Thursday, December 09, 2010

Tax cut compromise a great deal -- for billionaires

As I said in my previous post, if you look at the first two rows in Ezra's chart below, the tax cut argument was one that Democrats could have won if they had started this fight months ago instead of waiting until the last possible moment. Then look at the third row and somebody please tell me how this is even a compromise. What exactly do Dems have to point to here that could be considered a win? Hells bells, it would have been a better deal to just extend the cursed Bush tax cuts.

Ezra's take is, "All groups are getting more under this framework, but on an individual level, the wealthy are getting much, much more. The question, at the end of the day, is whether stopping them from getting it is worth cutting benefits for the unemployed, and tax cuts for middle-income Americans, and the Earned Income Tax Credit."

I'm not so sure Ezra isn't overselling the benefits here. The tradeoffs are looking worse to me as well. David Dayen notices that substituting the paltry payroll tax holiday for Making Work Pay tax credits ends up screwing public employees who have already been shafted by the symbolic and counterproductive pay freeze recently announced by our President.

And over at the Wonk Room, they post another chart showing the percentages of "wealthy" versus the unemployed in states represented by Republican Senators. And in this chart wealthy means earnings of $200K or more. Which makes you wonder how on earth these GOPers get elected in the first place, but more to the point, what advantage does this deal have politically for Democrats in 2012? I'm also hearing the UI benefits are only for the newly unemployed. Those who have reached the 99 week mark are still going to be on the street.

I'm back to saying no deal. The big winners here are still the millionaires and billionaires who are getting more than ever. The poor and the working class are shafted either way. Screw it. Let the damn cuts expire and make the GOP own whatever happens next.

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