Tuesday, December 07, 2010

The presser (updated) 

In case you were looking for the link, here's the video of the president's much-discussed press conference this afternoon. Whatever one thinks, he is clearly one very frustrated fellow, including and even especially at his own side. Which is not really surprising, given the reaction of the fellow travelers to the tax deal.

Liberals, apparently, are even less practical allies than conservatives. Perhaps that is because conservatives, who in their day jobs often manage people in organizations, know from quotidian experience that few important things happen without bargaining and compromise.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

MORE: Michael Barone explores the roots of Democratic rage, and President Obama's unconcealed irritation:
Reality strikes. President Obama spurned the advice of columnists Paul Krugman and Katrina vanden Heuvel and agreed with Republicans to extend the current income tax rates -- the so-called Bush tax cuts -- for another two years...

But he recognized the reality that in order to prevent a tax increase on those with incomes under $250,000 he had to prevent a tax increase on those over that line as well.

This has infuriated liberal Democrats like outgoing Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., but they share some of the blame themselves. They probably could have passed their version of the tax bill earlier this year, before the economic recovery stalled in the spring.

But with the economy faltering, there's a strong argument against raising anyone's taxes -- strong enough to have persuaded many congressional Democrats.

Obama had to abandon his goal of raising taxes on high earners not because Republicans opposed it but because not enough Democrats supported it. Pelosi couldn't summon up a majority on the issue back in September, and Harry Reid could get only 53 of the needed 60 votes this month.

Democrats, not Republicans, are responsible for extension of all the "Bush tax cuts."

Still, Obama in his surly statement Monday evening and his unusually brief press conference Tuesday afternoon was at pains to attack Republicans.

Schadenfreude is me.

Meanwhile, Ezra Klein says that Obama got the better of the GOP, at least on the numbers. Well worth reading for a fairly dispassionate look from the lefty narrative. Money graphs:
If you're worried about stimulus, joblessness and the working poor, this is probably a better deal than you thought you were going to get. "It’s a bigger deal than anyone expected," says Bob Greenstein, president of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. "Both sides gave more expected and both sides got more than expected." The White House walked out of the negotiations with more stimulus than anyone had seen coming. But they did it in a way that made their staunchest allies feel left behind, and in many cases, utterly betrayed.

That the Obama administration has turned out to be fairly good at the inside Washington game of negotiations and legislative compromise and quite bad at communicating to the public and keeping their base excited is not what most would have predicted during the 2008 campaign. But it's true.

The big losers, obviously, are deficit hawks, who are importantly different from small-government conservatives. Deficit hawks will usually give up higher taxes in return for spending cuts. Here we got lower taxes in return for no spending cuts and substantial incremental spending. The small-government victory is embedded in the means -- stimulus via payroll tax cuts and unemployment insurance (sort of a payroll credit for unemployed people), rather than by direct government hiring and other affirmative spending, but the deficit is getting bigger unless you believe that this is the stimulus that will finally kick the economy in to gear. My own view (obviously) is that will not happen as long as regulatory policy is working against fiscal and monetary policy.


By Anonymous JT, at Tue Dec 07, 11:10:00 PM:

that's right jackwad

raise taxes

let those riding UI get jobs after two freaking years

and stop blaming others for the failed policies of the B Hussein Obama adminstration

Novel ideas from a bitter angry ahole

honestly ... being President doesn't mean you get to make all the rules clown, build some bridges meat, and get something done ...  

By Blogger Dawnfire82, at Tue Dec 07, 11:57:00 PM:

When your side has absolute moral authority, compromise by definition means selling out to the forces of evil. Who is really shocked that progressives (who, as I've explained, logically *have* to consider themselves to be absolutely morally superior as a consequence of the premises of their ideology) think this way? Sanctimonious outrage and pleas for purity are so common among them as to be status quo. Obama himself was living among them only a few years ago. This can't be a surprise.

This is just reality bitch-slapping idealism, and idealists whining that only if you believe hard enough reality will bend.  

By Blogger JPMcT, at Wed Dec 08, 07:42:00 AM:

The Obamateur spent over two years (including his campaign) creating and/or encouraging a mindset of class warfare among his rabid supporters and those on the dole who subsist on the largesse of others whilst spitting in their face.

