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You may or may not know by now that last night the House passed the Senate-negotiated bill to avoid the Village-manufactured "fiscal cliff" by a vote of 257-167. 151 House Republicans voted no along with 16 Democrats. Noteworthy is the fact that Speaker Boehner voted for the bill while Boehner's two lieutenants, Eric Cantor and Kevin McCarthy...voted against.
85 House Republicans voted to increase taxes. Those Republicans will never admit that they voted to increase taxes.....but that's what they did. In the Senate all but 5 Republicans voted for the bill. Republicans have now voted to increase tax rates for the first time since George H.W. Bush was president.
But that's not how the narrative of this extremely low point in congressional history will be spun. Because almost 2/3rds of House Republicans voted against the bill (151 total)....come 2014 the Village narrative will be that Democrats raised taxes while Republicans tried to stop them and just came up short. Mark my word.....that's how the story will be told.
As I mentioned yesterday, I believe Obama and the Democrats once again displayed a soft and vulnerable underbelly that Republicans will no doubt rip to shreds the moment the national credit card limit is reached sometime around March. Obama's eager willingness to pre-compromise with a political party proven beyond a reasonable doubt to be an enemy of the nation with their debt ceiling antics last August.....and now angrier than ever....will most certainly force a weak Obama to crush entitlements for the geezers or suffer the national economic consequences. House Republicans simply do not give a damn.
Having said that.....today, I want to bash President Obama, because I think he deserves it.
First: After running for re-election for one full year on the promise that he would stand firm on raising tax rates on all earners making over $250K per year.....he quickly caved in to a much higher $450K per year number when it really mattered. Furthermore, for one year's worth of extended unemployment, Obama agreed to permanently award the richest 2600 families in the country with lower estate tax terms.....costing the Treasury tens of billions in lost revenue.
Second: Review this New Year's Eve Obama statement.....
“For the last few days, leaders in both parties have been working toward an agreement that will prevent a middle-class tax hike from hitting 98 percent of all Americans starting tomorrow,” he said. “Preventing that tax hike has been my top priority, because the last thing folks, like the folks up here on this stage, can afford right now is to pay an extra $2,000 in taxes next year.” The agreement that’s been unveiled, however, would “make sure the taxes don’t go up on middle-class families,” he continued.
Sure, Obama spared middle class earners from paying an extra $2000 in income taxes with his Senate deal.....but....and it's a big but.....he also agreed to end the payroll tax reduction which will cost 77% of earners an additional $800-1000 per year. So, no President Obama....you did not make sure that taxes on the middle class didn't go up.
Third: And this one is crucial. If you listened to the Village mocking birds and Republican tools over the last couple of days, you know that the O.K. Corral is only 7-8 weeks ahead of us. Because Obama has been rolled in the past by disingenuous conservatives who have no interest in deficit reduction....actually could care less about deficit reduction....and was rolled easily again over the past few days.....the President will be ripe for the picking when debt ceiling "negotiations" begin, which should start in approximately 3...2...1.
Silly President Obama thinks he will get even more revenues in these upcoming "negotiations" to lift the national charge card limit. I think that's laughable. All we will hear from this point forward is spending cuts, entitlement cuts, spending cuts, pain, pain, pain....for average Americans.
The Republican Tea-influenced right is angrier than ever today.....and they will without doubt focus that anger on the "takers" from now until the debt limit issue is settled for another 18 months or so. Expect to hear the words "we're broke" quite often in the next few weeks.
If the nation's credit risk standing collapses and burns in the process.....then, so be it. The Teas are all about saving the children from a future burdened with debt.....even if they have to destroy everyone's future to prevent it.
If the Democratic Party in 2013, led by a Democratic President, wants to go down in history as the political party which, basically, shredded the New Deal.....Republicans will be glad to oblige, and more than happy to blame Democrats for it in every future election.
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