't we?  If he comes out swinging on Democrats, you guys will have to tie me up, duct tape my mouth, set me a closet nicely please.  I will lose my God Damned mind.  Obama is coming on CNN in a few minutes giving a speech on his tax cuts.  He is feeling the lightened ship it would seem.  CNN says he is making this response to be called a "Caver".  So he'll make the sale to me?  Has he tried to make a sale to our faces yet?  I can't remember anything other than Afghanistan and of course I bought that.....have paid full price.....and I had to leave the site for awhile so you guys didn't beat me up in my exuberance :)  He didn't sell well to some that evening :)  Has he made an effort to sell us anything else though, I can't remember, I'm too pi$$ed.

    Won't have to fight (none / 0) (#106)
    by CoralGables on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 11:56:14 AM EST
    any Dems. At least 25 Dem Senators will love this compromise.

    Don't have any names yet (5.00 / 1) (#111)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 12:07:33 PM EST
    But cable news has now announced "that Dems" on the Hill have come out and said they haven't agreed to anything.

    the republicans (5.00 / 4) (#66)
    by CST on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 09:36:19 AM EST
    have been making dems "compromise" for everything, and then 2 republicans vote for it and the whole dem caucus does.

    If republicans want this, they should have to stand behind it and vote accordingly.  I'm sure they'll get a couple blue dogs to swing the thing.  But liberal Dems shouldn't touch this with a ten foot pole.  


    Robert reich calls it an (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by masslib on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 09:31:58 AM EST

    Krugman says no deal.

    Atrios and Nancy Altman see the beginning of the end of social security.

    Wow (none / 0) (#73)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 10:08:15 AM EST
    Krugman most definitely does not say "no deal," and Atrios and Altman are blowing smoke out of their you-know-whats on SS.

    No (5.00 / 3) (#158)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 02:41:13 PM EST
    I'd say you're wrong about Atrios et al.  Isn't it obvious to you what Obama and the rest of the conservatives are doing?  They're counting on people getting used to a 4% payroll SS contribution, and then they will heave their heavy sigh as they say that the money down the road has to be taken out of SS rather than the general fund.

    If this isn't their ploy, then why don't they just cut federal taxes, rather than SS?

    If you don't get their strategy, I think...well, I think you should think harder.


    The problem is that the dealing is (none / 0) (#76)
    by observed on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 10:25:39 AM EST
    not finished. The final bill will be much worse.

    It doesn't need to get worse. (none / 0) (#156)
    by masslib on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 02:35:38 PM EST
    It's already bad enough.

    Altman is making perfect sense (none / 0) (#99)
    by sj on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 11:47:38 AM EST
    Until I read that I didn't get what the deal really was.

    What are you talking about... (none / 0) (#155)
    by masslib on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 02:34:57 PM EST
    "So, was this worth it? I'd still say no..."



    "the end of social security." (none / 0) (#194)
    by Mr Natural on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 10:40:24 PM EST
    For details, read Dickens, Zola, ...

    I wonder if Josh Marshall's leg (5.00 / 2) (#64)
    by observed on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 09:32:23 AM EST
    is tingling now---all that great work to stop killing SS in 2006, and now Obama is setting up SS for the kill.

    I might have missed it (none / 0) (#84)
    by MO Blue on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 10:51:44 AM EST
    but so far I have only heard "crickets" from Marshall regarding the Dem plans on killing SS.

    He's afraid of the flames (5.00 / 1) (#125)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 12:47:47 PM EST
    from the various levels of hell that he has found himself encircled in :)  This is what eventually happens when we are reluctant to identify sin :)

    How exactly is Obama setting up SS (none / 0) (#141)
    by Socraticsilence on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 02:01:16 PM EST
    for the kill, frankly I think SS is something that will either be ignored over the next two years or will help the President (if the GOP is stupid enough to try and push a Paul Ryan type privatization thing through)- literally the only time in the last two decades that SS was imperiled in any real sense is in 1997 when Bowles was supposedly going to make a partial privatization deal with Gingrich prior to Impeachment taking such a deal off the table. 2006, was a non-starter, there was no way a large number of GOP congressmen were ever going to vote to alter SS on the eve of the election only in Bush's delusional mind was that ever a real possibility.  