It is now becoming clear that rabid progressive comprise only 15% of the electorate at best.

Yet Obama still plays to the small crowd and looks weaker and stupider to all.

He is not a great man eating crow,

He's just a silly, petty ass like the rest of them.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wed Dec 08, 09:47:00 AM:

Even Olberman is saying bad things about the Kenyan
But, the reason for the democrat and leftist anger at the President is clear and obvious, they all hate blacks!
Racism is their only reason for being so critical of the man; there is nothing else that explains it!
BTW, Olberman and Maddow were wonderful last night. It begins to look like they now know about Obama what to most of us was obvious in mid-2008; he is a dumb, lazy, shiftless, arrogant, affirmative action guy who has NEVER accomplished anything in his life but is clean and articulate.
Obama is good in that he is doing exactly what Bush did but we don't have to listen to the media moan and whine about it.  

By Anonymous Ignoramus, at Wed Dec 08, 09:59:00 AM:

Cutting taxes isn’t our biggest challenge. Cutting federal spending is.

I had thought that the Republicans strongest play here would have been to insist that extending unemployment insurance be paid for dollar-for-dollar with spending cuts. (Whatever happened to PAYGO?) e.g., reallocating unspent Stimulus spending for things like High Speed Rails to Nowhere , etc. to buy a better 2010 Christmas for the unemployed.

Instead we got “Son of Stimulus.” It’s actually an improvement over Stimulus, but it’s now more than a dollar long and a day late. Back in early 2009 had we adopted a program more like Son of Stimulus – but even more weighted to tax incentives for business investment – we’d be in a much better place today.

Coming today, Son of Stimulus means that in 2011 we’ll once again run a deficit that’s about 10% of GDP. This is unsustainable, isn’t it? – or what am I missing.

Obama is angry and frustrated that the Loonie Left doesn’t see his genius in playing a Long Game. He even said as much yesterday.

With some simple math you can see that this isn't about taxing the wealthy. Spending is so far out of whack that we'll ultimately have to jack taxes significantly on anyone who earns more than $75,000 or so. This will kill GDP growth. That's The Plan. This won't adversely affect the truly rich as much as it will most of the rest of America. Bienveidos a Argentina!

I still have faith in Boehner & Co, but it’s being tested by this “compromise.”

Developing ….  

By Anonymous Mr. Ed, at Wed Dec 08, 10:25:00 AM:

I said a year ago, as Obamacare was inserted, that the President had to veer right or his Presidency would be ruined. Apart from one or two head fakes, he did not. Given how smart it is claimed he is, I thought for sure he would do it before the last election. What a difference that would have made.

This is still a fat lipped triambulation. But on this issue he has shown a hint that he see the reality of voter demographics. His chance of re-election are pretty slim if he aligns with all the left wing noise makers, many of whom won't be here next month. But if he opposes them, like most of the country did last month, he will make inroads with independents, which will improve his poll numbers, which will give him confidence and help him look less like a hapless loser. In short if he has the guts to move right and live there, he stands a decent chance of re-election. And never underestimate the Republican talent for blowing a rare opportunity.


By Blogger ruralcounsel, at Wed Dec 08, 10:42:00 AM:

The Left has spent the last 50 years constructing a massive group of intertwined social entitlement programs that we never could hope to pay for. They knew that after 50 years of paying in to the programs, taxpayers wouldn't be very happy about any scaleback in benefits: that was their insurance policy. Of course, the money paid in was scooped up and immediately wasted on other things that they couldn't find the courage or logic to raise taxes to pay for. The fiscal conservatives have a hard time getting rid of these budget cancers without paying a backlash at the voting booth.

But the endgame is coming due. The only way to fix the debt crisis is STOP SPENDING! Increasing taxes will put the economy into a unrecoverable tailspin. And the only way to stop spending in a meaningful way is to perform major surgery on these unaffordable programs. The Left has painted themselves into a corner, and they aren't happy that the rules are changing.

The Fiscal Right can sit back and watch the Left squirm as they are forced to dismantle their own sacred cows. Because there is no alternative. More taxes kills the economy. Failure to cut spending kills the economy. So the critics of the Left don't have to make any hard decisions, because disaster looms at every other turn. Here's the time to make the Left cannibalize itself.  

Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?