Friday, December 03, 2010
No Matter What You Do, at Least 10% Never Get It
Democrats are understandably -- and largely justified in being -- frustrated that they lost an election based on Republicans defending tax cuts for the wealthy that are only expiring because of a budget gimmick championed by George Bush -- and based on criticism of their apparent lack of concern over the deficit, by a party that has shown no past or current seriousness about deficit reduction and the hard choices involved. Losing those political fights was as inexplicable as it was hard for the Democrats. Maybe that's why Thursday seemed to have donkeys melting down all over the place.
Where to begin? The Democrats are understandably and largely justified in being frustrated at losing huge in an historic thumping/shellacking because the Republicans refused to take the Democratic line and join the class warfare against the successful (i.e. high earners)? The Democrats are largely justified in their frustration that class warfare didn't work? This is denial on a near epic scale. As if the current tax rates were a big deal in the latest election. It was the terrible borrowing and spending, and a general disgust with the administration's incompetence, and the inability of the White House to focus on things that actually mattered that caused the 63 and 6 seat gain in the Houses and the Senate respectively.
But the next line is a doozy. The tax rate cuts, that is, the current tax rates (7 and 9 years old now) are expiring because the Republicans wanted them to be temporary. Are you freakin' kidding me? Actual history would tell us that the Democrats opposed any tax rate cuts and the only way to get them into law was to do so with an expiration date. It was Democrats who championed the gimmick which put an automatic and substantial bump in the tax rates in just under a month. You'ld think someone as talented as Mr. Halprin would know recent history better.
Then there is the clueless next big thought: The Republicans didn't deserve to win on voters' disgust with unsustainable spending and borrowing, because the Republicans overspent and borrowed in the recent past. Grow up! There is more than a mere quantitative difference between 400 Billion deficit spending and 1.4 Trillion deficit spending. Even grade school kids know that "The other kids did it too" doesn't cut it when you're facing your parents' wrath for misbehavior. Did Halperin skip that part of childhood?
Inexplicable, is it, that the voters would punish the Democrats for permanently tripling the worst of the Bush Administration deficit? It's only inexplicable to someone afflicted with partisan blinders.
Anyway, to say it again:
Where does the $800 billion bank bailout factor into your republican spending figures?
And also, I found the roundtable article you mentioned with your dismissal of Matt Taibbi. While I admit that things did get pretty heated, you can hardly blame Taibbi for that. The format of the discussion left no room for anyone to say anything more than the canned pundit B.S. that they'd already prepared, so when Taibbi tried to argue it, he only got past the first part of him calling one of the speakers out before they moved on to the next topic.
Anyway, he has a blog post about it, if you want to check it out:
There are those who think the bail out of the banks was necessary to stop a collapse with worse and far reaching negative consequences. I'm not convinced. That's my take on what occurred at the end of the Bush Administration. I guess I'm not following your question.