Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Crazy like a fox

Is it just me, or does anyone else suspect that President Obama and the Congressional Dems are laughing up their sleeves the entire time that they condemn the Republicans for supporting the "Bush Tax Cuts" compromise granting another year of federal unemployment benefits in exchange for keeping the existing tax rates in place?

For those keeping score, the so-called "Bush tax cuts" are the nearly decade old reduction in tax rates which brought both a recovery from the last recession (2000-2001), and increased government revenues (though not enough to offset the dramatic rise in spending). They are the tax rates which are in place today. On the other side of the coin, the Democrats got an unprecedented additional extension (is this the 3rd or 4th such extension? I've lost track) of unemployment benefits, paid for by more government borrowing. So, bottom line, Dems got more expansion of government and more deficit spending, despite the nationwide rejection of such things in November, and in exchange the Republicans got the status quo ante? Not a reduction in taxes or spending, but simply an agreement that we all get to keep paying the same taxes we are now and have been for the last 10 years? Tell me again how this was a good deal for conservatives and that President Obama caved? Color me underwhelmed so far.

UPDATE: Charles Krauthammer shares my opinion that this is the greatest trick the president has ever pulled, getting a 2nd stimulus (cost: $990 billion) through a Republican House while only agreeing to a 2-year extension of the status quo on taxes. Paul Krugman and others who argued for an even bigger federal stimulus package? You're about to get it.

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