Let’s Make a Deal or not! Redux.

So,the top story pretty much every where is the tax deal. Oy! What a Deal!   Or ordeal.  Gallup has polled the voters on their feelings about the situation which is more than I can say for the President and the Congress.

Two major elements included in the tax agreement reached Monday between President Barack Obama and Republican leaders in Congress meet with broad public support. Two-thirds of Americans (66%) favor extending the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts for all Americans for two years, and an identical number support extending unemployment benefits for the long-term unemployed

The interesting part of the poll numbers actually is in the numbers that reflect the left and right wings and their party affiliation. Hardcore right wing Republicans don’t want extensions of unemployment benefits.

Looking more specifically at the different ideological wings of each party, only liberal Democrats oppose extending the tax breaks for everyone: 39% are in favor, while 55% are opposed. Among the other groups, support ranges from 64% of conservative/moderate Democrats to 87% of conservative Republicans.

Similarly, conservative Republicans are the only political/ideological group opposing the extension of unemployment benefits. The majority of moderate/liberal Republicans are in favor, as are most Democrats, regardless of ideology.

Gallup also polled on the DADT repeal  and other issues. If you look at the numbers on each of the issues–including supporting more government regulation for food safety–the over whelming number of people do not support traditional Republican memes.  If only we could get the President and the Congress to see that.

One of the things that really has frosted my cupcakes today is that there seems to be a consensus that an extension of jobless benefits was probably possible without the sell out negotiating methodology of the President.  Catch this headline from the Quad Cities and Senator Charles Grassley: ‘Grassley says short jobless extension would have passed without tax deal’.

Republicans had blocked a vote on extending emergency jobless benefits, saying they should be paid for with excess stimulus money. But U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said today he thinks a three-month extension would eventually have gotten a vote and been approved, albeit along partisan lines.

“I think there would have been some accommodation on unemployment anyway, even if you didn’t have this tax bill,” Grassley said on a conference call with Iowa reporters.

“I think it would have been three months … a Republican measure would have been offset with stimulus money, surplus stimulus money. And if that didn’t get 60 votes, then it probably would have been not offset, and it would have been passed on a more partisan basis.”

He defended the compromise, saying that although Republicans didn’t get the permanent extension of the tax cuts they wanted, the two-year deal was better than seeing the tax breaks on all Americans end.

“It’s something where everybody was a winner,” he said.

Is any one else noticing the pattern that only Republicans and the White House seem to think this is a good deal?

A Bloomberg national poll showed that extending tax cuts to the uber wealthy is unpopular. Is it too far to the next election for any of the Congressional Beltway Blowhards to pay attention to these numbers?

Americans don’t approve of keeping the breaks for upper-income taxpayers that are part of the deal President Barack Obama brokered with congressional Republicans, a Bloomberg National Poll shows.

The survey, conducted before, during and after the tax negotiations, shows that only a third of Americans support keeping the lower rates for the highest earners. Even among backers of the cuts for the wealthy, fewer than half say they should be made permanent.

Another third say they want only the tax cuts for the middle class to be extended, while more than a fourth say all the tax cuts should be allowed to expire Dec. 31, as scheduled.

Oddly enough, the political bedfellows du jour are Jim DeMint and Bernie Sanders who are both voting no; obviously for different reasons. Then there’s already a bunch of weirdness being tacked on to the bill itself. Harry Reid is trying to add an online poker provision. Let’s see, Senator from Nevada, Las Vegas is in Nevada, tough fight for re-election … oh, you do the math.   It’s just too painfully obvious.

Already, the online poker proposal has more info on the Nevada Democrat and exposed the charges of flip-flopping on a controversial issue, as well as using his Senate leadership position to repay big casino interests that helped him win reelection in a hard-fought campaign against Republican Sharron Angle last month.

Reid, who has previously opposed online gambling, declined to comment Monday through a spokesman.

But Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), as well as several senior congressional sources and gambling lobbyists, confirmed that Reid and his staff have reached out to other Senate offices to try to build support for adding the online poker legislation — a draft of which POLITICO has obtained — to a measure extending the Bush-era tax cuts.

These guys just do not listen to the voters.  It’s the same old back deal, big money political two-step that makes the entire country want to scream.   Steven Benen over at The Washington Monthly is looking for Plan B.  Will any Democratic congressional critterz stand up for what’s right for a change?

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities’ Bob Greenstein, who has as much liberal credibility on budget and tax issues as anyone, doesn’t seem to like the “disturbing negative” provisions of the tax policy deal struck by the White House and congressional Republicans. But he wants to see it pass anyway.”Congress should approve this package — its rejection will likely lead to a more problematic package that does less for middle- and low-income workers and less for the economy,” Greenstein said yesterday. He added that the agreement includes “surprisingly strong protections for low- and middle-income working families.”

Dean Baker, another very credible, highly respected liberal economist, reached a similar conclusion. Prominent lefty wonks like Lawrence Mishel and John Podesta offered the same assessments yesterday.

