Open Thread: Do You Support The Tax Cut Compromise?

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

In an agreement announced on Monday, President Obama and Congressional Republicans have struck a deal on extending the Bush-era tax cuts. It also includes new tax breaks and extends many of the tax credits created in the stimulus bill. The details:

  • Continues the Bush-era tax rates for two more years for all income levels, including couples earning more than $250,000
  • Extends unemployment benefits by 13 months for long-term job seekers
  • Revives the estate tax, with a 35 percent rate on inheritances worth more than $5 million for individuals or $10 million for couples
  • Reduces the Social Security payroll tax by 2 percentage points during 2011 (for a family earning $50,000, that’s a savings of 1,000 over the year) to replace a tax credit in the stimulus package worth $400 for individuals or $800 for couples
  • Extends tax credits in the stimulus bill that were set to expire, including the earned-income tax credit, the child tax credit, and a college tuition tax credit for some families
  • Creates new tax write-offs for businesses for some equipment purchases
  • Costs $700 billion that will be added to the national debt

Sources: The Washington Post, The New York Times, and McClatchy Newspapers 

Democrats, are you happy with the compromise? Republicans, do you think your party did a good job of securing tax relief? Let us know what you think!


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Comments [87]

JC from Highland Park

What I wonder is where are all the tea-partiers who were so upset about the deficit four weeks ago? Why aren't they out protesting about this additional deficit-spending?

Dec. 10 2010 05:09 PM

I posted this elsewhere but I'm going to plagiarize myself here.

The thing that really gets me about the tax cut deal is that it is basically the worst of both worlds. Obviously the tax cuts for the wealthy are obscene and do not generate stimulus. On the other hand, most people I know who are unemployed do not actually want endless unemployment benefits. They want JOBS. Meanwhile, there are many things in our society that are falling apart at the seams and NEED skilled, smart, qualified people to fix them. Infrastructure, education and healthcare come to mind. Not to mention energy issues.

If we have any hope of fixing these problems, we are going to need to have all hands on deck! We need talented, creative, hardworking people to work as engineers, researchers, teachers, doctors, lawyers, and yes also road-builders and babysitters. But if the government actually ever tried to put these people to work, the Republicans would scream SOCIALISM. So instead we will keep paying people to stay home and frantically send out resumes into the abyss, while our society seems to crumble apart all around us.

And how do we pay for this? Why, by cutting taxes of course!

Sometimes I feel like I am taking crazy pills.

Dec. 10 2010 10:40 AM
Paul from Princetonm

We need to comprise. Tax cuts needs to be equal across the board.

Dec. 10 2010 10:30 AM

Thank-you President Obama for worrying so much about the middle class. I am so grateful that you extended the Bush tax cuts for everyone and for all the other stimulus programs that will add $900 billion to the national debt over the next two years. I look forward to paying down debt with my $3,000 or so in annual tax savings. I wonder if those on the high end will spend or save their tax cut windfall. I heard that Republicans would not agree to extend unemployment benefits unless you gave tax cuts to the wealthy. With 58 Democratic votes in the Senate, I can imagine how hard it would have been for you to obtain two votes from Senate Independents, especially during the holiday season. I am so glad that you increased the estate tax exemption to $5 million ($10 million per couple) and lowered the estate tax rate from 55% to 35%. Although I am not very familiar with estate taxes, I guess you believe that significantly reducing estate taxes on wealthy dead people will provide stimulus to the economy. I worry, however, about the absence of any long-term plan to bring down the deficit. Your deficit commission recommended simplifying taxes by permanently lowering the top income tax rate to 23%, much lower than the current top 35% rate that so many have fought to preserve. I want you to know that I am not angry that the deficit commission wants to reduce taxes on the wealthy, and I am fully prepared for my big tax increase in 2013 and for the draconian cuts in social programs that will be needed. Someone has to be responsible for deficit reduction. Thank-you President Obama for loving the middle class to death.

Dec. 09 2010 10:39 AM
Bronxboy64 from Bronx

As a democrat, I would have liked to draw political blood on the Bush tax cuts. However, it was never going to happen at least not now. If our party was serious they would have done it in September when the John Boehner sounded like he was ready to do a deal. POTUS should have been out front on this especially since it would have significantly helped to pay down the debt. An issue he embraced during the campaign.The trouble was Democrats were to busy running away from their accomplishments and certainly didn't want to campaign against the threat of their party being labled as the party who increased taxes in a recession-never mind that it would have been only on the upper income brackets-that would have been lost on most voters, especially those tea bag types. So to quote Stan Laurel "so here we are ollie". POTUS's options are now few. Veto the Bush tax cuts and create what essentially would become a needless drag on the recovery and then face the prospect of the Republicans setting up the 2012 campaign as the only party who can return us to prosperity. POTUS and all Democrats must realize that at this juncture the only issue is reversing the job numbers. This is not the time to draw blood rather we need to get pragmatic. Otherwise all bets are off for 2012.

