Home > Uncategorized > John Nichols – If Obama Will Not Fight for Fair Taxes and Fiscal Stability, What Will He Fight For?

John Nichols – If Obama Will Not Fight for Fair Taxes and Fiscal Stability, What Will He Fight For?

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If Obama Will Not Fight for Fair Taxes and Fiscal Stability, What Will He Fight For?

by John Nichols

When Barack Obama walked out of last week’s meeting with Mitch McConnell and John Boehner and started talking about developing a “productive” working relationship with Republican congressional leaders who have sworn the political equivalent of a blood oath to destroy his presidency, it was clear that the president planned to abandon his many years of advocacy for ending Bush-era tax breaks for millionaires.

Now, with the  lame-duck session of a Congress still entirely controlled by Democrats races toward a earlier-than-expected conclusion, the deal is being cut.

Obama’s representatives-Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and White House budget director Jack Lew-have reportedly entered the final stages of a negotiation with the Republican team of  Arizona Senator Jon Kyl and Michigan Congressman Dave Camp to extend all Bush tax cuts for for at least two years.

In return, federal unemployment benefits will be extended for up to one year.

The only remaining sticking point has to do with the question of whether to offer a small tax credit for working Americans-the “Make Work Pay” provision-and a tax credit for students, both of which were developed as part of the 2009 economic stimulus package. Remarkably, Republican negotiators who are going to the mat to defend $140 billion in tax breaks for the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans are objecting to maintaining $70 million in tax credits for the other 98 percent.

This negotiation is not headed toward a compromise. It is headed toward a complete capitulation.

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