    Can you phucking believe it? (5.00 / 2) (#86)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 10:56:36 AM EST
    Democrats were left out of finalizing this POS, just heard it on CNN.  Supposedly some of them are upset today.  The President and the Republicans wrote this thing together, Democrats were not invited.  Someone tell me this a phucking joke please.  This President Must Go Away!

    You know (5.00 / 2) (#101)
    by lilburro on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 11:48:26 AM EST
    how the HELL did the Republicans get so much when as of this moment we still have a big majority in the House and 59 votes in the Senate?

    How does this happen?  We couldn't pick off Snowe or anyone else?  That is all we needed to do.  Of course that would require holding onto a position (not even fighting for it, just maintaining it).

    This is absurd.  It does not bode well.


    Pick off Snowe? (none / 0) (#107)
    by CoralGables on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 11:58:32 AM EST
    You couldn't even get a vote from Feingold.

    There wasn't even an effort (none / 0) (#108)
    by lilburro on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 12:05:11 PM EST
    no real attempt to get Dem Senators on board for the original $250,000 + expiration plan at all.  Obama apparently is just trying to get Republican votes for the hell of it.

    Lets hope (none / 0) (#89)
    by CST on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 11:19:20 AM EST
    they stay out of it.

    Are the covering economic fact? (none / 0) (#95)
    by waldenpond on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 11:41:26 AM EST
    So CNN, the mini-me-Fox is personally attacking the Pres but are they covering the class war and the transfer of wealth from the middle class to the wealthy?  

    The priority is ratings if all the do is pick on the Pres because they can start pushing Repubs for the election season.  Churn controversy.

    It's a whole other issue if one of the networks actually starts pushing the lie of the tax cuts and the class war.  (I think we've already lost but media could cover it in memorium as they are part of the winning class).


    Heh, I'm picking out the facts (none / 0) (#96)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 11:42:58 AM EST
    that they are willing to give me today.  Isn't that the way of it these days with all of them?

    Shockingly they revealed to me (5.00 / 2) (#97)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 11:45:46 AM EST
    that Dems weren't invited to the final negotiation.  That's big for them.  And they didn't spruce up that fact either, they blank faced said it...I don't know if they are part of hypnotically inducing my calm Hindu Cow states or if they are trying to be journalists today :)  But upon hearing that I did leap around the house like a raging hellion :)

    Oh Well, he won't be making (5.00 / 2) (#100)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 11:48:21 AM EST
    remarks now until 2:20 pm.  That's probably because the White House knows I'll be picking up Josh then from school and won't be able to flame away during the remarks.  But I'm in a different time zone you hacks....Muwhahahahahhahaha

    Waaaa they made Obama do it (none / 0) (#104)
    by waldenpond on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 11:55:51 AM EST
    Don't get in a kerfluffle.  The Pres had to do it.  He had to get something done.  Anyways, Repubs will control everything anywas so might as shift to conservative ideology now.  ho-hum.

    Transfer wealth from middle class to wealthy.  Extermination plan on track.  Check.

    Explode the deficit and set up Social Security.  Extermination plan on track.  Check.

    Trot out Dems to sell the rubes a miniscule tax cut and set them up for the fall.
    Extermination plan on track.  Check.

    Exterminating the middle class and Dem party with one plan, pretty impressive destruction for our conservative Pres.


    Ruh Roh (5.00 / 3) (#109)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 12:05:59 PM EST
    Democrats on the Hill have now come out and said THEY HAVEN'T AGREED TO ANYTHING :)

    I was wondering if that would be (5.00 / 1) (#119)
    by nycstray on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 12:36:09 PM EST
    the response when I heard last night about the deal and they said that he had bypassed the Dems on it.

