The White House calls it the Tax Agreement on Economic Expansion and Job Growth. Keith Olbermann likens it to the sell out to the Nazis at Munich. Bill O‘Reilly says “Good for President Obama.” What’s going on?
Just this: many Republicans have such an intense lust for tax breaks for billionaires that to get them they gave Obama all he could dream of asking for in the way of tax breaks for the poor and the middle class, and for government stimulus for the economy.
Meanwhile many Democrats have such rage over the tax breaks for billionaires that it spills over to Obama, who agreed to it, even though he picked the Republicans’ pockets and increases his and his fellow Dems chances for 2012.
Here’s what Obama gave to the Republicans:
· extension of the Bush tax cuts for everybody. He wanted to extend the breaks for only those earning under $250,000 per year; the Republicans wanted it for all.
· A smaller estate tax increase than they were demanding
Here’s what he got for his agenda:
· The middle class tax cuts that were the centerpiece of his tax policy
· An extension of unemployment benefits for 13 months, averting the loss of benefits to 2 million workers in December alone, and protecting benefits for up to an additional 7 million workers over the next year.
· A reduction of up to $2100 in payroll (Social Security) taxes for working families
· The biggest business investment tax cut in American history
· Extension of a variety of tax credits for low income families.
CNN estimates a total cost of the two-year package at $800 billion-$900 billion, of which just $75 billion—less than ten percent—is for the tax breaks for the wealthy.
John Kennedy said, “To govern is to choose.” Obama chose to govern—to do what’s best for the economy, for the middle class, for the poor, and for business. He chose to trade high-end tax breaks to help the middle class and the poor. Not a bad choice.
Tags: Bill O‘Reilly, Bush tax cuts, CNN, estate tax increase, ethics, investment tax cut, Keith Olbermann, middle class tax cuts, Munich, Obama, payrolltaxes, stimulus, Tax Agreement on Economic Expansion and Job Growth, tax breaks for billionaires, tax compromise. unemployment benefits, tax credits, tax policy