So here's a complete rendering of what's in this "compromise." You know about the extension of the deficit-busting tax cut for millionaires and billionaires. That's listed first.
- Extend the Bush tax cuts till 2012
- Extend unemployment benefits for 13 months. (Without this 7 million workers would have lost benefits next year. But isn't the very notion of trading a tolerable existence for the down and out and their families for $100,000 more in the pockets of the fat cats just outrageous? And isn't it more outrageous that the Republicans held these workers hostage to their scheme?)
- Include a two percentage-point cut in employee's Social Security taxes for 2011. (This is the "withholding tax holiday". It's OK with Democrats because it does provide a slight stimulus, but the other side of the coin is it takes a hit on social security, something that cannot displease Republicans.)
- Keep the Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, and American Opportunity Credit cuts from the stimulus plan last year. This is about $40 billion in tax cuts for students and families. (Well, OK. But notice that this "compromise" is all about tax cuts . . . which is the Republican solution to everything. Democrats are supposed to know much better.)
- Set the estate tax at 35% for two years on assets of $5 million or more. (The threshold for last year was $3.5 million and 45%. Guess who benefits from this little plum?)
- Allow businesses to completely write off 100% of their capital purchases next year. (and thereby cut their taxes.)
Now, all this, except the unemployment benefits would have been fine with the Republicans anyway. And the president is calling this a compromise? You gotta be kidding me. Both Rachel Maddow and Keith Olberman were upset about this tonight on the news. And the good news is the Democratic caucus is also furious with Obama. Maybe they are going to tell him to stop with this cozying up to Republicans and start paying attention to his base. But don't bet on it.