Gotta say that the most persuasive argument I heard for the deal on the Bush tax rates was Hugh's show today. The more he ranted, the less he persuaded me. I love him, but I think he is as wrong about this one as he was abooot Harriet Miers' nomination for the Supreme Court. (And whatever ytou do, don't mention "A Morman in the White House?")
As I understand it it, the decision had to be made soon in order to allow the government and business to put the new (or continued) tax rates into place before the First of the Year. More importantly, not extending the unemployment insurance around Christmas is simply bad politics. Do we really want to read those stories for the next few weeks? Is that how the new Republican Majority Congress wants the stage to be set for them? Weeks of stories on how Republicans callously sacrificed the unemployed in a bitter battle to save tax cuts for the super rich. Sure it would've been a lie, but it most certainly would've been effective.
So what's next? We get to have another debate about tax rates during a presidential election in two years? We get to watch Obama pledge - again - that he will allow the Bush tax cuts to expire? Seriously, I'd think we'd look forward to that.
But that's just me.