Isn’t it ironic

Don’t ya think? I’m not usually in so rarely in the position of defending Obama, so I’m sort of detached from this morning’s outrage (my blood pressure’s fine, for a change). Steve Benen came to the same conclusion I did: It’s just not that bad.

Krugman: Not as bad as expected, still not worth it.

Atrios: Deal is much stronger for jobs than anyone expected.

Ezra Klein: Something for everyone, something to annoy everyone. He also says it was a meaningful compromise, a breakthrough of sorts.

Matt Yglesias: The real tax-cut sellout was two years ago.

I was talking to one well-known writer-activist last night who said he thought it was odd that the UI extension was being “shrugged off” by so many. I agree. I think a lot of the online bloggery outrage is being fueled by people who don’t have a visceral understanding of what it’s like to be at the end of your financial rope. (Class matters.)

With this president, with these Republicans, at this time, I think this is approximately as good as it can get. There will be changes before the deal is approved (it would be swell, for instance, if Bernie Sanders held out for the 99ers), but this is about what it’ll look like.

And for the people who can breathe, knowing they can survive for another 13 months, that’s a good thing.

Now let’s see how much better (or worse) our half-assed Congress can make it. The payroll tax holiday? A real sand trap for Social Security. Let’s see how far it gets.

16 thoughts on “Isn’t it ironic

  1. Sheesh.
    This illustrates perfectly how far to the right the ideological framework of our country has been pushed. When self-proclaimed progressives or liberals or whatever can claim that it’s really OK and a positive thing that the government will do the right thing as part of a “compromise.” People are about to run out of money to eat and live and so we say, “Thank you sir! May we have more, please?” Eff that.
    Soon, we’ll be thanking them for allowing us to buy food and clothing!
    Might as well die than continue to vote for the lesser of evils because now we’re reduced to thanking them for necessities?
    Pussies, the lot of you.

  2. You keep settling for as good as you can get and see where that leads. Send me a postcard from that happy place.

  3. Do you really, truly believe he was capable of doing better? Because I don’t. I expect the final product will be better after people like Bernie Sanders have their say.

  4. Economically this deal is as bad as it gets. Trading 13 weeks of UCB for strengthening the Catfood Commission (and the Village and Obama and the whole rightwing war on the working class) on Social Security is like trading your pension for a bottle of Jack because your check doesn’t come until the first of next month.

    Enjoy the high.

    Politically…well, let’s just say that Obama met everyone’s expectations. Especially those of us who will get behind any credible primary challenger, and sit out the election if Obama is the nominee. A Trojan horse is much worse than no horse.

    Ezra is full of shit, as usual. Krugman is still trying to make lemonade, but his op-ed yesterday gave his real perspective: No deal is the best deal. Your really have to cherry-pick Atrios to get your quote.

    Atrios: “The great thing about doing it (extending the tax cuts) is that even as our press tends to ignore the tax cute/deficit relationship right now, as soon as it passes Obama will own the massively increased deficit, while the GOP will take credit for the tax cuts. They’re the Bush tax cuts after all.”

    Atrios: “re “…general revenue will cover the lost revenue to the Social Security Trust Fund.”
    “I think this is just a way to hasten the Social Security shortfall. No one was buying that Social Security was in dire straights 20-30 years down the road. Saying it is going to have a shortfall in 10 years might get people’s attention and their willingness to “save” Social Security.”

    One term.

  5. “13 MONTHS. Big difference.” Sorry. Temporary brain lesion caused by boiling gray matter. So you got a 2 litre bottle instead of a pint.

    Felix Salmon: “This is clearly a win for the Republicans, who get everything they want for the rich. … Meanwhile, all the Congressional opposition to this deal is going to come from Democrats, who are basically being asked to sign off on exactly the same bill that George W Bush would have asked for, with a spoonful of unemployment-benefit sugar to help the medicine go down. …”

    Mark Thoma: “That endangers Social Security funding — relying on general revenue transfers sets the system up for cuts down the road — and for that reason I would have preferred that this be enacted in a way that produces the same outcome, but has different political optics. That is, leave the payroll tax at 6% on the books and keep sending the money to Social Security, and fund a 2% tax “rebate” out of general revenues. The rebate would come, technically, as a payment from general revenues rather than through a cut in the payroll tax, but in the end the effect would be identical. But the technicality is important since it preserves the existing funding mechanism for Social Security even if the taxes are permanently extended.”

  6. I’ll ask you the same thing I asked Brendan: Do you think this president, with these Republicans, really could do better?

    Not to mention, the unemployment deal had to be made this minute.

    No offense to Felix Salmon, but when was the last time he had to go to a food pantry?

  7. Good point. I could carve a better president out of a banana. (KV) You got that one right. But Hillary has taken herself out of contention. Nancy?

  8. “I’ll ask you the same thing I asked Brendan: Do you think this president, with these Republicans, really could do better?”
    Oh yes.
    Let the cuts expire AND let the rethugs face the consequences of not extending UI benefits.
    This is just as painful to watch as the Bush presidency, if not worse — we didn’t EXPECT Bush to give a shit about us. This Obama character is going to learn about betrayal in 2012.

  9. IF we have to give the rich additional tax cuts (stop calling them “middle class tax cuts” — the rich are getting those tax cuts too. The issue is whether wealthy should have additional tax cuts on the amount they make that is over $250,000), to get those urgently-needed UI extensions, then why couldn’t we also get some additional things thrown in: START, DREAM, votes on judicial nominations. And even though the UI extension is critically needed, even that is not enough. There is no way we create enough jobs to get everyone back on their feet in 13 months. And the chances of getting UI extended in 13 months are near zero. So why didn’t we fight for more? One meeting with Republicans and the President makes a deal?!? Did he work to get his Congressional leaders on board before he agreed to it? I’m ready for a primary challenger.

  10. This is not yet a done deal; despite my frustration at the announcement of the deal, I am looking forward to the details of the bill or bills actually introduced in Congress.

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