tax cuts, Don't Ask Don't Tell
Mood: hopeful
Posted on 2010-12-08 14:02:00
Tags: activism gay politics
Words: 239

President Obama cut a deal with the Republicans to extend all of the Bush tax cuts for two years (the Democrats had wanted to just extend the ones on the first $250K of income). In return, he got extending unemployment insurance for 13 months, cutting the payroll tax (a regressive tax) by 2% in 2011, boosts to some various tax credits that generally help low income families (Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, a credit for college tuition). Here are the details.

I understand how some people feel that this is terrible messaging on the part of Obama - the tax cuts above $250K affect the richest 2% of Americans, and they're generally not stimulative. But I think he got a decent deal given the hand that he was given, and the fact that Republicans were going to filibuster extending the tax cuts if they only covered income under $250K. From the Atlantic: 5 Ways to Look at Obama's Grand Bargain (which makes the point that a lot of these cuts will be stimulative) and A Good Deal for Democrats on Tax Cuts (admittedly written by a Republican).


Word on the street is that Don't Ask Don't Tell may come up for a vote tonight in the Senate to try to break the filibuster. Here's a list of swing Senators - please contact yours if he/she is on this list! You can follow along with coverage at AMERICABlog Gay today.


Comment from djedi:

Yeah, given everything democrats got out of it, I'd say it was an acceptable compromise.

Comment from gregstoll:

I read that the House Democrats didn't support the compromise, but it probably has enough votes to pass anyway? Politics is so confusing...

Comment from brittongregory:

Just the fact that there was a compromise, rather than one side shutting down the other, leaves me hopeful. I still think extending the tax cuts to incomes above $250K is a horrible idea, but I'm willing to support some give-and-take.

Comment from brittongregory:

Oh -- and do you have some links to back up "they're generally not stimulative"? To me, that's the crux of the argument, and I'd like to see the research (on both sides, if it exists).

Comment from gregstoll:

No links in particular (except the offhand mentioning in the Atlantic article), but my impression is that taxes on income over $250K really don't affect things too much - generally people making that much money aren't so sensitive to changes in take-home pay over that. Surely this has been studied somewhere... :-)

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