Obama: GOP Holding Middle Class Hostage To Provide Tax Cuts For The Wealthy

President Obama's today:

"I’m prepared to work on a bill and sign a bill this month to ensure that middle class families get tax relief.” But he says Republicans are “holding middle-class tax relief hostage” in order to “give tax relief to millionaires and billionaires.”

This is the message. It resonates with me.

Speaking for me only

< Friday Morning Open Thread | The American Prospect Urges Progressives To Fight For Blanche Lincoln >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    I call BS (5.00 / 3) (#1)
    by DaveCal on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 12:08:00 PM EST
    Republicans are holding it hostage?  

    A. You control both houses of congress, the only way they hold it hostage is if you propose a bill and it passes the House and gets filibustered in the Senate.  Has that happened?  NO

    B. You want so called middle class tax relief without tax relief for those you consider "rich"?  Propose it.  Have the House and Senate put forth bills doing just that.  Haven't seen the bills sir.  

    Until you do either of these, you're just another politician playing politics and blaming the other guys for "playing politics".  

    Exactly (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Slado on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 12:13:36 PM EST
    The president is king of the strawman.  Set up the debate you want and then paint your opponent as supporting a position that is politicaly palitable to your side.

    The president wasted billions of dollars on his stimulus.  Now that the public has rendered it as useless or not big enough he has decided that tax cuts are the way to go but once again he holds on to the timeless strategy of class warfare.

    Rich people have more money.  If you tax them you take more money out of the economy.  We can all pretend this isn't so and that only taxing the rich will fix all our worries but the time to try it has passed.  The president had his chance and now that he blew it he's only got the old democratic handbook of class envy to work from.  It won't work.

    It comes down to a simple question of whether or not you think a group of rich people or the government know how to spend money better.

    BTD trusts government.  I trust fellow "rich" people.

    The country is on the side of "rich" people now after watching big government spend lots of money very badly over the last 18 months.  

    Too late Mr. Presdient.  You had your chance.  Nobody is listening to you now.


    Argue it GOP (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 12:16:14 PM EST
    "The country is on the side of "rich" people now."

    I may use your quote for another post.


    And this is news? (none / 0) (#9)
    by scribe on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 12:24:23 PM EST
    That the country's on the side of the rich?



    The country is on the side of (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 12:23:49 PM EST
    the rich people now?  Really?  I think the people are on the side of the people, and they tired of our government AND rich people ripping all of us off!

    Nah... (none / 0) (#96)
    by kdog on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 03:21:49 PM EST
    the people hate each other too...rich hate poor, poor hate rich, poor hate poor, everybody hates the government...it's the summer of hate!

    And that's not even getting into latinos and muslims:)


    Current polling shows you are wrong about (5.00 / 3) (#10)
    by Buckeye on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 12:24:25 PM EST
    what side the voters are on regarding this issue.

    The specifc question asked them (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by Slado on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 12:42:25 PM EST
    shows that but don't fool yourself.   The reality that dems will be pounded in Nov is because they are not trusted to run government.

    Nope, Slado (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by christinep on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 12:56:04 PM EST
    I don't know what they say on Republican blogs, but the riposte is: Every poll, every anecdotal statement, and every sidebar discussion we all have had about government in the past several months shows the continuing anger/variation of anger at BOTH parties. Democrats in Congress are rated low and Republicans in Congress are rated even lower. In addition to the historic reality of most Presidents' losing seats at mid-term (even our beloved FDR lost about 70 seats in 1938), the stark driver this time is the disappointment among so many that the economy has not turned around in a noticeable sense.

    In sum: This threatens to be a reprise of an American classic heretofore known as a "Throw the Bums Out" election OR--the reason why Republican incumbents have been in their own primary nasty surprises--"Out With In-cumbents; In with the New."  So...I guess we'll see. We know the outlines, and the real question is the trajectory over the next several weeks.  


    I do not believe this issue is going to be (none / 0) (#27)
    by Buckeye on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 12:51:23 PM EST
    a game changer.  But, if Obama can find a nice wedge issue that the public agrees with him on and use it to create contrast between dems and repubs, it might save a few seats on the margin.

    It is also the right policy.  We cannot afford these tax cuts.  I think we should let them expire for everyone, but if leaving them in place for the middle class will not cost that much money and Obama thinks it can help him out politically, fine with me.


    Its not the right policy to let them expire (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by DaveCal on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 12:57:24 PM EST
    and Obama has to pontificate about extending them bacause he's campaigned on the "tax cuts for 95% of Americans" BS.  

    Of course, he'd be happy to let these expire (thereby raising everyone's taxes).  He just has to pretend he didn't want it to happen.  So he can be on the side of the little guy.  

    More BS.  


    We cannot afford them. (none / 0) (#35)
    by Buckeye on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 01:00:01 PM EST
    What makes you think (none / 0) (#102)
    by PatHat on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 03:32:18 PM EST
    that Obama wants to raise taxes?

    Extending the middle class rates will cost (none / 0) (#33)
    by BTAL on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 12:57:37 PM EST
    $2.7 trillion over 10 years.  The cost of extending the high level rates is $700 billion over 10 years.

    Well then, (none / 0) (#34)
    by Buckeye on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 12:59:26 PM EST
    he should let me all expire (I did not realize it was that much for everyone else).

    Eh (none / 0) (#60)
    by lilburro on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 01:28:54 PM EST
    the spending is not proportional.  A 700 billion price tag for the very, very few.  At least the 2.4 trillion covers many many people.

    Excuse me, (none / 0) (#61)
    by lilburro on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 01:30:13 PM EST
    2.7 trillion.

    Still, that's $270 billion per year reduction of (none / 0) (#64)
    by Buckeye on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 01:40:40 PM EST
    deficit (less what offset there is to the economy from higher taxes) as opposed to $70 billion per year.

    Budget deficits dont matter (5.00 / 1) (#103)
    by PatHat on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 03:35:27 PM EST
    during a deep recession. Especially since the interest rates are very low. It may seem like common sense to reduce spending when you have no money...and that is what most Americans are doing...but the government is the only one that is capable of spending and spending is the only way out of the recession.

    Do you have a link (none / 0) (#114)
    by Madeline on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 04:19:09 PM EST
    for those numbers?

    Several (none / 0) (#122)
    by BTAL on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 04:46:59 PM EST

    CBPP.org (pdf)

    CBO (pdf)


    That's a winning message (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by lilburro on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 12:24:27 PM EST
    for existing GOPers.  Don't know about everyone else though.

    And there are far far more non-"rich" voters than "rich" ones...


    Actually (5.00 / 1) (#115)
    by Manuel on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 04:24:11 PM EST
    It comes down to a simple question of whether or not you think a group of rich people or the government know how to spend money better

    The government would do a far better job of spending since the rich would just hoard it.  It's aggregate demand that matters.


    Wait a minute (none / 0) (#129)
    by lambert on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 10:04:04 PM EST
    How, exactly, is "the government" different from "a group of rich people," at least right now?

    It will happen next week (none / 0) (#2)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 12:08:36 PM EST
    He can try all he wants (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Slado on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 12:15:44 PM EST
    but his track record is pretty poor and nobody is listening to him read from a teleprompter anymore.

    I and most Americans have tuned him out.  Even if he started making sense now it's too late.

    He had his chance to fix the economy and he blew it.


    And yet (none / 0) (#36)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 01:00:10 PM EST
    you'd be very hard pressed to find a major political analyst who would bet real money against Obama being re-elected. Huh, maybe you're self-selecting.

