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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Symbolic Victory

Short post today:  So Mr. Obama caved again on the Bush tax-cuts.  I'm not surprised.  My main comment came from two quotes in the New York Times, from the President.

“I know there’s some people in my own party and in the other party who would rather prolong this battle, even if we can’t reach a compromise,” Mr. Obama said in announcing the bipartisan agreement on tax cuts and unemployment benefits. “But I’m not willing to let working families across this country become collateral damage for political warfare here in Washington.”


“Sympathetic as I am to those who prefer a fight over compromise, as much as the political wisdom may dictate fighting over solving problems, it would be the wrong thing to do,” he said. “The American people didn’t send us here to wage symbolic battles or win symbolic victories.”
How, Mr. President, are the taxcuts symbolic?  This will have immediate effects in your income, your tax revenue, and you'll feel it in five months.  That's just about the opposite from symbolic, that's real and immediate, and a major problem.  Don't try to bamboozle me with your fancy, empty, words.

What would the world have been like if Obama had just let this one through?  Simple, if debate had continued, the tax cuts would be finished.  Oh sure, the Republican congress would force him to reinstate the cuts, but they would be for 2012, not 2011.  And unemployment benefits, again the president has ceded the ground to the Republicans.  He had a great playing card to use against them, now the 99ers won'y have any electoral will or capacity to for 18 months.  True, that makes it a campaign issue, but surviving for half a year without benefits is much easier than surviving two whole years without benefits.  That's some political football right there.  And the Republicans would never have let it gone on for that long anyway.

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