Obama Bending on Tax Cuts, and Should We Care? Plus iPad Giveaway Coming Up

Uploaded by MidweekPolitics on 12.11.2010

bjbj David: I want to talk about Barack Obama bending on tax cuts, but I want to remind
our audience: our friend who is next to me here, the iPad, we are now just two weeks
away from our Thanksgiving Day giveaway of the iPad. It'll be the day after Louis's birthday.
Become a member of The David Pakman Show, you'll get 10 entries. We'll be giving this
away, plus we've got prizes for second through 10th place. We've got Capital Steps' latest
CD, "Liberal Shop of Horrors", and we also have Nathan Michael Marcuzzi's latest album,
"These Things". So a lot of stuff being given away, Louis, and it's time. It's time to support
the show. You get two bonus shows a week. Louis here is, his entire fifth-grade Hebrew
school class has now signed up for the membership program. And it's spectacular, is it not?
Louis: It's wonderful. David: That's really all we can say. Louis: Yeah. I can't say enough
about it. David: OK. Barack Obama bending on tax cuts. President Barack Obama's top
adviser, David Axelrod, suggested to the Huffington Post yesterday that the administration is
ready to accept an across-the-board temporary extension of the steep Bush-era tax cuts,
including those for the wealthiest taxpayers. A lot of debate going on among Democrats,
Louis, about whether we really should be focusing in the media on... as progressives, on the
Bush tax cuts being compromised by Barack Obama or whether we should be focusing more
on, well, Barack Obama indicated he will veto anything that repeals health care, or let's
focus on the debt. And you know what? I disagree with many of the progressives saying we are
going overboard by criticizing Barack Obama about bending on the tax cuts for the rich.
Louis: Well, I think if you're focusing on the debt, the debt and the tax cuts are one
and the same, in a way. David: In a sense, they're connected, but my point is this: Obama's
compromise on the tax cut strategy is a lose-lose-lose strategy, in this sense. If the idea is by
giving the GOP something that they want, you're going to get any cooperation from them, you
are wrong. We saw that from 2008 to 2010. Louis: Or maybe you're already thinking about
the next election. David: Let's say you are. If you believe that by extending the tax cuts
temporarily for two years in 2012 you can campaign on that, you are so wrong. And you
know why, Louis? Because... Louis: I don't know, I think it could help. David: No. Let
me tell you why. Louis: OK. David: Louis is being argumentative here, but he's flat wrong,
and I'm going to tell him why. If they are going to be extended temporarily for two years,
when will they be coming up again for discussion? The 2012 election. Louis: Right. David: So
in the same way that the Republicans made them an issue now, they will become an issue
in 2012. You are doing nothing for yourself as a Democrat by extending the Bush tax cuts
for the rich for two years, because it is going to come up again and it will be framed
identically in the media, and you will have to again justify whether in 2012 you will
extend or end them. There is no gain. Louis: But at least if the Democrats in 2012 say
they want to extend them again... David: OK. Louis: Republicans will be more likely to
believe it because they had already extended it once, if they do it now. David: If you...
but the idea is that the compromise from Obama is he will just do it for two years. He will
do it for two years, and then they're gone. Louis: I see. David: But... and that's not
good. You are essentially, by letting them... It's worse to extend them for two years than
to let them expire because it's going to give Republicans another chance to keep beating
the drum for 2012. It is lose-lose-lose. Louis: But it could be extended again. Even if he's
saying that now, it could be. David: We don't know what the language would be. Maybe the
language would be we will extend it now and not again. As we know, language can be amended,
though. Louis: You think in no situation would it help at all? David: I think it is... Louis:
Lose across the board, no matter what? David: You lose across the board no matter what,
if you are a Democrat, if you extend these tax cuts. There is no question about it, Louis.
I mean, where could there be a gain? You are just opening up the door to more debate about
the same thing. And before we go to break, Mitch McConnell is saying hey, I'm willing
to work with Barack Obama on financial issues, as long as he gives us everything we want
including extending the tax cuts. Take a look to him on "Face the Nation" here. [CLIP] Mitch
McConnell: Sure, we hope to do business with the president on a number of things. I think
the issue here is whether you want to raise taxes on small businesses in the middle of
what most Americans think is a recession. I and all of my members think it's a bad idea
to do that. I do sense some flexibility on the president's part, and we're happy to talk
to him about it, but let me make sure everybody understands what we're talking about here.
These aren't tax cuts, these are tax increases. David: Right. McConnell: Tax increases in
the middle of a recession, this so-called "upper income" thing diverts people away from
the following fact: If you do that, you raise taxes on 750,000 of our most productive small
businesses, which represents 50% of small business income and 25... [END CLIP] David:
All right. So Mitch McConnell there being very cute, Louis. Hey, we'll compromise. We've
just got to keep those tax cuts for the rich, and the bottom line, David Axelrod saying,
you know what, to keep the tax cuts for the middle class, we're going to need to sacrifice,
compromise on the tax cuts for the rich. I think this is a huge mistake for Barack Obama.
Let's take a break, we'll come back. We'll be speaking to David Bollier, cartoonist Ted
Rall will be on with us. HYPERLINK "http://www.DavidPakman.com" www.DavidPakman.com is the website. Thanks
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