Who is Really Running the Obama White House?Posted: November 11, 2010
UPDATE: Axelrod does a switcheroo, tells National Journal he didn’t really mean what he said yesterday. Oopsie! Did Obama get wind of the overwhelmingly negative reaction, or did Axe actually exceed his authority?
Time will tell…In the meantime, I think we can assume the story is still valid, so let’s get back to ripping Axe a new one.
Zaladonis posted a link to this story in the comments on the morning post: David Axelrod has announced that President Obama will go along with Republicans on an extension of the Bush tax cuts for the superrich. Axelrod’s supposed “boss” is still out of the country, so who is really making the decisions for this administration?
From the Huffpo piece by Howard (ugh) Fineman and Sam Stein:
President Barack Obama’s top adviser suggested to The Huffington Post late Wednesday that the administration is ready to accept an across-the-board, temporary continuation of steep Bush-era tax cuts, including those for the wealthiest taxpayers.
That appears to be the only way, said David Axelrod, that middle-class taxpayers can keep their tax cuts, given the legislative and political realities facing Obama in the aftermath of last week’s electoral defeat.
“We have to deal with the world as we find it,” Axelrod said during an unusually candid and reflective 90-minute interview in his office, steps away from the Oval Office. “The world of what it takes to get this done.”
“There are concerns,” he added, that Congress will continue to kick the can down the road in the future by passing temporary extensions for the wealthy time and time again. “But I don’t want to trade away security for the middle class in order to make that point.”
Security for the MIDDLE CLASS? WTF?!! Give me a break!
This is all about trying to buy back the Wall Street whiners who have been donating to Republicans instead of Obama’s 2012 campaign. And it is just plain nauseating.
Axe is defining “security for the middle class” as tax cuts. Not “jobs.” Not “access to health care, not just insurance.” Not “a guarantee a bankster can’t just foreclose on their house with a trumped up piece of paper.” Not “some basic safety net for retirement.” But “tax cuts.”
According to Axe, we have to shovel even more money on the already rich so as to ensure the “security” of the middle class by giving them a tax cut.
And while I agree that raising middle class tax cuts at this point would be bad for the economy, it’s not the worst thing that could happen to the economy.
In fact, the worst thing that could happen to this economy may well be passing legislation that continues to hollow out of the middle class and with it increasing the massive income inequality that continues to subject the American people to the craven demands of a few very rich people. That is, precisely what Axe and Obama have now agreed to do.
The slightly surprising element is that Axelrod appears to reject the idea of a temporary-only extension for households above $250,000. This has been the “compromise” under discussion here and there: make the Bush rates permanent for those under the 250 mark, and temporary for those above. [….]
Well, this is not surprising but it’s depressing all the same to see this little dog scurry over to the corner of the room and whimper like this.
Tomasky argues that $250K isn’t really “rich.” Really? Here are the stats for median income for a family of four, by state. The average is about $63,000. Regardless of what Tomasky says, $250,000 is in top 2% of incomes in the U.S. In my opinion, we need a more progressively graduated income tax structure, but that is a separate issue.
This decision is every bit as horrendous as the decision to escalate in Afghanistan. As Dakinikat suggested recently, why don’t these people just switch parties and be done with it?