Obama running with the GOP

Photo illustration by Brian Jacobson

By the time you read this, I hope the House and Senate Democrats have gotten over their temper tantrum and will follow their president in extending the tax rates that have been in place for the last nine years.

On Thursday, Democrats in the House passed a non-binding resolution rejecting to even discuss the tax package negotiated by President Obama and the GOP.

“We were told yesterday by the Vice-President this was a take-it-or-leave-it deal. We’re saying leave it,” said Texas Democrat Lloyd Dodgett.

Congresswoman Gwen Moore expressed her unhappinessthat unemployment benefits are linked to zero tax increases for the wealthy.

“Republicans have been operating under the mantra of ‘tax cuts for millionaires or bust,’” she said. “I find it hard to believe that if we extend these for two years that we won’t ultimately make them permanent. And if we make them permanent, we’re immediately in a position where we have cut programs that help the most vulnerable among us.”

It’s not like Moore and her fellow Dems didn’t have time to work on this — the sunset date on the Bush tax rates hasn’t been a secret. By stalling on this until their majority nears its end, Democrats painted themselves into a corner and created the political Hobson’s choice they now face.

Democrats didn’t play well with the GOP when they had full control – it was their way or the highway on Health Care Reform. The GOP is making good use of their political capital while they have it, seeking overall tax relief, not targeted packages to supposed Democratic constituencies only.

Obama couched this sudden turn to the right as necessary to head off a double-dip recession, to keep benefits flowing to the more than 2 million long-term unemployed and to provide tax relief to the middle class.  Thanks for seeing the light Obama.

The president knows keeping the tax rates in place gives families, business and investors the security to plan ahead. His press office is sending out supportive releases from economists and government officials daily. And while my good friend and editor-in-chief stated earlier this week that jobs are not created by individual tax cuts to wealthy people, I beg to disagree and argue it is just that simple.

I’m a hostage taker (Obama’s words) because I don’t have a problem with millionaires and billionaires getting to keep more of their money. I don’t know how other people getting to keep more of their own money hurts me.

Imagine a smart, savvy person with a great business idea who is in need of an angel investor. That investor will be more inclined to part with their money if they know the government isn’t coming to take more of it. In turn, that smart, savvy person creates a business and creates jobs.

Think about the performing arts groups in Milwaukee. With the certainty of having dollars in their pockets, benefactors and patrons will be more willing to donate or attend their events. More tickets sold leads to more services needed and more jobs created. It’s a win all around.

And if my getting to keep an additional $1,700 of my money in 2011 and 2012 means that someone in Mequon or Brookfield might get to keep more of their own money, I am all for it.  I’m pretty confident my 2011 Federal tax bill will be the same as my 2010 bill, plus I may even get a bonus in my weekly paycheck with this one-year 2 percent reduction in FICA withholding.

Obama knows he’s on top of the liberal sh*t-list, but he continues to lobby for his plan.

“To my Democratic friends, what I’d suggest is, let’s make sure that we understand this is a long game.  This is not a short game.  And to my Republican friends, I would suggest — I think this is a good agreement, because I know that they’re swallowing some things that they don’t like as well, and I’m looking forward to seeing them on the field of competition over the next two years.”

So I’m not worried since Moore and the other Democrats aren’t going to let unemployment benefits lapse, taxes increase on the middle class or pass up a payroll tax reduction. They’ll stomp their feet and pontificate for the cameras, but in the end they’ll take the vote and pass the compromise.

If not, they do so to their detriment.



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