    Does this dude not remember what party he belongs to?


    Su(R)e he does. (5.00 / 4) (#121)
    by observed on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 12:39:32 PM EST
    They aren't important (5.00 / 1) (#122)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 12:41:54 PM EST
    He is teh One!

    "The One" (none / 0) (#195)
    by Mr Natural on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 10:42:17 PM EST
    Those glazed eyes are becoming scarce.

    I think I heard that song before. (5.00 / 2) (#120)
    by MO Blue on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 12:39:21 PM EST
    Always need to have a little well rehearsed bluster before implementing what used to be Republican policies. Oh how reluctant they will be to keep the tax cuts for themselves and their true constituents.    

    They got their butts kicked so hard (none / 0) (#123)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 12:43:41 PM EST
    during the midterms, I'm not so sure they are that overly eager to screw us all over some more :)

    I called (5.00 / 1) (#128)
    by sas on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 01:27:01 PM EST
    my Senators and my congressman (all Dems) to express mydismay at this POS compromise.  Vote NO I said.  We'll see....

    Call, call, call people....let's see what we can do to stop this mess.

    But (none / 0) (#133)
    by CoralGables on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 01:38:20 PM EST
    what did you suggest instead? There is no legitimate argument to be made for tax cuts for some. There are only legitimate arguments for stay the same or let them all expire.

    Live-blog of Obama presser (5.00 / 1) (#142)
    by Anne on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 02:03:22 PM EST
    David Dayen's saving me from having to listen or watch, but that's still not enough to keep my blood pressure down:

    Obama: On GOP side, this is their holy grail. Their central economic doctrine. Unless we had 60 in the Senate it would be hard to move forward. I would like to have seen a vote before the election, to crystallize the difference between the parties. I think Democrats have better ideas. American people agree. But I haven't persuaded Mitch McConnell and JOhn Boehner. So I have to look at the best thing to do given that reality.

    This is leadership?  Jesus.

    More Obama:

    Chuck Todd: Dems say you're rewarding Republican obstruction. Why should they?

    Obama: I thought middle class tax cuts were held hostage. It's tempting not to negotiate with hostage takers. Unless the hostage gets harmed. I was not willing to see the American people get harmed. This is not abstract. Taxes would go up for middle class families. Unemployed would see their insurance run out. I could have enjoyed the battle with Republicans over the next month or two. I have not failed to persuade the American people. Polls on our side. Problem is that Republicans feel this is the most important thing that they have to fight for as a party. And they have a stronger position next year than they do currently, with bigger numbers. If the deal was a permanent tax break in exchange for these short-term things, that would have been unacceptable. That would have been a $700 billion hole in the deficit. This deal makes the high-end tax cuts temporary. That gives us the time to have this political battle.

    Chuck Todd: Are you telegraphing how to have Republicans beat you? They stand strong and they win?

    Obama: I don't think so. This is a unique circumstance. Tens of millions would be immediately damaged. Last two years, I was being called too stubborn. I don't make judgments based on conventional wisdom. I do what's right for the country. I will be happy to see Republicans test whether or not I'm itching for a fight on a range of issues. They'll see that I am. I just don't want to see American public hurt. And they're giving up a lot too. Earned Income tax credit, child tax credit, tuition tax credit, they're opposed to that. I want to have that battle. But don't harm the American people.

    I can't stand Chuck Todd, but he got the question right, for sure.

    So, Obama thinks the difference between a good deal and an unacceptable one is the difference between "permanent" and "temporary?"  As if even my dog knows better than that.  Sheesh.