    You'd be very hard pressed ... (5.00 / 2) (#101)
    by Yman on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 03:31:44 PM EST
    ... to find a major political analyst to bet real money on anything happening in an election that's more than two years away ...

    I hope you are calling (5.00 / 2) (#14)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 12:27:43 PM EST
    this play right.  If I get sold out again, I can't see any way I would ever vote Obama after that.  I want something completely different if he screws me again.  I would have to work to have him primaried.  He can't do anymore speechifying to my face while he buries the knife in my back.  I just won't willfully put up with it.

    Okay, MT (5.00 / 0) (#20)
    by christinep on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 12:39:50 PM EST
    I'm being optimistic, but we will soon know the answer. Elsewhere today, I read that the idea may be to put up the "extend cuts for under $250K" first for the vote; and, then deal with the "millionaires+" issue. I hope that is the way the vote is taken, because presenting the under-250K in the next week gives cover for those straddling to be voting "supporters" of the middle class, while putting a pressure spotlight on the Republican noes. (Also: Senator Voinovich, longtime Republican from Ohio who is retiring this time announced he will support the tax relief bills for small business...a major break with his fellow Rs.)
    Hang in there. Its a step at a time.

    That's the smart way to do it (none / 0) (#39)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 01:01:56 PM EST
    especially since there's absolutely no need to put the millionaires thing up to a vote- I mean they can if they want to but they can literally do nothing and that tax break will expire.

    Exactly. (none / 0) (#68)
    by christinep on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 01:59:38 PM EST
    Which is why the GOPers (none / 0) (#144)
    by gyrfalcon on Sat Sep 11, 2010 at 07:42:40 AM EST
    won't bite.  No kidding, they're not that dumb, and the Dems know it.

    I think this whole exercise is not much more than a tactic to get GOPers on record preventing the extension of the tax cuts to the non-wealthy.  It won't pass the Senate because there are apparently a number of Dem. senators who are taking the GOP position.


    I will support a filibuster re FISA revise. (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by oculus on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 12:41:19 PM EST
    Let's be realistic here, MT.  

    He's put himself on the spot (none / 0) (#16)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 12:30:37 PM EST
    Which is quite unusual ... (none / 0) (#54)
    by Demi Moaned on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 01:20:22 PM EST
    and a welcome change from the 'wait and see what Congress does' strategy that seems to have dominated so far. I'm sure there are some waverers in the Dem caucus, but it looks like the Prez is determined to lead for once. "Go for it!" I say

    If Reed offers what he is talking about (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by BTAL on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 12:39:27 PM EST
    it will be his own party that will cause the damage.  Lincoln and Landreau are a couple others who may also join them.

    Moderate Democrats, meanwhile, are digging in, suggesting they won't back a bill that fails to extend the tax cuts for families making more than $250,000 and individuals making more than $200,000. Without support from the middle, Democratic leaders probably can't drum up the votes in the Senate to pass a bill that increases taxes on upper income Americans.

    Several moderates -- like Sens. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), Evan Bayh (D-Ind.), Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) -- have expressed skepticism about raising taxes on any income group as the economic problems in the country grow.



    Who cares about Lincoln, (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by Buckeye on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 12:53:42 PM EST
    she is toast.  Reid might survive simply because of the nut the repubs nominated to oppose him, not because of his leadership.

    We'll see (none / 0) (#21)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 12:41:03 PM EST
    who votes against the Obama Middle Class Tax Cut.

    No we won't (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by DaveCal on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 12:52:05 PM EST
    Because it'll never come up for a vote.

    But you'll still be claiming the GOP somehow stopped it.  More BS.  

    When has the GOP filibustered anything in this administration and prevented its passage?


    Typical load of crap.... (5.00 / 2) (#118)
    by DaveCal on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 04:30:35 PM EST
    Smear me with crap about "birthers, bimbos, baggers and blowhards", none of which I am, and add a qoute about Obama and impeachment as if I said it.  I did not.  

    You can disagree with my politics (even though you know little if anything about me) but don't pull that crap where you paint me as some class of crazy in an attempt to delegitimize me.  

    BTD apparently believes the President when the President says the GOP is holding some so called "tax relief" hostage.  I called BS on the President.  Where's this tax relief bill that the GOP is holding hostage?  It doesn't even exist.  And it can't be "held hostage" unless Obama proposes it, then gets it passed in the House, and then gets it going in the Senate.  Only then can the GOP filibuster.  So Obama's comments are indeed BS, unless you want to link to the bill and the record where it passed the house, and the bill that's in the senate, and the cloture vote that's losing 59-41.  

    Your link (and your comments) are hilarious.  Did you even read the article you linked?  Dems controlled 60 seats in the Senate until January of 2010:

    "(Democrats controlled 60 Senate seats from July until last week, when Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., was sworn in.)"

    They didn't have 41 votes in 2009 (when the chart shows 112 cloture votes) so the GOP couldn't stop anything.  But you claim that the GOP "filed notice to filibuster various bills over 100 times".  Now, I don't know what you mean by "filing notice to filibuster", but the chart claims to show cloture votes.  Over 100 cloture votes in 2009, when the GOP couldn't stop anything.  Did they stop passage with a filibuster?  No.  Just as I said.  

    Why is it so hard to admit that until January 2010 Obama could have passed anything he wanted with NO Republican votes whatsoever.  How could the GOP hold anything hostage in that environment?  They couldn't.

    OK, so what's up in 2010 (since Scott Brown was sworn in)?  Your linked article goes on to say:

    "While 38 of the 42 votes to cut off debate were successful..."

    So the Senate cut off debate and had an up or down vote (the filibuster didn't prevent anything) 38 out of the 42 times they tried. Hmmmm.

    So only 4 times was a cloture vote unsuccessful.  In those 4 instances, there would have been subsequent cloture votes that ended debate.  Did any of the 4 votes prevent legislation?  I don't think so.  Where's your link for that?

    See I don't care what the GOP threatens, and I don't care if democrats claim something is held up under a threatened filibuster, and I don't care about illogical blog posts like yours that link to newspaper articles to claim cloture votes show an indication of successful filibusters.  That's all BS political talk.  But the truth is the same, you cannot name one piece of legislation where the GOP has filibustered and prevented its passage.  And if you'll re-read the part of my post that you quoted, that's what I asked about.  

    So please spare me your condescending "we aren't going to suffer fools very long" pat on the head, and your "fact-free bombast" mischaracterization.  It was BS and I accurately called it BS, your misperceptions, fact-free bombast, and mischaracterized newpaper links notwithstanding.  

    Have a nice weekend.


    The Democrats controlled 60 votes (none / 0) (#121)
    by PatHat on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 04:45:47 PM EST
    but unlike the GOP, which apparently has 40 or so Senators who think exactly alike and vote as a block on virtually everything, the Dems have a big tent and a big tent means differing opinions.

    That said, the filibuster rule should be changed to make the MINORITY have to show more than 2/5th votes to avoid cloture. And even if they do, I want them having to stand up and keep talking like in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. If it's so important that you must stop the majority opinion, it's worth losing sleep over, no?


    They did not bring something up for a vote (none / 0) (#30)
    by Buckeye on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 12:55:08 PM EST
    if they knew they did not have the votes - it would have hurt them.

    It will benefit dems to bring something like this up for a vote - even if they know it will not pass to have it on record who voted no.


    Well (none / 0) (#38)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 01:01:48 PM EST
    when it does, I am sure you will come back and admit you were wrong right?