The New York Times editorial page said Democrats are “in revolt,” but they should “vote for this deal” anyway.

That’s always what the do. They get on TV. Talk about what a travesty a bill is and how it’s immoral and inhumane and just plain unAmerican. Then, they get a whiff of bacon and roll over like starving dogs.  This game is getting old.

Benen’s got a big list of questions at the end of his article that demands a response.

But what then? How would extended unemployment benefits pass for the millions of jobless Americans who need them? What happens to the economic stimulus? What’s the strategy for getting quick approval for an expanded earned-income tax credit and the continuation of a college-tuition tax credit? With almost no time left on the clock, after winning the fight on tax policy, is the plan to simply punt on New START ratification, DADT repeal, the DREAM Act, food safety, and health care for Ground Zero workers, hoping for the best in the next Congress?

This isn’t a democracy.  There’s no sense that any one in Washington listens to their voters or reads polls with obvious trends and consensus of opinion.   The power is all located in the folks that help these people buy their elections.   We’re getting to be just one big banana republic.  What on earth can we do about it?

45 Comments on “Let’s Make a Deal or not! Redux.”

  1. dakinikat says:

    Grassley: Tax deal includes biofuel subsidies (Des Moines Register) http://j.mp/hZmJ0Z http://mrand.us/AOla

    • Minkoff Minx says:

      I saw that earlier today…I think there are plenty of things that are in this deal, that are being sneaked in. (Reid and casinos is an example)

      “This tax bill is really beginning to resemble a Christmas tree with everybody hanging their ornaments on it…”

  2. pdgrey says:

    “This is why FDR, when he started Social Security, it only affected widows and orphans.” Obama said. I may be confused but I don’t think this is right. I know things were added later but I remember it a lot different. Is this just a republican talking point? We know how he loves those.

    • dakinikat says:

      That is confused! Sheesh! How did this guy get through this many public offices and not even understand the basics of social security?

    • Minkoff Minx says:

      Good catch pd…I just heard that the GOP thinks Obama’s “move to the center” is a good thing. Cough…Cough…Move to center?

    • bostonboomer says:

      Where does that quote come from?!!

      • dakinikat says:


        He made the comment in his presser yesterday.

        PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Most Americans, they’re just trying to figure out how to — how to go about their lives and — and how can we make sure that our elected officials are looking out for us. And that means because it’s a big, diverse country and people have a lot of complicated positions, it means that in order to get stuff done, we’re going to compromise. This is why FDR when he started Social Security it only affected widows and orphans. You did not qualify. And yet now it is something that really helps a lot of people

      • bostonboomer says:

        You would think after the last time President Obama incorrectly said Social Security when it was originally created was exclusively for widows and orphans, someone in his administration would have corrected him so he wouldn’t do it again.

        Yet there he was at Tuesday’s press conference making the same completely false assertion on national television

        As NewsBusters reported in October when Obama said this to Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart:

        According to SSA.gov:

        Although Social Security did not really arrive in America until 1935, there was one important precursor, that offered something we could recognize as a social security program, to one special segment of the American population. Following the Civil War, there were hundreds of thousands of widows and orphans, and hundreds of thousands of disabled veterans. In fact, immediately following the Civil War a much higher proportion of the population was disabled or survivors of deceased breadwinners than at any time in America’s history. This led to the development of a generous pension program, with interesting similarities to later developments in Social Security. (The first national pension program for soldiers was actually passed in early 1776, prior even to the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Throughout America’s ante-bellum period pensions of limited types were paid to veterans of America’s various wars. But it was with the creation of Civil War pensions that a full-fledged pension system developed in America for the first time.)

        The Civil War Pension program began shortly after the start of the War, with the first legislation in 1862 providing for benefits linked to disabilities “incurred as a direct consequence of . . .military duty.” Widows and orphans could receive pensions equal in amount to that which would have been payable to their deceased solider [sic] if he had been disabled. In 1890 the link with service-connected disability was broken, and any disabled Civil War veteran qualified for benefits. In 1906, old-age was made a sufficient qualification for benefits. So that by 1910, Civil War veterans and their survivors enjoyed a program of disability, survivors and old-age benefits similar in some ways to the later Social Security programs. By 1910, over 90% of the remaining Civil War veterans were receiving benefits under this program, although they constituted barely .6% of the total U.S. population of that era. Civil War pensions were also an asset that attracted young wives to elderly veterans whose pensions they could inherit as the widow of a war veteran. Indeed, there were still surviving widows of Civil War veterans receiving Civil War pensions as late as 1999!

        As such, the CWP was a precursor to Social Security, but was not the beginning of the program.

        Obama also misrepresented this pension plan, for benefits could go to disabled veterans and/or their associated widows and orphans. As such, the President even got the fundamentals of this program wrong.

        And that is from a right wing site! The progs elected not only a Republican, but an ignorant, far right corrupt Republican.

