The Deal

David Waldman with the most succinct summary of making deals with Mitch McConnell:

Piss, meet wind.

"The Deal" is putting all of your eggs in the 2012 basket, hoping you come out on top of the messaging in an election year, against a Republican Party that will still be willing to say anything, embrace any position to win.

From an electoral perspective alone, that's placing a lot of faith in Obama's ability to learn from getting rolled -- again -- by Republicans negotiating in bad faith.  74% of Obama's 2008 donors oppose the deal, and if this focus group is any indicator, independent support or opposition to "The Deal" is all over the place on a "compromise" that hands the Republicans every talking point they need for the next two years and legitimizes about half of their insanity (when did not extending unemployment benefits with unemployment this high become a discussion to have and not just bat-shit crazy?).  Think independents will be any more defined on this one when Republicans bring it up again in 2012?  Think Republicans don't have their next hostage taking opp lined up?

From a policy perspective, "The Deal" on the tax cuts may, in fact, be all that is politically possible as the President told us yesterday, but the idea that Democrats should suck this one up -- again -- in the name of bipartisan compromise and moving things forward on the terms of the GOP is absurd. There's a fair amount of stimulus in "The Deal," maybe more than Democrats could get otherwise.  At best a little more of the deficit spending the economy needs. That's a good thing.  But there's no other option to get all of this without handing away the store?

I'm with James Fallows, channeling John Kerry.  This is the argument Democrats should have and should be making, without apology:

"You care about unemployment? We're committed to extending benefits that can help families stay above water, hold onto their houses if possible, and have at least some spending power as they keep looking for work. You need a tax break in a recession? We agree -- we want to cut taxes for every household in the country. And that's why we're in a fight with the Republican minority that is determined to stop tax relief for you, and deny help to families who've lost jobs, unless we give huge extra tax cuts for the people who've already enjoyed the greatest tax-cut benefits and are least likely to spend that money to keep the economy strong. We're saying: tax cuts for everybody on income up to $250,000 -- and for money above that, to control the deficit, let's go back to the rates of the 1990s, when the economy boomed. They're saying: no tax cuts for anybody, unless there's a special bonus for people at the very top.

We're all for compromise -- but not with bad, destructive, budget-busting ideas. That's why we're drawing the line here."

Draw a line, and stand by it.  Put your name here in support of a few Democrats still willing to fight for a better deal.

UPDATE: The Hill is reporting the Senate is a go on "The Deal" so the real fight will take place in the house.

Tags: Negotiating with Terrorists, 2012, Bush tax cuts, Lame-Duck (all tags)

Comments

4 Comments

If you don't give us the tax cuts will will shoot your dog---From National Lampoon

On CNN Wolfe Blitzer had guest James Carville. Carville was furious with Obama on the tax cut deal. His anger came through when he said that Obama "capitulated" to the GOP and had allowed himself to be outmanuvered by the GOP on this issue. I think that Carville feels the same anger as the rest of us. As for me I'm looking for another candidate to work for in 2012....

by hddun2008 2010-12-08 06:42PM | 1 recs
Deal, Or No Deal?

There are two choices here: this "deal" or nothing. Republicans will not vote for the tax cuts under $250,000 (and, really, that number is an arbitrary figure that has little real meaning), and there's virtually no way to move an alternative bill out of the Senate.

Basically, this battle was lost when many Democrats said that the simplest solution - letting all the tax cuts expire - was impossible. Once you've agreed with the Republicans on the most basic element - that tax cuts, in some form, will continue - there's no leverage to force a compromise. The best threat Dems had was an expressed willingness to simply let 12/31 come and go with no action on tax cuts at all... at which point, even if with a House majority, Republicans would have to rebuild the tax cuts from scratch, including explaining how budget-busting giveaways would be paid for. As long as Obama holds a veto pen, there was the potential to stall any bad bill.

But the reality is that Democrats are scared to geath of being labeled "tax and spend" and seem to have nbo guiding principles, at this moment, for policies and plans of their own. This deal is atrocious. Extending the Bush tax cuts is a lousy idea, and an embarrassing capitulation... one that, most likely, won't look any better come 2012, and probably provides a good road map for Obama as a one termer. But at this point, it's deal or no deal. And I don't think many liberas or progressives have the nerve to stand for that line. Nothing, really, will change until we do.

by nycweboy1 2010-12-09 09:03AM | 1 recs
This is kind of an easy thing for me to really understand

 When I look at the markets, I see alot of cash just sitting on the sidelines.  The way I understand this problem  - the GOP is trying to hold out for the lobbyists and the fat cats. Let's face it, if you're clearing a quarter million a year - and you're still taking all the liability of an S-Corp on your books, you should probably speak to an accountant. This crowd is not all about struggling small businessmen, or they wouldn't be trying to bank 250,000 bucks as personal income. 

Keeping the middle class tax cuts in place is just the right thing to do for this economy.  Does anyone remember how they wanted to get rid of Nancy Pelosi?  Now that she's still in charge - they're not going to have an easy time trying to convince everyone that the reason they're going to let the tax cut package crash is because they're all on the take from big corporate interests and fat cats and they couldn't give a damn about Middle Class America.

 

 

by Trey Rentz 2010-12-09 09:47AM | 2 recs
lol on the piss meets wind comment

that's freaking hilarious. :D

by Trey Rentz 2010-12-09 09:48AM | 0 recs

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