    Sure will (none / 0) (#176)
    by DaveCal on Mon Sep 13, 2010 at 02:49:41 PM EST
    And when there's no filibuster (and therefore, no hostage holding), are you going to write a post about how wrong you were?  And how Obama's "hostage holding" comments were indeed political BS?

    It would appear (none / 0) (#125)
    by MKS on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 08:30:38 PM EST
    that conservatives are afraind of this argument.

      That means it is working.  

    Obama is throwing punches that connect.   Great!  More of the same!


    It would appear (none / 0) (#126)
    by MKS on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 08:32:16 PM EST
    that conservatives are afraind of this argument.

      That means it is working.  

    Obama is throwing punches that connect.   Great!  More of the same!


    Party like it's 2008 (none / 0) (#128)
    by lambert on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 10:01:22 PM EST
    Heard it all before.

    Nice framing by Politico (none / 0) (#42)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 01:05:00 PM EST
    " a bill that increases taxes on upper income Americans." When in actuality the bill likely wont mention Upper income Americans at all.

    That's Politico (none / 0) (#44)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 01:06:54 PM EST
    The purpose of the quote was to list the (none / 0) (#46)
    by BTAL on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 01:09:57 PM EST
    Dems who aren't on board, not any other points the article may or may not be making.

    "Moderate Democrats" (none / 0) (#100)
    by PatHat on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 03:30:58 PM EST
    Several moderates -- like Sens. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), Evan Bayh (D-Ind.), Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Ben Nelson (D-Neb.)

    Oh yeah, they are the moderate ones.


    No it won't (none / 0) (#6)
    by DaveCal on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 12:20:45 PM EST
    But feel free to hold your breath waiting...

    Sure (none / 0) (#15)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 12:30:04 PM EST
    The GOP won't demand tax cuts for the wealthy and threaten to oppose tax cuts for the middle class.

    I'll wait for that all right. Like Godot.


    WTF? (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by DaveCal on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 12:39:20 PM EST
    Who cares what they demand or threaten.    

    Until Obama proposes the bill, shepherds it through the House, and can't get it through the Senate because the Republicans actually filibuster it (an event we haven't seen on ANY bill), then anything he says about "holding things hostage" or being "obstructionists" is pure BS.  

    But then again, whenever he speaks....


    Sure (none / 0) (#24)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 12:44:38 PM EST
    Whatever you say.

    It better happen (none / 0) (#12)
    by lilburro on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 12:25:37 PM EST
    it's a winner.

    You don't have to wait until the vote. (none / 0) (#7)
    by PatHat on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 12:22:01 PM EST
    There is a 100% chance that the GOP will delay or filibuster any bill that extends the tax cuts for only the middle class. Do you doubt that?

    They'd be crazy to delay or filibuster it. (5.00 / 2) (#17)
    by steviez314 on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 12:37:02 PM EST
    Hmm..that doesn't really answer your question.  Or maybe it does.

    Speculation, but so what? (none / 0) (#25)
    by DaveCal on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 12:46:34 PM EST
    I don't know what the GOP will do, and neither do you, because we never get to see it.  There is no bill.  It's all BS talk.

    But even if you're right, wouldn't that be a win win for the Dems?  

    Propose the Bill, shepherd it through the Dem controlled House, shepherd it through the Dem controlled Senate, you win.  The GOP can ONLY stop it if they actually filibuster.  But if they do, then I'm sure you'll be trumpeting this "held hostsge" "obstructionist" theme.  

    So its a win win.

    So instead of speculating, why don't we have a bill?  Heck it could be two pages long, pass the House in a day.  What are you waiting for?  


    For more Republicans (5.00 / 0) (#59)
    by lilburro on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 01:25:03 PM EST
    to parade around talking about how necessary tax cuts for the rich are.  Let them reveal what they would actually do if they had power.

    It's both fun and illuminating.


    The house would need more than (5.00 / 2) (#70)
    by me only on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 02:04:05 PM EST
    two pages just to agree to pass gas, let alone a bill.

    Just cause you played college ball (none / 0) (#93)
    by me only on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 03:11:44 PM EST
    doesn't make you Babe Ruth...

    This is politics... (none / 0) (#104)
    by PatHat on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 03:37:42 PM EST
    Assuming the Dems have a plan, I think they want to have Obama talk this out for a few weeks to galvanize the issue. Then Pelosi/Reid will put up a bill.

    Will you let me know when you (5.00 / 5) (#13)
    by Anne on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 12:25:41 PM EST
    start marketing a weight loss program that is based on not gaining weight - not actually losing it, just not gaining it?

    Because if you can sell Obama's message that he's providing tax relief, then you can make gazillions convincing people that if they don't gain weight, they are actually losing it - and I want in on that action.  And - bonus! - we can wipe out the epidemic of obesity in this country once and for all.

    Oprah will wish this had been her idea!

    The possibilities for this kind of marketing are endless.

    Okay, don't be mad.

    I'm sorry to be so snarky about this, but as many times as you - and Obama - trumpet an extension of current tax rates as "relief" for middle-class taxpayers, it just isn't, because it isn't reducing the current tax burden by one penny.

    He actually would be better off not doing this until after January 1 - because then, his claim that he was providing actual relief would be accurate.  But waiting until then won't help them in November, so nevermind.

    Should he extend the rates?  Sure - because aside from the unfairness of asking the so-called middle class to sacrifice more of their income to taxes in an economy that has been less-than-kind to them, the optics of the Dems being seen as having raised taxes would just be the nail in their coffin - they would never EVER lose the "tax and spend" label if that happened.

    The wealthy will benefit plenty by an extension of the existing rates - especially if Congress makes permanent the 20% rate on dividends - which is what Obama wants them to do.

    And Obama might actually be better off explaining that extension of the rates DOES benefit the top 2%, and frame Republicans wanting an across-the-board extension as being unconscionably greedy on behalf of those who have sacrificed the least and benefited the most over the last decade.

    B.S. (5.00 / 1) (#150)
    by MKS on Sat Sep 11, 2010 at 10:31:51 AM EST
    Anne, you usually criticize Obama for being too conciliatory towards the Right.

    Here, Obama adopts the classic Democratic position on taxes and a partisan tone and good messaging.  Your response?  Gee, he is not being honest but too partisan.

    Cloaking venum in a plethora of words still leaves venom.

    Perhaps your most honest comment was that you could not stand the sound of Obama's voice.

    Every comment since has been a variation on that theme.



    I disagree (5.00 / 1) (#159)
    by Dadler on Sat Sep 11, 2010 at 03:03:06 PM EST
    A classic Democratic position would be going back to astronomically high rates on the wealthy. What we have now is the Democratic position of today, which is a position forged entirely from a fear of Republican class-warfare replies, and the terminally cancerous rule of corporate money. If there was a classic Democratic position on anything, it is long and gone. Republicans have won every argument culturally for the last thirty years, and Democrats have been cowardly to the core in fighting it. Obama, while I applaud that he's not looking to extend the lowered rates for the wealthy, is still, when it comes right down to it, afraid, which is why he will couch everything and try desperately not to be state the ugly truth with too much fire or anger -- which is that class warfare is alive and well, and that the American people are at war with a group of people who have no class, no respect, no humanity, nothing but greed. As long as he fails to fight that tooth and nail, Obama is failing overall. As nice a guy personally as he seems, he is just not a fighter in any sense of the word, either personally or politically.