Dec. 08 2010 03:07 PM

The "compromise" is a loser.

Like the still-born healthcare "reform" & financial industry "reform" bills which did not meet the public's standards, this compromise does not even do what Pres. Obama states as his objective for the compromise is.

The public is still being held hostage by the GOP & POTUS still doesn't get it.

On this & healthcare & financial reform, he capitulates before floor debate, before bills are introduced in Congress, etc.

In short he doesn't punt on 3rd down, he doesn't bother to go the stadium for the game.

For a constitutional law prof, he needs to watch "Schoolhouse Rock" about bills to law & take Negotiation for Kindergarteners #1.

Capitulation without public input is not "compromise." It is betrayal of his 2008 supporter/voters.

Dec. 08 2010 11:46 AM

While I am not in favor of extending the Bush tax cuts (for anyone, let alone the wealthiest), I think this compromise was necessary because of the extension of unemployment benefits and the one-year payroll tax cut. It was also necessary politically for Obama to stabilize his presidency, which recently has been in turmoil. It shows that getting work done for the American people is more important than playing politics. I think this will benefit him in the next two years. More importantly it clearly and publicly forces Republicans in Congress to take a stance vis a vis tax cuts for the wealthy vs. deficit reduction. This hypocrisy in the Republican position has almost never been clearer than at this moment. And this compromise will force Tea Party and Non-Tea Party Republicans to take sides on this question.

Dec. 08 2010 08:58 AM
oscar from ny,vepisode,1,0

Dec. 07 2010 11:33 PM
oscar from ny

1) What is it with this divided governments? Republicans and Democrats blah blah blah.. isn't written that any kingdom divided against itself will be ruined and a house divided against itself will fall.
2) Everyone is talking about money these days, this passage comes to mind, "He also forced forced everyone small and great, rich and poor, free and slave to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead, so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of his name ..{G}.

this one is for the lords of economy and math :)

Dec. 07 2010 11:19 PM
Tim Young from NYC

My feeling is the obstacles Obama faces everyday from the 'no' party are more than mind boggling.
I do not appreciate the rich maintaining their cuts but I want to see the people who need the unemployment receive it!
I support the president. He deserves it. the Dems call him weak but I think they have it backwards.

Dec. 07 2010 11:14 PM
Sheila Karr from New York City

Simple as I can say it: we used to not allow black people to vote, teach, or lead. That was just saying we could do great without that part of the population. Stupid right? Then stupid thinking goes on and on-we can't let gays die serve in the military unless they do it in the closet-more stupid - ness; Obama has to realize that some people in charge of the government are republicans, sad as it might be. So he has to work a deal unless he wants to be stupid like so many others and not learn anything from history.
As to taxes, we need to compromise but damn! we gotr a few wars going on and some foreign countries like Haiti-we have to ante up!
More on taxes-I live in NYC. People want to drive down to NYC over the TappanZee Bridge-it is going to fall down. We pay for that with TAXES. We pay teachers and cops and subway motormen with TAXES. Roads are paved, people are fed with TAXES. So ante up people-don't be stupid.
Hey thanks for letting me vent.
Sheila Karr

Dec. 07 2010 06:21 PM
Drew from New Haven, CT

Can we have a TAXCUTS ENOUGH ALREADY movement that focuses on healthcare, education, and public transportation?

TAXCUTS KILL JOBS by making it cheaper to realize profits (rather than reinvesting them to make them tax free). I have no idea why democrats aren't shouting this from the rooftops.

Dec. 07 2010 05:06 PM

Should we be mad at Obama, or all the dumb poor people who think the Republicans have their interests at heart? We're New Yorkers so we don't see these people, but they are all over America and their legislators (THE PEOPLE WHO TOOK OVER LAST MONTH?) are doing their bidding. He would NEVER have gotten anything passed without compromise.

I cannot WAIT until his post-Presidency book comes out.

Dec. 07 2010 04:34 PM

Why doesn't this just open the conversation up to the reality of the job of President vrs campaign promises?

I am so sick of the quippy remarks posted here, as if we are all self-proclaimed Op-Ed writers. We're nobodies and I truly believe the history will judge Omaba. I do not think he is betraying anyone, nor do I think he has a personal, vested interest in mantaining any particular policies that will pay him back when he leaves Office. I could not say this about Bush Jr.

Dec. 07 2010 04:27 PM

Longstreet: You are exactly the problem and obstacle to reasonable discussion. The country is a mess and it's proven difficult for this President to get any thing done or passed because legislators try to make people as ignorant as you are happy.

Racist comment. Racist. Racist. Racist.

Dec. 07 2010 04:23 PM
Joseph from Brooklyn

I don't normally post analysis, but the opinions expressed here are extremely varied, disjointed even. Yet they all overlook the general political context.

