In an address from the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, President Barack Obama said he would rather compromise than fight. So he announced a “framework for a bipartisan agreement” that includes a two-year extension of tax cuts for the “wealthiest Americans and the wealthiest estates”:
Sympathetic as I am to those who prefer a fight over compromise, as much as the political wisdom may dictate fighting over solving problems, it would be the wrong thing to do. The American people didn’t send us here to wage symbolic battles or win symbolic victories. They would much rather have the comfort of knowing that when they open their first paycheck on January of 2011, it won’t be smaller than it was before, all because Washington decided they preferred to have a fight and failed to act.
The White House has released a “Fact Sheet on the Framework Agreement on Middle Class Tax Cuts and Unemployment.”
I normally don’t watch MSNBC, but I wanted to hear how progressives reacted to the extension of the Bush tax cuts. The guests were angry, disgusted, unhappy and furious. The host, Ed Schulz, was apoplectic.
Schulz characterized the tax deal as “a capitulation to the base. Republicans got damn near everything they wanted.”
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders threatened a filibuster. Sanders told Schultz he will “hold tough, hold firm and not concede to Republicans.” He vowed to “do whatever I can to see that 60 votes are not acquired to pass this piece of legislation.”
Rep. Keith Ellison, incoming co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, was also a guest. Ellison said:
The Progressive Caucus is full of members who demand economic justice…We’re full of fight…In legislating you sometimes have to make compromises. The question is: Is this the right one?
My gut level reaction is anger…Why are we adding $700 billion to the deficit at the time people are talking about reducing the deficit.
The deal was struck between Obama and Republican congressional leaders. The question now becomes: Will Democrats go along?