If you’ve already begun to forget why the voters showed such contempt for the 111th Congress, as shown in the remarkable results of the midterm elections, you have only to witness their parting tantrum. The Democratic House caucus has treated us to the truly amazing spectacle of the F word’s being dropped on a Democratic president in a meeting of the House Democratic caucus (here and here).
Please, 111th Congress, don’t let the door hit you on the way out.
The cause for all the ugliness is the deal the president struck to pass an extension of the Bush tax cuts. He agreed to an extension for all Americans, including those who earn above $250,000 and are therefore the Americans most able to invest in our struggling economy or create a job. In return, Obama got an extension of the unemployment benefits for the long-term unemployed. If it weren’t for the dire results of a failure of the deal (a weaker stock market, possibly a tumbling market, and the bigger chunk that will be taken out of paychecks in January), I’d be hoping the Democrats derail it. After all, the GOP can extend the cuts next year, without having to extend the unemployment benefits. But to be that irresponsible, that uninterested in what happens to the tax-payer and investor, you have to be a member of the pathetic 111the Congress.
Ironically, according to Charles Krauthammer, this is a deal Democrats should like:
Barack Obama won the great tax-cut showdown of 2010 – and House Democrats don’t have a clue that he did. In the deal struck this week, the president negotiated the biggest stimulus in American history, larger than his $814 billion 2009 stimulus package. It will pump a trillion borrowed Chinese dollars into the U.S. economy over the next two years – which just happen to be the two years of the run-up to the next presidential election. This is a defeat?
If Obama had asked for a second stimulus directly, he would have been laughed out of town. Stimulus I was so reviled that the Democrats banished the word from their lexicon throughout the 2010 campaign. And yet, despite a very weak post-election hand, Obama got the Republicans to offer to increase spending and cut taxes by $990 billion over two years. Two-thirds of that is above and beyond extension of the Bush tax cuts but includes such urgent national necessities as windmill subsidies.
Presenting a very different opinion, Jeffrey Kuhner of the Washington Times understands why the Democrats are pitching such a hissy fit:
President Obama has made a fatal political mistake: He has shattered his progressive base – perhaps permanently. His liberal hour is over. This is the real meaning of the White House‘s tax deal with Republicans.
Contrary to the administration’s spin, the agreement is not a “compromise.” It is a surrender – an ideological betrayal of the Democrats’ central economic principles. For nearly 10 years, the Democratic Party has railed against the Bush tax cuts – especially, those for the “rich.” Class warfare and income redistribution have been at the heart of Obamanomics. Mr. Obama has repeatedly vowed to repeal the Bush tax rates for those making above $250,000 a year. For liberals, it has become gospel, a sacred blueprint for creating a more just, equal society.