    I just have no faith that the guy can push anything through.  He just seems plain weak.


    The sense in which it reduces them (none / 0) (#26)
    by Democratic Cat on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 12:48:29 PM EST
    is relative to the but-for world where we do nothing and all the tax cuts expire on January 1, on rich and middle-class alike. I know you understand this and are arguing that it doesn't reduce them relative to what they are today.  But I think the way President Obama is pitching it is the most advantageous way to do so, given his rhetorical skills and the level of attention most people pay to politics and policy.

    It is an over-simplification but in the world of politics Democrats often get tripped up because we try to explain all of the nuances (and people tune out) rather than going for the jugular (while we still have people's attention).

    My favorite prez, one Mr. Clinton, could have explained the nuance in plain English in a way that everyone would have understood. (He could easily explain the concept of marginal taxation and that everyone benefits on all income below a certain level, and look at those greedy !@#$s over in the GOP who want even more benefits for rich people who are already quite well off.) Our current President has different rhetorical skills. To my ear, he's not always a great explainer of policy. And given his limitations in this area (IMO) and the public's limitations, I'm happy he's not getting tripped up here and has decided to frame it in a combative, if over-simplified way.

    If he and the Dems in Congress follow through, I will be pleased.


    "relative to the but-for world"... (none / 0) (#130)
    by lambert on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 10:05:17 PM EST
    Lotta dimensions there, eh?

    Don't like the framing? (5.00 / 2) (#76)
    by CST on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 02:22:45 PM EST
    How about "Republicans support raising middle class taxes"

    if they vote against this bill.

    "Feel" honest enough for you?

    I don't think Republicans care if (5.00 / 1) (#94)
    by Anne on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 03:15:48 PM EST
    the rates are extended for the middle class, as long as they get extended for the top 2%, as well.

    That they are willing to call the Dems' bluff and say that they won't go along with an extension unless it is across the board - well, that's just the GOP demonstrating that they've got the Dems' number - since whining and foot-stamping has worked in the past, it will probably work again.

    I get what everyone is saying, I do.  It absolutely would be wrong to to ask the 98% of people who have sacrificed the most to start paying more - even if it doesn't do jack-squat for the economy.

    How would I frame it, if it were up to me?  

    There's a bullet heading straight for the middle class; that bullet is the end of the lower tax rates that were enacted in the Bush Administration, and unless we do something before the end of the year, that bullet is going to find its mark, and it's going to hurt a lot of people who are already hurting.  I want to stop that bullet, and that's why I'm asking the Congress to extend the tax rates.

    The Republicans will tell you that we need to stop the top 2% from being hit by that same bullet.  Well, here's the thing: extending the middle-class portion of the rates will act like Kevlar for the wealthy, because they will still be getting the benefit of lower rates up to $200K.  And, I'm asking Congress to make permanent the 20$ tax rate on dividend income, which will also benefit the wealthy.

    I can't guarantee that you will pay less than you are paying now, but I know you won't be paying more; if Republicans block the effort to extend the lower rates unless we extend it to the top 2%, they will be responsible for the largest tax increase we've seen in a long, long time.

    A little honesty never hurt anyone, did it?


    I think if you read (none / 0) (#105)
    by CST on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 03:39:41 PM EST
    the whole speach Obama gave in Ohio, he says that, not in those exact words, but he certainly explained that the Bush tax cuts were expiring, by design and that a huge increase was coming, and that they should extend them for the middle  class and not the rest (including a very good explanation for why).

    Actually that speech was very clear and quite good on the matter.  Of course people take little sound bites out of context and turn them into something else.  But he did frame it that way.


    I'll go back and read the speech. (5.00 / 2) (#113)
    by Anne on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 04:02:38 PM EST
    I know it's easier, in a lengthy speech, to say all that needs to be said, but I also think it's important to find a way to get the same message across for more abbreviated occasions - like a press conference.

    "Taxes are going up unless we do something" is about as short and sweet a message as there is; "I want to protect those who have sacrificed the most from further pain" is pretty short, too.

    And it speaks to what he claims he actually wants to do - I honestly don't think the very short "Tax relief" and "tax cuts" convey that, and I think there is a danger that a lot of people who really do need "relief" will feel lied to - in much the same way people were led to believe that the reform of health whatever was going to immediately make care less expensive and more accessible.


    it's a long speech (none / 0) (#119)
    by CST on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 04:34:07 PM EST
    but when you get to the tax cut bit, this is how he starts that whole section out:

    "I'll give you one final example of the differences between us and the Republicans, and that's on the issue of tax cuts. Under the tax plan passed by the last administration, taxes are scheduled to go up substantially next year -- for everybody. By the way, this was by design. When they passed these tax cuts in 2001 and 2003, they didn't want everybody to know what it would do to our deficit, so they pretended like they were going to end, even though now they say they don't.

    Now, I believe we ought to make the tax cuts for the middle class permanent. (Applause.) For the middle class, permanent. These families are the ones who saw their wages and incomes flat-line over the last decade -- you deserve a break. (Applause.) You deserve some help. And because folks in the middle class are more likely to spend their tax cut on basic necessities, that strengthens the economy as a whole.

    But the Republican leader of the House doesn't want to stop there. Make no mistake: He and his party believe we should also give a permanent tax cut to the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans.

    With all the other budgetary pressures we have -- with all the Republicans' talk about wanting to shrink the deficit -- they would have us borrow $700 billion over the next 10 years to give a tax cut of about $100,000 each to folks who are already millionaires. And keep in mind wealthy Americans are just about the only folks who saw their incomes rise when Republicans were in charge. And these are the folks who are less likely to spend the money -- which is why economists don't think tax breaks for the wealthy would do much to boost the economy."

    emphasis mine.  I thought the bold part of the speech was key.  But he starts off the whole subject talking about how we got here.


    It's not over the last decade (none / 0) (#131)
    by lambert on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 10:07:03 PM EST
    It's over the last 30 years, since Reagan ushered in neo-liberalism.

    I was with you until the dividend income (none / 0) (#107)
    by PatHat on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 03:42:52 PM EST
    I think unearned income (e.g. dividends, capital gains) should always be taxed at, or above, the rate for earned income. We don't need to give more inncentives to accumulate wealth through transfer of paper. We need to encourage making stuff, not getting richer because you already have lots of money.

    I was surprised - I don't know why - (5.00 / 2) (#112)
    by Anne on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 03:54:30 PM EST
    to find out about that little nugget - which probably isn't so little with respect to the highest income earners.

    You know this is a concession more to Wall Street than it is to anything else - and I'm sure the argument for keeping the rate low is one that involves phrases like, "encouraging investment."  Is someone actually not going to invest in stocks that have rates of return far in excess of anything one could get from cash?  I don't think so - so I think that would be a really weak argument.

    I decided to mention the dividend thing in my imaginary framing only because, if you want to neutralize the argument that the rich are going to get hosed, one really should use the truth to do it.


    I suppose (5.00 / 1) (#77)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 02:24:17 PM EST
    this works for some people but considering that my husband doesn't have job, it really makes no difference to me.

    10% nominal unemployment.. (5.00 / 1) (#139)
    by lambert on Sat Sep 11, 2010 at 12:32:05 AM EST
    ... and 20% real.

