Friday, December 10, 2010

What's wrong and right in Obama's tax politics

Ok, here's my take on the current storm over Obama's political tactics. On the liberal side the feeling is outrage for his going along with the low rates on the rich. And they insist that Obama could have got a lot more.

I do sympathize with Obama here. Comedian Andy Borowitz has put up a "fake news" item expressing the Democratic left idea: Obama has agreed to put his balls in trust to John Boehner for the next two years. But where were the house liberals when they had the chance to vote for preserving the middle class tax cuts only, before the election? They had already "put their balls in trust." And during the health care debate Obama was criticized for not saying to the house and senate exactly what he wanted, but consulted them endlessly. Now he negotiated only with the Senate—where the road block is—and the house Dems are screaming. Personally, I think he should have had them at the table, but the screaming, given their earlier cowardice and criticism of Obama on the health care process, seems to me a bit lame.

All that being said, I really fault Obama for not going at the RepubliCONs for the past two years on their con of the American people, their holding that it is some sacred truth that cutting taxes on the rich is the key to a better society. There is massive evidence against this and he hasn't cited it, or made the argument. Nor has he made the moral case that we are all in this together, and the government is the only one who can invest in education, health, and infrastructure. And that these are key to our future, so we need more government spending, not less. And the funds need to come from the rich, who have profited obscenely more in the past 30 years.

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