    Richard Trumka has this to say:

    The tax cut deal rewards Republican obstructionism by giving the wealthy the tax breaks they demanded. It throws away precious resources needed for investments in jobs and our economy on upper income tax cuts that will do very little to propel economic growth--setting up excuses for the deficit hypocrites to argue for even more cuts to programs serving working families. It lards the tax cuts for the top 2 percent with an indefensible cut in the estate tax - giving yet another bonus to the super-rich. Taken together, this package locks in the growing income inequality that has plagued our country for at least another two years - and quite possibly much longer.

    It is unconscionable that the price of support for struggling middle class families and workers who have been unable to find jobs for months and months and months is yet more giveaways for our country's wealthiest families. Millions of jobless workers have lived in fear for months while Senate Republicans had the gall to use their hardships as political leverage for the benefit of the rich.

    The gains for the middle class and jobless workers in the deal come at too high a price.

    His use of the passive voice - "[T]he tax cut deal rewards" - is a way of avoiding the reality: "President Obama rewards;" as I read the statement, I can't help thinking that the underlying message is "This is a deal?  This is how you negotiate?  This is pathetic."

    And here's the best part from Obama - on his "core values:"

    As to my core values, I have a bunch of lines in the sand. No permanent Bush tax cuts. No inclusion of other provisions to help grow the economy. This notion that somehow we are willing to compromise too much, reminds me of the debate during health care. This is the public option debate all over again. I get signature health care legislation, but because they didn't get public option, that somehow that was a sign of weakness. If that's the standard by which we're measuring success, then let's face it, we will get nothing done. People will have the satisfaction of a purist position, but we'll have no victories for the American people. We can feel sanctimonious and nothing will happen. That can't be the measure of public service, or what it means to be a Democrat. Not everybody agrees with us. I know that shocks people. NYT or WSJ editorial page does not permeate across the country. Because it's a big diverse country, in order to get stuff done, you have to compromise. When FDR started Social Security, it was only widows and orphans. Medicare started as a small programs. Under your criteria, each of those were betrayals. This country was founded on compromise. I couldn't go through the front door in the past. We wouldn't have a union. We need a North Star there, what's best for the American people. Sometimes my preferred option, I can't get done. I have to do what I can get over the long-term. We moved in the direction that I promised. There's not a single thing that I said I would do that I have either done, or tried to do. Let's make sure we understand this is a long game. To REpublicans, I'm looking forward to seeing them on the field of battle.

    Because, as usual, this is all about him.

    He is still convinced that his healthcare (5.00 / 2) (#145)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 02:07:56 PM EST
    POS legislation saved us all from something other than having any money left over for anything else once the premium is paid.  He is positively crazy.

    And his POS HCR is what lost him (5.00 / 1) (#148)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 02:09:23 PM EST
    his 60 votes in the Senate.  Mass told him NO when he wanted to feck up their own HCR that was much much better than anything he was trying to screw them over with.

    The public option (5.00 / 3) (#150)
    by lilburro on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 02:17:54 PM EST
    will come later...

    Ending the tax cuts will come later...

    Later is going to be pretty damn awesome apparently.


    The can being pediatricly propelled (5.00 / 1) (#187)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 08:04:11 PM EST
    down pony laden roads.

    Good grief!!! (5.00 / 3) (#151)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 02:26:39 PM EST
    Because he didn't get a public option??? He didn't even TRY to get a public option. He's gone over the bend into freaking Bush/Iraq territory with this crap.

    Yes he has (none / 0) (#188)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 08:08:41 PM EST
    Bless you for the clarity of the combo of a good memory and reason.  I will now return to the sanctity of my purist liberal lets make war in Afghanistan sanctimonious self.  What an idiot, it is issue by issue for me...I am not sanctimonious, just reality and results oriented.  But not according to some egotistical narcissistic jerks.

    lines in the sand: the perfect metaphor (none / 0) (#196)
    by Mr Natural on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 10:44:47 PM EST
    Along comes some hot air and whoosh, they've vanished.