    I do understand the need to shout "Look! Over there!' on "tax relief' (another R phrase appropriated by The Big O's Ds) to distract from the effort by both parties and the press to normalize permanently higher disemployment, but...


    pollz (5.00 / 1) (#91)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 03:05:16 PM EST
    PRINCETON, NJ -- A majority of Americans favor letting the tax cuts enacted during the Bush administration expire for the wealthy. While 37% support keeping the tax cuts for all Americans, 44% want them extended only for those making less than $250,000 and 15% think they should expire for all taxpayers.

    As long as Dems... (5.00 / 1) (#124)
    by Dadler on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 08:15:31 PM EST
    ...are deathly afraid of the class warfare card, and they still are more than ever, they will never sound or act as progressive as they could or should, they will never stand up for the average joanne/joe with anywhere near the passion and conviction they should. While this framing is certainly smart, whatever tax "relief" we get, reason tells me from recent experience with both this prez and congress, will be inadequate and dishonestly forged.  Our government is corrupt down to the last corporate dime of influence.  Corrupt governments don't do progressive.  They regress.  

    Still waiting for someone to explain (4.00 / 3) (#37)
    by jbindc on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 01:00:20 PM EST
    How I am going to get "tax relief".

    I don't expect an answer, except fir the only honest one and that is:  "You will receive no tax relief, but will instead continue on with nothing changing."

    I really don't understand your thinking here. (5.00 / 3) (#49)
    by steviez314 on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 01:13:51 PM EST
    The tax increase coming is not a maybe--it is a certainty, unless something happens.

    All those people with mortgage reset increases...do you think they'd feel relief if it didn't reset but stayed the same?

    If you worked for GM but was going to be laid off in a bankruptcy, but instead got to keep your job due to gov't action, would you be upset that it was "only" the status quo?

    If you were a prisoner going to be executed at midnight, but got the sentence commuted, would you be upset that "nothing changed"?


    If I worked for GM (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by jbindc on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 01:16:57 PM EST
    And didn't get laid off, I wouldn't say I got a raise in pay because otherwise I would have had zero income.

    Sheesh (none / 0) (#65)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 01:41:57 PM EST
    In the same way, because... (none / 0) (#133)
    by lambert on Sat Sep 11, 2010 at 12:19:49 AM EST
    ... I buy something for $8 that I could have paid $10 for, I don't really "save" $2, since I never had the $2 in the first place.

    I don't see why "sheesh." I pay X in 2010, and X in 2011. X = X. That's a cut?


    Of course you don't (1.50 / 2) (#146)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Sep 11, 2010 at 08:35:25 AM EST
    You become stupid on every issue when Obama is involved.

     Whether you are right or wrong is purely a matter of coincidence.


    Lambert loses his lamberts :-) (none / 0) (#154)
    by Politalkix on Sat Sep 11, 2010 at 01:45:56 PM EST
    everytime he turns his attention to Obama. He/she is helpless in this regard.
    For those of you who do not care much about physics, lamberts are a unit of brightness in optics.

    Ya know... (none / 0) (#165)
    by lambert on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 01:33:52 PM EST
    ... I'm not the one who's going to go before the great American public with the argument that "$100 in 2011 is more than $100 in 2010" -- especially in a deflationary environment where people are in  struggling in debt.

    You guys are.

    I've been insulted by people who are a lot better at it than you are, so that doesn't bother me. Leave this discussion as a marker, and if the Ds adopt this GENIUS framing in 2010 and win with it, call me on it, and I'll gladly eat crow.


    No Relief (3.00 / 2) (#55)
    by squeaky on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 01:20:59 PM EST
    For some commenters here, everything that Obama does feels bad. There is no relief because Obama did it.

    Seems to me the only way to explain it.

    If Obama stays an execution, f' him, he is soft on crime... lol

    Basically the GOP position, imo.


    So preventing an increase is a cut (5.00 / 1) (#132)
    by lambert on Sat Sep 11, 2010 at 12:18:05 AM EST
    Oh, OK.

    PRevent what increase? (none / 0) (#145)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Sep 11, 2010 at 08:34:02 AM EST
    Thelaw in 2001 contemplated the tates for 2011.

    Look, if you want to make a "feel
     point then make it.

    But the facts can't be shaped to your pleasure.



    So looking at one's paycheck.... (none / 0) (#164)
    by lambert on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 01:30:41 PM EST
    ... is a "feel" point?  Just a feeling?

    GENIUS framing...


    Party like it's 2008 (none / 0) (#141)
    by lambert on Sat Sep 11, 2010 at 12:39:33 AM EST
    Say on, Squeaky!

    You know what? (3.50 / 2) (#43)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 01:05:39 PM EST
    You are being utterly dishonest now.

    I have explained to you why, AS A FACTUAL MATTER, new legislation cutting taxes for the middle class starting in 2011 is a tax cut. IF such legislation was not passed, then the rates will remain as contemplated by the GOP legislation of 2001 and 2003.

    You seem intent on being dishonest on this point, instead of making the reasonable argument that it will not "feel" like a tax cut because the rates will be the same as though that are scheduled to expire on December 31, 2010. I disagree with that argument, but it is a reasonable one.

    Instead, you have chosen to be dishonest. Why you have done so is not clear to me, as I have pointed these facts to you now a number of times.

    In any event, I will continue to point out your dishonesty.


    I disagree (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by jbindc on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 01:13:35 PM EST
    I think you, shilling for this plan, are the one being dishonest.  Because my rates won't be raised, it is ergo a cut?  That is the most absurd thing I've read around here for a while, and that, my friend, is saying a whole lot.

    You should run for office because that logic is only understood by politicians.

    You can try to continue to point out "my dishonesty" but you'll just look silly doing it.


    Words (2.00 / 1) (#72)
    by christinep on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 02:12:05 PM EST
    When someone supports a position, people refer to the activity as "supporting." It appears that when you do not like someone to support something that you are against, you refer to it as "shilling." Can't we do a bit better?

    True or false (none / 0) (#62)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 01:38:57 PM EST
    If nothing is done, will tax rates go up for the middle class?

    Now, assuming you are honest and answer the question above with a yes, who will have raised those taxes?


    I think this is the corner the Dems (5.00 / 4) (#66)
    by Anne on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 01:58:29 PM EST
    find themselves in, because even though Obama and the Dems don't have to do anything to make the rates increase and taxes go up, their failure to prevent that from happening will give them ownership of a tax increase - and Dems cannot afford that, politically (and we - the people - can't afford that, financially).

    No, Obama is not reducing the rates from where they are today, but if he can get the Congress to extend those rates, he can take ownership of saving us from a tax increase.

    I do think the Congress will ultimately blink, and extend the rates across the board - what worries me is how they will cover the cost of any extension.

    I can't speak for anyone else, but I would feel a great sense of relief if Obama immediately dissolved the Deficit Commission - but that's not going to happen.  I am beginning to be very nervous that Obama is so full-tilt behind extending the current tax rates because he knows there is a "plan" coming out of the Commission that will take care of the cost.


    They can afford that (none / 0) (#69)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 02:03:11 PM EST
    but, frankly, it is not the issue.

    The issue is 'will the GOP vote against tax cuts for the middle class?'


    Most Americans... (5.00 / 1) (#123)
    by kdog on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 05:12:14 PM EST
    aren't wonks though...in their minds it's not Bush tax cuts expiring, it's Obama raising taxes. And if it's merely a straight extension of the status quo Bush rate, Joe Blow is gonna think Obama did d*ck.

    It's why I think they should go beyond the Bush rate, make sure every knucklehead getting a paycheck sees a couple extra dollars in their pocket.  If the Dems can accomplish that, that's some good sh*t to run on to non-wonks and non-crazies...no brainer.


