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Taking The Medicine

December 9, 2010

Hey, well look at that.  I could actually be wrong about taxes.  I’ve been saying since before the election that the Democrats have no intention of actually holding off on any tax increases.  While they’re hiding behind the fact that they don’t want to keep the rates down for the higher-income brackets (note that I didn’t say rich), in actuality there appears to be a strong desire to just let the taxes go higher again and collect the revenue.  The best roll-up I’ve seen so far is Ed Morrissey at Hot Air — as usual.

The progressive wing of the Democratic Party may well have gone into revolt this week over the tax deal Barack Obama cut with the GOP, but the rebellion on Capitol Hill seems to be subsiding.  More Democrats in both chambers of Congress have decided to throw their support to the deal, publicly as well as privately, even including some progressives.  Harry Reid signaled victory for the White House by putting the bill on this week’s agenda, perhaps as soon as today

Ed notes that the Obama administration went around the negotiators in congress and went straight to the Republicans, mostly because it was clear that the Democrats weren’t interested in any compromise.  This is pragmatic on the part of the White House, mostly because they know they can strike a deal this year while they still have Democratic majorities.  Next year, they won’t be so fortunate.

Over at NRO, Daniel Foster notes that senators like Joe Lieberman are saying it’s a go.  I really thought that the Democrats, especially in the house, would cut of the nose of the nation to spite it, and there’s still a chance of that.  There’s plenty of grumbling about the deal, and it’s pretty clear that the house is still in arm-twisting mode.

But that said, this is the first time in a while that the president and the administration appear to actually want to work across the aisle.  I don’t believe that this is an effort to move to the center, but it is a signal that the administration is going to take a more direct role in negotiating.  For Nancy Pelosi’s new minority, this is probably not the best of news.  An executive branch that’s willing to ignore its own side in congress likely means a lot of sour faces on Capitol Hill next year.

Updated: Well, the party ain’t over until the fat congressman speechfies for six hours… CNN reports that the House Dems tabled the bill as is.

“This message today is very simple: That in the form that it was negotiated, it is not acceptable to the House Democratic caucus. It’s as simple as that,” said Democratic Congressman Chris Van Hollen.

It’s incredible to me at how tone-deaf this congress is.  It’s likely to be historic.

Ed (Oops, it was Allahpundit) says it’s all about the Estate Tax.  I’m guessing it’s really all about a temper tantrum that they weren’t involved.  Wait until next year when this happens every week.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. December 9, 2010 8:53 am

    I’d predicted before Obama was inaugurated that he would not repeal the Bush tax cuts, and might even extend them. This was, I thought, because he was pragmatic — willing to say anything to get elected, but needing the revenue of a good economy to fund his liberal agenda (and privately recognizing that tax cuts for employers is a positive for the economy and for revenue collection).

    It does not reflect well on him — and it’s hard to imagine him doing this without the Republican win last month — but he has indeed extended the tax cuts almost into someone else’s presidency.

    Now what did it cost us?

    ===|==============/ Level Head

    • December 9, 2010 9:05 am

      Somewhere between $150B and $900B in debt, and any respect we had in either congress or the executive office, perhaps?

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