Thursday, November 11, 2010

That Didn't Take Long . . .

Jane Hamsher wins the prize for the day's best title for a blogpost: "Obama Twists Own Arm, Says 'Uncle' to Extending Bush Tax Cuts."  Here's the piece in it entirety:

Political mastermind David Axelrod says the White House is ready to cave in the wake of imaginary overwhelming pressure to extend all of the Bush tax cuts, exacerbating the “deficit” problem they’ve been completely obsessed with:
President Barack Obama’s top adviser suggested to The Huffington Post late Wednesday that the administration was ready to accept an across-the-board continuation of steep Bush-era tax cuts, including those for the wealthiest taxpayers.
That appears to be the only way, said David Axelrod, that middle-class taxpayers can keep their tax cuts, given the legislative and political realities facing Obama in the aftermath of last week’s electoral defeat.
“We have to deal with the world as we find it,” Axelrod said during an unusually candid and reflective 90-minute interview in his office, steps away from the Oval Office. “The world of what it takes to get this done.”
Me or David Axelrod — one of us does not understand how congress works.
Lame duck.  Democrats still have the majority in the House. So they pass extensions for the middle class, excluding the ones for the wealthy.
All funding bills have to start in the House.  And since a rather large number of Democrats aren’t worried about reelection at the moment, there’s not much downside for them.
Then the bill goes to the Senate.  And at that point, Axelrod is worried the Republicans are going to filibuster the tax cuts?
I mean, THAT’S what he’s afraid of?
If Axelrod is the “political genius” guiding the Democrats these days, they should consider themselves lucky it wasn’t 100 seats.
Of course, this is what I predicted back in September:
But my answer doesn't end there: I firmly believe that Obama and the Democratic leadership are completely aligned with the Republicans in seeking an extension of all the 2001 Bush income tax cuts, including those that go to the wealthiest households.  The problem is that the Democrats cannot achieve this goal when they are in control of the presidency and both houses of Congress.  The Democratic base would not stand for it.  The good news for Obama and the Democratic leadership is that, in all likelihood, the Republicans will recapture the House this year and "force" Obama and the Democratic Senate to extend all of the Bush tax cuts.  That will be the narrative, anyway, you can count on it, if the Democrats don't hold both houses of Congress.