    It is the anti-Obama position (5.00 / 3) (#67)
    by MKS on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 01:58:43 PM EST
    on this site....

    Obama takes a classic Democratic position on taxes and is still lambasted by supposed liberals.....

    The same critics here would be all over him if he went along with the Republican position on taxes....

    What really galls the anti-Obama folks here is that his message on taxes is effective....Can't have that....


    X = X, but not to Obama (5.00 / 1) (#134)
    by lambert on Sat Sep 11, 2010 at 12:21:29 AM EST
    I pay $X in 2010.

    I pay $X in 2011.

    To Obama, that's a cut. Ditto to Opologists on this thread.

    To the rest of us, X = X. And down is down, and up is up...


    Opologist.. (3.50 / 2) (#142)
    by jondee on Sat Sep 11, 2010 at 01:15:35 AM EST
    don't wear that one out all on one thread.. or you'll have to go back to saying you were thrown under the bus and called a racist..

    Absolutely! Mix it up a bit ... (5.00 / 1) (#147)
    by Yman on Sat Sep 11, 2010 at 09:39:58 AM EST
    For example, start with a classic, (i.e. "Hillary's vestal torchbearers"), then go to a tried-and-true goody like "avenging angels".

    Don't forget to throw in a few chauvinistic references to keep it fresh.


    Hey (none / 0) (#155)
    by jondee on Sat Sep 11, 2010 at 02:05:31 PM EST
    I hadn't used that one in like three months..

    I know Our Lady is not amused. Say a Novena for me..


    You'll have to say your own (5.00 / 1) (#157)
    by Yman on Sat Sep 11, 2010 at 02:30:46 PM EST
    I don't even attend real churches, ...

    ... let alone the imaginary churches invented by the Clinton-haters.

    Worth a shot, though.  Might help you let go of some of those scary NAFTA apparitions still chasing you.


    If it's any consolation (none / 0) (#158)
    by jondee on Sat Sep 11, 2010 at 02:44:10 PM EST
    I don't hate them as much as I hated Gingrich in the nineties..Back when people were calling me a Clinton-Opologist.

    Not as much as Gingrich?!? (none / 0) (#160)
    by Yman on Sat Sep 11, 2010 at 05:06:02 PM EST
    Well, that's something, ...

    ...I guess?


    And maybe post something (none / 0) (#156)
    by jondee on Sat Sep 11, 2010 at 02:07:43 PM EST
    about post-NAFTA aggregate job retention at Wal-Mart..

    Will Dr. Orwell please pick up... (none / 0) (#166)
    by lambert on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 01:40:42 PM EST
    .. the courtesy phone?

    Here's Washington Monthly's Kevin Drum on the Obama campaign's false smears of racism in 2008 (commentary).

    I do understand why Opologists would want to rewrite history on this point. Unfortunately for your credibility and reputation, too many people remember, and others maintained the historical record.


    O.k.. (5.00 / 1) (#174)
    by jondee on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 06:00:02 PM EST
    It's good to point these things out, particularly considering how outraged you were during the primaries about those Bill Ayers-Rev Wright-evoking gutter tactics prevalent back then..

    Though admittedly, that was a different situation: you and Mark Penn were just concerned about protecting this country from dangerous radicals and leaders without the backbone to brave sniper fire in Bosnia..



    Still trying to get over ... (none / 0) (#175)
    by Yman on Mon Sep 13, 2010 at 07:49:20 AM EST
    ... those imaginary "gutter tactics", huh?  I guess when you want it to, anything can look like the gutter.

    Good luck with that.


    Copologist (none / 0) (#169)
    by Politalkix on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 02:51:17 PM EST
    Since you are adding cute words to your vocabulary, here is another word you can learn
    COPOLOGIST (word used to express the amalgam of Clinton/cuteness/cop out/apologist).

    Added a "c" to the front end, huh? (none / 0) (#170)
    by Yman on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 04:53:11 PM EST

    You get impressed easily :-) (none / 0) (#171)
    by Politalkix on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 05:27:56 PM EST
    I could have said CLapologists "CLappers for CLinton" to impress you even more.

    Enough bantering....


    More Like Coprology, IMO (none / 0) (#172)
    by squeaky on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 05:32:45 PM EST
    Equally impressive (none / 0) (#173)
    by Yman on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 05:52:38 PM EST
    All by yourself?

    Bravo MKS (3.50 / 2) (#71)
    by christinep on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 02:08:01 PM EST
    What you refer to is either the constant trolling or intellectual dishonesty so obvious on some threads. It is more than stale, fraying. Thanks again, MKS.

    Happens on both sides (5.00 / 1) (#73)
    by nycstray on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 02:12:36 PM EST
    the pro-Obama everything he does is right side is also either "constant trolling or intellectual dishonesty"  ;)

    I am about as pro-Obama as (5.00 / 2) (#81)
    by MKS on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 02:36:52 PM EST
    they come....

    Yet, I have not been unqualified in my support....I was very unhappy about the oil drilling plan--before the spill.

    And, I have agreed with BTD's assessment that the stimulus was too small, although I didn't think so at the time.

    I come to this site for hopefully a sincere discussion with fellow members of the Left.  Two obstacles:  (1) the annoying but usually clearly labeled conservatives, and the (2) reflexively anti-Obama liberals.  

    Dealing with the first category is as involved as you want to make it, and these folks can be ignored--as long as they don't clog the blog.  The second group is truly annoying, raising concern trolling to new levels, and they talk enough of the liberal lingo to easily derail most conversations....

    We have some talent contributors here who bring valuable insight.....Wading through the debris is challgenging though...  


    you know why I like it? (5.00 / 4) (#82)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 02:39:32 PM EST
    it is one of a shrinking group of places on the web where you can actually get intelligent reasonably informed opinions on both sides of most issues.

    the web has turned largely into a series of echo chambers.  and IMO it is as unhealthy for the left as the right.


    hear hear (none / 0) (#84)
    by vicndabx on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 02:41:46 PM EST
    a series of echo chambers.  and IMO it is as unhealthy for the left as the right

    I agree (none / 0) (#85)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 02:42:27 PM EST
    agree (none / 0) (#86)
    by CST on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 02:46:21 PM EST
    I have tried to cut back commenting on politics in an attempt to focus on policy, because i feel like that's a place where the discussions get real and meaty and I get frustrated with the reflexive nature of a lot of the political discussions here.

    Most of the policy discussions are with the conservatives of this blog, although sometimes it's about a difference of opinion between liberals as well.  But without the local conservatives there would be less to discuss for sure.


    Well then start (none / 0) (#87)
    by me only on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 02:50:07 PM EST
    echoing what I am saying.

    Depends on 2 (5.00 / 2) (#83)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 02:41:39 PM EST
    Let me stand in defense of the Obama bashing commenters (full disclosure, I spend a lot f time bashing Obama myself) - while it is true that they very rarely have anything positive to say about Obama, many of their critiques are lucid, oftentimes insightful.

    Second point, many, if not most, of this group are simply much more progressive than I at least, so it stands to reason that they would be more critical of a fairly centrist President.

    For example, on Afghanistan, state secrets, indefinite detention and other issues, where my stance is clearly to the right of most
    Democrats, I would expect them to be more vocal in their criticisms than I am.

    There is a good amount of that, and I hope it continues.

