Tag Archive: politics

Photo taken from Politico

Since former president George W. Bush passed tax cuts for the wealthy in 2001, Barack Obama vocally made it his sole mission to reverse the tax policy during his campaign and career as president since 2008.

Unexpectedly, the long battle over the financial policy has led Obama to strike a deal with the GOP that would let the Republicans extend their precious tax cuts for two more years in exchange for a 13-month extension of unemployment insurance benefits.

According to Ezra Klein from the Washington Post, Obama and the GOP came to an agreement that the GOP would get around $95 billion in tax cuts for wealthy Americans and $30 billion in estate tax cuts. Democrats got $120 billion in payroll-tax cuts, $40 billion in refundable tax credits (Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit and education tax credits), $56 billion in unemployment insurance, and, depending on how you count it, about $180 billion (two-year cost) or $30 billion (10-year cost) in new tax incentives for businesses to invest.

Unfortunately, House Democrats have nothing but utter disdain and fury over the compromise and put out a flurry of complaints, saying Obama gave in too quickly to the GOP.

“I still don’t think it’s in the best interest of our country, I really don’t,” said Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa). “I just don’t think we fought hard enough. I disagree with the president. He had a press conference and called it a political fight. It’s not a political fight, it’s a fight about what our country is about.”

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) vowed on Tuesday night to filibuster what he called a “very bad agreement,” while Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) said: “I think a ransom was paid and it was a very high price,” according to a report from The Hill newspaper,

Meanwhile, Obama stood firm and hit back at his own party for wallowing in politics in a Tuesday press conference on  Dec. 7, 2010. Claiming the deal was all for the sake of the American people.

“My number one priority is to do what’s right for the American people, for jobs, and for economic growth. I’m focused on making sure that tens of millions of hardworking Americans are not seeing their paychecks shrink on January 1st just because the folks here in Washington are busy trying to score political points,” Obama said and also continued to stress the importance behind his decision.

“I’ll cite three of them. Number one, if you are a parent trying to raise your child or pay college tuition, you will continue to see tax breaks next year. Second, if you’re a small business looking to invest and grow, you’ll have a tax cut next year. Third, as a result of this agreement, we will cut payroll taxes in 2011, which will add about $1,000 to the take-home pay of a typical family,” Obama said. “So this isn’t an abstract debate. This is real money for real people that will make a real difference in the lives of the folks who sent us here. It will make a real difference in the pace of job creation and economic growth. In other words, it’s a good deal for the American people,”

I believe the President was very genuine with the reasons he gave for compromising with the GOP. Even 67 percent of Americans get why Obama did what he had to according to the Politico polls.

After a ridiculous amount of overspending on the war in Iraq and Afghanistan for over seven years, George W. Bush left the American economy in major financial crisis, leaving a heap of shit for Obama to clean up. The tax cuts have only been Bush’s retribution and have been welcome in the American economy given the devastation of the recession and unemployment. However, not everyone deserves these tax cuts especially these dishonest wealthy corporate businessmen who already cheat on their taxes. Middle income families that are struggling to get by- do.

I understand the frustration of the Democratic party with the extension of the tax cuts because  they were supposed to expire at the end of nine years. However, Obama is not to blame. The GOP went back on their word and made this their number one agenda. The Republicans opposed every measure Obama took to end the tax cuts so he did what could. I understand he campaigned to end the tax cuts for the rich since 2008 but he has until 2012 to deliver on his promise. Until then, Democrats should understand the compromise is better than nothing.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, leader of a Democratic caucus that suffered historic losses in this weeks’ midterm election, announced today she will run to be the House minority leader when Congress reconvenes next year.

In an announcement made on Twitter, Pelosi said she would run the for the position because she is “driven by the urgency of creating jobs,” as well as protecting President Obama’s sweeping health care law, which Congress passed in March.

“Our work is far from finished,” she wrote in a letter to colleagues that was released today. “As a result of Tuesday’s election, the role of Democrats in the 112th Congress will change, but our commitment to serving the American people will not. We have no intention of allowing our great achievements to be rolled back. It is my hope that we can work in a bipartisan way to create jobs and strengthen the middle class.”

The announcement comes days after voters elected more than 60 new Republicans to the House, the largest pickup in an election since 1948. A growing chorus of Democrats have called on Pelosi to step down and let new members run for leadership.

Rep. Larry Kissell, D-N.C. added his voice to that chorus today, telling Politico that, “We suffered a devastating defeat on Tuesday in terms of the House of Representatives. In order to become a national party again, we should have new leadership in the next Congress.” Reps. Heath Shuler, D-N.C., John Yarmuth, D-Ky., and Jim Matheson, D-Utah, have also said they will not support their leader.

