While I still haven't had time to fully reflect upon the wisdom of the tax deal that GOP leaders have struck with President Obama, I have to think that based on the reaction from the folks at MoveOn.org in an e-mail I received today, it can't be all that bad (despite Hugh Hewitt's wailing to the contrary):
Last night, President Obama announced that he's giving in to the GOP and extending the Bush tax breaks for the rich.
The "deal" he's proposing is an "absolute disaster," as Senator Bernie Sanders said.
But it's not a done deal. Leading Democrat Chris Van Hollen said yesterday that "House Democrats have not signed off on any deal," and last night Senator Sanders vowed to "do whatever I can to see that 60 votes are not acquired to pass this piece of legislation."
Senator Sanders and other progressives in the Senate are our best hope to stop this terrible deal. But Bernie can't do it alone.
The clock's ticking. Can you sign a petition today to leading progressives in the Senate—Sens. Feingold, Franken, Brown (OH), Boxer, Merkley, Whitehouse, Durbin, Harkin, and Schumer—urging them to stand up and use the filibuster to block this awful "deal"?
The Nihilist schemes: The only way this is a good deal is if the Democrats in congress hold it up. That would completely destroy any of the little mojo that President Obama has left. It would also prove that the Democrats would sabotage the economy to achieve their goal of punishing their enemies. That's a bad message to send, and it's why I believe the deal will pass.
It's not often that I agree with the pinkos at MoveOn (or Hugh, with his orange stained Cheeto fingers), but I see this as an awful deal for several different reasons. First of all, a two-year deal practically ensures another showdown near enough that people won't be able to do long term tax planning. I'd have preferred a deal of five years or more. Second, extending unemployment insurance at 99 weeks rewards inactivity. If 26 weeks is the normal term, I'd have capped this at one year. That's plenty of time to either find a job at your old rate of pay or adjust your rate to the new Obamaconomy. Third, the payroll tax holiday is a bad idea because it doesn't accomplish anything. It basically saves up to $800 to most working Americans, and a matching amount to their employers. Due to the short-term nature of this stimulus, it won't spur hiring or the economy. Meanwhile we've accelerated the deficit, and there will be a day of reckoning on that.