        • dakinikat says:

          What? Isn’t he the most brilliant president we’ve ever had? So professorial? Such a constitutional law scholar?

        • pdgrey says:

          Well after reading all of that ,BB, the only bright side is, I wasn’t hearing things.

          • bostonboomer says:

            I don’t know how I missed it yesterday. I guess it was because I was focusing on the repulsive whining tone of the delivery.

          • dakinikat says:

            But I read in the newspapers he was mad!!!

          • bostonboomer says:

            He was mad in the same way a toddler is mad. Having a tantrum and whining because he didn’t get what he wanted: applause from Democrats for destroying the Democratic Party.

        • NW Luna says:

          Of course! The best money could buy; no wonder he’s ignorant and corrupt.

          Betcha he made his grad student do all the fact-checking for the few classes he “taught.”

        • Fannie says:

          It was the first wife of civil war veteran who would receive the benefits, and not second wives, as they were not entitled. And if she remarried after his death, the benefits were cut off.

    • Fannie says:

      SS was a retirement plan for primary workers in 1935. The first person to receive SS was Ida Mae Fuller of Ludlow, Vermont. She was born 6 Sep 1874, and received the first check on 31 Jan 1940. Amount of check $22.54. She was never married and never had children.

      It wasn’t until 1939 that survivor benefits were included in the plan.

  3. pdgrey says:

    It really make me ill when I heard him say it, but then I was second guessing my self. Does he really believe this crap?

    • dakinikat says:

      Yeah. I think he does. I felt that when he would tell those stories during the election that later would turn out not to be even possible like the one about his uncle liberating the NAZI death camp that the Russians liberated and the one about watching some capsule splash down on his grandfather’s shoulder. He creates a narrative to suit him and talks himself into it too.

    • pdgrey says:

      I am beginning to write like a speak now, HA! I meant to say Made. he he.

  4. Dee says:

    Did you catch this bit of fear mongering by the WH. Summers says we will have a double dip recession without the bill.


    I assume Summers was in the room to negotiate with the Republcians. Ya’ know – that meeting that did not include Democratic leaders.

    I have never seen a WH treat their own elected leaders in this fashion. Obama is treating them like children – like they don’t matter. I think tempers are blowing all over DC – its insulting. Before the leadership was informed of the details of what Obama had given away he called a press conference to announce the deal. The purpose was to out-flank his own party leaders. This Summers tripe is to continue the end around.

  5. Dee says:

    When Obama ran his program to label the Clintons racist I thought it was the worst thing I had ever seen one leading Democrat to do another. I thought it was sinister.

    But after trying to destroy the Clintons he has gone on to actually destroy the Party.

    And now he is about to get the Country. He is evil.

    This sounds like a Teaparty person but he is really, really scaring me.

  6. bostonboomer says:

    I really don’t think Medicare started out as a small program either. From 1965 on it covered everyone over 65. How is that small?

    The entire War on Poverty, for example, would have less of an impact on poverty in America than the passage of Medicare and Medicaid.

    • pdgrey says:

      It really is amazing that Democrats never correct or even try to pull back to the left.

    • NW Luna says:

      And in just 6 months (six!) after the Medicare bill was signed, people were getting benefits. None of this “Wait until 2 years after the next election” BS. And back before computers, no less.

  7. grayslady says:

    As part of its pathetic PR attempt to promote why Obama’s sell-out is such a great deal, the White House has put out an “Interested Parties” memo with a list of the bought-and-paid-for singing Hosanna (http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/interested_parties_tax_deal.pdf). There is absolutely no data to support any of the comments–unlike Dak, who provides us with nice charts!–and the quotes are simply spun out of thin air. But hey, if both Goldman Sachs and Ezra Klein say it’s a good deal, well then we simply have to believe that they know so much more than we do about what’s good for the country.

  8. bostonboomer says:

    I think I’m getting a migraine: Obama’s Sellout on Taxes: Game Plan for a Flat Tax, Social Security Cutbacks and Austerity


    • dakinikat says:


      Obama’s Republican act (I hate to call it a compromise) “frees” income for the wealthiest classes to send abroad, to economies not yet wrecked by neoliberals. This paves the way for a foreign-exchange crisis. Such crises traditionally fall in the autumn – and as the 2012 election draws near, it will be attributed to “uncertainty” if voters do not throw the Democrats out. So to “save the dollar” the Republicans will propose to replace progressive income taxation with a uniform flat tax (the old Steve Forbes plan) falling on wage earners, not on wealth or on finance, insurance or real estate (FIRE sector) income. A VAT will be added as an excise tax to push up consumer prices.


    • NW Luna says:

      And who would have believed it? {{lolsob}}

      In achieving a giveaway that Democrats never would have let George Bush or other Republicans enact, Obama has laid himself open to the campaign slogan that brought down British Prime Minister Tony Blair: “You can’t believe a word he says.”

  9. Minkoff Minx says:

    I started a new thread for the updates on the votes tonight…did you see the one that affects Gitmo?