Bowing to Republican wishes, David Axelrod tells The Huffington Post the Obama administration will accept an extension of the Bush-era tax cuts for everyone, including those making over $250,000. "We have to deal with the world as we find it," Obama's top political adviser said. "I don't want to trade away security for the middle class in order to make that point."
It's discouraging news for liberals who had been pushing for a middle-class-only tax cut and a significant victory for ascendant Republicans who already seem to be holding sway. Here's the buzz in the blogosphere.
- Obama Didn't Even Put Up a Fight, writes reporter Mike Allen at Politico:
We had told you this was the end game, but we're surprised there wasn't a dance first. Top Hill officials have been saying for weeks that the only tax-cut action that's possible in the upcoming lame-duck session is a temporary extension of the tax cuts for everyone. The White House had floated the idea of making the Bush tax cuts permanent for the middle class, while temporarily extending the cuts for the wealthy. But there was never any way Republicans would fall for that, since that would mean they later would have to support a tax cut that mostly benefited millionaires.
- Axelrod Doesn't Get It, writes liberal blogger Marcy Wheeler at Fire Dog Lake:
And while I agree that raising middle class tax cuts at this point would be bad for the economy, it’s not the worst thing that could happen to the economy. In fact, the worst thing that could happen to this economy may well be passing legislation that continues to hollow out of the middle class and with it increasing the massive income inequality that continues to subject the American people to the craven demands of a few very rich people. That is, precisely what Axe and Obama have now agreed to do.
- Obama Is Spineless, writes University of Oregon economist Mark Thoma at Economist's View: