Obamaâ€™s decision Monday to compromise with Republicans by extending the Bush tax cuts for everyone in exchange for an extension of unemployment benefits paints him for the coward he really is.
The tentative deal would extend for two years all the Bush-era income tax breaks, including those hotly-contested breaks for Americaâ€™s super rich, and would extend unemployment benefits for an additional 13 months and cut payroll taxes for workers to encourage employers to start hiring, two things that should have been apolitical with unemployment still high and Christmas â€“â€“ one of the nationâ€™s major spending periods â€“â€“Â just around the corner.
The Republican arguments against extending unemployment benefits and against â€œraisingâ€ taxes on the rich were absurd.
Though extending unemployment would certainly add to Americaâ€™s growing deficit, as they argued, stimulating the economy â€“â€“ something extending benefits would surely do â€“â€“ is more important right now. And tax cuts for the richÂ â€“â€“ who are more likely to save extra money, not spend it to stimulate the economy â€“â€“ will do little to help the economy while adding piles of money more to the deficit Republicans claim to want to fight at all costs.
But the GOP kept yelling, and Obama and his Democrats, showing their true color ought to be yellow, not blue, caved.
Instead of bowing before their Republican overlords, Obama and the Dems should have held the line. They should have mustered their majority political will and forced the tax cuts to expire. They should have proven their willingness to do the right thing, not cower before political pressure.
But they didnâ€™t, as has been standard for the Obama administration. And by refusing to show any backbone Obama has, once again, shown what heâ€™s made of: someone no one should be willing to support any longer.