It appears there is nearly full capitulation from the White House on the preservation of the Bush tax cuts. The Daily Caller reports the deal reached between the Obama administration and the Republicans in the House and Senate is a two-year extension of the current tax rates for all brackets, while capital gains and dividends continue at 15 percent.
The giveaway? Estate taxes will. go to 35 percent for estates above $5 million for two years and the GOP gave in on a 13-month extension of unemployment benefits.
There will also be a two percent reduction in payroll tax next year, which will likely lead to job growth.
The president spoke to the media after taking the beating…
It’s a huge victory for the GOP, though not a total victory. The Bush tax cuts will be on the table for the 2012 elections now, and that’s a good issue for the GOP regardless of what the economy will look like at that point – if it’s still in the toilet the issue will be whether to cut taxes even further, rather than maintain them. And if we’re in a recovery by 2012, advocating tax hikes will be seen as moving toward plunging the country back into a recession.
And allowing the capital gains tax rate to go from 15 percent to 20 percent would have triggered a major stock selloff before the end of the year, destroying billions of dollars of capital.
A payroll tax cut is also good for the economy, and it should – as the president stumbled upon in his speech today – help eat into that 9.8 percent unemployment rate.
As for the unemployment insurance extension, it’s a punt by the GOP. Ending unemployment insurance payments is something we’re going to have to do eventually, because at some point it’s going to become welfare and we’re building a European-style dependency class out of people who need to be working. But this Christmas isn’t the time to fight that battle, and the bulk of the problem will go away when the economy begins growing again and soaks up those workers. This isn’t a particular hill to die on, though the deficit implications of it will need to be addressed in the next Congress – the money to pay for this is going to have to be found somewhere, and soon.
This is a good deal for the GOP, and despite Obama’s bitching about it (most of which looks like it’s theater to please the lefties) it’s probably a good deal for him as well in the long run. One gets the impression that if the President plans a Clintonesque pivot to the middle, he’s going to do it kicking and screaming – and it’s probably not going to work for him because he won’t be a convincing salesman for his new moderate positions. But after the shellacking his party took in the elections last month, he can’t try to govern as a committed, uncompromising leftist anymore without an even larger loss of political capital.
But let’s not count our chickens before they hatch. Nancy Pelosi is going to absolutely hate this deal, and if you think Obama trashed it on the way to giving assent today, just wait until the moonbats in the Democrat congressional leadership start chewing on it.
“We won’t rubber stamp a deal between the White House and (Senate Minority Leader) Mitch McConnell,” one Democratic congressional source told CNN. “We want to make it clear. Don’t take our support for granted.”…
Per POLITICO, the Democrat ghouls in the Senate are not satisfied with the amount of federal grave-robbing the deal allows…
Senate Democrats, who want the rate set at 45 percent with a $3.5 million exemption, are likely to raise strong opposition to that proposal, according to a senior Democratic leadership aide.
“That would add a lot insult to injury for a lot of Democrats who are already troubled by an extension of the Bush tax cuts” for high-end earners, the aide said. “It might strike a lot of members as a bridge too far.”
So Obama and Biden, who reportedly told the Dems on the Hill this was the best deal they could get, have a lot of shoring up to do with Pelosi, Reid, Schumer and the gang. But in the end, it’s hard to imagine how the far left in Congress could abandon the President at this point – doing so would emasculate him and at the same time put the blame for everybody’s taxes going up squarely on the shoulders of a group of people who just lost a massive number of seats in last month’s election.
It’s hard to predict how all this will turn out, but generally speaking it does appear this will happen. And if it does, it will be the best news for the U.S. economy in at least three years.
Elections do have consequences, as it turns out.