To allow for the tax cuts to expire would have been irresponsible for either party. Politically impossible, even. Republicans needed at least a temporary extension. They would not have gotten one without capitulating on very blue issues such as unemployment benefits. This level of compromise by the R's has until now been unprecedented during Obama's presidency. We are left with the following considerations:

1. Until now, Obama was, in politically real terms, two years from becoming a one-term president.

2. The 2-year Bush Tax Cut extension combined with the failure to deliver a Public Option and other obvious matters increase the odds of a D primary challenge in 2012. Whoever challenges Obama will lose handily. But the challenge will take much of the spotlight off the Republican challenger.

3a. In 2012, the R party selects a political hack like Mitt Romney. Obama will be able to look at his Republican challenger and say, "Look, I extended the tax cuts once so that I could give middle-income people the break they needed. We added $800 billion to the nation's deficit. You want to do it all over again. Well, I'm not going to.

3b. In 2012, the R party selects an outsider, perhaps someone with Tea Party bonafides. Obama will face an opponent who is as anti-deficit as he is. But that person will also be anti-spending, which economists on every Sunday talk show will trash as bad for the economy. Keep in mind that 70% of the electorate now say that the deficit is their biggest issue. Obama will handily size up such an opponent as too ideological and dangerous. And he will be regarded anew as a champion for progressive taxation.

Dec. 07 2010 03:31 PM
Curtis from NY from New York

I don't like the compromise but thats how its done if you dont have a majorty in Congress. Personally, I think the taxes should just go back to what they were for everyone.

Something we can all agree on: Short term - we need to stimulate the economy & create jobs!
Long term - We need to work at the deficit and keep jobs in this country.

I voted for Obama and even registered as a Dem - previously an independent. I have little respect for any of our representatives or senators. They are ALL inept in my view and are allowing politics and interest groups set policy. China and India will eat our lunch if we don't start thinking like Americans instead of Democrats, Republicans. Given the choices, I'd still for Obama -

Dec. 07 2010 12:46 PM

Even these questions fall into the party-politics trap! I refuse to answer them---I don't care about "betraying a party base" or "betraying party values."
I'm a Democrat, and I think both parties are betraying the American people after what was apparently just lip-service to tackling the deficit.

Dec. 07 2010 12:43 PM
Brownell from Manhattan

I chose "betrayed his base" from the available choices even though I basically think that the Obama administration made the only possible choice at this time, and because I thought other issues are fundamentally more important for the economy than tax cuts. To me, the betrayal happened a long time ago. Obama has, for godknowswhatreason, chosen a conspicuously ineffective strategy in dealing with Republicans, and has stuck with it through loss after humiliating loss. He is either stupid, which I do not believe, or he fundamentally believes that progressive Democrats are a bigger obstacle to his success than big business, big banks and big Republicans. Curses on his head. The biggest curse on our heads is that we have no better alternative than to keep trying to reason with him and his banker minions.

Dec. 07 2010 12:15 PM
gary from queens

Dear kathy from NY

75% of the public, and most Democrat legislators voted for the Iraq war. And there were more Democrat legislators who voted for the Prescription Drug bill----from big government republican Bush----than republican legislators. the latter tried to insert means testing, to save taxpayers money. dems refused that.

Dec. 07 2010 11:19 AM
Chris from NYC & NJ

I volunteered for Obama and have defended him since his election, but this "compromise" is it for me. I have lost all hope. How can he not stand up against the continuation of deficit-increasing tax cuts, particularly for the rich? How can he not go to the country, as often and as loudly as necessary, and point the finger for failure to do the good (stimulative, not to mention compassionate) stuff right at the Republicans who are holding everything up for the sake of continued tax cuts for the rich?? Was my husband right? Should I have supported Hillary?

Dec. 07 2010 11:08 AM

I'll take this opportunity to remind everyone that this poster, in the Spring of 2009, foresaw the buyer's remorse that would take over the left as the inevitable result of Obama's presidency.
Perhaps for 2012, the left will nominate someone who actually has substantive accomplishments to his credit instead of Marxist rhetoric and skin color?
Perhaps there's someone in the fold who's actually done important things, or maybe even actually earned his Noble prize?
If the Dems put someone like that up against Obama in the primaries, he is toast.

Dec. 07 2010 11:07 AM

Dear Gary from Queens,

Have all the fun you want. While BL's listeners are debating the wisdom of Obama's decision, he continues to embarrass the Democratic Party and his office. Obama clearly loves nothing better than having sand kicked in his face by Republicans.

Dec. 07 2010 11:02 AM
Brooklyn from Brooklyn

I just left a comment don't think it got posted, please post. Eva senior from from Bklyn

Dec. 07 2010 10:56 AM

I am a Democrat, one of the progressives who voted for Obama with great joy, that after 8 years of Bush our country would again be a government of the people,not just rich people.I cannot swallow that with so many people hurting,the very rich get to stay that way, no sacrifice for them, as the price for extending needed unemployment insurance. I am a senior living on slender means and my despair about America is profound!

