The Huffington Post: White House Gives in On Bush Tax Cuts
President Barack Obama’s top adviser suggested to The Huffington Post late Wednesday that the administration is ready to accept an across-the-board, temporary continuation of steep Bush-era tax cuts, including those for the wealthiest taxpayers.
That appears to be the only way, said David Axelrod, that middle-class taxpayers can keep their tax cuts, given the legislative and political realities facing Obama in the aftermath of last week’s electoral defeat.
“We have to deal with the world as we find it,” Axelrod said during an unusually candid and reflective 90-minute interview in his office, steps away from the Oval Office. “The world of what it takes to get this done.”
Obviously, given the level of confusion–Katy O’Donnell at the National Journal is reporting that Axelrod is denying what he previously confirmed–it can be expected that the Obama White House is pretty conflicted about the whole thing.
If they extend all of the Bush Tax Cuts, three things could possibly happen: First, they allow small business owners and regular folks like you and like me to know what our tax burden will be next year, which is always a good thing. Second, they can try–though we’ll fight ‘em–to co-op the “Bush Tax Cuts” name and proclaim them to be the “Obama Tax Cuts” for purposes of the 2012 presidential election. Third, they completely and totally piss off the already dwindling base on the far left.
Conversely, if they decide to sunset the tax cuts or merely push for partial tax cuts for everyone but the job creating “wealthy,” the uncertainty facing businesses and individuals will cut down on hiring and holiday spending. They’ll still try to co-op the “tax cut” moniker, and they’ll undoubtedly make the new Democratic Party base happy (well, as happy as perpetually bitter people can be).
What’s likely to happen is that they extend all of the Bush tax cuts, but they put an arbitrary, artificial cap on the extension — the same sort of arbitrary, artificial caps that lefties are so fond of placing on everything from corporate profits to proper carbon emissions. That way, they can somewhat satisfy the lefty base by claiming that it was only necessary in the course of our “recovery,” they can claim to be fiscally responsible (ha!) during the next election, and they can even give John Boehner a bit of a “win” and claim bipartisanship without going overboard in complete acquiescence.