Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Bush Tax Cuts: Democrats Set Themselves Up

Life has a way of getting even with you for past attempts to game the system. Just ask the Democrats. In the matter of the Bush Tax Cuts, we see this karmic axiom playing itself out with a vengeance. What a shame.

For starters, in case you didn’t know, Obama and the Republicans agreed yesterday to a deal that will keep the Bush Tax Cuts in place for another two years. . . right into the 2012 election (violating Obama's biggest campaign promise). I am not a fan of those tax cuts because they are simply more of the same in our twisted tax system of carve outs, exceptions and favors; I would prefer a completely revised tax code. But they are better than nothing, so I will take them.

The Democrats, however, HATE them. Indeed, they hate the very word “cut” (which confuses them) and the fact that a single “rich person” (anyone with a job) will be “allowed” to keep what they’ve earned. Grrrrrr. And if you want to know why, check out this lunatic quote from Minnesota Democrat Rep. Keith Ellison: “think about what we could do with $700 billion instead of just giving it to people to buy luxury items.” Right, think about the unions that could be bailed out, the money that could be sent overseas, or spent on paying for abortions or blasphemous art, or siphoned off by Charlie Rangel and friends, or given to corporate donors. Yes, think about what the Democrats could do if we only let them rob us blind.

In any event, what truly galls the Democrats is that this deal is entirely the result of their own prior bad decisions catching up to them -- something which pathologically bothers Democrats, who believe in a consequence free world. Consider this:

First, they originally called these “the Bush Tax Cuts” because they wanted to tar the Republicans as the party of the evil rich. Now it bothers them that Bush is getting credit for something they will be forced to pass, and which the public believes must be passed to prevent economic ruin. Curses!

Secondly, they created this problem when they agreed to the idea that these tax cuts would need to be renewed. These tax cuts were originally passed to stimulate the economy and stave off recession. But the Democrats got cute about it. They figured the economy would be running at full steam by now and, thus, the public would be happy to let the tax cuts expire. Instead, the economy has “inexplicably” faltered and the Democrats now find themselves jammed up by their decision to make these temporary.

Third, that “inexplicable” I just mentioned isn’t really all that inexplicable. History has shown that when governments let recessions play out, they end fairly quickly. But Democratic policies have injected a great deal of anti-stimulus, fear and uncertainty into the economy, causing the recovery to sputter, die and never quite arrive. Thus, the need to extend these tax cuts continues because the Democrats interfered with the economy.

Fourth, by choosing to run wild to the left during the past two years, the Democrats squandered any goodwill they had with the public. Not only were they tossed out en masse, but the public has done a complete 180 on their policies. If they had been more sensible, the public might have listened to them on this issue. But as it is, no one will listen.

Fifth, the Democrats are whining that they were sold out by Barack Obama. As I’ve discussed many times before, Obama has a penchant for selling out his allies (except his union friends) in almost every instance. . . gays, environmentalists, socialists, anti-Wall Street types, foreign policy utopians, etc. This is the result of the Democrats picking an empty suit with no experience and no apparent ideological depth. When you buy a black box, you have no idea what you are getting, and Obama was the ultimate black box. Once again, their own choices come back to bite them.

And make no mistake, the Democrats are furious at Obama. New York Democrat Anthony Weiner compared this deal to “punting on 3rd down -- it seems the president is not seeing the value of being on offense.” One unnamed Democrat said: “What the hell? Could we have a little fight before we cave? Why go right to surrender?” Jim McDermott of the Ways and Means Committee, said: “We're going to find out exactly what this president is all about. . . . This is the president's Gettysburg. He's going to have to decide whether he's going to withstand Pickett's Charge . . . I worry.” Bernie Sanders said he would “do everything I can to stop the deal.” And so on.

They’ve even dug up psychologists to assess Obama (a nasty trick usually reserved for people like Hitler, serial killers, and noted Republicans). Their conclusion? Obama let himself be bullied. . . as if the President of the United States could be bullied!

Finally, we come to Dingy Harry’s attempt last year to sabotage what appeared to be a likely Republican majority. When it looked like the Senate was lost, the Dinge decided not to pass a complete budget because that would rob the Republicans of the power to use reconciliation as the Democrats had done to circumvent the filibuster. Without that power now, the Senate cannot push through the House version of the Bush Tax Cuts, which only continues tax cuts for Democratic voters. That shifted the power to the minority, i.e. the Republicans, and meant Obama had to strike a deal.

Nothing angers a Democrat more than being tripped up by their prior attempts to trip up the other guys. And nothing unifies and excites them more than having an enemy to hate. And in this case, that enemy is Barack Obama because he’s apparently not a team player and he put the good of the country ahead of the angry politics of the Democratic Party.

This is going to be an interesting two years.

(FYI, House Democrats are now threatening to vote down the deal.)

35 comments:

BevfromNYC said...

The Dems have outsmarted themselves alot in the last few years. It just highlights how they are short-term thinkers.

