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Obama gives progressives a reach-around

It says so right in the Washington Post:

Obama reaches out to liberal groups to shore up Democratic base after tax deal

n the wake of President Obama’s tax-cut deal with Republicans, the White House is moving quickly to mend its strained relationship with the Democratic base, reassuring liberal groups, black leaders and labor union officials who opposed the tax compromise that Obama has not abandoned them.

On Friday morning, hours before the president signed into law the $858 billion package extending George W. Bush-era tax cuts as well as jobless benefits, White House aides e-mailed leaders of the black community to hail the compromise as a “major victory for African Americans.”

Friday afternoon, Obama hosted a group of union presidents in the Roosevelt Room for what participants described as a cordial meeting in which the two sides agreed to look beyond their differences.

One participant in the 90-minute session said the group asked Obama to help establish a “formalized structure” of communication between the White House staff and the labor movement. The tax deal came up only briefly when Obama explained the benefits of the deal to workers.

“There’s been some uncomfortable moments and some large amount of disagreement about substance and tactics,” said Roger Hickey, co-director of the Campaign for America’s Future, a liberal activist group. “But they know some parts of the base are angry with them, and they’re trying to make the case why this [tax compromise] is the best deal they could get.”

The problem with a reach-around is you only get one when you’re getting f**ked in the ass.

Krugman says the zombie apocalypse is upon us:

When historians look back at 2008-10, what will puzzle them most, I believe, is the strange triumph of failed ideas. Free-market fundamentalists have been wrong about everything — yet they now dominate the political scene more thoroughly than ever.

How did that happen? How, after runaway banks brought the economy to its knees, did we end up with Ron Paul, who says “I don’t think we need regulators,” about to take over a key House panel overseeing the Fed? How, after the experiences of the Clinton and Bush administrations — the first raised taxes and presided over spectacular job growth; the second cut taxes and presided over anemic growth even before the crisis — did we end up with bipartisan agreement on even more tax cuts?

The answer from the right is that the economic failures of the Obama administration show that big-government policies don’t work. But the response should be, what big-government policies?

For the fact is that the Obama stimulus — which itself was almost 40 percent tax cuts — was far too cautious to turn the economy around. And that’s not 20-20 hindsight: many economists, myself included, warned from the beginning that the plan was grossly inadequate. Put it this way: A policy under which government employment actually fell, under which government spending on goods and services grew more slowly than during the Bush years, hardly constitutes a test of Keynesian economics.

Now, maybe it wasn’t possible for President Obama to get more in the face of Congressional skepticism about government. But even if that’s true, it only demonstrates the continuing hold of a failed doctrine over our politics.

O-ba-ma! O-ba-ma! O-ba-ma!

24 Responses

  1. Asshats.

    Hillary 2012

  2. Hopefully we can cross Haley Barbour off the list of GOP contenders for 2012

    But the racial sensitivity at Barbour headquarters was suggested by an exchange between the candidate and an aide who complained that there would be ”coons” at a campaign stop at the state fair. Embarrassed that a reporter heard this, Mr. Barbour warned that if the aide persisted in racist remarks, he would be reincarnated as a watermelon and placed at the mercy of blacks.

    • 51 million, mostly lower-income, will do worse under new tax law

      The federal tax bill passed by Congress yesterday includes some extras for the middle class and lots of goodies for the wealthy. But individuals making less than $20,000 and households making less than $40,000 a year will actually get less tax relief in 2011 than they got in 2010 and 2009.

      That’s because the Making Work Pay credit, a temporary tax credit that’s been in effect for the past two years, is going away as of January 1. That credit provides up to $400 per individual, $800 per household, for all eligible workers. And it adds more to the pockets of households making between $20,000 and $40,000 than the new, 2-percent drop in the Social Security payroll tax.

  3. Krugman:
    “Strange triumph of failed ideas”

    The crowing of Obama when he said (paraphrase)
    “Passing HCR that dems have been trying to achieve for 100 years”

    And the gem about Single Payer” being one tiny little detail,that the liberal left didn’t get in the bill and we’re whining about it”.

    Does he really not see that achieving Single Payer” would have been massive and radical change and exactly what we should have done?

