I had been relatively sanguine about deficit spending because I anticipated: a) an economic recovery; and b) expiration of the ill-advised Bush tax cuts. Obviously I’m an idiot. Obama and the GOP have struck a deal whereby the tax cuts would be extended and Congress would allow for an additional 13 months of unemployment benefits. They’re calling these things “temporary;” Mr. Obama says that *next time* he’ll fight extension of tax cuts for the rich, but we’re in Lucy-with-the-football territory here. That’s not going to happen.
If Mr. Obama thinks I’m being sanctimonious by calling this a horrible idea, then, with respect, bite me Mr. President. Call their bluff. See if they’re really willing to raise taxes on huge majorities to protect the interests of the wealthy. Push a new tax plan, maybe get credit for your own tax cuts. As it is, Bush continues to get credit for tax cuts, Obama gets blamed for the deficit.
I suppose I am insufficiently compassionate for the unemployed and for millionaires, but my suspicion is that my economic prospects would be better if I lost whatever tax benefits I receive under the Bush versus the Clinton era tax structure and, in return, the money lost on this deal was available to reduce the deficit, pay down the debt, or other purposes. At least the Depression era public works projects gave us tangible infrastructure we still use today. To me, this just looks like another squeeze on the middle class for the benefit of the rich and the poor.