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Ear to the Ground

Obama Open to Tax Cut Compromise

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Posted on Nov 6, 2010
Obama Tax Speech

President Obama, shown here giving the speech in 2009 in which he declared that “we start from the simple premise that we should reduce the tax burden on working people.” Because, you know, the really, really, really rich work too.

With his proverbial political tail between his legs, President Barack Obama has articulated his clearest signal yet that he is open to a post-midterm compromise with newly empowered Republicans that would sustain some parts of the Bush-era tax cuts, which are set to expire at the end of 2010. —JCL


President Barack Obama gave his clearest signal yet on Saturday of a possible post-election compromise with resurgent Republicans that could prevent tax rates from rising for any American, even the wealthiest, come January.

Obama, in his first weekly radio address since his Democrats suffered big losses in Tuesday’s congressional elections, reasserted that Bush-era tax cuts should be made permanent for the middle class before they expire at year-end.

But while insisting tax cuts for wealthier Americans should not become permanent because of a $700 billion impact on the deficit over the next decade, he left the door open to a temporary extension for higher income levels—as long as it falls short of costing that much.

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By SteveL, November 8, 2010 at 12:51 am Link to this comment

Trickle down works great for dogs and fireplugs.

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By Inherit The Wind, November 7, 2010 at 11:52 pm Link to this comment

Here’s my compromise:
You in the House send the Senate your bill.
If it’s your usual bullshit to help concentrate more wealth in fewer hands, it will die.  If it’s at all reasonable, we can talk, but it will probably still die, unless you make the changes we want.
If it gets to the President and it’s still bullshit, he’ll veto it.  If it’s at all reasonable, he’ll tell you what changes HE wants or he’ll still veto it.

If you shut down the government we’ll go on the air and tell the American people YOU are the ones cutting off the troops, because it will be true.

That’s the ITW idea of how Obama and the Dems should compromise with Boehner.

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By eir, November 7, 2010 at 10:22 pm Link to this comment

“Cuts, cuts, cuts”  is the mantra coming from most Republicans and Democrats.  Some Democrats believe the Obama administration is more than happy to have helped the Republicans to their majority in that this administration now has the perfect excuse for “compromise” that serves their Wall Street masters so well.  The Republicans, reportedly will help them out with the threat of “shutting down the government” unless Democrats get on board with cuts.  Traitorous Democrats will whine that “we have to compromise!”

Let the President’s Cat Food Commission (National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform) roll!

Gee, has anyone ever thought about growing this economy rather than cannibalizing it further for the benefit of the Wall Street Looters?

Cut Wall Street Looters, We’re Growing This Economy

Or, maybe we should leave it to the big time patriots who know a thing or two about “creative destruction”:
Big Time Patriots and Builders on the Job

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By Carl, November 7, 2010 at 7:21 pm Link to this comment

Here is a better article on the tax cuts for the rich scam.

If Obama and Pelosi just spoke out about this, 90% of Americans would agree to end the Bush tax cuts for the rich and to end the “carried interest” racket. Yet, they nor their corporate media allies ever write about these facts.

Most Americans are fooled, and think the Bush tax cuts lowered “high taxes” on the rich down near middle class tax rates. In reality, they cut taxes for the rich in half, far lower than working class rates. Because, as you know from TV pundits, if the rich didn’t get these cuts, they would not invest, but put all their cash under their mattress.

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By rico, suave, November 7, 2010 at 3:29 pm Link to this comment


By “plan” I meant wish or intention. Do you really think he wanted temporary tax cuts? And ‘you’re right he didn’t get what he wanted, so he settled for a sunset clause.

I agree that Obama is an incompetent politician- a great speaker, campaigner and logician, but he is tone deaf to his constituency and to the art of the possible.

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By Carl, November 7, 2010 at 3:14 pm Link to this comment

It is the Bush plan. He signed the legislation. That is what he approved.

No president gets all they want. It will raise taxes on the rich, but they will still pay a much lower tax rate than working Americans.

If Obama really wanted middle class tax cuts, he should have pushed them a month ago. It would pass the House, and “maybe” blocked in the Senate by a filibuster. That would look bad for them prior to an election. So who knows.

But to wait until after the elections, this proves (once again) that Obama is a con man who says he wants to help working Americans yet screws us to help the rich. Same with the Democrat leaders of the House and Senate. Want proof, read the article where the corporate WashPost guy says they are wonderful.

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By GW=MCHammered, November 7, 2010 at 11:59 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It’s About Income Thievery Not this Tax Diversion Debate

“In polite circles, among our political and financial classes, this is known as “the free market at work.” No, it’s “wage repression,” and it’s been happening in our country since around 1980. I must invoke some statistics here, knowing that statistics can glaze the eyes; but if indeed it’s the mark of a truly educated person to be deeply moved by statistics, as I once read, surely this truly educated audience will be moved by the recent analysis of tax data by the economists Thomas Piketty and Emmanuel Saez. They found that from 1950 through 1980, the share of all income in America going to everyone but the rich increased from 64 percent to 65 percent. Because the nation’s economy was growing handsomely, the average income for 9 out of l0 Americans was growing, too – from $17,719 to $30,941. That’s a 75 percent increase in income in constant 2008 dollars.

