So, why *did* @BarackObama agree to permanently extending most of ‘the Bush tax cuts?’

I must admit, Grover Norquist has a point here:

The second great game changer was Obama’s decision to extend and make permanent 85 percent of the Bush tax cuts—the cuts of 2001, 2003, and the AMT patch. This was Obama’s great blunder that stripped him of his political power for his entire second term. Had Obama simply extended 90 percent of the tax cuts for one year or two years, he would have held over the heads of Republicans the ability to raise taxes simply by refusing to allow another extension. But he threw that power away like a child tossing aside a pearl of great but unrecognized value.

Particularly the AMT patch. Background here: suffice it to say that it spawned a budgetary trick that the Democrats particularly enjoyed using, and I have yet to figure out why Barack Obama was so eager to give it up in exchange for… breaking a campaign promise to end the Bush tax cuts.

I wonder if he has figured it out, either.

How cute: the NYT still thinks Obama won the tax cut fight.

Really, this is adorable:

[David Plouffe] rejected the suggestion that Mr. Obama, who forced Republicans to accept higher taxes on the wealthy after re-election, has been too passive.

Not the passive part, which is a) true and b) hopefully not worrisome at all to Democrats.  But here’s a harsh dose of reality for the Times’ mellow: in order to ‘win’ on tax hikes, all Barack Obama had to do was wait.  He campaigned on removing all of the Bush ‘tax cuts.’  All of them.  They were set to expire, and Obama could have had that happen with no fuss, no muss, no drama… and approximately one hundred million or so people screaming at him.  Instead, he made a deal with the GOP where they came in with nothing and walked out with 98% of the tax cuts that they campaigned on to preserve AND Obama taking the blame for the Alternative Minimum Tax fix*.

Oh, yeah.  Twist my arm a little more on that, dude.  And we lost that one so totally, ya, you betcha… Continue reading How cute: the NYT still thinks Obama won the tax cut fight.