Thom's blog - Tuesday December 14th, 2010

You need to know this. President Obama’s tax cut deal leaped over its first hurdle in the Senate yesterday – setting up final passage of the package tomorrow. In the first procedural vote – 9 Democrats and 5 Republicans stood opposed to the deal including Senators Bernie Sanders – Sherrod Brown – and Russ Feingold. Now in the House – there is still strong opposition to the package as it stands. The two most controversial points of the bill are cuts in the estate tax and cuts in the Social Security payroll tax. A new poll by ABC and the Washington Post shows that 57% of Americans oppose the Social Security payroll tax – as it is a threat to the solvency of the crucial American safety net. But the tax package overall has fairly broad support – with 69% of the population favoring it. So it appears as though President Obama’s political calculation to compromise may have paid off. But – there is no reason to believe those high levels of support will change in two years – when the President has promised to repeal the tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires. This Faustian deal made by Obama in the short-term may cost the Democrats their message - and their control of the Senate and the White House - in in the long term.

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