Tuesday, December 7, 2010
President Obama’s transformation is complete. He’s now a cardcarrying member of the GOP Country Club.
In case you missed the Kabuki theater yesterday, Mr. Obama caved to Republican congressional leaders “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,” according to the Wall Street Journal.
The package Mr. Obama is cooing about includes a reduction in the Social Security payroll tax from the current 6.2% to 4.2%, setting the estate tax rate at 35% for two years, exempting the first $5 million in estate value from tax liability, and extending unemployment benefits to 2 million Americans for the next 13 months but doesn’t address the four million others who face the end of their benefits next year.
Obama’s “compromise” will add hundred-of-billion to the ballooning Federal deficit.
And while the president’s “compromise” was largely praised by his “friends across the aisle,” Republican approval comes at a price: the loss of support from his base — what little of it remains.
According to the New York Times, “This is just the latest and most outrageous betrayal in what it sees as a two-year cycle of caving to conservative pressure and Republican obstructionism. The litany from the left is now familiar: Mr. Obama was too modest in his stimulus package, too afraid to fight for a government-sponsored option in his health plan, too deferential to Wall Street in his financial reforms, too weak to stand up to the generals on Afghanistan.”
Norman Solomon, a leader of Progressive Democrats of America points out,“ Obama may have just ensured that he’ll face a significant challenge to his renomination in 2012 from inside the Democratic party. By giving away the store on such a momentous tax issue, he has now done huge damage to a large portion of the progressive base that helped to make him president.”
What President Obama fails to understand about the nature of politics is, leadership is rewarded, but weakness is punished. Just ask Jimmy Carter.