    He said he has many lines in the sand (none / 0) (#200)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Dec 08, 2010 at 07:52:04 AM EST
    And a couple up his sleeve too :)

    OMG Obama is flaunting (5.00 / 1) (#144)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 02:06:05 PM EST
    the facts that "the markets" responded favorably to his tax cut deal.  The man is clueless

    But of course, tracy - (5.00 / 5) (#146)
    by Anne on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 02:08:09 PM EST
    Obama is the North Star that America so badly needs - I'm sure the markets are just responding to his awesome leadership.

    [now, pardon me while I throw up in my trash can]


    Ooops - I guess he spoke too soon... (5.00 / 1) (#161)
    by Anne on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 03:32:45 PM EST
    what goes up, must come down, even for His Awesomeness...

    I'm sure that's the liberals' fault, too.


    It's Bernie's fault (none / 0) (#186)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 08:00:27 PM EST
    and that SOB Harkin, he might not be willing to filibuster but he gets on the tube and talks $hit and destroys the economy right before our eyes.  But $hit talk can never destroy a real economy, only a juiced B.S. one.

    Well on the upside for me (none / 0) (#157)
    by CoralGables on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 02:39:08 PM EST
    when you can't beat them you may as well benefit from them. I'm still loaded in the stock market, so hopefully I can leave my daughter enough to pay for her huge lifetime tax increase someday as we continue to follow the voodoo fiscal responsibility of Reagan.

    What a mixed blessing (none / 0) (#159)
    by jeffinalabama on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 02:42:50 PM EST

    You know it's a bad deal (5.00 / 1) (#162)
    by jeffinalabama on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 03:32:48 PM EST
    for Democrats when Sen. Mary Landrieu comes out against it.

    That sacrifice need not be... (none / 0) (#43)
    by kdog on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 07:58:10 AM EST
    more fruit of our labor...we could "sacrifice" some or all of the services of the DEA, NSA, DHS, CIA, TSA, ATF, ICE, IRS, DOJ...to name a few expensive acronyms.

    The unemployment extenion is a no-brainer, but I'd like offsetting cuts to tyrannical spending first, tax increases if necessary second, to pay for it.

    Here's how I see (none / 0) (#54)
    by brodie on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 09:18:12 AM EST
    Obama -- it's not about money, it's about fear.

    86% (none / 0) (#92)
    by CoralGables on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 11:32:29 AM EST
    of the country wanted some or all of the tax cuts to stay in place. From a politicians point of view this is an easy call. Politicians worry about their next election and how the advertisement against them will sound.

    There is no fiscal responsibility in any part of the package, but the general public votes their own wallet so everyone is getting what they want and the huge deficit that exploded under Reagan continues on unabated as the can once again gets kicked down the road.

    Taxes are at a 60 year low (none / 0) (#110)
    by MKS on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 12:06:30 PM EST
    It is really eye-opening to see the tax revenue as a percentage of GDP--it looks like it will be under 15% this year....

    22% was always touted as the practical threshold of where people would rebel against taxes....Even under Reagan, taxes were close to 20% of GDP.

    Obama news conference in about 1 hour (none / 0) (#124)
    by MKS on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 12:44:51 PM EST
    So says MSNBC website....

    omg (none / 0) (#140)
    by lilburro on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 01:47:42 PM EST
    from the conference live blog...nausea!  nausea!

    Update: Follow up from AP is on whether the WH had failed over the past two years to set themselves up better to win this fight. Obama answers that tax cuts for wealthy is the holy grail of the GOP and that because he doesn't have 60 Democrats, the only way to extend middle-class tax cuts, in his view, was to give the GOP what they wanted, even though he, along with most Americans, disagrees with the GOP.

    [emphasis mine]

    So I watched the (none / 0) (#165)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 03:56:16 PM EST
    "pragmatism" clip from Obama's speech today and yeah,

    that's the guy I elected.  Healthcare reform is darn near a complete failure if you listened to some on the left because it doesn't have the public option.