Dec. 07 2010 10:51 AM
gary from queens

Dear JK

I WAS a liberal 20 yrs ago. I did understand what you were saying. I was just being facetious at your expense.

So, sorry it was your gut i stabbed and twisted the knife. Just let me have my fun.

Dec. 07 2010 10:51 AM
Dan from Clinton Hill

I am actually very happy with this compromise. This is one of the rare instances where a compromise between two ideologies has actually produced sound policy. Most credible economists agree that what we need right now is short-term economic stimulus and a medium-term plan to reduce the deficit. This compromise accomplishes the former (stimulus) by keeping taxes from going up and extending unemployment benefits. Now if Congress would pass the Deficit Commission's plan but put in a provision that says that it wouldn't kick in for 2 - 3 years (when hopefully the economy will be much better), we would be in a very ideal place.

Regardless of whether or not one agrees with this, people on the left and the right need to realize that growing the economy and balancing the budget are two mutually exclusive policies that are diametrically opposite of one another. Both are absolutely imperative, but we cannot do both at the same time. Since most economists (and, I believe, most people) agree that growing the economy (and thus jobs) should be the priority, we should focus on that first and then worry about the deficit. This compromise is a big step forward for growing the economy.

Dec. 07 2010 10:50 AM

Our Democratic possible agenda is going down the drain, I was for Medicare reform while implementing a single payer system, reforming Social Security, reducing our military involvement, restructuring tax rates to have large wage earners paying a fairer share and investing in greener industries but big businesses have the reins in Washington. Big oil, big coal, big insurance, big banks, big medical ect... Who are we helping or protecting? As a member of the middle class, I work and work as everything gets more and more difficult and the government keeps saying next time we pass something we will address the outrageous deficit. I wish I had that kind of leverage with my debtors. I wish our president would risk his own re-election, like he spoke so eloquently about the house and senate members who lost this last election for their hard votes, and stand up to take control of the seemingly out of control spending. People should come first! We are paying for this and our interests should be the guide for all decisions not all the special interests in Washington. We need tax increases and cuts to get back on track and start growing our economy. We need to be a player in the global market and we just can't in the financial situation we are in..... this compromise is just another political calculation...

Dec. 07 2010 10:50 AM
Left of Dem from New York

Barack Obama does not understand that plutocrats' tax cuts are inversely correlated to job creation, and that the salve of unemployment extension was not a concession he obtained from the GOP, but a cruel joke on their part: Obama's Government can pay for the jobless victims of corporate greed, which will force Obama into an even more humiliating postures next time., and even more manufactured hysteria about the even greater debt. And he will never explain why the nostrums he offered didn't work, because now he owns the policy and will be blamed for everything- Repubs are laughing their heads off.

Dec. 07 2010 10:49 AM
Katie from Huntington, NY

The theory that if the Bush tax cuts expire it will affect those making over $250,000 and then they will not create jobs is pure propaganda. First of all, if you're making $255,000, your increased tax burden would be only on the additional $5000, not the whole amount. The Republicans are as good at propaganda as the old Soviets were. I am now looking to support another Democrat to primary President Obama. I love him, and his family, but he thinks compromise means giving in to Republicans. I'm done.

Dec. 07 2010 10:48 AM

Craig L. M.
why is "willing to compromise" equal to weak?
the american people wanted compromise the obama gave it to them.
now how will the gop govern?

Dec. 07 2010 10:47 AM
Bosco from Westfield, NJ

@Jack Jackson - So what? Obama was getting pushed around by the GOP BEFORE the Dems lost 60 seats. He got pushed around when the Dems had a freakin SUPERMAJORITY.

Don't blame Obama's dissappointed base for his complete failure to ever fight for what he believes in.

Dec. 07 2010 10:47 AM
Longstreet from NYC area

Robert from NYC:
It only took 43 years of voting to realize that these jokers we elect will always make decisions in their own best interests?
Ay, caramba, Robert.
It's sad to say, and worse to watch, but this country is only getting what it deserves.

Dec. 07 2010 10:43 AM
gary from queens

Progressives don't accept the fact that the only way capitalism works is through economic expansion and growth, and when all classes are enriched. (Progressives have been running Europe, and that's why Europe is dying.) It's fine to disagree, but you should first correctly understand the theory you're opposing. See:

As an analogy, I understand the laws of physiology and biology, and therefore I understand the consequences of eating junk food. And I never complain about the consequences, nor would most people tolerate my complaints, because I had made a voluntary decision to eat the junk food. Similarly, people should understand the laws of capitalism. When liberals villify and penalize successful businesses, investors or skilled professionals (except ultra wealthy hollywood actors), you will get negative growth, unemployment, and a decline in real wages. That, in turn, will cause Keynsian liberals to spend money that doesn't exist, leading to crushing debt and inflation, which further reduces the real value of people's assets.

