Mr. Obama effectively traded tax cuts for the affluent, which Republicans were demanding, for a second stimulus bill that seemed improbable a few weeks ago. Mr. Obama yielded to Republicans on extending the high-end Bush tax cuts and on cutting the estate tax below its scheduled level. In exchange, Republicans agreed to extend unemployment benefits, cut payroll taxes and business taxes, and extend a grab bag of tax credits for college tuition and other items.Question--if the "Bush tax cuts" are ever extended, say by Obama through reconciliation for another ten years, will they still be called the Bush cuts or will they become the Obama cuts even though the rate will be the same? Just wondering.
But yes, of course there's a stimulus in there. There's also a tacit admission that the idea of a "lock box" existed only in the fantasy region of Al Gore's brain. Obama, when challenged by the stunned and deflated White House press democrats, also screwed up and admitted that the important thing about his health care reform is that it's there, not the scope, since like the initial versions of Social Security and Medicare which were quite small at the start, health care may also one day balloon into an ugly, uncontrollable monster at some point. Give it time, liberals!
Oh well, when (if, hopefully) the economy improves in 2011 Obama can now take credit for it via his own supply side initiatives, dismissing the "Bush tax cuts" as meaningless to the recovery since they did nothing demonstrable between 2008-2010 (at which point Mitch McConnell should call a presser and declare they saved 3 million jobs and make skeptics prove otherwise).
If the economy doesn't come back Obama can say look, tax cuts don't work, and proceed to go crazy on tax increases for the rich to help enlarge Obamacare while 'cutting the deficit'. It's a win-win.