Let’s Make a Deal or not! Redux.Posted: December 8, 2010
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?