But then it stopped. Since 1980 the economy has also continued to grow handsomely, but only a fraction at the top have benefitted. The line flattens for the bottom 90% of Americans. Average income went from that $30,941 in 1980 to $31,244 in 2008. Think about that: the average income of Americans increased just $303 dollars in 28 years.

That’s wage repression.”

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By doublestandards/glasshouses, November 7, 2010 at 11:58 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Keynes concluded that the main reason the Great Depression lasted so long was because of the disparity in income levels between the rich and the poor.  The poor had no money to buy consumer goods and the rich were putting their money back into speculation or savings.  Huge tax cuts for the wealthy during a severe recession/depression are not going to stimulate the economy, they will only make things worse.  The president isn’t stupid; he is going down that road knowingly.

There are many good books these days detailing how the economy got where it is.  One book which shows the way out of the current mess is: KEYNES, The Return of The Master by Robert Skidelsky, 2009

There have been only two economic crisis comparable to today’s in the last 80 years, the great depression of the 1930’s and Japan’s economic collapse in the 1990’s.  Both required massive Keynesian style solutions.  Today we have had only a one-sided economic relief for the banks and nothing for the people.  It’s like an extension of one-sided class war.  The president’s stimulus program was little more than a band-aid on an open wound.

Tax cuts are not going to create twenty million jobs which is what will be needed to return to the employment levels of 2005.  Republicans should be asked in which segments of the job market these jobs are going to be created.  They need to get specific.

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By Peter, November 7, 2010 at 9:07 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Obama doesn’t get it. We voted for change not business as usual. We voted for a
man that would stand up for the corruption of both aisles but, we get more of
what we’ve had for years.

The plutocrats win again. Shame on you Mr. President.

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By rico, suave, November 7, 2010 at 8:48 am Link to this comment


It wasn’t the Bush “plan” to let taxcuts expire next year. He wanted them all to be permanent. The only way he could get it through Congress was to compromise (what a concept) and write in a sunset provision. Kick the can down the road, to use a popular term of art.

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By Zarathustra, November 7, 2010 at 5:40 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Obama, you would have been a very obedient slave…. You love kissing the White Plantation owner’s ass.  What a F**KING whimp you are…...... and that’s why you get no respect. You’re the f%@KING President of the United States. Start acting like it…...... or just go back to the slave shed to sleep. Stop acting like you’re beneath everyone, we elected you to be a leader, god-damn-it.  Morgan Freeman would be a better President!

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By de profundis clamavi, November 7, 2010 at 1:14 am Link to this comment

Obviously that pathetic little wimp we stupidly elected to the Presidency is going to spend the next two years caving in to everything the Republicans want.  When he leaves office in January 2013 he will wonder why the Republicans still don’t love him and why the people who elected him don’t appreciate how hard he tried, yes really tried, with all the artful acrobatics of his Harvard-educated tongue, to tickle and titillate those mean Republican bullies so they might just give him a smile in between ejaculating their usual demands for more tax cuts for billionaires and wars for their military contractor buddies. I don’t now. I suppose it’s a bit like the Vegas call girl who doesn’t understand why her johns don’t love her no matter how hard she tries to satisfy them with her cunning stunts.

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By morongobill, November 7, 2010 at 1:10 am Link to this comment

“The great compromiser”- wait that was given to a great american, Henry Clay. Hmmmmmm….

The great sellout: now that’s the ticket. He sold his supporters down the river from the day he sat down in the oval office.

Does any Obama supporter really think 2 years of Mccain would have been as bad as what we got now.
Do you really think he would have went to court to protect Bush’s torturers like this sniveling spineless administration has?

Don’t let the door hit you in the behind on the way out.

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By aacme88, November 7, 2010 at 1:55 am Link to this comment

Perfect Dem/Rep compromise: Reps get everything they want for long enough that hopefully they’ll be in a position to make it permanent at the end of the “compromise” period.
A compromise would mean 50% of tax cuts stay, 50% expire.
This is a perfect example of how the discourse is weighted heavily to the right.

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By SteveL, November 7, 2010 at 1:54 am Link to this comment

The latest is that the President will look to COMPROMISE with the Republicans in
regards to his second term.  He will ask for two years only, his negotiators will
split the difference and ask for one, and the Republicans will stare blankly at them
causing the administration to capitulate and settle for a week because that “all
they could get”.

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By Morpheus, November 7, 2010 at 12:36 am Link to this comment

Obama, Demorcats and Republicans can’t help us. When you’re tired of this non-sense you will look for real answers…


We don’t have to live like this anymore.

Read “Common Sense 3.1” at ( )


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By Beltwaylaid, November 6, 2010 at 11:58 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This will be a good opportunity (since the election) to
see if the reverse party are interested in
bipartisanship.  If not, as Mr. bush and Mr. cheney
have shown, you don’t need the congress to accomplish
most of your (our?) agenda.  We need to see some grit
from Democrats starting with you, Mr. President.

