But even I don't understand why he is privately pressing for extension of the Obama tax cuts rather than loudly demanding in in public. Even worse it seems possible that he will reach agreement with Republicans for temporary tax cuts for millionaires only but not of the stimulus bill tax cuts for 95% of working American families.
Bush Tax-Cut Deal With Jobless Aid Said to Be Near
By DAVID M. HERSZENHORN and CARL HULSE
Rather than extending the tax rates only on income described by Democrats as middle class — up to $250,000 a year for couples and $200,000 for individuals — the deal would also keep the rates for higher earners, probably for two years. In return, Republicans said they would probably agree to extend jobless aid for the long-term unemployed.
This outline of the deal includes no mention of the simulus bill tax cuts. Further down in paragraph 11 Herszenhorn and Hulse mention those tax cuts.
After the failed votes in the Senate on Saturday, top Democratic Congressional leaders met at the White House with Mr. Obama, who told them he would not agree to any deal unless it included the extension of jobless aid, which has begun to run out, and also the extension of a number of tax breaks for middle- and lower-income Americans that were included in last year’s economic stimulus plan.
It is not clear if Obama has silently caved on this one. Even if he hasn't, no Republican (but Paul Ryan who is crazy) is publicly on record as opposing.
A public debate about such an extension would help Obama. For one thing, only 8% of US adults remember that the Democrats have cut the taxes for the vast majority of US families. A debate about extension of the cuts would remind people that they exist.
Second, Republicans seem reluctant to cut taxes of the non-rich. It is at least clear that this is part of Obama's bargaining position. The $400 per indivdual $800 per family are mediocre stimulus, that is give much more stimulus bang for the deficit buck than the Bush tax cuts.
Tax cuts for the rich vs tax cuts for everyone else is a debate that Democrats desperately need to have in public and loudly. As far as I can tell Adam Clyburn is the only elected Democrat who has tried to focus public attention on the issue.
It is a no-brainer a nega brainer. How can it be that it is allowed to just vanish from the top paragraphs of the NY Times article ?
If Obama lets Republicans insist extending cuts for millionares and not extend those cuts for 95% of working families without political cost (not to mention while Democrats have majorities in both houses) then I will have to conclude that Obama is a Republican mole or something.