Who is Really Running the Obama White House?

Who is really running the country anyway?

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.

Emptywheel on Axelrod’s “quaint idea of “security” for the middle class:

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.

Michael Tomasky is only “slightly surprised”:

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?


36 Comments on “Who is Really Running the Obama White House?”

  1. janicen says:

    I would gladly give up my middle class tax cut if they would start taxing the top one percent at a higher rate.

  2. votermom says:

    We have to deal with the world as we find it,

    Axelrod speaks in the royal plural, I see, being mind-melded with BO.

    • NWLuna says:

      Remind anyone else of the Shrub years and “going to war with the equipment you’ve got” which is basically a tin can tank that soldiers have no protection in, rather than giving the troops the equipment they need.

      Speaking of war, just think about all the cost savings from ending two illegal wars. Slash the warmonger corporations and bring our troops (and “advisors”) home.

  3. Pat Johnson says:

    How can one honestly call themself a Democrat when they allow this stuff to happen?

    Here in MA we were crticized for years by putting Teddy back into the Senate every 6 years but many of us saw him as a voice who stood by the working man and for those who had no one speaking on their behalf. There are so few and far between coming to the floor of either house who continues that tradition that the ideals of the Democratic Party have all but disappeared. Most seem more than willing to “sell out” for the opportunity of “making nice” and seeking those contributors who will fill their coffers for another chance at election.

    The true liberal base is shrinking and could almost become extinct if some of these measures are made law.

    The only word I can find that defines my Democratic beliefs these days is “disgusted”.

    Whoever is running the WH these days is unrecognizable in carrying out the principles I have spent my life defending.

  4. grayslady says:

    The real question is why a political consultant is even allowed to speak with reporters about *anything*, much less economic policy. It’s abundantly clear that Axelrod’s one job is to protect Obama politically. So far, he’s been a failure.

  5. bostonboomer says:

    Vanity Fair: The Republicans’ First Post-Midterm Victory: Tax Cuts for the Rich

    http://www.vanityfair.com/online/daily/2010/11/the-republicans-first-post-midterm-victory-tax-cuts-for-the-rich.html

  6. bostonboomer says:

    Post has been updated. Axe is now trying to walk back his big announcement.

  7. Pat Johnson says:

    My impression is that Wall Street bankers are in charge. Just as Bush had the oil barons guiding him through the shoals of governing, Obama is allowing the financial pirates their turn at the trough.

    • Dee says:

      I just had a vision of a few hundred 200 lb. boars with their snouts in the pig trough and thousands of little 1/2 pound teacup piglets running around their feet trying to catch some spilled slop.

  8. gmanedit says:

    This is not news. When, ages ago, O was asked if he would veto an extension of Bush’s tax cuts for the rich, he refused to answer, which means “no.”

  9. Dee says:

    Our problems are overwhelming. We need a revolution to put Hillary in charge of the country.

    Then she must put Bill in charge of a new commission – a Casserole Commission.

    He can lead the national discussion of what needs to be done. He is the only person (other than Hillary) a majority of regular folk will listen to, understand, and believe on policy changes.

    They are the only two people I trust and the only two smart enough to figure this out.

  10. Dee says:

    Yes. Fire the Catfood Commission. The middle class doesn’t deserve Catfood and doesn’t require Chateaubriand. I was looking for something in the middle.

    Elizabeth Warren is a great idea.

  11. Dee says:

    Barack Obama is a Judas Goat.

    A Judas goat is a trained goat used at a slaughterhouse and in general animal herding. The Judas goat is trained to associate with sheep or cattle, leading them to a specific destination. In stockyards, a Judas goat will lead sheep to slaughter, while its own life is spared.

  12. Minkoff Minx says:

    OT: This is for Sima, it is a case that is being discussed on Fox…but it is interesting to see how something as disturbing as this happening.

    “A felony charge of sex with an underage girl was dismissed against 18-year-old Joseph Tarnopolski in 34th District Court in Romulus because his accuser — Justice’s daughter, Samantha Kelly — took her own life Monday after being taunted at school.”

    Read more: Mom: No justice for daughter | freep.com | Detroit Free Press http://www.freep.com/article/20101111/NEWS02/11110614/Mom-No-justice-for-daughter#ixzz150OTQJLW

    “Joseph Tarnopolski, 18, who began the day facing a felony charge of having sex with an underage girl, left 34th District Court in Romulus a free man because Samantha was dead and could not make her accusations under oath in open court.”

    • bostonboomer says:

      Oh. My. God.

    • NWLuna says:

      That is terrible. Someone needs to slam him with civil charges, including huge damages for harassing that girl to death.

    • Woman Voter says:

      It is similar to the 2007 De Anza Rape Investigation where the witnesses were threatened and no one was charged, and Attorney General Gerry Brown didn’t interview the witnesses (THREE OF THEM) and no charges we brought. Brown is a FAIL in my view for his actions, the District Attorney Carr lost her re-election and the new DA has promised to review the case.

      This young ladies family should file a Civil Law Suit and air his dirty laundry out and make him account for his accounts in the very least a civil case.

    • Woman Voter says:

      In my state, age 14 qualifies as a child molester, as the law is 14 and under, which carries a serious charge and years for the crime. The DA should try the case, as she spoke to other people and a child is known to some times not testify and besides this could be ‘The Test Case’ needed to finally get a ruling on testimony from children.

    • Sima says:

      Thanks MM. I noticed this sad happening the other night, and posted it as a last comment on my thread. I’m really grateful you posted it here and brought it more attention. I can’t imagine what that poor girl’s mother is going through now.