(By the way, the US has the highest capital gains taxes in the world, and we're the only nation that let's companies get taxed twice---once on profits made abroad, and then the domestic taxes. It's amazing the US has any economic growth!)

Dec. 07 2010 10:42 AM

Dear Gary from Queens,

You totally missed the irony of post. I was being sarcastic. I was never awestruck by Obama or his personal story. I always saw him as the lesser of 2 breathtakingly mediocre candidates.

I prefer competence over a compelling biography in a presidential candidate. Obama has demonstrated more than enough incompetence for my taste.

Dec. 07 2010 10:42 AM
Katherine Jackson from New York City

As someone in the comments stream astutely commented, these are no longer the "Bush tax cuts." Obama owns them -- to his peril in 2012. We need a populist progressive movement, grass roots, but hopefully with someone who can inspire and mobilize us with an alternative in the primaries. The country has just taken one giant step further down the wrong path. Yet another big win for the ultra-rich! And don't forget the new estate tax provisions!!

Dec. 07 2010 10:41 AM
rlewis from the bowery

if Obama had not cut a deal on this, you could forget about DADT, the Dream act, and more once the new congress gets in next month.

Dec. 07 2010 10:40 AM
Hillary Brizell-DeLise from New York

Republican's keep saying the midterm election sent a message. Really? What about the election in 2008? Republicans never seemed to respond to or respect those results!

Why is it that Republicans manage to rule whether they are in the majority or not?

The Democrats are barely worthy of being a party, at all. Where is the organization, the discipline, the consistent messaging from the Dem's? Obama waited until weeks before the conclusion of the election cycle to say that his administration had accomplished so much, including a tax cut for the middle classs, but nobody knew it...

We need this great communicator to communicate,, finally! We need fireside chats; we need a constant, intelligent conversation to combat the brainwashing effects of the conservative juggernaut.

The media is no longer the liberal media, if it ever was. The media is manipulated by an angry crowd now and it's all very scary. HBD

Dec. 07 2010 10:39 AM
gary from queens

No wonder the government's loan to GM yielded good results----the government bought all its cars the public didn't want!
It even required a Freedom of Information Act request to obtain this information from the supposed transparent administration.
The irony is that if the government simply took a flat 10% from everyone----without any deductions or subsidies whatsoever----it's tax revenues would be higher than it is today. Because under the current complicated tax code, any "soak the rich" tax schemes never actually affect the super rich, who can afford tax lawyers and tax shelters. Just ask Sen. John Kerry (D-MA), who had his yacht built outside Massachusetts to avoid high state taxes.

Dec. 07 2010 10:38 AM
pooorpeddler from Monroe NY

Obama has lost my support in 2012. First no public option now adding to the deficit. He is weak and doesn’t deserve the nomination.

Dec. 07 2010 10:38 AM
Ken from Little Neck

While I'm personally disappointed by many of the areas where Obama caved, I can't get outraged. First, the extension of unemployment is absolutely essential for millions who literally have no other options right now. Second, this is how politics works, however distasteful. If you come up with a compromise that outrages both bases, and nobody else is really happy about but will go along with anyway, that usually means you've hit the right middle ground. Anything farther to the left or right would lose the support of the opposing party.

Dec. 07 2010 10:38 AM
gary from queens

I'm not an expert on economics, and I sure don't dwell much about rich people's complaints. Although I could understand why they're leaving the U.S. in droves, where the public demands from them jobs and money, while they're vilifying them! All I'm doing is noting the ethical and moral affronts----one of which is the uninhibited feeling of entitlement (by Democrats, to note the partisan divide) to confiscate wealth from some people and give it to others, without even a "thank you." The fact that government is the middleman gives it the slightest veneer of legality, if not respectability. Indeed, it is beyond entitlement, as progressives deem anything one may earn in wage as the government's by default, whenever you hear them characterize a tax cut as a gift from government. In addition, the fact that so many progressives believe the Framers had intended there be a leveling of wealth (civil rights yes, but not wealth) by government is an intellectual affront. To me, at least.

Dec. 07 2010 10:36 AM
ak from NYC

Brian, you did not provide more options in the poll; am an independent and long term unemployed; I am completely against the tax relief for the wealthy; it does not mean that we will get more jobs even if they get their way; if there was a chance to create jobs we would have had more quality jobs added to the economy but it is not the case; all GOP cares about is to get their way; I regret that democrats gave in.

Dec. 07 2010 10:35 AM
gary from queens

While I myself am dirt poor, this is a discussion about philosophy, ethics and what our Founders believed. They didn't believe in a tax based upon one's wealth or income. And of course, the Constitution doesn't specify a ceiling on the amount of wealth one may obtain. But such a law was enacted over a century later----the progressive (no pun) income tax. Obama, for example, feels that people do not need more than $250,000 per year. (Even families living in Manhattan.) He wants to tax only them, despite the fact that they are among the top 2 percent of income earners who already pay half of all federal income taxes (or a greater amount than the bottom 95% of earners pay). Obama feels that people earning above that amount should be penalized (through taxation) for their work, talent and good fortune. But why stop there? Why not take more wealth from people? Where's the line, and who draws it? (Interestingly, In a paper published in 1965, Obama's father---an economist of note---justified a 100% tax rate; to take ALL of a rich person's wealth.)

