FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
Obama retreats on tax hike.
It looked that way earlier in the day, and it’s now confirmed. The ‘deal’ will be that the White House ‘delays’ raising taxes for two more years in ‘exchange’ for getting a thirteen-month extension on unemployment benefits*. That last is problematical, but given the Democrats’ moral weakness thus far the GOP might still be able to keep pushing a little and get offsets in federal spending elsewhere to make up the difference. Besides, it’s Christmas: the optics are bad. Even if we don’t get that, everybody who matters is going to breathe a huge sigh of relief. The Democratic establishment will have a fig leaf for their cowardice and the Right will have successfully kept the Other Side from delivering another kick to the groin to the US economy; it’s not perfect, but it’ll keep things from getting worse until 2012.
By the way, ‘deal,’ ‘delay,’ and ‘exchange’ were all in scare quotes because this wasn’t really a deal; more like the Democrats finally admitting that they didn’t have the guts to raise taxes in the middle of a sour economy. And the White House isn’t delaying raising taxes; even assuming that Obama’s in a position to raise them in 2012 he won’t dare do it then, either. And it’s not an exchange; as noted above, the GOP can give ground on this topic readily enough, particularly if we can take the opportunity to gut some useless spending elsewhere.
In other words, it’s pretty much all over except for the gloating.
Moe Lane (crosspost)
*We also got a temporary cut in payroll taxes. Which will definitely help.