Read my lips

John Fund in the WSJ.

A bitter fight has broken out between President Obama and Congressional liberals over the White House’s decision to extend tax cuts for upper-income brackets.

But Mr. Obama may have underestimated the potential damage of his about-face on extending the tax cuts. The 2008 campaign featured three Democratic front-runners — Mr. Obama, Hillary Clinton and John Edwards — and all solemnly pledged to end the Bush tax cuts for the richest Americans. Mr. Obama repeated his pledge after he won the nomination. “We are going to roll back the Bush tax cuts on the wealthiest Americans, those making more than $250,000 a year,” he told an audience in Lake Worth, Fla., just two weeks before the election.

“Obama has no historical perspective and forgets what breaking a basic tenet of one’s party can do to a president,” one prominent liberal said. “Breaking his ‘no new taxes’ pledge in the 1990s cost George H.W. Bush the affection of his party, encouraged a right-wing primary challenge from Pat Buchanan and damaged Bush in the general election.” He said the White House should fear that similar reactions may now damage Mr. Obama.

Karl Rove in the WSJ.

So far the White House hasn’t inspired confidence. Mr. Obama’s Tuesday press conference, in which he compared Republicans to “hostage-takers” and accused liberal Democrats of being “sanctimonious,” offended everyone. He has a huge amount riding on this compromise, so he has to do better.

Mr. Obama’s advisers are reportedly warning Democrats that allowing taxes to rise may cause a double-dip recession. The president can also warn them that it’ll be worse to settle this issue after Republicans take over the House in January.

If he fails, taxes will go up for every American on Jan. 1. If that happens, the new Congress would likely rectify the situation within days after being sworn in. The political damage to Mr. Obama would not be undone nearly as quickly. Failure to pass the tax compromise would make the president appear impotent. Confidence among Democrats would collapse. And there would be more challenges to Mr. Obama’s leadership from within his own party, perhaps even in the 2012 primaries.

Dan Mitchell of the Cato Institute.

Compared to ideal policy, the deal announced last night between congressional Republicans and President Obama is terrible.

Compared to what I expected to happen, the deal announced last night is pretty good.

To conclude, I’m not sure if this is good, bad, or ugly, but we get to do this all over again in 2012.

2012 is an election year in the US – depending on how that works out, we might be looking at a lame duck Senate and lame duck President hammering out a tax deal.

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9 Responses to Read my lips

  1. C.L.

    The worst president since Carter, no question.

    Angry sportcaster and Democrat Party icon, Keith Olbermann, suggests Obama may well be de-nominated in 2012.

  2. C.L.

    Great point at the Huffington Post:

    But this deal crystallizes the new reality of this year — which is not only that the GOP is on the rampage but that the Dems have fallen out of love with their ostensible hero.

    Even if there is no democratic challenger to Obama, he is in grave danger of Carterization.

    Consider this: if the economy improves over the next two years, it will in part be “because” of the Bush tax cuts! And if it doesn’t, it will be because of the Bush tax cuts that became the Obama tax cuts!

    But this deal crystallizes the new reality of this year — which is not only that the GOP is on the rampage but that the Dems have fallen out of love with their ostensible hero.

    Even if there is no democratic challenger to Obama, he is in grave danger of Carterization.

    Consider this: if the economy improves over the next two years, it will in part be “because” of the Bush tax cuts! And if it doesn’t, it will be because of the Bush tax cuts that became the Obama tax cuts!

    But this deal crystallizes the new reality of this year — which is not only that the GOP is on the rampage but that the Dems have fallen out of love with their ostensible hero.

    Even if there is no democratic challenger to Obama, he is in grave danger of Carterization.

    Consider this: if the economy improves over the next two years, it will in part be “because” of the Bush tax cuts! And if it doesn’t, it will be because of the Bush tax cuts that became the Obama tax cuts!

    But this deal crystallizes the new reality of this year — which is not only that the GOP is on the rampage but that the Dems have fallen out of love with their ostensible hero.

    Even if there is no democratic challenger to Obama, he is in grave danger of Carterization.

    Consider this: if the economy improves over the next two years, it will in part be “because” of the Bush tax cuts! And if it doesn’t, it will be because of the Bush tax cuts that became the Obama tax cuts!

    Bush poised for another victory!

    No wonder he’s outpolling Obama.

  3. C.L.

    Yikes. Sinclair. Please post following HTML-correct version.

    ——————–

    Great point at the Huffington Post:

    But this deal crystallizes the new reality of this year — which is not only that the GOP is on the rampage but that the Dems have fallen out of love with their ostensible hero.

    Even if there is no democratic challenger to Obama, he is in grave danger of Carterization.

    Consider this: if the economy improves over the next two years, it will in part be “because” of the Bush tax cuts! And if it doesn’t, it will be because of the Bush tax cuts that became the Obama tax cuts!

    Bush poised for another victory!

    No wonder he’s outpolling Obama.

  4. daddy dave

    Angry sportcaster and Democrat Party icon, Keith Olbermann, suggests Obama may well be de-nominated in 2012.

    FWIW, I’ve been predicting that for about a year now.

  5. C.L.

    If you’ve lost Olbermann, you’ve lost the beserk part of America. And that’s the Democrat Party’s base.

  6. Keith

    Slightly off topic, but I happened to notice a report that Ron Paul expects to be named Chairman of the Monetary Policy Subcommittee.
    Another indicator that the political wind is blowing directly in BO’s teeth.

  7. .

    What would Tillman sum this up as?

    Legislative success!

    TIllman you’re a smart, affable guy but your opposition at any cost to your rival faction is apeing Abbot or C.L. It’s not your style.

  8. jtfsoon

    I don’t know why libertarians think that politicising the Fed is a good idea. Ron Paul may be a hard money guy but the problem is the majority of the public aren’t and once you start the process of supposedly ‘opening up’ the Fed to political pressures, what this will mean in practice is social credit nonsense.

  9. C.L.

    What a gratuitously trollish and dumb comment, Dot. I don’t support my “rival faction” at any cost at all. Never have. If Tony Abbott or the GOP do something that’s antagonistic to my worldview, they will and do get chopped by me without a second thought.

    On the other hand, Tillman always and everywhere supports Obama and the Democrat Party – no matter what.

    So it is his style but it isn’t mine.

    Which means your comment is pretty silly.

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