Republicans in competitive races across the country tried to tie vulnerable Democrats to Pelosi, frequently invoking her name in campaign ads. A Gallup Poll last month found that only 29% of voters view Pelosi, a 12-term California Democrat, favorably. That compares with 44% who viewed her favorably when she assumed the speakership in 2007.

“Given that there are now 60-plus defeated Democrat House members urgently seeking jobs due to Nancy Pelosi’s failed leadership, we welcome her decision to run for House minority leader,” Ken Spain, spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee, said in a statement.

But Pelosi remains popular among the liberal wing of the party and with many conservative Democrats tossed out of office their power within the party could grow.

“Speaker Nancy Pelosi is one of the strongest, most progressive leaders in Washington,” the liberal MoveOn said in a statement. “Some corporate Democrats are taking the wrong lesson—saying that Democrats should be less progressive and more like the Republicans. And they’re pushing Speaker Pelosi to step down. This would be a terrible loss for progressives, and for the country.”

This article was taken from USA Today.

The Hill’s Big Question Editor Sydelle Moore takes on some of the nation’s top political commentators, legislators and intellectuals’ insight into the biggest questions burning up the blogosphere today. I also got the honor of making a small contribution to the story.

Today’s question:

If Rep. Michael Castle (R) loses in Delaware, what does that mean for the Republican Party?

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), said:

“If Rep. Mike Castle loses in Delaware, it would be too bad, I’m a great admirer of him but you have to respect the voice of the people

Peter Navarro, professor of economics and public policy at U.C. Irvine, said:

This is Political Science 101. Tea Party candidates tend to be further Right of Center so while they have a better chance of winning primaries, it will be easier for Dems to defeat them in general elections. So Reps pick up fewer seats. What’s disturbing about all this is how severe economic discontent in the U.S. is providing electoral gateways for Tea Party candidates with extreme social issue agendas — Christine O’Donnell is a poster child for this. Memo to the Tea Party: The first Tea Party was about taxes, not abortion or gay rights.

Alan Abramowitz, professor of political science at Emory University, said:

1.       The Delaware seat stays in the D column

2.       GOP chances of getting to 51 Senate seats in this cycle decrease substantially

3.       Tea Party candidates and their supporters will continue to threaten the viability of the   GOP for the foreseeable future

John Feehery,
Pundits Blog contributor, said:

It means Republicans don’t take the Senate.

Cheri Jacobus, Pundits Blog contributor, said:

The Tea Party movement is marginalizing itself with its actions in Delaware. The movement has been enormously influential and effective because it has been clearly defined by fiscal and small government issues that cut a wide swath through the electorate. In Delaware, the Tea Party is making a significant departure from the very set of core issues that have drawn in a broad spectrum of voters and new voters, and instead seem to be defining themselves by issues such as abortion and gun rights. This is why many Tea Party supporters will likely start to move away from association with the movement. (That, and those pesky personal issues and strange positions of O’Donnell’s that should disqualify her as an endorsed candidate of any party or movement, regardless of her stated positions on primary issues.)

The Tea Party is still, undoubtedly, a net gain for the Republican Party, but there has been a price to pay. Christine O’Donnell’s support by the Tea Party movement does not even remotely reflect the Tea Party support for candidates such as Scott Brown in Massachusetts. But like many effective movements, the Tea Party may be enjoying a brief but bright shelf life, meant to burn hot for a short time before flickering out — or at least settling into a lesser long-term role.

If the Tea Party tanks Mike Castle in Delaware and costs the Republicans the Senate, it will lose supporters in droves.

Justin Raimondo, editorial director of Antiwar.com, said:

It means the GOP establishment’s goose is cooked. It means all bets are off — and it means that the Democrats, too, are in big big trouble. Because all these voters who are sick unto death of professional politicians who go along to get along are coming to the polls, this November, to get revenge. And they mean to have it….

Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, said:

Should Congressman Castle lose his primary to a relative unknown without previous office or political leadership experience it will not be a case of tea party regicide, but rather political suicide.

Only Congressman Castle is on the ballot. The alternative for most voters is “none of the above.”

Castle would be a great improvement over any Democrat in Delaware.  He has however irritated voters by supporting Cap and Trade legislation that would punish Delaware citizens by deliberately raising their energy costs.  Castle has continued to worship at the shrine of global warming long after the models have been exposed as jimmied, the data faked and the consensus created the way Mussolini created consensus—through intimidation and rewards for proper ideological stances.

One could argue for “sending a message” by voting against Castle for his votes against the First Amendment and for “protect the incumbents” campaign finance laws.

But how stupid does one believe Senators to be?  Were not Bennett, Murkowski and Specter messages enough?  At some point there just may be overkill.  Or perhaps some politicians are quite hard of hearing.

Cross-posted from the Hill’s Congress Blog.