Posted on | December 9, 2010 | 9 Comments
Here’s the situation: In order to get the deal, Obama needs Republican votes in the Senate. If the Senate GOP filibusters, there’s no deal. But the House Democrats don’t give a damn:
House Democrats have passed a resolution saying they’ll reject President Obama’s tax deal with Republicans. . . .
The House Democratic Caucus passed a resolution by voice vote saying members will vote against Obama’s tax deal in its current form. . . .
“If it’s take it or leave it, we’ll leave it,” said liberal Rep. Lloyd Doggett of Texas.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., issued a statement saying House Democrats will continue to work with Obama and the GOP “to improve the proposal before it comes to the House floor for a vote.” . . .
Meanwhile, a group of 53 House Democrats led by Vermont’s Peter Welch sent a letter to Pelosi and urged her to hold their ground against the White House. The letter called the deal “fiscally irresponsible” and “grossly unfair.” . . .
UPDATE: Text of Welch’s letter to Pelosi:
Dear Madam Speaker,
We oppose acceding to Republican demands to extend the Bush tax cuts to millionaires and billionaires for two reasons.
First, it is fiscally irresponsible. Adding more than $900 billion to our national debt, as this proposal would do, handcuffs our ability to offer a balanced plan to achieve fiscal stability without a punishing effect on our current commitments, including Social Security and Medicare.
Second, it is grossly unfair. This proposal will hurt, not help, the majority of Americans in the middle class and those working hard to get there. Even as Republicans seek to add billions more to our national debt in tax cuts to the wealthy, they oppose extending unemployment benefits to workers and resist COLA increases to seniors.
Without a doubt, the very same people who support this addition to our debt will oppose raising the debt ceiling to pay for it.
We support extending tax cuts in full to 98 percent of American taxpayers, as the President initially proposed. He should not back down. Nor should we.
Member of Congress
Looking at the list of more than 50 House Democrats who signed the Welch letter, I see several names — including Paul Kanjorski, Jim Oberstar and Alan Grayson — of Democrats who got beat in the mid-term election. Their careers are over and so they’ve got a political free-pass for these lame ducks to take a stand on “principle,” possibly resulting in a no-deal meltdown that results in Americans paying higher taxes next year. And maybe, as Larry Summer warns, pushing the economy into a double-dip recession.
Because of hate.
Liberals hate rich people, and they don’t care if the rest of us suffer, just so they get to inflict some pain on the rich.
UPDATE II: From CNN:
Defying President Obama, House Democrats voted Thursday not to bring up the tax package that he negotiated with Republicans in its current form.
“This message today is very simple: That in the form that it was negotiated, it is not acceptable to the House Democratic caucus. It’s as simple as that,” said Democratic Congressman Chris Van Hollen.
Remember that Van Hollen is the outgoing chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and is therefore the architect of the “shellacking” that gave Democrats their worst mid-term beating since 1938. Obviously, this is a guy with a gut instinct for stupid political stunts.
WHY ARE [DEMOCRATS] HOLDING THE AMERICAN MIDDLE CLASS HOSTAGE?!
Allahpundit: “As humiliating as it is to have his own caucus flip him the bird, though, I’m not sure this is so terrible for The One. It depends on whether Pelosi follows the caucus’s wishes and refuses to bring the deal to the floor or whether, as the Daily Caller claims, this is a symbolic gesture by House progressives aimed at showing Obama how badly they want changes.”
UPDATE III: Da Tech Guy: “Democrats shoot themselves in the foot! Reject Deal!” And from Pundette: “Brace yourself for the biggest presidential tantrum ever.”
UPDATE IV: The root of the problem here is that House Democrats — apparently even some that got beat Nov. 2 — still haven’t mentally processed the overwhelming scale of their electoral catastrophe. How bad was it? So bad that black Democrats in Georgia are switching to the GOP:
Hall County Commissioner Ashley Bell . . . today announced his decision to join with the Republican Party of Georgia, making him the known first African-American elected official in Georgia to leave the Democratic Party.
“After consulting with family my conscience leads me to determine that the Democratic Party is no longer aligned with my core beliefs,” Bell said. “In short, my personal convictions and conservative beliefs fit comfortably within the Republican Party. That’s why I have made my decision to officially become a Republican.”
That’s freaking huge.
UPDATE V: Ezra Klein’s got a chart justifying liberals’ class-warfare opposition to “tax cuts for the rich.” What liberals don’t seem to grasp is what a lot of Americans — maybe not a majority, but a lot of people — recognized as true when they first heard it said by Ronald Reagan: “No poor man ever gave me a job.”
It’s just a fact that “rich” people (more specificially, those whom we may call the “investor class”) are ultimately the people who sign the paychecks and create economic growth. As I explained in a May 2009 American Spectator column, the fundamental problem in our current economic climate is a capital shortage, and you can’t make capitalism work without capital.
Partisan demagoguery about “tax cuts for the rich” — the rhetorical trick by which Klein and his liberal friends advocate a tax increase on the investor class — ignores this inescapable economic reality.
Appealing to envy, through repeated assertions that “the rich” are somehow getting a special favor if you don’t increase their tax rate, may make liberals feel good about themselves, but feeling good about yourself is a poor substitute for effective policy. If punitive policies toward “the rich” could create economic growth, wouldn’t Zimbabwe be one of the world’s leading economies?
UPDATE VI: Philip Klein at The American Spectator: “Democrats were always going to be hard-pressed to pass the DREAM Act, repeal ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell,’ and address the tax issue in the lame duck Congress, and now it seems that they’re running into problems on all fronts.” Yeah. Nancy Pelosi had two years to repeal DADT and pass the DREAM Act, so why didn’t she bring those issues to a vote before the election, huh?