In her latest Washington Post, err post, Jennifer Rubin writes, “Obama sells out the left: a Republican win on taxes:”
There really is no other way to say it: the Republicans won, the liberal Democrats lost, and the president sided with the Republicans. The subject, of course, is an agreement to extend all the Bust tax cuts. The president tonight announced a “bipartisan framework” for agreement on, among other things, to extend the Bush tax cuts for two years. A Republican House aide tells me tonight it is “a damn good deal.” And so it is, from the perspective of conservatives.
As they’ve been demanding, all of the Bush tax cuts are extended for two years. The estate tax that was due to pop back up to a rate of 55 percent was retained, but with a $5 million exemption and at a rate of 35 percent (better than Republicans privately expected). For that huge concession, the president extracted… a 13 month extension in unemployment benefits.
Now it’s true that the deal includes a one-year payroll tax cut of 2 percent. Plus other tax credits — the earned income credit, the child tax credit and the newly-created college credit — all remain in place. And businesses will be allowed to expense 100 percent of their purchases for equipment. Liberals and White House spinners will argue that the White House “wanted” many of those tax credits and breaks, but in point of fact the Republicans didn’t mind giving more tax breaks. It sounds better to slide those items into the White House’s column, but really the only concession by the Republicans was on extension of the unemployment benefits.
So you can see why liberals are morose. A Capitol Hill aide described Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid’s demeanor upon returning from the White House: “He looked like someone shot his dog.”
Wait, when does Harry not look like that?
As with LBJ, Jerry Ford, Jimmy Carter and Bush #41, could President Obama be primaried after alienating his base? No less a figure of the left than Dan Rather, appearing on MSNBC (but of course), in-between enjoying his retirement on Mark Cuban’s public access HD-Net and fundraising for the Nation magazine says yes.