Thursday, December 09, 2010

Obama and The Tax Cuts (with video)

"Liberal Group Ad Recalls When Obama Said Bush Tax Cuts Offended His Conscience" (Sam Stein-HuffPo, with video (00:30):
Even as it gets members of its party in line on the Hill, the Obama White House continues to take veritable punches from some of its most vocal critics over the tax cut deal it cut with Republicans.

On Thursday, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee -- perhaps the biggest irritant this administration has -- put out the second straight ad accusing the president of capitulating on tax cuts for the wealthy.

Like the last one, the spot uses Obama's own campaign rhetoric (lofty even by 2008 standards) against him, with footage of the then-candidate proclaiming that the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy -- as part of a larger economic philosophy -- "offend[ed]" his "conscience." MORE...
"How the Republicans fleeced President Obama in tax-cut poker" (Jacob Weisberg-SLATE):
During his days as an Illinois state legislator, Barack Obama was a regular poker player. Based on recent evidence, I suspect he wasn't a very good one. In trying to negotiate a tax deal, he has made a series of amateur mistakes. MORE...
"Don't primary Obama, change Congress" (Joan Walsh), with video (07:33):
The itch to change candidates reflects the left's inability to buckle down to long-term political organizing.---I'm disappointed in President Obama's tax-cut deal, as I've already explained. I'm glad the administration is framing it as a "stimulus bill" now -- let's hope tough progressive Democrats make it better, since there's little chance that it won't pass. But I think pondering a primary challenge to Obama is suicidal, and reflects a certain fecklessness on the left. First of all, Obama was a great gift to lefty Democrats in 2008, making them believe that a few years of online organizing and railing against George W. Bush had produced a true progressive hero and a coalition for dramatic change, which simply wasn't true. Too many anointed him the true candidate of the left too quickly and attacked Hillary Clinton -- and anyone who defended her -- as moderate sellouts, or even racists, even though Clinton was taking the more liberal line on healthcare reform, Social Security and the economy generally. I don't want to fight that old fight again; I really do understand that many progressives were tired of Clintonian centrism, which is what they thought they'd get under the wife of the former president, and thought it was worth taking a chance on the inspiring African-American from Chicago who had, significantly, opposed the Iraq war, unlike his leading Democratic rivals.

Still, the rush to proclaim Obama the one, true progressive in 2008 was foolish, and I'd suggest that those who wound up disappointed in Obama think more about what they can learn from that race, rather than plotting to bring him down in 2012. MORE...

Howie P.S.: The most troubling aspect of "The Deal" is the financial hole it digs for our federal government. It will severely impact other programs, including Social Security and will give fuel to Republican noise about "deficits" when they oppose domestic spending. Of course, they are mostly silent when it comes to our massive military expenditures.

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