Thus, I would ask, how would a wealthy person claim a violation of equal protections under law (re: clause in the Constitution), when UNEQUAL protection IS the law (i.e. the progressive tax code)?!

Dec. 07 2010 10:35 AM
rlewis from the bowery

I don't usually agree with hjs, but it's the smartest thing I've read on this thread....

"when the left sat out the last elections they lost their seat at the table"

Dec. 07 2010 10:34 AM

This compromise is the worst of both worlds. Continue to let revenue-sapping tax cuts take effect, while raising the spending on unemployment.

At least they put the estate tax back in, although the $5 million free ride seems a bit high to me. And what ever happened to the idea of social security running out of money? Now we're having a free year of no paying in?

Politics makes less and less sense to me every day.

Dec. 07 2010 10:34 AM
Mike from NYC

I voted for Obama (after the primary) and for the first time donated money to a presidential election. I am still proud that the US elected a black man and that we now have a president who doesn't embarrass the country every time he speaks. But I would never do it again. Obama's naive and foolish inability to negotiate anything or to explain and defend any policy he was able to get passed is worse than frustrating. We would have been better off electing McCain. Then the blame for the recession might have fallen to the party and economic policy and philosophy that caused it. After the republicans de-fund and destroy the already overly compromised health care bill, Obama will have accomplished nothing of any substance.

Dec. 07 2010 10:33 AM
Jack Jackson from Central New Jersey

Okay....Any of you who are 'surprised' by the compromise AND did NOT vote on November 2, you are free to now kick yourselves.

If you lose 60 seats in the House, you get pushed around by the 'new' majority.

Didn't take a crystal ball to see what was going to happen. Why did you guys stay home?

Dec. 07 2010 10:30 AM
Craig L. M. from Midtown East

You guys are all going to vote for him again in 2012 and you know it-- what choice do you have? Sarah Palin? Mit Romney? You're all going to choke down your rage and give him a second term because you're weak like he is, and you're willing to compromise.

Dec. 07 2010 10:29 AM
Jamison from Fort Green

What happen to that chart they would so that looked like plaints show how much more it would coast if the Bush Tax Cuts were not let go??
PS I wish we void in a Presdent with a pair like Hillary!

Dec. 07 2010 10:28 AM
Jane from Glen Ridge, NJ

I need my unemployment benefits. As a 50+ teacher, this will not help me get a job, but it will help keep my family together. I wonder if any of the politicians think about the fact that sometimes this is what it boils down to: helping people live.

Dec. 07 2010 10:28 AM
Arundhati Satkalmi

Let the bush tax cuts expire! The tax from wealthy can be used to help unemployeed. If necessary, the President should issue an executive order. Yes, the next president can overtuen it but until then, our purpose will be served.


Dec. 07 2010 10:28 AM
gary from queens

Dear JK

You are honest enough to admit that the only reason people like you voted for Obama was based on race, not merit. Yes, he is the "1st African American President." And as I warned my liberal friends, that feel good feeling will last as long as it had for New Yorkers who voted for David Dinkins.

I suppose your only option to remedy "America’s1st invertebrate President" would be Al Sharpton. Or perhaps Nader in 2012?! :)

Dec. 07 2010 10:26 AM
Lois from West Milford

I wonder how much of the outrage on both sides is simply due to how rare compromise has become in Congress. We've seen so little of it in recent years that we don't know how to handle it when it happens.

Dec. 07 2010 10:26 AM

There's no Santa, kiddies. You elected a Politician, and he did what politicians do: he put off the hard choices and passed the buck to his grandkids.

Dec. 07 2010 10:25 AM
April from Manhattan

Why was there not a progressive activist movement from the get go? We have only ourselves to blame. There's populism on the left too and if we could get through the screen of Fox, which most Americans watch, and tell the people that Rs are for Big bizness, not small, as they claim, we could get somewhere. it doesn''t help that Obama just appointed yet another Wall St guy to his Economic team.

Dec. 07 2010 10:24 AM
Anna Sale, It's A Free Country

@paulb, the yearlong payroll tax cut would not affect Social Security benefits, Obama administration officials say. It does mean that there would be less money coming in to the Social Security trust fund in 2011. Here's the Wall Street Journal's payroll tax cut primer:

Dec. 07 2010 10:24 AM

Some politicians have ice water running thru their veins. Obama has cotton candy running thru his veins. No President has ever shown more contempt or disdain for his supporters than Obama.

Dec. 07 2010 10:24 AM
TommyP from Brooklyn

I'm so done with Obama - he lets the GOP set the terms of every debate and gets rolled every time.

