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Obama's 2010 Lame Duck Tax Deal Was a Triumph, Not A Sellout
11-26-2012, 07:37 AM
Post: #1
Obama's 2010 Lame Duck Tax Deal Was a Triumph, Not A Sellout
Quote:I was in Germany when the 2010 lame duck session struck a deal to extend the Bush tax cuts for two years, so at the time I was both a bit out of the loop and a bit outside the bubble of conventional wisdom. But looking back on it, I've been surprised to see the extent to which that deal was judged at the time to be weak bargaining on the part of the president. David Corn has an interesting piece pushing back on the myth of the Obama cave-in, but I'd go further—the deal was a triumph.

Recall the terms. Then, as now, both the middle class tax cuts that Obama favors and the high-end tax cuts that he doesn't favor were schedueld to expire. Then, as now, Unemployment Insurance benefits were scheduled to expire. Then, as now, interest rates were low and the unemployment rate was high.

So Obama secured a deal that extended the middle class tax cuts (which he and the GOP agreed on), extended UI benefits, created a stimulative payroll tax holiday, cleared the legislative decks for Don't Ask Don't Tell repeal and the passage of the New START arms control treated, and in exchange he gave up nothing of any real substance. Republicans got two more years' worth of high-end tax cuts at a time when deficit reduction wouldn't have helped the economy, and House GOP opposition would have prevented any new revenue from being spent. Whatever formal leverage he had two years ago still exists today, except now he gets to play that leverage from a somewhat stronger economic and political context. It's totally solid legislative dealmaking, and not any kind of cave-in or surrender.

Corn says the real problem with the deal was that Obama didn't adequately frame it this way, but that seems to be a core part of the deal. To get favorable deal Obama had to downplay the extent to which he hadn't given anything up

http://www.slate.com/blogs/moneybox/2012...iumph.html

“Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain and most fools do.”

Benjamin Franklin
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11-26-2012, 01:01 PM
Post: #2
RE: Obama's 2010 Lame Duck Tax Deal Was a Triumph, Not A Sellout
I remember there was a contingent of us out here trying to get this point across at the time to the Jane Hamsher crowd. It certainly bears repeating. Thanks for posting it.
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11-26-2012, 02:23 PM
Post: #3
RE: Obama's 2010 Lame Duck Tax Deal Was a Triumph, Not A Sellout
(11-26-2012 01:01 PM)janedrake Wrote:  I remember there was a contingent of us out here trying to get this point across at the time to the Jane Hamsher crowd. It certainly bears repeating. Thanks for posting it.

No kidding. And the people who get paid to know things and think intelligently about them, utterly fail. And keep their jobs.
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11-27-2012, 12:37 AM
Post: #4
RE: Obama's 2010 Lame Duck Tax Deal Was a Triumph, Not A Sellout
(11-26-2012 02:23 PM)sandnsea Wrote:  
(11-26-2012 01:01 PM)janedrake Wrote:  I remember there was a contingent of us out here trying to get this point across at the time to the Jane Hamsher crowd. It certainly bears repeating. Thanks for posting it.

No kidding. And the people who get paid to know things and think intelligently about them, utterly fail. And keep their jobs.

Tru' that.
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