Obama Tax Cuts
The White House and Congress reach agreement on a tax package.
In trouble with some of his own Democrats over his compromise with Republicans on taxes, President Obama took his defense public.
President Obama said "a long political fight that carried over into next year might have been good politics but it would be a bad deal for the economy and it would be a bad deal for the American people."
He got what Democrats want: a 13 month extension of unemployment benefits and a one year, 1/3 cut in Social Security taxes to help working class families.
But Mr. Obama yesterday gave Republicans what they want on taxes: no hikes on the top bracket, to be sure the rest, 97 to 98% of taxpayers keep their cuts. Bipartisanship, says the president.
President Obama said "I am happy to be tested over the next several months about our ability to negotiate with Republicans."
Liberals hate the deal.
Rep. Donna Edwards of Maryland said "that really works out well for the two-percenters, the millionaires, but doesn't work out really well for working families at all."
House Democratic leaders aren't buying in
Speaker Pelosi: it "would fail to create jobs.”
House Democratic Leader Hoyer: "a lot of us have real concerns.”
Vice President Biden went to the Hill to get Democrats behind the Obama compromise that the Senate looks likely to pass.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said "I think vast majority of the members of the Republican caucus of the U.S. Senate feel its a step in the right direction."
President Obama says it's a wrong step, but a step he now supports.
This could be a preview of the 2012 campaign. The president casting himself as the sensible bipartisan guy in the political middle who gets things done.