AndrewPrice said...

Absolutely Bev! Outsmarting themselves seems to be their specialty. And I think you're right, this is evidence of short term thinking, another specialty.

In fact, this is the sort of thing that should call into question all of their policies as well because it shows that they don't think through how things will play out -- they just react to the present.

Tennessee Jed said...

A very nice take on it all, Andrew. For sure, nothing pisses me off quite like Democrats thinking that it is somehow the government's money.

Pittsburgh Enigma said...

I'm amazed at how much Democrats hate this deal. How is any "poor" person hurt by a "rich" person paying less taxes? Do they think all that money is going to be funneled back to them? I agree with you 100% Andrew that we need to scrap the current tax code and do a flat tax of some sort.

I also wouldn't care a whole lot if this whole deal collapses. Let the Democrats own a tax increase on all Americans. I don't think the average low income taxpayer realizes that his 10% bracket will increase to 15%, which is a 50% tax increase. And I'm also not thrilled AT ALL about the unemployment extension giveaway.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, That drives me crazy too. They've started talking about tax cuts as "give aways" and that's just flat out BS. I could say the same thing about Obama owning a car being a give away because I haven't stolen it yet. It's an obscene way of thinking that should let people on very quickly to how the Democratic mind works (or doesn't work).

AndrewPrice said...

Pitts, I'm with you 100%. If they want to hurt the economy, let them do it and let the public see what happens when you vote for Democrats. Maybe people will finally come around to realizing that it's time we controlled how much the government can steal from us.

And you're right about the whole politics of envy thing. How does it hurt anyone if another person has more money than they do? To be worried about that is pure envy or spite, nothing more, and cannot be justified in any economic sense.

Also, who the heck do they think employees poor people? Jobs exist because people with money decide to hire others to help them do something that creates more money. Take that money away and the jobs go with it.

You're also right about the 10%/15% change. That's another instance where Democrats will hurt the very people they claim they want to protect.

Pittsburgh Enigma said...

Andrew: Sadly, I don't think the average Democrat (even elected ones) understand where a job comes from. If you conducted a "man on the street" interview of Democrats, most of them would say that the President or government controls job creation. They certainly wouldn't say it was a "rich" person, which is nothing more than a person with the means to create a business and thus have a need to hire employees. Hell, one of Rush's callers last week was convinced that businesses could really hire more people if they wanted to, but that they were holding back on purpose. He honestly had NO CLUE that business currently can't afford to hire more people. He sure did anger a lot of business owners that day. :-D

AndrewPrice said...

Pitts, I suspect you're right. It's no surprise that the Democrats are the party of huge businesses, welfare and government workers, whereas the Republicans are the party of small business owners.

The facts of economic life just don't fit their thinking. Ideas like meeting a payroll or living on a budget simply don't exist in their world. If you need money, you go to the guy with money, i.e. the government or corporate HQ, and you ask for it. Where does the money come from? Nowhere, it just comes. The government can print more or the corporation just finds it... after all, look at how rich those crooks at the top are, there must be way more money than they can ever use.

That's the kind of thinking that leads these people to support policies that end up wiping out their own opportunities. But that's always been the case with spite -- it tends to destroy the spiteful person more than anyone else. Basing your politics on spite is no different.

BevfromNYC said...

It was just announced that Elizabeth Edwards passed away...

AndrewPrice said...

Oh wow. They were talking yesterday about her cancer taking a turn for the worse -- in fact, I think she held a press conference.

Thanks Bev.

Cronickain said...

Not surprised that the lame duck congress wants to blame their leader.

DUQ said...

I love hearing about democrats fighting with each other. I saw Obama firing back too. It sounds like it could get really ugly soon. Let's hope!

AndrewPrice said...

ACG, True, but think about how much pent up frustration this must represent! Many of these people are moving on to other things, yet they still took the opportunity to attack Obama! LOL! It tells me that they really learned nothing from the election if they think that going further left is the answer.

AndrewPrice said...

DUQ, Obama was almost nasty about his left flank today. I think we could be watching a fascinating civil war starting between leftists and further leftists. This could really be fun to watch.

CrispyRice said...

Good article! Rush was talking about this today, of course. Do you think they'll actually pass this or will Pelosi stop it?

AndrewPrice said...

Crispy, I'm glad to hear that Rush was talking about this -- great minds right! :-)

I think it will pass. Reid has already indicated that he'll do as he's told. And while Pelosi will whine and scream, there are about 40 Democrats who will vote for this in the House. Plus, if Obama makes a case for it's passage (and he will), it will be very hard for them to vote against this -- especially since, the Republicans can pass it the moment they take over the House.

StanH said...