What's really appalling about his latest capitulation is that he's not only selling out the progressive left (as usual) - this time he's selling out core Democraric principles.

He's a goddamn coward and needs to stop hiding behind unemployed families and fight for what his party believes in!

Dec. 07 2010 10:23 AM
Eli from Upper West Side

I have very mixed feelings on this issue, but mostly I am disappointed that this is where this had to be resolved. The Dems really have no chance of passing the tax cuts the way they wanted it without the super majority and the soon-to-be republican house. The Republicans were really the ones with the choices here and had the chance to show that the people voted for them because they were going to be a better alternative to the Dems. However, this deal lets me down. The Republicans showed no compromise on some important things to me, as a young citizen looking to the financial future of the States. Both sides have their ways of reducing the deficit, yet none of those plans were involved in this "compromise." All we get is more 'stimulus-like' packages.

On another note, there is no compromise here, just a simple give and take. A compromise would involve meeting on a middle ground on EACH issue, not essentially saying "I'll give you this, and I'll take this". In this type of give-take compromise, we will never see some of the necessary deficit reducing changes we need.

The millionaires tax was a great actual compromise, saying to the Repub's to show their true cards on whether they wanted to help small businesses or just help the wealthiest Americans (whom I believe do very little to actually create jobs OR spend money with extra tax cash). Sadly, the Repubs should that there is no compromise and they are all about letting the Rich become richer, without having any regard for any others out there. I fear the future for my generation when I see these disgusting political practices continuing into the years to come.

Dec. 07 2010 10:21 AM
TV from New York City

I voted for a Frederick Douglas and got Booker T. Washington - except that Booker T's accomodationist inclinations were understandable in 19th century America - Obama's surrender to Republicans is merely a politician's calculation that getting re-elected is more important than principle or, excuse the oxymoron, political integrity. He's a bit of a disgrace.

Dec. 07 2010 10:20 AM
RJ from prospect hts

What I like in this package, which seems to have been slipped in, is the improvements in the earned income tax credit--that's the poor, folks--the people we keep forgetting about when we talk about the middle class. I have lots of concern for the middle class, but it would be nice if the poor were mentioned now and then.

Dec. 07 2010 10:20 AM
John from Fanwood, NJ

Everyone is ignoring the long-time conservative premise of “Starve the Beast.” During Reagan’s time, and maybe even Goldwater’s, conservatives tried to reduce taxes eliminating revenue, and at the same time increase spending on mostly military hardware. The goal was to force the elimination of social programs that benefitted low-income people. They weren’t able to do it under Reagan, but it seems very possible now.

Dec. 07 2010 10:19 AM
Andrew Fitch from Croton-on-Hudson, NY

Obama thinks of himself as a statesman, but this is definitely a capitulation and betrayal not just of his base, but of the country. Along with the Afghanistan escalation and the dereliction on "Don't Ask Don't Tell", he's an utter disappointment. Having worked and voted for Obama, I will support any viable primary challenger in 2012.

Dec. 07 2010 10:19 AM
Vance from NJ

This is ridiculous. Let all tax cuts expire. Its the only way to seriously attack the problem. What we got instead is more debt and a perpetuation of the flawed concept that tax cuts create jobs. Thank you Washington. I see you've learned nothing.

Dec. 07 2010 10:17 AM
Peg from Upstate NY

Spineless Gumby Obama.

Disgusting Cave-in to Right Wing Blackmail.

A WEAK pliable leader, who beds with corporate cronies.

Dec. 07 2010 10:17 AM
Phoebe from NJ

This is a huge disappointment. The case for higher taxes on high-earners was not articulated, and not adequately discussed in the corporate media. It is evident that the Republicans only exist to represent their corporate donors and the top sliver of a % in this country. And Obama does not have the spine to stand up to them. Roll on the Democrat primaries.

Dec. 07 2010 10:17 AM
kathy from NY

Let's see what we haven't paid for: Two Wars, Prescription Drug benefits, Tax Cuts for the Rich.. it is completely sickening -- and who will ultimately pay?? the middle class-- no social security, no medicare & retire when you've go 2 feet in the grave.

Dec. 07 2010 10:17 AM
Carol Jarcho from Upper West Side NYC

I benefit; the country doesn't. The President has betrayed us

Dec. 07 2010 10:16 AM
Sophia from Yonkers

I embrace the President's goals, but I'm saddened by congressional political incompetence. The democrats should have forced Republicans to filibuster middle class tax cuts right up to the last election.

Dec. 07 2010 10:16 AM
Bobby G from East Village

Don't call them the Bush tax cuts anymore. Call them the unpaid for Obama tax cuts now.

Dec. 07 2010 10:16 AM
Christopher Bride from Manhattan

This argument that tax cuts for the richest 5% of the country is false. If tax cuts were such a great idea, where did all the jobs go when Bush cut them before? By supporting the failed policies of the Bush administration, the Republicans have stated loud and clear that they are not interested in Americans doing any better.

