I wrote about what I think about the extension of the tax cuts & unemployment issue earlier. My reaction leaned toward somewhere between “meh” and “what’s a brother supposed to do – let a bunch of other brothers & sisters starve?” However, I thought it would be useful to highlight a couple of other opinions on this.

From Field Negro:

I swear, every time I see that little weasel, Mitch McConnell, I want to take a pitch fork to his dome. (I am speaking metaphorically so save your damn e-mails.) I love you Claire McCaskill, let’s raise our pitchforks together. These wingnuts can try to spin this tax brake for wealthy folks anyway they want to, it’s still a tax break for folks who don’t need it, and it will cost us money, damn it! I thought that they wanted to reduce the deficit.

And now, to add insult to injury, “the One” has decided to go ahead and cut a deal with the weasels of Washington. Wingnuts are crying a river, and they claim that raising taxes during tough times for any A-merry-can would be wrong. Bulls^%t! Not raising taxes for high end wage earners will cost us more than the extended unemployment benefits and the payroll tax cuts combined. His O ness wanted those things in his little deal with the devils. Not enough! -BTW, I am writing this as someone who would be hurt more than many of you reading this by these cuts, so I come to this debate from a position of moral rectitude.

[...]

Still, I am glad to hear that hard working folks who lost their jobs and now depend on their unemployment benefits might be spared. Folks like Felicia Robbins might still have a happy holiday. You know who won’t have a happy holiday? Folks like yours truly who are sick and tired of seeing the weasels in Washington get over on hard working people.

I know what I want from Santa this Christmas: a nice pitchfork.

From BrooklynBadBoy at DKos:

Q: So, you want to just eliminate the Bush tax cuts?

A: I want to eliminate the Bush tax cuts.

May 11, 2008

As President Obama allied with the GOP to pass a new round of the Bush tax cuts, its important to remember his position on Social Security. Remember how this Bush tax cut re-do played out and keep that in mind when the time comes for President Obama to deal with Social Security.

OBAMA: We’re going to have to capture some revenue in order to stabilize the Social Security system. You can’t get something for nothing. And if we care about Social Security, which I do, and if we are firm in our commitment to make sure that it’s going to be there for the next generation, and not just for our generation, then we have an obligation to figure out how to stabilize the system. I think we should be honest in presenting our ideas in terms of how we’re going to do that and not just say that we’re going to form a commission and try to solve the problem some other way.

He formed a commission.

OBAMA: What I have proposed is that we raise the cap on the payroll tax, because right now millionaires and billionaires don’t have to pay beyond $97,000 a year. Now most firefighters & teachers, they’re not making over $100,000 a year. In fact, only 6% of the population does. And I’ve also said that I’d be willing to look at exempting people who are making slightly above that.

Q: But that’s a tax on people under $250,000.

OBAMA: That’s why I would look at potentially exempting those who are in between. This is an option that I would strongly consider, because the alternatives, like raising the retirement age, or cutting benefits, or raising the payroll tax on everybody, including people making less than $97,000 a year–those are not good policy options.

His commission proposed the very options he said were “not good.”

What we need to do is to raise the cap on the payroll tax so that wealthy individuals are paying a little bit more into the system, if we are going to deal with this problem specifically. Right now, somebody like Warren Buffet pays a fraction of 1 percent of his income in payroll tax, whereas the majority of the audience here pays payroll tax on 100 percent of their income. I’ve said that was not fair.

That’s his official position as of today. Of course, we are not in the “bipartisan negotiations” phase yet. This is no different from “we can’t afford more tax cuts for the wealthy.”

“I have been adamant that Social Security should not be privatized, and it will not be privatized as long as I am president,” he added.

Remember that. If you think this president is going let anyone destroy Social Security without a fight, brother…..

Right wing commentators such as Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck remained surprisingly quiet about the deal Monday, presuming, seemingly, that Monday night was one night not to give Obama a bashing.

Kumbaya.

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