I think leaving the tax rate the same is fine, but more needs to be done. As an evil business owner who owns a small Sub Chapter S-Corp, and understands what it is to hit a payroll going on thirty years, it’s not enough. My financial planner who I’ve worked with for twenty years is going to quit doing tax returns as part of his total service. He tells me buried in some of Barry’s (crap) legislation is a provision that all tax preparers must become de-facto agents of the IRS, and attend classes at the IRS as too how to properly fill out a tax return, a class he could teach, and he refuses. We will all have to go to a box preparer H&R Block to fill out my corporate returns…huh, do what! He told me that if it’s not changed, he will quit that aspect of his business - - that sucks! Also the 1099 provision in Barrycare, this is pure lunacy, and will further encumber small business in America, not good.

AndrewPrice said...

Stan, Good comment, excellent points! I totally agree. There are lots of little things like that that need to be gotten rid of.

First of all, they have no right to convert your tax preparer into an IRS agent -- that's like making the defense attorney into an assistant prosecutor.

Secondly, these petty little requirements are total BS. They're like a union card for professionals, with the idea being that if they can just force you to listen to them, then you will do their bidding. That's unAmerican.

Third, the whole code and procedure are just too ridiculous. I literally spend days doing my taxes, which is simply wrong. Think about the waste of time and effort it takes to put together a small business tax return, talk about a drain on society?

I would like to see the whole tax code scrapped and replaced with something very simple like a flat 15% tax with no deductions. Actually, if I really had my choice, I would kill the income tax entirely and just go with a consumption tax -- that doesn't distort incentives.

AndrewPrice said...

This is funny, now we know why Harry Reid has been so willing to accept the tax deal -- he's trying to stick his casino bill into the tax bill! Thus proving that the power of casino money outweighs the power of ideology. Thanks for the lesson Harry!

Ed said...

I don't like the deal, but this makes me happier! Lol! It sounds like it's time to get some popcorn and sit back and watch the fireworks!

Doc Whoa said...

I'm happy about the tax cuts, I just wish it was long than two years. It will help in the election, but it still makes it hard to plan long term.

CrispyRice said...

"I would kill the income tax entirely and just go with a consumption tax -- that doesn't distort incentives."

Hear hear, Andrew!

While I'm dreaming, can I have a flying pony?? And can they make Dunkin Donuts calorie-free, too, please?

CrispyRice said...

Oh, and finally, I have to admit that as much as I don't want our wonderful country to lay in ruin... it would be fun to watch Obama take all the crap that would be thrown at him should this fall apart. When the sleeping electorate gets hit with the tax increases that are coming their way because HE couldn't save them from - look out!!

AndrewPrice said...

Ed, It's definitely popcorn time. The comments they were lobbing at Obama and that he was lobbing back were positively venomous!

AndrewPrice said...

Doc, I think that the two year issue (along with the one year limit on the reduction in payroll taxes) will sabotage their effect. When you don't know what the regulatory/tax scheme will look like in the future, then you can't plan.

AndrewPrice said...

Crispy, Sadly, it does sound like a dream doesn't it? It makes so much sense to change our tax system, but they will never do it. So yeah, if that happens, you can have your flying pony. :-(

AndrewPrice said...

Crispy, I think Obama is terrified of the exact same thing. And this deal has really put the Democrats into a bind because voters will now think a deal has been reached, and if Pelosi et al. go against Obama and kill the deal, there is no political cover for that.

Ed said...

I saw a bunch of the Democrats are going to vote no on this. So is one of the out-going RINOs - Voinovich in Ohio. This could get really interesting if the vote is close.

AndrewPrice said...

Ed, the AP has described Obama as "struggling to prevent Democrats from killing tax bill." How can you not enjoy that? Democratic Party civil wars are always the best!

Notawonk said...

i'm not thrilled the unemployment extension is in there, matter of fact, i'm highly annoyed, but that lefties have been majorly pooping themselves upon the news of barry caving, *almost* makes up for it.

and don't you love how dealing with republicans is still aligned, in their minds, as dealing with terrorists?! what the hell have the american been dealing with the moment barry took office?!

AndrewPrice said...

Patti, There are things I'm not thrilled about too, but I think it was about as good of a deal as the Republicans could get since they don't control the Senate or the White House.... but, as you say, the way the Democrats are ripping each other apart makes the whole thing worthwhile!

And now it looks like they're going to do their best to kill this deal, which means a lot more fighting! :-)

AndrewPrice said...

Here are some fun quotes from last night to add to the mix. Apparently, House Democrats held a closed door meeting where they all whined about Obama and attacked him. Here’s a sample quote from Gary Ackerman:

"I disagree that we didn't get anything. We got screwed."

And Team Obama responded with this:

“Compared to these guys, the president looks mature and pragmatic.”

Good times!

CrispyRice said...

Yay, a flying pony!! I'll go build a shed...

But, wow, this is kinda fun to watch! The next 2 years should be great for entertainment value if nothing else, LOL!

AndrewPrice said...

Crispy, "build a shed" -- LOL!

Yeah, this could be the greatest show on Earth for the next two years!

Ed said...

I'm with Patti, I'm not thrilled about the unemployment extension, but I'm not going to complain because overall this is a good thing and it's driving the leftists crazy!

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