Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Sanders to Fight Tax Cuts Compromise

Yesterday on MSNBC's The Ed Show, Senator Bernie Sanders said he would do all he could to prevent the tax cuts compromise bill brokered by President Obama from passing, but didn't use the word "filibuster" when asked.

"I think it is an absolute disaster and an insult to the vast majority of the American people,” Sanders told Schultz, adding that Democrats opposed to the deal “are right. We're talking about social justice. They're talking about more tax breaks for billionaires who don't need it.”
While Sanders did not explicitly say he would filibuster the bill, he made his intention clear, saying, “I've got to tell you, I will do whatever I can to see that 60 votes are not acquired to pass this piece of legislation.”
While I agree with President Obama's position that he cannot play with the lives of 2 million people whose unemployment benefits would expire at the end of the year like the Republicans are doing, someone has to draw the line somewhere.

 My only disagreement in the President's statement yesterday was his assumption that after two more years of Bush taxs cuts for the wealthy, the public would come to realize that they are unsustainable and want them expired.

 Two points: 1 - He's assuming that the general population is intelligent and pays attention to these sorts of matters, and 2 - the public is already aware that keeping the tax cuts in place for those making over $250,000 yearly would add $70 billion a year to the deficit and the latest poll shows that 67% of those polled think the tax cuts should expire for those making over $250,000 or expire altogether.


jhw22 said...

I do not love the compromise but I will be 100% honest and say I am relieved that I get to keep my Bush tax cuts and I am THRILLED that I get to keep my Obama tax cuts. I would LOVE to pay down the deficit but in all honesty, I am being selfish here.

Our savings was almost completely wiped out this year because of health insurance premiums and appointments for my son.

The tax cut extensions for us would mean that I could continue to be a stay-at-home-mom for another year or two. If these cuts aren't passed, I may have to start looking for a job along with the thousands of others in my area. Then I have to find a job that will pay the high cost of child care and then I have to hope that I find a place that is as good for my son as I have been. I chose to be a stay-at-home mom for him. And I made a lot of financial sacrifices to do so. A lot. And now health insurance companies have put me in a rough spot where I am now a person who is constantly evaluating how much longer I can afford to be here every day for my son.

So as much as I'd like to pay down the deficit, I have to say that I am relieved as a real person affected by this plan.

People need to remember that the middle class is getting something out of this aside from the unemployment extension. There is more two this than crumbs. As Democrats, we can choose to focus on the negative or we can choose to see that the package is rather thorough. Ignoring the benefits to people like me isn't going to help the very people you talked about above who don't pay that much attention. We can't pick and choose what we focus on because those people won't hear all they need to hear.

Yes, a poll or two has shown that Americans didn't want the cuts extended. Had we have two more months of this "fight" that would have gone down. If you think about it, every poll that has favored what Democrats has started high, only to be chiseled away at. Part of the problem with us holding public opinion is because Dems start fighting with each other. We lose focus and the Republicans take advantage of our lack of focus and they take over messaging.

I would also bet that we will see at least one poll that shows that a lot of Americans are like me and are actually relieved for the extended cuts and UEI. We may have our principles but we also have bills.

So throw polls out the window. We should never say, "but polls say". You know that they are weak tools that only serve our goals when we like them.

Now, in two years we will have this fight all over again.

So what do we do in the meantime? We HELP the President get jobs in the green sector and R&D. We help the President expand infrastructure. We help create manufacturing jobs here to sell there. We will not help him by being distracted.

People often say Palin is a shiny object that distracts Dems. But really, we distract ourselves with out own ideals of perfection clashing with practical realities. We need to buck up, swallow our pride and dreams of shiny liberal crap and HELP get shit done.

Fighting this President hasn't helped. Constant bitching disguised as constructive criticism hasn't helped. So perhaps we are the insane ones and WE need to stop doing what doesn't get results. Perhaps WE need to be the change and perhaps WE need to get to work HELPING rather than hindering.

I want the deficit paid down. But I also want to continue to be home with my son. He is learning to read and write and I want to be here for that. I don't want to see his work at the end of the day. I want to watch the process. For that, I am a selfish bitch who will GLADLY accept the crumbs Obama is throwing my way. And I will say thank you.

jhw22 said...

Yes, I made a bunch of typos. I am in a hurry. ;)


Broadway Carl said...

Oh, don't get me wrong, Jen. Under the circumstances he faced, and knowing that the other side doesn't give a shit about the middle and working classes, he absolutely did the right thing. And I appreciated his honesty he made in his statement. The difference between Obama and the GOP is that he understands that lives are going to be tangibly affected by their decisions. To the GOP, it's just another statistic.

What I don't agree on is the change in mindset he thinks will happen in two years.

I'm selfish too. I don't want to see my taxes go up and I really could care less about the deficit because I know that over time and given the chance, this White House administration will make an effort to lower it; it won't just be empty platitudes. They've decreased the budget by $122 billion this coming FY alone. So I think that will work out in the end... unless we see a Republican President in 2012. Then all bets are off.

jhw22 said...

Oh, I am not getting you wrong. That's why I tried to say it wasn't directed toward anyone specifically. The shit I've read since yesterday is the target of my rant.

As for the mind-set of two years from now, you're right. It's not as if they'll behave better next time. They'll be worse. They get worse every day.

So the key will be to make the economy better. They will claim it was their tax cuts that did it and that will be hard to disprove. But I think that if the economy improves markedly, then more people will care about the deficit because they're less stressed about their employment. Then he can create whatever message is needed by then.

And that's why Dems have to help him be successful. If we bail on him, as many are doing, then we hand the reigns over without a doubt.

A lot of Dems call him weak but they haven't fought the right fights. They pick on the wrong people because they're afraid to do the really hard work.


vic said...

'The change in mindset he thinks will happen' MIGHT come about somewhat from ...

... a little less mental stress re employment (via jhw22)
... some small appreciation for the 13 month relief (instead of 3 months interval fights with GOP senators re unemployment ins.
... a grudging acceptance that his 'deal' with the GOP was beneficial to the middle class [ I already see little snippets here and there (via Sullivan's site) conceding that there's merit to the deal.
... a more mature (by 2 years?, 'adult' Democratic base?? [one can hope]