    For me to be a Centrist, I need Leftists to my Left  


    Love It (none / 0) (#98)
    by squeaky on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 03:23:30 PM EST
    For me to be a Centrist, I need Leftists to my Left
    (and rightists to the right)

    Out of all the great things you have said, the principal of claiming the center, is the one I will always remember. Extremely simple, and obvious, yet profound...


    Who are these people? (none / 0) (#74)
    by vicndabx on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 02:15:43 PM EST
    I haven't seen them here.  "Everything" he does is right?

    I have seen support of some things the prez has done.


    I prob should have said (5.00 / 1) (#106)
    by nycstray on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 03:42:43 PM EST
    "Obama apologists". Typing while thinking/distracted about homemade pizza isn't my strong suit  ;)

    basically, there's a certain predictability/MO on both sides of the left coin . . .


    "Opologist" ... (none / 0) (#135)
    by lambert on Sat Sep 11, 2010 at 12:22:20 AM EST
    ... is the word you're looking for.

    They're the same one's who supposedly (2.00 / 1) (#78)
    by jondee on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 02:25:56 PM EST
    said "the One", that we still hear about at least once a day at some point. That "creative class", that no one ever described themselves as..

    All I know is, a lot of people weren't kidding when they said "I'll never get over it", a couple of years ago..


    Aaaaaaaaannnnnnndddd ..... (5.00 / 3) (#99)
    by Yman on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 03:25:17 PM EST
    ... there it is.

    The criticism of Obama isn't legitimate.  It's just some "bed-wetting", "avenging angels", ... blah, blah, blah ...

    Zzzzzzz ....


    hmmm . . . . (5.00 / 1) (#108)
    by nycstray on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 03:47:12 PM EST
    iirc, some did claim the "creative class" label. I was hard pressed to figure out what made them creative, lol!~  ;)

    Dont I know it.. (2.00 / 1) (#116)
    by jondee on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 04:24:41 PM EST
    we've been hearing about "the One" and "the creative class" here for two years.

    So the sos makes a very pointed public statement about Terry Jones and the silence is deafening, Obama does it and Hillary's vestal torchbearers cant wait to comment on how the man has once again overstepped his bounds.


    Im creative (none / 0) (#117)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 04:27:07 PM EST
    and I have NO class

    [rimshot. laugher] (none / 0) (#167)
    by lambert on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 01:42:14 PM EST
    Not ironic, great joke!

    damn (none / 0) (#79)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 02:28:41 PM EST

    The People's Front of Judea.. (none / 0) (#80)
    by jondee on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 02:32:08 PM EST
    I agree (none / 0) (#75)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 02:20:34 PM EST
    This site is not conducive to that type of thinking.

    I think it is pretty clear that neither Jeralyn or I will pull our punches in criticizing Obama or any Dem.

    Perhaps she is making a general point about some communities n the blogosphere. I feel confident it does not describe this one.


    Clarification to BTD (5.00 / 1) (#92)
    by christinep on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 03:08:09 PM EST
    Your confidence is well-placed in that I did not refer to either you or Jeralyn.

    I do agree with the initial MKS comment on the subject. It is one thing to disagree--directly & openly on anything from A to Z IMO. For example: I'm an open Democrat, and most of the time I'll argue in support of the party's position (tho not always)...especially when the positions are joined in an election year after the primaries. And, I respect others here and elsewhere who directly support the other side, openly & directly. What is troublesome (here or elsewhere) are the occasions when a commenter APPEARS continually to play the role of "I'm a liberal or a progressive or a real Democrat or ?" but exposes WHAT APPEARS TO BE a "I'll never agree with him (Obama)" or "The 2008 primaries still rule me" wedge-driving patois. Perhaps, the frustrations on both sides will increase leading up to election day. That is certainly ok and to be expected--an old-fashioned political give & take understood as such.

    As for me: I'll apologize or retract or say a mea culpa when my language is wrong, spiteful, or off-base. What is appealing about this site is that people feel confident to say what they believe...because the site managers have promoted that real free speech.


    Yes... (5.00 / 0) (#95)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 03:16:21 PM EST
    ...there is a difference between well thought out and argued criticism and the reflexive negativity  of anything Obama related.  

    There is a dearth of the latter and a scarcity of the former around here, IMO.


    Just FYI, (2.00 / 0) (#97)
    by Anne on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 03:23:01 PM EST
    "dearth" and "scarcity" mean the same thing; I think you may have meant "an abundance" of the latter and "a dearth" of the former.

    I understood what the point (none / 0) (#149)
    by MKS on Sat Sep 11, 2010 at 10:07:58 AM EST

    Your point was more than a little condescending.....

    Why not respond directly to the argument being made?


    The comment wasn't delivered in a (5.00 / 1) (#162)
    by Anne on Sat Sep 11, 2010 at 05:10:07 PM EST
    spirit of condescension, at all, but it's impossible, really, to guarantee that what one writes will be read as intended.

    I guess I'm an old-school, vocabulary and grammar nut - we're a dying breed, I'm afraid - and I thought MileHi might want to know so that next time, he could express himself the way he intended.

    You've been reading my comments long enough to know that when I want to be condescending, there's no question that's what I'm doing.

    Going to the substance of his comment, I think there are a lot of people here who, as BTD pointed out, are clearly not Obama fans, but who bring interesting perpective to the discussion, and do so quite well.  The same is true of some who do support Obama - they bring a rational perspective that isn't just cheap shots and button-pushing talking points.

    I think what I see happening a lot is that those who are more predisposed to agree with Obama have to take on a defender role against those who aren't happy with him.  I know that role, as it's really how I came to support Hillary - I started to really educate myself about her, which led to defending her.  In that endeavor, I also had to educate myself about Obama, so it wasn't ever - for me - all about Hillary; that's just not how I'm wired - I like to know all, or as much, as I can, about all sides before

    I'd like to think that I am not so one-way about all of this that I don't feel obligated to defend her when she does something, or takes a position, that I don't agree with.

    I struggle sometimes with my feelings of general negativity toward Obama, and given that he's the one in charge, would really like to find more that I can support.

    I'm not perfect, but I do try to bring reason to my comments - probably more to sharpen and define how I feel than anything else.


    Because the first statement ... (none / 0) (#161)
    by Yman on Sat Sep 11, 2010 at 05:09:29 PM EST
    ... was a platitude, and the second was merely an opinion.

    File it under (none / 0) (#40)
    by BTAL on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 01:02:35 PM EST
    Hype and Rearrange

    We can call it 'tax pre-lief' (none / 0) (#41)
    by ruffian on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 01:03:26 PM EST
    preemptive relief. worked for selling the war, right?

    I pay (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by jbindc on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 01:09:34 PM EST
    X amount of dollars in taxes - I paid X amount last year, and I will pay X amount this year (assuming my income stays constant).  Under this plan, if I am getting "tax relief", will I be paying less than X next year?  (answer:  no).

    How you can market "staying the course" as "change you can believe in" is worthy of the captaincy of the Titanic.


    If you don't get tax relief (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by ruffian on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 01:15:58 PM EST
    You will be paying more next year. Do you want to pay more for a year so you can feel the relief better?

    I want honesty (5.00 / 1) (#53)
    by jbindc on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 01:17:51 PM EST
    This isn't relief.

    I agree with you more (5.00 / 1) (#56)
    by ruffian on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 01:21:58 PM EST
    about calling it a 'cut'. I have no problem with the word 'relief'. I am being relieved of a tax hike. I have no problem with that statement.

    so what you are really upset about (4.40 / 5) (#58)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 01:24:13 PM EST
    is the fact that democrats may be learning to frame?

