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    I Have A Sinking Feeling That We Wuz Had

    I Have A Sinking Feeling That We Wuz Had

    When the “framework” of the tax deal was announced, I wrote that Obama “had a pretty good day.”

    As the details of the actual bill are coming out, it looks like Obama had a great day, Senate tax bill lures Democrats with sweeteners:

    But in the face of loud resistance from Democrats, congressional leaders and the White House agreed to add some sweeteners, including the continuation of a federal tax break for mass transit users, an ethanol tax credit and a grant program for renewable energy developers….

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), in a statement Thursday, endorsed the plan for the first time.

    Charles Krauthammer also points to the bigger problem:

    In the deal struck this week, the president negotiated the biggest stimulus in American history, larger than his $814 billion 2009 stimulus package. It will pump a trillion borrowed Chinese dollars into the U.S. economy over the next two years – which just happen to be the two years of the run-up to the next presidential election. This is a defeat? …

    At great cost that will have to be paid after this newest free lunch, the package will add as much as 1 percent to GDP and lower the unemployment rate by about 1.5 percentage points. That could easily be the difference between victory and defeat in 2012.

    Obama is no fool. While getting Republicans to boost his own reelection chances, he gets them to make a mockery of their newfound, second-chance, post-Bush, Tea-Party, this-time-we’re-serious persona of debt-averse fiscal responsibility.

    I have a sinking feeling we wuz had. 

    Which is why by the time it comes to a vote, Democrats will line up behind Obama, claim that they are falling on their swords in the name of bipartisanship and the middle class, and any Republicans who oppose this bad deal will be the bad guys.

    It’s make-or-break week, and I think it’s beginning to look like break.

    I’m coming around to the view that this Congress needs to be shut down before it can do more damage.  When the cavalry arrives on January 3, all these matters can be dealt with.

    Update:  The comments are way too sparse on this.  Someone tell me I’m wrong.  Please.

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    I just don't get the math. If Bush's tax cuts had cost $350 billion per year, he would have left in '08 with a 2.1 trillion deficit. Instead, it was just under $500 billion until he passed TARP.

    The Republitilians, once again, hung themselves with the rope Obama gave em.

    C. Owen Johnson | December 10, 2010 at 11:26 pm

    wouldn't worry to much. I like Charles Krauthamer most of the time but he gets overwrought. He is unfortunately one of those guys who constantly thinks that whenever the opposition does someone really stupid they are actually playing a really really deep game: "Obama is no fool" — who's he trying to kid? And he seems to think no one but him sees this (and he often correct about that, just as Chicken Little was). So he writes columns to educate the Great UnWashed on things he deems obvious, but the perceived need to do this frustrates him, and this frustration makes him shrill.

    Therefore, put little credit in what he says about the deal. The tax deal is not ideal but that is not important — what is important is that is has fatally fractured the Obama wing, made Obama personally look foolish and impotent (which he is) and it goaded him acting mean-spirited and out-of-control (which he is) before all the World. (Walking out on your own press conference 'cuz you have to go to a Party?!? Unreal… )

    These are the very simple obvious things that the People will remember. So if things improve over the next 2 years, the Republicans will get the credit for it by virtue of appearing to force Obama's hand; Obama blew his chances for making himself look good in this deal by having a tantrum about it and if he tries to play things up over the next two years, he'll look like and idiot (even more like an idiot) every time someone plays that tape.

    If things get worse or stay the same, Obama gets the blame for his semi-caving to Reid and Pelosi that "prevented" the Republicans from doing enough to get things moving in the proper direction.

    In short, Obama's straddle combined with his tantrum and bizarre follow-up behavior means he owns all the downside but cannot take credit for the upside, while losing what remained of his credibility and splitting his party. If Krauthamer didn't have such a deathly fear of good news, he'd see that.

    I offer no prognostications about how this will all work out over the next two years, but I am sure of two things: 1) Obama is toast, 2) it's going to be fun.

    Be of good heart.

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