Henry Clay is often credited to have said that a compromise is a deal that leaves both sides unhappy. Alrighty then, the US government has definitely brought forth an economic compromise. Of course, the bullshit will hit the fan again in two months, but for now let both sides enjoy the tingling sensation of not getting things all their own way. I’m actually happier than most progressive liberals, considering that the usual “compromise” that the Democrats have made in the past involved rolling over to the conservatives and begging them to use lube. Although I am hesitant to suggest the left wing has grown a spine, I am willing to be hopeful that a cartilage proto-spine has made an appearance. That would be just peachy.
There are several things in the recent tax agreement that I approve of, including the fact that middle class taxes will not go up and that the child tax credits (as well as other nice middle class tax breaks) have not been flushed away down the Congressional toilet, that people making more than $450,000 will again have to pay the moderate/low Clinton-era taxes, that unemployment benefits have been extended to two million people, that doctors who provide service to Medicare/Medicaid patients will not be paid less, that the Affordable Care Act has not been ripped to shreds, and that it continues to offer tax credits to renewable energy sources. Moreover there was none of that “chained CPI” horse crap, which is good news even if the danger of Social Security cuts continues to lurk & stalk. For these things Lord, I am thankful.
Then there is the stuff that twists my knickers, like the fact that there is continuance of a “few hundred billion dollars in corporate pork” to appease the mighty lobbyists and their owners. Uncle Sam’s bacon distribution includes $43 million in tax breaks to NASCAR (which only makes a few billion dollars a year, bless its heart) , $165 million giveout to railroads to maintain their tracks (which is a business cost that a GOP-sacred “privately owned” business should pay for but I am pro-mass-transit and thus I do not disapprove), $150 million to the poverty stricken Hollywood industry (I call all the shenanigans!), a shit-ton of tax breaks for companies who have their digs in fancy zip codes (which the Mammon Worshiping Asshats do not need), juicy banking loopholes that piss me off (to the tune of $9 billion), more than a billion in tax loopholes for goat blowing multinationals (who abuse the workforce as well as dodge their social responsibilities), and yet another sweet loophole for “research and development” (that cost the US more than $100 billion in lost revenue last year alone). This list doesn’t include things like the usual $10 billion in Big Oil subsidies every year, of course.
Of course, since no one got exactly what they wanted, President Obama is receiving plenty of flak. However, the Republicans are the side throwing the biggest fit. They are incensed that the President not only forced them to make some small tax concessions, he also took some credit for doing so:
Hill Republicans made no bones over their anger with Mr. Obama for holding a Monday afternoon rally with middle-class taxpayers, blasting him for taking what they said was a premature victory lap for having forced GOP concessions on tax increase. Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican, called the session “a cheerleading rally,” and Sen. Daniel Coats, Indiana Republican, said it reminded him of football players taunting their opponents. “It’s in your face. It was demeaning. It was insulting. It was sad,” he said.
Nevertheless, the right wingers need not fear that they acted against the wishes of their Taint-sniffing Overlord, Grover Norquist. In an attempt to salvage his credibility and control over the fawning campaign-fund-seeking sycophants he has dominated for years, Norquist has tried to paint the recent deal as a tax CUT even though it clearly raised taxes on the wealthiest Americans. Granted, more than 99% of USA was spared a tax increase, but that <1% are indeed gonna pay a little more. Reality has never been Norquist friend, so he’s still ignoring it and pretend he isn’t up to his ass in alligators.
Anything that makes Grover Norquist and his Corporate Leash-Holders unhappy has got to be at least a little bit of a good thing, y’all.