    He doesn’t get it.
    He can not picture real change at all.
    He really thinks he did something.

    • Krugman waffles between shrill and shill.

      Like many others he just can’t accept the truth about Obama.

      • Myiq, I think he understands the truth perfectly well — he is still trying to have some small impact at least on what the administration does. You can’t do that if you call them the names they deserve.


  4. Since Krugman was in a White House meeting on Dec 7. it’s a good thing he’s not full throatedly shilling for the tax cut deal.

    Obama Tried to Placate Liberal Economists

    At a White House news conference on December 7 in which he announced a deal to extend the Bush tax cuts, Barack Obama chastised his liberal base for sticking unrealistically to their “purist” positions.

    What the president didn’t say was that a few hours earlier he had met with and tried to assauge some his most vociferous liberal critics — economists Paul Krugman, Joseph Stiglitz, Jeffrey Sachs, Alan Blinder, and Robert Reich, the former Labor secretary.

    In what two participants describe as a somewhat-argumentative one-hour discussion, Obama tried to convince the group that his compromise would deliver more bang for the buck to the economy and to people most in need of help than any other politically feasible option.

    I’m sort of hacked we’re just hearing about this now.

  5. cut and paste with permission from Nataya at allegres. How the tax deal will likely hit Social Security in the near future.

    Social Security is SELF-FUNDING and is NOT part of the federal budget deficit problem and should NEVER have been used as a bargaining tool. But Obama wants to kill off Social Security; he made that clear when he appointed two people with long records of hating Social Security to head his deficit commission — Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles.

    It is almost unbelievable that a Democratic president would lead the charge to destroy Social Security, but that’s what we have here with Obama.

    The first clue to what Obama was about should have been when, during the campaign, Obama told us he found Reagan transformational but never mentioned FDR, who REALLY WAS transformational.

    This so-called “payroll” tax “holiday” of 2% is really a 30% CUT in revenue for Social Security. The Social Security tax rate has been 6.2% and for the year 2011 will be cut to 4.2% — that is 30% DECREASE in revenue.

    When this “payroll” tax “holiday” expires at the end of 2011, we already KNOW the Republicans will advertise returning the rate to what it was as a 50% tax INCREASE, and it will be defeated.

    That means Social Security will be permanently DEPRIVED of 30% of its needed revenue.

    It is then just a matter of minutes until the Republicans tell us (again) that Social Security is BROKE and must be TERMINATED.

    The Social Security trust fund currently has a SURPLUS of $2.3 Trillion and was on track to accumulate a SURPLUS of $4 Trillion — accumulated for the specific purpose of dealing with the retirement of the baby boomers..

    Then, Obama came along.

    This one-year Social Security tax “holiday” will deprive the Social Security fund of $112 Billion. If the tax “holiday” is extended — or even made permanent — in the 2011 session, it won’t take long to shut down Social Security.

    This is the Republicans’ plan to kill Social Security.

    CALL me if you have heard even one TV person or print newspaper person explain what this “payroll” tax “holiday” REALLY is — the foot in the door to kill off Social Security..

    Social Security is NOT part of the federal deficit problem, and it is sheer evil on Obama’s part to use the federal deficit as an opportunity to destroy Social Security.

    Social Security is SELF-FUNDING and is not part of the federal deficit or federal debt problem — there is NO reason to cut or harm Social Security.

    • Yep, it’s a ruse to get rid of SS. And the real clue is when Obama was caught saying during the primaries that he believed that someday SS would have to be privatized which he agreed with. That’s why Krugman didn’t support Obama during the primaries and wrote numerous pieces to that effect. He was against Obama until his brain was flushed with Hopium in that private meeting.

    • That’s my hard earned money they’re talking about stealing. Part of my retirement I’m counting on. Something like that will cross the line for a lot of people. I suspect they have no idea what kind of extreme reaction and consequences will result when people finally understand what’s coming. Or at least when it arrives. The majority of people were for this bill precisely because they had no idea what it meant. Just wait.

      • That’s what I think will happen. Whoever dumps on Social Security will disappear from US political life forever.

        Almost all rank and file Republicans like Social Security about as much as Democrats. That the GOP fears their own voters may save the program in the end.

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