The U.S. House of Representatives has passed a bill cutting taxes for the portion of a household’s income that is less than $250,000. However, the minority Senate Republicans have promised to filibuster the measure because, if the very wealthy don’t get to keep more of their income in excess of $250,000, apparently the rest of us can go pound sand.
And, it’s not like we’re talking about Nixon or Eisenhower era levels of taxation; it would be a return to Clinton-era tax levels. As I recall, people were doing fairly well through that period. Given the expense of the tax cuts for the wealthy, it’s pretty clear that the posturing on the deficit by those calling for extending tax cuts for income above $250k is just for show.
A couple of other items – I found it remarkable that Republicans were complaining that this hurt the spirit of bipartisanship; a spirit, that near as I can see, has been dead and buried since Obama took office; perhaps since sometime during Dubya’s first term. We saw that Obama’s misguided efforts at bipartisanship during the healthcare debate got him exactly nowhere.
The article also notes Obama’s tendency to bid against himself in negotiations. He gives up stuff as a gesture of good will without demanding concessions in return. I think pretty much any negotiator would tell you that all this does is move the mid-point of a potential settlement in favor of your adversary. At least that’s been my experience in negotiating settlements in civil suits.
There is also a prisoner’s dilemma dynamic going on in D.C. these days. If both sides are “good,” both get rewarded a little. If both sides are “bad,” then both get penalized a little bit. But, if one side is “good” and the other side is “bad,” then the bad side gets rewarded a lot and the good side gets penalized a lot. Obama extending his hand to people who routinely smack it away just makes him look like a chump. The rational way to play the game is to be nice at first, but if the other guy pounds you, you pound him back until he starts playing nice, then you play nice too.