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(27,787 posts)
42. This isn't going to be a problem ... and this is why ...
Mon Jan 7, 2013, 10:18 AM
Jan 2013

Back in the 2010 lame duck, Obama had to extend the Bush tax cuts. As a candidate he had made 2 promises on taxes.

1) Not to raise taxes on those under 250k.
2) End the tax cuts for those in the top 2%, above 250k.

At the end of the 2010 lame duck, if Obama let all the Bus tax cuts expire, he'd have broken promise #1. And the media would have crucified him for doing so. It would have been his "red my lips" moment. They would have played clips of Obama and Bush #1 making that "no new taxes" promise, and then they'd be outraged he broke it. That song would have played endlessly. And Obama would have been a 1 term President.

So Obama extended the tax cuts so they expired at the end of 2012. This was very smart for a number of reasons.

1) He kept promise #1, and seemed to break promise #2. Most Americans would have liked to see taxes go up on those OVER 250k, but they would have been angry if, to get that tax increase, their own taxes would also go up. This was obvious in the polls. Some on DU howled, but it was a smart move. The average American didn't care just so long as their own taxes didn't go up.

2) In the deal Obama got some concessions including the payroll tax holiday and the extensions of UE. Both of these are stimulative. And at the end of 2010, we needed some additional stimulus, and these were helpful. Again, many here on DU howled, concerned about the potential impact on Social Security. In particular, the loudest of those outraged were SURE that the tax holiday (and the Bush tax cuts) would never expire.

By moving the expiration of these to the end of 2012, Obama ensured that HE would get to make the decision of what happened next REGARDLESS of the 2012 election outcome. And then, he kept promise #1, and he also kept about 95% of promise #2 (losing about 5% of promise kept for raising the limit to 400k, which helps some Dems from high income parts of the country). And he allowed the tax holiday to expire (again, something the howlers on DU predicted would become permanent as part of Obama's evil secret plan to kill Social Security).

So now, the GOP is spinning. They claim THEY didn't just vote to raise taxes. They claim they actually voted to lower taxes. And no one believes them. Even Andrea Mitchell, usually spouting right wing talking points, laughed in Grover's face when he tried to claim that the GOP didn't vote to raise taxes.

But we will see some howling from the right ... "Obama raised your taxes 2%!!!!"

Its not going to work because Obama can't run for President again. That was the critical issue in 2010. And its now moot. The media can't juxtapose this event with Bush #1 clips. They really have no way to promote the meme.

Finally, when questioned by a howler about this 2% tax increase, you don't need to go through everything I just described, the response is a rather simple one.

Obama givith, and Obama takith away. In 2010, Obama gave you a temporary 2% cut to help keep the economy keep moving forward, and it has now expired, just as scheduled, just as Obama said it would. It is not a tax increase. Its simply a return to the prior rate from 2010. Which is what Obama said he'd do.

I do expect that Obama will talk about this down the road, but I don't think he needs to rush forward. Better to let the GOP continue to scream about it. A pivot to cabinet positions, gun control, or immigration may provide other more immediate venues in which the GOP can act like angry toddlers prior to the debt ceiling fight.

Their tantrums now overshadow almost any other point they might try to make.

The Republicans wanted the payroll tax increase because it showed Obama raising taxes plethoro Jan 2013 #1
Yeah, and maybe Obama could remind the GOP that Reagan raised taxes 11x, 9x on the middle class. JaneyVee Jan 2013 #2
K&R SunSeeker Jan 2013 #3
Agree he should address the nation about this Freddie Jan 2013 #4
Here's an interesting take on how the Rs are portaying this: 2naSalit Jan 2013 #5
I've had to corrrect a lot of people hfojvt Jan 2013 #6
Roughly as predictable as gravity.. Fumesucker Jan 2013 #7
Oh Really? (O'Rielly get it?) xtraxritical Jan 2013 #15
good idea warrprayer Jan 2013 #8
It was an extremely bad idea that can't be explained in sound bites TheKentuckian Jan 2013 #9
Well here is the bottom line humbled_opinion Jan 2013 #18
We paid more in FICA 10 years ago than we do today. IowaGuy Jan 2013 #10
You did not pay more. former9thward Jan 2013 #19
Obama and Congress gave those who pay payroll taxes a 2-year or so holiday during which JDPriestly Jan 2013 #34
Here is what the poster said: former9thward Jan 2013 #39
I know that I paid the full amount and that President Obama, as part of the most recent stimulus JDPriestly Jan 2013 #40
to bad we couldn't have a discussion about making the 2% permanent and getting even by klyon Jan 2013 #11
WOW your post makes too much sense for some here.... n/t humbled_opinion Jan 2013 #16
+1 NCTraveler Jan 2013 #22
If you makes the 2% permanent, employers would want their shared matched and that would officially plethoro Jan 2013 #30
We should raise the cap. JDPriestly Jan 2013 #35
Media outlets don't explain anything about any of our programs, whether its SS or Medicare or dkf Jan 2013 #12
No. Obama should never have given the holiday in the first place. JDPriestly Jan 2013 #13
He shouldn't have given the holiday abelenkpe Jan 2013 #14
Michael Hudson is, of course, right. But the political will to, for example, fund Social Security JDPriestly Jan 2013 #33
Enjoy your stay; greiner3 Jan 2013 #28
Justifying it might be a lot easier if we didn't still have massive tax breaks for the 1% bread_and_roses Jan 2013 #17
Restoring FICA is the right thing to do... shrdlu Jan 2013 #20
Good and informative post. NCTraveler Jan 2013 #21
Are you aware that RUSH LIMBAUGH used your post on his show? JaneyVee Jan 2013 #36
Yes. Do you have anything to say about the post you are replying to? nt. NCTraveler Jan 2013 #41
Nobody could have seen this coming... hay rick Jan 2013 #23
Too bad others, self included, weren't as astute. shrdlu Jan 2013 #25
Just a few quick points and you may not like them.... OldDem2012 Jan 2013 #24
I wish you the very best of luck in this new year, sir. Your post rings with a certain plethoro Jan 2013 #31
Thanks, and I sincerely hope that YOU become decidedly more optimistic. nt. OldDem2012 Jan 2013 #32
There are ways of having a 4.2% rate for lower wage workers and paying into Social Security. bluestate10 Jan 2013 #38
"Most media outlets are doing nothing to help Americans understand what's really going on," nt patrice Jan 2013 #26
And lost in all of this is the fact that PO apparently didn't think that we NEED to end the holiday. patrice Jan 2013 #27
You're timing couldn't be better..... wandy Jan 2013 #29
Obama still has the upper hand on the debt ceiling and sequestration. bluestate10 Jan 2013 #37
This isn't going to be a problem ... and this is why ... JoePhilly Jan 2013 #42
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