Monday, November 8, 2010

The Only Way To Win Is To Change The Game

Because as Adam Serwer points out, Republicans win no matter what Obama does on the Bush tax cuts.

Republicans win if the Bush tax cuts get made permanent, and they win if the tax cuts expire. If its the former, Republicans get their preferred policy option. If it's the latter, they get to accuse Obama of raising taxes. The way the White House really loses politically is if the tax cuts simply expire, since even if the White House capitulates to Republicans on making all the tax cuts permanent the administration gets to claim they worked with Republicans to cut taxes.

But because Republicans win either way, they have no incentive to compromise, and can simply hold out for whatever they want. The more willing to negotiate the White House appears, the more likely Republicans are to move the goal posts. As with health-care reform, Republicans are left with the stronger negotiating position because they're willing to shoot the hostage. The deficit doesn't matter, and even preserving tax cuts for the wealthy comes second to the Republicans' primary goal, which is to destroy the president.

So yes, if the Bush tax cuts expire, they will hammer Obama for it until he's gone.  The only way Obama wins this game is to change the game completely, that is to continue his attacks by saying now that Republicans plan to shoot this hostage as Serwer puts it and are willing to raise taxes on 98% of America in order to keep tax cuts on the richest 2%.

That of course would mean Obama would have a different and more effective White House messaging shop, one that calls the GOP out on its economic extortion and does it repeatedly.

That of course is not going to happen.


Anonymous said...

Has it occurred to you that a compromise that extending them through this recession would actually be good for the economy?

How does making the wealthy pay more taxes create a single job?

Anonymous said...

And let me clarify before your goon squad shows up. How does making the wealthy pay more taxes create a single private sector job?

Zandar said...

The wealthy pay more taxes. There is more revenue to provide services like...

Job training, public transportation to get to the job, libraries to research and apply online from, roads and rail to carry workers, to pay for incentives and campaigns to attract businesses to the area, to fund schools and universities to educate workers to have a more knowledgeable worker base, programs to help small businesses become more successful so they can hire more workers, and all the public sector jobs that tax money creates, well those wages are used by the people to buy goods and services from private sector companies, creating demand...creating more jobs for the private sector.

That's just off the top of my head.

Anonymous said...

You're forgetting all the jobs lost when the small business owner has to pay additional taxes and goes from a profit to a loss under the higher tax rate and he or she has to trim the work force.

You're forgetting all the jobs lost when the wealthy see that they will bear the new tax burden in society and then refuse to invest as a result, because the more income they earn, the more is taken by the government.

Your scenario cannot create private sector jobs by definition. At best, you will create as many jobs as you destroy, and that is in a perfect world. In reality, tax increases on the wealthy will most likely add another couple of points to the unemployment rate.

Who raises taxes in an economy this weak? If your scenario is even remotely feasible, why did Obama give nearly everyone a payroll tax credit?

Or are you going to admit the stimulus failed and that you don't know a damn thing about real economics of running a business?

anonymouse said...

i am neither a goon nor part of any squad.

you're an idiot, though i imagine you're thankful for finding a blog whose proprietor actually wastes time arguing with you. shock us one day and post something we haven't already heard from every other conservative moron on earth.

Randall said...

If lower taxes on rich folks creates jobs - then where are the jobs? They got the tax cuts now and have had them for seven years. So where are all the jobs that lower taxes create?

If you have a small business and marginal tax rates on personal income will affect your business? You, or your accountant, are an idiot. (hint: stop using your checkbook to fund your business and incorporate.)

What Democrats, and President Obama in particular, need to explain to everybody - especially folks like Anonymous 10:41 is that:

If you only make $8,375 ($16,750 married filing jointly) you get a tax break.
If you make $35,000 ($68,000 jointly) you get the first tax break AND another one.
You make $82,400 (137,300) both previous tax breaks, plus another one...
$171,850 (209,250) you get all the previous tax breaks PLUS another one.
And the richest 2% of Americans get ALL OF THE PREVIOUS TAX BREAKS AS WELL - but they're greedy bastards and want MORE than the rest of us. They think they've EARNED even MORE, although they already take home more than most of the entire world - they still think they deserve another tax break.

Let me reiterate that last point, because the Republicans and Fox News make it sound like the rich are getting screwed out of any tax breaks, but that's just not true:

The rich get every tax break everyone else gets ...and they still think they deserve one more.

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