    I think the fact that both the left and the right don't like the compromise DOES actually mean something despite the jokes about that fact.

    Now whether it helps him get elected is something else entirely, but yeah.  I can't disagree with anything the man said here:


    Ridiculous (5.00 / 2) (#176)
    by observed on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 05:33:20 PM EST
    Obama didn't compromised; he surrendered unconditionally---and at an enormous cost in lost revenue.

    The right is celebrating (5.00 / 2) (#182)
    by waldenpond on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 07:19:58 PM EST
    jeez, fireworks were going off they were so happy.  They pulled back real quick because they are going for another dip at the trough.  They just stole 900 billion from the MC with the Pres complete and utter acquiescence.  Just think what they can get from someone who is looking to be weaker than Carter could ever be portrayed.

    He's not just weak---he's (5.00 / 1) (#184)
    by observed on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 07:52:03 PM EST
    an idiot. W. was smarter.

    He's not stupid (none / 0) (#190)
    by waldenpond on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 09:20:52 PM EST
    He's just a true-believer conservative.  He truly believes that concentrating wealth is a social good and trickle down economics isn't a fallacy but that if we all just believe hard enough, it will work.  

    What's wrong with you?  Where's your gratitude?


    right..and true believer (none / 0) (#191)
    by observed on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 09:24:16 PM EST
    conservatives are stupid. They use tax cuts like doctors used to use leeches,without regard to the empirical evidence, blindly following a baseless theory.  

    I don't believe that they're really that dumb (none / 0) (#197)
    by Mr Natural on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 10:51:53 PM EST
    What I do believe is that like any political parasite they plan to maximize their pillage, finessing the taxpayers into parting with every possible dollar, and somehow, like Houdini even, escape before it all blows up in our faces.

    I'm actually somewhere in the middle on this (none / 0) (#167)
    by CST on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 04:27:08 PM EST
    Frankly, IMO, my "best case scenario" right now is that liberal Dems revolt, but enough republicans and a couple blue-dogs get together to pass this thing.  Lets just say I'm very worried about unemployment funding - without that, this would not be anywhere near my best case scenario.  But I want Republicans to own it.  This is not a Democratic bill.

    2nd best scenario is that Dems revolt, the bill fails, government shuts down for a little while, but republicans are forced to acknowledge the fact that they have to deal with the democrats in congress, and we move on from there.

    worst case scenario, IMO, is that democrats in congress swallow this whole.  If they do that, they will never be taken seriously as power brokers, and we will essentially have unchecked republican rule from here on out.


    Listened to Goolsbee tonight on CNN (none / 0) (#185)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 07:54:25 PM EST
    it is obvious that Goolsbee believes that the rich paying more taxes right now would harm the economy.  What a joke.  That is why Obamalama blew the Democrats off, because he and his advisors believe that if the rich had to pay more right now it would damage the "growing" economy.

    Like I have been saying, (5.00 / 1) (#189)
    by observed on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 08:42:26 PM EST
    Obama did NOT compromise---well,except for possibly extending UI benefits.

    I think you are right about this after (none / 0) (#201)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Dec 08, 2010 at 07:52:48 AM EST
    watching and listening to Goolsbee.

    Well - it is a defacto stimulus (5.00 / 1) (#198)
    by Mr Natural on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 10:54:26 PM EST
    You know who Obama needs? (none / 0) (#199)
    by NYShooter on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 11:14:42 PM EST
    Anthony Weiner!

    Now, there's a guy who "gets it." Every time I hear him talking I find my head nodding up and; yup, yup, yes, yes! that's right, there you go. He sounds so real, so obvious, so simple.

    He gave Obama more good advice tonight on Charlie Rose than the Pres. got from all his "advisors" the past two years.

    Listening to Wiener I don't see how the great majority of middle class people in the country wouldn't find themselves doing the "bobble-head" along with me also.

    Gee, If Obama only had a bully pulpit.......and knew how to user it.