Yet another post about Obama’s capitulation on taxes for the super-rich

Unable to make the case himself, a rapidly aging Obama loosened the Goolsbee on the American left this morning.

While some bought the explanation, a great many didn’t. And, unfortunately for the President, a good many of them were members of the House… The following clip comes from the Sam Stein:

…In a meeting on Thursday morning, the House Democratic caucus rejected the president’s proposed deal on the Bush tax cuts but did not fully submarine the possibility of its passage, multiple sources tell The Huffington Post.

Members, by voice vote, passed a motion to reject the deal as currently written. The motion had been put forward by Reps. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) and Lloyd Doggett (D-Tex.) and was seconded, informally, by Reps. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio) and Jay Inslee (D-Wash.).

“It was an indication of disapproval and a rejection of the deal as currently written,” said one House Democratic aide.

The vote, which was conducted with something less than a full caucus present, was as much a repudiation of the substance of the deal as the White House’s handling of it. According to sources, several members spoke out about the provision that deals with the estate tax, calling it too generous to the wealthy in its current incarnation. But there was also evident frustration with the administration for essentially cutting House Democrats out of the negotiations…

So, while not rejecting the deal completely, the House Democrats took a small step toward asserting themselves. Given their history, however, it’s hard to imagine that it will amount to anything. Still, some on the left are encouraged, thinking that perhaps we might be approaching a tipping point of some kind. My understanding of politics is fairly rudimentary, so I might have this wrong, but, even if they did kill the deal in the House, where Democrats now have a majority, and propose something without estate tax giveaways and tax cuts for the rich, it seems to me that it would just stall in the Senate, where Republicans have demonstrated that they would filibuster anything not serving the purposes of their wealthy patrons. (Case in point, Republicans in the Senate today – the day after they got their way on taxes – filibustered legislation to monitor and treat 9/11 first responders.) So, even though we’ve presently got majorities in both the House and Senate, I don’t see how we could move it forward without first pealing away a Senate Republican or two. Still, though, I’d suggest, even if you’ve never done so before, that you contact your members of Congress today, and tell them that you, like a vast majority of Americans, feel that this is no time for generous tax breaks for those making over one million dollars a year. Here are the numbers for our local representatives in Congress. If you don’t live in Ypsi/Arbor, you can find your Congressperson’s contact information here, and that of your Senator’s here.

Congressman John Dingell: (734) 481-1100
Senator Carl Levin: (202) 224-6221
Senator Debbie Stabenow: (202) 224-4822

And, one last thing… I wanted to share this clip from MSNBC’s Morning Joe program, in which former Republican Congressman Joe Scarborough says the following:

…I’m surprised that Barbara Boxer is doing what a lot of Democrats are doing, which is they’re saying, “Well, you know, theres nothing we can do – we don’t like giving tax cuts to millionaires, but our hands are tied.” No, they aren’t. They’re not tied. You fight for what you believe in in Washington, DC. And just to say, “Well, the Republicans have this position where we’re going to give millionaires tax cuts so we can’t do anything about it,” is ridiculous when they have a 19-vote majority in the Senate and a 70-plus vote majority in the House. They’re still in control. And they have the President. So, please, don’t tell me that they Democratic party can do absolutely nothing about it, because that’s just not the truth…

…(T)he President has rolled over. He’s given the Republicans everything that they want, and the Republicans even now… There is a Bush commission study, the Labor Department put out last week, that says, unemployment benefits stimulate the economy. The Republicans know that as well. But the President didn’t fight, and, for the life of me, I cannot figure out why politically, Barack Obama couldn’t say, “OK, Republicans, you’re going to end unemployment benefits for families at Christmastime because you want to give tax cuts to millionaires? Go ahead, make my day.” He would win that debate every day. But he didn’t take it…

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  1. Lionel Richie, Jr.
    Posted December 10, 2010 at 3:09 am | Permalink

    I heard Obama was in consultation with Bill Clinton recently. No joke.
    Guys, he is “triangulating”. Get over it.
    He’s just a politician.

  2. Knox
    Posted December 10, 2010 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    You shouldn’t have to triangulate when you have 75% of the country in agreement. The vast majority of Americans believe that the rich should not receive a tax cut that would endanger Social Security and add to the deficit.

  3. Glen S.
    Posted December 10, 2010 at 8:10 am | Permalink

    This is somewhat off-topic, but it appears the capitulation will continue in other areas as well, as this morning’s NYT front page reports: “E.P.A. Delays Tougher Rules on Emissions,” going on to explain that, “the Obama administration is retreating on environmental emissions as it adjusts to a changed political dynamic with more G.O.P. opposition.”

  4. Edward
    Posted December 10, 2010 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    What we need is a good, old fashioned riot, like the one they’re having in London right now. We need some kids to get up off their asses and start taking over some intersections, stopping traffic around the Capital. I’m not suggesting property damage, but some tangible evidence that there’s a line beyond which they can’t push us. The rich are taking money from the pockets of today’s youth, but yet they continue to sit on their hands. They need to take a chapter from their fellow students in Europe and stand up for themselves.

  5. Posted December 10, 2010 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    We don’t need no violence.

    The uproar that ‘s happening in the UK is justified. The violence is absolutely not.

  6. lorie thom
    Posted December 10, 2010 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    perhaps when my lovely dems were so busy falling in love with a good story and wonderful guy they forgot about the strong experience (and backbone) needed to actually get the job done. Capitulating up front relieves the GOP of their responsibilities when it comes to their policies…something, dare I say, a Clinton might have already shown him how to do.

    I am sadly unimpressed at the moment – even with his speech.

  7. Edward
    Posted December 10, 2010 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    I said we needed to block intersections, Pete, not smash windows.

  8. Elf
    Posted December 10, 2010 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    I don’t think Goolsbee’s heart is in it this time.

  9. Posted December 10, 2010 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    No, Edward, you suggested a riot.

    A demonstration is peacefully blocking intersections to make a point. A riot is something quite different.

    I wonder how many of the rioters in the UK are even students.

  10. Kim
    Posted December 10, 2010 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    Politico has an article on Obama and triangulation.

  11. Glen S.
    Posted December 15, 2010 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    NYT: “The Senate on Wednesday approved the $858 billion tax plan negotiated by the White House and Republican leaders — the first concrete product of a new era of divided government and acid compromise. The vote was 81 to 19 …”

    No official roll-call vote is available yet, but early reports are that the following Democrats voted “No”:

    Both Udallls

    … along with 5 Republicans.

    The bill is expected to move to the House as quickly as tonight, where it faces substantial opposition, but is ultimately expected to pass.

  12. Glen S.
    Posted December 24, 2010 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    Amazing article from (of all places!) the Wall Street Journal’s “Marketwatch” site:

    Here’s a taste:

    “This was the year America finally took on the power and greed of the Wall Street banks.

    And the banks won.

    They dodged the bullet of real reform, probably for all time. They bounced back to post huge profits, helped by legal theft from the middle class. They completed their takeover of both political parties — and bought themselves a new Congress even more pliable than the old one.

    Middle-class America is flattened, devastated and broke. The bankers that caused it all have escaped punishment. They’re raking in huge profits. Oh, and the tax cuts just got extended for high earners, too!

    Game over.”

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