    No (5.00 / 1) (#136)
    by lambert on Sat Sep 11, 2010 at 12:26:18 AM EST
    I'm guessing his upset because of all the commenters on this thread claiming the frame is GENIUS when it's so obviously lousy.

    Suppose the temperature today is 90 degrees.

    The temperature tomorrow is predicted to be 100 degrees.

    So, tomorrow arrives, and it's 90 degrees again, not 100.

    So, the Opologists are claiming "See?! It's 10 degrees cooler!"

    Which is ridiculous, but even more ridiculous is the spectable of them patting themselves on the back for it.


    Time is a dimension, it should be referenced (none / 0) (#153)
    by Politalkix on Sat Sep 11, 2010 at 01:26:26 PM EST
    You cannot change the reference time of an event to your own liking to make an argument. The tax decrease event is more akin to reprogramming a thermostat in a room than predicting the temperature of a day as the commenter described (given the uncertainties of prediction).
    Imagine a thermostat that was originally programmed to change the temperature of a room from 90 degrees to 100 degrees at 12.01 AM on Jan 1, 2011. Now imagine the same thermostat being reprogrammed to continue keeping the temperature of the room at 90 degress beyond the time it was originally programmed to increase.
    One can correctly say that the action of reprogramming caused the temperature of the room to drop from 100 degrees to 90 degrees at 12.01 AM on Jan 1, 2011, even if the temperature of the room at 12.00 midnight on Dec 31st, 2010 was 90 degrees.
    You gotta reference the time to describe any event
    Remember time is a dimension just like your space dimensions :-)

    Idiotic (none / 0) (#163)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 10:34:34 AM EST
    As I said before, Obama makes you REALLY stupid.

    I was wondering if perhaps (none / 0) (#111)
    by nycstray on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 03:51:16 PM EST
    Weiner whispered in his ear.

    You are not entitled to your own math (3.50 / 2) (#57)
    by Democratic Cat on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 01:22:07 PM EST
    I understand that you paid X this year, but what you paid this year is not very relevant. Paying X NEXT year is not an option if the bill doesn't pass. Instead you will pay X+Y NEXT year.

    Get it? You have two options for your taxes NEXT year. You will pay X under Obama's plan and you will pay X+Y if no bill is passed. Or, as we economists like to say, you will pay X+Y in the "but-for world." But-for Obama's tax relief, you will pay X+Y NEXT year.  That's the math.


    And frame that requires the phrase... (none / 0) (#137)
    by lambert on Sat Sep 11, 2010 at 12:27:45 AM EST
    "but for" in order to explicate it, Just doesn't strike me as being full of win.

    "Butt head," now...


    That's exactly my point (none / 0) (#151)
    by Democratic Cat on Sat Sep 11, 2010 at 10:38:54 AM EST
    I'm an economist; comparing the effects of policy to a but-for world is standard jargon for us. You don't see a lot of economists as successful politicians and that may be why. But the way Obama is pitching it is correct because it is likely to be persuasive. If Obama had to get into the nuance of a but-for world, he wouldn't be able to sell it well. That's my point: he's better off characterizing it and framing it in the way he has done rather than trying to explain the nuance.

    OK, here's the frame (none / 0) (#168)
    by lambert on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 01:51:51 PM EST
    middle class families get tax relief.

    Leave aside that the "tax relief" frame is an R frame, pure and simple. Your non-policy wonk is going to translate that into "more money in my pocket" since that's how, after all, the Rs have trained them to do it.

    Of course, that's not true, but that won't become evident until after the mid-terms. So, I guess we've got a winner....


    This is a "feel" argument (none / 0) (#47)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 01:11:04 PM EST
    Not a fact argument.

    It is a reasonable argument. I do not agree with it.

    Please stick to this one rather than the factually inaccurate one you have been forwarding in other comments.


    Sorry (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by jbindc on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 01:15:17 PM EST
    Dollars and cents in my paycheck are the only thing that's real.

    This marketing scheme of saying "not a raise = cut" is the fake one.


    More "feel" from you (5.00 / 0) (#63)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 01:40:40 PM EST
    But no facts.

    The amount on my paycheck... (5.00 / 1) (#138)
    by lambert on Sat Sep 11, 2010 at 12:29:23 AM EST
    ... if any, is about as real as it gets.

    If you don't understand that, then you shouldn't be let near any framing at all.

    (Or, more likely, the people for whom this argument is true are no longer being appealed to by the Ds, having been thrown under the bus.)


    Well, if the "cuts" expire . . . . (5.00 / 1) (#109)
    by nycstray on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 03:49:50 PM EST
    many folks will be asking/hoping to get a tax "cut" at some point in the very near future . . .   :)

    but sadly, (none / 0) (#110)
    by cpinva on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 03:49:52 PM EST
    It resonates with me

    it won't resonate with the "village people", who will either not bother to even print/air it, or if they do, will give "equal" time to the republican "class war" meme. because, that's just how they roll.

    A little perspective. (none / 0) (#120)
    by Radix on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 04:34:56 PM EST
    As of right now, everyone's taxes are higher, for next year. The current law is going to expire, with out congressional action, it's already a done deal. So those of you claiming that extending the current structure isn't a tax cut, you are wrong, because your taxes for next year are already higher, if no action is taken.

    If my take-home pay is the same after... (5.00 / 1) (#140)
    by lambert on Sat Sep 11, 2010 at 12:35:39 AM EST
    .... as it is before, there's no cut.

    If my take-home pay is more (and I didn't get a raise) then there is a cut. Simple as that.

    I understand that's not the perspective of a policy wonk, but that's what happens when you do your framing for policy wonks.


    They're talking perception (none / 0) (#127)
    by Cream City on Fri Sep 10, 2010 at 09:43:34 PM EST
    which, in politics, trumps trying to explain what you're talking about -- a tax increase that would have happened but now would not happen, if a bill does happen, etc. That is more complicated to explain compared to a simple slogan.

    Here's the problem, (none / 0) (#143)
    by BrassTacks on Sat Sep 11, 2010 at 02:56:44 AM EST
    The democrats don't have the votes in the House, or the Senate, to pass a bill without extending the cuts for everyone.  Any bill with tax increases, for anyone won't have the votes to pass.  Too many democrats, like Gerry Connelly in liberal northern Virginia, have already said they won't vote for tax increases on anyone, of any income.  He said last week that he thinks Bush's tax cuts were wrong and harmed the economy but this is not the time to raise taxes on anyone.  Connelly's race should be an easy one.  If he thinks this way, so will many other democrats, even those with a solid liberal voting record like Connelly.  Either the bill to raise taxes on the rich will never see the light of day, or they will have to pass it during the lame duck session.  Too many Congressman are on the bubble, too many Senators too, for the democrats to pass a tax increase on anyone.  I'll be shocked if Obama gets this bill to a vote prior to the election because the democrats won't have the votes to pass it if there are any tax increases in the bill.  

    That's not a problem (none / 0) (#148)
    by BobTinKY on Sat Sep 11, 2010 at 09:53:42 AM EST
    Bush's tax cuts expire soon.  Dems need to propose a new tax bill implementing NEW Obama tax cuts that would keep the rates the same as today for those earning below $250k.

    There is no tax increase in such a bill, the increase to the rich was a result of Bush's bill.


    Exactly (none / 0) (#152)
    by PatHat on Sat Sep 11, 2010 at 12:16:04 PM EST
    Pretty simple really.