Categorized | Senate News Briefing

GOP Largely Dictated The Terms” On Obama’s Tax Cut Deal; Liberal Democrats “Left Seething”

Last evening, President Obama announced a framework for an agreement with Republican Congressional negotiators on preventing tax increases next year. What’s striking about this agreement, though, is how far Obama moved toward the Republican position and how much frustration this has generated among liberal Democrats.

The Wall Street Journal outlines the deal. “President Barack Obama reached agreement Monday with Republican leaders in Congress on a broad tax package that would extend the Bush-era income tax cuts for two years, reduce worker payroll taxes for one year and give more favorable treatment to business investments. Other elements of the deal include a temporary reinstatement of the estate tax at 35%—the level favored by most Republican lawmakers—as well as an extension of jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed.”

But the AP gets to the core of what happened, in a story headlined, “Republicans achieve top goal in Obama tax-cut plan”: “Republicans control neither the House nor the Senate — and certainly not the White House. But they largely dictated the terms of President Barack Obama’s proposed tax-cut compromise, which disgruntled congressional Democrats want to discuss in closed meetings that are likely to be rowdy. Republicans prevailed on their biggest demand: continuing Bush administration tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, despite Obama’s 2008 campaign promise to let them expire for households earning more than $250,000 a year.”

Politico adds, “The deal amounts to a major reversal for Obama — who campaigned for president on a pledge not to allow the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy to continue beyond their scheduled expiration on Dec. 31. The two-year extension means the fight will be waged during the middle of his reelection campaign in 2012.”

National Review Online’s Andrew Stiles reported last night, “Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, tells National Review Online that a tentative tax deal between President Obama and the GOP is ‘a much bigger victory than people see’ for the Republicans. . . . According to Norquist, this GOP victory is really a failure on the part of Democrats, who had every opportunity to extend most of the Bush tax rates (and to take the political credit). Their failure to do so not only exposes the party’s ideological commitment to higher taxes, but puts them on poor footing politically.”

Analyzing the deal, Jennifer Rubin, formerly of Commentary and now blogging at The Washington Post, summarizes, “There really is no other way to say it: the Republicans won, the liberal Democrats lost, and the president sided with the Republicans.” She notes, “[Republicans] won the philosophical point (tax hikes impede economic growth) and, candidly, are more than delighted to have a repeat of this debate for the presidential campaign in 2012.”

Of course, as The Wall Street Journal points out, the deal is not sitting well with many liberal Democrats. “In reaching the deal, whose details still need to be worked out, Mr. Obama brushed past the demands of many in his own party to curb tax cuts for the wealthy. Some liberal lawmakers and activists were left seething, particularly over last-minute concessions to Republicans on the estate tax.” Roll Call adds, “As a final tax package with perks for the wealthy comes into focus, liberal Democrats appear to be the losers in President Barack Obama’s first major post-election deal, a trend that they may have to get used to in the next Congress. ‘We’re still the majority,’ said an aide for a prominent House liberal. ‘If Obama’s doing this to us now, wait until January.’”

A cascade of complaints and recriminations from various Democrats followed the announcement. Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) told the WSJ, “I can tell you with certainty that legislative blackmail of this kind by the Republicans will be vehemently opposed by many, if not most, Democrats.” The Journal writes, “In the Senate, Tom Harkin (D., Iowa) called it ‘an understatement’ to say he was disappointed.” Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) complained to Roll Call, “I don’t like this at all. . . . The president has not put up much of a fight.” And Roll Call also noted Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) “later criticized the president for compromising core Democratic principles in his deal with Republicans.”

The White House shot back, pointing fingers at Democrats in Congress. A senior White House official vented to ABC News’ Jake Tapper, “We wanted a fight, the House didn’t throw a punch. . . . The House wouldn’t vote before the Senate, and the Senate was afraid they’d lose a vote on it. . . . It was like the Jets versus Sharks except there weren’t any Jets. . . . Senator Schumer says he wants a fight? He couldn’t hold his caucus together.”

Meanwhile, according to Roll Call, “Liberal activists have launched attacks on Obama over the issue. The Progressive Change Campaign Committee, which boasts a membership of 650,000, sent an e-mail to supporters Monday that quotes former Obama campaign staffers expressing frustration with the president.”

Even The New York Times editorial page recognizes the win for Republicans: “President Obama’s deal with the Republicans to extend all the Bush-era income tax cuts is a win for the Republicans and their strategy of obstructionism and a disappointing retreat by the White House.”

About Tom White

Tom is a US Navy Veteran, owns an Insurance Agency and is currently an IT Manager for a Virginia Distributor. He has been published in American Thinker, currently writes for the Richmond Examiner as well as Virginia Right! Blog. Tom lives in Hanover County, Va and is involved in politics at every level and is a Recovering Republican who has finally had enough of the War on Conservatives in progress with the Leadership of the GOP on a National Level.

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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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