So we should all agree to extend the tax cuts for the middle class. Let's agree to do what we agree on. Right? (Applause.) That’s what compromise is all about.Wha? Isn't a compromise when two sides give up some demands to meet somewhere in the middle? If we do what we agree on, that is not compromise. So what is really going on here?
Let’s not hold the vast majority of Americans and our entire economy hostage while we debate the merits of another tax cut for the wealthy. We can have that debate. (Applause.) We can have that debate, but let's not hold up working on the thing that we already agree on.Republicans aren't opposed to this. So what is he talking about? He could sign a bill that extends the current tax rates for everyone and then 'have the debate' about returning the tax rates for the upper 2% of the taxpayers to what they were under Clinton.
It isn't the Republicans that are going to let the rates expire and move upward. It is Obama. What he is really saying is that 'if you don't do it my way I will not sign it and I will be forced to hold the middle class hostage but it won't be my fault because you didn't do it my way. Do it my way - no hostages. Their way - hostages.'
I guess that's what compromise is all about. Is this just more imperialism? (Strassel, Krauthammer)
He went on:
Let’s not hold the vast majority of Americans and our entire economy hostage while we debate the merits of another tax cut for the wealthy. We can have that debate. (Applause.) We can have that debate, but let's not hold up working on the thing that we already agree on.There is no need to Mr. President. Just extend them and then have the debate.
So my message to Congress is this: Pass a bill extending the tax cuts for the middle class; I will sign it tomorrow. Pass it next week; I’ll sign it next week. Pass it next -- well, you get the idea. (Laughter.)Well, by golly, Sen. Hatch introduced just such an amendment:
As soon as that gets done, we can continue to have a debate about whether it’s a good idea to also extend the tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.
Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) introduced an amendment Tuesday that would extend all the Bush-era tax cuts for another year.So mission accomplished? Set the hostages free? Let the debate begin? Not likely.
Hatch wants to attach the amendment to the Small Business Jobs and Tax Relief Act (S. 2237).
Earlier he noted:
So the money we’re spending on these tax cuts for the wealthy is a major driver of our deficit, a major contributor to our deficit, costing us a trillion dollars over the next decade."The money we're spending"??? Letting people keep more of the money they earned is spending? Doesn't this presume it is the government's money to begin with? Why, when the government takes less of somebody's earnings in taxation, is it called "spending" but when money is taken from some and spent on 'stimulus', food stamps, 90 weeks of unemployment, etc., it is "investment"? Shouldn't he have said that "the money we’re investing on these tax cuts for the wealthy is a major driver of our deficit"?
Aaaand, these rates are "a major driver of our deficit"? $5.170 trillion additional deficit over 3.5 years compared to the possibility* of $1 trillion in additional revenue over 10 years - or $350 billion over 3.5 yrs. Yup. Had it been in place for Obama's entire presidency, it would have reduced the deficit by about 7%. Major contributor all right.
Jay Carney tried to defend the statements:
* This assumes production, a static model, and that incentives don't matter.