Howard Gleckman makes an important, and often overlooked, point:
A permanent” tax cut is a fiction. No tax cuts are forever. Congress amends the Internal Revenue Code annually, and sometimes more than once a year. Since World War II, it has done a major overhaul about once a decade, and is overdue for its next renovation. And given massive budget pressures, one is likely to come sooner rather than later.And when it does, the entire Code will be in the mix, notwithstanding what it permanent and what is not.
At the same time, our recent experience with four dozen allegedly time-limited tax cuts that Congress extends more or less routinely each year suggests the word “temporary” does not carry the same meaning in Washington as it does elsewhere.
Gleckman's "biggest objection to the Obama plan is that is manipulates expectations" because it "implies that the nation can solve its budget problems by simply raising taxes on the wealthy." It seems to me that Obama is losing this debate - which is quite staggering. That we cannot return to Clinton era tax levels under this kind of debt burden means that the spending cuts the GOP must propose will have to be larger and deeper than even the Tories' in Britain. And that means, I think, they won't happen. Which could mean a political system apparently incapable of fixing the fiscal imbalance until default forces it.
Is this how wounded the American giant is? Is this how incapable it is of reforming itself?