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Monday, December 13, 2010

Taxation Without Representative Debate

Over the past week, I've been doing some serious thinking about the current tax "deal" that isn't having such a successful time moving through Congress. On the one hand, there is the perception that it's a true compromise with Republicans - as it extends unemployment benefits 13 weeks and amends the payroll tax - but the larger picture is that this "deal" would continue to give breaks to "the producers" in this country that can't seem to "produce" much the last 10 years as well as will add no less than $1 trillion to the deficit over the planned extension.

Here's a few questions I have regarding this:

- Why are the alleged deficit hawks in the GOP - particularly the modern conservatives unblushed by this deal, as it completely goes against some of their key tenets: deficit reduction and protecting the middle class in America. Well, even though those are what they allege are pillars of their movement, we really haven't seen anything of the sort from them.

- Why is Obama so willing to let the GOP frame the narrative around this "deal"? They have been quite forceful with the economic lies they have been distributing to the American people. The foundation for this had already been in place, considering Republicans have not once admitted that legislation they had passed or spending they signed off on increase our debt. It's an all too common talking-point from conservatives that tax cuts don't add to the deficit. This, for lack of a more apropos term, is a complete and steaming pile of horse shit.

- Is Obama attempting a calculated chess move with this or has he been suckered in to play checkers with Boehner and McConnell? I'm guessing it's a fair amount of the later while attempting to create the perception of the former. And bringing in Clinton for a presser really isn't going to get him any friends from the GOP, precisely because his administration was - and still remains in many regards - the catalyst for much of the hyperbole coming from the modern conservative movement.

- Has Obama just assured that he will be primaried in the next presidential election? This is the question that many pundits and bloggers are simmering over at this point. Without question, the GOP are using this tax "deal" to show that it's the Democrats that are tearing each other apart. To an extent, they are right, in as much as many of us within the liberal/progressive wings of the party feel that our voices are being drowned out by this failed idea of "bi-partisanship". Many of us are willing to find some form of common ground, but not if it means continuing a program that has clearly failed.

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