Thursday, December 9, 2010

December 9, 2010

     President Obama made a deal, a compromise, with Senate Republicans this week.  A lot of liberals are saying he shouldn't have.  I think they're wrong.
     The primary issue was extending some Bush-era tax cuts which were due to expire.  Mr. Obama wanted to extend them for all Americans making less than $ 250,000 a year.  That failed.  Then he proposed extending the cuts for everyone making less than a million a year. That failed too. That is to say, a majority of the Senate voted for both of them, but it takes three-fifths of the Senate to do anything nowadays.  Neither plan got the required sixty votes.
     So the president went along with the Republicans and the Senate voted to extend the cuts for everyone, including the very rich.  In exchange Obama got GOP agreement on extending unemployment benefits--help for folks who surely need it.
     This seems like a good bargain.  It helps people who need help--and, sure, some rich ones who don't.  It adds to the deficit, but that may actually encourage the next Congress to get serious about deficit reduction, as this one hasn't.
     You could call it making the best of a bad situation.  Or you could just call it politics. 

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