Dec. 07 2010 10:15 AM
Yosif from Manhattan

Last straw for me. This president is a weak politician. Borrowing to give benefits to the rich? What a lame compromise. Time for a liberal challenger. He lost his base for good.

Dec. 07 2010 10:15 AM
Benny from LEs

This is insanity Obama has lost us completely. :( I hope Bernie Sanders filibusters this.

I can't believe what he has done. I am shocked and angered beyond belief.

Dec. 07 2010 10:14 AM

So they traded issues instead of compromising. This way, the Republicans get to say taxes didn't go up, the Democrats get to say benefits didn't go down, and the tax-payers have to pay for it all.

Perhaps using $1,000,000 instead of $250,000 for the tax cut cut-off and 70% of the existing unemployment benefits might have been a good compromise.

Dec. 07 2010 10:14 AM

Disappointed, disgusted.

Dec. 07 2010 10:14 AM
Janet O'Connell from Westchester County, NY

I think Obama has drunk the kool-aid. The Bush tax cuts and the failure of supply side economics are what got us into this mess.

Dec. 07 2010 10:14 AM
Dorothy from Chelsea

I'm furious. I voted for Obama reluctantly, primarily b/c he wasn't John McCain. I'm embarrassed by my lack of backbone. Frank Rich spoke for me on Sunday (Stockholm Syndrome) and the online comments on that column are priceless. I found that it does no good to have a Dem president and it does no good to have a Dem legislature in NY. Seriously, I might stop voting at all. Yeah, yeah -- I know the current "wisdom" about how important it is to vote and I think it's baloney.

Dec. 07 2010 10:14 AM
gary from queens

Extending unemployment does not expand the economy, as pelosi and democrat economists claim.

First, extending unemploment coverage extends unemployment, because it increases the premiums on insurance that employers must pay. This is causing them to hire fewer if any new employees.

The second reason is because the only things people on unemployment can afford to pay for is rent and utilities. Money that goes to landlords and Con Edison does not expand the economy or create new businesses that creates new jobs. it doesn't create anything. it just circulates money, through government. government takes it from A and gives it to B.

Oh, it does do one thing. it buys Democrats votes.

Dec. 07 2010 10:13 AM

when the left sat out the last elections they lost their seat at the table

Dec. 07 2010 10:12 AM
What "hard choice"?

So Republicans got tax cuts and Democrats got social spending. How does this help the deficit? This just makes things worse. Obama kicked the can two years farther down the road. When will it end?

Dec. 07 2010 10:11 AM
cwebba1 from Astoria

Vote NO on @Obama's sell-out tax-cut "compromise" capitulation. No tax-cuts for the Super-Rich!

Dec. 07 2010 10:07 AM
Robert from NYC

I am NOT a democrat and most assuredly NOT a re..., NOT a rep..., NOT a repub..., NOT the other party and I think the president betrayed us all. If I were a democrat, I'd insist, demand that the party put up another candidate for president in 2012!!! I have been voting in every election since I was 21 years old (43 years) including off years with only local elections. I will NEVER vote again for anything starting with 2011 elections unless I am sure that I am not being hoodwinked again. No more lobbyist supported candidates.

Dec. 07 2010 10:07 AM
paulb from Prospect Heights

Does the payroll tax cut mean a cut later on in my SS benefit (which will partly be based on what I've paid in).

Dec. 07 2010 10:06 AM

Barack Obama is truly historic. In addition to being the 1st African American President, he’s also America’s1st invertebrate President. He’s the most spineless politician alive. How low will he bow to win approval from McConnell and Boehner?

From the moment Obama became President, he’s been tip-toeing on eggshells and governing with his tail between his legs. Obama isn’t a leader, he’s a groveler, he isn’t a commander in chief, he’s a supplicant in chief. Obama makes Mr. Rogers look like George S. Patton. The presidential seal needs to be revised to reflect Obama’s unprecedented cowardice. The eagle needs to removed and replaced with a jellyfish.

Obama is an unsufferable, nauseating milquetoast and the quintessential 98 pound weakling. Obama is George Costanza 2.0 and he’s a national disgrace.

Dec. 07 2010 10:03 AM
Bobby G from East Village

I don't call it a compromise. I call it a capitulation. As one commenter on the NY Times site said, I didn't know I was voting for a Republican for president in 2008.

Dec. 07 2010 09:59 AM
Daryl from Bronx,NewYork

The problem is because you don't like something or somebody ,you can't compromise !!!!The economy is real!!! This not a game!!!! Those who will argue that shouldn't be a compromise, just thinking about self and not about the whole!!! If compromise don't work,then you can blame The Republicans and The President!!! Question is are we trying to save the country,from going into deeper economic crisis? Now if want to fight? let fight about ending the wars, and changing the tax brackets!!!

Dec. 07 2010 09:39 AM

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