Monday, December 6, 2010

Political left, be real : Why the tax cuts compromise will have to do

I'm going to ask a question for anyone who was angry that President Obama rolled out an extension on the Bush Tax Cuts for everyone.
How did you think he was going to get unemployment extended, here at the holidays, if the Republicans refused to work with him without the tax cuts?
Were the unemployed held ransom? You have to ask yourself what deal he was going to get if this were enacted in the next Congress. If benefits are held up, do you know who will actually be blamed?

Middle class families get their tax break, too. Let's face it, without a reform in tax code, they could raise it to 90% and it wouldn't matter so long as loopholes and tax shelters kept big companies like Bank of America, where I bank, from paying squat.

Is the deficit going insane? Yes. Why? Part of it is years of tax cuts. Part of it is huge entitlements. Part of it is the two wars. But for every person who thinks the deal today stinks, I wonder what someone who paid for their house or car or lights with benefit money would say.

What I am not hearing is how else were they going to get it passed. What exactly did Obama not do that he should've done?

What are the professional left going to do when 2012 rolls around? Are they going to mount a challenge inside the Democratic Party and risk splitting the electorate? Who would be the one they could substitute for President Obama that would win? I mean, actually, win. Could that person force the Republicans to work with them and stop filibustering so that Congress actually works?

When they blame Obama, they refuse to see reality. Yes, this means the deficit will go unchecked save for the 2% or so that can be shaved off by various means, only to be replaced by more spending.

Obama is not a dictator who can set an agenda and tell everyone what to do. The left has to understand how widely spread their interests are; there are a lot of bases to cover. The people receiving jobless benefits probably do not feel that nothing has been accomplished. Republicans had to get some of their agenda, too, and if you think they got everything they want you have not been paying attention or are not a Republican. They will have a lot to answer for, too.

When I heard that 60 Billion Dollars is enough to provide:

1)Universal preschool
or 2)fully fund college tuition

I began to question why we cannot come up with these things that stand to really help the working class (like jobs). What is the private sector waiting for? Where has the money for investment gone? Where has the money for salaries gone? In the exchange, other people are not necessarily entitled to your money that you earned. I also understand that to many individuals the idea of a nation is obviously a psychological construct, that men and women are no better anywhere over anywhere else in the world, and why should they risk their business venture paying America-style benefits and salaries? What does it take to believe in America anymore, then?

I am going to say, Obama lost nothing politically today. If I am wrong, I assure you, it will not be a Democrat in the Oval Office in 2012. Obama bit that stitched lip and took it, because he has responsibilities. Who thought for a second the Republicans would not get at least a temporary tax relief extension? He tried to protect the people who would get hurt the most. Playing politics with their lives is the business of a politician, but...of a leader?

What did the country lose?

Well, we are enormously in debt, and the one commission that came out on the matter had, as they say, every political third rail. It is ironic that the U.S. dollar is the peg currency for the whole world, as that puts us in a position to print and print money. That is not a long term answer---deflation will hit the dollar over time. But no long term decisions were made today that can't be redressed in the future. It is hard to even hear what the people want, for all the massive campaign funding that fuels these contests.

But let me break it down for you


I wish things were going so much better in this nation, but as a citizen of the whole world I want to see a proper treaty come together with Russia. I see that if China didn't prop up Kim Jong-Il, there would be no market for North Korea, but the way forward to peace for the whole peninsula is elusive, with many innocent people in the middle. You have to put things into perspective. You could be living in a village in Afghanistan, never heard of 9/11 in your life, while people fight over the fate of your surroundings in visceral ways. I have long been able to detect the many unfair things that happen here and around the world. The only thing of any value, however much we may need we dreamers to see a better way, is that which can be pragmatically achieved. You don't build a mansion with the wood for a small cabin.



2 comments:

Zaki said...

Well said. We've sure got a lot of problems we need to navigate through as a country!

cease ill said...

Thanks, Zaki! I felt like I was taking a chance stepping outside of orthodoxy---the Dems are certainly welcome to fight to make it better---but this is what we get with the 60 vote requirement, and like you say, we are navigating a dark and stormy pass.