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By Carl, November 6, 2010 at 11:19 pm Link to this comment

A key issue is that the ultra-rich pay a much lower tax rate that middle class Americans. This is never reported in the corporate media, although the G2mil blog has this summary:

“American billionaire Warren Buffet studied the Bush tax cuts a few years back and concluded that billionaires pay a much lower effective tax rate than their secretaries. This is because the rich created new categories for their income so that it doesn’t count the same as income from working. Earnings from stock dividends are not counted as regular income, so only a 15% tax rate is imposed. Standard and Poor’s recently reported this added $274 billion to the nation’s fiscal deficit from 2003 to 2010.

Income from stock and real estate gains not counted as income either, but called “capital gains”. That tax rate fell from 20% to 15%. Hedge fund managers who pay themselves millions of dollars a year found a loophole where they are not paid “income” but “carried interest” that is taxed at the 15% capital gains rate. None of these special low-tax categories must pay the 7.65% FICA tax due on wages. Higher wage working people derive some benefits from tax breaks for the rich, but they would pay a much lower tax overall with a “flat tax” that would force billionaires to pay their wage tax rate.

Meanwhile, the billionaire’s media spokes-models are trying to push their rates down further. They claim our economy is stagnant because businessmen and investors fear that higher tax rates on the rich will weaken the economy. Some are even pushing for a zero tax on “capital gains.” This is pure greed.”

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By FRTothus, November 6, 2010 at 8:41 pm Link to this comment

One gets the impression that Obama is told by the
oligarchy’s lawyers what the oligarchy wants, and
Obama’s job (if he knows what’s good for him and his
family) is then to sell it.  There is a thin line
between compromise and compromised, and we know that
Obama has crossed that line a long time ago.  If we
think he and they are doing this because they are
stupid, then we need to look into a mirror to see who
is really stupid here, him for pursing the
oligarchy’s aim to own and control everything, or us
for thinking that Obama or any politician cares about
anyone but themselves or the monied corporate
constituencies that buy and sell them with money
they’ve stolen from us.
The system doesn’t change because it profits a
powerful few immensely, and with that wealth, they
control what does and does not happen in a country
that has a price for everything, and knows the value
of nothing.  A dictatorship of capital with its own
psychopathic logic, where the important decisions are
kept far away from democracy, is what each
administration for our one-party state perpetuates
and strengthens, at every step, further encroaching,
with the power of law, upon every human dignity,
right, and civil liberty once sacrosanct and

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By Mayfly, November 6, 2010 at 8:31 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Let’s compromise on everything!  Yeah, that’s the ticket.
After all, the Bill of Rights contains 10 amendments.  Which 5 do we want to bargain away?

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By Inherit The Wind, November 6, 2010 at 7:36 pm Link to this comment

What is WRONG with Obama????

He shouldn’t offer a SINGLE compromise. It’s up to the guys and gals who CLAIM to be the “People’s Voice” to produce what they want, and present it to the Senate and the President.  They should simply say “No!”  and stick to it, until the GOPers and teabaggers propose something sane.

Until then WHY offer compromise?  The GOP was WHUPPED in 2008, and stormed back just by saying “No!”

Isn’t there ONE Democrat in Washington with a brain?????????????????????????????????

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By RockyMissouri, November 6, 2010 at 6:52 pm Link to this comment

No compromise…Obama has done nothing but try to accomodate the repubs…..the
traitors only care about opposing Obama..they are disgusting- to a man…!

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By Carl, November 6, 2010 at 6:47 pm Link to this comment

Learn to read and to get a clue.

Obama is the one who defines “middle class” as those who make less than $250,000 a year. I was mocking that, which is why I said let them all expire. Obama need only state this is the Republican-Bush plan, he needs to do nothing.

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By doublestandards/glasshouses, November 6, 2010 at 6:27 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Peace at any price has now replaced hope and change.  Didn’t he hear them when they said their goal was to make him a one term president.  How can you compromise with people seeking your destruction?  A child would know better.

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By kerryrose, November 6, 2010 at 5:20 pm Link to this comment


Middle class tax cuts?  Are you insane?  Do you consider over $200,000 a year middle class?

That kind of talk makes Tea Party type people, making $65,000 a year, think you are talking about tax cuts for THEM.

Get a clue.

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By Carl, November 6, 2010 at 4:06 pm Link to this comment

I agree with the Republicans, Obama must move toward the center. He is ultra-right wing.

What a con man! Everyone knew the Republicans would win the House. So why did he wait until after the elections to attempt to extend middle class tax cuts? Even now, he does need to do anything to end the Bush tax cuts, they expire Jan. 1.

I say let them all expire and use the taxes collected from the “middle class” of $100-$250,000 a year to help the poor or create make-work jobs. Meanwhile, let’s get the anti-war protests going in DC and press Obama to step aside for 2012.

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